“We are simply selling our souls”

Abe Foxman and his fellow professional Jews are disgracing themselves over the John Hagee affair.

Shorter Abe Foxman: bigotry is fine as long as you’re “pro-Israel.” And no, we won’t look too closely at what “pro-Israel” means. He’s not alone; the coliform count in the bloodsteam of what passes for the political and religious leadership of the American Jewish community is astonishingly high.

Footnote Foxman and his friends are even willing to tolerate from Hagee what they would otherwise call anti-Semitism. For example:

It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews, God’s chosen people, to their covenantal responsibility to serve only the one true God, Jehovah, that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day…. How utterly repulsive, insulting, and heartbreaking to God for His chosen people to credit idols with bringing blessings He had showered upon the chosen people. Their own rebellion had birthed the seed of anti-Semitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come…. it rises from the judgment of God uppon his rebellious chosen people.

When George Soros suggested that Jewish currency speculators (including George Soros) might possibly have helped create anti-Jewish feeling in countries whose currencies got blitzed, and that Jews ought to consider whether their actions might damage the reputation of Jews as a group, Foxman and his buddies were all over him like a cheap suit: “simplistic, counterproductive, biased and bigoted perception … it’s blaming the victim … the cause of anti-Semitism is anti-Semites.” Not so for Hagee. IAOKIYAR.

Update A reader points out that Hagee’s rant is consistent with some of the prophets, and with Deuteronomy: the sufferings of the people are due to their cultic disloyalty. True enough.

But the notion that persecution proves that God is angry at the Jews is also a long-time staple of Christian anti-Semitic rhetoric. If Barack Obama’s minister had said those words, Foxman would have worked himself into a frenzy demanding that Obama reject, repudiate, renounce, denounce, disdain, and abhor that preacher and all his works. But if Hagee says it, no problem.

Also updated to clarify the Soros sentence.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com