Rightwing Jew can call leftwing Jew a Nazi, but if leftwinger turns the tables, he’s an anti-Semite

Israel/Palestine
on 35 Comments

At DailyKos, Assaf relates a story about being smeared by an Israeli academic as a “Tsorer” [a term used traditionally for someone persecuting Jews with a genocidal intent] because of his advocacy for Israeli-soldier-refuseniks. Assaf says this is an example of the “bigotry by mainstream Jews against dissident Jews who challenge the “Israel good, Arabs bad” dogma.” And goes on, “In the mainstream Israeli (and older generation Disapora-Jewish) psyche there is a red line, usually referred to in Israel as a social-mental ‘Fence’, separating, supposedly, “legitimate” criticism and activism – but really demarcating tribal solidarity – from crossing over to become one of ‘them'”. And he adds that the charge of anti-Semitism is used, too: “Here are the rules of ‘Nazi Gotcha’, as far as I’ve managed to understand them:”



1. Anyone, at any time, can compare Israel’s current and past enemies to the Nazis – and we are even encouraged to do so.

2. No one, at no time, can compare Israel’s current or past actions to the Nazis. This is an immediate red card.

3. It is completely okay for Jews criticizing other Jews from the right to the left (e.g., the right criticizing the center, the center criticizing the left, etc.), to compare their criticism’s target to the Nazis. For example, in 1995 during the Oslo process a center-right commentator said to Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to his face on prime-time live broadcast, that he is a member of a “Judenrat Government”. That commentator, Tommy Lapid, later became a political star and even served under Sharon as a senior cabinet minister alongside Peres.

4. It is completely not okay, for Jews criticizing other Jews from the left towards the right, to use similar imagery. Never. Barring highly exceptional circumstances, this offense also carries an immediate and irrevocable red card.

5. In other cases, we will send the “jury” (composed always of center and right nationalist Jews) out to deliberation, but in general if you are Jewish and not suspected of “anti-Israelism”, it is okay. For example, I don’t think Jerry Seinfeld paid any penalty for introducing the term “Soup Nazi” to English language and American pop-culture.

6. The meaning of a red card. If you were unfortunate to be issued a red card under rules 2, 4 and possibly 5 – then you are forever marked as someone “beyond the pale”, an “Antisemite”, a “self-hater”, or even worse. Pretty much nothing you will do can undo this verdict.

7. (almost) Finally…. any nationalist Jew is authorized to issue the red card to Jews on his left, or to non-Jews, upon witnessing an offense.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

35 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    August 4, 2011, 11:26 am

    Sht man, Ive not only been thrown out of the game, Ive been permanently barred from the sport.

    Phil is like the Pete Rose of “Nazi Gotcha” — waaaay beyond barred

    if basketball were the analogy – Phil would be the Dennis Rodman of Nazi Gotcha, with Max Blumenthal playing Rasheed Wallace.

  2. annie
    August 4, 2011, 12:30 pm

    if you read assaf’s great diary (i rec!) don’t miss the 8th rule:


    8. If you happen to address a case when someone else was issued a red card, the only permissible response is to further condemn, denigrate, ostracize, denounce, renounce and cut all contact from the red-cardee. Any other response will make you automatically liable to being issued a red card yourself.

    (his bold)

  3. annie
    August 4, 2011, 12:35 pm

    wow, this is really good. i have to bring more of it into this thread:

    I am talking about the use of this charged atmosphere, in order to isolate, demonize, dehumanize and persecute individuals. All of us write all kinds of stuff over the years, and we produce a range of expressions, reactions, contexts, etc. Hardly anyone would approve of every single thing someone else has written. Hardly any political blogger, esp. in I-P, has managed to avoid stepping on some verbal landmines, while still writing texts worth reading.

    Calling people out when they overstep red lines, helping them understand what’s wrong with what they wrote, is one thing. But by letting games like “Nazi Gotcha” set the tone, we are allowing bigots to fish for expressions they can take out of context, and then aid and abet them in persecuting whoever made these expressions. So the community ends up engaging in de-facto bigotry, while feeling very self-righteous and morally justified.

    (my bold)

    he is relating a personal experience where his text was chopped and cherry picked. sound familiar?

