Real Anti-Semitism

I was remiss in not pointing out this disgusting piece of filth from the current president of Egypt:

“Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war. This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know – these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.”

He didn’t say this as president of Egypt and he has shown a modicum of restraint toward Israel and the US since being elected. But that doesn’t excuse this kind of eliminationist rhetoric, so appallingly common in the Arab Middle East. Goldblog wonders why more wasn’t made of this in the US press. He’s right to criticize and I should have picked up on it.

But in the last few weeks, we have heard the word “anti-Semite” used promiscuously to describe Chuck Hagel, a man light years away from anything like this kind of poison. And Hagel isn’t the only victim of this kind of smear. Any dissenter from the Greater Israel Lobby – as extreme and as irrational a lobby as the NRA – is given this treatment. Do these fanatics not see that they are constantly trivializing one of history’s great hatreds by tossing this term around so casually to score cheap political points? Do they not understand they are empowering real anti-Semitism by attacking those of us who desperately want Israel to survive and prosper, but who, since 2008, have simply been appalled by the current government’s extremism, intervention in US politics, and contempt for the interests of the US?

Crying wolf when it comes to anti-Semitism is a very, very dangerous game. I’m past being offended. But I’m not past being concerned about the consequences for trivializing it the way so many neoconservatives have.