Abe Foxman Tells the Truth…Again

by Brien Jackson

Like Ezra, I don’t really find this cartoon all that anti-Semitic. I think it’s a little offensive, and pretty poorly done from a symbolic point, but to the extent the Star of David is involved, it seems to relate more directly to Israel (it is the focal point of the Israeli flag, after all) than to Judaism or ethnic Jews at large. Unlike Ezra, I’m not Jewish, so I suppose I’m not in the best position to make that call. On the other hand, I find the Abe “Too Fair” Foxman quote to be deliciously illuminating:

“Pat Oliphant’s outlandish and offensive use of the Star of David in combination with Nazi-like imagery is hideously anti-Semitic,” he railed. “It employs Nazi imagery by portraying Israel as a jack-booted, goose-stepping headless apparition. The implication is of an Israeli policy without a head or a heart.”

Well yes, that is the implication. What Foxman is saying, in effect, is suggesting that Israeli policy is needlessly brutal and/or makes little practical or strategic sense is, by definition, anti-semitic. Usually you see this point, much like complaints that someone who will be an even handed diplomat in the situation is insufficiently friendly to Israel, more deftly, but thankfully Abe Foxman is more or less incapable of finessing a point in carefully parsed words. And so you have a major player on record with the opinion that suggesting Israeli policy makes little sense is equal to bigoted hatred of Jewish people everywhere.

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