which is definitely a lagitimic criticism of Israeli policy and should not be confused with antisemitsm.
Charles Freeman was supposed to become the chairman of the US National Intelligence Council. He had to quit in part because of harsh criticism from Israel’s supporters. His personal (MW style) announcement can be found here:
Yaniv, so far (because I do not read the US press with any regularity) I only have _Freeman’s_ word that the so-called “Israel lobby” have forced him out. Is there any source other than his Wall Street Journal article in support of the claim that there was a concerted, Israel-centred, (and _only_ Israel-centred) campaign to force to withdraw? And what of his throwaway line about Saudi Arabia and China?
I’m also not sure that I agree with you about “Pound of flesh: extracted.” Have you never seen “The Merchant of Venice”? I would very much see the phrase as antisemitic rather than a legitimate criticism, _especially_ in the context of Israel and Jews.
Some thoughts about the Atzmon interview as appears in Harry’s Place:
1. ‘There have been numerous attempts to silence Mr Atzmon…’
Where is the evidence for this? What a disgraceful comment. Isn’t this a version of the Livingstone Formula? Any criticism of anti-semites is an attempt to ‘silence’ someone?
2. “It is perplexing – you would expect that after what the Jewish people had gone through, after it was very clear to them that the European nations, not just the Germans, but the French, the Ukrainians the Romanians and the Poles spat them out, you would expect they would start a new page where they would be very reflective and very, very careful. ” A statement reminiscent of Holocaust denier David Irving who said words to this effect recently in his interview with Johan Harri in the Independent.
3. ‘You know, I am not exactly the Messiah, but I must admit that when I started to read about Christ, you know, it was the story of my life – about a person who is indoctrinated into hatred and finds a way to start to love.”’ Reminiscent of conspiracy theorist David Shayler and therefore we can conclude that Atzmon has gone insane.
I have been cynical Brian. I am familiar, of course, with the Shakespeare play. As for Chas Freeman, I think that he should put the blame on himself and not on others. It’s true that pro-Israel commentators and senators have fiercely objected his appointment, but they were not alone, and they had good reasons to challenge his appointment.
As a matter of fact the reason I have posted this is because of the vile antisemitism of the Washington Independent correspondent, which I think is quite extreme even by contemporary standards.
Sir, In “No choice but to speak out – Israeli musician ‘a proud self-hating Jew’”, (23 January 2009) Martin Gibson reports without comment and certainly without challenge statements such as:
“I think we are under severe danger. We are fighting against the most powerful people on this planet.”
“I think Jewish ideology is driving our planet into a catastrophe and we must stop.”
“I don’t think it was a credit crunch, I think it was a Zionist punch.”
Now such statements are not new. They appear with some regularity on neo-Nazi and White Supremacist web sites, for example. That the Gisborne Herald, a mainstream New Zealand daily would print them however is new and even bold. It is a boldness that presupposes a wholly new estimate of what can be publicly proposed and hence a wholly new estimate of mainstream New Zealand public.