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Anti-Semitism at Fordham?

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On October 13, 2014, an Israeli history professor at Fordham University, Doron Ben-Atar, went public with the claim that he had been the victim of “a politically-motivated witch hunt” after speaking up against the boycott of Israeli academic institutions voted in 2013 by the American Studies Association.  The boycott, he said, represented “anti-Semitic bigotry.” For months Fordham had been investigating him without specifying why.  It had tried to intimidate him with what turned out to be counter-charges of “religious discrimination.” What an irony, he concluded, that “fighting against the oldest hatred–anti-Semitism–makes one a pariah.”  He mentioned Kafka.

Any reference to anti-Semitism will get attention, and rightly so.  No one has forgotten the Holocaust, least of all we Jews.  The Kafkaesque story of a lonely individual persecuted by a faceless, secretive institution also had its own attractions, and this story was even spicier because the bureaucratic machinery Ben-Atar claimed was victimizing him had been put in place to protect victims of racial and sexual discrimination.   A flurry of angry articles followed in the New York press and online, most of them more or less accepting Ben-Atar’s travesty-of-justice account at face value.  One used the word “inquisition.”

If you peek beneath the surface, however, the story looks a bit different.

Like many other university presidents, the president of Fordham condemned the 2013 boycott resolution.  But Ben-Atar wanted more.  He began sending emails to the 50-odd faculty members of Fordham’s American Studies program demanding that the Fordham program withdraw from the national association in protest.  Ordinarily such a decision would be taken by the executive board, but in deference to Ben-Atar an extraordinary meeting was convened on February 24, 2014 to discuss his proposal.  Accounts of the meeting (whose minutes are available) describe it as scrupulously democratic, thoughtful, and even moving, with divergent views of the boycott expressed and all of them listened to respectfully.  At the end, there was neither consensus for or against the boycott nor a majority in favor of the proposed withdrawal from the national association.  Even those against the boycott were not in the main in favor of withdrawal.  It was at this point that Professor Ben-Atar vowed to continue fighting the program “in every way.”

Here we see an inaccuracy in Ben-Atar’s account, though perhaps only a minor one.  His article asserts that he was initially judged in possible violation of the university’s code of civility because he declared “I would quit the American Studies program should it not distance itself from anti-Semitism.”  In fact, the code in question forbids “engaging in, or inciting others to engage in, conduct which interferes or disrupts any University function.”  In other words, the violation that was investigated had to do with his threat to fight the program itself, not with his threat to quit.

This may seem too trivial a matter to justify disciplinary action.  (As it happens, Fordham decided in July that no disciplinary action was called for.)  The same might be said of his many unwanted emails, badgering colleagues to stand up for his position.   Who has not encountered a co-worker (often of a certain age) who has a weakness for the late-night digital rant?  If the bar for verbal harassment were placed so low, what office would escape unending litigation?

The real issue here is anti-Semitism: that is, accusing people of it.

It seems Kafkaesque to Ben-Atar that he should be a victim when all he has done is stand up for the victims.  But to call someone an anti-Semite is a very serious charge.  It is an accusation that can produce a great deal of personal unhappiness, destroying friendships and careers.   No one has the right to make such a charge lightly or irresponsibly.  Whether or not it counts as harassment in a court of law, anyone falsely accused of anti-Semitism has a non-negligible claim to have been victimized.  So there really is reason to ask: who is persecuting whom?

According to figures at Fordham who were closely involved, Ben-Atar circulated emails to faculty members he assumed to be Christians, suggesting that Jews were resigning in protest against anti-Semitism and that it would be bad if a split developed between Jews and non-Jews.  One of his colleagues, who preferred not to be named, was deeply offended by this sniffing into religious origins and explained: “I have never been asked to declare that I am not an anti-Semite.”

There is of course a difference between calling people anti-Semites to their face, on the one hand, and on the other following a line of argument that leaves them no alternative except to admit that, should they disagree, the only explanation for their disagreement would be that they are anti-Semites.  But the line is not nearly clear-cut enough. Especially not when mere insinuation will result in floods of extremely disturbing hate mail, as has happened here.

According to various sources, Ben-Atar’s emails freely suggested that anyone who did not object to the boycott and therefore call for Fordham’s withdrawal from the national association was participating in a long tradition of “Jew hatred.”  His argument left no other option.  The American Studies Association resolution is anti-Semitic, so if you do not agree to withdraw from the American Studies Association, you too are anti-Semitic.  No further evidence of your prejudice is required.  Anyone who isn’t with me on this is an anti-Semite.

In his article, Ben-Atar claims to possess professional competence on the issue of anti-Semitism.  It is true that he has published on the subject.  But the suggestion that any criticism of Israel can only be anti-Semitic casts some doubt on his scholarly acumen. And even if he had all the acumen in the world, he would not have the right to decide who is and who is not an anti-Semite.  We all remember the bad habits of the McCarthy period, when so many lost their jobs and even their liberty over sly and often baseless innuendoes.  Today jobs are again being lost to a sense of aggrievedness that is not always carefully inspected for its accuracy.

Consider the fate of Steven Salaita and the Reverend Bruce Shipman.  Their victimhood is not open to doubt.  Real victims like them suffer every time someone cries victim when nothing has been done to them.

The fear of even appearing to tolerate anti-Semitism is so great that institutions will not always stop and check to see whether the particular grievances have any justification whatsoever.  There are too many irresponsible charges of anti-Semitism out there, blackening the names of individuals and institutions as well as shutting down legitimate and much-needed debate about Israeli policies.

There has been no evidence of anti-Semitism at Fordham.  People should not have to walk the corridors of that distinguished institution in fear of being falsely accused.

 

Bruce Robbins

Bruce Robbins is Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University and director of the film "Some of My Best Friends Are Zionists." He is also author of "Perpetual War: Cosmopolitanism from the Viewpoint of Violence." http://www.scribd.com/doc/91523836/Perpetual-War-by-Bruce-Robbins

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121 Responses

  1. bilal a on January 7, 2015, 12:06 pm

    Anti-Semitism in Paris, that was quick:

    January 2, 2015 8:19am Israel: ‘Deep disappointment’ in France’s U.N. vote on Palestine, JTA

    January 7, 2015 8:45am At least 12 killed in attack on French satirical [Anti-Muslim ] magazine,JTA

    Tactics suggest overseas Jihadi training in Paris newspaper shooting
    From photos and videos of the attack it appears that the gunmen were trained, from the way they handled their weapons, moved and shot. This raises the possibility that they had received training in using light arms (perhaps at a jihadist camp overseas) or had fought with jihadists overseas….[Fluent French speakers ] One of the attackers was alleged to have shouted out, “You tell the media it was al Qaeda in Yemen” during the assault, Britain’s Channel 4 News reported., Stratfor
    http://www.kvue.com/story/news/world/stratfor/2015/01/07/tactics-suggest-overseas-jihadi-training-in-paris-newspaper-shooting/21388249/

    • annie on January 7, 2015, 2:12 pm

      bilal, i read about this horrendous attack in paris earlier today at reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/07/us-france-shooting-idUSKBN0KG0Y120150107

      but i’m missing the anti semitism angle, at least from their report (and your description also). what makes it an anti semitic attack?

      (Reuters) – Hooded gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a weekly satirical magazine known for lampooning Islam and other religions, shooting dead at least 12 people, including two police officers, in the worst militant attack on French soil in decades.

      it sounds like this was an attack on a publication because it was anti islam, not because it was jewish. in fact, there’s no mention of jews or jewish in the article. were the victims jewish and if they were, is there evidence they were gunned down because they were jewish? or were you being satirical? it’s not funny if that’s the case.

      • Empiricon on January 7, 2015, 3:44 pm

        Annie, that you would question bilal’s clearly misdirected accusation of anti-Semitism is unquestionable evidence of your own anti-Semitism (sarcasm, for those who don’t get it).

      • JennieS on January 7, 2015, 5:01 pm

        According to Ha’aretz one of the victims was Georges Wolinski a Tunisian born Jewish caricaturist. That one of 12 victims was Jewish does not make this an anti-semetic attack.

      • lonely rico on January 7, 2015, 8:03 pm

        > bilal a
        At least 12 killed in attack on French satirical [Anti-Muslim ] magazine

        >Annie
        it sounds like this was an attack on a publication because it was anti islam

        Annie and bilal a make it sound as if the journal was particularly anti-islam/anti-muslim

        The satirical weekly ‘Charlie Hebdo’ satirized humbug in all its guises, fearless in its denunciation of human folly. The mordantly funny lampoons of ALL RELIGIONS were fearless, and these artists/journalists were murdered because they dared mock imbecility.

        Perhaps Philip should mark this tragic assault on journalism and freedom of expression by calling Mondoweiss “Charlie Hebdo” for one day tomorrow?

      • annie on January 7, 2015, 8:27 pm

        Annie and bilal a make it sound as if the journal was particularly anti-islam/anti-muslim

        well, at least i’m relieved you didn’t accusing me of saying the journal was anti-islam/anti-muslim.

