40 thoughts on “Gingrich’s Implicit Anti-Semitism in Primary Victory Remarks – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.

  1. While I see in advocating “American exceptionalism” a kind of American supremacism which I see as close to racism, I can’t find anything anti-semitic in these remarks of Newt Gingrich.

    Maybe you can help me out to see, what’s the “implicit anti-semitic” part in Newt Gingrich’s remarks?

    1. Yes, I wanted to ask the same question. Although I can see why you wouldn’t like Gingrich, I don’t really see what you are implying.

    2. I think Richard clearly demonstrated this vile cynic’s between-the-lines anti-Semitism in the juxtaposition of Saul Alkinsky’s name (twice) along with American “exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky…. He draws his from Saul Alinsky, radical left-wingers and people who don’t like the classical America.” Saul Alinsky? – a thoroughly explicit Jewish name. Whether Gingrich is himself anti-Semitic is insignificant, though perhaps it’s an even worse charge if he isn’t but finds it as a cynic über alles another useful tool in his quiver of poison darts. He is a master of the coded message à la Karl Rove or Lee Atwater. And by the way, seems to me that racism and anti-Semitism share many of the same values.

  2. Sneering at Obama/Alinsky is at most anti-semitism “lite” because (far as I can see) he mentions Saul Alinsky ONLY to tar Obama with the evil of “radicalism” and as a friend of “aliens”.

    This is class warfare (wealthy-self-reliant-trickle-up-tightwads [as Newt would paint the USA and as he appeals to Republican voters] versus those [aliens-anagram-for-Alinsky] who-demand-or-offer-safety-nets [as Newt would paint Obama to republicans]).

    And that is rather funny since Obama has ABSOLUTELY climbed aboard the bus of the big banks, big war, big war-profiteering, to say nothing of totalitarianism’s favorite doo-dads such as wars of aggression, assassination (death squads, darling, not death panels), kidnapping (disappearance), detention without trial or lawyers or even one-phone-call (oubliettes), all nominally aimed at USA’s current enemies which (if you were paying attention, dears) are MUSLIMS who are widely described as enemies of Jews (or, at least, enemies of Israel — Israel being a country with notable Jewish connections, as I grasp matters).

    But Obama as alien, as having close alien connections (Alinsky) (wasn’t there once a Khalidi?), and isn’t Obama — shudder — an uppity “black” himself, another form of alien in lily-white-controlled Republican America?

  3. I don’t see the anti-Semitism in Gingrich’s remark either.

    Clearly, Gingrich is only attacking Alinsky’s politics and Gingrich probably has less animus towards Alinsky than Richard seems to have for Sheldon Adelson.

  4. RE: “The centerpiece of this campaign, I believe, is American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky,” Gingrich said, as the crowd chanted, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

    FROM SAUL LANDAU, 01/20/12:

    (excerpts) “Oy,” sobs the old woman. “Oy! Oy!”
    “What’s the matter, grandma?” asks a man passing by.
    “Oy, I’m so thirsty!”
    He returns with a glass of water. She drinks it and says: “Oy!”
    “What’s the matter now?”
    “Oy, was I thirsty!”
    Watching the Republican presidential debates has turned me –into an “Oy-ster.” Did a perverse talent agent find actors in an insane asylum by asking the inmates: “Anyone want to play a Republican presidential aspirant on TV?” …
    …I’m inundated by power-hungry individuals supporting troops, loving country, God, and anything else that will get them the votes of the foolish and the ignorant…
    …Newt also claimed Palestinians were an invented people (did Edison discover them?) and got rewarded from a highly moral and Israeli-lobby linked Jewish casino owner with a $5 million contribution to his campaign. Long live gambling – and the Israeli lobby! If God had not intended people to lose their money in casinos he wouldn’t have allowed casino owners to stack the odds against the players, or permitted states to license them…

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/20/the-oys-have-it/

    RE: “Given that Sheldon Adelson is Newt’s major money man, it makes me wonder whether Adelson will excuse this attack on a fellow Jew.” ~ R.S.

    MY COMMENT: It would not surprise me if this line of attack was dreamed up by the very same Republican political consultant who transformed ‘liberal’ into a dirty word, namely, Arthur J. Finkelstein!

