No Place for Hate

Jewish Light Editorial

Why do we care when deluded anti-Semites allege conspiracies? 

There are several reasons, but the most notable ones are that their status as crazy racists doesn’t always keep people from paying attention to them, and their words can have profound impact on public policy issues. Especially on the verge of a national party’s political convention.

Such is the case of Cynthia McKinney, a former member of the U.S. Congress and conspiracy provocateur of the highest order, at least when the subject matter relates to Israel and Jews. McKinney surfaced again as the Democratic National Convention was set to begin, hurling hateful invective into the coming week as public policy discussions on Israel were certain to emerge.

This week’s installment by McKinney relates to her accusations that Israel somehow played a role in causing the recent Nice and Munich terror attacks. Per her Twitter feed:

“Same Israeli photographer captures Nice and Munich tragedies. How likely is that? Remember the Dancing Israelis?…”

The Dancing Israelis is a reference to another conspiracy allegation from the tragedy of 9/11. Wholly debunked, it suggested that five Israelis in New York City were associated with Israeli intelligence in planning and implementing the terror event. It appeared on many of the same conspiracy and anti-Semitic websites that also claimed 4,000 Israelis who worked at the World Trade Center stayed home from work that week, supposedly in anticipation of the attacks. 

McKinney, who was actually the Green Party presidential candidate in 2008, is a menace on matters pertaining to Jews and Israel, and in addition to her many ugly public statements, it apparently runs in the family. As reported in the Times of Israel this week (

“McKinney, who served Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1992 to 2002, was known during her term for making incendiary remarks and has been accused of anti-Semitism in the past. In 2002, she lost the Democratic primary, a day after her father appeared on TV saying ‘Jews have bought everybody … J-E-W-S.’”

While we’re not thrilled about bringing up this kind of hateful tripe, it’s important because it appears that by her timing, McKinney is poisoning the well regarding public discussion and support of Israel. As the Democratic convention began, we think there’s little question that she was trying to build fervor against those politicians and delegates who proudly support and defend the Jewish State.

Fortunately, the less Israel-supportive elements within the Democratic Party were largely unsuccessful in their efforts to reduce support for Israel in the party’s official platform. In fact, the final document not only reaffirmed strong and unwavering support, but also added a provision for the first time that emphatically opposes the BDS movement and efforts at the United Nations to threaten or damage Israel.

This is not to say there aren’t thoughtful critiques of how the Israel question is dealt with by either political party or in general. There’s one by Peter Beinart in Ha’aretz this week ( that takes the Democratic platform and the party’s presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, to task for being unrealistic and unhelpful.

But though we patently disagree on most of the points raised by Beinart (who is Jewish), he and McKinney are a world apart. While Beinart debates issues like the efficacy of settlements, two-state solution challenges and Palestinian struggles from a leftist position, he is not in any way the same as the McKinneys of the world, who sling patently false conspiracy theories that deliberately try to marginalize both Jews and Israel.

There is a good debate to have about the role of the United States and its constituent political parties in creating a safe and secure Israel and, if even possible, a stable Middle East. While we don’t agree with many of Beinart’s views, there’s a place for him at the table of discussion. There’s no place at the table for the Cynthia McKinneys of the world, because…well, quite frankly, she’s found no place at her table for us.