Sunday 9 March 2003

Obsessions about Israel

by Joe Sobran

The other day a Zionist writer accused me of being "an obsessed critic of Israel." And here I'd imagined I was an obsessed critic of the U.S. Government.

My point is not just that the accusation is silly, but that I don't see why it's even an accusation. A boy in love is obsessed with a girl. A mathematician may be obsessed with a theorem. Beethoven was obsessed with music.

I could understand someone saying I was obsessed with the U.S. Constitution, or Lincoln, or Shakespeare. These are subjects I've written books about; I've written columns about them even when they weren't on the front pages.

But Israel is seldom OFF the front pages. It's an obsession that's forced on all of us, unless we make an effort to ignore it. Columnists like Charles Krauthammer, Cal Thomas, and William Safire write about it far more often than I do, and nobody calls them "obsessed," because, like most pundits, they are always and absolutely on Israel's side.

It's only when you occasionally contradict the Niagara roar of Zionist propaganda in the media that you are charged with having an unhealthy preoccupation with Israel. Then you are told that if you can't write something nice about Israel, you shouldn't write about it at all. As I once wrote about another Zionist detractor who kept accusing me of being obsessed with Israel, "I guess he can't stop thinking about my obsession."

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