Remember back in January, when the Anti-Defamation League accused Rush Limbaugh of anti-Semitism?
Reading the new book Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One, I learned that this isn’t the first time such a stupid charge has been made against the pro-Israel host, and based on even flimsier “evidence.” Let’s travel back in time to 1988:
The following day on his show, Limbaugh riffed on the power of various lobbies in Washington. He wasn’t putting it down; in his world lobbying is a constitutional right. But someone at one of New York’s Jewish organizations heard about the broadcast and put out the word that the new right-wing broadcaster at WABC was a Jew-hater. To many New York Jewish liberals it was (and remains) an article of faith that conservative Republicans are anti-Semites by definition. This belief has transcended every possible proof to the contrary, including the obvious fact that hostility to Israel and its supporters in the United States is almost entirely located on the “progressive left.” (…)
Limbaugh informed his listeners that he was the target of a campaign. But one day, a listener, Nathan Segal, an Orthodox rabbi from Staten Island, called the station and got Limbaugh on the phone. “I heard what you said; you haven’t done anything wrong,” Segal told him. “I willl protect you.” It was the start of a friendship that has lasted more than twenty years.
“One of the instigators of the campaign against Rush was the actor Ron Silver,” says Segal. That was ironic. Silver, who had been the president of the progressive Creative Coalition, eventually quit the group, in part because of its coolness toward Israel and its opposition to the war in Iraq. In 2004 he delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention endorsing President Bush’s Mideast policies, for which Silver was widely ostracized by the “artistic” community.”
And on and on.
This weekend I was honored to hear Dennis Prager speak in Toronto. There, he scolded the Jewish community for thinking that conservative gentiles like Rush Limbaugh are their enemies.
“We can be a very stupid people,” Prager observed sadly.
(PS: Prager and Limbaugh share a passion for cigars [see video below]. I asked Prager –since his producer Alan wasn’t there to screen me out — if he held to the boycott on Cuban cigars when he’s in a jurisdiction like Toronto, where they are legally available.
(Prager laughed and replied that he doesn’t obey the boycott, either at home or abroad.)