Latest twist in Sanchez tailspin underscores cost of being accused of anti-Semitism

on 59 Comments

The other day DailyKos accused me of anti-Semitism and I hit back hard. Since then I’ve reflected on how damaging a charge of anti-Semitism can be. And it’s a lot worse for non-Jews than for me– I’m somewhat insulated against the charge cuz I’m Jewish. I believe that Steve Walt and John Mearsheimer refused to debate Alan Dershowitz because he’d called them anti-Semites, and I now fully understand their refusal to grant a platform to the person who makes such a charge.

Back in 2002 or so a bunch of Harvard and MIT professors signed on to a divest-from Israel initiative, and then-Harvard president Larry Summers said the initiative was anti-Semitic in effect if not intent; and his statement crushed the initiative. I remember interviewing a couple of the professors at the time. They were terrified. They didn’t want their names used. They had basically crawled under their desks, afraid of what the charge could do to their careers.

  As Jefferson Morley wrote recently, it doesn’t matter that he married a Jew; because he supports boycott of Israel, “I am by the current norms of the nation’s capital, a borderline anti-Semite whose views have no place in respectable debates in Washington.”

You’ll remember that venerable Helen Thomas paid a dear price, her career, for saying that Jews should leave Israel. Later Thomas further angered Jewish organizations by making comments about Jewish influence in Washington, on policymaking and on media institutions. 

That didn’t stop the Arab-American National Museum in Dearborn from unveiling a bust of her.

The bust is interesting. It demonstrates that notwithstanding the fearful orthodoxy around even talking about Jewish power, we have one conversation in shadow and one conversation in the light. People want to talk about these issues, because they’re obviously important. But an open debate is not allowed. There’s fear of a backlash of persecution of Jews if people talked publicly about stuff they’re already talking about privately.

Rick Sanchez got fired from CNN last year after accusing Jon Stewart of bigotry during a radio interview and then scoffing at his interviewer’s suggestion that Jews are a powerless minority– saying that Jews are all over the media. Steve Sailer gets off a quip about Jewish powerlessness, and adds:

Less than ten months later, Sanchez has now gotten a part-time job. Well, it’s not actually a job, since he isn’t getting paid to do it. Mediaite reported on July 27:
According to the Miami Herald, ex-CNN anchor Rick Sanchez will be back this fall–on the radio in South Florida–calling football games for the FIU Golden Panthers. … Sanchez says he’s taking the gig to “give something back” to a school he’s close to: ”I’m extremely excited to be volunteering my time to Florida International…”

Rick Sanchez has been in agony for the last year, and he’s been penitent. (I always liked his coverage of Israel and Palestine.) I wonder if Stewart has ever had Sanchez on to his show. I’m sure Sanchez would apologize for calling Stewart a bigot; and maybe they could have a real conversation?

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59 Responses

  1. tokyobk
    July 31, 2011, 1:18 pm

    Thomas’s comments were reprehensible. Jews do not need to “go back to Europe” any more than Omar Barghouti needs to go back to Qatar where he was born or Arafat needed to go back to Egypt. Or, Arabs to Arabia. Or, her own people who have been part of the Middle East for centuries, though not Muslim and originally not Arab. The Jews have never left Hebron. It does not justify their being in control of equally historic people, the Paletinians but it marks her words as despicable and completely without history. Israel should leave the West Bank. Now, that is a different statement all together. Even Israel should become a democratic Palestine would present a legitimate debate.

    The issue is honoring the rights of inhabitants past and present and all the people with connections to the land.

    About Jewish power, there is imo opinion less offence.

    • annie
      July 31, 2011, 2:01 pm

      The Jews have never left Hebron.

      i always wonder why this talking pt, and ones like it, are warranted so much traction. what exactly do you mean? that a tiny percentage of people can hold a geographical spot on a map for centuries and this represents ‘the jews’ as a whole? lots of jews left hebron, way before 1929 too.

      Thomas’s comments were reprehensible.

      about as bad as all those rightwingers claiming palestinians should go to jordan huh? i recall how the press goes completly apeshit everytime some wacko says that, and everyone calls for their firing/not.

      • tokyobk
        July 31, 2011, 2:34 pm

        I mean simply hat Jews are a natural and normal part of the ME and of Palestine. To say Jews should “go back to Europe” is reprehensible. Half ov Israel’s Jews are from ME expulsions.

        Yes, that bad. And if the press is not doing its job let’s make them do their job.

        Annie, not everyone with something to say that is something others say to justify removal, occupation or oppression is 1) wrong 2) mouthing hasbara or talking points.

        Her words are ipso facto disgusting and should be rejected by all fair minded observers of this region.

      • annie
        July 31, 2011, 2:52 pm

        tokyobk, i’m not an advocate of asserting or even implying jews should go back to europe. you didn’t address my main point.

        about as bad as all those rightwingers claiming palestinians should go to jordan huh? i recall how the press goes completly apeshit everytime some wacko says that, and everyone calls for their firing/not.

        excuse me for perhaps being a tad desensitised to your wailings about helen. you’ll notice the talking point of ‘palestinians already having a country, it’s jordan’, or won’t you? where’s the 24/7 screaming and wailing every single time some rightwinger expresses their ‘logic’ palestinians don’t belong in palestine? do people get stripped of awards? fired? are you razy, it’s normal rightwing discourse. people run for president with these kinds of talking pts. spare me, just spare me. and go ahead celebrating the talking point of ‘jews never leaving hebron’ because a few never left compared to the vast majority of the population who stayed on that land for centuries and tilled the soil and made a home there. i’ll show more concern for your hypocritical faux outrage when you express the same hysterics “ipso facto disgusting and should be rejected by all fair minded observers of this region.“, otherwise you just sound like another hyperbolic drama queen to me. sorry, that’s the way it registers from this end of my screen. see ya!

      • tokyobk
        July 31, 2011, 3:20 pm

        I share your complete rejection of any rhetoric which impugns the legitimacy of the people living in the West Bank and their right to identify as Palestinian. Period.

      • lyn117
        July 31, 2011, 6:48 pm

        “I mean simply hat Jews are a natural and normal part of the ME …”

        Jews have been a natural and normal part of Europe almost since the Jewish religion was founded, certainly since it turned to proselytizing some 2300+ years ago, so why is advocating that Jews return to Europe so reprehensible? I mean, compared to the zionist assertion that European Jews should “return” to Palestine/Israel? Israeli zionist leadership is always claiming it’s an outpost of western (meaning European) ideals, one would have to conclude from that Israeli Jews (at least the ones who came from Europe) really do come from Europe, culturally. Genetic studies show European Jews to be closer to southern French and Italians than to Levantine populations, making it difficult to support the claim that European Jews as a whole came from Palestine/Israel originally. Besides which, whatever ancestors they have from the ME probably emigrated voluntarily. It may be true that Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian Jews have been a natural and normal part of the ME as well as the small number of native Palestinian Jews, but that doesn’t mean that their from Palestine/Israel – haven’t you noticed the ME is much larger than Palestine/Israel.

        If you argue that the Jewish religion originated in or near Palestine/Israel, I will agree – but saying that Jews have a right to “return” to where their religion originated (and expel the present day inhabitants whose ancestors held the same religion when it was being formed) because they later adopted some other religion) is essentially making a religious claim.

        But the main point is, you’re advocating European (and other) Jews “return” to Palestine/Israel based on a dubious claim that they “came” from that locale (I don’t know that means if some part of your ancestors came there but more came from somewhere else), and yet you regard it as reprehensible that Thomas advocates (even though she doesn’t) Jews returning to the places from which evidence says they actually came from, historically and culturally, and for the main part of their genetic heritage.

        Like Helen Thomas, I actually believe that Israeli Jews of European heritage should not be required to leave and go back to where they came from, except the illegal settlers should leave the occupied territories. Unlike most zionists, I don’t believe the Palestinians whose ancestors came from where Israel is now and who had been living there for the last several 1000 yearsshould be required to leave, or denied the right to live in their place of origin.

      • PissedOffAmerican
        July 31, 2011, 8:05 pm

        I have always thought that the gravity of Helen’s comment was exagerated.

        When I call someone a “jackass” because I find their behaviour reprehensible, should I be taken literally, and the assertion be made that I believe the individual is a four legged ass, a beast of burden?

        Of course not.

        In Helen’s case, I think she, unthinkingly, used a variation of a common argumentative outburst, that is very rarely meant literally:

        “They should go back where they came from”.

        I honestly believe she did not mean the literal interpretation of her assertion that “they should go back to europe”. She simply made a stupid comment, that, instead of being interpreted figuratively and recognized as sarcasm, was immediately jumped on by the zios and the firsters to do what they do best, attack the character of their critics.

        Interesting that we see the argument offered, on a regular basis, by the usual suspects, that one of the Arab countries should take in the Palestinians. Is that any different, or less egregious, than stating the Jews should go back to europe?

        I will make one comment that CAN be taken literally. I see that Dershowitz’s name has cropped up. And HE can go to hell, from where he came.

      • anonymouscomments
        July 31, 2011, 8:48 pm

        99% thomas was referring to (1) zionist jews who immigrated, against the will of the vast majority of the natives, and even against british colonial law, with the express will of making a jewish power structure despite the reality of the demographics, and then (2) additional jews who often came for economic reasons, all the while when refugees from 1948 or 1967 remained BARRED from their homeland.

        do i think such a statement is fantastical, unreasonable, and a dead end? yes. but i think it is not wholly “reprehensible”, just hyperbolic and outlandish. it is a moment of honest “desire”, perhaps like a “dream” as it would in fact rectify a bad situation, but likely not something she really thought possible or a real policy.

        ….however, how many civilians have been killed in her native country (lebanon), due to israeli wars/occupations/expansion? how much is the ME a mess due to the zionist/israeli policies, and how much more will it be messed up (iran anyone?).

        i think you can condemn her comments (i do, were i to think it was meant in earnest; watch the video), but it should NOT destroy her career.

        i think she is fine with those jews that were a normal and natural part of the ME…. not the racist violent state orchestrated by europeans, or those who immigrated under its banner.