      • Walid on January 8, 2015, 2:45 am

        “Perhaps Philip should mark this tragic assault on journalism and freedom of expression by calling Mondoweiss “Charlie Hebdo” for one day tomorrow?”

        Coming from Phil, it could be misconstrued. There’s a limit to how far you can run with the freedom of expression ball. Mostly everybody enjoys parodying cultures and religions, but there’s a thin line that separates freedom of expressions from expressions in bad taste. Charlie Hebdo is not an NGO crusading for free speech but a profit-oriented weekly magazine making money out of mocking situations, people, religions and cultures and at times, it goes over the line that make people do crazy things like what happened at Charlie Hebdo. 10 years ago, what did the Danish cartoon of Muhammad accomplish in the way of free speech other than having caused the death of hundreds and why is mocking the prophet of over a billion Moslems accetable as free speech but the simple questioning the holocaust a crime?

        BTW, Charlie Hebdo(madaire) meaning Charlie Weekly is taken from the original French comic book concept of Charlie Brown that became the weekly satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo.

        Yesterday, the Financial Times editorial said that Charlie Hebdo had acted “stupid” in baiting the Moslems but after vivid reactions for freedom of expression from its readers, it backtracked by retracting this comment and tweeted that it was simply a comment by Tony Barber and not an editorial statement.

      • eljay on January 8, 2015, 8:41 am

        >> Walid: … why is mocking the prophet of over a billion Moslems accetable as free speech but the simple questioning the holocaust a crime?

        Discussion of the Holocaust should not be a crime. Mocking a “prophet” (or a “god” or a political leader or a movie star) should not be a crime. And neither the discussion nor the mockery should ever be accepted as justification for murder.

      • Walid on January 8, 2015, 11:51 am

        “And neither the discussion nor the mockery should ever be accepted as justification for murder. ”

        Eljay, we are in full agreement on that point, but I still believe that mockery of any religion should be measured to avoid hurting sensitivities and creating situations and likewise for discussions on the holocaust.Still, nothing justifies murder.

      • eljay on January 8, 2015, 12:27 pm

        >> Walid: Eljay, we are in full agreement on that point …

        Cool. :-)

        >> … but I still believe that mockery of any religion should be measured to avoid hurting sensitivities and creating situations and likewise for discussions on the holocaust.

        IMO, disrespectful discussion of an historical tragedy (Holocaust, Nakba, etc.) is far more disrespectful than mocking any religious (or other) belief. But I agree that incitement should be avoided as much as possible.

        >> Still, nothing justifies murder.

        Agreed.

    • marc b. on January 7, 2015, 4:34 pm

      bizarre stuff. Hollande says that the French thwarted several other recent terrorist plots. in any event, I didn’t see any evidence that ‘anti-Semitism’ motivated the attack. Which didn’t stop Roger Cohen, liberal humanist that he is, from screaming for blood in retaliation. he didn’t specify the who, what, when, or where of his threats, just that he’s shaking with rage, and that somebody should die (soon) to soothe him. (remind me, was he ‘shaking with rage’ upon the news of gasoline being force fed to a Palestinian teenager, who was then set alight? no. I don’t recall, but I assume that we were treated to the world weary, pensive roger cohen upon news of that atrocity.)

      Roger CohenVerified account
      ‏@NYTimesCohen I am shaking with rage at the attack on Charlie Hebdo. It’s an attack on the free world. The entire free world should respond, ruthlessly.

      yeah, so strap it on roger, or shut the f*ck up. I’d gladly shoot you out of a cannon pointed in the direction of Yemen. (someone else wrote it earlier, but please do us a favor and stop posting articles from the NYT as if its output was any more enlightening than any other rag.)

      • Walid on January 8, 2015, 7:17 am

        “Hollande says that the French thwarted several other recent terrorist plots. ”

        He’s late. France failed to react after the Merah Toulouse killing and to the Brussels museum shooting by a Syria veteran. France was more preoccupied in finding economic favour with Qatar and Saudia by going after Gadaffi and then after Assad. France is reaping what ithas sown with BHL and his gang of French and Israeli Zionists. Obama has started walking away from wanting to unseat Assad but Hollande and Fabius (part of the gang) still have the bit in their teeth in going after him. Hollande succeeded in getting rich economic deals out of Qatar and Saudia but also got something else. If elections were to be held tomorrow, Marine Le Pen would be in control of France. The Charlie shooters sure did her a big favour.

      • slandau on January 8, 2015, 1:28 pm

        Walid, have you considered that we don’t really know who is behind the Charlie Hebdo incident? Has anyone else been noticing a great deal of “terrorism” in countries that recently voted against Israel in the UNSC, or who voted to recognize Palestine? Menacing periscopes from nuclear armed subs popping up off the coasts of Sweden and Scotland and other head-scratchers. I predict we will next see a big event in Luxembourg. “Preposterous!” I can hear you saying; but now that we understand who we are dealing with, the methods that they use and their nauseating ability to justify their crimes and deceptions by telling themselves that all Jews would be put to death otherwise, we must re-evaluate our ability to really know with any certainty what is a real event and what has been staged to mis-direct or distract. Nowadays, anyone with Netflix can watch The Honourable Woman, and the veil begins to lift. Now we know what they are capable of, and we can only speculate about various unsolved mysteries.

      • marc b. on January 8, 2015, 5:47 pm

        I first thought of Merah, too, walid. funny that in both cases the suspects should have been under constant surveillance, given merah’s international travel to various hot spots, his alleged involvement in the earlier shooting of French soldiers, and all that the brothers Kouachi had been up to. as for Madame Le Pen, I don’t know who benefits most from this, but it sure ain’t Muslims. (what with the Total CEO biting it on the tarmac in Russia, and Hollande’s recent pleading for compromise with the Russians, it smells like the Great Gamesters trying to pull France back in line. it’s like herding cats with these Europeans lately!)

      • marc b. on January 8, 2015, 5:57 pm

        oh, and another thing. when the press allows itself to be weaponized, it’s should not come as a surprise that they are casualties. and western and western-supported governments directly or through complicity silence unfavorable press routinely, often through violence. Where are the “Yo soy *fill in the dead Mexican journalist here* T-shirts?

        as I intimated above, if Roger Cohen pleads for the violent deaths of whomever, how is he is journalist? how is the NYT a neutral press outlet when it routinely peddles patently false ‘news’, a significant part of the war effort?

  2. just on January 7, 2015, 1:06 pm

    Tremendous article, Bruce. Thank you for exposing Doron Ben-Atar and his terrible crusade. I was not aware of any of this.

    “Consider the fate of Steven Salaita and the Reverend Bruce Shipman. Their victimhood is not open to doubt. Real victims like them suffer every time someone cries victim when nothing has been done to them.

    The fear of even appearing to tolerate anti-Semitism is so great that institutions will not always stop and check to see whether the particular grievances have any justification whatsoever. There are too many irresponsible charges of anti-Semitism out there, blackening the names of individuals and institutions as well as shutting down legitimate and much-needed debate about Israeli policies.”

    You, of course, hit the nail on the head. I would think that Ben- Atar should face some sort of consequences for what he has done.

  3. eljay on January 7, 2015, 1:25 pm

    >> And even if he had all the acumen in the world, he would not have the right to decide who is and who is not an anti-Semite.

    Of course not – that’s hophmi’s job! ;-)

    • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 6:44 pm

      “Of course not – that’s hophmi’s job! ;-)”

      Accuse everyone, and let God sort them out!

  4. pabelmont on January 7, 2015, 1:36 pm

    “But to call someone an anti-Semite is a very serious charge. It is an accusation that can produce a great deal of personal unhappiness, destroying friendships and careers. No one has the right to make such a charge lightly or irresponsibly.”

    Exactly. And so we learn, and should teach, that there is a world of difference between saying that “I feel that I am being the victim of antisemitism” (an “I feel” message) and saying “I am the victim of the antisemitism of X” (an accusation against X). It is easy to sympathize with someone who feels bad, even if inexplicably, but also easy to feel angry about someone who accuses people inexplicably.

    • Stephen Shenfield on January 7, 2015, 2:34 pm

      Anger, fear, joy, anxiety etc. — those are feelings. But “being a victim of antisemitism” is not a feeling (though no doubt it is accompanied by feelings): it is a perception. Feelings are subjective, but perceptions are beliefs about reality and are open to criticism as such. “I feel that I am being a victim of antisemitism” confuses the two concepts; the sentence should start “I think” or “I believe.”

  5. annie on January 7, 2015, 2:18 pm

    fantastic article bruce, thank you.

  6. JeffB on January 7, 2015, 2:18 pm

    Wow what a shock! You encourage ethnic tension via. the ASA and now you have it at Fordham. What is someone supposed to say other than you are getting the inevitable consequences of your actions.

    I lived in LA for years where a black kid eating at a taco stand in a hispanic neighborhood had a good chance of being divested of his life. A hispanic kid going into a black neighborhood to get his car fixed was likely to face broad based sanctions. And this is of course assuming the various vendors wouldn’t just boycott them. Then around 2008 after 20 years the kids decided to pursue a course of normalization and ethnic tension is down about 70-80% depending on how you want to count.

