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The Centrism of Fools

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HOW TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM
by Bari Weiss
224 pp. Crown $20.00

In 1971, the New York Times published a piece on anti-semitism entitled “The Socialism of Fools.” Written by Seymour Lipset, an eminent scholar of political sociology, it called attention to a major shift in the phenomenon. “Unlike the situation before 1945, when anti-Jewish politics was largely identified with rightist elements,” Lipset observed, “the current wave is linked to governments, parties, and groups which are conventionally described as leftist.” Singling out anti-semitism within the Black nationalist and New Left movements, the piece argued that leftist critiques of Israel and Zionism had become tainted with anti-semitic tropes and that leftists in the United States and Europe were unwittingly parroting Soviet propaganda.  

Lipset was not the first to argue that the left had a problem with anti-semitism. The phrase “socialism of fools” is attributed to August Bebel, a leader of the German socialist movement at the end of the nineteenth century. This internal critique nonetheless upheld the overwhelming association of anti-semitism and the extreme right, which the rise of Nazism and the horrors of the Holocaust made undeniable. In the 1960s, however,  concerns about anti-semitism on the left re-emerged. This time, the warnings came from American Jewish intellectuals who linked their analysis of anti-semitism to a broader argument for a rightward shift in the political orientation of American Jews. 

Many of these individuals played influential roles in the neoconservative movement that emerged in opposition to the perceived extremism of the left. Between the 1960s and the 1980s, prominent neoconservatives connected their calls for a rightward tilt in American politics to issues of Jewish survival. In 1984, Irving Kristol argued that the left had essentially abandoned the Jews. “While American Jews have for the most part persisted in their loyalty to the politics of American liberalism,” he wrote, “that politics has blandly and remorselessly distanced itself from them.” In an interview about his 1984 book on left-wing anti-semitism, Nathan Perlmutter argued that the left’s critique of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East was a bigger problem than the right’s white supremacy. “I am more concerned by an isolationism that may deprive America’s strongest ally in the Middle East,” he said, “than I am with some Klansman in a cow pasture in central Missouri.” 

The cover of How to Fight Anti-Semitism, by Bari Weiss

The cover of How to Fight Anti-Semitism, by Bari Weiss

Today, a new generation of American Jewish intellectuals is calling attention to the rise of anti-semitism on the left. At age 33, New York Times columnist wunderkind Bari Weiss is both one of the youngest and most prominent members of this group. Like Lipset, Weiss eschews the neocon label, identifying herself as a centrist. Her first book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism, which came out in September, ostensibly warns against the rise of anti-semitism on both the left and the right. Yet, like other recent works in this vein, such as Deborah Lipstadt’s Antisemitism Here and Now, which was published earlier this year, the essential point of Weiss’ book is to call out the left for being just as bad or worse than the right. In so doing, she continues the neoconservative tradition of smearing the left through accusations of anti-semitism. While Weiss draws attention to some real issues of anti-semitism on the left, her analysis ultimately contributes to a dangerous distortion of the phenomenon and a tired effort to tarnish progressive social movements in the name of centrist moderation. 

In the opening pages of the book, Weiss writes movingly about the massacre that took place in 2018 at the Tree of Life synagogue in her hometown of Pittsburgh, where a white nationalist murdered eleven worshippers and injured six others. It was the deadliest attack on Jews in the history of the United States. A good portion of the book’s first half is dedicated to recounting this and other acts of anti-semitic violence committed by right-wing extremists. While impassioned and necessary, such condemnations of heinous atrocities don’t offer original insight into the contemporary phenomenon of anti-semitism.  

As the book continues, it becomes clear that accounts of anti-semitism on the right serve mainly as preludes to the real crux of the book, which is a diatribe against anti-semitism on the left. While Weiss acknowledges that right-wing anti-semitism is responsible for the vast majority of physical violence against Jews in the United States and Europe today, she points out that such acts are vocally condemned by virtually all Americans, including President Trump. Unlike right-wing antisemitism, which is transparent and obvious, she argues, left-wing antisemitism is a “far more subtle and sophisticated enterprise” that is “typically camouflaged in…the language of social justice and anti-racism, of equality and liberation.” And because Jews have historically identified with the left, its anti-semitism is disavowed, tolerated, and allowed to spread even further. Because it poses an internal threat to liberal values and institutions, left-wing anti-semitism is ultimately more “insidious and perhaps more existentially dangerous” than its right-wing counterpart. 

A central part of Weiss’ argument, and of self-professed centrists more generally, is the claim that anti-Zionism is inherently anti-semitic. “When anti-Zionism becomes a normative political position,” she writes, “active anti-Semitism becomes the norm.” Insisting that the long history of Jewish critiques of Zionism are invalid in a post-Holocaust world, she refuses to engage the possibility that this worldview has any contemporary value, mockingly dismissing it as the platform of a mere “few hundred committed anarchists in Brooklyn and Berkeley.” And while Weiss ostensibly acknowledges that not all criticism of Israel is anti-semitic, she devotes just one paragraph of the entire book to the illiberalism of the current Israeli government and the atrocities it has committed against the Palestinians. More broadly, she parrots a dangerous conceptualization of anti-semitism that includes criticism of the Israeli state. Under the guise of political neutrality, the “working definition of anti-semitism,” which has been adopted by the U.K. government, the European Union, and a wide array of non-governmental organizations, inordinately targets leftist critiques of Israel’s human rights transgressions. Even the American scholar who first drafted the working definition has condemned its use as a tool of repression of free speech.  

There is a legitimate debate to be had on the question of whether and why Israel is singled out by the left in comparison to other states that also commit human rights abuses and atrocities on a systematic basis. But while Weiss and other centrists complain that Israel’s wrongdoing is distorted and taken out of context, they routinely do the same in their targeting of leftist intellectuals and activists. Refusing to seriously engage with the ideas of leftist scholars who situate Israel within a paradigm of settler colonialism and European and American imperialism, she instead cherry picks examples to expose a supposedly systemic problem. While she quotes a few grossly anti-semitic comments made by professors in Columbia’s Middle Eastern Studies department, she leaves out the many more instances in which professors at Columbia and elsewhere have been singled out by right-leaning Jewish groups, including Canary Mission, simply for critiquing Zionism or supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Painting leftist intellectuals as a bunch of anti-semitic bullies, she remains silent about her own role in  campaigns that sought to destroy the careers and reputations of many professors in the name of “academic freedom.” 

