Schoolboy’s campaign to besmirch an eminent professor smacks of totalitarian society

Israel/Palestine
on 36 Comments

Earlier this week, I posted a piece about a Jewish senior at Croton-Harmon High School in New York who by accusing John Mearsheimer of anti-Semitism in letters to school authorities was able to postpone for a year a distinguished alumnus award that had been announced for Mearsheimer, an eminent professor of international relations at the University of Chicago. My tone was ironical; but two other responses have appeared that are smarter than mine. First, Jerry Haber reflects on his own Zionist indoctrination, followed by Scott McConnell’s savage reflection, contained in my headline.  

First Haber, writing in the comments section at the Jewish Week site, where young Josh Blumberg’s account appeared:

Around forty years ago, I was in a similar situation. My high school had invited a former alumnus, a retired State Department diplomat, to speak to the students, mostly non-Jewish, on the Middle East. At the time, I had been indoctrinated with the classic Zionist narrative that nowadays very few thinking Israelis would accept. I protested to the school, which as a result decided to invite a pro-Israeli speaker for balance.

It took me around thirty years of reading and thinking to be weaned away from the hasbara (It wasn’t called that at the time) that I had been fed at my afternoon Hebrew school. I also had to make aliyah, serve in the army, and see my children serve in the army before I came to the conclusion that the pro-Israel speaker was much less correct than the retired diplomat. No doubt I, too, may have thought someone like him to be “anti-Semitic,” simply because I had been predisposed to think that way by the indoctrination that I had undergone. I know now, having read Prof. Mearsheimer’s work and after some personal contact, that this is a false and defamatory charge, and that the Israel Lobby book, agree with it or not, has nothing to do with anti-Semitism; to think otherwise is to trivialize and politicize the term, as much of the study of anti-Semitism in recent years has indeed been trivialized and politicized.

McConnell at the American Conservative site:

I’m struck also by the young accuser’s enormous sense of ideological entitlement. I can recall being eighteen, and twenty-two, and getting involved in various campaigns and protests.  But I can’t imagine thinking that I could write some letters leveling false and defamatory accusations against an eminent, highly scrutinized professor, with the more or less complete expectation that I would get what I wanted. Granted, American society has changed a lot since 1970, but still.

I too would commend the school board for courage in resisting a neo-McCarthyite smear attempt. Nevertheless, the entire story gives off a faint whiff of totalitarianism, of those societies in which responsible middle-aged people tiptoe around in fear of accusations from self-righteous and highly indoctrinated young people. Yes, the school board was courageous, but why should courage in this realm even be necessary?

36 Responses

  1. Donald
    March 17, 2013, 12:04 pm

    I wouldn’t go as far as McConnell–I think Haber’s response was just right. The reason I don’t quite agree with McConnell is that, like Haber, I think Josh Blumberg has every right to speak out against his school honoring someone he thinks is an anti-semite. Suppose the school had been proposing to honor a scumbag like Elliot Abrams–then we’d be supportive of an 18 year old trying to stop it. The problem here is that Blumberg is wrong. If one wants to look for a totalitarian outlook, it would be in the propaganda that has apparently influenced Blumberg’s mindset to the point where he can’t distinguish between genuine anti-semitism and criticism of the Israel Lobby. Haber understands all this from his own past, which is probably why his response covers all the issues in his characteristically nuanced way. (That’s true of 99 percent of what Haber writes, BTW. About the only time I think he ever missed the boat was when he defended Goldstone’s retraction as not being a real retraction. But nobody’s perfect.)

    • Cliff
      March 17, 2013, 12:59 pm

      I thought McConnell’s first few sentences were SPOT-ON.

      I was an undergrad only 6 years ago. This was after the Iraq War had began. I don’t remember any sense of “ideological entitlement” among the anti-war Left on campus.

      As a minority as well – and in a community that I think is analogous to American Jews (I’m Indian) – I had never seen such ‘entitlement’ among minorities in the US.

      That is, until the 2006 Lebanon War.

