The top 10 illiberal, uninformed and racist comments of the Guardian’s latest star, Juan Cole

Juan Cole, an American academic and blogger, characterizes Israel as fascist state whose behavior was at least partly responsible for the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks against the U.S. on  9/11. He also has advanced antisemitic narratives about dual loyalty, and is quite vigilant in warning his followers about the dangers of ‘Jewish power’.

Juan Cole

So, obviously, he was recently welcomed by Guardian editors to offer his analysis on Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel at ‘Comment is Free’.

While you can read a superb critique of Cole’s CiF essay by the CST’s Mark Gardner (cross posted at CiF Watch), I thought it would be helpful to also provide a little background on Cole, whose blog is called ‘Informed Comment‘.

Here are some samples of Juan Cole’s malign and supremely uniformed fixation, in own words:

Many Zionist organizations are fascist and exert undue influence on the media and US Congress

“[The] fascist point of view is privately shared by many of the strident Zionist organizations that are so influential with the press and the US Congress in the United States.” – Informed Comment, June 1, 2005

American Jews with dual loyalties have powerful positions in Bush White House

I believe that Doug Feith, for instance, has dual loyalties to the Israeli Likud Party and to the U.S. Republican Party. He thinks that their interests are completely congruent. And I also think that if he has to choose, he will put the interests of the Likud above the interests of the Republican Party.” – Informed Comment, Sept. 9, 2004

Thinly veiled Nazi Analogy

[The] wounded romantic nationalism of [Jewish blogger, Jeffrey] Goldberg’s sort is a pathetic remnant of the twentieth century, which polished off tens of millions of human beings over wet dreams about “blood and soil.” There isn’t any “blood” or “pure” “races,” and human groups have no special relationship to territory.” – Informed Comment, March 17, 2010

Fascist Israel is responsible for Muslim rage around the around the world

No American media will report the demonstrations in Israel as fascist in nature, and no American politicians will dare criticize the Likud. But the fact is that the Israeli predations in the West Bank and Gaza are a key source of rage in the Muslim world against the United States (which toadies unbearably to whatever garbage comes out of Tel Aviv’s political establishment), something that the 9-11 commission report stupidly denies.” Informed Comment, July 26, 2004

Israel ethnically cleansed Lebanese Shiites for the same reasons Saddam Hussein did

So let’s get this straight. The Israelis warn the small town Shiites of the south to flee their own homes and go hundreds of miles away (and live on what? in what?). But then they intensely bombing them, making it impossible for them to flee. The Lebanese have awoken to find themselves cockroaches.

I repeat, this is nothing less than an ethnic cleansing of the Shiites of southern Lebanon, an assault on an entire civilian population’s way of life. Aside from ecology, it is no different from what Saddam Hussein did to the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq, and the Israelis are doing it for exactly the same sorts of reasons that Saddam did.” –  Informed Comment, July 21, 2006

Israeli barbaric behavior threatens U.S. democracy 

Israeli atrocities in Gaza are endangering American security. If the Israeli operation were something other than a cynical power play that almost wholly disregards civilian welfare, then the US would be right to support it and damn the consequences. But it is a shame to place our land and even our democracy in danger on behalf of a barbaric military operation.” – Informed Comment, Aug. 1, 2009

Twin threats of Fascist Israel and Al-Qaeda

...our press and politicians do us an enormous disservice by not putting the Israeli announcement about the Jerusalem barrier on the front page. This sort of action is a big part of what is driving the terrorists (and, of course, Sharon himself is a sort of state-backed terrorist, anyway). The newspapers and television news departments should be telling us when we are about to be in the cross-fire between the aggressive, expansionist, proto-fascist Likud coalition and the paranoid, murderous, violent Al-Qaeda and its offshoots.”Informed Comment, Nov. 26, 2005

Israeli behavior caused 9/11

We don’t need any more U.S. buildings blown up because our government is coddling cuckoo [Israeli] settlers who are stealing other people’s land to fulfill some weird religious power fantasy.” Informed Comment, Feb. 1, 2004

