Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

September 25, 2005

Susan Estrich on Cindy Sheehan

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:42 am

Susan Estrich is no one’s idea of a conservative: she worked on Ted Kennedy’s 1980 presidential campaign, an was the national campaign manager for Michael Dukakis in 1988. She’s a former ACLU national board member and a current member of the board of the California Abortion Rights Action League.

But she sees right through Cindy Sheehan (boldface in the original):

Did an ABC staffer insert the following lines in an e-mail sent by celebrity anti-war mother Cindy Sheehan?

“Am I emotional? Yes, my firstborn was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel.” That is what Sheehan is claiming.

If you don’t believe that explanation – if you don’t believe an ABC staffer set about to put anti-Semitic words into Sheehan’s mouth – then your hero, my liberal friends, is a raging, ignorant anti-Semite. Sorry, but what are you doing hanging with that crowd?

It is ludicrous to suggest Casey died for Israel, but it is worse to lionize Cindy Sheehan without confronting the anti-Semitism that seems to be accepted not even beneath the surface. If her allies really believe ABC was out to frame her, where is the investigation? Where is the staffer who could include such language? And what of the equation of Israel with Syria and Iran, a statement too foolish to debate? Why isn’t anyone concerned about that?

Or, rather, why is it only the right?

Symbols matter. For better or for worse, they help to define movements. If the “anti-war movement” in America is defined, even remotely, as an anti-Israel movement, it will fail. That is certain to me.

I hope she’s right about that last prediction — because the alternative is that the antisemitic antiwar movement succeeds, and they decide to kill all the Jews. It wouldn’t be the first time. Jews have been murdered for allegedly causing WWI, WWII, the Napoleonic Wars, and even the wars of the Crusades — during which both the Muslims and Christians killed Jews for allegedly siding with the other.

(Hat tip: Soccer Dad.)

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