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The media once again has failed to cover attacks on the Left from the Right. This time it came in the form of an assault on the home of Tikkun Magazine's editor Rabbi Michael Lerner. Lerner had announced that Tikkun would give the prestigious Tikkun Award for Human Rights at Tikkun's 25th anniversary celebration in the Spring of 2011 to  Judge Richard Goldstone, whose report on Israeli (and Hamas) violations of human rights and alleged war crimes during Israel's war in Gaza in 2009 has been rejected by Israel and the US government though it had also criticized Hamas. Judge Goldstone was also the person who did similar investigations for the U.N. of human rights violations in Rwanda and then in Bosnia. Rabbi Lerner received death threats on the phone and he and Tikkun received much hate mail. But attacking his home crossed a new line--attacking the individual. So, Tikkun magazine issued the following statement about what people could do in this situation:

Don't feel powerless, there are real steps you could take to bring something valuable out of this assault on Rabbi Lerner's home.

So many people have written to Rabbi Lerner to ask what they could do to help that we decided to develop a coherent answer.

In our view, the only protection one has from hateful people is to publicize and critique their demeaning of others, their incitement, and/or their violent acts. As right-wing Zionists proved by assassinating peace-oriented Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin who sought to end the Occupation, there is no way to protect anyone in this world from fanatics bent on hurting others.

In the specific case of the vandalizing of Rabbi Lerner's home, the lasting physical damage was slight,  and the hate messages were not different from the dozens of emails he and we at Tikkun have been getting weekly for twenty-four years. Even the death threats he received by phone were not unusual. Rather, it was the fact that these things now intruded into his own home that was a new level. Understandably his wife and his family are very concerned about their safety should the people with hate messages seek to escalate from assaults on his house to assaults on him or his family, and whether they can continue to live where they do with any sense of security.

So what can you do? You can help us demand of the media that they publicize this incident and, equally importantly, the meaning of the incident for Americans and for American Jews. .

     And you can demand of the Jewish world that they stop encouraging incitement by allowing people or groups to be labeled as anti-Semitic or "self-hating Jews" when the only evidence for those charges is disagreeing with the policies of the State of Israel or  supporting strategies like boycott, divestment or sanctions against the State of Israel or against products produced by settlers in the Occupied Territories, or calling for an end to US military aid to Israel, publicizing the human rights violations taking place in Israel. or taking other non-violent but confrontational  approaches to changing Israeli policy.
   

     While Rabbi Lerner has written a book called  The Socialism of Fools--anti-Semitism on the Left and is well aware that this phenomenon is real and needs to be struggled against,  his book takes pain to distinguish legitimate criticism or non-violent action against Israeli policies that are done in a spirit of respect for the humanity of the Jewish people. on the one hand,  and actions and criticisms that reflect a double standard toward Jews or a determination to demean Jews or Israel that is not applied to other human rights violating states, on the other hand.  So, yes, there is anti-Semitism among some on the Left and some who criticize Israel, but, NO, the criticisms of Israel's policies or the advocacy of non-violent tactics of the sort mentioned above are not in and of themselves either anti-Semitic or prima facie evidence that  Jews who support these activites are "self-hating Jews."
   

    This labeling  as "anti-Semitic" or  "self-hating Jews" of those who seek to challenge Israeli policy is increasingly emptying those words of serious negative meaning, which is a big mistake.  If everyone who challenges Israeli policy is anti-Semitic (which would include a majority of American Jews but not a majority of those one encounters in most synagogues or official Jewish institutions) then it may (mistakenly) appear to people that it's no big thing to be anti-Semitic. And that is very dangerous for the Jewish people. Please read Anthony Klug's article

on how this mistaken approach helps sustain or even generate anti-Semitism in the May/June 2010 issue of Tikkun magazine.
   

