05.24.13 4:30 PM ET
Will Foxman Call Kerry An Anti-Semite?
At a meeting yesterday with Israeli President Shimon Peres, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stepped in it a little bit when talking about the prospects for peace in the Mideast. "I think there is an opportunity. But for many reasons, it’s not on the tip of everybody’s tongue," he said. "People in Israel aren’t waking up every day and wondering if tomorrow there’ll be peace, because there is a sense of security and a sense of accomplishment and a sense of prosperity."
This will of course remind of Karl Vick's 2010 Time article, "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace," at the outset of another stillborn Obama administration peace push. What did Israelis think of that effort? "They're otherwise engaged; they're making money; they're enjoying the rays of late summer," Vick wrote. What is "prosperity"—Kerry's term—if not banking some coin and enjoying some sunshine?
Vick's article got him labeled anti-Semitic by American Jewish groups. "The insidious subtext of Israeli Jews being obsessed with money echoes the age-old anti-Semitic falsehood that Jews care about money above any other interest, in this case achieving peace with the Palestinians," the Anti-Defamation League's Abraham Foxman wrote to Time when Vick's story came out. It's difficult to see how that exact same rationale doesn't apply to Kerry's remarks. So can Kerry expect to come in for the same treatment? Probably: the Israeli news site Times of Israel was already baiting AIPAC for a response to Kerry's comments on Twitter.