    You are academics not street kids so you are just going to call each other names and damage one another’s careers not shoot each other but the effects of denormalization are the same. This is ethnic tension. You wanted it. You worked to create it. You got it.

    • justicewillprevail on January 7, 2015, 3:03 pm

      Jeff, what a pathetic tissue of vague, unfounded innuendo, ridiculous assertions, meaningless comparisons, all ending in a smear – you want ethnic tension. Really, it would be laughable if it wasn’t so desperate. Considering Zionism is founded and perpetrated by erecting ethnic differences and separate rights, creating and enforcing them where none exist, you are just exposing your lurid ravings to ridicule. You try to pull the same trick as Atar, forcing people into your artificial schemes and categories and them berating them for it. And as for knowledge of Black kids – don’t make yourself look even more stupid.

      • JeffB on January 7, 2015, 9:27 pm

        @justice
        If “rights” are created and enforced of course they exist. That’s the definition of existence. I think you may want to check the rest of your raving yourself which is nothing more than a bunch of name calling.

      • annie on January 7, 2015, 11:33 pm

        If “rights” are created and enforced of course they exist.

        so nazis can create a “right” to genocide you and enforce it means the right to kill jews exists? and therefore…what? something smells fishy about that concept. you may want to check the rest of your raving which is nothing more than ….

      • justicewillprevail on January 8, 2015, 3:24 pm

        C’mon, Jeff. You launch a completely ridiculous rant against Mondoweiss with the most hysterical claims, for which there is no evidence whatsoever, and then whine about ‘name calling’. There is no argument in your wild-eyed denunciation, and it comes complete with an absurd comparison, the truth of which no-one is party to, except you. Besides it is spectacularly irrelevant. False, misleading analogies don’t make any kind of case for whatever you imagine you are making. As for your encomium on rights, it is another incoherent and unfounded claim, and would seem to imply the worst kind of despotism, domination and control. Not that I expect anything better. It sums up the zionist approach. You are out on a limb with some frankly preposterous, asinine statements – so you shouldn’t be surprised to be met with some derision. It is the only appropriate response.

      • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 4:55 pm

        “justicewillprevail”, if I may I, however timidly, speak up for JeffyB, (I’d like to say a word in his behalf…)

        JeffyB does us a big favor. JeffyB shows , in great detail, the depth of Zionist ideas, the omniscience Zionism bestows on one, and gives us a pretty good idea of how vigorously he, or others, have challenged those ideas.
        And I ask you, have you seen anybody at steeping Zionism in wing-nuts and concocting a brew fit for a Zionist Tea Party?

      • justicewillprevail on January 9, 2015, 8:22 am

        Mooser, you are making me feel sorry for old Jeff. Trapped in a flat earth ideology, where might is right, where he is never wrong, and where violent conflict and appropriation is just a minor detail in the glorious rise of the Nation, it is almost tragic. Almost, I said. Still, I expect he will be able to write a lengthy piece on how the hobbits’ story proves every one of his points, and there will be no arguing with that.

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 3:53 pm

        “and where violent conflict and appropriation is just a minor detail in the glorious rise of the Nation,”

        Well, you see “justicewillprevail”, why consider “violent conflict and appropriation” anything but “a minor detail in the glorious rise of the Nation”, if there’s no possibility you can lose? After all, if things ever get tough, we can overwhelm our enemies with human wave attacks.
        You’ve got to use the resources you’ve got, if you want to make an “entity” (don’t ask me, JeffyB’s word) out of the Jews well, a rigid political and religious discipline, and ways of enforcing it, along with an unblemished martial history of unity, and infinite population resources are what we’ve got!

        I mean, can you blame JeffyB? It’s sort of like blaming a tiger for eating a wildebeest. After all, what do we Jews know of losing, or of being on the short end of things. This just isn’t, to judge by JeffyB, and so many of the others, something we know about, certainly nothing that should ever be accounted for in our plans or opinions. Every perspective is the same when you’re at the top of the heap, and always have been.

    • just on January 7, 2015, 3:13 pm

      Silly comment.

      “ethnic tension”, my foot.

      “WHAT IS BDS?
      In 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. A truly global movement against Israeli Apartheid is rapidly emerging in response to this call.”

      – See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/#sthash.R6WZdYLs.dpuf

      • just on January 7, 2015, 6:21 pm

        Another thing about ‘ethnic tension’: heaps of people of all ethnicities are on board with BDS~ including Jewish and Israeli ‘types’.

        You appear paranoid and ill- informed, JeffB.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 6:48 pm

        “You appear paranoid and ill- informed, JeffB.”

        Shhh! Omniscience, omnipotence, and moral certainty combined with shit that smells like attar-of-roses doesn’t often appear among ordinary mortals! Be quiet, and know that you are being offered a glimpse of a superior being. And if you don’t believe me, JeffyB will tell you so himself!

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 6:54 pm

        “just” unfortunately, very few people besides me (and I believe, a Moderator) saw JeffyB’s poignant post about his own little civil rights problem a few weeks ago. That fellow has been through the programs.

    • on January 7, 2015, 3:15 pm

      Nice thinking. The ethnic tension is not caused by the creation of a Jewish state and dispossession of the indigenous peoples, but rather by people opposing this.

      Pure effin genius. Like the folks who call you a race baiter if you happen to notice that none of the principal owners in the NBA or the NFL are black except for one while most of the players are. The systemic racism is not the problem; noticing it and commenting on it is.

      • JeffB on January 7, 2015, 3:49 pm

        @Giles

        Last I checked Fordham is not in the middle east, the ASA isn’t opposing anything it is just name calling. Moreover even if they were, they aren’t opposing the creation of a Jewish state that happened late 19th century to 1949. You can’t oppose things that already happened. Now what you might mean is seeking the elimination of the Jewish state and yeah that causes ethnic tension. The same way the buildup to the American war against Japan caused ethnic tension against American’s who were Japanese.

        But that’s not really what this is about. And you know it. This is about finding an issue so divisive that it genuinely inflames people and then hitting that issue with a stick over and over and over till you get a reaction. Bruce Robbins himself has a nice documentary he made about this very issue.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 6:50 pm

        “This is about finding an issue so divisive that it genuinely inflames people and then hitting that issue with a stick over and over and over till you get a reaction”

        Sort of like if an organized and armed group of people sort of moved in, started killing people and driving them from their homes, and then amazingly, claiming it is their homeland!
        That kind of divisive issue, JeffyB?

      • amigo on January 8, 2015, 9:16 am

        “You can’t oppose things that already happened.” jeffb

        That has to stand as the most ludicrous claim this side of the big bang.

        Using your “Logic ” jeff , and I use the term very loosely , you do not oppose the Holocaust.

        Seriously jeff, are you home alone???.

      • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 10:59 am

        “You can’t oppose things that already happened.” jeffb

        “amigo” most Zionists are devoted Panglossians these days. Everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

    • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 7:00 pm

      “the effects of denormalization are the same.”

      “Denormalization”? What on earth is that? “Denormalization”? I thought it was another guy, “ivri” who was so concerned with being “normalized”

      So now I have my explanation for racial tension in LA, it’s the “denormalization” between Hispanic and black kids.

    • straightline on January 7, 2015, 7:16 pm

      Are you suggesting. JeffB, that Israel should stop “mowing the lawn”? That seems to be the logical consequence of your example. If so, I am in agreement.

      • JeffB on January 7, 2015, 9:43 pm

        @straightline

        Are you suggesting. JeffB, that Israel should stop “mowing the lawn”? That seems to be the logical consequence of your example.

        Well actually the logical consequence of my example would be that when Israel “mows the lawn” they are exacerbating ethnic tension and thus can’t complain about the increase they created. And yes I’d agree with that. Israeli attacks help to create and enhance Palestinian hatred.

        Now as to whether it was worth it or not, I don’t know. I don’t think Israel was actually “mowing the lawn” during Operation Protective Edge. They were doing too much property damage and didn’t seem to be killing the right people. So I’m assuming they are lying about what they were doing. The locations of the property damage were too specific for their public aims and their actual choice of targets to match. So given I’m not clear what the objective was on pushing the Gazans back that far was, so I can’t really evaluate whether it was a good idea or not worth the costs or not. We’ll probably know in a few years when there are more leaks about the actual objectives and what was actually achieved so for now I don’t know.

        But on the simpler question of does killing large numbers of people in Gaza make the Gazans dislike Israel more, well yeah. That’s the consequence of their actions. The Israelis should own that consequence.

      • straightline on January 7, 2015, 11:49 pm

        @JeffB

        I’m with you Philemon!

      • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 5:01 pm

        “Now as to whether it was worth it or not, I don’t know.”

        So of course, you don’t rule out that it was indeed a fit and proper thing to do, and will redound to Israel’s credit in the long run? Certainly you are not going to exclude that eminent, oh-so-likely possibility, are you, JeffyB?

        Oh and that’s the other thing I like about JeffyB (I was defending him upthread):
        Every word of JeffyB’s, every sentiment, every opinion, bespeaks a man who really knows, either through his experience, or through the power of his imagination and mind (because either or both can work to make a person more compassionate) suffering and discrimination. Every sentence tells us just how much.

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 4:23 pm

        ” The locations of the property damage were too specific for their public aims and their actual choice of targets to match. So given I’m not clear what the objective was on pushing the Gazans back that far was, so I can’t really evaluate whether it was a good idea or not worth the costs or not. We’ll probably know in a few years when there are more leaks about the actual objectives and what was actually achieved so for now I don’t know.”

        Of course! The IDF had secret information that every one of those houses, apartment buildings, hospitals, orphanages, and UN compounds his a vast network of underground factories and launch sites! But if they show us the evidence everybody will know how they found out! So they can’t.
        But we’ll find out later, Israel saved the entire world by bombing those places. That’s tikkum ollam my friend.

    • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 7:16 pm

      “You encourage ethnic tension via. the ASA…”

      Oh, JeffyB, it’s the ASA which is “encouraging ethnic tension”? Was it the ASA who “circulated emails to faculty members he assumed to be Christians, suggesting that Jews were resigning in protest against anti-Semitism and that it would be a bad if a split developed between Jews and non-Jew “ No, that was Doron Ben-Atar.

      What you are saying, JeffyB, is that anyone who won’t give in to ethnic bullying is themselves a racist. That’s not how it works, JeffyB

      “This is ethnic tension. You wanted it. You worked to create it. You got it.”

      I presume you are addressing the ASA with that, JeffyB?

    • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 6:01 pm

      ” but the effects of denormalization are the same. This is ethnic tension. You wanted it. You worked to create it. You got it.”

      Get it, people? The ‘normalized’ situation is what we want, see? Anybody does any “denormalising” around here, well, that “ethnic tension You wanted it. You worked to create it. You got it”, see?
      So just do like JeffyB tell you, or he’ll send the ‘trouble boys’ you know the ones, in the caftans-and-fedoras, to straighten your ass out.

  7. American on January 7, 2015, 3:34 pm

    ”But to call someone an anti-Semite is a very serious charge”

    Only for those in certain professions.
    To anyone who has been around the Isr issue for any length of time all it rates is a big yawn these days.
    I recently read here about some Jewish outfit in France selling anti semite ‘patches’ and pills and it gave me a great idea . I could make a deck of 56 wallet size cards with a anti gentile, anti christian, anti arab quote from various public Zios figures and Rabbis and sell them to Gentiles, Christians, and Arabs as antidotes to hand out to any anti semite accusers they might come across .
    When I have some time I will work on it.

  8. Empiricon on January 7, 2015, 3:48 pm

    Great article, but “the suggestion that any criticism of Israel can only be anti-Semitic” casts more than “some doubt on his scholarly acumen.” At least on this topic, it totally exposes his lack of academic, intellectual rigor and objectivity. Asking him about anti-Semitism is like asking David Duke about affirmative action.

  9. JLewisDickerson on January 7, 2015, 4:18 pm

    THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: Would Doron Ben-Atar’s conduct violate Chancellor
    Phyllis M. Wise’s civility standard for the University of Illinois, thereby disqualifying him from employment at her institution?

    “What we cannot and will not tolerate at the University of Illinois are personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them.” ~ Phyllis M. Wise, Chancellor

    SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/salaitas-illinois-declarations

    • JeffB on January 7, 2015, 5:24 pm

      Yes it would have. “Coleman determined that in declaring I would quit the American Studies program should it not distance itself from anti-Semitism, I violated the university’s code of civility”. Which is what happened he was charged with threatening the functioning of the university, “religious discrimination” an act of incivility and after several meeting for clarification he was cleared of the charge. Charged, tried and exonerated.

      Likely only exonerated because he didn’t continue to escalate the threats. Employers have an obligation to investigate threats made against other employees in the workplace.

    • JLewisDickerson on January 7, 2015, 6:08 pm

      TWO NICE FORIEGN FILMS THAT WILL BE DELETED FROM NETFLIX STREAMING ON 1-11-15:

      Parque Via 2008 NR 1hr 26m (Mexico)
      Serving as caretaker for an estate, elderly misanthrope Beto has little human contact. But when the house is sold, he’s forced back into the world.
      http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70249903

      Shanghai Dreams (Qing Hong) 2005 NR 2hr 1m (China)
      In the 1980s, encouraged by the government, a large number of families leave Chinese cities to settle in the poorer regions of the country, in order to develop local industry. The film’s main character is a 19 years old girl who lives in the Guizhou province, where her parents have settled. That’s where she has grown up, where her friends are and where she first experiences love. But her father believes that their future lies in Shanghai. How can they all keep on living together when they don’t share the same dreams ?
      http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70249908

  10. Nevada Ned on January 7, 2015, 4:29 pm

    Anyone looking for examples of bogus accusations of Anti-Semitism should start with the first three chapters of Norman Finkelstein’s 2005 book, Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History.

  11. MHughes976 on January 7, 2015, 6:13 pm

    Much depends, as ever, on what you mean by ‘anti-Semitism’. I am pretty sure that that Professors Ben-Atar and Robbins do not mean the same by the word – and they’re talking past each other until their uses of the word are clearly stated.
    I accept that some people define ‘anti-Semite’ in such a way that it applies to all who consider Zionism to be a mistaken moral belief, including me. There’s nothing I can do about that, since people can use words as they wish. I could, if I wanted tit for tat, define some word commonly taken to be insulting so that it applies to them.

  12. RoHa on January 7, 2015, 7:41 pm

    I’m pretty sure this whole article and most, if not all, of the comments are anti-Semitic.

    And if they aren’t, they are self-hating.

  13. piotr on January 7, 2015, 8:19 pm

    There is a widespread confusion between two phenomena: anti-Semitism and New anti-Semitism. Criticism of Israel is in most cases an instance of New anti-Semitism. To say that in can lead to the repetition of Holocaust is like claiming that a whiff of alcohol from someone else’s mouth can lead you to crash your car few days later and inflict carnage on a school bus stop.

    There is an entire science of defining and detecting New anti-Semitism (“or a whiff of something darker”) which should be cheerfully disregarded. This whole issue is pouring new wine in old bottles.

    • JeffB on January 7, 2015, 8:31 pm

      @piotr

      It doesn’t lead to the Holocaust because Jews migrate easily and quickly away in the post Israel age. Israel solved the problem of anti-Semitism, so that now while it may be annoying it no longer becomes genocidal. Situations like the Arab world, Iran, South Africa or Venezuela where there is an explosion of “anti-Zionism” just drive their indigenous Jewish population away.

      Now that there is a Jewish army no more major pogroms and no more gas chambers. Zionism delivered on its promise of liberation of servitude and harassment being the lot of Jewish life.

      • Philemon on January 7, 2015, 9:46 pm

        “Now that there is a Jewish army…”

        Oh, make him stop. He’s making me laugh so hard it hurts!

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 11:09 pm

        “Situations like the Arab world, Iran, South Africa or Venezuela where there is an explosion of “anti-Zionism” just drive their indigenous Jewish population away.”

        Ah, JeffyB, you are a prize!

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 11:24 pm

        “Zionism delivered on its promise of liberation of servitude and harassment being the lot of Jewish life.”

        That’s right with Zionism, a Jewish man can breath free, knowing he’s on illegally occupied land! The insecurity of knowing that Israel hasn’t managed to annex one single piece of land outside the ’48 declaration lines don’t matter to the settlers, they know tribal unity won’t let them down.

      • piotr on January 8, 2015, 4:55 pm

        mooser may laugh, but indigenous Jewish folks in upper Orinoco basin (Venezuela) are seriously considering living the country http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/1230323.jpg Criticism of Israel and support of Iran are their main issues.

      • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 5:13 pm

        “mooser may laugh, but indigenous Jewish folks in upper Orinoco basin are seriously considering living the country”

        piotr, I am by way of being 50 years a tropical-fish fancier (is it not, after all, the age of aquariums?) so I know something about the upper Orinoco basin, and if those indigenous Jewish folks can make it there, they can make it anywhere. And do it their way.

      • piotr on January 8, 2015, 5:18 pm

        JeffB: @piotr [New anti-semitism] It doesn’t lead to the Holocaust because Jews migrate easily and quickly away in the post Israel age.

        At least we agree that criticism of Israel, even if it forms “singling out” (no other country being condemned for a massive program of settlements in territories it occupies and Apartheid policies), does not harbinger any individual danger. “Rooting out” that criticism, as Prof. Ben-Atar wishes to do, entails substantial curtailment of freedom (e.g. academic freedom), so in the absence of dire need, it is a bad idea.

        Various people and organization are seemingly obsessed with criticizing certain countries, like Iran, Russia, Venezuela,and there is no need to label them with some horrific anti-ism label and subject to firings, cut-offs of research funds etc. Same goes for Israel.

      • eljay on January 8, 2015, 5:30 pm

        >> JeffBeee: Israel solved the problem of anti-Semitism …

        Except that it didn’t: Anti-Semitism still exists. (As does, say, anti-gay sentiment, but for some reason Zio-supremacist Jews are the only ones whining that they deserve a country.)

