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A year after Shipman lost his Yale job for speaking out on Israel’s actions, some Jews say the same thing

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A year ago yesterday The New York Times published the famous three-sentence letter by the Rev. Bruce Shipman that ended his career as Episcopal chaplain at Yale. Responding to a Times report on growing anti-Semitism in Europe, Shipman said some of that hatred was fostered by Israeli policies, including the “carnage” in Gaza and the occupation.

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.

The uproar that followed involved even the president of Yale (who had just given a big talk on free speech). Shipman was compelled to resign his chaplaincy; and many Jewish publications scolded him for the suggestion that Israel was to blame. The Center for Jewish Life at Yale held a special conference about anti-Semitism that seemed designed to kick Shipman down the stairs again.

But this summer, several Jewish sources have echoed Shipman’s meaning.

First, here is Abe Foxman writing in the Washington Post July 10, With Jews’ Power Comes Responsibility:

What share of what Israel does justifies criticism, and what share does not, are subject to interpretation and consideration. But part of the discussion must always be: What can Israel do, what does it need to do better, how can its actions have an impact, not on the haters who will always be there but on the many non-anti-Semites who are troubled by some of its policies?

The temptation to reject such thinking as blaming the victim should be resisted. We are not living in an age of fantasists, though plenty of fantasists are still around. We are proud that Jews have a modicum of power, and we should act accordingly.

The rejection of this approach undermines the ability to deal with the real anti-Semitism that exists.

And it prevents what is needed both in the community and in Israel: a serious conversation about not only how to combat our enemies but also what we need to do to make things better and to weaken the fertile environment in which the enemies of Israel plant their poisonous seeds.

Then in July the Jewish People Policy Institute released its latest report on world Jewry. The report said that Israel’s actions can cause “difficulties” for Jews in western societies.

Following up the report, the rightwing site Arutz Sheva said “rising anti-Semitism” has made the relationship between Israel and western Jews “even more complicated.”

“On the one hand, it caused Israel’s role as a shelter for persecuted Jews to stand out, yet on the other hand, it sharpened questions concerning the connection between Israel’s policy and attacks against Jews all over the world and as to its role as the representative of Jews who are not its citizens.”

JJ Goldberg filled in the picture of the report in the Forward:

During a roundtable discussion the institute held near New York with local Jewish community leaders, “most said that Israel’s actions during war cause them to be ‘prouder’ of Israel,” the report says. But “when asked to characterize how they thought ‘other Jews in the community’ felt in the same regard, a higher proportion also identified feelings of ‘detached,’ and even ‘embarrassed.’”

Far more alarming, the report says that Israel’s wars have a strong, direct impact on the relationships of Diaspora Jews to their surrounding communities and societies. Mainstream Jewish community leaders in several countries told the institute that there is an “automatic tendency” for the surrounding non-Jewish society to “view Jews as representatives of the pro-Israel position.”

This has the direct result — as the institute initially noted last year, the current report points out — of “increasing the frequency and severity of harassment/attacks on Jews in various places around the world.”

“This insight was particularly emphasized this year in light of the bloody incidents in the Jewish community of France,” the report says. It quotes a Jewish community leader from France saying: “Every time [Israel uses force] synagogues are burned.”…….

Drawing a causal link between European anti-Semitism and Israeli behavior — between any anti-Semitism and any Jewish behavior, for that matter — is taboo in current Jewish discourse, to the point that suggesting it is itself treated frequently as an anti-Semitic act. It must have been frightening for scholars operating in this environment to stumble across first-hand testimony that the link is real.

The fact that so many Jews can address this question without any career damage, and it’s kryptonite for a non-Jewish clergyman (of considerable experience and gravity) is a sad reflection on the American discourse. In fact, it’s a form of ethnic discrimination. And it’s unfair. It’s one thing if only members of a persecuted minority get to comment on that minority; I understand that ancient prohibition. But when you have power– a lot, I say; or a “modicum of power,” as Foxman says — then you should be able to take some criticism.

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71 Responses

  1. Boomer
    Boomer
    August 26, 2015, 3:19 pm

    I don’t regard Shipman’s comment as a criticism (though Israel deserves that, and he should be able to give it) but as a statement of fact, and sound advice.

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      August 26, 2015, 5:45 pm

      Boomer is right: Shipman spoke of general attitudes toward Israel during Israeli onslaught, not of his own attitudes, not of his own criticism; but his words suggested something BIG-ZION didn’t want to hear — that people (“anti-semites” as BIG-ZION sees them and as Shipman called them; critics of Israel and of BIG-ZION as others see them) were blaming Israel. It also suggested something else — people might consider blaming American Jews (especially BIG-ZION) as enablers of crime unless they stopped enabling and began arm-twisting Israel (“Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”).

      I think Shipman was mistaken to use the word “anti-semites.” I judge that he meant Israel was calling down condemnation upon Israel (and by implication upon Jews more generally) by its war-crimes. He should have said so. Better be fired for speaking truth to power than for mumbling fuzzy-talk.

