Yesterday I posted about Paul Krugman’s admission that he does not write about Israel because he does not want to be hounded to death by the mainstream Jewish organizations, virtually all of which following the lobby line including on who to silence.
Krugman’s post elicited a host of hurt and outraged responses from all the usual suspects who asserted that “we never, ever try to silence anyone.”
The best response of all, which is included here, came from William Daroff, who is the #2 man at the Jewish Federations of North America, the largest tax-exempt Jewish charity in the world (which, by law, cannot operate as a political tool). Daroff was particularly irate because he is the guy caught using his tax-exempt-maintained-and-collected lists of American Jews to send emails urging them to prevent 60 Minutes from running its piece about the plight of Christians in the Holy Land. (You can see his email to his members here.)
Today I discover that Daroff’s defense of his McCarthyist tactics is the new line from the lobby: those who criticize our attempt to suppress 60 Minutes are the guilty ones. They are trying to suppress our right to suppress them!
Hilarious. Remember the original Joe McCarthy, the senator who called anyone he didn’t like Communists and used his influence to destroy their careers. We now know that he was just lying, but back then millions assumed that he knew about a “vast Communist conspiracy” that included the Truman and Eisenhower White House, the State Department and liberals wherever they were, even if they were just teaching in a public school.
McCarthy ruled supreme until a CBS (yes, the same CBS) broadcaster called Edward R.Murrow used his television show to expose what McCarthy was doing. Almost immediately, McCarthy was censured by the Senate, fell from power and within a couple of years was dead, a drunk.
The term “McCarthyite” remains as his legacy for those who use his tactics today. On Fox News, and among right-wing elected officials, Democrats and liberals are Communists or Socialists. But among the “pro-Israel” right, anyone who criticizes Israeli policy (not to mention Israel) is a “self-hating Jew” if Jewish or an “anti-Semite” if not. The real crazies call both Jewish and non-Jewish critics of Israel “Nazis,” perhaps because they missed the unit in school about the Holocaust.
Anyway, what would Bill Daroff and others of his ilk have said about Joe McCarthy and Edward R. Murrow.
Daroff, devoted right-winger that he is, would have said: “Murrow is trying to do precisely what he accuses Senator McCarthy of. He is trying to silence him. Murrow, not McCarthy, is guilty. Let’s all send telegrams to CBS to get Murrow fired.”
Anyway, you get the point. Calling people “anti-Israel” or “anti-Semitic” today is the new McCarthyism. It is exactly like the old one except this time it’s been working for decades. McCarthyism lasted a few years. The good news is that CBS has now exposed McCarthyism reborn. Pretty soon, anyone called anti-Israel or anti-Semitic by the Jewish right will laugh the way we do when the traditional right calls us Communists.
They are hysterical now. They know the gig will, soon enough, be up.