  5. I am certainly no fan of a guy like Gingrich. But, the way I read this essay, is that one who favors one school of political thought attributable to a Jew (here Alinsky) over an opposite school of political thought attributable to another Jew (here Adelson) is anti-semitic. To me, this is nuts. The making of distinctions between the merits of political positions of members of a single group (Jews) belies prejudice against the group as a whole. Or do you now define “anti-Semitism” as prejudice against only some, but not all, Jews? This guts the true meaning of the word “prejudice”, which I think is what “anti-semitism” means, i.e. prejudice against Jews qua Jews.

    1. Sorry, you don’t know or understand historic anti-Semitic rhetoric. Gingrich’s is a classically anti Semitic rant portraying Jewish radicals as alien to America & American values. The only thing missing is attributing these values to foreign enemies such as Bolsheviks, Communists, whatever.

      1. I see your point, but I still disagree. I know the stereotype of Jewish-Bolshevism.

        I agree that by the “standards” the ADL applies to other persons, it is anti-Semitism. But I don’t agree with the standards of the ADL. I see it from the other side, too. When I would argue that Sheldon Adelson is a “typical ugly capitalist”, I would not see it as anti-Semitic neither though there also exists the stereotype of Jewish capitalists.

        It would be quite different, if Newt Gingrich had singled out – or at least mentioned – that Saul Alinsky was jewish. That I would see as anti-semitism, too, just as I would see calling Sheldon Adelson a “typical ugly jewish capitalist” as anti-semitism.

        As I see it the effect of labeling Gingrich’s talk anti-semitic is that jews would be above criticism, because criticism of jews would almost anyway amount to anti-semitism.

        I see this as a typical tactic usually employed by the Israel lobby: to label any critic of a jewish person anti-semitic. And as much as I disagree misuses of the anti-semitism charge by the (right wing) Israel lobby uses it, I disagree with misuses of that charge from sides I generally agree with.

        As far as I see it “classical America” could be just anything. I for example may associate with “classical America” a country with an arrogant, bloodthirsty and warmongering multi-ethnic population run by the mafia.

        In the case of “American exceptionalism” it is much more clear what is meant. It’s arguing for supremacism and it’s despicable. But it’s not specifically anti-semitic.

        1. if Newt Gingrich had singled out – or at least mentioned – that Saul Alinsky was jewish.

          Not the way anti-Semitism works in the U.S. these days. Gone are the days when a mainstream right wing pol would use the name “Jew” in a nevertheless anti-Semitic diatribe. Instead they use precisely the sort of code words used by Newt.

          “Classical America” is also code for the bygone halcyon era of Jim Crow, and white, Christian America.

          You can’t really, fully understand America unless you understand the code.

      2. I would argue that the folks on other parts of this blog–taking the Adler case as symptomatic of the supposed dual loyalty of American “zionists” (sorry, it’s just David Duke-ese for Jews) represent a more incindienary anti-semitism, even as it come from people with probably less importance than the Newt Who Stole Christmas.

        What is missing here from the analysis is due consideration of Newt the World Changing Intellectual. I believe it was Slate that ran some pretty frightening doodles (yes! frightening doodles) from the good speaker attesting to his clearly bipolar and meglomaniac urges. Somebody like that is going to be drawn, like a dog to another dog’s poop, to Alinsky (no disrepect intended–I am trying to get into Newt’s mind) as somebody who (also) harnessed ideas for revolutionary ends. If Newt is an anti-semite he is nowhere near Pat Buchanan’s league and I don’t think he has much to gain by appealing to the most fringey on the right. He now has to appeal to the Republican Center–if there still is such a thing. Summary–Alinsky is a revolutionary (as Newt sees himself) but of a countervailing “anti-American” variety, and that Classical America, of which Newt is chief intellectual is counterposed. It’s a war of ideas that Newt wants to fight. Oh Lord.

  6. Gingrich – a dwarf who tries to give himself some stature by climbing onto the shoulders of giants. It is strange that a country of four million could produce much more impressive political leaders than one of close to three hundred million.

    Sorry Richard, I can’t see the anti-semitism in the dwarf’s remarks either.It would have been more anti-semitic, I think, if he had avoided Alinsky’s name because he is Jewish.

