Mangan says that I value Israel more than America

On March 7, I posted a brief exchange between Kristor and myself concerning a huge March 3 thread at Dennis Mangan’s blog that was all about me. Namely it was attacking me for my censure of Richard Spencer’s new website, Alternative Right, over its anti-American content which morally equates America with Muslim terrorists. I had briefly glanced at Mangan’s anti-Auster thread, which has 116 comments and is 24,600 words long, but had not read it. In the responding March 7 VFR thread, which consists of a grand total of six comments and 538 words, James P. wrote:

Incidentally, a big theme in the comments to that Mangans thread is that you are an untrustworthy Marrano working relentlessly in the Jewish interest and for the benefit of Israel….

Last night Mangan posted an entry, “Auster’s Austracism,” saying that James P.’s characterization of the March 3 Mangan’s thread is wrong:

I see nothing that can be construed as calling Auster “an untrustworthy Marrano”, much less that calling him so is “a big theme.”

Having defended himself and his commenters from the charge that they had called me an “untrustworthy Marrano,” Mangan then proceeds to say:

Lawrence Auster has made it clear that he values Israel at least as much as he does his own country…

Whoa! Isn’t that a Marrano-like profile he’s attributing to me? That is, just as a Marrano pretends to be a Christian, but is really a Jew, I pretend to be a loyal American, but in reality I am equally loyal—or even more loyal—to Israel than to America?

Thus, immediately after denying the charge that his site accused me of being a Marrano, Mangan accuses me of being a Marrano. Whether or not James’s charge was correct originally, it’s certainly correct now.

As I’ve pointed out before, Mangan is so bent out of shape on the subject of yours truly that he can’t keep his statements about that subject straight from one moment to the next. And that’s the most charitable interpretation.

* * *

In James’s comment at VFR, he also said that the comments at the Mangan’s thread “degenerate into a festival of wild Israel-hate that is regrettably typical on the Left these days.” Mangan protests that this is untrue. He says that “[a] few comments (out of 116) were fairly harsh toward Israel,” that other comments defended Israel, and therefore James’s remark is a smear. As I’ve said, I haven’t read that 116 comment-long thread, and have no desire to read it. In light of Mangan’s protest, I’ve asked James to supply quotes from the thread to give us an idea of what the “wild Israel-hate” consisted of.

However, even without reading the Mangan thread, we have enough information to reach some tentative thoughts on the matter. We know that James and Mangan agree on one thing, that there were negative comments about Israel. James characterizes these negative comments as “wild Israel-hate,” Mangan characterizes them as “fairly harsh toward Israel.” The difference between James and Mangan is one of interpretation rather than fact, which puts Mangan on shaky ground when he says that James was smearing him and his commenters.

The ground becomes shakier when we consider this. I have innumerable times seen statements which I saw as obvious Israel hatred, but which the speaker innocently protested was mere “criticism” of Israel, or mere “questioning” of Israel, or mere “failure to support Israel enough.” “If you just question Israel’s policies, the Jews call you an anti-Semite,” goes a standard complaint from the anti-Israel camp. “If you fail to genuflect before Israel, the Jews call you an anti-Semite,” goes another. Here, Mangan does not fall into that standard, pathologically false, defense. He does not claim that the comments that he posted at his site were merely “critical” of Israel or merely “insufficiently supportive” of Israel. He says that the comments were “fairly harsh” toward Israel. So the difference between Mangan’s and James’s interpretations of those comments is not the usual difference between innocent “criticism” of Israel on one side and guilty “hatred” of Israel on the other. It is, as I said above, the at least partially subjective difference between “harsh” statements about Israel and “hatred” of Israel.

Finally, based on the widespread phenomenon of Israel hatred and anti-Semitism in certain segments of the right-wing Web (Mangan’s accusation that I am equally or more loyal to Israel than to the U.S. being the most recent example), it is a reasonable guess that the comments that Mangan himself acknowledges were harsh toward Israel would be characterized by numerous reasonable persons, including myself, as Israel hatred. We will see.

- end of initial entry -

OI writes:

That’s the most egregious example of selective quoting I’ve seen outside of DailyKos. Reading the full text of what Mangan wrote makes it perfectly clear what his point is: that James’s description of the original thread was inaccurate, after which Mangan goes on a tangent regarding James’s side comment regarding support or opposition to Israel—that it should not be a key litmus test, and that you disagree with that second point.

Factually, there is absolutely nothing to argue with there. But the way you presented what was quoted amounts to nothing short of a lie—it is completely deceptive and misrepresentative of the actual content of Mangan’s post—and absolutely anybody who reads both posts can see it. Why did you do that?

LA replies:

I have no idea you’re talking about. Either specify how I misrepresented Mangan’s statement, let alone misrepresented it in such an egregious way, or you’ve shown yourself to be a nutcase.

LA continues:

The only thing I can think of that the commenter may be referring to is the fact that I did not mention Mangan’s statements that many commenters had defended me, and that many had defended Israel. I didn’t mention them because it wasn’t necessary or relevant to the points I was discussing. If there were comments at Mangan’s describing me as an untrustworthy Marrano, then the presence of other comments defending me doesn’t change that. If there were comments at Mangan’s expressing hate of Israel, then the presence of other comments defending Israel doesn’t change that.

Also, when I wrote the entry, my intention was only to deal with the discrete issue of Mangan’s denial that anyone at his site had called me a Marrano, followed immediately by Mangan’s remark that I am a Marrano. That was the reason I wrote the entry. After I wrote it, I felt it was incomplete without mentioning Mangan’s defense of his site from the charge of anti-Israel hate, so I added that as an afterthought. Far from supressing any relevant statement of Mangan’s, I was adding things that I hadn’t initially intended to write about. There’s only so much that one can cover.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 10, 2010 01:08 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):