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The Andrew Sullivan Double Standard

Turning a controversy about Israel into a conspiracy about Jews

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An Israeli Man in Southern Israel Stands Outside of His Home Following a Rocket Attack(Haaretz)

In recent days, a pretty nasty squabble has erupted between two coalitions of Christian and Jewish groups. The short version of it goes like this: Hours before all the parties were set to convene for their regular interfaith dialogue, 15 leaders of major Christian churches announced (without any warning) that they had signed a letter asking Congress to reconsider its foreign aid package to Israel.

The reason? The churches charge that Israel engages in human rights violations against the Palestinians including “killing of civilians, home demolitions and forced displacement, and restrictions on Palestinian movement, among others.”

“We asked Congress to treat Israel like it would any other country to make sure our military aid is going to a country espousing the values we would as Americans — that it’s not being used to continually violate the human rights of other people.” Rev. Gradye Parsons, the top official of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) told the Times.

In response, this confederation of Jewish organizations–consisting of various religious and advocacy groups—withdrew from the scheduled event. One of the groups, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, published a letter accusing the Christian groups of “vicious anti-Zionism.” And this was when Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Beast, fresh off of fulminating about the barbarism of ritual circumcision, went completely apeshit.

In a blog post entitled A New Wave Of “Vicious Anti-Zionism” (although, to show you where his head is at, it should be noted that the URL …

…reflexively says anti-Semitism), Sullivan quickly turned the words of one Jewish organization into seemingly an entire immutable pattern of conspiracy. He writes:

The ranks of alleged “bigots” now extend to most of the mainline Protestant churches. … What did they say, what word did they use, what “code” or “trope” did they slip into that proves their Jew-hatred?

Then Sullivan cites the controversial letter from the church leaders, which, despite its ultimate message—let’s indict Israel of human rights violations and call on Congress to reconsider aid—features some tempering language about Israeli suffering:

Through … direct experience we have witnessed the pain and suffering of Israelis as a result of Palestinian actions and of Palestinians as a result of Israeli actions. In addition to the horror and loss of life from rocket attacks from Gaza and past suicide bombings, we have witnessed the broad impact that a sense of insecurity and fear has had on Israeli society.

The first sad part is that these Jewish groups frequently address the hardships of Palestinians in their advocacy. The rest of the JCPA letter, had Sullivan bothered to read it, said this:

“It is the right of these Christian leaders to say what they want to Congress or anyone else,” added JCPA Chair Larry Gold. “And it is our right to say ‘enough is enough.’ We will continue to be vigilant against anti-Christian, anti-Muslim, and anti-Palestinian activities wherever and whenever we see them because it is the right thing to do.”

Nevertheless, Sullivan seems to think that these Jewish groups should thank this Christian alliance for being so thoughtful in their hypocrisy. The consideration expressed in the letter is apparently enough for Sullivan to excuse the actual contents of the letter, which constitute an anti-Zionistic double standard given that the churches don’t seem to be calling on Congress to reconsider aid to any other country. This is largely why the Jewish groups were upset.

Sullivan backs himself up with the New York Times article on the kerfuffle, which explains that previous U.S. aid had been suspended to other countries (albeit not at the urging of the churches):

Humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Authority was suspended last year because of violations, and Congress is re-evaluating aid to Egypt, noted Peter Makari, the executive for the Middle East and Europe in global ministries of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), who helped write the letter.

Sullivan seems to think the only way to correct what he sees as a double standard is to allow another double standard to fly unchecked and then to speak more hysterically than the churches themselves. Not done yet, Sullivan next delves into the trope (yes, it’s a trope) about the Israel lobby’s noxious control of Congress:

I would have suspended all aid to Israel when it refused to stop its settlement policy on the West Bank, but that’s a little like being in favor of an immediate space station on Mars, given the Greater Israel lobby’s grip on Congress.

I wonder if, given the news today that the terrorist group Hamas launched over 70 rockets (and counting) onto a civilian population in southern Israel, the double standard that Sullivan sees with regard to Israel and Congress might be more complicated than he thinks.

Church Appeal on Israel Angers Jewish Groups [Haaretz]
Letter to Congress on Military Aid to Israel [Global Ministries]
A New Wave of “Vicious anti-Zionism” [Andrew Sullivan]

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golem bar says:

Sullivan is also Obama’s most fervent cheerleader and this is without a doubt the exact same nexus that Obama exists in in regards to Israel. Any American Jew who votes for Obama should be forewarned, an Obama second term where he is unfettered by the pressures of Swing state voters and the deep pockets of Jewish backers will be a disaster for Israel. I have no doubt in my mind that this line of thinking will be trotted out by Obama’s surrogates in his second term and will reach a groundswell. of demonization.
Check out the facebook page “Obama and Israel, a pharaoh for our times “to see dozens of examples of Obama’s hostility to Israel in his first term. Now imagine how a second term with his infamous “flexibility” will pan out,

    oaklandj says:

    I guess Ehud Barak is a pharaoh, too, or at least one of their agents, when he said recently that no US administration has taken Israel’s security concerns more seriously than Obama’s.
    The right has become so full of s*** on Obama’s attitude on Israel that it can’t be trusted about anything.

      Obama has snubbed Benjamin Netanyahu on multiple occasions. That is a fact. He has given tremendous amounts of money to Hamas. That is a fact. His pastor and many of his political allies have made numerous anti-Israel statements. That is a fact. He recently appointed Salam al-Marayati, who had accused Israel of being behind the 9/11 attacks, as his representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. That is a fact.

      The Right has done nothing with respect to Obama’s position on Isreal other than give people the facts. You and the rest of the Left being unhappy with that is utterly irrelevant.

      Obama IS – by any measure based on his own behavior – anti-Israel to a vitriolic level. He is patently unfit to be President for this and many, many other reasons.

        adastraperapathy says:

        “He has given tremendous amounts of money to Hamas.”– care to provide proof? And not indirect proof, or proof that demonstrates the US government has provided aid to the Palestinian Authority. Proof that Barack Obama has actually given money to Hamas.

        Salam al-Marayati did not accuse Israel of being behind the 9/11 attacks. It is quite clear that he suggested the Israeli government benefited from the attacks because the attacks took focus away from some of Israel’s human rights abuses, such as restricting Palestinian movement, illegally annexing disputed territory, and other restrictions on the rights of Palestinian people.

