After Perpetuating Antisemitic Stereotype, Florida Jewish Journal Declines to Publish CAMERA Rebuttal

CAMERA has written previously about the Florida Jewish Journal publishing a columnist’s falsehoods and distortions. In that case, after hearing from many of CAMERA’s members, the publication eventually removed from its website every column it had published by Irwin Shishko. 

Now, the Florida Jewish Journal has again promoted an antisemitic stereotype. The column below, rebutting a claim made by Rabbi Bruce Warshal, was submitted to the Journal for publication on July 12. While an editor maintained through July 25 that the piece was still under consideration, to date, the Journal has declined to publish it. 

Those Who Wield the Title “Rabbi” Should Not Perpetuate Antisemitic Stereotypes

With increasing frequency, classic antisemitic canards are being directed today at Israel, called by Alan Dershowitz, the “Jew among nations.” So it was disturbing, to say the least, to see an author cloaked in the mantle of “Rabbi,” writing in the Florida Jewish Journal, invoking the antisemitic trope of Jews controlling the government.

On June 18, Rabbi Bruce Warshal wrote that “it appears to Israelis that Trump’s decision [about the Iran deal] came directly from Netanyahu.” (“Reasons for Trump’s decision concerning Iran.”) His evidence for this outlandish assertion?

Chemi Shalev in Haaretz reports: “In Israel these days, Benjamin Netanyahu is king, and Donald Trump is a God. Adrenaline is flowing through the nation’s veins and testosterone could soon spill over. Netanyahu is running the world, his admirers crow, and Trump is the macho-man behind him.”

That may be Chemi Shalev’s opinion, but that hardly qualifies as a “report.” Nor does the cited opinion piece even support Rabbi Warshal’s claim – in the same column, Shalev himself wrote that Trump and Netanyahu’s “relations are more a symbiosis than a one-way street.” 

In fact, one of the JCPOA’s most prominent and vocal critics, Senator Tom Cotton, made clear last October that his opposition to it is based on America’s national security interests:

The ayatollahs’ hands are dripping with the blood of American patriots. Hezbollah, the cat’s paw of the IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps], has murdered hundreds of Americans in the bombings of our embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut and of the Khobar Towers barracks in Saudi Arabia. More recently, Iran was responsible for the deaths of hundreds and hundreds of American troops in Iraq, where they supplied Shiite militias with vast arsenals, including devastating roadside bombs. This is the threat we face: a theocratic tyranny with a deep-seated ideological commitment to wreaking havoc, mayhem, and death against the United States.

The claim that Netanyahu exercises control over the foreign policy decisions of the U.S. President echoes the libels of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.

This book has been called “the most famous and vicious forgery of modern times.” Originally written by a Czarist official in early 20th century Russia, the book has been translated into German, Arabic, English, Polish, and other languages. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has called it “the most widely distributed antisemitic publication of modern times,” while the ADL notes that “the Protocols served to rationalize anti-Semitism and genocide in Hitler’s Germany.”  It remains today the source of many common – and damaging – antisemitic stereotypes.

The forgery purports to describe a series of secret meetings of a Jewish cabal bent on world domination. One of the Protocols, Protocol 9, describes the formation of a “Jewish Super-State,” and details the supposed plan for domination of governments, which relies on “extra-legal conditions,” and in which the members of the supposed cabal are the “the law-givers,” who will “execute judgment and sentence,” and “rule by force of will.”  

Rabbi Warshal’s claim that “Trump’s decision came directly from Netanyahu,” – that is, that Netanyahu exercises extra-legal control over the U.S. President – is a form of perpetuation of this myth.

Regardless of one’s opinion about the JCPOA, it’s unacceptable to traffic in antisemitic stereotypes when discussing it. Such libels should have no place in any publication, especially a Jewish publication.