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Ron Radosh

Or, I might add, they have more appreciation for Israel and its accomplishments than do its purported friends like Tom Friedman and Joe Klein. But of course, as Klein sees things, he is “dismayed by the crazed intolerance of many right-wing Jewish commentators these days,” especially since they consider he and Friedman “anti-Israel.”

Notice again: The liberal critics who have taken on Friedman are “right-wing” and “crazed.” This is what I call nuance and listening seriously to one’s critics. And as for Elliott Abrams, who has penned his own critique of both writers, Klein has a sharp rebuke. He is guilty of “neoconservative thuggery.” Isn’t that a profound thought? What Abrams writes is right on target. What, he asks, got Friedman to take the Walt-Mearsheimer position? Abrams answers: “Perhaps it was jealousy from seeing Walt and Mearsheimer sell all those books with this line, but Friedman here tips right into the swamps.” And he is correct when he points  out that “Klein’s thoughts are about as ugly as ever appear outside of Pat Buchanan’s publications.”

Abrams tears apart Klein’s vacuous arguments, especially in this paragraph:

After all, Klein is saying (1) neoconservatives are Jews, and Jews are neoconservatives; (2) Evangelicals like Israel but they are real Americans who put their own country first, unlike Jews; (3) and what those Jews/neoconservatives really want is to send American boys off to fight Israel’s wars, sparing Israeli kids and of course their own kids, who are apparently not “American kids” and anyway do not fight for their country. Of course Klein simply ignores the possibility that concern about the Iranian nuclear program does not make one a warmongering neoconservative, and actually extends even to Christians.

I suspect that Leon Panetta’s 60 Minutes interview, on which I posted earlier today, makes the Defense secretary as well a secret neo-conservative. So Abrams is right. Tom Friedman and Joe Klein, two prominent Jewish journalists, are as Abrams puts it, “spreading the two major themes of contemporary American anti-Semitism.” Evidently, Abrams’ sharp words have offended Klein. Good. What he needs to hear is more of the same, from as many people as possible. Already, Friedman has offered a very weak apology to the Jewish Week, in which he now explains himself this way:

In retrospect I probably should have used a more precise term like “engineered” by the Israel lobby — a term that does not suggest grand conspiracy theories that I don’t subscribe to. It would have helped people focus on my argument, which I stand by 100 percent.

So  Friedman wants to have his cake and eat it too. He believes what he says, but only now says Congress was not “bought and paid for” by the Israeli lobby but only had their thoughts “engineered” by them. Some apology, Tom!

Of course, the enthusiasm for Paul is shared by the self-proclaimed conservative acolyte Andrew Sullivan, who writes  that “it’s so heartening to see a candidate who’s been ignored, condescended to and caricatured by both the liberal media and the Fox Propaganda machine emerge as a viable candidate to win the Iowa caucuses.”

Rather than being ignored or caricatured, the media — until Kirchick’s report — has all but given Ron Paul one great pass, as supporters like Sullivan praise him as a valid conservative alternative. Sullivan sees “fascistic strains” in Rick Perry, but somehow fails to notice those even more apparent in Ron Paul than in any other candidate now running for president. Sullivan is not Jewish, and his animus towards Israel and its defenders has long been apparent. In his case, his support for Paul does not come as a surprise.

Do Joe Klein and Thomas Friedman really want to end up in the same corner as Sullivan, a writer who few take seriously any longer? Are we about to see a new interview in Jewish Week with Klein, who will conjure up some new words to try and get out of his current columns, joining his friend Friedman in trying to save his argument by rephrasing it?

No wonder they are both running scared. When they foolishly put their own real thoughts in print, they are immediately bombarded with the wisdom of their critics, who cry out: enough already! It is too late for either of them to get out of what they are saying. The next step is to bombard both Time, where Klein appears, and the New York Times, Friedman’s home, with letters telling their editors that the public does not appreciate their pages being used for the new anti-Semitism now becoming so fashionable.

UPDATE:

All of Ron Paul’s defenders, and actually everyone who has read this column, should read Dorothy Rabinowitz’s major op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, titled “What Ron Paul Thinks of America.” She gives you chapter and verse about Paul’s anti-Americanism, which sounds familiar to anyone on the Left who has read and likes Noam Chomsky. The two are almost indistinguishable in their views.  She writes the following about Paul:

 It sums up much we have already heard from him. It’s the voice of that ideological school whose central doctrine is the proposition that the U.S. is the main cause of misery and terror in the world. The school, for instance, of Barack Obama’s former minister famed for his “God d— America” sermons: the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, for whom, as for Dr. Paul, the 9/11 terror assault was only a case of victims seeking justice, of “America’s chickens coming home to roost.”

So, for more detail, it’s all in Rabinowitz. Paul’s defenders will learn the truth, and can put a stop to their apologia for Paul.

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