Sunday, January 3, 2010


I am not certain that being Executive Editor of Commentary Magazine makes one any more an expert on all things Israel than does being a Blogger. What I am certain of, however, is that Jonathan Tobin, Executive Editor of Commentary, is so dedicated to his right wing vision of the world and, in particular, Israel, that that bias is expressed at least weekly in his columns. One of my friends sends around Tobin's columns as if they are the parsha of the week: they're not.

This was brought to mind by Tobin's most recent attack on the Anti-Defamation League's Report -- Rage Grows in Anti-Government Conspiracies. Any fair reading of the ADL Report yielded the conclusion that it was a warning to us all that inflammatory rhetoric and actions painted by right wingers in our society have created an atmosphere of fanaticism, rage and hatred that threaten to drown out rational debate and could be an incitement of violence against this President and to democratic values and principles. Tobin and his fellow travelers angrily disagree.

Tobin elaborately twists the ADL's conclusions to satisfy his ends. Thus, an ADL opinion that "partisan some conservative politicians and media delegitimize the Obama administration..." is met with a Tobin charge that "...conservatives have attacked Obama on the issues not because they want to overthrow the government but because they disagree with him." Uh huh, the "birthers," those who bring guns to so-called "Town Hall meetings," those who claim "Obama is a racist" and those who carry placards showing Obama in Nazi garb -- they just want to express "disagreement." And Tobin goes on to equate "...mainstream liberal politicians who bashed the Bush Administration" with the kind of invective and incitement of the right. Tobin, like too many others, refuses to condemn that very incitement preferring instead to engage in specious arguments that, at the end of the day, fail in any regard to respond to the findings of the ADL or to condemn those who stand on the right wing with him for their incitement.

Adding to the diatribe, the angry Caroline Glick's similar condemnation of ADL concluding it " strange given that the ADL never put out a report against parallel anti-Bush movements" without any citation to "parallel "facts." And then Chicago attorney Joel Spreyregen, who once, maybe four decades ago, served as an ADL staff counsel, joined the fracas citing unrelated instances of lefties' sarcasm toward Reagan and the Bushes none of which reached the level of hatred or bile we see today. The ADL deserves plaudits.

Only those in denial could believe that incitement to violence is not in the air in America today. Shame on them.


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