      Jewish Zionists think they are perpetual Holocaust survivors or ancient Israelites.

      They are neither.

      And the sense of entitlement among them is disgusting and destructive. America is a meritocracy and everyday in the comments section I see Zionist trolls who think Israel’s legitimacy is self-evident and that they have the right to be indignant.

      Surely they can be. They are capable of such indignation.

      But it’s a farce. Israel and Zionism are criminal enterprises and these people aide and abet Zionist crimes.

      SO combining the truth of the conflict and the power dynamic and the historical grievances of the Palestinians WITH the revolting Zionist Jewish sense of entitlement = makes me understand McConnell and agree with him.

      Haber was a Zionist for a long-time. Looks like he didn’t change until his twilight years.

      I’m more impressed with Israeli refuseniks. To refuse to enable Jewish colonialism at that young age.

    • kma
      March 17, 2013, 1:27 pm

      McConnell uses “totalitarianism” to describe the reaction of the adults, not the letter from the student. I agree with McConnell after seeing MANY cowardly reactions by adults who don’t even know anything about the subject, including the adults who told UCB senators that their careers would be at stake it they voted in favor of BDS.
      I know people in their 60’s who still think that they’ll get audited by Homeland Security if their foundation funds reach certain anti-zionist nonprofits, and I even met a guy selling ISM wares who said he was afraid to put a “free Palestine” bumper sticker on his car because he thought it would get vandalized! and in San Diego you have your congressmen urging your administration NOT to allow BDS on campus.
      McConnell is only wrong in that it isn’t just a “whiff” of totalitarianism. it is the very definition. the good news is that among the people I’ve seen whose actions are controlled by fears of zionist power without knowing anything about the issues, nearly ALL of them are fascinated to learn the truth.

      • Donald
        March 18, 2013, 12:18 pm

        “McConnell uses “totalitarianism” to describe the reaction of the adults, not the letter from the student”

        That’s a good point, which I wish I’d thought of yesterday. I wouldn’t call the (incorrect and slanderous) accusation of anti-semitism by a college kid “totalitarian”, but yes, if adults are frightened by it then yeah, I withdraw my criticism of McConnell’s choice of words.

    • Krauss
      March 17, 2013, 1:32 pm

      I liked McConnell’s reply more. While nobody in America, or outside of it, would say that America is a totalitarian society, our debate on Israel used to be, but that is changing. Nonetheless, even now, you’re mostly allowed to concern troll from a ‘liberal’ Zionist perspective.

      Genuine liberals, like say the editors of this site, Max Blumenthal or various Palestinian intellectuals are still not given a seat at a table(literally, if you’re talking about J Street).

      Criticism of Israel must still be couched in “I support Zionism but here’s how I’d improve it”. Instead of, basically “you guys, ethnic nationalism sucks. It’s racism. I don’t support racism and no real liberal I know would either”. But that’s still branded as ‘anti-Semitism’ when talked about in a context of Israel. Some nutjobs will even state, completely seriously, that if someone says that, like any liberal, then you “want to eliminate Israel”(and some even hint at another Holocaust).

      So this kind of hysteria and out-and-out smearing of anyone critical of Zionism in the mainstream is bereft of a totalitarian system. America, when it comes to Zionism, is sort of like Soviet Union in the early 80s. Things are getting better but we still have a years to go before we are finally freed. (Also, let’s hope that we won’t get somekind of ‘shock doctrine’ while we’re at it).

      • kalithea
        March 18, 2013, 3:18 am

        “So this kind of hysteria and out-and-out smearing”

        Hysteria? It’s Zionist MANIPULATION (via emotional blackmail and guilt) AND BULLYING disguised as pseudo-hysteria. In the media they resort more to manipulation and on the web they bully.

        You can always spot a Zionist by his hubris.

    • Keith
      March 17, 2013, 6:00 pm

      DONALD- “…I think Josh Blumberg has every right to speak out against his school honoring someone he thinks is an anti-semite.”

