Glenn Greenwald, Matt Hill and Pat Buchanan’s ideological convergence on ‘Jewish control’

CiF Watch engaged in a series of Twitter conversations yesterday – based on our post earlier in the day about ‘Guardian Left’ antisemitism – which, in addition to a few interesting Tweets by Rosanne Barr over her endorsement of Gilad Atzmon, included an exchange with Liberal Conspiracy blogger (and Indy contributor) Matt Hill.


Hill – who we posted about last month when CiF Watch prompted Indy editors to remove his wild and completely false accusation, in an April 16 essay about Israel’s 65th anniversary, that Israel engaged in “forced sterilisation” of Ethiopian women – engaged with us over our Tweets last night challenging him to acknowledge the antisemitism of, among other Guardian contributors who we cited, Glenn Greenwald.

Here is his reply:

The link which Hill opened was a Times of Israel piece I wrote which included several examples of Greenwald advancing antisemitic narratives.

As I noted in my CW post yesterday, being a Guardian Left anti-Semite is partially defined by the belief you are a champion of progressive politics  and yet often use (or at least defend) terms and tropes indistinguishable from classic right wing Judeophobia – such as the argument that Jews are too powerful, use their money to control politics, and are not loyal citizens.

Before we get to Greenwald’s quotes, which, again, Hill claimed were free of antisemitism, here are a few quotes from a right-wing paleoconservative racist by the name of Pat Buchanan.

  • Israel and its Fifth Column in this city [Washington, D.C.] seek to stampede us into war with Iran. Bush should rebuff them, and the American people should tell their congressmen: You vote for 362, we don’t vote for you.”
  • They charge us with anti-Semitism…The truth is, those hurling these charges harbor a ‘passionate attachment’ to a nation not our own that causes them to subordinate the interests of their own country and to act on an assumption that, somehow, what’s good for Israel is good for America.”
  • “Who would benefit from these endless wars in a region that holds nothing vital to America-save oil…Who would benefit from a ‘war of civilizations’ with Islam? Who other than these neoconservatives and Ariel Sharon? Indeed, Sharon was everywhere the echo of his American auxiliary….”
  • “We charge that a cabal of polemicists and public officials seek to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America’s interests. We charge them with colluding with Israel to ignite those wars and destroy the Oslo Accords. We charge them with deliberately damaging U.S. relations with every state in the Arab world that defies Israel or supports the Palestinian people’s right to a homeland of their own. We charge that they have alienated friends and allies all over the Islamic and Western world through their arrogance, hubris, and bellicosity.”“A list of the Middle East regimes that Podhoretz, Bennett, Ledeen, Netanyahu, and the Wall Street Journal regard as targets for destruction includes Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and ‘militant Islam.’ “Cui bono? For whose benefit these endless wars in a region that holds nothing vital to America save oil, which the Arabs must sell us to survive? Who would benefit from a war of civilizations between the West and Islam? Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud.” What these neoconservatives seek is to conscript American blood to make the world safe for Israel
  • There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in The Middle East – the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States.”
  • Capitol Hill is Israeli occupied territory.”

Now here is Greenwald:

