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My invitation to speak at Hebrew Union College

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I am back from a panel discussion at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati titled Outspoken: Conscience and Responsibility. Dean Jonathan Cohen had invited me to participate in the discussion following the controversy surrounding my letter of August 26 in the New York Times, and I was most grateful to be among a distinguished group of guests that included Susannah Heschel, professor of Jewish studies at Dartmouth College; President Santa Ono of the University of Cincinnati; President Eli Capilouto of the University of Kentucky, and the President of Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Aaron Panken. The two other clergy taking part in the event were Rabbi Irvin Wise of Cincinnati, whose niece – Rabbi Alissa Wise – is active in Jewish Voice for Peace in the Bay area, and Fr. Eugene Contadino, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church in Cincinnati.

In preparation for the event, which took place on January 26, I purchased a book edited by Dr. Heschel that consisted of essays by her father, the great Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Rabbi Heschel was enabled to leave his native Poland just six weeks before the German invasion in 1939 through the efforts of Julian Morgenstern, president of Hebrew Union College, and in 1940 he began teaching at the campus in Cincinnati, the “mother house” of Reform Judaism in the United States.

“Outspoken: Conscience and Responsibility”: the written invitation from Dean Cohen to me promised that the theme of the gathering would address the use and misuse of Holocaust-related terminology in political discourse on university campuses in the United States at this time. He wrote, “The purpose of our event will be to recognize the deterioration of the academic environment as a locus of civic conversation and to foster safe, responsible and constructive discussion about current issues.”

During the interval between my acceptance of this invitation of November 25 and the actual event on January 26, there was clearly a good deal of “push back” brought to bear on the Dean, most likely from alumni and benefactors of the college. The format that evolved by the 26th was a panel discussion in which the academics answered questions during the first session, the clergy the second session. The Holocaust was scarcely mentioned in the questions addressed to either group of panelists, nor was there mention of ways in which the Holocaust is misused today to inhibit criticism of Israel over its Occupation/Annexation of the West Bank and its policies in Gaza. The presidents acknowledged a fine line between free speech and hate speech and the reality that there are always economic pressures brought to bear regarding unpopular topics. The civil rights movement was often invoked during the course of the program, and the recent troubles in Ferguson and New York City. I was moved to remark that Abraham Heschel had walked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. on the second Selma march, and that if both men were to visit the Occupied Territories at this time they would have a lot to say that would make us uncomfortable, and they would not be silenced.

Reading the course of studies offered in preparation for the Rabbinate at HUC-JIR, I was impressed that a year in Israel at the Jerusalem campus is mandatory. I asked if this year includes time in the Occupied Territories and opportunities to engage with Palestinian leaders and members of the Palestinian Authority. A number of my Jewish friends travel often to Israel, but few have been to the Occupied Territories, and I believe that no one can understand the tragedy of the present situation without seeing and engaging the Palestinian population, Moslem and Christian, who live under military rule in intolerable conditions. The Dean and a student replied that HUC-JIR do visit the West Bank and do engage with Palestinians, many of whom are brought to the (West) Jerusalem campus.

When the Dean invited questions from the floor, a lady from Georgia expressed her disappointment that the issues detailed in my invitation of November were glaringly absent from the discussion. “It’s the elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge,” someone said, and there was audible assent from the audience. Regarding the Georgia lady, the truth is that the program avoided the issues surrounding my letter to The New York Times. When I was introduced there was no mention of the letter whatever, and I had to raise the subject by asking rhetorically “what am I doing here?  Why was I invited to this gathering?”  There was no background offered apart from my education and the fact that I had spent most of my ministry as a parish priest.  Israel/Palestine and the Occupation was the “elephant in the room” that was gingerly avoided.

There was a change in tone for the remainder of the afternoon, and I reminded everyone of the daring vision of former Speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg, who dreams of open borders and an Israel that seeks not an upper hand but an open hand in dealing with its neighbors.

Apart from my gratitude for the hospitality of the Dean and the college, my greatest joy was discovering the work of Abraham Heschel in the collection of essays Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity. Of Christians and Jews he wrote, “Over and above mutual respect we must acknowledge indebtedness to one another. It is our duty to remember that it was the Church that brought the knowledge of the God of Abraham to the Gentiles. It was the Church that that made Hebrew Scripture available to mankind. Is it not our duty to help one another in trying to overcome hardness of heart, in cultivating a sense of wonder and mystery, in unlocking doors to holiness in time, in opening minds to the challenge of the Hebrew Bible, in seeking to respond to the prophets?”

( For those unacquainted with my letter of August 26 to the New York Times that eventually cost me my job as Episcopal Chaplain at Yale:

“To the Editor:

Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.
The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.
As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.”)


