Attachment to Israel is ‘central part of Jewish identity,’ Forward editor says

US Politics
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We keep asking for a public debate over Zionism, and a debate is taking place at last over the question of whether anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Earlier this week the New York Times did a forum on that question and in the last day or so there have been two important statements on the issue, from a pro-Israel editor, Jane Eisner of the Forward, and from the president of Brown University.

Eisner says that Jewish identity now includes Zionism, and an attachment to its product, the very successful (her words) state of the Jews, so opposing Israel’s existence as a Jewish state is anti-Semitic. Whereas Brown President Christina Paxson equivocates. Criticism of Israel isn’t anti-Semitic, she says. Though she does think some Brown students went too far recently.

Whether or not you agree with these statements, it is good that they’re out there. More and more people are registering an opinion about Zionism; and we can look forward to a vigorous, open conversation at last about this ideology (and imho its tragic costs).

First, here ‘s Jane Eisner at the Forward. Her piece is titled, “How long can the distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism survive?” Not very long, she says. She endorses the California Regents recent policy pronouncement saying that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism (even as she seeks to treat that pronouncement as fostering free speech). Eisner says it’s Jewish to dig Israel:

Most American Jews feel some attachment to Israel, and that attachment has become a central part of Jewish identity: a source of pride and sometimes anguish; a cultural, religious, familial and spiritual bond; a sense of a shared fate, and, in some cases, the only way they feel Jewish.

So it is understandable that any Jew, particularly a susceptible college student, would be offended by an attack on Zionism that felt like an attack on his or her Jewish identity…

Eisner says that BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) is pretty much anti-semitic too, inasmuch as BDS is opposed to the existence of a Jewish state.

The movement to urge universities, entertainers and corporations to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel can smack of anti-Semitism when it singles out the Jewish state with the purpose not to reform Israeli behavior but to challenge Israel’s existence altogether.

Or when Jewish organizations are stigmatized unless they disavow their ties to Israel. This happened recently at Brown University, when a group of activists pressured Janet Mock, a popular transgender woman of color, out of speaking at an event sponsored by the campus Hillel because of Hillel’s support for Israel.

Eisner says that Israel’s “success,” in growing Jewish numbers, has had the effect of erasing the distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

[N]early 43% of the world’s Jewish population living there, compared with the 40% in the United States. Zionism’s great success has shifted the Jewish center of gravity toward Israel, drawing population and political power, and redrawing identity.

We saw that magnetic pull recently at the Forward. When we asked college students to share an experience that shaped their Jewish identity, we were surprised when all the responses touched on Israel . Nothing about Jewish faith, ritual, tradition, food or humor. These students agreed on little politically, but they were bound in one sense by the common touchstone of Israel.

So if you’re really Jewish, you’re into Israel, Eisner is saying. For her Jewishness is obviously a cultural/ethnic category, not a religious one.

Eisner referred to the Janet Mock incident at Brown. A trans gender activist canceled an appearance at the school’s Hillel last month after Palestinian solidarity folks convinced her that she was supporting Israeli policies by doing so. Hillel is a rigidly pro-Israel organization that censors critical voices.

What follows is a very careful statement issued by Brown president Christina Paxson lamenting the pressure on Mock to cancel as an act of religious intolerance — because Hillel is a religious organization — but also kinda saying that she doesn’t think anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

“Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic any more than criticism of U.S. policies is anti-American.”

Though Paxson, an economist and public health expert, doesn’t want to go out on a limb. “I can’t read into their hearts,” she says of those who pressed Mock. “The actions that deterred Janet Mock from speaking on campus may or may not have been motivated by anti-Semitism, but they had the effect of thwarting a religious group’s ability to host an educational event.”

I think this is a lilylivered statement. Hillel is a fierce supporter of Israel, and if groups urge speakers not to endorse the organization on that basis, it’s understandable. Let them speak at Open Hillel! Also, why couldn’t Paxson have said more forcefully, anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism.

Comments on Janet Mock episode
by Brown President Christina Paxson
Brown University faculty meeting
April 5, 2016

Before this meeting, one of you asked me to discuss the incident that occurred before spring break, in which a speaker—a transgender activist named Janet Mock—decided to cancel a speaking engagement at Brown. She had been invited by Moral Voices, a Jewish student group affiliated with the Brown-RISD Hillel.

Here are the facts: In January, an anonymous student or group of students who are opposed to the organization Hillel International and, more broadly, to Israeli policies, posted an open letter to Janet Mock that asked her to turn down the invitation, since one of the event’s co-sponsors was the Brown-RISD Hillel. The letter specifically objected to what is called “pink-washing,” which is said to be Israel’s policy of holding up a positive record on LGBTQ rights in order to deflect attention from its human rights record in Palestine. The letter claimed that the invitation to Janet Mock from Moral Voices/Hillel was part of this strategy.

Later, in March, a group of “Brown students” created an on-line petition asking her to come to Brown but to refuse the co-sponsorship of Hillel. The petition garnered around 150 signatures—it is unknown how many signers were Brown students. Janet Mock cancelled a few days before her talk was scheduled to take place. Her agent stated that this was because the controversy over sponsorship would overshadow her message of transgender rights.

On March 16, I sent a letter to the Brown community in which I expressed my concern about this incident. I said that “while we cannot and should not prevent any member of our community from signing a petition, it is counter to Brown’s norms and values for expressions of dissent to be targeted at a student group because of its religious affiliation.”

The letter attracted a wide range of reactions. Many people wrote to thank me for making this statement. But, as usual, this was not a consensus view. Some thought that my letter did not go far enough, and wanted to see a stronger condemnation of the students who wrote the petition.

Others thought my letter went too far, and specifically that—by expressing my disagreement with the petition-writers—I was conflating anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism. This concern came mainly from my statement that it is wrong to target a student group “because of its religious affiliation.” Basically, people in this camp argued that Hillel and, by extension, Moral Voices, was the object of the protest not because it is a Jewish organization, but because it is associated with Hillel International which supports Zionism.

The issue of how to distinguish between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism has come to the fore at other universities, too. The UC system recently issued a statement that said that “Anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California.”

Frankly, when I issued my statement, I was not thinking about the distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. I very purposefully did not accuse the petition-signers of being anti-Semitic. I can’t read into their hearts, and I have no idea what they were thinking.

