A group of Jews endeavors towards total domination of the blogosphere.
Saturday, May 10, 2003
I'm still unsatisfied with the way we left our anti-Semitism discussion before Shabbos. Mobius has come back with a post saying that news of the gravestone toppling in Britain leads him to more serious questions about the anti-Semitic nature of Tam Dalyell's comments; he now, due to the violence, is "much less inclined to be forgiving of Tam Dalyell's remarks," adding, "I might go as so far as to say that this is potentially a direct result of his "mainstreaming" of such opinions."
But I won't say this is the anti-war movement's fault as so much as the British government's. Maybe if Blair had respected the wishes of the majority of UK citizens and not gotten involved with Iraq, the Jews wouldn't be getting scapegoated in this particular scenario.The thing on most readers' minds should be: "I can see these statements coming from an anti-Semite -- but what would a Jew mean in this context?" This is part of the general motivation among the more simple politically-minded folks who operate on a "bogeyman" theory of political science. The assumption is always that "I" am right, and therefore if someone contradicts me, they are being motivated by some sinister group/individual/gain. The search for the bogeyman will always bear some fruit if you look hard enough and dismiss enough basic principles. In the case of the war on Iraq, that bogeyman often became the Jew -- whether it was the "No Blood For Israel" slogan, or those weird memes circulating that Bush was being influenced by Sharon (as opposed to the reverse), or other odd assumptions.
There were some specific points put forward by the anti-war movement in America(I can't speak for Britain): the integrity of the budget, the UN, and some other things should be respected, and they assumed that Bush wasn't doing so. Some called Bush evil -- "Hitler" even -- and left it at that. Others looked further for the bogeyman, and many settled on the Jew -- the distinction between "Zionist Jew" and any other kind of Jew really wasn't made. As we've said time and time again, this argument lacked any reason, and was explicitly anti-Semitic.
I'll phrase it differently, one more time here, and hope that it sinks in. For the "Jewish conspiracy" theory to play out, one needed to overstate (a) how much "Zionist Jews" believed this war would benefit their cause, over and above their own and theircountrymen's safety in the US and UK, and (b) the degree to which these "Zionist Jews" could influence the policy of their respective countries. We know that (a) is crap, because taking down Iraq was not on top of the "Zionist Jew" agenda and because it's simply unbelievable to assume that these individuals would put Israel's safety over their own, even in the non-existent case that attacking Iraq would do that. But very of these anti-Semitic types seemed to get caught up in (a) very much -- they merely assumed it and went on to (b). We've had two statements that pretty much exemplify both ends of (b): James Moran, who overstated the influence of the Jews he was blacklisting, and Tam Dalyell, who overstated the Jewishness of the influential politicians he was blacklisting.
We won't always be able to get rid of the (b) part of the argument so easily; certainly, a Joe Lieberman presidency could not so easily parry the claim that Jews are calling the shots. And this is why part (a) is so essential to keep in mind -- because it is so blatantly and horrifically anti-Semitic to claim that Jews in the US will put Israel's security over their own and that of their countrymen (if the choice should ever come up -- and it's not likely it ever would; though we were probably saying the same about other US allies not too long ago and now might come to doubt that).
Having said that, the "proof of damage," or whatever you'd call it, of anti-Semitism isn't necessary to condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms at any time. That some tombstones were vandalized in England probably has almost no direct or indirect causation from the statements made by Tam Dalyell or those in his crowd -- violent anti-Semitism has existed there always, as it has in the States, with the variable being how much goes on. Apologizing for the non-violent kind (if it can be said to exist) simply because one cannot come to agree with a country's policies is precisely that: apologizing for anti-Semitism. Mobius should be have no misapprehension that this is what he is doing. posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:22 PM |
Friday, May 09, 2003
In the "Embarrass Our Friends/Credit Where It's Due Department" friend of the Elders Yair Sturm has been named valedictorian of Yeshiva College for the Class of '03. If we find a picture, we'll post it. Ladies looking to get in line to meet Mr. Sturm are encouraged to contact him through the Elders, who will serve as screeners. Good luck at Harvard Law, you punky, punky Canadian.