  • “So absolute has the Israel-centric stranglehold on American policy been that the US Government has made it illegal to broadcast Hezbollah television stations.”
  • “Not even our Constitution’s First Amendment has been a match for the endless exploitation of American policy, law and resources [by the Israel lobby] to target and punish Israel’s enemies.”
  • The real goal [of the Israel lobby], as always, was to ensure that there is no debate over America’s indescribably self-destructive, blind support for Israeli actions. [Charles] Freeman’s critics may have scored a short-term victory in that regard, but the more obvious it becomes what is really driving these scandals, the more difficult it will be to maintain this suffocating control over American debates and American policy.”
  • “The point is that the power the [Israel lobby] exercises [is] harmful in the extreme. They use it to squelch debate, destroy the careers and reputations of those who deviate from their orthodoxies, and compel both political parties to maintain strict adherence to an agenda that is held by a minority of Americans; that is principally concerned with the interests of a foreign country; and that results in serious cost and harm to the United States. In doing so, they insure not only that our policies towards Israel remain firmly in place no matter the outcome of our elections, but also that those policies remain beyond the realm of what can be questioned or debated by those who want to have a political future.”
  • “Anyone who has argued that a desire to protect Israeli interests plays too large of a role in our foreign policy has been subjected to some of the most vicious and relentless smears. Ask Juan Cole about that, or John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Those tactics have, as intended, prevented a substantive debate on this question, as most people have feared even approaching the topic.”
  • If you don’t…pledge your loyalty to our policies toward Israel and to Israel, what will happen to you is what just happened to Charles Freeman. You’ll be demonized and have your career ended.
  • Large and extremely influential Jewish donor groups are the ones agitating for a US war against Iran, and that is the case because those groups are devoted to promoting Israel’s interests.”
  • “Those [American Jews] who favor the attack on Gaza are certainly guilty…of such overwhelming emotional and cultural attachment to Israel and Israelis that they long ago ceased viewing this conflict with any remnant of objectivity.”
  • “The dominant narrative among neocons and the media is that, deep down in his heart, [Obama] may be insufficiently devoted to Israel to be president of the United States. Has there ever been another country to which American politicians were required to pledge their uncritical, absolute loyalty the way they are, now, with Israel?
  • “[Charles] Freeman is being dragged through the mud by the standard cast of accusatory Israel-centric neocons (Marty Peretz, Jon Chait, Jeffrey Goldberg, Commentary, The Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb, etc. etc., etc.).”

And, finally, (though not included in my ToI essay), here’s a case of Greenwald using the term “Israel-Firster” to characterize a Jewish American politician, a term which ignited a row last year involving MJ Rosenberg and other bloggers associated with the Center for American Progress. 

  • “Meanwhile, one of the many Israel-Firsters in the U.S. Congress — Rep. Anthony Weiner, last seen lambasting President Obama for daring to publicly mention a difference between the U.S. and Israel — today not only defended Israel’s attack

Matt Hill evidently sees nothing morally problematic about such attacks on American Jews. 

As I’ve argued elsewhere, Even before the birth of the modern state of Israel, Jews have stood accused of not possessing sufficient loyalty to the nations where they reside.  Its contemporary manifestation however almost always centers around the notion of dual loyalty – a charge that Jews are more loyal to Israel than their own nation.  Often, such charges of dual loyalty are infused with a narrative imputing enormous power to Jewish communities which typically represent a tiny fraction of the population. 

Such a synthesis of disloyalty and exaggerated power allows the accuser to charge the Jewish community of working to undermine the nation – often alleging that such Jews are dangerous aliens who represent nothing short of a Fifth Column.

It’s remarkable that, while in much of the 20th century such tropes about Jewish power and dual loyalty were associated with the xenophobic and nativist far right, there’s been an ideological evolution such that these toxic ideas have gained popularity among self-styled ‘progressives’ – some of whom believe as a matter of faith that Jews exercise too much power in the US, put “Israel first” over their own country and even control US foreign policy.

This blog devotes a good deal of space to monitoring Glenn Greenwald because he, perhaps more than any other columnist at the site, represents the most egregious example of a popular and putatively liberal commentator who advances Judeophobic narratives seemingly without the least bit of concern about the racist ideological tradition which inspires his prose.

Our efforts to combat antisemitism at the Guardian and ‘Comment is Free’ is premised on the understanding that there is nothing even remotely liberal (yet alone “brave”) about engaging in ad hominem, scurrilous and bigoted attacks against Jews.

Genuine liberals, it certainly seems, would intuitively understand this.

60 replies »

  1. Although I agree that the adjustment to the Indy blog was prompted by you I believe the change was actually made because Matt requested it himself.

    • We were in communication with Indy editors shortly after Hill’s essay was published, and received a reply from one Indy editor informing us when the revision occurred. It’s impossible to know for sure whether HIll or our blog was the party most responsible for the correction.

      • Fair enough. But I just wanted to note that he did engage with your (entirely reasonable) objection. I agree that Greenwald’s comments are problematic too.

        • Yes, Hill did engage with us, and we expressed our appreciation, btl, for the civil dialogue. We’re trying to provide him with insight into ideas he may not have thought through as well as he could have, not engaging in gratuitous attacks.