I was thinking about the principles of the Brown University community, which are written up in a document that all students sign and acknowledge before coming to Brown. The relevant section is titled “Respect for the Freedoms and Privileges of Others” and it reads as follows:

“We strive for a sense of community in which the individual growth of all members is advanced through the cultivation of mutual respect, tolerance, and understanding. Brown University values and encourages individuality while also affirming the community dimensions of academic life. A socially responsible community provides a structure within which individual freedoms may flourish without threatening the privileges or freedoms of other individuals or groups.”

It goes on to note our commitment to equity on issues related to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and other differences.

It is not always easy to carve a path between the protection of individual freedoms, on one hand, and the prevention of threats to the freedoms and privileges of other groups, on the other hand.

The Mock episode presents a situation in which we have to do this. I think two points are important.

First, students who object to Israeli policies have a right to voice their objections. We have community members (many of whom are Jewish, and are affiliated with Hillel) who object to Israeli policies. These community members have a perfect right to protest events at which pro-Israeli views are expressed, provided they follow our protest guidelines. Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic any more than criticism of U.S. policies is anti-American. Of course, people who support Israeli policies are free to speak their minds, too.

Second, student groups have the right to sponsor academic programming of their choice. The students who asked Janet Mock to either not come to Brown, or to not come under Hillel sponsorship argued—wrongly, I believe—that the Brown-RISD Hillel and student groups affiliated with it do not have the right to sponsor talks or events with social justice themes, because of their association with pro-Israel policies via Hillel International. This is in direct contradiction to our principles.

I think it is important to note that the Brown-RISD Hillel is the center for Jewish life on our campus, and people who are affiliated with it—including students in the group Moral Voices—have a wide range of views of Israeli policy. Moral Voices is defined by shared religious beliefs, not shared political beliefs. The actions that deterred Janet Mock from speaking on campus may or may not have been motivated by anti-Semitism, but they had the effect of thwarting a religious group’s ability to host an educational event—which is one of the privileges and freedoms that it is entitled to.

I would go a step further, which is that even if Moral Voices was defined by a commitment to a specific policy/political position, it would still have the right to host speakers of its choice at Brown. The same is true for any faculty member or student group on campus. But, the fact that this student group is defined by its religious views makes the incident all the more disturbing, since we are obligated to take special care to prevent bias on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, gender and other protected classes.

In the end, assessing the right or wrong of this doesn’t require a sophisticated parsing of the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, but simply an appeal to the community principles I read earlier:

“A socially responsible community provides a structure within which individual freedoms may flourish without threatening the privileges or freedoms of other individuals or groups.”

This is the principle that we need to keep clearly in mind as we work through this issue and others like it that may come in the future.

I am sure that many of you have comments or questions on this incident and, if you’d like, we can take a few minutes to address them now.

About Philip Weiss

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

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58 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    April 7, 2016, 4:35 pm

    Moral Voices is defined by shared religious beliefs, not shared political beliefs.

    Moral Voices is a student-led initiative run through Brown RISD Hillel which focuses on a different issue of universal moral importance each year. Our 2015-16 theme is violence against LGBTQ+ individuals and communities. We will focus primarily on violence on a national level, partnering with groups both on campus and in the larger Providence area to foster relationships and implement changes that will extend far beyond just this year.

    so how is that defined by religion vs politics? while it can be argued Hillel is a religious organization — since it has a zionist (political) benchmark for collaboration and co sponsorship one cannot assume opposition to the group is based on their religious beliefs. it was hillel who chose to place a wall up wrt co sponsoring w/ anti zionist groups — not the other way around. so it’s fair play to not collaborate with them for that reason.

    one can’t really make that argument Moral Voices is defined by shared religious beliefs and not shared political beliefs when there’s a demand to adhere to zionist principles to collaborate by their parent org.

    The actions that deterred Janet Mock from speaking on campus may or may not have been motivated by anti-Semitism, but they had the effect of thwarting a religious group’s ability to host an educational event—which is one of the privileges and freedoms that it is entitled to.

    hmm, so if a christian church decides to host and educational KKK event and you protest that collaboration your “thwarting a religious group’s ability to host an educational event”?? no, not if the subject is political and it’s clear you’re protesting the politics. it can’t be stated you’re protesting because they are christians.

    even if Moral Voices was defined by a commitment to a specific policy/political position, it would still have the right to host speakers of its choice at Brown. The same is true for any faculty member or student group on campus. But, the fact that this student group is defined by its religious views makes the incident all the more disturbing, since we are obligated to take special care to prevent bias on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, gender and other protected classes.

    so which is it? “defined by a commitment to a specific policy/political position” or “defined by its religious views”? because as long as there is a political requirement (zionism) included in their statement of principles (or whatever it’s called) one can’t claim opposition to the group is necessarily religious based. one would have to make the argument zionism is a “race, religion, ethnicity, gender” or a “protected class”.

    and while it remains true they have a ‘right’ to host the event, the indictment against them was not related to their religion. to make that argument one would have to make (and win) the argument that zionism is inherent in judaism.

    • hophmi
      April 7, 2016, 4:46 pm

      “so how is that defined by religion vs politics? while it can be argued Hillel is a religious organization since it has a zionist (political) benchmark for collaboration and co sponsorship once cannot assume opposition to the group is based on their religious beliefs.”

      And again, the question is whether you apply this standard to other religious student groups; every religious student group, particularly if we’re talking about their national parent organization, takes political positions. And no, this is not the equivalent of a KKK event on campus, because in this case, we’re not talking about the substance of the event, but about the sponsors. Is it religious discrimination to prevail on a speaker to reject MSA co-sponsorship because the position of national parent organizations on Middle East dictators, Palestine, etc? Or is that a form of religious bigotry? I bet anything that if that happened, students at Brown would claim that it’s religious bigotry.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2016, 5:13 pm

        Is it religious discrimination to prevail on a speaker to reject MSA co-sponsorship because the position of national parent organizations on Middle East dictators, Palestine, etc?

        do you mean “to reject MSA co-sponsorship because of the position of the national parent organizations on Middle East dictators, Palestine, etc?”

        can you link to their parent association (not a proxy like camera). i’m not really sure what MSA’s national parent organizations positions are. but if students were to protesting the MSA from bringing– say ahmadinejad to a US campus, i think an argument could easily be made the protest was politically oriented as opposed to discriminating against the students religion. but it would depend on the circumstance.

        And no, this is not the equivalent of a KKK event on campus, because in this case, we’re not talking about the substance of the event, but about the sponsors.

        how is the protest not about the substance of the event? :

        Here are the facts: In January, an anonymous student or group of students who are opposed to the organization Hillel International and, more broadly, to Israeli policies, posted an open letter to Janet Mock that asked her to turn down the invitation, since one of the event’s co-sponsors was the Brown-RISD Hillel. The letter specifically objected to what is called “pink-washing,” which is said to be Israel’s policy of holding up a positive record on LGBTQ rights in order to deflect attention from its human rights record in Palestine. The letter claimed that the invitation to Janet Mock from Moral Voices/Hillel was part of this strategy. –

        unless protestors are objecting to every forum proposed by hillel i am not seeing how you can make the argument it’s not about the substance of the event.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2016, 5:24 pm

        this religious bigotry (islamophobia) on campus is blatant hops : http://mondoweiss.net/2016/04/here-are-6-incidents-of-islamophobia-on-campus-in-the-last-week/

        no one is going after judaism or the religion of these hillel students — that is quite obvious. unless you’re making the argument zionism is the religion of these students. there is an argument zionism is religious — is that your point?

    • ritzl
      April 7, 2016, 5:03 pm

      Yup.

  2. hophmi
    April 7, 2016, 4:41 pm

    “Hillel is a rigidly pro-Israel organization that censors critical voices.”

    Neither part of that statement is true; Hillel is not “rigidly pro-Israel” and it does not “censor critical voices.” There are voices critical of Israel appearing at Hillels all the time, including Breaking the Silence. Hillel has never censored anyone. It has simply taken the position that it will not pay for voices representing the BDS movement. It has not taken the position that such voices should not appear at all, which is in distinction to the BDS movement, which censors Zionist voices and attempts to keep other students from hearing them.

    “Hillel is a fierce supporter of Israel, and if groups urge speakers not to endorse the organization on that basis, it’s understandable”

    So, of course, the question arises (and without conceding your contention that Hillel is a “fierce supporter” of Israel: do you apply this standard to any other religious group? If someone prevails on a lecturer who is speaking about Mother Theresa and is supported by the campus chapter of Catholic Fellowship not to come become the Catholic Church is a rigid opponent of a women’s right to choose and of gay rights, is that “understandable?” How about if the campus MSA sponsors a speaker on halal? Is it ok to lobby that speaker not to come because the national MSA takes a pro-Hamas political position?

    • Annie Robbins
      April 7, 2016, 4:52 pm

      “Hillel is a rigidly pro-Israel organization that censors critical voices.”

      Neither part of that statement is true

      hops, i added phil’s supporting embed to your first quote above. it leads here:

      http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/we-were-not-allowed-to-hear-palestinian-peers-rachel-sandalow-ash-on-american-jewish-censorship/

      Then in my sophomore year, the Progressive Jewish Alliance tried to hold an event with the Palestine Solidarity Committee, which is the Palestinian student group at Harvard, a discussion event that was normal for us. It was going to be in Harvard Hillel. Progressive Jewish Alliance is a Hillel-affiliated group. When we began publicizing it, with a poster and a Facebook event, and an email blast, our Hillel director called us into his office and said, “You can’t do this. Hillel has rules, standards of partnership: You cannot work with the Palestine Solidarity Committee inside of Hillel, we will lose a million dollars, this violates national policy.” I said, “Jewish students can’t talk to Palestinian students within, under Jewish auspices?” The Hillel director was like, “Yeah it seems that way, that’s what the rules are.”

      there are many examples of hillel’s censorship (within their organization) on MW.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        April 7, 2016, 5:27 pm

        When I invited the late Maxim Ghilan, who laid the groundwork for negotiations with the PLO, Brown Hillel were initially very interested in hosting him. Then the organizer called me to cancel the meeting without any explanation. Clearly she had consulted higher ups in the Hillel bureaucracy, who operate a blacklist. The trouble with Hillel is that although it may be FOR Jewish students the students have no control over it whatsoever. It should not be recognized as a student society for that reason.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2016, 5:39 pm

        The trouble with Hillel is that although it may be FOR Jewish students the students have no control over it whatsoever. It should not be recognized as a student society for that reason.

        stephen, we’ve had articles about that before. i am reminded of “Campus is seen as next battleground against Iran Deal — by ‘rightwing fanatics’ – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/battleground-rightwing-fanatics/#sthash.F00m6Aby.dpuf

        Pro Israel campus groups are top-down affairs controlled by outside lobbying groups and big time donors. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee and Hillel work together to train student activists. The agendas are established by groups such as Stand With Us (SWU).

        ……a new directive has been given to students to place opposition to the Iran Deal as a primary focus of their campus activism and claims: “there is little room for dissent or even discussion over the merits of supporting the Iran deal”.

        And students aren’t happy about it. According to student activist Justin Hayet:

        “The Iran deal can’t define Israel activism… The pro-Israel community is increasingly being perceived as [a group of] right-wing fanatics.”

        Students don’t choose the agenda, it comes from the top.

  3. Bumblebye
    April 7, 2016, 5:21 pm

    Before reading. I’ve been listening to a similar debate just now on bbcR4 between Jonathan Arkush (BoD) and Ken Livingstone. Talking about antisemitism and zionism which Arkush described as just being about self determination for Jewish people. How foolish does he think people are? We’re becoming more and more informed, and such a feeble explanation doesn’t wash any more. Listeners/watchers of news *will* google to find more substantive information than the pap the msm allows past its censors.

  4. ToivoS
    April 7, 2016, 5:41 pm

    This statement in the opening piece is quite incorrect: She endorses the California Regents recent policy pronouncement saying that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism

    She Brown President Christina Paxson] [did not say that] nor did the California Regents. What the regents said was that they opposed “anti-semitic anti-Zionism”. That statement resulted from a long contentious debate where the first draft of the document said anti-Zionism was antisemitism. There is no doubt that many anti-semites have taken up the cause of anti-Zionism. So this statement made by the regents is not unreasonable.

    • Sibiriak
      April 7, 2016, 9:30 pm

      ToivoS: This statement in the opening piece is quite incorrect: She endorses the California Regents recent policy pronouncement saying that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism

      ———————

      That’s true. Of course, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump from “forms of anti-Zioinism are anti-Semitic” to “anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism.

      —————

      [ToivoS:]There is no doubt that many anti-semites have taken up the cause of anti-Zionism. So this statement made by the regents is not unreasonable.

      Actually, it is unreasonable. It’s unreasonable because it strongly associates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism- yet provides no reasonable means to distinguish legitimate anti-Zionism from “anti-Semitic anti-Zionism.”