Here's a handy guide (via yada) to the cross-blog discussion between us here, Jewschool's Mobius, and Just Another Rant. In the meantime, the conversation's moved to Mobius's next post and its comments section. Check it out.posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 4:37 PM |
For the greedy Yid in you: MBA Admissions Wireposted by Steven I. Weiss | 2:58 PM |
I'd imagine that perceiving the "light behind the letters" isn't the best way to improve early-reading skills.posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 1:30 PM |
I don't recall any posting on this but a little while ago, Madonna announced she'll be writing children's books based on Kabbalah. Any prognosis from some of our more mysticism-minded Elders or readers?posted by Steven I. Weiss | 1:19 PM |
Reader Ephraim sends a link to a t-shirt that proudly proclaims: "I wear a black hat and I love Israel."
The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to the First Level of Hell - Limbo!
Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test
via blissfull knowledge... posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 12:28 PM |
I feel like it's less of an attack on Jewish people or Judaism and more of an attack on the pro-Israel lobby which is heavily funded by Jewish philanthropists (thus it is still in effect, "the Jews"), and the influence of the pro-Israel lobby on people like Cheney and Rumsfeld. When you say, "Oh, well...they're Israel sympathizers," I think the argument being posed is that they've become sympathizers due to the lobby's influence.
I would understand what you're saying if Buchanan and Co. were content to attack AIPAC because they felt that it wielded a disproportunate amount of influence and was promoting interests that put America's own in danger. That would be similar to some liberal group denouncing the NRA, which, as we all know, happens all the time. If that were true, though, Buchanan and Co. would first and foremost be amazingly blind to politcal realities (despite the fact that they seem, generally, to be more or less astute), since AIPAC doesn't have half that much clout - come on (and see Elder I's addendum to my first response, linked above). Then you have to wonder wonder why, out of all lobbies to blow out of proportion, they chose AIPAC. But that's almost besides the point.
What further raises eyebrows is how AIPAC gets lumped with the neo-con thinkers and writers. The Kristols and Krauthammers have nothing to do with AIPAC, but to Buchanan they're all the same, even if they get to their similar conclusions (invade Iraq) from different perspectives (the former from being aggressively neo-con and the latter for being pro-Israel). Why? Because they're Jews, and obviously Jews would put America at risk to help Israel.
I'm not saying that they're right and furthermore, I'm certainly not saying the Jews run America. What I'm saying is, I can understand why people would get that impression. And I believe there's an old Talmudic verse which says, "If it looks bad, you shouldn't be doing it.
In other words, Kristol and Krauthammer and the rest should stop expressing their own political viewpoints since some conspiracy-minded pundit might mistake them for Elders of Zion? Should AIPAC stop lobbying for Israel for fear that someone might link them to the ascendent neo-cons? Course not.
Even this doesn't address the question of how much influence this neo-con cabal really has. I might just as easily argue that Kristol and Krauthammer only seem to have influence because they're preaching to an administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld) who already subscribe to "neo-conism". I'd prefer to think that the VP and SecDef, with their decades of government experience, have formed their own viewpoints on things.
Besides, what about the Jews who lobby against the war, like Michael Lerner's Tikkun? What about the ambivalent columnists like Thomas Friedman? Imagine a liberal administration. Would Buchanan be complaining about how the Jewish Tikkun lobby was leading America towards some sort of disaster by demanding that the US take an active role in Israel-Palestinian negotiations? I'd bet he would.
Thursday, May 08, 2003 5:30 PM |
5:06 PM |
Controversy surrounds publication of student Op-Ed piece that wondered: "Is anti-Semitism ever the result of Jewish behavior?" (via Romenesko) The paragraph about repercussions to the editor for running it is kind of weird:
But little did sophomore Kristinae Toomians, 19, anticipate the ensuing ruckus: She received four death threats, a swastika poster was left on her car,Who leaves a swastika on a car for printing anti-Semitic material? Aren't anti-Semites supposed to be putting swastikas on our cars? How surreal. And isn't it odd that receiving praise from white supremacist groups is considered "ruckus"?
Meantime, the student who wrote the piece isn't getting haunted by anybody -- that's really unfair.
Meantime, the death threats are obviously serious and hopefully under investigation. Who made them? No one knows. Except, apparently, some snarky assholes at IndyMedia, who posted the story with the headline "Jewish group Threatens To Kill Editor Of College Newspaper." To quote Jeff Jarvis, "It's really sad when you can Fisk a headline."
