Jonah Goldberg

Indeed, most of Bush's informed and savvy detractors understand that Bush and Rove aren't very interested in the Jewish vote. They are, however, interested in Jewish money.

I think Bush is sincere in his support of Israel, but it's not lost on him that Democrats raise a lot of money from pro-Israel Jews. That's why we've seen Kerry racing to sound just as pro-Israel as Bush lately.

Hollings should know all of this, especially considering his own fundraising experience. He raised 66 percent of his money from outside South Carolina in his last campaign.

Hollings claims he can prove he's right about the war by providing quotes from Jews who supported spreading democracy in the Middle East or toppling Saddam to bolster Israel's security.

I'm sure such quotes are available, but so what? How does that demonstrate Bush's motives? There's no evidence that he - or Karl Rove or Dick Cheney or anyone else including Paul Wolfowitz - were motivated by Israel's interests instead of America's.

In fact, the only politician I know of who admitted to that motive was Hollings. "The truth is," he declared on the Senate floor in 2003, "I thought . we were going in this time for our little friend Israel. Instead of them being blamed, we could finish up what Desert Storm had left undone; namely, getting rid of Saddam and getting rid of (his) nuclear (weapons) at the same time."

If the Iraq war had been a smashing success, I somehow doubt Hollings would be giving the Jews credit for his pro-war vote, instead of the blame. So, if there's evidence that Hollings is anti-Semitic, it's not that he blamed Israel, it's that he blamed his "little friend" Israel only when he needed a scapegoat.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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