Islam is another key element of the centrist exposé of leftist anti-semitism. Weiss complains that the left accuses anyone who calls out anti-semitism in the Muslim community of being Islamophobic. “This goes a long way toward explaining why” the woke left “will harp endlessly about a bakery that won’t make a gay wedding cake but have nothing to say about honor killings.” Although the legacy of European colonialism may explain the existence of anti-semitism in the Middle East today, she argues, it should not excuse such beliefs. But while Weiss is quick to point out the dangers of relying too heavily on postcolonial ideology, she refuses to acknowledge the ways in which her own views are shaped by post 9/11 ideology. The book routinely equates Islam and Islamist extremism and mimics the talking points of the post 9/11 U.S. national security apparatus. One of the examples she offers of Muslim anti-semitism in the United States is the 2009 attempted bombing of two synagogues in the Bronx. Echoing the mainstream media’s reportage of these events, she omits the fact that these supposed anti-Semitic terrorists were hungry, homeless, and mentally ill vagrants from Newburgh, New York who were entrapped by the FBI, which created the idea of the plot, offered large sums of money to its targets, and trained them to use bombs. This is a glaring example of the many ways in which Weiss and others distort the views and activities of prominent progressive Muslims such as Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib who have been accused of anti-Semitism. Obsessing over their use of anti-semitic tropes, Weiss downplays the racist tropes that have been enlisted against them and pathologizes the bonds of solidarity that have formed between them and progressive Jewish groups. 

The tone-deafness that Weiss displays in relation to her own Islamophobia is accompanied by her willful blindness to the role of race in debates about contemporary anti-semitism. Challenging the notion that anti-semitism has anything to do with race, Weiss refutes the claim that Jews are white. Roughly half the Jews in Israel, she notes, are Sephardic, coming from Spain, North Africa, Persia, and the Middle East. This may be true, but it doesn’t account for the complex ways in which European racial ideology nonetheless persists in Israel, as examined in the work of Ella Shohat. It also doesn’t address the racial status of Jews in the United States. In her 1998 book, How Jews Became White Folks, Karen Brodkin explores the ambivalence and anxiety that accompanied Jews’ acceptance into the proverbial postwar American Dream. In contrast, Weiss formulaically acknowledges her own privilege as a Jew in contemporary America, but doesn’t acknowledge how this status is premised on whiteness. She is thus unable to grapple with the ways in which her ideas have been shaped by the legacies of a racialized centrist liberalism.

“The center has fallen away,” laments Weiss. Like Arthur Schlesinger, author of the 1949 book, The Vital Center, Weiss presents centrism as the rational, reasonable response to an America threatened by extremism on both the right and the left. And like Schlesinger, Weiss imagines herself as an objective voice of moderation who stands outside and above ideology. While the extremists on both sides of the ideological spectrum embrace a dangerous “tribal fealty,” she stands only for truth and justice. Weiss aims her warning about the dangers of anti-semitism on the left at those who similarly regard the polarization of American politics as the existential threat to the nation and who desire a return to the vital center. 

The book’s ideal reader is an American Jew who identifies as liberal but feels alienated and unwelcome in progressive circles. The concluding chapter of the book offers advice to this reader on how to “fight back”: “stop blaming yourself,” “support Israel,” “lean into Judaism,” “tell your story.” Conversely, Weiss characterizes Jewish progressives as aiders and abetters of anti-semitism, comparable to pro-Stalinist Jews who were “agents in their own destruction” in the Soviet Union. If you are one of these individuals, Weiss wants to warn you to see the error of your ways before it is too late. Though couched in the language of care and concern, these warnings come off as thinly-veiled political smears that perpetuate right-wing caricatures of the left. 

To many progressives, Weiss is almost too easy to lambast. As recent reviews of her book illustrate, she is one of those figures the left loves to hate. But while Weiss and other Never Trump neocons may be easy targets, it is not enough to deride centrist responses to anti-semitism. Although they do not come anywhere close to providing good answers, they do grapple with some important questions about the role, status, and experience of Jews in progressive politics. Some of the most interesting and provocative moments in How to Fight Anti-Semitism are those in which Weiss expresses feelings of exclusion from progressive circles that, she argues, inject a sense of guilt and shame into contemporary Jewish identity. 

It’s a familiar claim that echoes the talking points of Bill Maher and other centrist critics of the left in general. Instead of simply dismissing or mocking these sentiments, we might explore how other Jewish intellectuals have navigated them more productively. Michael Lerner, a rabbi and founder of the Jewish renewal movement, is a good example. Lerner is a committed leftist. For decades, he has argued on behalf of progressive movements for social justice, criticized Israel, and warned against the dangers of the neoconservative movement’s efforts to court American Jews. He and his family have been personally targeted by militant Zionists. On the subject of anti-semitism, however, Lerner is no apologist for the left. His 1992 book, The Socialism of Fools: Anti-Semitism on the Left, written in the wake of the Crown Heights Riots, amidst rising tensions between Jews and blacks, ostensibly shares some of the concerns of the centrists. Lerner argued that the contemporary movement for racial justice was unnecessarily alienating Jews. He was particularly angry about the characterization of Jews as white beneficiaries of the American dream and oppressors of black and brown communities. 

In articulating his frustrations, Lerner also pushed back against the claim that Jews are white. However, he did so in a way that recasts whiteness as its own form of oppression. In Jews and Blacks (1995), a book of transcribed conversations between Lerner and Cornel West, Lerner acknowledges the historical, material, and psychological wages of Jewish whiteness in America: “Not only were we beneficiaries of American abundance (bought by Americans at the cost of genociding [sic] American Indians and then enslaving millions of Africans and killing millions more in the process), we were also less likely to become the primary victimized Other in the U.S. precisely because that role was already filled by African-Americans.” Lerner also highlights how acceptance into white America in the 1950s contributed to social complacency: “Most American Jews were interested in normalizing their life in America…focused on making it and accumulating wealth and power.”

Instead of denying the historical reality of whiteness, he highlights whiteness as a form of material and psychological dependency that is ultimately bad for whites, as well as for blacks. In so doing, he echoes the critique of whiteness articulated by James Baldwin and others whose writings inspired the academic field of whiteness studies that blossomed across universities during the 1980s and 1990s. Lerner argues that whiteness forces Jews to focus only on their particular self-interests and to forget the universalistic tradition of tikkun olam, a duty to heal and transform the world. Using the language of religion and spirituality, he highlights the political dangers of reinforcing the association of Jews and whiteness: “Those who see Jews as ‘privileged’ or ‘white’ actually help strengthen Jewish right wingers’ paranoia about a world that will always remain as insensitive to Jews as it has been in the genocidal 20th century.” Instead of a politics that downplays Jewish oppression, and makes Jews feel bad about themselves, Lerner calls for a transformative “Politics of Meaning” that is fueled by a sense of solidarity and a shared desire to fundamentally change the established order on behalf of everyone.  

Lerner’s approach is not without its problems and Cornel West rightly questioned how his vision could work to obscure rather than highlight the inequities of racialized capitalism, among other things. But it is an important reminder that we don’t need to deny the existence of anti-semitism on the left in order to fight its far more dangerous manifestations in contemporary right-wing politics. At a very basic level, we can acknowledge the existence of anti-semitism in the history of leftist thought and politics. Yes, the figure of the Jew in Marx’s writings is anti-semitic. Yes, Stalin did massacre thousands of Jews, including many who were loyal to the cause. We can also acknowledge that contemporary leftist discourse occasionally, if mostly unwittingly, flirts with anti-Semitic tropes and assumptions. Yes, it is problematic to exclude individuals from the Women’s March simply because they were carrying the Star of David. 

But, neither do we need to accept the centrist formulation of the problem. The Women’s March is a good example. For Weiss, the problem is that Zionists are not welcome in progressive circles. But, for progressive Jews, the problem is the assumption that a Jewish symbol is interpreted as a Zionist symbol, erasing the role of Jews in the history of the left and working against a politics of solidarity. The issue the left needs to confront is not anti-semitism, per se, but instead the role, status, and meaning of Jewishness in progressive politics. Searching for better ways to incorporate Jewishness into progressive politics can be a source of strength on the left. Groups like IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace are testaments to such transformative possibilities.

Ultimately, Weiss and other neoconservative analysts of contemporary anti-semitism force Jews into a cynical politics that pits Jewish survival against other movements for social justice. Progressives have a more compelling vision to offer in which a politics of solidarity addresses threats against Jewish communities not at the expense of other “others,” but alongside them.

Hannah Gurman

Hannah Gurman is a Clinical Associate Professor of History and American Studies at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

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76 Responses

  1. JaapBo on November 4, 2019, 3:55 pm

    Interesting article, with many points that I agree with.

    There is one point I don’t agree with: the description of the Dyke March. It was not ‘a Jewish symbol interpreted as a Zionist symbol’. The people kicked-out behaved as Zionists, not simply as Jews. See: https://mondoweiss.net/2017/07/marching-beyond-pinkwashing/

    Another point is ‘whiteness’: I don’t like the concept, not as applied to American Jews, nor as applied to whites. It generalises and carries the assumption that ALL whites are privileged. This is certainly not the case. We have to be really careful with this concept:
    – it has a vague meaning; there is some truth to it, but only in a stochastic sense
    – to many whites it feels hostile; I’m afraid it encourages populism and atavism
    – it marginalises other causes of inequalities; it pits whites against coloureds instead of marginalised people against all causes of their marginalisation
    – it drives people towards Trump with his fake solutions instead of towards Sanders with his genuine solutions

    • Keith on November 4, 2019, 5:18 pm

      JAAPBO- “Another point is ‘whiteness’: I don’t like the concept, not as applied to American Jews, nor as applied to whites. It generalises and carries the assumption that ALL whites are privileged.”

      It does not ASSUME that all whites are privileged. It recognizes the historical reality that, in the West, white people have dominated the positions of wealth and power which they used/use to maintain their dominant position. Also, that the perpetuation of relative white dominance is intrinsically linked to widespread white belief in racial superiority either consciously or unconsciously. Furthermore, that failure to actively redress this current situation of racial discrimination will de facto perpetuate it. And your contention that recognizing this legitimate problem only exacerbates it is ludicrous. Reality is what it is and you can’t deal with something which you refuse to acknowledge.

    • Misterioso on November 5, 2019, 10:49 am

      Sigh. Bari Weiss, the privileged Zionist princess, spews forth nonsense and ignores the well documented fact that she and her kind whose roots lie in Europe, not Palestine, facilitate, encourage and help finance the brutal, illegal occupation, dispossession and ethnic cleansing of the essentially defenseless indigenous Palestinians who including their ancestors, have lived continuously between the River and the Sea for at least 15,000 years.

    • Elisabeth on November 5, 2019, 2:39 pm

      This reminder by people of color to white people came by on Facebook:

      “Reminder to white people:
      You will continue to mess up re racism. So continue to be teachable, open to correction from POC and vigilantly monitor yourself for defensiveness and white fragility. You never ‘arrive’ as an ally, you must continually *practice* allyship.”

      In my opinion, the work required of allies is concrete action. Seeing and acknowledging that being white means there is a very big chance that you wil not be confronted with problems others have to deal with and trying to do something about it. There is no need to portray white people as if they constantly have to wage an inner war against what is supposedly their natural state, namely being racist

      The head start of the west in science was coincidental; it made colonialism and the industrial revolution possible. In this way white people got to be economically in charge in large parts of the world. This makes white racism more harmful than other racism, but certainly not more prevalent. (If you ever talked to Chinese, Japanese or Indians during travel in their countries you will know.)

      To approach the problem as if there is something uniquely wrong with the white psyche is getting at the problem backwards. There is something wrong with the position of power whites are in, not with their psyche, or “whiteness”. It is counterproductive to march white people collectively into Freud’s study and force them to lie down on the famous couch. Especially if objections are labelled beforehand as ‘white fragility’.

      So I agree with Jaap.

      • Mooser on November 5, 2019, 6:02 pm

        “There is no need to portray white people as if they constantly have to wage an inner war against what is supposedly their natural state, namely being racist”

        It’s not necessarily always an ‘inner war’, it’s an outer war, a war about how much territory a person trying to be non-racist is willing to, or can be made to, concede to racism, which is always demanding more.

      • Keith on November 5, 2019, 6:28 pm

        ELISABETH- “So I agree with Jaap.”

