Kevin MacDonald — The Occidental Observer August 7, 2015
Sometimes Jewish comments related to anti-Semitism seem so unhinged that they surprise even me. A Tablet article describes the meeting between Obama and a raft of Jewish leaders on the Iran deal (“Obama to Jewish Leaders: Lay Off the Iran Deal, and I Will Lay Off You“).
Words have consequences, and when they come from official sources, they can be even more dangerous, the president was told. The community worked hard to keep it from getting personal and didn’t make it specific to him. The president complained about the lobbying, and said some of the same people who brought you Iraq are opposing the Iran deal. He was told those characterizations are not accurate. Jewish lobbyists didn’t support the Iraq war.
Another participant who also asked to remain anonymous told me that some people expressed discomfort with “how the debate is being framed—framed as, ‘if you are a critic of the deal, you’re for war.’ The implication is that if it looks like the Jewish community is responsible for Congress voting down the deal, it will look like the Jewish community is leading us off to another war in the Middle East.”
A senior official at a Washington, D.C.-based Jewish organization involved in the Iran fight told me: “The President told concerned Jewish Americans that he would turn down the constant refrain of anti-Semitic insinuations from the White House. Then he went out and gave a speech implying that Jews are dragging American boys and girls into war.”
It’s unfortunate that the president of the United States seems to really believe that Israel and the American Jewish community was responsible for taking America to war in Iraq.
But of course saying that the same people who promoted the Iraq war are now lobbying in opposition to the Iran deal is simply and obviously true, and certainly Obama was not so bold as to actually say that Jews promoted the Iraq war. Obama’s statement is analogous to someone saying that the same people who control Hollywood movie and TV production also run the New York Times and much of the rest of the mass media: The worry is that people will connect the dots not with labels like “White liberals,” but rather with Jews who have attitudes related to their identity as Jews and entirely typical of the mainstream Jewish community but not at all typical of most Whites.
Unfortunately for AIPAC et al., as everyone who is not living under a rock knows, the perception that indeed Jews were a necessary condition for the Iraq war is a common belief so that quite a few people will connect the dots in a way that Jews don’t like. And in fact, Israel (with Netanyahu as spokesperson), Jewish neocons with high positions in the Bush administration, and yes, AIPAC (see, e.g., comments of Rep. Barney Frank and Matt Yglesias: “AIPAC and Iraq”) were critical in successfully promoting the war in Iraq (even though surveys reported that most American Jews opposed the war).
Disowning any Jewish involvement in the Iraq war has a long history. When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003,
the main Jewish activist organizations [were] quick to condemn those who have noted the Jewish commitments of the neoconservative activists in the Bush administration or seen the hand of the Jewish community in pushing for war against Iraq and other Arab countries. For example, the ADL’s Abraham Foxman singled out Pat Buchanan, Joe Sobran, Rep. James Moran, Chris Matthews of MSNBC, James O. Goldsborough (a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune), columnist Robert Novak, and writer Ian Buruma as subscribers to “a canard that America’s going to war has little to do with disarming Saddam, but everything to do with Jews, the ‘Jewish lobby’ and the hawkish Jewish members of the Bush Administration who, according to this chorus, will favor any war that benefits Israel.”
Similarly, when Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC) made a speech in the U.S. Senate and wrote a newspaper op-ed piece which claimed the war in Iraq was motivated by “President Bush’s policy to secure Israel” and advanced by a handful of Jewish officials and opinion leaders, Abe Foxman of the ADL stated, “when the debate veers into anti-Jewish stereotyping, it is tantamount to scapegoating and an appeal to ethnic hatred …. This is reminiscent of age-old, anti-Semitic canards about a Jewish conspiracy to control and manipulate government.” (Neoconservatism as a Jewish Movement,” pp. 15–16)