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Jewish theologian says Christian discourse on divesting from occupation contains ‘latent anti-Semitism’

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Ruth Langer
Ruth Langer

In the Christian Science Monitor’s coverage of last week’s divestment vote by the Presbyterian Church (USA), Ruth Langer, a professor of theology at Boston College and degree-holder from Hebrew Union College who is an expert on Jewish-Christian relations, issues the anti-Semitism blackmail.

Note as you read this that the Presbyterian Church has long opposed the illegal Israeli occupation because it destroys Palestinian human rights and was considering a measure to divest from three companies profiting from it. Wow.

Ongoing calls for divestment cast a pall over Christian-Jewish dialogue, according to critics of the movement.

“It creates a hostile environment for relationships within Jewish-Christian dialogue,” says Ruth Langer, associate director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College. “There is a latent anti-Semitism in much of these [divestment] discussions in mainline groups…. That’s hugely concerning.”

Langer is hardly alone in the Jewish community. Remember that Americans for Peace Now said that divestment could “raise very real and understandable worries about global anti-Semitism” and Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street said divestment would cause Christians to lose the “good will” of many American Jews.

I would remind all these moralists that David Remnick, the New Yorker editor, said that he can’t take the occupation “any more,” that the American Jewish community is holding the bag for the occupation, and that it is “deeply wrong.”

the corrosive effect of occupation on Israeli society and on the region is really serious. And so it is disappointing.. that Obama for whatever reason is going to slowly withdraw from this issue and not spend any big political capital to do it. Because the only place that will be able to bring people to the table is the United States…

[The occupation is] wrong. It’s deeply wrong.

But he’s Jewish so he gets a pass for such criticism? We must break down the prejudice that circles this issue like barbed wire.

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88 Responses

  1. annie
    July 9, 2012, 12:32 pm

    that was really irresponsible of CSM, there’s not one example of why langer called it “latent anti-Semitism”

  2. American
    July 9, 2012, 12:40 pm

    ““There is a latent anti-Semitism in much of these [divestment] discussions in mainline groups…. That’s hugely concerning.”

    There is ‘anti- all -others’ in full bloom in your ‘homeland’…..suggest you sit up at night and worry about that for a change.

  3. Bumblebye
    July 9, 2012, 12:48 pm

    What is “latent anti-semitism” anyway? Is it either provable or even deniable? Perhaps she’s suggesting it as a pathology that only needs awakening again, of irrational, unfounded hatred. Could we suggest she’s a latent “zio-supremacist”, which she might also find difficult to refute? She’s used it as an intimidatory tactic, casting guilt and aspersions on non Jews – but that’s just an opinion, and without examples, is as well founded as hers.

    • American
      July 9, 2012, 2:27 pm

      The American Heritage Dictionary, Webster’s and most others define anti-Semitism as “hostility’’ and prejudice toward Jews and or Judaism.
      Latent naturally means present or existing, but needing certain conditions in order to be apparent, expressed, or developed

      So it’s basically a ‘disease’ of some kind in non Jews that is always present but not always active. But all diseases have a ’cause’, either from some damage or infection, or from a biological defect in the body. Since most Jews claim there has never been a Jewish cause of anti semitism that leaves us with having some biological defect that causes our anti semitism disease.
      But wait!…if anti semitism is defect disease non Jews are born with and had no control over can’t they ‘ also’ claim it’s not their fault? LOL
      I saw a news article in Blomberg’s business section recently about a Jewish man who got indicted for US tax evasion, stashing some millions in a Swiss bank, and his court defense was the trama of the Jewish holocaust made him hide his money.
      Can you picture some Ayran nation guy going to court on some anti semitic incident charge with a stack of Jewish writings on the latent anti semitism of non Jews and saying …see your honor, even the Jewish scholars admit I was born this way and can ‘t help it …so I deserve a stay at some cushy mental socializing rehab resort and not a real criminal sentencing.

      • RoHa
        July 9, 2012, 8:03 pm

        Converts to Judaism raise some interesting questions.

        (1) Does the process of conversion stop the anti-Semitism gene from operating? If so, how? If not, are converts anti-Semitic Jews?

        It would seem more probable that the convert was not anti-Semitic even before conversion.

        (2) If so, what made the anti-Semitism gene stop operating?


        (3) Could it be that there are a few freakish mutant Gentiles who are born without the anti-Semitism gene?

      • john h
        john h
        July 10, 2012, 4:20 am

        Maybe the gene becomes a self-hating Jew gene?

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield
      July 9, 2012, 2:46 pm

      If anti-semitism (or anything else) is openly present and therefore provable, then it is patent not latent. It is latent because it isn’t actually present but only potentially present. The potentiality can only be detected by those with special insight, like the person making the allegation. Those who are unable to detect it are lacking in insight and therefore incapable of making a worthwhile contribution to debate. Clear enough!

      • Watcher465
        July 10, 2012, 3:58 am

        I’m impressed with your humour Stephen. I wasn’t smart enough to get it at first read. Cheers.

      • eljay
        July 10, 2012, 7:43 am

        >> Clear enough!

        Hmmm…that all sounds pretty anti-Semitic to me… ;-)

      • Sumud
        July 10, 2012, 1:25 pm

        It’s a version of the Emperor’s New Clothes.

        These repeated false accusations of anti-semitism are a textbook example of what Ayn Rand described as ‘Argument By Intimidation’ (my emphasis):

        There is a certain type of argument which, in fact, is not an argument, but a means of forestalling debate and extorting an opponent’s agreement with one’s undiscussed notions. It is a method of bypassing logic by means of psychological pressure . . . [It] consists of threatening to impeach an opponent’s character by means of his argument, thus impeaching the argument without debate. Example: “Only the immoral can fail to see that Candidate X’s argument is false.” . . . The falsehood of his argument is asserted arbitrarily and offered as proof of his immorality.

        The essential characteristic of the Argument from Intimidation is its appeal to moral self-doubt and its reliance on the fear, guilt or ignorance of the victim. It is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under threat of being considered morally unworthy. The pattern is always: “Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea.”

        Lots I disagree with Ayn Rand about, but on occasion she really nailed it.

    • Erasmus
      July 10, 2012, 6:02 pm

      re Bumblebye: Latent Anti-Semitism – what is it anyway?

      It’s something like the famous dark matter.
      You can not see it, you can not directly proof it,
      but – with the help of an array of hypotheses –
      you make people believe by repeating: it must be there!

      And, of course, everywhere and all over the Universe….
      May be even beyond?

  4. MHughes976
    July 9, 2012, 12:54 pm

    I wonder what definition of anti-Semitism she has in mind. Mind you, there’s a lot be gained from rhetoric based on vagueness and ambiguity.