        So you agree with JaapBo that it is inappropriate to acknowledge/discuss white privilege? You “don’t like the concept (of whiteness), not as applied to American Jews, nor as applied to whites?” Interesting.

      • Elisabeth on November 6, 2019, 4:11 am

        JaapBo never said that is it is inappropriate to acknowledge/discuss white privilege. He said he is against generalizing the assumption that ALL whites are privileged. He brought up some good points as to why this is counterproductive. What his ideological misstep is, exactly, is not clear to me. But then, I am not American, and Americans always lead the world in correct thinking and correct use of language.

      • echinococcus on November 6, 2019, 11:08 am

        Elizabeth,

        “What his ideological misstep is, exactly, is not clear to me. But then, I am not American, and Americans always lead the world in correct thinking and correct use of language.”

        I’m just as badly lost by this correct usage (even though I was born here, I emigrated as a small child and only returned past the age of 50.) It seems that Jaap also made the mistake of forgetting he was discussing racial categories with Americans. When doing so, it’s mandatory to use entire pages to explain what can be otherwise summarized by single words, and so lose the listener’s attention.

  2. Keith on November 4, 2019, 4:06 pm

    HANNAH GURMAN- “Ultimately, Weiss and other neoconservative analysts of contemporary anti-semitism force Jews into a cynical politics that pits Jewish survival against other movements for social justice.”

    Jewish survival? Jeez, and here I thought that Jews were doing quite nicely compared to other groups.

    HANNAH GURMAN- “Searching for better ways to incorporate Jewishness into progressive politics can be a source of strength on the left.”

    Love to hear your definition of Jewishness and how Jewish sectarianism can strengthen the left, particularly the non-Jewish left.

    • Mooser on November 5, 2019, 4:57 pm

      “Keith”, are you a member of the Student Non-violent Interim Team, commonly known as ‘SNIT’?

      • Keith on November 5, 2019, 7:39 pm

        MOOSER- ““Keith”, are you a member of the Student Non-violent Interim Team, commonly known as ‘SNIT’?”

        No, and I don’t wear knickers either. Walking home today I passed a yard sign which might interest you. Check it out.

        QUEEN ANNE HEBREW SCHOOL
        Learn it Live it Love it
        No synagogue membership required

      • Mooser on November 6, 2019, 1:45 pm

        “QUEEN ANNE HEBREW SCHOOL”

        This is low, “Keith”. I would not have thought you capable of it, but here it is.
        You went through my archive (pressing “more comments” over 200 times!) to find the story of my Bar Mitzvah, and how badly I blew my Hoftorah. (And what it cost me!) I could not make Hebrew come out of my mouth.
        That was over a half-a-century ago, can’t we let it go?
        Yes, goddamit, I should have simply rote memorized the passage, passed it smoothly over my larynx with a minor melody, and given my parents the bit of nachas they surely deserved on that day.
        But I blew it, big time. And after that, the idea of trading in the Baldwin 46H (sounds “like a crane in heat”) for a B3- Leslie combo was a dead letter.

        And while you are in Queen Anne “Keith” you should really look for these signs.

  3. JWalters on November 4, 2019, 6:26 pm

    “leftist critiques of Israel and Zionism had become tainted with anti-semitic tropes and … leftists … were unwittingly parroting Soviet propaganda.”

    A big problem with Bari “Mossad” Weiss’s theory is that those people she’s talking about, like me, know perfectly well that we are not in the slightest antisemitic, and not in the slightest Russian puppets. And that is the larger audience, not her in-group of fanatic war profiteers and their mercenary talking heads

  4. RoHa on November 5, 2019, 1:30 am

    In 1984, Irving Kristol argued that the left had essentially abandoned the Jews. “While American Jews have for the most part persisted in their loyalty to the politics of American liberalism,” he wrote, “that politics has blandly and remorselessly distanced itself from them.” In an interview about his 1984 book on left-wing anti-semitism, Nathan Perlmutter argued that the left’s critique of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East was a bigger problem than the right’s white supremacy. “I am more concerned by an isolationism that may deprive America’s strongest ally in the Middle East,”

    In other words, the American slightly-less-rabid-right-wingers (laughably called “left”) were not as fanatically pro-Israel as Kristol and Perlmutter wanted them to be.

    • Keith on November 5, 2019, 11:06 am

      ROHA- (Quote)- “In 1984, Irving Kristol argued that the left had essentially abandoned the Jews.”

      Please note how the rapid turn to the right by organized American Jewry following the 1967 war is described as the left abandoning the Jews.

      • Mooser on November 5, 2019, 4:16 pm

        Stop me if I have said this before, but: “as goes the Right, so go the all-rightniks“.

      • Keith on November 5, 2019, 6:13 pm

        MOOSER- “Stop me if I have said this before…”

        You repeat yourself? Perish the thought. You are a verbal recycler.

        MOOSER- “as goes the Right, so go the all-rightniks“.

        I assume “all-rigthniks” refers to those New Democrats like your idol Field Marshall Hillary?

      • RoHa on November 5, 2019, 6:17 pm

        Stop.

      • Mooser on November 5, 2019, 7:10 pm

        “Stop”

        Why didn’t you tell me this before it was too late, and I posted the comment? Well, thanks for trying.

      • echinococcus on November 6, 2019, 12:04 am

        Keith,

        “Idol” is too strong and, I suspect, inaccurate. Let’s call her the designated final beneficiary of his opinion postings and vote endorsement.

      • Mooser on November 6, 2019, 1:52 pm

        I just don’t know why I am so obsessed with Hillary Clinton. Maybe you guys could help me out?

      • Tuyzentfloot on November 6, 2019, 2:38 pm

        Mooser says: I just don’t know why I am so obsessed with Hillary Clinton. Maybe you guys could help me out?

        Because she’s hot.

      • Mooser on November 6, 2019, 6:02 pm

        “Because she’s hot.”

        That must be why I always bring her into the conversation.

      • Keith on November 6, 2019, 6:52 pm

        MOOSER- “Maybe you guys could help me out?”

        Because you are an excessively loyal masochist?

      • Keith on November 6, 2019, 6:58 pm

        TUYZENTFLOOT- “Because she’s hot.”

        Credit where credit is due. The fact that you could make that comment – even in jest – indicates a cast iron constitution.

