Monthly Archives: July 2008

Muzzlewatch on summer hiatus

Muzzlewatch will go on summer break until September 2 when we’ll resume regular coverage of stories relating to the domestic debate over US policy in Israel and Palestine. Because we don’t want you to miss anything, we’ll start with a round-up of the summer’s events and stories. Enjoy your summer. We look forward to enjoying ours.

Greenwald: All attack dogs on Joe Klein for saying “divided loyalty”

Joe KleinWith the drumbeat to war with Iran gathering steam (how’s that for mixing metaphors?), it’s inevitable that we return to the question of the neocons.

Glenn Greenwald at Salon has another terrific lawyerly analysis of the multitude of hypocritical sins committed by various right wingers who scream “anti-Semitism” when anyone, Time’s Joe Klein in this case (pictured) , observes that Jewish neocons who pushed for war with Iraq were motivated in part by their feelings of loyalty towards Israel.

Klein used the term “divided loyalty”, which unavoidably evokes language long used to attack Jews, Catholics and others who, it was argued, could not be trusted to put their country’s needs first. Problem is, the very people attacking Klein for using the phrase openly advocate for American Jews to vote for McCain and against Obama because, you guessed it, of their loyalty to Israel. (The absurdity of the logic that Obama is bad for Israel because he favors diplomacy isn’t even worth addressing here.) In other words, the arguments are used selectively to push their right wing agenda.

Frankly, as Greenwald points out, lots of Americans living in the land of the hyphenated identity have multiple loyalties. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Further, we’d add, there is real room for debate about the role love-of-Israel played when it came down to who had the real power to go to war with Iraq.

But in this case, attacking Klein while simultaneously urging Jews to, well, embrace dual loyalties, is another powerful, and duplicitous tool deployed by the thought police to make sure no reasonable person is able to openly discuss the questions obvious to any casual observer. Greenwald writes:

Last week, Joe Klein — basically out of the blue — observed that while many advocates of an attack on Iraq (which once included Klein) were motivated by “neocolonial” fantasies or ensuring access to Iraq’s oil, many other war proponents were motivated by their allegiance to Israel:

The fact that a great many Jewish neoconservatives — people like Joe Lieberman and the crowd over at Commentary — plumped for this war, and now for an even more foolish assault on Iran, raised the question of divided loyalties: using U.S. military power, U.S. lives and money, to make the world safe for Israel.

Since then, Klein has escalated the provocative rhetoric, writing several days ago:

You want evidence of divided loyalties? How about the “benign domino theory” that so many Jewish neoconservatives talked to me about — off the record, of course — in the runup to the Iraq war, the idea that Israel’s security could be won by taking out Saddam, which would set off a cascade of disaster for Israel’s enemies in the region? As my grandmother would say, feh! Do you actually deny that the casus belli that dare not speak its name wasn’t, as I wrote in February 2003, a desire to make the world safe for Israel? Why the rush now to bomb Iran, a country that poses some threat to Israel but none — for the moment — to the United States . . . unless we go ahead, attack it, and the mullahs unleash Hezbollah terrorists against us? Do you really believe the mullahs would stage a nuclear attack on Israel, destroying the third most holy site in Islam and killing untold numbers of Muslims? I am not ruling out the use of force against Iran — it may come to that — but you folks seem to embrace it gleefully.