    You say sort of disapprovingly that Adelson doesn’t embrace all Jews. Why should he? Isn’t that exactly the kind of ‘tribal loyalty’ you don’t approve of in others?

  7. Gingrich is using the name “Saul Alkinsky” as a not so subliminal code to imply that Obama is controlled by the traditional anti-segregationist, pro-union, reform minded Jewish Left. Just as he uses “food stamps” to remind the haters in the Republican Party that he is a ghetto black man. What is amazing is that probably .00001% of the population, including Gingrich’s base have any idea who Saul Alinsky was. And it is embarassing that no reporter ever asks Gingrich what he means by calling Obama a “Saul Alinsky”. For the record, Saul Alinsky died in 1972 when Obama was 11 years old and living in Hawaii. And there are no writings or papers where Obama ever refers or cites Alinsky.

    1. Interestingly, watch Gingrich win the southeast Florida Jewish vote in the coming primary. Will they be termed anti-Semites too? This whole theory is a reach too far IMO.

    2. Now that I bet is right–Newt is quite likely using anti-semitic dog whistles but whether the audience gets it I don’t know. Though they might hear the non-Anglo Saxon name and think “alien radical”. Which might or might not be specifically anti-semitic.

      It’s tricky, because you never know what people intend for sure unless there’s a longstanding pattern. But with Newt the self-proclaimed historian who has already used anti-black racist lingo, it’s probably safe to assume the worst.

  8. Reading Gingrich’s text again you might have a point after all. If there is anti-semitism there it is that of Stalin’s “pejorative euphemism”: “rootless cosmopolitans”. Tony Karon did the right thing, I think, by accepting that designation as a badge of honor. Isn’t that exactly what is needed? Cosmopolitanism! The ability to think, and have concerns, beyond one’s country’s borders.

  9. RE: “I’ve always thought it was a shame Gingrich’s name was Newt. I think it’s far more appropriate to think of him as reptilian, than amphibian.” ~ R.S.

    AN ISRAELI PERSPECTIVE: Newt Gingrich: The most dangerous man in DC, by Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine, 01/22/12

    There won’t be a real difference between another Obama term and a possible Romney presidency. But Gingrich – with his ties to the Israeli right, destructive track record from the 1990s and very personal connection to Netanyahu – could turn out to be a real nightmare.

    LINK – http://972mag.com/newt-gingrich-the-most-dangerous-man-in-dc/33607/

  10. If I said “Gingrich draws his understanding of Zionism from Sheldon Adelson, radical right-wingers and people who don’t like modern universalism”, is that anti-Semitic too?

    1. In a sense, yes. People like Mr. Adelson, emotionally and financially deeply involved in Israel’s continuing criminality and defiance of both Biblical and evolved ethics once almost synonymous with the Jewish ethos, in rejecting such diminish and corrupt that ethos and give credence to the familiar platitudes of anti-Semites. To me, for instance, that disgusting excrescence, Andrew Adler, whom Richard has earlier referenced, is both a traitor to Judaism and to this country, and what it is his inner definition of Judaism apparently is smacks of hatred of the basic Jewish decency. People like Adelman I don’t consider much better.

  11. I’ve been reading George Lakoff’s book, Moral Politics first published in 1995. He makes a very convincing case that the conservative/liberal divide is on the moral worldviews held and is not based on rational discourse.

    For the right, the “strict father” metaphor reigns and for the left, it is the “nurturent parent” metaphor. These seen under the “nation as family” metaphor. He says each side has a demonology with Hillary Clinton being the conservative bete noire and Newt holding that position for the left.

    I recommend the book to all in this election season. It seeks to explain how conservatives and liberals can hold the positions they do on a variety of subjects (gun control, social services, the military, abortion).

    What Newt had to say quoted here would not surprise anyone who has read Lakoff’s book.

  12. Having sat and had lunch with Speaker Gingrich a few years ago at a David Horowitz Freedom Centre event and having seen him at many of those events that I attended (not the most recent one for which there is a video on the web) I can say that Newt clearly likes some Jews. David Horowitz is just as Jewish as Alinsky and I’d dare say that Horowitz is actually the anti-Alinsky. He and Newt get along just fine. I strongly dislike Alinsky and all he stood for too.