Bruce Shipman

Bruce M. Shipman is Vicar Emeritus at the Church of the Holy Advent in Clinton, Connecticut. He is the former Episcopal chaplain at Yale University

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41 Responses

  1. pabelmont on February 19, 2015, 12:37 pm

    The new monied-interference, here, didn’t cancel the event but seems to have changed its subject (and the ensuing discussion). The elephant in the room was some squeezed into the closet where it was not remarked upon.

    • just on February 19, 2015, 1:29 pm

      Agreed, pabelmont. What a shame. No discussion of “Outspoken: Conscience and Responsibility” allowed. It seems that the Holocaust is truly something ‘holy’ for many Jewish people~ not even to be discussed by or with the gentile.

      I am happy to ‘hear’ from you again, Bruce Shipman. All the best to you. Your letter was spot- on when you wrote it, and remains all too true today.

      “I was impressed that a year in Israel at the Jerusalem campus is mandatory. I asked if this year includes time in the Occupied Territories and opportunities to engage with Palestinian leaders and members of the Palestinian Authority……The Dean and a student replied that HUC-JIR do visit the West Bank and do engage with Palestinians, many of whom are brought to the (West) Jerusalem campus.”

      That’s hardly the same as spending time in the OPT! And what about Gaza??? How about the refugee camps? feh. I’m sure that the Palestinians that were “brought” to the campus were ‘properly’ vetted, and given the GoI stamp of approval.

      wrt ‘the elephant in the room’, I am reminded of this:

      I hope that things will change~ soon.

      • oldgeezer on February 19, 2015, 2:51 pm

        I don’t believe it’s the holocaust that is holy but rather it’s Israel.

        If the holocaust was holy and off limits some way it wouldn’t be trotted out constantly in order to defend a state.

  2. philweiss on February 19, 2015, 1:51 pm

    I am deeply impressed by Rev. Shipman’s strength. Despite all the pain that this ordeal has obviously caused him, and the loss, he reaffirms the simple wisdom of his letter here. And he speaks forthrightly about Palestinian conditions in the O.T. at a forum in a Jewish space. That’s great strength of character. And this is the sort of person Yale can’t have on board? Sheesh

    • W.Jones on February 19, 2015, 3:18 pm

      I know. He didn’t say “Jews are wealthy” or some other generalization. His position was that if the Israeli state abuses people, then it risks backfiring and creating unnecessary prejudice, which he opposes. Isn’t that like saying that if Russia or Poland persecuted their own national or religious minorities, then some people could, incorrectly, become anti-Russian or anti-Polish?

      If that were true and Rev. Shipman were right, then it would imply that those policies that those governments support lead to or increase counterproductive prejudice. In return, those policies’ supporters could counterargue that the prejudice resulting from it was an unfortunate side effect of “good”policies. This to some extent would undermine the purpose of those policies, which is to provide security. The other counterargument they could make is that the martial policies are not really harmful to those they are directed against. But that is an even harder argument to make. The “problem” was that Shipman was getting into two very sensitive topics- Israeli policies and anti-semitism, and implied a very forceful argument against the former’s policies without approving of prejudice.

    • weiss on February 20, 2015, 2:00 am

      Yale…The home of the Skull & Bones…go figure…

      Hats off to Reverend Shipman. we need more courageous people like him.

      Which is something THIS JEW could be proud of…

      Go figure…

    • Boomer on February 20, 2015, 6:22 am

      “I am deeply impressed by Rev. Shipman’s strength.” I too am impressed by Rev. Shipman, and ashamed of the U.S. It isn’t only Yale that suppresses truth. NPR and NYT and all the rest, elected officials, chattering heads on TV, et al. Only at a few places like this site are certain truths reported and discussed. Thanks, Phil, for that.

  3. annie on February 19, 2015, 2:38 pm

    Thank you so much Rev. Shipman, for honoring us with this article about your evening. how very interesting and strange the subject matter the evening was designed to explore was seemingly avoided at all cost.

    and your letter, the concise brevity as well as the truth of it i have admired since i first read it. indeed it’s not difficult to comprehend why your letter went unmentioned in your introduction. lest people discuss it and discover, tho perhaps difficult to listen, how one might reasonably expect the outcome it portends.

    again, it’s truly an honor to read your writing here.

  4. Krauss on February 19, 2015, 2:49 pm

    I associate myself with previous statements that praise the inner strength and courage that you have. To be a person of conscience is not just to think deeply and seriously about the world but to engage and in turn stand up to the inevitable backlash that will ensue.

    Rev. Shipman, you have stood this test as admirably as one can hope for.

  5. Harry on February 19, 2015, 4:38 pm

    That Bruce Shipman was invited to speak at this event is acknowledgment that he said the right thing, and did the right thing.

