Elizabeth Warren Slanders AIPAC

And by extension, the American Jewish community

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Imagine if, at a Q & A with Donald Trump, someone got up and said, "As an American Jew I am terrified at the unholy alliance the ADL is forming with racist black activists, open borders extremists, Socialists and Communists, and no Republican should legitimize that type of anti-American globalist bigotry, and I'm wondering whether you will commit to boycotting it?" And Trump in response nodded agreeably and said yes. Now watch this clip with Elizabeth Warren regarding AIPAC, which involves at least equally inflammatory and tendentious allegations. Note that AIPAC has a huge membership for an American Jewish organization of over 100,000, primarily Jews, and is, within the Jewish community, utterly mainstream, though of course (like the ADL, though AIPAC is much more bipartisan and centrist) it has critics both left and right.

[UPDATE: Please note that I have been very critical of the ADL in the past, and I'm not much of a fan of AIPAC. There is nothing wrong with criticizing either organization. But to suggest, as the questioner did, and as Warren nodded along with, that a mainstream Jewish organization is not just wrong on its policies beyond the pale of respectability because it is purportedly promoting 'bigotry' and allying with white nationalists is basically the leftist equivalent of right-wing nuts like the Pittsburgh murders who believe that Jewish organization are responsible for undermining white America.]

Like many of her other extremist positions, Warren has come to this distaste for AIPAC rather late. I suppose she's jealous that Bernie is cornering the leftist anti-Semite vote.

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  1. It’s only slander if it isn’t true.

    1. I don’t know the quote and can’t watch the video. Is it true?

      I’d also like to note how many of the conservative commenters here are delegitimizing liberal Jews and Jewishness.

      Antisemitism not alongside of, but in service of partisanship.

      Great bedfellows you got there. This’ll end great.

      1. If it goes the way of America’s culture war, which seems likely, it will end great.

      2. I’d also like to note how many of the progressive commenters here are delegitimizing conservative Blacks and POC.

        1. Really? You see commenters here saying conservative blacks aren’t really black?

          Not something I’ve seen. Just Jews.

  2. In today’s increasingly anti-semitic Democratic party, you either embrace it, or get out.

    And, of course, as a “centrist” organization, AIPAC’s cardinal sin is a lack of exclusive loyalty to the left. That’s intolerable even for leftists who aren’t personally anti-semitic.

    1. “And, of course, as a ‘centrist’ organization, AIPAC’s cardinal sin is a lack of exclusive loyalty to the left. That’s intolerable even for leftists who aren’t personally anti-semitic.” That’s precisely why Soros funded JStreet to try to discredit AIPAC.

      1. Nuance is dead. AIPAC and JStreet both, at least officially, remain committed to a two-state solution, while the left and right increasingly reject the notion. Both are officially anti-BDS. The rap on AIPAC is that it is too “blindly” in favor of Israel, and on JStreet that it is too “pro-Palestinian.” Individuals supporting each organization are therefore going to include one-staters of each ilk, and odious folks at each end of the spectrum, because they have no where else to go. Query whether you would see boycotting JStreet as equally anti-semitic. Me, I remember that Israel was a mostly leftist secular project, a history that both sides now want to forget.
        Warren, in my view, has become too focused on stealing voters from Bernie, instead of appealing to moderates. Time was she could easily have done so. She could have run to the left of Biden, but to the right of Bernie (as she sorta started out doing and still claims to be doing). This is just another dumb move to out-left Bernie, which she can not hope to do. On the other hand, it reminds me a bit of Trump’s sudden embrace of conservative issues, and playing footsie with anti-semites, so maybe it will work. In this era of polarization, moderates and moderation is screwed.

        1. That Israel would cease being a secular leftist project was inevitable, it was either that, or cease to exist. Left wing secular projects are only really viable in the context of a larger society that’s neither. And the ‘larger society’ in the middle East was radically hostile to even a secular Jewish state.

          1. This seems to fly in the fact of your usual somewhat paranoid maxim that all institutions not explicitly conservative inevitably become co-opted by the left.

            1. The alternative to ceasing to be a secular leftist project was dying, and that famously concentrates the attention.

              1. Not really answering your previous inconsistency.

                I also don’t think that’s true. In fact, I’m quite sure you’ve set up a false choice.
                Israel survived for decades as a liberal state in the face of no shortage of existential threats.
                There’s lots of Israel-supporting liberal Jews who don’t think becoming a theocracy or illiberal are needed to survive. Lots of Israel supporting liberal Israelis as well.

                Your blithe invocations of what good Jews are and what ideology this existential threat requires everyone adhere are both pretty bog standard emotionally manipulative populist tactics, and not great actual arguments.

                1. 2020 Israel is much, much more “liberal” than it was back in the the days of Ben-Gurion. More tolerant of the Arab population, more tolerant of homosexuals, more open to women’s advancement, more religious pluralism, more foreign influence and more influence on the world, and, best of all, you don’t have to have political connections to get a good job.

                  1. Oh, and I forgot, the overt discrimination against Mizrahim has almost entirely disappeared, except in Haredi circles.

                  2. Sounds great to me. I’ll admit my understanding of Israel and it’s politics, as filtered through my Jewish and Israeli acquaintances, starts about with the assassination of Rabin.

                    1. Though I also think making liberalism comparative tends to be a cop-out if taken as the only metric.

                      C.f., America has no race problem…if you compare to the 1950s.

                    2. Yes, but those who say that they can’t support Israel now because it’s not “liberal” like the Israel of the 1980s, or 1960s, either don’t know what they are talking about, or are lying.

                2. I don’t view “liberal” (in the sense of valuing liberty) and “left-wing” as the same thing.

                  For example, look at the decline in the Kibbutz movement, and the evolution of the surviving Kibbutz towards being more free market and less collectivist.

                  1. You’ve never met anyone who grew up on the Kibutzim.

                    I’ve met a few – their politics were all to the left of most of the Dems you rail against a socialists/fascists.

                    1. Which is why their decline represents Israel moving to the right.

          2. Too much defensiveness stops progress towards peace.

    2. In today’s increasingly anti-semitic Democratic party, you either embrace it, or get out.

      So all us Jewish Democrats – a sizable majority of American Jews – are idiots or antisemites?

      Fuck you.

      The real problem many of us have with AIPAC is its support of what we see as oppressive and unjust policies by Israel. You and Bernstein may disagree with that assessment, but it’s a legitimate reason for disagreeing with the organization.

      It’s not (yet another) fantastical Soros-centered conspiracy.

      1. Watch that language, bernard11. You’re not conservative enough to qualify for a pass from the Volokh Conspiracy Board of Censors.

      2. The questioner didn’t criticize AIPAC on the merits of its policies. She instead claimed it was allying with racists and white nationalists and promoting bigotry, which is nonsense.

        1. And, as I’m sure you are aware, suggesting that an organization is allying with white nationalists and supporting bigotry is a way of saying that the organization (and by extension its supporters) is not just wrong, but beyond the pale. Which means that the mainstream Jewish community is beyond the pale. There are hundreds of way Warren could have answered the question that could have been critical of the Israeli government and AIPAC itself while not seeming to endorse the questioner’s desire to put a mainstream Jewish organization beyond the pale of reasonable disagreement.

        2. I’m not talking about the questioner. I’m talking about Brett’s comment, which you endorsed.

          And since lots of Jews don’t support AIPAC, I fail to see how the questioner’s remarks slandered “the American Jewish community.”