        What about the facts of innocent Palestinian deaths and lands that have been illegally taken from Palestinians? You don’t seem to care much about them.

        “anti-Israel to a vitriolic level”–that’s strange. I haven’t heard Obama go off on any vitriolic rants about Israel. Do you know him better than the world does?

          elixelx says:

          Yeah! We jews ONLY possess Israel as a guilt-response to the European Holocaust.
          THAT, you cowardy-custard is what your pusillanimous potus said to the Muslim World in his UN speech. With those few words he stole our Heritage, our History, our National memory.
          He threw acid in our faces as his fellow Muslimes do regularly to defenseless women.
          Vitriol??? THAT’S SULPHURIC ACID!

          adastraperapathy says:

          That’s interesting, I didn’t hear such a response from most Jews that do not regularly type in all caps.

          Perhaps you misheard the President because you had already decided you hated him.

          elixelx says:

          ALL CAPS? Are your eyes OK?

          “America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.”
          Yep Israel exists NOT because we had a kingdom there for 1000 yearswhile your ancestors, and Barry-boys were still living in bogs; NOT because we gave the world The Bible, and the prophets and the alphabet and the book and wondrous poetry of the Song of Songs.
          No, for Barry-boy Israel exists because of a guilt reaction from the world which caused our tragic history and then gave poor impoverished us a homeland full of dust, sand, and enemies all around!
          Leave your pathetic apathetic life behind, Adastra! Come to where the stars are brighter, the sun shines and people love…come to Israel sweetie! Open your eyes and heart!

          adastraperapathy says:

          I was criticizing your use of all caps to bring across your points, which are largely racist.

          How many different people had homelands 2000 years ago that they no longer have today?

          Should Spain make room for the Moors?
          Or should Egypt turn over territory to the remaining Coptic Christians?
          Does that mean American Indians should get to repossess all of the United States?

          “Barry-boy’s” had ancient, thriving kingdoms in Ethiopia, Egypt, and many other parts of Africa. Regardless, I refuse to engage with you in a racist contest.

          Barack Obama never represented all of Israel as you claim.

          Was Zionism not a reaction among Jews to the oppression they faced in all of the disparate countries they lived in before emigrating to Palestine?

          I will not speculate on how much Israel’s acceptance into the international community was related to Western guilt over Western atrocities committed against Jews.

          Nor should you make racist comments about minority groups who have also experienced their share of oppression.

          elixelx says:

          Perhaps barry-boy and his fellow racists should go back to the countries where they had such thriving culture–back to Mama Africa –and take all you Gliberal Minstrels with him.

          adastraperapathy says:

          I’m sorry you’re racist.

        WednesdayAddams says:

        Vitriolic? Anti-Israel? What parallel universe is this? What president are you looking at?

        You are certainly entitled to hate our president and to be a resolute Republican. But you should assign yourself at least the minimum level of accountability if you want to persuade people of the rightness of your thinking. The strategy of guilt by association you use so casually by bringing up the incredibly irrelevant Jeremiah Wright leads one to not take your thinking too seriously. It’s true that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu do not have a close personal relationship, but so what? If you care about the US-Israel alliance, it’s much more important and relevant to focus on the facts of US policy towards Israel under Obama’s leadership, than to whine that Barack and Bibi don’t have play dates together.

        Haim Saban’s op-ed about Obama’s unwavering support for Israel is a recommended read for those who are more interested in facts than innuendo, partisanship and baseless accusations:

Beatrix17 says:

Israel has AIPAC because
it’s our only democratic ally that has to have an organization
speaking on her behalf.

England doesn’t need
organizations in America speaking for her. Nor do France, Australia,
or New Zealand. No one has to defend Germany, Japan, and Italy,
countries which started a war with us that cost the world 55 million
lives. No. Just our ally Israel has to be defended to prevent
members of congress from following Sullivan’s path.

When congress disrupts it
largess to the Palestinians, the Palestinians still have billions
from the Arab nations, form the UN and from the world’s 1 ½ billion
Muslims. Israel has America and 14 million Jews worldwide, many of
whom don’t even support her.

According to Sullivan,
Israel doesn’t need money to defend herself because she’s
“prosperous.” in other words, Israel is loaded with rich Jews
who can afford to keep her armed. In fact, Israel like all nations
has rich, poor and in between. And if America doesn’t help her, she
faces 350 million Arabs, almost 200 million Turks and Persians, the
fabulous oil wealth of the predominately Islamic people and their
allies from other nations who need that oil. Israel has 7 million
people (5 ½ million of whom are Jewish) and America.

The incredible letter from
the Christian groups omits the fact that the Palestinians have turned
down multiple Israeli peace offers and now refuse to even sit down
and negotiate with Israel. Hamas is apparently starting a state of
their own based on their stated desire to destroy Israel. The
Palestinians go through those tiresome checkpoints and have to look
out at dreary walls because before these protections were
implemented, these poor Pals were blowing up Israelis on buses, in
markets, at pizza shops, and at disco clubs.

The so-called settlements
(actually towns that have been there for years that Israel built on
Jordanian land ) are not the problem. Israel has offered the Pals
land equal to the land that Israel developed. (Let the Pals build
their own towns). Sullivan complains about Israel blowing up Arab
houses. In fact, Israel has been tearing down both Arab and Jewish
houses to prevent further expansion of settlements.

Israel daily faces
neighbors who want to destroy her. Would these Christian groups have
written a similar letter to Roosevelt complaining about England
fighting back when Germany and her allies were trying to destroy
their neighbor England.

    adastraperapathy says:

    Palestinians are refusing to negotiate with Israel because Israel insists on continuing to build in disputed areas.

    Is the land that Israel has offered anything as good as the land that Israel has taken? Because if Israel is offering desert in exchange for Jerusalem, it’s no wonder the Palestinians aren’t keen on Israel’s generosity.

    Israel faces neighbors who want to destroy her because Israel refuses to stop illegally building on land that is not hers.

      Beatrix17 says:

      Israel won the land from Jordan and Egypt and like those two nations started building on the land. Then Israel, the only nation to do so, decided to give the
      land to the Palestinians for a nation.

