Abe Foxman: Bigotry is Fine By Me
Professional genocide denier Abraham Foxman weighs in on John McCain's embrace of a white Louis Farrakhan, the anti-gay, anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic, anti-Muslim evangelist for nuclear war John Hagee: Hagee’s endorsement “is not a Jewish issue,” Foxman told the Forward. “Are we … Read More
Hagee’s endorsement “is not a Jewish issue,” Foxman told the Forward. “Are we troubled by Hagee’s support of McCain and McCain’s acceptance? The answer is no, and that’s where it ends for us.”
The difference “between Farrakhan and Hagee is self-evident,” Foxman said. “So to compare the two and to say: ‘Well, if you ask Obama to distance from Farrakhan — well, Farrakhan is a black racist, an antisemite, anti-Israel, consorts with America’s enemies. Hagee is a supporter of Israel, an advocate of Israel, opposed to antisemitism, and there are issues on which members of the Jewish community and some organizations disagree with, and so from time to time they or we have indicated our disagreement, but it’s not of the same nature or category or being.”
So Foxman's recent losing confrontations with reality haven't humbled him at all. Hagee is a supporter of Israel only in the sense that he supports the launch of an aggressive Israeli war, which he devoutly hopes and believes will result in the destruction of Israel beneath a mushroom cloud; he further hopes that, among the contretemps of Israel's extirpation will be your death, and mine, and that of virtually everyone else in America. Such "support" for Israel is rather easy to combine with virulent antisemitism, so it is no surprise that Hagee endorses one of the great historical tropes of antisemitism, namely, that Jews have brought persecution upon themselves by refusing to worship Jesus.
But never mind the facts, and suppose for the sake of argument that Hagee really is a pro-Israel philosemite. Hagee's bigotry is "not a Jewish issue…and that's where it ends" for Foxman. Good to know that the president of the Anti-Defamation League is an overpaid chauvinist who actually couldn't care less about religious or racial defamation. Which raises an important question: Did Foxman flack for the Turkish government's efforts to deny the Ottoman genocide of Armenians out of some warped political calculus, or because he thinks the Turkish position is right on the merits? Or is there no difference between the two positions for Foxman?
Louis Sigel, the rabbi emeritus of my synagogue, died in 2005. The New York Times profile of Rabbi Sigel noted his role in motivating Teaneck, NJ to be the first town to integrate its schools voluntarily:
A law professor who was a member of Temple Emeth stood and asked why the whole community had to be "disturbed" by a problem that he said black residents had created themselves by moving into one end of town.
"The temple's rabbi, Louis J. Sigel, rose," Mr. Damerell wrote. "His rich voice carried throughout the auditorium" as he narrated a story from the Talmud about a man who sees a fire in another part of town and asks, "What have I to do with the needs of the community?"
"Sigel's voice rose in emphasis, 'Such a man destroys the world!'" Mr. Damerell wrote. "Applause exploded through the auditorium."
Fortunately, all Foxman has managed to destroy so far is the ADL's credibility.