Valerie Plame’s Circulation of an Anti-Semitic Article Was Deliberate

Sept. 25 2017

On Thursday Valerie Plame, a former CIA officer, sent a tweet reading “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars,” followed by a link to an article with that title by one Philip Giraldi, who regularly writes on the theme of malign Jewish influence on U.S. foreign policy, usually for far-right websites. The article asserts that Jews should recuse themselves from positions in government in which they might influence policy, and Jewish pundits should be identified by their religion when appearing on television. After receiving much criticism, she apologized. Alan Dershowitz writes:

The article [in question] contains the usual anti-Semitic tropes: Jews are guilty of dual loyalty; they control politicians, the media and entertainment; they want the U.S. to fight wars for the country to which they have real allegiance—Israel; they are dangerous to America. . . . This was not the first time Plame retweeted Giraldi’s garbage. [In her initial response to criticism of the article, before backing down and apologizing], she described it as: “Yes, very provocative, but thoughtful. Many neocon hawks ARE Jewish. Ugh.”

Nor is this the only time that Plame has tweeted other nonsense from the bigoted platform this piece came from. I actually read the Philip Giraldi article—before I was aware of the Plame tweet—on a neo-Nazi website, where Giraldi’s articles are frequently featured. For Plame to claim that she was unaware of the anti-Semitic content of Giraldi’s article is to ignore reality. Plame had to be aware, since she was aware of Giraldi’s bigotry. Her apologies ring hollow. . . .

The Plame incident reflects a broader problem. . . . There is a growing tolerance for anti-Semitism. Even when some people themselves do not harbor these feelings, they are willing to support those who do, as long as the anti-Semites are on their side of the political spectrum. . . .

The problem exists both on the hard right and the hard left. Both extremes see the world in racial, ethnic, and religious terms. Both engage in identity politics: the hard left gives more weight to the views of certain minorities; while the hard right gives less weight to the views of these same minorities. . . .

What the hard right and hard left share . . . is bigotry toward Jews: the neo-Nazi right hates the Jewish people, and the hard left hates the nation-state of the Jewish people and those Jews who support it. Both views are bigoted and must not become acceptable among centrist liberals and conservatives.

Read more at Fox News

More about: American politics, Anti-Semitism, Politics & Current Affairs


Winning Islam’s War of Ideas, Saudi-Style

March 19 2018

Since September 11, 2001, U.S. policymakers have understood the need to confront jihadism not only militarily but also ideologically; yet, writes John Hannah, they have had little success. Now Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’ reformist crown prince, appears willing and able to take up the fight, and Hannah urges Washington to support his efforts:

By an order of magnitude, al-Qaeda in 2018 enjoys a larger presence in more countries across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia than it did the day the Twin Towers were felled. . . . What’s consistently been missing from America’s strategy have been powerful partners in the Muslim world who can reliably be counted on to speak out authoritatively on matters of Islamic theology in ways that the United States simply cannot. That’s where Saudi Arabia comes in. It’s the birthplace of Islam and host to the faith’s two holiest mosques. Combined with abundant oil wealth, these assets bestow on the Saudis a measure of soft-power influence unrivaled in the Muslim world. . . .

For months, the crown prince and his closest advisers have relentlessly hammered the theme that Saudi Arabia’s modernization requires an embrace of “moderate Islam.” He’s slammed the extremist ideology that the kingdom did so much to empower after the Iranian revolution and acknowledges that “the problem spread all over the world.” . . . At home, the powers of the kingdom’s notorious religious police have been scaled back. Prominent hardline clerics have been jailed. On the all-important issue of female empowerment, the pace of change has been breathtaking. . . .

Now the U.S. imperative should be pressing Mohammed bin Salman to take his campaign for moderate Islam on the road. . . . There should be multiple elements to such an effort, but some immediate tasks come to mind. First, school textbooks. The Saudis promised to eliminate the hate-filled passages a decade ago. Progress has slowly been made, but the job’s still not done. Mohammed bin Salman should order it finished—this year. Behind the scenes, U.S. experts should provide verification.

Second, working with trusted partners in indigenous communities known for their religious moderation, the Saudis should conduct a thorough audit of the global network of mosques, schools, and charitable organizations that they’ve backed with an eye toward weeding out radical staff and content. Third, [they should] initiate a worldwide buyback of Saudi-distributed mistranslations of the Quran and other religious materials notorious for propagating extremist narratives.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Moderate Islam, Politics & Current Affairs, Radical Islam, Saudi Arabia, War on Terror