          1. I’m endorsing the view that AIPAC can never be acceptable to a large swathe of the left because it is not leftist. I did not say there are no reasonable criticisms to be leveled at AIPAC. Some people support JStreet because they want a more liberal alternative to AIPAC. But the reason for the existence of JStreet is because Democratic and liberal operative don’t like the fact that AIPAC and its allies will support and donate to folks who are pro-Israel, right and left, so AIPAC’s centrist pro-Israel alliance should be replaced by a left/center-left alliance that excludes anyone who might vote for or give money to Republicans. For that matter, even liberal Jewish organizations like the ADL are not far left enough for the left, which is why non-Jewish foundations got together to fund the far leftist IfNotNow to try to undermine the mainstream.

            1. The few American Jews who actively support JStreet might think that, but the vast majority of Jews in this country who disdain AIPAC are turned off by it’s continual conflating of Jewish interests with Israeli interests, and that by extension any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. For most of us, it has nothing to do with American politics in the sense you mean. I think you may be misinterpreting the majority of anti-AIPAC sentiment by viewing it through your own ideological convictions.

              1. Thank you for this on the nose comment. I agree 100%.

              2. I’ll bet you can’t find even five examples in the last ten years of AIPAC calling criticism of Israel antisemitic.

            2. Are you suggesting I should support AIPAC despite the fact that it gives money to Republicans, because they support Israel, when I believe Republican policies are extremely harmful to the US?

              That doesn’t sound right.

              1. “despite the fact that it gives money to Republicans”

                AIPAC gives no contributions to any candidate.

                It can’t, its a 501(c)(4) organization.

                You hate something and you know little about it.

                1. OK Bob. It supports Republicans, helps them raise money, etc.

              2. The question isn’t whether you should “support” them, so much as whether you should regard the fact that they’re not exclusively left wing as an indictment placing them beyond the pale.

                The functioning of democracy requires accepting that political opposition is legitimate. You don’t have to support the opposition, but you do have to accept that they are entitled to be around, hold differing views of what is “extremely harmful”, and play a part in society.

                1. The question isn’t whether you should “support” them, so much as whether you should regard the fact that they’re not exclusively left wing as an indictment placing them beyond the pale.

                  The functioning of democracy requires accepting that political opposition is legitimate. You don’t have to support the opposition, but you do have to accept that they are entitled to be around, hold differing views of what is “extremely harmful”, and play a part in society.

                  Of course I don’t think they are beyond the pale, a curious phrase, by the way, to use when referring to a Jewish group. Yes, they are entitled to be around, etc.

                  This, by the way, is not a courtesy you extend to those whose views you disagree, with your constant talk of revolution, of vast conspiracies, etc.

              3. “Are you suggesting…”
                If you support Israel, then yes.

                AIPAC exists in order to support and lobby for Israeli interests. Not Republican or Democratic interests, but Israeli interests. The best way to do that is to lobby and support both parties to support Israeli interests. That way, whichever party is in power, they will be been lobbied to support Israeli interests. And that way, if the government is split, bipartisan aid can be passed, as AIPAC lobbies both sides on the same bill.
                Lobbying just a single party for a foreign country would be foolish. It would be looked at as partisan, and it would be difficult to get aid packages passed.

                If you don’t support Israel, that’s a different issue though.

                1. “AIPAC exists in order to support and lobby for Israeli interests.”

                  You’re not supposed to say this. AIPAC has to pretend to support American interests. (“The mission of AIPAC is to strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of the United States and Israel.”) If it was exclusively to benefit Israel, people might start wondering why a bunch of American politicians are so focused on protecting some foreign country’s interests.

                  “If you don’t support Israel, that’s a different issue though.”

                  Sort of a false choice. There are about 200 countries in the world, and I don’t provide material support to most of them. If I don’t fund the AIPAC for Costa Rica, Mauritania, etc., does that mean I don’t support those countries? I suppose so, but it also just could mean I’m ambivalent. I understand it’s programmatic for pro-Israel lobbyists to treat non-support as active opposition, but I’m not obligated to agree with their framing.

                  1. “You are not supposed to say this”
                    Why not? It’s true. Many times US and Israeli interests co-align, and there are reasons for it, but AIPAC exists to primarily help out the Israelis.

                    “Sort of a false choice. There are about 200 countries in the world, and I don’t provide material support to most of them”

                    It’s not a false choice. I said it was a different issue, which means different things.

                    As an aside, you DO actually provide aid for most of them. Indeed, the US provides foreign aid for more than 200 countries. It goes in a bunch of different directions, for a bunch of different reasons, and in a bunch of different amounts. But US foreign aid is provided to over 200 different countries.

                2. AIPAC exists in order to support and lobby for Israeli interests. Not Republican or Democratic interests, but Israeli interests.

                  Israeli interests as determined by AIPAC.

                  I do support Israel, as a matter of fact, but I prefer not to have AIPAC tell me what Israeli policies I should support, and which I shouldn’t.

                  Further, I do not believe I should take steps to support Israel if I think those steps are harmful to the US. And, like it or not, I do think helping Republicans is harmful to the US.

                  1. As long as your priorities are clear. Hurting Republicans is more important than helping Israel.

                    1. False choice.

        3. If AIPAC is standing with Republicans in the Trump era, it is allying with racists and white nationalists and promoting bigotry.

          One of the great achievements of our liberal-libertarian mainstream during my lifetime is that our bigots no longer wish to be known as bigots, at least not in public. During my childhood the bigotry was open, casual, common . . . the bigots wanted you to know how they thought, how they acted, and how that was the way it would and should be.

          Today’s bigots, though, hide behind euphemisms — “color-blind,” “traditional values,” “conservative values” — and are on the defensive. They guard their intolerance in public, expressing their genuine beliefs solely in contexts they consider safe, such as private homes, militia gatherings, and Republican Committee meetings.

          I’ve lost my taste for political correctness, though, and reject those euphemisms. I now call a bigot a bigot. Every Republican who supports Trump is a bigot or appeases bigotry, and I don’t see much practical distinction between the two classes these days.

          If the argument is that AIPAC does not snuggle with Trump and his base of bigots, I would wish to observe the evidence. No one should be branded a Trump supporter without evidence.

          1. I now call a bigot everyone I disagree with (which is everyone) a bigot.

            Fixed.

          2. So, as I read your comment, everyone who disagrees with you on any issue, not just racism, is a racist? And the only way not to be racist is to mirror your opinions? Must be comfortable to have such an ego. You not only are proving how weak your policy and political positions are., You, and many like you, are delegitimizing valid claims of racism. Beware of the consequences.

            1. Did you learn to read at a backwater religious school? Homeschooling involving substandard parents?

              Plenty of people with whom I disagree neither are racists nor appease racism.

              Enjoy the rest of the culture war.

      3. “So all us Jewish Democrats – a sizable majority of American Jews – are idiots or antisemites? ”

        AIPAC supports Israel. It supprts the government of Israeli, whatever that government happens to be.

        The long time current government is distatesful to you. So you oppose AIPAC because it deals with the current government.

        Unfortunately for you, the Israeli consensus, in substance if not in tactics, is aligned with Bibi’s views. Did you see Gantz in DC a few weeks ago?

        What are you going to do if and when Gantz is PM and they treat the Arabs exactly the same way as Bibi does?

        1. “What are you going to do if and when Gantz is PM and they treat the Arabs exactly the same way as Bibi does?”

