An old friend of mine–call him Cohen–likes to say that Jews regard any sentence spoken by a Gentile beginning “Jews are” as presumptively anti-Semitic provided it doesn’t end with something like “wonderful people devoted to their families and committed to equality for all.”
By that standard, you can understand how the likes of Elliott Abrams could consider Chuck Hagel “frankly an anti-Semite.” After all, the former Nebraska senator once referred to the organization known to Jews as “the Jewish lobby for Israel” as, yes, “the Jewish lobby.”
Then you’ve got President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt, who as a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood a couple of years ago has been found on tape urging Egyptians to “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred” for Jews and Zionists. As reported by David Kirkpatrick in today’s New York Times, Morsi also referred to Zionists as “these bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.”
Now that’s what I call real anti-Semitism, combining a classic European slur (“bloodsuckers”) with good old Muslim zoological contempt (“apes and pigs”). Well played, Morsi!
It would be nice if some of Israel’s tougher critics in America’s religious community (yo, Mainline Protestant BDS crowd!) would not only condemn such language but actually give some thought to what it means to live in a neighborhood where it’s coin of the realm. As for the Jews, we need to ponder what’s more advantageous to Israel’s interests–the disabused perspective of Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel or the evangelical embrace of Jordan Sekulow and Matthew Clark.
I’m saying the latter. Nope, just kidding. The former.