    For all the schoolmarm unctuousness that is served up on the importance of civil public discourse, Rev. Shipman was fired from his position at Yale University for a letter in the New York Times that was, if nothing else, entirely civil. The insistence on civility is, in large part, an attempt to muzzle or neuter political content. His dismissal makes that repression evident.

    In a striking case of non campus mentis, Yale University has forgotten what its president, Kingman Brewster, said at his inaugural in 1964:

    “Universities should be safe havens, where ruthless examination of realities will not be distorted by the aim to please, or inhibited by the risk of displeasure.”

  6. DaBakr on February 19, 2015, 9:11 pm

    I submit the good pastor has no friggin idea what the hon. MLK and/or rabbi Heshel would say today if they visited Israel and or the territory. T
    There is no basis upon whi h to speculate through which prism either of these two would have viewed the context of the i/p conflict. Its all nice and fine to self righteously assume someone would take the same position as oneself, but again, it’s an unknown and equally as cynical as the accusation shipman makes about misuse of holocaust for political gain. All we know for sure is MLK equated Zionism WITH the civil rights movement in a positive way

    • Marnie on February 20, 2015, 4:58 am

      That’s your opinion. I have a very strong opinion from reading a few of Heschel’s books – To Grow in Wisdom and God in Search of Man, and Dr. King’s many speeches, most notably in Washington. My feeling is that were Abraham Joshual Heschel and Martin Luther King visiting the west bank or Gaza, they would surely be in jail, if not for their own acts of civil disobedience, but to sit with Palestinians in support of theirs. Dr. King would have written “Letters from an Israeli Jail”, and Heschel would be writing “Race and Religion” with a minor change in the last line of the first paragraph (to read in its entirety – it is a beautiful work –

      “The outcome of that summit meeting has not come to an end. Pharaoh is not ready to capitulate. The exodus began, but is far from having been completed. In fact, it was easier for the children of Israel to cross the Red Sea than for a Palestinian to cross through a checkpoint into to go to work.

      Let us dodge no issues. Let us yield no inch to bigotry, let us make no compromise with callousness.

      In the words of William Lloyd Garrison, “I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject [slavery] I do not wish to think, to speak, or to write with moderation. I am in earnest–I will not equivocate -I will not excuse–I will not retreat a single inch–and I will be heard.”

    • eljay on February 20, 2015, 7:59 am

      || DaBakreee: … the accusation shipman makes about misuse of holocaust for political gain. ||

      The accusation is valid: The Holocaust has been and continues to be misused and abused by Zio-supremacists for their supremacist “Jewish State” cause.

      || All we know for sure is MLK equated Zionism WITH the civil rights movement in a positive way ||

      Which indicates that MLK was unaware of – or chose to ignore – the religion-supremacist nature of Zionism.

    • Boomer on February 20, 2015, 9:00 am

      You are misinformed, which is understandable given the pervasive hoax perpetrated by Zionists

      Mr. King had other things on his mind. Israel/Palestine wasn’t salient among most non-Jewish Americans during his life. He received a lot of pushback from his own supporters when he ventured to talk about the war in Vietnam, as a potential distraction from their main concern. To take on Israel/Palestine would have been even more problematic. What we do know is that MLK Jr. found inspiration in Gandhi’s nonviolent struggle for the liberation of indigenous people from colonial oppression in South Africa and in India. Had he lived long enough, I am confident that his vision and efforts would have encompassed Palestine.

    • Mooser on February 20, 2015, 1:46 pm

      “I submit the good pastor has no friggin idea what the”

      And to submit that you went to college?

    • Nevada Ned on February 21, 2015, 4:11 pm

      While MLK is no longer with us, some of his lieutenants are still alive. Jesse Jackson, for example. As long ago as the 1980’s Jackson visited the West Bank Palestinians and proclaimed his support for their struggle against racism. Jackson got into some trouble for his proclamation of solidarity.

      Another example (also decades ago) is the Rev. Joseph Lowery, who succeeded MLK as head of the SCLC. Lowery visited the West Bank and proclaimed his criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The response was (of course) an accusation of anti-Semitism. (Sound familiar?)
      Lowery’s response to the attempted smear job was memorable:

      “I deny the allega-SHUN
      and I defy the alleg-ATOR!”

      African-Americans don’t have to be “educated” about the Palestinian predicament. They already know. African-Americans know – more than most whites – what it means to struggle for equality in a political system that is supposedly a democracy, but isn’t really a democracy for anyone who is the “wrong race.”