      • Tuyzentfloot on November 7, 2019, 3:33 am

        Mooser says:That must be why I always bring her into the conversation.

        You want to keep her to yourself.

      • Mooser on November 9, 2019, 12:16 pm

        Gee, when I type “Hillary” into the “Find…” feature on my browser, the first entry is

        “I assume “all-rigthniks” refers to those New Democrats like your idol Field Marshall Hillary?” “Keith” on November 5, 2019, 6:13 pm.

        I like you “Keith”, you have a balanced personality, equal parts ass and asshole.

      • Keith on November 9, 2019, 4:04 pm

        MOOSER- “I like you “Keith”, you have a balanced personality, equal parts ass and asshole.”

        My, but aren’t you touchy when you feel that someone has besmirched the Princess of Darkness. But still you manage to maintain your cleverness and wit. Timely response, too. Kudos. You entered “Hillary” in your web browser? Interesting.

  5. RoHa on November 5, 2019, 1:30 am

    left-wing antisemitism is a “far more subtle and sophisticated enterprise” that is “typically camouflaged in…the language of social justice and anti-racism, of equality and liberation.”

    Does she give examples of the anti-Semitism lurking under these guises?

    • Keith on November 5, 2019, 11:37 pm

      ROHA- “Does she give examples of the anti-Semitism lurking under these guises?”

      Who needs examples when your ideology defines anti-Semitism as a truism?

      • RoHa on November 6, 2019, 8:57 am

        You are right, of course.

        My apologies to Ms Weiss.

        I do have this bad habit of wanting solid evidence and sound arguments. I must try to overcome it.

      • echinococcus on November 6, 2019, 11:15 am

        Evidence?
        “I know it when I see it” is the American standard for obscenity and antisemitism, as “used in 1964 by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio.”

      • Keith on November 6, 2019, 11:31 am

        ROHA- “I do have this bad habit of wanting solid evidence and sound arguments.”

        Still living in the past? Nowadays you have to go along to get along.

        ROHA- “I must try to overcome it.”

        There is hope for you yet. As we enter the age of neo-feudalism it will be necessary to select a corporate sponsored identity group and swear unswerving loyalty. Thinking is a no-no for us little people, identity politics our only hope for salvation. God save Wall Street and the Princess of Darkness!

  6. RoHa on November 5, 2019, 1:31 am

    “Challenging the notion that anti-semitism has anything to do with race, Weiss refutes the claim that Jews are white. “

    Most of those I know look like white people to me. But I suspect that “whiteness” here isn’t just a matter of skin colour. If it is a matter of privilege and social position, then American Jews seem to share the same privileges and social positions as the other “white” people.

    So what is the basis for the claim that American Jews are not “white’?

  7. RoHa on November 5, 2019, 1:31 am

    He was particularly angry about the characterization of Jews as white beneficiaries of the American dream and oppressors of black and brown communities. 

    And they aren’t?

    • Mooser on November 5, 2019, 11:36 am

      “And they aren’t?”

      “RoHa”, that’s just the way the matzoh crumbles, sometimes…

  8. RoHa on November 5, 2019, 1:32 am

    “We can also acknowledge that contemporary leftist discourse occasionally, if mostly unwittingly, flirts with anti-Semitic tropes and assumptions. “

    Any examples?

  9. RoHa on November 5, 2019, 1:35 am

    “The issue the left needs to confront is not anti-semitism, per se, but instead the role, status, and meaning of Jewishness in progressive politics. Searching for better ways to incorporate Jewishness into progressive politics can be a source of strength on the left. Groups like IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace are testaments to such transformative possibilities. “

    I would think the onus is on those who think that Jewishness has some value for the “left” to demonstrate that value.
    For example, they could explain exactly how INN and JVP have strengthened the “left”.

  10. RoHa on November 5, 2019, 1:35 am

    “Progressives have a more compelling vision to offer in which a politics of solidarity addresses threats against Jewish communities not at the expense of other “others,” but alongside them. “

    The current “progressive” drivel offers little in the way of solidarity. Instead, it seems designed to splinter the “progressives” into tiny “identities”, none of which have anything to do with what old-fashioned socialists like myself think of as solidarity with the people.

    • Mooser on November 5, 2019, 11:41 am

      “Instead, it seems designed to splinter the “progressives” into tiny “identities”, none of which have anything to do with what old-fashioned socialists like myself think of as solidarity with the people.”

      Oh, I can see that. It is terribly un-socialist to conceive of equality under law and civil rights for all inspite of differences in personal identity.
      Certainly, the only acceptable socialist solution is to make civil and legal rights contingent on an ‘acceptable’ personal identity. Right?

      • RoHa on November 5, 2019, 6:29 pm

        No, the old-fashioned socialist position is for people to co-operate in overthrowing the capitalist system instead of obsessing about their “personal identity”.

      • Mooser on November 5, 2019, 6:48 pm

        As I’m sure you know, in the US anybody who advocates for regulated capitalism, civil rights and government for the benefit of people is labelled “left”.

        ” instead of obsessing about their “personal identity”.

        Yeah, yeah, if everybody simply imagines they are ‘white’ instead of worrying about who they are, and what is happening to them, racism and bigotry would disappear.

      • echinococcus on November 5, 2019, 11:52 pm

        Moooser,

        “… in the US anybody who advocates for regulated capitalism, civil rights and government for the benefit of people is labelled ‘left’ ”

        As you well should know by now, your “regulated capitalism” doesn’t mean snit, civil rights are neutral between “left” or “right”, as is “the people”, to be defined by the question “which people”?– at least in the world at large. The way you put it, empire and war of aggression are perfectly OK with your triad.

        There being no “left” worth even mentioning in the US, it means that the US labeling you cooked up is pure propaganda (I’ll abstain from calling it “left” or “right”.)

        Thank you for bringing it up, anwyay. But, again, the question was about so-called “identities”, which are totally irrelevant to “left” or “right”.

    • Keith on November 5, 2019, 7:27 pm

      ROHA- “The current “progressive” drivel offers little in the way of solidarity. Instead, it seems designed to splinter the “progressives” into tiny “identities”, none of which have anything to do with what old-fashioned socialists like myself think of as solidarity with the people.”