          The more important question is what will happen when most Americans decline to provide military, political, and economic skirts for Israel to hide behind?

          I would have expected Israelis with a self-preservation instinct, and genuine supporters of Israel, to be more careful with that question.

          1. And you will rejoice some day at the creation of another dictator kleptocracy?

            1. I hope Israel voluntarily abandons its clinger course and becomes/remains worthy of American support.

              1. You are on the same side as right-wing nazi trolls.

                Good, well-meaning people on both sides, I guess.

                1. Why wouldn’t right-wing Nazis want Israel to continue along the path of right-wing belligerence? Should we figure right-wing Nazis would want Israel to chart a left-wing course?

                  Other than that, great comment, clinger!

        2. Unfortunately for you, the Israeli consensus, in substance if not in tactics, is aligned with Bibi’s views. Did you see Gantz in DC a few weeks ago?

          What are you going to do if and when Gantz is PM and they treat the Arabs exactly the same way as Bibi does?

          It’s not unfortunate for me, because I live in the US. If Gantz is elected, and continues Bibi’s policies, I will continue to disapprove of those policies.

          What did you think I would do?

          1. “What did you think I would do?”

            IDK, reevaluate based on the fact that Israeli Jews, being most affected, might have more insight than someone safe and sound 5,000 miles away.

            1. Yeah, can’t ever disapprove of the government of other country’s republics.

              1. Israel is also a Jewish state, I’d think even pampered American Jews should remember that.

                1. pampered American Jews
                  There’s a bit to unpack there.

                  Also not relevant to your argument that we cannot judge the Israeli government because their electorate’s decisions cannot be gainsaid by anyone far away.

                  Would you say we can’t judge the UK? Germany? So maybe quit with the blatant double standard.

            2. Reevaluate what? AIPAC and Israel are asking me for something. I’m not asking AIPAC (or Israel) for something. Israel is free to run its country how they please. And I’m free to not fund or otherwise support their political decisions.

              1. Well, you, in conjunction with the rest of America, in a democratic-type process.

            3. IDK, reevaluate based on the fact that Israeli Jews, being most affected, might have more insight than someone safe and sound 5,000 miles away.

              It doesn’t require much “insight” to observe that a policy of, “We get to do whatever we want with impunity” is vastly preferable to a policy of, “We have to negotiate a mutually-agreeable political arrangement with a splintered and corrupt Palestinian leadership, subject to the multilateral agreement of our allies and regional partners.”

              I agree that anyone who opposes Netanyahu’s policies will need to grapple with Gantz’s policies, as they may come about. I also agree that the Israeli majority has been shifting right, as Gantz’s policy platform has made clear. But the idea that we should defer to Israel’s policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians as being made by more informed or invested constituencies is nonsense. Their policies are motivated by pure self-interest and are only constrained by American disapproval (and minimally so, at that).

              It’s like saying that the rest of the world couldn’t really understand what the Afrikaners were dealing with.

      4. “Jewish Democrats” are Jewish like I’m Irish: I bake soda bread once in a while, and enjoy an occasional corned beef and cabbage, and that’s about it for being Irish.

        If you win, it will doubtless come as a terrible shock to you when being anti-Zionist doesn’t spare you from the pogroms. IOW, yes, you’re idiots.

        1. I strongly doubt that you are right, Mr. Bellmore, in contending that all Jews are half-educated, bigoted slack-jaws.

          You need to get out of the can’t-keep-up backwaters more often.

        2. Wow. I find the notion that you believe can police who the real Jews are incredibly offensive. Like shockingly so. Have you ever discussed matters of faith with Jewish Democrats? Attended services with them? Do you dismiss them when they keep kosher? Do you discount antisemitism directed at them because they are Democrats? Why do you get to decide?

          Professor Bernstein, are you going to call this offensiveness out?

          1. I’m not policing them, I’m just noticing that, for most of them, it’s got as much significance as my being “Irish”; It’s an ethnicity, not a religion. This is hardly a novel observation, nor much disputed.

            1. Where did you get that information? How do you know it is undisputed. Moreover, you’re not only policing their faith, you’re also policing their ethnic identity, by comparing them to your own conception of your own Irish identity. You have zero idea what it means to be a Jew. I don’t either, because I’m not Jewish. What I do know that is that its absolutely offensive to say that you don’t think some Jews are really Jewish.

              Democratic Jews don’t fit your conception of Jews. You’re holding them to the stereotypes that exist in your mind. That is offensive. You could really use some self-reflection.

              1. I’m curious what you mean by “policing”. I’m only reporting my own observations, not ordering anybody around.

                1. I suppose policing is not exact. The better description is ill-informed and offensive judgment. It’s also telling that you focused on the word choice rather than the substance of the critique: your belief that you know who the real Jews are based on their political beliefs is shockingly offensive and gross.

        3. You don’t know any Jews apparently. Or at least never go to synagogue. Or been at a Seder.

          If you had, you would have been aware that most of the people there are Democrats.

        4. First, I’m not anti-Zionist at all. One of my concerns with Israeli policy is that I don’t see it has having a long term future.

          Second, you have no business whatsoever commenting on who is a real Jew and who isn’t. You need to just STFU about that. You also need to shut up about pogroms. Trust me, I know way more than you do about violent antisemitism.

          I don’t know what it is you think I might win, but I will tell you that I very much doubt that electing a Democrat this fall will result in left-wing pogroms. Right-wing violence I’m not so confident about.

          1. “I don’t see it having a long term future”….

            Care to elaborate on that?

            1. What I mean is that I don’t see that current policy leads somewhere sensible. I much favor a two-state arrangement, more or less as described in the Democratic platform I quoted elsewhere.

              That includes a viable Palestinian state. It also, by the way, should not include stripping Israeli Arabs of citizenship.

              I don’t see a sensible alternative, and I don’t see how Netanyahu plans to get from here to there.

              1. The peace plan proposed by Trump for a 2 state solution is quite viable.

                I admit, I had not heard of any “stripping arab israelis of their citizenship” involved. Looking into this further…

                What you’re talking about is a land transfer from Israel, to Palestine, with the agreement of all parties. You’re arguing that it should be illegal for Israel to transfer land to Palestine, as part of a 2-state solution?

        5. Brett….Stop digging, the hole is deep enough.

          That was advice my mother gave to me. It was sound and sage advice.

          The message I think you are trying to send is not the message that is being received.

      5. I’ll go that far. Yeah, Jewish Democrats are useful idiots. Almost every anti-Semitic conspiracy is centered around leftist Jews. The only one that you can really attribute to the right is America fighting wars for Israel’s benefit, but Republicans tend to be more hawkish.

        1. I hear that one all the time, the “fighting wars for Israel’s benefit” criticism, and I can’t think of a war we actually fought for Israel’s benefit. Gulf War I maybe?

          1. “Gulf War I maybe?”

            Huh? Iraq attacked a big oil producer. Saudi Arabia was obviously the next target.

            We fought it to stop Iraq from dominating Mideast oil supplies, back before the fracking revolution which makes that less important.

            1. Yea, I know, that’s what I mean, we fight more for oil, and by extension the Saudis, than Israel, by my estimation. I know Saddam threatened Israel at one point, and they blew up his super cannon and nuclear capability, but that was all on them.

              I’m hoping for a serious answer, hell, even for a shitty answer from Rev.

