Hitch provides an obvious example:
A few months ago, I wrote here that the recent sharp deterioration in Israeli-Turkish relations was at least partially explicable by a single fact: This year, a key House committee voted to refer to the Turkish massacre of the Armenians in 1915 as genocide. In previous years, that vote had gone the other way. The difference, I pointed out, was this: Until recently, the Israel lobby on the Hill had worked to protect Turkey from such condemnation. But after the public quarrel between Turkey's prime minister and Israel's president at Davos, the lobby was in no mood to do any more favors. In other words, a vote with major implications for U.S. foreign policypositive ones in my opinionwas determined by the supporters of a single power. I did not receive a single letter of complaint for making this observation, and I know nobody in Washington who would have quarreled with its obviousness.
So why the fuss over Rick Sanchez?
Surely the tone and generalities about media ownership, as Hitch notes, and as I posted. But this statement on its own seems completely banal to me:
Do not underestimate the Jewish lobby on Capitol Hill. That is the best-organized lobby, you shouldn't underestimate the grip it has on American politicsno matter whether it's Republicans or Democrats.
Hitch is right to argue that this cannot empirically be in dispute among sane people in Washington - although the Belgian who said it, like Sanchez, draped it in self-evident anti-Semitic hooey. Sigh. Maybe that connection tells us something. But maybe it doesn't necessarily.