I take second place to no one in my opposition to Mitt Romney’s run for the White House, but the reaction to his choice of venue for his announcement of candidacy in some circles has been downright crazy. No, make that super-crazy. For example:
In the space of a week, we have had a professor from an Orthodox-oriented Israeli university argue that some medieval blood libels against the Jews were based in fact.We have had Muslim clerics declaring that the Jewish Temples of antiquity never existed, that there is no evidence that they ever did, that the Jews’ insistence that they did was “the greatest fraud crime in history,” that the Western Wall is a Muslim site, that the Jews’ reverence for it – and for Jerusalem – is a relatively recent and politically-motivated phenomenon.
Not coincidentally, we have had Egyptian legislator Mohammed el-Katatny of President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party informing parliament “That cursed Israel is trying to destroy al-Aqsa mosque,” and that “Nothing will work with Israel except for a nuclear bomb that wipes it out of existence.”
And now we have Mitt Romney.
Might it be that the first three things and Romney’s use of the Henry Ford Museum are so radically different that only a blithering idiot would list them as part of the same trend? Hm, let’s see: a threat to nuke Israel and…talking about cars (and innovation!) at the Henry Ford Museum. Yes, I see the connection right away.
Rising in Mitt Romney’s defense was Zev Chafets. You see, there was no time to be wasted on Romney’s announcement at the Ford Museum, which was a complete non-issue anyway. The real anti-Semites have to be fought tooth and nail:
If attempting to link Romney with anti-Semitism is a cheap political trick, it is also something worse. Jews have real enemies these days, some of whom insist that a Jewish conspiracy has hijacked U.S. foreign policy on behalf of Israel. This is genuine Ford-ism, and it is found primarily on the “progressive” end of the political spectrum — as the National Jewish Democratic Council knows very well. Crying wolf is always irresponsible, but doing it in the middle of a forest is truly dangerous.
I could go through the whole argument about why this is a pile of garbage unworthy of any more serious consideration than it has already been given before, but I’ll leave it to Matt Yglesias to answer this time.