Jonah Goldberg Again

July 26, 2007
In writing the previous blog on Jonah Goldberg, I read over an old column of his on why we shouldn't blame the Jews for the Iraq war. (
Jews and the war. National Review Online, March 13, 2003). This is a really disingenuous piece. I say that because that's the only explanation for why someone with a presumably high IQ could write such nonsense. Of course, not all Jews were in favor of the war, or even a majority. But he seems to think that it's obviously a bad case of anti-Semitism to suppose that some Jews could have influenced the Bush Administration to invade Iraq because of their sense of Jewish interests and specifically their attachment to Israel. No need to go over the evidence that has struck quite a few people to conclude otherwise. To even entertain the thought that Jews "pull strings" is to cross the line. To be sure, Goldberg is more forthright than many, noting, for example, that indeed "it's perfectly fair to argue that some Jewish (and non-Jewish) conservatives overemphasize the importance of Israel." Thanks!!

But then he argues that "maybe instead of Richard Perle secretly receiving orders from Ariel Sharon, he might actually believe what he says. After all, if the 'Dark Prince' thinks it's in America's interest to risk American blood and treasure in defense of our Taiwanese or South Korean allies, is it so treasonous that he might think we should do it for our Israeli ones as well?"

The problem, of course, is that it's just about impossible to think that someone like Perle could possibly have an evenhanded, unbiased view of the relationship between Israeli and American interests. We're talking about someone who has been credibly charged with spying for Israel, who is on the editorial board of the Jerusalem Post, has worked for an Israeli defense technology company, is a close personal friend of Israeli ultra-hawk Ariel Sharon, and was a leading force behind the notorious "A Clean Break" report for an Israeli military think tank that advocated the removal of Saddam Hussein as being an important Israeli interest. Goldberg, of course, fails to include any of this information about Perle in his op-ed. It's truly amazing that such a person could ever be taken seriously in foreign policy circles in the U.S. — or that people like Goldberg could have influential positions in the mainstream media.