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Jewish World Review May 8, 2002 / 26 Iyar, 5762

Dick Morris

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A wakeup-call for
American Jewry | TWENTY-FIRST century, assimilated, liberal middle-class Jews, who have dismissed anti-Semitism as an historic term, had better start updating their perceptions. Bigotry against Jews is animating global public opinion in a way it has not since the 1930s.

Complacent and only barely conscious of our roots, secular American Jews find it hard and almost embarrassing to be the objects of religious animus. Jews had better face the global reality: From France's Jean-Marie Le Pen to the Palestinian sympathizers on the left, the footprints of hatred of the Jewish race are painfully clear to see. And left to its own devices, the U.S. State Department won't do a thing about it.

Jews generally vote Democratic and reject the Republican right. But perhaps it's time for a revision in that basic calculation. While the Bush center has wavered and the Democratic Left is keeping largely silent, the Right has been Israel's steadfast backer. It's time for Jewish voters to realize who their true friends are.

The roots of the global boom of anti-Semitism start, of course, in the Arab nations. Bernard Lewis explains it well in his current book "What Went Wrong?"

He attributes the spread of anti-Jewish feeling among Arabs to "the blame game" in which the Turks, the Mongols, the Western Europeans, the Jews and, now, the Americans are, in turn, the object of "neurotic conspiracy theories" designed to "explain the poverty that [the Arabs] have failed to alleviate and to justify the tyranny that they have intensified."

Anti-Semitic embers always lay at the bottom of the pit of Western Europeans' baser instincts. Now, fanned by Arab immigrants and dependence on Arab oil, anti-Semitism seems to be flourishing on the Continent.

The State Department? To Foggy Bottom, it makes no sense to put the interests of 3 million Israeli Jews with no oil over those of 200 million Arabs whose lands are blessed with abundant reserves of petroleum. The striped-pants set feel they are upholding our true national interest by appeasing Arab dictators; they hold in contempt the politicians they see as chasing Jewish votes and contributions.

The anti-Israel bias in the State Department comes from the bowels of its Eastern, WASP, Brahman bureaucracy. Former Truman aide Clark Clifford recounts how the "Wise Men" who ran American foreign policy in the '40s, '50s and '60s - Gen. George C. Marshall, Dean Acheson, Robert Lovett and Dean Rusk - did "everything in their power to prevent, thwart or delay the president's Palestine policy [recognition of Israel] in 1947 and 1948."

This mindset has remained ever since - it's proven impervious to reform even under a Jewish Secretary of State. Obviously, Colin Powell is not anti-Semitic but, equally obviously, he can do little to alter the pro-Arab bias of his institution.

The rabid hatred of Jews in the Middle East; the populist anti-Semitism in Europe; the polite awkwardness around Jews one senses among the State Department elite: Beneath all this lies lie the same matrix of prejudice that allowed the 1930s and early 40s to happen.

Some things are very different now: Israel exists, and it has fought back, trying to stop terrorism from killing its citizens.

Does anybody believe she would occupy the West Bank if Arabs were not blowing up her cafes and temples? There is no moral equivalence between those who commit terror - the Arabs - and those who rank among its victims - the Israelis. The soldiers who occupy the West Bank have the same moral justification as the desperate rebels of the Warsaw Ghetto. Just because the Jews have the tanks now makes no moral difference.

The surest evidence of anti-Semitism in London, Paris, Rome, Berlin and even Washington is their tendency to see retaliation against a suicide bomber in a café as "overreaction" while they see the invasion of Afghanistan as a proportionate response to a suicide pilot who attacks the World Trade Center.

JWR contributor Dick Morris is the author of, among others, "Power Plays: Top 20 Winning and Losing Strategies of History's Great Political Leaders" Comment by clicking here.


05/03/02: Give Bush back his focus
05/01/02: Immigration fault li(n)es
04/25/02: It's the war, stupid
04/17/02: Bush goes small bore
04/12/02: Bush must be a gentle partisan
04/10/02: In defense of polling
04/08/02: Focus on Iraq, not the Palestinians
04/01/02: Only Internet will bring real campaign finance reform
03/27/02: Where W's drawn a line in the sand
03/22/02: Enron scandal will not trigger a wave of economic populism
03/20/02: Term-limited --- by war
03/15/02: Europe doesn't have a clue
03/11/02: Bush popularity = GOP win?
03/01/02: Will America be forced to chase its tail in its war on terrorism?
02/27/02: The Arafat/Saddam equilibrium must be destroyed
02/21/02: Campaign finance reform won't hurt GOPers
02/13/02: Dodd scurries for cover
02/11/02: U.S. 'unilateralism'? The Europeans don't have a case
02/06/02: WAR: What women want
02/01/02: They all talk in the end
01/30/01: The odd couple: Chris Dodd and Arthur Andersen
01/22/01: His father's son? Bush better get an 'Act II' fast!
01/18/01: Dubya & the 'vision thing'
01/14/01: The Rumsfeld Doctrine 01/03/01: A President Gore would have been a disaster
01/03/02: Clinton's priority: Political correctness over fighting terror
12/27/01: Terror network grew out of Clinton's inaction, despite warnings
12/24/01: Call 'em back, George
12/18/01: What Bush did right
12/13/01: Libs worry too much
12/11/01: "Open Sesame": Feinstein's proposed bill allows 100,000 non-immigrant students from anti-American countries to our shores
12/07/01: The non-partisan president
12/05/01: Both parties are phony on stimulus debate
11/29/01: When terrorists can enter legally, it's time to change the laws
11/21/01: Go for the jugular!
11/16/01: You are all incumbents
11/14/01: Clinton's failure to mobilize America to confront foreign terror after the 1993 attack led directly to 9-11 disaster
11/12/01: To the generals: Don't worry about losing support
11/08/01: The death of the white liberal
11/07/01: Our leaders are being transformed in a way unprecedented in post-World War II history

© 2001, Dick Morris