  4. annie
    August 4, 2011, 12:39 pm

    OMG..i’m just coming to..he’s writing about this site!!!! OMG…

    update later after i read it.. this is AMAZING

    • American
      August 4, 2011, 4:45 pm

      I went over and read and rec’ed and commented.
      Excellent.
      I hope the “progressives” have enought sense to pay attention to what he is saying.

    • General Choomin
      August 4, 2011, 5:53 pm

      He even mentioned some of the stuff I expressed in my posts on dailykos about the gotcha moments. Maybe great minds think alike? Then again my mind isn’t that great lol.

      Anyways, I suspect he might get banned for that. He put up a disclaimer but people have been banned for less then that. Tomj being a clear example of such an event.

      What I find totally hypocritical is when I used to post that outfits like MEMRI, IDFSPOKESPERSON UNIT, and CAMERA where racist propaganda sites. Members from team shalom would then get outraged and always reply “WELL IS IT TRUE OR ISN’T IT?!?!?”. That shit, however racist and a right wing talking point it was, is not bannable even though it’s stated clearly in the rules that it is.

      • Chaos4700
        August 4, 2011, 7:07 pm

        Well the same B.S. goes on at HuffPo too, after Operation Cast Lead. It’s amazing how quickly that place turned.

      • MRW
        August 5, 2011, 6:27 pm

        You shouldn’t be. They rolled in a new political editor at the tail end of Operation Cast Lead (Hilary Rosen ???, formerly of RIAA), who spilt the post issues to draw the Comments totals down to 900 here, 2,000 there, and various others. Otherwise, the totals exceeded over 15,000 for each of the three main news posts, and about 5,000 to 6,000 were pending for each. [Yeah, I monitored and kept the count on purpose.] That’s when the NYC Israeli Consulate thought they could grab the nascent Twitter world with an effort to stem the tide (January 2009) ….they got creamed when they tried it, they couldn’t keep up with a hashtag discussion.

      • MRW
        August 5, 2011, 6:32 pm

        What a place like HuffPo doesn’t understand is that they can silence and diss people with these practices, but all it succeeds in doing is hardening points-of-view.

  5. Chu
    August 4, 2011, 1:24 pm

    funny. I would argue the left uses the term nazi or anti semite (or racist), more often that any person on the right, they’re only more blase about it.

    Nazi and anti-semite are two most sickening and overused words in the American syntax. Imagine if black people in the US used the term anti-africana as much as anti-semite is exploited. It’s beyond perverse, it’s lame.

  6. MRW
    August 4, 2011, 1:32 pm

    Bring the whole thing over so we dont give DK a hit.

    • annie
      August 4, 2011, 1:52 pm

      i can’t, it’s too long. but it’s really really good and needs to be read in full. besides, what’s wrong w/giving dkos a hit for heaven’s sake. it’s not like NOT linking to them is going to make a difference in this one case. i still read the good i/p diaries there. the adalah group is excellent. i’m intending to bring more conversation here about the site and some of the diaries. now that they’ve banned us i feel we should talk about them more just because we can. because we are not silencers we’re trying to open dialogue within the american community, and that includes dkos. we can be better than them and those silly silencing tactics. go read it . i just stopped crying after someone called me and we talked about it. it’s powerful stuff he’s written and deserves a much wider audience. it blows my mind it only has like 11 comments thus far. i just finished writing assaf and email. just because i am banned there doesn’t mean i can’t share my views!

      • MRW
        August 4, 2011, 2:38 pm

        Beat you to it, sweetheart. I was there after I wrote it. Hats off to Assaf. I hope he kicks the can down the road some more.

  7. Charon
    August 4, 2011, 2:14 pm

    Can we please retire the term anti-semitic? If I was Jewish I would be embarrassed of it. Besides being incorrectly used from a literary stand point (which I’m aware applies to a lot of words.. like gas/petrol for example) it is never used properly. The popular usage seems to be if one disagrees with a majority Jewish POV. If 65% of all Jews liked the color blue and I didn’t, I would be antisemitic. If I were Jewish I’d be a self-hating Jew. You would think people would be de-sensitized to the crying wolf nature of the term by now, but everybody is fearful of it as if it’s the most dreaded smear in existence. That’s a problem because when it isn’t used properly it is a powerful tool for deflecting criticism.