      The Regents declared that:

      […]historic manifestations of anti -Semitism have changed and that expressions of anti-Semitism are more coded and difficult to identify. In particular, opposition to Zionism often is expressed in ways that are not simply statements of disagreement over politics and policy, but also assertions of prejudice and intolerance toward Jewish people and culture.

      Anti-Semitism, antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California. Most members of the University community agree with this conclusion and would agree further that the University should strive to create an equal learning environment for all students. This said, members of the community express widely divergent views about how the University should respond to incidents of overt, and more particularly, covert anti-Semitism and other forms of prohibited discrimination and intolerance[…] [emphasis added]

      http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/aar/mare.pdf
      ————————

      In essence, we get a declaration that anti-Zionism is OFTEN anti-Semitism, but we get no criteria for when to make that equation. We are told that antisemitic anti-Zionism is “covert”, and “difficult to identify”–yet we are invited to condemn something which has no criteria for identification.

      That is unreasonable.

      Judith Butler zeroed in on this critical problem:

      If we think that we solve the problem by identifying forms of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism, then we are left with the question of who identifies such a position, and what are their operative definitions? These terms are vague and overbroad and run the risk of suppressing speech and violating principles of academic freedom. […][emphasis added]

      https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/uc-regents-new-policy-opens-door-policing-speech-critical-israel/

      “Run the risk” is an understatement. “Will inevitably lead to…” would be much more accurate.

  5. ritzl
    April 7, 2016, 5:44 pm

    Paxton: “…It is counter to Brown’s norms and values for expressions of dissent to be targeted at a student group because of its religious affiliation.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/04/attachment-to-israel-is-central-part-of-jewish-identity-forward-editor-says/#sthash.GV6mVK6Y.dpuf

    A) When someone lays down ONE definition of what “Jewish” means, that statement would be meaningful, agreed to, and actionable. In a political climate-of-circular-convenience where Zionism=Judaism=Israel=ethnicity=religion=whatever I say it is today, that statement is none of those things. Meaningless.

    B) Eisner’s “law-giving” is a Pure Power Preservation Ploy in the classic “whatever I say it is today” mode. She offers nothing to back up her assertion other than a “Trust me on this one.” implicit appeal to authority – backed up by a $B in ready donations explicitly bundled with that assumed authority.

    C) Combining A and B, aside from the maybe 500K people in the US that can, want to, and/or think it’s important to have this “What shape is that cloud?”, nobody cares. Because of the convenient/engineered ambiguity, nobody CAN care. They simply don’t know what to care ABOUT. Therefore they have to look to their own hearts where they conclude that pointing out that people, any people (or country) is doing bad stuff is NEVER an ethnic (or whatever) slur. End of moral discussion/dilemma. On to remedies (BDS).

    Hundreds of millions of people (billions worldwide) will not be told that they are haters for the puny reason that they point out bad behavior. In certain political micro-environments attention may need to be paid to this, as PW says, “drivel” but few do out here in the sticks. The rule here is that people tend to trust their “own lyin’ eyes.”

    “You are anti-semitic because you see what’s going on.” has very little meaning or influence.

  6. John Douglas
    April 7, 2016, 5:55 pm

    “She [Eisner} endorses the California Regents recent policy pronouncement saying that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism …”

    I see a lot to criticize in the Regents’ Document, but I do not see in there the claim that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism. In fact I see an implicit denial of that claim when the document states that there is no place on campus for “anti-Semitism or anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism.” Of course there are some who oppose Zionism because they are anti-Semites. But there are others who oppose Zionism out of a commitment to human rights and/or principles of equality. The document, produced no doubt under intense political pressure, does seem to recognize this, even if in a backhanded way.

    By the way, if the definition of anti-Semitism needs a re-working in the light of recent developments so also does the definition of Zionism. Zionism as practiced and accepted by Zionists is not merely an expression of support for the State of Israel. To be a Zionist in today’s world is to assert that the crimes committed against the Palestinian people are justified by the creation and expansion of Israel.

  7. Don
    April 7, 2016, 6:13 pm

    “I think this is a lilylivered statement. Hillel is a fierce supporter of Israel, and if groups urge speakers not to endorse the organization on that basis, it’s understandable. Let them speak at Open Hillel! Also, why can’t Paxson have said more forcefully, anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism.”

    Maybe because she does not want to be suddenly “cast”, so to speak, as a raging antisemite? I mean, how many perfectly decent people have had their careers destroyed by not so nice American Zionists?

  8. Les
    April 7, 2016, 6:31 pm

    Would she agree that synagogues should be taxed now that they have converted themselves from religious institutions into Jewish identy institutions that are obliged to part of Israel’s fifth column in the US?

  9. ToivoS
    April 7, 2016, 6:31 pm

    This statement in the opening piece is quite incorrect: She endorses the California Regents recent policy pronouncement saying that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism

    She [Brown President Christina Paxson][did not say that nor did the California Regents. What the regents said was that they opposed “anti-semitic anti-Zionism”. That statement resulted from a long contentious debate where the first draft of the document said anti-Zionism was antisemitism. There is no doubt that many anti-semites have taken up the cause of anti-Zionism. So this statement made by the regents is not unreasonable.

  10. Boomer
    April 7, 2016, 7:02 pm

    re: “Eisner says that Jewish identity now includes Zionism, and an attachment to its product, the very successful (her words) state of the Jews, so opposing Israel’s existence as a Jewish state is anti-Semitic. . . . Eisner says that Israel’s “success,” in growing Jewish numbers, has had the effect of erasing the distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.”

    For a long time after I discovered this site, I refrained from posting comments. Not being Jewish, I wasn’t sure that would be appropriate. Eventually I decided that participating was an additional way of supporting the good work of the people responsible for the site. Lately, however, I sometimes find myself again wondering whether I should jump in.

    Take this quote from Eisner, for example. To me it seems obvious that there is, or should be a distinction. To me, furthermore, it seems obvious that truly to eliminate the distinction would be harmful to the moral reputation of Jews. Does Eisner truly want to be judged as Israel is judged? Does Eisner truly want to assume responsibility for the dispossession and oppression of Palestinians? Why should non-Jews persist in making a distinction that Eisner denies? As I reflect on such questions, I’m aware what a gulf exists between my world and that of the Zionists.

    Once again, I wonder about my role here, and on the broader question. Americans who are not Jewish are very much implicated in the treatment of Palestinians, but we are, it seems, mainly onlookers while people like Philip and Eisner decide the terms of debate, and the outcome. I hope that Philip and his allies win.

