A million thanks to FNord for catching this – my life is too fleeting to spend reading the Jerusalem Post — but it would appear that Abe Foxman, that frivolous poltroon, is warning of a new danger rising in the shtetl:
Israel should immediately battle a charge emerging in the US that its actions are endangering the lives of US soldiers, because it is a particularly “pernicious” argument that “smacks of blaming the Jews for everything,” Anti-Defamation League National Chairman Abe Foxman said on Monday.
Foxman, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post, was replying to an emerging theme that has run through the public discussion in the US of the Interior Ministry’s announcement of plans to build 1,600 housing units in northeast Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood: that Israel’s actions could cost the lives of American soldiers.
That sentiment was expressed by such noted antisemites as Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. Central Command chief who tried and failed to get Israel, the West Bank and Gaza placed under his area of responsibility. At the risk of concern-trollery, allow me to offer some free advice to my shtetlmate Foxman: Do not fuck with David Petraeus. Do not come within a football field of implying he is an antisemite. Do not formulate any construction, no matter how weaselly and crass and insulting to the intelligence, that leaves the slightest, faintest, remotest indication that he has any animus at all to Israel or the Jewish people.
Indeed, let’s take a look at what that weasel word was. We cannot discuss the security implications for the United States of Israeli actions, Foxman instructs, because that “smacks of blaming the Jews.” Yes, it “smacks.” It leaves a bad taste in Foxman’s sour mouth. Something is “smacking” Foxman’s delicate sensibilities, and it’s the prospect of a grown-up argument about what Israel does and what that means to the United States.
The truth is that nothing in this complex and variated world is monocausal, and it’s rare that you can find any one action in the security sphere that directly and exclusively leads to an equal and opposite reaction. Such is true of Israel and the United States. But it would be equally foolish and immature to rule out of analytic consideration that what Israel does contributes to the insecurity of the region and, when U.S. troops are in the region, contributes to their jeopardy. You can find this when Moqtada Sadr freaks out in Iraq because of the Israeli invasion and bombardment of Lebanon. Or when a sick fuck like al-Qaeda’s Khost bomber claims to have his radicalism strengthened by Operation Cast Lead. Or when Usama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri, seeing that their hold on the Muslim mind is weak, attempts to appropriate Muslim bitterness over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to bolster their support. In none of these cases can you say Had Israel Not Done This, Then That Wouldn’t Have Happened, because the counterfactual conditional makes for sloppy reasoning. But you also can’t say it had no effect when the ripple effects of Israeli actions on American security are so obvious and manifested. Recognizing that doesn’t remotely make you a Blame-The-Jews guy. It makes you a minimally informed and thoughtful observer of the Middle East.
The fact that Foxman wants to keep that consideration out of bounds demonstrates how insecure he is about winning a mature argument. And so he’s willing to intimate in a circus-huckster manner that Gen. Petraeus and other members of the Obama administration have something against the Jews. I’ll tell you what I’d like to smack.