      While I am somewhat sympathetic to anyone’s right to “speak out,” I think we need to recognize that Josh Blumberg was a member of “Write On For Israel,” The Jewish Week newspaper’s advocacy program for high school students. Is this Zionism’s version of the Hitler Youth? He is not writing as an individual expressing his free speech, rather, he is part of an organized intimidation network of Zionist shock troops that scream “anti-Semitism” to stifle criticism of Israel or discussions of Jewish power. And the school administrators were sufficiently intimidated to postpone the award. This isn’t some brave lefty protesting an un-indicted war criminal like Elliot Abrams, rather, it is a youthful Zionist cadre smearing John Mearsheimer. No courage or integrity involved, Josh knew he had the full backing of the Zionist power configuration in his de facto defense of tribal power and privilege. Let me go farther. Unsupported accusations of “anti-Semitism” are, in my view, indications of anti-Gentile chauvinism, a rather common malady among Jewish Zionists. The type of crap indulged in only by those who feel powerful, secure, and entitled. The arrogant new WASPs.

      • kalithea
        March 18, 2013, 3:22 am

        “…organized intimidation network of Zionist shock troops that scream “anti-Semitism” to stifle criticism of Israel or discussions of Jewish power.”

        Precisely!

    • kalithea
      March 18, 2013, 3:01 am

      “I think Josh Blumberg has every right to speak out against his school honoring someone he thinks is an anti-semite.”

      It should be a hate crime to accuse someone of being an anti-semite when he isn’t. Exactly what part of defamatory don’t you get? Yeah, there’s free speech but there’s libel too!

      And this “schoolboy’s” act IS totalitarian because Zionists have started using the anti-semite accusation which is a SERIOUS accusation as a weapon and BULLY tactic to silence the truth about Zionism. Zionists bully their critics into silence by “pinning the label on them”. Hmm, where have I heard of bullies pinning labels on people to diminish them? Oh yeah, 1930s Germany. Seems to me Zionists have emulated more than one of the tactics of that time, manipulating and even targetting the press being another. Unfortunately there are more. They no doubt find manipulation and bullying very effective for getting what they want, but then Zionism, i.e. the INDEFENSIBLE, needs to be shielded with the heavy-handed approach to keep surviving and as pressure mounts against it, the tactics Zionists resort to will get more desperate and extreme, until they realize that their precious Zionism is self-destructing and they with it, because, it was a bad supremacist experiment based on THEFT AND RACISM.

      “If one wants to look for a totalitarian outlook, it would be in the propaganda that has apparently influenced Blumberg’s mindset to the point where he can’t distinguish between genuine anti-semitism and criticism of the Israel Lobby.”

      Why, is he still an ignorant child in kindergarten? So he’s “intelligent” but can’t help himself and shouldn’t be held responsible for his behavior; because really when people falsely accuse to get their way they’re not being mean-spirited and spoiled rotten, riiiight, and besides they can always count on people like you to excuse their behavior as “conditioning”?

      Newsflash: Your excuse for his behavior is a big part of the problem; I’d say bigger problem than his Zionist conditioning.

  2. eGuard
    March 17, 2013, 12:16 pm

    The opening paragraph by Jerry Haber, omitted here, is worth reading too.

    Jerry Haber: I would like to congratulate [...] Mr. Blumberg himself, for doing what he felt was right and acting responsibly according to his convictions.

    Blumberg acted responsibly? He tossed out (twice) the accusation of anti-Semitism without having an argument for it. How is it to congratulate someone on a prejudiced “conviction”?

    • Donald
      March 17, 2013, 12:37 pm

      Haber goes on to point out what sorts of indoctrination went into producing Blumberg’s thinking. It’s a very limited sort of congratulating that he is doing–Blumberg is very young and smart but stupid–that is, probably smart in an IQ test sort of way, but made stupid by years of indoctrination at a young age. One hopes that someday (the sooner the better), he will follow Jerry Haber’s path and realize how wrong he’s been.

