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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 01:10 PM
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7. An ambassador smeared
Obama's man in Belgium faces calls for his firing after factual remarks on Israel and anti-Semitism


"he U.S. ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, is facing an intense campaign by hard-line pro-Israel voices in the U.S. who want him fired over remarks he made about anti-Semitism late last month.

Gutman, an Obama fundraiser turned ambassador, as well as a Jew and child of a Holocaust survivor, was addressing a Brussels conference devoted to combating anti-Semitism in Europe last month when he launched into a discussion of the relationship between the Israel-Palestine conflict and tensions between Muslims and Jews.

The first thing to note about the Gutman affair which has now prompted Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, as well as pundits at Commentary and elsewhere to call for his firing is that the initial reaction was based on a woefully inaccurate account of his remarks.

Gutman was paraphrased by the Israeli news outlet Ynet as saying, A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned, and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The clear suggestion is that Gutman was engaging in apologetics for certain forms of Jew hatred.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz then put that line in quotation marks even though no such words had passed Gutmans lips. In fact, a reading of his real remarks shows that he explicitly repudiated the idea that any anti-Semitism should be tolerated, rather than condemned.

Its worth quoting Gutman at length. He did make a distinction between anti-Semitisms, referring to the risk of oversimplifying and of lumping together diverse phenomena.
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  -U.S. won't dismiss official following anti-Semitism comment bemildred  Dec-05-11 07:35 PM   #0 
  - Finally, something I agree with the administration. Excellent choice,  Lionessa   Dec-05-11 07:51 PM   #1 
  - Yea it figures. nt  King_David   Dec-06-11 03:26 PM   #8 
  - Good news. n/t  Scurrilous   Dec-05-11 10:57 PM   #2 
  - Agree, they accepted his apology.Good to give the guy a break for apologizing.  King_David   Dec-06-11 03:28 PM   #9 
  - Well, it's not like he said anything antisemitic...  Violet_Crumble   Dec-06-11 04:51 AM   #3 
  - No one said that he did - he made a comment about anti-semitism  oberliner   Dec-06-11 05:28 AM   #4 
     - I know. I wasn't saying he did either...  Violet_Crumble   Dec-07-11 03:38 AM   #20 
  - Don't cave in to the Republicans  oberliner   Dec-06-11 05:31 AM   #5 
  - Right choice.  aranthus   Dec-06-11 10:34 AM   #6 
  - An ambassador smeared  Scurrilous   Dec-06-11 01:10 PM   #7 
  - Oh no, the author said, Obama's man in Belgium faces calls for his firing after factual remarks  Jefferson23   Dec-06-11 03:33 PM   #10 
  - Justin Elliott of "Pinkwashing" fame  oberliner   Dec-06-11 06:18 PM   #11 
     - No, the Israeli government is responsible for pinkwashing fame.  Jefferson23   Dec-06-11 06:40 PM   #12 
        - Sarah and Justin helped get the word out!  oberliner   Dec-06-11 07:54 PM   #13 
        - You sound relieved..that's good. n/t  Jefferson23   Dec-06-11 08:29 PM   #15 
           - It was sarcasm  oberliner   Dec-06-11 09:35 PM   #16 
              - Same here, regarding the sarcasm.  Jefferson23   Dec-06-11 09:44 PM   #17 
        - Sarah Schulman's article was a buncha shit.  King_David   Dec-06-11 08:00 PM   #14 
  - An excerpt from the "offending" speech.  Crunchy Frog   Dec-06-11 09:49 PM   #18 
     - He apologized for it.  King_David   Dec-06-11 10:30 PM   #19 

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