Is "Embeded" anti-semitic?

I found this link on Andrew Sullivan.

Embeded is a play written and directed by Tim Robbins.

There are several reasons why I think this could be seen as anti-semitic:

  • there are repeated references to Leo Strauss, a Jewish refugee from WW2, who doesn’t seem to have much real relevance to the war against Iraq.
  • There was an essay in the program that talked about Leo Strauss’s Jewishness. They got rid of it, however.
  • In an NPR interview, Robbins mentioned that he reads “alternative newspapers”, on of which recently was criticized for an article that had a list of neo-conservatives with a bullet point next to every Jew.
  • All the villains are Jewish: Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Leo Strauss.

I have not seen Embeded, so I cannot say for sure. I do not think that Tim Robbins is a rabid anti-semite, hell-bent on the destruction of Jews. I do think that there is evidence to suggest that he thinks that some sort of powerful Jewish group was the reason we went to the war in Iraq. I find that anti-semitic and disgusting.

Ah…the greatest defense the neoconservatives have. “If you criticize us, you’re anti-semitic!”

The fact that a large number of the neoconservative inner circle are Jewish is coincidental. Criticizing Perle, Wolfowitz, is no more anti-semitic than criticizing Sharon is. It’s just the neocon version of “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”

Strawman. Read the actual reasons I wrote instead of using knee-jerk responses.

Actually, jayjay has a point that’s not fully articulated.
See below esp Do Israel’s Interests Have Undue Influence on US Foreign Policy (esp re NeoCons)

To start, from the feet of the Master
What’s the story on Leo Strauss?

Now the relevance to Iraq is made clear.
Two repeatedly noted influences on different aspects of neocon thought are Strauss and Trotsky.

This is anti-semitic how?

Hang on to your hat, there’s more to it than just that

Now see here
Do Israel’s Interests Have Undue Influence on US Foreign Policy (esp re NeoCons)

Please note that Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman said to accept as legitimate questions concerning the pro-Israel leanings of administration officials. It is legitimate to question where the Sharon government or American Jewish groups stand on the war, the line is portraying these entities as a Jewish conspiracy controlling American foreign policy. And that “American Jews are sometimes too quick to assume that antisemitism is at play.”

You’re probably right.

So because Wolfowitz studied under him, he’s a “noted influence” on neocon thought?

How is Leo Strauss’s Jewishness relevant? It isn’t, unless you believe in some ridiculous Jewish conspiracy theory.

Good lord, who brought up Israel?

Why won’t anyone say they are Jewish?

You have to wonder why they didn’t use yellow stars of david instead of black bullet points :rolleyes:

agiantdwarf reads a message board which includes threads that criticize Jewish neo-conservatives. Therefore, agiantdwarf must be anti-Semitic.

If you read these reviews, you will find that Robbins targets whole bunches of people:

Review by Karen Weinstein:


I don’t think that the “Rum-Rum” character is based on a Jew. I’m not savvy enough to know about “Gondola.” Robbins’ obvious main targets are war hawks, not Jews.

Ms. Weinstein also explains why she felt the notes on Leo Strauss were essential to the program notes:

Maybe if he hadn’t been Jewish, the notes could have been left in. They were obviously included because of his political position and influence on the architects on the Iraq War, not because of his religious or cultural heritage.

Another review:



If the administrators made a list of Jewish neo-conservatives, maybe your analogy would make sense.

Wolfowitz undoubtedly studied under a great number of instructors in his scholastic career. So the answer to your question, is no. As you know, there’s obviously more to it than that. There’re a number of other reasons that Strauss is held to be an influence on various aspects of neocon thought. Among these reasons are comments made by neocons themselves. Maybe, after I get back, (and if no one else has done so by then), I’ll look up some specific instances.

Well, to start this is what Mr. Sullivan wrote:
"Fortunately, the program for Embedded, which contains an essay by someone named Kitty Clark, does. (For the New York production at least, someone in Robbins’s orbit had the good sense to expunge from the original essay, which I found on the Internet, several pointed references to the Jewishness of Strauss and his supposed adherents.) "

Here’s a copy of the actual essay:
Leo Strauss: Could his broken heart have been the seed that grew into the war against Iraq?

There’re only five instances of Jew or Jewish in the essay. They are as follows:

In Andrew Sullivan’s hands these become “pointed references,” whatever the fuck ominous thing we’re supposed to think that phrase means.
Note that Mr. Sullivan refrained from providing us with a link to the essay that he found on the internet. Someone of a cynical bent might suppose Mr. Sullivan didn’t think that the text of the essay would help advance his argument.

Neocons themselves and critics of various aspects of neocon ideology, like Tim Robbins.
Who brought up Jews? Andrew Sullivan.

Have you read through the thread that I linked to yet?

Do Israel’s Interests Have Undue Influence on US Foreign Policy (esp re NeoCons)

How many “political persuasions” (as Kristol calls it) can make these statements about themselves:

Support for Israel is a key tenet of neoconservatism.

