Comment // Politics

It's Not Adler's Fault - Its All Those Nasty Critics!

There has been a significant backlash to Andrew Adler's op-ed. However the response from at least one senior Jewish reporter, works hard to divert attention onto Obama's legitimate critics.

The journalist in question is Haaretz's Chemi Shalev, who writes:

Like most of you, I have never met Andrew B. Adler, owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times. Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that the man is spectacularly stupid.

Very good. However, he continues:

And while we might all stipulate that there is no Jew anywhere in the world who is currently contemplating any act of violence against President Obama ...


I know, and most of you know, that Adler's crazy and criminal suggestions are not the ranting of some loony-tune individual. They were not taken out of thin air. Rather, they are the inevitable result of the inordinate volume of repugnant venom that some of Obama's political rivals, Jews and non-Jews alike, have been spewing for the last three years.

Anyone who has spent any time talking to some of the more vociferous detractors of Obama, Jewish or otherwise, has inevitably encountered those nasty nutters - and there are many - who still believe he is a Muslim, who are utterly convinced that he wants to destroy Israel, and who seriously debate whether he is more like Ahmadinejad than Arafat or - and I heard this one with my own ears - more like Hitler than Haman.

So there you have it. Adler's comments are not the result of a single Jewish reporter, but the result of everyone who criticises Obama. In fact, calls for someone's assassination are the "inevitable result" of such legitimate criticism.

While it is understandable that Mr Shalev should wish to deflect attention from his errant colleague, perhaps he should consider these points:

There is a significant difference between calling for someone's assassination, and questioning their eligibility for a job by taking action in a court of law. I have never heard any calls for Obama's assassination based on the allegation he was born in Kenya, or claims he may be Muslim.

And there is a significant difference between comparing Obama to Hitler, and calling for his assassination. It is, after all, quite reasonable to point out that this year's NDAA is an enabling act, or that Obama's repeated statements that he is working hard to do things without Congress are tantamount to dictatorship, or that he is building a private army outside the chain of command which can justifiably be compared to the SS.

Mr. Adler's article was reprehensible because taking action without due process and the rule of law is reprehensible. But Mr. Shalev's comments are equally so, for he argues that criticism of Presidents who are in the process of becoming dictators leads to calls for assassination, so really, we should all just keep our mouths shut.

Qui tacet consentire, Mr Shalev. Qui tacet consentire.