Must-See BBC Documentary on Antisemitism in the UK Labour Party

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

 

This seems like a propitious occasion to reprint something I wrote for the VC in 2016:

Writing in the left-wing Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz yesterday, Joel Braunold, a former member of the executive council of the British National Union of Students (NUS), reaches essentially the same conclusion about left-wing anti-Semitism as I did: The far left refuses to recognize Jews as a legitimate ethnic group, and for Jews to think of themselves as such is "racist." I wrote, "Exactly why Jewish solidarity is racist, but not solidarity among other groups, is never clearly explained, but it seems to have something to do with the fact that Jews aren't a legitimate ethnic group to begin with," and that the far left believes that Jews have a duty to ultimately "assimilate or disappear." Braumold writes:

I would engage those who were part of the hard left – those who saw themselves as belonging to the same leftist faction as Ken Livingstone – on how they could possibly justify their anti-racist credentials when they were doing things that were so offensive to the Jewish community.

It all came down to their inability to understand why Jews were anything more than a religious group….

Jews did not have a place in the traditional liberation campaigns of the NUS. Being Jewish was not the same as being black, LGBTQ, female or disabled. Jews were hated by fascists; the hard left just wanted them to assimilate. According to the hard left in the NUS, being particularist about your Jewish ethnic background was to buy into a racism that was forced upon you.

Braunold, though very critical of his former left-wing comrades, is nevertheless too easy on them. The far leftist opposition to recognizing Jews as an ethnic minority, which Braunold suggests is based on a coherent if misguided version of anti-racism, disappears when it's politically convenient, which suggests a lack of principle. Britain, after all, has a large, vocal contingent of "As a Jews"–left-wing individuals of Jewish descent, typically atheists with no ties to the organized Jewish community, who preface their harsh criticisms of Israel with "As a Jew…" "As a Jews" were mercilessly satirized as "ASHamed Jews" by Howard Jacobson in "The Finkler Question."

The "As a Jews" are especially valuable to the anti-Israel left, for obvious reasons. I have yet to see any British "anti-Zionist" leftist respond to an "As a Jew" by stating something along the line of, "I appreciate your anti-Israel sentiment, but as a good anti-racist I don't recognize Jewish ethnicity. Therefore, being that you're an atheist and all who hasn't observed any Jewish ritual since at least your circumcision, you're not a Jew, and it's highly offensive to cynically use the fact that your ancestors were of the Jewish religion to try to score political points." Instead, the "As a Jews" are trotted out, front and center, to serve as "anti-Zionist" spokesmen.

This accentuates my point that the far left is, in fact, willing to acknowledge Jewish corporate existence beyond religious ties, but, as a I wrote, only "to the extent Jews rely on their residual memories of collective oppression to aid left-wing liberation movements," including and especially the Palestinian nationalist movement. As I've pointed out before, if you're only against racism when it serves your broader political goals, then you're not really against racism.

UPDATE: It's also worth noting that while the British far left relegates Jewish identity, which has always had an ethnic/peoplehood component, to oblivion except when it's political useful, it has racialized Muslims, so much so that the Malia Bouattia, who is of Algerian descent and not of especially dark complexion, is said to be the "first Black president" of the National Union of Students. There's no rhyme or reason to any of this except what's politically useful.

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  1. Exactly why Jewish solidarity is racist, but not solidarity among other groups, is never clearly explained, but it seems to have something to do with the fact that Jews aren’t a legitimate ethnic group to begin with

    Obviously. The Jews are now an oppressor group not an oppressed group hence it is impossible under current racism theory for them to be racified against. (This has been the orthodoxy for at least thirty years, so you really need to keep up.)

    They are an oppressor group because Israel refuses to allow Hamas and Hezbollah and their sponsors to conduct Holocaust 2.0

    if they were just to just lay down and take their punishment, they could requalify as an ethnic group in good standing.

  2. “It all came down to their inability to understand why Jews were anything more than a religious group”

    That suggests that religious minorities aren’t part of the UK’s glorious patchwork of diversity. Is *that* principle applied consistently?

  3. I don’t think you’re going to make much progress with all of the lefties at Stormfront, or with the Democrats chanting ‘Jews will not replace us,’ Prof. Bernstein. But this might be the breakthrough that finally makes conservatives competitive in the American culture war!

    1. You will never be a happy person.

      1. Kirkland wants to forcibly relocate Israeli Jews to a reservation in west texas. Not the best person to criticize other Jew haters.