      • annie
        annie
        August 27, 2015, 12:15 am

        I think Shipman was mistaken to use the word “anti-semites.”

        i don’t think it was a mistake for shipman to say “best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press” for a resolution to the conflict. i think as protests were raging all across the world against israel’s slaughter in gaza — and israel’s #1 hasbara mantra has always been the ad hominem anti semitism accusation (they are picking on us because we’re jews – everyone else gets a pass on slaughtering kids, look at syria) framing it as an “antidote to anti-Semitism ” was correct.

        i think the immediate knee jerk rejection/reaction to what shipman said is because it’s verboten to ever suggest jews (collectively or otherwise) have ever, historically or in the present, played a roll or any part at all in hostility/bigotry against them (collectively or otherwise).

        and i’d like to point out phil left out what should have been the penultimate paragraph in the jj goldberg quote up above. originally i had sent him this section of a long article partly just because of that one paragraph (a tad wordy which is why he probably tossed it) . so i hope everyone reviews it. i will bold it below:

        “This insight was particularly emphasized this year in light of the bloody incidents in the Jewish community of France,” the report says. It quotes a Jewish community leader from France saying: “Every time [Israel uses force] synagogues are burned.”

        Curiously, the report avoids the word “anti-Semitism” when describing these attacks as consequences of Israeli actions. No less curious, there’s an earlier chapter in the report, Chapter 8, that’s devoted exclusively to the rise in European anti-Semitism, essentially referring to those same attacks. But Chapter 8 never mentions the testimony by European Jewish leaders in Chapter 9 about a link between Israeli actions and attacks on European Jews. “Anti-Semitism” and “Israeli actions” don’t appear in the same chapter.

        In a way, the reticence is understandable. Drawing a causal link between European anti-Semitism and Israeli behavior — between any anti-Semitism and any Jewish behavior, for that matter — is taboo in current Jewish discourse…..

        so “Anti-Semitism” and “Israeli actions” don’t even appear in the same chapter. don’t ever put them too near each other! remember, this poll goldberg is referencing asked groups in the diaspora all across the world but they only addressed questions put to them. never the twain shall meet.

    • ziusudra
      ziusudra
      August 27, 2015, 10:44 am

      Greetings Boomer,
      Too many have, are & will be discharged from thier positions &/or carrees for voicing their opinions. Only Jews &/or Zionists can publish & use free speech, even condemn & accuse anyone of their own volition of what they deem to be Anti this or that.
      Everyone who is salaried is threatened to shu up yo’ mouf’ or walk!
      We remember Sen. McCarty: You, Sir are a communist! You Sir are a Homosexuell! During his heyday, nobody could call him the lush that he was!
      We remember J. Edgar H. : Nobody spoke of his warming his tuckus sporting Panties after 5!
      ziusudra
      PS I must chuckle when all the high Echelon zionists in Tel Aviv allow Sheldon to rampage on of his verbal muck of Palestinians, but only after he laid down de Shekels would they suffer such rubbish! Hell, you gotta serve somebody!

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        August 30, 2015, 2:34 am

        @z

        LOL

  2. tokyobk
    tokyobk
    August 26, 2015, 3:20 pm

    Phil,

    If the first part is true, that the truth matters more than the source, and I think I agree, than your second part is not morally consistent, imo. I think this is important to you as a kind of Jewish exemption, a way out of a particular kind of community pressure, to be sure )which as you know I support), but also a way around liberal conventions you will still apply generally to other groups, especially those with whom you have empathy.

    In fact, groups can be powerful and not in different times and places and even in the same time and place. In the Jewish example, from the myths, Esther and Exodus both depend on this combination.

    Shipman is either right or not, as he might be opining about Palestinians or African Americans in another case, regardless of his ethnicity or religion.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      August 26, 2015, 4:05 pm

      . “In the Jewish example, from the myths, Esther and Exodus both depend on this combination.”

      And, more to the point, certainly, they both begin with an “E”!

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        August 26, 2015, 4:33 pm

        Indeed. Though, strangely, Witzelsucht begins with a “W.”

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 26, 2015, 4:49 pm

        “Though, strangely, Witzelsucht begins with a “W.”

        Oh, I see, we are going there “tokyobk”? Well then, you sucht, too!

    • tree
      tree
      August 26, 2015, 4:14 pm

      I’ve repeatedly tried to parse your statement, TokyoBK, and I still can’t understand what you are trying to say.

      To me, the takeaway point from Phil’s post is that Shipman got fired for saying the same thing that various prominent Jews have said without facing any significant negative repercussions. He was judged anti-semitic, not because of what he said, but because of who he is and isn’t; he’s Christian and not Jewish. There’s a huge double standard on the issue with regard to what is considered acceptable speech, even if true.

      Phil is pointing that out.

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        August 26, 2015, 4:26 pm

        Phil ends his observations (which I think are correct regarding the double standard) with the following:

        “It’s one thing if only members of a persecuted minority get to comment on that minority; I understand that ancient prohibition. But when you have power– a lot, I say; or a “modicum of power,” as Foxman says — then you should be able to take some criticism.”

        This is a shift from his earlier point that truth is truth regardless of the source. I am suggesting it is a kind of Jewish exemption. Since Jews have power they can take it. Since other groups don’t the ancient tradition of only members of that group being able to criticise still holds. I am saying this is not morally or logically consistent.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        August 26, 2015, 4:32 pm

        Hello, Toky.

        I am also confused what you mean.

