Hollings at it Again

Ron Gunzburger:

US Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings (D-SC) is under fire from Jewish leaders for comments he expressed about the role of Israel and Jewish voters in the US decision to go to war with Iraq. In a column Hollings wrote for his state’s leading newspapers, “[F]or years there has been a domino school of thought that the way to guarantee Israel’s security is to spread democracy in the area … [President Bush] came to office imbued with one thought: re-election. Bush felt tax cuts would hold his crowd together and spreading democracy in the Mideast to secure Israel would take the Jewish vote from the Democrats. You don’t come to town and announce your Israel policy is to invade Iraq. But George W. Bush […] started laying the groundwork to invade Iraq days after inauguration.” Rabbi Philip Silverstein — a leader of South Carolina’s Jewish community — denounced the remarks: “The whole foreign policy of the United States is based on Israel? What kind of ridiculous statement is that? … It’s anti-Semitic [and] dangerous.” Anti-Defamation League National President Abe Foxman also called for Hollings to apologize: “This is reminiscent of age-old, anti-Semitic canards about a Jewish conspiracy to control and manipulate government.” For his part, Hollings refuses to apologize or retract the statement. In a written statement, he said that he has a lengthy record of supporting Israel and any characterization of his column as “anti-Jewish stereotyping or scapegoating is ridiculous.” In the past, Hollings has been forced to apologize for insensitive statements about African-Americans, Jews, Japanese, and other minorities. Hollings is retiring from his Senate seat this year.

Only a couple decades too late.

FILED UNDER: US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Steven says:

    Aljazeera will love this.

    My word.

  2. Ravi Nanavati says:

    Fortunately this guy is retiring to become the (former) Senator from the MPAA… One hopes his new employers will be embarrassed by him.