      First Israel gave up Gaza and voluntarily destroyed Israeli houses and left their businesses behind (which were destroyed by Hamas). Now they are willing to give up the West Bank, and only ask to keep the two largest settlements(towns) contiguous to Israel in return for giving an equal amount of land to the Palestinians. Olmet even offered to abandon the towns.

      Abbas has ignored all of these offers. Abbas, like his boss Arafat, wants Israel.

        adastraperapathy says:

        “won the land from Jordan and Egypt”–so all of the Palestinian property rights were lost due and they should have left due to Israel’s victory in war?

        I think the forced removal of people has a name, and it’s not a very attractive name.

        Giving the Palestinians land in the desert while annexing the most valuable land, including in East Jerusalem, is not exactly a fair deal.

        Nor is having the West Bank cut up into so many segments that the Palestinians could never create a viable society even if they wanted to.

          Beatrix17 says:

          Israel didn’t displace the Palestinians, except to build two large towns contiguous to Israel. They have been removing illegal settlers, both Arab and Jew, from other areas.

          Irael is not responsible for the fact that Israel and the Palestinians are situated in a desert location.

          When Israel decided to hand the left bank over to the Palestinians, they offered them Israeli land equal to the amount of the “settlements” they wished to keep.

          Israel walked out of Gaza completely, tearing down
          houses at the Palestinians request, and removing all settlers. The
          Palestinians moved in a terrorist group dedicated to Israel’s

          Jerusalem is Israel’s current and historic
          capital, but both Barak and Olmert offered the Palestinians East
          Jerusalem. Both were turned down.

          Jordan never offered East Jerusalem to the Palestinians. In fact, neither Jordan norEgypt ever offered the Palestinians ANYTHING, and no one complained.

          adastraperapathy says:

          Look at history. Most land that is now “Israel” was originally Palestinian.

          Offering a piece of undeveloped desert in exchange for East Jersusalem, with all of its social, political, cultural, and historical meaning for Palestinians is not a good faith offer.

          Israel removed its illegal settlements from Gaza, yes.

          Did Barak and Olmert actually offer East Jersusalem? Because I don’t think negotiations ever got that far.

          Jordan and Egypt didn’t illegally settle in Palestinian territory, did they?

          Regardless of the history of the situation, the fact remains that today, under Netanyahu, the Israeli government continues to build settlements in disputed territories of Palestine. It is common in international negotiation for a precondition to be that all aggression must stop.

          Ezikiel says:

          Beatrix, Indeed, look at history. There never has been a state called “Palestine”. So the land may have need British, or Turkish, or Jordanian – all illegitimate occupiers, but never “Palestinian”. so your first sentence makes no sense at all.

          Barak indeed offered East Jerusalem (check with Bill Clinton), and so did Ulmert. So your second sentence makes no sense either.

          Jordan, not only occupied the West Bank, but removed the Jews from it’s occupied territories.

          There is no reason in the world that Jews should not be able to buy land an build on it in Judea and Samaria. Arabs can freely buy and sell land in Israel, and build on it. Under Palestinian rule, selling land to Jews is an offense punishable by death! I could go on and on. The point is that the moral case for Israel is far, far stronger than that of the Arabs. Every single piece of land bordering with Israel has been used by Arabs to make war in Israel, regardless of what you might call “occupation”. Lebanon, Gaza, Sinai, the West Bank, before and after the 67 war and all other wars. The fact that Israeli leaders were ever willing to give up Judea and Sammaria – the highlands overlooking Tel Aviv – is a testament to how deeply and seriously Israel want to have peace. And of course it would. In a peaceful environment Israel will thrive even more than it does today. So it’s simple, Israel want’s peace, and will uphold it. The Arabs, well, they have many problems. The accusatory stand against Israel of your ilk, is deeply unfair, deceptive and immoral.

          Beatrix17 says:

          I have never said
          Palestine was a state. It was the land called Israel that became a
          territory under the Roman, Ottoman, and English Empires. The UN
          (England didn’t vote) created two nations for the people who lived in
          the Palestine territory. The Palestinian Jews called their nation
          Israel, the Palestinian Arabs didn’t set up a nation and instead went
          to war 3 times against Israel and once against Jordan, thereby losing
          their land in war.

          But Israel has offered
          the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the Pals, (the only people to do
          so–Egypt and Jordan did not) and has offered to transfer land to the
          Pals equal to the amount of the towns (settlements) they built
          in the West Bank contiguous to Israel that the Israelis wish to keep.

          Israel has to limit
          herself only because of promises she’s made to the Pals who won’t
          take yes for an answer.

          adastraperapathy says:

          That’s interesting, I don’t remember Israel buying all the land it occupies in Palestine.

          Palestinian Arabs lived in Palestine. There was a special Ottoman territory in Palestine that was occupied by Palestinian Arabs. The British, the Turkish, and the Jordanians may have been illegitimate occupiers, but at least they did not expel Palestinian people from their land like Israel has done.

          Your description of Arab land rights in Israel is a misleading picture of a much more difficult process.

          All people, whether Arab or Jew, has a right not to be expelled from their land.

          Just because land has been used as a staging ground for attack against Israel, that does not mean neighbors have to be enemies for ever. If all Israelis had that attitude, then there would be no peace with Jordan or Egypt.

          You may take any claim of Israeli injustice as “deeply unfair, deceptive, and immoral,” but it is true that Israel has not been completely fair in its dealings with its neighbors and the Palestinians whom it occupies.

          This defensive-aggressive reaction may be justified in many cases, but the continuing actions of the Israeli government is clearly opposed to making peace in the near future.

          Whether or not the state of Israel’s longterm security is aided or harmed by Netanyahu’s stubbornness is of serious concern to all people who want a peaceful solution.

          Beatrix17 says:

          The land Israel occupies doesn’t belong to the Palestinians, it belonged to Jordan and Egypt. Israel has simply been the first nation to offer their land to the Palestinians to build a nation of their own. Israel hasn’t taken
          anything from the Palestinians—she has offered something to them.
          For the first time in their history, she’s offering them a nation of
          their own that they can call Palestine.

          The stubbornness is Abbas’ making excuses so he doesn’t have to negotiate with Israel.

          Abbas is a propagandist and thinks if he influences enough people
          like you, you’ll give him Israel. He’s almost 80 and has dementia—
          what’s your excuse?

          adastraperapathy says:

          The Palestinians owned whatever land they lived on regardless of the geopolitical agreements of the countries around them.