    The charge of being a Jew hater is clearly nonsense. (I don’t like the other term which was, of course, invented by a Jew hating German who became an intellectual inspiration for another more famous Jew hating German)

    It is possible to dislike the actions of any number of Jews without hating all Jews for the accident of their birth. Winston Churchill is a case in point and I, along with Sir Martin Gilbert, don’t believe he was at heart a Jew hater either. And don’t go thinking I believe Newt worth of the same sentence as W.C.

    1. Wow, that’s impressive. You managed to name drop three pro-Israel neocon celebs into a short 3 paragraph comment. And not once did you advocate shooting me with a firearm as you did in yr Twitter profile. BTW, trying to wrap yrself in the mantle of Newtie, Martin Gilbert & Winston Churchill doesn’t clear you of the charges of being a homicidal buffoon, which you are.

      Go argue with Matt Rothschild about Newt’s Jewish problem. Naturally, as a right wing neocon yrself you ain’t gonna find any blemish on yr pal’s wattles. I think what you’re saying is that Newt has his favored court Jews. Like the ones in the Middle Ages who financed the prince or king’s kingdom and his wars, just like Sheldon Adelson is doing. With the diff. that Adelson isn’t a behind the scenes maneuverer like the original Court Jews. He actually owns the entire puppet show & the pols pretty much work for him. But because Adelson can’t run himself, he needs pretty boys like Newtie & Bibi to do his bidding.

      And there goes that “clearly” again. It’s a “tell.” Whenever the righties want to argue a point that is weak they say it’s “clearly” so, when it’s anything but.

  13. If Gingrich gets the nomination; I see Netanyahu’s minions pulling an October Surprise that will lose Obama the Presidency.

    Of course, if Ron Paul by some miracle pulled off the nomination, Netanyahu would become Obama’s best friend.

  14. Actually, if Gingrich had any stock in “classical America”, he would call for a return to Thomas Jefferson’s foreign policy:

    “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations: entangling alliances with none.”

    Can anyone imagine this happening?

  15. I don’t think zionist exceptionalist Newt thought about anything other than Alinsky’s marxism in his his comments . To read “anti-semitism” into them is paranoid .

    What’s “semitic” about somebody named “Alinsky” anyway . Newt certainly is anti all those semites still living in their ancient homeland whose forebears chose to believe in a messiah or two .

  16. There isn’t an iota of evidence that Gingrich is anti-Semitic, but plenty that there isn’t, including his involvement with a number of Jews and Jewish organizations.

    This baseless accusation is just the flip side of the coin of the right wing nuts who say that any time someone criticizes Israel, they are an anti-Semite. So any time someone says something bad about someone who happens to be a Jew, it’s the same deal?

    Alinsky is a bogeyman for conservatives, but not because he was Jewish, anymore than Marx fits that bill. Yeah, some Jew haters might bring up the fact that he was Jewish, but contempt for Alinsky of itself is no more anti-Semitic than contempt for Marx and there are plenty of Jews who despise both. Obama used Alinsky organizational methods as a community organizer in Chicago, so it’s completely legitimate to bring ihis name up criticizing the President.

    But to suggest that in doing so, Gingrich is being anti-Semitic instead of anti-Obama and anti-Communist makes you look unhinged.

    1. Karl Marx wasn’t a Jew. One of his grandfathers was. If you knowledge of anti Semitism is as poor as your knowledge of history, we can’t take anything you say very seriously. Alinsky was a Jew and his radicalism derived in part from his Jewish values and heritage. Denouncing him for those values and using terms like “radical” and “alien” is classical anti Semitism.

      1. All four of Karl Marx’s grandparents were Jewish (in fact, both his grandfathers were rabbis) and his parents were also both born Jewish but converted later in life.

  17. Just read in Talking Points Memo that our great supporter of Israeli outlawry and such, Sheldon Adelson, is offering one of our leading defenders of family values, honesty and balanced intellectualism, none other than the Newt himself, yet another 5 million dollars. As Greg Palast once put it, ‘The best democracy money can buy.” Well, Adelson knows a good deal and is willing to pay big bucks up front for it. Wouldn’t it be just great, after all, to have as President one who has declared that there’s no such thing as Palestinians.