    • Eric
      July 9, 2012, 5:26 pm

      What mystifies me is, why do Christian denominations such as the Presbyterians care about maintaining friendly relationships with pro-Zionist organizations? What do they lose by supporting their brethren in Palestine, and conversely what do they gain by caving in to the Lobby, as they did in last week’s divestment vote? In typical waspish fashion, they bend over backwards to be evenhanded in what is an unfair fight between a helpless enslaved people and a ruthless occupying regime — which made the defeat of the divestment resolution utterly predictable. Then they soothe their consciences by resolving to boycott settlement goods. This is the feeble outcome of an issue they’ve been deliberating on for eight years? If I ran the Presbyterian Church, I’d act in accordance with the beliefs and values of my constituents, and in defence of victims of injustice, in the West Bank and elsewhere — particularly if many of the victims were fellow Christians who’ve been abused for generations. And if aggressive outsiders tried to pressure my organization, I’d politely tell them to take a hike. The Lobby is successful because of its cohesiveness and organizational efficiency, yes, but also because their counterparts are easy marks — whether in the US Congress or organized Christianity worldwide.

      • john h
        john h
        July 10, 2012, 4:26 am

        Many Christians seem to be kind of brainwashed on this issue. When I bring anything up on the Christian site I frequent, I receive overwhelming opposition. My only real supporter is an atheist who lives in Lebanon. Israel is always “right” because God is involved on her side because he gave the land forever, etc.

      • Eric
        July 10, 2012, 12:57 pm

        John, I noticed that bias with some Jehovah’s Witnesses I know. Very pro-Israel, for some reason…

      • ritzl
        July 10, 2012, 4:34 am

        @ Eric My view, fwiw, is that these major denominations bend over backwards to be inclusive, rather than even handed (but there’s that too). I think that’s the more fundamental tenet.

        The dilemna that’s going to arise for them (and about which they are becoming keenly aware) is that on this issue that fundamental mission to be inclusive is going to face substantial and mounting external pressure to transform it into zero-sum exclusivity (a process that has been successful almost everywhere else in society, re: Islamophia). IOW, to transform the historical nature and mission of the church(es).

        I think the pressure to be exclusive will be resisted ultimately. Out of moral inertia if nothing else.

  5. tombishop
    July 9, 2012, 1:04 pm

    What is her criteria for calling support of the Palestinians “anti-Semitism”? Given that a majority of Jews and Palestinians share a common “chromosome pool” (see below), couldn’t attacks on Palestinians be considered anti-Semitic?

    The difference, of course, is religion, not ethnicity. What the Zionists want is for the world to accept a theocracy in the region. Some of the strongest opponents to theocracy anywhere else in the world are Jews because it has led to centuries of discrimination and worse against Jews. How can Zionists oppose discrimination by religion anywhere else in the world if this is what they practice in Israel?

    “Genetic analysis suggests that many of the Muslims of Palestine are descendants of Christians, Jews, and other earlier inhabitants of the Levant and surrounding area, and that over 70% of Jewish men and half of the Palestinian and Israeli Arab male population share genetics with populations throughout the centuries, some even to prehistoric times.[21] Other studies say; “Our recent study of high-resolution microsatellite haplotypes demonstrated that a substantial portion of Y chromosomes of Jews (70%) and of Palestinian Muslim Arabs (82%) belonged to the same chromosome pool”[22] Since the time of the Muslim conquests in the 7th century, religious conversions have resulted in Palestinians being predominantly Sunni Muslim by religious affiliation, though there is a significant Palestinian Christian minority of various Christian denominations, as well as Druze and a small Samaritan community. Though Palestinian Jews made up part of the population of Palestine prior to the creation of the State of Israel, very few identify as “Palestinian” today. Acculturation, independent from conversion to Islam, resulted in Palestinians being linguistically and culturally Arab.[15] The vernacular of Palestinians, irrespective of religion, is the Palestinian dialect of Arabic. For those who are Arab citizens of Israel, many are bilingual and fluent in Modern Hebrew. Those in the diaspora speak the languages of their host countries, in addition to, or to the exclusion of, Palestinian Arabic.”

    • ColinWright
      July 9, 2012, 3:28 pm

      In passing, I’ll note two things about ‘genetic studies.’

      Well, three things, actually. The first point is that I certainly am not up on the latest advances in genetics, and shouldn’t pretend otherwise.

      The second point is that the results of these studies keep changing, that the studies are often funded by and conducted by people who seem to have an axe to grind, and that the results can be summarized in some very misleading ways. For example, a study that shows that Italian Jews are above all, related most closely to other Italians, and that Polish Jews are related, above all, most closely to other Poles, will trumpet the fact that Italian and Polish Jews are also related to each other. This is a bit like claiming that I and some French peasant are the same people because we each had one remote ancestor who was raped by a Viking.

      Thirdly, it appears to be misleading to say that these studies ‘show’ anything. They may ‘suggest’ something, but genetics appears to be in its infancy, and many of its ‘conclusions’ are often absurd. For example, some study that came out on Tibetans and Chinese asserted that the genetic evidence was that today’s Tibetans didn’t settle the Tibetan plateau until 500 AD or something (it’s only the relative number that’s germane — I’d not pretending to remember the actual date).

      Historians of Tibet then said, ‘that’s nice — but we have ruins and texts showing an unbroken culture going back right through that date and two thousand years before — you’re saying the population was completely replaced and there was no cultural change?’

      Add that the same study also came to the conclusion that in 500 BC (or something), the total population of Han Chinese consisted of 4000 individuals — also extremely improbable.

      The gist of it is that I think that genetic marker studies and such — while interesting — should not be taken to offer conclusive ‘proof’ of anything. The science appears to be extremely uncertain to date and often misleadingly summarized. I wouldn’t take its findings as ‘proof’ of much of anything unless and until you want to wade into the core literature itself and spend a hundred hours or so getting up to speed so that you can judge for yourself the significance and certainty of what you are reading.

      Until then, one has to bear in mind the twin possibilities that they may be trying to skew their results, and that they may be wrong anyway.

    • ColinWright
      July 9, 2012, 3:41 pm

      “Our recent study of high-resolution microsatellite haplotypes demonstrated that a substantial portion of Y chromosomes of Jews (70%) and of Palestinian Muslim Arabs (82%) belonged to the same chromosome pool”

      You see now, that just clashes with everything from the way history usually happens to the actual records we have to the appearance of the people in question.

      Whatever ‘Y chromosomes of Jews (70%)’ means, you’re deliberately ignoring the evidence right in front of your nose if you think Netanyahu shares 70% of his ancestry with a Yemeni Jew. Look at him. He looks — not at all surprisingly — fairly similar to that recent president of Poland who was killed in a plane crash. He doesn’t look in the least like a Jew from Yemen.

      So I’m not saying we should just toss all the results of genetics studies into the trash. But they’re just something else to add to the pile of clues. People let the ‘science’ tag delude them into thinking that now they have incontrovertible fact — and that just misunderstands how science works.

