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Reply #7: An ambassador smeared [View All]

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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 02:10 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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