Commentary magazine, the monthly of the American Jewish Committee, is the neocon bible?

I don’t have time to respond to everything today, but I’ll repond to this:

Israeli author or not, this basically supports the view that Kitty Clark and Tim Robbins believe in some sort of Jewish cabal that caused the war in Iraq.

Also, Andrew Sullivan did not write the article on TNR.

Dwarf, could you explain why the anti-Semites got RID of the essay referring to Strauss’s Jewishness?

Because they don’t want anyone to know they’re anti-semites, of course!

If the show is as blatantly anti-Semitic as charged, that seems pointless. I mean, it’s so obvious that agiantdwarf knows it’s anti-Semitic, and he’s never even seen it- just read an article about it on a website.

I apologize to the OP and to everyone else in this thread. I’m being sarcastic and snarky in GD and there’s no excuse for that…

Hey, I was too. Sometimes it’s warranted.

Hey, all the bad guys are white, i think its racist too.
Oh, they are all men aswell, must be sexist at the same time.

Either that or its by a self hating pro-feminist gay man who has issues with his father.

Why did Trent Lott go on BET?

The Straussian cabal goes deeper than just our foreign policy; many people accuse Leon Kass, the head of the president’s council on bioethics, to be Straussian. He has loaded the committee with people of a similar bent, and many scientists are speaking out loudly about the bias. It has recently gotten worse with the dismissal of Elizabeth Blackburn and William May, whose views contradicted Kass. They were replaced by two people who are much more closely allied with him (as well as a devout neurosurgeon).

Some of the views espoused by Kass are not Jewish in nature – specifically the sanctity of life from conception. Orthodox Jews assure me that a fetus is not considered truly alive until IIRC 40 days, and therefore stem cell harvesting, production, and research is fully warranted.

To the group of neocons that people accuse of being too pro-Israel. First, I think they brought whatever criticism on themselves, from being too insular and from self-identifying with terms like “Likudnik.” Rumsfeld has built this ring of people around him (Feith, Wolfowitz, Perle, etc.) who are of monolithic viewpoint, of closed ranks, of similar intellectual background, and are kind of arrogant and elitist. Add the “neocon” and “Likudnik” label and voila you have the makings of a seemed cabal.

But OTOH, if one takes a step back from things, the US foreign policy has not particularly helped Israel tremendously, for all of the noise made about it. Bush has maintained a hands-off policy to Israel, has not actively encouraged Israeli actions in the territories, has not laid hands on the greatests threats to Israel (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Syria). Under Bush there has only been more talk of land-for-peace and of unilateral withdrawal. Israel is in no ground better off than it was at the beginning of the intifada.

Given the amount of influence this cabal has on foreign policy – they allegedly dragged us into a war – you would think that if being pro-Israel were there first goal, they would have accomplished more to date. Israel would have had free reign to do the Likudnik wet dream of complete reoccupation of the territories. Israel could easily accomplish what the US has in Iraq – invasion, occupation, banishment of the leadership, and attempted demilitarization. Many in the Likud (and to the right) argue that the territories need to be razed to the ground and then rebuilt, like Germany after WWII. The fact that we don’t see anything close to this is maybe a hint that this “cabal” doesn’t care as much about Isarel as everybody assumes.

I see. Are Ari Shavit and Ha’aretz also anti-Semitic?
If you’ll notice int the thread that I’ve linked to Do Israel’s Interests Have Undue Influence on US Foreign Policy (esp re NeoCons) you can find other baseless accusations of anti-Semitism.

Here’s another thread deailing with baseless accusations of anti-semitism:
Neocon = Jews??.

These are “…a conscious cheapening of the charge of anti-Semitism that should be roundly and vociferously criticized.”
“Anti-Semitism, or Jew-hating as it should more rightly be known, is reprehensible. But a false and unsupported accusation of it is equally unconscionable.”
The sole evidence you’ve presented of Embedded’s anti-semitism is Kaplan say so. Kaplan’s a partisan hack. Kaplan’s evidence consists entirely of innuendo.

So far, you’ve failed to make a case.

It’s ONLY the neocons themselves who’re trying to make the neocon=Jew connection. After insisting that their critics are making such a connection, (which they’re not), Then the neocons deride them for making such a conclusion and refute the assertion that neocons=Jews.

This is what is called a strawman.

It’s neocons themselves who say that, “support for Israel is a key tenet of neoconservatism.”
Please note that this doesn’t say anything about how being a neocon means you’re Jewish.

It’s neocons themselves who say that Commentary magazine, the monthly of the American Jewish Committee, is the neocon bible?
Please note that this doesn’t say anything about how being a neocon means you’re Jewish.

This is a neocon agitprop campaign unfolding before your eyes in real time. Enjoy.

And who have also done similar work for the Likud Party in Israel.

Or it could be that the lack of razing these territories to the ground is not an accurate means of determining the extent neocon support for Israel. This support for Israel is a “key tenet” of neoconservatism after all.