The Anti-Semitic Slur Surfaces Once Again

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Over at Commentary, they’re partying like it’s 2003. Here is Jonathan Tobin on Maureen Dowd’s column today:

Dowd sees [Mitt Romney] and running mate Paul Ryan as the cat’s-paws of a shadowy group of “powerful” Jewish “neocons” who are out to seize the country in his name and enforce, “a duty to invade and bomb Israel’s neighbors,” on Americans….Those who write about “neocons slithering” are clearly intending to stoke prejudice.

….The bottom line here is the same despicable “Israel Lobby” smear that seeks to silence friends of Israel through the use of traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes. Dowd’s column marks yet another step down into the pit of hate-mongering that has become all too common at the Times.

I know, I know: it’s Commentary. What do you expect? But can’t we ever put a stop to this? Neocons exist. They’re neither shadowy nor conspiratorial. They’re part of an actual political movement with a very visible public profile. They tend to be hawkish, solicitous of Israel’s right wing, hostile toward Arabs, and they played a big role in committing the United States to a disastrous war in Iraq. That’s just reality, and the mere fact that many neocons are Jewish doesn’t give them a magic shield that protects them from criticism.

There’s nothing anti-Semitic in Dowd’s column. She just doesn’t like neocons, and she doesn’t like the fact that so many of the neocons responsible for the Iraq debacle are now advisors to Mitt Romney’s campaign. Pretending that this makes her guilty of hate-mongering toward Jews is reprehensible.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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