University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole yesterday discussed accusations of anti-Semitism directed against him, accusations he thinks are unfair.
Perhaps Cole might consider the ease with which he accuses people of dual loyalty. Too often, it seems that Cole cannot conceive that anyone can honestly disagree with his analysis, for example, about what constitutes a U.S. national security interest. For me, any partner's trust in alliance with the United States—be it Israel, or Taiwan, or Georgia—has a greater value than either Cole or, for that matter, Harvard Professor Stephen Walt are willing to accept. However, since Cole cannot conceive of honest disagreement, then those who do not share his opinions must hold foreign loyalties. That represents quite a leap of logic on Cole's part, one that he employs to avoid analyzing what detractors say, write, or believe. In theory, academicians should be precise and careful; they should base their labeling of others on evidence, not supposition. Perhaps Cole and his fellow-travelers believe it's not anti-Semitic to consider any Jew who does not share their opinions to harbor loyalty with a foreign political party. If so, then it certainly reflects an arrogance about the righteousness of one's own views, an antipathy toward anyone who would challenge those views, and a willingness to stifle debate.