          Much Israeli land was once owned and/or inhabited by Palestinians–so yes, Israeli did take those lands from the Palestinians. The most significant obstacle to the peace process currently, is Israel’s continued taking of land that the international community recognizes as Palestinian.

          My excuse is that I try to value the lives and livelihoods of Palestinians equally to the lives and livelihoods of anyone else. I cannot answer for Abbas, but I can say that Mr. Netanyahu is not perfect either.

          Beatrix17 says:

          Oh come on. The Pals can’t have the land until they have a peace agreement with Israel.
          Japan and Germany couldn’t run their lands either, until they made
          peace with the victorious US. (By the way, Israel, unlike most
          victors, has offered millions to compensate the Palestinians for
          property they lost in a war the Palestinians started).

          Both Arafat and Abbas have ignored generous offers from Olmert and Barak. Arafat responded with an intifada and Abbas simply ignored Olmert’s offer. Abbas won’t even sit down to discuss peace with Netanyahu. Abbas is a propagandist who knows how to pull the strings of people like you.

          The poor little Pals belong to a group totalling 350 million people (the Arabs) surrounded by oil rich Mideasterners whom the West depends on. The Pals think they can get Israel, not because they’re poor, but because they’re so powerful. The group that will be destroyed by this will be the credulous lefties.

          adastraperapathy says:

          Why can’t “the Pals” be treated as equals?

          Japan and Germany were the aggressors–the situations are completely different.

          You call them “generous offers,” but the fact is, you don’t know exactly what was offered and what were the sticking points.

          Abbas won’t eve sit down to discuss peace with Netanyahu because Netanyahu continues to unilaterally annex land to Israel. That is hardly an olive branch.

          If peace loses, yes, it will destroy the lefties, along with potentially millions of others.

          Beatrix17 says:

          The Jews and Arabs were
          both given land to form nations at the same time, The Jews formed
          Israel, the Palestinians went to war against Israel 3 times and lost.
          Then Arafat tried to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy, and that’s
          how the Palestinians became exiled to the West Bank and Gaza. Their situation today is because the Palestinians have continually been aggressors.

          Netanyahu removed
          anyone, Arab and Jew, who were trying to build settlements on the
          West Bank and offered Abbas land equal to the established towns
          contiguous to Israel. Abbas won’t even sit down and talk to him, and
          so Netanyahu is building again in Jewish towns, some of which are
          claimed by the Arabs.

          I don’t have answers,but believing Arab propaganda and trying to make Israel into the Nazis is wrong. Of course Israel wants peace. She’s a nation of 7 million against 700 million. How can you believe she wants anything else?

          adastraperapathy says:

          Actually, the Zionist movement was very split in the 1940s over whether Palestinian Jews should try to exert power through statehood. The ensuing wars were as much the doing of Israel as they were of the Palestinians and Israel’s neighbors, unless you believe the Palestinians should have just willingly gave away all of the Palestinian land Israel took.

          “Jewish towns” in the West Bank = illegal settlements

          Any Netanyahu deal excluding Palestinians from the historic, cultural, and religious center of East Jersusalem is not a good faith offer.

          I have never suggested that Israel is equivalent to the Nazi regime. I believe that many Israelis want peace. But I also believe there are some in the Israeli establishment and populace that continue to have a mindset that does not regard Palestinians as equals.

          Beatrix17 says:

          After the Holocaust, there was no doubt among Jewish leaders that the Jews needed their own state. It was the UN, not the Jews that established Israel.
          The UN established a state for the Arabs, too, but the Arabs attacked Israel 3 times, and Jordan once, and lost her land in wars that they, the
          Arabs, started. Israel definitely fought back against Arab attacks,
          but was much too weak to initiate wars. Your ideas are ludicrous and
          self serving and contribute nothing to a resolution. Israel wants
          peace, but not at any price.

          adastraperapathy says:

          “Israel… was much too weak to initiate wars.” Israel always enjoyed technological advances.

          Many Zionists supported a Jewish homeland, but not necessarily a Jewish “state”.

          I hope Israel wants peace. I just do not see how continued building on disputed land in the absence of a peace treaty helps Israel.

          Ezikiel says:

          Deeply unfair, deceptive,and immoral is an apt description of the relentless and high pitch “criticism” against the state of Israel, also called “Israel bashing”. Historical fact can be manipulated and distorted to make any point. A person with integrity, however, who would examine the situation fairly, would find on one side of the equation a thriving democracy, which grants freedom and equal rights to all it’s citizens, including its large Arab minority. On the other side one would find autocracy, violence, tribalism, disregard to human life and human rights, as well as the complete annihilation of ancient Jewish presence. A fair an honest person would find that
          Israel always sought peace and accommodation, while its foes consistently seek its destruction. The Palestinians in particular, world champions and pioneers of terror against civilians, used the first opportunity they had for free elections to elected Hamas, an Islamic terror organization whose very charter calls for the annihilation of the state of Israel, and for killing of Jews – for being Jews. And are continuing daily in their attempt to murder Israeli citizens.

          So the equation is simple. Anyone who chooses to support the Arab side over the Israeli side in this conflict is herself evil, even if she thinks of herself as progressive and enlightened.

          adastraperapathy says:

          It’s amazing how occupying a people and cutting up their economic, social, and political infrastructure can make a people easier to criticize.

          Regardless of how it’s done–from an organized military or from a militia, the loss of innocent lives should be avoided.

          Also, the continued unilateral annexation of Palestinian should be stopped immediately.

          It’s clear you have chose the side of apartheid for Palestinians until a time that Israel determines.

          I doubt that will lead to lasting peace and security for Israel, as the Palestinian occupation continues to spark the ire of her Middle East neighbors.

          Ezikiel says:

          Deeply unfair, deceptive, and immoral, again. The “ire of her Middle East neighbors” has been sparked against Israel long before the “occupation”, and is continuing as we speak where no occupation exists. Lebanon is used to stage war against Israel, Gaza as well, and as of late the Sinai too. So the choice of keeping the Arabs under occupation is not Israel’s at all, but rather the one success of Israel’s enemies, that – failing to destroy it by war – managed this small victory of keeping the Palestinian issue festering, and thus a ready excuse to maintain their hostility. Thirdly, innocent lives are spared every single day thanks to Israel’s security measures. The “fence” and the “Iron Dome” are typical Israeli measures meant to protect innocent civilian lives, which are targeted every day – while you are proposing to expose innocent lives to terrorism. So you have managed three different deceptions in one short paragraph. Congrats.

          adastraperapathy says:

          If that is the best that you think of humanity, then you have already domed yourself to a dim future. I hope the rest of Israel doesn’t join in your blind cynicism.

