‘Atlantic”s Rob’t Wright says Alex Kane deserves an apology

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 30 Comments

Earlier today we defended ourselves from a smear written by Armin Rosen published at the Atlantic site, saying that this website is anti-Semitic. Well Robert Wright, who is also at the Atlantic, has denounced that piece as McCarthyite in its aim at Alex Kane, and offered a spirited (and slightly qualified) defense of our site. Excerpt re Kane:

I want to reiterate that calling Rosen’s regrettable piece McCarthyite–as I’m doing–doesn’t depend on whether you do or don’t think any of those Mondoweiss pieces is beyond the pale. Because the person Rosen attacked–the person whose voice Rosen is trying to silence–didn’t write any of those pieces.

It’s kind of amazing, when you think about it. You write a piece arguing that a given person shouldn’t be allowed to write for respectable publications, and at no point do you make critical reference to anything this person has ever said or written!

I guess by Rosen’s logic I am now personally responsible for his article–because, after all, it appeared on the Atlantic’s site, and I work for the Atlantic. Well, I’m happy to say I disagree. But maybe my connection to the Atlantic at least entitles me to offer an apology to Alex Kane. He certainly deserves one.

Andrew Sullivan– who has also been accused of anti-Semitism–  links Wright with approval here. It’s nice to see non-Jews offering opinions about what is anti-Semitic and what isn’t. A propitious development. Vigilance about bigotry is, or should be, a universal attribute.

About Philip Weiss

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

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30 Responses

  1. traintosiberia
    July 16, 2012, 9:37 pm

    “It’s kind of amazing, when you think about it. You write a piece arguing that a given person shouldn’t be allowed to write for respectable publications, and at no point do you make critical reference to anything this person has ever said or written!”

    Chicken is coming home to roost. This is the same method that has been used over the years to silence critics of American policies on Israel-Palestine and Israel -Arab and Israel-Iran and deny them a voice in the media.

    • Mooser
      July 17, 2012, 12:38 pm

      “Chicken is coming home to roost.”

      Time to start the soup, then. Hey, it couldn’t hurt!

  2. bangpound
    July 16, 2012, 10:05 pm

    It goes without saying that Alex Kane and Mondoweiss are worth defending against these baseless smears which aim to silence you.

    But it’s frustrating that only non-Palestinians and non-Arabs are granted this protection from mainstream media elites. In January, Sullivan said he would stand up against anti-Semitism smears but he was silent about PennBDS (we brought it to his attention). Robert Wright’s project bloggingheads.tv has a clear problem with Palestinians. No Palestinian women have ever appeared on this site. A handful of other Palestinians have appeared. Gershom Gorenberg alone has appeared more often than all Palestinians combined.

    So it’s great that these guys stand up for you, but it also perpetuates a significant problem. Palestinians are completely excluded and are never worthy of a word of support from these guys.

    • ritzl
      July 16, 2012, 11:19 pm

      Thanks for the context, bangpound. It’s important to remember this.

    • eGuard
      July 17, 2012, 4:45 am

      So the duel is between (in order of appeareance), piece 1 TA: Armin Rosen, Peter Beinart, Alex Kane, Phil Weiss, (assorted other MW writers, non-Kane); piece 2 MW: Adam Horowitz, piece 3 TA: Robert Wright, Sarah Wildman; piece 3 (MW this one): Andrew Sullivan.

      Only Sullivan, entering in the final paragraph, is noted to be non-Jewish which is “nice”(and his link doesn’t work). It gives an impression on who, ultimately, are allowed into the debate. After all, the triggering piece was at a site called “Open Zion”.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 17, 2012, 10:50 am

        sullivan’s link works for me now eguard. i don’t think robert wright is jewish.

        i felt so proud of our site reading the rosen article. it was really pathetic. the guys were right when they said it was all about making the red lines. those days are over.

      • eGuard
        July 17, 2012, 11:33 am

        Annie, it is about who is allowed into the ring. Clearly, the MW trio has received the honour.