        >> Zionism delivered on its promise of liberation of servitude and harassment being the lot of Jewish life.

        Not much use to Jews whose lot does not include servitude and harassment. And not much use to Jews (in Israel and elsewhere) whose lot still includes servitude and harassment.

      • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 5:46 pm

        ” while it may be annoying it no longer becomes genocidal.”

        I hate it when that happens. There one is (and I include myself, yes, absolutely) going along, thinking one is merely annoying, and before you know it, you’re genocidal.
        Just remember, a soft answer waxeth Roth.

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 7:12 pm

        “It doesn’t lead to the Holocaust because Jews migrate easily and quickly away in the post Israel age.”

        I mean after all, it isn’t like there’s an Internet and your accounts can be frozen by the government. Nor is the a HSA, which can put Jews on a no-fly list. No, it should be simple for every Jew in America to convert all his assets to cash in the twinkling of an eye, put the cash in his money belt, and put himself and the family into a cab for the airport, where they can charter a private Cessna for the flight to Israel.

    • Sibiriak on January 8, 2015, 7:28 pm

      piotr: “There is a widespread confusion between two phenomena: anti-Semitism and New anti-Semitism.”

      Anti-Islamism is the new anti-Semitism.

  14. Alison Glick on January 7, 2015, 9:16 pm

    Shouldn’t the title be “There is No Anti-Semitism at Fordham”? Why the choice of the existing title? Does it not give the uninitiated and the lazy who won’t read all the way through the impression that there is, in fact, anti-semitism there?

  15. Mooser on January 7, 2015, 11:31 pm

    “the impression that there is, in fact, anti-semitism there?”

    “According to figures at Fordham who were closely involved, Ben-Atar circulated emails to faculty members he assumed to be Christians, suggesting that Jews were resigning in protest against anti-Semitism and that it would be bad if a split developed between Jews and non-Jews.”

    So as you see, there may be some.

  16. Pixel on January 8, 2015, 12:22 am

    This is REALLY interesting.

    Thanks, Bruce!

  17. JeffB on January 8, 2015, 12:45 am

    @Annie

    so nazis can create a “right” to genocide you and enforce it means the right to kill jews exists? and therefore…what?

    The therefore what was that 6 of the 11 million Jews they were aiming to kill died. The only reason the other 5m didn’t die is because the Nazis no longer had the power to enforce. The power structure changed.

    There is no God Annie. There is no ultimate anything. There is just us and what choices we make.

    • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 5:24 pm

      “There is no God Annie. There is no ultimate anything.”

      No God? No B-b-bible? No Ten Commandments-and-another-613-besides? No “Thus saith the…”? No land deal between God and the Jews giving us Israel? No ‘begats’? The Song of Solomon was written in the Brill Building?
      And let me get this straight, JeffyB: Are you saying God is not helping us to regain our God-give homeland?
      It’s all just a tawdry matter of stolen land, a fraud on Jews, and murdered Palestinians, and corrupt politicians, just the way it looks? Not one bit of God to make it Holy?

      This is really shocking, I thought every Zionist was on a mission-from-God, like the Blues Brothers.

      But Gee, if JeffyB tells me there ain’t no God in Zionism, why are so many prominent Jewish religious figures telling me there is, and on our side, too? Hmmmm, I wonder what the answer might be?

    • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 5:30 pm

      “The power structure changed.”

      You mean they lost WW2? So your idea of a functioning government comparable to Israel is an extreme Fascist government, with an internal program of genocide, and fighting on several fronts against all of its neighbors and in other places.
      Got it, JeffyB. Well, you know what they say, “Where there is no vision, the people become perishers”

    • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 5:36 pm

      “There is just us and what choices we make.”

      And you, JeffyB, have made a choice to be one of the world’s winners, and not a loser, and there’s no reason why you should any concern for those who won’t make the same choices! And certainly no reason to coddle those bad-choice makers!

      EDIT: Sorry, Wait a minute Jeff, I always pop off to soon. I think I’ve got it now: No God, choices, winners and losers, yup, you’re getting ready to throw the settlers under the bus!

    • eljay on January 8, 2015, 5:46 pm

      >> JeffBeee: There is no God Annie. There is no ultimate anything. There is just us and what choices we make.

      The problem with this world is that people like JeffBeee choose injustice and immorality over justice, accountability and equality.

      • JeffB on January 9, 2015, 8:16 am

        @Eljay

        The problem with this world is that people like JeffBeee choose injustice and immorality over justice, accountability and equality

        No I don’t. I choose actual justice and equality over imaginary non-implementable justice and equality. I understand that justice and equality require more than just stupid bumper sticker slogans. One of the core ideas of justice is that a moral principle that applies to some should apply to all.

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 10:37 am

        “And if they aren’t, they are self-hating.”

        eljay, do you really think “JeffyB” made a choice, or is what he is inevitable, considering what was done to him as a child?

      • eljay on January 9, 2015, 11:06 am

        >> Mooser: eljay, do you really think “JeffyB” made a choice, or is what he is inevitable, considering what was done to him as a child?

        I’d give him the benefit of the doubt if it weren’t so clear that he knows full well he’s being hateful and immoral and he just doesn’t give a sh*t.

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 3:59 pm

        “I’d give him the benefit of the doubt if it weren’t so clear that he knows full well he’s being hateful and immoral and he just doesn’t give a sh*t.”

        I’m sorry, but I can’t quite concur, JeffyB being a favorite of mine (I sort of feel like I ‘discovered’ him here, drew him out, encouraged him to express himself) I can’t help but feel that if JeffyB though he was being “hateful and immoral” he would make efforts to hide it.

        Besides, who knows what was done to him as a child? I certainly don’t.

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 6:58 pm

        “There is no God Annie. There is no ultimate anything. There is just us and what choices we make.”

        That’s on this thread. We go to another thread, and JeffyB is patiently explaining how wanting to reform the Israeli government means you can be stoned to death, cause that’s what they do for adultery in the Tanakh and wanting to change the Israeli government is the same thing.
        So all of a sudden, the word o’ G-d got awfully important for JeffyB.

        Watch out for this one “Jon s”. I don’t think he’s frum! This in-and-out running on God’s turf will not go unnoticed!

      • eljay on January 9, 2015, 10:13 pm

        >> JeffB: No I don’t. I choose actual justice and equality over imaginary non-implementable justice and equality.

        No, you don’t. You support Jewish supremacism in a supremacist Jewish state, which involves neither justice nor equality nor accountability.

        >> One of the core ideas of justice is that a moral principle that applies to some should apply to all.

        Right. Justice says that the moral principle “No person shall violate another person’s body” applies to all people. I advocate for upholding justice and holding people accountable, while you argue that because murderers exist, it’s okay to rape.

        But that’s no surprise, since you’re the same guy who stated that morality = goal + methods.

      • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 11:06 am

        “But that’s no surprise, since you’re the same guy who stated that morality = goal + methods.”

        Yup, like I always say, you can tell that JeffyB is a man who understands suffering and discrimination, way down in his heart. After all, look what JeffyB says, as a Zionist, and look at the conclusions Martin Luther King Jr. came to about discrimination against African-Americans in the US of A. Why, Good ol’ Dr. King came to the exact same conclusions (morality = goal + methods). as JeffyB!

        Go down, Jeffy!
        Way down, in Egypt land!
        And tell old Pharoah,
        Let my People Go!

      • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 6:34 pm

        “One of the core ideas of justice is that a moral principle that applies to some should apply to all.”

        And if you read JeffyB, you’ll see his idea of an equitable just solution, to anything having to do with justice and rights follows that principle. If some people who don’t have rights get some rights, people who already have rights should get more rights! It’s only fair!
        Why should they get something, and we get nothing, especially when it’s only cause of us they have any rights to begin with! Huh? Huh?

        His every utterance adheres strictly to this lofty principle.

      • pjdude on January 11, 2015, 1:02 am

        @ jeffb

        how is supporting crimes and attacking the innocent while demanding they be stripped of their rights this” I choose actual justice and equality over imaginary non-implementable justice and equality. I understand that justice and equality require more than just stupid bumper sticker slogans. One of the core ideas of justice is that a moral principle that applies to some should apply to all. ” no jeff you don’t two wicks about justice and equality. its amazing your idea of justice and equality means you and yours get to get away with 60= years of crimes. thats not justice or equality. that’s being a bigoted entitled thug.

        so if the palestinians get the power to kick your illegal immigrant but out they can because that’s the “moral” principle your defending

      • Mooser on January 11, 2015, 4:38 pm

        “so if the palestinians get the power to kick your illegal immigrant but out they can because that’s the “moral” principle your defending”

        Yeah, “eljay” like that is ever going to happen? C’mon, “eljay”, my friend, tell me, when in the 3000+ years of Jewish history has there ever been a plan which, depending on Jewish nationalism, the Jewish birthrate, and Jewish martial qualities, not to mention intra-Jewish administrative efficiency and problem-solving, all insured by “tribal unity” which has ever failed?

        Why plan to lose, when all you know, and all you are ever likely to know, is victory, on a “Jewish” basis? JeffyB is just being “realistic”.