      • General Choomin
        August 1, 2011, 2:56 pm

        As I recall she never said that until after the fact she was ground until dust. Meanwhile, 9 turks got shot to death. It was more important for fake outrage over an old woman telling young jewish kids to go into reporting and that they would never forget it then to report about the extrajudicial execution of 9 peace activists trying to run an illegal blockade.

        This whole Thompson thing is made up hysteria and we all know that. The only person who won with this was Andrew Breitbart who heavily promoted this story and the racist rabbi who cashed in through the media.

    • Danaa
      July 31, 2011, 2:10 pm

      ” Or, her own people who have been part of the Middle East for centuries, though not Muslim and originally not Arab.”

      What exactly are “her own people”? care to elaborate?

      ” The Jews have never left Hebron.”

      Who are those you call “The jews”? does it include the almost 1/2 M Russians who were never jewish who came to israel? does it include those “Jews” now camping in Hebron and terrorizing its inhabitants? does it include the many many not-so-Jewishe spouses of Jews who arrived in Israel in the ’50′s – many from the former Soviet countries?

      Are you saying that tiny bands of ultra-orthodox who hung around places like Jerusalem and Safed (with a few score in Hevron) were the real estate deed of trust holders for an entire race? including all “The Other Jews” and semi-Jews and wanna-be jews and anyone who wakes up one day and finds that maybe, just maybe, their mother was kinda Jewish?

      Actually, most of the original “Jews” never did leave Israel. They stayed and are now known as Palestinians. Who, along with descendants of those small bands or orthodox Jews, are the only real title holders to the land of israel. Graciously they are willing to cede the part known as ’67 israel. I think the Jewish Israelis with the hodge-podge ancestry should be grateful. But whoever heard of a grateful israeli (OK – I did hear of a few…sorry, hyperbole there)? how about a gracious one (oops, another hyperbole….)?

      • tokyobk
        July 31, 2011, 2:36 pm

        The Maronites are a mixed people now generally taken as arabs.

        I mean Jews have lived in the ME forever and much of Israel is Jews from other parts of the ME including formerly Jewish parts, like Yatrib/Medina that have now been cleansed.

      • tokyobk
        July 31, 2011, 2:53 pm

        I am not sure if the Palestinians are the “original Jews.” There are ways to check genetic markers, but it would not bother me one bit if they were. I am only claiming that Thomas’s words were ignorant given that Jews are a natural and normal part of the region and that, for example, in places like Hebron they never left. This is in no way a justification for Jews policing an entire Jewiwsh state over other groups that are equally native. I worry when Gilad Atzmon and Helen Thomas become so useful and therefore let off the hook for despicable statements about Jews — not Israelis mind you.

      • annie
        July 31, 2011, 3:02 pm

        the only people around here i ever hear bringing up gilad’s name w/any regularity are the pro israel advocates. you’d thing he was some hero on the left. i really don’t think he is.

        I am only claiming that Thomas’s words were ignorant

        actually you said more than that but moving right along. so, tokyobk, i take it you are NOT planning on being equally thoroughly disgusted with constant yapping of soume of your kindred hasbara crowd about palestinians moving to jordan? is this just more selective outrage?

      • tokyobk
        July 31, 2011, 3:21 pm

        I am equally and thoroughly disgusted by any delegitimization of the native inhabitants of Palestine and Israel who are Muslim.

      • Danaa
        July 31, 2011, 3:39 pm

        tokybk – just what exactly did Gilad say that’s so “despicable” vi-a-vis statement about “THE Jews”? please don’t go off on tangents regarding anything Gilad ever said.

        Such as — what did he (or Helen Thomas) say that allows you to lump them in one cloth? please elaborate on the overlap you were making here. Especially as it seems to me that Gilad and Helen have a lot in common with lots of people (e.g., they all belong to the species we classify as “human”) – but perhaps not so much with each other.

        See, I’m asking because there is this tendency of “The jews” (using YOUR terminology – not mine ) to lump groups together. As in everyone whose statements – or what you believe were their statements – you didn’t like. Why – they must all be one and the same – because, well, you say so….

        BTW, you still did not explain to me yet Helen Thomas’ ancestry as in “her people” as opposed to, say, “your” people (whoever such people may be)? I stand ready to learn.

      • annie
        July 31, 2011, 3:40 pm

        I am equally and thoroughly disgusted by any delegitimization of the native inhabitants of Palestine and Israel who are Muslim.

        thanks for the clarification. would you support a 24/7 news cycle deploring the people who take part in this deligitimization including stripping them of their awards and jobs? or do you deplore that happened to helen for her similarly expressing herself?

      • annie
        July 31, 2011, 3:42 pm

        tokyobk, what does gilad have to do with this discussion and why are you commenting on your own comment about him?

        today we’ve got giladm david duke and shlomo sands introduced into multiple threads by the hasbarists, it’s OT..isn’t it?

      • tokyobk
        July 31, 2011, 4:01 pm

        If you were not aware she is of Maronite descent. They are in fact a pre-arab christian community — not connected to the Crusades –btw though thought by many to be Arab.

        I mention them because they are two people that imo have said things beyond the pale and yet because of their srtident anti-zionism are still useful to some people here (who claim to speak from universal principles which should automatically banish such words).