      Identity politics is essential to both political parties for the simple reason that both parties pursue unpopular policies benefiting the 1%, with only slight variation. A new variant is the manufacture of internal discord by branding opposing groups as the enemy. Matt Taibbi has a new book out called “Hate Inc.” concerning the conscious effort of the media to get us to despise one another. Below is a quote and a link.

      “But what Taibbi was at length able to understand, and what he is now able to describe for us with both wit and controlled outrage, is that our corporate media have devised — at least for the time being — highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21). And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

      Or pretty much so. Taibbi is more historically precise. Because of the tweaking of the Herman/Chomsky propaganda model necessitated by the disappearance of the USSR in 1991 (“The Russians escaped while we weren’t watching them, / As Russians do…,” Jackson Browne presciently prophesied on MTV way back in 1983), one might now want to speak of a Propaganda Model 2.0. For, as Taibbi notes, “…the biggest change to Chomsky’s model is the discovery of a far superior ‘common enemy’ in modern media: each other. So long as we remain a bitterly-divided two-party state, we’ll never want for TV villains” (pp. 207-208).”(John Siman) https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/11/manufacturing-fear-and-loathing-maximizing-corporate-profits-a-review-of-matt-taibbis-hate-inc-why-todays-media-makes-us-despise-one-another.html

      • RoHa on November 6, 2019, 2:11 am

        “A new variant is the manufacture of internal discord by branding opposing groups as the enemy. ”

        Isn’t the concocted notion of “whiteness” part of this?

      • Mooser on November 6, 2019, 1:55 pm

        “Isn’t the concocted notion of “whiteness” part of this?”

        You are welcome to drink a quart or two of melanin, wait a while and then tell us how “concocted” “the notion of whiteness” is.

      • Keith on November 6, 2019, 7:05 pm

        ROHA- “Isn’t the concocted notion of “whiteness” part of this?”

        Right! Nobody here but us chickens! Since when did you take up self-parody?

      • RoHa on November 7, 2019, 12:27 am

        Like Elizabeth, I find it hard to keep up with the language of American race problems, but it seems to me that the term “whiteness” only popped quite recently, and so it seems a good candidate for being part of the “highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent” “that our corporate media have devised”.

      • Keith on November 7, 2019, 1:24 pm

        ROHA- “it seems to me that the term “whiteness” only popped quite recently….”

        Surely you jest. Let me assure you that for centuries white Americans have thought of themselves as white. Also, white privilege is not a new concept even though it is only recently been getting the attention it deserves. The pushback against the term white privilege is a defensive position of those white people who feel threatened by this historical reality for whatever reason. Many Ashkenazi Jews, for example, cannot conceive of themselves as other than victims, hence, the notion of Jewish white privilege is irreconcilable with their self image.

        What Matt Taibbi is actually talking about is the focusing of the mass media into catering to specific demographics and appealing to their emotions and anger. Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow appear on the cover of his book as the archetypal examples of “news” personalities who are effectively rabble rousers stoking the manufactured hate of the groups they are appealing to. Below is a link to an interview of Taibbi with Chris Hedges which I highly recommend.
        https://riseuptimes.org/2019/06/03/chris-hedges-conversation-with-matt-taibbi-part-2-of-the-deep-rot-in-american-journalism/

      • RoHa on November 7, 2019, 11:08 pm

        I know that white Americans have thought of themselves as white. But the term “whiteness” and the underlying suggestion that being white entails being a racist are new to me. That is why I suspect it of being part of the divide and conquer tactic.

        https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/identity-politics-divide-conquer/

        “The pushback against the term white privilege is a defensive position of those white people who feel threatened by this historical reality for whatever reason.”

        Do you have any evidence for this, or is it a hunch on your part?

      • echinococcus on November 8, 2019, 12:22 am

        Let’s not have a discussion among the deaf, Keith. You should really explain more exactly what the specifically American meaning and, more importantly, connotations of “White” are to non-US-persons, who are using it in a different sense. It takes quite a long time to get it.

      • oldgeezer on November 8, 2019, 9:01 am

        @RoHa et al

        while the suggestion of white privilege may be questionable by some I am astounded that anyone can not realize and understand that white privilege is real.

        Every time I operate a car I benefit from white privilege. Everytime I applied for a job I benefit from white privilege. Any time I call the cops (hmmm ok never). Anytime I enter a store. Anytime I do pretty much anything in my life I benefit from it.

        Even the most under privileged white person benefits from it when compared to the equally underprivileged poc.

        I suspect it doesn’t exist in all countries. It might even be a detriment in some. It does exist in all white majority countries for sure. The system is built around it. Many of our laws were based on it and I’m sure there are many laws left to be changed or repealed.

        In fact if I’m totally honest I have another major benefit in that I benefit from male privilege as well. Oh to be white and have a penis! It’s not that we don’t need to work and earn our way through life. It’s not that I’m rich or powerful. It is that we don’t face the hurdles, barriers, negative assumptions, suspicions that are faced by poc or women.

        I am pretty sure that none of my potential employers ever debated whether I might be getting pregnant in the near future. I am equally sure that none of them ever debated running a security check with the rcmp due to my ethnicity even though a citizen of my country. We did do checks on everyone for bonding purposes but I’m not referring to that type of check.

        It is a part of the system. It is everywhere. It can change. It will change. It is changing but there is a long way to go before we get there.

      • eljay on November 8, 2019, 11:35 am

        || oldgeezer: @RoHa et al
        while the suggestion of white privilege may be questionable by some I am astounded that anyone can not realize and understand that white privilege is real. … ||

        I agree that White privilege is real and that it should not exist.

        I also believe the same to be true about anti-Semitism.

        I believe that it’s as wrong to smear people with destructive accusations of White privilege as it is to smear them with destructive accusations of anti-Semitism.

      • Keith on November 8, 2019, 2:31 pm

        ROHA- “Do you have any evidence for this, or is it a hunch on your part?”

        It is my considered opinion based upon countless observations along with intuitive pattern recognition. People tend to resist concepts which they perceive threaten their status and/or well being, including their self-perception. Since I consider the evidence for historical systemic US/European white racism leading to contemporary white privilege to be massive and overwhelming (slavery, segregation, lynchings, imperialism, etc), I cannot accept that there is a legitimate reason to denounce the term. The concept of white privilege is apparently threatening to those who deny that their present status may, in fact, reflect white privilege. I should add that part of white privilege derives from US imperialism which resulted in a somewhat elevated US lifestyle at the expense of Third World peoples who we have exploited and in many cases immiserated. That is coming to an end as the 99% is beginning to discover.

