When rocket attacks from Gaza were answered by
Israeli air strikes, a great outcry of empathy for the beleaguered
Palestinians rang out world-wide -- along with growls of objurgation
and anathema aimed at Israel from certain quarters in the USA. They
showed up in my world as a raft of Jew-hating e-mails (read them yourself) after I wrote that Israel had a right to defend itself.
Lately, public Jew-hating has made a comeback in the USA among two distinct groups: one is the extreme right-wing crypto-Nazi step-child of the old John Birch Society bunch, the idiots who believe the world is a web of conspiracies against wholesome Christian white folks. As a young newspaper reporter with an interest in political pathology back in the early 1970s -- a heyday for extremism -- I used to cover the Birchers' antics (and study their belief system, if you could call it that). Their paranoid ideology has survived the decades marvelously intact, complete with all the colorful leitmotifs including The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Orders of the Illuminati narrative, the Bilderburgers conspiracy story of world domination, and a Jesus-soaked crusade against "socialism" that has mutated far beyond the quaint sepulcher of John Birch into a broad mostly Southern evangelical, Nascar-tinged, aggressive apocalypticism.
Lately, another large cohort on the political Left adopted the Palestinians as their "pet oppressed minority group du jour." This branch of Jew-haters emanated out of the humanities departments of the universities, when the faculty got bored with the Nazi holocaust, or wished to stake out some new turf in the arena of multiculturalism for the sake of academic advancement. (It even included some ethnic Jews intoxicated by new horizons in victimology.) To a certain extent, it was an academic fashion choice. The drab old Jews from the Hitler documentaries, with their shabby World War Two suits, gray skirts, boxy shoes with bad hose, pitiful deal luggage, and black-and-white expressions of horror on the train-platform-to-hell had exceeded their sell-by date in the sociology seminars. And since irony and paradox had become the stock-in-trade of higher ed in the USA, wasn't it perfect to cast the Israelis as "the new Nazis" with the Palestinians as the new epitome of victimization?
It's a cute inversion, from a purely grad school standpoint -- good, perhaps for levering a PhD into an entry position on the faculty at Brown University (or perhaps as an art "statement" suitable for the Whitney Museum) -- but it doesn't comport with reality. The reality is that decency requires the Palestinians to do two things: 1.) to stop lobbing rockets into Israel; and 2.) to come to the peace negotiating table with a position other than the idea that Israel has no right to exist. Towards both of these simple propositions, the Palestinians have been adamantly opposed and contemptuous, prompting the casual observer to wonder: what part of these two things don't you understand? Indeed, what part does world opinion not understand?
Since Israel responded to the recent rocket attacks vigorously, a new outcry has welled up about something called "proportionality." Israel's retaliation is said to exceed the lethality of the Palestinian rockets fired randomly at Israeli civilian settlements. It is curious that so many of these outcries emanate from the USA, where the Powell Doctrine (after General Colin Powell) still reigns supreme in the strategic playbook, to wit: "if you're going to engage in any military operation, do so with overwhelming force." The American apologists for the Hamas extremists -- especially on the Right, where things military are generally revered -- conveniently forget the Powell Doctrine when it conflicts with their rationalizations for Jew-hating.
My own theory-du-jour goes something like this: The current orgy of Jew-hating is prompted by rage actually derived from the perceived "Jew-run" Wall Street companies who have now utterly wrecked the US economy -- Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, et cetera, not to mention the Jewish players leading the cast of this show -- Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Sandy Weil, Bernie Madoff, et al., a veritable Jew-O-Rama of money-grubbing (i.e. a Jewish trait) scoundrels who have utterly pranged the American Way of Life in order to hide their private billions in the Cayman Islands. These Jew villains, the story goes, have taken Little Debbie Snack Cakes out of the mouths of millions of squalling KMart-Shoppers-in-Training! And must now be called out to punishment! The fear and anger over the losses on Wall Street -- and the personal accounts of millions of investors -- is being deflected (for the moment!) onto the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
At my end, the anti-Jewish hate mail salvo opened with a blog from one Bob Moriarty who runs a web site called www.Gold321.com (and subsidiary www.energy321.com), where he denounced me for saying that Israel was entitled to defend itself against the Hamas rocket salvos. (Read Bob's screed.) Moriarty used to run my blog on his site occasionally -- I never asked him to, by the way -- and he's apparently indignant over my defense of Israel. He wrote: "...it took a reader to point out to me Kunstler is a racist anti-Semitic whining War Criminal." I was quite mystified by the rabid virulence of his response, including his cockamamie assertion that only the Palestinians are entitled to be called "Semites," and therefore that the true anti-Semites are opponents of the Palestinians, namely, the Jews. (This sort of clumsy casuistry was a favorite of the old John Birch Society crowd.)
