We Say “Love Your Brother,” Well, We Don’t Literally Say It, Well, We Don’t Really Say It At All

Joseph Simon, a “District Systems Manager” (whatever the heck that is) for wrote a letter to the Jewish News defending Hayworth from charges of anti-semitism. Of course, the Jewish News never actually said Hayworth was anti-semetic, in fact, they had explicitly said he wasn’t. They just thought he should be careful about quoting anti-semites to support his immigration policies.

Never mind that though. Simon made a rather silly charge in his letter:

By the way, Hayworth’s opponent has no record of support for Israel and probably couldn’t find it on a map until deciding to run for Congress.

Well, funny that Mr. Simon brings it up. Harry Mitchell has been to Israel: touring the old city, visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, visiting historical sites such as Masada and even meeting leaders like Shimon Peres. This was back in 2005, before he considered a run for congress.

On the other hand, Hayworth hasn’t made any official visits to Israel.

The thing that I find interesting is that Simon seems to set the bar rather low for what, in his words, a “friend” to the Jewish community is. He seems to be arguing that all one has to do to be a “friend” is to support the policies of the State of Israel. Hard for me as a Catholic to pick out who are good friends to the Jewish community, but I would think that “friends” would mean folks who, when given the chance, use their position to oppose anti-semitism.

Hayworth has been given numerous chances to do so as a congressman, but seems to have passed them up.

For example, when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas visited the White House, a letter was circulated among house members asking that the President urge Abbas to stop allowing the promotion of anti-semetic ideology in Palestinian schools and media. Members of congress, including Democrats and Republicans, signed the letter. Hayworth’s signature is not there. Another letter was circulated asking Kofi Annan to take more action against global anti-semitism. found time to sign it, Hayworth didn’t.

Hayworth also had a chance to co-sponsor the Global Anti-Semitism Awareness Act. 35 members saw fit to put their names on this bill, but Hayworth did not. and put their names on the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004, but Hayworth couldn’t be bothered.

As I’ve said numerous times, Hayworth is not an anti-semite. However, it is disingenuous to say that he stood-up against anti-semitism, when he has passed up these chances to do so, especially because he isn’t exactly shy about talking about other issues that concern him.

7 thoughts on “We Say “Love Your Brother,” Well, We Don’t Literally Say It, Well, We Don’t Really Say It At All

  1. Tedski,
    I wish that people could learn to write with more clarity and I really wish that we would all learn to use rhetoric that distinguishes between supporting or not supporting Israel and anti-Semitism.

    Let’s look at these numbers for a minute from the recent Israeli/Lebanon conflict:

    -Lebanese fatalities: 1,183, 90% of them civilian, about a third of the fatalities children
    -Lebanese people displaced: 970,000.

    I do not support Israel or any other nation who inflicts this level of mortality and displacement upon the civilian population of another nation. And, this does not even begin to address the fact that all of the post civil war economic development in Lebanon for almost two decades has been wiped out in a few weeks. Damage estimates are now around 15 billion and that does not even begin to address how this nation is supposed to sustain itself now that so much infrastructure has been destroyed. Bombing nations into the stone age is a foreign policy to be abhorred, even if Israel is the nation doing it and we all risk being called anti-Semitic if we so much as dare make one little squeak of protest.

    I am not pro-Israel but I am not anti-Semitic. I do not feel I should have to explain the difference as anyone who is reading this is perfectly capable of looking it up.

    And, if this incurs the wrath of the Blogging Zionist, wearetribal, or any other Zionist, I guess that’s just too bad. I won’t be reading any Zionist rants.

  2. I’m trying to figure out if you are trying to accuse me of a zionist rant, since it seems that I was writing an anti-J.D. rant, which are a heck of a lot more fun.

    My trouble has been, and I don’t think I made this clear enough, is that there is a theme from the right that support of Israel means support of the policies of the Likud party. For example, you barely saw any enthusiasm from the so-called Neocons for the peace process in the mid ’90s. Since they conflate support of Israel with support of these policies, it means that they conflate anti-semitism with opposition to these policies. I have always found it silly because people in Israel have arguments with each other about this, and they obviously are not anti-semetic.

    Simon is making an argument that somehow a little pro-Israel lip service is enough to make you pro-Jewish. I have trouble with this given how many millenialist evangelicals support Israel for reasons that would make many Jews uncomfortable. I realize that it may be a bit presumptive for a gentile to say this, but it seems to me that a bit more needs to be done before you declare yourself a friend of the Jewish community.

  3. Speaking of J.D. Hayworth, note this squib from a story that the Associated Press is running today:


    Pharmaceutical industry paid for part of campaign ads on Medicare

    Associated Press
    Aug. 25, 2006 12:20 PM

    WASHINGTON – The pharmaceutical industry quietly footed the bill for at least part of a recent multimillion-dollar ad campaign praising lawmakers who support the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, according to political officials.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce claims credit for the ads, although a spokesman refused repeatedly to say whether it had received any funds from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

    Several campaign strategists not involved in the ad campaign said no legal issues were raised by the pharmaceutical industry’s involvement. In political terms, though, the disclosure is likely to embolden Democratic critics of the Medicare drug program, who charge it amounts to a Republican-engineered windfall for drug companies. advertisement

    The commercials, airing in 10 states or congressional districts, generally say the local congressman or senator supports the drug program, and that hundreds of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries have saved money since its inception earlier this year.


    You may remember that these commercials ran in AZ praising Jon Kyl and – wait for it – J.D. Hayworth for their “excellent” work in supporting a plan that has screwed over millions of people who rely on Medicare for their prescription drug coverage.

    Thanks, Republicans.

  4. Tedski,
    My point is that when speaking or writing about Israel and anti-Semitism, it should be crystal clear that being pro-Israel or anti-Israel (with respect to their foreign pilicy) has nothing do with being anti-Semitic or not. Until we dissociate these terms and allow them to stand on their own, as they should, Americans will be fearful of speaking out against Israel’s foreign policy.
    I say this because I think its an important change that needs to permeate our culture.

    No one gets terribly upset when people speak out against the foreign policy of France, Russia, China, Uganda, and so on. Israel should be no different. Unfortunately, that’s not the case because “anti-Semitic” is used interchangeably with “anti-Israel.”
    Conversely, “pro-Israel” means you are not anti-Semitic.

    I’m tired of it and it needs to change, that’s all I’m saying.

  5. “anti-Semitic” is used interchangeably with “anti-Israel.”
    Conversely, “pro-Israel” means you are not anti-Semitic.

    Good point.

  6. Sonoran:

    Some people have saved money at the cost of others having to pay more. The program needs to be completely repealed and redesigned.

    It is not a vast surprised that one of JD’s biggest support groups would have these ads recommending a program that gives them tons of money.

    At least Plan B is OTC now.

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