        1. I propose consideration of offering American citizenship to Israelis. Half-educated bigots perceive that to reflect hatred of Jews.

          Losing the culture war, and knowing that someone like me will replace you as America continues to improve, is making you cranky, Bob from Ohio.

    2. Stormfront, etc.? You mean the insane tiny minorities laughed at who have no real power, as opposed to the crypto anti-semites actually in power who latch onto hatred of Israel a little too easily?

  4. A Bernstein drinking game: Every time he writes “far left,” “extreme left,” or “hard left,” take a drink. If he uses liberal and left interchangeably, take a drink. However, if he ever defines what he means by any of those terms (beyond, duh, that they’re all anti-Semites or self-loathing JINOs), the above rules are suspended and your liver is safe. Advice: have lots of booze available for this game.

  5. You continue to use your convenient ‘far left’ which lets you tailor your population to any perspective you want while also associating anyone to the left of center with that perspective.

    This is pretty close to charges of antisemitism being used as a partisan cudgel. Like, you only see antisemitism among those you already don’t like and then you see it everywhere. In both England and America there are indeed issues on both sides, but in both England and America the actual out-and-proud antisemites show up largely on the right.

    So you quibble about ‘as a Jews’ and lack of recognition of Judaism as a creed. While at the same time you attack on ‘As a Jew’ as kinda-shouldn’t-speak-as-Jews is not great either.

    Bleagh.

    1. “You continue to use your convenient ‘far left’ which lets you tailor your population to any perspective you want while also associating anyone to the left of center with that perspective.”

      Better than the media/Democratic use of “far right” to describe 99% of all GOPer plus most libertarians.

      1. Except no it’s not – first, at the moment the GOP is more for radical change than it’s not. But even if that weren’t true, saying ‘they’re all extremists’ is at least taking a position someone can argue against.

        Condemning some unspecified subset as extremists is not taking a position; it’s trivially true that in our country you will find people on the left taking whatever weird or loathsome position you care to specify. Thus it’s less argument and more propaganda via guilt by association.

      2. “Better than the media/Democratic use of “far right” to describe 99% of all GOPer plus most libertarians.”

        Example?

    2. “In both England and America there are indeed issues on both sides, but in both England and America the actual out-and-proud antisemites show up largely on the right.”

      Such complete and utter bullshit.

    3. It’s shocking for a scholar to use distinct political terms with such cynicism or laziness, for inflammatory rhetorical purposes, or, worse, genuine ignorance. You expect that kind of cheap language from commenters on boards like these, but the standard should be a bit higher for someone in his position and level of education. Hell, I don’t let my undergraduate students get away with that lack of precision, whether they’re writing about the left, right, or centre. Kinda makes me wonder how demanding he is of his own students if he regards this as acceptable usage.

    4. I find it strange that mainstream liberals who don’t associate themselves with the far left think that when someone refers to the antisemitism problem on the far left, he is somehow referring to mainstream liberals.

      1. I mean, you talk about the labour party right there.

        If you don’t see the guilt by association that occurs with all on the left when you condemn the ‘far left’ I don’t know what to tell you.

        1. “If you don’t see the guilt by association that occurs with all on the left when you condemn the ‘far left’…” Strange, you’d think that if one wanted to condemn the entire left, one would just say “the left” or “progressives” or somesuch, and not specify “the far left.” And especially given that we are talking about Corbynistas here, as you acknowledge, the distinction should be especially clear in this instance. If someone talks about the “far right” in the context of an antisemitism problem, I don’t think of Jack Kemp or Mitt Romney or even Ted Cruz or their ideological compatriots, but David Duke, Richard Spencer et al. And if someone was specifically talking about, say, Orban’s Hungary, I’d be even less inclined to think he was referring to mainstream American moderate conservatives and conservatives.

          1. Orban’s Hungary

            You mean the guy that Trump, who is so widely admired among conservatives, likes so much?

            Or maybe the folks at his “summit” today?

          2. Here’s a fun challenge for you. Every time you want to write “far left” or “hard left” or “radical left,” substitute a specific term for what you have in mind. Are they Maoists? Trotskyites? Leninists? Anarchists? Something else? Write that instead. Do you have specific people in mind? Cite them. When serious critics want to talk about David Duke or Richard Spencer, they have no problem using the more specific terms Neo-Nazi, fascist, Klan, or white supremacist, or they just plain name Duke and Spencer. If you actually care about trying to persuade those not already in your corner, make the effort to be specific instead of lazily tossing out something that you know full well is meant to be inflammatory, not analytical.