      • Cliff
        March 17, 2013, 1:01 pm

        which would be worthless, Donald

        Palestinians and non-tribe members dont have the luxury of waiting for other potential twilight-year cathartic transformations like Haber’s

        this is Phil writing from ‘within the Jewish community’

      • eGuard
        March 17, 2013, 1:19 pm

        Donald, his congratulation denies your assumptions. If Haber wanted to say what you suppose, he should have written so. Remember, the next sentence by Haber is: All parties [involved] behaved admirably, and the school should be proud of alums like Mr. Mearsheimer and Mr. Blumberg.

        Haber completely misses the essense of the issue: the free false accusation of anti-Semitism. Instead, Haber is aggrandising his own development into wisdom (in a non-similar situation) over the actual damaging behaviour by Blumberg. Blumberg is supposed to “grow” at the cost of Mearsheimer.

      • kalithea
        March 18, 2013, 3:32 am

        Why can’t you just let the truth stand? Must you continue to coddle the agents of a crime against humanity? You do understand that by “explaining” his behavior instead of defining the evil that drives him you make yourself COMPLICIT, you do understand this, do you not???

        Oh, and what Zionists are doing to Palestinians is a crime against humanity and a war crime, or do you want to “explain” that too?

  3. DICKERSON3870
    March 17, 2013, 12:17 pm

    RE: “I know now . . . that this is a false and defamatory charge, and that the Israel Lobby book, agree with it or not, has nothing to do with anti-Semitism; to think otherwise is to trivialize and politicize the term, as much of the study of anti-Semitism in recent years has indeed been trivialized and politicized.” ~ Haber

    ALSO SEE: “Why Zionist lobby bullying strengthens occupation”, By Larry Derfner, Haaretz, 3/14/13

    [EXCERPT] Brand­ing harsh crit­ics of Is­raeli pol­icy as anti-Semi­tes helps the oc­cu­pa­tion thrive, and what’s good for the oc­cu­pa­tion is good for Is­rael, cer­tainly for Ne­tanyahu’s Is­rael, and what’s good for Ne­tanyahu’s Is­rael is good for the Jew­ish es­tab­lish­ment of Britain, the United States and sev­eral other coun­tries.

    It’s a shame: These peo­ple are going to bat for Is­rael’s sub­ju­ga­tion of a peo­ple, for Is­rael’s wars of ag­gres­sion to de­fend that prac­tice, and they’re doing it in the name of all the hor­rors the Jews ever faced and at times still face. I don’t know any­thing more cyn­i­cal than that. I don’t know any greater dis­honor of Jew­ish his­tory than that.

    SOURCE OF EXCERPT – link to antonyloewenstein.com

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to haaretz.com

  4. DICKERSON3870
    March 17, 2013, 12:29 pm

    RE: “I too would commend the school board for courage in resisting a neo-McCarthyite smear attempt. Nevertheless, the entire story gives off a faint whiff of totalitarianism, of those societies in which responsible middle-aged people tiptoe around in fear of accusations from self-righteous and highly indoctrinated young people.” ~ McConnell

    MY COMMENT: To say the story gives off only a faint whiff of totalitarianism might be a bit of an understatement.

    SEE: “The Trial of Israel’s Campus Critics”, by David Theo Goldberg & 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 tikkun.org

  5. eGuard
    March 17, 2013, 12:53 pm

    Here is another case of such anti-Semitism (it ain’t what it used to be):

    Stephen Sizer is a blogging vicar in the Anglican Church. As a Christian can go, his blogs are anti-Zionist. So. A year ago he was accused of anti-Semitism for linking to a page on a website which also had dubious pages (elsewhere). The accusation was made by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and now it is in a judicial(!) process of the Anglican Church. He might lose his job.

    link to stephensizer.blogspot.nl

    Side effects are that dozens of interesting people have written supportive letters about him (for him), also on his site, and that I have read a lot of Sizer’s Christian viewpoints on today’s Israel.

    • Shegetz
      March 17, 2013, 1:33 pm

      Gotta love Thoughtcrime.

