Antisemitism Continues its March Toward Acceptability on the American Far Left

At least as long the perpetrators can pretend it's really about Israel, as examples from Cornel West and the ACLU suggest.

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Cornel West, a celebrity academic, asked Harvard, where he had once been tenured before decamping to Princeton, to offer him a tenured position. Harvard declined, and instead offered the 67-year-old West a ten-year contract.

This may be an example of (rational but illegal) age discrimination, as Harvard may not want to tenure someone whose most productive years may be behind him. It may be a product of West having left Harvard last time under less-than-pleasant circumstances following a dispute with then-President Lawrence Summers. And it may be the result of the fact that West hasn't published academic scholarship in years, so tenuring him would make a sham of the process and lead to litigation when Harvard denies other people tenure for not meeting appropriate standards for scholarship. (It's one thing to keep a celebrity academic who no longer publishes academic scholarship in their field like Alan Dershowitz or Noam Chomsky on payroll; it's quite another to tenure them from the outside.)

What it does not seem to have anything to do with is Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, or any combination thereof.

Nevertheless, West tweeted, "Is Harvard a place for a free Black man like myself whose Christian faith & witness put equal value on Palestinian & Jewish babies- like all babies- & reject all occupations as immoral? After being tenured at Yale, Harvard, Princeton & Union Theological Seminary, the recent Harvard denial of a tenure process strikes me as a political decision I reject. Nothing stands in the way of my profound love for & solidarity with oppressed peoples wherever they are!!"

I don't see how to read this other than as a claim that a Zionist faction controlling Harvard is denying him tenure because as a Christian he supports Palestinian rights and opposes Israel's "occupation." And I don't see how that can be read as suggesting something other than Jews controlling Harvard are preventing his tenure–it's not like there is a big evangelical Christian pro-Israel faction in the Harvard administration, and it hardly seems incidental that Harvard's president, Lawrence Bacow, is Jewish–and because he's a good Christian, no less. The victim of perfidious Jews [update: though, in fairness, West may be among those extremely harsh critics of Israel who has grown so used to harsh criticisms of "Zionists" or "the Israel lobby" that he distinguishes in his mind from "Jews" that he may not realize the extent to which the average person wouldn't draw this tenuous distinction in these circumstances.]

Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live's weekend update anchor announced that Israel has vaccinated half of its population, "and I'm going to guess it's the Jewish half." This joke badly misfired. It may be an allusion, as one friend suggested, to people who are half-Jewish by descent joking about their "Jewish half." More likely, it's an oblique reference to the controversy over Israel vaccinating its own (Arab and Jewish) population, but not Arab residents of the West Bank and Gaza who are not Israeli citizens and who have their own Palestinian health authorities who are in charge of their medical care.

Beyond being ambiguous and not funny, though, the joke is problematic because to the average listener, it might suggest a classic antisemitic trope, that Jews "take care of their own" and don't care about the welfare of others. This goes back until at least the Black Plague, when Christians blamed Jews, who were for unknown reasons less susceptible to plague, for purportedly poisoning the Christians' wells.

Well, jokes are occasionally insensitive or prejudiced or misfire or get misinterpreted, so no biggie. But in response to the SNL joke, one Tweeter wrote, "Saturday Night Live just took a dig at Israeli apartheid."

Jamil Dakwar, who runs the ACLU's "humans rights program," responded, "Watch how Israel's apologists will now accuse SNL of anti-Semitism." I retorted, "Since the 'joke' is actually false, and Israel is in fact vaccinating the entire Israeli population, Arab and Jew alike, shouldn't the head of a 'human rights program' be on the 'I'm against antisemitic insinuations" side of this debate?'"

So we have Cornel West engaging in classic Jew-baiting, promoting his side of a contractual dispute by suggesting a Jewish plot against him, disguised as moral righteousness about Israel. And we have an ACLU "human rights" poobah dismissing, in advance, quite reasonable concerns about the antisemitic implications of a joke, because apparently he believes only "Israel apologists" oppose blood libels. (And please note that this is not your grandpa's liberal/civil libertarian ACLU, the organization has taken a hard turn to the far left.) I can see where this is going, and it's nowhere good.

NEXT: Happy 100th Birthday, John Rawls!

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  1. “I don’t see how to read this other than as a claim that a Zionist faction controlling Harvard is denying him tenure because as a Christian he supports Palestinian rights and opposes Israel’s “occupation.” ”

    Given that pro-Israel sentiment is very strong among many American groups you really can’t see any other way to read this?

    Also, did he tweet something about Jewish space lasers firing on the US, then get elected to Congress as a Democrat and have the Democratic Party refuse to back punishing him? Because when he does maybe I’d take your trumpet alarm about anti-Semitism marching on the American left more seriously and less as partisan, straining chutzpah.

    1. Well, I guess no one else has written about M T Greene, so if I don’t speak up, her antisemitic nuttiness won’t get any attention whatsoever, and meanwhile it erases whatever West and Dakwar said. Right.

      And, fwiw, the idea that Harvard is going to offer West a ten-year contract but not tenure because of his views on Israel is absurd, so absurd he can’t reasonably believe it. In some departments in which he could be tenured, his views would be a plus… And if Harvard was worried about having p.r. blowback from having him on the faculty due to his views on Israel, then it wouldn’t offer him an undoubtedly lucrative 10-year contract.

      1. Claims of M T Greene’s “antisemitic nuttiness” are wafer thin, David, and you know it.

        In fact, she’s never said anything about “the Jews.”

        She merely once referenced “Rothschild Inc,” which some have since interpreted, entirely without evidence, as a reference to Jewish people.

        It was, of course, nothing of the sort.

        1. If she’s too stupid to either recognize “the Rothchilds” as a stand in for “Jewish power,” or to at least look it up before she writes about it, she is too stupid to hold office. Plus, she’s a QAnon freak, which has a strong antisemitic component.

          1. There are plenty of people “too stupid” to hold office who, nonetheless, hold office. For example, both our current president and previous president.

            1. The last half dozen Presidents.

          2. Except that Rothschild, Inc. is an actual company that exists and does things, and it can’t be immune from criticism, allegations, and even insane accusations with no foundation, merely because the family that owns it has been the target of antisemites for about 200 years. It is still, like any company, capable of doing wrong, of being suspected of wrongdoing, and of being accused by insane people of ridiculous things for completely non-antisemitic reasons.

            The fact remains that she did not write “Jewish space lasers”. What she did write was even stupider than that, but it wasn’t that. “Jewish space lasers” was an interpretation put on her words by people whose basic assumption was that nobody could be that stupid, so there must be something sinister going on. Well, some people really are that stupid.

            1. The funny thing about people who aren’t antisemitic, is that they often aren’t sufficiently educated about everything that constitutes an antisemitic trope to know what to avoid saying. Nor would it generally occur to them that they need to google random words and phrases to make sure they don’t stumble across one that would offend somebody.

              1. Oh for Pete’s sake, Brett. That’s ridiculous.

                Did she just pick the name “Rothschild” out of the telephone book? Of course not.

                1. No, she likely picked it up from QAnon, without knowing that repeating it was intended to make her come across as an antisemite.

                  The thing a lot of less observant people on the right haven’t yet picked up on, is that there’s a continual and fairly intense effort to inject stupid rumors and conspiracy theories into the right-wing information bubble, both to make the right look stupid, and bury legitimate stuff under the garbage.

                  QAnon looks like part of that effort.

                  Note that Greene doesn’t come across very well in this view of things. At best she’s gullible. But if the left can have Hank Johnson, why can’t the right have Greene?

                  1. “there’s a continual and fairly intense effort to inject stupid rumors and conspiracy theories into the right-wing information bubble”

                    Man With Pants Usually Down Advocates Other’s Consider Suspenders!

              2. Brett. Let’s take the Gina Carano accusation. She was accused of being anti-Semitic over a cartoon that had zero Jewish symbolism. It was clearly a group of Wall Street bankers playing Monopoly on the backs of the working class. You could say it’s anti-trust, communistic, or even just angry at corruption. However, to say that it’s anti-Semitic, you have to inject a fact that just wasn’t apparent in the original.