  18. JeffB on January 8, 2015, 9:20 am

    @amigo

    That has to stand as the most ludicrous claim this side of the big bang.
    Using your “Logic ” jeff , and I use the term very loosely , you do not oppose the Holocaust.

    http://www.fallacyfiles.org/equivoqu.html

  19. John Salisbury on January 8, 2015, 6:29 pm

    Methinks it’s anti-Palestinism that Ben-Atar should be worried about these days.

  20. JeffB on January 8, 2015, 7:12 pm

    @piotr

    At least we agree that criticism of Israel, even if it forms “singling out” (no other country being condemned for a massive program of settlements in territories it occupies and Apartheid policies), does not harbinger any individual danger. “Rooting out” that criticism, as Prof. Ben-Atar wishes to do, entails substantial curtailment of freedom (e.g. academic freedom), so in the absence of dire need, it is a bad idea.

    I don’t know if we are agreeing. Maybe we are. Certainly Jews can be hysterics and I don’t know the details but it sounds like Ben-Atar lost his cool with respect to his collogues.

    I also don’t think that anti-Zionism will be successful in the United States. Israel / Jews polls 50% ahead of the Palestinians and with a population that has a pretty good (if possibly somewhat biased) view of what’s going on. That disclaimer in place I do think anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. My wife didn’t get to go to the college program she wanted to like a real Russian would have because of official “anti-Zionism”.

    IMHO “Zionist” among the hard left is just a word for Jew (or Israeli) that fulfills the same function as “towel head”, “nigger”, “spic”, “wop”… It is a hate word designed to dehumanize. Certainly its a weird choice because of course the vast majority of Jews would freely use the word towards themselves. But I tend to think the difference between Jews using the word “zionist” and the way the left does is analogous to how rap musicians use the word nigger and how KKKers use it.

    So is it dangerous yet: no.
    Is it sometimes unpleasant and threatening: yes
    Is it likely to ever be dangerous in the USA: no
    Is it individually dangerous in Europe, middle east, … : absolutely
    Is the intent to make it individually dangerous in the USA: not yet

    Various people and organization are seemingly obsessed with criticizing certain countries, like Iran, Russia, Venezuela,

    Who for Venezuela or Russia? I’ve never seen that. I certainly have seen it with Africa, and those people generally really don’t like blacks very much.

    • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 10:42 am

      Always a pleasure to see you here, “JeffyB”> All of us, without exception (I think I can say this and be fair) all of us admire a man who has thought things through, and has decided to be the best person he can be, in spite of all he has suffered.

      You’re an inspiration, JeffyB. But I wish you would talk to “Jon s” about that “no God” thing. “Jon s” is counting heavily on His help for Israel, and I don’t want him to be disappointed.

    • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 4:07 pm

      “IMHO “Zionist” among the hard left is just a word for Jew (or Israeli) that fulfills the same function as “towel head”, “nigger”, “spic”, “wop”… It is a hate word designed to dehumanize.”
      “JeffyB” and who else? He’s always brewing up something.

      Okay, “JeffyB”, fair enough. I’ve always been a PC kind of guy, I like to call people, refer to people, in the terms they would want to be called, or referred to, in. In fact, I’m almost obsessive about it.

      So tell me, what do ‘they’ (I don’t want to say the pejorative, hateful “Z” word) call themselves? So the next time somebody says to me “I support Israel in all it’s horrific works and plans!” I can say: “And that makes you a ‘_ _ _ _ _ _ _’ right?” with confidence and I won’t be degrading them with that awful “Z” word.

      And please, tell me how you refer to each other? I wouldn’t want to call you anything hateful!
      Look, I really want to get this right. I’ve even heard Herzl referred to as a “Zionist”! (sorry, JeffyB) What should I call him?

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 4:28 pm

        Yup, I see it coming, one day soon the folks in Israel will stop calling themselves Jews, or Zionists, and just call themselves “Israelis”. That way, if any accounting is ever demanded or (ptoo,ptoo,ptoo,) reparations or adjustments are ever discussed, they can say “Twasn’t us. That was the Zionists, and the Jews, but now there’s no one here except us Israelis!”

        Oh well, at least JeffyB is always a mensch.

      • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 11:10 am

        JeffyB, I’m stuck, here! Please, what shall I call them if “Zionist” is a pejorative just like “kike”?
        I can’t call people bad names! What shall I call them. You might ask Louise Mensch. She thinks she knows.

    • eljay on January 11, 2015, 8:58 am

      >> JeffBeee: IMHO “Zionist” among the hard left is just a word for Jew (or Israeli) that fulfills the same function as “towel head”, “nigger”, “spic”, “wop”… It is a hate word designed to dehumanize.

      I’m sure the rapist sees “rapist” as a hate word for “intense, quiet and socially-awkward man”, a word meant to dehumanize someone who merely wants to self-determine himself in the women chained in his basement.

      You suggest that “Zionist” (which also applies to non-Jews, but you conveniently omit that part) is a hate word because you want to be viewed as a victim, not as as the victimizer – or supporter of victimization – that you and people like you are.

  21. Vera Gottlieb on January 9, 2015, 9:52 am

    Now I am confused…depending on what I say, I have the freedom to say it or I must shut up. Freedom of speech means exactly what and for whom?

  22. JeffB on January 10, 2015, 7:34 am

    @Eljay

    No, you don’t. You support Jewish supremacism in a supremacist Jewish state, which involves neither justice nor equality nor accountability.

    You can repeat “supremacism” all you want until you are blue in the face but that doesn’t change the reality. When the Francs formed the state of France by dispossessing the visigoths you are perfectly OK with it. You don’t call it a supremacist French state and argue for its destruction. When Jews do the same thing you object. Ergo your problem is with Jews not “supremacism”.

    I remember a clearer example when you said that no other country had any sort of ethnic criteria like the law or return. And that was the big issue that justified your desire for Israel. I then turned around and gave you a whole list of countries with similar laws and suddenly return laws didn’t matter.

    You want to argue that people should be citizens where they are born. That’s an equal criteria. But then the “refugees” you harp on about should be citizens of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq… not Israel. You want the “refugees” to be permanently tied to Palestine then you are accepting a racial understanding of land ownership in which case Jews have the better claim.

    Dude your problem is with Jews not Israel. Or your problem is that you want to be a far-leftist and don’t care how illogical, irrational and contradictory their claims are.

    • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 11:14 am

      “When the Francs formed the state of France by dispossessing the visigoths you are perfectly OK with it.”

      Ah, so that’s what the French Revolution was about! Well, I guess a Visgoth club or sword is no match for the Guillotine, and the Rights of Man.

      Oh JeffyB, you are a prize. So. Cal’s best.

    • eljay on January 10, 2015, 11:28 am

      >> JeffBeee: You can repeat “supremacism” all you want until you are blue in the face but that doesn’t change the reality.

      Supremacist is the reality.

      >> When the Francs formed the state of France by dispossessing the visigoths you are perfectly OK with it.

      The Francs did this in the mid-20th Century and in spite of the international laws that arose in the aftermath of WWII? I’ll be damned…

      >> You want to argue that people should be citizens where they are born. That’s an equal criteria. But then the “refugees” you harp on about should be citizens of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq… not Israel. You want the “refugees” to be permanently tied to Palestine then you are accepting a racial understanding of land ownership in which case Jews have the better claim.

      If the non-Jewish or Jewish refugees were born in the geographic region comprising Partition-borders Israel (hereafter, Israel), they have a RoR to their homes and lands in Israel.

      If the non-Jewish or Jewish refugees were not born in Israel, they should be entitled to the same “up to n generations removed” preferential immigration. Ditto if the non-Jewish or Jewish refugees born in Israel accepted another country’s citizenship.

      This represents equality, very different from your supremacist ideal of offering to all Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews a special right of “return” to Israel while denying refugees from Israel the right to return to their homes and lands.

      >> Dude your problem is with Jews not Israel.

      I have no problem with Phil Weiss, talknic, Mooser, Shmuel and other people who are Jewish. My problem is with supremacists – people like you.

    • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 6:26 pm

      “Dude your problem is with Jews not Israel.”

      Yup, a Zionist always blames the Jews first. Rather than criticize Israel, JeffyB thinks “eljay” should go beat up on a Jew.

      Yup, as soon as you criticize Israel, a Zionist will blame the Jews. It never fails.

    • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 7:35 pm

      ” You want the “refugees” (Palestinians dispossessed by Zionism) to be permanently tied to Palestine then you are accepting a racial understanding of land ownership in which case Jews have the better claim.” Jeffy B

      “a racial understanding of land ownership in which case Jews have the better claim”

      And what’s more, since JeffyB is an atheist (“Annie, there is no God”) he can make this claim without any reference to Bible, Torah, whatever, completely on a secular basis! Hell, it’sgenetic claim! Right, JeffyB?
      See, they took DNA from lots of Jews, and they compared it to the DNA of Palestinians, the indigenous people, and they were the same and that proves it! Well, it proves something….

      • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 7:41 pm

        Oh, now I see, by supporting the rights of dispossessed Palestinians, I am the real racist! Of course!
        But since Jeffy B isn’t a racist, he’s got a racist defense (“a racial understanding of land ownership in which case Jews have the better claim.”) at the ready. What a guy. Wait a minute, isn’t there a name for people who think Jews are a race?

    • pjdude on January 11, 2015, 1:11 am

      the Israeli law of return is unique. every other such law requires to show proff that you trace you ancestry to said state. i could convert to judiasm today and be able to to move to israel under the law of the return. so yes there is no other law like the law of return in israel. i’m sorry but the refugees are tied to palestine. i know you feel you should be able to run out the clock on their rights but you can’t. since your terrorist country illegally refused them back the right remains invested.

      • JeffB on January 11, 2015, 10:13 am

        @pjdude

        The Romans and then the Byzantine … didn’t let us back in and hence same argument applies.

        every other such law requires to show proff that you trace you ancestry to said state. i could convert to judiasm today and be able to to move to israel under the law of the return

        And I could swear allegiance to Canada and move there. The right to swear allegiance is acknowledged by far more states (almost all of them) than even the 18 or so that have ancestral rights.

      • Mooser on January 11, 2015, 12:25 pm

        ” i could convert to judiasm today and be able to to move to israel under the law of the return.”

        You could be useful to Israel, and you could do the same thing. No conversion necessary.

      • pjdude on January 11, 2015, 10:47 pm

        @jeffb. that’s just false. the byzantium never barred jews from returning. and of course the roman’s didn’t, no state will allow rebellion foster. and mentioning rome when it was a period of less than 100 years is really just trying to to pad your dishonest argument. so again jews weren’t barred from returning. they could have returned at any point. they chose not to. no matter how many times you lie, this fact remains.

        actually its over 30 countries that have some sort of returning laws. and only Israel’s allows people whose families never lived into the territory their under the law. so once again the Israel law of coming to a place your family never was is unique.

  23. Mooser on January 10, 2015, 11:18 am

    “When Jews do the same thing you object.”

    Okay, JeffyB, you win. Everybody will stop all objections to the Jewish State as soon as you tell us where it is!

    Could it be (I know, I know ridiculous) that the problem isn’t that Israel calls itself “Jewish”, maybe, just maybe the problem is that the “Israelis” won’t stay inside of it?
    Could it be that the real problem is that Israel has been operating and seizing territory outside the declared state of Israel, and you just want to blame it on Jews, or Judaism or something. Hell, let Judaism take the rap!

    Certainly, JeffyB, as an avowed atheist, you have no objection to blaming Zionism’s actions on Judaism? If there is no God, you can’t offend Him, right?

    • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 1:11 pm

      Look, JeffyB, aren’t you one of the people who is always telling us how the Muslims are all fighting each other, those awful Muslims? Okay, so let’s pretend that every goddam Zionist was a Muslim, but “Musreal” did all the same things Zionist Israel did? Ethnic cleansing, not staying inside their borders, colonizing land that isn’t there’s, fighting with the neighbors and saying ‘Allah says so’?
      Gee, in that case, do you think everybody would have gotten along?

  24. piotr on January 11, 2015, 2:04 am

    JeffB: IMHO “Zionist” among the hard left is just a word for Jew (or Israeli) that fulfills the same function as “towel head”, “nigger”, “spic”, “wop”… It is a hate word designed to dehumanize.

    This is a typical mythologizing statement. It starts with a mental construct “hard left” which is conveniently unexplained. Who comprises “hard left”? Fordham faculty and/or administration? How many of them have Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao on their bookshelf (or in memory chips of their tablets)?

    Clearly, “hard left” is used in the same way as “towel head”, “nigger”, “spic” and “wop”, except for an amazing fluidity of the assignation. The standard Zionist usage is that if you criticize Zionism, you are some kind of Left, usually “radical” or “extreme”, but “hard” can do in a pinch. This claim is based on opinion columns and comments in JPost and similar venues, but also comments like JeffB. On a good day, card-carrying British Tories can be dragooned into the ranks of “radical/extreme/hard Left”.

    Next, what does it mean “dehumanize”? Take an actual leftist publication, Counterpunch. Show a critique of Zionism that is different in tenor from assorted critiques there. That critique covers the globe quite evenly, and however grumpy, it stems from a certain philosophy and a striving to apply it consistently. If there is any “dehumaning”, please cite. I am quite familiar with the practice, long time ago and far away (but this is exactly where I hail from) of using “Zionist” (and “philo-Zionism”) as a convenient label used in repressions. But we are not talking about Soviet block in 1965-1980 but about North America a generation later. Contrary to Zeno of Elea, the distinction of time and space do matter,

    Except in the realm of mythos, where the first cardinal axiom is “there are all the same”.

    • Mooser on January 11, 2015, 12:27 pm

      “But we are not talking about Soviet block in 1965-1980”

      Still, the important thing is that JeffyB’s bride arrived safely, unfolded, unspindled, and all there.

    • Mooser on January 12, 2015, 2:00 pm

      “This is a typical mythologizing statement.”

      He heard Louise Mensch say it, so JeffyB figured it must be right.

  25. JeffB on January 11, 2015, 6:55 pm

    @pjdude

    so if the palestinians get the power to kick your illegal immigrant but out they can because that’s the “moral” principle your defending

    Israelis understand Israel is the last hope. There is no out. They lose they die.

    • pjdude on January 11, 2015, 10:49 pm

      really cause jews out side of Israel seem to being doing just fibe. Israel isn’t a last hope just the first in desire to steal from other for a want

      • JeffB on January 12, 2015, 3:44 am

        @pjdude

        Really? They are doing fine. Compare Jews as a percentage of the population in most countries in the world. Do a mean or median. Then even look at absolute numbers they have crashed almost everywhere, America, Australia, Canada are the few exceptions.

        Exclude the United States and Israel and you are down to a million. France is successfully being ethnically cleansed by the muslim minority, and South Africa’s destruction of its Jewish population continues this decade as it did in the last. Places like Venezuela and Iran were the big outflows last decade. The diaspora is not doing fine. Judaism in the diaspora is dying rapidly.

        Diaspora Judaism was terminally wounded in the holocaust. It survives in any meaningful sense only in its progeny Zionism.

      • pjdude on January 12, 2015, 8:59 pm

        @ jeff

        Yes there doing fine. well of course their leaving most places your government pays them to move into palestinian homes if they immigrate. but in general the Diaspora is doing fine. the Diaspora has been doing just fine. its population is stable. if the Diaspora wasn’t doing fine it would comprise of of a little less than 2/3 thirds of the worlds jewish population. which is a higher percentage than after WW2

    • Mooser on January 12, 2015, 10:57 am

      “Israelis understand Israel is the last hope. There is no out. They lose they die.”

      Yes, that is the position the Zionist leaders, out of tribal unity, no doubt, have put them in. Why, did you think they deserve anything better, JeffyB. I don’t think you do. But that’s your problem.

    • American on January 12, 2015, 12:11 pm

      JeffB
      January 11, 2015, 6:55 pm

      Israelis understand Israel is the last hope. There is no out. They lose they die.>>>>>>

      Bon voyage little Pavlovian doggies..lol

      Ring a ding ding—–Netanyahu to US—-“Help! more money, more weapons, Israeli Jews under constant attack and terrorism threats!”

      Ring a ding ding—- Netanyahu to Jews—“Come to Israel its the only place Jews are safe”

  26. JeffB on January 11, 2015, 7:11 pm

    @piotr

    This is a typical mythologizing statement. It starts with a mental construct “hard left” which is conveniently unexplained. Who comprises “hard left”?

    In the USA at least. We have pretty good classification of
    socially liberal vs. socially conservative
    economically liberal vs. economically conservative
    and foreign policy liberal vs. foreign policy conservative.

    “Liberals” are the 16-19% of the population that is socially liberal plus economically liberal or moderate. Among that group about a 1/8-1/5th hold large numbers of views which essentially no moderates hold. That’s the hard left.

    Fordham faculty and/or administration?

    Humanities and social sciences faculty tend to be disproportionately represented among the hard left.

    Take an actual leftist publication, Counterpunch.

    Counterpunch by USA standards is hard left. Nancy Pelosi is about the extreme of leftist in the normal sense.

    If there is any “dehumaning”, please cite.

    In Counterpunch. I’d say most of their opponents on almost all issues are dehumanized. They live in a world of manichean demons subverting the good to achieve all sorts of nefarious ends. The rhetoric is constantly overblown. I’d say 80% of any articles grabbed at random.

    Take for example today’s lead editorial http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/09/maximum-horror/

    The circumstances that attract young men and women to these groups are creations of the Western world that they inhabit : Fundamentalist Islam predates the West. It thrives in areas like rural western China where there is no meaningful western influence. Places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia are notable for their lack of western influence.

    Charlie Hebdo represented their persecutors. Clearly identifying liberalism with persecution and a persecution which was nebulous.

    French secularism today seems to encompass anything as long as it’s not Islamic Clearly inaccurate.

    (the occupation of Iraq was used deliberately to trigger the Sunni-Shia wars that helped give birth to the Islamic State Thousands of Americans died trying to prevent the Sunni-Shia wars. The idea this was deliberate is simply a lie. Foreseeable absolutely, but deliberate?

