Thursday, June 18, 2009

Racists Don't Know They Are Racists

Edward Luttwak has a lovely letter in the TLS:

In reviewing Patrick Tyler’s A World of Trouble: America in the Middle East, Oliver Miles (May 29) uses quite a lot of his text to identify a number of American officials as Jewish, from the 1920s to Kissinger and right down to Barack Obama’s recent appointees...Miles does the same for Tony Blair’s former envoy to the Middle East, Lord Levy.

Like some especially crass Arabs, Miles clearly implies that no Jew should have any role in shaping or executing US or British Middle East policy, thereby blandly imputing disloyalty to any Jewish official, regardless of his record or expressed opinions. That is exactly racist.

He also writes that the “Arab mother” of President Obama’s special envoy, George Mitchell, could turn out to be his “Achilles heel”. But few people would be foolish enough to emulate Miles by referring to his mother in order to attack Mitchell – it would only disqualify the attacker.

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