Cheap claims of anti-Semitism can’t change reality of Iran deal lobbying

Lara Friedman writes: There is an old truism that holds that the best defense is a good offense. Or, more colloquially, when you find yourself in hot water, flip the script and go on the attack. Allies of and apologists for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are today doing just that. They are peddling a new narrative that President Obama and others, by speaking openly and critically about the extraordinary efforts of the Israeli government and some U.S. Jewish groups to kill the Iran deal, are guilty of feeding anti-Semitism or smearing American Jews, or are unmasking themselves as anti-Semites.

According to this narrative, the suggestion that Netanyahu is interfering in U.S. politics – as is self-evidently true – is unacceptable, because it feeds anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jews pulling the strings of politicians. The observation that Israel’s leader is pressing American Jews to take his side over that of their elected president – while demonstrably true – cannot be uttered, as it dredges up anti-Semitic tropes about the divided loyalties of America’s Jewish citizens. The fact that Israel is a nation standing alone in opposing the Iran nuclear deal – as is manifestly the case – is unmentionable, as it correlates with an anti-Semitic caricature of Jews as warmongers. Commenting that well-funded American Jewish organizations are playing a leading role in efforts to build grassroots support for Netanyahu’s position – something some groups have previously discussed with pride – is forbidden, as it promotes anti-Semitic canards about Jewish power and money. [Continue reading…]

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