I'm Jewish. I'm Israeli. I'm American. I'm told this means I control the world. If that's true, I've got some demands. Let me explain.
Part I: The Return of Worldwide Anti-Semitism
A few weeks back, on July 4th, the Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah died. With all due respect to the deceased, the Grand Ayatollah was not what I would describe as a good man.
As a religious leader connected to the Islamist Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, Fadlallah helped facilitating atrocities ranging from the massacre of U.S. Marines in Beirut in 1985, to legitimization of Holocaust denial, to suicide bombings of Israeli civilians.
Upon Fadlallah's passing, Octavia Nasr, a well-liked 20-year veteran of CNN and the network's Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs, posted on her Twitter account that she was "[s]ad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah... One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot."
After expressing respect for a man who dedicated his life to promoting Islamist fanaticism and violence in the Mid East, Nasr was deservedly fired.
Who was at fault in the professional demise of Octavia Nasr? Why, the Jews of course. Me. Or at least, my co-religionists who control the world.
As Nasr's downfall was Twitter, so did the medium swiftly convey the dismay of her fans, many of whom quickly pinned the blame on -- you guessed it -- Jewish interests.
The anti-Israel activist Ali Abunimah declared that unlike Nasr, he would "prefer to starve than ever be in a position where Zionists can silence me through intimidation."
"Nader," a Santa Monica student, wrote, "Apparently we need to jump for joy when Muslim clerics die. And if we don't, Zionists will hunt you down. This is Zionism."
"Jinjirrie," an Australian leftist, averred that Nasr's fate demonstrated that "objective journalism free from zionist oversight [is] nigh on impossible."
And 's Glenn Greenwald helpfully pointed out that CNN is "the network with a former AIPAC employee as its long-term main anchor."
Of Greenwald, Benjamin Kerstein of The New Ledger has written, "He is terrified that if he defends Israel, or even fails to denounce it in the most hysterical terms possible, he will be seen by his fellow progressives not as one of them, but as a Jew."
Only Greenwald knows for sure, but Kerstein's analysis is defensible -- and that would, unfortunately, be a rational response on the Salon writer's part. He moves in circles that increasingly see Jewish influence and control in every corner.
It's a recycling of a paranoia that I thought was long gone. Well, it isn't, and that's not news. What's news is that it's moving into the American media mainstream.
This paranoia is a valuable currency in radical Islamic world, of course. Anti-Semitism and other fake theories are advanced there by even the most respected figures.
Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian opposition leader championed as a "moderate" Muslim democrat by American policymakers from Al Gore to Condoleezza Rice to Paul Wolfowitz, has spent most of this year whipping up anti-Semitic sentiment among his supporters -- even alleging that Israeli security personnel have infiltrated the Malaysian police.
The chairman of Pakistan's Indus Basin Water Council -- not typically a posting for religious radicals -- accused India, in 2009, of collaborating with "the Jewish lobby" to construct dams to deny Pakistan water.
During the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, Lebanon's Daily Star -- a thoroughly mainstream publication in that country -- ran the headline, "Arabs despair of unwavering Zionist influence over US politics."
In Amman, Jordan, an otherwise lovely city in a lovely country, apparently it is now possible to openly purchase anti-Semitic literature not seen in the typical Western bookstore since the demise of the Third Reich.
And the late Ayatollah Fadlallah himself, respected by Octavia Nasr, ludicrously announced that Israeli intelligence services were controlling events in Iraq even under Saddam Hussein.
The list could go on nearly forever. But this craziness isn't just a feature of the Islamic world. We've got it right here in America, too.
Part II: Worldwide Anti-Semitism Comes to America.
Back in the 2008 Presidential campaign, Jesse Jackson told the journalist Amir Taheri that "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" would lose influence under Barack Obama.
This wasn't the first time this political sphinx declared that Jews wield outsized influence in America: back when he ran for President himself, in 1984, he told the reporter Milton Coleman that New York City was "Hymietown." After a media storm erupted over the remarks, Jackson ignored the First Law of Holes -- stop digging! -- and pronounced a Jewish conspiracy against him.