     To take a classic case of this rhetoric that can incite people to violence, consider Alan Dershowitz's op-ed piece in the Jerusalem Post  on April 29th in which he labeled as "Rabbis for Hamas" all the 39 rabbis who had signed a statement urging South African Jews to allow Judge Goldstone to attend his grandson's bar mitzvah. He went on to say: "And Michael Lerner is the worst of them (and that's saying a lot)."  Everyone knows that Hamas is a violent terrorist group, and that Dershowitz has publicly championed the notion that the US and Israel have the right to take preemptive strikes to kill through "targeted assassinations" those who they "suspect"  of being terrorists. So here, two days before the vandalism at Rabbi Lerner's home, Dershowitz associates Lerner and the others with Hamas and terrorism.  We don't believe that Dershowitz ever explicitly intended a violent outcome and we don╒t know for sure that his article directly led to the violence. We do know that it contributes to a climate of violence and that the Jewish world should be doing what they can to isolate and restrain this kind of language and demeaning of fellow Jews and of Jewish-friendly non-Jews who criticize Israeli policies or support non-violent means to change its policies.
   

     In that respect, the response of the Jewish world has been misleading. Some of the Jewish institutions have issued statements like the following that came from the  San Francisco Jewish Federation and the local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL): "We unequivocally condemn criminal acts perpetrated against Rabbi Lerner's home. Political disagreements must be resolved in a civil manner, and not by resorting to violence. Our communities are especially disturbed that this crime targeted Rabbi Lerner at his home, thereby conveying to him the message that he may not be safe there. We are encouraged by the responsiveness of the Berkeley Police Department to this incident, and we urge its officers to investigate this crime as thoroughly as possible. The entire community must send a message to the perpetrators that we reject violence and criminality as a means to express our political opinions."

This is at once a step in the right direction and yet an evasion of the central issue. We didn't expect that they would endorse violence. What we must demand is that these Jewish organizations publicly and repeatedly make attempts to stop the incitement to violence that happens on a daily basis inside the Jewish community and towards tens of thousands of Jews and non-Jews who speak out about Israeli treatment of Palestinians or who organize to try to change Israeli policies. The Jewish world needs to stop labeling those people as "self-hating" and or "anti-Semitic,"  unless they have other grounds besides their strong and/or repeated advocacy of political positions about the State of Israel that critique Israeli policies or seek non-violently to change them. If we can get some change in the Jewish world in this direction, we can transform this attack on Lerner into a moment of repentance and transformation that would be good for the Jews, good for Israel and the Palestinians, and good for the U.S.

Until that happens, these attacks may increase, not just again Lerner but against others who speak out, and may even spread to attacks against non-Jews who support Obama (since many of the more extremist elements in the Zionist movement believe that Obama and his Administration seek to destroy Israel or to render it powerless in the face of hostile enemies, and hence could easily start manifesting the incitement or even violence toward Obama or his supporters that they have been willing to champion against peace activists in this country or in Israel).

           Meanwhile, we should also make clear our opposition to similar kinds of incitement that we sometimes hear coming from Palestinian circles or Arabic or Muslim circles toward Jews--and we must similarly demand that the leadership of those communities take the same steps of isolating and preventing incitement in their communities just as we should be asking that of the Jewish world--for example on university campuses or in public debates about boycotts/divestment/sanctions. When, for example, Jews are told that they have the blood of innocents on their hands because of the activities of some members of the IDF (Israeli army) in Israel, thereby blaming all Jews for the activities of some, this is racism straight out, just as it was when Blacks were blamed for the criminal activities of some Blacks. The Jewish people never voted in a referendum to give the State of Israel or its army the right to speak or represent all Jews around the world, despite their desire to do so, and Jews must not be blamed for the actions of that State unless the freely join organizations or synagogues that do in fact claim to be supportive of Israel's policies and its Occupation of the West Bank. So when liberals or progressives stand by passively while these kinds of statements are made by Palestinians or by Jews whose desire to prove themselves "true allies" to the Palestinian people leads them to extreme and distorted statements of this sort, understandably wanting to not interfere with the event happening at the moment, they actually are doing a great disservice to the cause of peace and justice for both Palestinians and Israelis--not only because these statements are racist and should on moral grounds be condemned at the time they are being made, but also because they are then used by the Jewish establishment to discredit the peace forces and to raise the level of fear in the Jewish world against anyone critical of Israeli policies.

