Confronting Jew Hatred on Daily Kos: Propaganda and the Flotilla


The only thing missing from the anti-Semitic Daily Kos website are anti-Semitic cartoons (from Arab newspapers). When will they be introduced?

First there was theological anti-Semitism. For centuries the Jews were vilified for “killing Jesus” and not accepting the divinity of Christ. Then, in the 19th  and 20th centuries came racial anti-Semitism. The Jews were vilified for being racially inferior and an insect-like “parasite” on their Aryan hosts. Now we have what might be called “nationalist anti-Semitism.” It’s not that the Jews killed Jesus, nor that the Jews are racially inferior – nor that the Jews are responsible for capitalism, nor that the Jews are responsible for communism – but that the Jewish state is a rogue nation grounded in militarism, colonialism, imperialism, and racist Apartheid against those icons of pure victimhood, the innocent Palestinian people. This latest form of Jew hatred is expressed as anti-Zionism or what some call the New Anti-Semitism.

Whatever Markos Moulitsas himself may think of Jews, there is no doubt that his Daily Kos website is a significant home for the propagation of hatred towards them via the spreading of hatred toward the Jewish state. This is not to say that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. It isn’t.  Legitimate criticism is fine and necessary. The spreading of hatred, however, is not. One thing that I always hope for is a recognition of the difference between criticism and demonization, between criticism and delegitimization, between criticism and double standards. On Daily Kos we get a constant stream of the latter and very little, unfortunately, of the former. The influential leftist blog spreads hatred toward the Jewish state and this inevitably must come at the expense of the Jewish people.

Hatred for Jews used to come from the hard right in the United States, from the Klan and Neo-Nazi Skinheads. Now, however, it mainly comes from the hard Left.  The Right has done a terrific job of marginalizing its anti-Semites even as the Left cultivates theirs.  For me, personally, as a liberal, it’s horrifying.

The way it’s done, of course, is through propaganda. The recent flotilla nonsense represents an excellent example of how that propaganda functions. Let’s excavate a bit, shall we? Towards the end of last May we all knew that anti-Israel activists from Europe, the US, and Turkey – and God only knows wherever else – the so-called “Freedom Flotilla,” intended to challenge the blockade of Gaza.

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