On 'Court Jews,' Netanyahu, Dog-Whistling, and Puppet Masters

The Jew-as-puppet-master meme has been given a strong lift in recent years by commentators in the Muslim world, who see malignant Jewish influence everywhere. In 2003, the then-prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, made a now-famous speech to the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference that laid out a vision of international Jewish puppet-mastery with concision: The Jews "survived 2000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking," he said. "They invented and successfully promoted Socialism, Communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so they may enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power."

In the context of Maureen's column, the word "neocon," when attached to the concept of "puppet mastering," is obviously going to be interpreted a certain way by people looking to have their prejudices confirmed. (In another post, I'll publish, if I can stand to wade through the muck, some of the e-mail I received praising Maureen for "bravery" and "guts" for condemning Jewish influence on the democratic process. And again, I don't think this is what Maureen was trying to do.)

One final, amusing note: The far-right polemicist Steve Sailer, who spends most of his days arguing that black people are mentally inferior to white people, this week addressed the question of whether Maureen actually knew the meaning of the language she deployed (a question I raised in my first post), and in so doing, paid me a compliment I don't think I deserve:

Right, Jeffrey, Maureen Dowd is obviously a naive young girl who hasn't been around the block a few times, so she doesn't understand the meaning of what she writes.

Goldberg, as usual, is way exaggerating, but, still, there's a more here than when, say, Goldberg started the smear campaign that got Glenn Beck thrown out of the MSM.

I had no idea I got Glenn Beck thrown out of the mainstream media. I thought he managed to do that to himself. But maybe I'm just an unknowing puppet master.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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