Suppose it had been reported
that 26 years ago Rick Lazio or, better still, Rudy
Giuliani bitter at having lost a congressional election,
had launched into his campaign manager and called him to
his face a "fucking Jew bastard." How would Hillary
Clinton have reacted? More than likely she would have professed
herself profoundly "disturbed." After repeatedly
demanding a full explanation, she would at some point have
shown magnanimity and made a great show of "accepting"
her opponent's denials, while insisting that he commit
himself to fighting bigotry and prejudice for the rest of
his life and to the enactment of "hate crimes"
truth is, there are few more vicious practitioners of the
politics of "antiracism" or "anti-anti-Semitism"
than Hillary Clinton. Which is why her current predicament
is so richly deserved. In State
of a Union, Jerry Oppenheimer lists three witnesses
to Hillary's alleged outburst: the target himself,
Paul Fray; his wife Mary Lee; and Neil McDonald, an Arkansas
political consultant. Their assertions are not exactly resonant
with credibility, but then neither are Hillary's denials.
As Mickey Kaus has pointed out, Hillary contradicted herself
at her Westchester press conference: "First (according
to an unofficial transcript) she said, 'And the president
and I were the only other two people there, with the two
people who were there, and it did not happen.' Later
she said, 'I don't remember being in the room.
If there was a meeting between the president and me and
the two of them I don't have any recollection of what
they're talking about.'"
the supposedly acutely intelligent Hillary is unable to
recall much, her husband remembers the meeting very clearly:
"She might have called him a bastard. I wouldn't
rule that out. She's never claimed that she was pure
is now invoking the usual sanctimonious piety about the
"continuation of the politics of personal destruction
that I think is so bad for our country." Yet slander
and "personal destruction" are her specialty.
Earlier this year she told the Independence Party, the New
York wing of the Reform Party, that she would never run
on its line. "I cannot and will not, as the price for
any endorsement, embrace or excuse those who use hateful
rhetoric to separate and divide," she droned on self-righteously.
"If this party allows itself to become defined by the
anti-Semitism, extremism, prejudice and intolerance of a
few shrill voices of both the right and the left, you will
be doing yourselves and our state a great disservice."
she also issued a dreary denunciation of Pat Buchanan and
"his history of anti-Semitic, divisive and intolerant
comments." Hillary never bothers to justify any of
her insulting and outrageous characterizations. She is only
out to destroy her opponents' reputations. No doubt
Hillary original as ever saw Buchanan as a safe
target for abuse. Yet no one not Norman Podhoretz,
not Abe Foxman of the ADL has ever come forward to
say that Buchanan used language as crudely anti-Semitic
as Hillary's allegedly was that night.
during the present senatorial campaign, Hillary has not
passed up the opportunity to play the "anti-Semitism"
card. In January, at an event organized by CORE, Mayor Giuliani
appeared on the same dais as Jorg Haider, leader of Austria's
Freedom Party. Giuliani did not know that Haider was there.
Hillary demanded to know what Giuliani was doing hanging
out with Haider. She also released a letter she had written
to Edgar M. Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress,
asking people to "express their concern" about
Haider's joining Austria's government. Haider's record of
"intolerance, extremism and anti-Semitism should be
of concern to all of us," Clinton wrote. (The words
are identical to the ones she used to characterize the Reform
Party and Pat Buchanan. Hillary is a slave to the cliche.)
First Lady also likes to put the Holocaust to good use.
Back in 1996, when she was a target of Kenneth Starr's
investigation, she showed up at her husband's State
of the Union address accompanied by Elie Wiesel.
Clintons, however, are fortunate in their enemies. Just
as Hillary's campaign was floundering, this silly little
story from 26 years ago came along, which could well propel
her to victory in November. Suddenly the woman seems almost
sympathetic, as Rupert Murdoch's hacks trot out once
more the tired litany of complaints. She is attacked for
not condemning loudly or early enough Suha Arafat's
accusations about Israelis firing poison gas at Palestinian
children. In 1998 she called for the establishment of a
Palestinian state. She is also attacked for waffling on
Jerusalem, describing it on one occasion as "the eternal
and indivisible capital of Israel," while at other
times insisting that its final status must await a negotiated
silliest piece, as usual, was Andrea Peyser's: "Jews
don't need to believe she called anyone, Jewish or
otherwise, a 'f---ing bastard' to realize that
the woman has long displayed indifference, bordering on
hostility, to Jews." Hostility to Jews! How? When?
We are back to the old story of Hillary's time as chairwoman
of the New York-based New World Foundation in the 1980s.
According to Peyser, the foundation "awarded $15,000
to an organization that openly funneled cash to two groups
controlled by the Palestinian Liberation Organization."
So we have $15,000, hardly a king's ransom, going to
one organization that sent the cash on to two other organizations
that allegedly were "controlled" by the PLO whatever
"controlled" may mean which is now Israel's
chief negotiating partner in the Middle East. "She
just doesn't get it," Peyser concludes.
of us do. Thank you, Rupert Murdoch. We'll now have
the Clintons to kick around for another six years.