        The Pilgrims and Puritans in Britain were undergoing severe persecution by the English in the 17th century. So to make polemics about the Puritans in that time and place could be a form of religious discrimination.

        But then the Puritans came to the US and massacred the Indians and executed people because of religious differences or suspicions. And so in that different context it seems important to criticize the Puritans and Pilgrims.

        I am not advocating criticizing the Jewish people or the English people. It just seems to me that in some contexts you can criticize a religious group if they are in a position of power, even if elsewhere they have been discriminated against. What do you think?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 26, 2015, 4:58 pm

        @ tokyobk

        Yeah, seems Phil has shifted a bit from more universal to more tribal.

      • tree
        tree
        August 26, 2015, 5:07 pm

        OK, now I understand your point and can see the contradiction. I happen to disagree to some extent with the “ancient prohibition”, as Phil terms it. I think criticism should not depend on whether someone is the member of a group with power or not, with the important caveat that the power situation should be considered when criticizing, and that the criticism should not be of an essentializing nature.

        In Shipman’s case he was not criticizing an ethnic/religious group, he was criticizing Israel, which is a state. I haven’t seen any hesitation to criticize African states, or Arab states, or any other state that might be demographically associated with a minority in the US, powerful or not, and certainly haven’t seen anyone get fired for doing so.

        Shipman’s comment, suggesting that Israel’s actions, taken as the self-proclaimed State of all Jews everywhere, are creating anti-semitic feelings is simple truth and not an anti-semitic statement in itself. Just as Germany’s and Japan’s actions in WWII created anti-German and anti-Japanese feelings. Just as the Iran Hostage crisis created anti-Iranian feelings in the US many decades ago. (Personal note: an Armenian boyfriend I had way back then was harassed and arrested because the policeman stopping him for a minor traffic violation thought he was Iranian.) That’s not to say that these feelings are right, but they are human and are ultimately one of the negative outcomes of the actions of states.

        Again, as Phil said, the firing of Shipman for saying what prominent Jews have said is a form of discrimination, although in this case I would call it religious rather than ethnic discrimination. That’s what’s important in all of this.

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        August 26, 2015, 8:27 pm

        tree —

        My second point, which I am curious what you think about is that power/no power is also insufficient as a moral or even rational indicator of which group is fair game for critique.
        Not only because all groups, perhaps especially Jews (my reference to the myths in which power/no power is -part- of the story) have in moments both.

        African Americans have speeding power near the equivalent of the South Korean GDP, over one trillion dollars, there dis a black president, and African Americans as a group dominate school boards in several major cities. But no one in their right mind would argue that Sandra Bland for a striking example, could happen in a country where black people have equal due process to whites.

        So, can White Anglo Saxon Protestants opine on black Americans, politically or culturally. and have their arguments taken on merit? I sure hope so. That neither race nor relative power disqualifies him.

        My point is that I think Phil, who I guess I should add I like a lot as a person, and whose larger project I support, seems to be creating a Jewish shaped exemption from what would be his normal position on who gets to say what. Of course this is in response to the very type of disqualifying from the self-appointed and assumed leaders of the Jewish community he often writes about.

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        August 26, 2015, 10:04 pm

        W Jones.

        Believe it or not were saying the same thing here as in my second point to tree.

        Your point about Puritans and Natives is exactly right.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        August 27, 2015, 5:07 am

        “The Pilgrims and Puritans in Britain were undergoing severe persecution by the English in the 17th century. ”

        I thought that they claimed persecution because they were not allowed to impose their miserable beliefs on everyone else.

      • tree
        tree
        August 27, 2015, 5:57 am

        My second point, which I am curious what you think about is that power/no power is also insufficient as a moral or even rational indicator of which group is fair game for critique.

        I agree. I meant to make that clear in my comment at August 26, 2015 5:07pm:

        “I happen to disagree to some extent with the “ancient prohibition”, as Phil terms it. I think criticism should not depend on whether someone is a member of a group with power or not, with the important caveat that the power situation should be considered when criticizing, and that the criticism should not be of an essentializing nature.” See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/shipman-speaking-israels#comment-792627

        As an example of criticism of those from a group with little power, I would say that it is fair criticism to speak of the PA leadership as ineffectual and corrupt but it would also be apropos to note that the occupation severely stifles open and transparent governing by Palestinians, and my other caveat would be that such criticism of the PA should not be used to essentialize Palestinians as being intrinsically incapable of governing themselves. I would apply a similar rationale to all groups, regardless of the power situation. I hope that makes my point clearer.

        My point is that I think Phil, who I guess I should add I like a lot as a person, and whose larger project I support, seems to be creating a Jewish shaped exemption from what would be his normal position on who gets to say what.

        I don’t see it as a “Jewish shaped” exemption. He’s saying that, in the US, Jews as a group have power, so the “ancient prohibition” doesn’t apply to them at this point. I’m guessing that he thinks it still applies to those groups who don’t have that kind of power. Therefore it isn’t a “Jewish” exemption, its just a power exemption in his mind. But I’m not even sure that he agrees with the prohibition- only that he understands where it is coming from. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if he chimes in to clarify.

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        August 27, 2015, 6:12 am

        tree — well we definitely also agree that bigotry. true bigotry against a group is defined not by a particular criticism or even general critique of a particular time and place but through essentializing.

