I have no doubt that the New York Times is a cesspool of anti-Semitism, as the Israeli ambassador to the US maintains.
“In remarks posted to his official Facebook page and prepared for delivery at a Holocaust memorial event at the US Capitol, Dermer spoke of what he called “the Jew-hatred of growing parts of the intellectual class.”
“The same New York Times that a century ago mostly hid from their readers the Holocaust of the Jewish people has today made its pages a safe-space for those who hate the Jewish state,” Dermer said. “Through biased coverage, slanderous columns and antisemitic cartoons, its editors shamefully choose week after week to cast the Jewish state as a force for evil.”
“In describing the Times as a “cesspool,” Dermer said that the newspaper’s treatment of Israel “goes well beyond any legitimate criticism of a fellow, imperfect democracy.”
But this? This cartoon which was said to have crossed some sort of line?
Is this more offensive than Putin and Trump in homosexual embrace? Or any of the endless Internet memes of Trump as nazi, racist, dwarf, misogynist, lying scum, vainglorious nincompoop?
I happen to think Israel is a successful, modern, and relatively open democracy in the midst of the toughest, most intransigent Islamic fanatics. How it has restrained itself from massacring its Palestinian subject population, of carrying out General Dyer-like shootings of the nearest ten or ten thousand people, is a marvel of restraint, and something that bears contemplation. I congratulate them on having a long fuze and a carefully calibrated sense of vengeance. They have proven effective because they have shown restraint, when I might have lashed out in anger at my people being killed by fanatics.
Most? many? Muslims hate Jews with a passion that is quite beyond comprehension. I am not talking about disliking some Jews because they are assholes, or because some have offended you, or because they compete effectively. I am not talking about disliking even all Jews because they believe they are the Chosen Ones, in their estimation. Or because some Ashkenazis control this or that piece of the information/propaganda apparatus. I am talking about an all-consuming , all-comprehending hatred that is cosmic in its dimensions, and foundational to one’s world view. I have met people like that, and they were Muslim. It is like coming near the gravity well of a neutron star, where the gravity is hate. You do not want to approach it.
Compared to this kind of boundless hatred, Christian and secular-liberal-pagan anti-Semitism is frequently just snobbery and rudeness. It is exponentially smaller in its range and seriousness. I do not doubt it can be painful to be the target of it, but it does not intend radical extermination, as Islamic Jew-hatred does. Although a few more attacks by people on synagogues may force a rethinking of that position.
So pardon me if I find the Trump-Netanyahu cartoon to be only mildly offensive, and to be good political cartooning because it succeeds in being offensive in just the right way. If I thought Netanyahu was leading Trump around by the nose, that’s how I would caricature it.
I do not believe anyone is leading Trump around by the nose: not the Jews, the Masons, the Muslims, the evangelicals, the Illuminati, the Catholics, the Quakers, the liberals, the conservatives, or anyone. The very lack of control which anyone exercises over Trump is part of the reason the cartoon is effective.
But if the cartoon stimulates the New York Times to examine its habitual anti-Israeli stance, and question its wholly unmerited sense of moral superiority, that would be a great benefit. I suspect however that the armour of self-righteousness is too thick for them to abandon.
Netanyahu and Trump share important qualities: they are both rough and effective. For this they cannot be forgiven by the legions of self-defeatists.