There is an old Jewish saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, say it in Yiddish.” It is in that spirit we offer this criticism of a fake criticism.
I love it when a liberal Jew tosses around charges of Antisemitism when it’s convenient. In a Friday column Dana Milbank decided that Ted Cruz’s use of the word Chutzpah was an example of his hatred of the Chosen People.
When Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) last month mocked Donald Trump’s “New York values,” it wasn’t entirely clear what he was implying.
This week we got a clue: For Cruz, “New York” is another way of saying “Jewish.”
At an event in New Hampshire, Cruz, the Republican Iowa caucuses winner, was asked about campaign money he and his wife borrowed from Goldman Sachs. Cruz, asserting that Trump had “upward of $480 million of loans from giant Wall Street banks,” said: “For him to make this attack, to use a New York term, it’s the height of chutzpah.” Cruz, pausing for laughter after the phrase “New York term,” exaggerated the guttural “ch” to more laughter and applause.
But “chutzpah,” of course, is not a “New York” term. It’s a Yiddish — a Jewish — one. And using “New York” as a euphemism for “Jewish” has long been an anti-Semitic dog whistle.
At this point in time, I am not a supporter of Ted Cruz or any of the candidates but say to Ted Cruz’s New York values statement or his use of the word Chutzpah has anything to do with Antisemitism is pure nonsense. And being a Long Island boy like me, Milbank knows damn well that while part of the “Mamaloshen” (Yiddish), Chutzpah is part of the New York vernacular for both Jews and gentiles. BTW Dana, my early Yiddish lessons came from an Irish kid on my High School track team; he wasn’t an anti -Semite either (he ran the mile).
As JTA reported in December 2015 everybody’s using Chutzpah these days.
“Chutzpah” has definitely entered the mainstream of American political discourse. Four years ago, Mitt Romney and Joe Biden were busy trading charges of chutzpah. The Massachusetts Mormon used the word to deride Biden’s criticisms of his economic ideas, while our Irish-Catholic vice president accused Romney of chutzpah for calling Obama “out of touch.”
Meanwhile, Obama’s critics haven’t been shy about accusing him of chutzpah. In 2011, GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann famously mangled the difficult-to-pronounce Yiddishism in a televised attack on Obama’s budgetary record. Earlier this year, current Republican hopeful Ted Cruz called it “the height of chutzpah for Obama to lecture the nation of Israel on Jewish values.”
Heck, even President Obama sent out a fundraising email where he called the latest attempt of the GOP congress to repeal Obamacare, Chutzpah.
First of all, it is totally clear to anyone who looks with open eyes that when he said NY values, Cruz was not speaking of Jews. He was talking about liberals and liberalism that would never play in Iowa. NY values may have been poorly chosen, not because it was an anti-Semitic, but because it ignored the many conservatives in New York (like me for example).
For the Texas senator (like most evangelicals), the support of Jews and Israel is not a matter of politics, it’s a matter of faith. Cruz has demonstrated his support of the Jewish people many times in recent years, including fighting the president on Jewish issues even when Jewish members of Congress (Democrats) were silent. The senator was booed off the stage at a meeting of Christians from the Arab world because he preached support of the Jewish people (see video below). Heck, Ted Cruz was tougher on Chuck Hagel’s anti-Israel statements, than Chuck Schumer during Hagel’s confirmation hearing.
If Ted Cruz is an anti-Semite why did he hire Jews as his closest advisers? His Chief-of-Staff Paul Teller is a Long Island Jewish boy like Dana Milbank and me, and his Deputy Chief-of-Staff Nick Muzin is an Orthodox Jew and a graduate of Yeshiva University.
In March 2015, IJ Review published a photo-essay of Senator Cruz’s office. They pointed out the Gadsden Flag in the picture below, however more interesting (at least in judging Senator Cruz’s attitude toward Jews) is the traditional seven-candle Jewish menorah.
If Dana Milbank cared enough about the truth to a tiny bit of research he would have learned that Ted Cruz is not now, nor has he ever been an anti-Semite. The very suggestion from a “shmendrik” (contemptible person) like Dana Milbank that Cruz is anything less than a supporter of Jews is more than a “bubbemyseh” (falsehood), it makes this proud Jew sick.
With his charge against Cruz, Dana Milbank, Jewish boy from Merrick shows himself to be a hypocrite. If he cares so much about American Jewry to lay false charges of Antisemitism on Ted Cruz, why silent when about Barack Obama actual displays of Antisemitism?
