July 17, 2006

Homophobia vs. Anti-Semitism

One of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—was perusing the July 9 number of The New York Times Book Review. In said issue, he came across “Something About Mary,” a snarky review of Mary Cheney’s new book Now It’s My Turn, penned by someone named Alexandra Jacobs. Although “Chip” had no intention of reading Ms. Cheney’s work, he was struck by the nastiness with which Ms. Jacobs attacked her target.

One particular sentence struck a chord:

Only in passing does Cheney—who has a longtime companion, Heather Poe—confront the inherent contradiction of working for a party whose attitude toward homosexuality runs the gamut from mild intolerance to out-and-out hostility.

We know what you’re thinking: That’s quite a gamut. And thus, with this broad brush, does Ms. Jacobs tar and feather everyone in the Republican Party. To this dimwitted journalist, about half the voting population is homophobic.

Now, “Chip” thought to himself, I support gay marriage. In fact, the whole crack young staff does—especially Ted, who’s into guys. But “Chip” was shocked that the Times would print such a cavalier claim.

After all, there are these fellows and lasses who call themselves Log Cabin Republicans. And they’re highly unlikely to be homophobes. And, “Chip” would wager, there are some Republicans who are enthusiastic about gay marriage, or at least civil unions. What about libertarian-minded Republicans?

Yet what most interested “Chip” was Ms. Jacobs’ unsubstantiated claim that merely voting Republican amounted to—at best—“mild intolerance” for homosexuals. This labeling of all Republicans de facto homophobes struck him as particularly intriguing when compared with charges of anti-Semitism.

By now, we all know the old saw: Zionists purportedly mean-spiritedly label opponents of Israel anti-Semites in order to shut them up. This helps silence the opposition in what is, we imagine, the most cacophonous silence in history—one hears more about this horrible silence more than one actually notes the non-existent silence.

For some reason, earnest critics of specific Israeli policies never make these charges; rather, it’s a claim routinely bandied about by radicals whose hatred for the lone Jewish state is fishy, to say the least. “I don’t hate Israel, I just want it destroyed, and will lie like a pig in order to attain this goal,” thinks the anti-Zionist kook. “What’s anti-Semitic about opposing only one nationalistic movement—that of the Jews alone?”

Anyway, the distinction in the leftist’s discussion of homophobia and anti-Semitism is telling. To the leftist, merely voting Republican is homophobic. Yet extreme, un-reasonable, myopic, ahistorical, foolhardy, vitriolic, incessant criticism of the lone Jewish state in an attempt to deligitimize it isn’t anti-Semitism.

Boy, the Left sure has an interesting understanding of prejudice.

Posted at July 17, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack