Bibi’s Bailout Bonanza

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping that congressional Dems can get him out of the gaping chasm he put himself in over his plan to visit Congress, and so far his pleas are falling on deaf ears.

Mr. Netanyahu’s office confirmed Thursday that he had called Democrats and “other friends” in Congress in recent days, and that he “reiterated that the survival of Israel is not a partisan issue.”

Mr. Reid, a strong supporter of Israel, said in an interview that he had had a candid conversation with Mr. Netanyahu. He said he had advised the prime minister that the speech, scheduled for March, had become such a problem that some Democratic senators had backed off their support of the quick imposition of new sanctions on Iran.

“It’s hurting you,” Mr. Reid said he told Mr. Netanyahu. “I said: ‘You have to understand this. I’m not telling you what to do or what not to do, but you have to understand the background here from my perspective.’ ”

“It would have been wrong for me to say, ‘Don’t come,’ ” said Mr. Reid, who is recovering at his home in Washington from a serious exercise accident he sustained Jan. 1. “I wouldn’t do that.”

Ms. Pelosi said late Wednesday that when she spoke with the prime minister, she had stressed that the speech “could send the wrong message in terms of giving diplomacy a chance.”

Gosh, it’s almost like this too-clever-by half plan to “put Obama in his place” was such an overt insult that it blew up in Bibi’s face.  Doubly so since John Boehner is running as quickly as he can away from this so that Netanyahu and his ambassador to the US are the ones left holding the bag here, as Jeffrey Goldberg points out talking to Ambassador Dermer:

Goldberg: Democrats (including, and maybe especially, Jewish Democrats) believe that the prime minister is sometimes disrespectful to the president, and they worry that your government privileges its relations with the Republicans at their expense. Assuming you believe this is wrong, why is this wrong?

Dermer: The prime minister and the president have disagreed on issues, but the prime minister has never intentionally treated the president disrespectfully—and if that is what some people felt, it certainly was not the prime minister’s intention.

Nobody believes that.  There’s every indication that Bibi flat out despises President Obama and if Bibi going around him to speak to Congress as a foreign leader openly undermining the foreign policy of a sitting President isn’t intentional disrespect, there’s very little that does qualify.

And now the guy is scrambling to try to find some way to save his own ass, because he full well knows what the consequences are as the Palestinians decide to take their grievances to the International Criminal Court rather than the UN.  He knows he needs the United States, and right now nobody will give him the time of day.

Can’t say he doesn’t deserve it.

289 replies
  1. 1
    Cervantes says:

    “It would have been wrong for me to say, ‘Don’t come,’ ” said Mr. Reid. […] “I wouldn’t do that.”

    Delicious.

  2. 2
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    but the prime minister has never intentionally treated the president disrespectfully—and if that is what some people felt, it certainly was not the prime minister’s intention.

    Feeling and appearances are exactly what diplomacy is about. Good to see other countries have even bigger conservatards than we do. (is this a homegrown idiot Bibi tapped?)

    And yes, Mr Reed’s comment is a master piece of telling someone to f-off, without saying it.

  3. 3
    The Other Bob says:

    Mr. Netanyahu’s office confirmed Thursday that he had called Democrats and “other friends” in Congress in recent days, and that he “reiterated that the survival of Israel is not a partisan issue.”

    The survival of Israel has absolutely nothing to do with Netanyahu’s actions here. I love how he attempts to link his political survival and support as equal to Israel’s survival. Screw that guy.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    It’s always interesting when international politics intersects with high-school-level drama. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Good to see other countries have even bigger conservatards than we do. (is this a homegrown idiot Bibi tapped?)

    Sadly, he’s one of ours. He was (surprise!) a Romney campaign apparatchik before moving to Israel.

  6. 6
    raven says:

    @dmsilev: He might be one of yours. Know what I mean?

  7. 7
    C.V. Danes says:

    Netanyahu made his bed, now lie in it. Obama should wrap this around all their necks and let them sink like a stone.

  8. 8
    Fred Dickinson says:

    Netanyahu is the very embodiment of Palestinian oppression and Jew Privilege.

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    I’m so old that can remember Netanyahu babbling on and on about imminent threat from Iran back in the early days of Nightline with Ted Koppel.

  10. 10
    bjacques says:

    Hmm, pissed off the President of the country that’s Israel’s best friend, on the eve of an election and another possible dustup with Hamas or Hezbollah (the latter this time)? That’ll play well at home.

  11. 11
    Belafon says:

    @C.V. Danes: When he wants to, it’s more Obama’s style to hand you more roap while you wrap it around your own neck.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    And then there’s also this bubbling under the surface in Israel on the eve of the elections:

    In the most extensive report yet on Israel’s policy of bombing homes during last summer’s war in Gaza, the Israeli human rights group B’tselem said Wednesday that some of the attacks violated international law while others raised “grave concern” of such violations.
     
    The study, which examined 70 incidents in which 606 Palestinians were killed, noted that despite the “foreseeable, horrifying consequences” of the bombing of homes filled with civilians, top Israeli government and military officials continued the policy for weeks.
     
    B’tselem, the most prominent Israeli rights group documenting alleged violations by security forces in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, said it had sent the report to the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but there was no immediate public comment from the government or the military. Source

  13. 13
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    Looking forward to the Je suis Bibi hashtag with Obama and the rest of libtards being so mean. How does one carry on in the face of this onslaught?

  14. 14
    JoeShabadoo says:

    reiterated that the survival of Israel is not a partisan issue.

    I am sick of everything that has anything do with Israel jeopardizing its survival. Is this stuff ever going to be taken for the bs it is?

  15. 15
    Hellene says:

    This is what I don’t get: Ron Dermer, the Israeli Ambassador to America, is not only American-born but continues to be an American citizen. Am I missing something? Doesn’t it seem disloyal to anyone? A conflict of interest at best (and perhaps treason at worst)?

    I was not born in the US but I am a US citizen now. I can’t imagine becoming the Greek ambassador to the US without people screaming and shouting that I’m unpatriotic (especially the Republicans); and they’d be right!

    I despise vociferous nationalism but I think some basic good citizenship standards make sense.

  16. 16
    Fred Dickinson says:

    @JoeShabadoo:

    I wish something really did threaten the existence of that neocolonial, imperialist occupying power.

    It will be a great day for humanity when Iran gets the bomb.

  17. 17
    geg6 says:

    @JoeShabadoo:

    What’s even worse is this asshole equating his giving a speech in Congress as somehow vital to the survival of Israel. He thinks he’s David Ben Gurion.

  18. 18
    Nicole says:

    @Belafon:

    When he wants to, it’s more Obama’s style to hand you more roap while you wrap it around your own neck.

    “Please proceed, Mr. Prime Minister…”

  19. 19
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Fred Dickinson: “Jew Privilege”? Kindly fuck off.

  20. 20
    Chris says:

    @The Other Bob:

    This.

    So fucking tired of seeing every issue on which the Israeli right gets anything less than everything it wants discussed in terms of “Israel’s survival.”

  21. 21
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    is this a homegrown idiot Bibi tapped?

    Nope. He’s a genuine GOTeatard, at one time claiming dual Israel/US citizenship, and a product (and co-author of) Gingrich’s Contract On America. Boehner and McConnell probably have him on speed dial.

    This just screams GOTea misstep. From the Wiki:

    According to Ari Shavit, Dermer is one of the few people Prime Minister Netanyahu trusts enough for the job, and Dermer’s understanding of the American political system gives Netanyahu a way to navigate through Washington tactfully. On the other hand, Barak Ravid said, Dermer is suspected by key White House aides Denis McDonough and Ben Rhodes of lobbying members of Congress against President Barack Obama’s positions.

    Whatever this fiasco is, “tactful” it is not, and the “lobbying [of] members of Congress” seems far more plausible now than ever.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Buddy H says:

    Is Bibi guaranteed reelection? I don’t know enough about Israeli politics. Is he facing serious opposition, or will he win in a landslide?

  24. 24
    Fred Dickinson says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    What else would you call all the benefits, seen and unseen, that being Jewish gives one in Palestine ? Even in “Israel” proper Arabs make up the majority of the prison population, are far more likely to be in poverty, less likely to finish university and on and on .

    The power differential between Jews and People of Color in Palestine is even more unbalanced than in the United States.

    And this doesn’t even TOUCH the conditions in the West Bank and Gaza which are as bad, if not worse, than Apartheid South Africa.

  25. 25
    TR says:

    @Fred Dickinson:

    No, really, fuck off.

  26. 26
    Fred Dickinson says:

    @TR:

    Something tells me there are quite a few people on this thread with quite large invisible knapsacks when it comes to this issue.

  27. 27
    dmsilev says:

    @Buddy H: Serious opposition. That’s one of the things driving him to try this gambit; he hoped the optics of appearing in front of a joint session of Congress would provide an electoral boost. May not work out as originally planned…

  28. 28
    Cervantes says:

    @dmsilev:

    Sadly, he’s one of ours.

    Was, if by “one of ours” you mean an American.

    He was (surprise!) a Romney campaign apparatchik before moving to Israel.

    Perhaps here you’re thinking of someone else. Dermer has been an Israeli citizen for a while. In Israel, in 2012, he did help Romney aides engineer a visit by the candidate — but I don’t know that there was any formal connection between him and the campaign.

    Maybe you’re thinking of Dermer’s apprenticeship with Frank Luntz — but that was a long time ago, in ’94. Romney hadn’t yet set his sights on the Presidency; nor had he even been elected Governor; he was still busy losing to Ted Kennedy in a landslide.

  29. 29
    TR says:

    @Buddy H:

    Not guaranteed, but he’s currently leading. He’s unpopular, but the chaos in the region apparently has many Israelis holding their nose and voting for the Strong Daddy type.

    He’d better be strong for their sakes, because if he keeps pissing off one of his few true allies, his country will be going it alone.

  30. 30
    TR says:

    @Fred Dickinson:

    You’re not just a bigot, you’re a moron.

    And in case you think I’m part of the Great Jew Conspiracy that is keeping you down, for the record, I’m a Catholic.

    Go fuck yourself, you fucking moron.

  31. 31
    Buddy H says:

    @dmsilev: Does his opposition come from his left, or his right? Is it actually possible there’ll be less “hard-line” leadership in that country?

  32. 32
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Well, it’s simply a fact that, in Israel, Jews — especially but not only practitioners of the Jewish faith — are privileged over everyone else. Some argue approvingly that that’s the entire point of the state.

  33. 33
    Fred Dickinson says:

    @TR:

    Why conduct an objective analysis of intersecting systems of oppression when you can throw around f-bombs ?

    The American Left is such a joke.

  34. 34
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Fred Dickinson: I’ve got no problem with denouncing Israeli wingnuts like Netanyahu (and his backers in the US), harshly criticizing Israeli policy, questioning the notion of Zionism, deploring the treatment of the Palestinians, etc., and frequently do so myself. But using a term like “Jew Privilege” sounds like a prelude to an anti-Semitic rant. Fuck that noise.

  35. 35
    Cervantes says:

    @TR:

    Not up to your usual standard of argument!

  36. 36
    Fred Dickinson says:

    @Cervantes:

    Thank you.

    It’s a Jewish iteration of Apartheid South Africa. But see Jews get a pass cause HITLER!

    The Hitler card is wearing a bit thin as time goes on, btw.

  37. 37
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    But using a term like “Jew Privilege” sounds like a prelude to an anti-Semitic rant.

    Well, saying one thing can be a “prelude” to saying almost anything else.

    If it’s just the term that was used that you don’t like, can you offer a correct alternative?

  38. 38
    Emily68 says:

    Dermer renounced his US citizenship and became an Israeli. Now he’s working with the GOP to make Obama look bad. I’m trying to think what would happen if a Democrat was doing this kind of thing when a Republican was president. Exploding heads on Fox would just be the beginning.

  39. 39
    raven says:

    @Fred Dickinson: Go fuck yourself Freddie.

  40. 40
    TR says:

    @Cervantes:

    Sorry, I tend to rise or fall to the level of the opposition. Someone comes here with a thoughtful, reasoned position, I’ll respond in kind. Someone comes here spewing racist, bigoted garbage about Jew Privilege™ at home and abroad, I’m going to dismiss them with the same level of sophistication.

    The funny thing is that I’m completely on the side of the Palestinians, but even I want nothing to do with Little Himmler here.

  41. 41
    Couldn't Stand the Weather says:

    Zandar, thanks for this.

    I usually see most politicians as self serving, hubris-filled assholes, first and foremost. Given my point of view, I am not surprised too often by their behavior. They hike the Appalachian Trail all the way to Latin America, use a wide stance in an airport bathroom and get caught with 90,000 bucks in their damn freezer.

    Netanyahu makes other politicians look like paragons of virtue and humility.

  42. 42
    Citizen Scientist says:

    Interesting thoughts on the matter from Rick Ungar at Forbes. He almost implies that Boehner is committing something along the lines of treason, if not sheer contempt or loathing for the office of POTUS.

  43. 43
    catclub says:

    “reiterated that the survival of Israel is not a partisan issue.”

    I hope their response is “Do you think the survival of Likud in Israel is?

  44. 44
    chopper says:

    @The Other Bob:

    I know. ‘The survival of Israel’? isn’t that one of the big reasons the us is so into negotiating the end of iran’s nuke program?

    Bibi’s insistence on keeping the Iranian boogie man alive to save his own political skin has become plainly obvious to Israeli voters.

  45. 45
    Cervantes says:

    @TR:

    Thanks, but I still don’t think I see your point. Had the term “Jewish privilege” been used instead, would you still be objecting?

  46. 46
    debbie says:

    I saw this earlier today at TPM. Boehner apparently told Dermer not to tell Obama he was working on the visit:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/lol–3

    Talk about overreach!

  47. 47
    Egypt Steve says:

    Are we totally sure that this Dermer guy is not actually Jack Abramoff? Google them and compare their photos.

    By the way, if Abram jacks you off, will you Jack Abramoff?

  48. 48
    chopper says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Yeah, a phrase like ‘Jew privilege’ brings up much broader connotations than ‘oh, clearly I mean only in Palestine’.

  49. 49
    blueskies says:

    @The Other Bob: “…the survival of Israel is not a partisan issue.”

    Ah, but the survival of Bibi’s political career, which is a completely separate matter, now THAT is a partisan issue, mainly because he was just fucking stupid enough to make it a partisan issue.

  50. 50
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cervantes: I object to the term “Jew Privilege” (capitalization and all) for the same reason I dislike the use of the word “thug” in other contexts — it sounds like anti-Semitic dog whistle to me. As for what term is more appropriate to describe Netanyahu, “extremist asshole,” “warmonger,” “oppressor,” etc., would do nicely.

  51. 51
    Amber says:

    @Buddy H:

    Bibi has opposition from both the right and the left, actually. But the strongest party against him right now is a center-left party which is traditionally good on both economic issues and pro-two-state-solution (no more settlements, actual negotiations, etc.). Unfortunately, they’re probably not going to be able to make a government by themselves because of the right-wing blocs (e.g. the religious always vote for the religious party, the settlers vote for one of the super-right-wing parties, etc.) and it’s not currently clear if enough left-wing parties will get enough seats for them to form a coalition. :(

  52. 52
    gbear says:

    @Cervantes: But that’s not what Fred said, is it?

  53. 53
    Cervantes says:

    @Fred Dickinson:

    It’s a Jewish iteration of Apartheid South Africa.

    Actually, you are severely under-stating Israel’s role in the efficient administration of South African apartheid. Israel provided arms and specialized training to the apartheid regime to help it achieve the requisite degree of hellishness. In return the South African government helped finance the Israeli armament industry.

    Aside: Some of these cooperative acts happened with the connivance of several US administrations, whose burning desire to help the South Africans at home and abroad was stymied by Congressional action. One can say that the Israeli government became a surrogate, or that it took the opportunity that arose.

  54. 54
    Cervantes says:

    @gbear:

    You’re so right — and that would be precisely why I am asking the question.

  55. 55
    blueskies says:

    @Chris: Yep. I’m hoping that as they keep doing it, more and more people worldwide will start to ask themselves “Gee, do I really care? If [manufactured crisis of the day] is so fucking important to THEIR survival, maybe they should spend some time explaining to me why I should care? Maybe they should be less (and so obviously) willing to sacrifice EVERYONE ELSE, INCLUDING ME, to reach their political ends.”

  56. 56
    chopper says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Or the use of the word ‘democrat’ as an adjective. As in ‘democrat party’. Like that tends to identify one as a tea bagger, the use of the word ‘Jew’ as an adjective often identifies with certain amount of anti-Jewish fervor.

  57. 57
    TR says:

    @Cervantes:

    Had the term “Jewish privilege” been used instead, would you still be objecting?

    No, not at all. And in the Israeli context, I’d likely agree.

    But in my experience, every single time I’ve seen someone use the word “Jew” as an adjective, it’s the prelude to an anti-Semitic rant.

    Put it this way — if you see a post referring to “a Jewish lawyer,” you’ll likely think little of it, and rightly so. But if you see a post referring to “a Jew lawyer” and your internal alarms don’t go off, you’re incredibly naive. That conversation only turns one way from there, and it isn’t good.

  58. 58
    Woodrowfan says:

    @TR: agreed. next Fuehrer Freddie will starting talking about the “Holohoax.”

  59. 59
    Amber says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Seconded. Bibi is a terrifying sociopathic asshole with no regard for human life, but in basically the same exact way politicians in the US can be. He just has a smaller pond to play in, so he makes a bigger splash.

    And seriously “Jew Privilege” is just a gigantic red flag. No one sees that and goes “ah, yes, of course, this person is making a nuanced point about certain systematic inequalities in favor of a majority religion in the state of Israel, a highly controversial issue that is fiercely debated both inside and outside of said state, that’s clearly what they mean!”

  60. 60
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I object to the term “Jew Privilege” (capitalization and all) for the same reason I dislike the use of the word “thug” in other contexts — it sounds like anti-Semitic dog whistle to me. As for what term is more appropriate to describe Netanyahu, “extremist asshole,” “warmonger,” “oppressor,” etc., would do nicely.

    Thanks, but so far as I can tell, the term was used not to describe Netanyahu. It was used to describe a system of privilege. What would you call that system of privilege, or would you say it does not exist, or that we should ignore it, or that trying to name it or ask questions about it is “anti-Semitic”?

    Obviously hatred of Jews, or Mongolians, or left-handed people, is despicable — but I’m not sure that’s what emerged above. I could be mistaken.

  61. 61
    blueskies says:

    @TR: Actually, TR, you’re not helping your argument — pretty underwhelming. There’s good points to be made, but you’re just trying to shut things down by cussing. Juvenile and boring.

  62. 62
    blueskies says:

    @TR:

    But in my experience, every single time I’ve seen someone use the word “Jew” as an adjective, it’s the prelude to an anti-Semitic rant.

    Then you need to get out more.

  63. 63
    Scott S. says:

    @Fred Dickinson: Undercover Republican Troll says what?

  64. 64
    Tenar Darell says:

    @Fred Dickinson: Seriously? The wish for an atomic bomb for Iran, and the use of “Jew privilege” instead of “Israeli/parliamentary privilege” is pretty much a way to infuriate rather than discuss. “Jew” as a modifier is validly perceived as a prelude to something vile. That “because HITLER” can be pretty vile too. Why not stop now, and step away from the keyboard? Go for a walk? I think I’m going to.

  65. 65
    Cervantes says:

    @TR:

    Perhaps, but there should be — in my mind, at least — a step or two between (1) having your “internal alarms” go off and (2) what happened above, which was not exactly “internal.”

  66. 66
    TR says:

    @blueskies:

    Then you need to get out more.

    By all means, provide me some examples where “Jew” has been used as an adjective in a positive sense.

    Please, do enlighten me, and all the others here for whom that’s a red flag.

  67. 67
    low-tech cyclist says:

    the prime minister has never intentionally treated the president disrespectfully—and if that is what some people felt, it certainly was not the prime minister’s intention.

    Gimme a break. Bibi’s done everything he could to show disrespect to Obama short of pissing on his pants leg.

    the survival of Israel is not a partisan issue.

    Somehow I doubt that the survival of Israel depends on whether or not Netanyahu speaks to Congress a few weeks from now.

    But if Israel chooses to treat Republican leaders with respect, while choosing to crap all over Democratic leaders, American economic support for Israel just might become a partisan issue one of these days. So if Bibi doesn’t shape up real fast, Israel’s interests might be best served by giving him the heave-ho.

  68. 68
    Amber says:

    @TR:

    I don’t know, I would still object to the term “Jewish privilege” unless it was made in context. In Israel, it’s certainly applicable – Israeli Arabs have more restrictions, are treated with more suspicion, etc. in ways that mirror the treatment of POC in the US. But you hear the term “Jewish privilege” a lot in other contexts – mostly ones saying that Jews have economic advantages that others (typically Christians) lack, ones saying that Jews have secret political influence and a tendency to use it specifically to other people’s disadvantage (and implying it doesn’t just apply to Israel), ones saying that Jews get into college easier, ones saying that Jews don’t suffer any sort of systematic prejudice because “Jews are white now”, etc. Like, you see “oppression charts” where being Jewish gives you +25 to being “more privileged”. It’s mind-boggling.

  69. 69
    raven says:

    @TR: Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys!

  70. 70
    TR says:

    @Amber:

    Sure, and I’d welcome a reasoned debate on those terms. In the US, I think it’s highly contested; in the context of American relations with Israel, I feel like there might be something to it.

    But again, that’s the issue of “Jewish privilege,” not “Jew Privilege” that Fred here spat out. Entirely different.

  71. 71
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cervantes:
    I heard the same anti-Semitic dog whistle that Betty Cracker heard, all the way over here in KL.

  72. 72
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Suppose for a moment that’s exactly what it was. Then what?

  73. 73
    chopper says:

    @Amber:

    The other thing is it still paints with a pretty broad brush over a whole religion. Maybe ‘Zionist privilege’ would make a bit more sense.

    I’m still a bit confounded at the defense of the use of ‘Jew’ as an adjective. It isn’t. It isn’t a verb, either.

  74. 74
    rlrr says:

    @raven:

    When a friend of mine started a Klezmer, I suggested the name “International Jew Bankers” as a name. Though they thought it amusing they went with something else…

  75. 75
    Mike in NC says:

    I saw something about this whole spectacle being the brainchild of the billionaire and Zionist Sheldon Adelson.

  76. 76
    raven says:

    @rlrr: My wife;s garden club floated Rakes and Hoes but it died too!

  77. 77
    debbie says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Also when used as a verb.

  78. 78
    Jack the Second says:

    The language we use reveals our history. If someone says “pahk the cah”, you know they grew up in Boston. If someone says “Democrat Party”, you know they’ve spent a considerable amount of time around dog-whistling neocons who can’t resist needling the opposition. If someone says “allopathic medicine” you know they’ve bought into medical quackery. And if someone uses “Jew” as an adjective, you know they’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time around anti-Semites.

  79. 79
    chopper says:

    @TR:

    And I don’t think “this Jew accountant got me a nice refund this year” counts.

  80. 80

    Netanyahu is the very embodiment of Palestinian oppression and Jew Privilege.

    @Fred Dickinson: Hey, I don’t like the guy either, but…hell, there’s really not a nice way to say this:

    Fuck you, racist scum. Go find some pics of Hitler to fap to.

    It’s Netanyahu that’s the problem, not “the Jews”.

  81. 81
    MomSense says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Pretty sure it’s not even a dog whistle since it was heard so clearly by all us non-canines.

  82. 82
    japa21 says:

    I tend to hew closer to @cervantes stance here. I did not immediately see an anti-semitic tone to Fred’s comment, but not being Jewish, I probably wouldn’t. Just like, being white, I do not always recognize or sense a racist tone behind comments that an African American might.

    When I read the first comment by Fred, I saw it as applying to Israel and specially in regard to Bibi and those who support him.

    It might help if Fred were to come out and say something like, “Sorry folks. Perhaps my wording was wrong and I can see why you reacted the way you did. What I really meant to say was…”

    If he chooses not to do so, then perhaps there was more of an anti-semitic tone to it than I originally thought.

  83. 83
    zmulls says:

    As an adjective, it’s very fraught. “Jew food”, “Jew hair,” etc. And nobody in polite company talks about “jewing somebody down.”

    Even as a noun, it needs a context . Usually the term “Jew” is used in a legal status sense – such as “Jews {should/should not} allow the right of return for Palestinians” or “American Jews {are/are not} appalled at Netanyahu.” But if you say “there are a lot of Jews in politics” you’re approaching, on, on crossing a line.