It is obvious to me that what September 11 really represented was  a dragooning of the United States into internal Middle East political conflicts. Israel’s aggressive policies in the West Bank and Gaza have poisoned the political atmosphere in the Middle East (and increasingly in the Muslim world) for the United States. It is ridiculous to suggest that radical Islamists don’t care about the Palestine issue.” – Informed Comment, Sept. 9, 2004

Neocon Likudnicks in Bush White House cynically used 9/11 to get U.S. to fight wars for Israel

It is an echo of the one-two punch secretly planned by the pro-Likud faction in the Department of Defense. First, Iraq would be taken out by the United States, and then Iran. David Wurmser, a key member of the group, also wanted Syria included. These pro-Likud intellectuals concluded that 9-11 would give them carte blanche to use the Pentagon as Israel’s Gurkha regiment, fighting elective wars on behalf of Tel Aviv (not wars that really needed to be fought, but wars that the Likud coalition thought it would be nice to see fought so as to increase Israel’s ability to annex land and act aggressively, especially if someone else’s boys did the dying).” – Informed Comment, Aug. 29, 2004

Israel gets the U.S. to fight its wars, on behalf of pro-Israel supporters

When George W Bush promised his pro-Israel supporters a war on Iraq, it cost the US at least $3 trillion, got hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed…cost over 4,000 American soldiers’ lives…US politicians must say [no] to constant Israeli entreaties that the US continually fight new wars in the Middle East on their behalf.” – Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’, July 30, 2012

As Mark Gardner noted, Cole’s bigotry earned him a coveted spot on veteran Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker’s list of “Best blogs and analysis from the Middle East”.

Whitaker, for those unaware, previously served as the Guardian’s Middle East editor.

Finally, as Jonathan Chait wrote about Cole, in The New Republic:

“One of the odd things about people with very left-wing views on the Middle East is that they’re obsessed with the political influence of American Jews yet almost completely unfamiliar with the actual beliefs of the subject of their obsession.”

“…the general tendency among this ideological clique is to write about American supporters of Israel with almost total ignorance, in a tone of hysteria, and treating their target as a broad, undifferentiated mass.”

A more apt characterization of the Guardian’s narrative about Zionists would be hard to find.

24 replies »

  1. Academic? What makes him an “academic”; or is that description a sarcastic one?
    Why not just call him an idiot!

  2. “Welcome to Informed Comment, where I do my best to provide an independent and informed perspective on Middle Eastern and American politics.”

    Forgive me for laughing out loud on reading that drivel.

    Look at just that first point alone:

    He accuses the “strident Zionist organizations that are so influential with the press and the US Congress in the United States” of sharing a certain “fascist point of view.” That’s bad enough. At the same time he is claiming that their thinking is: “the Palestinians must be given a deadline to leave the occupied territories or be forced out.” and “Otherwise we should just bomb and kill them”.
    Cole’s evidence? None.

    But he perhaps outdid himself on the slur front when referring to both Likud and the participants in the “Israeli Chain” as “fascists.”

    Perhaps he got bullied at school.

  3. It is truly disturbing to consider that Cole will have been busy spreading these antisemitic views among his students at the University of Michigan, as well. I would call that a very bad influence, indeed. It’s astonishing that such people can get hired by (supposedly) respectable academic institutions. But sadly, they often chime in with the accepted political consensus there (esp as regards ME politics).

    • Lisa- He applied for a tenured position at Yale and was rejected, so he slinked back to the U. of Michigan and of course blamed all the Zionists for his rejection.

  4. Has anyone else noticed how anti-Semitism has suddenly came out of the woodworks since Obama became the US president? His thoughts are now mainstream in the West and he has all the credentials for working for the BBC or the FO. Take your pick Juan.

    • I don’t see the causal connection between Obama’s presidency and an upsurge in anti-Semitism. I think it’s more coincidental. Anti-Semitism was on the rise well before his getting elected.

    • Has anyone else noticed how anti-Semitism has suddenly came out of the woodworks since Obama became the US president? His thoughts are now mainstream in the West

      You are suggesting that Obama holds anti-Semitic views – presumably just because he has called for a halt to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank.

