March 23, 2002

How to prevent anti-Semitic paranoia

How to prevent anti-Semitic paranoia: So, it turns out that Carl Cameron's five-part series that was briefly posted on in December before being spiked was on to something when it reported Israelis were spying in the U.S.. At least, that's what The Forward, the fine Jewish newspaper of New York, reported in an article entitled, "Spy Rumors Fly on Gusts of Truth." Apparently, at least a few of the many Israelis arrested after 9/11 were Mossad agents keeping an eye on Muslim extremists in the U.S. (Too bad our spooks weren't.) The Forward denies that they had any inkling that 9/11 was going to happen.

It's confusing though, because the same reporter in the same issue of The Forward published another article called, "FBI Probe Defuses Israeli Spying Rumors." The argument in this one is that the scores of Israeli "art students" detained since 9/11 for spying on government agencies weren't Mossad agents, but were Israeli mobsters scoping out the DEA probably to help themselves deal more Ecstasy. (An earlier Forward article reported that Israeli organized criminals have cornered 75% of the American market for ravers' favorite drug.) These two stories are not necessarily fundamentally contradictory. There could have been two separate intelligence gathering operations going on - one run by Mossad, the other run by gangsters. Or, they could have been in some way linked, as the CIA and the Chicago Outfit were in the Castro assassination attempts. Just as I like to point out that the line between freedom fighter, terrorist, and gangster can be awfully thin, so can the line between gangster and intelligence agent, as so many KGB agents have shown over the last decade.

Obviously, I don't know what was going on. One thing I am certain about, though, is this: The mainstream press only encourages anti-Semitic paranoia when it shies away from publishing true stories about the activities of Israeli spies and gangsters. In particular, they are throwing red meat to the paranoid set when they post articles, then try to delete them. Don't they know that nothing disappears on the Web?

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