Kerry Warns: Jews Will Be Blamed If Congress Sinks Iran Deal
Secretary of State John Kerry’s warning that Israel will be “blamed” if Congress opposes the Iran agreement conjures up troubling memories of other instances in which Israel or Jews were warned they might be blamed for international conflicts.
Secretary Kerry made his remark in an address to the Council of Foreign Relations on July 24. He appeared to be not merely predicting that Israel might be blamed, but hinting that the Obama administration itself might do the blaming. And since the administration has repeatedly claimed that rejection of the agreement will lead to war with Iran, the implication of Kerry’s statement seems to be that Israel, the Jewish state, would be to blame for such a war.
The possibility that the blame would be extended to Israel’s supporters in the United States has already been raised by President Obama himself, in his warning that unnamed “lobbyists” and “money” were trying to block the Iran deal.
One unfortunate comparison brought to mind by this kind of talk is an episode involving the pundit and unsuccessful presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. In the months preceding the first Persian Gulf war, Buchanan charged that “there are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East—the Israeli defense ministry and its ‘amen corner’ in the United States.”
In another broadside, Buchanan named four prominent supporters of war with Jewish-sounding names as being part of “the Israeli Defense Ministry’s amen corner in the United States.” He accused them of planning to send “kids with names like McAllister, Murphy, Gonzales and Leroy Brown” to the Persian Gulf to do the fighting.
New York Times columnist A.M. Rosenthal described that remark as a “blood libel,” and Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman called Buchanan’s statements “an appeal to anti-Semitic bigotry.”
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