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May 23, 2013

In Trouble? Just Say 'The Mossad Did It'

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French existentialist writer Jean-Paul Sartre, in Anti-Semite and Jew (1948), famously asserted that “if the Jews did not exist, the anti-Semite would invent him.” Humans’ apparently eternal need for scapegoats—and compulsion to scapegoat Jews even or especially in their Zionist incarnation as Israelis—is such that a news item headlined “Chavez ally paints picture of power struggle in alleged tape” didn’t sound at all surprising:

The Miami Herald (May 20) reported that popular Venezuelan talk show host Mario Silva announced he was taking a leave of absence shortly after the leak of an alleged conversation he had with a Cuban intelligence official. A former confidant of the late Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez and self-described Marxist, Silva was said to have blamed “fascists” and called the tape “rubbish put out by the Israeli Mossad and the CIA. We have proof!”

In the recording he crudely demeaned the administration of Chavez’s successor President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s relatives, and other Venezuelan politicians.

Commercials for Southwest Airlines’, after showing subjects in embarrassing situations, asked “want to get away?” Mario Silva, faced with the need to escape hot water by blaming someone else, reached for a favorite of Latin American authoritarians, the United States, and for the oldest scapegoat of all, the Jews. He didn’t say “Jews” but rather “the Israeli Mossad”—that is, the international Jewish conspiracy in its contemporary form, the Jewish state. Silva’s was an old, and unconvincing, reflex action.


Posted by ER at May 23, 2013 04:01 PM

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