Gutman in Trouble for Diagnosing Disease

Ambassador Roasted for Speaking Truth on Anti-Semitism

Speaking Truth: Critics slam Howard Gutman, the U.S. ambassador to tiny Belgium, because he tried to dig deeper into the causes of anti-Semitism instead of simply denouncing it.
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Speaking Truth: Critics slam Howard Gutman, the U.S. ambassador to tiny Belgium, because he tried to dig deeper into the causes of anti-Semitism instead of simply denouncing it.

By J.J. Goldberg

Published December 08, 2011, issue of December 16, 2011.

I think it’s time we faced up to the hard truth about Louis Pasteur. The famed 19th century French scientist was a rank bigot. He’s been getting a free ride for too long, and it’s got to stop.

The evidence is shocking but undeniable. It seems that while Pasteur was supposedly devoting his career to battling deadly diseases, he was actually trying to “understand” them, to “explain” what “caused” them to behave as they did. Instead of speaking out firmly against disease, he rationalized its behavior. Indeed, he put the onus on the victims to deal with the consequences of their own suffering, forcing them to ingest “vaccines” and “medicines,” as though their infirmities were their own fault. If he truly believed that germs caused disease, as he claimed, he should have been sticking his needles into the germs, not their victims.

As near as I can tell, that’s the logic behind the current attacks on the Howard Gutman, the American ambassador in Belgium. Gutman is under fire for a speech he gave to a November 30 conference on European anti-Semitism, which his critics say amounted to rationalizing and excusing anti-Semitism. In his remarks Gutman claimed that attacks on European Jews by local Muslims stem from a hatred “largely born of and reflecting the tension between Israel, the Palestinian Territories and neighboring Arab states in the Middle East.” In other words, he blamed Israel. (Well, O.K., he blamed Israelis and Arabs alike, but we know what he really meant. I mean, he works for Obama.)

Gutman said that educators and community leaders can help ease the fraught situation by “working to limit converting political and military tension in the Middle East into social problems in Europe.” But to make a real dent in European anti-Semitism, Israeli, Palestinian and neighboring Arab leaders have to sit down and talk peace.

Gutman’s most serious offense was to draw what most observers are calling a phony distinction between “classic” anti-Semitism and a supposedly new version spreading in Europe today. By way of clarification, the first refers to 1,000 years of repeated efforts by the ruling powers of Christian Europe to liquidate the Jewish people, either by forced conversion, mass murder or a combination of the two. The second refers to a series of attacks and threats against European Jews over the past decade, including vandalism, verbal abuse and some violence, mostly by Muslim immigrant teenagers.

The ambassador’s critics counter that Muslim anti-Semitism is not a product of the Israeli-Arab conflict but actually predates it by centuries, going back all the way to writings of Muhammad himself. In fact, most critics say the very act of trying to differentiate one kind of anti-Semitism from another is itself “simply anti-Semitic,” as Rep. Gary Ackerman put it. Except, of course, for the fact that one was marked by century after century of recurrent expulsions, Inquisitions, forced conversions, autos da fe and mass murders by waves of Crusaders, Ukrainian Cossacks and Nazi stormtroopers, and the other wasn’t. Other than that, they’re exactly the same.



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