            1. People use “far right” all the time. Far left is no more inflammatory, though you won’t see, say, the New York Times use it the way they use far right. It’s only offensive or inflammatory if you are of the “know enemies on the left” persuasion. Meanwhile, it’s not being a Marxist, or a Communist, or a Socialist, or a radical environmentalist, or a radical multiculturalist that defines someone as an antisemite. It’s being an antisemite–unlike neo-Naziism and white surpremacism, none of those movements have antisemitism as an official tenet, but they all have their share of antisemites. So in fact, trying to single out a particular faction of the far left would actually be obfuscatory. It’s the antisemitic far left that’s antisemitic, regardless of what faction they purport to belong to.

              1. Just for example, the Times has used the phrase “ultraconservative” six times as often as “ultraliberal.” The result of this sort of thing is that folks on the left, no matter how “far”, “ultra” or “extreme” aren’t used to being called such, nor are people on the less far left used to having anyone called that.

                1. “Far left,” as used by the right, and “far right,” as used by the left, don’t create a symmetrical diagram between the poles of the political spectrum. And especially not, if we define the political spectrum with a view to history, as we ought, to take account of its full range.

                  Today, “far left,” as used by the right denotes something akin to FDR liberalism. On the historical political spectrum, there is a lot of room to the left of FDR: own-the-major-means-of-production socialism; revolutionary syndicalism; IWW-type whatever-it-was; idealistic communism; anarchist revolutionism; and communist totalitarianism, were among the somewhat-practiced, more-left-than-FDR alternatives.

                  Today, “far right,” as used by the left pretty much means corporate oligarchy, enlivened by John Birch Society overtones from the past. To the right of that there isn’t much room on the historical spectrum, except right-wing dictatorship, and fascist totalitarianism.

                  Thus, since the 1940s, the most-used part of the political spectrum has itself shifted pretty far to the right. Movement conservatives absolutely would be calling Eisenhower a communist today, just as John Birchers did in the 1950s—with the difference that Birchers who did that were spurned as crackpots. Today, movement conservatives get treated as unexceptionable right-wingers, respectably within the frame of the Overton window.

                  I can never tell whether today’s intellectuals, when they comment about the “far left” the way Bernstein does, are just unaware of history, or whether they are cynically trying to push the political spectrum yet farther to the right.

              2. Do you tolerate or even encourage such imprecise language with your students? When you were a student, did your professors never teach the importance of precision? There’s a very simple principle we should all follow when writing, especially with critical writing: The more general the terminology, the more we allow (or sometimes even expect) our readers to fill in the specifics based on their own inclinations. If you want to minimize misinterpretation, be as precise as possible with your word choice. So when you drop a “far left” here or “radical left” there, you’re leaving it up to your readers to apply their understanding of what that means. That’s especially important given the readership here. More than a few readers here regard liberal as far left. Your open-ended language encourages that kind of distortion. If the purpose of your piece is to talk about the Corbyn wing of Labour, just say that. It’s clear, it’s precise. If you have other groups or people in mind, name them. We can still argue about the quality of your interpretation, but at least we all know who you’re talking about. Being general compromises your effort, unless your effort is just to invite suspicion that anyone on the left or even a liberal is an anti-Semite.

                Take a look at your colleagues’ work on this blog. How often do they get criticized for sloppy language? Rarely, because they’re normally quite specific. As it stands, I have no reason not to conclude that your word choice is anything but (a) cynical, deliberately encouraging readers to come up with as wide a swath of villains as they can imagine; (b) lazy, you don’t care to make the effort to put forth a tight argument; or (c) ignorance, you don’t actually have any nuanced understanding of the varieties of leftist philosophies or politics, and especially their distinction from liberalism.

    5. “both England and America the actual out-and-proud antisemites show up largely on the right. ”
      Except in the House Democrat caucus.

      1. Even if you’re right, you’re ignoring what out-and-proud means for the laffs. Which I guess I have to respect.

    6. Neurodoc has seen innumerable letters to the NYT and other publications that begin with the “as a Jew” formulation, but doesn’t recall a single one that was supportive of Israel. Do you think the editors are weeding out those they get that are not of the ASHamed kind?