        “We live entangled in webs of endless deceit, often self-deceit, but with a little honest effort, it is possible to extricate ourselves from them. If we do, we will see a world that is rather different from the one presented to us by a remarkably effective ideological system, a world much uglier, often horrifying.” (Noam Chomsky)

      • Keith on November 8, 2019, 3:02 pm

        ELJAY- “I believe that it’s as wrong to smear people with destructive accusations of White privilege….”

        Who is being smeared? Am I smearing myself to acknowledge that I have benefited from white privilege? A self-hating honky? Are you equating discussing this aspect of the US political economy as tantamount to smearing someone? Acknowledging white privilege amounts to a destructive accusation?

      • Mooser on November 8, 2019, 3:04 pm

        “You should really explain more exactly what the specifically American meaning and, more importantly, connotations of “White” are to non-US-persons,”

        Exactly. I mean, it’s not as if “RoHa” could find anything in Australia’s history to inform him about this, or even Britain’s history.

      • eljay on November 8, 2019, 3:57 pm

        || Keith: ELJAY- “I believe that it’s as wrong to smear people with destructive accusations of White privilege….”

        Who is being smeared? … ||

        Whoever is being smeared.

        || … Are you equating discussing this aspect of the US political economy as tantamount to smearing someone? … ||

        Is a discussion of anti-Semitism tantamount to smearing someone?

      • eljay on November 8, 2019, 4:20 pm

        || eljay: … Whoever is being smeared. … ||

        Whomever?

      • gamal on November 8, 2019, 5:40 pm

        “Acknowledging white privilege amounts to a destructive accusation?”

        For some reason you remind of a piece of field work Jennifer Seibor Trainor did

        “The Emotioned Power of Racism: An Ethnographic
        Portrait of an All-White High School”

        “This article explores the emotioned dimensions of racist discourses at an all-white public
        high school. I argue that students’ racist assertions do not always or even often origi
        nate in students’ racist attitudes or belief. Instead, racist language functions metaphori
        cally, connecting common racist ideas to nonracist feelings, values, beliefs, and
        associations that are learned in the routine practices and culture of school.”

        “Elizabeth had made copies of the essays for me, and we pulled two stu
        dent desks together as we read, flipping through the pages and pointing out
        particular passages as we went. “Look at Teresa’s,” Elizabeth said, without look
        ing up.
        I read:
        [Angelou] almost seems to be racist herself, but towards whites … As we read
        this, we realize that she was just being silly and was not used to exposure around
        whites. Her point of view is very immature.
        “Angelou is immature;” Elizabeth said. “That’s a good one.” She under
        lined it. “I’ll come back to this one. Any thoughts on how I should respond?”

        I shook my head. “You’re the teacher.” She laughed.
        When we finished reading, I commented on the racism that marked al
        most every essay. “What’s your sense of how to address this?” I asked.

        “I mean,
        how as a teacher do you deal with this kind of racism?”
        “It would all come crashing down in a heartbeat if I made too much of
        this stuff. We’d have parents, students, other teachers, totally freaking out. It
        would be ugly! But the other thing is, I have to say, I didn’t notice the racism, so
        much, without you here pointing it out. I’m not sure I would have really no
        ticed it that much.” She paused. “It’s not that I don’t think they’re racist, don’t

        get me wrong, or that it doesn’t need to be addressed in these essays, but it’s
        just, well, I guess what I mostly notice is that the tone and the critiques of
        Angelou are exactly the same as the critiques of [Lewis] Nordan and Salinger a
        few weeks ago -you know, just “he’s crazy, why are we reading about this crazy
        person?” or cliches and easy answers. No real confrontation with the text. So it
        seems hard to understand how it’s really about race.”

        It has taken me a long time to understand fully Elizabeth’s insight that
        day. In order to share that understanding, I turn to a number of sources and
        sites. I review research on the emotioned dimensions of schooling and the role
        of emotion in rhetorical theory, and I suggest that we understand racist discourses as arising from a series of interconnected emotioned beliefs that are
        not necessarily about race per se.

        Students become convinced of such beliefs
        in part through the routines and culture of schooling, and they draw from them
        when confronted with matters of race, often with deleterious-that is to say,
        racist, effect. I use the term “emotioned” to suggest that such beliefs become
        persuasive through mediating and mediated processes of emotional regulation, individually experienced feelings, and dynamics of persuasion and rhetoric…….

        This perspective informs the first part of my argument: racist assertions
        do not always or even often originate in racist attitudes or belief Instead, racist
        language functions metaphorically, connecting common racist ideas to
        non-racist feelings, values, beliefs, and associations-emotioned positions that
        are learned in school. I suggest that racist discourses are best understood as
        psychosocial rhetorical phenomena-forms of persuasion that need to be un
        derstood not only for their political meanings and implications but alsofor
        their persuasive subjective and affective coherence-and that racist discourses
        structure feelings sometimes linked to, but surprisingly rarely reducible to, the
        racial politics such discourses forward.

        I then extend this argument to the infrastructure of schooling-those tacit, taken-for-granted practices and rituals
        that scholars have linked to the teaching of social class identities-to show
        how school scaffolds the emotioned frameworks within which racist discourses
        become persuasive. I suggest that part of what makes racist discourses cohere
        and thus what makes them persuasive is school itself-its infrastructure, which
        exerts a powerful, but largely unacknowledged, pedagogical and persuasive
        force”

        if you have jstor they have it up….when you do anything either political, social or religious you always end up, but of course you should start out, by looking at yourself..it all depends on how comfortable you are in doing that.

      • oldgeezer on November 8, 2019, 7:41 pm

        @eljay

        “I believe that it’s as wrong to smear people with destructive accusations of White privilege as it is to smear them with destructive accusations of anti-Semitism.”

        Totally agree. It takes a particularly bad person to engage in this type of thing. No moral or ethical standards at all.

      • echinococcus on November 8, 2019, 7:54 pm

        Mooser,

        Of course you wouldn’t know this, but history is one thing and language usage in a particular spot is another.

      • RoHa on November 8, 2019, 11:53 pm

        “while the suggestion of white privilege may be questionable by some I am astounded that anyone can not realize and understand that white privilege is real.”

