The Putrid Cynicism of the Emergency Committee for Israel


Friend and managing editor of CiF Watch Adam Levick has offered a link in the comments section to my last post on Occupy Wall Street. I can imagine the concerns that prompted Adam’s offering. I would share them if I thought they were real. They are not.

The link is to a one minute video produced by the Emergency Committee for Israel. “Emergency” is always a usefully alarmist term to use in naming an organization – especially useful – if inaccurate – if there is nothing emergent and critical about one’s purpose. One imagines an organization so named to be doing, indeed, time-sensitive and critical work on behalf of Israel. So the organization will pretend. But, from it’s website about page:

Still, the current administration in Washington seems determined to extract ever more concessions from Israel, and to respond to each setback in the peace process by placing more pressure on the Israeli government. This policy of making one-sided demands on Israel has failed to produce progress and has only emboldened Israel’s enemies.

What? This is a committee for Israel, so named, and this is its about page, and what it now seems to be about are U.S. domestic politics. Well, we are hardly surprised, when we read of the committee’s board. It consists of three people: William Kristol, Gary Bauer, and Rachel Abrams. The first two have long been among the most conservative and misguiding forces in American politics. Kristol, whose arrogant and patronizing smile were it combined with the sneering tone of his Fox News pundit pal Brit Hume would make an entity fully, finally, as repulsively amphibian as Dick Morris, is not only perpetually wrongheaded, but consistently – you can check the historical record – simply wrong about everything. Bauer has long been one of the testaments to why we should not render unto the pulpit what belongs to the podium. Abrams is the wife of Eliot Abrams, daughter of Midge Decter, and step-daughter to Norman Podhoretz. She could barely beat a pedigree like that if she turned out be Anastasia.

The video the three have foisted on us purports to show significant and rampant anti-Semitism at the Occupy Wall Street protests. It is a blatant and paltry distortion.

It is a regrettable nearly timeless truth that wherever attacks on the financially powerful are made, there will appear among the assembled motley of attackers some who will advance old, ugly canards about Jewish influence among the world’s wealthy. It is a regrettable current truth that wherever general left side protest is made there will appear within it some element protesting against Israel and for, as it happens in the video, Gaza. NONETHELESS, what the manipulators of this video have managed to come up with, after over a month of protest in New York City, and now in scores of American cities, is a mere one-minute assemblage. It is dynamically edited so that one may be led to believe that Occupy Wall Street is a veritable cauldron of anti-Semitic hatred. In truth, it shows, edited to appear multiple times and so increase the sense of number, only three incidents, one of which is the Gaza sign that we must acknowledge as a breed apart from the anti-Semitism. That leaves two – two incidents of anti-Semitic behavior noted among many weeks and cities of protest and thousands of protestors.

The footage of the uglier of the two anti-Semitic incidents is culled from a longer video that has been on the web for over a week, and which culminates with an interview of the young man who berates and insults the old Jew. What is clear from the interview is that the guy is a loner and an outlier besides an ignorant asshole. What is clear from the Emergency Committee’s video is that its purpose is no emergency work on behalf of Israel, but the low and commonplace trashing of domestic political opponents, as it attempts to connect such as President Obama and Nancy Pelosi to the protests, and through the protests to the anti-Semitic and Gaza supportive elements. The video also belittles the protestors as a mob, and as such declares its plutocratic contempt.

This political hackery is not what Israel needs in its support, not in an emergency, not anytime. It is not what the U.S. needs. It is, in fact, part of what ails it. The video concludes, “Hate is not an American value.” Then why are the creators of the video so hateful?


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2 thoughts on “The Putrid Cynicism of the Emergency Committee for Israel

  1. A great piece, Jay. And this…

    “Bauer has long been one of the testaments to why we should not render unto the pulpit what belongs to the podium.”

    … one of the best lines I’ve ever read about religious figures in the political arena.

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