      Did you watch the BBC piece in full or even in part? Have you informed yourself even minimally about Jews and the Labor Party, especially since Jeremy Corbyn’s ascent, and personas like George Galloway, Baroness Tonge, Ken Livingstone, Chris Williamson, et al.? Or do you opine out of simple oppositional ignorance to Professor Bernstein?

      1. My issue is more the Prof. Bernstein condemning them as not really Jewish.

        I’m a bit of an anglophile, and follow British politics via podcasts. I didn’t watch this documentary, but I’m aware of the issues in labour.
        I’ve also followed the charges against Corbyn and have found all of them wanting.

        I also recognize when antisemitism is being used as a partisan cudgel and nothing more.

        1. You are a non-Jew, but confident in your understanding of what Judaism requires of its adherents. And you are a bit of an anglophile who follows British politics, so you feel no need to watch the documentary that Professor Bernstein has offered as evidence in support of his widely shared contention that Labor is rotten to the core with antisemitism. You simply know there is nothing to what had been charged against Corbyn and the crowd around him, that is rank antisemitism. Indeed, in your view that which so many UK Jews are concerned about like never before (going back to Mosely?) all amounts to “antisemitism…being used as a partisan cudgel and nothing more.”

          Do you have anything more than ipsi dixit, e.g., facts and argument, in support of your opinion.

  6. Thank you for your contribution.

    But between Charlottsville, 4Chan, what Gab became, and recently poor Ben Garrison, you may want to come with a bit more than weak spite.

    1. Ilhan Omar, The Women’s March, the New York Times political cartoon, Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, 21 Savage, Lebron James, the people attacking Hassidic Jews in New York . . .

      1. Read what I said: out-and-proud antisemites.

        Except maybe Farrakhan, who is not exactly a Democratic stalwart, your examples don’t fit the bill.

        On the other hand, my examples are all of actual people proudly talking about hook-nosed rootless Jewish bankers etc. etc. etc. Hence the out-and-proud bit.

        1. Oh, and RestoreWesternHegemony. He’s one of yours.

          1. That, or an elaborate parody, who knows?

        2. I don’t find that fact that few left-wing antisemites are willing to acknowledge they are antisemites at all comforting, if anything it makes them more dangerous, as it makes it easier for those who want to overlook their antisemitism to do so. In fact, even the most outrageously and obviously antisemitic Labourites, such as Ken Livingstone, adamantly deny their antisemitism.

          1. David, you seem to argue that there are objective criteria, by which anti-semites can be identified in spite of themselves, and, indeed, without regard to their own self-professed beliefs. I have argued likewise, with regard to racism generally. I think the notion is an important one, that there are objective criteria which can identify racists by their actions, and by the likely consequences of their advocacy.

            Without that, anti-racism might be baffled. Utterly unfalsifiable counter-assertions—that only the content of a corrupted heart can identify the racist—would become an insurmountable barrier.

            I wonder if you join me, and urge extension of standards you argue against anti-semitism to cover also racism more generally? Is it justifiable to identify racists by the likely consequences of their advocacy, while ignoring their self-professed motives? Do you see any pitfalls?

        3. “maybe Farrakhan”

          That you have a question of whether Farrakhan is an out and proud antisemite shows why your evaluation is so worthless.

          “your examples don’t fit the bill.”

          Again, complete and utter bullshit.

          1. Is Lebron James an out-and-out anti-semite? This is news to me.

          2. My question is whether Farrakhan is liberal.

            1. Why not? Nazism was a left-wing ideology. I learned that here.

    2. 4chan and the 300 losers in Charlottesville are responsible for antisemitic leftists taking over one of the UK’s major political parties? Good to know, that I’d be interested in the causal analysis.

      1. That’s not what I argued. And antisemetic leftists taking over all of Labour wasn’t what you seemed to be arguing above either, hence your invocation of the Britis ‘far left’.

        1. Most members of the Labour Party are not antisemites. But the leader of their party is a far leftist and is at best a fellow-traveler with antisemitism, and he has empowered and emboldened a large an powerful antisemitic faction in his party, as the documentary showed. In fact, if one were to take the most exaggerated allegations of what Trump has done regarding the Republican Party and antisemitism literally, but replaced Trump with Corbyn and the Republicans with Labour, you’d get the actual situation in the UK, where 90% of British Jews think Corbyn is an antisemite, and half say they’d seriously consider leaving the country if he became PM.

          1. Prof. Bernstein,

            You’re very fudgy on definitions and identifying the main topic of your writings.

            Here, the blog title talks about the UK Labour Party.

            But them immediately you discuss the far left portion.