           But at this particular moment in early May, the issue that has made itself apparent in the attack on Lerner's home is the hate-language and permission to demean and incite that takes place in many (not all) corners of the Jewish world,  and so it is appropriate now to foucs on the changes needed to stop Jewish incitement.

So here is what you can do: write and call people in the media to urge them to do a news story (no national American or European media have picked up on this yet), to interview Rabbi Lerner, and to write editorials condemning incitement. Similarly, letters should be sent to national Jewish organizations asking them to challenge the free use of the charge of anti-Semitism or self-hating Jews among Jews in their communities who are unhappy when they hear others criticizing Israeli policies or behavior.

And where would you find those addresses? Click here or go to www.spiritualprogressives.org/article.php/media

or paste that address in your web search and go there. We've listed lots of media people. Pick a few from different media and in your own words tell them why you think they should let the American people know about this assault, about the potential danger to Americans if these dynamics continue in the Jewish world and spread to American politics, ask them to contact Rabbi Lerner either at RabbiLerner@tikkun.org or through his assistant will@tikkun.org 510 644 1200. And ask them to raise the larger question of how to preserve freedom of conscience for people to challenge Israeli policies without being demeaned or facing this kind of vandalism of their own private homes.

And then please write to one of the Jewish organizations (you'll find them listed also at that same location, at the very bottom of the media lists. Ask them to make a public statement that goes beyond condemning the injury to Rabbi Lerner and directly condemns the labeling as "anti-Semtiic" or "self-hating"of those who challenge Israeli policies or seek non-violent methods to change those policies.

And yes, there is another thing you can do. You could yourself join the Network of Spiritual Progressives (for non-Jews as well as Jews, for atheists as well as theists) and help support Tikkun Magazine! And you could urge everyone you know to do so. Nothing would make Rabbi Lerner feel more supported and less scared of the haters if more of the people who believe in a world of love would support the organization that has been out there seeking to put forward the notion that love and generosity are the real paths to peace and security than a significant influx of new members (who also automatically receive Tikkun as part of membership). You can do that at www.spiritualprogressives.org/article.php/donaterenew

Contacts: NATALIE WOLNER  natalie@tikkun.org  or WILL PASLEY will@tikkun.org  510-644-1200   Mailing address: 2342 Shattuck Ave, Box 1200, Berkeley, Ca. 94704
************************************************************************************************
Here is the first response to our call from figures in the Jewish world:

If To Whom It May Concern:

We are writing to protest the attack upon Rabbi Michael Lerner's and his wife's house -- the pasting of threatening signs and leaflets accusing Lerner of supporting "Islamo-Fascism" -- that occurred over the first weekend in May 2010 in Berkeley, California. The ostensible purpose of the vandalism was to threaten and intimidate Lerner because of his recent public statements in regard to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

We believe that the attack on the Lerner home may be the outcome of inflammatory rhetoric by some self-identified "supporters of Israel", who, because they disagree with Lerner's and Tikkun magazine's various opinions on issues related to Israel, feel it acceptable to use outrageous and violent public language denouncing Lerner and other Jews and non-Jews who share similar views.

We call upon all responsible persons, including both defenders and critics of current Israeli policy in the Middle East, to stop the use of inflammatory and violent speech once and for all. Though the investigation of this egregious act is still in process, we believe that violent speech fuels violent acts, such as this particular act of vandalism. We regard it as completely unacceptable for those who purport to be defenders of Israel to lash out at those critical of current Israeli policy by calling them such things as "anti-Semites," "bigots," "self-hating Jews," and the like.

We, Jews, know all too well the strong relationship between violent words and violent actions. Likewise we know that even excessive speech by those who do not personally intend violence can nonetheless embolden others to act in a violent manner. We believe that this may have occurred in this particular case. We strongly condemn not only this action, but also the public rhetoric that may have played a part in inspiring it.