          2. It requires a lot of jumping through hoops, but the basic gist is that we destabilized Iraq to embolden Iran so that Israel has the pretense for war. They think there’s some sort of plan for Greater Israel that basically has the borders of ancient Israel plus Mesopotamia. Of course it’s an absurd notion considering Israel continues to cede territory back and once held the entire Sinai.

            1. I’m no theologian, but I would say that Jewish religion at most would call for the original borders from a few thousand years ago in ancient Canaan before they were conquered by the Babylonians. The borders of that land are set in the Old Testament and God is supposed to have said to let the peoples beyond those alone. That would be the land the hold today, and it would stretch as most a bit into Syria or into Jordan and into the Sinai, which you point out they gave up. I don’t think Israel has the capacity to conquer and hold anything else anyway.

              1. You are mistakenly conflating the Jewish religion with the modern country of Israel. They are very much not the same. AIPAC essentially does the same thing, and it is why many Jews in this country do not like or support AIPAC. It has much less to do with “left and right,” or support for the Republican Party, or all the other conservative narrative-fitting scenarios being trotted out.

                1. “You are mistakenly conflating the Jewish religion with the modern country of Israel. They are very much not the same. AIPAC essentially does the same thing.” That is a completely ridiculous comment.

                  1. Maybe so, but I made it with conviction and assurance, and that makes it true. At least I think that’s how the internet works.

                2. You might find that the Jewish religion is what makes Jews Jews and thus Israel Israel, and that religion is why, for example they got a homeland where they did and don’t want Jerusalem divided. The point is, the religions informs at a fundamental level, policy decisions.

                  1. The point is, the religions informs at a fundamental level, policy decisions.

                    Some of us in the U.S. think it is okay to oppose that on principle. I don’t think it is right to call us antisemitic for thinking that. I take that a step farther, and suggest it strains the Israel–American relationship to make such a charge.

                3. And now for the fun part: it depends on what your definition of “Jewish” is. Some Reform and Reconstructionist Jews might agree with you, but everyone else won’t. In the more extreme Orthodox sects, some of them will oppose the modern state of Israel due to the Messiah not having come yet, but even they won’t agree with you that you can separate Israel and Judaism.

                  Would you suggest that you can separate Mecca from Islam? Or the Vatican from Catholicism?

                  1. I would suggest that you can separate Islam from the government of Saudi Arabia. And Kalak, I’m not suggesting that Israel isn’t inherently Jewish, or that the religion doesn’t inform their policy decisions. I’m suggesting that most American Jews don’t see their “Jewishness” tied up with the modern state of Israel.

                    1. I’m suggesting that most American Jews don’t see their “Jewishness” tied up with the modern state of Israel.

                      And this is a tragedy. Israel is our haven, as well as our heritage.

                    2. What kind of dual loyalty Bs are you pushing here?

        2. So you’re blaming the antisemitism on the politics of Jewish people and not, you know, the antisemites?

          1. No, just pointing out that leftist Jews are the ones playing into those antisemitic arguments. They should be more conscious of our history and address those arguments so they can distance their ideology from their faith.

            1. That’s ‘if you didn’t want to be raped you shouldn’t have worn that skirt’ level victim-blaming.

              1. No kidding. Sheesh.

        3. Almost every anti-Semitic conspiracy is centered around leftist Jews. The only one that you can really attribute to the right is America fighting wars for Israel’s benefit, but Republicans tend to be more hawkish.

          I don’t understand your first sentence. But there’s plenty of right-wing antisemitic conspiracy theorists. Just look for the word “Soros.”

          Or take a look at TruNews, which was mentioned earlier, or the fine Charlottesville thugs, or whatever.

          1. I think he means that most antisemitic theories are about left-wing Jews. Which places blame on the politics of the target rather than the antisemitic theorizing of the promoter.

          2. I already know where this is going, but I don’t agree and I wouldn’t call any of those conspiracy theorists right-wing. Those people are predominantly white nationalists and neo-Nazis and their primary motivation is preservation of whiteness and opposition to Judaism respectively. Wherever that places them, there is no commitment to “right” or “left.”

            Also, disdain of Soros exists independent of his Jewish background. He bankrolls a lot of left wing movements through the world; nobody likes an international influencer, see the US for further reinforcement.

            1. Wherever that places them, there is no commitment to “right” or “left.”

              Did you sleep through the beatification of Trump by white nationalists from 4chan to David Duke to The Daily Stormer? Trump cultists, including his eldest son, routinely retweet white nationalists. Show me the white nationalist retweets from left-wingers. Even those white nationalists who do disclaim identification with Trump typically do so because Trump isn’t right-wing enough in his opposition to left-wing ideals like immigration (see, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter).

              Unless you’re going to assert that the Trump GOP isn’t right-wing, you can’t seriously deny the right-wing affiliation of antisemitic conspiracy theorizing white nationalists.

            2. I wouldn’t call any of those conspiracy theorists right-wing.

              Who do they vote for?

      6. So all us Jewish Democrats – a sizable majority of American Jews – are idiots or antisemites?

        If the shoe fits…

        Leftards have ALWAYS hated Jews. Don’t believe me? Go look up what Marx had to say on the subject.

        -jcr

        1. If the left is bound by the feelings of Marx, does that mean that Protestants are all antisemites because of Luther?

          1. Sure. And the Catholics too, because there’s a ton of antisemitic history there.

            1. Before Vatican II it was rampant. Pope John XXIII showed the power of enlightened religious leadership to change the attitude of hundreds of millions we’d do well to remember.

              1. I should have made clearer that I was talking in historical terms.

                1. You were clear enough for me. I wasn’t contradicting you, just elaborating.

      7. bernard11….My Rabbi would be laughing to see me defending AIPAC, as I am not a huge fan. But my ire id directed at AIPAC for different reasons than you. I think they are too wishy-washy. But I get why they are that way. Let me just say this: AIPAC carefully cultivates relationships in Congress with all political parties, and with all the political viewpoints (uber-lib to arch-conservative) they possibly can. There is nothing wrong with that.

        Israeli’s will solve their own problems in their way.

        1. I didn’t say there was “anything wrong with that,” in some sense. That’s what lobbyists do. I said, or tried to say, that I don’t like them because I disagree with some of the Israeli policies they seem to defend, and because I believe that helping Republican politicians is in general not in the best interests of the US.

    3. “today’s increasingly anti-semitic Democratic party”

      You ought to check the recent polls of Democratic voters’ presidential preferences. Many show Bernie Sanders – who would be America’s first Jewish president – taking the lead.

      1. https://reason.com/2019/10/20/the-irony-of-antisemites-for-bernie/
        I don’t think the Democratic Party is becoming antisemitic, but it’s left fringe is and the Party itself isn’t doing much about it. And let’s see what happens on the far left if Bloomberg starts to look viable.

        1. The linked article does not support the claim that the “left fringe” of the Democratic party is becoming antisemitic. At best, it offers some musings and innuendo about the motives of a handful of Sanders supporters. This is incredibly weak evidence of widespread antisemitism on the left, particularly in the face of the left’s near-unanimous support of a Jew for president. Certainly most of these people are critical of the current Israeli government’s policies (and America’s support of the same), and some express that criticism with strident language. But surely that alone cannot be enough to support a charge of anti-Jewish bigotry.

          1. As the linked article explained, unless one is using a Nazi standard for antisemitism, there is nothing contradictory about being antisemitic and preferring a Jewish candidate for president over his rivals, if you think that Jewish candidate will be more harmful to Jews than his opponents.