        It also happens to be an especially useful way to detect anti-semitism through all the BS (imo coming from all sides).

      • Kris
        Kris
        August 27, 2015, 3:07 pm

        @tree: “…the criticism should not be of an essentializing nature.”

        For those who, like me, did not know what “esstentializing” means:

        Essentializing means attributing natural, essential characteristics to members of specific culturally defined (gender, age, ethnic, “racial”, socioeconomic, linguistic…) groups.

        When we essentialize others, we assume that individual differences can be explained by inherent, biological, “natural” characteristics shared by members of a group. Essentializing results in thinking, speaking and acting in ways that promote stereotypical and inaccurate interpretations of individual differences.

        For example, feminists note that people essentialize women when they assume that girls and women are naturally emotional (versus rational), nurturant, docile, weak, vain, dependent (and so on).

        Essentialist thinking is often anchored in dualistic (two-category, either this – or that) modes of thought. Classic and contemporary social theorists identify and challenge essentialist and dualistic ways of thinking about the social world (human/non-human; human/animal; human/machine; civilized/barbaric; masculine/feminine; intelligent/not intelligent; rich/poor; white/non-white; anglo/non-anglo; individual/group; psychological/cultural; leader/follower). http://www.unm.edu/~jka/courses/archive/power.html

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        August 27, 2015, 6:55 pm

        Kris–

        And that is my issue with the “Ewige Jude” (Eternal Jew) themes that -some- people attracted to the I/P issue return to over and again. Watch -some- comments here, even if grounded in legitimate criticisms of Israel or even American Jewish support of Israel, drift towards the theme of finally getting to be able to tell the alleged truth about the Jews, then, now and always.

        As if there is some particular Jewish essence, unchanging and unchangeable throughout all space and time.

        Certainly, many people within a group also claim a special Jewish or black or Japanese or white “soul,” but its a very dangerous way of categorising human beings. imo.

      • Kris
        Kris
        August 27, 2015, 8:17 pm

        @tokyobk, “Watch -some- comments here, even if grounded in legitimate criticisms of Israel or even American Jewish support of Israel, drift towards the theme of finally getting to be able to tell the alleged truth about the Jews, then, now and always. ”

        I have been trying to remember comments like this, and can’t think of any. Do you have any examples?

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        August 27, 2015, 9:53 pm

        Kris —

        Most recent, imo.

        Dan Crowther asks:

        I want to ask a question here: does anyone here, after watching the “Iran debate” and “The Lobby’s” antics ever question the shibboleth that all of European “antisemitism” was irrational and based solely on a racist hatred? Cuz you can read a million and one French, German, English, Spanish, Russian (and others) writers describing THE EXACT SAME shit happening in their countries at different times and obviously in different places.

        Its a question Phil should answer. We’re watching a worldwide conspiracy and shakedown right before our eyes, and no one here denies it. I’m wondering if people think this is the ONLY time the stereotype or the accusation is true.”

        Keith, of course agrees (and Henry Ford and Martin Luther…) . This is an old story. Its the Jews then and now. Antisemitism charges (which are always inflated – Annie (see even this thread) , and never really so bad — Citizen (see under Keith following this quote were not so bad anyway), are effectively a cover for Jewish malfeasance.

        I said -some-. This does not define the pro Palestinian movement or MW, even the comment section.

        Dan’s comment is about 2015 about an Iran deal that American Jews in fact support in the majority. Support their American president

        But, for him seemingly its just one dot on a long unbroken line.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 27, 2015, 10:17 pm

        “But, for him seemingly its just one dot on a long unbroken line.”

        Oh, I get it, “tokyobk”! So, we can essentialize Jews as Zionists and a superior group of people and turn our religion to the service of a cruel and illegal colonial project, but everybody else is supposed to make all kinds of nice little distinctions about the Jewish religion, Zionism, Jewish culture, etc?
        Well, forget it, “tokyobk”. We sold that little birthright for a mess of pottage.

      • Keith
        Keith
        August 28, 2015, 7:06 pm

        TOKYOBK- “Keith, of course agrees (and Henry Ford and Martin Luther…) .”

        With the benefit of hindsight, I now realize that when I compared you to Hophmi, I was being unfair to Hophmi. I don’t recall him doing anything this underhanded. On another thread you compare me to Louis Farrakhan (who I haven’t read), then you lied about “Jew lists,” conflating me with the Einsatzgruppen (which I need to spell check), and now it’s Henry Ford and Martin Luther! And in cowardly fashion you make this comment to a third party rather than responding to my actual comment on a totally different thread. You a scholar? What a joke, you are totally lacking in intellectual integrity and common decency, attacking folks surreptitiously using strawmen.

        Now, do I thread jack to defend myself? I will only go so far as to state that I was responding to one aspect of Dan’s comment only. I quote the first two sentences: “I have long denigrated the very notion of irrational and eternal anti-Semitism. Furthermore, the very statement itself represents irrational Jewish anti-Gentile bias.” You want to debate the point? Go to the appropriate threat and address your comment to me. And none of your conflation, labeling and strawman tactics.

        I’m not done with you yet. Since you purport to be addressing the question of “essentializing,” let us see what you have to say and see how it applies to my quote.

        TOKYOBK- “As if there is some particular Jewish essence, unchanging and unchangeable throughout all space and time.”