                That’s the issue I have with so many of these “anti-Semitism is rising” articles. While some examples seem to support their case, there are many others that are just anti-bank or anti-one-company.

                I’d like to remind you that to a substantial fraction of people under 50, the Jewish banker stereotype is not prominent, if it exists at all. The banker stereotype for us is Ebenezer Scrooge, a Christian man who has abandoned his principles. Thus, the injection of religion into anti-bank screeds is confusing.

                1. Actually, the picture she tweeted was a different version, where the bankers didn’t have Jewish features, unlike the original.

                  1. So you agree.

                    However, unless there is a version that I haven’t seen where they have stars of David everywhere and are wearing yamakas, even the “Jewish features” I find questionable, as these are common to many caricatures and cartoon depictions of people in general.

                    1. Yes, even the original was not *obviously* antisemitic, but the artist was in fact antisemitic and had such intent, the antisemitic nature of it was pointed out to Corbyn, and he continued to defend it, which is why it’s famous.

              3. Antisemetism for thee, but not for me. Our criticism of Israel is pure and noble and based on deeds, severed from considerations of Jewish government.

                So if the criticism is the same regardless of deed doer, then…?

          3. Oh please, David!

            Have you even read the 2018 Facebook post in which then-private citizen Greene merely observed that someone “on the board of directors of PG&E is also Vice Chairman of Rothschild Inc, international investment banking firm.”

            I’d understand if you hadn’t read it, since internet censorship has all but buried it, but you really should because Greene wasn’t talking about Jews in any sense. She was talking about California bailing out PG&E and protecting its financial backers against huge losses (losses that she suggested, in ways from the obvious to the bizarre, were entirely the fault of those same backers).

            That’s not anti-semitic. It’s anti-establishment. And if there’s one thing we need in Congress, it’s more antiestablishmentarians.

            And by the way, there’s no small amount of irony in you calling Greene “a QAnon freak” while also accusing her of hating people because of their beliefs.

        2. You forgot the fact that she shared a video on her facebook page claiming: “Zionist supremacists have schemed to promote immigration and miscegenation.”

          1. Sharing or retweeting something doesn’t imply endorsement of everything it says. It doesn’t even imply being aware of everything it says.

            1. And for a politician – it doesn’t even mean she did it.
              One of her campaign volunteers could have.

              1. So she’s just the sort of candidate who attracts the support of antisemites? You must have forgotten the part where it was an Antifa provocateur posing as her supporter who retweeted it to make her look bad. That must be the explanation, because you say below there aren’t antisemites on the right.

            2. Actually, it does.

            3. Unless it’s Trump. Then it’s all his fault.

            4. That is quite possibly the dumbest excuse there has ever been–right up there with the dog ate my homework. What, precisely, is the motivation for retweeting something you do not agree with?

      2. Of course in your career of highlighting anti-Semitism it doesn’t seem like you have acted by the principle of ‘I’m going to write about anti-Semitism that otherwise wouldn’t get noted’ but rather something closer to ‘I’m going to write about anti-Semitism on a certain partisan side.’ You seem to have just introduced the latter as justification.

        The correctness of West’s view is one thing, your comment that you can’t read his view as anything other than as you interpret is another. It’s easily imaginable that a personnel decision would be impacted by a candidate’s controversial views on a subject without conjuring up your conclusion.

    2. There can be, and is, anti-semitism on both sides. While unfortunately the mainstream right remains silent on it as a more extreme faction of their party endorses it, on the left there is considerably more acceptance by the main stream body and it is perfectly capable of housing those who do endorse it (look at the Labour Party issues in the UK under Corbyn)

      Neither is a “better” form as they are both abhorrent, but one time is more accepted by “acceptable” people

      1. The mainstream right doesn’t remain silent, and there is no faction in their party, however extreme, that endorses it.

    3. Funny how people whose ears are so fine tuned they hear “racist dog whistles” in things like Trump’s scheduling of a rally on Juneteenth suddenly go tone deaf when they hear things like “a Zionist faction controlling Harvard”

      1. Those weren’t West’s words, of course, but a very debatable interpretation. Your use of quotation marks deceptively elides this.

        1. Indeed, those were David’s words.
          So let me rephrase: Funny how people whose ears are so fine tuned they hear “racist dog whistles” in things like Trump’s scheduling of a rally on Juneteenth suddenly go tone deaf when they hear things like “Is Harvard a place for a free Black man like myself whose Christian faith & witness put equal value on Palestinian & Jewish babies- like all babies- & reject all occupations as immoral? ” – and you can have another go at explaining your tone-deafness.

          1. I don’t see anything in either.

    4. And anyone criticizing Bank America is anti-Italian?

    5. Cornell West endorsed a Jew for the presidency, so he can’t be *that* anti-semitic. Indeed, it may just be the case that his problem is with people supporting an aggressive Israel policy (Jewish or non-Jewish), and not Jews as a whole.

      1. To many supporters of Israel any criticism, even *by Jews,* is concluded to be anti-Semitism.

      2. Is that like “some of my best friends are Black”?

  2. All the Democrat constituencies are injuried by that party. Why they keep voting for them has yet to be explained.

    1. A 20-word post and nary any whining or bitching about lawyers?!?
      Someone has hacked David’sBehar’s account!!!

      1. Well, lawyers are generally a Democratic constituency.

        1. Bullshit. Plaintiff’s lawyers may be, but the lawyers who represent insurance companies, major corporations, and are prosecutors are mostly Republicans.

  3. I’m certain at least one of the VC conspirators can justify this on the basis of Trump was the worst president ever.™

  4. I’m sure at least one of the VC contributors can justify this on the basis of Trump was the worst president ever.™

  5. “on the American FAR Left” (emphasis added).

    Would that it were only the far left.

    Would that only the radicals saw every setback as a Jewish conspiracy, every controversy as a Jewish plot, and Israel as a Jewish invasion of the old world.

    Sadly, it is not so. Not even close.

    Today, antisemitism is a central tenet of the Democratic party.

    1. And, to revise and extend my earlier remarks, I must note that today’s democrats are democratic socialists.

      As far as Judaism is concerned, democratic socialism is indistinguishable from national socialism.

      1. RE: “She merely once referenced “Rothschild Inc,” which some have since interpreted, entirely without evidence, as a reference to Jewish people.”

        She’s way out of date. “Rothschild” is no longer the right term. Today the word is pronounced “Soros”. And spelled “(((Soros)))”.

        1. I despise both George Soros & Bill Gates — does that make me both anti-semetic & anti-WASP? Or can I despise both men for what they fund?

          1. You could, except that you don’t know anything about what they fund.

          2. What do you think they fund?

            1. The Gates foundation funds “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction”, which teaches that math is racist, that showing your work or being required to come up with the right answer is a white-supremacist concept that disadvantages black and a latinos.
              Is that enough for you?

        2. Mark Levine, Jewish person, radio political talk show host, and right wing full-throated supporter of Israel, tears into Soros all the time.

          I’ll let those with exacting judgements to see things decide the impossible so it fits their narrative worldviews.

          And this thread is about ripping on positions and actions presuming they were done by non-Jews, too, so Jewishness is n/a. Or is everyone dishonest?

          1. The Rothschild family were very successful bankers, but they did not in fact engage in various plots to control the world, as antisemites alleged. Therefore, any such criticism of the Rothschilds is innately antisemitic.
            Soros is a very successful political entrepreneur. He is the biggest funder of left-wing causes throughout the world. Criticizing him for that in general, or for specific causes he funds is not innately antisemitic. OTOH, Soros is also among the most prominent Jews in the world, and his name is often linked to very conspiratorial-sounding memes about financial and political power. Which can be antisemitic.
            In short, the left often goes too far in suggesting that any and all criticism of Soros is antisemitic. They even go too far in suggesting that because antisemites focus on Soros, one shouldn’t criticize him because it encourages them. As the largest funder of left-wing causes in the world, he can’t reasonbly be immune from criticism.
            OTOH, the right often goes too far in suggesting that criticism of Soros is never antisemitic, which is clearly not true. And also in propagating myths about him, such as claiming he made his fortune on the backs of Holocaust victims, which, if not itself innately antisemitic, is both false and dehumanizing, and no good can come of it.

