On Monday’s episode of the Fox News Channel talk show, Outnumbered, Co-host Andrea Tantaros reiterated her claim that the Obama White House is anti-Semitic. After rehashing a laundry list of supposed anti-Semitic actions, which she used as “evidence”, Tantaros posed her outlandish accusation with a rhetorical question. The co-host exclaimed:
Remember President Obama ripping Netanyahu to Nicolas Sarkozy… Also, saying Jerusalem needed to go to ’67 borders. The president’s friendship with intellectual radical Rashid Khalidi. There has been a history of things. This has not happened in a vacuum. And I do think it is time to the ask the question: is this White House anti-Semitic?
Tantaros leveled a similar charge on Thursday’s episode of Outnumbered, when she stated:
Netanyahu wants to stop Iran from building a bomb. I question does the White House really want to stop them from building the bomb, or are they enabling them?… I think it is time that we ask the question, and I’m dead serious about this, is this White House anti-Semitic? Are they?
In both instances, even her conservative fellow panelists tried to distance themselves from Tantaros’ allegations. On Thurday, FOX co-host Kennedy, bristled: “I mean, that’s a pretty heavy charge”. On Monday, FOX Senior Business Correspondent, Charlie Gasparino was even more emphatic, stating unequivocally, that ”the administration is not anti-Semitic”.
Tantaros seems to conflate anti-Semitism with opposition to Israel’s right-leaning, hawkish Likud Party, and their leader, Netanyahu. In her simplistic worldview, opposing Israel’s leader on issues of policy, is evidence of anti-Semitism, rather than simply a disagreement over ideology or strategy. Her dislike of President Obama fuels her desire to conclude that his antipathy to Netanyahu’s leadership, is rooted in anti-Jewish bigotry, rather than in philosophical differences of opinion.
Conservatives take umbrage whenever they are accused of being racist, for opposing President Obama, even when those criticisms have blatant racist undertones like accusing the President of not being an American but of being born in Kenya. Yet, Tantaros wants to accuse the White House of being anti-Semitic simply because they aren’t walking in lock step with the hawkish Jewish leader of Israel. There is no evidence that Obama is motivated by anti-Semitism. Rather his differences with Netanyahu are disagreements over policy.
In fact, recent polls show that in Israel, Netanyahu’s, Likud Party narrowly trails Isaac Herzog’s, center-left, Zionist Union Party, for the upcoming March 2015 election. The voters of Israel may not return Netanyahu as their Prime Minister. Andrea Tantaros may wonder why the voters in Israel would be so “anti-Semitic” that they could vote Netanyahu out of his position. However, anti-Semitism has nothing to do with Netanyahu’s political vulnerability. Israeli voters, like the Obama White House, just might not agree with Netanyahu’s policies. Despite Andrea Tantaros’ wild claims to the contrary, there is nothing intrinsically anti-Semitic about opposing the right-wing leader of Israel, and his dangerously hawkish policies.