        Now, change “Jewish essence” to “Gentile essence” and you have accurately described the notion of Gentile “irrational and eternal anti-Semitism.” Furthermore, Jews who actually believe this nonsense are guilty of irrational Jewish anti-Gentile bias. Mind you, I am not saying that Jews necessarily believe this because they are Jews, rather, this is an acquired ideology which has been strongly emphasized beginning after the Six Day War as a means of promoting Jewish group solidarity, an ideology which you obviously embrace.

      • tree
        tree
        August 30, 2015, 3:45 am

        …the shiboleth that all of European “antisemitism” was irrational and based solely on a racist hatred .

        Actually, TBK, that quote of Crowther’s is lamenting the essentializing of non-Jews by certain bigoted Jews. You’ve got it exactly backwards. I’m not really surprised. You have yet to deal with your own prejudices.

  3. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    August 26, 2015, 4:09 pm

    RE: “It’s one thing if only members of a persecuted minority get to comment on that minority; I understand that ancient prohibition. But when you have power– a lot, I say; or a ‘modicum of power’, as Foxman says — then you should be able to take some criticism.” ~ Weiss

    SEE: ■ A Problem of Self Image (Mysh) from Richard Silverstein’s Tikun Olam site

  4. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    August 26, 2015, 5:54 pm

    An question on timing: If another Shipman said the same thing today, after so many others (some Jews among them) have said similar things, would he still be fired? (BIG-ZION might still try to get him fired, but would it work?) This is the acid-test-question. Is the conversation in America STILL only a Jewish-communal thang, or has the discussion become broader? Does the Iran fight with its over-the-top obvious BIG-ZION and Israel tie-in make it OK for non-Jews to enter this fray (the Shipman fray)? How about the Iran-fray? What impact has the Salaita-fray had on college administrators?

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      August 27, 2015, 2:34 am

      Pabel,

      It’s hard to say. Look at what happened to Weir recently.

    • gracie fr
      gracie fr
      August 27, 2015, 6:09 am

      …Pabelmont,

      I think you definitely hit on something in mentioning “Timing”. The Sephen Salaita thing had begun in July 2014, and almost immediately took on a strident “Us versus Them ” anti-Semitic tone. Although it dropped off the general public’s radar screen those following the story were vindicated this August when Salaita won his suite in Federal Court.

      However in late summer 2014, the principled donors, faculty, along with “concerned” members of the student body at Yale must have recognized a golden opportunity, an “Ah-Hah/Gotch’ya” moment to rid university of an unsavory “truth teller” much in the way Chancellor Phyllis Wise of the University of Illinois at Urbana had done. It was an East coast establishment opportunity to follow Illinois’s lead in a parallel ploy of gag order proportions and outrageous vengeful accusations and it worked…….for a year.

  5. JWalters
    JWalters
    August 26, 2015, 6:30 pm

    These tepid Zionist acknowledgements, wrapped in excuses for Israel’s crimes, remind me of the “States’ rights” cover story for slavery and racism, which is utterly demolished in this EXCELLENT article by Bob Cesca, with quotes from Ken Burns.
    http://www.salon.com/2015/08/25/confederate_fantasies_the_donald_trump_surge_inside_the_dangerous_southern_mythology_creeping_into_the_gop_primary/

    Shipman doesn’t wrap his comments in the required banality of tribal loyalty. There is NO reason a person would make excuses for overtly bigoted actions other than their being inwardly a bigot, however much they try to hide it and protest otherwise.

  6. Krauss
    Krauss
    August 26, 2015, 6:33 pm

    Mearshimer put Abe Foxman in the New Afrikaaner list in his now infamous 2010 speech at the Palestine Center on the “future of Israel”. I don’t see how Abe’s last minute Op-Ed changes that.

    It’s still all about Jewish optics for him, fuck the victims of Apartheid.

    Few people are as cancerous as he is. And I am still amazed he got away being such a pernicious bigot for so many decades! It’s amazing how privileged he was and remains.

    And I don’t think he is an isolated example in his generation. Massive power but no responsibility.

    That is going to change, and change massively.

  7. eGuard
    eGuard
    August 26, 2015, 6:56 pm

    Phil Weiss: The fact that so many Jews can address this question without any career damage, and it’s kryptonite for a non-Jewish clergyman (of considerable experience and gravity) is a sad reflection on the American discourse. In fact, it’s a form of ethnic discrimination. OK then. Forget about the minor qualifications (lack of ‘experience’ or ‘gravity’ would allow such treatment, you say?).

    Let’s move ahead: Is this fact supported by Mondoweiss or is Alison Weir invited to write a piece here? JVP was. By now, in this case not taking is position is a position too.

    • Kris
      Kris
      August 27, 2015, 12:22 am

      Inviting Alison Weir to write a piece here would be a great idea.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        August 27, 2015, 2:32 am

        They could at least post a book review as we have been discussing in the comments section for a while. Phil has been on Weir’s panel in DC in the past where he did a fine job.

        It would be strange if MW took a position against Weir, considering tha MW basically repeats Weir’s thesis about the power of lobbying, not to mention that Marc Ellis has written things more offensive on MW than Weir and that MW even helped sell Shlomo Sand’s book that promoted a version of the Khazar theory, which I find more “controversial” than anything Weir has theorized about.

