Saturday, July 22, 2006

Taranto TKOs Buchanan

James Taranto deals with Pat Buchanan's anti-semitism:-

The other day Pat Buchanan published a despicable attack on Israel:

What Israel is doing is imposing deliberate suffering on civilians, collective punishment on innocent people, to force them to do something they are powerless to do: disarm the gunmen among them. Such a policy violates international law and comports neither with our values nor our interests. It is un-American and un-Christian.

Some observers are amused that Buchanan is accusing a Jewish state of being "un-Christian." But we're with John Podhoretz: This is anti-Semitism. Buchanan is clever enough that he is not unwittingly applying an inapplicable standard; rather, he is accusing the Jews of not being Christians, thereby attempting to turn Christians against Jews.

For evidence of Buchanan's cleverness, consider his statement that Israel "is imposing deliberate suffering on civilians." This is artfully worded indeed. The implication is that Israel is targeting civilians, which is false, but this is only an implication. Buchanan's actual words are consistent with the truth, which is that Israel is targeting Hezbollah with the knowledge that some civilian casualties are inevitable, given that (as Buchanan fails to acknowledge) terrorist groups deliberately put civilians in harm's way in the hope that civilized countries like Israel will either be restrained from attacking or will be blamed for the civilian casualties.

Buchanan also fails to acknowledge that Israel's enemies do target civilians, as Voice of America "Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav told VOA that among the rockets that have hit Haifa are some clearly designed to cause massive civilian casualties. 'The specialty of these rockets is that they contain thousands of metal bullets which are going to be spread around when the rocket hits the ground,' he said. 'In this respect, it has the same effect as the belt of a suicide bomber.'"

Would Pat Buchanan call this "Christian"?

In any case, Buchanan's effort to turn Christians against Jews won't work. Christian anti-Semitism has a long and ugly history, but it is largely a thing of the past, especially in this country. Anti-Semitism today is chiefly the province of the Muslim world and the secular, multicultural left.

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