Karl Rove and ‘the language of the left’

Karl Rove threw quite a tantrum on Fox News the other night, all worked up about President Obama and Israel.

“[L]ook, the language is there. I mean, when President Obama talks about Israel ‘occupying,’ you know, ‘you can’t have a vibrant democracy as long as you depend upon occupation’ — that’s the language of the left. That is the language of those who hate Israel and why he adopts it is beyond me.”

I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, Obama was practically asking for it when he said last week, “There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish a Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people.”

Wait, did I say Obama said that? Actually that was George W. Bush — Rove’s former boss — in 2008.

That Obama sure is rascally, isn’t he? Obama somehow managed to get President Bush to use “the language of the left” and “the language of those who hate Israel” before Bush even left office.

I went back and checked, but couldn’t find any criticism from Rove when Bush talked about Israeli “occupation” of the West Bank. I wonder why that is.

What’s more, Karen Famighetti also noted that former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in 2003, “You cannot like the word, but what is happening is an occupation — to hold 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation.”

Perhaps Karl Rove can explain why an Israeli prime minister would use the “language of those who hate Israel.” I’m sure it’d be a fascinating analysis.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.