Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Neoconservative = Jew?

In the next few days and weeks, I will be examining the attempts by prominent pundits to link criticism of neoconservatism to Jews as a means to use the "anti-semitism" card. To be honest, I'm brought to a new level of astonishment with this latest end-around the truth. Speaking for one (myself) who has harshly criticized neoconservatism, as well as particular illiberal and undemocratic Israeli policies, I am deeply offended, and accept this development for what is...intimidation and an attempt to stifle not only free speech but a learned and intelligent consideration of the issues that face us today. We should all be honest enough not to equate the Project For A New American Century, neoconservatism, Israel, and Jews.

With this in mind, as a patriotic American and lover of freedom, this challenge and play upon fear of backlash will not go ignored.

The neoconservatives also support a robust American stance on Israel. The neoconservative-influenced Project for a New American Century called for an Israel no longer dependent on American aid through the removal of major threats in the region.

The interest in Israel, and the large proportion of Jewish neoconservatives has led to the question of "dual loyalty." A number of critics, such as Pat Buchanan, have accused them of putting Israeli interests above those of America. In turn these critics have been labeled as anti-semites by many neoconservatives (which in turn has led to accusations of professional smearing, and then paranoia and so on).

However, one should note that many prominent neoconservatives are not Jewish, such as Michael Novak, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Frank Gaffney, and Max Boot. Second, neoconservatives in the 1960s were much less interested in Israel before the June 1967 Six Day War. It has only been since this conflict, which has raised the specter of Israel's military invincibility, that the neoconservatives have become preoccupied by Israel's security interests. They support Israel's role as the strongest ally of the United States in the Middle East and as the sole Western-style democracy in the region. (From Wikipedia)

As we can see, this is hardly a new controversy, just a reinvention with a new cast of "anti-semitic" characters. It's important for language not to be abused as we discuss and debate the most auspicious direction for American foreign policy.