    • Adam-
      I posted a Guardian comment saying the UK is an apartheid state – it got deleted. Hypocrisy? What do you think?

  2. Matt Hill is, I think, the son of some Christian missionary who went to Israel and took him along. While there, he met and got off with an Arab girl. Then he decided to make Israel-Palestine his special cause.

  3. … yet often use (or at least defend) terms and tropes indistinguishable from classic right wing Judeophobia

    That’s a massive exagerration. The left-wingers you refer to – most of them, at least – show no signs of resentment towards Jews in general.

    Screaming “anti-Semite!” is unfair, dishonest and counter-productive.

    • We’re not “screaming” antisemitism. We’re providing concrete examples of historically antisemitic narratives about Jews and asking commentators to avoid using them.

      • Would you, for example, object to an article which claimed that Nigerians or Jamaicans had a propensity for crime, particularly sexual assaults, and particularly on white women?

        Or would you say “ah no, that’s just criticism of a country”

  4. Such a synthesis of disloyalty and exaggerated power allows the accuser to charge the Jewish community of working to undermine the nation – often alleging that such Jews are dangerous aliens who represent nothing short of a Fifth Column.

    Not for the first time, CiFWatch distorts its targets’ words.

    Where has Greenwald ever spoken in such terms about the Jewish community in general?

  5. Pretz, I think the sum of his comments which we cited (in multiple posts and commenaries) speak for themselves. He truly seems to believe that Jews who support Israel in the US are often more loyal to Israel than to their own country, and that they exercise too much control over US policy towards Israel. We’ve made this case continually, and I think quite persuasively.

    • Greenwald is talking specifically about those involved in lobbies – even if he does exagerrate.
      Your article suggests that his comments are aimed at Jews in general.

      • Pretz. The point is EVERY interest group lobbies the US government. Irish Americans lobby as I am sure do groups for and against abortion, gun control, China, oil companies, free health care, Native Americans – and yes, those for AND AGAINST Israel and other Jewish concerns.

        Nobody accuses environmentalist lobbyists of being “green-firsters” who put their own interests above those of America. Nobody says that a warm handshake between the POTUS and the President of, say, Brazil, is evidence of undue control of the US by insidious Latin American forces. That is seen as simple, normal diplomacy.

        No – the only lobby these journalists/hacktivists remonstrate against in this way is the Jewish/Zionist lobby. What does that imply?

        • I agree with the points you make.

          But still: where is Greenwald referring to Jews in general (as Adam Levick claims)?

          • Pretz – if an article about bankers was neutral but only criticised Jewish bankers for being greedy, would you say – “that’s specifically about bankers, not Jews in general”?

            I doubt it.

              • I fear you’ll not get an answer. Despite the antisemitic insistence of the Zionists that the Jews are to blame for all the real and imaginary crimes of Israel, Greenwald almost certainly did not say what they claim.

                • Despite the antisemitic insistence of the Zionists that the Jews are to blame for all the real and imaginary crimes of Israel …

                  How’s the weather on your planet?

  6. for the Matt Hiil kind of “Israel critics” the only anti-semitism is to attack the Guardian’s as-a-Jews. Every other Hebrew, especially the Israeli version can be demonized, delegitimized, libelled and lied about. Poor fellow is not able to digest the sad fact that he’s late by six/seven decades and theJews are not for the taking any more.

    • Wow. The hysterical propaganda seems to have worked well on this one.

      theJews are not for the taking any more.

      WTF? You sound a bit paranoid.

          • “Exactly. And this is not the 1930s.”

            No, of course not! But it is another dangerous time. Some might want to learn the lessons of history and apply them to the current situation. Where are they similar and where are they different, is a question worth asking and answering.

  7. Greenwald is the perfect example of the the completely bizarre confluence of looney-left and ultra-Islamist groups that the Palestinians have succeeded in mobilizing. Absent the unifying factor of their hatred of the mythological Israel they have created with the help of organizations like the Guardian, they would be shooting each other in the streets.

    • Israel is indeed the most dangerous place on earth to be Jewish.

