The U.S. ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, is facing an intense campaign by hard-line pro-Israel voices in the U.S. who want him fired over remarks he made about anti-Semitism late last month.The article then cites his exact words re "traditional" antisemitism -
The first thing to note about the Gutman affair – which has now prompted Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, as well as pundits at Commentary and elsewhere to call for his firing – is that the initial reaction was based on a woefully inaccurate account of his remarks.
Gutman was paraphrased by the Israeli news outlet Ynet as saying, “A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned, and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” The clear suggestion is that Gutman was engaging in apologetics for certain forms of Jew hatred.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz then put that line in quotation marks even though no such words had passed Gutman’s lips. In fact, a reading of his real remarks shows that he explicitly repudiated the idea that any anti-Semitism should be tolerated, rather than condemned...
... hatred and violence against Jews, from a small sector of the population who hate others who may be different or perceived to be different, largely for the sake of hating. Those anti-Semites are people who hate not only Jews, but Muslims, gays, gypsies, and likely any who can be described as minorities or different...- and the more recent version -
...a tension and perhaps hatred largely born of and reflecting the tension between Israel, the Palestinian Territories and neighboring Arab states in the Middle East over the continuing Israeli-Palestinian problem...The Salon article continues with additional analysis of his comments and the reactions of the politicians and analysts in the media, concluding that -
...the Gutman affair is more about driving a particular narrative about tensions between the Obama administration and Israel than it is about any supposedly controversial remarks.