Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

School of hard knocks

Posted by Charles II on November 12, 2010

The people who so carelessly and glibly accuse those who are critical of some of the actions of the state of Israel of being anti-Semitic are being offered a free lesson by the school of hard knocks.

You see, even though real anti-Semitism is not as prevalent as it was two generations ago, it still exists, still needs to be treated as something evil and shocking, still needs allies who may not be Likudniks but are committed to fighting real anti-Semitism, because it really could blossom once again into the horror that it once was.

And anti-Semitism is being injected into the bloodstream of this nation’s politics by very, very powerful people. This week, Glenn Beck accused George Soros of being a Nazi collaborator who sent other Jews to the gas chambers. Is Simon Maloy of Media Matters really this naive:

After seeing Glenn Beck’s ugly series of attacks on George Soros this week, one question keeps bouncing around my head: What are we to think?

Back in June, after Beck used his radio program to promote Elizabeth Dilling’s anti-communist, and wildly anti-Semitic, harangue The Red Network, I wrote that Beck’s promotion of the book didn’t mean that he was an anti-Semite, just that he’s lazy and irresponsible. A serious person, I argued, would have read the whole book before promoting it and done a little research into the author. Beck, it seemed, had not done that, and as a consequence he exposed his listeners to the contemptible ideology of one of the most prominent American Nazis — something for which he should have apologized, but refused to do so.

But then it happened again. And again. And in the back of your mind you start wondering what the hell is going on here, because things like this just don’t happen in America. This isn’t a country where people go on TV and national radio and talk up bigots who blame Jews for collapsing economies or fomenting communism in the United States. You continue to give the benefit of the doubt, because if you don’t, what does that say about America?…

I’m still giving him the benefit of the doubt, and I still don’t think Beck is, at heart, an anti-Semite.

Michelle Goldberg documented Beck’s harangue here.

Glenn Beck isn’t particularly powerful.

But he works for someone who is.

Why are Maloy and Goldberg so slow to understand that whether Glenn Beck is or is not an anti-Semite hardly matters? Beck would be ranting on a street corner were it not for the ill-gotten wealth and power of his puppet master.

8 Responses to “School of hard knocks”

  1. MEC said

    Memo to Simon Maloy: There is no practical distinction between “acts like an anti-Semite” and “is an anti-Semite”.

    • Charles II said

      There is one practical distinction: “acts like an anti-Semite” includes morally bankrupt people who are paid to spew hate. In that case, it’s more important to look at who is doing the paying than to censure the front man.

      But in Beck’s case, it really does look like both/and. He seems entirely comfortable regurgitating caricatures from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. But the important thing is still who is providing a national platform from which to spew.

      I am more astonished by the failure of Maloy and Goldberg to make this connection than by the contortions they make to avoid applying the label to Beck.

      • I think it’s a case of an overweening fear, conscious or not, of offending conservatives, particularly Christian religious conservatives. Plus, it may well be the knowledge that in this media climate, it may well be futile to call out a conservative as anti-Semitic: The most anti-Semitic public figure over the past forty years is Pat Buchanan, and the only time Pat Buchanan’s notoriously anti-Semitic views have come even close to getting him permanently banished from public life was when they were brought up as a pretext for temporarily shunning him due to his opposition to invading Iraq.

  2. joetote said

    Personally, I feel Soros is one of the most dangerous men in the world and I came to that conclusion “well before Glenn Beck” started his so called piling on. I must as always refer to a statement Glen makes over and over on every show he does, both radio and TV. “Do not take my word for this! I’ve presented facts. Look at the facts than decide. Study the record” Well, I for one had looked at the facts well before this.

    One other note here. Being Jewish myself, I question every day how the Jewish population in this country can stand behind not only people like Soros, but the Anti-Israel left itself. Yet, just like the black population ( and I know I’ll hear about that) they support the very people that would drive them to oblivion! Very odd in my book!

    • Charles II said

      So, of course you can provide documented reasons why George Soros is dangerous.

      Somehow I suspect that someone defending Glenn Beck for grossly anti-Semitic statements, denounced even by the right-wing ADL, someone who imagines that he understands what African Americans want better than they do will not be able to deliver anything more substantial than a steaming pile of dog dung.

      Prove me wrong.

      Adding: Oh, but Joetote’s thoughtful response is purely comment spam, posted verbatim from, e.g. American Conservative Daily.

      I seem to have made a small error in the link. But I think our readers can figure it out.

      • Of course he won’t come back, Charles. He’s one of the people who was unhinged by 9/11 in a way that he wasn’t by the steady drumbeat of low-level (Noonday, Texas; Posse Comitatus) and high-level (Oklahoma City; Waco) right-wing (and usually anti-Semitic) violence that has been the background noise in America for decades.

      • joetote said

        To Phoenix Woman: Why wouldn’t I come back? As I said in my post, I try to look at all facts before I make a decision. For the record, I am who I am, pure and simple. I do not as accused come to knee jerk reactions and I am not unhinged by 9-11 although I lost many dear friends there.

        To Charles II: The thoughtful response as you put it are my words, no one elses. I, as a Jew have been reminded in many ways as to the hatred towards my race throughout my 60 year life. I went through hell defending not only my race but rights for all. The fact that I come from the right is just what it is.

        In all cases, I hope I would never make decisions or base my feelings on any matter without first taking into consideration all sides of the argument as I have here. We can choose to disagree with each other but the discourse must always remain in play.

        what i said in my post are my feelings, open and honest. no one speaks for me. I do not march lockstep with anyone. I do however thank you for allowing me to express my view no matter how you view it. That is good!

      • Charles II said

        So, Joe, you can of course provide specific, documented reasons why you apply the word “dangerous” to another human being.


        I was being ironic in calling your response thoughtful. The original post is about an anti-Semitic rant by Glenn Beck. Your response is that you have “facts.”

        Fine. Lay them on the table. With links to substantiate them.

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