Time's Joe Klein: 'Bigoted' Netanyahu Won a 'Tragic Election' for 'Tyrant' Israel

Time magazine columnist Joe Klein delivered an unrestrained rant for the March 30 issue, excoriating the "tyrant" Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu's "bigoted" election victory. The journalist offered an unrelenting attack on the prime minister, sneering, "He won because he ran as a bigot. This is a sad reality: a great many Jews have come to regard Arabs as the rest of the world traditionally regarded Jews." 

After allowing that there has been anti-Jewish bigotry by Muslims, Klein equivocated, "But there has been a tragic sense of superiority and destiny on the Israeli side as well." The frequent MSNBC guest casually connected conservative support for Israel from Americans to "European anti-Semites": 

There will be many—in the Muslim world, in Europe—who will say that the results are no surprise, that Israel has become a harsh, bigoted tyrant state. It has certainly acted that way at times, but usually with excellent provocation. It is an appalling irony that the Israeli vote brought joy to American neoconservatives and European anti-Semites alike.

The Time headline jeered, "Benjamin Netanyahu’s Disgrace in Victory." A sub-headline mocked, "Israel's Prime Minister won a tragic election by vilifying Arabs and defacing Israel’s history." 

In contrast to his disgust for Israel, Klein admitted on the March 17 Morning Joe that he trusts "some" of Iran's leadership. 

Klein echoed the sentiments of his MSNBC colleagues. On March 17 and 18, the journalists and guests on that network slammed Netanyahu's win as a victory for "fear" and "xenophobia." 

More of Klein's March 30 column: 

That is how he won the election even though there was a strong economic case against him, and people were tired of his ways, and about 200 former Israeli military and intelligence leaders publicly opposed his dangerously bellicose foreign policy. He won because he ran as a bigot. This is a sad reality: a great many Jews have come to regard Arabs as the rest of the world traditionally regarded Jews. They have had cause. There have been wars, indiscriminate rockets and brutal terrorist attacks. There has been overpowering anti-Jewish bigotry on the Arab side, plus loathsome genocidal statements from the Iranians and others. But there has been a tragic sense of superiority and destiny on the Israeli side as well.

Klein's column – and its fury against an electoral victory – sound similar to a November 21, 1988 Time article by Garry Wills. Reflecting on campaign '88, he excoriated, ""Bush won by default, and by fouls. His 'mandate' is to ignore the threats to our economy, sustain the Reagan heritage of let's pretend, and serve as figurehead for what America has become, a frightened empire hiding its problems from itself."

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