Let’s start with Cynthia McKinney. Don’t you think that if Arab-American or African-American groups targeted an incumbent white, liberal, maybe Jewish, congressperson, and shipped in money by the truckload to oust the incumbent, the rafters would shake with bellows of outrage?
Yet when a torrent of money from out-of-state Jewish organizations smashed Earl Hilliard, the first elected black Representative in Alabama since Reconstruction, you could have heard a mouse cough. Hilliard had made the fatal error of calling for some measure of evenhandedness in the Middle East. So he was targeted by AIPAC and the others. Down he went, defeated in the Democratic primary by Artur Davis, a black lawyer who obediently sang for his supper on the topic of Israel.
At that particular moment the liberal watchdogs were barking furiously in an entirely different direction. Ed McGaa, a Green candidate, has had the effrontery to run in Minnesota for Paul Wellstone’s Senate seat. Such an uproar! Howls of fury from Marc Cooper and Harold Meyerson lashing McGaa for his presumption. Even a pompous open letter from Steve Cobble hassling the Minnesota Greens for endangering St. Paul. Any of these guys think of writing to Artur Davis, telling him to back off, or to denounce him as a cat’s-paw of groups backing Sharon’s terror against Palestinians? You bet they did.
Then it was McKinney’s turn. A terrific liberal black Congresswoman. Like Hilliard, she wasn’t cowed by the Israel-right-or-wrong lobby and called for real debate on the Middle East. And she called for a real examination of the lead-up to 9/11. So the sky has fallen in on her. Torrents of American Jewish money shower her opponent, a black woman judge called Denise Majette. Buckets of shit are poured over McKinney’s head in the Washington Post and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Here’s how it’s been working. McKinney sees what happened to Hilliard, and that American Jewish money is pumping up Majette’s challenge. So she goes to Arab-American groups to try to raise money to fight back. This allows Tom Edsall to attack her in the Post as being in receipt of money from pro-terror Muslims. Lots of nasty-looking Arab/Muslim names fill Edsall’s stories.
Now just suppose someone looked at names in the pro-Israel groups funding Majette, who by mid-August had raised twice as much money as McKinney. Aren’t they supporting the terror that has US-made F-16s bombing kids in Gaza? What’s the game here? It’s a reiteration of the message delivered to politicians down the years, as when Senator Charles Percy and others went down: Put your head over the parapet on the topic of Israel/Palestine, and we’ll blow it off. And when blacks denounce the role of outside Jewish money in the onslaughts on Hilliard and McKinney, there’ll be an avalanche of hysterical columns about the menace of black anti-Semitism. Just you wait. It’s a closed system.