      A hundred years from now, we may well have genetics studies that can finally and conclusively prove things. Right now, I don’t think we do.

      • tombishop
        July 9, 2012, 9:04 pm

        Maybe I was wrong to bring up genetics since I am certainly no expert in the field. The point I was making was that there must be a distinction between ethnicity and religion. Isn’t religion the basis of the Zionist claim to the West Bank? Zionism wants us to accept a theocracy in the area, yet supporters of Zionism in other countries oppose theocracy because it has been the source of oppression of minorities including Jews.

        What does Ruth Langer mean when she accuses the Presbyterian church’s concern for the Palestinians as “latent anti-Semitism”? I suspect Presbyterians believe “we are all God’s children” and “an injustice to one is an injustice to all.” Isn’t this ultimately true of all religions, including Judaism? Isn’t the nationalism and ethnocentrism of Zionism ultimately a rejection of long held Jewish values?

  6. Sin Nombre
    Sin Nombre
    July 9, 2012, 1:07 pm

    A jewish commentator on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict perceives anti-semitism?


    Next up, children report not getting enough candy?

  7. KeithS
    July 9, 2012, 1:16 pm

    Can we complain about her own “latent Jewish chauvinism”? Or point to her latent racism directed at Arabs and gentiles in general?

    One of the things that will fan the flames of worldwide antisemitism is when everyone in the USA lets Israel do whatever it wants without any criticism. Does anyone ever consider that?

  8. American
    July 9, 2012, 1:22 pm

    Doesn’t matter what latent anti semitism is or how they want to define anti semitism in the long run.
    The Churches movements on I/P are spreading. The zionist will not be able to quell it by insulting the Churches with ‘latent’ anti semitism.
    When you compare the political progress on Israel within countries to the religious progress of Churches on Israel, the religious movements are actually getting somewhere.

    Church of England weighs link to anti-Israel group


    LAST UPDATED: 07/09/2012 09:29

    Assembly, highest body to vote on motion formally adopting links to Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine.
    Photo: Finbarr O’Reilly / Reuters

    LONDON – Jewish and Christian community leaders have expressed widespread concern that the Church of England, the country’s officially established Christian church, is next week set to discuss formally deepening links with a politicized anti-Israel group.

    On Tuesday, the General Synod in York, the Church’s national assembly and highest legislative body, will vote on a motion that seeks to formally adopt the Church’s links with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).

    The motion encourages parishioners to take part in the program – which brings internationals to the West Bank to experience “life under occupation,” according to its website – and urges churches to make use of the experiences of returning participants.

    However EAPPI – founded by the World Council of Churches and supported in the UK by Christian Aid and the Quakers – are considered to be a controversial group and stand accused of being anti-Israel advocates whose work “runs the risk of leading to anti-Jewish sentiment.” “EAPPI is a one-sided advocacy group promoting the Durban strategy of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel, supporting the Palestinian claim of a ‘right of return,’ which is code for ending Israeli sovereignty, and systematically ignoring continuous Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians – each one a war crime,” Yitzhak Santis, chief programs officer at the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post.

    The decision to discuss the motion has led to an outcry in the Jewish community, with British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and the Board of Deputies of British Jews leading protests.

    Alarmed that it could raise the group’s profile and legitimacy, the Board of Deputies has sent a letter to all synod participants outlining their concerns.

    “The Board naturally commends those who want to protect the rights of the Palestinians living in the West Bank. As a result we support any organization which encourages reconciliation, but it appears to us that EAPPI does not promote this,” wrote board president Vivian Wineman. “I fear the negative impact which the passing of this motion could have on that work and on relations between the two communities.” Warning that the motion could do “serious damage” to relations between Christians and Jews, Sacks said it presents a one-sided narrative on a complex and difficult issue.

    “I am deeply concerned about the private members motion being debated. Were it to be passed it would do serious damage to Jewish-Christian relations in Britain, which have been so positive in recent decades. But that is not my only concern.


    • Bumblebye
      July 9, 2012, 6:21 pm

      The Board of Deputies has quite clearly made its collective mind up about EAPPI:
      (from minute 12 to about 17.30)
      Ed Stourton speaks to Jonathan Arkush (BOD) and John Dinnen about the EAPPI motion.
      Arkush uses NGOMonitor definition of EAPPI as a biased organization, with a one sided narrative and which it says demonizes Israel. Also states that of the 183 constituencies (of the BOD) none would have time for any Jews who support EAPPI. (John Dinnen notes there were at least five Jews involved in the setting up of EAPPI)
      Dinnen points out that he frequently receives letters from Jews in support of EAPPI’s work, and goes on to say that Jewish architect Abbe Hayem(sp?) had recently written a letter to the Jewish Chronicle in support of EAPPI which they had declined to publish.

  9. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    July 9, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Anti-semitism is weird, in that it doesn’t keep anybody from, oh I don’t know, teaching at BC or serving in Congress, or running big companies – a strange thing indeed.

    • Eric
      July 10, 2012, 3:32 pm

      It doesn’t prevent anyone from serving in Congress, or owning it, for that matter. Just ask the vast majority of Congressmen with perfect “pro-Israel” voting records…

  10. radii
    July 9, 2012, 1:33 pm

    the Lobby and their vast Fifth Column here in America don’t seem to realize as they hoist that anti-semitism cannon to fire shot after shot that it has run out of ammunition – they’ll be firing blanks while the tide of history sweeps past them

  11. ColinWright
    July 9, 2012, 1:41 pm

    “There is a latent anti-Semitism in much of these [divestment] discussions in mainline groups…. That’s hugely concerning.”

    Sort of a double-ended absurdity. First, there isn’t ‘latent anti-semitism’ in discussions about divesting from Israel over the West Bank any more than there would be ‘latent racism’ in discussions about divesting from China over Tibet. Second, it would no more be a ‘huge concern’ than the possibility that racism might be tainting our perspective would be a ‘huge concern’ if we were contemplating what to do about North Korea’s nuclear program.

    These clowns just wave the ‘anti-semitism’ wand over anything that even begins to resemble doing something about Israel, and presto!

    Whatever it is has just become illegitimate. No it hasn’t. Nice try. We can see the magic hat the rabbit came out of had a false top.

  12. atime forpeace
    atime forpeace
    July 9, 2012, 1:45 pm

    To quote Luke 10:30-37

    Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

    36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

    37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

    Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    • Bumblebye
      July 9, 2012, 3:25 pm

      I can’t find it now, but this parable is considered by some to be the earliest manifestation of anti-semitism recorded in the NT – because the victim was rescued by a despised Samaritan instead of an ‘ordinary’ Jew.

      • piotr
        July 9, 2012, 7:35 pm

        Perhaps this manifestation was a “latent case”.

  13. ColinWright
    July 9, 2012, 1:51 pm

    “But he’s Jewish so he gets a pass for such criticism? We must break down the prejudice that circles this issue like barbed wire. ”

    The irony is that this continual playing of the ‘anti-semitic’ card effectively says, ‘if you see anything wrong with Israel, you must be an anti-semite.’