        Now after pointing to Sullivans opinion (link fixed, read all 162 chars) Phil writes: It’s nice to see non-Jews offering opinions about what is anti-Semitic and what isn’t. (plural, so “non-Jews” indeed could include Robert Wright – whatever). Non-Jews having an opinion on anti-Semitism is called “nice” here. While in fact, the topic is not anti-Semitism. The topic is smears of anti-Semitism. I do not see why MW would want to differentiate between its victims this way.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 17, 2012, 12:29 pm

        Non-Jews having an opinion on anti-Semitism is called “nice” here

        my understanding is certain ‘jewish issues’ are in a domain that is staked out and carefully protected. i think i mentioned the conversation i got into at the wedding, the person expressing he was afraid of being called antisemitic for discussing israel. plus reut’s redline article. they want to be the ones to define the boundaries. you mention a circle..well a circle is also a boundary. i think the sky is the limit.

        so rosen didn’t go after alex or MW wrt political ideas or policy and it’s not too hard to figure out why. he’s not interested in a dialogue. he made it about antisemitism which is sacrosanct ground, a coveted jurisdiction. remember the dkos diary on anti semitism. so…it is nice people who are not jewish are speaking out on this issue, it’s about time. it’s being used to silence us and it’s our (each of us) duty to stand up for what’s right. otherwise it may be us getting smeared next time.

        let them look the fool coveting their alleged victimhood.

    • Mooser
      July 17, 2012, 12:40 pm

      “No Palestinian women have ever appeared on this site.”

      Are you sure about that. I have a perfectly sieve-like memory, but I don’t think that’s true. You wanna try a “search” on the subject?

  3. radii
    July 16, 2012, 10:56 pm

    It is time to lay new ground rules with regard to terminology:

    “anti-Semite”should be shunned by progressives as it is a one-size-fits all term used to serve the propaganda aims of one faction (Zionists) by providing a useful rhetorical tool to portray perpetual victimhood (and, technically it is a non-sequitur as Semites is a term that describes peoples from northern Africa to Near Asia)

    Acceptable Terms:
    anti-Israel refers to someone against the policies and actions of the state of Israel

    anti-Zionist refers to someone against the philosophy and enterprise of Zionism – specifically the historic ethnic-cleansing of over 700,000 Palestinians, the ongoing Occupation and serially inhumane treatment of those occupied

    anti-Jewish refers to someone who has an unbridled antipathy or outright hatred toward all Jews … this is the only offensive posture as it is manifested not as a response based upon the actions of particular Jews but a general broad-brushing of all Jews and, hence, is discriminatory

    • Fredblogs
      July 17, 2012, 4:17 am

      Anti-Zionist is someone against the existence of Israel.

      • Citizen
        July 17, 2012, 11:15 am

        Unlike Santa, the state of Israel exists, complete with nuclear weapons, the 4th strongest military in the world, and the heavy funding of itself by US taxpayers. The US lone superpower guarantees at its own expense the continued security, and therefore existence, of the state of Israel. This existing Israel acts, and its acts are visible. Unlike the mythical Santa’s, Israel’s actual acts have not earned it a good reputation in the world. That’s why world opinion lists Israel at the bottom in displayed character, right there with North Korea–which btw, is not a Jewish state.

      • seafoid
        July 17, 2012, 11:38 am

        Israel can go on, Fred, but Zionism has to go.

        Zionism = human rights abuse

      • eljay
        July 17, 2012, 12:21 pm

        >> Anti-Zionist is someone against the existence of Israel.

        AFAIK, anti-Zionist is someone against the existence of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist Israel, and not someone against a secular, democratic and egalitarian Israel.

      • Mooser
        July 17, 2012, 12:45 pm

        “Anti-Zionist is someone against the existence of Israel.”

        And every time somebody thinks a bad thought about Israel, another Tel Aviv Starbucks bus gets a “missile” up it’s butt, right? Or does Israel just shrink a little?
        Amazing, that one country in the world is so susceptible to destruction-by-thought. Why is that, Fred? You would think they would have anticipated and dealt with that problem. Or did they just say: ‘oh well, what the hell, we exist on sympathy and sufferance, and that when that dries up a little, our goose is cooked. But those suckers making Aliyah don’t need to know that! We’ll just tell ‘em it’s all “the Arabs” fault, and leave those poor suckers to absorb the consequences!’

    • Stephen Shenfield
      July 17, 2012, 7:05 am

      Another term might be anti-Judaic, to refer to someone who is against the doctrines and practices of Judaism as a religion. In a free society that should also be acceptable (along with anti-Islamic, anti-Christian, etc.).

      • radii
        July 17, 2012, 12:00 pm

        Agreed. Specificity helps.

  4. ColinWright
    July 16, 2012, 11:25 pm

    “It’s kind of amazing, when you think about it. You write a piece arguing that a given person shouldn’t be allowed to write for respectable publications, and at no point do you make critical reference to anything this person has ever said or written!”

    Did the McCarthyites ever sink quite this low?

    It’s a genuine question. I’m curious.

    • Mooser
      July 17, 2012, 12:48 pm

      “Did the McCarthyites ever sink quite this low?”