  18. All this arguing must be a living Hell, which is why I’m coming to the conclusion that everybody should feel really sorry for all Jews in general. What we should do is never forget the Ten Commandments and figure out how to make Tangy Tangerine more available for all, and to all a good night.

  19. Sorry Mr. Silverstein, I just don’t see this here. I understand from previous posts that you are not too fond of Newt Gingrich. Well, that’s one thing. But then accusing him of anti-Semitism through this is totally different, simply because you dislike him.

    Do you think that just because he opposes someone, who happens to be Jewish, that makes him an anti-Semite? Are you an anti-Semite for opposing Jews like Bibi Netanyahu? While Gingrich characterizes Saul Alinsky as “radical leftist,” you characterize Bibi as “far rightist.” (although his policies and concessions indicate otherwise…)

    That notion is absurd. This is slanderous. I myself am not a supporter of Gingrich, but this accusation is just terrible. It is very very easy to oppose someone, who happens to be Jewish, and not be anti-Semitic.

    Now, you also use the verse Kol Yisrael Arevim ze baze. If so, why are you so much against Bibi Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson? After all, they’re Jews. Or do you perhaps like Jews, but only those who are leftists? That would be hypocritical to your entire post. In fact, this comment is really just an opposite post of yours.

    How about this Jewish verse – Dan Lekaf Zechut? Judge for the benefit of the doubt. This applies to Jews and non-Jews.

    You have weighed serious accusations and slander against Sheldon Adelson for his support of someone you don’t like. However, it is perfectly reasonable that someone may give money to someone else without supporting 100% of everything they say, but only most of it.

    Now that’s with the assumption Gingrich was being anti-Semitic, which he wasn’t in any possible shape or form. The fact that this slanderous claim is just that – a claim – and has no truth to it, makes it even more disastrous.

    Now, what about Newt Gingrich? You specifically said “implied.” So it’s not definite, even to you. If it’s not definite, how dare you levy an accusation against him? What about turning a blind eye to him? Judge him for the benefit of the doubt! “Oh no he may not really have meant that.”

    However, the whole concept of using Jewish verses is also hypocritical if the person using them is not a full adherent to the 613 mitzvot. I do not know you or your personal life. However, should it be that you are not a full adherent to that, and are not Orthodox (be it modern-Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox or haredi, etc), but rather pick and choose (ex: go to shul on Yom Kippur, but drive there and eat McDonald’s), but rather use your maternal descent for political reasons, then that is indeed disastrous. Again, that is not for me to state, but rather for you to reflect upon.

    And lastly, I will invoke the Jewish term, or paraphrase it, that every man should view the world as though half of it is good and half of it is bad. Doing one good act brings salvation and redemption to the world. One bad act utterly condemns the world.

    Through slanderious accusations, hypocrisy, not judging for the benefit of the doubt, and hating fellow Jews such as Bibi and Adelson instead of rather disliking their policies, there is a possibility that instead of repairing the world, you have utterly condemned it.

    1. If I called Bibi an “radical” with values “alien” to Israel then sure I’d be an anti-Semite. But I haven’t. And you’ve conveniently left out the fact that Gingrich called Alinksy “alien” to American values which is code word for anti-Semitism.

      Watch out for using terms like “slanderous.” This is a precise legal term & if you’re not a lawyer don’t use it. If you use it again you will be moderated. I don’t allow rightists like you to use such wild, unfounded accusations. Read the comment rules before commenting again. I mean this very seriously.

      Sheldon Adelson & Bibi Netanyahu are not “Israel.” They are individual Jews. The saying you quoted doesn’t say all Jews are connected to each other. It speaks of “Israel” and not “Jews.” My connection is to Israel, not them.

      I do not judge the guilty or give them the benefit of the doubt.

      the whole concept of using Jewish verses is also hypocritical if the person using them is not a full adherent to the 613 mitzvot.

      This is one of the stupidest, most ludicrous statements I’ve read from a Jew in a very long time. It reveals you to be a radical Orthodox settler supporter & discredits anything further you have to say.

      Finally, the grossly unjust deeds of Adelson & Gingrich have simply disappeared from your view. I have done no bad act in condemning them for the misery they’ve inflicted on others.

      I warn you that I weary quickly of the sort of nonsense you’ve penned here. If you intend to return unless you have something new to offer I will not suffer your foolishness very long before moderating you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link