      • MHughes976 on February 23, 2015, 10:50 am

        Every time MLK comes up here I look up his statements on the ME (which he had visited) and every time I end up more discouraged.
        On Sept.29, 1967, King wrote two letters in similar terms to Adolph Held, the Jewish labour leader, and to Rabbi Eisendrath. Both are in the King archive, are I think unquestionably genuine, and contain statements of Israel’s right to exist in – famous and familiar word – security. No parallel right is ascribed to any other relevant party, the only call being for their economic development. These are unequivocal statements in favour of Zionism.
        King had taken a rather different view – or at least spoken in a rather different tone – in his 1959 Easter sermon about his ME visit. And it may be that all his Zionist statements are from late in his life and addressed privately (though not at all confidentially) to anxious Jewish enquirers, that he avoided very public statements. But this only seems to show that ideas among the likes of us that of course he would have moved our way can only be wishful thinking: his movement, if any, was in the opposite direction.
        It doesn’t seem to me that the ME was a minor concern either to King or to other civil rights leaders. Even to the masses within the movement it was beginning to matter quite a lot and therefore must have been causing King acute anxiety. The occasion of his September letters was a chaotic ‘Conference of New Politics’ in which there had been a strong push to condemn Israel. Hosea Williams led ‘spirited opposition’ to the anti-Israel element, King himself not choosing to take a public lead. Stokely Carmichael was to become a spirited anti-Zionist, having sympathised with Zionism at an earlier point: I am not sure of the chronology of his changes of mind.
        Far from thinking that the subject was far from King’s mind I think it was increasingly central. We think of the civil rights movement as an alliance between unjusty treated black people and white liberals but it was also an alliance between liberal theologians, Jewish and Protestant, which is where Heschel and Niebuhr come in. To them it was absolutely essential to create a realm of discussion where Jew and Christian could both feel entirely comfortable and respected – their liberalism meant above all ‘answering Auschwitz’ (a task Heschel mentions, though regards as in some sense impossible) and they could not conceive of an answer that did not include Zionism. King and Niebuhr were among 16 theologians who signed pro-Israel letters to the Press after the 67 war (I’ve seen many references to these but not managed to see a verbatim copy) and I think we just have to accept that the Zionist cause was integral to their worldview – one that is not so powerful at least in liberal Protestant circles now, though I’m sure not defunct.
        But I’m sure that the MLK who would have led protests in Palestinian streets is an imaginary, unrealistic figure: we have to reckon with him as he was.

      • MHughes976 on February 23, 2015, 11:34 am

        Heschel’s comment on the role of Christians in introducing the God of Abraham to the world seems unduly generous. Perhaps his view of history minimised Hellenistic Judaism, which was very much a part of the late BCE world, deriving ideas from it and held in some respect within it.
        He forgets God’s plain statement according to Malachi that ‘from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same my name is great among the Gentiles’ – even if this is taken in the least exciting sense as simply a reference to Jewish synagogues in foreign lands (I think it’s more than that) it does imply that pre-Christian non-Jews were at least taking an interest.

  7. Pixel on February 19, 2015, 11:30 pm

    Thank you, Bruce, for writing this post and for all that you do.

    • American on February 20, 2015, 12:11 pm

      Ditto for brave Shipman.

      And for this brave girl too….. the zio assassin team and their minions will be gotten in the end. The truth always comes out sooner or later.

      Author of Master’s Thesis Critical of Jewish Narcissism …”

      On Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 in News.

      Academics are calling the Ontario government’s condemnation of a university student thesis an attack on scholarly freedom, but those offended by the controversial paper insist they won’t let “hate” hide behind the veil of academia.

