Tucker Carlson’s Rant about a Jewish Financier Exposes the High Tolerance for Anti-Semitism on Both Left and Right

Dec. 10 2019

On a recent episode of his television show on Fox News, the political commentator Tucker Carlson contrasted the “recognizably American” economic elite of 125 years ago with its supposedly more rapacious equivalent today. As examples of the former, he named Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and, above all, the notorious anti-Semite and Nazi collaborator Henry Ford. As his sole example of the latter, he chose the Jewish investor Paul Singer, whom he accused of getting rich by “feeding off the carcass of a dying nation.” Liel Leibovitz comments:

Almost comically, the main example of Singer’s alleged perfidy Carlson cited was influencing the selling of one American sporting-goods retailer, Cabela’s, to another American sporting goods retailer, Bass Pro Shops—hardly the stuff of which . . . economic nightmares are made. . . . It’s this kind of talk that . . . drove David Duke to praise Carlson for “naming the Jews,” taking care to point out Jewish individuals as the culprits behind everything from America’s crimes to its involvement with foreign wars.

And if you think the bad news stops at Fox News’ door, you’re mistaken.

Because while Carlson was out there ginning up exactly the sort of sentiments that led to the Pittsburgh massacre, our self-appointed defenders of moral rectitude and our champions of combating anti-Semitism alike were amazingly quiet. Why? When similar allegations are made against another Jewish billionaire, George Soros, many—from the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt to liberal journalist Josh Marshall—are swift to offer their unequivocal condemnations. But Soros is a lock-step funder of progressive causes, while Singer—who helped underwrite the public and legal campaigns to secure the right of gay Americans to marry, is a supporter of New York City’s food bank, and a signatory of The Giving Pledge, promising to give away more than half his wealth during his lifetime—is also a GOP donor.

For Jewish communal leaders as well as [a large number of influential journalists], that’s a flaw that apparently makes him fair game for overt, dangerous anti-Semitism.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Anti-Semitism, Capitalism, U.S. Politics

 

Iran, America, and the Future of Democracy in the Middle East

Nov. 23 2022

Sixty-two days after the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Islamic Republic’s police, the regime has failed to quash the protest movement. But it is impossible to know if the tide will turn, and what the outcome of the government’s collapse might be. Reuel Marc Gerecht considers the very real possibility that a democratic Iran will emerge, and considers the aftershocks that might follow. (Free registration required.)

American political and intellectual elites remain uneasy with democracy promotion everywhere primarily because it has failed so far in the Middle East, the epicenter of our attention the last twenty years. (Iraq’s democracy isn’t dead, but it didn’t meet American expectations.) Might our dictatorial exception for Middle Eastern Muslims change if Iran were to set in motion insurrections elsewhere in the Islamic world, in much the same way that America’s response to 9/11 probably helped to produce the rebellions against dictatorship that started in Tunisia in 2010? The failure of the so-called Arab Spring to establish one functioning democracy, the retreat of secular democracy in Turkey, and the implosion of large parts of the Arab world have left many wondering whether Middle Eastern Muslims can sustain representative government.

In 1979 the Islamic revolution shook the Middle East, putting religious militancy into overdrive and tempting Saddam Hussein to unleash his bloodiest war. The collapse of Iran’s theocracy might be similarly seismic. Washington’s dictatorial preference could fade as the contradictions between Arab tyranny and Persian democracy grow.

Washington isn’t yet invested in democracy in Iran. Yet, as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has often noted, American hostility toward the Islamic Republic has been damaging. If the theocracy falls, Iranians will surely give America credit—vastly more credit that they will give to the European political class, who have been trying to make nice, and make money, with the clerical regime since the early 1990s—for this lasting enmity. We may well get more credit than we deserve. Both Democrats and Republicans who have dismissed the possibilities of democratic revolutions among the Muslim peoples of the Middle East will still, surely, claim it eagerly.

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Arab democracy, Democracy, Iran, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy