Earlier this week, I posed a political question in the process and in the context of trying to help a friend and my audience understand the concept that people ask me about a lot: ‘Why are so many Jewish people liberal?’ And a friend of mine — a good friend of mine, Norman Podhoretz — has written a book, an excellent book to explain it. Mr. Podhoretz is himself Jewish. He is the husband of Midge Decter and the father of John Podhoretz, and I know all of them very well and have socialized with them on a number of occasions, and in the process of… Let me just read you this. Podhoretz has written a response to Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, who is demanding that I apologize for ‘borderline anti-Semitism.’ Now, anybody who listens to this program even marginally knows that this program is and has consistently been one of the most outspoken supporters of the Jewish people and of Israel in particular.
And Mr. Foxman knows this as well. What I suspect is the usual thing that happened. Somebody took a few words that I said in a pretty long monologue, cut them up, and published them in a way to make it appear I said something that I didn’t say, and rather than check it out… And by now I would think anybody in the mainstream media or in any mainstream American endeavor, after 20 years of these types of attacks — me being taken out of context and every one of them being shown to be wrong, every one of these attacks being shown to be fallacious — I would think that by now some people would realize what’s going on. But I don’t think that they do. I think they want these attacks to be real. I think they want the out-of-context quotes to be real. It’s just like during this NFL controversy, when there were purely fabricated quotes of me that were plastered all over the American media: newspapers, websites, television.
The Reverend Jackson repeated them. They said that I supposedly supported slavery because it kept the streets safe at night and that I wanted a congressional medal given to the assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King. And people knew that I didn’t say it but they wanted to believe I’d said it, because they would love to get rid of me. Folks, the left has never been angrier at me than they are this week because of what I myself said this week only yesterday. Back when Obama was inaugurated, even prior to him being inaugurated, everybody was inside the celebrity bubble. ‘Oh, we must not criticize our brand-new president. He’s so young and he’s so historical. This means so much to America. We must hope and we must pray that he succeeds.’ Well, I didn’t join any of that. I didn’t want him to succeed. I don’t want socialism in this country. I do not want the government running car companies, the banks, the student loan program.
I don’t want the government telling banks how they can and can’t operate. I don’t want Obama being everybody’s boss. I don’t want the government being able to hire and fire people and set salaries. That’s all happened. I don’t want that kind of thing. I wanted him to fail. I was the only person to say so, and that changed the political dynamic. It got rid of it. It burst the celebrity bubble that everybody was in treating Obama not as a politician but something much larger: ‘Transformational, postpartisan, postracial,’ and now we know post-achievement: He hasn’t achieved anything. So this year has transpired and everything he’s fought for, the big things, have crashed and burned. And it all came to a culmination this week.
So the sheer hatred of me crystallized and compacted this week. You know, I totally understand people trying to damage me and my credibility so that I’m no longer a factor. The thing is when they do this they only amplify me and add to my supposed importance. But you don’t have to be anything other than a liberal to lie about me and attack me and so forth, and this is silly. This ‘borderline anti-Semitic’ charge from the Anti-Defamation League is just silly, and here is what Mr. Podhoretz himself has written in response. He titled this: ‘It’s Not Rush Limbaugh Who Should Apologize — In my new book, ‘Why Are Jews Liberals?’, I argue that it no longer makes any sense for so many of my fellow Jews to go on aligning themselves with the forces of the Left.
‘I also try to show that our interests and our ideals, both as Americans and as Jews, have come in recent decades to be better served by the forces of the Right. In the course of describing and agreeing with the book the other day, Rush Limbaugh cited a few of the numerous reasons for the widespread puzzlement over the persistence of liberalism within the American Jewish community. And while discussing those reasons, he pointed to the undeniable fact that for ‘a lot of people’ — ‘prejudiced people,’ as he called them twice — he was not referring to himself; he was referring to bigots, prejudiced people…’ I was refer to Jew haters — and, Mr. Foxman, this is what’s been omitted from what you read that I said. I was alluding to what you know exists. You know that there are Jew haters out there and I know there are Jew haters out there, and many of them are in the Obama administration or in his circle of friends.
And Mr. Foxman, if you really want to go after anti-Semitism you should first start looking at it on the left and within the Obama administration and within his circle of friends, because that’s why you’re going to find it. You’re not going to find anti-Semitism on this radio show. You’re going to find nothing but love and respect and admiration for the Jewish people and an unwavering support for Israel that has not ever shaken. I was referring to the Jew haters, the bigots. Twice I referred to ‘prejudiced people.’ Let me read the paragraph over here again: ‘And while discussing those reasons, he pointed to the undeniable fact that for ‘a lot of people’ — ‘prejudiced people,’ as he called them twice — he was not referring to himself; he was referring to bigots, prejudiced people the words ‘banker’ and ‘Wall Street’ are code words for ‘Jewish.’