        Google Atzmon. He is on the edge of complete holocaust denial. He believes in blood libel and that it is irrelevant if the Protocals are a hoax because world Jewry does act in unison to achieve its ends. But please check for yourself.

        PS Arzmon refers to himself a Hebrew speaking palestinian, which worlks for me. I don’t know or care if he still calls himself Jewish.

      • gloopygal
        July 31, 2011, 8:31 pm

        I thought Helen Thomas said Israel should get out of Palestine, not the Jews.

      • anonymouscomments
        July 31, 2011, 9:08 pm

        what in the world are you talking about… ????

        1) helen thomas was not “let off the hook”, her career was destroyed, while so many actual racists make a career OUT OF their apparent racism; some of them prominent jewish zionists.

        2) “despicable statements about Jews” PLEASE quote her “despicable statement about jews”. israel represents an open sore in the middle east, causing untold of injustice and bloodshed… and it will CONTINUE to drive the clash of civilizations, and even derail/mold US policy there (neocons? iraq?). her statement that the ones from europe should go back where they came from is just off-the-cuff honesty, hypothetical rhetorical honesty on what she thinks…. impractical, of course.

        but it would bring peace to palestine. hey, my dad was born in a refugee camp in germany post WW2 (jewish)… and i second helen’s *wish*. i do not think they *will* leave israel, i do not think they should be *forced* to leave israel, but maybe they *should* go join the “diaspora”; it would mean an end to this disaster, averting coming disasters.

        just as a hypothetical… imagine the future wars israel will wage (another gaza one? another lebanon? sparking something with IRAN?)… their denial of rights (which will not cease)… the insanity we will all bear witness to in the coming decade or two. *should* they just leave the horrid project? i think they *should* and some of my friends in tel aviv might agree, as they seek an escape, and any passport they can get. my cousin from tel aviv is trying to get his EU passport.

        just don’t use harsher words than are appropriate, especially regarding a woman who came from what *was* the “paris of the middle east”, until some europeans stirred the pot helping usher in the mayhem. some flippant comment meant to be private, that was a little hyperbolic and totally unrealistic…. is exactly that.

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2011, 10:15 am

        “There are ways to check genetic markers,”

        Too complicated, and completely inaccurate. Why don’t we just measure noses?

        “Genetic markers”? Can you really be this stupid?

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2011, 10:17 am

        “I don’t know or care if he still calls himself Jewish.”

        NMot so fast their, pal. Have you checked his “genetic markers”? Hey, if the “genetic markers” come up Jew-boy. I guess that’s the end of the question, huh.

        Oh, BTW, is circumcision a “genetic marker”?

      • Mooser
        August 1, 2011, 12:39 pm

        “I am equally and thoroughly disgusted by any delegitimization of the native inhabitants of Palestine and Israel who are Muslim.”

        Yup, I’m sure you will scream like a stuck pig if anybody events hints they may lose their spot as human enemy No.1.

        Of course, you do want to stipulate that having your land, possessions, right and houses stolen and being murdered does constitute “delegitimization”. In fact, it shows just how important you are!

    • eGuard
      July 31, 2011, 8:06 pm

      tokyobk, Thomas war fired, you are not. For saying the same stuff.

    • General Choomin
      August 1, 2011, 2:51 pm

      I don’t endorse Helen Thompson’s further remarks after the incident with the hidden camera by the racist rabbi. I did however create a diary on dailykos in which I was accused of being an anti-semite to high heavens. When I revealed to people that they shouldn’t being lobbing such accusations at me since I took it very personal. I explained to them that my ancestors actually had to disguise and disavow their Jewish heritage due to actual antisemitism so they instead ridiculed and mocked me as well as denouncing my ancestors for hiding due to their persecution. I kid you not!

      Since I started posting here, which I don’t do often, one notorious liberal zionist (if there is such a thing) has already used my posts here to claim that this site hosts “noted anti-Semites such as General Choomin” or words to that affect. Within a decade, due to zionism, the word “antisemitism” will have lost all its meaning.

      I say good. Bigotry is bigotry and racism is racism and hate is hate. The term has outlived its apparent usefulness as it is now used to associate those who’s politics are against Israel as nazis, neo-nazis, or nazi sympathizers. Let’s leave this term where it belongs in the history books and condemn bigotry and hate where ever we see it. Like good people always do!

      • MHughes976
        August 1, 2011, 3:59 pm

        I don’t see how terms can lose all meaning. I don’t think that there’s any term in common use that is no more than a set of nonsense syllables. What we need to do is ask what those who use them mean by them.

      • General Choomin
        August 1, 2011, 4:20 pm

        The meaning used today is to say those that oppose Israel are nazis. Saner people, after being accused of it over and over, are largely seeing it as a meaningless personal attack. The term itself had a meaning but in this modern day and age we cannot say with good consciousness that the term is relevant as hatred and bigotry all stem from the same key places. Hatred and bigotry are not unique to any one specific minority as they are all affected by it.

        Antisemitism is a term for the history books but today its used as an attack on those that denounce the colonial project of Israel.

