Juan Cole, an American academic and blogger, characterizes Israel as fascist state whose behavior was at least partly responsible for the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks against the U.S. on 9/11. He also has advanced antisemitic narratives about dual loyalty, and is quite vigilant in warning his followers about the dangers of ‘Jewish power’.
So, obviously, he was recently welcomed by Guardian editors to offer his analysis on Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel at ‘Comment is Free’.
While you can read a superb critique of Cole’s CiF essay by the CST’s Mark Gardner (cross posted at CiF Watch), I thought it would be helpful to also provide a little background on Cole, whose blog is called ‘Informed Comment‘.
Here are some samples of Juan Cole’s malign and supremely uniformed fixation, in own words:
Many Zionist organizations are fascist and exert undue influence on the media and US Congress
“[The] fascist point of view is privately shared by many of the strident Zionist organizations that are so influential with the press and the US Congress in the United States.” – Informed Comment, June 1, 2005
American Jews with dual loyalties have powerful positions in Bush White House
“I believe that Doug Feith, for instance, has dual loyalties to the Israeli Likud Party and to the U.S. Republican Party. He thinks that their interests are completely congruent. And I also think that if he has to choose, he will put the interests of the Likud above the interests of the Republican Party.” – Informed Comment, Sept. 9, 2004
Thinly veiled Nazi Analogy
“[The] wounded romantic nationalism of [Jewish blogger, Jeffrey] Goldberg’s sort is a pathetic remnant of the twentieth century, which polished off tens of millions of human beings over wet dreams about “blood and soil.” There isn’t any “blood” or “pure” “races,” and human groups have no special relationship to territory.” – Informed Comment, March 17, 2010
Fascist Israel is responsible for Muslim rage around the around the world
“No American media will report the demonstrations in Israel as fascist in nature, and no American politicians will dare criticize the Likud. But the fact is that the Israeli predations in the West Bank and Gaza are a key source of rage in the Muslim world against the United States (which toadies unbearably to whatever garbage comes out of Tel Aviv’s political establishment), something that the 9-11 commission report stupidly denies.” Informed Comment, July 26, 2004
Israel ethnically cleansed Lebanese Shiites for the same reasons Saddam Hussein did
“So let’s get this straight. The Israelis warn the small town Shiites of the south to flee their own homes and go hundreds of miles away (and live on what? in what?). But then they intensely bombing them, making it impossible for them to flee. The Lebanese have awoken to find themselves cockroaches.
I repeat, this is nothing less than an ethnic cleansing of the Shiites of southern Lebanon, an assault on an entire civilian population’s way of life. Aside from ecology, it is no different from what Saddam Hussein did to the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq, and the Israelis are doing it for exactly the same sorts of reasons that Saddam did.” – Informed Comment, July 21, 2006
Israeli barbaric behavior threatens U.S. democracy
“Israeli atrocities in Gaza are endangering American security. If the Israeli operation were something other than a cynical power play that almost wholly disregards civilian welfare, then the US would be right to support it and damn the consequences. But it is a shame to place our land and even our democracy in danger on behalf of a barbaric military operation.” - Informed Comment, Aug. 1, 2009
Twin threats of Fascist Israel and Al-Qaeda
“...our press and politicians do us an enormous disservice by not putting the Israeli announcement about the Jerusalem barrier on the front page. This sort of action is a big part of what is driving the terrorists (and, of course, Sharon himself is a sort of state-backed terrorist, anyway). The newspapers and television news departments should be telling us when we are about to be in the cross-fire between the aggressive, expansionist, proto-fascist Likud coalition and the paranoid, murderous, violent Al-Qaeda and its offshoots.”Informed Comment, Nov. 26, 2005
Israeli behavior caused 9/11
“We don’t need any more U.S. buildings blown up because our government is coddling cuckoo [Israeli] settlers who are stealing other people’s land to fulfill some weird religious power fantasy.” Informed Comment, Feb. 1, 2004
“It is obvious to me that what September 11 really represented was a dragooning of the United States into internal Middle East political conflicts. Israel’s aggressive policies in the West Bank and Gaza have poisoned the political atmosphere in the Middle East (and increasingly in the Muslim world) for the United States. It is ridiculous to suggest that radical Islamists don’t care about the Palestine issue.” – Informed Comment, Sept. 9, 2004
Neocon Likudnicks in Bush White House cynically used 9/11 to get U.S. to fight wars for Israel
“It is an echo of the one-two punch secretly planned by the pro-Likud faction in the Department of Defense. First, Iraq would be taken out by the United States, and then Iran. David Wurmser, a key member of the group, also wanted Syria included. These pro-Likud intellectuals concluded that 9-11 would give them carte blanche to use the Pentagon as Israel’s Gurkha regiment, fighting elective wars on behalf of Tel Aviv (not wars that really needed to be fought, but wars that the Likud coalition thought it would be nice to see fought so as to increase Israel’s ability to annex land and act aggressively, especially if someone else’s boys did the dying).” – Informed Comment, Aug. 29, 2004
Israel gets the U.S. to fight its wars, on behalf of pro-Israel supporters
“When George W Bush promised his pro-Israel supporters a war on Iraq, it cost the US at least $3 trillion, got hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed…cost over 4,000 American soldiers’ lives…US politicians must say [no] to constant Israeli entreaties that the US continually fight new wars in the Middle East on their behalf.” – Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’, July 30, 2012
As Mark Gardner noted, Cole’s bigotry earned him a coveted spot on veteran Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker’s list of “Best blogs and analysis from the Middle East”.
Whitaker, for those unaware, previously served as the Guardian’s Middle East editor.
Finally, as Jonathan Chait wrote about Cole, in The New Republic:
“One of the odd things about people with very left-wing views on the Middle East is that they’re obsessed with the political influence of American Jews yet almost completely unfamiliar with the actual beliefs of the subject of their obsession.”
“…the general tendency among this ideological clique is to write about American supporters of Israel with almost total ignorance, in a tone of hysteria, and treating their target as a broad, undifferentiated mass.”
A more apt characterization of the Guardian’s narrative about Zionists would be hard to find.
- “Bad taste” & “Wrong on so many levels” – Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ (cifwatch.com)
- The Guardian and Glenn Greenwald: The anti-imperialism of fools (blogs.timesofisrael.com)