Is Pat Buchanan Anti-Semitic?
I pose this question to you, dear readers, because John Podhoretz and Glenn Reynolds are charging that he is and site this column in which he calls Israel’s action against Hezbollah and Lebanon “un-Christian” as proof. Here’s the quotation in its context, plus a little more from the column that I think goes to the question:
But what Israel is doing is imposing deliberate suffering on civilians, collective punishment on innocent people, to force them to do something they are powerless to do: disarm the gunmen among them. Such a policy violates international law and comports neither with our values nor our interests. It is un-American and un-Christian.
That Tel Aviv is maneuvering us to fight its wars is understandable. That Americans are ignorant of, or complicit in this, is deplorable.
Already, Bush is ranting about Syria being behind the Hezbollah capture of the Israeli soldiers. But where is the proof?
Who is whispering in his ear? The same people who told him Iraq was maybe months away from an atom bomb, that an invasion would be a “cakewalk,” that he would be Churchill, that U.S. troops would be greeted with candy and flowers, that democracy would break out across the region, that Palestinians and Israelis would then sit down and make peace?
How much must America pay for the education of this man?
Alright, let’s hear it; what do you think? I know where I come down and I’ll join in the discussion in the comments.
UPDATE (James Joyner): In a long-ago issue-length essay in National Review [“In Search of Anti-Semitism” December 31, 1991], subsequently made the cornerstone of a book, William F. Buckley, Jr. concluded, reluctantly, that Buchanan was indeed an anti-Semite. More precisely:
I find it impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination amounted to anti-Semitism, whatever it was that drove him to say and do it: most probably, an iconoclastic temperament.
The problem, however, with the question in general is that we seem unable to distinguish anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism or even the idea that “What’s good for Israel isn’t necessarily good for America.” Buckley attempts to differentiate these aspects but finds it quite tricky, indeed.