    It is a dog whistle. It was mentioned above that saying “thug” communicates a set of prejudices, the way using the term “hippie” to describe liberals communicates as well.

    And (again, as stated above), saying “Democrat Party” is a deliberate jab. Bush started saying “Democrat Party” all the time, just to poke people. It’s the “Democratic Party” and always has been. My name is Michael, but I don’t like being called “Mike,” and I’ll gently tell people. But you know the sort of person who keeps saying “Mike” anyway, just because he knows it bothers you just a bit — so you’re faced with the choice of constantly reminding him, or putting up with it and being annoyed.

  84. 84
    Cervantes says:

    @chopper:

    Maybe ‘Zionist privilege’ would make a bit more sense.

    If that’s what one is referring to, perhaps.

    But as I said above, there are other systems of oppression. In Israel, Jews — especially but not only practitioners of the Jewish faith — are privileged over everyone else. Some argue approvingly that that’s the entire point of the state. Sure, not everyone wants to name the phenomenon or discuss it — but there it stands, mostly on the throats of Arabs and Palestinians, but inconveniencing and angering many so-called secular Jews as well.

  85. 85
    Cervantes says:

    @raven:

    I like your wife’s garden club.

  86. 86
    Chris says:

    @blueskies:

    I think most people worldwide caught up to that a long time ago. It’s pretty much just America that needs to wake the fuck up.

    @chopper:

    The other thing is it still paints with a pretty broad brush over a whole religion. Maybe ‘Zionist privilege’ would make a bit more sense.

    Doesn’t that kind of negate the whole point of the “privilege” argument? Isn’t the “white privilege” argument that white people benefit from unearned privilege (“are playing the game on an easier setting”) regardless of their personal ideology, whether or not they personally are racist, whether or not they personally had a part in setting up the system of privilege, whether or not they are in fact okay with it? (In other words, that it’s not enough to say “well MY ancestors didn’t own slaves, and I’M not personally a racist! End of argument!”) Isn’t that why we call it “white privilege” and not “white conservative privilege,” “white nationalist privilege” or something ideologically specific?

    Because that’s basically how Israel works right now, substituting “Jewish” for “white.”

  87. 87
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Buddy H: The problem is it’s a parliamentary system. The opposition is from the left (mostly) but even if things fall out according to the most optomistic predictions, the small ultra-orthodox ultra-expansionist parties will probably still hold the balance of power to form a majority coalition. Add to that that the main Israeli left parties make the US Democrats look organized, principled, and resolute. Just think about that for a second.

    I suppose a minority coalition is possible if Bibi has so pissed off the right-wingers that they would refuse to join a Likud coalition as junior partners, but I don’t see that. More likely we end up with some asshole like Avigdor Lieberman or Nafthali Bennett driving the bus – Bibi’s venality and disregard for human rights under a smoother veneer.

  88. 88
    Amber says:

    @chopper:

    Agreed, definitely. In the US, certainly, being Jewish is not necessarily the thing giving the privileged leverage – I doubt that a Jewish ambassador from, say, Portugal has outsized influence in politics simply for being Jewish. And pro-Israel American Christian evangelicals can sometimes get a better reception and considerably more attention than Jewish critics of Israel’s behavior, even ones from Israel.

    Zionist privilege is a bit better, but not by that much – I wish there was an easy way to distinguish Jews that support Israel-as-a-state (and thus technically Zionists) but think the current policies it has are batshit crazy and need to be stopped immediately, and, well, people like Bibi and Bennet and Liberman who have taken the Zionist idea far past its original goalposts. Is there a word that categorizes that? (Other than “Likudnik asshole”, but that’s a bit too broad.)

  89. 89
    dedc79 says:

    This is a good example of how discussions about Israel-Palestine can so quickly go off the rails. There are plenty of people who are critical of Israel and have never held a single, anti-Semitic thought. Then there are people like Mr. Dickinson, who won’t quite come out and say that he hopes Iran wipes the jews off the map (it would probably to difficult to do that without killing Palestinians in the process, right?), but he’s happy to have the suggestion just hanging out there.

  90. 90
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Cervantes: As a supporter of Palestinian rights, and a critic of Israel’s behavior, I heard that anti-Semitic dog whistle loud and clear and I shun it. The fact is that there are ( at least) two main kinds of Palestinian supporters: people who support the Palestinians and people who hate jews. I refuse to make common cause with the latter. I love the Jewish people as much as I love the Palestinian people, and for the same reason: because they’re people. And telling the anti Semites to fuck off is the only way the rest of us can seriously discuss everything that has gone wrong with Israel, a country that makes me wonder if it is possible for entire nation states to have PTSD…

  91. 91
    Cervantes says:

    @japa21:

    It might help if Fred were to come out and say something like, “Sorry folks. Perhaps my wording was wrong and I can see why you reacted the way you did. What I really meant to say was…”

    That might help, yes.

    Meanwhile it’s possible that many people’s remarks above have also helped.

  92. 92
    john b says:

    @Amber: But this is about Israeli Jews, as far as I can tell. Rather than parse the words of someone who’s no longer here (and probably isn’t worthy of the respect of our arguing, to be honest), why not talk about what Cervantes and a few others are: the parallel between white privilige in the United States (and to a greater extent apartheid-era South Africa) and Jewish privilige in Israel.

  93. 93
    dedc79 says:

    @Joey Maloney: In the latest polls, Lieberman’s party is in danger of not even clearing the threshold to qualify for seats in the Knesset.

  94. 94
    Cacti says:

    @Chris:

    Doesn’t that kind of negate the whole point of the “privilege” argument? Isn’t the “white privilege” argument that white people benefit from unearned privilege (“are playing the game on an easier setting”) regardless of their personal ideology, whether or not they personally are racist, whether or not they personally had a part in setting up the system of privilege, whether or not they are in fact okay with it? (In other words, that it’s not enough to say “well MY ancestors didn’t own slaves, and I’M not personally a racist! End of argument!”) Isn’t that why we call it “white privilege” and not “white conservative privilege,” “white nationalist privilege” or something ideologically specific?

    Because that’s basically how Israel works right now, substituting “Jewish” for “white.”

    I don’t think the term “privilege” exactly applies in this scenario. I think of privilege more as a term for societies that are supposed to be ostensibly equal, but with certain groups in an unofficial favored position by default because of numerical majority, historical dominance, tradition, etc.

    In that case you could say that among Israeli citizens, Israeli Jews are privileged over Israeli Arabs. For Palestinians in the occupied territories, it’s a matter of explicit, systematic oppression rather than privilege.

  95. 95
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Mike in NC: Oh, speaking of Shelley, his Israeli newspaper reached its yellowcake moment. Today’s front page is “The Iranian Connection” in screaming yellow type on a red background with lurid photos of missiles and wreckage and a subhead all about the Iranian infiltration into Syria and Lebanon and how the nukes will be there any minute. It’s laughable except, of course, people believe that shit.

  96. 96
    Chris says:

    @NotMax:

    I’m so old that can remember Netanyahu babbling on and on about imminent threat from Iran back in the early days of Nightline with Ted Koppel.

    I was watching an old JAG episode the other day and cracked up when Clayton Webb spoke the following line: “we estimate that Iran will be ready to produce a nuclear bomb in two years.”

    In the nineties. That episode was almost twenty years old. And Iran has been “only two years away” from a nuke for even longer than that.

  97. 97

    @Cervantes:

    There are Jewish people in multiple countries all over the world, not just Israel. Comparing about “Jew privilege” in the context of Israeli politics immediately implicates every other Jewish person in the world in the crimes committed by Israel’s government.

    I’m not on board with blaming all Jewish people for what’s going on in Israel, but by defending the term “Jew privilege” and Fred’s other rantings here using “Jew” when the correct term would be “Israeli” is at least putting your foot on the dock on getting onto Fred’s boat where “Jews” are responsible for crimes against humanity committed by Israel.

    I know that pedantry is your natural state, but it’s leading you down a very unpleasant road in this case where, like Fred, you start equating Israelis and the Israeli government with all Jews worldwide.

  98. 98
    Chris says:

    @Cacti:

    In that case you could say that among Israeli citizens, Israeli Jews are privileged over Israeli Arabs. For Palestinians in the occupied territories, it’s a matter of explicit, systematic oppression rather than privilege.

    Well, that I’m not going to argue with.

  99. 99
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cervantes:
    I don’t believe that the Israeli principle of privileging Jewish citizens over other citizens is ultimately good for Israel. (Because from what I have seen in Malaysia, privileging Malays over other Malaysians, which is in the constitution and all, has definitely been a net negative here.)

    But that is an internal matter only Israelis can resolve. It isn’t directly relevant to the matter currently under discussion: Bibi’s deeply misguided attempt to play in American partisan politics, expressly to sabotage an international initiative regarding Iran’s nuclear prgramme. Aside from the harm this could do to the US-Israeli relationship, it could fuck the Middle East up real good.

    @Fred Dickinson:
    It would be a terrible if Iran got a nuke. Not because Iran would plan to use it on anyone — I don’t think its leadership is that stupid — but it’s bad in the same way that firearms proliferation in American civilian society is a bad thing. Everybody having a gun just makes everybody feel more threatened, instead of less so. And people who generally feel threatened tend to make worse decisions about reacting to threats than people who don’t.

  100. 100
    Joey Maloney says:

    @dedc79: Yes, but I think the polls understate his support; I also think that if Likud comes out of this anywhere near in spitting distance of making a coalition, the horsetrading is going to give Lieberman a good shot at ending up in the catbird seat.

  101. 101

    @Cacti:

    Good point — to call what’s going on in the Palestinian Territories an issue of “privilege” is heavily sugarcoating it, to say the least.

  102. 102
    Cervantes says:

    @dedc79:

    Then there are people like Mr. Dickinson, who won’t quite come out and say that he hopes Iran wipes the jews off the map (it would probably to difficult to do that without killing Palestinians in the process, right?), but he’s happy to have the suggestion just hanging

    The suggestion that (1) the world would be a safer place if Iran gets the bomb is not equivalent to the suggestion that (2) it would be good if “Iran wipes the jews off the map.” Suggestion (1) can be read as a re-statement of the doctrine of “mutually assured destruction” — and if that notion did help prevent certain aggressions during the Cold War, do you not see its relevance here? (This is a matter of seeing the argument, quite apart from agreeing with it.)

    Of course, if one’s mental model of “the Iranians” is that they will, completely irrationally, use a nuclear weapon the moment they have one, then that’s yet another separate discussion, I would argue.

  103. 103
    chopper says:

    @Chris:

    Indeed. But painting a whole religion with a broad brush raises my hackles, even if ‘Jewish privilege’ may be the best term. especially a religion that has been subject to so much of that over the last two thousand years and not in a helpful way.

    maybe I’m biased because I’m Jewish. but I’ve seen so many things ascribed to ‘the Jews’ for so long my eye is pretty jaundiced.

  104. 104
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Cacti: I agree with you – what it going on in Palestine ( and I’d argue in Israel as well) is oppression, not privilege. They explicitly give jewish people more rights and non-jewish people more burdens. What I find complicated is the issue of how to get rid of the oppression while keeping the state of Israel as a safe place for jewish people to live and flourish.

  105. 105
    Amber says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    I’ve always thought that nation-wide PTSD is probably the best way to understand Israel’s behavior, especially given the fact that the majority of Israeli politicians were in the army – and probably in the army during the Yom Kippur war or any of the other ones. Generally speaking, people in Israel really are constantly hyper-vigilant in a way that we don’t experience here in the U.S. – there is always the constant fear that maybe today Iran will drop a nuke or a chemical bomb and everyone will be gone in a second or that today is the day your house is the one the missile from Gaza or Lebanon falls on or today is the day the bus you’re on explodes.

    Take the news, for instance; basically everyone in Israel tunes in to the news constantly – in fact, about 5PM the news broadcasts on all radio channels (at the very least, it used to) regardless of if you’re listening to music or kids shows or whatever. It’s very different from the total indifference of most American voters. And given the recent right-wing attempts to destroy left-wing news sources in Israel by underselling them, you’re talking about an entire populace of people with Fox News blaring at them all the time. That’s one of the reasons the left-wing has started focusing on economic issues – they can compete there in a way they really can’t any more on security issues because people are just in a constant state of panic where they think they’re under attack.

