Defending Limbaugh, right-wing media smear Foxman

››› ››› BROOKE OBIE

After Anti-Defamation League (ADL) national director Abraham Foxman criticized Rush Limbaugh for his January 20 statement that "a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there" -- remarks Limbaugh later lied to defend -- the right-wing media has rushed to defend Limbaugh and to attack Foxman. Foxman has been smeared as a "terrible Jew" and a "plague on his people," and described as a "disgusting, craven little twerp."

Limbaugh lies to defend remarks Foxman denounced

Rush: Many "people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse" about Obama. From the January 20 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: If you have often wondered just out of, you know, a legitimately curious political sense -- if you have asked yourself why are so many Jewish people liberal, when it seems that so much of what liberals do would be anathema to Jewish people, particularly abortion, but any number of things -- taxes, tax increase. Lookit -- you know something, folks? There are a lot of people, when you say banker, people think Jewish. People who have prejudice, people who have, you know -- what's the best way to say -- a little prejudice about them. To some people, bankers, code word for Jewish -- and guess who Obama's assaulting? He's assaulting bankers. He's assaulting money people. And a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there.

Anyway, if you've -- if you have often asked that question, if you've been puzzled by so many Jewish people vote liberal or vote Democrat, you -- give Norman's book a shot. It's called, Why Jews Are Liberals [sic]. And he's Jewish, and he would know. And it's -- look, it's a good read. And Norman is a -- there's no other way to say it -- he's a profound intellectual but he's not an egghead elitist. And he's written this book with an effort to have anybody that reads it understand exactly what he is talking about.

Foxman blasted Limbaugh's "borderline anti-Semitic comments" as "offensive" and a "new low." On January 21, Foxman issued the following statement on behalf of the ADL:

Rush Limbaugh reached a new low with his borderline anti-Semitic comments about Jews as bankers, their supposed influence on Wall Street, and how they vote.

Limbaugh's references to Jews and money in a discussion of Massachusetts politics were offensive and inappropriate. While the age-old stereotype about Jews and money has a long and sordid history, it also remains one of the main pillars of anti-Semitism and is widely accepted by many Americans. His notion that Jews vote based on their religion, rather than on their interests as Americans, plays into the hands of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists.

When he comes to understand why his words were so offensive and unacceptable, Limbaugh should apologize.

Limbaugh lied in defense of his comments about Jewish people on Wall Street. Calling for Foxman to apologize to him, on January 22, Limbaugh falsely claimed that he was referring only to what "Jew-haters" believe when he made comments about Jewish people on Wall Street. In fact, while Limbaugh did discuss what he said people with prejudice believe, he also clearly stated -- as fact and in his own voice -- that "a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there."

Right-wing media respond to Foxman's criticism by smearing him, calling for his firing

Steyn: ADL should be "ashamed" of themselves, should tell "buffoon" Foxman to "t[ake] an early retirement." Filling in for Limbaugh on the January 25 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, Mark Steyn said of Foxman:

STEYN: These are physically dangerous times for Jews in almost every other part of the Western world, and this disgusting, craven little twerp thinks that the fount of anti-Semitism is Rush Limbaugh. This guy is a buffoon. The ADL should be ashamed of themselves, should be embarrassed at having this guy speaking for them, and should say to him, "Look, whatever you did in the past, it's gone now, and we'd just as soon appreciate it if you took early retirement."

Geller claims "liberal Jews" like Foxman have "sickness of the soul," Jews are giving "blood money" to "terrible Jew" Foxman. In a January 25 Newsmax column, Pamela Gellar defended Limbaugh as a "wonderful friend of the Jews" and cited Foxman as an example of the "liberal Jews" she claims have a "sickness of the soul." After accusing Foxman of "demoniz[ing] Christian groups that love Israel but is kowtowing to the Islamic jihad," she asked: "Which Jews support deleterious characters like Foxman? Which Jews give blood money to these self-hating wretches? Who empowers these terrible Jews?" She concluded: "Mr. Foxman, please step aside now for the sake of the Jews."

The Corner's Leeden: "I want Foxman retired and replaced." National Review contributing editor Michael Leeden defended Rush in a January 22 post to The Corner, saying that:

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 wants Rush to apologize. Nuts. I want Foxman retired and replaced by somebody who fights for Jews and our friends.

Geller calls ADL's Foxman "a plague on our people" asks him to "step aside." In her January 22 BigJournalism.com defense of Limbaugh, Geller cited Foxman as the "most odious" of the "clear and present enemies of the Jewish people among our senior ranks" whom American Jews have "tolerat[ed] and support[ed]." Geller also called Foxman "a plague on our people," and asked that he "please step aside. Please step aside now, for the sake of the Jews."

Big Journalism's Shapiro: "Apologize to Rush Limbaugh, Mr. Foxman," his criticism "endangers Jews." Syndicated columnist Ben Shapiro defended Limbaugh in a BigJournalism.com post, saying that "Foxman's statements are ridiculous, insulting, and wrongheaded. He should apologize to Rush immediately." To support this claim, Shapiro stated that "Rush is indicting those who would seize on Obama's 'bankers' language to hurt Jews" -- the same false argument that Limbaugh previously used to defend his comments. He concluded: "The Jews don't have many friends outside the conservative movement in the United States. When Foxman attacks those friends, he endangers Jews far more than he protects them. And that is a betrayal of his mission and the trust that so much of the Jewish community has placed in him."

Breitbart tweet: "fire" Foxman. In a January 24 post to his Twitter feed, Andrew Breitbart linked to Shapiro's piece, commenting:

Norman Podhoretz demanded Foxman apologize to Rush. Commentary editor-at-large Norman Podhoretz released a statement on Rush Limbaugh's website on January 21, saying that Limbaugh had been "subjected to a vile attack by Abraham Foxman." He continued:

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.

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