Jewish World Review March 18, 2003 / 14 Adar II, 5763

Edward I. Koch

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Have the courage to admit it, Pat: You're a classic anti-Semite who gives conservatives a bad name | In a scurrilous article in the March 24th edition of The American Conservative, Pat Buchanan blames American and Israeli Jews for "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."

In that same article, Buchanan claims that America's threats to enforce Resolution 1441 by military means is the result of Jewish pressure on President Bush. Buchanan ignores the fact that the President and members of his Cabinet have devoted enormous amounts of time to discussing why they believe Iraq is a threat to America, other Western countries and the Middle East.

According to Buchanan, the real reason for the policy enunciated time and again immediately following 9/11 -- "America will go after the terrorists and the countries that harbor them" -- is that supporters of Israel -- the neoconservative leaders of what he terms the New War Party -- have "seized on that horrific atrocity to steer America's rage into all-out war to destroy their despised enemies, the Arab and Islamic 'rogue states' that have resisted U.S. hegemony and loathe Israel. The War Party's plan, however, had been in preparation far in advance of 9/11."

According to Buchanan, "The first generation [of neoconservatives] were ex-liberals, socialists, and Trotskyites, boat-people from the McGovern revolution who rafted over to the GOP at the end of conservatism's long march to power with Ronald Regan in 1980."

Buchanan opposed the 1991 war to eject Iraq from Kuwait and prevent Iraqis from also invading Saudi Arabia. He referred at the time to Jews as the "amen corner" and listed only prominent Jews as those supporting President H. W. Bush's plan to oust Iraq from Kuwait.

Buchanan makes no mention of the many prominent non-Jews then supporting President Bush on the issue, including British Prime Minister Thatcher and many U.S. Senators, not to mention a worldwide coalition that included Egypt and Syria. To add to his anti-Semitic calumny in 1991, Buchanan shamefully attacked the patriotism of American Jews, writing that if war comes, "kids with names like McAllister, Murphy, Gonzalez and Leroy Brown" will be 'humping up that bloody road to Bagdad.'"

Now, twelve years after Iraq was defeated without the thousands of casualties he predicted, Buchanan reaffirms his hatred for Jews. He writes, in effect, that American Jews have now apparently cast a spell on the son, George W. Bush, and his Cabinet including Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. In Buchanan's paranoid imagination, Jews have even taken control of the minds of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spain's Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar.

That Buchanan is anti-Semitic is as clear as a freshly washed glass. His intention is to separate Jews from the U.S. mainstream, 55% of which supports a war against Iraq even without United Nations approval.

There are Jews like myself who believe, as do a majority of Americans, that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction which include poison gas and biological agents. We also believe Saddam is capable of using those weapons against his neighbors, the U.S. and others. Many, including prominent administration officials, believe Saddam is helping Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. No one can doubt that, if asked, Hussein would give Al Qaeda any weapon in his possession for use against America.

Buchanan denies that Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia pose any danger to the U.S. He must have amnesia. Does he not recall the Khobar Towers bombing that resulted in 19 U.S. service personnel deaths and hundreds of casualties and the subsequent Saudi cover-up that prompted then-FBI director Louis Freeh to leave that country in disgust? Has Buchanan forgotten the bombing of Sudan by President Clinton and the bombing of Libya by President Reagan?

When Buchanan writes that neocons, "are interventionists who regard Stakhanovite support of Israel as a defining characteristic of their breed," it is obvious he wants to tar them with the brush of Communism as well as the false myth of duel loyalty. He says their "luminaries are Jeane Kirkpatrick, Bill Bennett, Michael Novak and James Q. Wilson." What better icons? He says their heroes are "Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Harry Truman, Martin Luther King, and Democratic Senators Henry "Scoop" Jackson (Wash.) and Pat Moynihan (N.Y.)." What better role models?

Let me close with a true story from my Congressional days. I had been asked to address a group of Congressional members who held prayer breakfasts twice a month. They wanted a Jewish Congressman to speak on Judiasm. After I finished my remarks, I took questions. To one questioner I said, "I sense something on your mind you are reluctant to ask: 'Do Jews have dual loyalty?' You wouldn't ask that question of Congressmen whose ancestors hail from Italy, Ireland, France or elsewhere. Nevertheless, here is my answer. Jews have the same love of their ancestral lands as any other ethnic group. But I will make you one promise. I raised my right hand and said, I swear to G-d, if Israel ever invades the United States, I shall stand with the U.S."

Buchanan was and remains an anti-Semite in the image of Father Charles Coughlin of yesterday and David Duke of today. They were repudiated by the American public, and so should he.

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JWR contributor Edward I. Koch, the former mayor of New York, can be heard on Bloomberg Radio (WBBR 1130 AM) every Saturday from 9-10 am. Comment by clicking here.

03/12/03: "There they go again"? Not quite!
03/05/03: Making the case for war on British TV left some panelists stunned
02/20/03: Death penalty=racism? Don't confuse them with the facts
02/12/03: History is now repeating itself --- why don't the American bashers grasp it?
02/05/03: As the world turns
01/30/03: Why are sports exempt from racial diversity and universities encouraged to engage in racial preferences over individual academic achievement?
01/23/03: We absolutely can't back down
11/13/02: President blunted the Ted Kennedys of Democrat party --- good for him!
10/23/02: New Jersey's bigot laureate is no private citizen and his 'defenses' are idiotic
10/01/02: Congress is not doing its job
09/26/02: Confronting pathetic Americans in a post 9-11 world
09/19/02: Don't be fooled by Saddam
09/05/02: Necessary or not, getting congressional approval for war is common-sense
08/28/02: In defense of terrorism
08/22/02: Saddam Hussein is extremely popular in "Arab street," so why attack him?
08/15/02: My potpourri
08/09/02: Traitors: Journalistic and 'patriotic'
07/31/02: Euros should spend their time analyzing their own country's wartime actions
07/25/02: I may know next to nothing about the stock market, but I'm not getting out
07/18/02: Dems should stop trying to 'Whitewater' the President
07/11/02: Real Americans and the Islamic threat

© 2002, Edward I. Koch