          Ezikiel says:

          one of the glorious successes of “humanity” is what the state of Israel is. Rather than celebrate it, however, you choose to smear it with unjust “criticisms”. If humanism is so close to you heart, why would you not uphold the humanism of Israel relative to the barbarism of its neighbors? I’m afraid that the reason is simply that Israel bashing is fashionable.

          adastraperapathy says:

          I do not believe I have engaged in “Israel bashing”. From the beginning, I have acknowledged that atrocities have been committed by both sides. I don’t believe it’s right to condemn all Palestinians, and that is where you and I disagree.

          Ezikiel says:

          saying that “atrocities have been committed by both sides” is the kind of unethical deception you engage it. Because it isn’t so. On all categories of “humanity” there is no comparing the sides in this conflict. Israel considers the targeting of civilians a crime (thank God). When such crimes are committed – whether against Jews or Arabs, they are investigated and perpetrators are punished. Child killers are heroes on the other side. Go and check these facts. Of course most Palestinians are good honest people which deserve freedom and dignity just as much as the Jews do. But if they choose to elect Hamas (read the Hamas charter Pls), then they collectively bear responsibility to the Hamas daily targeting of civilians. So it is with bus and restaurant bombing. This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you choose to paint Israel and the Arabs with the same brush, that you cannot also claim to be a humanist. You are not. what you are, instead, is an Israel basher. Sorry to be the one breaking the news to you.

          adastraperapathy says:

          The number of civilian Arab/Palestinian lives lost is much higher than the number of Israeli lives lost, and you cannot tell me that through the entire occupation of Sinai, Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank that all Palestinian/Arab civilian casualties have been thoroughly investigated by Israel.

          I agree that to some extent the Palestinians bear responsibility for attacks committed by Hamas, but Hamas only controls the West Bank and even then, in the absence of some other civil society, it’s unfair to condemn individual Palestinians for not single-handedly toppling such a powerful organization.

          Call me names all you want. I’m grateful to hear you say, for the first time, that “most Palestinians are good honest people which deserve freedom and dignity as much as Jews do,” I just don’t see how the current path is good for Palestinians or Jews and I don’t think the Palestinians are completely to blame for the impasse in the peace process.

          raul5050 says:

          Thank you!

          I think it is irresponsible for the USA NOT to consider the scope and nature of the aid given to Israel.

          In my view we should not be emotionally blackmailed into giving endless financial support to an oppressive regime who talks out of both sides of it’s mouth while continuing to build settlements.

          Beatrix17 says:

          Israel gets money for the same reason Egypt does. They forged a peace agreement over 30 years ago, which they’ve both maintained. Of Israel’s money, 75% has to be spent in America, which helps our economy. All the money has to be spent on munitions with the understanding that Israel greatly outnumbered (700 to 7 million) would be destroyed immediately if she was not able to arm herself.

Jacob Arnon says:

Andrew Sullivan is a hysteric who first supported Bush 2’s Iraq invasion and then turned against it. He comes from the British Isles and hence a snobbish attitude towards Jews.
To him Jews are not his equals and he seems to merely tolerate them when they agree with him. He is a self righteous hypocrite who loves to dictate to Jews.

If they disagree, then he lets lose with his self righteous invective. The best way to deal with this hysteric is not to read him. I stopped reading him a long time ago when his antisemitism became manifest.

    In London says:

    “He comes from the British Isles and hence has a snobbish attitude towards Jews” This is offensive to me. When all else fails fall back on national stereotyping without producing any evidence.

    oaklandj says:

    Many Brits (including Sullivan) feel guilt about “creating” a mess in the Middle East, since it’s really the only lasting vestige of their terrible colonial history. Many think Israel has the power to end all of the conflict there by waving a magic wand, and wish Israel would just get on with it.
    Yes, there is a long and storied history of anti-Semitism in Britain, but I don’t think it’s the main problem here.

      Moshan says:

      Actually, they don’t. And why should they?

      The people who created the mess were the settlers – both the original ones and the modern day ones.

      Feels good to always pin the blame on other people, right?

        Beatrix17 says:

        Abbas never mentioned
        the settlers except extraneously. After all, when the Israelis left
        Gaza, they simply removed all the settlers. And Israel offered land
        to the Palestinians equal to the two settled towns they wanted to
        keep. (Olmert even offered to abandon the towns). Arafat never
        mentioned the unimportant settlers in his peace negotiations.

        No one cared about the
        settlers until Obama brought them up. Now Abbas won’t discuss peace
        because of the “settlers” and there’s an article in the NY Times
        about the “settlers” in 1977 (before anyone even thought about
        them) causing the left wing hatred of Israel.

        The settlers are as
        important to the issue of Israel and Palestine as Sudetenland was
        important to WW2. In other words, it’s a created issue.

    adastraperapathy says:

    I think when you try to point out someone is prejudiced by making prejudiced comments about their ethnic background, you don’t have a lot to add to a discussion.

      elixelx says:

      Isn’t it prejudiced to notice that someone is making prejudicial statements about someone else?
      After all, noticing that would make you a prejudiced judge, wouldn’t it?

        adastraperapathy says:

        Actually, no, it is not prejudiced to point out prejudiced statements. I’m sorry you do not understand that tolerance does not include intolerance, just as love does not include hate. Both tolerance and love can stand independently of their opposites.

Moby837 says:

I think it would be best to not give this person the benefit of a response. He’ll just feed on that. There are such idiotic morons everywhere. Challenging everyone of them is really counter-productive.

Nice work cleaning out the filth, Adam. You’re more persistent and less squeamish than most of us. That a screaming racist and antisemite like Andrew Sullivan still occupies a platform from which he can broadcast his nonsense is disappointing but more revealing of Tina Brown and Barry Diller than Sullivan himself.

    adastraperapathy says:

    Why is the United States taking part in what is essentially a Civil War in Palestine between the Arabs and the Jews?