      • MHughes976
        August 1, 2011, 4:50 pm

        It may be a personal attack but it isn’t meaningless. We wouldn’t even know it was an attack if it did not have some recognisable meaning.
        The slippery relationship between ‘opposing people who are Jewish’ and ‘opposing people because they are Jewish’ is part of the trick.
        Another part of the trick is to make us think that anti or miso attitudes are very unfair while pro or philo attitudes are admirable, hence that refusal to join in paying the compliments to a group that its members often pay or to applaud what the group considers its achievements is reprehensible. In fact many philo attitudes are just as distorting intellectually and just as unfair (to all but the favoured group) as miso attitudes are. Anglophobia and Anglophilia would be examples.

    • lysias
      August 1, 2011, 3:57 pm

      The tens of thousands of Jews who have settled in Germany in recent decades — as well as the 100,000 or so Israeli Jews who have taken out German passports — do not seem to find the idea of settling in Germany so objectionable.

      And Thomas wasn’t talking about forcing anybody to go back to Europe. She was asked where it would be better for the Jews in the settlements in the Occupied Territories to live.

    • MRW
      August 1, 2011, 4:07 pm

      Thomas’s comments were reprehensible.

      So what? That’s what the First Amendment is for. It is to protect unpopular speech.

      What I object to is that a group of Zionists can get people’s careers destroyed because of it.

      If Zionists claim the right to do that, they better be prepared for when the tables are turned and the same is done to them. Because it will happen. There is a tipping point.

      Victimhood changes when you do evil in return. Rick Sanchez was stating the truth. He wasn’t urging killing of Jews.

  2. annie
    July 31, 2011, 1:56 pm

    it wasn’t just his scoffing at the assertion jews were a powerless minority was also that they were an oppressed minority.

    Yeah, very powerless people. [laughs] He’s such a minority. I mean, you know, please. What—are you kidding? I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart. And to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority?

    i posit it is not merely the rhetoric of power vs non power that is off limits, it’s protecting the victim narrative embedded in ‘oppressed’. i learn something new everyday. it was at dkos btw when i found out the ‘oppressed’ image of a jewish minority was still cherished. whoda thunk?

  3. iamuglow
    July 31, 2011, 2:08 pm

    An important post.

    Helen Thomas and Rick Sanchez are proof of how effective the anti-semitism slander can be…they were shunned with utter swiftness. There was hardly a peep about the obviousness of what Sanchez said or the history that Helen Thomas was alluding to.

    This weekend I was watching reruns of a TV show called Party Down. Funny show. In it, a reoccuring joke in a few episodes is where an character played by the actress, Lizzy Caplan, says things like ‘they hate me cause, I’m a Jew’ ….haha.

    If the real conversation ever happened it would start with acknowledging that in 2011, Jewish people as first and foremost seen as just…white people….and suggestioning that there is a systemic prejudice or bias against white people in America is just ridiculous.

    • Mooser
      August 1, 2011, 12:33 pm

      “If the real conversation ever happened it would start with acknowledging that in 2011, Jewish people as first and foremost seen as just…white people”

      Damn them, they never stop insulting us, do they?

    • MRW
      August 1, 2011, 4:27 pm

      Lizzy Caplan, says things like ‘they hate me cause, I’m a Jew’ ….haha.

      Wait until the day comes, and it’s coming, that Jews are recognized as the serial haters in the US to everything that they perceive as threatening them, and their hatred is rejected. Pamela Geller, in all her glory, moved the goal post. She cleaved the country, and did Jews no favors. (This will take two years to unwind and materialize.)

      I don’t give a damn who you are, or what aggrieved group you represent, (Jews, Blacks, Women, Latinos, Native Americans, or the newly aggrieved White Men), you can no longer insist that another group or person has to die a public death because you’re offended. And especially in the case of Jews who support what Israel is currently doing to an indigenous population.

      What is going to happen is the recognition of an extremist. Laird Wilcox wrote a list of those characteristics here, under News & Thoughts. His collection of extremist literature has his name on it at the University of Kansas. Here’s the short list, without the explanation, and it has Zionism (and a lot of other groups) written all over it:

      1. Character assassination.
      2. Name-calling and labeling.
      3. Irresponsible sweeping generalizations.
      4. Inadequate proof for assertions.
      5. Advocacy of double standards.
      6. Tendency to view their opponents and critics as essentially evil.
      7. Manichaean worldview.
      8. Advocacy of some degree of censorship or repression of their opponents and/or critics.
      9. Tend to identify themselves in terms of who their enemies are: whom they hate and who hates them.
      10. Tendency toward argument by intimidation.
      11. Use of slogans, buzzwords, and thought-stopping cliches.
      12. Assumption of moral or other superiority over others.
      13. Doomsday thinking.
      14. Belief that it’s okay to do bad things in the service of a “good” cause.
      15. Emphasis on emotional responses and, correspondingly, less importance attached to reasoning and logical analysis.
      16. Hypersensitivity and vigilance.
      17. Use of supernatural rationale for beliefs and actions.
      18. Problems tolerating ambiguity and uncertainty.
      19. Inclination toward “groupthink.”
      20. Tendency to personalize hostility.
      21. Extremists often feel that the system is no good unless they win.