      Maybe Israel should had allowed the people back to their homes, as they twice promised to do in in May 1949 as a condition for being allowed back into their homes.

      Or maybe the Palestinians should have abandoned their wholly legal and justifiable demand to be allowed back to their homes … but that’s not happening.

      So only mass-murder of the victims, as Israel can’t afford people to see happening, will stop them getting their rights and in the process putting an end to the apartheid regime.

      • Oops – Israel twice promised to let the Palestinians back to their homes in May of 1949 as a condition of Israel being allowed to join the UN.

        Walter Eytan, the head of the Israeli delegation, later stated … “My main purpose was to begin to undermine the protocol of 12 May, which we had signed only under duress of our struggle for admission to the U.N. Refusal to sign would … have immediately been reported to the Secretary-General and the various governments” Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe, “The Making of the Arab-Israel Conflict, 1947-1951.”

        • So you’ve decided to start trolling here? We’ve been over this, over at Harry’s Place:
          At no point did Israel commit itself to enabling hundreds of thousands of people, among whom were many ex-combatants, to return and wreck havoc upon it from within, especially since the Arab delegations refused to deal with the subject of refugees in manner that would lead to the total resolution of the conflict(and recognition of Israel), as Israel had desired(Lausanne conference).
          And Pappe, seriously? Try a real historian…

          • Nothing to do with “the Arab delegation” and nothing to do with some being combatants (untrue anyway).

            On the 15th May 1948 Israel announced that it: “will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex” and was inviting Palestinians to stay.

            And yet in August Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett is quoted as saying, “To repatriate those who had fled would be suicidal folly” later described as an existential demographic threat.

            One of those two positions must be false … which one?

            • Those who had fled, i.e. the Palestinians, have just finished being thrashed for their attempted genocide of the Jews.
              Of course it would be suicidal for the Jews to let them re-enter Israel!
              And Israel does uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens. Not sure, as always, what is the point of your drivel.
              Ben Gurion said, on August 1st, 1948:

              When the Arab states are ready to conclude a peace treaty with Israel[my original point] this question will come up for constructive solution as part of the general settlement, and with due regard to our counter­claims in respect of the destruction of Jewish life and property, the long-term interest of the Jewish and Arab populations, the stability of the State of Israel and the durability of the basis of peace between it and its neighbors, the actual position and fate of the Jewish communities in the Arab countries, the responsibilities of the Arab governments for their war of aggression and their liability for reparation, will all be relevant in the question whether, to what extent, and under what conditions, the former Arab residents of the territory of Israel should be allowed to return.

              Piss off, you moronic, anti-Semitic, troll.

              • The inhabitants of Deir Yassin had not attempted a genocide of the Jews, they’d made a deal to accept the sovereignty of the Zionists – so why were they not allowed back?

                The inhabitants of Faluja had been guaranteed their safety and enjoyment of their property – so why were they not allowed back?

                In addition, Israel twice promised in May 1949, preparatory to Israeli entry into the UN, that all the people would be allowed back to their homes – so why has that not happened?

                Is Israel a state with an army – or is it an army with a state, that guns down people who are entitled to be Israelis and are making their way to their houses?

                Curious people are interested to know.

                • You didn’t heed my proviso, at the end of my post, instructing you to very diligently “piss off” — and you should have.
                  It has already been explained to you that even before the first Israeli military manoeuvres, your Arab bandits had already managed to kill 953 Jews. If you had expected the Jews to remain silent at such a slaughter, you had got another thing coming…
                  And for the last time: Israel did not promise, under any circumstance, to allow the squatters and terrorists who had attacked it, “return” — to what wasn’t theirs to begin with.
                  All issues were to be resoled to at the Lausanne conference, but as Ben Gurion had enunciated eloquently, the Arabs’ refusal to recognize Israel or terminate the conflict prevented any resolution.
                  Meanwhile the only one “gunning” anyone are your armed Pal. gangs. And when Israel responds, you cry foul.
                  Learn to face the consequences of your actions — perhaps you’ll find release from your inimical Jew-hatred, some day.

      • Israel is indeed the most dangerous place on earth to be Jewish.