  11. Dan Walsh
    April 7, 2016, 8:14 pm

    @ ToivoS

    “There is no doubt that many anti-semites have taken up the cause of anti-Zionism”

    How do you know that? Can you prove that? If so, please do and provide links, documents, evidence and other empirical data from credible, unbiased sources.

    If not, you should rephrase your statement along these lines:
    “In my subjective, personal opinion it would seem there is a possibility that perhaps maybe some antisemites might occassionally use anti-Zionism as a form of camouflage but maybe this smear is just my wishful thinking because I am compelled to protect Zionism at all costs, even my own integrity.”

    It would also be helpful if you shared with us:
    Your definition of antisemitism and your definition of Zionism.

    Finally, do you consider Jewish students who have rebelled against Zionism and taken a solidarity stand with Palestine “antisemites”?

    • oldgeezer
      April 7, 2016, 9:34 pm

      @Dan

      I think it is reasonable to assume any intelligent antisemitism would use antizionism or BDS as a cover. Therefore the claim that is made seems reasonable.

      Just as it is reasonable to assume any intelligent anti Arab or anti Muslim racist would assume the mantle of being pro Israel or pro zionist as a cover.

      Granted most racist people aren’t that intelligent to begin with.

      It is a slur on a movement (pick either) and the onus is one those making the slur to show it is a significant number and not just an isolated set of cases.

      Ymmv

    • ToivoS
      April 8, 2016, 1:07 am

      Oh please Dan Walsh, of course antisemites have focused on Zionism. Go read Storm Front, Listen of Alex Jones radio programs. Read the comments in Russia Today articles. In recent years they have been equating Zionism with this massive Jewish conspiracy to rule the world. Instead of the Protocols of Zion they have focused on Israeli Zionism.

      • echinococcus
        April 9, 2016, 9:37 am

        Toivo, your idea of “antisemitism” seems to encompass even a leer in the direction of anyone denouncing the obvious Zionist control of US foreign policy and constitutional violations (=”equating Zionism with this massive Jewish conspiracy to rule the world”.) Many, many more fascists and Neonazis are fanatically pro-Zionist or directly Zionist than anti-Zionist, so your token referral to a couple vanishing species of old-fashioned Nazoids is irrelevant.

        Besides, I refuse to even waste a minute on who I am associating with if the objective is the destruction of a mortal enemy. A lot of the Palestinian resistants are religious fanatics –so what, as long as they are resisting? Some groups are antisemitic by your definition, or even racist by mine? So what? We are in a 70-year-and-counting shooting war; if the Soviets could even ally themselves with the rest of the Imperialist West to win against the Nazi, or the Finns with the Nazi to resist being gobbled up by the Soviets, why should we swallow a camel and strain at a gnat?

  12. eljay
    April 7, 2016, 8:53 pm

    … Eisner says that Jewish identity now includes Zionism …

    This is an official statement from someone who speaks for all Jews?

    … and an attachment to its product, the very successful (her words) state of the Jews, so opposing Israel’s existence as a Jewish state is anti-Semitic. …

    “Jewish State” is a religion-supremacist construct. It is just and moral to oppose such a construct. To conflate all Jews to the construct and to make all Jews responsible for it is anti-Semitic. Why do Zio-supremacists hate Jews so much?!

  13. Kay24
    April 7, 2016, 10:22 pm

    Well, here are some who loves Israel:

    Or why else do they support a Presidential candidate who has show unwavering love, support, and protection of Israel?

    http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/blog/2016/4/8/guilty-by-association-do-the-clooneys-heart-israel

  14. oldgeezer
    April 7, 2016, 11:24 pm

    I only oppose the current state of Israel which violates international law, international humanitarian law, UNSC resolutions and the Geneva Conventions.

    I dont care what they call it or how they fix it provided they adhere to those norms.

    Anything less is to support crimes against humanity and evil. Hiding behind the skirts of religion is an act of pure cowardice. If people insist that the religion requires such support then they ask for the religion to be questioned. I think that is abhorent.

    Neither Islam, Christianity nor Judism (limited to those 3 Abrahamic religions) require people to support evil actions against others.

    Israel and it’s supporters should hang their heads in shame for disgracing their religion. They are no better than those that support ISIS or aryan christian nations. They dont just lack morals but their morality has been inverted into the base nature that brought us horrors through the past centuries.

  15. yonah fredman
    April 7, 2016, 11:31 pm

    I think zionism is the Jewish issue of the day and to not have an opinion on zionism means a type of negligence.
    Although I am not in the same camp as shmuel and elliot, they have a deeper appreciation for Judaism and Jewishness and I take their anti zionism more seriously than I take Phil weiss’s. (I take Weiss seriously as an american, but not as a jew. He is a jew, but not a serious jew, at best apathetic, but against religions and therefore rooting for the ash heap of history and thus antithetical to the longevity of the jews.)

    I put a greater burdens of proof on antizionists. If Adam Sandler is a superficial jew but also a (superficial) Zionist , this is acceptable to me. If Phil Weiss is a superficial jew and a fervent antizionist I question his superficial Jewishness. I recognize this discrepancy.

    Lots of people don’t read the newspaper or follow the news and condemning the noninvolved for negligence seems wrong to me, it seems like something street preachers would do: scold the masses who pass them by.

    • Shmuel
      April 8, 2016, 3:56 am

      I put a greater burdens of proof on antizionists. If Adam Sandler is a superficial jew but also a (superficial) Zionist , this is acceptable to me. If Phil Weiss is a superficial jew and a fervent antizionist I question his superficial Jewishness. I recognize this discrepancy.

      I’m glad you don’t go in for the “typical anti-Zionist Jews are …” approach, and glad that you recognise the “two measures” (eifah ve-eifah) you apply, but why is nationalism any less suspect as a nail on which to hang one’s Judaism than universalism. Because the object of that nationalism happens to be a “Jewish” state? The ideology itself is at least as “foreign” (or as “native”) as universalism. So why is the onus on the anti-Zionists?

      • yonah fredman
        April 8, 2016, 7:49 am

        Shmuel – universalism is a recipe for assimilation and disappearance of the jews. Nationalism, although originally conceived as a form of assimilation, “let us be like the nations with a land and a flag and a language, then they will stop hating us” contains elements of continuity and distinctiveness: a language, distinct holidays. The promise of such continuity makes a big difference to my perspective and makes nationalism superior to universalism for my way of thinking.

