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Why I use the triple parentheses on my byline

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Here’s why I use the triple parentheses on my byline.

The anti-Semitic “alt-right” started by putting triple parentheses around the names of Jewish newsmakers or reporters, which is they intended as a sinister and ominous signal. There is still genuine anti-Semitism out there that has nothing to do with the Israeli occupation, and I oppose it.

To fight this real anti-Semitism, quite a number of people on-line, many of us not Jewish, started using the triple parentheses ourselves. One of our models is how Danish people reacted when the Nazi occupiers ordered Jewish Danes to wear the yellow star. Everyone in Denmark put the star on — including the king.

It is powerful to see others using the triple parentheses today, including people like the  great Yousef Munayyer, who are also committed to human rights for Palestinian people and an end to the occupation.

I know that some of the people using the triple parentheses are hypocrites, and I don’t care.

I think it’s important to remind people that real anti-Semitism does still exist, but that it has nothing to do with Israel’s criminal behavior in Palestine.

What’s more, the anti-Semites who started this are burrowing into the Trump movement, and they must be exposed and squashed.

James North

James North is a Mondoweiss Editor-at-Large, and has reported from Africa, Latin America, and Asia for four decades. He lives in New York City.

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17 Responses

  1. Sycamores on June 11, 2016, 2:55 pm

    Hi James,

    is the use of triple parentheses just for newsmakers and reporters or can we all use it?

  2. MHughes976 on June 11, 2016, 3:09 pm

    I understand that no order to wear a yellow star was ever issued in Denmark, though King Christian did write in his diary that all should wear it if necessary.

  3. ritzl on June 12, 2016, 4:19 pm

    Noble sentiment (sincerely).

    Equally sincerely, is there a way to similarly diffuse/defuze anti-Palestinian bigots?

    It’s hard for me to adopt this when (((Jeffrey Goldberg))), who doesn’t give the tiniest hoot about bigoted treatment of Palestinians, uses it to highlight his own victimhood. When you, (((James North))) adopt it, it means something important.

    How do I merge the two intents?

    Jonathon Ofir just wrote about this victim tautology today:

    “Condemn! Condemn!,

    Mr. Ofir’s summary of the difficulty:

    I oppose violence. If I thought this condemnation was about opposing violence – even about opposing terror – then I would feel that it was very responsible to condemn. But this is not what it’s about. The condemnation that Israel wants is a card of sympathy for its violent policies of collective punishment, and general terrorizing of a whole population. I am concerned that I will end up supporting terrorism, by condemning it.

    He relates it to violence, but the same circularity can apply here as well. Bigots mimicking bigots to protest bigotry, mixed in with, and indistinguishable from, good people mimicking bigots to protest bigotry.

    Idk. Just trying to wrestle with this.

    Thanks for the article.

  4. YoniFalic on June 12, 2016, 4:23 pm

    After perusing recent “antisemitic” incidents perpetrated by “Jews”, I suspect the (((Jewish))) app was created by Zios to distract from atrocities committed by Zios in Israeli-controlled Palestine.

    I would not put ((()))s around my name if you paid me, and I believe Yonatan Falic is sufficiently Israeli to declare my identity and heritage.

    • hophmi on June 12, 2016, 5:04 pm

      I’m sure you wouldn’t. You’re not into showing solidarity with the Jewish community.

      • echinococcus on June 12, 2016, 5:47 pm

        Which “Jewish community”? The “Jewish communities” I know have all endorsed and helped the invasion, rape and genocide of Palestine. They proudly proclaimed that the worst atrocities since 1945 were being perpetrated in the name of a “Jewish people”, and that it was not a religious, but a racist concept.

        Now, after crying wolf for seventy years about some insignificant “antisemitism”, seventy years of reviling everyone who did not believe that “Jewish” is a nation and that the Zionist crimes against humanity are committed on its behalf, now you guys are protesting the few powerless persons who… take your word. There’s no pleasing youse Zionists, really.

        Instead of that inept, tribal, racist parentheses the only honorable thing to do, if you insist in being known as Jewish (not even asking if religious or not), is to sign with the mention “Antizionist”:
        “Jeroboam Levy, antizionist”, “Methusalem Rappaport, antizionist”, and so on. And make sure it corresponds to fact.

      • Mooser on June 12, 2016, 6:51 pm

        “You’re not into showing solidarity with the Jewish community.”

        Just shows how prejudiced I am against Israel.
        I always thought an IDF combat veteran would be respected by Zionists for life, but I guess it’s not true.

      • Steve Grover on June 12, 2016, 7:50 pm

        Mooser also thinks that Vidkun Quisling should be respected by Norwegians. After all he was a veteran of the Norwegian Army.

      • manfromatlan on June 13, 2016, 12:19 am

        Go away for a long while, come back to my friend Mooser’s argument being twisted around so it doesn’t reflect what he said, again. Sigh.

      • Emory Riddle on June 14, 2016, 11:18 am

        “..solidarity with the Jewish community.”

        This is the whole problem. Shouldn’t our solidarity be with (1) Family; (2) close friends, and (3) our ethical and moral beliefs?

        Not with a religion, a nation, an ethnic group?

        If your nation or religion or “tribe” is in the wrong, shouldn’t you oppose them in their actions?

        In theory the same extends to family and friends but, being human, family comes first. And some real close friends.

      • Mooser on June 14, 2016, 2:48 pm

        “come back to my friend Mooser’s argument being twisted around”

        Let ’em twist all they want. Torque is cheap.

    • manfromatlan on June 13, 2016, 12:16 am

      It does seem rather like a smoke screen, doesn’t it?

  5. DaBakr on June 12, 2016, 11:07 pm

    Parenthesis are as empty as the ‘je suis ……’ campaignes. go ahead and knock yourself out if it makes you feel so proud of your zionist-hating stance. You can use all the justification you can muster to convince anybody you don’t have a ‘jewish’ problem

    • Mooser on June 13, 2016, 11:22 am

      So to have a problem with Zionism, is to have a problem with Jews?

      Well, Zionists might take comfort from that formulation, but don’t expect Jews to adhere to it.
      You’re on your own, “Dabakr”.

  6. adpucci on June 13, 2016, 8:31 am

    Hi James, kudos to you. however, it is rubbish: there is no search tool (not google, not duckduckgo, not twitter, not instagram search) that can search anything with brackets (or parenthesis if you prefer): the punctuation is stripped off – anything like @ – ” . ( ) = and so on – and the “big story” is in fact a non-story.

    Frankly, we do have more important things to worry about, like reality.

    • Mooser on June 13, 2016, 2:42 pm

      First typographical emoticons, and now this. I’m not putting my name in loco parentheses for anybody.

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