        2. I don’t think the Democratic Party is becoming antisemitic,

          I’d say we’re a couple years away from them actually admitting it, but the fact that they haven’t bounced Omar and Talib out of the party for their frequent and blatant displays of Judenhass tells me that any Jew who supports Democrats today is basically suicidal.

          -jcr

          1. Any Jew who supports Democrats today is basically suicidal.

            Every Jew who supports Republicans today is either a bigot or a deplorable appeaser of multifaceted bigotry.

            Where is the hope for any of us, John C. Randolph?

    4. Y’all are going to have a real shit-fit when you go back and read how Jews voted in 2016 and 2018.

  3. In the long run, we will just see more of what we are seeing.

    The true danger lies not with the extremists and anti-Semites on either the left or the right.

    It is with those who have thoughtlessly and carelessly turned support for Israel from an issue that has always attracted bipartisan support into one that, increasingly, is used to drive partisan rancor.

    The very few votes and the little transactional benefit gained in the short run will be dwarfed by the long-term loss of credible and consistent support that does not waver with the vagaries of personal whim and party.

    Maybe it’s worth it; if the trade isn’t, I wouldn’t want to be one of the proponents of the divide, or the well-meaning lackeys who formented it.

    1. Israelis may have a chance to preserve American support by turning away from right-wing belligerence (and making that right-wing belligerence a left-right divider in American politics).

      Or it may be too late. Most Americans object to right-wing belligerence at home; why would they wish to subsidize it, at great and varied cost, anywhere else?

      Either way, it’s Israelis’ choice . . . and perhaps their funeral.

    2. Um, the Democrats have ALWAYS used Jewish support as a cudgel to bash Republicans — and do quite the same with the black vote. Yet, it only becomes an issue when the GOP starts getting a little bit more Jewish support.

      It’s almost like we’re not really supporters of Jews (or blacks) — just of the power their votes afford.

  4. Tell us David.

    What did you think about Trump including TruNews in the press delegation for Davos, and having other contacts with them? Endorsing slander?

    And there are other incidents as well.

    We hear no complaints from you.

    1. I actually mentioned, linked to, and criticized the TruNews thing in my last post on antisemitism, but thanks for playing.

      1. That is to your credit, Prof. Bernstein, but cuddle with Pres. Trump and you will get burned. If not by Pres. Trump, by America’s betters. Those tiny clinger fingers will not hold the levers of American executive authority forever.

      2. OK. My mistake. I found it, buried near the bottom.

        Still, your criticism was pretty mild compared to this attack on Warren, more of a “He really shouldn’t have done that,” shrug than any claim that it supported an explicitly antisemitic organization.

        1. If the ADL had immediately attacked Warren for this the way it attacked Trump for TruNews, https://twitter.com/JGreenblattADL/status/1220093104742641669, I wouldn’t feel particularly compelled to blog in detail about it.

          1. Perhaps the reason is that while TruNews is clearly anti-semitic, the question and Sen. Warren’s answer were not.

          2. Whatever you think of Warren’s behavior here it is not remotely comparable to the President issuing press credentials to a blatantly antisemitic organization.

            And don’t forget they were given an interview with Jr. as well.

            The woman, an individual audience member, not a right-wing press outfit, unexpectedly said something Warren might have disagreed with. She didn’t, possibly because she agreed with it, or possibly because she didn’t want to create a ruckus about it. Trump&Co had the opportunity, even the responsibility, to check out TruNews. Maybe they were negligent, or not.

            I really think you are stretching very far to compare the two situations.

        2. “Still, your criticism was pretty mild compared to this attack on Warren, more of a “He really shouldn’t have done that,” shrug than any claim that it supported an explicitly antisemitic organization.”

          You can’t even bring yourself to criticize Warren at all.

        3. That’s the Bernstein M.O. – soft-pedal actual anti-Jewish bigotry on the right, while conflating criticism of Israeli policy with anti-Semitism on the left.

          1. The questioner didn’t say a word about Israeli policy. It’s entirely typical of apologists for leftist antisemitism to suggest that someone making an antisemitic remark was “just criticizing Israeli policy” even when Israeli policy (and, as iin this case, Israel itself) isn’t mentioned at all.

            1. Prof, how do you feel about the idea often promulgated, that as an ethnostate, criticism of Israel (unless one specifically is speaking about Jews outside of Israel) is by definition antisemitism?

              Think of it this way by comparison, if someone, say Trump, points out that sub-saharan is full of shithole countries, that is considered racist because those countries are majority black.

              The same people who would pounce on Trump for racism in the above example, also no problem saying “oh no, I only speaking about the bad Israeli government policy, not the Jews as a people”.

              Don’t take this as a trick question, I an legit curious, because I generally support Israel in most things, except when they spy on the U.S., and things like that.

              1. Nothing wrong with criticism of Israel, like any other country. There is something wrong when Israel is singled out. Take “ethno-state.” Many U.S. allies are ethno-states, including democracies. Just offhand. Turkey (well, used to be a democracy). Greece. Poland. Japan. There are some popular folks on social media I’m familiar with who are constantly fulminating about Israel for being an “ethno-state,” but never say a word about the others. Nor does it seem to bother them that the Palestinians, whom they champion, also want to create an ethno-state, just one much less liberal than Israel. It’s hard to not see some antisemitism there.

                1. Thank you for answering! I think I agree then, criticism of Israel is not by definition antisemitism, just like criticizing Zimbabwe isn’t racist. But there is a definite over-use of that rhetoric.

                  I would take it one step farther than you, though, progressives don’t just want an ethnostate for Palestinians, the progressives want to end the ethno-state of Israel by overwhelming them demograpically via the Right of Return. The term “ethno-state” is loaded I admit, but it fits Israel. Poland, Hungary, Japan, Greece; these are all ethno-states progressives want to fill them up with immigrants/refugees. England and France *used* to be ethnostates, until, well, they got a large influx (the Labor Party admits it) from the 3rd world.

                  1. Always safe to speculate about what your political opposition secretly wants based on the policies they support that you disagree with.

                    No room for a self-validating bias cycle there.

                    I don’t agree with the pro-Palestinian folks, but their thinking something is unjust doesn’t mean they are into whatever weird anti enthno-state conspiracy you’re tracking.

                    1. You’re a hoot.

                      I presume, since you’re going on about stuff without being specific, you’re trying to make a point about immigration. It’s no secret.
                      Here is an article where Labor admits to bringing in immigrants to make England multicultural…thus eliminating England as an ethnostate.

                      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6418456/Labour-wanted-mass-immigration-to-make-UK-more-multicultural-says-former-adviser.html

                      And in another example, Merkel in Germany made the policy choice to bring in the mass of refugees, only to later admit multiculturalism is a failure.

                      Please respond with evidence showing that mass immigration to the West does not change the demographic make-up of countries, and that it was/is done primarily by progressives. (Hint: At most, you can perhaps show that the corporate right wanted the cheap labor, and worked in conjunction)

                    2. I’m commenting on your comment baselessly speculating about what liberals must actually want.
                      Nothing about immigration, just your reality being a creature born of your imagination about what others are thinking.

                    3. Nice way to pettifog, not answer the question, and to ignore the supplied evidence.

                      Moreover, it’s a well known fact that liberals want more demographic change to America and Europe. How have you missed this story to involve posters on this very blog calling for open borders?

