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Joe Sobran: Anti-Jewish?

By Charles A. Morse
web posted April 29, 2002

I've been a longtime reader and admirer of conservative columnist Joe Sobran. Regrettably, in "Sobran's," his own newsletter, he has gone beyond legitimate criticism of Israel. A tilt toward the Arab position in the Israel/Arab conflict is fine and fair but Sobran takes it a step further by stooping to dark references to sinister Zionist conspiracies. Relying on notoriously anti-Jewish sources such as the "Institute for Historical Review," Sobran has reduced himself to regurgitating the same old anti-Semitic garbage that wafts out of the woodwork whenever Israel is in the news. How sad and how pathetic, coming from such a great intellectual, how sad and how potentially deadly.

Joe Sobran

In his column "West Meets East, Again" (Sobran's 4/20/02) Sobran blames Israel and American Jews for the attack on the World Trade Center. He states, "The 9/11 attacks would never have occurred except for the U.S. Government's Middle East policies [support for Israeli defense] which are pretty much dictated by the Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United States. The Zionists boast privately of their power, but they don't want the gentiles talking about it." I guess Sobran thinks that "Zionists" get together somewhere [in the basement of the Carnegie Deli perhaps?] where plots are hatched regarding how to fool the "gentiles." The biggest supporters of Israel are actually religious Christians. Most Americans support Israel out of a compassionate understanding that the Israel/Arab conflict is nothing more than an attempt by the vast oil rich Arab world to extinguish the tiny Jewish State. Maybe Sobran thinks "gentiles" are too stupid to think for themselves. Some Jew haters explain this sinister Zionist conspiracy with the contention that prominent gentiles are actually secret Jews. In their fecund imaginations, President George W. Bush may actually be George W. Bushowitz, who ran for President against Al Gorenstein. I kid you not.

Sobran thinks that by advocating support of Israel "the Jewish lobby...strives to cause the U.S.Government to act in ways that are directly contrary to the interests - and moral principles - of most Americans." I suppose Sobran may have a point here. If the U.S. abandoned Israel, and stood by while the Jewish State was incinerated then yes, perhaps it might be easier to extract more oil out of the Arabian Desert or to trade with the Arabs. We could also make a few bucks by dropping the Cuban embargo and we would've, no doubt, made a bundle trading with the Nazis. The clinker in all of this for me is that Sobran views US support for Israel not only as contrary to our "interests" but also contrary to a darkly referenced "moral principle."

Sobran views Israel's raison d'etre as "the right of Jews to rule gentiles" which he describes in classic leftist agitprop fashion. He says that Israel seeks to "drive (gentiles) from their homes, seize their property, and treat them as inferior beings." The way this works is that whenever Israel acts to protect the lives and property of its citizens from attack, they commit atrocities while Arab atrocities against Jews are ignored or justified. Israel couldn't possibly be motivated by the idea of preserving and protecting the political, national and cultural rights of its people. That's because, according to Sobran "Zionism means somewhat more than Jewish existence."

Drawing from a poisonous anti-Jewish tradition, Sobran views Judaism as a race and Israel, probably the most racially diverse society in history, as racially discriminatory. Judaism is not a race but a religion going all the way back to the Biblical Ruth, the Moabite women, who converted to Judaism. Anyone can become a Jew and people have chosen to do so in every generation. Judaism is not a race but a covenantal faith that embraces belief in one creator and the laws of the Torah. Anyone can immigrate to Israel if they undergo a proper conversion to Judaism, a process that generally takes one year. I should note that Judaism is not a proselytizing faith.

The substance and tone of Sobran's writings on Israel and Judaism is so filled with ugly innuendo that I hesitate to report on it out of concern for fueling anti-Jewish feelings in those who are susceptible to this line of thinking. Note that I avoid using the term "anti-Semitic" as this term looms large in the anti-Jewish hagiography. As usual, if this article is published, I will no doubt be subject to the usual barrage of the most hallucinogenic anti-Jewish hate mail imaginable, which is deeply depressing. As depressing as it is to report on Sobran's utterances, and on this topic in general, I feel compelled, nevertheless, to do so out of concern for the lives and future of my people.

Chuck Morse is a talk show host on Salem Radio/WROL Boston.

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