            And then in this comment you whittle that down to just the party leader – and even then qualify that with, “. . . at best a fellow-traveler with antisemitism. . . . ”

            Can you, one time, write something concise and precise?

            1. Or maybe you don’t understand the difference between “antisemitism in the UK Labour Party,” the title of the post, and “everyone in the UK Labour Party is antisemitic.” As everyone who follows the issue is well-aware, the problem of antisemitism in Labour is largely confined to its far-left faction, which also happens to be in control of the party via Corbyn and his supporters.

      2. 300 losers

        Fine people, David.

        1. Very fine people.

          The base of the Trump base.

  7. The Nazis agreed that Jews aren’t merely a “religious” group. They persecuted and killed people of Jewish ethnicity who had converted to Christianity, some who had even become Christian clergy, including some of Dietrich Bonhoffer’s family members. You could look it up.

    There’s no excusing antisemitism, no matter where you stand on the political spectrum. It’s ugly and should be condemned, along with all other forms of racism.

  8. Given that most Jews are far leftists in spite of this, I don’t even care anymore. If there is a Holocaust 2.0, they’ll have brought it on themselves.

    1. I said above that you might be a clever parody, though I suspect you’re sadly all too real.

      1. You can see it as “sad” if you want. What I think is sad is that my idiot liberal Jewish family members spend of all their time attacking Trump and guns. They’ll be ranting about Republicans while being marched into the showers.

        1. That’s why I like this site…there’s always people who make me look normal in comparison.

          1. Those who tell the truth that no one wants to hear are always called “crazy.”

            1. As are those who are actually crazy.

              1. That used to be true, bernard. Under Trump they are the new normal.

      2. As a non-leftist Jew, I am amazed at how dumb my people become when they talk about Trump. For crying out loud, his daughter is a Jew. Her husband, who is one of Trump’s most important operatives, is a Jew. But if you listen to liberal Jews, they talk as if Trump is going to start pogroms.

        1. Exactly. They’re more afraid of white Christians than they are of Muslims. And in their zeal to be “tolerant” because of their (as a group) being discriminated against in the past, they fanatically support the immigration of people who hate them and want to kill them. It’s really a sickness.

          1. I wasn’t aware people from Mexico or other places in Latin America hated Jews or wanted to kill them.

            Right wing nut bags, OTOH, are a different matter.

            1. You’re not aware of much, are you?

              https://www.jewishdatabank.org/databank/search-results/study/717

              Compared to the overall 12% of American adults who are strongly anti-Semitic based on the ADL index of survey responses, Hispanics and African-Americans have higher rates of anti-Semitism, although Hispanic Americans born outside of the U.S. are significantly more likely than Hispanics born in the U.S. to hold anti-Semitic views (36%) compared to 14 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics. Among African-Americans, anti-Semitic views have remained consistently higher than the general population including the 20 percent of 2013 African-American survey respondents who expressed strongly anti-Semitic views (a decrease from 29% in 2011).

  9. I keep wondering where Bernstein chooses to live. I am having a hard time thinking of him as comfortable anywhere in the DC area, where he works.

    Brandeis is a famously Jewish university, which admits also a sprinkling of non-Jews, including my son. It is also Bernstein’s alma mater. Although he excelled there, I can’t imagine Bernstein being comfortable at Brandeis.

    As Jewish as Brandeis is (not sure Bernstein would concede that it is Jewish in the right way), it is, as a matter of pure ethnic bean counting, notably less Jewish than the Jewish DC suburb in which I grew up—incongruously named Bannockburn, after the failed country club on which it was built after WWII. As far as my own experience could prove, the Lathrops were the only non-Jewish family in that whole golf-course-sized suburb.

    I knew back then that some folks got in trouble for saying, “Some of my best friends are Jewish.” I never could figure out where that left me, in Bannockburn, because all my friends, without exception, were Jewish—especially, it seemed, the girls whose parents wouldn’t let them date me. I concluded it must be unwise to say anything about the ethnicity of anyone’s friends.

    But I can’t imagine Bernstein would have been happy in Bannockburn, even then, and still less now. I don’t think Bernstein would concede Bannockburn is Jewish in the right way.

    Online, I don’t find any indication, one way or another, of what way to be Jewish Bernstein does think is the right way. I wonder if he could even quite figure it out himself. If he does know, I wish he would at least let us in on it, so we could better understand where he is coming from. Bernstein does seem to think it is important for us all to consider what is the right way to be Jewish.