More recently, following the disruption of a speech by Israel's Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren at the University of California at Irvine (which eventually got the University's Muslim Student Union suspended from campus for a year), a coalition of activists gathered to defend students faced with disciplinary action. The "Stand with the Eleven" group directly charged U.C. President Mark Yudof with hostile collaboration with Jewish groups.
And now, mainstream academia and media are jumping on this bandwagon as well. Not as inflammatory but equally harmful is the work of "respectable" academics like Harvard's John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, who argue that an "Israel Lobby" dictates American policy.
Closely related are the attacks of pundits like the above Glenn Greenwald, who stated during the Gaza flotilla incident that "the U.S. Congress [is devoted] to the mission of serving and protecting Israel"; and The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan, who wrote that American support of Israel is "obviously a function of an extremely committed and affluent lobby -- which distorts US foreign policy."
These men, representatives of respected institutions and publications, must be called what they are: creators and purveyors of a paranoia about Jewish control that has changed only in the details since the Tsarist police forged The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
I was born and raised in Israel, and only when I started traveling all over the world did I realize that anti-Semitism is alive and kicking. Words cannot describe the shock and horror of this discovery. As far as I was told, anti-Semitism was an "old world" concept, from the days of religious persecutions, fascism and racism. I was taught we are all equal, Arabs and Jews, blacks and whites, men and women, gays and straight, and we are only measured by our personal merits and achievements.
There is nothing in the mainstream Israeli public educational curriculum which I was raised with that has anything to do with phrase likes, "Jews are better than..." or, "The world hates us because..." And yet, I left Israel and realized I was somewhat naïve. Some of the world is teaching their children a completely different narrative. And this narrative is creeping into mainstream media, not only in radical Muslim circles, but in the U.S. as well.
Part III: The Truth -- And Some Demands!
The truth, of course, is that America supports Israel not because Jews control America, but because the American people control America. Historically, support for democracy, equality and liberal values is an easy sell to the American people. Isn't that what this "new country" was based upon?
As Israel is the only nation in the Middle East with all of the above, American support for Israel results not from the nature of "the Jews" -- but from the nature of the American people. However, some of the west, mainly Europe and recently for some reason, the American left, is beginning to identify itself and support Muslim radicalism, which is well known for its tolerance, democracy and equality...
Let me be clear: if -- as suggested by Jackson, Greenwald, Sullivan, et al. -- America is controlled by Jews, and if we already took Manhattan, I have some questions. First, fellow Zionist conspirators; what about me? I have never been approached to be a part of this all mighty conspiracy and I am deeply offended. When we do finally meet, I might even use some Jewish guilt to make you feel bad for taking so long.
Second, why did I have to wait six years and take all those tests in order to become an American citizen? If I control the country I deserve immediate citizenship.
Third, where's my penthouse apartment on the Upper West Side?
And finally, if we control the world -- well, I have a long list of demands involving Italian shoes, British teas, Russian pianists, and Caribbean resorts.
All joking aside, this new wave of anti Semitism, which is now labeled as "anti-Zionism," is a dangerous notion. As it happens, I am a member of AIPAC, and from the "inside," I can tell you all what we do. We sit in lecture rooms, we hear people talk about U.S.-Israel relationship, and we sometimes have chats with Congresswomen and Congressmen, and talk to them about the only country in the Middle East with the same value system as the U.S.: democracy, equality, and freedom of speech. Just like any other lobby in the U.S. And that, my friends, is what I would describe as a poorly run conspiracy.
I do not always support my government's actions, but it's a long way from arguing with a country's governmental policy, to labeling all Jews as conspirators. If you have a problem with the Israeli government -- talk about the government but do not bundle me into your Jewish paranoia. Cause if you do, apparently I have the power to take you down. Yes, you too.
Noa Tishby (www.noatishby.com) is an actress and producer living in Los Angeles, California. Her acting credits include The Island, Big Love, and NCIS. Her producing credits include HBO's In Treatment. She is a native of Israel and a proud naturalized American citizen.