Beginning with his first campaign for president, Obama surrounded himself with anti-Semites like General Merrel McPeak, 2008 Obama for President Co-Chair who an impressive resume of blaming our foreign policy on the “Jewish Lobby.” Perhaps the best example of McPeak’s Antisemitism was when he was asked during an interview why there isn’t peace in the Middle East and he said, “New York City. Miami. We have a large vote — vote, here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it.” (in other words those pesky Jews, who control America’s policy on the Middle East).
Another of his campaign advisers was the anti-Semite Zbigniew Brzezinski who has warned about the power of the pro-Israel lobby buying congress. One of his first presidential appointments was the anti-Semitic Chas Freeman who blamed his resignation on the evil Israel lobby (a nicer way of saying Jewish lobby).
Obama’s first presidential Medal of Freedom honorees were Bishop Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson. The nicest thing Bishop Desmond Tutu ever said about Jews was “People are scared in this country [the US], to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful.” He also once said, that “the Jews thought they had a monopoly on God.”
Tutu’s co-honoree Mary Robinson presided over the “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” that turned into a non-stop hate-fest against Jews and Israel. The conference was so anti-Semitic that Colin Powell, the Secretary of State at the time, walked out.
During his presidency Obama has allied himself with Al Sharpton who encouraged the anti-Semitic pogrom in Crown Heights and incited the anti-Semitic fire bombing of Freddy’s Fashion Mart in Harlem. He sent his closest adviser Valerie Jarrett to keynote an anti-Semitic ISNA conference whose discussions included: how key Obama aides are “Israeli,” proving Jews “have control of the world,” or how the Holocaust is punishment of Jews for being “serially disobedient to Allah.”
For Secretary of Defense, Obama appointed Chuck Hagel who believed in the nefarious “world wide Jewish conspiracy.” Hagel was once quoted as saying “The political reality is that… the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.”
When radical Islamists attacked a kosher supermarket Hyper-Cacher (French for Super Kosher) in Paris on a Friday afternoon just before the Jewish Sabbath when they knew it would be crowded with Jews, Obama first insisted it was a random act and not an anti-Semitic act. And when the world leaders came together to march in Paris as a protest against the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the anti-Semitic Hyper-Catcher attack Obama was conspicuous in his absence.
Previous presidents have criticized Israel for building homes in disputed territories. Under Bush there was a deal where Israel could add homes to existing communities and Jerusalem. Not only did Obama unilaterally break that deal, but also he went further. Obama criticized Israel for allowing Jews to purchase homes (with real money) in East Jerusalem. President Obama has not mentioned any other places around the world where he believes certain people should not be allowed to purchase homes — except for the Jews.
President Obama’s July 31 phone call, organized by the Anti-Israel group J Street and other progressive Jewish groups, seemed to be a recent example of Obama’s anti-Semitism.
In the 20 minute phone call Obama said over and over that opponents of the Iran deal come from the same “array of forces that got us into the Iraq war,” he said a “bunch of billionaires who happily finance super PACs” are “putting the squeeze on members of Congress.”
The message was clear to the Jewish participants, William Daroff Senior Vice President for Public Policy & Director of the Washington office of The Jewish Federations of North America tweeted during the meeting “Jews are leading effort to kill #Irandeal. ‘Same people opposing the deal led us into Iraq war,’” and followed with “Canard: Jews got us into Iraq War.”
During the call, Lee Rosenberg of AIPAC questioned the president’s statement comparing people who object to the Iran deal to those who supported the invasion of Iraq. He pointed out that many anti-Semites falsely claim the Jews pushed Bush into invading Iraq. Obama explained that Netanyahu supported the Iraq invasion (true).
But Bibi wasn’t the premier at the time, he was a private citizen. The prime minister, Ariel Sharon, strongly urged Bush not to invade Iraq, arguing correctly that if Saddam were removed, “Iran, a far more dangerous player, will be rid of its principal enemy and free to pursue its ambitions of regional hegemony.”
I don’t remember Dana Milbank criticizing Obama for any of those seemingly anti-Semitic actions. In truth Milbank doesn’t really care for the truth, he is simply another one of the Obama “tuches leckers” (ass kissers) in the liberal media. Falsely calling anti-Semitic hurts the cause, as it weakens the meaning of the word.
So Dana, next time you want to suggest someone is an anti-Semite please hold your tongue: we Jews don’t need your “cokamammie” (ridiculous) “meshugasthas” (nonsense). Maybe you can try a different approach,”emmis” (truth). I promise “emmis” will bring you lots of “mazel” (luck).