    It’s probably relevant to recall Entebbe – plane hijacked, all non-Jews/non-Israelis let go, Israel manages to rescue them with only one soldier casualty, and the UN promptly condemns them for “violating another nation’s airspace”. (Wasn’t the one soldier that died on that raid was Bibi’s brother? I’m not sure, but that’s my memory…)

  106. 106
    Amber says:

    @dedc79:

    It’s reasonable that Liberman is having a hard time qualifying for the Knesset with the, what, three people left in his party who haven’t been arrested for corruption. Very reasonable. Kind of hard to run for office in a party-list system without a party!

  107. 107
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: You got a point Cervantes, but I’d say everyone else was right when they picked up “Jew privilege” as a warning sign; Fred proved them right with complaining about the “Hitler card” “getting old”, and wishing for a nuclear Iran.

    My main issue with Israel is that they have not faced an existential threat since 1973, and they act as if they’re still on the verge of annihilation.

  108. 108
    Daniel'sBob says:

    @Amir Khalid: Ever the voice of reason. Thank you.

  109. 109
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPad Mini):

    There are Jewish people in multiple countries all over the world, not just Israel. Comparing about “Jew privilege” in the context of Israeli politics immediately implicates every other Jewish person in the world in the crimes committed by Israel’s government.

    The statement was about Netanyahu as an embodiment of a certain system of oppression in Israel, one that blatantly favors Jews over others in Israel. If you’re reaching for the notion that he should have said “Jewish privilege” instead of “Jew privilege,” that would be one thing; but I don’t think the implication you’re puffing up above is relevant.

    I’m not on board with blaming all Jewish people for what’s going on in Israel

    That’s big of you.

    but by defending the term “Jew privilege” and Fred’s other rantings here using “Jew” when the correct term would be “Israeli” is at least putting your foot on the dock on getting onto Fred’s boat where “Jews” are responsible for crimes against humanity committed by Israel.

    If you think “the correct term” would be “Israeli privilege,” then you have no idea what you’re talking about here.

    I know that pedantry is your natural state, but it’s leading you down a very unpleasant road in this case where, like Fred, you start equating Israelis and the Israeli government with all Jews worldwide.

    Your powers of comprehension are legendary. I’ll refrain from responding.

  110. 110
    TR says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Precisely, thank you.

  111. 111
    Chris says:

    @Cervantes:

    The suggestion that (1) the world would be a safer place if Iran gets the bomb is not equivalent to the suggestion that (2) it would be good if “Iran wipes the jews off the map.”

    I was ready to make that same point, but reread Fred’s comment first and then decided not to. There’s nothing wrong with saying that Iran deserves the bomb per se, but when that statement immediately follows “I wish something DID threaten the existence of [Israel],” that suggests something other than “the world would be a safer place if…”

  112. 112
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Kylroy: I think the constant missile attacks do constitute an existential threat, especially on the individual level where we all experience these things. I’ve never lived through a missile attack, but I’ve lived through too many IRA bombing campaigns and they never did anything but put everyone’s backs up.

  113. 113
    chopper says:

    @Chris:

    hey, we all know how much better a place the world becomes when more people become threatened with nuclear annihilation.

  114. 114

    @Cervantes:

    Suit yourself. I’m not the only one here who heard that anti-Semitic dog whistle loud and clear, but if you feel obliged to defend claims about “Jew privilege,” that’s not my problem.

  115. 115
    Betty Cracker says:

    @chopper: I heard the same thing, and I’m an Irish-English-Scandinavian-American ex-Christian. Could be a side-effect of frequenting online forums for years — anti-Semites seem to have a Batshit Signal on par with gun nuts.

  116. 116
    Cervantes says:

    @Amber:

    Wasn’t the one soldier that died on that raid was Bibi’s brother? I’m not sure, but that’s my memory.

    Yes, he was the one soldier killed. Several hostages were killed by stray Israeli bullets during the rescue, and one by Idi Amin’s soldiers beforehand.

    The deaths by “friendly fire” were surely unavoidable — and are, of course, not part of Israel’s “Entebbe Myth.”

  117. 117
    Chris says:

    @Kylroy:

    My main issue with Israel is that they have not faced an existential threat since 1973, and they act as if they’re still on the verge of annihilation.

    There’s probably a good comparison to be made with the way the American military-industrial complex, neocons, and other nationalist assholes have spent the last seventy years or so pretending that it’s still World War Two. (Or even the last twenty five years pretending it’s still the Cold War).

    I think when Israel WAS threatened existentially, there was a strong incentive not to fuck up on defense policy, but now that it isn’t, people like Bibi have more and more room to maneuver in terms of using security issues as a political hammer to bash their opposition with. Again, much like the U.S. – the Iraq War was about getting Republicans elected and funneling money to the Halliburton types, not anything security related.

  118. 118
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPad Mini):

    I’m so glad not to be adding to your problems!

  119. 119
    gratuitous says:

    @The Other Bob: It only took three comments to see what I wanted to say. Thanks, The Other Bob, for pointing out that Israel’s Survival ≠ Netanyahu’s Political Viability.

  120. 120
    samiam says:

    Bigotry trumps all. Let’s not kid ourselves here.

  121. 121
    samiam says:

    So is the president going to recall that ahole Isreal ambassador former Republican operative over this? Seems like a good enough reason to me. Regardless of the timing and how they try frame this, I would say the ambassadors days are numbered since he seems to have been the architect of a lot of this.

  122. 122
    Chris says:

    Actually, just for an encore –

    @Kylroy:

    My main issue with Israel is that they have not faced an existential threat since 1973, and they act as if they’re still on the verge of annihilation.

    MY main issue with all that “existential threat” stuff is the fact that we’re still obsessing over the hypothetical that the Israeli nation might be destroyed, at the expense of the reality that the Palestinian nation is being destroyed, right now.

    ETA: kind of like the argument thirty years ago that we couldn’t have democracy in South Africa, because then black people might be in a position to treat white people… oh, right. Exactly the way white people had been treating black people.

  123. 123
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPad Mini):

    I know that pedantry is your natural state,

    Oh fuck, I just choked on my bagel.

  124. 124

    @Cervantes:

    One last attempt to return you to rationality:

    Saudi Arabia is an infamously repressive state. They follow Islamic law and their state religion is Islam. So, in your view, is it logical to claim that the problem with the Saudi government is that they have “Muslim privilege” because Saudi Muslims have more rights than Saudis of other religions?

  125. 125
    chopper says:

    @samiam:

    The ambassador here is Israel’s ambassador to the us. Obama can’t recall him.

    O could recall our ambassador to Israel, which according to procedure would mean Bibi recalling his.

    Other than that, a surprisingly cogent and on-topic post from you. has your medication regimen been changed recently?

  126. 126
    gene108 says:

    @Cervantes:

    Thanks, but so far as I can tell, the term was used not to describe Netanyahu. It was used to describe a system of privilege. What would you call that system of privilege, or would you say it does not exist, or that we should ignore it, or that trying to name it or ask questions about it is “anti-Semitic”?

    To me, “Jew Privilege” reeks of some sort of world Jewish conspiracy that all Jews partake of to gain unfair advantages over others, which has been floating around for a long time and has led to backlashes against Jewish communities.

    If you put it “the privilege of Israeli Jews” it would be both more specific to the matter at hand and more descriptive, without implying my dentist has some secret privilege I am not privy to because he’s Jewish and is nice enough to refrain from lording it over me, when I get my teeth cleaned twice a year.

  127. 127

    @Keith G:

    Dude, my blog is called The Insufferable Movie Snob. It takes one to know one.

  128. 128
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPad Mini): I don’t think that’s an exact parallel – the Saudis specifically give privilege to other Saudis, not to all other Muslims, who they are very happy to exploit if they are foreign and poor. Israel has a law allowing any jewish person from anywhere in the world to move there and instantly have more rights than a non jewish person who was born in Israel.

  129. 129
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @blueskies: no, he’s right. It’s a pretty accurate litmus test.

  130. 130
  131. 131
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris:

    Thanks.

    I was ready to make that same point, but reread Fred’s comment first and then decided not to. There’s nothing wrong with saying that Iran deserves the bomb per se

    Well, no one has to analyze everything he said!

    but when that statement immediately follows “I wish something DID threaten the existence of [Israel],” that suggests something other than “the world would be a safer place if…”

    Except that where you insert “Israel,” what he actually said was:

    I wish something really did threaten the existence of that neocolonial, imperialist occupying power.

    There’s a difference.

  132. 132
  133. 133
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cervantes:
    When Fred Dickinson said this

    I wish something really did threaten the existence of that neocolonial, imperialist occupying power.

    did he mean some nation other than Israel?

  134. 134
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: Yeah, because when he follows

    “I wish something really did threaten the existence of that neocolonial, imperialist occupying power.”

    with

    “It will be a great day for humanity when Iran gets the bomb.”

    …it’s an *unbelievably* generous read to think that he’s somehow hoping for Israel to moderate itself. Interpreting that as a hope for Israel to be threatened with nuclear annihilation seems pretty obvious to me.

  135. 135
    Cervantes says:

    @gene108:

    To me, “Jew Privilege” reeks of some sort of world Jewish conspiracy that all Jews partake of to gain unfair advantages over others

    Taken out of context, it is problematic — that’s obvious to anyone no longer in the first flush of childhood innocence.

    The question, if one cares, is what this person meant by it in context. My position is that automatically hurling abuse at him is not a particularly clever way to find out.

  136. 136
    J says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    ‘I heard the same anti-Semitic dog whistle that Betty Cracker heard, all the way over here in KL.’

    I agree with AK and Betty Cracker, though I’d say ‘megaphone’ rather than ‘whistle’.

  137. 137
    Tree With Water says:

    America: “This soup tastes like piss”.

    Israel: “But you love my soup”.

  138. 138
    Chris says:

    @Cervantes:

    Which country did you think he was referring to?

    Or did you think that by referring to it as neocolonial and imperialist, he somehow was invalidating the part where he threatens its existence?

    ETA: damn it, Amir.

  139. 139
    SuperHrefna says:

    @gene108: @Mnemosyne (iPad Mini): Also, I’m not sure there are any non- muslim Saudis. There are lots of foreigners of all sorts of religions living there on gastarbeiter type visas ( almost as many of them as there are actual Saudi citizens), but I’m not sure how any Saud would be able to convert to any other religion without being sentenced to death for apostasy.

  140. 140
    Cervantes says:

    @Kylroy:

    it’s an *unbelievably* generous read to think that he’s somehow hoping for Israel to moderate itself.

    It may be unbelievably generous to think that’s the view he’s espousing — that if Iran has a nuclear arsenal then Israel will have little choice but to behave better — but others espouse this view, too, and it’s hardly “anti-Semitism.” Surely we agree on this.

  141. 141
    SuperHrefna says:

    In a way, that illustrates Israel’s dilemma in a nutshell: they want to be a modern democracy while also privileging one religion over others in a way that only an old fashioned theocracy can pull off.

  142. 142
    Bill Arnold says:

    @gene108:

    without implying my dentist has some secret privilege I am not privy to because he’s Jewish and is nice enough to refrain from lording it over me, when I get my teeth cleaned twice a year.

    Well, he does have something (not secret), the Law of Return, assuming he can prove he’s Jewish to the satisfaction of the Israeli (religious) authorities.
    FWIW, “Jew” as an adjective raises flags for me too. I can deal with the context arguments above (not jewish, just married to one and occasionally attend reform services), but most people cannot, in my experience.

  143. 143
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris:

    Or did you think that by referring to it as neocolonial and imperialist, he somehow was invalidating the part where he threatens its existence?

    The highlighting of problematic aspects suggests to me that his complaint may be about those problematic aspects.

    Also, he wasn’t threatening Israel’s existence — nor could he do so.

  144. 144
    chopper says:

    @Chris:

    Clearly he was referring to, I dunno, Angola.

  145. 145
    rodnchance says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    I don’t understand why you use the term ‘libtards’, what the heck do you have against libertarians?

  146. 146
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Fred Dickinson: You really need to take that Hackenkreuz armband off before posting here. It will not win friends and influence people. Quite the contrary.

  147. 147
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: He couldn’t, but the Iranian nukes he’s wishing for could.