      Jenny Peto’s 100-page thesis argues that today’s Jews of European descent “enjoy white privilege” and maintain a victim identity by participating in “hegemonic” Holocaust remembrance programs such as the March of the Living, during which young Jewish people visit Poland and Israel. The University of Toronto accepted the defended thesis and awarded a master’s degree to the 29-year-old, who is an activist associated with the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid group. She’s also Jewish and a descendant of Holocaust survivors.
      The thesis, entitled The Victimhood of the Powerful: White Jews, Zionism and the Racism of Hegemonic Holocaust Education, describes Israel as an apartheid state.
      It has provoked intense debate online, in academia and even the political realm. Progressive Conservative MPP Steve Clark raised it in the legislature Tuesday in response to sharp criticism in the Jewish community, calling it “shockingly anti-Semitic.” Citizenship and immigration minister Eric Hoskins likewise condemned the thesis in the legislature saying he was “greatly disturbed and, in fact, disgusted,” when he read media coverage about it.
      In a statement to the Post on Wednesday, Mr. Hoskins stood by his condemnation: “I rose in the House to condemn all anti-Semitism, a particularly vile and pernicious form of discrimination,” he said. “The lessons to be learned from the Holocaust are pivotal, not just for the Jewish community, but for all Ontarians.”
      Ms. Peto responded to the criticism by saying her academic freedom was under attack. “I never could have imagined an MA thesis getting this much attention,” she said. “But given my reputation as a vocal critic of Israel … I am never surprised to be attacked by pro-Israel groups or pro-Israel politicians, for that matter.”
      “Students and researchers should be able to research and publish on controversial matters without the fear of attacks from the government.”
      It is certainly unusual for a student’s work to be challenged by elected representatives, said Michiel Horn, a York University history professor and author of Academic Freedom in Canada: A History.
      “I know not of a single case where a master’s or a phD paper has been subject of discussion in the legislature of any province in Canada,” he said.
      “This is hardly the forum,” he added, insisting that politicians should not be perceived to be tearing apart a thesis that has already been vetted by two university experts.
      University of Toronto provost Cheryl Misak said most if not all dissertations from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, where Ms. Peto studied, are scrutinized by a panel of experts who must grill the student and pose all kinds of “obstacles” to the argument. Though she wasn’t present at Ms. Peto’s thesis defence, she says she’s confident the process met the high standards set by the institution.
      “They’re called defences for good reason,” she said. “The thing that concerns me is that this is a piece of student work and it’s part of a wider educational project. It’s important to remember that.”
      Anyone who disagrees with a thesis, paper, book or statement and might find it offensive, can offer counterarguments, she said.
      “That’s what freedom of expression is, that’s how it ought to unfold,” she said. “Condemnation is not really how expression is done.”

      • annie on February 20, 2015, 8:55 pm

        amazing american, thanks for bringing this to our attention.

      • Boomer on February 21, 2015, 5:14 pm

        “Condemnation is not really how expression is done.”

        When Zionists are defending Zionism, that’s exactly how it is done, along with fabrication and character assassination if necessary.

        But good for her in having the courage and morality to speak out. And thanks to you for letting us know about this.

      • American on February 22, 2015, 12:51 pm

        I finally found time to come back and read Jenny Petos’ thesis, highly recommend reading it. Nothing remotely anti semitic about it. If you read it though you will see why it was condemned in the political arena.
        You can download it here:

        It starts with documenting how Jews became to be considered white along with some other minorities at the time like the Italians—basically thru government programs and economic opportunities after WWII that lifted the economic boats of Jews into being part of the middle class and out of the poorer sections and environs they lived in before then. So ‘middle class and whiteness ‘ became synonymous .

        Also documents the many political permutations of Jewishness that came as a result of being accepted as white in the US and elsewhere such as South Africa—seeking for instance in the US a classification as a protected minority religion, not race, which would give them group protection without negating their acceptance as white. There was then, as now, a fear of jews assimilating into whiteness too much and losing the jewish unity.
        For the sake of group prosperity they had to keep a foot in the white middle class world—but for the sake of jewish distinictiveness they also had to have a special minority classification which was a religious one.

        Way too much to this to go into all of it but Peto moves on to show how Holocaust Education serves the two core goals of Jewish leadership —-1) Keeping Jews as a ‘distinct people’ and tribe by virture of victimhood, being white but exceptional to ordinary whiteness by their victimhood and other markers, therefore still distinct from others. 2) Using this distinctness and exceptionalism in a chameleon like way under many labels and attaching it to popular causes as needed to support Israel. Using whatever identity or claim best suits their purpose.

        Iow they can take the Holocaust and victimhood claim and leapfrog it over just claiming jewish exceptionalism just because of that into the Jewish state being the moral forefront of the world. ..a wider cause than just Jews but while still keeping themselves as the world’s moral actors and centerpiece. Still exceptionalism but with lipstick.

        “As their suffering is converted into universal and cosmopolitan wisdom, Jews and Israel take their place at the forefront of the struggle of civilization against barbarism, tolerance against hatred…[This] enables a defense of Israel that relies less on Jewish exceptionalism vis-à-vis the Holocaust or Jewishness itself than on positioning Jews as defenders of civilization, humanism, civility and a tolerant order and, conversely, positioning Israel’s enemies as enemies to these values.
        Simply by aligning Jews and Israel with the civility of the
        West, they achieves an important goal of producing Jews as moral actors and Israel as a moral state. This is instrumental in defending against charges of brutality that are more frequently being leveled against the Israeli state.”

        Petos thesis was done 5 years ago but here is a just yesterday perfect example of the above quote:….making the Jewish state the
        centerpiece, the moral front leaders.

        ”Bennett to Europe: Israel is on the front lines in war against terror …
        Jerusalem Post Israel News-Feb 17, 2015
        Israel is at the forefront of the global war on terrorism, stopping radical Islam on its way to attack Europe, …….”