    Eventually, people are going to say ‘fine. We’re anti-semites.’ Keep insisting on an identity between Judaism and Israel’s actions and guess what?

    You’ll get your way. There will be an identity between Judaism and Israel’s actions.

  14. July 9, 2012, 1:58 pm

    – Is ‘latent anti-Semitism’ something similar to ‘latent Jewish racism’?
    – ‘Latent’ is something that can become ‘manifest’.

    Ruth Langer is afraid that ‘latent anti-Semitism’ may become manifest.
    It doesn’t seem to bother her that ‘latent Jewish racism’ has become manifest in Israel.

  15. Les
    July 9, 2012, 3:04 pm

    Our media promotes anti-Semitism when it refuses to report Jewish opposition, including the successes of Jewish Voice for Peace, to Israel’s ethnic cleansing and occupation of the Palestinians. I would be curious to hear what Langer and her ilk have to say about our media’s blindness towards Jews who don’t buy the party line.

  16. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    July 9, 2012, 3:14 pm

    If any place proves the latent anti semitism thing, it is this web site, particularly the comments. Let me try to calibrate my language a little more precisely. It is extremely common to read comments here that contain a kernel of jew hatred.

    Jews are only concerned about themselves.
    The universal religions are good, but Judaism with its chosen people emphasis is primitive at best and evil in fact.
    Jews are too caught up in their own suffering.
    The Talmud is bullshit. (editor rather than commentator).
    Harping on the dual loyalty mantra.
    The Jews are a religion, not a people.
    All religions are bad, but Judaism is the worst of the bunch.
    All nationalisms are bad, but Jewish nationalism is the worst.
    Let them move back to Poland or Germany or wherever they came from.
    They should leave in suitcases or in coffins.
    The suicide bombers are brave heroes.

    Now imagine listening to these comments (as an undercurrent or as a major thrust) while you are attempting to do the ecumenical thing.

    That’s where Langer is coming from.

    (I’m not big into the ecumenical thing, so as far as I’m concerned any church can divest all they like. But Langer is into the ecumenical, and don’t you know that people are thinking and muttering some of the phrases above, which are shouted aloud at MW? And don’t you think that’s a bit disruptive to the “can’t we all just get along?” theme which lies beneath most ecumenical thinking.)

    • Light
      July 9, 2012, 6:36 pm

      Yonah most topics and comments are criticizing Israeli policies. The anti Semitism card in this thread was played by the theologian.

    • July 9, 2012, 6:54 pm

      Proof of latent anti-Semitism is to say: “The Jews are a religion, not a people.”
      – yonah fredman

      It’s probably the other way round. To says: ‘Jews are primarily an ethnic group’ is proof that someone is a ‘latent racist’. – Or it may be that he is just a Jew like you. No offense implicated.

    • Avi_G.
      July 9, 2012, 7:28 pm

      That’s a long laundry list.

      Jews are only concerned about themselves.

      That’s not “Jew Hatred”, that’s merely an observation that neutral onlookers are bound to come to when they see the excesses of tribalism.

      The universal religions are good, but Judaism with its chosen people emphasis is primitive at best and evil in fact.

      I don’t know if the universal (whatever that means) religions are good, but let’s face it, the whole “chosen people” charade is quite off-putting, isn’t it?

      Jews are too caught up in their own suffering.

      Yes, especially in the West. While millions of non-Jews were killed and exterminated during WWII, it is the suffering of Jews that gets center stage in national discourse, whether it’s a museum, a movie, a book or a memorial.

      The Talmud is bullshit. (editor rather than commentator).

      Personally, I don’t think the Talmud is bull****.

      Harping on the dual loyalty mantra.

      Well, let’s face it, it’s there. And I don’t think it’s dual loyalty. In fact, it is closer to single loyalty to Israel.

      The Jews are a religion, not a people.

      Yes. Jews are a religion with adherents. They are not a “people”, much like Moslems or Christians are not a “people”.

      Do you think a Christian from China feels some kind of connection with Christians from Norway? Or for that matter, do you think that a Moslem from Croatia feels kinship toward a Moslem from Indonesia?

      All religions are bad, but Judaism is the worst of the bunch.

      The “chosen people” part bothers me, but I don’t think any one religion is better than another. They are all — in their current manifestations — meaningless labels.

      All nationalisms are bad, but Jewish nationalism is the worst.

      Jewish nationalism can be good so long as it doesn’t infringe on other people’s rights and livelihood.

      Let them move back to Poland or Germany or wherever they came from.

      In principle Jews that came to Palestine as part of the colonial project have no right to be in the region anymore than a foreign invader has that right.

      Now, since it’s a fait accompli at this point, and the invaders are already there, it’s time they admitted their transgression and compromised by agreeing to become equals with everyone else in the region.

      They should leave in suitcases or in coffins.

      I don’t think anyone here has ever written such a thing or even implied it.

      The suicide bombers are brave heroes.

      Did you just slip that false accusation in your rant hoping that Hasbara Central will hire you back?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 6:13 am

        Avi- Regarding the totality, I realize quantity can’t overwhelm quality and I will have to deal with your answers one by one, which I hope to do, but my point is that if the undercurrent contained in MW comments is in fact the same undercurrent that Langer senses, then though i would not use the term latent antisemitism, i certainly know where she’s coming from.

        Regarding the last point: eva smagacz’s exact words were: “Transmogrification of suicide bombing into an act of unique moral depravity rather than act of incredible personal bravery and sacrifice comes from the same force that transmogrify anti-Israelism into anti-Semitism.”

        my inexact paraphrase of: brave heroes, whereas the word “hero” never appears in Eva’s words, was a mistake, but I think I caught her essence.

        Regarding the next to last point: coffins or suitcases, that’s a translation from the French, and I learnt that quote here on MW, and the sentiment has been expressed here by taxi, recently if not in those words.

      • lysias
        July 10, 2012, 10:14 am

        I have referred to that French phrase (la valise ou le cercueil [suitcase or coffin]) here on a number of occasions, and my point has always been the same: the Jews of Israel would be well advised to come to terms with the Palestinians before that is the choice with which they are faced, as it was the choice that the pieds noirs European settlers in Algeria were faced with on Algerian independence in 1962. Far from wishing such an event to happen, I wish there to be a peace that forestalls it. And that has been my point.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        July 10, 2012, 10:31 am

        “my inexact paraphrase of: brave heroes, whereas the word “hero” never appears in Eva’s words, was a mistake, but I think I caught her essence.”

        The fact that you would simply gloss over the issue, rather than being a man and admitting you were wrong is pretty telling.

        If you weren’t so primed and ready to affirm your pre-existing victim-complex, perhaps you, like Langer, wouldn’t make the elementary logical error of mistaking opposition to what a subset of a people do, as hatred of that people.