        (I am a leftist Zionist closer to avrum Burg than I am to boogie yaalon, let alone naftali Bennett. Thus blending universalism into nationalism, a la Burg, is my ideal and the unmitigated nationalism of bayit yehudi is very problematic. Yet the universalism of Allen Ginsberg say, will lead to the disappearance of the jews, whereas the nationalism of Yair Lapid, to pick a less virulent form of nationalism than bennett’s, holds some prospect of some continuity.)

      • Shmuel
        April 8, 2016, 8:57 am

        And the nationalism of Adam Sandler? Or those for whom nationalism is “the only way they feel Jewish”? What continuity and distinctiveness do they offer? They are also assimilationists — both individually and nationally. If we are going to compare, let us compare like to like.

        I also think you are too quick to dismiss collective assimilation (disappearance is perhaps a better word). Hermann Cohen, for example, was all in favour of “distinctiveness” (see his chapter on “the Law”), but only as a means to an (ethical) end, never as an end in itself. I think his approach is consistent with what the Rabbis have to say about idolatry and the concept of “holiness” (qedushah).

        What good is the shell, if the essence is gutted? I don’t mean ritual conservatism, which may easily end up (and in the case of religious Zionism today often does) the province of “evildoers within the letter of the Law” (nevalim birshut ha-torah), although ritual traditions certainly have their place (again, see Cohen).

        As many of the early Jewish anti-Zionist thinkers asserted, trying to replace Judaism as a whole with “Jewish nationalism” is far worse than simply abandoning Judaism. It is the ultimate apostasy; it is “repudiation of the essence” (kefirah ba’iqqar) and “chopping down the saplings” (qitzutz ba-neti’ot).

      • Keith
        April 8, 2016, 10:44 am

        YONAH FREDMAN- “Yet the universalism of Allen Ginsberg say, will lead to the disappearance of the jews….”

        Are you aware of the implications of what you have said? If one core definition of a Jew is someone who believes in and practices the Judaic religion, then you are saying that universalism will lead to the disappearance of the Judaic religion? Or are you saying that tribalism is such an integral part of Judaism that a universalistic Judaism isn’t really Judaism?Apparently, you are more concerned with the continuity of the tribe, the Judaic religion merely a means to that end.

      • Mooser
        April 8, 2016, 1:09 pm

        ” it seems like something street preachers would do: scold the masses who pass them by.”

        Sure, “Yonah” maybe those “street preachers” have to “scold the masses”, but you’ve got the space Phil Weiss gives you to keep you out of the park with a soapbox.
        And what you consider a proper return for that is very instructive in regard to the subjects we’ve been discussing.

      • Mooser
        April 8, 2016, 1:26 pm

        “Apparently, you are more concerned with the continuity of the tribe,”

        “The tribe”? I wish! What “Yonah” is saying is that the entire “tribe” (we’ll adopt that metaphor, with a simile ) should sacrifice itself for one, small, ailing and failing little sub-tribe in the, so to speak, ‘Jewish world’.
        Ah well, some people reap the whirlwind, we are legatees to an inversion. Maybe Podhertz’ “seminal essay” sowed the tightening gyre which birthed it.

      • gamal
        April 8, 2016, 7:02 pm

        “Ah well, some people reap the whirlwind, we are legatees to an inversion. Maybe Podhertz’ “seminal essay” sowed the tightening gyre which birthed it.”

        is that from the Traumaud? the Hieronymus Bosch edition?

        it has beauty like a tightened bow..not natural in an age like this, now its all gonne and no assault to conceive on a grave or call your daughter your cousin? to the very end

        sorry for the unleavened fair i am out of yeats.

    • eljay
      April 8, 2016, 8:56 am

      || yonah fredman: I think zionism is the Jewish issue of the day and to not have an opinion on zionism means a type of negligence.
      Although I am not in the same camp as shmuel and elliot, they have a deeper appreciation for Judaism and Jewishness and I take their anti zionism more seriously than I take Phil weiss’s. (I take Weiss seriously as an american, but not as a jew. He is a jew, but not a serious jew, at best apathetic, but against religions and therefore rooting for the ash heap of history and thus antithetical to the longevity of the jews.) … ||

      Your first sentence made sense…and then it all fell apart. How seriously you take Phil’s opinion is irrelevant. How serious a Jew he is is irrelevant. His support for religion (why do you Zio-supremacists always reduce Jewish to just a religion?) is irrelevant. He has an opinion, so he is not negligent.

      || … I put a greater burdens of proof on antizionists. … ||

      Proof of what? What do you want anti-Zionists to prove? That nothing about the decades-long spree of terrorism, ethnic cleansing, oppression, colonialism, torture, murder and sundry (war) crimes committed in the name of Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine is just or moral? You need someone to actually prove to you that injustice and immorality are unjust and immoral? Jee-zus.

      || … If Adam Sandler is a superficial jew but also a (superficial) Zionist , this is acceptable to me. If Phil Weiss is a superficial jew and a fervent antizionist I question his superficial Jewishness. I recognize this discrepancy. … ||

      – How many levels are there in your rank a Jew scale and could you please list them?
      – Are non-Jews also allowed to employ this scale, or would that be anti-Semitic?
      – Sandler has an opinion, Weiss has an opinion. There’s no discrepancy to recognize.

    • Mooser
      April 8, 2016, 2:44 pm

      “I think zionism is the Jewish issue of the day and to not have an opinion on zionism means a type of negligence.”

      What a weird co-incidence “Yonah”! I’ve heard that “zionism is the” Palestinian “issue of the day and to not have an opinion on zionism means a type of negligence” among Palestinians.

      Wonder what causes them to pre-occupy themselves with such an esoteric subject? Sorry, it’s an ephemeral issue, hardly worth mentioning.

  16. talknic
    April 8, 2016, 2:32 am

    Anti-Zionism = Anti-semitism.

    And if it is? It doesn’t justify any of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians. Doesn’t justify the illegal settlements, doesn’t justify the occupation, doesn’t justify illegal annexation, doesn’t justify Israel starting its wars or invading all its neighbours, in fact it doesn’t justify ANYTHING Israel does that’s against the International Law, the UN Charter or the basic common sense tenets of Judaism. Doesn’t justify the slaughter of innocents, theft of land/territory. Doesn’t justify the Israeli Government lying to Israelis about the Nakba, Jewish terrorism or the non-existent right to settle in non-Israeli territories. Doesn’t justify the JNF lying about buying the territory of the State of Israel. Doesn’t justify the purposeful smearing and false accusations against honest critics of Israel’s illegal expansionism.