  6. “the joke is problematic because to the average listener, it might suggest a classic antisemitic trope, that Jews “take care of their own” and don’t care about the welfare of others.”

    I agree we should always try hard to be sensitive to harmful tropes and stereotypes, but how would someone ever comment or joke about the Israeli government treating Jews under their control preferentially to non-Jews differently given this line of thinking?

    1. Strike differently as redundant

    2. They are treated Israelis, Jews and non-Jews, differently from non-Israelis, like every other country treats non-residents/non-citizens differently from their citizens. Israel doesn’t provide health services to Arabs on the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas do, and neither requested that Israel vaccinate their populations. If you fell for the propaganda, shame on you.

      1. I was taken aback by the joke, and did not take it well. However, at bottom, it was an attempted parody of (mis)perceived Israeli policy, hence neither accurate nor funny. Applied to the US, the joke might have been “the majority of people in the US has been vaccinated, the white majority.” An overstatement of a mostly unrelated issue to elicit humor, but falling flat.

        West’s rant is bizarre, that I think can only interpreted as you say. I will say that I see no continuing “march” toward acceptability. The problem is certainly endemic on the far left, but I do not see it marching anywhere, and I doubt very much that his tweet will push anyone, anywhere in that direction who is not already there. It has always been subject to push-back from the center-left, whether it is Larry Summers (“objectively antisemitic”) or the blow-up in the women’s march. Omar’s abject apology is the latest example.

        Here’s the thing: for the most part, on the left, they at least have the decency to be hypocritical about it, and swear up and down that they are not antisemitic, and are against antisemitism. As they say, hypocrisy is the tribute that sin pays to virtue.

        On the far right, however, antisemitism is the virtue. You will not see the left chanting “Jews will not replace us” nor do you see them celebrating synagogue shootings. Maybe I am wrong, but if antisemitism is “marching toward acceptability” it seems to be happening on the right, while remaining fairly static, but still existing and disturbing, on the left. You have large swaths of Qanon that are antisemitic (Q “himself” retweeted antisemitism), some Proud Boys apparently wanted to change their name to “Proud Goys.” Most of the GOP is just lying down for these folks. In the comments of this very blog I have seen a marked increase in far right antisemitism.
        In short, IMO, your alarm about where antisemitism is “marching” is 15, if not 20 years out of date. Yeah, at the Iraq anti-war protests we saw “burn Jews, not oil”–but now we see folks with “Camp Auschwitz” t-shirts marching for Trump. Orwell’s statement needs to be updated to “antisemitism is the conservatism of fools” or perhaps more universally, “antisemitism is the politics of fools.”

        I get that your niche is calling out antisemitism on the left, and that plenty of folks are talking about antisemitism on the right. But as far as I can tell the Jewish Republican Coalition and the handful of about-to-be-primaried or retired GOP’ers are the main source of pushback on the right. Physician, heal thyself. If there is a Q-anon takeover of the GOP, it will make Corbyn’s Labor Party sound like a Hadassah meeting, and end with a similar electoral fate.

        1. The right is not antisemetic.

          1. Maybe not monolithically, but there’s as much anti-Semitism on the right as there is on the left. Stephen Miller, the Q-Anon conspiracy theorists, the Charlottesville marchers.

            For that matter, a lot of Christians who support Israel do so explicitly because they believe Israel is necessary for Armageddon to happen, which strikes me as anti-Semitism of a slightly different flavor.

            1. The right isn’t anti-Semitic because they’re Jews, but because Jews overwhelmingly propagate left-wing policies. If Jews became sensible people and stopped supporting leftist ideologies, the right would see them as allies.

              1. Disputing the claim that the left is more anti-Semitic than the right requires no further examination than simply reading some of the anti-Semitic comments on this blog left by right wingers, of which Aktenberg78 is Exhibit A.

        2. The far right loves jews and Israel. You missed it from your leftist bubble, but American Christians have adopted Judaism as a sister religion. Jews are God’s chosen people, and while Jesus has opened a path to heaven for all of us. Saying God’s chosen people shouldn’t be allowed in the holy land he chose for them is not going to make you many friends on the far right. Antisemitism is only a good political strategy in the left. The religious members of the right are far to pro Israel to tolerate it on the right.

          1. Right, Israel is necessary to bring about Armageddon, hence Christian support for Israel. You think that’s not anti-Semitism under a different flag?

            1. That really kind of misrepresents the Catholic, at least, view of Jews. They’re more like your cousins in religion who’ve made a bad mistake, and you really hope they’ll wise up before they pay the price. But they’re still your cousin, and you love them.

              1. That’s the recent Catholic view, yes. The Inquisition and most popes until John XXIII had a different view. There was that claim that the Jews killed Jesus, remember.

                Among premillenial evangelicals, however, the view is quite different. The world will end at a mass battle to be fought at Armageddon, at which time all the nations of the world will be gathered against Israel. That, of course, requires that Israel exist.

                I don’t doubt that there are some premillenials who sincerely do love Jews, but hovering over that is the reality that Israel is necessary to fulfill their view of the end times.

                1. Except we aren’t talking about centuries ago. We are talking about now.

                  And you present a downright radical concept of evangelical theology that is held by an extreme minority who believe the prophesy to be literal and recent. Even there, they view themselves as on the Israeli side of that war. Trying to say that it’s anti-Semitism in a different form is absurd.

                  And as a third point, secular conservatives don’t particularly care about religion at all (being primarily agnostics or lapsed Christians rather than strong atheists), so they see Jews as just another group.

              2. Actually, I thought that the Church not long ago decided that Jews would not have to “pay the price,” as you so charmingly put it.

                Though I will say that the whole notion that innocent non-believers will “pay the price” more or less belies a lot of religious claims of love, justice, etc.

      2. Are you being deliberately obtuse that Israeli critics think that PA and Hamas ‘authority/control/etc.,’ in this as in many areas is severely truncated by Israel or are you unaware this is the view they hold (and look, the view might be ultimately *wrong* but certainly reasonable people disagree on this and what it implies, your ‘well they are wrong and so the joke can’t be funny and is bigoted’ only points to your zealous certainty in this area)?

        1. Also, its telling you did not answer my question. What many supporters of Israel want is to shut down any criticism of Israel re: its treatment of non-Jews under its control, the charge of anti-Semitism is a tool to this end. One must certainly be sensitive to the harmful anti-Semitic tropes out there but that doesn’t mean a Jewish state can do whatever it wants sans criticism. To think that would be to demean the non-Jews under its control in the same way anti-Semitism demeans Jews.

          1. I didn’t say it was bigoted or antisemitic. I said it fell flat. I “got” the joke. Did you think my recasting of the joke for the US was funny? If not, does that mean you think racism in this country is not a problem?

            I am against many Israeli policies and have excoriated Netanyahu in these pages, while defending Obama against the ridiculous charge of antisemitism because he (rightly) continued the then unbroken policy of past presidents of opposing settlement expansion. Sure, the latter criticism of Obama is an example of what you talk about, and the right will tell you about false charges of racism being used to shut down debate also.

            I’ll tell you what is tiresome. That every time one calls out antisemitism on the left, one is forced to sit through a lecture that criticism of Israel is not necessarily antisemitic. Then one is forced to trot out one’s liberal bona fides to reassure the lecturer that you, also, have a critique of Israel. My view contains that most hated of content, “nuance,” which is no longer fashionable anywhere on the political spectrum.

            I’ll tell you what is obtuse. That is stereotyping and dismissing every person who dares to suggest that there may be antisemitism on the left as some sort of blind supporter of Israel without concern for Palestinians in order to let you believe that folks on your side are without sin. Check your unconscious bias, or maybe just your blind partisanship.