      However, even with Thoughtcrime in 1984 you had to hold the beliefs yourself. Now I guess it’s an offense to even have it exist within a few degrees of separation of you. Even the faintest whiff of a connection will do you in.

      Well, hooray for progress then! We’re making even Orwell seem unimaginative and lame :)

  6. pabelmont
    March 17, 2013, 1:01 pm

    /I’m struck also by the young accuser’s enormous sense of ideological entitlement. I can recall being eighteen, and twenty-two, and getting involved in various campaigns and protests. But I can’t imagine thinking that I could write some letters leveling false and defamatory accusations against an eminent, highly scrutinized professor, with the more or less complete expectation that I would get what I wanted/

    I think the key here is that the student has seen (I presume!) his elders make the same accusations and may well have seen the power of expressions of Jewish outrage effectively blackball folks. In short, he was behaving as his (by him, esteemed) elders have been doing. He doesn’t know, and doesn’t imagine, that he is acting from UNEARNED ETHNIC ENTITLEMENT. He thinks he is an apprentice learning his HONORABLE craft (smoking out the antisemites, preventing vicious anti-Israel propaganda).

    OK, he’s wrong. Wonder when he will learn that. On this particular point, I hope his school has a discussion so he (and his school admin and the other students) can learn a bit more about American “free speech”, about what is and what is not antisemitism, and about the horror of misplaced censorship.

    For instance, a review of what could be said, and what could not safely be said, during the 1930-1945 period in Germany might prove instructive. (I assume there was danger, then and there, in opposing government policies.)

  7. DICKERSON3870
    March 17, 2013, 1:05 pm

    ● RE: “I’m struck also by the young accuser’s enormous sense of ideological entitlement. . . I can’t imagine thinking that I could [at his age] write some letters leveling false and defamatory accusations against an eminent, highly scrutinized professor, with the more or less complete expectation that I would get what I wanted.” ~ McConnell

    ● MY COMMENT: Cults often have that effect. Not to mention that grandiosity, narcissism, and overwhelming feelings of entitlement accompanied by unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance is a common side effect of original Ziocaine®, Ziocaine Xtreme®, Ziocaine Über-Xtreme® and especially new Über-Xtreme Ziocaine Ultra®.

    ● CHARLES DARWIN: “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge…” – from the Introduction to Darwin’s The Descent Of Man, first published in 1871

    ● FROM CHRIS HEDGES, 07/26/11:

    [EXCERPTS] The gravest threat we face from terrorism, as the killings in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik underscore, comes not from the Islamic world but the radical Christian right and the secular fundamentalists who propagate the bigoted, hateful caricatures of observant Muslims and those defined as our internal enemies. . .
    . . . Our religious and secular fundamentalists all peddle the same racist filth and intolerance that infected Breivik. This filth has poisoned and degraded our civil discourse. . .
    . . . All fundamentalists worship the same gods—themselves. . .
    . . . Fundamentalists have no interest in real debate, real dialogue, real intellectual thought. Fundamentalism, at its core, is about self-worship. It is about feeling holier, smarter and more powerful than everyone else. And this comes directly out of the sickness of our advertising age and its exaltation of the cult of the self. It is a product of our deep and unreflective cultural narcissism. . .

    SOURCE – link to truthdig.com

    ● FROM WIKIPEDIA [Narcissism]:

    [EXCERPTS] Narcissism is a term with a wide range of meanings, depending on whether it is used to describe a central concept of psychoanalytic theory, a mental illness, a social or cultural problem, or simply a personality trait. . .
    Hotchkiss identified what she called the seven deadly sins of narcissism.[6]
    • Shamelessness: Shame is . . .
    • Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking . . .
    • Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
    • Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person’s ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
    • Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an “awkward” or “difficult” person [or perhaps an "anti-Semite" ~ J.L.D.]. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
    • Exploitation: Can take many forms . . .
    • Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. . .

    SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

  8. DICKERSON3870
    March 17, 2013, 2:24 pm

    RE: “[T]he entire story gives off a faint whiff of totalitarianism, of
    those societies in which responsible middle-aged people tiptoe around in fear of accusations from self-righteous and highly indoctrinated young people.”
    ~ McConnell

    MY PLAINTIVE WAIL*: This is yet another reason I fear that Revisionist Zionism and Likudnik Israel (specifically by virtue of their inordinate sway over the U.S.) might very well be an “existential threat” to the values of The Enlightenment [like "the right of free speech"] ! ! !
    “Down, down, down we [the U.S.] go into the deep, dark abyss; hand in hand with Israel.”

    OTHER EXAMPLES OF ISRAEL’S VALUES TRUMPING (OVERRIDING) THE VALUES OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT HERE IN THE U.S.
    “How We Became Israel”, By Andrew J. Bacevich, The American Conservative, 9/10/12
    LINK – link to theamericanconservative.com
    “America Adopts the Israel Paradigm”, by Philip Ghiraldi, Antiwar.com, 7/05/12
    LINK – link to original.antiwar.com
    “Report: Israeli model underlies militarization of U.S. police”, By Muriel Kane, Raw Story, 12/04/11
    LINK – link to rawstory.com
    From Occupation to “Occupy”: The Israelification of American Domestic Security, By Max Blumenthal, Al-akhbar, 12/02/11
    LINK – link to english.al-akhbar.com OR link to informationclearinghouse.info
    “The Second Battle of Gaza: Israel’s Undermining Of International Law”, by Jeff Halper, mrzine.monthlyreview.org, 02/26/10
    LINK – link to mrzine.monthlyreview.org
    “The Trial of Israel’s Campus Critics”, by David Theo Goldberg & Saree Makdisi, Tikkun Magazine, September/October 2009
    LINK – link to tikkun.org
    “Brooklyn College’s academic freedom increasingly threatened over Israel event”, by Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, 2/02/13
    LINK – link to guardian.co.uk
    ‘Israelis are helping write US laws, fund US campaigns, craft US war policy’, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 6/30/12
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net
    “David Yerushalmi, Islam-Hating White Supremacist Inspires Anti-Sharia Bills Sweeping Tea Party Nation”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 3/02/11
    LINK – link to richardsilverstein.com
    “Boston airport security program rife with racial profiling has Israeli links”, by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, 8/14/12
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net

    P.S. AND HERE’S ANOTHER THREAT TO THE VALUES OF “THE ENLIGHTENMENT” (THIS TIME IN AFRICA):
    “US Religious Right Propelling Homophobia in African Countries”
    , by Common Dreams, 7/24/12
    LINK – link to commondreams.org

    * PLAINTIVE WAIL REFERENCE: Jul 1, 1994 – A neighbor of Nicole Brown Simpson heard the “plaintive wail” of a dog starting around 10:20 on the night she was killed, a witness testified …

  9. Pamela Olson
    March 17, 2013, 2:39 pm

    The parent of a student at a high school where I spoke recently must have googled me, because he found out my fiance was named Ahmed and complained to the school that my fiance was Palestinian and I must have some kind of anti-Jewish agenda. (My fiance is, in fact, Turkish, not that it should matter.)

    Five years ago, this probably would have gotten me simply dis-invited. But the principal spoke to the organizer, who spoke to me, and I said, “Well…” and filled them in on what I thought, and they both said, “OK, we did our due diligence.” And that was that. I spoke and had a wonderful time.

    Progress!

    • Cliff
      March 17, 2013, 3:57 pm

      Wow.

      Well, I guess it’s progress.

      • Shingo
        March 18, 2013, 5:36 am

        Progress because your fiance wasn’t Palestinian?

      • Annie Robbins
        March 18, 2013, 12:56 pm

        progress because a racist was not allowed to shut down the presentation.

  10. Ellen
    March 17, 2013, 3:38 pm

    When McConnel writes, Nevertheless, the entire story gives off a faint whiff of totalitarianism, of those societies in which responsible middle-aged people tiptoe around in fear of accusations from self-righteous and highly indoctrinated young people.