      Now, if I recall, McCarthy at least had the decency (“at long last, sir”) to brandish blank sheets of paper which he said were ‘lists of Communists in the State Department’ or something like that.

  5. hughsansom
    July 16, 2012, 11:32 pm

    As I suggested in an earlier comment on the other piece regarding Armin Rosen’s libelous attacks, it’s way past time to bring out the legal guns. Vicious, lowlifes like Rosen or Alan Dershowitz or Abraham Foxman have casually hurled the charge of anti-Semitism for decades and they have never suffered any downside. There has been subdued admission from New York Times editors or academics or a handful of well-positioned others that this is part of the Israel Lobby’s campaign of intimidation. But, while Dershowitz or Ariel Sharon have successfully deployed legal forces, pro-Palestinian individuals and groups have either not done so, been unable to muster the funding to do so, or have done so ineffectually and ineffectively. That has to change. These days, it’s clear to all but the completely delusional that Alan Dershowitz is unhinged, perhaps really mentally ill, to judge from the ravings he indulges in. But others, like Rosen, have to learn that career-destroying, baseless allegations cannot be made with impunity.

    • Fredblogs
      July 17, 2012, 4:15 am

      Speaking of libel.

    • Kathleen
      July 17, 2012, 10:43 am

      Have brought up Mondoweiss on Cspan’s Washington Journal at least six times. Directing viewers to the site. Asking them to have Phil, Adam, Annie etc on their program. Abe Foxman’s Camera Cspan watch will not even post Mondoweiss’s name on their site when they have LOUDLY objected to accurate information, and partilar websites mentioned on Washington Journal. Camera’s Cspan watch will not post the name of Mondoweiss, Race for Iran, If America’s Knew at their website. They reference Mondoweiss as anti semitic

      ” So, I will watch that issue again – Wall Street, lack of accountability, the situation we’re headed with Iran. And then also, on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There is a great Website for folks called [names a propagandistic site, carefully spelling out the name, dedicated to defaming the nation of Israel] and also another Web site called [names another anti-Israel site which has been shown by CAMERA to put forth a bogus anti-Israel claim in connection with fund raising for itself].”

    • Mooser
      July 17, 2012, 12:55 pm

      “it’s way past time to bring out the legal guns.

      And sue for….what, exactly? I do believe you have to have evidence (reaching a certain standard) of loss, which the court can restore, or even add a penalty to.
      When this is over, Mondoweiss won’t be sending them a summons to a deposition, hell, they be sending them a thank-you card, and a very expensive floral arrangement, which spells out “Thanks, suckers” in rose-blossoms. Maybe even a bottle of champagne. And maybe even a pair of Wiss shears, so they can cut the strings, and stop dancing to the tune Mondoweiss is calling.

    • lysias
      July 17, 2012, 2:26 pm

      Speaking of being unbalanced, apparently Dershowitz strolls naked on a beach on Martha’s Vineyard (apart from wearing a white cap): Crazed Naked Stroller Dershowitz Denounces J Street As Anti-Israel .

  6. Kathleen
    July 17, 2012, 10:33 am

    “Vigilance about bigotry is, or should be, a universal attribute.” And non Jews have been stepping up to the plate on this issue for decades. Knowing and saying those who have been successful at shutting down the I/P debate for decades hiding apartheid systems behind shouting “anti semitic” has been called out for decades. Now making the main stream

  7. Kathleen
    July 17, 2012, 10:34 am

    With Steve Clemons in one of the seats at the helm of the Atlantic…opening up over there too. Oh yeah

  8. seafoid
    July 17, 2012, 12:35 pm

    “I want to reiterate that calling Rosen’s regrettable piece McCarthyite–as I’m doing–doesn’t depend on whether you do or don’t think any of those Mondoweiss pieces is beyond the pale. Because the person Rosen attacked–the person whose voice Rosen is trying to silence–didn’t write any of those pieces.”

    What a mealy mouthed defence of free speech.

  9. Pamela Olson
    July 17, 2012, 6:28 pm

    I personally can’t wait to be accused of anti-Semitism by a Zionist shill in a major publication. It’s so patently absurd that it’s easy to defend against (at least these days — such McCarthyist smears were much more potent three, five, ten years ago), and it’s free publicity! Bring it on!

    Congrats, Alex! This means they’re feeling the burn… well done. High praise indeed.

  10. Carowhat
    July 17, 2012, 10:11 pm

    Someone who calls other people anti-Semites won’t give up that weapon easily. It’s too good a tool. It’s powerful. it’s scary. And so much easier to use than trying to make a case against someone whose knowledge of the issue is making you look like a fool.

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