            My thesis (if you missed it over your upset that I criticized a bad joke) is that right and left need to police their own, and that sniping from one side against the other is really quite ineffective at addressing the problem. Currently, the left is doing a better job of this than the right. This is evidenced by your gracious concession that one should be “sensitive to the harmful anti-Semitic tropes out there.” Twenty years ago it was pretty much, “so long as ‘Israel’ is being criticized in there somewhere, it’s not antisemitic.” (Cornel West is a bit of a fossil so he might not have adjusted). So, that’s progress for you.

            I’ve been trying to convince Dr. Bernstein for almost that period that whatever he wants to say about lefty antisemitism, at least some of his efforts should be directed to push back on the right, as lefty criticism is simply shrugged off.

            Regardless of what one thinks of W.F. Buckley’s politics, he got one thing right: a movement that endorses racists, antisemites and assorted kooks is doomed to fail. That is true on both left and right.

    3. If they were treating them differently that would be a completely different thing. Professor Bernstein made point to point out that part of the problem is that it is false

    4. Someone wouldn’t, because it’s not true.

      1. Israel has never and can do no wrong, yes, yes, we get this is your view. I imagine you think the same of the US.

  7. I thought we were supposed to not be so sensitive, not judge people by their tweets, and generally oppose cancel culture? Or was that last week?

    1. I’m sorry , but was anyone calling for Che to be fired? For NBC to take SNL off air? For SNL advertisers to drop the show?

      People were criticizing a joke made in poor taste, and some thinking this deserves an apology.

      1. I am — the show hasn’t been funny for at least 20 years…

    2. Surely you know how to distinguish calling on someone to be “canceled” from criticizing someone for promoting racist stereotypes and the like.

      1. Yes, “criticizing” is when my side does it, “cancelling” is when the other side does it.

    3. Judging people for their tweets is fine.

      Trying to get them fired because they have different opinions from you is a different story.

      1. He’s ok with that. Google Bernstein and Feldman or him and Shipman.

  8. Y’all need to start a “Go Fund Me” threatening to get jobs outside academics if we don’t pony up for your salaries. I think we could raise the cash…

  9. Our very own Sarcastro used the same tactic in a few comment threads to defend “the squad” from accusations of anti-semitism….

    1. Link or at least be more specific.

  10. “Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live’s weekend update anchor announced that Israel has vaccinated half of its population, “and I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.” This joke badly misfired.”

    I mean, idk. I thought it was pretty funny. Sure its completely wrong in terms of context (Israel isn’t 50% Jewish, its 21% Arab, not including the Palestinians who are not under Israeli control and so the vaccination effort for them is a little bit more complicated.)

    But its a joke. Lighten up.

    Now of course, this probably wouldn’t be Mr. Che’s response if I made a joke poking fun at black people. But it should be. And we won’t get there if both sides of an issue continue to have thin skin.

    If you want a real instance of anti-semetism I would point at the complete abandonment of criticism for Senator Warnock’s clearly anti-semetic statements, because democrats wanted the senate that badly. Thats not a stupid joke!

    1. Like I said, as a bad joke, “no biggie.” But for an ACLU “human rights” poobah to be dismissing concerns about antisemitism because he is hoping the joke scored political points against Israel… well, that’s a scandal… or should be.

      1. The ACLU itself is a scandal — or should be…

    2. Warnocks statement about what? The Palestinians getting shot down like birds of prey?

      1. Yeah … that. He said that.

        Also his endorsement of BDS. His smearing of IDF officers. And so on.

        1. It’s not a smear if it’s true.

          1. And there we go. See this is why we can’t have nice things.

            1. They could have all been terrorists on the Gaza border that deserved it, they were still shot down like birds of prey.

              1. “We saw the government of Israel shoot down unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey,” does not sound the same as “These are terrorists on the Gaza border that deserved it” to my ears

                1. The truth is many of them where civilians peacefully protesting without getting involved in the violence. Also Israel regularly imprisons peaceful activists like Issa Amro, violating free speech principles.
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Issa_Amro

                  1. No, that is not the truth. Not at all.

                  2. No, that’s far from the truth. There were tens of thousands of protesters, and hardly any of them were injured, and those who were, were invariably engaged in hostile acts – infiltration attempts, destroying the security barrier, lobbing IEDs, flinging projectiles from slingshots etc..
                    What does Amro have to do with this? Are you under the impression he was in Gaza? Was he shot like a bird of prey? Or are you ust flinging random shit in the hope something sticks?
                    And for the record, Amro was charged with, among other things, incitement to violence . Hardly a peaceful activity, as a recent event should remind us.

                    1. You won’t be the first to categorically deny collateral damage, and you won’t be the last. “ According to Robert Mardini, head of Middle East for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), more than 13,000 Palestinians were wounded as of 19 June 2018, the majority severely, with some 1,400 struck by three to five bullets.”

                    2. “Thirty thousand Palestinians participated in the first demonstration on 30 March. Larger protests took place on the following Fridays, 6 April, 13 April, 20 April, 27 April, 4 May, and 11 May — each of which involved at least 10,000 demonstrators — while smaller numbers attend activities during the week.” If we assume just 10K demonstrators each Friday from 11 May until 19 June we’re easily over 130,000 protestors, so 90% of them were not injured. And you quote says absolutely nothing about what these people were doing when they were injured

                    3. But judge, look at all the people I didn’t shoot!

                    4. You wrote “many of them where civilians peacefully protesting without getting involved in the violence. ” – and that is indeed what my stats show – 90+% , who presumably were civilians peacefully protesting without getting involved in the violence were not harmed.
                      The rest, involved in violent activities were.
                      What do you find unusual about this?

                    5. Watch the yt link above

                    6. more than 13,000 Palestinians were wounded as of 19 June 2018, the majority severely, with some 1,400 struck by three to five bullets.

                      What makes you think any of that number weren’t doing something that required them to be shot? Do you doubt that there could be that many violent criminals?

              2. That’s kind of a bizarre thing to say, don’t you think? “Like birds of prey”, what the heck does that even mean? “Like fish in a barrel” I could understand, but, “like birds of prey”?

                Seriously, what does he mean by that? That they weren’t in season?

    3. “But its a joke. Lighten up.”

      Jokes with racist, sexist or antisemitic context normalize the behavior and make it more acceptable to actually have the views.

      1. I disagree.

        If there is a shared understanding that what your saying isn’t true and that is obvious to everyone, it can do the opposite.

        A lot of Jimmy Carr’s stuff is fairly sexist, but everyone knows and expects it. I do not know anyone who has become more sexist by listening to him. Bill Burr has a lot of stuff that’s off key …. but is that a bad thing?

        You are not normalizing bad behavior by allowing it in comedy clubs. Ever been to a comedy club? I would argue people are much more accepting of differences there.

        In my view comedy highlights the stupidity of bias by allowing people to make fun of themselves and others without feelings hurt. That is a good thing.

        1. “If there is a shared understanding that what your saying isn’t true”

          And if there “isn’t” a shared understanding?

          With some jokes, they’re funny because there’s a shred of truth at the core or an “old” understanding. There’s an old phrase “there’s a grain of truth in every joke”.

          You don’t make “jokes” about enslaving black people. Even if you wouldn’t do it. You ever think about why not?

        2. Try telling that joke as a Princeton dining club and see where it gets you.

  11. Out of curiosity, should the US vaccinate illegal immigrants?

    1. If we’re vaccinating the terrorist prisoners in gitmo before Grandma, why not illegal immigrants too?

      1. Oh, I don’t know, the Geneva Conventions?

        1. I wasn’t aware the Geneva Conventions extended to illegal immigrants.

          1. I mean the terrorists prisoners

            1. It’s not clear they extend to them, either.

              1. It’s actually rather clear that they don’t extend to “unlawful combatants.”

    2. It would be a kindness to their home countries, to vaccinate them as part of deporting them.

      Otherwise? Not until every American and legal resident is vaccinated.