The end of the IndyMedia post has what they claim is the original article -- though I don't know where they got it, as the student paper doesn't seem to be online. The opening sentences: "Israel is the largest and most dangerous terrorist organization in the world. Israel is currently and has been historically involved in a genocidal war against the Arab world." According to the article linked above, the journalism prof overseeing the newspaper had no problem with it because it was not libelous; now, I'm not really sure how you can libel a country, and how, if at all, that country could respond in a court of law, but that is an incorrect statement meant to characterize the subject in a negative manner. Though it's probably just as true that the author, Kevin McGuire, was unaware of how stupid he is -- so he wouldn't be held responsible under US law, as far as I know. If he'd said the same about a social club or specific incorporated group in the States, it'd have a serious case against him. Apparently having clearly false or non-falsifiable information printed as fact is OK with this professor. Before I post the rest of the piece, note the closing quote of the SFGate article:
The incoming chair of the Department of Communications Studies, Mark Nelson, said he didn't think the resolution passed Wednesday was necessary.Firstly, the paper should be looking into its etchics if it's screwing up on this scale with the sports page. Second, this guy sounds like one more complainer about having to be a non-anti-Semite. Here's the whole of the kid's idiocy:
Is Anti-Semitism Ever The Result Of Jewish Behavior?
UPDATE: One of the responses at IndyMedia says:
This is not the original article, which contained references from National Vanguard News, a right wing white supremist news organization. This post also fails to mention the street organizing by Resistance Records and other white power groups happening around Santa Rosa Junior College. Or the history of racist organizing in Sonoma County and it's roots in scapegoating "Jews"So the piece may have been even worse than the one we've read. Which, if true, means that the IndyMedia guy probably edited that out before posting it -- so he knew there was something wrong with the source of the argument, just wouldn't admit the fallaciousness of the argument itself. And isn't it odd that white supremacists would be railing against "imperialism"?
Read all of the comments there -- it's enlightening. posted by Steven I. Weiss | 4:23 PM |
Jewschool's mobius's latest post runs through the controversy brewing over Tam Dalyell and his quote how a "Zionist cabal runs policy on Israel" in the US and UK and is the driving force behind the war in Iraq (and beyond, maybe, before this is all over). Mobius' conclusion: "well... he's sort of right". How so? This Ha'aretz article about the "neo-cons" is proffered as evidence. The only problem? Zionism or Israeli interests vis-a-vis Iraq don't come up in that article even once.
Just when you thought the level of discourse in the Jewish Press couldn't get any lower, someone throws you a shovel:
Shlomo Mostofsky attempts to dispel the notion of Modern Orthodoxy’s imminent demise. While I would agree that Modern Orthodoxy has its fair share of adherents, I believe that it is for the most part spiritually bankrupt and essentially irrelevant...Well, consider the gauntlet thrown. Enter this week's letters section, which includes such rejoiners as:
Anybody who takes a walk through Boro Park sees overdone multi-million dollar homes with luxury cars in the driveway. Everyone knows that in the right-wing world shidduchim are based on money, boys are constantly advised to learn at such and such a yeshiva so that they might land a wealthy father-in-law. Huge, extravagant weddings are the norm...
And we're supposed to be working on inter-demoninational dialogue? posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 11:29 AM |
10:06 AM |
Some see Jewish shift toward GOP. Of course, they don't notice that there seems to be a national trend toward the GOP.posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:04 AM |
Palestinian diplomat: Israel looted Baghdad museum. Statements by Wasef Mansour, a diplomat with the Palestinian mission in Morocco, made the remarks in an online discussion titled "What Israel Gains From the Occupation of Iraq," on Islam Online. Article courtesy of WorldNetDaily. The salient quote:
We should also note what Israel has already done, by sending agents as soon as the American forces entered Baghdad; they looted the museums, information banks, and financial banks.
