I don’t know why, but for some reason it’s OK to hate Jews. Other minorities are constantly getting new legislation written to specifically protect them from hate speech and hate crimes (also known as “speech” and “crimes” but you know, who’s paying attention all that) and baying loudly about special consideration to protect them from any big ol’ meanies.
However, apparently it’s OK to appoint as Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, someone with a long public record of insulting Jews, belittling Israel, and even refusing to condemn terrorist organizations. Keep in mind that these are not privately held beliefs quietly breathed to a fellow hobnobber at a cocktail party. It’s not as though I went dredging through Hagel’s MySpace account from 1999 and found an anonymous note that might induce me to believe he’s a little anti-Semitic when drunk. Nope, this is a former U.S. Senator who made a habit of publicly, openly and frequently disparaging Jewish people, culture, and our ally, the Jewish state of Israel.
Yep, the guy who spoke derisively about a “Jewish lobby” and said things like “let the Jews pay for it” is the perfect person to be throwing into the roiling bubble bath of Tabasco and cactus that is Middle Eastern and U.S. interests.
When Mel Gibson, a washed-up actor with absolutely zero policy influence, indulged in a vague, boozey and clearly indicative of mental issues spewing of anti-Semitic rants, people went crazy. Gibson became a walking joke/horror story (perhaps rightfully so) and lost all credibility.
But again, Gibson was clearly unhinged, drugged-up and who-knows-what-else, and HAS NO POLICY INFLUENCE. He can no more hurt someone with his nasty remarks than I can, blogging from my couch.
Hagel, on the other hand, holds these beliefs has a sober, policy-driven and powerfully-backed representative of the United States government. So I guess my question, in our hate-speech frantic world is this: why aren’t people more upset about this appointment, and why isn’t anyone talking about it?