Valerie Plame Wilson was a hero to the Left. Her 15 minutes of fame came during the George W. Bush administration in 2003, when she was identified as a CIA operative by a Washington Post columnist shortly after Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, challenged the Bush administration’s justification for invading Iraq.
Plame asserted she was a victim of vengeful pro-war neoconservatives, becoming a celebrity among the liberal crowd and scoring a book deal. Except none of her suspicions on neoconservatives were true. It was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a skeptic of the war, who had outed Plame to The Washington Post.
But she remained a beloved and active figure of the Left (campaigning for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and creating a campaign to raise enough money to buy Twitter and delete President Trump’s account) until Thursday, when Plame shared a deeply conspiratorial, anti-Semitic article titled, “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars” from her Twitter account.
The author of the article, Philip Giraldi, argues that American Jews are war-mongering in the Middle East — specifically with respect to Iran — and that Jewish-Americans’ support for Israel creates a “conflict of interest” in foreign policy. Giraldi said the media should “be required to label [American Jews] at the bottom of the television screen whenever they pop up, eg. Bill Kristol is ‘Jewish and an outspoken supporter of the state of Israel.’”
Just like labeling “a bottle of rat poison,” Giraldi writes. Truly vile stuff. Instead of owning up to and apologizing for the retweet Plame continued to justify the article’s merits. She said it was “provocative, but thoughtful,” and stated “many neocon hawks ARE Jewish.”
Her entire point and agenda, as The Israel Project’s Omri Ceren points out, is to undermine opposition to the Iran nuclear deal by casting doubt on Jews of the opposition prominent in the American foreign policy world.
It backfired, big league.
Plame finally succumbed to the outrage after some time and offered a feeble, pathetic excuse for her actions. Backtracking from her earlier defense, she unbelievably claimed she “skimmed this piece” — after calling on others to “read the entire article.”
Largely lost in this story is the fact that Valerie Plame Wilson has a history of anti-Semitic statements and promoting Giraldi’s anti-Israel views. And she’s anything but alone on the mainstream Left.
Take progressive icon and deputy chair of the Democratic Party, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. He had strong ties to the Nation of Islam and its leader Louis Farrakhan, who once labeled Judaism a “gutter religion” and claimed Jews were heavily involved in the African slave trade. But Ellison has chosen to defend Farrakhan.
Ellison himself has been accused of making anti-Semitic statements. Liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz shared that “a prominent lawyer, with significant credibility” once confided to him that Ellison approached her at law school and said he could not respect her, “because she was a Jew and because she was a woman who should not be at a law school.”
Dershowitz also points out that Ellison headlined a fundraiser for Esam Omeish in 2009, a former candidate for Virginia state delegate with a controversial anti-Israel past. Further, Dershowitz cites Ellison’s extensive anti-Israel voting record as “among the very worst in Congress.”
Then there’s Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour, a favorite of intersectional idenitarian leftists and an Islamo-supremacist who believes that only Arabs have the right of self-determination in Israel (not the Jews inhabiting their historic homeland). Sarsour is a prominent figure in the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement against Israel, once wrote that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” demanded that pro-Israel women be purged from the feminist movement, and has ties to Farrakhan.
And, of course, who could forget the progressive titan Barack Obama, whose refusal to veto a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements during the last days of his presidency was declared the most anti-Semitic incident of 2016 by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. It was the capstone on an eight-year record of undermining Israel at every turn.
Now, lest you think these anti-Jewish sentiments are only carried by a few leaders in the progressive movement, be aware that grassroots progressives are far more open about it in their words and deeds. “Israel Firster” has come to be a liberal smear thrown around by the Left against conservative American Jewish reporters, pundits, and policymakers.
In June, three people were kicked out of a gay pride parade in Chicago for carrying pride flags decorated with the Jewish Star of David.
A plank in the 2016 platform of the Movement for Black Lives coalition accused Israel of committing “genocide” against Palestinians.
Progressive activists outside of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last year set an Israeli flag on fire and chanted “long live the intifada,” a reference to violent insurrection against Israel.
The Right has its own anti-Semitic extremists, if one wants to lump in the Alt-“Right,” but the difference is conservatives self-police, universally denounce them, and push these figures out of the mainstream, roundly standing united against evil, hatred, and bigotry.
It shouldn’t take an unmistakably explicit, anti-Semitic tweet for Valerie Plame Wilson or any other mainstream leftist to be called out by the Left for their bigotry.
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