    • Pixel
      Pixel
      August 30, 2015, 3:26 am

      I would agree with you eGuard.

      I hear the sound of rubber hitting road, here.

      Mondoweiss has been a leader.

      It was long in coming but you did create a space for commenters to comment on the AW situation. I admire and respect that. Given the situation, it shows courage and leadership.

      Maybe you figured you’d squeeze your eyes shut really tightly, toss it out there, and move on. And maybe that’s what you will do, or will do for awhile longer.

      Taking the next step, the REAL step, will be the truest measure of courage. Creating a space for discussion is not the same as taking a stand.

      On your site, you’ve done both.

      Courage is contagious. It lights the way for others.

      Be that light, Phil.

      Take the risk and step up.

  8. Les
    Les
    August 26, 2015, 7:59 pm

    Speaking of Jews who don’t follow the official line

    Miri Regev urges the Israeli conductor and the Berlin Philharmonic to drop planned Tehran concert, says visit will undermine Israeli efforts to block nuclear deal.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.673076

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      August 26, 2015, 8:55 pm

      Les: good to learn that some Israeli cabinet ministers embrace cultural boycotts for reasons relating to Zionism! And who is she? WIKI: an Israeli politician and a former Brigadier-general in the Israel Defense Forces, in which she served as IDF Spokeswoman. She is currently a member of the Knesset for Likud and Minister of Culture and Sport.

    • John O
      John O
      August 27, 2015, 3:44 am

      The great Daniel Barenboim, whose West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (which consists largely of Israeli and Palestinian musicians) is a living rebuke to Regev and her ilk.

      • eGuard
        eGuard
        August 28, 2015, 8:58 am

        John O: The great Daniel Barenboim

        This is how great he is: he wants Gaza people be bombed one week only, not four.

    • traintosiberia
      traintosiberia
      August 27, 2015, 10:23 am

      It is pure vile antisemitism to erect barrier to the goods and the produces from OT . It is pure and vile antisemitism not to erect barriers to the flow of the goods and produces to and from Iran ,Iraq,Libya,and Syria.

      But here the problem emerges . Antisemitism can’t be used as legal basis of punishment . So sanction and threat develop around redefinition of Antisemitic activities of any possibility of business with
      Iran and turned it into law through US.
      Boycott through BDS become a victim of charges of antisemitism through criminalization of antisemitism,at least in France and Canada.
      Wiping off Israel and Yellow Ribbon accusation have their strength in evoking the Antisemtism and holocaust . Death to Israel is somekind of Nazi chant not heard in Germany but always meant according to pro sanction anti Iranian Zionist. No one again wants another Reich!
      BDS is portrayed as existential threat to follow similar chain of threats from Saddam,Ghaddafi,to Iran. Only the latest. War,existence,sanction,Antisemtism and right to defend itself get pounded and mixed into amorous ideas of granny concept whose underlying support is unflinching loyalty to the Zionism and continuous unravelling of logic or reason in the service of the Zionism.
      So they try more economic sanction using all angles and every corner in the globe.

  9. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    August 26, 2015, 8:52 pm

    Foxman: “The rejection of this approach undermines the ability to deal with the real anti-Semitism that exists.” (contrasting anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism).

    Glad to see this contrast in print. We should CHAMPION this. It contradicts what some contend is an “official” definition of anti-Semitism — a definition which embraces anti-Zionism as part of anti-semitism, conflating the two.

    And Foxman is well-known and hard for Jews or anyone else to contradict when he makes such a statement!

  10. Krendall Mist
    Krendall Mist
    August 26, 2015, 9:57 pm

    Lots of excessively nuanced and intricate hand-wringing over the natural inclination of people to hold in contempt members of a group the overwhelming majority of which voluntarily and loudly identify with a violent, genocidal criminal enterprise.

  11. bryan
    bryan
    August 27, 2015, 1:45 am

    Interesting point made by Goldberg on the disparity between the American Jewish leadership and the rest of the community: the former feels “prouder” of Israel when it goes on a rampage; the latter feels more “detached” and even “embarrassed”. Why should this be? Is this accounted for by different levels of informedness, honesty, partisanship, emotional investment? Is it simply that one group is composed primarily of Israel-firsters, and the other of America-firsters; one is characterized by tribal loyalties, the other more inclined to universalism?

    On reflection I think there is more to it than that. This is of course not an issue exclusive to American Judaism – we are none of us well-served by our elites and power-brokers, by the cliques and cabals that control us: an exactly parallel situation occurred with regard to British participation in the war on Iraq, with a leadership that was gung-ho, and a followership that was “detached” and “embarrassed”, or quite simply manipulated and lied to. Exactly the same could be said for many other conflicts (e.g. Cold war, Vietnam War, British involvement in Suez attack 1956, etc, etc) Power to the people! Forgive me for ranting.

    • Pixel
      Pixel
      August 30, 2015, 3:41 am

      “the rest of the community…”

      In part, there are growing numbers of kids and grandkids out there loving the older folks while educating them, challenging them, and holding their feet to the fire.

  12. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    August 27, 2015, 2:36 am

    That “some Jews say the same thing” means zilch. Do some Zionists say the same?
    Otherwise non-news, unlikely to be of importance.
    When Zionists say the the same thing as the Rev. Shipman did last year, though, it’s not because they agree with him but because of their sick-to-the bone Zionist understanding of “antisemitism” which doesn’t check with the Rev.’s.