    Etc… I could pick a few more from this article and the same from others. Counterpunch is exactly what I’m talking about. And when it is applied to Jews it is pure anti-Jewish hate speech. I do agree with you that Counterpunch et al hates all sorts of people so they don’t uniquely hate Jews / Zionism.

    But we are not talking about Soviet block in 1965-1980 but about North America a generation later

    What in the BDS movement is different from the: Zionism is racism / imperialism… rhetoric of the Soviet block?

  27. Whizdom on January 11, 2015, 11:06 pm

    Maybe JeffB hit on the solution to this whole mess. All the Palestinian refugees need to do is to get adopted by a Jewish person, then, under the law of return, they could get immediate Israeli citizenship. Or claim a Jewish grandparent. Any DNA test would show the required haplotype. Simple solution.
    Then they vote in the wonderful liberal democracy that is Israel.

    • JeffB on January 12, 2015, 11:14 am

      @Whizdom

      They wouldn’t even need to get adopted. Just wanting to be part of Israeli fully would be enough. Convert and they are welcome.

      Or claim a Jewish grandparent. Any DNA test

      There is no DNA test. The standard is a rabbi though they’ll take things like a copy of your parent’s Ketubah.

  28. JeffB on January 12, 2015, 3:30 am

    @pjdude

    that’s just false. the byzantium never barred jews from returning. and of course the roman’s didn’t,

    Of course they did. The penalty for Jews (or anyone circumcised) entering Aelia Capitolina (Roman Jerusalem) was death. Jews who returned often converted to Christianity during the Roman period. As for Byzantium the reason why the local Jews sided with the Persians was precisely because they were banned from entering the city except on the Av 9 as per Aelia Capitolina laws. Though there was a Jewish presence in the city ban or not.

    and mentioning rome when it was a period of less than 100 years is really just trying to to pad your dishonest argument.

    The Roman period lasted for several hundred years. Typical dating is 63-324. More importantly it was the society directly after the Jews. The Romans had the same relationship with Jews that the current Israelis do with Palestinians.

    so again jews weren’t barred from returning. they could have returned at any point. they chose not to. no matter how many times you lie, this fact remains.

    It is not fact. You are making it up. The history on this point is pretty well known, though rather clearly not to you.

    actually its over 30 countries that have some sort of returning laws. and only Israel’s allows people whose families never lived into the territory their under the law. so once again the Israel law of coming to a place your family never was is unique.

    Israeli’s assertion is that all Jewish families originated in Judaea if you go back 60-70 generations. Which is exactly like the laws that exist. Irish Americans can move to Ireland even if they themselves never lived there because their ancestors did, Judean Americans (Jews) can move back to Judaea (Israel)…

    • pjdude on January 12, 2015, 9:11 pm

      if your asserations were so proven you would have provided credible proff which you want because you have none.

      rome’s rule lasted several hundred years though 63 was the start of the hasmodean dynasty in a jewish puppet state. but jews were only expelled after the bar khova(sp?) revolt in the mid 200’s so the roman period of time frame your referring was around a hundred years.

      yes it is a fact. that your only believe zionist lies doesn’t change historical fact jeff. that your ignorant doesn’t mean i am making things up. there was no banning of jews from returning for 2000 years. that is a lie plain and simple.

      Israel’s asseration is a load of crap. it is not exactly like the other laws. all other laws require an actual physical connecton. Israel doesn’t it requires a purely religious one. yes but unlike the jew we know someone of Irish decent has a physical connection to Ireland because it was immpossible to be Irish without gaining that link. it is entirely possible for someone with zero physical connection to palestine to aquire Israel citizenship merely by converting to judaism. a creek or innuit could convert and be invited in. are you seriously going to say would have that physical connection. all other return laws are about ingathering the Israeli law of return is entirely about increasing their demographic presence.

  29. piotr on January 12, 2015, 4:02 am

    Good examples. Jeff.

    “Counterpunch by USA standards is hard left. Nancy Pelosi is about the extreme of leftist in the normal sense. ”

    OK, Counterpunch is self-proclaimed leftist publication, and without going into merits of their social analysis etc. they do not represent bulk of liberal public, like most of professors, administrators etc. But if Pelosi is “about the extreme of leftist in the normal sense”, who is “moderate left”? Rick Santorum? Basically, a right winger cannot write “left” without adding a disparaging adjective. It is a free country, so right wingers are entitled to their own dialect — standard English is but a hegemonic construct, right? But given those habits, the weepy complaints about “dehumanizing” are just empty blather.

    Onward to “dehumanizing”. Tariq Ali describes the context of Islamic radicalization within Western societies. Yes, Chinese Muslim radicals are products of Chinese society, but French Muslim radicals were not born of Muslim radical parents, but in cases we have read they started as conventional Western misfits, and misfits are prone to radicalization and various “self-destructive” behaviors. What prompts young people to join Jihad rather than to run meth labs, do random shooting in schools or shopping malls or some other acts that we find mundane and non-terrifying? I trust Tariq Ali more than Jeff in that respect.

    Perhaps every society bestows rewards and punishments, accolades and humiliations, so some people are bound to land on the bottom of the heap. Both top and bottom get ideas how to behave from popular culture, and Charlie Hebdo was very active in that respect, encouraging the top to loathe the Muslim and the Muslim, to feel aggravated. You do not have to be Muslim to find this Hebdo cover sick and violently pornographic. http://all-that-is-interesting.com/controversial-charlie-hebdo-covers/controversial-charlie-hebdo-women

    Tariq: (the occupation of Iraq was used deliberately to trigger the Sunni-Shia wars that helped give birth to the Islamic State) Jeff: Thousands of Americans died trying to prevent the Sunni-Shia wars. The idea this was deliberate is simply a lie

    While some American were dying, other were arming both sides. You can take the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that are in public knowledge and compose “moron” or “malevolent”. However, the issue at hand is the coalition of Gulf Arabs, Turkey and Western government (including Israel) to support “international jihadism” in Syria which became the venue where Western misfits can learn how to shoot, use explosives and other useful jihadi skills. This is an extremely sordid affair and the blowback is not only lamentable but also predictable.

    In any case, I do not see acerbic commentary to be “dehumanizing”, and I do not see Nancy Pelosi doing even that.

    • JeffB on January 12, 2015, 4:56 am

      @piotr

      Moderate left would be people from about Barack Obama to Andrew Cuomo. Essentially solid Democrats that are not solid liberals nor Blue Dogs. As far as the right inventing this language, this isn’t the right. This comes from the mapping the American population’s preferences. You start with the USA population, interview them to determine what decides their votes, then survey that population on those variety of issues. From there you look for issue clusters i.e. issues that tend to correlate (or anti-correlate) strongly and drop down to a small number of representative issues. From there you find that you can cluster the population into natural groups.

      You don’t start with “do they agree with me” but rather do a classification in a scientific manner. That’s a political typology. And in the political typology for the USA counterpunch doesn’t register, they don’t represent any voting group of any size. Which is not to say there aren’t some people who agree with them, but they aren’t enough that in any geography they can hold office / directly influence policy (i.e ignore activism because of course activists come from either extreme).

      ____

      I agree with your description of Muslim radicals in the west. However if that’s the case I’m unclear how the west is the crucial ingredient.
      For example if in France:
      .01% of French Catholics become islamic radicals
      2% of French Muslims become islamic radicals

      There is something other than living in the west at work here. There is something present in the Muslim experience not present in the Catholic experience. How is that a product of the west? Even if you were to say it applies to lower class or racial, you’d find similar numbers for different races who are Catholic….

      Charlie Hebdo was very active in that respect, encouraging the top to loathe the Muslim and the Muslim, to feel aggravated.

      I’m not sure. I suspect that what the Muslims mostly felt was humiliated and self loathing not aggravated. Which is why there was the reaction. Because it was effective in changing belief. I think this website is a great example of the same process applied 200 years earlier to Jews. The JVP people are basically arguing that Jews are not entitled to the same rights as other people, they should not have self determination and once again become a living breathing nation, that Jews should not behave like other nations. The argument is that they should forever walk through the world as the ghost from a Roman empire culture. The level of brain washing required for a people to act against their own interests to this extent is amazing. Creating that sort of moral sickness in the French Muslim population, that exists (though thankfully less and less and Jews are returning to life) in the Jewish diaspora population was what Charlie was aiming to accomplish.

      While some American were dying, other were arming both sides.

      When the Sunni Shia conflict started in Iraq we (the USA and UK) wasn’t arming either side. The Sunnis had arms and the Iranians and Syrians were pumping arms to the Shia. We weren’t arming both sides. His claim was pretty clear that we created this deliberately. The arming came later and I think you agree we tried to prevent it.

      I do not see acerbic commentary to be “dehumanizing”

      There we disagree. I think you were absolutely right in your assessment that Charlie was, “encouraging the top to loathe the Muslim” and I think Tariq Ali was encouraging his readers to loath the US government / Americans dehumanizing them in this editorial. And when it is applied to Israel / Jews I think the intent is the same.

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