Sincerely,

Professor Paul Birnbaum, University of San Francisco
Professor Daniel Boyarin, University of California, Berkeley
Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Netivot Shalom Congregation

Rabbi Nat Ezray, Congregation Beth Jacob

Professor Aaron J. Hahn Tapper, University of San Francisco

Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper, Yavneh Day School
Professor Ari Kelman, University of California, Davis
Professor Akiba Lerner, Santa Clara University
Professor Zeev Maoz, University of California, Davis
Professor Elliot Neamen, University of San Francisco
Professor Reviel Netz, Stanford University
Professor Naomi Seidman, Graduate Theological Union
Professor Esti Skloot, University of San Francisco

Originally posted to Rabbilerner on Fri May 07, 2010 at 12:41 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Two quick remarks (9+ / 0-)

    First, any news re: suspects in the vandalism, death threats, etc.?

    Second, there is a difference between anti-Jewish sentiment and criticism of Israel; no doubt about that. But they can coexist. When criticism of Israel strays away from criticism of Israeli policy and politics and becomes a screed about the nation-state Israel itself and its citizens, I think it's legitimate to ask: what, exactly, is motivating this criticism? This isn't a left- or right-wing thing, though. I think we have to ask regardless of the political affiliation of someone who behaves like this.

    Shifting gears a bit: One of the things that repeatedly stuns me about alleged Zionists is the friendliness of so many of them to right-wing Christian organizations, some of which also express some pretty nasty opinions in the realm of racism and white-supremacy. These are not people who care about Jews or Israel except as pawns in their eschatological fantasies. And you can be pretty sure if anyone speaks openly about his problems with dark-skinned people, he doesn't like Jews either - he's just slightly more polite about it.

    "You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -- Dr. Seuss

    by Shaviv on Fri May 07, 2010 at 12:51:48 PM PDT

    •  Or the "Joe Lieberman should move to Israel" crap (6+ / 0-)

      The odious anti-Semitism on the left isn't even subtle these days, and I say that as a Jew and a leftist who can't stand Joe Lieberman.

      But every time a Jewish wingnut spews his crap, far too many on the left start spewing the dual loyalty nonsense, or telling them to move to Israel.

      Clowns like Dick Cheney and Condi Rice never find their loyalties questioned.

      But Jewish republicans do.

      This is why a significant portion of anti-Israel rants are born out of age-old conspiracy theories of hidden Jewish power, lack of fealty by Jews to the nation they live in, and other toxic stuff that people like Henry Ford used to publish in the 1920s.

      That being said, Rabbi Lerner is correct to note that chares of anti-Semitism can also be used to silence legitimate dissent, and that criticizing Israel for its many transgressions is also not automatically an anti-Jewish statement masquerading as politics.

      But it often is.

      And this makes I/P different than many other political issues, as it becomes the shelter for bigots to push their narratives under the rubric of political dissent.

      •  the only loyalty that i care about is ... (6+ / 0-)

        loyalty to the values of justice and peace and compassion.

        who cares about national loyalty? certainly not me.

        and as much as i dislike folks like Joe Lieberman, it's best to keep him as far away from Arabs and Palestinians as possible.

        Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. -MLK

        by Tom J on Fri May 07, 2010 at 02:51:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        "But it often is."

        No, it very rarely is. Not only are most Palestinian solidarity activists not motived by racism agaisnt Jews, they're motivated by a principled anti-racism that, unlike liberal apologists for Israeli crimes, they're determined to apply consistently.

        •  Oh really??? (0+ / 0-)

          And it just so happens that so many Americans care about a small group of people in the middle east out of the goodness of their heart, while not giving a shit when massacres take place in the Congo, Rwanda or any of the other of dozens of horrifying human rights abuses of the past decade have taken place?

          Palestinians are the convenient excuse for so many to give voice to their deep need to find reason why the Jews are illegitimate as people.

          Before Israel, people found other ways.  Crack a history book, you might find a few examples over the past, say, thousand years or so.  Back then, it was the Jews killing Christ.  

          Today, for so many Westerners who couldn't find Israel on a map, it's the Palestinians are the Christ figure in the same narrative.

          Same story, different casting.  It's like remaking Star Trek with a new cast.  There's a reason the Box Office results are so big.

          But if you want to believe it's just so many Americans crying out of deep love for the plight of the Palestinians, go right ahead.  Students of history know better.