    This reminded me of accounts of the Cultural Revolution where completely and fanatically indoctrinated young would use methods of vicious accusation of elders to destroy their standing, if not their lives.

    This is the method Blumberg used — a campaign of baseless accusation to destroy. He is well indoctrinated. But the methods are more than a “whiff.” It is, indeed, totalitarian action.

  11. piotr
    March 17, 2013, 5:30 pm

    A young man trying to stop enemies of the people by notifying the authorities:

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    However, the people may choose to defend themselves by electing official who may in turn burn witches, hang the traitors, fire teachers who poison young minds etc. Concerning such teachers, see what you can get for USD 198 (shipping not included):
    link to 1930shanghai.com

    • bilal a
      March 18, 2013, 12:15 am

      Ron Unz says that this young man has a 3000 percent advantage given his ethnic membership:

      ———

      Given that two of Prof. Mertz’s greatest areas of policy interest seem to be the relative rate of elite performance by gender and by ethnicity, I notice a curious mismatch in her analysis.

      She notes the large over-representation of males in math achievement, and strenuously argues that this is merely an artificial byproduct of social conditioning or even unfair gender bias, which distorts the inherently near-equal abilities of males and females. Therefore, she advocates major policy changes to bring the numbers of men and women in elite mathematics into much closer equality.

      Yet at exactly the same time, she seems perfectly comfortable with Jews being over-represented at elite academic institutions by perhaps 3,000% relative to non-Jewish whites, and totally disproportionate to their apparent academic ability. I also suspect that she would be unwilling to endorse social policies aimed at bringing Jewish elite representation into much closer alignment with their 2% share of the national population.

      Although I cannot explain this puzzling inconsistency in her logical positions, I can only note the curious coincidence that she herself happens to be a Jewish woman.

      link to theamericanconservative.com

      • W.Jones
        March 18, 2013, 3:51 am

        3,000%?

      • W.Jones
        March 18, 2013, 3:54 am

        Wow. The article does say that. Explanation please!?

      • lysias
        March 18, 2013, 11:35 am

        As I recall the article, the explanation Unz gives is the ethnicity of the admissions officers making the decisions.

      • Scott
        March 18, 2013, 1:57 pm

        @lysias, No, it’s more subtle than that, and Unz doesn’t really have evidence for a comprehensive explanation (though he has considerable evidence for the existence of the phenomenon).

    • W.Jones
      March 18, 2013, 3:53 am

      Piotr,

      What’s up with the big forehead of the person in the first link?

  12. kalithea
    March 18, 2013, 12:59 pm

    “It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children. And with good reason, for hardly a week passed in which The Times did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak — ‘child hero’ was the phrase generally used — had overheard some compromising remark and denounced its parents to the Thought Police.”

    Blumberg’s hateful act is precisely described above and amounts to what Keith described as “organized intimidation” totally symptomatic of a totalitarian ideology because the web is full of eavesdropping Blumbergs.

  13. MK_Ultra
    March 18, 2013, 3:06 pm

    What else can be expected when Hasbara is a required subject in ISreal’s schools.

    ‘Terror in School': Hasbara Meets 21st Century

    A new animation by the Scratch Group tells the Israel-Gaza story better than 100 spokesmen.

    link to israelnationalnews.com

    […]

    Commentators are divided with regard to the success of Operation Pillar of Defense, but there is general agreement that Israel’s effort in the field of hasbara – or national public relations and information – was more successful than in previous conflicts.

    […]

  14. gamal
    March 19, 2013, 10:56 pm

    “At the end, I must confess that as I write this letter I cannot avoid feeling diminished by the need to defend my reputation against outrageous smears by people who have made lucrative careers out of hate-mongering and Islamophobia. A scholar’s life is an open book: you can examine his ideas in his books, articles, essays, and speeches. My work too should speak for itself.

    I am available to meet with you at your convenience should you wish to discuss the matter further.”

    M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University

    link to counterpunch.org

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