  13. Kay24
    Kay24
    August 27, 2015, 7:36 am

    Those who can, please sign this petition to help achieve their goal.

    Petition to End Gaza Blockade Signed by Over 500,000 in One Day

    Online petition, launched by online activist group Avaaz and backed by some 30 other groups, calls on world leaders to pressure Israel into lifting restrictions on building materials.
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.673164

    • amigo
      amigo
      August 27, 2015, 9:13 am

      Kay , I could not find the link to the petition at that haaretz link.Do you have one.

      • amigo
        amigo
        August 27, 2015, 9:20 am

        Thanks just.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 27, 2015, 11:06 am

        Thanks Just that was helpful. :))

      • just
        just
        August 27, 2015, 11:10 am

        You are both very welcome. I’m hoping that millions sign the petition.

        They are at 555,000+ now.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 28, 2015, 3:08 pm

        There are 590,325 signatures as of now. They are aiming of 600,000, which I am sure they will be able to achieve soon.

    • Pixel
      Pixel
      August 30, 2015, 3:54 am

      Thanks, Kay.

      I’ve been out of the loop and missed this somehow.

      Current total: 606,438

  14. pookieross
    pookieross
    August 27, 2015, 8:19 am

    Is Bruce Shipman’s statement like African-Americans’ use of the N word? Okay for them to use the term but not for White people? I was stunned at the Shipman firing. Would he have kept his job if the dean, Richard Levin, had been a Christian?

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      August 30, 2015, 8:14 am

      pookieross: No. Look at the firing of Steven Salaita. (see: http://123pab.com/blog/2015/08/open-letter-to-uiuc-regarding-steven-salaita.php) and the employment problems of Norman Finkelstein. Where there is pro-Israel pressure, it is the pressor that is Zionist, not the pressee (even if the pressee is Jewish, even if the pressee is Zionist). When UIUC, a public or government university, broke the law (as it is alleged) by abridging Salaita’s free-speech rights (which private universities need not respect) they were caving-in to Zionist pressure irrespective of the zionist tendencies, if any, of the trustees, the chancellor, etc.

  15. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    August 27, 2015, 9:09 am

    How this incident would have played out if Shipman were active in Russia or China deafening Latvian or Tibertian or if he were a Syrian who just got charged with terrorism because he criticized Assad?

    Someone would have picked it up for busy TV slot in evening hours.State department spokesman would then have been lobbed a question. Someone from the NED or embassy would have paid a visit. Seeing support ,Shipman would have tamely uggested to open the door for discussion and probe and woud have asked university to delink itself from the country concerned.
    NYT FOX and CNN would have started referring to this from different angles of American responsibilities and woud have alluded to the climate that fosters fear,suppression,threat ,and disregard for truth ,freedom,and lack of accountability . Other players out of love for money,violence,power,new opportunities or genuine anger would have
    cascaded a chain of events resulting in more rhetorics,hardening of position,and eventual mass agitation on the street .

    Tunisian experience and the subsequent s spread to neighboring countries prove that firing of a figure like Shipman could have achieved same final goals that were fundamentally different from the original goals of the respective countries . The final goals were the summation of the effects of the activities of Media ,NED State dept,Defense and foreign players .
    Color revolution in Serbia,Krygistan and Georgia started out f some cold,tepid not news worthy sparks .
    In case of Shipman a golden opportunity to shine the light on the power of the diverse,pervasive,interconnected Jewish lobby was lost , or to be apt it was never allowed to claim any attention beyond ridicule and angry dismissal.

  16. RobertHenryEller
    RobertHenryEller
    August 27, 2015, 9:12 am

    Do people seriously argue whether U.S. aggression in Vietnam, Iraq, etc. have contributed to feelings of anti-Americanism, which feelings many have acted on? No.

    So, why would Israel’s aggressions have nothing to do with anti-Israeli and anti-Zionist feelings, and expression of those feelings?

    Meanwhile, it’s “perfectly legitimate” for former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren to take out his resentment for the mistreatment he experienced at the hands of his Catholic schoolmates in West Orange, New Jersey, on Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

    In the past year, I’ve decided that I’m a “Chris Rock Jew.” If you don’t get it, watch this:

    • tokyobk
      tokyobk
      August 27, 2015, 7:52 pm

      Thats not the right analogy, though.

      The correct comparative would be whether actions by ISIS in Iraq contribute to Islamophobia in the suburbs of Paris.

      I say no, not legitimately at least.

    • tokyobk
      tokyobk
      August 27, 2015, 8:08 pm

      I respect any persons reasonable self-identity where its no harm to others.

      But, you do know Chris Rock stopped performing this piece, right?

      He realised that white audiences were laughing just a little too hard.

      Judaism is thousands of years old. Zionism and Israel just a hundred and a half.

      There are affirmative ways to be Jewish that are not tied to armed nationalism or anchored to either a positive or negative stereotype.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        August 27, 2015, 9:07 pm

        “There are affirmative ways to be Jewish that are not tied to armed nationalism or anchored to either a positive or negative stereotype.”

        “tokyobk” go tell it to the Zionists!