        If it is, then it still would be even if the Palestinians got their own state tomorrow – and even if (some would argue “especially if”) the refugees were to be allowed to return.

        An what “mass-murder” are you waffling on about anyway?

        • Lets leave aside what is the best way out of this mess … do you accept that Israel is currently the most dangerous place in the world to be Jewish?

          Far from protecting Jews, its done the opposite?

          • YOU are the mess, cappice? And that´s YOUR problem. Blaming Zionist´s (aka Jews) won´t help. Get lost and take “nickadler” with you.

  8. I should also add that it is, as Adam points, out, almost impossible to distinguish between Greenwald’s opinions and those of uber-right wing conspiracy nuts like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, not just Buchanon, who is an anti-Semite in a class of his own. They use almost identical language about Obama and the threat to themselves and their acolytes and their particular vision of US society posed by the evil US government.

  9. Mr Buchanan calls a list of regimes including one bizare regime… “Hezbollah”.
    Now which country does it control?

    • Hezbollah has stood for election and become part of the government of Lebanon. Everyone will rejoice at democracy starting to fulfil its function in yet another country in the Middle East (same thing as has been happening so brilliantly in Palestine and Iran)..

      In addition, the forces of Hezbollah were incorporated into the armed forces of Lebanon (a country urgently in need of effective defenders) and thereby complied with the UN resolution against them.

      Now, I know that there are people who hate Hezbollah, but they’ve never attacked any nation anywhere in the world. Even their spats with Israel are entirely in retaliation. These are not aggressive people and we should open our arms to them.

      • Hey, nick-Nazi, I´m still laughing at your ban from elderofzyon blog. Weren´t you banned from Harry´s PLace too? Was it because of your pathological Jew-hatred or just for sock-puppeteering?

      • “Now, I know that there are people who hate Hezbollah, but they’ve never attacked any nation anywhere in the world”

        ‘Nick’ so you are stating that it is incorrect that there are Hezbollah terrorists fighting inside Syria in support of the war criminal Assad’s regime?

    • I say, steady on. I don’t always agree with Matt but – well, in fact, perhaps the biggest difference between him and White is that Matt will engage with those he disagrees with in a civil and friendly way whereas White just sneers and snarks.

      • I agree. There is no comparison between White and Hill. That’s one of the reasons Hill, unlike White, is worth engaging.

  10. Buchanan was, as a result of his antisemitism, discredited amongst mainstream US conservatives by none other than his own mentor, William F. Buckley, himself.

    What those of us here on the US Left need to do these days, is the very same to these ‘progressive’ antisemites in our midst. We’re trying…

  11. Greenwald is a shameless piece of cold leftist scum. He’s just shat out an article claiming the men who beheaded the soldier in Woolwich aren’t actually terrorists. He’s getting some serious kicking below the line.

    Vile bastard. I hope this tarnishes him forever.

  12. First off, the person who wrote the article above should sign their name to it so that we may know who they are. Perhaps regulars here may know, but I certainly do not.
    Secondly, the author engages in the tired old Jewish tactic of claiming “anti-Semitism” in the remarks of others without actually addressing the fact that each and every one of the statements made by Pat Buchanan cited in the article are ABSOLUTELY TRUE. Not only are they true, they are undeniably true. Hence the authors aversion to actually addressing the merits of the comments themselves and his resort to the same tired old petty name calling.

    The truth is that not all Americans of Jewish ancestry are disloyal; Not all of them even support Israel, but most are and do. Jewish power in this country is overwhelming. If you doubt it, ask Rick Sanchez whose skyrocketing career was X’d out because he strayed from the Jewish line and stated that “jews are not a down trodden minority in America” and that “most of the people who run the networks are a lot like Jon Stewart (ie. Jewish)”. Both statements are undeniably true and should not have been controversial at all….but Sanchez had his career destroyed for even this minor deviation from the Jewish narrative which is peddled to Americans each and ever day, nonstop, on all the major media outlets.

    Jewish power is so overwhelming that no US politician can aspire to the White House without courting Jewish power. They aren’t courting Jewish votes, which are insignificant in number in all but a very few places in this country. Jewish political power stems from their control of the monetary system, media and wall street, not from their votes. We even witnessed major party nominees actually campaigning in Israel during the last presidential election!