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      "When criticism of Israel strays away from criticism of Israeli policy and politics and becomes a screed about the nation-state Israel itself and its citizens, I think it's legitimate to ask: what, exactly, is motivating this criticism?"

      Sure, ask away (though preferably silently, in your head). Just don't make accusations unless you can back them up with something substantive. Not complicated.

      •  Why remain silent? (0+ / 0-)

        It's not just self-interest. Those who espouse anti-semitic ideas generally don't play well with others.

        It's worth bringing that to light. Getting someone whose rhetoric about anything is unreasonable to explain his process of thinking about it tends to reveal useful information. In some very small percentage of cases, you're looking at seriously disordered thinking. In many more, there's honest ignorance (and lack of knowledge about one's lack of knowledge). In the remainder, there's an ideology. You can send the disordered to treatment and educate the ignorant, while ideology can be further discussed to discover the nature of the underlying beliefs and values. Sometimes those are all just perfectly good ones. Sometimes they are not (i.e., bigotry).

        Anyhow: Making accusations is different from asking questions, although I recognize there is some overlap (e.g., "Did Glenn Beck rape and murder a girl?").

        "You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -- Dr. Seuss

        by Shaviv on Sat May 08, 2010 at 01:29:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Silently because (0+ / 0-)

          your questions, absent any evidence to support them (and to be clear: being very critical of the Israeli state doesn't constitute evidence of antisemitism), are wholly uninteresting at best, tiresome and destructive of the possibilities for productive discussion at worst.

          "Getting someone whose rhetoric about anything is unreasonable to explain his process of thinking about it tends to reveal useful information."

          Who cares about the "process of thinking" of some anonymous person on the internet? What's important is the argument being made, and that's what should be the focus of discussion.

  •  I never understood the antisemitic label (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    since Palestinians and Arabs are also semites.

    But hey, what do I know.

    •  Oh, Christ, this nonsense again . (8+ / 0-)

      One mo' time:

      Anti-Semitism is a term coined by Jew-hating German Wilhelm Marr in a tract published in 1880 -- perhaps the first and only case of a form of prejudice being named by its perpetrators and not its victims.  Marr invented the word in order to give bigotry against Jews a seemingly more scientific, pseudo-anthropological basis as the old religious basis was fading away in an increasingly secular Europe. In fact, "semitic" originally referred to  a group of languages, not ethnicities.  Marr's misuse of the term was specifically intended to mean Jews and Jews alone, and that is how it has been understood by all literate persons ever since -- as you can easily discover by actually taking the trouble of looking the word up in any reputable dictionary.  

      The defense of "I can't be an anti-Semite because it doesn't just means Jews" is not only weaselly beyond belief, it is also simply inaccurate.  And I question the sincerity of those who say anything like that. After all, if they truly believe this, then they would regularly describe anti-Arab attitudes and actions as "anti-Semitic." And yet one NEVER hears the word used that way... except of course when someone makes the mealy-mouthed assertion of "I can't be an anti-Semite because it doesn't just means Jews."

      I am not saying the commenter above is guilty of this hypocrisy. After all, s/he DOES ask "hey, what do I know?" -- to which the answer is "In this case, nothing."

      •  Seriously? (6+ / 0-)

        What made you think I was embracing anti-semitism with that comment?

        I made the same point that you did one sentence and  you put the words, ""I can't be an anti-Semite because it doesn't just means Jews" in my mouth?

        Why would you argue in such bad faith?

      •  Btw, I would've rec'd your comment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zannie, CKendall

        if you weren't such an asshole about it.

      •  Yes, I understand the history of the term (6+ / 0-)

        but antisemitism did in fact, in some cases, develop into something like a prejudice against all semites.  Perhaps this originally came from anti-Jewish prejudice, but it did certainly become more generalized.

        A fairly clear example of this can be seen in Cyril Robinson's A History of Rome.  In it, he repeatedly refers to peoples like the Phoenicians and Carthaginians as "Semites" and discusses the traits of "semitic races" in stereotyped fashion.  If I recall, he also employed many of these stereotypes (not all of them negative) in reference to the Jews.