That's OK, though. I'm sure by next week Ann Coulter will have found a way to blame the looting on Bill Clinton. posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 12:24 AM |
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Received an interesting forward, blaming Democrats for failing on national security. Here goes:
An important message about Israel and the terrorists, including bin Laden and Ata:
A very imaginative story -- too imaginative, as it's slaughtered here and here. posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:47 PM |
4:53 PM |
Secular Photographer Tries to Capture Siren Violators on Film - article from Shema Yisrael, where a newsreporter came to ultra-Orthodox Bnei Brak to photograph the locals ignoring the Yom HaShoah sirens. As it turned out, the only one ignoring the sirens was himself. Irony doesn't do this one justice.posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 3:34 PM |
12:38 PM |
Iraqi Documents on Israel Surface on a Cultural Hunt Interesting NYT article on an Indiana Jones type hunt for a 7th century Talmud text (which would rival the oldest fragments extant today) in the basement ruins of the Mukhabarat's Israel-Palestine department. The Talmud is described in the article as a "book of oral law," which makes sense to those in the know, but still sounds something like an ancient book on tape, which isn't that far from the truth, come to think of it.posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 12:16 PM |
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Palestine Chronicle's take on the Tam Dalyell situation: "British Jewish MP Censures Blair For Toeing Zionist Line"posted by Steven I. Weiss | 11:42 PM |
Anti-Semite British MP and Father of the House Tam Dalyell gets the smackdown in - of all places -- The Guardian, in a column by Jonathan Freedland. The sub-Hed points to a different sort of nefarious idea developing:
Tam Dalyell's belief that a 'cabal' of neoconservative Jews controls Bush is gaining currency in liberal circles.He opens:
The good news is that Tam Dalyell's outburst to Vanity Fair - in which he suggested Tony Blair was unduly influenced by a Jewish cabal - has not been ignored. His remarks made all the papers, proof that anti-semitism is no longer an uncontroversial part of public conversation.I guess news of James Moran didn't make it across the ocean. Freedland apparently did catch my Hitler-comparision meme, though:
Two of his sinister troika - Mandelson, Jack Straw and Middle East envoy Lord Levy -do not identify as Jews at all. (Indeed, only the Linlithgow MP and Hitler's Nuremberg laws would count Straw and Mandelson as Jewish.)
Read the whole thing.
posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:27 PM |
AUSTRALIAN Defence Force (ADF) Bishop Tom Frame has apologised for offending the Jewish community with his controversial comments on ABC Radio - but insists that "some people over-reacted"
The problem of Israel continues because there is Judaism and Zionism and when those two things are brought together, there is a real ugliness in many places that seems not to be compatible with the desire for peace and justice for anyone.
As opposed, of course, to when Zionism and Southern Baptism are brought together...? posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 9:50 PM |
End the Madness got screwed recently, when a couple of rabbis with a Saturday-night radio show ripped off his concept with a special show devoted to "Ending the Madness of Dating." On the show, they apparently used the term throughout, though they never once mentioned the website or the efforts of Chananya Weissman, who runs the whole thing. They also used guests that Weissman had used at his symposia, including R' Allan Shwartz, and at one point even used as an uncited anecdote a dating story that Weissman was quoted as telling in an article about him in the Jewish Week. What a sham. Credit where credit is due -- we know you're changing the world for those who are daters out there...maybe someday you can help us confirmed bachelors.posted by Steven I. Weiss | 9:42 PM |
Speaking of wacko Jews, "Daniel Pipes, Middle East Commentator and Scholar, to Deliver Keynote Address at YU's 72nd Annual Commencement, May 23." The link currently isn't working. What on earth are Yeshiva's Powers That Be thinking?
Speaking of wacko Jews, Dr. Laura strikes back at Susan Sarandon. Cited in this article is a letter Dr. Laura received from Teresa, allegedly an 8-year old listener:
When are you going to come out and shout from the rooftops about how these Hollyweirdo hypocrites silenced your free speech? I want to see you on every news channel exposing how Susan Sarandon and her ilk went after your TV and radio advertisers. Where are you, Dr. Laura? Please tell your story and tell it loud!
If Teresa really is eight, this could be the strongest argument against homeschooling since Kyle Williams posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 12:01 PM |
I hadn't realized to what extent wacko Jews are attacking Joe Lieberman. Now I know, kind of.
What do people think of the "big stories" section I added to the sidebar? Specific stories you think should be added?posted by Steven I. Weiss | 8:00 AM |
GUYS: MOTHER'S DAY IS THIS SUNDAY, ONLY FIVE DAYS AWAY.
Monday, May 05, 2003
Certainly to become a major favorite phrase of Elder Sam, "numismatic powerhouse."posted by Steven I. Weiss | 9:00 PM |
Elder Pinky had been assembling a post a while ago on anti-Semitic comments by a British MP, but Blogger ate it. Since then, Patrick Belton, OxBlog's new boy, posted on it, linking to a story that quotes Father of the House Tom Dalyell referring to a "being unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers" pushing Tony Blair towards war, as well as to Dalyell's coulda-shoulda-woulda-been apology, which he chose to waste by characterizing his remarks as not anti-Semitic, but merely "candid." Which makes him quite a bastard, squared.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, the Left-wing Labour MP named Lord Levy, Tony Blair's personal envoy on the Middle East, Peter Mandelson, whose father was Jewish, and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, who has Jewish ancestry, as three of the leading figures who had influenced Mr Blair's policies on the Middle East.It's not in this story, but in the one Pinky and I had been discussing (don't have a link), Straw was described as having a lone Jewish grandparent -- or one-eighth Jewish. Which led me to wonder: wasn't that Hitler's requirement?
