Andrew Sullivan writes, in reference my charge that Hannah Rosenthal, the State Department's anti-anti-Semitism czar, made as her "first target" of criticism Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, for refusing to speak at the J Street conference:
First, this is untrue. As you can see, in this same interview she is highly critical of the UN and brutally frank about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and the Middle East. But for simply criticizing Oren's direct intervention in domestic Jewish-American politics, and his picking and choosing which pro-Israel group to snub or endorse, she is beyond the pale.
How long before she too is called an anti-Semite? Or has she been already?
Yes, well, let me take Andrew's points individually. I probably should have qualified my charge by stating that one of her first targets was Oren, not her first target. On the other hand, I read the interview as well, and she singles out no individual for criticism except for Oren. She is critical of the U.N for the sin of disproportionality, but she has no hard words for Richard Goldstone, and yes, she is critical of anti-Semitism as a phenomenon, but she names no individual who might currently be perpetrating anti-Semitism, these individuals being the putative target of her office.
But all this is irrelevant. The real question is: Why is an American diplomat criticizing a foreign ambassador for his choice of speaking engagements in America? I asked three people who currently work in the State Department if they could recall an instance in which an official of their department ever criticized a foreign ambassador for such a thing -- or for anything -- and they said no. In fact, the State Department is fairly upset at Rosenthal for speaking at all about the alleged political proclivities of a foreign ambassador, not about her specific criticism. It is this behavior that has put her beyond the pale, despite Andrew's assertion to the contrary.