  4. tommy
    July 31, 2011, 2:11 pm

    People who oppose Israel’s militant expansion and Israel’s interference with Palestinian and Lebanese internal politics have to disregard attacks of anti-Semitism from people who have adopted the rabid nationalism associated with that particular form bigotry. Sympathy for the victims of historical anti-Semitism informs the empathy for victims of Israeli nationalism. A virulent form of nationalism based on an ethnic/religious dogma and subsidized by American taxpayers, who have been manipulated into supporting a regime bordering on totalitarian terror as a means of righting historical anti-Semitism. Ironically, Americans have subsidized a recreation of the very worst inhumanity of the Twentieth Century as a solution to it in order to fulfill their own national expansionist ambitions, and those who oppose that subsidy through nonviolent means are treated like pariahs by those who advocate nationalist aggression.

    • MRW
      August 2, 2011, 7:30 am

      Yup, that’s about right, tommy. Up is down. Down is up. And you’re only allowed to say what we tell you to.

  5. Philip Munger
    July 31, 2011, 3:20 pm

    I’ve been busy traveling and getting ready to host J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami this afternoon (Sunday 2:00 pm PDT at firedoglake, for their book salon, where he will take questions on A New Voice for Israel.

    So I missed this entire set of threads on the ban at Daily Kos. Fucking disgusting.

    I’ve written a few diaries at DK over the years, including one on how it feels to be labelled as an anti-Semite (the first comment accused me of anti-Semitism for writing the diary. It was at the beginning of Operation Cast Lead). I’ve never been banned or warned, even though a decent percentage of my diaries have been I/P related, and not overly kind to Israeli policies.

    Does anyone know if I can even mention Mondoweiss there anymore, or write a diary there about this, defending MW? I’ve already been labelled as a “firebagger” there for my longtime relationship (early 2005) with fdl.

    BTW, the concept of “Jew counting” or accusing Phil W. of doing that is pathetic. I don’t know where to begin, but the way Phil W has brought this up has seemed appropriate to me, if not that important to begin with.

    Solomon Volkov in his book on Dmitri Shostakovich, Testimony, relates Shostakovich as telling him a story about Alexander Glazunov, head of the St. Petersburg Conservatory at the time of the 1905 Russian Revolution: “When asked before the Revolution how many Jews were enrolled, Glazunov sent the reply, ‘We don’t keep count here.’”

    • annie
      July 31, 2011, 3:37 pm

      phillip, as far as i know you can still state your opinion on the thread where MB banned mondoweiss but i would imagine if you tried to write a diary defending phil it would be blown to smitherines. here’s another post, my reaction plus some other voices:Daily Kos, anti-semitism, & the zombie peace process

      thanks for reminding us about this afternoon.

    • Mooser
      August 1, 2011, 10:19 am

      “BTW, the concept of “Jew counting” or accusing Phil W. of doing that is pathetic.”

      Don’t try and squirm out of it, Munger! The “genetic markers” don’t lie!

  6. Graber
    July 31, 2011, 4:06 pm

    Check out Judith Butler’s collection of essays entitled ‘Precarious Life – The powers of mourning and violence’ from 2004. She has one article entitled ‘The charge of anti-Semitism: Jews, Israel, and the risks of public critique.’

    Her concluding paragraph from the essay:
    ‘What is needed is a public space in which such issues might be thoughtfully debated, and for academics to support the commitment to academic freedom and intellectual inquiry that would support a thoughtful consideration of these issues. What we are up against here is not only the question of whether certain kinds of ideas and positions can be permitted in public space, but how public space is itself defined by certain kinds of exclusions, certain emerging patterns of censoriousness and censorship. I have considered the way in which the charge of anti-Semitism against those who voice opposition to Israeli policy or to its founding ideology seeks to discredit that point of view as hatred, or, indeed, hate speech, and to put into question its permissibility as protected speech or, indeed, valued political commentary. If one cannot voice an objection to violence done by the Israeli state without attracting the charge of anti-Semitism, then the charge works to circumscribe the publicly acceptable domain of speech. It also works to immunize Israeli violence against critique by refusing to countenance the integrity of the claims made against that violence. One is threatened with the label, “anti-Semitic,” in the same way that within the US, to oppose the most recent US wars earns one the label of “traitor,” or “terrorist sympathizer” or, indeed, “treasonous.” These are threats with profound psychological consequence. They seek to control political behavior by imposing unbearable, stigmatized modes of identification which most people will want more than anything to avoid identification with. Fearing the identification, they fail to speak out. But such threats of stigmatization can and must be weathered, and this can only be done with the support of other actors, others who speak with you, and against the threat that seeks to silence political speech. The threat of being called “anti-Semitic” seeks to control, at the level of the subject, what one is willing to say out loud, and at the level of society in general, to circumscribe what can and cannot be permissibly spoken out loud in the public sphere. More dramatically, these are threats that decide the defining limits of the public sphere through setting limits on the speakable. The world of public discourse, in other words, will be that space and time from which those critical perspectives will be excluded. The exclusion of those criticisms will effectively establish the boundaries of the public itself, and the public will come to understand itself as one that does not speak out, critically, in the face of obvious and illegitimate violence – unless, of course, a certain collective courage takes hold.