    There are atrocities on both sides. When the US gives military aid to one side, it is no wonder so many Arabs view us as a major part of the problem.

      I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Palestinian Arabs were recently and so far as I know remain the leading recipients per capita of foreign aid among all nationalities. And the U.S. spends vastly more on military installations guarding the Gulf’s oil-producing nations than it does on Israel, which, besides being the only democracy in the region is really the only stable country as well. Without Israel, there would unquestionably be more chaos than there is now; just look at its neighbors–Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt. They are in the midst of terrible civic turmoil if not outright war. Incidentally, conflict between the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs has cost far fewer lives than the wars between and among the neighboring Arab countries and Iran, even if they generate far more publicity.

      By the way, what has any of this to do with Andrew Sullivan’s antisemitism?

        adastraperapathy says:

        I think I specifically discussed military aid to Israel that Israel then uses in attacks that often kill innocent Palestinians.

        “Without Israel…” Who is saying anything about being without Israel? I’m merely saying that the US should require Israel to stop building illegal settlements if Israel is to receive further military assistance.

        There are a lot more people in all of the Arab countries that have had conflicts with one another–of course those conflicts would have more casualties. Further, regardless of events in other Middle Eastern countries, that does not take away from the loss of Palestinian life, land, and freedom.

        What this has to do with Andrew Sullivan is suggest that the Israel’s current illegal confiscation of Palestinian territory is a legitimate complaint to raise.

        When these Christian groups raised that complaint, they were met with accusations of anti-Semitism. That is grossly unfair, as Mr. Sullivan pointed out.

        Also, I am not aware that Mr. Sullivan is an anti-Semite, and I consider that a very serious accusation. If he is indeed anti-Semite, then there should be more proof than simply his calls for Israel to stop doing illegal acts.

        If that is the bar for anti-Semitism, then that would mean many Jews are anti-Semites.

          If you’re not aware of Andrew Sullivan’s long and tawdry history of derogatory remarks toward Jews, then you should acquaint yourself with them before making irresponsible presumptions about the ire they raise in the Jewish community. Second, the Palestinians have rejected Israeli offers of autonomy twice in the last dozen years. You can consult Bill Clinton’s memoir, or, if you prefer, Condeleeza Rice’s to confirm that fact, and if you’re left in any doubt, the Palestinians will be happy to confirm it for you. I suggest starting with Saeb Erekat, for years their chief negotiator. If you’re not convinced, you might take a look at Gaza, where after a complete Israel withdrawal that involved physically uprooting settlers, the Palestinians began an aggressive campaign of suicide bombings in centers of civilian activity in Israel, killing innocents by the dozens, and launching thousands of rockets at Israel that continue to this day in an uninterrupted barrage. The leadership of the formal governing authorities of the churches in question made an executive decision without consulting the body of their membership to petition congress to stem aid to Israel, which remains a beleaguered democracy sharing Western values of freedom and liberalism amidst a part of the world undergoing violent tumult, the origins and consequences of which have nothing to do with Israel. That is within the rights delimited by their charter I’m sure, but in a spirit of collegiality with the Jewish groups with whom they find themselves engaged in a dispute right now, they might have opted not to blindside them with it, just prior to their meeting officially, for the ostensible purpose of fostering better relations between members of either religion. Whatever Israel’s transgressions, and I’m no reflexive defender of the current government, whose policies vis a vis the peace process I deplore, the fact remains that authorities purporting to act on behalf of a sectarian interests might have gone about this in a different way, situating their concerns within a more realistic framework that accurately captured the dynamics of the contemporary Middle East, in which Israel, like Jews throughout history, is more often a scapegoat for problems than the actual cause.

          adastraperapathy says:

          Thank you for your very thoughtful answer. It is certainly possible that the decision of these religious groups was not made in a democratic, timely, or transparent way. Also, I have not done rigorous research on Mr. Sullivan, but some of the others who have commented on this thread have led me to believe that part of the reaction to Mr. Sullivan is borne out of other types of prejudice.

          I am of the mindset that the current Israeli government is in fact hurting the long-term interests and viability of the Jewish state, and that is why I agree with those who wish to exert more pressure on Israel to cease and desist settlement building in what is internationally recognized as Palestinian territory.

          Again, your response was much more than I normally expect on these boards and I appreciate your careful treatment of the issue.

          elixelx says:

          Yeah, Bibi is hurting us Israelis by refusing to lie down and die while the sophisticated palestinians stick shivs up Jewish Arses like those nice Muslims in Benghazi did to your Ambassador!
          Oooh! so THAT’S what you and your catamite bum-boy O’Sullied, REALLY want to see!

          adastraperapathy says:

          I’m sorry, you must live a very tortured existence.

          It is wrong to equate a group of thugs with the whole muslim population of Benghazi. Did you see the muslims leading prayer vigils for Amb. Stevens or hear the reports of Muslims storming the Islamist headquarters in the aftermath of the attack?

          Well, those things did happen. It’s sad that you would condemn those individuals with the individuals who attacked Amb. Stevens.

          elixelx says:

          Why is it wrong/ All we see, here in Israel, is the thuggishness of EVERY MUSLIM.
          Tell me, you apathetic fool, how many MUSLIMS everywhere in the whole world DANCED FOR JOY when they saw the Twin Towers come down?
          Oh! No! Most of them cried! right? Yes they cried with untramelled joy.
          Believe me; it is no generalization to call the ENTIRE MUSLIM UMMA barbarians.
          As you used to say about the “barbarians” from whom you stole America: The only good one is a dead one.

          adastraperapathy says:

          I’m very sorry, you clearly live in a very dark world.

          You do speak in generalizations and your judgment is completely shaded by your hate.