    Even my in-laws are still convinced that criticism of Israel is anti-semitism. As explained by one of their Jewish friends, Israel is the ‘nation state of the Jewish people’ and to criticize Israel is to criticize Jewry, therefore it is anti-semitic. That is total BS! Criticism of Israel is aimed at Israel’s fascist and racist leaders along with the fascist ideology that is Zionism and revisionist Zionism. Zionism is a nationalist ideology that is not much older than a century. Nationalism is dangerous stuff. That over half the world’s Jews have embraced Zionism does not make it immune to criticism. If over half the world’s Germans embraced Nazism is today it would be a problem.

    People who want to free Tibet are not “anti-Chinese” and racist. The Nazi comparison is valid. Those who are offended by it are part of the problem. The way anti-semitism is used you would think that the USA and the world was full of rampant anti-semitism and hate crimes. If that were true, explain Hollywood and Wall Street.

    • annie
      August 4, 2011, 2:34 pm

      i think it would be really helpful if we (all ethnicities) shared the same word for bigotry and racism. i do not think it is helpful one ethnicity has their own separate identifier while the rest of humanity shares a common identifier. it doesn’t have to privilege that one group, but as it has been used as a bludgeon and so much fear surrounding the accusation (moreso than the accusation of racist imho) i do think it’s gained a kind of hierarchical position.

      • American
        August 4, 2011, 2:57 pm

        I agree…I once suggested anti semite be dropped for just plain bigot.

      • General Choomin
        August 4, 2011, 6:13 pm

        I agree. Even the term “pogrom” is reserved to a unique Jewish experience. When during some of the worst pogroms (ethnic cleansing) Muslims where also persecuted and driven off. The Muslims, by some accounts, don’t count in those events.

      • richb
        August 4, 2011, 7:54 pm

        Note that we have a Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism:

        link to state.gov

        Note the 2004 Global Anti-Semitism Review Act.
        link to 2001-2009.state.gov

        In it they created a special section in the Country Reports of Human Rights Practices specifically to:

        `(8) wherever applicable, a description of the nature and extent of acts of anti -Semitism and anti -Semitic incitement that occur during the preceding year, including descriptions of–

        `(A) acts of physical violence against, or harassment of Jewish people, and acts of violence against, or vandalism of Jewish community institutions, including schools, synagogues, and cemeteries;

        `(B) instances of propaganda in government and nongovernment media that attempt to justify or promote racial hatred or incite acts of violence against Jewish people;

        `(C) the actions, if any, taken by the government of the country to respond to such violence and attacks or to eliminate such propaganda or incitement;

        `(D) the actions taken by such government to enact and enforce laws relating to the protection of the right to religious freedom of Jewish people; and

        `(E) the efforts of such government to promote anti -bias and tolerance education;'; and

        (2) after the fourth sentence of section 502B(b) (22 U.S.C. 2304(b)), by inserting the following new sentence: `Wherever applicable, a description of the nature and extent of acts of anti -Semitism and anti -Semitic incitement that occur, including the descriptions of such acts required under section 116(d)(8).’.

        (b) Inclusion in Annual Report on International Religious Freedom- Section 102(b)(1)(A) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6412(b)(1)(A)) is amended–

        (1) in clause (ii), by striking `and’ at the end;

        (2) in clause (iii), by striking the period at the end and inserting `; and'; and

        (3) by adding after clause (iii) the following new clause:

        `(iv) wherever applicable, an assessment and description of the nature and extent of acts of anti -Semitism and anti -Semitic incitement that occur in that country during the preceding year, including–

        `(I) acts of physical violence against, or harassment of, Jewish people, acts of violence against, or vandalism of, Jewish community institutions, and instances of propaganda in government and nongovernment media that incite such acts; and

        `(II) the actions taken by the government of that country to respond to such violence and attacks or to eliminate such propaganda or incitement, to enact and enforce laws relating to the protection of the right to religious freedom of Jewish people, and to promote anti -bias and tolerance education.’.

        Here’s the parts of Section 6 of the Human Rights Report. Let’s play Sesame Street! What one thing is not like the others?

        1. Women
        2. Children
        3. Anti-Semitism
        4. Persons with Disabilities
        5. National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities
        6. Societal Abuses, Discrimination, and Acts of Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

      • MRW
        August 5, 2011, 6:37 pm

        i do not think it is helpful one ethnicity has their own separate identifier while the rest of humanity shares a common identifier. it doesn’t have to privilege that one group

        Dead right.

