The curious views of Howard Gutman on anti-Semitism

Who said, "A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned, and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians?" 

Was it a spokesperson for Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood?  Or perhaps the United Nations Human Rights Council made this statement in one of their infamous resolutions denouncing the state of Israel? 

No, the speaker was the current United States Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman. And our most esteemed Ambassador delivered this rancid jumble of hate to a stunned audience at a major Jewish conference on anti-Semitism organized by the European Jewish Union (EJU).

No one could make this up.  From Ynetnews we learn:

Earlier, Gutman also presented participants with a short video clip showing him received with warm applause at a Muslim school in Brussels. While he did not mention what prompted the warm reception, his message was that this is the kind of welcome given to a Jew who supports President Obama's policy of openness to Islam.

The conference was attended by Jewish lawyers from across Europe. The legal experts at the event were visibly stunned by Gutman's words, and the next speaker offered a scathing rebuttal to the envoy's remarks.

"The modern Anti-Semite formally condemns Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust and expresses upmost sympathy with the Jewish people. He simply has created a new species, the "Anti-Zionist" or - even more sophisticated - the so-called 'Israel critic,'" Germany attorney Nathan Gelbart said.

"The 'Israel critic' will never state 'Jews go home' but is questioning the legality of the incorporation of the State of Israel and therefore the right for the Jewish people to settle in their homeland. He will not say the Jews are the evil of the world but claim that the State of Israel is a major cause for instability and war in the region," he said. "There is no other country, no other people on this planet the 'Israel critic' would dedicate so much time and devotion as to the case of Israel."

"For no other country he would criticize or ask to boycott its goods or academics. And this for one simple reason: Because Israel is the state of the Jewish people, not more and not less," Gelbart said.

The American envoy, a lawyer by training, is Jewish and played a major role in fundraising for the Democratic Party. He was appointed to the post by President Barack Obama.

Just for the record, US ambassadors do not make any policy statements about Israel or anti- Semitism without each word being carefully vetted by all levels of the State Department. Yes, Madam Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, we know you approved this statement, as did the West Wing of the White House. To put it bluntly, this stinking pile of offal is the official policy of the government of the United States of America.

Elections have consequences. November 6, 2012 is just 48 weeks away. Use the time wisely.

Update, Ted Belman writes:

The two recent speeches reported here, one by Panetta and one by Gutman, both Obama appointees, and both spokespersons for his administration, had one thing in common, blame Israel.

Panetta blamed Israel for the absence of negotiations with the Palis and he blamed Israel for the worsening relations with Turkey Egypt and Jordan.

Gutman blamed Israel for the "for growing antisemitism harbored by people of Muslim faith." To call them "muslims" might be seen as a pejorative so he consciously called then "people of the Muslim faith". But I digress.

On Sept 23, Bill Clinton made a speech in which he blamed Netayahu for killing the peace process. He also noted that at Camp David, "they (the Arabs) also had an Israeli government that was willing to give them East Jerusalem as the capital of the new state of Palestine." I mention this because the Atlantic Monthly recently published an article by Daniel Seidemann in which he wrote "Israeli settlement activities in East Jerusalem will soon render the geography and demography of the city so balkanized that it will no longer be possible to create a viable Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. This means the end of the two-state solution, since Palestinians will never agree to a solution that does not include a capital in East Jerusalem".

This is not by happenstance. It is a coordinated attempt by the Obama administration to make Israel and more specifically, Netanyahu, the fall guy for all that's wrong in the Middle East and specifically for the absence of peace. If only, Israel would make more concessions.

Of course Obama stays above the fray and pats himself on the back for being Israel's best friend ever.

Netanyahu's historic speech before both houses of the US government in May, laid down his red lines which included keeping Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. The audience roared in approval. Netanyahu's approval ratings both in the US and in Israel, soared.

Obama had to claw his way back to re-establish his policy of pushing for peace based on the '67 lines with swaps and a divided Jerusalem. What you see and hear is his game plan for doing so.

Blame Israel.

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and editor of Israpundit. He recently made aliya and lives in Jerusalem

If you experience technical problems, please write to