    3. Yes. Vaccination is a public health issue. Putting any other consideration ahead of it will necessarily and obviously do harm to that goal.

      Which is to say… don’t be a petty partisan asshole with public health issues.

  12. I was with you on the criticism of Prof. West, which seems really weird – a 10-year contract offer from Harvard is due to a Jewish plot? When do I get to be the target of a Jewish plot like that?

    As for SNL, it’s of course an unfunny joke – that’s a given. It’s a lame jab (so to speak) at Israel, wrong but not as crazy as West’s remarks.

    But if you ask me, a country taking care of its own citizens first seems praiseworthy (within proper bounds, as in, for example, inoculation). So the joke fails on its basic premise. Unless you’re a right-winger who believes that the Palestinian territories are actually part of Israel. Plus, imagine Israel announcing a program of inoculations where Jewish doctors go into the Palestinian areas and give people injections. It might inspire a bit of paranoia.

    1. I’ve been following the Arab-Israeli conflict for a long time. I remember when the anti-Israel criticism was that Israel was erasing the lines between it and “Palestine” and treating Palestinians too much like there was no boundary between Israel and the territories. That stopped after the Palestinian terror war, so now that Israel has mostly separate itself from the territories and they have their own governments, the criticism is that Israel treats the palestinians like foreigners even thought the Palestinians don’t have control of their borders and thus aren’t fully sovereign. Heads you win, tales I lose. The commonality is that the only thing for these critics that Israel could do right is surrender.

      1. “The commonality is that the only thing for these critics that Israel could do right is surrender.”

        I suspect that’s true.

      2. If by surrender you mean equality from the river to the sea, then yes.

        1. It’s a nice idea, but it presumes the two groups will suddenly turn into nice old-fashioned liberals. “Oh, you’re Jewish? I hadn’t noticed! Just so long as you went to the correct college, amiright?”

          1. More than a nice idea. Equality is THE idea.

            1. Yes, on the Planet of the Warm Fuzzies.

              I guess my question is how do we take the *actual people* currently there and persuade them to operate a nonracial, nonsectarian liberal representative government.

              1. Constitutional federalism is the answer.

                1. Well, I can’t say it *won’t* work because predictions are hard, especially about the future.

                  If I knew how to resolve the Palestinians’ difficulties – how to uplift them without endangering their Jewish neighbors – I’d be the first to offer my answers.

                  But all I *do* know is that the available answers have their own potential problems.

                  A federal-state solution would remind Israelis of the set-up Lebanon used to have, which was also sold as an answer to communal tensions.

                  Can I say authoritatively that a federal set-up would lead to a Lebanon-style result? I really don’t know, which is the point, from the standpoint of Israelis who are asked to take risky measures.

                  1. It is Israel’s responsibility to the Palestinians.

                    1. Is freedom for all a good enough answer?

                    2. No, it is not remotely a logical answer for why Israel has a responsibility to create a binational , federal state. How did you get to that idea?

                    1. I hate to pop your bubble, but not all Israelis are smart or even logical. Do you normally just parrot positions you’ve heard from someone, uncritically, or do you sometimes bother to see if they make sense?

              2. See, these discussions usually devolve into bigotry against Palestinians.

                We can’t entertain the idea of a polity that respects the *very same things Jews sought (rightly!) from the idea of Israel* here because the Palestinians will, *of course,* just be murderous savages. To think otherwise is to be bigoted against Jews!

                1. You misunderstood. The question he is struggling to answer is why rights for Palestinians (on the same footing as Israelis enjoy) make it a responsibility for Israel to go down the path of Constitutional Federalism. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

        2. Have you ever spoken out against the Palestinian Authority’s law that makes it a capital crime to sell land to a Jew? Is that your idea of equality?

          1. The great thing about a constitution is it applies equally to everyone.

          2. Fortunately they’re not actually in charge of anything important, so that law (if it even exists) is dead letter, just like all the Jim Crow laws that are still on the books in the American South.

      3. Funny how Israel and its friends are always quick to forget what it says in the Geneva Conventions when it suits them…

        4th Convention, art. 56:

        To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring and maintaining, with the cooperation of national and local authorities, the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory, with particular reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics. Medical personnel of all categories shall be allowed to carry out their duties.
        If new hospitals are set up in occupied territory and if the competent organs of the occupied State are not operating there, the occupying authorities shall, if necessary, grant them the recognition provided for in Article 18. In similar circumstances, the occupying authorities shall also grant recognition to hospital personnel and transport vehicles under the provisions of Articles 20 and 21.
        In adopting measures of health and hygiene and in their implementation, the Occupying Power shall take into consideration the moral and ethical susceptibilities of the population of the occupied territory.

        1. 1. You are assuming your conclusion that they are an occupying power. I don’t know enough about international law to debate this, but it is very much debated.

          2. There is also a significant question about the effects of the Oslo Accords which provides that the PLO is responsible for medical care

          1. I meant the PA not the PLO

          2. Nobody in Israel, neither the courts nor the government nor the army, disputes that Israel is the occupying power over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for international law purposes, with the exception of Easts Jerusalem, which they purport to have annexed.

            1. That is wildly incorrect re Gaza. Israel denies that it occupies Gaza, for very good reason, which is that there is not a single Israeli soldier or civilian there (except kidnap victims). Israel does have a partial blockade on Gaza, as does Egypt.

      4. Well that is never going to happen = The commonality is that the only thing for these critics that Israel could do right is surrender.

    2. West’s comment is certainly an anti-Semitic, but what’s new. As Harvard, the joke is on the university for hiring a has-been.

      1. He has more baggage at Harvard than is commonly known.

  13. Is Harvard a place for a free Black man like myself whose Christian faith & witness put equal value on Palestinian & Jewish babies- like all babies- & reject all occupations as immoral?

    This sound more like a whiny race card play than anti-semitism. “Poor me, the black man who speaks up for the oppressed, being denied tenure by the powers that be.” The Jews are just thrown in for extra flavor.

    1. There is a tendency on the intersectionalist far left to treat Jews as super-white men. If economic success is all about the power a group has to manipulate the system to its advantage, and whites are economically successful but Jews are more successful than are whites in general, than Jews are the ones with the most power and are doing the most manipulating. I wouldn’t say West consciously believes it, but given that it’s a logical outgrowth of the ideology he is surrounded by, he may not even notice it.

      1. There is a tendency on the intersectionalist far left to treat Jews as super-white men.

        You would need to establish this if it’s required for your characterization.

        Because while I don’t have a lot of use for West, that’s how I took his statement – another flavor of the Democratic Plantation nonsense.

  14. Israel giving preference to Asians illegal residents over Palestinian illegal residents.
    According to this

      1. I’d as soon as trust an issue of Pravda from 1980 as 972 magazine.

          1. You can’t handle the idea of Jews having self-determination in their homeland.

            By the way, can you suggest a good book on the history of the Palestinian people circa 1700-1850?

            1. Self determination for me, but not for thee

  15. Let’s talk context.

    You could certainly find Jew-baiting on either side of what passes for the US political spectrum. Now, Marjorie Whatsherface is a condemned member of a minority party – meanwhile the governing faction is showing itself more and more comfortable with racism.

    Anti-white racism is where the left’s racial hatreds seem to be the hottest, though, not anti-Semitism, though the latter is getting more popular it seems. There’s also the racial contempt for nonwhites who are seen as working too closely with (the wrong sort of) white people. In this demonology, Jews fit in as a group of extra-powerful whites. (Though in reality, there are plenty of nonwhite Jews). So far, Jew-baiting seems like the tin can tied to the tail of the white-baiting dog.

    1. So in short, Prof. Bernstein focuses on the noisy anti-Jewish tin can, but not on the barking-mad antiwhite animus to which the Jew-baiting often gets attached.

      1. (Wait, I take that back, he’s doing the book on racial preferences, isn’t he? If so, never mind.)