    • MRW
      August 4, 2011, 3:16 pm

      I agree, Charon. My sister-in-law is an Eastern European Jew who lives in Canada now, and we see eye-to-eye on all of this. She’s the most anti-Zionist person I know. Her parents were WWII survivors. What they went through is unimaginable to the average current American (especially those who diddle now with the idea of war with Iran). It was war, and more than just Jews suffered through it, which she reminds me of constantly. She says, “It was war.”

      I wish I had a recording of her telling me this, because the first time I heard it, I froze in space, I was immobile. We were at the family cottage. It was a perfect day. The quiet ferocity in her sweet voice made the impression. She said, “Jews are so smart? We’re supposed to be so smart? Tell me why we followed an unemployed journalist [Herzl] over the cliff. Tell me why after 2,000 years of all that persecution we listen to some guy who wants to round us up and put a target on our back in a fancy ghetto. Do we listen to 80-year-old philosophers? Do we listen to men who have lived life and studied history? No, we listen to a guy who wants to get a better table for his ideas at a Viennese cafe, a loser. The only time we Jews are smart is when we’re outsiders, because that’s when we pay attention.”

      But the kicker was her next sentence, “That’s when the Rothschilds recognized the opportunity. They could politicize what they were already doing for the Kings of Europe, because it gave them cover.”

      I asked her where she got this idea. She said from her parents, who despised what the Zionists did not do to help Jews during WWII. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it 100 times from her how the Zionists refused to help ordinary Jews during WWII. According to her, that’s why Holocaust discussion is banned in Germany: the truth would out.

      • Debonnaire
        August 4, 2011, 4:01 pm

        True: 1. An anti-Semite used to be someone who hated Jews. Now, it’s someone whom Jews hate. 2. The term “self-hating Jew” is a neurotic construct. There’s your SELF – your true inner essence, as well as the qualities, attributes, and individual quirks that make a person separate and distinct from another. Then, there’s your tribal affiliation: Jew. The two are not the same. Otherwise, the answer to the questions- “What’s Bill like?” would be: “Oh, he’s a Jew”, and “What’s Debbie like?” – “Same as Bill. She’s a Jew.” Were John Garfield and Stanley Myron Handelman the same guy? What about Phil Weiss and David Frum? Barbara Streisand and Ayn Rand? No, different people entirely. Anyone who uses the term “self-hating Jew” badly needs psychiatric help.

      • American
        August 4, 2011, 4:50 pm

        Fasinating.
        What she said is approximatley what one of my most admired figures, the German Jew Amb John Guthner Dean said about zionism and Germany during the war.

    • General Choomin
      August 4, 2011, 6:11 pm

      Nationalism can be dangerous and it can also be something that is good. For example, if it’s formed to throw off the yokes of colonialism it is good. If it is to cause ethnic cleansing and support colonialism then it is bad. Usually it all turns to crap since after colonialism or attempted colonialism nationalism will still be there and nationalistic individuals will then wage war over a rock that they claim. South East Asia/East Asia is a clear example of this.

      Zionism is one of the start off bad terrible forms of colonial nationalism that is steeped in racism and ethnic cleansing. The very term “settlement” in itself is borrowed from terms used by US manifest destiny to say that “settlers” had arrived in “unsettled” land and that when they planted down their colony in native territory they where “settling” it and making it civilized… Or so I’ve heard…

    • Hostage
      August 5, 2011, 5:30 am

      Even my in-laws are still convinced that criticism of Israel is anti-semitism. As explained by one of their Jewish friends, Israel is the ‘nation state of the Jewish people’ and to criticize Israel is to criticize Jewry, therefore it is anti-semitic.

      Then it must logically follow that the ancient prophets were self-hating antisemites. By the first century it was no longer safe for them to criticize the authorities and community openly, so it was done secretly or in the name of one of the ancients (i.e. the apocrypha & pseudepigrapha). Eventually there was a unilateral declaration that the age of prophecy had come to an end. That was before the advent of blogs.

  8. General Choomin
    August 4, 2011, 6:23 pm

    volleyboy1 the idiot just brought attention to his name to defame tomj and mondoweiss. Way to out yourself to an even bigger audience you stupid idiot.

    I edited this to not seem even more cruder to him.