        As said there is nothing anti semitic about it. But it had to be attacked by those complict in zionism and Israel because it shows the steps, the inventions, the contridictions observers see and find so frustrating which is their chameleon ability to take on whatever coloring, claim, identity or guise that is necessary for zionism and Israel.
        Really smart and through, need to read it more than once to get everything in it.

      • MHughes976 on February 23, 2015, 2:57 pm

        Thanks for the link to Ms. Peto’s thesis, American: it’s well worth reading and I hope we’ll hear more from her.

      • Mooser on February 23, 2015, 5:45 pm

        “—but for the sake of jewish distinictiveness they also had to have a special minority classification which was a religious one.”

        But as far as I know the “special minority classification which was a religious one” exists only in their own minds, and not in US law, or am I wrong about that?
        (Yes, I know some State money is diverted to Jewish private schools in NY, or something like that) And in their own minds (and God help us, who knows what they tell their kids, I hate to think about it), but there is no actual “special minority classification” for Jews in the US, is there?
        I thought we are just regular citizen, and our religion or the apprehension of our ethnic origins nobody’s business but our own, but I could be wrong about that.
        And if there’s a grant or low interest loans or affirmative action involved, I want some!

      • American on February 23, 2015, 7:07 pm

        Mosser says

        ”But as far as I know the “special minority classification which was a religious one” exists only in their own minds, and not in US law, or am I wrong about that? ”

        Well you are wrong and also right in the sense that that dont come under the protectin laws just becuase they are minority—other religious also com under it. For Jews the legal protection is as religious not as an ethnic or race.
        BUT- they use to be classified as a minority race along with arabs…so its been complicated as time marched on and legal rulings.

        If you were attacked for instance for being jewish it would be in the FBI statistics under a religious hate crime , not as ethnic or race.
        ”Crime reported to the FBI involve those motivated by biases based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, and disability”

        Here is how they break down hate crimes.

        There have been a couple of SC challanges to just considering jews a religion but as Peto explained when Jews moved into the white classification the old US Statute. P. 617. that classed jews and arabs as minority races in discrimination cases became defunct and no longer applicable. Jewish leadership did not want to maintain jews as not white (diferent race) under the old discrimination laws so didnt fight the changes in classifcation to a religious one.

        You can read an oddball example here of some jews who wanted to sue undr the old race discrimination statute. .

      • Mooser on February 24, 2015, 12:27 pm

        “Well you are wrong and also right in the sense that…”

        In the sense that you don’t think “Jews” (however the US chooses to define that, or does it?) are entitled to the same protections as any other American? Or is it that none of us are entitled to those things?

        But don’t give it another thought, American, I’m used to being wrong.

      • American on February 24, 2015, 2:32 pm

        Mooser February 24, 2015, 12:27 pm
        “Well you are wrong and also right in the sense that…”In the sense that you don’t think “Jews” (however the US chooses to define that, or does it?) are entitled to the same protections as any other American? Or is it that none of us are entitled to those things –

        Mooser February 23, 2015 at 3:54 pm “—-and then turn around in their comparisons of Isr’s occupation to Jim Crow ‘Southern culture’ and ‘collectively’ condemn Southerners. As a southerner I see the hypocrisy but I shrug it off, its not worth correcting or explaning how the South came to its own necessary self examination.”>> I know, all that stuff about the South having a system of legal segregation and nearly re-instituting black slavery through the penal system is just a Northern myth. And of course, the pernicious myth of different standards of justice for the two and even accusations of a different value of lives. And nobody will admit it was stopped by self examination. We persist in saying it was Federal intervention. Pure hypocrisy, and I’m as bad as the rest about it. – See more at:

        I cant express how much you disgust me. There is absolutely no difference in the ethnocentric Zionist Jewish narcissism and hostile supremest attitude and your Jewish ethnocentric hostility and bigotry . Your railing against Zionist means nothing because the only reason you are against it is because you think its bad for ‘your Jewishness.”

        For years on here all you have done is stalk commenters especially non Jews, as you do to me constantly.

        You spew 24/7 all over here and other blogs on net how the Jews are all individuals and not monolithic and then you proclaim all southerners, gentiles, Christian ad nausea are all alike and are monolithic.
        You are a flaming hypocrite, a true bigot and you are so stupid you think your attempts a humorous insults cover up your bigotry. It doesn’t. And your cheering section needs to reexamine their values and take off their blinkers if they think you are anyone to admire.