        Whether it had its origins in anti-Jewish sentiment or simply in a nineteenth century philological nationalism, or whether the two existed in dialectical relationship, there certainly was a sort a generalized anti-Semitism (or at least Semitic stereotyping) that extended beyond the Jews.

        Frankly, I believe that the defense that "I am not an anti-Semite, because I don't hate Arabs" can be construed as an accurate statement, but not a particularly intelligent defense.  One could then always reply "Okay, I'm sorry.  I misspoke.  You aren't an anti-Semite, you're just a bigoted Jew-hating prick."

        "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

        by journeyman on Fri May 07, 2010 at 02:17:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well said Finck (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hikerbiker, volleyboy1

        Last time I checked "black" often refers to people who are definitely not the color of black.  Therefore I will no longer call black people black.  

        And African-Americans refers to black Americans born in countries like Jamaica.  

        So f-ing what?

        Language is as it's used.  That's how it works.

        Anti-Semitism only refers to bigotry against Jewish people.  Whiners who complain about this are wasting everyone's time.  

        And even worse, implying some hidden linguistic conspiracy that fosters a Jewish exceptionalism.

        •  It would've been well-stated (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zannie, capelza

          if Finck wasn't such a condescending asshole about it.

          When the "anti-semitism" label is used to attack critics of Israeli policy, it's a fair point to question the legitimacy of the term's usage.

          In this case, it's fair to say that Rabbi Lerner is not anti-semitic in any sense of the word: literal or common usage.

          •  Okay, by this point I think it is okay to say... (0+ / 0-)

            ...go fuck yourself, pontechango -- you make an ignorant comment, then reveal yourself to be semi-literate via your fantasy that I called you an anti-Semite, and now feel free to constantly use HReable invective.  So truly, do go fuck yourself, and spare someone else that revolting task.

      •  Just to be clear, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, majii, CKendall

        "semitic" originally referred to  a group of languages, not ethnicities.

        is what I obviously meant.

        So I really don't understand your condescending attitude.

        And frankly, it's irrelevant that German Wilhelm Marr coined the term.  What's relevant is that this coinage is bizarre when it's used to attack Jews who are sympathetic towards Palestinians Arabs.

        But I know nothing, so just ignore me.

        •  so you were aware of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1

          the term's etymology then, when you made your initial comment.

          •  what term? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza

            semite or anti semite?

            why would a persons knowledge of the etymology of the word (not term) 'semite' lead them to better understand the meaning of anti semite? the term is not consistent with the meaning of the word.

            i don't know why you rec'd that comment that reference the question as 'nonsense', it was mean spirited and rude. it is exactly responses like that deter posters from coming back to i/p diaries. one should never assume a poster is being insincere and if a question like that is asked time and again it indicates people are curious about something initially confusing.

            red sox's comment is helpful without being condescending.

            The label came into being (4+ / 0-)

            Recommended by:
               zannie, pontechango, zemblan, Alec82

            because it sounded more benign than "Jew-hater" and was, at the time, designed to confer more legitimacy on anti-Jewish bigotry.

      •  The "anti-Semite" (0+ / 0-)

        Is also a philosiphical term as well as a sociological one in which a person(the anti-semite) who belongs to the majority accuses and believes (which is reinforced throughout the institutions in said society) that a said minority population is the cause or partial cause of his or her misfortunes without any factual basis in reality.  

    •  The label came into being (7+ / 0-)

      because it sounded more benign than "Jew-hater" and was, at the time, designed to confer more legitimacy on anti-Jewish bigotry.

      •  well that's not entirely true (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zannie, capelza, Fire bad tree pretty

        European anti-semites where very proud of the "science" behind their hatred of Jews. This "science"  began in linguistics and began more as a "critique" of the usefulness of Arabic for rational thought than hebrew. In fact, Arbic featured much more prominently than Hebrew which was a minor language at the time that no one used.

        The "science" had it that Semitic languages, in particular Arabic and Hebrew, where not conducive to rationality and European philosophy and ethics.  