      2. Your comment sounds like oppression olympics to me.

        1. I didn’t say whether white people should act theatrically oppressed and blame everyone else for their troubles.

          I said there’s intense anti-white racism on the left.

          1. It is oppression olympics when you say, “but what about MY oppression?”

            1. What about when I say, “take a look at the context, the environment in which left-wing antisemitism seems to crop up”?

              1. You’re saying the context is more important than the subject. The context being anti white bias, and the subject being antisemitism.

                1. Whatever, take it for what it’s worth.

  16. As an aside, I am fascinated by the idea that the Palestinians apparently have their own health authorities who are responsible for vaccinating the Palestinian population. As in, I’m sure there are such organisations, but I wonder whether they are expected to administer those vaccines in the open air. After all, as far as I can tell anything the Palestinians have built in the last 60 years is permanently at risk of being torn down by the Israeli army. (And never mind the question of whether Covid vaccines are somehow “dual use” military goods that aren’t allowed to be imported into the Gaza strip.)

    1. That has to be the one of the most ignorant things I’ve read here, and that says a lot. Don’t they let you access Google in the Netherlands? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hospitals_in_the_State_of_Palestine

      1. I’m sure there are hospitals, but whether they would last 5 seconds if the neighbouring Jewish settlement needed some space for a swimming pool…?

        1. The hospital seems to have lasted, despite Hamas using the basement as a command and control center for launching rocket attacks on Israel.

    2. Wow, you are incredibly ignorant, so much so that you really shouldn’t be commenting on Israel/Palestine at all. Almost all of the universities in the West Bank and Gaza, and much of the rest of the infrastructure (I don’t recall specifically about hospitals) was built between 1967 and the first intifada. Since Arafat took control of Gaza and most of the WB in 1994, the Palestinians themselves, despite billions in Western aid, have built virtually nothing.

      1. Well, they build lots of things with Western aid, but the Israelis keep bulldozing it down. While American taxpayers pay for billions in Israeli weapons, the rest of us occasionally try to help people, and it’s really starting to p*ss me off that all that investment keeps getting destroyed. And it’s starting to p*ss off other people too

        1. Give us an example of things in the WB that Israel has bulldozed, beyond the occasional EU-funded illegal building projects that are trying to create “facts on the ground” in contravention to the requirements of the Oslo accords.

          1. “projects that are trying to create “facts on the ground”

            Projection is a heck of a drug.

    3. Not to mention the fact that open-air vaccination is quite common in many places: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/mass-clinic-activities/index.html

    4. What evidence do you have that since the PA was established, that Israel has ever destroyed a medical facility? Your first statement sounds like ill-informed bigotry.

      As for the second, again, what evidence do you have that Israel has ever forbidden importation of medicines into Gaza? In fact, they recently allowed a shipment of vaccines from Russia. (I have no doubt they review shipments to make sure that they do not contain weapons and other military goods. But that is not the same as banning medicine outright.)

      1. Do you have Google? https://www.btselem.org/press_release/20200326_israel_confiscates_clinic_tents_during_coronavirus_crisis

        As for your second par, it asks for evidence of something I never said. I said the Israeli Army can, and has, make just about anything a dual use product, because they still exercise effective control over the Gaza Strip. Whether or not they’ve done that so far with medicine is beside the point.

        1. You understand that people and goods can and do enter Gaza from Egypt, right? And Israel doesn’t have control over that border? And Israel doesn’t maintain any sort of police force in Gaza?

            1. The Wikipedia article says that Israel doesn’t have a single soldier there, and its patrolled by 750 Egyptian soldiers as an exception to the Camp David Treaty which bars Egyptian solders from being so close to Israel. And from that you conclude that Israel “controls” a border that is in fact controlled by Egypt, with not a single Israeli present? Is this some kind of Rothschild mind control trick?

              1. Isn’t it patrolled by Egypt via treaty brokered (at significant expense) by the US?

                1. No, it is via an accord between Israel and Egypt, at no cost to the US. Not that this even matters to the question at hand, of who controls that border crossing.

                    1. It’s in that same wikipedia article used to describe the Philadelphi Route, above. Just read a couple of paragraphs down, the section describing the Philadelphia Accord. “To enable Israel’s evacuation from the Philadelphia Corridor, while preventing smuggling of weapons from Egypt into the Gaza and infiltration and other criminal activity, Israel signed with Egypt the “Agreed Arrangements Regarding the Deployment of a Designated Force of Border Guards Along the Border in the Rafah Area” (Philadelphi Accord) on 1 September 2005. “

    5. Well, there’s always Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. That would be a good place to vaccinate people.

      But, well, Hamas appears to have taken over the basement as a control center, and the wards to interrogate people, so….

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Shifa_Hospital

      1. The Palestinians, Hamas in particular, site their missile brigades in hospitals, schools, and civilian neighborhoods; even the pro-Palestinian U.N. agrees. Hospitals lose their privileged status when missiles are fired from them.

        1. Hamas has a bad habit of using its own citizens as human shields. Putting its military bunkers under civilian hospitals is just one example.

    6. Forget Bernstein complaining about racist comments about jews, this is incredibly racist against Palestinians. You don’t think they can have health authorities?

      1. I don’t think the Israeli government lets the Palestinians do anything that has the slightest chance of inconveniencing Israel or the settlers in any way.

        1. May I suggest you read Times of Israel for a few weeks to get a sense of today’s Israel? It may alter your perception.

  17. the recent Harvard denial of a tenure process strikes me as a political decision I reject. Nothing stands in the way of my profound love for & solidarity with oppressed peoples wherever they are!!”

    I don’t see how to read this other than as a claim that a Zionist faction controlling Harvard is denying him tenure because as a Christian he supports Palestinian rights and opposes Israel’s “occupation.” And I don’t see how that can be read as suggesting something other than Jews controlling Harvard are preventing his tenure.

    A “political decision” could mean many things besides a “Zionist faction is denying him tenure” because he’s a Christian and supports Palestinian rights. You want to be believe that, because you seem to want to be believe that the left is anti-Semitic and the right isn’t.

    But that’s not what he said. It’s not even what he implied. Your reading simply isn’t a fair one. Do better.

    1. Well sure, if you leave off the preceding sentence where he question whether a Christian who “loves Palestinian babies” and opposes occupation has a place at Harvard. In that alternative world, where he doesn’t say that, you would be correct.

      1. Interesting you left off a bit too (his use of the word occupation which you yourself put in quotes seeming to concede how controversial this is, and oppression). Again, you’re straining here. You’ve mentioned here before that you started to take an increased interest in this issue during a period of Palestinian terror when you imagined what you would say to your descendants if they asked you where you were during this period. This is a crusade for you, and crusaders often see what they expect to find.

      2. And, if you leave off the next part where he adds “& Jewish babies- like all babies- & reject all occupations as immoral?” – in that alternative universe, where he doesn’t say that – you might be correct.

        1. We all agree that he’s not accusing anyone of retaliation because he loves Jewish babies, right? And that he in fact is only referencing one occupation in this particular context as causing him problems, right? And we can surmise that he is referring to supporters of Israel who don’t like his anti-Israel, pro-BDS views? And that these supporters of Israel at Harvard would be overwhelmingly, perhaps exclusively, Jewish? I mean, you’re not denying the obvious here?

          1. “And that these supporters of Israel at Harvard would be overwhelmingly, perhaps exclusively, Jewish? ”

            Where the train jumps track. Supporters of Israel in the US are hardly ‘overwhelmingly, perhaps exclusively, Jewish.’

  18. I’m a Jew and it sure went over my head. Could it be that he is anti-Israel (for which there is some justification) rather than anti-Jewish? The idea that “Antisemitism Continues its March Toward Acceptability on the American Far Left” is preposterous. It is more plausible that Kookyism Continues its March Toward Acceptability on the American Far right

    1. How can “Israel” be denying Cornel West tenure at Harvard, as opposed to Jews at Harvard?

      1. “How can ‘Israel’ be denying Cornel West tenure at Harvard, as opposed to Jews at Harvard?”