                    4. Prof. Somins’ reasons for open borders are not demographic change.

                      I’ve seen you, and Brett, and some pretty blatantly white supremacists commenters speculating about a secret plan to get illegals to vote or some such paranoid rot.

                      But well known amongst your set is not the same as proving it.

                    5. Somin’s call for open borders, by default because only a small percent of the world is white, would lead to massive demographic change. The reasons are immaterial if I want to show that it’s part of an agenda, now don’t I. Never mind the evidence I provided that you ignore, such as Merkel in Germany doing it on purpose and admitting it was a failure, and the Labor party in the UK opening up the immigration spigot to *deliberately* make for a multicultural society.

                      If you don’t believe that democrats don’t want, for a specific example, hispanic immigration into the US because hispanics vote for overwhelming for their party, then ask yourself this hypothetical. What if hispanics voted GOP? What would the stance of the Democrat Party be then?

                      And please, don’t sink so low as to call me a white supremacist. Your’e just pointing a finger and shouting “racist” rather than making an argument. I’m against multiculturalism, not any race. A nation can have many races and still function perfectly well, but it can’t function well with multiple cultures.

                    6. Arguing inevitable result means that’s your agenda is a fallacy, and I also take issue with your inevitable result argument. I also don’t think tracking pure ethnicities is a healthy thing to be paying attention to.

                      Merkel’s agenda was explicitly not the BS you made up, so dunno why you’re citing that. Unless your thesis has drifted again.

                  2. progressives don’t just want an ethnostate for Palestinians, the progressives want to end the ethno-state of Israel by overwhelming them demograpically via the Right of Return.

                    That’s a wild overgeneralization. I’d like to see a two-state solution, with both groups having viable, manageable borders. What do you think is better? Keeping the Palestinians in a permanent sort of limbo, ruled by Israel? Combining everything into one state?

                    I suspect that’s a popular view. I’m sure you can quote some people who support what you describe. That doesn’t make it the official “progressive” position.

                    Here is what the 2016 Democratic Party Platform says:

                    A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism. That is why we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself, including by retaining its qualitative military edge, and oppose any effort to delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.

                    We will continue to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity. While Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations, it should remain the capital of Israel, an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths. Israelis deserve security, recognition, and a normal life free from terror and incitement. Palestinians should be free to govern themselves in their own viable state, in peace and dignity..

                    1. There are progressives and then there are progressives. The questioner was from IfNotNow, which purports to be “anti-occupation” but in practice supports Palestinian terrorism and wants Israel replaced, with exactly what isn’t clear.

                    2. You mean there are some fringe characters on the left. OK. But that’s not the implication of the comment by m_k that I quoted.

                      That comment implies that what he describes is a popular, widely accepted position among liberals, or progressives. It’s not.

                    3. Yasser Arafat once referred to the womb of the Palestinian woman as his “strongest weapon.”

                    4. You’re adopting some quote by Arafat as the liberal motivation worldwide, m_k?

                      You can oppose an ideology without strawmaning them into a secret worldwide plan by selected quotes and confirmation bias.

                    5. Taking things at the end of a comment thread, after we get to particulars, and out of context, in order to refer them to comments said in another comment thread, is disingenuous, and you really should know better.

                      At the point I mention Arafat, in this comment thread we are talking about a Palestinian desire for their own ethnostate. As evidence, I used a quote from the leader of the PLO for untold decades as evidence that they wanted to demographically overwhelm ethnic Jews.

                      Don’t use that out of context as me saying that leftists (which Arafat wasn’t) as evidence of a global conspiracy.

                    6. p.s. – If you’re goal is to troll me here, you’ve succeeded beyond your wildest expectations. That, or you just are that silly you don’t know what you’re doing.

                    7. You keep changing your thesis here. The issue I have is with your OP that posits a liberal agenda to dilute the ethnic populations of countries across the world, including Israel, through encouraging immigration and supporting the Palestinian cause.

                      That’s some bad craziness, and some part of you may know that, being so slippery about what you think is being argued.

                    8. Do try to keep up. This thread here is about Palestine, the one up above is about demographic change and multiculturalism in general.

                      Your bigger problem is that you’re strawmanning like nobody’s business. So when you state what you think my arguments are, rather than what I’m actually saying, it’s your own fault for you thinking I’m being inconsistent…because you’re inconsistently strawmanning me.

                    9. bernard11’s 1:26 comment makes it pretty clear he’s not just speaking about the Palestinian part of your 11:35 am comment.

                      Prof. Bernstein’s 1:18pm comment isn’t speaking specifically about that either.

                      Looks like it’s only you.

                    10. That’s a wild overgeneralization. I’d like to see a two-state solution, with both groups having viable, manageable borders. What do you think is better? Keeping the Palestinians in a permanent sort of limbo, ruled by Israel? Combining everything into one state?

                      Answer: Incentivized, voluntary emigration where Israel pays palestinians to emigrate to other countries in the ME or elsewhere. I would envision such a plan running at least a decade, with a minimum of 15B annual investment (by Israel). Most important, there would be one state: Israel. Palestinians who choose to stay do so under Israeli sovereignty, under Israeli law. And they become citizens of Israel after a provisional period.

                    11. “Answer: Incentivized, voluntary emigration where Israel pays palestinians to emigrate to other countries in the ME or elsewhere.”

                      That’s no answer.

                    12. How so. The question was there something better. I believe there is. A series of voluntary transactions to pay palestinians to leave Israel and relocate elsewhere to build rewarding lives. Palestinians are roughly 20%-25% of the population. You really don’t need (or want) all of them to leave. Those who remain, would live under Israeli law, as Israeli citizens. That is a much better life than they live currently under palestinian autonomy.

                      My proposal is infinitely more humane to both sides.

            2. She was criticizing AIPAC, not Jews in general. It is you who are trying to conflate the two.

              1. I’m sure you’d feel exactly the same way if someone told lies about the NAACP, asked Trump to boycott them, and he nodded his head and then said “yeah.” It’s not that all Jews support AIPAC or certainly it’s entire agenda (any more than all blacks support affirmative action or other policies that the NAACP supports) but that AIPAC is, for a small community, a mass membership organization that represents broad communal consensus.

                1. (And I should note that most of AIPAC’s members and donors are Democrats, so Warren, unlike Trump in the analogous scenario, is attacking mostly members of her own party).

          2. To be fair, Prof. Bernstein says that he thinks right-wing antisemitism is spotlighted by the media, but left-wing is not. That’s why he spotlights the latter more than the former.

            Agree or disagree, it’s a consistent position.

            1. “That’s why he spotlights the latter more than the former.”

              That is not why.

              It’s a clinger thing. similar to the Volokh Conspiracy’s selective outrage concerning offenses against free expression or its viewpoint-based censorship.

              1. I disagree with making procedures based on balancing your perceptions of the flawed procedures of others, but I see no reason to think Prof. Bernstein lying about his motives.

                1. I wouldn’t say he is lying. He just figures that attacking non-conservatives while supporting conservatives (or ignoring conservatives’ similar conduct) is the righteous course.

  5. Historically, Zionism and antisemitism went hand in hand. If you don’t want Jews around the natural idea is to send them elsewhere. Chesterton was an example. He wanted the Jews to go to Palestine because he wanted them out of England. Stalin was another. Instead of waiting for an Israel to be created, he established a “Jewish district” where Jews could worship freely and celebrate their culture. His real motivation was laughingly obvious if you look at a map and see where he put it.

    I wonder if that’s still true?

