I defend Open Zion from Armin Rosen’s charge that we “mainstream anti-Semitism.”
On Friday, Armin Rosen, over at the Atlantic, accused Open Zion of legitimizing anti-Semitism, because we published an article by Mondoweiss staff-writer Alex Kane. Rosen found nothing prejudiced in the piece, an assessment of Israel boycotts’ effectiveness. Rather, he argued that Mondoweiss “often gives the appearance of an anti-Semitic enterprise,” and that by “carrying a byline from Mondoweiss,” we dragged “its sordid baggage” into the mainstream.
I think Rosen exaggerates Mondoweiss’s sins, but there’s certainly plenty there to cringe at (as I have said before). This isn’t the place for a full examination of the strange nexus of Phil Weiss’s supposedly universalistic anti-Zionism and creepily mystical nativism. Suffice it to say that, though Robert Wright’s defense of us (in which he disputed Rosen’s claim that Mondoweiss is anti-Semitic) was welcome, it didn’t completely relieve our anxieties. We get it. We’re wary of Mondoweiss.
But here’s the catch—Rosen’s late. Where was he earlier last week, when we ran anarticle by Christians United For Israel’s David Brog? Or doesn’t Rosen know that Pastor John Hagee, the founder and leader of CUFI, has blamed anti-Semitism on Jewish “disobedience and rebellion” against God, Hurricane Katrina on a planned “homosexual parade,” and Adolf Hitler on Catholicism? Where was his outrage when we dragged that “sordid baggage” into the conversation? What about when we featured Likud MK Danny Danon, who has himself called African immigrants in Israel “a national plague”? “Some ideas have earned their banishment from civilized discourse,” begins Rosen’s article. But only, it seems, when they come from lefties.