        So anti-Semites, who called themselves that looked toward this "science" as solid reason for their political ideology. Eventually, under Nazim   anti-Semitism took on other "scientific" foundations.  

        But never the less almost all of the accepted "theory" justifying anti-Semitism was about language and at the time of coining the term (in self use as in "I am an anti-Semite") it was justified by language and Arabic featured prominently in that justification.

        Previously I posted under the user name palestinian professor, which is now deprecated. I now post under my late grandfather's name simone daud.

        by simone daud on Fri May 07, 2010 at 10:16:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  These people are sick. They believe in their (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, majii

    version of their Bible and to hell with everyone else.
    What if the day they die God tells them to go to Hell because He is a Muslim God, a Jewish God or a Buddhist God.  He may even be a Christian God and if so he would not condone their racist, hateful behavior toward others.

  •  I've been following this and other events (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zannie

    related to the Israeli government for quite a while now.  I saw Max Blumenthal's video last week of the protests in NY against the president and in favor of Netanyahu's expansions.  Although I am African American, I am affiliated with Jewish Voice for Peace.  One of the reasons I am is because I know from experience the danger of violent rhetoric that turns into attacks on a group of people/person because I spent the first 18 years of my life under segregation and was often the target of both.  The name-calling and labeling have to go because it is being used to silence dissent and is intended to restrict the right to free speech.  I might be wrong, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that some high profile people in our country are inflaming the situation while hiding behind a PAC.  

  •  it is sad that J Street joined w/Dershi (4+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    zannie, borkitekt, heathlander, simone daud
    Hidden by:
    livosh1

    in saying that Tikkuns critique of Israeli policies are not acceptable.

    Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. -MLK

    by Tom J on Fri May 07, 2010 at 02:53:06 PM PDT

    •  they did? (0+ / 0-)

      what's w/this 'not acceptable' BS? did you read weiss's No free speech on this issue

    •  J Street and Alan Dershowitz (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paul in Berkeley, livosh1

      "joined" together on something. Can you show me the proof of that. OR are you saying that J Street criticized the same thing Alan Dershowitz did? Because "joined" is very different from the two entities making two statements.

      "No Groin.... No Krav Maga" - The Simpsons

      by volleyboy1 on Fri May 07, 2010 at 04:19:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey what's that sound of CRICKETS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        livosh1

        I hear there.

        Can you please show me the joint statement from Alan Dershowitz and J Street? I would like to read that.

        "No Groin.... No Krav Maga" - The Simpsons

        by volleyboy1 on Fri May 07, 2010 at 04:41:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep - Still waiting for that Joint statement (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          livosh1

          I can't find it on the web. Upraters can you find it since Tom apparently can't back up his post either. Now I want to see proof that J Street "joined" with Dershowitz on this not that J Street criticized Tikkun and Dershowitz criticized Tikkun. Because that is a very different thing from a "joint statement". Otherwise I would have to say this got pulled deep out of someone's ass.

          "No Groin.... No Krav Maga" - The Simpsons

          by volleyboy1 on Fri May 07, 2010 at 04:57:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Hey livosh1 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tom J, Fire bad tree pretty

      why did you HR this?

      I mean you simply slither through these diaries HRing people without giving people the opportunity to explain themselves.

      And no, deciding to not respond to voly is not enough. In my experience volly is high maintenance (requiring repeated step by step explanation of points)  and occasionally  very rude so people have a right to stay clear off him.

      I mean MB should sort this out if indeed we want to reduce the amount of Hring in these diaries.

      Previously I posted under the user name palestinian professor, which is now deprecated. I now post under my late grandfather's name simone daud.

      by simone daud on Fri May 07, 2010 at 10:04:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The people who are now in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    livosh1, volleyboy1

    charge in Israel are what my late grandmother would call "Yiddisher Faschisten"

    Its the old Irgun-Stern gang bastards who,because of demographic changes among the Jewish population in Israel,have now become the majority.

    David Ben-Gurion would turn over in his grave if he knew what was going on there.

    •  There have been many (0+ / 0-)

      political and religious movements in Jewish history. This sounds like the General Jewish Labor Bund, I believe they were always critical of Zionism.