    1. How is Birobidzhan an example of Zionism? It was explicitly meant as an alternative to Zionism. It’s also not true that historically Zionism and antisemitism went hand in hand. Almost everyone Gentile back in the day had some anti-Jewish prejudice, Zionist or non-Zionist. But if you look at the Gentiles who were sympathetic to Zionism, they tended to be relatively sympathetic to Jews more generally. For example, I’ll see your Chesterton and raise you George Eliot. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Deronda

      1. Your point about alternatives to Zionism is a good one.

        Is there a term for the desire for a Jewish national state just anywhere rather than in the historical Land of Israel?

        1. Madagascar Plan?

      2. I don’t doubt that, and you were right and I was wrong about Stalin’s motivation as to Birobidzhan. He didn’t want capitalists establishing a homeland in Palestine so he wanted to provide a Communist alternative, not an infeasible idea given the large number of Jews in Russia and also the fact that most Jews at the time were sympathetic to Communism. Transplanted to the world of 2020, though, my question is: Are some people who want to provide a Jewish homeland, at heart, motivated by antisemitism?

    2. “Historically, Zionism and antisemitism went hand in hand.”

      The dumbest comment on this post. [I include Kirkland’s comments.]

  6. Conservatives often criticize the left for labeling policies with which it disagrees as racist. This post strikes me as much the same, from the other direction. I’m sure there are anti-semites within any group of any political persuasion.

    You can disagree with what Sen. Warren’s questioner is implying, but it is not anti-Semitic, in my view. If the things the questioner implied were wrong, it would be more constructive to explain why, rather than just call her tendentious and label her an anti-Semite.

    1. The essence of antisemitism is blaming a Jewish conspiracy for whatever you happen to find extremely distasteful, be it “globalism” or “socialism” on the right, or “white supremacy” and “bigotry” on the right. So while I did not in fact say that the speaker was an antisemitic, I will defend the proposition that she is spreading implicitly antisemitic propaganda. The fact that she considers herself one of the good Jews who is opposing AIPAC’s purported white supremacism doesn’t change that.

      1. “. . . I will defend the proposition that she is spreading implicitly antisemitic propaganda.”

        That’s quite a jump back from, “Elizabeth Warren Slanders AIPAC,” dontcha think?

        I mean since you’re a law professor. . . .

        1. She being the questioner, not Warren. Warren is just politely nodding along, in her usual pandering way, when she should be objecting to the premise.

          1. Failing to object to the premise is equivalent to slander even in the colloquial sense?

            1. Did you not read the original post? I think it’s more an issue of double standards myself, and DB is blowing it a bit out of proportion.

              That said, if someone were to set up a false choice like the questioner did, in front of a crowd, you have to question the premise because that’s how you respond to a false choice.

              If I was asked whether I would attend an gun show or not, because they are full of Nazis and racists and clingers, I wouldn’t say “yes” because that would accede to the premise that people who go to gun shows are Nazis, racists, and clingers, when they are just clingers.

              1. But does that mean you “slandered gun shows and by extension American gun owners?”

                I’m still confused as to how Warren’s act of omission is “slanderous” even if it is wrong or inappropriate. I suppose maybe the agreement to “boycott” is an endorsement of the sentiment…but the headline doesn’t seem to back the actual charge.

                The byline “and by extension American Jews” is also pretty fair out there. Ironically, it could itself be seen as “slanderous” (in the colloquial sense of course).

                1. But does that mean you “slandered gun shows and by extension American gun owners?”

                  Sorta. Which is why I think it’s a bit blown out of proportion. And why DB had to make the comparison to a hypothetical Trump in the OP nodding in agreement to help us reframe it. If Trump were to do the same, Alternet or MSNBC would pounce on it like nobody’s business.

                  1. ” If Trump were to do the same, Alternet or MSNBC would pounce on it like nobody’s business.”

                    So, if someone else would do something stupid, that means you have to do something at least as stupid?

            2. Nodding is generally seen as agreement.

              1. Fair enough. But isn’t your byline a huge reach? I mean saying Elizabeth Warren slanders American Jews is quite the charge.

                I mean it’s not like she say, said Democratic Jews aren’t real Jews, like a certain commenter did, which you notably declined to call out despite engaging with many other comments here.

              2. “Nodding is generally seen as agreement.”

                Yeah, it usually is. It means agreement with SOMETHING. But you’ve chosen to infer that it mean agreement with EVERYTHING. This quality of logical reasoning is why you’re failing to convince people that your analysis is correct.

      2. “The essence of antisemitism is blaming a Jewish conspiracy for whatever you happen to find extremely distasteful, be it “globalism” or “socialism” on the right, or “white supremacy” and “bigotry” on the right.”

        Yes, I agree with that. But the questioner wasn’t accusing some vague “Jewish conspiracy” of doing that, she was accusing AIPAC. AIPAC is a real, verifiable organization that actually does things, and those things can be challenged without it automatically being anti-Semitic. And one could even accuse AIPAC’s actions of being “beyond the pale” without it implying the Jewish mainstream, whatever that means, is beyond the pale.

        1. Start by buying into the thesis. Nodding is equivalent to murder. Once you buy into THAT, the rest just falls into place.

          1. Your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired. To spell it out, saying that person A’s ideology is analogous to Person B’s ideology is not the same as saying Person A is in every way the same as person B.

            1. Your writing clarity leaves something to be desired, if you can’t write a sentence that says what you mean.

              1. Perhaps it’s your reading comprehension.

                1. But apparently not.

  7. The problem with Bernstein’s opening hypothetical is that it isn’t very hypothetical…

  8. For a post that announces in the headline that a Senator committed the tort of slander against an institution, and by extension an entire sub-population, there is surprisingly little legal analysis supporting the argument.

    Your torts class must be an interesting experience.

    1. Sladner. Verb. “make false and damaging statements about.” This isn’t Torts class.

      1. So what would you call the statement “Warren slanders American Jews?”

        1. Not “Jews.” “Elizabeth Warren Slanders AIPAC
          And by extension, the American Jewish community”

          By nodding and thus affirmatively agree with the speaker, and then saying “yeah” to the speaker’s question at the end, she adopted the speaker’s position, which was that a leading American Jewish organization widely supported by the Jewish community promotes bigotry in alliance with white supremacists et al.

          1. That is an incredible leap of logic. And again, it is notable that you never bothered to respond to claims up-thread that Jewish Democrats (who happen to comprise a significant majority of the American Jewish community) are both idiots and not really Jewish, because the poster happens to agree with you. I think that comment is more slanderous of the “American Jewish Community” than Elizabeth Warren’s nodding.

            1. When an anonymous blog commenter has the same sort of power as a leading U.S. presidential candidate and Senator, I will feel obliged to take their remarks equally seriously.

              1. He actually wasn’t anonymous, as he uses his name, and you’ve spent much time responding to many comments here, including this one. That you choose not to respond to such a comment while picking fights with other people here criticizing the broad scope of your post says a lot about your character.

                1. Anonymous comment troll insults me. Waah.

                  1. I may be anonymous here, but I’m not a troll. I am criticizing you in good faith for the way you interact in these comments. If you feel insulted, that’s on you.

                  2. “Anonymous comment troll insults me. Waah.”

                    That’s about as meaningful as “unknown blog troll insults Senator. Waah”

                    And worth about as much attention.

                2. Pay it as much attention as it deserves.

          2. Professor….I viewed the clip. I think I understand your perspective on this. The questioner (obviously a young female college student) posed a question with some outrageous assumptions. It was a ‘when did you stop beating your spouse’ kind of question. The question was pretty far out of line.