      • Eva Smagacz
        Eva Smagacz
        July 10, 2012, 11:12 am

        Yonah fredman:

        I did not use the word hero in connection with suicide bombers, because I did not mean to use the word hero. So even though you think you caught the essence of what I meant, please give up the struggle.

        I do not know where in your thinking attacking civilian targets converges with heroic behaviour to the point that you project it onto me, but I find Yitzhak Shamir’s elevation to the position of a hero between Zionists despite his terrorist attacks on civilian population illuminating and morally repugnant.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 11:51 am

        I hereby apologize for using the word, “hero”, when Eva did not use that word. I feel that her words: “act of incredible person bravery and sacrifice” are really bad enough and I’m sorry for using the word “hero” to summarize her words “falsely.” I think that part of Palestinian society makes heroes out of these suicide bombers, many of whom were troubled people who were taken advantage of by the plenty bad people from Hamas and Fatah that encouraged them to kill themselves and Israeli civilians. I think the quote: act of incredible personal bravery and sacrifice fits right into the hero laurel placed on these suicides and her quote was plenty bad, but I should have taken the time to find the exact quote rather than turning incredible bravery and sacrifice into heroism.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 11:54 am

        lysias- I appreciate your teaching me the phrase and I appreciate that it can be used as a warning rather than a wish and I trust that you have always used it as a warning and a push for the Israelis to reach peace.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        July 10, 2012, 12:36 pm


        Jesus, man up and just admit you were wrong, or suck it up and defend your word choice. The worst thing you can do is what you did here: make a big fuss about supposedly apologizing, and going on blabbering about how Eva’s words “fits right into the hero laurel placed on these suicides.” Either stand up for your words or don’t. This equivocating nonsense makes you look like a wuss.

        And there is nothing “bad” about Eva’s words. She is stating a clear and absolute fact. To do what they do takes incredible personal bravery and sacrifice. Now, you can disagree with the view by the Palestinians that these people are heroes for attempting to fight back against the society which oppresses them, but that doesn’t change the correctness of Eva’s description.

        Of course, if you do disagree with the Palestinians’ view of these people as heroes, then you better be prepared to disagree with the israeli view that their thugs in uniform — who have committed far worse crimes than any suicide bomber — are heroes, too. (This includes Yitzhak Shamir who we can joyfully and happily note is dead.) Otherwise you demonstrate that you’re nothing but a two-bit hypocrite and phoney. Which I think is basically Eva’s point.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 11, 2012, 2:34 am

        Avi- I’ve already stated most of my points vis a vis your arguments in my answers to annie. I would restate that the peoplehood of the Jews is a deep issue that cannot be summed up in a sound bite. Talking about “chosen people” in depth is not objectionable, using it as a throwaway phrase is. Similarly dual loyalty is an issue of depth, using it as a throwaway phrase is objectionable.

        I would just add that religion is part of the mix in dealing with the middle east and some only respect islam because it has over a billion adherents, but judaism with its less than 10 million (in the middle east) can be dismissed with just a sentence.

        Thanks for the civil tone.

    • Shingo
      July 9, 2012, 8:09 pm

      Now imagine listening to these comments (as an undercurrent or as a major thrust) while you are attempting to do the ecumenical thing.

      That’s where Langer is coming from.

      The one problem with your entire post is that it is filled with false claims. So all the concerns you claim Lamger to hold are based on straw men.

      Go backand re-read your hasbra manual. I’m sure you can do a lot better.

    • American
      July 9, 2012, 11:15 pm

      “Now imagine listening to these comments “….yonah

      Why don’t you imagine the comments we have had to listen to. the one you just made. I think I will start talking about how all Jews are latent Gentile haters.
      That’s how those like you and many others talk about and view Non Jews.
      We get a steady diet of how evil and bad non Jews are. Even if we aren’t ‘active’ anti semities we’ve still got the ‘disease’ of anti semitism.

      Commenters on this site spend a huge percentage of their comments and efforts recongizing and cheering on (moral) Jews and defending ”The Jews” against being lumped in with psycopathic Zionist Jews…..While…..the psychopathic Zionist Jews swear thru a megaphone to the world that all Jews are like them and agree with them…..AND…scream constantly about all us anti semites while we are saying not all Jews are like zionist. If that doesn’t hit 110 on the black is white irony scale nothing ever will.
      So you don’t have a leg to stand on with that site smear.

      • john h
        john h
        July 10, 2012, 4:37 am

        Love that post, American, you said it good just like it is.

    • annie
      July 10, 2012, 11:49 am

      yonah, since, according to you, it is extremely common to read comments here that contain a kernel of jew hatred, could you please link to a few examples from the last week without resorting to using examples from this thread. (i say that because i don’t think responses to your assertion should be used as entrapment).

      i am not saying you are wrong, i am asking for examples of something you claim is extremely common. for a site that gets 100’s of comments everyday, ‘extremely common’ would suggest every single day there are numerous comments you think qualify.


      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 12:09 pm

        hey annie,

        it’s going to be tedious, but I will bring you as many Jew hating comments or latent antisemitism comments (the laundry list I cited), but i will cite you one or two at a time. Here’s citizen from the July 8th article on Commentary and elites:
        “And what is Penn now, an enabler of sexual child abuse? There’s one guy high up in that scandal, and he’s not a goy, but rather a jew ranking high in the arena of Jewish Sports in USA.”

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 3:58 pm

        annie- here’s a category that I didn’t include, but wish to advocate now. Any suggestion of a Jewish struggle for survival is paranoid or a zero sum game. exemplar: german lefty when i suggested to evelyn garcia in her first post that the Jewish movements of Orthodoxy and Zionism were propelled by an urge to survive. here’s german lefty’s response.

        Everyone hates you for your Jewishness. So, you need to kill the gentiles before they kill you.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 4:04 pm

        annie- not recent quotes, but the term about demanding their pound of flesh has been used here. that’s a shakespearean piece of jew hatred. also dostoyevsky, a jew hater, who happened to be the greatest novelist of all time was quoted here as a hater of jews that must have known something. but not in the last week.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        July 10, 2012, 5:52 pm

        “but the term about demanding their pound of flesh has been used here. that’s a shakespearean piece of jew hatred. ”

        yeah, because the expression hasn’t entered standard coversational English. We all know that anyone who quotes Shakespeare must hate Jews.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        July 10, 2012, 6:02 pm

        “Any suggestion of a Jewish struggle for survival is paranoid or a zero sum game. ”

        What’s antisemitic about that? Nothing. To talk about a “Jewish struggle for survival” in 2012 IS paranoid.

        “here’s german lefty’s response.”

        Liar. German Lefty responded:

        “Jewish battle to survive? Yeah, right. Because nothing has changed within the last 75 years. Everyone hates you for your Jewishness. So, you need to kill the gentiles before they kill you.”