          If you’re not aware of Andrew Sullivan’s long and tawdry history of derogatory remarks toward Jews, then you should acquaint yourself with them before making irresponsible presumptions about the ire they raise in the Jewish community. Second, the Palestinians have rejected Israeli offers of autonomy twice in the last dozen years. You can consult Bill Clinton’s memoir, or, if you prefer, Condeleeza Rice’s to confirm that fact, and if you’re left in any doubt, the Palestinians will be happy to confirm it for you. I suggest starting with Saeb Erekat, for years their chief negotiator. If you’re not convinced, you might take a look at Gaza, where after a complete Israel withdrawal that involved physically uprooting settlers, the Palestinians began an aggressive campaign of suicide bombings in centers of civilian activity in Israel, killing innocents by the dozens, and launching thousands of rockets at Israel that continue to this day in an uninterrupted barrage. The leadership of the formal governing authorities of the churches in question made an executive decision without consulting the body of their membership to petition congress to stem aid to Israel, which remains a beleaguered democracy sharing Western values of freedom and liberalism amidst a part of the world undergoing violent tumult, the origins and consequences of which have nothing to do with Israel. That is within the rights delimited by their charter I’m sure, but in a spirit of collegiality with the Jewish groups with whom they find themselves engaged in a dispute right now, they might have opted not to blindside them with it, just prior to their meeting officially, for the ostensible purpose of fostering better relations between members of either religion. Whatever Israel’s transgressions, and I’m no reflexive defender of the current government, whose policies vis a vis the peace process I deplore, the fact remains that authorities purporting to act on behalf of a sectarian interests might have gone about this in a different way, situating their concerns within a more realistic framework that accurately captured the dynamics of the contemporary Middle East, in which Israel, like Jews throughout history, is more often a scapegoat for problems than the actual cause.

          elixelx says:

          You really believe that Israel uses American loan guarantees to buy American weapons for the specific purpose of killing palestinians?
          If so why only Hamas in Gaza? Are they specially marked out as palestinians worth killing with American technology and arms?
          And what has this to do with your bum-boy buddy, Sullied be his name?.

          adastraperapathy says:

          I didn’t say it was “for the specific purpose of killing palestinians,” now did I?

          On the other hand, many innocent Palestinian lives have been lost due to the actions of the Israeli military, which is aided by the US.

          elixelx says:

          about as many as Israelis who were blown apart by suicide bombers in pizzerias, parties buses, and in their beds.

          adastraperapathy says:

          Actually, the facts show that far more Palestinians have died in the conflict than Israelis:

          I’m sorry you are prejudiced against homosexuals as well as Blacks. You know, homosexuals have suffered their own history of oppression.

      elixelx says:

      What?? You think that the 2 billion a year the US gives to Egypt and the 1 billion a year it gives to the palestinian authority is all HUMANITARIAN AID like chewing gum and baby formula?

        adastraperapathy says:

        When was the last time Egypt attacked Israel? So, yes, all of the aid since then has not threatened Israel’s security, and yes, most aid to Egypt is not military.

        Do you have any proof that humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Authority goes to military activities?

          elixelx says:

          1956, 1967, 1973. In each case Nasser and then Sadat violated international agreements (closing the Suez Canal, invading the Sinai) and deployed their armies (and called on other Arab nations to do the same) So it’s a matter of record that Israel was merely responding to immanent threats and pre-empted them.
          In fact the one time the Israelis were slow in reacting (1973) the Egyptian forces nearly reached the borders of Israel before being thrown back, surrounded and decimated by the brilliant tank movement of Ariel Sharon. We lost 2000 lives in that one week because we didn’t want to pre-empt. Then the Egyptians paid with 20,000 lives and ran away without their shoes.
          But, of course, you don’t really want to hear all this! You want to condemn Israel willy-nilly because you are a (excuse my French! the horror! the horror!) LIBERAL!
          And yes, the palestinian police are trained and armed by the Americans with your tax dollars, you fool, and Israel permits that to happen!

          adastraperapathy says:

          Are the Palestinian police armed with missiles? No. So, as long as Israel doesn’t invade their communities, I doubt the police weapons the United States may or may not arm Palestinians with actually harm many Israelis.

          Your selective reading of history ignores all of the lands taken from Palestinians without any national security risk at stake.

          Yes, Israel and all of its neighbors were enemy combatants up until the Camp David accords. Regarding the Suez and the Sinai, those are now both considered sovereign territory of Egypt. At the time you mention, Western powers were still holding onto their imperial past, and control of the Suez canal was a piece that they had yet to let go of.

          Same with Sinai–it was nothing more than Israeli-occupied Egyptian territory.

          You see, the problem is that Israel should have a state and they should be secure, but racists and homophobes like yourself do little to help their cause in the eyes of the international community.

          elixelx says:

          Missiles? You think that if the pals had missiles they wouldn’t use ‘em?
          The Killers of The Fogel family slaughtered 5 people in their beds INCLUDING a baby, with BOX-CUTTERS (which are now,with the blood still on them, the crown jewels in the Martyr’s Musuem in Ramallah!
          Oh! and I believe that BOX-CUTTERS were the weapon of choice on 9/11/2001 too!
          The pals don’t need no stinkin missiles. Like all savages they tear their victims apart with their hands and their nails and their teeth.
          If they can do that with their basic savagery do you really think we will EVER let them have MISSILES?

          adastraperapathy says:

          The lives of Palestinians killed by missiles and guns are just as worthy of dignity as the lives of Israelis. Your credibility on this thread is so weak already that I will not believe your comments but to say that there are murderers and sociopaths in any society.

It is worth pointing out that Sullivan is also trying to foment hostility between Jews and Protestant Christians by accusing Jews as tarring all Protestants as antisemites, when in fact they leveled their grievance, couched in the temperate language you make note of, against specific actions by the governing bodies of those churches. Sullivan wants everyone to think they they are being called antisemites groundlessly, out of resentment of that fact that he now wears that label, despite having earned it through meritorious service to the cause of promoting Jew-hatred.

elixelx says:

What a queer column from AS, full of deviant thought and catamite reaction. He continues to throw faggots onto the fire to keep it burning hot, and uses back-door entrances to cross-dress arguments.
No metaphor here! He’s an anti-semitic, anti-Zionist, anti-Israel trans-parent ideologue.
As H.L. Mencken once said: Nothing comes out that isn’t within, and one can just imagine AS’s within (Yeccchhh!) because he comes out and comes out and comes out–DAILY!
Change your orientation, Andy, Baby. If you wish it, it can be done!

    adastraperapathy says:

    Why is it anti-semitic, anti-Zionist, or anti-Israel to suggest that the US should not be aiding a country that continues to illegally develop land that is not theirs?

      elixelx says:

      Because he NEVER, EVER suggests that the US should not aid Muslim countries that continue to illegally steal from, rob and cheat the Christians in their midst!
      Anti-Semitism, dearie, is expecting Jews to conform to an ideal standard of YOUR stipulating.
      Anti-Zionism is expecting the Jewish Polity to divest itself of what makes us Zionist, while encouraging Muslimes to cling to their beliefs by making Koran-criticism blasphemous.
      Anti-Israel is saying that Israel has no right to use its own land as it sees fit.
      On those counts Andy is an out-and-outed hater of Jews, Zion and Israel!
      And THAT’s what you are defending!
      You are known by the company you sympathize with.
      You too are a bigoted swine!

        adastraperapathy says:

        Well, you clearly have your own definitions for everything and once against demonstrate your quickness to judge. I’m sorry that you do not want peace or justice for any Palestinians.

          elixelx says:

          What? You want me NOT to have my own definitions? You want me to accept YOUR definitions?
          Do please read the first adage in Pirke Aboth! We NEVER judge quickly; we DO judge deliberately! But Judge we do, and judge we will…unlike your hysterical self whose womb informs your namby-pamby unwillingness to judge lest you be judged! Christian!

          adastraperapathy says:

          Life is life. It doesn’t matter if it is Jew, Muslim, Gay, or Black.

          Clearly, you have not accepted that truth.

          elixelx says:

          Wow! Shallow and meaningless pabulum. Pusillanimity thy name is apathy!
          Yeah, life is life…I bet you say that to all the aborted foetuses!

          adastraperapathy says:

          Well, the mystery of the beginning and ending of life is disputed among the many world religions. As such, there has to be a certain level of tolerance for differences of opinion. There should also be a certain level of autonomy for women, whose body and life is most affected by pregnancy.

As a strongly pro-Israel Christian, I am personally offended that Israel’s attempts to protect itself from terrorist attacks by Palestinians is being used as an excuse to attack Israel politically in the United States.

The simple fact is that the Palestinian leadership has succeeded in militarizing almost the whole of Palestinian society. There simply is no civilian component to that society today. Even pre-school age children are being taught through cartoons that killing themselves through suicide bombing is their sacred duty as long as they kill Israelis in the process.

Consequently, the Israeli Government and military have little choice but to treat the Palestinians as enemy combatants. To then demand that the US no longer invest in Israel because that Nation is simply trying to survive is absurd.

I say “invest” because the idea that we are giving money to Israel as we do to Third World countries to dig wells for water is highly inaccurate. What we call “aid” to Israel is – in fact – an investment in joint military programs, which pay far more in tangible dividends than what we put in. For instance, the Stuxnet Worm – which is widely accepted to be an Israeli project funded partially by the US – has staved off war with Iran for YEARS. The cost savings of that one project alone is more than all the money the USA has ever given Israel in aggregate.

The reality is that Israel is one of America’s very few true allies. To damage that valuable and vital relationship through petty nonsense about how to define the manner in which Israel defends herself against terrorist attacks is a ludicrous waste of time and energy, as well as being potentially deadly for the civilian populations of both countries.

I would hope that this so-called coalition of churches retracts its ridiculous statement. However, I suspect that it will not. After all, one of the primary members of this ecclesiastical cabal is the United Church of Christ, the Church of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And Rev. Wright has proven himself to be biased against Israel on multiple occasions in the past.

I hope most Jewish-Americans realize that the vast majority of Christian-Americans are not only not opposed to Israel, we stand with Israel. The prayers and political support of all civilized Americans must be with the Israeli people who have stood with such strength and courage in the face of such hatred.

May God Bless Israel and keep her people safe…

    adastraperapathy says:

    It’s really hard to take anything you say seriously when in your second paragraph you basically describe all Palestinians as militants.

    If you could only admit that Israel continues to take land away from Palestinians illegally, you might see the situation a little differently.

    You might even value the loss of innocent Palestinian lives as much as you value the loss of Israeli lives, but I doubt you could do so.

tendilla says:

I’ve come across Andrew Sullivan a number of times both on the Bill Maher Show and in print…..whenever Israel would come up He would totally trash them in favor of the arabs…and Bill seemed surprised by the invective. Also in various print stories he always seems on the ANTI side of the Jews and Israel!!! He reminds me of his fellow Irish Catholic anti-Semitic traveler, Pat Buchanan….Constantly Blame it on the Jews….shades of Mel Gibson!!!

“the churches don’t seem to be calling on Congress to reconsider aid to any other country. This is largely why the Jewish groups were upset.”

From the NYT article:”Several Christian leaders responded in interviews that the letter was focused only on Israel because it is the largest recipient of American foreign aid, and because the aid flows to Israel without conditions or accountability.”

The “conditions or accountability” bit is arguable, but I wish Mr. Chandler had tackled the whole NYT paragraph here.

TheHox says:

They should have just given Maine to the Jews back in the day, rather than the most hotly-contested land on the planet that has led to all this suffering and stupid bickering.

    elixelx says:

    How about giving Manhattan back to the Manhattan?
    How about giving your house back to the Lord (since the whole earth belongs to Him!) you thief, you!

melanie77 says:

jews are just more trouble than they are worth

Professor Nina

Chair of the

Begin Heritage Foundation

6 Nahon

Jerusalem 94110

Phone: 972-2-565-2020 Fax:


It is my life’s goal to get people of all creeds and color
to cum together.

This is not an easy task, but with practice, I believe it’s
possible. If we will but wait for each other to reach our climax, then it’s
possible for all of us to come together. I believe selfishness is the cause of
many of our problems and if we would but show a little consideration for the
other person; we would achieve heights we never thought possible.

Wait, I say! Wait for the other person to reach their goal
and then together, we can climax and achieve our goals.



bubbareeves says:

The Vile and hysterical P O S that is Andrew Sullivan is a joke, this Odious Slob who went from the ‘Right’ to the other side has always been suspect re; his Anti Semitism, he seems more comfortable with it now and has become pretty consistent with his Anti Semitic, Xenophobic, Racist Rants. The sad reality is that he is given legitimacy at TDB and those who run it!

American at large says:

Screw these Protestant denomination leaders. The heirs to the Martin Luther teachings of bigotry have nothing to say to Israel and to Jews.
Help your brethren in Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.
If you are concerned about the few arab christians left by Israel, go to Bethlehem and see what the peaceful muslims have done to that community. You are a bunch of hypocrites!


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