    If we’re allowed to regard the “watermelon toothpaste” cartoonist as racist based on a preponderance of evidence without seeing his KKK membership card, I think we can regard this guy as strongly anti-Israel (and probably anti-Semitic).

  148. 148
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    if Iran has a nuclear arsenal then Israel will have little choice but to behave better — but others espouse this view, too, and it’s hardly “anti-Semitism.”

    is anybody here saying that that view is anti-Semitic? not that I know of. Fred certainly didn’t seem to be going with that view as you yourself note, which further was the point of the person to which you were replying. seems a bit of a non-sequitur.

    Also, no need for the scare quotes around the term anti-semitism. It’s a real thing.

  149. 149
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cervantes:
    He was expressing eliminationist sentiment towards Israel. One may think the formation of Israel itself was a mistake (as I myself do) or that its malicious treatment of Palestine and Palestinian is horribly wrong. But eliminating a nation is no solution for either situation.

  150. 150
    Kylroy says:

    @Amir Khalid: Depends on your definiton of “solution”. Eliminating Israel certainly ends the Israel – Palestine conflict pretty decisively. One might even call it final.

  151. 151
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kylroy: The terrible thing is there are plenty of Israelis who seem to be leaning towards an Endlösung for the “Palestinian Question” as well.

  152. 152
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Kylroy:
    There’s consequences when you take that road. Always.

  153. 153
    Cervantes says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    He was expressing eliminationist sentiment towards Israel.

    Show me.

    One may think the formation of Israel itself was a mistake (as I myself do) or that its malicious treatment of Palestine and Palestinian is horribly wrong. But eliminating a nation is no solution for either situation.

    Especially if by “a nation” we mean a group of human beings.

  154. 154
    Cervantes says:

    @chopper:

    Also, no need for the scare quotes around the term anti-semitism. It’s a real thing.

    And a fake thing.

    That’s a huge part of the problem.

  155. 155
    Cervantes says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    I can deal with the context arguments above […] but most people cannot, in my experience.

    All the more reason to make such arguments, I’d say.

  156. 156
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: He wishes Israel’s existence were threatened. That’s eliminationist rhetoric, even if he’s not specifically taking the next step of wishing the threat was realized.

    Cerv, you’ve been pretty relevant and on point here, why is Mr. “Jew Privilege”, “Hitler excuse is getting old” your hill to die on?

  157. 157
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes: This is possibly the most stupid thing you’ve ever posted.

  158. 158
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: Using the language of Stormfront is unwise when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from them.

  159. 159
    Cervantes says:

    @Kylroy:

    I’ve already said what I think about the phrase “Jew privilege.” No point repeating here.

    As for the notion that “[the] Hitler card is wearing a bit thin as time goes on,” what’s your particular problem with it? Do you see it as an attempt to justify what Hitler did? I don’t.

  160. 160
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m flattered that you’re trying to keep track.

  161. 161
    Cervantes says:

    @Kylroy:

    Using the language of Stormfront is unwise when you’re trying to differentiate yourself from them.

    Who is? Can you clarify? (Thanks.)

  162. 162
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: My problem with it is that it doesn’t focus on the underlying issue – Israel was in imminent threat of destruction for the first 25 years of it’s existence, and acted accordingly. It *is not* in that situation any more, has not been for decades, but acts as if all the Arab states might form (another) coalition to wipe them out at any moment. Hitler’s atrocities allowed the creation of Israel, and certainly informed the state of mind of it’s leadership, but any paranoia the country had was confirmed by the conflicts of 1948-1973; Hitler is background material, and a distraction.

    Moreover, opening any conversation with any minority of any kind with “Man, won’t you just *get over* the unspeakable atrocities done to you?” isn’t going to be productive.

  163. 163
    brantl says:

    Can’t say he doesn’t deserve it.

    Since he’s willing to pen people up like anumals, just because they live on land he wants and isn’t in any way entitled to, he never did.

  164. 164
    BobS says:

    At least one of the people here choosing to gang up on Fred & Cervantes for their alleged anti-Semitism has been a defender/denier of the neo-Nazis who were instrumental in effecting the Ukranian coup last February as well as their ongoing influence and representation in the current government. However, Jews worldwide will sleep better tonight knowing they’re being protected from the likes of Fred & Cervantes.

  165. 165
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: Fred was: “Jew Privilege”, “Hitler card is getting old”. And he was the first one to bring up Hitler, which is a major warning sign – we were talking Israel-Palestine conflict, he bitches about Jews still whining about the Holocaust.

    You’ve managed to focus on the issue at hand, which makes me even more puzzled at your determination to legitimize Fred’s dog-whistle anti-Semitism. Some people are on your side for the wrong reasons; attempting to cover for them only makes your whole side look foolish.

  166. 166
    Amir Khalid says:

    @BobS:
    Is the S in your nym short for “in Portland”?

  167. 167
    BobS says:

    @Amir Khalid: No. Odd, isn’t it, that two guys with such an uncommon name would have similar views on a topic?

  168. 168
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    I guess you’d also argue that racism, sexism, homophobia, islamophobia etc, while all being real, are also fake as well?

  169. 169
    brantl says:

    @TR: No, he just thinks Israel gets away with everything, because they were once severely oppressed as an ethnic group, but aren’t any longer. It’s like if Barney Fyffe kept hosing neighborhoods with a machine gun, because he got shot at, once. Now they are doing the oppressing, and they want permanent forgiveness for it. It’s bullshit, it always was.

  170. 170
    Kylroy says:

    @chopper: Well, somebody has probably used those terms in situations where they didn’t actually apply. So by his standards, they exist in a state of both real and fake. “Schroedinger’s Prejudice”, if you will.

  171. 171
    Gator90 says:

    @Cervantes: Why do describe anti-semitism as a “fake thing”? (Is it a Jew thing?)

  172. 172
    Kylroy says:

    @Gator90: What he’s trying to get at is that failing to support Israel’s every action is not anti-Semitism, even though some people claim it is.

    At least I think that’s what Cerv is trying to get at. When unclear and broad-brush language requires your readers to attempt telepathy to understand what you mean, problems are inevitable.

  173. 173
    boatboy_srq says:

    @NotMax: In-ter-es-ting. This helps explain Bibi’s antics rather well: distract attention from a seriously nasty official report with a blatant publicity stunt and thumb-in-the-eye to a leader he doesn’t like, and hope that by playing the clown for a few minutes he can bury the report. And since McClatchy picked it up, you can bet sNoozecorp and Gannett won’t go near it, so the secret is reasonably safe.

  174. 174
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Kylroy:

    What he’s trying to get at is that failing to support Israel’s every action is not anti-Semitism, even though some people claim it is.

    What some call New antisemitism (wikipedia)

  175. 175
    rikyrah says:

    Bibi thought he was too smart by half….

    and, it has backfired

  176. 176
    Larv says:

    @BobS:

    At least one of the people here choosing to gang up on Fred & Cervantes for their alleged anti-Semitism has been a defender/denier of the neo-Nazis who were instrumental in effecting the Ukranian coup last February as well as their ongoing influence and representation in the current government. However, Jews worldwide will sleep better tonight knowing they’re being protected from the likes of Fred & Cervantes.

    First, cut the “at least one” crap. Name names and link to comments defending neo-nazis or shut up with the accusations.

    Second, nobody has accused Cervantes of anti-Semitism. Fred has been accused of that because he has used rhetoric common among anti-Semites (Jew privilege, the Hitler card). Cervantes strikes me as an anti-Zionist, which is fine. I suspect there are lots of us here who agree at least in part with him on the subject. Maybe Fred is also just an anti-Zionist. But given that anti-Semitism is a real thing, if you want anybody to take your opinions on the subject seriously you should probably take care to rhetorically separate yourself from them. The fact that Fred hasn’t makes people think that he doesn’t care too much about the distinction.

  177. 177
    BobS says:

    @Larv: Mnemosyne = “at least one” who has acted as an apologist/denier for/of the neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Kylroy puzzling over Cervantes’ “determination to legitimize Fred’s dog-whistle anti-Semitism” gets pretty close – a lot closer than “Jew Privilege” is to anti-Semitism in the context of life in Israel.

  178. 178
    Cervantes says:

    @Kylroy:

    What he’s trying to get at is that failing to support Israel’s every action is not anti-Semitism, even though some people claim it is.

    In a nutshell, yes.

    (Pretty obvious, I thought, but thanks for clarifying on my behalf.)

  179. 179
    Cervantes says:

    @Larv:

    Cervantes strikes me as an anti-Zionist, which is fine.

    There used to be, a world and a day ago, a left Zionism.

    That Zionism was supplanted, root and branch, by right-wingers and racists and delusionaries. What these people espouse — never mind for a moment what they espouse — what they are doing in the name of Israel is monstrous and morally repugnant.

  180. 180
    Gator90 says:

    @Cervantes: To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever claimed that failing to support Israel’s every action is anti-semitism. That sounds like a fake thing.

    Does the fact that anti-semitism is sometimes inaccurately perceived make it “fake”?

  181. 181
    chopper says:

    @Kylroy:

    Of course, calling something into question like that because of what ‘some people claim’ is clearly dubious. ‘some people’ do the same sort of thing for sexism and racism too, and it’s often a conservative trope to point at those people and argue that racism and sexism aren’t so ‘real’ anymore. hence the use of the phrase “playing the race card”.

  182. 182
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: Don’t assume people will tease your meaning out on their own. When making arguments that (inadvertently, I know) align you with an ancient and still existent form of racial hatred, you have to pick your words *very carefully*.

  183. 183
    Cervantes says:

    @BobS:

    Kylroy puzzling over Cervantes’ “determination to legitimize Fred’s dog-whistle anti-Semitism” gets pretty close – a lot closer than “Jew Privilege” is to anti-Semitism in the context of life in Israel.

    I noticed that, too — thanks.

    As for sleeping well tonight, I’m with you: let’s hope everyone does.

  184. 184
    chopper says:

    @Gator90:

    I’m sure there’s maybe a handful of people out there who would argue that if you don’t support everything Israel does the you’re an anti-Semite.

    I don’t understand how that tiny, tiny minority would lead anyone to think that anti-semitism is “fake”. seems like it’s an example of hanging your hat on a straw man.

  185. 185
    Cervantes says:

    @Kylroy:

    I make no such assumption — you’re right that it would be silly.

  186. 186
    SuperHrefna says:

    @chopper: I’ve met more than a handful of them. They are definitely out there and they drive me nuts.

  187. 187
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    Wait, you agree with that?

    Wow. That’s just…wow. Neo-naziism. Wow.

  188. 188
    chopper says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    That’s odd. I’ve never met someone that completely, uncritically supportive of Israel and I know plenty of Israelis and ultra-Orthodox Jews.

  189. 189
    Cervantes says:

    @Gator90:

    To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever claimed that failing to support Israel’s every action is anti-semitism. That sounds like a fake thing. Does the fact that anti-semitism is sometimes inaccurately perceived make it “fake”?

    Spurious accusations of “anti-Semitism” are commonly used in attempts to silence critics of Israel’s various policies. Given that you must be aware of this phenomenon, I’m sure I’m missing your point.

  190. 190
    Larv says:

    @BobS: Link to one of Mnemosyne’s comments that supports this, if you wouldn’t mind. I’ve read most of those threads, and I don’t recall anything that could be construed that way, unless you’re subscribing to the other Bob’s view that all anti-Russians in Ukraine are fascists and neo-Nazis.

  191. 191
    Cervantes says:

    @chopper:

    Don’t look now but you seem to be barking.

  192. 192
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: My puzzlement over Cerv siding with Fred comes pretty close to…what? Defending neo-nazis? Buh? I outright stated Fred is definitely anti-Israel and probably anti-Semitic. I then pointed out that by backing Fred up, Cerv was signing on to ideas beyond anti-Zionism, ideas that I doubt (and still doubt) he endorses. And a half-dozen other commenters picked up on using “Jew” as an adjective as an anti-Semitic dogwhistle; you’re of course free to disagree, as you’re free to say Benedict Cumberbatch meant nothing wrong with the word “colored”.

    “You’re associating with a person using dog-whistle racism” is a little different than “you’re a racist”.

  193. 193
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes:

    That Zionism was supplanted, root and branch, by right-wingers and racists and delusionaries. What these people espouse — never mind for a moment what they espouse — what they are doing in the name of Israel is monstrous and morally repugnant.

    With this I can wholeheartedly agree.