        I could give thousands of your comments as examples of your hypocrisy and twisting the comments of others to attack them with your nauseating Jewish centeredness bigotry but a few will suffice:

        Mooser September 26, 2009 at 3:47 pm “Mooser assures us that Jews have NEVER been collectively responsible for anything in history”

        Please tell me what the Jews are “collectively responsible for”. Please, go right ahead. I’m all ears. – See more at:

        Yeah, cause if there was one thing a racist Southern cracker knew about – See more at:

        ”Beware the beginnings, consider the end”..would be good advice to all the supreme groups…American
        Reply Mooser October 18, 2014, 11:58 am So, American, you figure White Nationalism is the antidote to Zionism? I can’t think of two groups more likely to be at each other’s throats. I hope they don’t leave hickies. – See more at:

        tree September 27, 2009, 4:58 am
        Mooser, for some one who claims that he can’t understand Americans because he can’t understand “racist chickenhawkery “, you seem to have a different set of standards when judging groups of people. I can certainly acknowledge and agree that there are elements of RC in American culture. I could also acknowledge that there are elements of racism and chickenhawkery in Jewish culture and among certain self-identified Jewish groups. However, if we were to take what you said about Americans and say it instead about Jews, you’d be up in arms(and perhaps rightly so), ranting about anti-semitism – See more at:

        Citizen September 27, 2009, 10:28 am
        “Is it good (in my opinion) for the Jews? In that sense, Mooser, you are operating with the same engine as Norman P or any neocon. You simply disagree as to strategy. Otherwise, you would not have painted gentiles with the broad brush you have in so many of your comments. … – See more at:

        I cant remember off hand who said this but it was a Jewish writer……”We’ve never been able to look into the others eyes and see when they’ve had enough of us”. Well I have had enough of you and of this site’s hypocrisy in allowing you to be their pet attack poddle on non Jews here under the guise of humorous wittism. You are sniveling, snickering, lying guttersnipe coward and that is all you are.

        Note to MW adm—I doubt you have the balls or honesty to publish this comment but Please for heaven’s sake ban me!…while I am going cold turkey off MW I don’t want to be able to comment here if I should slip and become tempted. I will happily join the ranks of Blankfort, Rutherford, WAO, Atzmon and the multitude of all the other banished and disgusted who left of their own accord because they could not stomach the bigoted hypocrisy here that Mooser represents and didn’t want to lend their token non jewish voices any longer to legitimize this hypocrisy.

      • annie on February 25, 2015, 10:52 am

        american, your comment got my attention and to be truthful i have not been following this ongoing friction between you and mooser. i don’t have time to follow everything and right now we’re backed up on comments.

        but i did start to read it and noticed this:

        If you were attacked for instance for being jewish it would be in the FBI statistics under a religious hate crime , not as ethnic or race.

        link to
        ”Crime reported to the FBI involve those motivated by biases based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, and disability”

        my recollection is some american jews wanted to be added, as a group, to one of the categories for hate crimes and after the crime was already defined lobbied for a addition of “national origin”, so they would fall into the “as a people” category which i think was tacked onto the definition of the crime. we are backed up on our regular morning stuff here, i can research it later. but that’s my recollection.

        the other stuff, i will pay more attention to. don’t go anywhere for heavens sakes.

      • annie on February 25, 2015, 10:59 am

        here it is on the timeline

        November 13, 1997 | 105th Congress – The Hate Crimes Prevention Act is introduced in the House and the Senate. The bill would extend the protection of the current federal hate crimes law to include those who are victimized because of their sexual orientation, gender or disability. It would also strengthen current law regarding hate crimes based on race, religion and national origin.

        first mention of “national origin” was in ’97, over 8 years after the initial hate crime legislation was passed.

        edit here’s something from the adl (pdf)

        The core of the ADL legal approach is a “penalty-enhancement” concept. In a landmark decision issued in June 1993, the United States Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s penalty-enhancement hate crimes statute, which was based
        on the ADL model. Expressions of hate protected by the First Amendment’s free speech clause are not criminalized. However, criminal activity motivated by hate is subject to a stiffer sentence. A defendant’s sentence may be enhanced if he intentionally selects his
        victim based upon his perception of the victim’s race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender.3

        so i am not sure when that was added, but i don’t think it’s on the original legislation.

      • just on February 25, 2015, 11:10 am

        American~ please don’t leave MW. Seriously, the “War of Ideas in the Middle East” needs your voice! If the Palestinians can endure the hell that they do…

        I have a surplus of thick skin today~ many days I do not, so I go a little ‘quiet’. I’ll lend you some.

        ;-) Stick around. Pretty please.

      • Mooser on February 25, 2015, 11:57 am

        “Your railing against Zionist means nothing because the only reason you are against it is because you think its bad for ‘your Jewishness.”