      The only members of my Polish family who survived were the right wing Zionists, so we're partial to that philosophy.

      •  what sounds like (0+ / 0-)

        the general jewish labor bund? yiddisher faschisten? interesting link btw, thanks. i associate irgun/stern with the rightwing zionists, is that incorrect? when you say 'we're partial to that philosophy' it makes me curious. you're partial to rightwing zionism philosophy?  please explain, i am interested in what you mean.

        •  The American Jewish bund is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tom J

          Yiddishkeit,  they don't use Hebrew.

          According to my mother's account of her childhood in the Pale Settlement in Poland, pre 1938, there were a lot political movements and a lot of concern about pogroms and anti-semitism.

          I tried to write it down what she said, and am still trying to sort out what these ideologies mean, because it seems they were important to understanding what happened, at least to my family.

          There were the Bund, or what was left of them after the October Revolution- the Bolsheviks,the Mensheviks and the Zionists left and right wing. She described the Zionist left as socialist and establishing Kibbutz, and the Zionist right as taking forceful initiative.

          From what I can tell, my family appears to have been deported to the Russian Gulags for political reasons. According to mom, all the 'good Bolsheviks,' who accepted communism, were murdered.

          So, I'm partial, as three people in my Polish Jewish family survived, which is pretty remarkable. I can't ask my mom, as she passed away, but I think she was willing to be quite forceful. It was a difficult time and she was a tough cookie.

    •  i didn't find out (0+ / 0-)

      how politically diverse the early zionist were until reading the book perfidy by ben hecht. he was very rightwing (big Irgun-Stern gang supporter) and the way he wrote about Ben-Gurion and his ilk..he made them out to be cowards and collaborators.. those rightwing zionists are a force to be reckoned with.

      •  zannie the Irgun and Stern crew (0+ / 0-)

        are revising history. They were a bunch of cowards who shot at the unarmed and those who couldn't fight back. They were the ones who carried out Deir Yassin. They were the ones who almost lost the battle for Jaffa and had to have the Haganah save their ass, and they were the ones who got their asses kicked in the Altalena incident when they tried to take over the government.

        HA! Those guys sucked and they still do.

        "No Groin.... No Krav Maga" - The Simpsons

        by volleyboy1 on Fri May 07, 2010 at 04:25:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That sounds about right (0+ / 0-)

      Well it is definitely the old Irgun philosophy... It is not just demographic though they have had help from the outside.

      And heck I spin in my chair.... Ben-Gurion must be doing a trapeze act from where he is.

      "No Groin.... No Krav Maga" - The Simpsons

      by volleyboy1 on Fri May 07, 2010 at 04:22:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't always agree with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul in Berkeley, livosh1

    of Rabbi Lerner's politics from what I see - HOWEVER... There is no excuse for the cowardly behavior of those idiots who attacked his home.

    I want Rabbi Lerner to know that I as a Progressive Zionist stand behind you and your right to express yourself without being subject to the cowardly idiocy that is the Right Wing. Please know that whether I agree with you or not you have every right in the world to advocate your position without having to worry about your personal safety.

    "No Groin.... No Krav Maga" - The Simpsons

    by volleyboy1 on Fri May 07, 2010 at 04:31:03 PM PDT

    •  Indeed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      livosh1, volleyboy1

      that kind of thing cannot be tolerated. You just don't fuck with someone's job, family, or home. No matter what. I hope they catch the assholes who did it and put them in jail.

      In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

      by Paul in Berkeley on Fri May 07, 2010 at 07:53:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well did you see the revived (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        livosh1

        JDL / Kach is going to volunteer to act as security for Israeli officials on tour.

        I would hope that the Israelis turn that offer down PRONTO. I mean who wants a bunch of those assholes running around. Their political party was outlawed in Israel in 1988. That just can't be good.

        "No Groin.... No Krav Maga" - The Simpsons

        by volleyboy1 on Fri May 07, 2010 at 08:20:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  More good news (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Tom J

    UCSD student senate tables indefinitely Israel divestment resolution after heated debate

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