        And she linked to a youtube video on the point. Clearly sarcasm is lost on you.

        “Antisemitism” does not mean “disagreeing with yonah fredman.”

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 4:11 pm

        annie- klaus boemker plays on the chosen people meme in Phil’s answer to commentary on the elite issue.

        “The Jews are ‘the people of the book’. Nothing wrong with that. But being ‘the chosen people’ is a status ascribed by God, it’s not an achieved status.”

        Actual this was a rather learned statement regarding why Jews are resented, it is when the chosen people idea is included gratuitously rather than analytically that i find it offensive.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        July 10, 2012, 6:03 pm

        “Actual this was a rather learned statement regarding why Jews are resented, it is when the chosen people idea is included gratuitously rather than analytically that i find it offensive.”

        And there is nothing “antisemitic” in believing that the whole concept of “chosen people” is abhorant, regardless of what it as “supposed to mean.”

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 4:16 pm

        annie- on the suitcases or coffins. here’s a quote from taxi from two weeks ago:

        “The Zionists will leave behind the shopping centres.”

        You mean cemeteries.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 4:25 pm

        annie- elite and exclusivity meme from klaus b.-

        ” [elite status] closed to everybody else.”

        That’s the crucial point. The access to the elite has to be closed or very restricted to stay an elite. If you said: ‘Everybody can embrace our principles and join us’, all of mankind could join. But all of mankind can’t be an elite.

        That’s why the access, conversion to Judaism is very restricted.
        1. A rabbi has to make three attemps to dissuade someone from converting.
        2. It takes a long time to convert.
        3. It’s expensive.”

        Again Klaus B. is somewhat thoughtful, but this is not very thoughtful and might be considered by langer as latent antisemitism. The conversation then devolved into the expense of studying Judaism for a year. I don’t know how much it costs to actually come before the beit din and take a dunk in the baptism of the mikva. and of course if you’re a male, a mohel and some minor surgery is involved. but this was not necessarily the most sensitive comment.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 4:37 pm

        annie- the celebration that this web site, phil, gave to shlomo sand and his theory of jews being the equivalent of gays, in terms that it was ridiculous to relate to either group as a people, was not based on any study that phil had done of the issue, but because Sand’s in your face attitude fits into Phil’s concept of Judaism as a religion and not a people. The people versus religion question is a deep one, that i feel deserves at least 100 pages and contemplation rather than haste and therefore to give it sound bite treatment is to set up to fail from the get go. I realize that the Zionists over emphasized the people aspect, and in fact not everybody deals with the issue of assimilation versus identification in the same way and the Zionist movement had an element of uniformity to it that did not allow for the diversity of opinion of those who wish to leave all that Jewishness behind and if that includes eating bacon and playing golf on sabbath it certainly includes the peoplehood thing and so one can give up on the peoplehood aspect of Jewishness and I am just dipping my toe into what I think a deep discussion of the issue would in fact entail.

        I have spent hours to your minutes, if not hours to your seconds, thinking about the religion and people aspects of Jews and Judaism and how this might have evolved without Herr Hitler and without the establishment of Israel and it is a very rich garden of thought. But when the off the cuff remarks by the crew here compare the Jews to stamp collectors regarding peoplehood, that’s just plain junior high school shtick that in fact fits into the category of latent antisemitism, or kernel of jew hatred or whatever term i used.

        the fact is that the degree of ignorance regarding haredi versus national religious in recent days surprised me, but it shouldn’t, because people here say the dumbest things and know very little about certain parts of the situation.

        and when Phil disses the Talmud and Citizen echoes the sentiment and attributes all the good of this world to the enlightenment and ignores Isaiah, Jeremiah and Amos, this is more than ignorance, this is disdain for Jewish books and the Jewish religion.

        If you need the exact thread that contains the jovial to and fro between RoHa and Citizen dissing the Jewish tradition, I’ll find it for you. And if you want the jovial to and fro between RoHa and Shmuel comparing the peoplehood of the Jews to the peoplehood of stamp collectors, I’ll find that for you too.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 5:00 pm

        annie- i hope that’s enough for you. if you want more, ask and i’ll head back. i’m sorry that most of my paraphrases rather than quotes are not from the last week and contain more nuance than my laundry list of quotes.

        i can live with the subtle tone of animus towards jews that is living and well in the comments of three or four of MW’s most dependable commentators. I am more troubled by the lack of curiosity. I think that quite a few here feel they have nothing to learn (or so they think). I think in fact that curiosity, a desire to learn about the other, is a key factor. I think that such curiosity is inconvenient when one feels that focused unabating anger is the only answer to the conflict and maybe they are right for their own personalities. I know that hard heartedness plays a role on the pro Israel side and I am not surprised that hard heartedness plays a role on the anti Israel side. But I believe in curiosity, if not empathy regarding the other side.

        But the issue is not me, the issue is Langer and what she calls latent antisemitism and I think that the undercurrent here is enough for me to feel that Langer is talking sense from her point of view.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        July 10, 2012, 5:08 pm


        LMAO. Oh, my stars and garters. Someone disagrees with you. You! The big thinker. The person who spent decades to our millisecond fixating on near irrelevancies like “people v. religion” and can’t abide the fact that people don’t turn to religious fairy tales and commentary on religious fairy tales and, instead, rely on reason and learned knowledge. (Oh, that must be a latent kernel that I hate Jews… oh, no!!) How are you ever going to survive the fact that someone dared disagree with you???

      • Shingo
        July 10, 2012, 5:28 pm

        i can live with the subtle tone of animus towards jews that is living and well in the comments of three or four of MW’s most dependable commentators.

        Even if you simply imagine it.

        I am more troubled by the lack of curiosity.

        Don;t confuse “lack of curiosity” with being lack of patience towards regurgitated and worn out Hasbra.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        July 10, 2012, 6:25 pm

        “Don;t confuse ‘lack of curiosity’ with being lack of patience towards regurgitated and worn out Hasbra.”

        That’s exactly it. The problem with the nonsense being pushed by yonah (and Langer, for that matter) is the notion that disagreement concerning this or that aspect of the Jewish religion or the Jewish experience or Jewish culture or anything regarding israel is automatically seen through the guise of antisemitism (latent, kernal or otherwise.) It’s so damned tiresome. And it’s lazy. Because, yes, some people make these points because they hate Jews. Sad but true. But it is simply stupid to say that everyone (or even anyone) who does so does it for that reason.