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        August 30, 2015, 4:10 am

        @ tok

        But, you do know Chris Rock stopped performing this piece, right?

        He realised that white audiences were laughing just a little too hard.

        Source?

    • Pixel
      Pixel
      August 30, 2015, 4:07 am

      LOL.

  17. James Canning
    James Canning
    August 27, 2015, 1:54 pm

    The sacking of Bruce Shipman by Yale University was pathetic.

  18. hophmi
    hophmi
    August 27, 2015, 4:24 pm

    “The fact that so many Jews can address this question without any career damage, and it’s kryptonite for a non-Jewish clergyman (of considerable experience and gravity) is a sad reflection on the American discourse. In fact, it’s a form of ethnic discrimination. And it’s unfair. It’s one thing if only members of a persecuted minority get to comment on that minority; I understand that ancient prohibition. But when you have power– a lot, I say; or a “modicum of power,” as Foxman says — then you should be able to take some criticism.”

    You’re simply incorrect on this. Jews don’t have “a lot” of power as a community, and even if they did, their situation is completely different from that of a majority with power. Jews constitute roughly one-fifth of one percent of the world’s population. Muslims and Christians each constitute over 20 percent of the world’s population. Surely, both have far more power than Jews do.

    In the United States, Jews are less than two percent of the population. In France, they’re less than one percent. In Great Britain, they’re roughly three-tenths of the percent of the population. Criticism of the kind you level leads, rather directly, to violence against Jews in those countries, regardless of what power they have; in France, Jews are the victims of 40 percent of racist crimes in France, 40 times their proportion of the population. Criticism of Jews as “too powerful,” an old antisemitic trope, will also lead to violence against them here.

    Real human rights activists would speak out against these outrages. Here, they’re denied.

    • annie
      annie
      August 27, 2015, 7:10 pm

      Jews are the victims of 40 percent of racist crimes in France

      did you know that in france the law allows recognized anti-racist associations to initiate criminal proceedings even when the public prosecutor declines to do so? so what do you think happens to people who make racist charges against jews in france? you’re aware they have a private militia that meters out retribution as they see fit don’t you? what about the thugs screaming out n**** on the streets. that is illegal in france, were they arrested?

      JDL France, or Ligue de Defense Juive, has been involved in a number of violent incidents in France, believed to be retaliations for frequent attacks on Jews, which watchdog groups attribute mainly to Muslim and Arab radicals.

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/2-french-jews-jailed-for-assaulting-anti-israel-reporter/

      maybe they have 40% of reported crimes because they have people like ghozlan ramping up the accusations.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        August 27, 2015, 10:18 pm

        In the UK there was a recent Guardian article, citing information from the Community Security Trust, which is certainly not prone to minimise the problems of Jewish people. It covers anti-Jewish incidents over Athe decade to, as I remember, 2014. It cites a few cases of what it calls extreme violence but it does not use phrases like lethal violence or homicide.
        There are about 600 homicides in the UK per year, thus 6000 per decade and our Jewish population is about 0.5% – I think both these figures are slight underestimates. If the risk to Jewish citizens were about average then there should have been about 30 homicides over the decade with British Jewish victims and even given a margin for uncertainty about who counts as British and Jewish the figure seems to be, even if we do not say it was zero, very significantly lower than 30 (I think that there was an Israeli Jewish victim of the 7/7 bombings in 2005.)
        I think that this is a reflection of the way that British Jews live in good areas, a result of their high status socially and in terms of education, a status of which they can legitimately be proud – though it also reflects somewhat well on the liberalism of British society in respect of racial monorities. I believe that things would not be too different elsewhere in Western Europe. Things would clearly be worse in terms of statistically predictable security in the Unitec States and in Israel, which has a very slightly higher himicide rate than France or the UK and where the percentage of homicide victims who are Jewish must be higher, considering the much greater Jewish proportion of the population.

      • Pixel
        Pixel
        August 30, 2015, 4:14 am

        so what do you think happens to people who make racist charges against jews in france?

        Racist and allegedly racist

  19. Boomer
    Boomer
    August 27, 2015, 4:29 pm

    re, James Canning: “The sacking of Bruce Shipman by Yale University was pathetic.”

    Indeed it was. Also outrageous, contrary to fundamental values most Americans cherish, and an example of the inordinate power of a special interest to control American discourse and policy. I believe that most Americans resent that kind of power and those kinds of tactics.

    Although more extreme than most other examples, it isn’t something unique in kind to Zionists. Governing America now often seems to be little more than a contest of competing special interests: ethanol producers from Iowa, too-big-to-fail bankers from Wall Street, NRA members from everywhere . . . the list goes on and on. There are some aspects of Zionist power and tactics that are unique, but the general pattern of organized special interest influence is familiar.

    Everyone who visits this site understands that not all American Jews support the Zionist agenda and its tactics. People here don’t conflate Jews with Zionists. But among the public at large, I suspect that distinction is less clear, less often made. When discussing potential sources of anti-Semitism, therefore, perhaps one should include the potential for increasing public awareness of cases like Rev. Shipman.

  20. tokyobk
    tokyobk
    August 27, 2015, 7:56 pm

    Just a note: Bruce Shipman did not work for Yale. He worked for a private organisation that has official ties ti the campus ministry.

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