    • Sibiriak
      April 8, 2016, 2:44 am

      talknic: Anti-Zionism = Anti-semitism. And if it is? It doesn’t justify any of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians.
      ——————

      As Annie Robbins incisively put it:

      it’s essentially the ad hominem argument of “my ideological opponents are bad people” (or haters or whatever). so whether the amount of anti zionists who are anti semites is 1% or 2% or 5% etc or 95% it wouldn’t matter one iota to the accusers because they would say the same thing anyway as they have been saying it forever.

      but, since there’s no inherent connection between anti zionism and anti semitism, this is a way to NOT have a serious conversation about the impact/effect of zionism. it’s primary motive is diversion.

      http://mondoweiss.net/2016/03/zionism-is-finally-in-the-news-as-officials-seek-to-conflate-anti-zionism-with-anti-semitism/#comment-831473

    • ritzl
      April 8, 2016, 3:05 am

      @talknic You’re right of course. But I get the feeling that there is a logic labyrinth that says to some that it does justify all those things.

      As Shmuel said below, it is alarming, if only for the increasingly tighter spiral of self-justifying behavior that it fuels.

  17. Shmuel
    April 8, 2016, 2:47 am

    Assuming Eisner is right about “most American Jews” and the jump from “some attachment” to “a central part of Jewish identity” (I’ll take her word for it; she’s the editor of the Forward), it stands to reason that “any Jew, particularly a susceptible college student, would be offended by an attack on Zionism that felt like an attack on his or her Jewish identity”. It is all about subjective feelings (that Israel is a central part of their identity, and that an attack “feels” like an attack on that identity). It says nothing about the actual “attack”, but only the way in which it is perceived.

    Eisner then goes on to talk about the “attacks” themselves, cautiously saying they “can smack of anti-Semitism” (still in the realm of the subjective), but slides into the two classic arguments of the “new anti-Semitism”: “singling Israel out” and “challenging Israel’s existence” – neither of which makes sense, unless one insists that Israel should be treated differently from every other human rights issue under the sun, i.e. that Israel should be “singled out”. Human rights campaigns cannot simply be dismissed because they appear to be more prominent or successful than others (the charge becomes even more ridiculous, of course, when levelled at the victims themselves). As for the argument about “challenging Israel’s existence” rather than trying to “reform Israeli behavior”, the behaviour in question happens to include the “existence” of a discriminatory system, based on ethnicity, kinship and religion. If Ms. Eisner did not “single Israel out”, I doubt that she would find such a system even remotely acceptable, or any challenge to it remotely objectionable.

    Eisner is very cautious. Every statement is ambiguous (including the suggestion that “singling Israel out” “can smack of anti-Semitism” if it “challenge[s] Israel’s existence altogether”), but her message, as summed up by Phil Weiss (“Eisner says that BDS … is pretty much anti-semitic too”) is clear.

    Or when Jewish organizations are stigmatized unless they disavow their ties to Israel.

    Eisner is right that there is a potential problem here (although the example she cites is no less problematic in itself), but it is inbuilt, by Eisner’s own characterisation. If “attachment [to Israel] has become a central part of Jewish identity” and is “the only way [some Jews] feel Jewish”, then those who reject and object to that political ideology (first and foremost its victims) cannot but oppose organisations (whether Jewish or not) that support it. Eisner seems to see that anomaly as a kind of shield, rather than a serious problem with contemporary American Jewish identity (again, assuming her analysis of that identity is correct). I would hope the editor of the Forward would at least be able to see how alarming that is for the future of Judaism.

    On the subject of “attachment to Israel”, I don’t believe it naturally translates into support for Israel. Jewish supporters of Palestinian rights are also “attached to Israel”, whether they merely wish to “reform Israeli behavior”, or oppose its discriminatory state ideology. That is also a part of our Jewish identity.

    • ritzl
      April 8, 2016, 3:06 am

      Great comment Shmuel.

    • Sibiriak
      April 8, 2016, 3:17 am

      Really excellent post, Shmuel.

      It is all about subjective feelings (that Israel is a central part of their identity, and that an attack “feels” like an attack on that identity). It says nothing about the actual “attack”, but only the way in which it is perceived.

      Yes, that’s a difficult problem. Perhaps more safe places and mandatory trigger warnings might help with the micro-aggressions. The macro-aggressions are another ball of wax though.

    • Sibiriak
      April 8, 2016, 3:36 am

      Shmuel: , or oppose its discriminatory state ideology. That is also a part of our Jewish identity.
      —————–

      Historically, Liberalism, along with Zionism, has been a big part of American Jewish identity. Many writers have documented that fact. Liberalism (progressivism) is not compatible with actually existing Zionism. There are two ways out: reject “Zionism”, or redefine ” Zionism”.

    • Talkback
      April 8, 2016, 4:09 am

      Shmuel: “It says nothing about the actual “attack”, but only the way in which it is perceived.”

      I have noticed that “perceived” antisemitism is the main factor for any “rise” of antisemitism. Jews have started to “perceive” antisemitism based on a definition of antisemitism twisted by Zionists like Eisner. These people shouting racism (antisemitism) is like a thief shouting to stop the thief.

  18. bryan
    April 8, 2016, 4:07 am

    Statements such as “A socially responsible community provides a structure within which individual freedoms may flourish without threatening the privileges or freedoms of other individuals or groups” are fine but so full of contradictions if you then draw the corollary that espousing anti-Zionism is illegitimate since it disturbs and alienates those on campus whose sentiments are pro-Israel (even if often only obliquely since their first identity is Jewish and their second or third identity is pro-Israel). As noted here it seems to even more strongly offend and agitate those off-campus who are not directly exposed to the trauma of hearing Israel criticized, but merely have a duty of care as distant guardians of vulnerable adult Americans.

    But how often do we hear what would surely be an equally valid argument that espousing pro-Zionism on campus could be unsettling or irritating to those with Christian or Moslem beliefs, or those with Palestinian or Arab backgrounds, or those of no specific faith who espouse justice and peace in the world?

    There is no conundrum here – we do not have to debate whether to suppress pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist voices on campus. We merely have to focus on the strange wording of the above quoted statement: the “privileges” of students. The only privileges that come with studenthood are the necessity to be exposed to a variety of diverse opinions, to have one’s fundamental beliefs challenged, to enjoy the time and a fitting environment for pondering, reading, debating and learning – in short to be educated in both the world, and the ways of the world.