  7. Richard Witty
    July 31, 2011, 4:23 pm

    How many people have you called racist, here, in public?

    • Cliff
      July 31, 2011, 5:11 pm

      How many times have you lied about BDS?

      How many times have you justified ethnic cleansing, when politically advantageous?

      Phil is a moral person. You are a hypocrite who has 10,000 posts on an anti-Zionist blog – where you are considered to be a joke, our ‘anti-mascot’.

      You post here not out of sincerity but to satisfy your pathology. For if you truly wanted to change minds, you’d spam the far-right blogs, hoping to ‘convert’ them to ‘liberal’ Zionism from ‘likud’ Zionism.

      They will accept your half-truths and outright lies about the Palestinians and their supporters.

    • Chaos4700
      July 31, 2011, 7:15 pm

      I invite people to do searches of Witty’s posts here, for the words “fascist”/”fascism,” “militant,” “anti-Semitic,” “jihad” and “hudna.” Measure the percentage of his posts that contain at least one of those words.

      Statistics. When will you ever get it through that thick skull of yours that in the real world, facts matter?

    • Mooser
      August 1, 2011, 10:21 am

      “How many people have you called racist, here, in public?”

      Got a link, other than to your demented fantasies?

  8. MHughes976
    July 31, 2011, 4:50 pm

    Anti-Semitism, what do we mean by it? Being against something. If you say ‘There are Jewish (or British) people who have things that in principle they don’t deserve, so they should give those things up’ what are you against? You are clearly against disregard of what you think of as an important principle, not generally against being Jewish or British.
    If you say ‘they would deserve them if only they weren’t Jewish or British’ then you base your whole argument on a certain negative view of the group.
    Most anti-Zionists claim vigorously that they are saying something of the first type, defending a moral principle which applies to all, not something of the second type, advancing a negative view of a group. I’ve never seen much of a reason, not even a shred, for denying this claim.
    The only good reason would come from showing that the supposed moral principles of the anti-Zionists are spurious or unfair: which in general they’re not.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    July 31, 2011, 7:01 pm

    RE: “Since then I’ve reflected on how damaging a charge of anti-Semitism can be.” ~ Weiss

    SEE: New moves to curb criticism of Israel in US and Canada, By Kristin Szremski, The Electronic Intifada, 07/29/11
    EXCERPT: “A number of new initiatives to curtail freedom of speech by conflating opposition to Israeli crimes with anti-Semitism are underway in the United States and Canada…”
    ARTICLE – link to

  10. DICKERSON3870
    July 31, 2011, 7:18 pm

    RE: “Since then I’ve reflected on how damaging a charge of anti-Semitism can be.” ~ Weiss

    A ‘GOLDEN OLDIE’: The Trial of Israel’s Campus Critics, by David Theo Goldberg and Saree Makdisi, Tikkun Magazine, September/October 2009

    (excerpt)…It is an extraordinary fact that no fewer than thirty-three distinct organizations – including AIPAC, the Zionist Organization of America, the American Jewish Congress, and the Jewish National Fund – are gathered together today as members or affiliates of the Israel on Campus Coalition. The coalition is an overwhelmingly powerful presence on American college campuses for which there is simply no equivalent on the Palestinian or Arab side. Its self-proclaimed mission is not merely to monitor our colleges and universities. That, after all, is the commitment of Campus Watch, which was started by pro-Israel activists in 2002. It is, rather (and in its own words), to generate “a pro-active, pro-Israel agenda on campus.”
    There is, accordingly, disproportionate and unbalanced intervention on campuses across the country by a coalition of well-funded organizations, who have no time for — and even less interest in — the niceties of intellectual exchange and academic process. Insinuation, accusation, and defamation have become the weapons of first resort to respond to argument and criticism directed at Israeli policies. As far as these outside pressure groups (and their campus representatives) are concerned, the intellectual and academic price that the scholarly community pays as a result of this kind of intervention amounts to little more than collateral damage…

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to

  11. eGuard
    July 31, 2011, 7:44 pm

    Yep. That’s with Jon Stewart, being jewish: you never know when he’ll call you an anti-Semite. That’s “when”, not “if”.

  12. stopaipac
    July 31, 2011, 7:50 pm

    Welcome to the club, Phil. You can quote NY Times all you want at Daily Kos, and many consider it “liberal”. Never mind that they print op-eds from extremists that promote nuclear war against Iran.
    link to
    apparently, promoting war that will kill millions (and could lead to the destruction of the planet we all share) is no big deal.

    I was banned after a campaign of anti-Palestinian extremists at Daily Kos convinced the clueless moderator, Tim Lange (who once equated a boycott of Israeli products with the military siege of Gaza, and let stand comments that called theft of a crop of olives from a poor Palestinian farmer “a petty crime”, but then Tim attacked me for saying that Palestinian farmers had the right to defend their crops from armed and organized thieves who are permitted to run wild by the IDF…oh, don’t get me started.)

    It looks like you too were banned by Tim (Meteor Blades), he commented you can no longer quote the site except .
    Judgment: Quoting or citing the site…
    …should be limited to critiques. Whatever legitimate material the site publishes is tainted by the examples you’ve presented here.