It's really embarrassing -- leaving aside horrifying for a moment -- that prominent politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are coming up with Protocols-esque theories regarding the Jewish role in world governance. How utterly vacuuous their arguments must be if they have to rely on anti-Semitism to get their points across. How absurd.
posted by Steven I. Weiss | 7:49 PM |
There's something entitled "Virtual Kibbutz" being discussed at YadaYadaYada, but it's a book, not a video game. Wouldn't that be cool, though? You have to pick up shekels you find on the road to buy a cheap moped; put in enough hours on the combine and you can borrow the car to take your family south; etc.
In conversation with a friend, she said of the Sun: "my friend, the columnist there, siad that sun is winning some award for the fastest growing newspaper in america."
An Israeli policeman responding to neighbors' complaints about a rowdy all-female party received an unexpected welcome at the door when revellers mistook him for a stripper and began to take off his clothes and stroke him.(Thanks, Zion) posted by Steven I. Weiss | 5:54 PM |
Reader David points out that a co-author of the Jewish Week DEC article is one Elli Wohlgelernter, who is "described as 'a FORMER editor and reporter at The Jerusalem Post'." The JP, you will remember, published an article about DEC that was written by - guess who - Elli Wohlgelernter. Hmmm....
A Chasid living in Williamsburg, not content to surf the internet and maintain a blog (called Hasidic Rebel, no less), but also reads books about comparative religion, like Entrance to the Garden of Eden by Yossi Klein Halev, is worth note. Especially if he links to protocols.posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 5:17 PM |
According to Arutz Sheva, this music video (subtitles added, I think, by Palestinian Media Watch) has been airing on PA television. As might have been said years ago, this is definitely a violation of the Oslo accords.posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 10:07 AM |
When I received an invitation to Jews for Racial and Economic Justice's annual dinner (actually, its "Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Risk-Taker Awards"), it wasn't an overwhelming surprise to see Adam Shapiro as a primary honoree -- though, I didn't know much about the guy. I'd heard he'd been a human shield in Ramallah and actually kissed Arafat on television or something, and I knew that he'd gotten married (I'd heard to a non-Jewish Palestinian) in the same city on the same night as two of my Bnei Akiva friends (which was really only useful information because it allowed me to remark that they probably didn't have to worry about fighting over guests). His parents had also supposedly received death threats -- and I think disowned him, as well. All of this, I suppose, qualifies as "risk-taking" for this group.
Adam co-founded the International Solidarity Movement, which brings activists from around the world to participate in non-violent direct action assisting Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Shapiro Family stood by Adam in the face of attacks and death threats from sectors of the Jewish community."Non-violent" being the key term there, according to a New York Sun article(subscription required, but 4 weeks free at every e-mail address you set up), which reported on Friday that Congregation B'nai Jeshurun quit as host of the event in light of the Shapiro award. Says the Sun:
The alarm caused by the choice of Mr. Shapiro as an honoree largely stems from an article he wrote last year for an Internet magazine, the Palestine Chronicle.JFREJ responded in the article:
Esther Kaplan, co-chairman of the board of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, said Mr. Shapiro does not support any form of violence against Israel. She praised him and his group as a rare advocate for nonviolence in the conflict.The reporter makes no effort to verify that last claim, which would be helpful. Irrespective, JFREJ is obviously incorrect if it asserts that Shapiro embraces non-violence -- unless he's retracted his comments, but JFREJ seems unaware that he made them in the first place, which is irresponsible on their part. If I have time, I'll do some research and post more on this. posted by Steven I. Weiss | 2:57 AM |
There's some interesting posting going on over at Jewschool. Check it out.posted by Steven I. Weiss | 2:20 AM |
Sunday, May 04, 2003 8:42 PM |
2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Mimouna and its festivities are celebrated by Israel's Moroccan Jewish community immediately following the conclusion of Passover.posted by Steven I. Weiss | 1:58 PM |