    We see Israeli dual citizens routinely appointed to the most senior and sensitive US government positions…in what other nation in the world is this possible? What other nation’s citizens are appointed to senior positions like head of homeland security, Chief of staff to the POTUS or VPOTUS, Asst Sec. of Defense, etc.???? We see Jews dramatically over-represented in all manner of appointed positions, from the FED to the SCOTUS, Jewish are dramatically over-represented by orders of magnitude which cannot be explained away as a result of anything other than Jewish power.

    Jewish displacement of the old WASP elite that built and ran this country has become so complete that there is not a single WASP left on the SCOTUS despite the fact that WASPS are still a majority in the USA. Yet there are three Jews on the court. This is a situation which cannot be explained by anything other than Jewish power.

    In Washington DC we have a government funded museum to the “holocaust”. Why is this? Tens of millions of people were killed during WWII, a great many under far more cruel conditions than experienced by most Jewish victims. A great many people were targeted simply for their ethnicity, religion and/or nationality. There was absolutely nothing extraordinary or “special” about Jewish death and suffering during WWII as it compares to the death and suffering of others. So why would the US government build and finance a museum whose sole purpose is to perpetuate a propaganda lie from a war that ended over 70 years ago? The answer is obviously that this museum is an expression of Jewish power.

    Now rather than running around spouting this completely untenable “anti-Semitism” schtick why don’t you actually confront the truth that Buchannan and others have been trying to talk about for some time now? It is no longer possible to hide the fact of Jewish power from the masses of American gentiles…How long do you suppose threats and coercion will succeed in suppressing this topic? Oh, and before you run to label me an “anti-Semite”, I will save you the trouble. I am a proud American who opposes Jewish control of my nation, which by definition makes me not only a an “anti-Semite”, but a damned proud one!

    • First off the author’s name is at the bottom of the article. A clue for you Bob it’s where it says ‘By Adam Levick’.
      Secondly the rest of your post is not worth the effort as it is just a parroting of already discredited nonsense that has no basis in truth or fact.

      Now Bob be a good boy and run along, put on your tin hat and keep an eye out for the green lizards. Alternatively you could count the fingers on your hands, I bet it’s more than five on each hand isn’t it Bob.

    • I can’t help thinking that the American obsession with the Holocaust is really quite odd.

      What’s the Holocaust museum even doing on the Washington Mall? It all happened over 3,000 miles away – surely the mass-killing of black Americans and Red Americans is far more relevant to the American experience?

      I don’t know the answer to such questions – but there will surely come a day when Americans concern themselves with their own important events and wonder why a war in Europe, which they ignored for over 2 years, has eclipsed their own important concerns and experience.

      • Hey, nick-nack, are you still upset about being banned from elderofzyon? You seem so sad and lonely, but at least you can blame all that on the evil JOOOOZZSS.

      • “..but there will surely come a day when Americans concern themselves with their own important events”

        So ‘Nick’ which country do YOU live in?
        Because if it’s any country outside of the Middle East then using your logic it is time for you to piss off!

        • LOL! Little nick-Nazi is vulnerable and enraged, being banned from all decent blogs he tries to pollute with his anti-Semitic filth. Well, he deserves it. Abd he can always find solace at Al Jazeera.

        • There is still no museum to the genocide that was slavery (15 million dead?) on the Washington Mall.

          There is, finally, a museum to the American Indians on the Washington Mall. (Only guesses as to the number that died, no investigation whatsoever).

          There is also a memorial to Vietnam on the Washington Mall but, strangely, no mention whatsoever of the 8 or 10 million non-people who died.

          • ‘Nick’ on JUNE 7, 2013 @ 4:05 PM, I asked the following;

            ” “..but there will surely come a day when Americans concern themselves with their own important events”

            So ‘Nick’ which country do YOU live in?”

            Are you going to answer the question?

    • Bob:
      It is no longer possible to hide the fact of Jewish power from the masses of American gentiles

      Totally, dude. You know the 80s sci-fi series V? The Visitors are actually green-scaled Jews underneath the human facade. It’s based on reality.