  194. 194
    Larv says:

    @Cervantes:
    I don’t particularly disagree with that, but as you said, left-Zionism is dead and gone. If you have a term for your views other than anti-Zionist, I’d be happy to use it.

  195. 195
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cervantes: Here, let ME channel YOU in reply:

    Spurious accusations of “anti-Semitism” are commonly used in attempts to silence critics of Israel’s various policies.

    FAKE CERVANTES: Of course they are, but that’s not what was at issue. The “nutshell” you agreed with above was, “failing to support Israel’s every action is not anti-Semitism,” which is not the same thing.

  196. 196
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    That is nowhere near ‘support everything Israel does of you’re an anti-Semite’.

  197. 197
    BobS says:

    @Larv: Sure – when I have the time and motivation to scour old comment threads. But since you seem to, please provide the link where Bob asserts that ALL anti-Russians in Ukraine are fascists and neo-Nazis. I’ve read many of his comments and they seem a lot more thoughtful and nuanced than what you’re maintaining.

  198. 198
    SuperHrefna says:

    @chopper: I’ve met far too many including settlers. They may have their own complaints against the Israeli government ( not allowing more settlements, for example, or giving too many rights to women/Palestinians/etc) but they always ascribe other people’s criticisms of Israel to antisemitism. Then there are the local ones, my neighbors here on LI ( and in NJ when I lived there, and London when I lived there) who absolutely don’t take a nuanced view of Israel, they take a standard tribalist view of the kind right wingers usually take no matter who they view their tribe as being. It’s much the same way that conservative Christians go on and on about being persecuted for their beliefs. Don’t get me wrong, I know lots and lots of liberal and middle of the road jewish people too, and they are entirely reasonable ( if in despair) about the subject of Israel, but I only wish the unreasonable ones were a tiny minority. I’ve met far too many.

  199. 199
    Larv says:

    @Gator90:

    To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever claimed that failing to support Israel’s every action is anti-semitism. That sounds like a fake thing.

    Seriously? I find it hard to believe you’ve never encountered that if you’ve spent any time at all on the internet. Accusations of anti-semitism are routinely lobbed at even fairly mild criticisms of Israel. Maybe not on this here blog, but check the comments section of nearly any newspaper article on Israel and you’ll find numerous examples of it.

  200. 200
    Cervantes says:

    @Kylroy:

    Sorry, I’ve now lost your train of thought even if you haven’t.

    Re “siding with Fred,” I do insofar as I think he is free to say what he wants. People who disagree can disagree or ask for clarification. What I objected to was the automatic hurling of abuse on the grounds that what he said, when taken out of context, may eventually have become, in the fullness of time, a “prelude” to something or other.

    Re my “backing Fred up” and “signing on to ideas beyond anti-Zionism,” either (1) refer to specific statements of mine and I’ll explain them or (2) understand that there’s nothing in your synopses that’s worth a response from me.

    Anyhow, what’s all this about Benedict Cumberbatch?

  201. 201
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: Spurious claims of anti-Semitism are indeed used to shut down criticism of Israel. And genuine anti-Semites also oppose Israel in many venues. These things can both be true.

    If you’re going to argue against Israel’s actions in Palestine (which is an excellent idea), you probably want to take care not to use the terms and form of arguments advanced by actual anti-Semites.

  202. 202
    Cervantes says:

    Here:

    @chopper:
    @Betty Cracker:

    At this moment, you two deserve each other.

  203. 203
    chopper says:

    @Kylroy:

    My puzzlement over Cerv siding with Fred comes pretty close to…what? Defending neo-nazis? Buh?

    I’m still rolling that one around in my head. That’s some internet cray-cray right there.

  204. 204
    BobS says:

    @Kylroy: “Determination to legitimize…anti-Semitism” is somewhat different than “associating”.

  205. 205
    chopper says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    So these settlers ascribe other settlers’ complaints about Israel to anti-semitism? Do they call the krazy kristians who feel the same way anti-Semites? That’s nuts.

  206. 206
    Larv says:

    @BobS:
    Sure. You first, though. I did ask first.

  207. 207
    SuperHrefna says:

    @chopper: no, by other people, I mean other non jewish people. And they quibble endlessly over who is really jewish and who isn’t. It’s a hot topic!

  208. 208
    Cervantes says:

    @Kylroy:

    Spurious claims of anti-Semitism are indeed used to shut down criticism of Israel. And genuine anti-Semites also oppose Israel in many venues. These things can both be true.

    Yes, hence:

    It’s a real thing.

    And a fake thing.

    Again, pretty obvious, I thought.

    If you’re going to argue against Israel’s actions in Palestine (which is an excellent idea), you probably want to take care not to use the terms and form of arguments advanced by actual anti-Semites.

    I used “terms and forms of arguments” you did not like? Specify where I did so, when you have a moment. (Thanks.)

  209. 209
    chopper says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    So when American Christians also complain about Israel giving Palestinians rights, they call those Christians anti-Semites? Man, even the most orthodox people I know don’t go that far. Nuts.

  210. 210
    SuperHrefna says:

    So many ultra orthodox seem to view their fellow jews as not being jewish at all. An old friend of mine converted from normal jewish to ultra orthodox and they made him go through a full conversion ritual, just as if he had been born non jewish.

  211. 211
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes: Yes, but Fred’s thing is the real deal, not the fake deal. He used the usual language that certifies it as the real deal.

    This right here is a pretty major problem.

  212. 212
    Cervantes says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    I appreciate your accounts of interactions with settlers and others.

    Thanks.

  213. 213
    SuperHrefna says:

    @chopper: They *know* those Christians are anti-Semites who only want jews in charge of Israel so they can have their rapture. They’ll take that conservative Christian money and political support, but they do know its coming from a very dark place.

  214. 214
    Kylroy says:

    @BobS: Eliminating the bit where I explain the anti-Semitism was coded was a nice touch in that quote.

    I’m not sure Cervantes wanted to stand with a man who came across as anti-Semitic to a wide array of commenters here (including the one in Malaysia). The argument from there was on what Fred’s point represented, Cerv saying it was simply anti-imperialist and several other folks saying it went noticeably further than that. Especially given Fred’s eagerness to Godwin the thread, I was indeed puzzled by Cerv’s decision to stand by him and wasn’t sure he knew quite how the guy he was standing with came across.

  215. 215
    SuperHrefna says:

    I really can’t handle the way autocorrect wants to keep capitalizing Christian, Jew and Semitism. I feel like I’m in a Jane Austen novel.

  216. 216
    chopper says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    I have some cousins that are settlers. Crazy orthodox, as in ‘my not-crazy dad is visiting from tel aviv, i need to get the rabbi’s permission so he can see me and touch his grandchildren’. Even they’re not that nuts with the support of Israel.

  217. 217
    BobS says:

    @Kylroy: “determination to legitimize Fred’s dog-whistle anti-Semitism” is somewhat different than “associating”. Better? Different?

  218. 218
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: Right there. Saying “it’s a fake thing” because it’s used in inapplicable contexts can be applied to ANY -ism, ever. Can you see how telling people that their oppression is fake is not a productive way to start a conversation? Again, relying on your audience to contextualize your statements will lead to being far more provocative and insulting than (I believe) you intend.

    Forms I didn’t like? Calling anti-Semitism fake. Dismissing claims that using “Jew” as an adjective raises legitimate concerns about a commenter’s perspective. Saying that wishing for a nuclear Iran should be interpreted as a desire for Israel to reform. You never personally said anything I or most of the other commenters disagreed with, but insisted that someone’s argument be taken seriously after they walked, talked, and quacked like they support Israel’s elimination. I assume you don’t believe right-wing politicians who tiptoe up to calling nonwhites lesser races but stop *just* short; why do you believe Fred’s not in favor of the Israeli nation being destroyed?

  219. 219
    Cervantes says:

    @Kylroy:

    Calling anti-Semitism fake.

    It’s a good thing I didn’t do that.

    I think you may need to read more carefully.

  220. 220
    Gator90 says:

    @Cervantes: My question was: Does the fact that anti-semitism is sometimes inaccurately perceived make it “fake”?

  221. 221
    chopper says:

    @Gator90:

    and if so, does that make racism and sexism also just as fake? cerv, if a black man told you “yeah, racism is real” would you say “yes, and it’s fake too. that’s part of the problem”, pointing out that some black people make spurious accusations of racism?

  222. 222
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: No, you totally did that. When someone said it was a real thing, you said “and a fake thing.” If I hop around the thread and put your case together for you, I can see that you’re arguing for a Schroedinger’s Prejudice interpretation of it because it is sometimes valid and sometimes not; this is not how people discuss prejudice in the real world. Sexism is not both real and fake because of the Duke Lacrosse case. Anti-black racism is not both real and fake because of Reginald Denny. Homophobia is not both real and fake because a straight couple got kicked out of a gay bar.

    Be very careful of muddying your intentions for the sake of a neat-sounding sentence. When you need to ask a dozen different people to “read more carefully”, perhaps you need to write more carefully.

  223. 223
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kylroy:

    perhaps you need to write more carefully.

    This is a constructive comment, but I’m afraid Cervantes is too much the pedant to take it as a constructive remark, and act on it, by admitting his error in the matter.

    I’m certainly open to being proven wrong on this point, so the ball is in Cervantes’ court now. Let’s see what he does with it.

  224. 224
    Kylroy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m getting sick of people who first demand that comments be considered in a vacuum (yes, we *are * allowed to be suspicious of a guy who uses “Jew” as an adjective), and then fail the basic logic that functions in that vacuum: if you say something is both A and B, you did in fact say that something is B. And if you say something is A and not-A…you’re not making a whole lot of sense.

  225. 225
    Cervantes says:

    @Kylroy:

    When someone said it was a real thing, you said “and a fake thing.”

    Yes. The accusation is sometimes justified and at other times not.

    Impenetrable stuff, I know — but I and others have attempted to clarify it above several times.

  226. 226
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: No, it is real, but sometimes not applicable. I know you are very proud of this construction, but “it is A, and not-A”, while useful in a koan, is meaningless drivel in the context of discussing policy.

  227. 227
    Cervantes says:

    @Gator90:

    My question was: Does the fact that anti-semitism is sometimes inaccurately perceived make it “fake”?

    Of course not. Anti-Semitism is real enough even if people frequently mistake — or pretend to mistake — other things for it.

  228. 228
    Cervantes says:

    @Kylroy:

    Given that you wrote the following:

    if you say something is both A and B, you did in fact say that something is B.

    I suggest you not try using this form of argumentation.

  229. 229
    Kylroy says:

    @Cervantes: Given that you are telling the one person who successfully clarified your argument to the commentariat you thoroughly confused that he can’t keep up, I’d suggest that should reconsider how you make your points.

    When everyone is misinterpreting you, it’s not a sign that you’re just too deep, man; it’s a sign you’re incoherent.

  230. 230
    Larv says:

    I don’t agree with some of what he’s said in this thread, but I have to agree with Cervantes on this point. I think you’re taking his statement out of context and making way more out of it than is there. This wasn’t a discussion about whether anti-semitism exists or not. The question was whether certain criticisms or policy preferences regarding Israel were automatically anti-semitic. Specifically, whether it was anti-semitic to think that Iranian nuclear weapons would be a positive from a policy perspective. I don’t personally think they would, but I can see an argument for that which doesn’t rest on a desire to see Israel nuked. But I’m also quite sure that there are hardcore pro-Israelis out there who would disagree and label anyone who expressed that opinion an anti-semite.

    This is completely separate from whether Fred’s comments, in toto, came uncomfortably close to anti-semitism. As I said above, the fact that anti-semitism does exist and is a serious problem in some parts of the world means that critics of Israel have to be careful with their rhetoric to avoid making common cause with them, even if it’s unintentional.

  231. 231
    Gator90 says:

    @Cervantes: Then why say “fake”? Look, you’re obviously very smart and I don’t really doubt your good intentions. Why not just acknowledge that “fake” was a poor choice of words and move on? (I’ve eaten plenty of crow on the Internet, and it actually tastes better than you might think.)

  232. 232
    chopper says:

    @Gator90:

    Yeah, that’s not likely.