    It’s a great club Phil. Be proud. You stand for justice, Daily Kos stands for a racist, warmongering, corporate-dominated political party.

    • General Choomin
      August 1, 2011, 3:47 pm

      This really happened? Meteor Blades is like Obama then. Big talk but he sells out his principals to the worst people. Meteor Blades is both a tool and a clown. Lucky for everyone dailykos is only declining in any and every relevant way. Facebook and twitter are far bigger influences on organizing and grass roots fund raising then dailykos was or will ever be. It’s another site that’s on its way towards extinction no matter how many changes (all terrible) they try to implement.

  13. eGuard
    July 31, 2011, 8:08 pm

    Let us celebrate that, through internet, we don’t need CNN any more. It’s more like a moving advertisement now.

  14. talknic
    July 31, 2011, 11:00 pm

    Retraction please.

    “Helen Thomas paid a dear price, her career, for saying that Jews should leave Israel.”

    Oooops a Hasbara infection? A) She did not say ‘Jews should leave Israel’. B) Not in quotes. C) It is the equivalent of a lie.

    link to

    In answer to “Any comments on Israel?” she said “Tell ‘em to get the hell outta Palestine“. (Israel was declared independent of Palestine May 15th 1948. Israel is not in Palestine)

    Jewish Israelis CAN go back to the US, Poland and everywhere else. Even Israel and Germany, where there is RoR for lineal descendants BTW. …. ‘everywhere

  15. eileenfleming
    July 31, 2011, 11:11 pm

    Hi Phil,

    I hope this reaches you as I am sorry to have not connected with you at the Move AIPAC Over conference.

    I spent the evening before with Helen Thomas:
    link to

    And will be on be conversing with her again this Friday, August 5th, noon until 2PM CST at with host Deanna Spingola

    Here’s hoping you/your readers will call in 800-313-9443

    PS: In the Belly of AIPAC and Why I am too RED to be Pink @
    link to

    PSS: On June 7, 2007, I wrote “It Sure Smells Like a Right Wing Zionist Cabal at The Daily Kos “@
    link to

  16. eileenfleming
    July 31, 2011, 11:14 pm

    In the Belly of AIPAC and Why I am too RED to be Pink @

    link to

  17. kapok
    August 1, 2011, 2:47 pm

    The wingie mouthbreathers Beck, Geller, O’Reilly et al are your easy targets. Google ‘markos moulitsas zuniga cia’ for a glimpse of the top predators.

  18. gamal
    August 2, 2011, 6:13 am

    tokyobk? now mooser has dealt with you i feel a little shy, however its always amazing to see someone promulgate zionist “history” unselfconciously.

    firstly and quite embarrassingly you dont know what “arab” means, it does not mean arabian, about 3% of arabs are reckoned to be of arabian origin, if that helps.

    the marionites ( oh yes who arabs believe are derived from the crusades, glad you are here to put us right) “are a mixed population taken to be arab” that is laugh out loud stupid, “mixed” as oppossed to all those pure folks i mean what! of course arabs, god bless them probably think all christianity in the region comes from the crusader invasion, maybe you could do a teaching tour and disabuse these poor ignorami about their history, check out maarat al numan (birth place of abu ala al-maari) so recently in the news in Syria for some cool crusader stuff,

    but tell me tkbk when checking genetic markers, in support of settler colonialism, where do they find the genes, are they in the rocks, do they isolate them from small particles of the western wall, whose genes dunder head do you think warrant comparison and what possible relevance is such shit,

    why not just think for a minute when was the last time someone suggested that your genes might be used to determine your rights of residency and citizenship, the ME is not some bullshit biblical theme park you dont know anything about our history apparently hey but you know that we’ve got it all wrong, i am going to find me a pure arab and insist he go back to an-nafud where they come from eh. where was the roman province of arabia, sadly i have to tell you it wasnt in arabia either oh the error the error.

    sometimes listening to euro/americans talking about the ME one is struck by the irrationality of it all, jews are a natural part of the ME, thanks for sharing that but what does it mean, are egyptians arabs is Gaddafi a berber its all so.. er.. complex, did jesus speak arabic, what about the hasmoneans how arab were they. Idumeans also were they pure hycarnus thought so i am told but that could just be native BS. was rabbi Akiva an arab and a jew,
    is it still 1000bc? what is a mixed as opposed to a pure people, from where do these pure essences come. “generally taken to be arab” that is pure comedy gold. dont get me started on those nabulsi shomronim.

    what were those mongols doing raiding palestine in the 1200′s under a nestorian general, we all belong somewhere, where i am to go scot/irish/arab/egyptian, what citizenship do my markers warrant. i mean ffs. finally what about those french douai or douaihy, they come from a village in france but some take them to be arab rather than french these days, what of it, should they stay in lebanon or relocate to Gaul.

    first time i have commented sorry etc just couldnt help my self will try to be constructive in future.

    • Shmuel
      August 2, 2011, 6:35 am

      first time i have commented sorry etc just couldnt help my self will try to be constructive in future.

      Welcome, gamal. If this is your idea of not being constructive, I can’t wait to see what you call constructive.

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