    • hophmi
      April 8, 2016, 10:25 am

      “But how often do we hear what would surely be an equally valid argument that espousing pro-Zionism on campus could be unsettling or irritating to those with Christian or Moslem beliefs, or those with Palestinian or Arab backgrounds, or those of no specific faith who espouse justice and peace in the world?”

      Actually, that’s exactly how one of the pro-BDS arguments went at Vassar – passing a BDS resolution was seen as a way of recognizing the concerns of “marginalized Muslims” on campus.

      But, of course, the analogy is complete BS. There are 14 million Jews, and Israel is the only Jewish state and home to the world’s largest Jewish population. Israel is in one of the world’s most unstable and undemocratic regions, a region rife with human rights violations. Jews have a perfect right to question the intentions of anti-Zionists who obsess over Israel as a Jewish state, but have little to say about the murder, violence, misogyny, homophobia, and genocide that characterize the rest of the Middle East, which happens to be comprised of religious Muslim states.

      • bryan
        April 10, 2016, 5:29 am

        Hophmi – I asked “how often” and you thought you were refuting my argument by offering a single example. Do you deny that more concern is expressed by the US academic authorities, their powerful donors and the interest groups that support Israel for the sensitivities of Zionists than for those of non-Zionists? Do you deny that Zionists often say far more hurtful things (e.g. Palestinians do not exist but those that do are all hateful murderers) than are ever said about Israelis? Do you deny that far more platforms are available on US campuses for Israeli military and diplomatic spokespersons (many implicated in war-crimes) than are extended to spokespersons for the Palestinian cause?

      • bryan
        April 10, 2016, 5:34 am

        P.S. I whole-heartedly condemn “murder, violence, misogyny, homophobia, and genocide” whether it occurs in Israel or elsewhere in the Middle East.

  19. Ossinev
    April 8, 2016, 7:53 am

    @talkback
    “I have noticed that “perceived” antisemitism is the main factor for any “rise” of antisemitism. Jews have started to “perceive” antisemitism based on a definition of antisemitism twisted by Zionists like Eisner”

    Exactly. Would so love to see the full details of the “instances” or “incidents” for the so called rise in Anti- Semitism be it in America,Greenland wherever. It is my” perception” that the claims for the so called “rise” in antisemitism come from “Semite” so called monitoring organisations who are of course totally unbiaised perish the thought.and they tend to be accepted by politicians without question for fear of being accused of guess what yes you got it in one = anti-semitism. And of course in the US in particular all those politicians and institutions who in reality don`t give a shit about Jews and what Jews think about themselves and their beloved Jewish State in the Levant money and funding are the inevitably the game cards.

    BDS is starting to bite and big time and the Zionist lobbyists are getting their knickers in a twist as to how to deal with it in the age of the Internet so they are frantically pressing the “It`s because the whole world hates Jews button”.

  20. James Michie
    April 8, 2016, 9:18 am

    Oh for Heaven’s sake, Phil, you know all too well that Forward is a Zionist publication–always has been: Always Israel, right or wrong! The sooner the Jewish population, here in the U.S. and elsewhere, come to accept that Zionism is a political movement responsible for the “dream of Israel” morphing into the current-day nightmare of brutality, racism, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and fascism imposed on its neighbor, Palestine, the sooner will there be peace in the Middle East.

    There is but one fundamental law in Judaism: “What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.” Talmud, Shabbat 31:a

    The sooner the State of Israel converts from Zionism to Judaism, the sooner will the Palestinians regain their freedom, justice and equality!

    • hophmi
      April 8, 2016, 10:31 am

      “Oh for Heaven’s sake, Phil, you know all too well that Forward is a Zionist publication–always has been: Always Israel, right or wrong! ”

      You’re clueless. The Forward is well over one hundred years old; it began in 1897 as a socialist newspaper. It has never taken an Israel right or wrong editorial stance, and anyone who has read it recently knows that it prints pro-BDS pieces today.

      • James Michie
        April 8, 2016, 1:40 pm

        WOW! Now that’s what I call a robust putdown–and well deserved! What was on my mind? Was it the Jerusalem Post, the Washington Toast, the Times of Israel or maybe the New York Times? I owe a robust apology to the Forward. Sorry Forward. And thank you, hophmi. I obviously needed that correction!
        Cheers!
        Jim Michie (whose mind was wherever?)

      • Annie Robbins
        April 10, 2016, 3:02 am

        WOW! Now that’s what I call a robust putdown–and well deserved! …I owe a robust apology to the Forward.

        james, which forward article(s) did you read that convinced you to apologize to the forward. anything in particular?

  21. John Douglas
    April 8, 2016, 9:30 am

    During the Vietnam period campuses in the US were afire with anti-American rhetoric. Amerika the fascist, imperialist, racist nation. “Hey hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today.” Famous faculty members gave “teach-ins” that enumerated the evils of the war and the national corruption from which it sprang. Leftist students literally could not understand support for the war from conservative fellow students. What did the “Young Republicans” do during this period? Did they demand censorship? Did they complain about not feeling safe? Did they claim victimhood arising from anti-Americanism? Were there commissions to investigate. Did they equate the civil rights movement with anti-Americanism? Did they claim that leftist faculty members could not be trusted to teach? I recall none of that, at least until the rise of the neocon right, which was later.

    • echinococcus
      April 8, 2016, 1:42 pm

      Correct, John.
      Also, it seems to me that the “neocon right” characters still act pretty much as any American reactionaries except when the hurt feelings are specifically Zionist. That’s when they do like the Hebrew Franks and answer to a Higher Authority, higher than the Constitution.

  22. James Canning
    April 8, 2016, 12:59 pm

    Is a person “anti-Zionist” if that person opposes the growth of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank?

    • echinococcus
      April 8, 2016, 1:04 pm

      Might be but not necessarily so. Statistically unlikely (majority is “liberal-zionist”.) A good idea anyway.

      • MHughes976
        April 8, 2016, 3:07 pm

        To me, Zionism is the belief that people who are Jewish, and they only, have an inherent right – ‘birthright’ – to a share of sovereignty over the Holy Land, others on,y by the grace and generosity of the true heirs, anti-Z being the denial of this. An anti-Z would oppose the growth of illegal settlements in WB: and much more. But someone who opposed only their growth and not their existence or had no other objection to the situation would seem to support the situation which Z has brought about and is unjustifiable unless you accept Z , therefore would be a Z, not an anti-Z at all.
        On other definitions of Z and anti-Z it might be different. But on any understanding opposition to the current reality which was limited to growth of settlements would rouse only limited ire in Mr. Netanyahu’s office.

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