      The BBC and FO likewise anti-Semitic?

      Do you genuinely believe this?

      • Not because of the settlements but because of his past (and present) associations with outspoken vicious antisemites. Rev Wright is one of them and PLO terrorist Rashid Khalidi is another.

        • Gary effectively calls Obama an anti-Semite due to “his thoughts”.

          You agree with that?

        • Do you have a detailed file on his associations with Rev Wright and Khalidi, or are you going to forward me a link to Breitbart?

          But I forgot…. Anthony Weiner introduced the Muslim Brotherhood to the White House.

          Yes, yes. Let’s attack everyone we don’t agree with and keep coming up with reasons why that’s okay. In other words, let’s behave like Palestinian leadership, or Guardian editorship, and accuse folks of racism with not one shred of real evidence.

          Please? With a cherry on top?

    • Anti-Semitism was alive and well during the Bush years, thank you very much. I’m thinking of the Poet Laureate we had in 2011 who attributed the 9-11 attacks on Zionism.

      It’s a 3000 year old phenomena, but, yeah, I see your point about blaming Obama. /sarc

  5. Just perused his cv on Wikipedia. In short, this guy studied in Lebanon and Egypt – got a higher degree in Islamic studies, speaks Arabic and Farsi and married a woman of Pakistani origin. A perfect recipe for someone to pontificate on the tricky relationship between America and the Arab world from an anti-American perspective.

    I can think of a number of CiF bloggers, above and below-the-line, who have similar, perhaps less academic backgrounds, who parrot the same anti-Israel views time and again. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing a Lawrence of Arabia and going native – as long as you don’t lose all your common sense and turn anti-American and antisemitic in the process.

  6. A look at Cole’s website confirms he is a bigot.

    His vicious rantings about Israel indicate an obsessive and deep-seated hatred for the country that goes far beyond ordinary activism or journalism.

    I’d say he is a first-rate anti-semite.

    • It’s not just the vicious anti-Israel rants – it’s the remarks about certain American Jews within that context. And when he talks about the “Israel lobby” he’s hardly just (if at all) talking about the Christian evangelists.

  7. If I didn’t know what sort of hate monger Mr. Cole was already, and I just happened upon a web blog called “Informed Comment” my very first impression would be “what? another idiot conspiracy theorist? Like we really need another one?”
    That Mr. Cole fancies himself some sort of enlightened anti-fascist is a cruel joke on himself and his zombie-like followers.
    Yes, Mr. Cole, we fascists are hiding behind the same trees and rocks as the Jews.
    Thank you, Mr. Cole, for “informing” me of the “Likudniks” operating out of “Tel Aviv.”
    Riddle: How does one get in touch with Juan Cole?
    Simple. Just scrape the bottom of the barrel.

  8. Ah, old Juan Cole. Cue for an old English nursery rhyme:

    Old Juan Cole
    (to the tune of Old King Cole. Hat tip: British tradition)

    Old Juan Cole was a Jew-hating soul,
    And a Jew-hating soul was he.
    He called for his Kassam and he called for his bomb,
    And he called for his jihadis three.
    And each jihadi had a suicide bomb,
    And a very short fuse had he.
    Oh, there’s none so dumb as will share a bomb
    With Juan Cole and his jihadis three.

    DS Al Coda

  9. That was one very nasty and disgusting racist thread.The Guardian sure knows how to pick them.You wonder how much lower can this stinking Racist Rag sink,and guess what they dig out this Juan Cole creep.As usual Berchmans was in his element.And the posts that he didn’t like were deleted.

    Now the Guardian has another retread in Rachel Shabby,complaining just about everything,she complains about the wall,this idiot lives in Jerusalem and the only reason that she is alive to write and make money from that wall,is because that wall protects her.

  10. This Berchmans comment on that tread got 634

    “The Israeli leadership should reject all terrorism and get a new plaque with a simple apology on it”

    BTW it is very simple to manipulate recommends……….