        Obviously! I’m just counting on a different sort of Jewish supremacism, I’m going to out-diversify go totally multi-cultural, and beat out the other kind (the Zionist kind )of Jewish supremacism! (And then, watch out ‘white culture’ we will out-law tractor-pulls!)
        But of course, it’s Jewish supremacism, just the same! You caught me.
        And because, as you say ‘white culture and Christianity’ have been “taking a beating” lately, I think I can pull it off.
        And I thought I was brash and outspoken because I was an American (Oh, and an anti-military, very liberal, pro-civil-rights American, too, so there’s that.) myself, but, as usual, it goes to something more, well, essential.

        American, basically, I just have always had a lot of trouble thinking you can get to anti-Zionism by the right-hand door. Maybe I am wrong.

  8. Bruceshipman on February 20, 2015, 10:29 am

    Thank you for continuing the conversation. A man that I admire who was at Carleton College a couple years ahead of me is Parker Palmer, whose book “A HIdden Wholeness” I highly recommend. He writes of holding “tragic tension” in our hearts in such way as to break our hearts open to new life-giving possibilities. May it be so in working through the contradictions of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and in the desperate situation of Gaza.

  9. John Fearey on February 20, 2015, 11:39 am

    In the shadow world of half truths and lies created by supporters of Israel, Rev. Shipman speaks with clarity, insight and compassion which belies the charges of “hurtfulness’ which were so unfairly leveled at him and his completely reasonable August 26th letter to the NYT. I am grateful to Rev. Shipman and Mondoweiss for continuing to speak out against the immorality of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

  10. MHughes976 on February 23, 2015, 3:26 pm

    Heschel was the author of a book called ‘Israel: echo of eternity’ – I’ve only seen a very brief extract from it which says that though Israel is not exactly an ‘answer to Auschwitz’ Israel does permit a certain divine ‘radiance’ in history to be seen. It was published not long after the 67 war under ADL auspices.
    He also proclaimed that the opposite of good was not evil but indifference, a statement with a very King-like ring, also recalling his friend Buber’s exaltation of personal interaction and response. I don’t know enough about him to be sure but the first impression is of someone who looked at the ME through the strongest of theological lenses – not in itself a bad thing, but not so good if it resulted in seeing a divine radiance about Israel to which the Palestinians made no real difference, at least did not significantly blemish it in his admiring mind. There is suggestion, though I have not seen it backed up, that he called for kindness to the Palestinians. However there is surely something hinting at indifference to them if they do not make a difference to his theological estimate of Israel.
    I’m not sure if his influence on King was that good. Indeed I don’t know if King ever encountered any Jewish thinker who had significant reservations about Zionism – would be interested to know more about that.
    There is a kind of academic atmosphere where the Buber-Niebuhr-Heschel-King system of thought, with Zionism utterly at its heart, is of unquestioned sanctity and perhaps that atmosphere prevailed at the session Bruce valiantly attended.

    • seafoid on February 23, 2015, 3:58 pm

      That messianic streak of Zionism is nuts. the original Jewish kingdom lasted no more than a couple of generations after the regional powers recovered from the drought that had temporarily weakened them and allowed the Jewish kingdom to emerge. Jewish influence in the US is another lucky break but hardly something likely to echo down the ages.

      And Zionism as sanctity- it’s as pure as child abuse.

      • Mooser on February 24, 2015, 12:33 pm

        “the original Jewish kingdom lasted no more than a couple of generations after the regional powers recovered”

        Well, there you go, Seafoid! See, we just need a little more practice and experience and we will get it right!

        “Jewish influence in the US is another lucky break but hardly something likely to echo down the ages”

        Well, no, not at a 60% out-marriage rate! We just have to trust our Jewish Leaders! Well, and keep our Jewish blood pure and untainted! We must deny Gentiles our essence!

      • eljay on February 24, 2015, 12:36 pm

        || Mooser: Well, there you go, Seafoid! See, we just need a little more practice and experience and we will get it right! ||

        Anything and everything for the Thousand Year Reich “Jewish State”, eh? ;-)

      • Mooser on February 25, 2015, 11:59 am

        “Anything and everything for the Thousand Year Reich “Jewish State”, eh? ;-)”

        You know me, “eljay”, I’m nuts about TU! Keep the TU intact, and we can do anything! Has it ever failed us before?

      • eljay on February 25, 2015, 1:25 pm

        || Mooser: You know me, “eljay”, I’m nuts about TU! Keep the TU intact, and we can do anything! Has it ever failed us before? ||

        I quit drinking many months ago, but if you were ever to wander into my neck of the woods, I’d buy you and drink and have one with you. :-)

  11. chris o on February 24, 2015, 9:05 pm

    Thanks for the article. The letter makes a strong point but it seems utterly non-controversial and even obvious. I can’t believe thoughts like this are forbidden.

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