    1. The more I look at your post, the more puzzled I am by it. Where in the DC area do you think Professor Bernstein would/should be uncomfortable on account of his views? And what specific views about “what way to be Jewish”? I really am curious to understand your thinking here. If not bizarre, it seems at least strange.

      (BTW, did you ever try to date any frum girls from Kemp Mills? And have you never read posts in which DB was critical of his alma mater Brandeis, claimed to be a descendant of the Rambam, talked about house-hunting in NoVa when the market was hottest, asked for opinions about the best bagels in the DC area [hands down Bagel City in Rockville], alluded to his yeshiva education in NYC, mentioned he is married to an Israeli, etc.? Are you going to ask the names of the mohel who did his bris or the rabbi who married him, what shul he belongs to, whether he keeps kosher and is shabbas shomer, all questions that might be remotely relevant to his views on the “way to be Jewish,” if he had any to share and wanted to do so, though they would be as apt here as his thoughts on the Redskins or Nationals.)

      Please, don’t be mean to neurodoc, who means well, and satisfy his curiosity about your “off-beat” queries of DB. Do you plan to follow-up with similar ones of IS, another GM professor and “Hebrew” by birth?

      1. No questions for IS. Bernstein confuses me. IS does not.

  10. Neurodoc lived off Saul Road in Kensington and graduated from BCC. But, he doesn’t have the vaguest understanding of your musings about Professor Bernstein’s thinking on “what way to be Jewish.” Do you question his bona fides as a Jew, want to know how observant he himself is, how he is raising and educating his children, or what? What in your non-Jewish mind occasions these or your own questions above, which seem frankly bizarre, since at no time do I remember him being prescriptive about the “way to be Jewish,” other than not to be antisemitic, and he would tell that to non-Jews too.

    1. Do you question his bona fides as a Jew, want to know how observant he himself is, how he is raising and educating his children, or what?

      None of those, neurodoc. I don’t presume any insight into Jewishness as a religion, whether Bernstein’s religion or anyone else’s.

      What in your non-Jewish mind occasions these or your own questions above, which seem frankly bizarre, since at no time do I remember him being prescriptive about the “way to be Jewish,” other than not to be antisemitic, . . .

      That gets closer to it. Bernstein’s notion of antisemitism strikes me as super-prescriptive, but also paradoxical. It strikes me as a combination of, on the one hand, over-specific, no-true-Scotsmen-like assertions about what politics a Jew can have and not be antisemitic (and, thus it seems, not really be Jewish), and on the other hand, poorly specified, but apparently broad, definitions of what constitutes antisemitism. He writes about, “As a Jews,” in a way which suggests to me that he intends to put less-religious, more-politically-liberal (and especially anti-Netanyahu?) Jews beyond respectability. I gather that the politics of Jews I grew up with would today target many of them as subjects of Bernstein’s anathema.

      I am trying, and failing, to figure out where in the US there is a community of Jews sufficiently Likud-like to suit Bernstein. And question also whether even that would satisfy him, or whether his brand of Zionism requires something more overtly religious (but yet, not Orthodox?).

      Of course, because I am not a Jew, I am not as well informed of the possibilities as you probably are. Maybe Bernstein, who seems an odd duck to me, is actually representative of some numerous community of which I am less aware.

      Bernstein’s vehement vagueness does irritate me sometimes, but I don’t mean him any disrespect. And I certainly don’t suggest he ought to behave in any way that I would prescribe. He just baffles me. Presumably, you can see from the comments to his posts that Bernstein baffles others too.

      1. A somewhat lengthy reply to you just wiped out and neurodoc won’t start over. He thinks you are entirely sincere, but he doesn’t begin to understand what “baffles” you about Professor Bernstein’s thinking or why you think it so singular.

        1. Sorry I missed your lengthy reply. Questions which challenge me to make myself clear are like presents. Not only is clarity a virtue to be sought for its own sake, but also, trying to accomplish clarity and falling short has from time-to-time occasioned reflection and/or changed opinions. But it is hard to be clear about what you know you don’t understand—which for me includes Bernstein.

          1. Just dropped back in. I think it’s fair to say that you have no idea what you are talking about, in so many ways that I don’t have the patience or inclination to explain. But I will not that the “As a Jew” moniker was invented not by me, but by Jeffrey Goldberg, an Obama fan, moderate to liberal Democrat, and moderately left-leaning on Israeli politics.

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