General Antisemitism

For the Jews in Israel, Money Trumps All?


This was written by Victor Davis Hanson, and appeared in National Review Online.


I know it’s commonplace to read in the latest issue of Time or Newsweek that Obama is a god, that Islamophobic Americans are collectively prejudiced against Muslims, that the response after 9/11 was overblown and unnecessary (over 30 subsequent terrorist plots have been foiled, and, for some reason, renditions, tribunals, Guantanamo, Predators, intercepts, etc., have all been embraced by the Obama administration), but the recent Time piece on Israel by a Karl Vick is probably the most anti-Semitic essay I have ever read in a mainstream publication.

Among Vick’s interviewees is Heli Itach, a modern-day Shylock who brags about the money to be made selling condos in Jerusalem (“‘Even when the Qassams fell, we continued to sell!’ says Heli Itach, slapping a palm on the office desk”). The accompanying photo shows carefree Israelis on the beach.

In fact, Vick argues, the Jews are so obsessed with making money that they don’t much care what happens in the future: “The truth is, Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter. They’re otherwise engaged; they’re making money; they’re enjoying the rays of late summer. A watching world may still define their country by the blood feud with the Arabs whose families used to live on this land and whether that conflict can be negotiated away, but Israelis say they have moved on.”

Read rest of the essay, here.

8 replies »

  1. I know I’ve stated in the past that antisemitism isn’t as mainstream in the American media as it is in the British media, but one doesn’t get much more mainstream American than Time Magazine. This is a deliberately defamatory piece.

  2. In addition to, as Hanson noted, being among the more openly anti-Semitic essays in a mainstream publication in quite a while, its also a case of horribly lazy journalism.

  3. Adam, it usually is, isn’t it?

    And it relies on the lack of critical thinking capability of the readership or that it is well-enough informed. That being the case it’s an insult to the intelligence of Americans.

  4. Speaking of transparent anti-semitism in time magazine, here is an especially nasty example, that convinced my family to never again subscribe to time magazine.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,914950,00.html

    In the SECOND sentence of a May 30, 1977 article about the GREAT Menachem Begin in time magazine…

    “Menachem Begin (rhymes with Fagin) has been anything but that to his numerous antagonists.”

  5. While I wouldn’t agree for a moment that Israelis don’t care about peace, I think it is true to say that after 40 years of dealing with Gaza and the WB, including negotiations for at least a good 30 years starting with former King Hussein, the disasters of Oslo and the Gaza withdrawal (the latter which I always supported) they are simply tired of the whole thing, and have reached a point where the status quo seems tolerable and about as good as it will get.

    Frankly, if you said they were bored with the issue, I would find it hard to disagree. Its like a bad, long-running soap opera, where from time to time the directors change the characters but the feeble plot remains the same. Once it was Begin and Sadat, or Rabin and Arafat,or Barak and Arafat, now its Netanyahu and Abbas. The storyline for 40 years since UNSCR 242 has been about adjusting the Green Line so that Israel will not face the same threat it did in 1967.

    That has nothing to do with making money, etc.

    What are Israelis supposed to do in their daily lives? Spend every waking hour working on the “peace process” and that joke that was called the “road map” that went nowhere – or to where we are now?

    Like anyone else, Israelis have to make a living, raise their kids, plan for old age, etc. Its not about making money or having a good time on the beach, though why Israelis should be condemned for doing these, like everyone else, is beyond me. Although there is one obvious answer.

    It’s simply about making the best of a bad situation as they go about their lives, having brought the problem to a proportion and set of parameters which most Israelis feel they can deal with and survive. Its not ideal, but it could be worse.

    While “the world” gains a vicarious thrill like spectators watching a football match On TV hoping to see the players to come to blows, Israel has become more secure, wealthier, more Westernized, a hightech powerhouse, a cultural treasure trove, and the Palestinians continue to be misled by their own leaders and the members of the Arab league.

    I believe most Israelis have simply changed the channel, understanding that with a fraction of their military might they can control the plays.