  233. 233
    chopper says:

    @Larv:

    This wasn’t a matter of whether Iranian nukes would be a positive from a policy perspective. Cerv’s entire shtick in this thread was coming to the defense of Fred, both for his use of ‘Jew’ as an adjective as well as his statement about how Iran having the bomb would be great because it would threaten Israel’s existence. It later moved to cerv defending the idea that the word ‘fake’ is useful in describing anti-semitism.

    All in all, cerv has served up a three course meal of derp here.

  234. 234
    Cervantes says:

    @Larv:

    Thanks.

    If you don’t agree with some of what I’ve said in this thread, can you specify? I’d be interested.

  235. 235
    Cervantes says:

    @Gator90:

    Then why say “fake”?

    Because I was referring to “fake.”

    (Not sure that helps, but it’s the answer to your question.)

  236. 236
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    Then what, again, makes it fake?

    Would you use that word to describe racism? sexism? or are those also only ‘real enough’?

  237. 237
    Larv says:

    @chopper: @Cervantes:

    Cervantes, I don’t disagree with anything in particular you’ve said, but I think you’ve helped to create the confusion about your positions that we’re now seeing. You spent the first half of the thread asking Socratic questions about just what Frank said that was wrong instead of just stating your own position or opinion. This unsurprisingly caused people to think you were sympathetic to him. Maybe you are, I may have been too had he used different rhetoric or made any attempt to clarify or moderate his language. And it’s possible that people were too harsh with him. But when somebody whose nym you don’t recognize comes into a thread and starts in on that kind of inflammatory rhetoric, most people are going to assume he’s a troll or a nut and tell him to fuck off before he totally derails the thread. It certainly didn’t help that his first post used the phrase “Jew privilege”. Do you really not find his posts at all objectionable or questionable?

    chopper,
    See above for my feelings about the first part. As for this:

    It later moved to cerv defending the idea that the word ‘fake’ is useful in describing anti-semitism.

    Again, that’s removing it from context. It’s not about whether “fake” is useful in describing anti-semitism in general, it’s about whether it’s useful in describing accusations of anti-semitism in the specific context of criticisms of Israel. Please check out a neocon blog or just about any newspaper comment section if you think this doesn’t happen. It’s not like this is some bizarre fantasy – see SuperHrefna above. And for the record, it definitely does happen with other -isms. It’s a great way to try to take the moral high ground in an argument and shut down those who disagree with you.That doesn’t mean that those -isms don’t exist or that they aren’t problems.

  238. 238
    Gator90 says:

    @Cervantes: Tautology is the last refuge of the man who knows he has no argument.

  239. 239
    Ivan X says:

    I am only an occasional BJ comments lurker, so I have no context, as I don’t know most of the commentariat, only the FP’ers.

    I have to say I don’t know why anyone is giving Cervantes the time of day, because, apart from anything else he’s saying, he’s arguing in bad faith. He dismisses criticism that doesn’t include specific citations and quotes, and then when they are provided, he doesn’t respond to them (or responds to just one out of a list); he insinuates that others have inferior intellect or arguing skills; he misclaims what he is arguing, claiming irrelevancies no one would disagree with (e.g. that responding with abusive language doesn’t help); and, for someone who seems very concerned with the suffering of a people, he seems very unconcerned with the feelings of others here and elsewhere in response to specific words they find hurtful. He has made no effort, that I can observe, to respond directly to many valid, clear criticisms, or even just feelings, that have been directly presented to him. Instead, he disingenuously asks for more information, or states that he’s already said something and it doesn’t bear repeating.

    In other words, everyone seems to want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he’s not giving it to anyone else I can see here except for the one person whom everyone seems to agree is an anti-semite. I don’t get it.

  240. 240
    chopper says:

    @Larv:

    It’s an interesting context you’re speaking of; when someone says that anti-semitism is real, and the response is “and it’s fake too”, but the context is about accusations of anti-semitism?

    I mean, cerv basically denied that construction in post 227.

  241. 241
    chopper says:

    @Larv:

    And for the record, it definitely does happen with other -isms

    Would you stand behind similar arguments vis-a-vis the “other -isms” being “fake” because of that? Like racism or sexism?

  242. 242
    Larv says:

    @chopper:

    It’s an interesting context you’re speaking of; when someone says that anti-semitism is real, and the response is “and it’s fake too”, but the context is about accusations of anti-semitism?

    Honestly, that seems clear enough to me. Some accusations of anti-semitism are valid, others aren’t. Do you read that differently? This started when you objected to his use of scare quotes around “anti-semitism”. But he was using them specifically to indicate that the view in question (that Iran should have nukes) was not actually anti-semitic, even though some might claim that it was (i.e. only an anti-semite would say that because they want Israel to be nuked).

    I’m not saying that Cervantes’ style isn’t a bit cryptic, but I think that’s clear enough.

    Would you stand behind similar arguments vis-a-vis the “other -isms” being “fake” because of that? Like racism or sexism?

    Depends on the context. I do think that false accusations of racism and sexism are occasionally wielded as a rhetorical strategy. Is that really controversial? I’m not minimizing either one, just admitting that reality is imperfect. Sometimes people suck, even when they’re on your side.

  243. 243
    Cervantes says:

    @Ivan X:

    That’s quite a litany. To take just one item from it:

    claiming irrelevancies no one would disagree with (e.g. that responding with abusive language doesn’t help)

    If no one would disagree, kindly explain this comment and this one.

    In fact, were these comments the two very first responses to the person in question?

    As for the rest of your litany: it can be dismissed similarly but I don’t have the time to do that for you.

  244. 244
    chopper says:

    @Larv:

    do think that false accusations of racism and sexism are occasionally wielded as a rhetorical strategy.

    Does that fact rationalize the tag “fake”?

    Imagine if this thread was instead about sexism and Fred said some shit people felt smacked of lady-hate. Let’s say Suzanne said “listen, sexism is real” and Cervantes was all “and it’s fake too, that’s the problem”, later obliquely referring to unsupported accusations of sexism against men, would you find no fault with the use of the word “fake” as a tag for sexism?

    Or what if it was a TWiB thread about racism?

    I find it hard to believe that others would be okay with someone using the word “fake” to try to dilute racism and sexism that way, at least here.

    Honestly, I think there’s a double standard here.

  245. 245
    Ivan X says:

    @Cervantes:
    Thank you for demonstrating pretty much all of my points in your response to me.

  246. 246
    Cervantes says:

    @Ivan X:

    No sweat. Enjoy your evening.

  247. 247
    Cervantes says:

    @chopper:

    Let’s say Suzanne said “listen, sexism is real” and Cervantes was all “and it’s fake too, that’s the problem”

    In this carefully considered analogy of yours, who plays the part of Likudniks and allied neo-conservatives, daily making spurious charges of anti-Semitism in order to shut down criticism of Israel’s actions?

  248. 248
    Cervantes says:

    @chopper:

    I wrote:

    Anti-Semitism is real enough even if people frequently mistake — or pretend to mistake — other things for it.

    You responded:

    Then what, again, makes it fake?

    Seems to me you’re being twisted into confusion by, of all things, your own use of the simple pronoun “it.” To what object does your “it” refer?

    Note that there are at least two objects in what I wrote: (1) actual anti-Semitism and (2) other things deliberately being painted as such. It’s the latter I’m dismissing as fake. That you find this controversial is almost funny. (It would still be funny if it hadn’t become so tiresome.)

  249. 249
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    What, there’s no such thing as spurious charges of racism and sexism? Those don’t happen all the time?

    Or is ‘in defense of a specific country’ the magic variable that changes everything? that somehow inexplicably makes it “fake” and the others not?

  250. 250
    Cervantes says:

    @chopper:

    What, there’s no such thing as spurious charges of racism and sexism? Those don’t happen all the time?

    I said nothing of the sort. You were trying to offer an analogy. I asked about its details. If you haven’t thought through the analogy, feel free to do so at your leisure.

    Or is ‘in defense of a specific country’ the magic variable that changes everything? that somehow inexplicably makes it “fake” and the others not?

    You’d like to think so, apparently without irony.

  251. 251
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    I have to ask those questions, since you don’t actually state anything definitively. I understand that’s your thing tho, so rock on.

    Honestly, it’s like talking to a conservative about sexism. They immediately go towards the duke lacrosse case or some such, as if that shit outweighs the actual stuff. Sexism is real, but it’s fake too!

    I’m gonna go to bed.

  252. 252
    CDWard says:

    If I was the Iranians I would be working on a nuclear bomb as fast as I could. It’s the only thing that can guarantee that the US and/or Israel will not attack them. As for Israel, they would be implementing a Final Solution to the Palestinian “problem” right now if they thought they could do it without becoming an international pariah.

  253. 253
    Kylroy says:

    @chopper: Seconded. We’re talking about Israel’s approach to Palestine, Fred starts to fantasize about Iran having nuclear weapons and Israel being threatened with annihilation – but just *threatened*, you see, so Cerv decides he’s totally on board.

    Doug J does this kind of thing all the time, getting conservatives to agree to stupid shit by pretending to be on their side; though I think Fred’s a true believer, he managed to get Cerv to walk the same plank here.

  254. 254
    chopper says:

    @Kylroy:

    It’s exactly like talking to a conservative about racism or sexism. They think it’s a joke; you can tell by their insistence on focusing on the “false accusations” as if that stuff is what really defines it.

    So yeah, they’ll grudgingly admit that racism is real, but they’ll argue that it’s more “fake” than real because “blacks and women make most of it up”.

    That’s what we’re dealing with here. Minimization. Denial. With a healthy dose of smug infantilization.

  255. 255
    Cervantes says:

    @Kylroy:
    @chopper:

    The two of you are being absurd — and acting as if you’re not quite illiterate, but functionally so. Not one blessed thing you’ve concluded is connected to reality — but, like Vladimir and Estragon, you don’t notice because you’re too happy running on each other’s fragrant fumes.

  256. 256
    Cervantes says:

    @Larv:

    Cervantes, I don’t disagree with anything in particular you’ve said

    Oh, I thought you had said otherwise. Never mind.

    but [1] I think you’ve helped to create the confusion about your positions that we’re now seeing. [2] You spent the first half of the thread asking Socratic questions about just what Frank said that was wrong instead of just stating your own position or opinion. [3] This unsurprisingly caused people to think you were sympathetic to him.

    I agree with [2], disagree with [1], and the best thing I can say about [3] is that it is a monument to laziness (I actually think there’s something worse than laziness there).

    Maybe you are [sympathetic to Fred Dickinson], I may have been too had he used different rhetoric or made any attempt to clarify or moderate his language.

    I don’t know him from Adam’s off-ox but he has described himself as a “revolutionary socialist.” I am “sympathetic” towards him insofar as I am sympathetic towards the left in general — but details matter.

    And it’s possible that people were too harsh with him. But when somebody whose nym you don’t recognize comes into a thread and starts in on that kind of inflammatory rhetoric, most people are going to assume he’s a troll or a nut and tell him to fuck off before he totally derails the thread.

    Shouting people down is ugly, lazy, and counter-productive; not something one should encourage.

    It certainly didn’t help that his first post used the phrase “Jew privilege”. Do you really not find his posts at all objectionable or questionable?

    What an astonishing question. Even at this late date I still find almost everything questionable.

    Re his use of the phrase, see my comments (all or part of) #37, #45, #54, and #109. See also comments #65 and 91. And for explanations that especially our resident self-congratulating brainiacs should have been able to comprehend, see comments #135 and #200.

  257. 257
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    And there’s the smug infantilization. Your posts in this thread prove me absolutely right; your focus on the “fake” stuff reveals your true beliefs and priorities.

    If you want, you can now lecture us on how sexism is also “fake” because of the duke lacrosse team.

    Or you could sling some insults, they’re worth about the same.

  258. 258
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    Of all the posts you list, the closest you come to finding the term objectionable is to say it could be ‘problematic’. Certainly doesn’t come off as if you find very much at all wrong with his use of the phrase, especially given how much time you spent defending it.

  259. 259
    chopper says:

    I mean, come on, Fred coughed up a clear anti-Semitic dog whistle. Everybody heard it but you, apparently, and it’s not like everyone else in the thread are the ‘over active likudniks seeing anti-semitism everywhere’ or whatever it is you seem to think comprises anti-semitism in this world.

    Lotsa goyem heard that whistle loud and clear. You spent a nice chunk of the thread downplaying it, eventually soft-selling it as “well, if taken out of context, it could be seen as problematic”. as if there’s some context that makes “Jew” an adjective. Pro-tip: there isn’t one.

