The Corner

Obama: ‘There Were Deep Strains of Anti-Semitism in This Country’

Via Walter Russell Mead, here’s a comment from the president in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg:

Obama responded to this theory by saying the following: “Well the fact that you are anti-Semitic, or racist, doesn’t preclude you from being interested in survival. It doesn’t preclude you from being rational about the need to keep your economy afloat; it doesn’t preclude you from making strategic decisions about how you stay in power; and so the fact that the supreme leader is anti-Semitic doesn’t mean that this overrides all of his other considerations. You know, if you look at the history of anti-Semitism, Jeff, there were a whole lot of European leaders — and there were deep strains of anti-Semitism in this country —

He really needs to point out America’s past sins and flaws whenever anyone points out vile behavior overseas, doesn’t he? It’s reflexive — the moment an American brings up abominable, hateful actions beyond our shores, Professor Obama has to take us off of our “high horse.”

Separately, I’ll defer to experts on the history of anti-Semitism in the United States, but does the president really think the problems in the U.S. in the past (and now) compare to the situation in Iran? Does our government host conferences of Holocaust deniers?

For what it’s worth, the ADL did a survey and estimated that 9 percent of Americans hold views they characterize as anti-Semitic; they concluded 59 percent of Iranians hold views they characterize as anti-Semitic. The survey found that 64 percent of Iranians believe “people hate Jews because of the way Jews behave,” 58 percent believe “Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars,” 55 percent believe “Jews have too much control over the global media,” and 61 percent believe “Jews have too much control over the U.S. government.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

ABC Chief Political Analyst: GOP Rep. Stefanik a ‘Perfect Example’ of the Failures of Electing Someone ‘Because They Are a Woman’

Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst for ABC News, suggested that Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) was elected due to her gender after taking issue with Stefanik's line of questioning during the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday. “Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing ... Read More
White House

Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’

When it comes to Russia, I am with what Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman calls the American “policy community.” Vindman, of course, is one of the House Democrats’ star impeachment witnesses. His haughtiness in proclaiming the policy community and his membership in it grates, throughout his 340-page ... Read More
Law & the Courts

DACA’s Day in Court

When President Obama unilaterally changed immigration policy after repeatedly and correctly insisting that he lacked the constitutional power to do it, he said that congressional inaction had forced his hand. In the case of his first major unilateral move — “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” which ... Read More
White House

Impeachment and the Broken Truce

The contradiction at the center of American politics in Anno Domini 2019 is this: The ruling class does not rule. The impeachment dog-and-pony show in Washington this week is not about how Donald Trump has comported himself as president (grotesquely) any more than early convulsions were about refreshed ... Read More
Books

A Preposterous Review

A   Georgetown University professor named Charles King has reviewed my new book The Case for Nationalism for Foreign Affairs, and his review is a train wreck. It is worth dwelling on, not only because the review contains most of the lines of attack against my book, but because it is extraordinarily shoddy and ... Read More