CAMERA (The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), Tablet and other media orgs have weighed in on whether pro Iran-deal spokespersons are taking an anti-Semitic tone. Some say: “Not to worry, there’s no anti- Semitism – but it will get worse.”
CAMERA quotes US President Barack Obama as having said he will promote the Iran deal “despite the money, despite the lobbyists.” The same Obama was reported by The New York Times – which has come out editorially in favor of the deal – to have “denounced the deal”s opponents as ‘lobbyists’ doling out millions of dollars to trumpet the same hawkish rhetoric that had led the United States into war with Iraq.”
These are examples, CAMERA explains, of “time-worn stereotypes of Jews as dual-loyalists, using their money and nefarious influence to incite wars [that] have surfaced in various media.”
Even more recently, CAMERA notes, a New York Times article about Senator Chuck Schumer”s opposition to the deal used the word “Jewish” no fewer than six times.
The editors of the online magazine Tablet are very worried: “What we increasingly can”t stomach… is the use of Jew-baiting and other blatant and retrograde forms of racial and ethnic prejudice as tools to sell a political deal, or to smear those who oppose it. Accusing Senator Schumer of loyalty to a foreign government is bigotry, pure and simple. Accusing Senators and Congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a majority of the US electorate of being agents of a foreign power, or of selling their votes to shadowy lobbyists, or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United States, is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South.”
“Murmuring about ‘money’ and ‘lobbying’ and ‘foreign interests’ who seek to drag America into war is a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card,” Tablet concludes.
Elliott Abrams has written in a Weekly Standard editorial that Obama cannot plead ignorance: “The president … must know that he is here feeding a deep line of anti-Semitism that accuses American Jews of getting America into wars.”
Could the effect have trickled down to the street already? An example of real-life anti-Semitism framed as support for the Iran deal occurred during a protest in New York City just two days ago (Monday). Protesters from MoveOn.org and Peace Action protested against Senator Schumer’s rejection of the deal. Other Americans quickly gathered to make their opposing opinions known – and “then it happened,” writes an AFSI (Americans for a Safe Israel) representative: “Their true colors came out: Chuck is the enemy because he supports Israel over the US… [and] we were the enemy because we who oppose the deal with Iran, support Israel – which supports the burning of babies! Yes, these words were [angrily] yelled at us…”
There are those who say that Obama is actually not anti-Semitic, and are not overly worried by the tone of his rhetoric. Blogger Shmuel Rosner, political editor at The Jewish Journal, writes that Obama’s terming those who oppose the deal as war-mongers and more pro-Israel than pro-America is nothing more than an indication that he very much wants to sell the deal to Congress and the American people. However, Rosner acknowledges, it could get worse: “[T]he battle is at an early stage. If the administration gets to a point where it feels it really might lose it – the tools it is using today could still pale in comparison to the tools it will no doubt use later.”