People Give Themselves Away

by A. Jay Adler on October 6, 2010
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They do. They really do. Once they cross a certain psychological border of irrational – but always rationalized – bias in their thinking about a subject, and it thus emerges as a kind of fetish, they give themselves away. They can’t help themselves. Often, the clues are subtle, though hardly hidden, and they are frequently verbal.

A week ago, for instance, Judeosphere drew our attention to the latest attack on Israel by Charles Freeman, apologist for Chinese authoritarianism and Arab religious autocracies.

The moonbatty Washington Report on Middle East Affairs has just published an article by Chas Freeman titled, “The Big Lie: That Israel Is a Strategic Asset For the United States.” (Can we please add an amendment to Godwin’s Law that explicitly addresses people who constantly trot out the phrase, The Big Lie?)

Anyway,  Chas continues his public rant against Israel and “The Lobby,” which began after the Obama administration rescinded its plan to appoint him the head of the National Intelligence Council last year.

How did Freeman descend from that usual attack on the “Israel lobby” to an attack on Israel, a judgment he would no doubt deny? Judeosphere caught it, fully exposed because for Freeman, in the distortions of his thinking on the subject, there is nothing any longer revealing about it.

It matters also that America—along with a very few other countries—has remained morally committed to the Jewish experiment with a state in the Middle East. [Emphasis by Judeosphere]

France is not an “experiment.” Kenya, only forty-seven years independent, is not an experiment. Lebanon is only five years older than Israel. How’s the Lebanese experiment with a state going? Only for Jews, for Freeman, is national sovereignty an “experiment.” Really, you have to wonder – you think Freeman has been experimenting with drugs?

Similarly, in the reaction to Rick Sanchez, the proper response has seen rather obvious to most people. Not to Andrew Sullivan, who calls upon Christopher Hitchens to insulate him from the signs of his bias.The  Hitchens piece on Sanchez is far from his best thinking or writing, which Israel has never drawn from him. Usually an incisive thinker, Hitchens misses a lot beneath the surface of Sanchez-Stewart. He does make the argument that Sanchez’s point about the social and political influence of Jews is hardly off the mark – and there, then, is what, of course, Sullivan wants to talk about.

Hitch is right to argue that this cannot empirically be in dispute among sane people in Washington – although the Belgian who said it, like Sanchez, draped it in self-evident anti-Semitic hooey. Sigh. Maybe that connection tells us something. But maybe it doesn’t necessarily.

First, you will search in vain in Hitchens for the word “sane” or any of its variants. The absolutist mental distance that Sullivan puts between himself and dissenting views on the subject is all in that word. Oh, is that what the debate is about – the mere fact that AIPAC and other Jewish organizations have significant influence, or is it what to make of that influence, what it means? Because I rather thought it was the latter. And isn’t this why, in the second half of the passage above, Sullivan wonders why it is that people who feel compelled to speak out on – mind you, nothing more than the simple fact of – the Jewish lobby “drape” it so ofen in “self-evident anti-Semitic hooey.”

Maybe that connection tells us something. But maybe it doesn’t necessarily.

And maybe it isn’t necessarily so that when an incident like this occurs, it needs to be cause for Andrew Sullivan to mount his hobby horse yet again. Maybe. Not necessarily. Keep trying to work it out, Andrew. Obsessions, we know, are very hard to overcome.

AJA

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Merilyn Jackson October 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Once again, you’ve parsed it out. I called Hitch out on his Sanchez piece, but don’t know if it got posted. Maybe his meds are taking over, which he warned us could happen. I love the guy but think he missed the point on the Sanchez debacle. Sanchez was always only a heartbeat away from losing it on his obsession: his self-perceived victimhood and shaky self-esteem. Ironically, it caused his downfall. Wishing Hitch a speedy return to his full capacities.

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