      • American
        July 11, 2012, 12:28 am

        “I think that quite a few here feel they have nothing to learn (or so they think). I think in fact that curiosity, a desire to learn about the other, is a key factor.”……yonah

        Your narcissism is deeper and wider than the Atlantic Ocean.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 4:51 pm

        Annie- “Go back to Poland and Germany” obviously refers to Helen Thomas and her venomous tone and words of two years ago. She’s 90 or whatever and if she wanted to stay in her chair at press conferences, I couldn’t give a dang, but the response here, well, it was two years ago and I could go back and find out who agreed with her and who didn’t and we can deal with that. But without dealing with the justice of the claim, which is one way of dealing with it, i betcha Langer would not have been enamored with Helen Thomas’s quote and might even call it latent antisemitism. I would call it “unhelpful” if I was diplomatic and the words of an old bitter woman who plays semantic games with the worst of them, if I was being undiplomatic.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        July 10, 2012, 5:42 pm

        “‘Go back to Poland and Germany’ obviously refers to Helen Thomas and her venomous tone and words of two years ago.”

        But you got it wrong. She referred to Poland and Germany and “America and everywhere else.” What’s so “venomous” about that? The Jews from Brooklyn and Europe who are going to Palestine and stealing the land SHOULD go back whereever the hell they came from.

        Oh, but she’s Arab, so it’s okay to compare her to a snake for saying that the Palestinian people should be left alone in their own land.

        “it was two years ago and I could go back and find out who agreed with her and who didn’t and we can deal with that.”

        Yes, because we all know that anyone who agreed with Helen Thomas’s sentiment must harbor some deep hatreds of Jews, and could not have possibly understood that it was a comment about the fact that unrestrained Jewish immigration to the region has proved to be an existential crisis to the health of the Palestinian community.

    • Sumud
      July 10, 2012, 1:41 pm

      Note carefully yonah writes a big long waaaaaaaaaah post about how dreadful people are here, and how many of their comments contain ‘a kernel of jew hatred’. Not even jew hatred, just a kernel of.

      Not once in yonah’s list does the word Israel appear – yet this site is firmly and consistently critical of Israeli’s behaviour, not jews per se.

      A little bait and switch there yonah, and I’m pulling you up on it. Do you know the difference between an Israeli and a jew?

      And +1 for Annies request that you supply comments from the last week that support your accusations.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 10, 2012, 4:02 pm

        hey Sumud,

        my comment was relevant to the topic raised re: langer’s accusation of latent antisemitism. when phil attended the lubav thing with tokyobk up at yale or princeton (ivies know ivies, us lower class jews confuse them all) the wife of the lubav rabbi referred to the comments section here as vile. I feel vile and latent antisemitism overstate it. but certainly the attitude towards jews expressed here are discomfiting. if i was in the ecumenical business i’d get out of it, cuz i don’t represent a church and i wouldn’t really want to talk to an institution rather than to individuals, but that was the point that langer made, that her efforts at ecumenical peace will suffer from the divestment process because of latent antisemitism. that’s the topic of the post. it’s to the point and you, sir or miss, are closer to bait and switch than i am.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        July 10, 2012, 5:49 pm

        And that’s complete crap, too, yonah, because the core of Langer’s statement is that Jewish/Christian relations will suffer if Christians do not ignore their faith-fueled antipathy towards to Israel, in favor of the fact that it is a favored state of their Jewish compatriots. That’s a problem, but it’s Langer’s problem. If she believes that Jewish/Christian relations can only occur where Christians abdicate their resposibilities in making moral judgments to the Jews when the issue is Israel, that’s not a request for ecumenical bonding, it’s a request for someone to not be true to themselves. The labeling it as “latent antisemitism” is a bogus avoidance mechanism so that Langer does not have to face the question of whether the Christians are, in fact, correct.

      • Sumud
        July 10, 2012, 9:11 pm

        I think you better go have a lie down yonah. Bad troll.

        I read the examples you supplied to Annie above, all a bit limp – and the one that actually did sound antisemitic was a result of YOU misquoting the person (German Lefty) to completely change the nature of their statement.

        I was particularly impressed by this one:

        on the suitcases or coffins. here’s a quote from taxi from two weeks ago:

        “The Zionists will leave behind the shopping centres.”

        You mean cemeteries.

        Do you know what the statement “the suitcase or the coffin” means and where it comes from? lysias touches upon it but you can read more here in the ‘Background’ paragraphs:

        Oran massacre of 1962

        Taxi was referring to what zionists wil leave behind, if they leave. What does that have to do with jews or anti-semitism?

        And cemeteries…? WTF? What planet are you on?

        Next time you want to have a whine about the comments section here do us the courtesy of PROVIDING A LINK to the exact comment(s). There is a date on every comment, click on it and that comments exact web address will appear in the address section of your web browser. Alternately, right-click while positioning your mouse over the date and you should get the option to “copy link”.

  17. Sin Nombre
    Sin Nombre
    July 9, 2012, 3:36 pm

    Ruth Langer said:

    “It [obviously meaning the very discussion of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict with any sympathy whatsoever for the Palestinians] creates a hostile environment for relationships within Jewish-Christian dialogue.”

    You know, coming from a jewish theologian this seems to me to be especially noteworthy:

    In the first place given that, by definition, it’s obviously part of her jewish theology at least;

    And in the second, given theologians’ renown carefulness with their words, with what it precisely translates to: That *anything* that upsets jews (creates a “hostile environment”) is, ipso facto, anti-semetic.

    Or, to put it another way, that the only way to escape being an anti-semite is to be philo-semetic enough so as to never do anything that might create a hostile environment.

    The whole hog, in other words. The entirety of all duty is upon all the rest of us; our judgments and opinions count for nothing and are the measure of nothing. Nothing that jews do that they *themselves* don’t *allow* to be condemned is condemnable. And even then one should take care not to condemn it more than they condemn it for fear of creating a “hostile environment.”

    A theology of “the Chosen” indeed.

  18. justicewillprevail
    July 9, 2012, 3:51 pm

    There’s nothing they love more than smearing an argument as ‘anti-semitism’, as it avoids them having to engage with the criticism, or admit the truth. Anti-semitism is the great escape clause, and closer down of discussion. How convenient. While, of course, ignoring their own relentless and far worse constant Palestinian anti-semitism.

  19. ColinWright
    July 9, 2012, 3:51 pm

    These people are shills.

    That isn’t as critical as it sounds. However, people are going to incline to take up positions that suit their position, their circle of associates, etc.

    I remember that when I was a high school math teacher, whenever I saw a group of teenagers laughing and socializing I had an immediate urge to make them all sit down, stop talking, open their books to page 174, and do exercises 1-43 odd.

    Then later, when I was running my own business, I became an ardent foe of government interfering at all, in anything, in any way whatsoever.

    I suspect this is a general principle. Marxists always did go too far, but ‘class determines consciousness’ has a certain grain of truth behind it.

    • Eva Smagacz
      Eva Smagacz
      July 10, 2012, 11:22 am

      Colin, you wrote:
      “I remember that when I was a high school math teacher, whenever I saw a group of teenagers laughing and socializing I had an immediate urge to make them all sit down, stop talking, open their books to page 174, and do exercises 1-43 odd.”
      Shall we start our own twelve step group?
      My daughters swear that when they were still living at home whenever I saw a group of teenagers laughing and socializing I had an immediate urge to make them all complete their homework, finalise their chores and help me with housework!