    It’s clear that your feelings on anti-semitism are that there really isn’t much at all to it, except for all the spurious accusations that the Jews make.

    That’s clear in your defense of Fred’s dog-whistling and your ham-handed attempts to minimize anti-semitism with “fake”-ness. It’s wrong, but it’s clearly how you feel.

  260. 260
    Cervantes says:

    @chopper:

    Of all the posts you list, the closest you come to finding the term objectionable is to say it could be ‘problematic’.

    No. See, for example:

    Taken out of context, it is problematic — that’s obvious to anyone no longer in the first flush of childhood innocence. The question, if one cares, is what this person meant by it in context. My position is that automatically hurling abuse at him is not a particularly clever way to find out.

    Maybe that helps.

    (The rest of your comment is repetition of things already said above, to which I have already responded.)

  261. 261
    Cervantes says:

    @chopper:

    And there’s the smug infantilization.

    Where?

    Your posts in this thread prove me absolutely right

    Now you tell me!

    Congratulations!

    your focus on the “fake” stuff reveals your true beliefs and priorities.

    Of course.

    If you want, you can now lecture us on how sexism is also “fake” because of the duke lacrosse team.

    I’m still waiting for you to flesh out this most excellent analogy of yours — remember?

  262. 262
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    Saying a phrase is problematic if taken out of context is saying the phrase “could be problematic”. It could be problematic, if taken out of context.

    Again, not that there’s any “context” that made the phrase no longer a dog whistle.

  263. 263
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    It doesn’t need fleshing out. It’s a simple analogy.

    Everybody else heard his dog-whistling. Because we recognize dog-whistling when we hear it. You either didn’t notice it or didn’t care to notice it, and when it was pointed out to you you hand-waved it away.

    The analogy as to conservatives with regard to racism or sexism is perfectly apt. Their antennas don’t pick up racist dogwhistling because they don’t care enough about racism to tune them for it.

    And when people point out said dogwhistling to them, they shrug their shoulders and either downplay it, defend it or minimize racism as something something black people blow it out of proportion with all their false accusations.

    In the case of anti-semitism you’re basically a test case of this effect. you’ve managed to hit all three, a trifecta of derp.

  264. 264
    Cervantes says:

    @chopper:

    If you think:

    [my original:] Taken out of context, it is problematic

    is equivalent to:

    [your attempted paraphrase:] It could be problematic, if taken out of context.

    Then I understand your confusion, and I hope it dissipates, somehow, eventually.

  265. 265
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    oh, jesus.

    at this point you’re just parody.

  266. 266
    chopper says:

    to be fair, if you can’t tell a clear-as-day dog whistle like the rest of us, maybe the english language isn’t your strong suit.

    i hope you get that fixed. maybe some day we’ll all bask in the glow of the new, improved you.

  267. 267
    Cervantes says:

    @chopper:

    No, really, “is” and “could be” truly aren’t synonymous. And if you push this thought along, it might help.

  268. 268
    Donald says:

    Sigh. I just typed a long post, but I think I accidentally deleted it. Shortened version.

    Cervantes, I think you need to explain why the fake anti-misogyny analogy doesn’t work. You shouldn’t need to,but apparently you do. I’ll do I.

    It fails because outside of an episode of Star Trek TNG or myths about the Amazons, there is no country where women oppress men. Furthermore this imaginary country is not supported by the U.S., politicians don’ t proclaim that we share common values and mean it as a compliment to us both, and critics of this mythical place aren’t regularly accused of misogyny. If all of the above actually were true, then yes, it would be okay to speak of fake misogyny when referring to false accusations of women hatred.

  269. 269
    chopper says:

    @chopper:

    The only way for your argument to make any sense at all is if you think the phrase “Jew privilege” is also problematic in context as well.

    Because if you say “a is b, if c” then you’re saying “a could be b. it depends on whether c is true”.

    I mean, this is basic stuff. You’re flailing.

    If this is the “new and improved Cervantes”, then to quote rodney dangerfield, put her back in, she ain’t done yet.

  270. 270
    chopper says:

    @Donald:

    So there being a country with a movement to oppress others is what somehow rationalizes anti-semitism over other -isms? Why? It’s still bigotry.

    Here’s an example. Saudi Arabia treats non-Muslims like garbage. Including guest workers, but any non-Muslim minority. You think living in gaza is hard, try being a Christian in SA.

    And their government likes to hand wave away criticism of their policies as western anti-Muslim bias. something you and I would both agree is a spurious accusation.

    So I guess that excuses islamophobic dog-whistling here? That makes islamophobia “also fake”?

    Because right there you have a country oppressing others and using spurious accusations to try to shut down critics.

    Oh, and this country is also supported by the US!

  271. 271
    Donald says:

    @chopper: Chopper, I’m not defending Fred’s rhetoric. The most charitable thing I could say about Fred is that he picked a really stupid way to criticize Israel–this thread is proof of that. And that is the charitable view.

    I stuck to the term “fake ant-semitism” because the context is clear and anyone who pays attention to this issue knows that false charges of anti-semitism are a common way of trying to discredit critics. Frankly, I think it shows racism on the part of those who use it–the unstated assumption is that there can be no legitimate reason for criticizing those who violate Palestinian human rights. False charges of anti-semitism is what is meant by “fake anti-semitism” and I see no reason not to use the shorter term when it is clear one isn’t trying to claim all anti-semitism is fake.

    In your new comparison you bring in Islamophobia. I hate Islamophobia and despise Bill Maher. Is there “fake Islamophobia” or fake racism against Arabs (and yes, I know not all Arabs are Muslim and most Muslims aren’t Arab)? Why not? At another blog I’ve been accused of white racism or white privilege because I criticized Hamas rocket fire against Israeli civilians. This person was self-identified as part Arab and apparently thought that any white person who had the temerity to criticize atrocities committed by Arabs was a racist. White racism against all sorts of people is obviously real,God knows,but that kind of false accusation of racism in an attempt to silence criticism of atrocities is what I’d call “fake white racism”‘ or at any rate I have no objection to the term if the context is clear.

  272. 272
    chopper says:

    @Donald:

    I guess then racism is also “fake” as well as real. Great, why doesn’t that rationalize racist dog whistling like with anti-semitism?

  273. 273
    Donald says:

    I am having trouble editing my comment on an IPad, but when I said “it shows racism on the part of those who use it”‘ I meant that those who make false charges of ant-semitism are often guilty of racism.

  274. 274
    Donald says:

    @chopper: Okay, chopper you are deliberately reading the exact opposite of what I said–I said that racism is real, but sometimes people make false charges of racism to suppress criticism of a party that is guilty of human rights violations. If you want to play this game it means you are so invested in winning an argument you will misread me in order to accomplish this. So it would be a waste of time saying anything more.

  275. 275
    chopper says:

    @Donald:

    No, I agree with that. That does happen. Which, according to cerv’s argument, makes racism real and “also fake”. The “also fake” shtick is what cerv used to rationalize and minimize Fred’s dog whistling in the first place.

    I’m still wondering why anti-Semitic dog whistles get a pass.

  276. 276
    chopper says:

    I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything to you, Donald. It just seemed you were coming to the defense of cerv’s “it’s different with anti-semitism” argument, compared to racism and other -isms.

  277. 277
    Cervantes says:

    @Donald:

    Cervantes, I think you need to explain why the fake anti-misogyny analogy doesn’t work. You shouldn’t need to,but apparently you do. I’ll do [it]

    Thanks for doing it.

    I didn’t bother because I have a low tolerance for — well, never mind.

  278. 278
    Cervantes says:

    @Donald:

    I’m not defending Fred’s rhetoric. The most charitable thing I could say about Fred is that he picked a really stupid way to criticize Israel–this thread is proof of that. And that is the charitable view.

    Yes, I agree, but I also think taking the charitable view towards someone, at least a priori, is more likely to result in useful dialog than showering that someone with verbal abuse.

  279. 279
    Ivan X says:

    @Cervantes:

    I also think taking the charitable view towards someone, at least a priori, is more likely to result in useful dialog than showering that someone with verbal abuse.

    In principle, I also agree, but would you maintain that position if instead Fred had said “kike privilege”?

    (Before we start going down the road of “But that’s not what he said,” let me stop you. I know that’s not what he said. I’m asking if there are any limits to your position, where someone doesn’t deserve a charitable response, even if they don’t deserve an abusive one.)

  280. 280
    chopper says:

    i’m still waiting for a decent argument as to why it’s different for the jews. then again, that is an old, still-unanswered question.

    otherwise, islamophobic dog whistles are just fine here because Saudi Arabia.

    or is there some laundry list of things custom tailored to the jews that must be checked off before dog whistling is defendable?

  281. 281
    Ivan X says:

    @chopper:
    A fine question, to be sure, but I think you’ll be waiting for a while, since, as I mentioned, I don’t think Cervantes is interested in a good faith exchange of ideas and perspectives.

    Taking the most charitable view, he believes asking a question in response to a question as automatically intellectually engaging with it and the asking person. But I’m hoping he’s really just trolling, because I can at least then respect his skill at it.

  282. 282
    Cervantes says:

    @Ivan X:

    I’m asking if there are any limits to your position, where someone doesn’t deserve a charitable response, even if they don’t deserve an abusive one.

    Of course.

  283. 283
    Cervantes says:

    @chopper:

    i’m still waiting for a decent argument as to why it’s different for the jews.

    Find me saying “it’s different for the jews” and I’ll defend the statement.

    Otherwise, spare me the wonder of your paraphrasing.

  284. 284
    Ivan X says:

    @Cervantes:
    So, then:

    I also think taking the charitable view towards someone, at least a priori, is more likely to result in useful dialog than showering that someone with verbal abuse.

    Would you maintain that Fred would still deserve the same charitable view if he had instead said “kike privilege”?

  285. 285
    chopper says:

    @Cervantes:

    I assume (maybe wrongly) that you generally intend to be consistent, so you think racism and islamophobia are also “fake” enough to rationalize dog whistling. Great, I’ve been trying to tease that out of you for days now. Good to know.

    I guess when Fred show up and busts out some islamophobic crap, we all can expect you to defend it because Saudi Arabia and reasons.

  286. 286
    Cervantes says:

    @chopper:
    @Ivan X:

    You two ever hear of the Keystone Cops? They were hilarious.

  287. 287
    chopper says:

    would you have been so quick to defend islamophobic dog whistling from fred?

    i doubt it very much.

    you’ve attempted to make all manner of excuses as to why his anti-semitic line was worth defending and minimizing, but somehow that doesn’t apply to other -isms. clearly you think it’s different for this one thing.

    you brought up likud as the difference. i point out saudi arabia pulling the same shit.

  288. 288
    Ivan X says:

    @Cervantes:
    Well, there’s a cowardly non-response. I can’t tell whether you’re trolling (in which case, congrats), or want to be taken seriously (in which case, you fail). Either way, when pressed, you evade, so there’s no further reason to engage with you. If you’re genuinely invested in creating useful dialogue as you claim, I’d suggest starting with yourself.

  289. 289
    Ivan X says:

    @Cervantes:
    Also, I’d like to point out that you (weakly) passed on my invitation to explicitly reject overt racism towards Jews. This only helps to reinforce my own suspicions that your high-minded defense of what many here experience as coded racist sentiment is in fact supportive (perhaps unconsciously) of that sentiment, regardless of the right to express freely, be responded to respectfully, and promote useful dialogue that you claim to arguing for.

    I can’t prove that, of course, because you’re quite careful about not saying anything that you can be held to. But when given the chance to be clear about your feelings regarding hateful expression towards Jews, you demurred (and mockingly, at that, belying your stated dislike of disrespectful response).

    That only leaves your seeming indifference towards the the many here who experience the language of the person whose speech you are defending as hateful. Speaking for myself, maintaining support for an apparent racist to say what he likes while failing to take seriously those hurt or angered by his language can’t help but make you appear, in my eyes, as prejudiced yourself.

    If you don’t want to be considered as someone with a more inherently negative bias towards Jews than others, I’d ask yourself to examine your feelings and which ones you choose to express (or support if expressed by others), because I experience you as exhibiting prejudice by proxy, and you’ve said nothing in all your comments to counter it.

    Or, if you know that you have a negative bias towards Jews, then I’d probably respect you more if you just owned it. I find Fred contemptible for publicly airing his despicable views, but at least he’s honest.

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