Max Blumenthal writes: Last week began with former AIPAC flack Josh Block accusing writers at two progressive think tanks in Washington of advancing the “new” anti-Semitism, conflating their criticisms of Israeli policies with straightforward Jew-hatred. “Either they can allow people to say borderline anti-Semitic stuff,” Block told Politico, “and to say things that are antithetical to the fundamental values of the Democratic party, or they can fire them and stop it.” By the end of the week, Block was feverishly denying ever accusing anyone of anti-Semitism and was reportedly hanging on by a thread to his own jobs at two Beltway policy institutes.
This week began with Thomas Friedman sending the self-appointed defenders of Israel into a petulant frenzy. “I sure hope that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby,” Friedman wrote. Like clockwork, Friedman came under heavy fire from Jennifer “Round Up His Captors” Rubin, Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ), Elliot Abrams, and Jonathan Tobin.
While Tobin explicitly accused Friedman of trafficking in the “New Anti-Semitism,” Abrams did so implicitly, falsely claiming that Friedman had “refer[red] so nastily to the ‘Jewish Lobby.'” (In fact, as Jim Lobe noted, Friedman never used the phrase “Jewish lobby.”) Thus Friedman, that fierce anti-Zionist crusader who once warned of “a trend, both deliberate and inadvertent, to delegitimize Israel,” was branded by two of America’s most prominent neoconservatives as a dangerous Jew hater.
The two pathetic episodes crystallized an encouraging trend: the “New Anti-Semitism” smear is finally getting old.