  9. General Choomin
    August 4, 2011, 6:40 pm

    There volley goes again. You see they tarred me so badly there that calling someone “generalchoomin’s sockpuppet” is considered an anti-Semitic insult. The truth is I have one other account that I haven’t posted with in over 5 months when I realized it was not worth the effort to waste my words arguing with racists. The people he persecuted accusing them of being me where actually total strangers he chased off or banned. The only evidence he needed for such witch hunts was the misspelling of a political party. That’s how it is on dailykos. What a pathetic paranoid joke.

    I personally don’t think assaf will even be able to write his next two diaries. The outrage and admin begging for his ban has already begun.

    • annie
      August 4, 2011, 7:00 pm

      The outrage and admin begging for his ban has already begun.

      are you guessing that or did you read something in the comment section? i can’t imagine they would ban assaf, he’s highly respected. i certainly respect him and i think most posters who have ever read him do. it’s not like he’s claiming he agrees with everything at this site, that is beside his point altogether.

      • Chaos4700
        August 4, 2011, 7:10 pm

        can’t imagine they would ban assaf, he’s highly respected.

        Go back and read again about the red card, sweetie. It really doesn’t work that way.

      • General Choomin
        August 4, 2011, 7:15 pm

        Just as respected posters where banned for much less. The assumption that it has started is based on previous times when the same individuals did the same thing. To expect them to not do so, imo, is to hope an old dog will learn a new trick.

  10. longliveisrael
    August 4, 2011, 8:11 pm

    Ok, going along with that theme, here are some rules:

    1) If you say anything supportive of Israel, you are a Hasbarist. You are not saying this of your own violation, you are paid to do so.

    2) All non-Israeli Jews who support Israel are brainwashed. Not one of them, no matter how smart, educated or successful, can think for themselves. However, all those who attack Israel are not brainwashed.

    3) it’s ok to accuse all Israelis of being ethnic cleansers, and in fact, on this blog, by extension, all those who support Israel. However, it is verboten to classify Palestinians as terrorists even though they elected a known terrorist group as their Government

    4) It’s perfectly ok to claim that Jews control the Governments in the US and UK, despite the fact that Israelis can never actually elect a decisive majority government of their own.

    • Mooser
      August 4, 2011, 11:04 pm

      LongliveIsrael, I think we here at Mondoweiss should be honest about it, and jusgt admit to the entire world We Suck!

    • Chaos4700
      August 5, 2011, 12:02 am

      1) Do you get subsidized support from your government to live in the West Bank?

      2) Remind me again why any Americans who aren’t Jewish — and are thus lacking even tribal associations — should believe it is in their interest to shell out American tax money to you guys so you can frisk six year old girls, set fire to schools with white phosphorous and build cement concentration camp walls around villages?

      3) Are you, as an Israeli, contending that you believe all Palestinians are terrorist? Quelle surprise!

      4) How is the Israeli government not a decisive majority? No Israeli government has ever decided NOT to indulge in black-ops terror on its neighbors, to contract the colonial settlement enterprise, to restrain themselves from flouting the Fourth Geneva Convention, etc. You know, the rest of us really couldn’t care less about your parties kibbutzing about the color of the drapes in your living room.

    • MRW
      August 5, 2011, 6:19 pm

      This is like a ‘be kind to the lynch mob, they’re people too’ argument.

  11. eGuard
    August 4, 2011, 8:19 pm

    Why don’t the “we-Jews” fight it out this month (August 2011, that is), and then we all go ahead without the need for any we-Jewish agreement?

  12. Debonnaire
    August 4, 2011, 8:23 pm

    Then, there are the David Solway (Pajamas Media) and Jonathan Morse (Univ. Of Hawaii at Manoa) types who call Jews fed up with Israel’s Crimes – “kapo”, and “Judenrat”, when the ones who corrupt and endanger their fellow Jews are THEM. By cheering on the Norwegian mass-murderer, and calling anyone who doesn’t think Israel is immune from criticism an “anti-Semite” – who creates a worse impression than these people? They’re so filled with hate for “the goyim”, so bent on getting America to “Nuke Iran!” and “Nuke Syria!” because “It’s good for the Jews.” that they don’t even care how much real anti-Semitism they engender because in their narrow minds all the goyim are anti-Semitic anyway. These are the people our media give free rein to, and that our Congress have sold us down the river

Leave a Reply