web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

A Hate-Filled Voice Silenced


Media-Monitor-logo

Joseph Sobran died last week. Regular readers may recall the Monitor devoting a handful of columns over the years to Sobran’s malicious commentary on Jews and Israel. He was a supremely talented writer with a prose style smooth as silk, but sometime in the mid-1980′s he descended deep into the fever swamps of anti-Semitism and never resurfaced.
Sobran was the kind of man who could complain that “Hitler died in 1945, but anti-Hitler hysteria is still going strong”; who cautioned against “the excessive moral prestige Jews have in the media and the public square”; who decried, in a column following the release of “Schindler’s List,” what he called “all this Holocaust-harping”; and who characterized Nazi genocide as basically an overreaction to the crimes of “Jewish-led communist movements.”
He was also someone who really believed that, as he once wrote, “History is replete with the lesson that a country in which the Jews get the upper hand is in danger. Such was the experience of Europe during Jewish-led Communist revolutions in Russia, Hungary, Romania and Germany.”
And he was a person whose deep-seated hostility to Israel caused him to harbor particular scorn for non-Jewish writers sympathetic to the Jewish state, as when he lamented that “Israel’s journalistic partisans include so many gentiles – lapsed goyim, you might say.”
Though Sobran’s work over the final decade and a half of his life was relegated mainly to the Internet, before that he had enjoyed a remarkably mainstream career as a syndicated columnist, a regular commentator, from 1979 to 1991, on the CBS radio network’s “Spectrum” series, and as a longtime senior editor at National Review.
Sobran’s increasingly negative focus on Jews and Israel led National Review’s late editor William F. Buckley to start distancing himself from Sobran before finally booting him from the magazine in 1990.
In 2002 Sobran wrote a rather lengthy letter to the Monitor responding to a column that had highlighted some of his more outrageous comments on Jews and Israel. It must be said that the tone of the letter was cordial throughout and even charming in terms of its candor, as when he owned up to the realization that he “may sound like an unpleasant sorehead” and confessed, “I wish I thought I had more to be grateful for.”
He also lamented, rather cryptically, that if he had a theme song it would probably be “I’ll Never Smile Again,” and added, disarmingly, “I don’t blame you or anyone else who finds me hard to put up with.”
Obviously this was not a very happy man.
While Sobran chose not to address the Monitor’s concerns about his feelings toward Jews in general, he showed no such reticence in discussing his attitude toward Israel.
“I can’t accept [Israel's] claims,” he wrote. “How could I? I’m a Catholic. I don’t think a U.S.-Israeli alliance is good for the U.S., and particularly for any Sobran boys who may wind up in another war. I’m not especially pro-Palestinian; in some ways I admire the Israelis; but mostly I want to stay OUT of their quarrel. As they say, I don’t have a dog in that fight; I just want to protect my own puppies.”
His argument sounded reasonable enough on its face – a concerned father worried for the welfare of his sons, fearful of losing them over a dispute far removed from his sphere of interest or concern.
Until, that is, one recalled all his comments about Jews being such a negative, even destructive, force and his flirtation with out and out Holocaust denial – he actually addressed the Holocaust revisionist Institute for Historical Review in 2002, asking the audience, “Why on earth is it ‘anti-Jewish’ to conclude from the evidence that the standard numbers of Jews murdered are inaccurate, or that the Hitler regime, bad as it was in many ways, was not, in fact, intent on racial extermination?”
And his claims that his feelings about Israel stemmed from his not wanting “any Sobran boys” to be caught up in Middle East wars rang hollow when one recalled that he had once written: “Israel exemplifies most of the ‘anti-Semitic stereotypes’ of yore: it is exclusivist, belligerent, parasitic, amoral and underhanded. It feels no obligation to non-Jews, even those who have befriended it.”

            No, this was not mere protective parental instinct. Something much, much darker was at work there.

 

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Hate-Filled Voice Silenced”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun, Gaza. In 2007. it was repeatedly used as a launch site for mortars. (Archive 2007)
Hamas and IDF Misfired Rockets and Shells Hit UNRWA School Killing 17
Latest Indepth Stories
Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay is calling for an investigation of Israel's military actions in Gaza. (archive photo)

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

Rabbi Meir Kahane at the National Press Club ~ 1985

Rabbi Kahane spoke of transfer, because it was what the Torah spoke of.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

We mourn the dead, wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and pray that God guides the government.

Charges from the court of world public opinion and their refutations.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Presidential-Seal-062014

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

Clinton-051614

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.

Shakespeare had it right. The evil that men do indeed lives after them. Case in point: Nahum Goldmann, who served in a variety of Jewish and Zionist organizational leadership posts from the 1920s through the 1970s.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/a-hate-filled-voice-silenced/2010/10/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: