January 08, 2009

In his new incarnation as a born-again peacenik, Andrew Sullivan—pictured here, scratching his ass on national television—is eager to play the same role he assumed when he was in the vanguard of the War Party “€“ policeman. Back in the day, you”€™ll recall, he even called poets on the carpet for the political content of their verses “€“ and now he’s at it again, this time attacking someone whose prose is so far above his own that the distance can only be measured in light years.

“€œIt seems to me to be important to allow a debate about the wisdom and morality of Israel’s current military incursion without accusing critics of being anti-Semites at the first opportunity. But it is equally important to note when genuine anti-Semitism really does rear its disgusting head. Item One.”€

Sullivan, spiteful and dishonest to a fault, doesn”€™t even link to the offending article, by Taki. Instead, he links to a blog item about it in The American Spectator. Here is the direct link, and here is the passage that has Sullivan fuming:

“€œIsrael can now safely be called the Bernie Madoff of countries, at it has lied to the world about its intentions, stolen Palestinian lands continuously since 1948, and managed to do all this with American tax payer’s money. Every American taxpayer, starting with George W. Bush, has Palestinian blood on their hands thanks to the butchers that run Israel.”€

Lacking courage, he doesn”€™t link to it, for fear that his readers will be exposed to the second paragraph, which makes the Madoff-Israel analogy comprehensible outside of an ethno-religious context:

“€œSderot, where a few homemade harmless missiles have landed, was once an Arab village called Najd, whose 600 Arab inhabitants were expelled by Israelis in 1948. Jewish settlers built over the old town in 1951. Having been ethnically cleansed, the Arabs moved to the Gaza Strip, along with some other 750,000 Palestinians who had been removed from their lands”€”or murdered, like the villagers of Deir Yassin”€”before the first Arab-Israeli war had even begun.”€

Madoff is a thief, as are those Israelis living on land a few miles away from the original”€“and rightful”€“owners. Perhaps they can see the shadow of their olive groves and orange trees in the distance, or imagine that they can: and although this generation has never sat in their shade, the dream of that coolness is what keeps their anger hot.

Why is it “€œanti-Semitic”€ to point this out? The answer is: it isn”€™t. Sullivan is a self-obseesed ass-hole, whose rantings did more to poison the intellectual atmosphere of this country than even George Bush, whose leadership he embraced until it became politically and socially problematic, and a real career-breaker, in any case. He and his friends, such as Christopher Hitchens, have been wrong about absolutely everything”€“the Iraq war, the reaction to 9/11, the crusade to export “€œdemocracy”€”€“and yet still they yammer on, completely unconscious of the fact that hardly anyone is listening anymore. A recent Hitwise traffic report puts Sullivan at number 45 among the top political web site”€“and Antiwar.com at number 16. So bug off, Sully—your record is catching up with you.


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