  20. W.Jones
    July 9, 2012, 5:02 pm

    The logic is like this: If you know that a storeowner abuses his family and so you stop buying products there then your decision must really be because of his ethnic background, and “this will cast a pall” over your relations with everyone of that background. Of course it’s just assumed you don’t really care about or are motivated by the abuse.

    Hey, how about they are prejudiced against people who don’t like abuse?

  21. Les
    July 9, 2012, 6:00 pm

    A theologian who openly supports ethnic cleansing and occupation. It sounds a lot like the white Christian theologians of yore who encouraged ethnic cleansing of the natives, wherever they were. That Christianity largely dissappeared. For those such as Langer, it seems to be just getting off the ground amound Jewish theologians. With such theologians as these, whither Judaism?

    • john h
      john h
      July 10, 2012, 4:41 am

      Just like too many Christian leaders and their followers who use Israel as their proxy to do their modern crusade for the land.

  22. anonymouscomments
    July 9, 2012, 7:38 pm

    more like, langer’s response, is a sign of *latent jewish paranoia*, that’s hugely concerning.

    but worse, the response of jewish “leaders” shows another thing…

    evidence of a collective jewish inability to comprehend the roots of much of the loathsome antisemitism that does exist (yes it exists), and an utter inability to address those roots of antisemitsm, and instead, a decision to take moves that grow them deeper.

    it’s a positive feed back loop now, and being a scientist, i know how those generally end. they sow the seeds of that which they fear most… but i suspect some jewish elites already know this, and use it as a controlled devolution, they can profit from (ideologically, and for some, in terms of power and money).

    as israel continues to loose all legitimacy, one thing can “reclaim” the entire “logic” of zionism, an ideology built upon dispossession and the self-serving justification for an ethnoreligious state…. actual antisemitism

    israeli elite, the ADL, even AIPAC…. without palpable antisemitism, they wither and loose their logic. … they will open the tap of antisemitism, in a little game for tribal cohesion and self-fulfilling prophecy.

  23. RoHa
    July 9, 2012, 8:10 pm

    “It creates a hostile environment for relationships within Jewish-Christian dialogue,”


    What is the point of such “dialogue”, anyway?

  24. thankgodimatheist
    July 9, 2012, 9:08 pm

    The anti-Semitic slander is a trick commonly used to silence:
    Amy Goodman interviews a former Israeli Government Minister, Shulamit Aloni, who admits during the course of her interview how the Jews in the Israeli Government very commonly deploy the defamation tactic of calling people “anti-Semitic” as a very effective means to silence them. Of course, this disgraceful, spineless tactic is used by many Zionist Jews world wide as they go about their Luciferian, Zionist business..

  25. DICKERSON3870
    July 9, 2012, 9:32 pm

    RE: “Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street said divestment would cause Christians to lose the ‘good will’ of many American Jews.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: And it is the continuing defense by many American “Jews” of Israel’s occupation and mistreatment of Palestinians that is causing those American “Jews” to lose the “good will” (hunting or not*) of more and more “Christians” (excepting the fundies, of course)!

    * Good Will Hunting (1997)

  26. Inanna
    July 9, 2012, 9:40 pm

    Same old propaganda technique. If you repeat it enough times, it must be true right?

  27. DICKERSON3870
    July 9, 2012, 9:42 pm

    RE: “Jewish theologian says Christian discourse on divesting from occupation contains ‘latent anti-Semitism’” ~ Weiss

    “Ilan Pappé: the boycott will work, an Israeli perspective” ~ Ceasefire Magazine, 6/16/12

    (continued) . . . After almost thirty years of activism and historical research, I became convinced that the balance of power in Palestine and Israel pre-empted any possibility for a transformation within Jewish Israeli society in the foreseeable future. Though rather late in the game, I came to realize that the problem was not a particular policy or a specific government, but one more deeply rooted in the ideological infrastructure informing Israeli decisions on Palestine and the Palestinians ever since 1948. I have described this ideology elsewhere as a hybrid between colonialism and romantic nationalism.[1]
    Today, Israel is a formidable settler-colonialist state, unwilling to transform or compromise, and eager to crush by whatever means necessary any resistance to its control and rule in historical Palestine. . .
    . . . Even before one begins to define more specifically what such outside pressure entails, it is essential not to confuse the means (pressure) with the objective (finding a formula for joint living). In other words, it is important to emphasize that pressure is meant to trigger meaningful negotiations, not take their place. So while I still believe that change from within is key to bringing about a lasting solution to the question of the refugees, the predicament of the Palestinian minority in Israel, and the future of Jerusalem, other steps must first be taken for this to be achieved.
    What kind a pressure is necessary? South Africa has provided the most illuminating and inspiring historical example
    for those leading this debate, while, on the ground, activists and NGOs under occupation have sought nonviolent means both to resist the occupation and to expand the forms of resistance beyond suicide bombing and the firing of Qassam missiles from Gaza. These two impulses produced the BDS campaign against Israel. It is not a coordinated campaign operated by some secret cabal. [Nor is it a “cult”. – J.L.D.] It began as a call from within the civil society under occupation , endorsed by other Palestinian groups, and translated into individual and collective actions worldwide. . .
    . . . there is really no other alternative. Any other option—from indifference, through soft criticism, and up to full endorsement of Israeli policy—is a wilful decision to be an accomplice to crimes against humanity. The closing of the public mind in Israel, the persistent hold of the settlers over Israeli society, the inbuilt racism within the Jewish population, the dehumanization of the Palestinians, and the vested interests of the army and industry in keeping the occupied territories—all of these mean that we are in for a very long period of callous and oppressive occupation. . .


  28. mijj
    July 10, 2012, 2:39 am

    all this “clever” use of the “anti-semitism” accusation to bludgeon minds away from uncomfortable truths will end up associating anti-semitism with having a conscience

  29. aiman
    July 10, 2012, 4:30 am

    Pity the pathetic, tribal theologians of today. The wool of their flock grows thick as they shove away other flocks that have the right to the grass just as well. Then these wolves (in shepherds’ clothing) like Langer accuse the other flocks of “encroachment” and “hatred”, of a desire to “starve” her own flock.

  30. piotr
    July 10, 2012, 5:24 am

    At least theologians are not supposed to be original. Originality all too often equals heresy. Rabbi Ruth at least avoided originality on this issue.

  31. July 10, 2012, 10:09 am

    Let’s be honest. – Ruth Langer’s fears are not unfounded. It may be even worse than what she says. The debate about Israel’s policies in the occupied territories may turn a ‘latent philo-Semite’ into a ‘latent anti-Semite’ and over time into a manisfest one.

    But Langer should address Israeli policies, not the Presbytarian Church to avert that.

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