            You believe that Senator Warren should have either interrupted the questioner to call out the assumptions, or done so before she answered the question – will you boycott the AIPAC policy conference – with “yes”. I feel she should have said something.

            That said, we don’t know what was going through the Senator’s mind. She might not have caught the preamble (all the BS assumptions/premises re: AIPAC) before the actual question itself. Or maybe she figured it was best to treat the odious question preamble like a wet fart…look the other way, answer the question uber-fast [yes, meaning boycott the conference], and quickly move to another spot.

      2. Okay. So your Twitter link for the video is captioned: “Tonight, Elizabeth Warren nodded along and smiled as a questioner slandered AIPAC as “an unholy alliance” of “Islamophobes,” “anti-semites, and white nationalists” that perpetuates “bigotry””

        Now, just so I understand your reasoning, the girl makes that claim about AIPAC and then asks Warren if she will join in boycotting its conference next year. Warren replies “yeah” (then the clip ends). From the girl’s statement, to her question about boycotting the conference, to Warren’s response of “yeah” (to the boycott question), you assert that Warren has made a false and damaging statement about AIPAC. Furthermore, because AIPAC is a Jewish organization, Warren has made a false and damaging statement about the Jewish community.

        I only watched that clip once, but the girl’s statement strikes me more as opinion (and definitely hyperbole) rather than a factual claim subject to being falsified. Granted, I don’t really know what AIPAC is to begin with, so maybe it has notarized documents asserting that it is in fact a holy alliance.

        But, at least the Tweeter directs his hyperbolical claim of slander at the person who is actually making a statement – the girl in the audience speaking. The only word that Warren says in that clip is “yeah” when asked if she would boycott AIPAC’s conference next year. As your framing is that Warren is the committing slander, are you saying that she is actually not going to boycott next year’s conference, thus making her statement of “yeah” to the question false? And, not only is she not actually going to boycott the conference, but by saying she is going to boycott it and then not boycotting it, she has damaged AIPAC (or with your logic, the Jewish community)?

        Wait, by commenting on this post am I also slandering the Jewish community? Uh oh…..

  9. ” to suggest, as the questioner did, and as Warren nodded along with, that a mainstream Jewish organization is not just wrong on its policies beyond the pale of respectability because it is purportedly promoting ‘bigotry’ and allying with white nationalists is basically the leftist equivalent of right-wing nuts like the Pittsburgh murders who believe that Jewish organization are responsible for undermining white America.”

    Nodding is equivalent to murder. Can’t see why this diatribe won’t catch on.

    1. Nodding is generally a sign of assent to whatever the speaker is saying. Especially when the listener then has an opportunity to disagree or suggest caveats, and then doesn’t.

      1. This is the sort of reasoning that gets criminal convictions reversed even in Texas. Conclusions derived from an alleged nonverbal nodding of the head? The only thing Warren actually said was one word in response to a question as to whether she would attend AIPAC. To this, Bernstein applies his presumption that the only explanation for non-attendance at AIPAC is “anti-Semitic.” Is everyone who doesn’t attend anti-Semitic? How can anyone so smart and well educated reason this badly?

        1. ” How can anyone so smart and well educated reason this badly?”

          That’s what it takes to arrive at the outcome he prefers.

        2. Of course nodding the head can be an affirmative statement. Just for example Pierre-Charles v. State, (Fla. 2d DCA 4/13/11)

          The trial court erred by allowing the State, over the defendant’s hearsay objection, to elicit from the witness that he nodded his head up and down when his father asked him whether his brother committed the murders in question. … “In this case, [the witness’s] head nod was an out-of-court statement introduced by the State as an affirmative response to his father’s question, ‘Is it [your brother]?’ [The witness’s] head nod constitutes hearsay in the form of a non-verbal assertion, and therefore, the trial court erred in admitting the statement.”

          1. The reason hearsay is usually not admissible as evidence is that there is a likelihood of errors creeping in, of misunderstanding, of implication and inferral being remembered instead of actual meaning.
            Such as in this case.

  10. This is getting very silly.

  11. Big ol’ question to the forum, regarding Israel and U.S. policy.

    Let’s hypothesize for a bit. Let’s say Iran had the capability, and right now decided to nuke Tel Aviv, in order to quell unrest at home.

    Should the US

    A. Invade Iran and remove its nuclear weapons capability by force? Or…
    B. Put heavy economic sanctions in place instead.

    1. First off, the middle east is not the primary responsibility of the US.
      Secondly, the UN security council should (and would) authorize a joint coalition to invade.

      1. Would they? You don’t think one of the other powers might veto that?

        What if they (say Russia) did Veto it?

        1. Vetoing the resolution would be unconscionable, but in that event, the US and many others would continue and declare war on Iran.

    2. Your hypothetical is ambiguous. Has Iran already nuked Tel Aviv, or do we just believe it intends to? If the latter, why do we believe it? Has Iran publicly announced that intention, in which case what exactly did it say? If no such announcement, what exactly do we think we know, and how exactly do we think we know it?

      1. It has nuked it.

    3. How about….

      C. Let’s the Israeli’s deal with Iran in your hypothetical.

      Iran as we know it, would cease to exist if they ever used a nuclear weapon to attack Israel.

      1. So…don’t support Israel?

        Iran might lose a city or two.

        1. No Armchair, I am saying that it is not our fight. The hypothetical you posit was Iran attacking Israel with a nuclear weapon, not the US. I am 100% certain Israel would retaliate in kind. I’d keep the US out of that fight, and offer to mediate. But let ’em duke it out. Iran loses that conflict, because their Navy is shit and cannot stop Israeli subs.

          Would the US implement economic sanctions? We probably would. I would imagine others would as well. But direct involvement? Nope. Not unless Israel’s very existence was threatened. Then there is probably a different set of rules that apply.

          1. “This is not our fight” A common viewpoint.

            Still…a first-use of nuclear weapons against a western democracy? That is a…sizable…step. And, you may consider, the nuclear destruction of Tel Aviv would likely imperil the very existence of Israel.

            There are some people who would firmly support Israel, and offer all sorts of aid, and military options, especially in the wake of such naked aggression and the massive civilian death toll.

            And there are others who would say “not our fight” and offer words of support, but minimal real support. And if Israel was wiped off the map, the Jewish population evicted and/or slaughtered, they would say “It’s a terrible tragedy”, and move on.

            1. Armchair…If there were a formal treaty, ratified by the Senate, between Israel and the USA, my response would be very different. Then we go to war. I think I was pretty clear that we go to war if Israel’s existence is at stake.

              Humanitarian aid is a totally different question.

              I took your question only to be confined to a military response or economic response, without considering all the ancillary questions that go along with your hypothetical.

              1. You were pretty clear. Except, the nuclear destruction of Tel Aviv would put Israel’s existence at stake, almost automatically. Israel simply isn’t that large a country.

                1. You are correct. Israel is about the size of New Jersey.

      2. “Iran as we know it, would cease to exist if they ever used a nuclear weapon to attack Israel.”

        Israel, too. The question is, does anyone else get sucked in?

        1. Hopefully not. Armchair’s example assumes a first use by Iran.

          1. There have been exactly 1 conflicts that involved a use of nuclear weapons against a military adversary. In that conflict, every nation in the world used all the nuclear weapons they had before the end of the war.

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