        Somehow you missed a third possibility, even though it was explicit in West’s own words – that it is Zionists (i.e. those actively allied with Israel) at Harvard who denied him tenure.

        1. It’s worse, there are even more possibilities: that his comments are unpopular with many groups. When that happens many organizations make adverse personnel decisions.

        2. And who exactly are those ” actively allied with Israel) at Harvard”? Again, funny how people whose ears are so fine tuned they hear “racist dog whistles” in things like Trump’s scheduling of a rally on Juneteenth suddenly go tone deaf when they hear things like “those actively allied with Israel) at Harvard “

          1. Uh, for one thing everyone knows that far, far more conservative Christians are allied with (understatement) the government of Israel.

            1. At Harvard? LOL.

              1. And Harvard never considers PR matters? Lol indeed.

            2. As I said, ears finely tuned to racist dog whistles in every other case suddenly turn tone deaf and find alternative, exculpatory explanations when it comes to Jews.
              I’m sure there were actually non-Jewish “Cosmopolitan” people who felt no strong devotion to a their homeland – that’s probably who Stalin was referring too, right?

    2. “I’m a Jew and it sure went over my head.”

      That’s because, like most American Jews, you’re probably functionally illiterate about Judaism and Jewish history. That doesn’t stop you from waving your circumcision as validation of your leftist political beliefs, which you hold dearer than anything approaching normative Judaism.

      1. Good thing American Jews have Ronnie Schreiber to explain antisemitism to them!

    3. Could it be that he is anti-Israel (for which there is some justification) rather than anti-Jewish

      Sure. But when he claims that those views caused him to be denied tenure he is effectively claiming that Israel, or maybe American Jews, control Harvard’s tenure decisions, and rejected him for his anti-Israel views.

      That’s a different matter.

  19. The purpose of Harvard’s tax exemption, grants, subsidies, is education- West is an advocate, not an educator. Harvard should lose all those government privileges for hiring him, and for subjecting students to his one sided indoctrination.

    1. Really, all for education? You don’t think just a little bit of their tax exemption, grants, and, subsidies, might, conceivably, be for research, especially, for scientific research?

  20. Shut Harvard down, Mr. President.

  21. The problem here is: it keeps getting easier and easier to feel at least some hatred for Israel even if one likes Jews (or, in my case, even if one is a Jew.) The problem is that the odious, parasitical, fascistic Haradim are now numerous enough to swing elections one way or the other, so the ruling party, in order to stay in power, is obliged to give them what they want, or, at least, to promise to do so. And what they want is: … [after a long pause] …well, this post would be too long if I listed their demands. I tried to make a short list of the most outrageous, but their demands are all so outrageous that they defy any ranking algorithm. It’s like trying to rank all the great operatic tenors on record, or all the great boxers in history, or all the movies directed by Sidney Lumet. There are too many greatest-of-all-times. (Or should I say “greatests-of-all-time”?)

    1. You seem very judgemental of the Haradim. Who are you to say they have the wrong lifestyle and values?

    2. Why would anyone hate Israel for internal policies that don’t affect them, and that most Israelis themselves oppose? I mean, I can see being repelled by the specific policies, but why would that lead you to hate the whole country?

    3. You just said antisemitism is justified because you don’t like Jews either. That’s not really helping Mr. West.

  22. A baby born in Tijuana is a Mexican…a baby born a few miles away in San Diego is an American. Query—is that apartheid??

    1. It would be if Tijuana was occupied by the United States, like Puerto Rico, American Samoa, etc. But let’s leave America’s sins as a topic of conversation for another day, because the rightwing commenters in this thread are hysterical enough as it is.

  23. You think Puerto Rico is “occupied”?

    1. (I assume you meant that as a reply to me.)

      I think Puerto Rico is a disenfranchised territory acquired by the United States in a war that pre-dates the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions. Because of that timing, the legal position is in many ways different, but in many other ways it’s not a bad analogy. And since the question was about “apartheid” as a moral concept, there’s a reasonable question why the brown people in Puerto Rico and American Samoa don’t get to vote in Federal elections, and don’t enjoy the other constitutional rights that people in the 50 states do. But if you’d like to defend the Insular Cases as somehow not racist, be my guest.

      1. “brown people?” (Which is racist by the way). Don’t enjoy the other Constitutional rights?

        Here’s the truth.

        Nobody, regardless of skin color, who permanently resides in Puerto Rico can vote for Congressmen or President. This is because Puerto Rico is not a state. Either is American Samoa. Or Guam. Or the Panama Canal Zone. Or Iraq.

        Now, one of the key aspects of self-governance is the right for a people to decide FOR THEMSELVES whether they want to be part of a country or not, and how they want to be part of that country.

        If Puerto Rico wants to be a state, they need to decide that they want to be a state. If they want to be independent, they need to decide it. Self Governance. It’s important. I’m not going to tell them what they are going to do. And either should you.

        And to date, PR has decided…neither of these. They haven’t decided to be a state. They haven’t decided to be independent. They’ve just kept roughly the status quo. And before you ask, a referendum with only 27% turnout because the other party boycotted the vote doesn’t count.

  24. “Interesting headline for an article that starts out about “Jews denying Christians tenure”.

    On the other hand, to be sure, the fact that the current US government rulers (democratic party) are anti-semitic is hardly surprising as all major countries ruled by totalitarian regimes, Communist and Fascist, have been anti-semitic.

  25. Cornel West was always more a self-promoter and BS artist than scholar. That was at the heart of his problems with Summers.

    I agree with Bernstein about the implications of his tweet.

  26. Mentioning Saturday Night Live and Prof. West, while ignoring Marjorie Taylor Greene and North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, resembles the patterns established at this blog with respect to campus speech (FIRE-breathing excoriation of liberal-libertarian institutions for perceived offense, coupled while an unearned, conspicuous pass for conservative-controlled institutions engaging in similar or worse conduct) and censorship (liberals are censored while conservatives are permitted to use gratuitous, explicit racial slurs and to threaten liberals — relatively regularly — with face-shooting, Zyklon showers, gassing, and being placed face-down in landfills).

    This is the Conspirators’ playground, and they set the rules, but reasonable readers could readily perceive pretext (at the expense of principle, persuasiveness, and fairness) in the service of partisan polemics.

    Carry on, Conspirators.

  27. “I don’t see how to read this other than as a claim that a Zionist faction controlling Harvard is denying him tenure because as a Christian he supports Palestinian rights and opposes Israel’s “occupation.””

    Bernstein’s ability to derive bigoted intent from a facially-neutral statement would put any 20 year old SJW-studies major to shame. The fact that he reads West’s statement as talking about “perfidious Jews” says much more about himself than it does West – specifically that he cannot seriously engage with West on the merits, and would rather slander him as a bigot instead. The scare-quotes around the word “occupation” is just *chef’s kiss*.

    The more likely explanation for West’s statement is that he believes that criticizing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is something of a “third rail” in academia (irrespective of whether “the Jews are in control” or whatever). There is certainly precedent for the belief that staunch criticism of Israel is bad for your academic career, even if you are Jewish. See, e.g., Norman Finkelstein. Hell, it can get you fired from a public university in 20-some states. There is nothing inherently anti-Semitic about recognizing this lay of the land.

    1. “it can get you fired from a public university in 20-some state” No, it can’t.

      1. And the idea that Harvard is offering West a ten-year contract but not tenure because of his views on Israel is entirely illogical. And the idea that it’s generally harmful to one’s career in academia to be an Israel critic rather than supporter is risible. Try getting a job in almost any Mideast Studies department in the United States while being openly sympathetic to Israel–even if your research isn’t about Israel. Columbia, for example, has one of the leading MES departments in the world. The university has a large Jewish population and lots of big Jewish donors. Yet the chair of the department is not just a critic of Israel, but a former flack for the PLO. You know, the terrorist organization that murdered dozens of Israelis and several Americans as well. And they don’t hire anyone remotely pro-Israel. Ever. But go on about how it’s living death to be anti-israel in the American academy.