As it happened, though, in the days that followed Bob's denunciation of me, I got some letters from people who had known Bob Moriarty from the mining industry over the years, and this is what they had to say about him:
It happens that I had in the past extended email "conversations" with Mr. Bob Moriarty. A couple of years ago I challenged him for some very pointed and (I believe) unfair remarks concerning the United States and George Bush. The upshot of our several dozen emails was that he is..without a doubt ..the most virulent anti-Semite I've ever met. His attacks
against people he disagrees with shoot out of him like nuclear powered garbage....He even accused me and my relatives!! of being Jew loving cowards. I informed him that my father and uncles were combat soldiers that engaged in 5 sea borne invasions including Italy..Sicily..Iwo Jima..and Guadalcanal!! He then became very angry and said he was going to kick my butt..at which point I gave him a place to meet me in California so we find out just how tough a blow hard ex-Marine he really was. He never came...very fortunate for him. Mr. Moriarty is one of the most disgusting racists I've ever met. Mr. Kunstler has nothing to apologize for...
And this one:
I work in the Mining Industry -- I know of his [Bob Moriarty's] websites. This is not new. Mr. Moriarity has for years provided links to anti-semitic, anti-Israel commentary. And, everytime there is flare up in Israel -- he spews even more rubbish. I have sent his comments to many people and company's in the Mining World, to boycott his site -- as many mining company's advertising on his site probably are unaware they are supporting a racist. Mr. Moriarity is entitled to his opinion on the Middle East, but when he inserts racists lies against Jews (IE. the Khazar lie) he loses any moral ground. In fact, a person I know -- Jewish -- and in the mining business informed him a couple years ago, that they will no longer advertise on his site due to his racist views. Mr. Moriarity responded by emailing a Jewish Contributor to his site, telling him his commentaries will no longer be on his 321sites. No reason given --Just a Jew fires me -- I will fire Jew -- mentality of Mr. Moriarity. Mr. Moriarity, like many in the anti-Israel/Peace movement has exposed his real reason for hating Israel --They Hate Jews.
Some of it was just garden variety name-calling:
What remains to be seen, of course, is whether the new spate of All-American red-white-and-blue Jew-hating will ramp up and turn into something I have been predicting for a while: "Corn-pone Nazism." We are a people now with great reservoirs of grievance and resentment. The nation is getting hammered economically, and yes, the banking industry lies in smoldering ruins -- due, no more to the Jews than to all those fine, blonde-headed WASP young men and women who marched straight out of the Ivy League MBA programs to the computer boiler rooms of the Wall Street Investment banks, where they cooked up the giant alphabet soup of securities swindles that blew up the banks. There's culpability galore to go around to all ethnic persuasions -- a regular diversity fiesta of misfeasance and greed.
Date: January 10, 2009 1:40:02 PM EST
Dear Mr Cuntsler, Concerning your comments on Israel: By your reasoning, if a neighbor's dog shits on your lawn you would be justified in blowing up the poor animal with a rocket launcher while the neighbor's children watched. And if that didn't teach the fuckers a lesson you would shoot all his friends in their sleep as well. Being bald, ugly and Zionist is really no way to go through life. Why don't you take some of your shekels and go buy yourself a conscience. Asshole.
The basic formula persists, though, despite Hitler, Himmler, Eichman, Hasan Nasrullah, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: when something goes wrong with money, blame the Jews. A lot of readers have sent me letters pressing me to lay low, go into hiding, be quiet, buy motion-detector lights for the house. I'm not doing any of these things, but I'm real eager to see what kind of craziness will come streaming out of America's woodwork. Maybe I should buy some stock in the company that manufactures roach motels.
My 2008 novel of the post-oil future, World Made By Hand, is available in paperback at all booksellers.