Jewish Journal


July 31, 2008

Joe Klein continues defending Jewish dual-loyalty claim



A month on, Joe Klein is still catching a ton of heat for his claim of Jewish dual-loyalties.

Joe Klein is no Kappo, Just a Low-Life Scumbag,” is the headline from Yid With Lid.

“To say it is a badge of honor to stand in opposition to a person as manifestly intellectually unstable as Joe Klein has become is to understate the case,” writes John Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary, which Klein singled out. “As for his use of classic anti-Semitic canards, I am happy to report that the Jewish people will long survive Joe Klein. The question is, will Time Magazine?”

The “controversy” is all a bit overblown to me, which I stated back when this all began. His main point was that Jewish neoconservatives—there are non-Jewish neocons—led the United States into a needless war in Iraq. While it’s true advisers like Wolfowitz and Feith were prominent voices in President Bush’s head, they were not the only, and they definitely weren’t named Rumsfeld or Cheney.

“More importantly,” I wrote, “American foreign policy for the past almost four decades has held that Israel’s best interest is in the U.S.’s best interest. In other words, if the protection of the Jewish state from Saddam’s whims played a role in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq—an ill-advised act at that—it likely has as much to do with American policy as American Jewish interest or, as Joe Klein called it, dual loyalty.”

I’m sure this all would have blown over, but the Anti-Defamation League’s chief Abe Foxman decided to get involved—Bill Donahue, anyone?—and the folks at Commentary haven’t let it go. Klein, for his part, only seems to be adding fuel to the fire. Here he is singling out his “extremist” foes:

I don’t think a war with Iran is coming, thank God, but this time I am not going to pull any punches. My voice isn’t very important in the grand scheme of things, but I’m going to do my job—and that means letting you know exactly where I stand and what I believe. I believe there are a small group of Jewish neoconservatives who are pushing for war with Iran because they believe it is in America’s long-term interests and because they believe Israel’s existence is at stake. They are wrong and recent history tells us they are dangerous. They are also bullies and I’m not going to be intimidated by them.

For a fuller explanation of why Klein believes what he believes and stands by what he said, check out Jeffrey Goldberg’s Q&A, after the jump.

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