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Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Here's an interesting article in the Washington Post on anti-Israeli sentiment that seems to have been building lately. The writer notes:

Academic papers posted on a Harvard Web site don't normally attract enthusiastic praise from prominent white supremacists. But John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" has won David Duke's endorsement as "a modern Declaration of American Independence" and a vindication of the ex-Klansman's earlier work, presumably including his pathbreaking book, "Jewish Supremacism."

I am starting to disagree with that statement. I am troubled by the rising tide of anti-semitism (and racism in general) in Europe, but I am also troubled by the rise in acceptance of (what seems to me to be) of subtle anti-semitism in academia. It has become chic for one side to posit that we need to "understand" our enemies and their reasoning. I agree. But they then follow it up with calls to mitigate their angst by (for example) cutting Israel loose, and pulling troops out of Islamic countries. I also see the need to understand the mindset of fanatical jihadists. No doubt, one of the reasons they hate us is Israel. But another reason is that we don't accept their "religion of peace". We see no need to buckle to their demands to convert, why should we even consider capitulating by cutting ties (at least to some extent) with Israel, which has been one of our most loyal allies and most valuable friends since its inception. I would posit that Israel is our only hope for the Middle East, and must be supported even in the face of terrorism.


I've not read the actual paper, so this may not be applicable, but I've never understood why those critical of the U.S.'s amazingly large (both monetarily and politically) support of Israel are almost always assumed to be anti-semitic. Or, for that matter, why it's anti-semitic to write about what Israel is doing wrong if the wrongs done to Israel are not also given equal time. It's as though people who support these claims cannot see nuance; everything is black and white to them.

Further, I'd posit that fanatical jihadists who advocate things like "wiping Israel off the map" are certainly not practicing Muslims. Islam is a religion of peace. But like all religion, its intentions can be twisted, and its tenets can be misconstrued, and objective realities can be lost (and the planks in one's eyes can be overlooked). But it seems foolish to lump fanatics in with the whole, and dismiss it for that reason, which seems to be what you're doing here.
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