        I don’t think anyone here is denying that it is real. I noticed that Jaapbo had concerns about the use of the term “whiteness”, and I said it seemed like a new term to me, and suggested it had been cooked up as part of the “divide and conquer” aspect of identity politics.

        I don’t see how that can be construed as denying white privilege.

      • RoHa on November 8, 2019, 11:55 pm

        “It is my considered opinion based upon countless observations along with intuitive pattern recognition. People tend to resist concepts which they perceive threaten their status and/or well being, including their self-perception.”

        Fair enough.

      • RoHa on November 9, 2019, 12:01 am

        “Whomever?”

        No, you were right first time.

        “Whoever” is the subject of the verb “is” in “is being smeared.”

        “Whomever” is used when it is not the subject .

        E.g.
        “And that goes for the Prime Minister, and whomever else I should smear with this accusation.”
        “Remember that you must give this money to whomever you meet at the door.”

      • fyrebird on November 9, 2019, 2:55 am

        “ Of course you wouldn’t know this, but history is one thing and language usage in a particular spot is another.”

        This language usage is well known in Australia. A former prime-minister (in)famously made use of the phrase ‘black armband of history’ to counter an emphasis on the ongoing Aboriginal dispossession. White privilege does not matter in inter-personal relations between enlightened individuals, but it is a common every day occurrence. As noted, there are other privileges like male privilege. These are systemic privileges that of course do not apply in all situations but they are powerful obvious forces and the language around them is well-known. There’s a reason why Australia goes to wars with Uncle Sam. One of the main reasons why imperialism is ‘accepted’ is because of white privilege.

      • eljay on November 9, 2019, 9:40 am

        || RoHa: “Whomever?”

        No, you were right first time. … ||

        Thanks. Although I was pretty sure I was right, hedging my bet to avoid (or at least temper) your wrath seemed like the prudent thing to do.  :-)

      • Mooser on November 9, 2019, 11:53 am

        “Of course you wouldn’t know this, but history is one thing and language usage in a particular spot is another.” “Echin”

        Tell it to the ‘White Australians”

      • echinococcus on November 9, 2019, 12:05 pm

        Who ever questioned the existence of White racial privilege, Fyrebird? Again, that’s one thing, and the US lexical meaning and connotations are another. They are not the same in the US and Europe, for example, even though historical events are similar.

      • echinococcus on November 9, 2019, 5:19 pm

        As in the sad example of Mooser, who’s become unable to understand plain English — but still can write.

      • oldgeezer on November 9, 2019, 8:09 pm

        @RoHa

        A but rushed but my apologies. I mistakenly thought you were questioning white privilege. Carry on!

    • RoHa on November 5, 2019, 10:05 pm

      6/7 – not bad.

      • Mooser on November 6, 2019, 1:57 pm

        “6/7 – not bad.”

        Not bad, but with a minimum of effort I am sure you could improve your score. Announcing you are here simply to goad the Mods has a lot of potential.

  11. eljay on November 5, 2019, 8:10 am

    Ms. Weiss is right to condemn unequivocally the evil of anti-Semitism whether it be committed by people on the left or on the right.

    But like all Zionist hypocrites Ms. Weiss is wrong not to condemn unequivocally the evils of colonialism, (war) crimes and supremacism simply because they are being committed by people who have chosen to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.

  12. fyrebird on November 6, 2019, 7:43 am

    There has been a long trend of Zionists (also in the UK and Australia) – self-described liberal or otherwise – throwing tantrums because ‘the Left’ doesn’t buy into Brand Israel. The ammo of these Zionists has been to slander ‘the Left’ as anti-Semitic. What’s also interesting is that many of these Zionists are invested in offshore ideas of multi-culturalism and Jewish purity in Israel simultaneously. They are basically the politically correct version of Richard Spencer – politically correct because their tribalism is viewed as noble. They are also too dense and tribally blind to notice patterns.

  13. pabelmont on November 6, 2019, 4:57 pm

    This appeared early in the essay: “leftist critiques of Israel and Zionism had become tainted with anti-semitic tropes”

    I wonder about this sort of thing which we see too often. “Tainted”? Does the writer mean the “tropes” appear in print? And of course that the “tropes” are bad. wicked, evil, and thus the “taint”?

    Here’s my question. It’s about communication requiring both a sender and a receiver to understand a message. And about secret codes. If you send a message which contains a secret code which you yourself, as sender, do not understand, are you “guilty” of sending the message which someone who does understand the secret code understands by it?

    Think of all the teen slang, urban slang, “with it” slang that a person like me, 81 years old and living a protected life does not understand or even recognize as a communication. “Cool”, “hot” are just examples.

    OK, once upon a time some antisemites said some things and these things became memorable and objectionable to some other people, hence (to the people remembering them and objecting to them) “antisemitic tropes” (“AST”). OK, that’s how the victims and descendants of victims of ASTs once received them and still receive them today.

    But if someone who does not wallow in the ASTs of times past happens, in a communication to a general audience, to use words that seem — to AST recognizers — to evoke such ASTs, words that in their ordinary meanings (I assume there are still ordinary meanings is this common language of ours all set about by the fever trees of ASTs and such like) are not intended to refer to all Jews or to be otherwise antisemitic, how (and who) get away with labeling these commuicatons AST?

    And “tainted”?

    I believe that we all — all — should call out the offensive undeserved presumptive cultural superiority of anyone who would suggest — by identifying an AST “taint” — that such person had a right to stand as a gatekeeper to prevent communication which by ordinary linguistic standards is objectively unobjectionable or at least not at all antisemitic. (It might be objectionable to Zionists, for example, by describing Zionism and its achievements accurately.)

    Did this all make sense? Is it possible to emit an AST unknowingly? If so, for a child for example, when may the gatekeeper properly lower the boom of “taint”?

    And may we ask if anti-anti-semitism or anti-anti-Zionism are becoming “tropes” of the pro-Zionists? And Bari Weiss and similar folks “tainted” with (foul) anti-anti-Zionism.

    Now I’ll go back and read more of the article.

    • pabelmont on November 6, 2019, 5:14 pm

      Later I find:

      “We can also acknowledge that contemporary leftist discourse occasionally, if mostly unwittingly, flirts with anti-Semitic tropes and assumptions.”

      I think this is asserting without argument what I tried to explain in so very many words.

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