There’s something going on. You decide, reader, what it is.
On Tuesday, Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic regurgitated a psychotically intemperate rant against Benjamin Netanyahu from an unnamed source in the Obama administration (see also here, here, and here). Never have so many said or written the word “chickensh*t” in such a short span of time.
Now the left-leaning daily Haaretz has perpetrated a political cartoon that plumbs the depths of intellectual depravity. It depicts Netanyahu flying a plane labeled “Israel” into one of the Twin Towers.
The implications from this mind-boggling cartoon go beyond a sick but superficial indictment of Netanyahu as being somehow like the 9/11 terrorists. They raise the grotesque specter of one of anti-Semitism’s most persistent themes: that Jews stab the allies whom they run tame among in the back. Whatever the worst disaster a people can think of – e.g., as Americans today think of 9/11 – that, according to the theme, is what Jews are trying to do to their friends.
It doesn’t matter what the cartoonist “meant” to say. What matters is that this cartoon could have been created by a latter-day Josef Goebbels. A healthy, unseared conscience would reject the cartoon’s idea at its first flicker.
That matters because it’s part of an emerging pattern we’re seeing throughout much of the world. “Critics” of Israel – or of conservatives in America, or classical-liberal parties in Europe and the British Commonwealth, or Christians or Jews anywhere – find themselves increasingly unable to calibrate what they say and do, whether it’s foaming at the mouth or running wild in the streets.
Day after day, they retail outright lies, and shrug when they are caught out in them. The U.S. State Department – even the White House itself – is taxed with its lies by the media, and merely signifies impassive complacency with a Jen Psaki giggle.
But it’s not just the lies – or the equally pervasive failure to acknowledge the truth, whether about ISIS, Hamas, Islamism, or, really, anything else, for that matter. What we’re seeing emerge around us is a pattern of partisan operation without any kind of “moral governor” keeping things in check. In one week, we’ve seen the Obama administration’s animus against Netanyahu encapsulated in a spitting obscenity and relayed with relish by a flagship publication of the American center-left – and then the Haaretz animus against him encapsulated in a defining theme of anti-Semitism.
Manifestly, this is not coming from “both sides.” It’s the partisans of Obama’s radical leftism, and the insatiable “critics” of Israel, who are unable to control themselves: unable to take caution from the degeneracy of what they’re doing.
You decide, readers. What does it mean that obscenity and anti-Semitism are being slipped under the door into the public consciousness, by putatively responsible institutions?
Whatever the origin of the pattern, we will regret it, most terribly, if we are complacent about its effects. This stuff is not OK. Not if we want our future to be worth being there for.