‘Was it possible, he wondered, that Obama’s attacks on bankers and Wall Street were triggering a certain amount of buyer’s remorse within the American Jewish community, which gave him 78% of its vote? Finally, taking off from my observation that many Jewish liberals like to call themselves independents,’ this is Mr. Podhoretz speaking, ‘[Limbaugh] wondered whether a fair number of the self-described independents who deserted Obama and voted for Scott Brown might actually have been Jewish liberals. If so, [Limbaugh] concluded, Brown’s ‘victory could be even more indicative of an even bigger change in the political temper of the country than has so far been recognized.’ For this, Rush Limbaugh has been subjected to a vile attack by Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
‘Of course, Mr. Foxman has a long history of seeing an anti-Semite under every conservative bed while blinding himself to the blatant fact that anti-Semitism has largely been banished from the Right in the past forty years, and that it has found a hospitable new home on the Left, especially where Israel is concerned.’ The left is where the anti-Israel forces exist, including in this administration, Mr. Foxman! ‘This makes Foxman a perfect embodiment of the phenomenon I analyze in ‘Why Are Jews Liberals?’ Now Foxman has the chutzpah to denounce Rush Limbaugh as an anti-Semite and to demand an apology from him to boot. Well, if an apology is owed here, it is the national director of the Anti-Defamation League who should apologize for the defamatory accusation of anti-Semitism that he himself has hurled against so loyal a friend of Israel as Rush Limbaugh.’
Michael Ledeen… By the way, we’ve put Mr. Podhoretz’s statement on my website. It’s also at the Commentary blog. Michael Ledeen weighed in on this with a post at the National Review Online Corner blog. ‘Norman Podhoretz quite properly takes Anti-Defamation League czar Abe Foxman to task for insinuating that Rush is somehow a Jew-hater for wondering if Jewish voters are having buyer’s remorse regarding Obama. They certainly should, both because of Obama’s striking nastiness to Israel and of his attacks on ‘greedy bankers’ (which Rush mentioned), free broadcasting, and of course the crusade against American medicine, all enterprises in which Jews have long flourished. Rush should be a hero to Foxman and American Jews, but they are so blindly partisan that they can no longer distinguish between their friends and their enemies.
‘Foxman has relentlessly attacked American Evangelicals — arguably the most pro-Jewish and pro-Israel people in America — but conveniently disappears when the government goes after real Jews for presumed ‘dual loyalty.’ Which, one might say, is the core principle of the ADL. Foxman wants Rush to apologize. Nuts. I want Foxman retired and replaced by somebody who fights for Jews and our friends.’ That’s Michael Ledeen. You know, I have to tell you, folks, one of my closest friends is Mark Levin. Everybody knows this. Mark Levin is Jewish. Mark Levin is disgusted with Abraham Foxman. What I’ve come to learn through this episode is how many Jewish people are disgusted with Abraham Foxman and have been for many years. I guess, basically… I really don’t want to do this because Mr. Podhoretz’ book is great (Why Are Jews Liberals?) and if you’ve ever wondered that, you need to read his book.
I know a lot of you do because it’s been a question that I’ve received a lot, particularly since the Obama administration. It was obvious from the early days of this administration that Israel was in the crosshairs of this administration. The Hollywood left supports Obama, and Jewish people on the left support Obama, and there are some people who said, ‘I don’t understand. I thought Israel was a key thing to all Jewish people,’ and I say, ‘Read Mr. Podhoretz’s book: Why Are Jews Liberals?’ Basically… It’s more complicated than this but I synthesize it down to one thing: Liberals are liberals first. They’re partisans first, whatever else they are. If they’re feminists, they’re still liberals first. If they’re animal rights nuts, they’re liberals first. If they are the hoaxers of climate change and global warming, they are liberals or socialists first — and the issues that they attach themselves to are simply their springboards, their jumping-off points for advancing liberalism and statism.
That’s what the Democrat Party has become: A coalition of all these disparate groups — the civil rights coalitions, the animal rights groups, feminism, the Hollywood left, all this stuff — and they all have one mission, and that is they hate conservatives and Republicans and they love government, and they have big problems with capitalism. So they’re all united in trying to destroy capitalism — or limit it, or blame it — and make America more like a Western European, socialist democracy. Anyway, thanks to Mr. Podhoretz for his reply, also to Michael Ledeen. But Mr. Foxman, not only am I not going to apologize, I’m going to say you should be embarrassed and next time call me if you think I’ve said something anti-Semitic or call somebody that knows me and find out what I actually said rather than trusting your friends on the left to accurately report what I said. I was in the midst of promoting, because I think it was worthwhile, the work of a celebrated and brilliant American Jew: Norman Podhoretz, and you refer to me as ‘borderline anti-Semitic.’ That doesn’t compute, Mr. Foxman.