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Ron Radosh

Michelle Goldberg’s Jewish Problem, and Ours

July 29th, 2011 - 10:04 am

Michelle Goldberg, a writer for The Forward, The Daily Beast, Tablet Magazine and other publications, has emerged as one of the most significant examples of the warped leftist culture that seems to engulf some American Jewish writers and journalists. She has a Jewish problem, one that she repeats in different ways in article after article — namely, that to survive and prosper, American Jews must be true to the Left, move away from support to Israel, and above all, show their fealty to political correctness.

Writing at The Daily Beast, Goldberg penned what is perhaps her single worst and most egregious column. Purporting to be her reflections on what made Anders Breivik of Norway engage in his act of terror, Goldberg attributes his actions to none other than his supposed belief in Zionism! She makes the mistake of taking his incoherent ramblings based on a mix and match of the words of those on the Left, Right and Center, and singles out some of what he says as proof for her allegations. She does not understand, as the historian Michael Ledeen writes, that in fact Breivik,

is the sort of fascist who believes in the myth of a Golden Age that must be restored, and vaingloriously sees himself a member of the elite chosen by history to defend the mythical West.

Instead, Goldberg insists that he is a Zionist, pro-Israel to the core. “In European politics,” she writes, “fascism and an aggressive sort of Zionism increasingly go together.” This is not surprising, since Goldberg also believes that in many ways, the current Netanyahu government is itself increasingly fascist, hence the appeal to people like Breivik.

The new alliance between Israel and Europe’s neo-Nazis, she says, takes place because both the Western fascists and the Israelis are both Islamophobic, believing for some strange reason that radical Islam poses a threat to Western values of democracy and freedom (which of course, the fascists do not share, something she ignores.) “Muslims,” Goldberg claims,

have come to occupy the place Jews once held in the reactionary European imagination; they’re seen as agents of an apocalyptic conspiracy that threatens Europe’s very survival.

Is the fear at all rational? As I noted yesterday, Goldberg ignores the kind of evidence writers like Bruce Bawer have immaculately produced, showing that indeed, the threat is nothing like the fictional threat Jews held in the imagination of Hitlerites in the 1920s and ’30s.

At this point, Goldberg offers the single most perverse paragraph of all. She writes:

The specter of the coming caliphate has crowded out the old myth of the scheming elders of Zion. Naturally, the self-described agents of the counter-jihad see the enemy of their enemy as an ally. It’s the inverse of the anti-Semitic alliance between Hitler and Haj Amin el-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem.

 There was, of course, no grand conspiracy as developed in the forged Protocols of The Elders of Zion, while, the wish for a restored caliphate has, as numerous scholars have shown, been a very real dream that motivates many Islamofascists. Moreover, she trivializes the meaning and import of the alliance that existed between the Nazis and the titular Palestinian movement chieftain, Haj Amin el-Husseini. As Jeffrey Herf has shown in his recent remarkable book about the Mufti and the Nazis, the ideology of the Palestinian movement was forged in alliance with Hitlerism, as the Mufti developed a blend of Koranic theology with fascism to motivate a Palestinian nationalist movement devoted to destroying the Jews.

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