    2. Norman Finkelstein is literally a Holocaust denier, ffs.

  28. Alternative headline: “Bad Faith Accusations of Antisemitism As a Tactic Against Supporters of Palestine Continues its March Toward Acceptability on the American Far Right”.

    Unfortunately, many right wing cheerleaders of Israel have found that lodging frivolous and bad faith allegations of anti-Semitism against their opponents to be a useful argumentative device, particularly as Israel’s record of treatment of Palestinians has become more and more indefensible on the merits. In fact, for many, any forceful criticism of Israeli policies is per se anti-Semitism. Fortunately, though, many mainstream Jews in America seem to be wising up to this nonsense.

    1. If people who criticize Israel don’t want to be accused of antisemitism, they shouldn’t say crazy, wildly inaccurate things, like that you can be fired from public universities in 20 states for being critical of Israel.

      1. I won’t defend West’s ‘I’m being silenced!’ ridiculousness.

        But I’m not sure I buy ‘criticize Israel’ + ‘be inaccurate in your criticism’ = antisemitism.

        People make crazy wrong criticism of stuff all the time for loads of dumb reasons that aren’t bigotry.

        Not saying West isn’t antisemetic either; dude is fringy has heck. But that’s not established from this particular antic of his.

      2. You are suggesting that I am antisemitic for pointing out that anti-BDS laws can subject public employees to termination for supporting a boycott of Israel?

        Maybe I’m wrong: maybe these laws are on the books in less than 20 states. Or maybe they have an exemption for university faculty (I don’t know, I’m not a law professor!). But to say that this is evidence of antisemitism is beyond parody.

        1. “for pointing out that anti-BDS laws can subject public employees to termination for supporting a boycott of Israel?”

          Except that this is false. It’s pretty easy to prove it’s false. You say 20 states have these laws. No professors have been terminated for supporting a boycott of Israel. Or one could just read the laws (which, among other things, don’t apply to mere support of a boycott, and apply to contracts with government contractors, not to government employees).

          Now, I’m not saying that believing this easily-disprovable falsity makes someone antisemitic. But I would say that people who consistently say crazy, false things about Israel and even more so its American supporters are justifiable targets of suspicion, whether for actually being antisemitic, or just for intentionally playing on antisemitic memes because they know that’s an effective way of stirring antisemitic sentiment.

          For example, when the ACLU falsely claims that the laws in question require a “loyalty oath” to Israel, it is quite obviously playing to antisemitic sentiment, regardless of whether the people there promoting this lie are personally antisemitic. https://reason.com/volokh/2019/03/11/the-aclus-shameful-role-in-promoting-ant/

          1. “No professors have been terminated for supporting a boycott of Israel. ”

            Not terminated, but removed from administrative positions, is certainly fine by many.

            https://academeblog.org/2020/06/20/in-defense-of-ilana-feldman-and-bds-supporters/

            1. (1) that case has nothing to do with the laws you mention
              and
              (2) if you are personally committed to boycotting Israeli universities and people who support Israel (check the BDS guidelines, you ares supposed to boycott people who you think are supporting Israeli policies that ‘violate international law’ and from the anti-Israel persective, that means just about anything Israel does that’s the least bit controversial), you are not qualified for an administrative position that will require you to interact with/oversee Israeli academics, students who want to study in Israeli universities, and faculty and students who support Israel, when university policy is, properly, it is against such boycotts. In fact, it’s hard to see the contrary case *unless* she stated publicly that she would not allow her personal views to interfere with her adminsitrative responsibilities….

              1. In fact, I wrote about the Feldman case here: https://reason.com/volokh/2020/05/12/is-supporting-academic-boycotts-of-israel-consistent-with-administering-an-academic-program/

                George Washington University last week announced that Ilana Feldman, currently vice dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs and professor of anthropology, history and international affairs, will be the interim dean of the Elliott School. Feldman is a supporter of the academic boycott of Israeli educational institutions, and not merely a passive one (e.g., merely signing a petition or some such). Feldman has been a member of the eight-person organizing collective of Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions. The “pledge” of supporters of the boycott was as follows: “We pledge not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions, not to teach at or to attend conferences and other events at such institutions, and not to publish in academic journals based in Israel.”

                Feldman’s appointment puts into stark relief something I have been thinking about for some time—is being a supporter of academic boycotts of Israel consistent with holding an administrative position such as being a dean?

                I think the answer is no, for three reasons, with a caveat. The first reason is that almost all universities oppose academic boycotts of Israel. I am pretty sure that GW is among the institutions that have publicly taken that official position. If so, it should not be hiring faculty for administrative positions who have publicly dedicated themselves to the opposite position. For example, could one trust such a person to negotiate an exchange program that would benefit the university with Hebrew University? One would think not, given that she has pledged “not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli academic institutions.”

                Second, there is the matter of universities’ legal responsibilities. Universities are bound by Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bans them from engaging in discrimination based on race (which, for these purposes, includes “ethnicity”) and national origin. A dean or other administrator who is pledged to something like the AAA boycott would be opposed to funding students and faculty who wish to attend a conference in Israel, might not give someone proper credit for publishing in an Israeli academic journal, and so on. Inevitably, such policies will have a wildly disproportionate discriminatory effect on people of Israeli national origin, and to a lesser but still significant effect on Jewish students. If I were a university general counsel, would I want to risk the potential liability? Nope.

                Third, there is the issue of academic freedom. The Anthropologists’ boycott organization makes clear that they are endorsing the broader goals of the BDS movement. The BDS movement’s statement on academic boycotts claims to respect academic freedom, but then adds this:

                While an individual’s academic freedom should be fully and consistently respected in the context of academic boycotts, an individual academic, Israeli or otherwise, cannot be exempt from being subject to “common sense” boycotts (beyond the scope of the PACBI institutional boycott criteria) that conscientious citizens around the world may call for in response to what they widely perceive as egregious individual complicity in, responsibility for, or advocacy of violations of international law (such as direct or indirect involvement in the commission of war crimes or other grave human rights violations; incitement to violence; racial slurs; etc.).

                This is quite problematic. First, some people take extreme views of what international law requires. For example, if one believes that international law requires an immediate implementation of the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants, the criteria above would lead one to boycott just about everyone who is even vaguely sympathetic to Israel. Second, why should international law be sacrosanct? Some aspects of international law are questionable if not downright dumb, and why shouldn’t an academic be permitted to argue that any particular government, including Israel’s, should ignore international law when the law itself is dumb and the consequences of obeying it would be negative? An administrator pledged to the academic boycott is going to be an enemy of academic freedom.

                Now for my caveat: I think BDS activists should be allowed to be administrators, but only if they publicly and contractually disavow any intention of adhering to BDS position while serving as adminstrators: no boycotting Israeli academic institutions, no discrimination against students or faculty who have ties to Israeli institutions or academic journals, and no boycott of people who purportedly advocate violations of international law. Academics who are unwilling to do this–i.e., unwilling to obey university policy, comply with civil rights law, and respect academic freedom—have no business serving in administrative positions. In other words, faculty should not be banned from being administrators because they have held a political position, i.e., support academic boycotts of Israel, but only if it would be reasonable to believe that they would not act on those beliefs as administrators. While a public and contractual disavowal of such actions would not guarantee that the administrator would not take them anyway, it would be sufficient to satisfy my concerns. The problem currently is that BDS supporters are being appointed to deanships, department chairmanships, and so on, without any inquiry by their universities as to whether they will implement academic boycott policies.

              2. I didn’t mention any laws, I commented on your statement that ‘“No professors have been terminated for supporting a boycott of Israel. ”

                And I added that, maybe not, but you’re not only fine and dandy but also *calling for* professors to be removed from their administrative positions for the same.

                And your response is ‘but that’s totally correct to do because of reasons!’

                Everyone has ‘reasons’ for their support of cancel culture.

                1. In fact, we were discussing anti-BDS laws. You wrote: “You are suggesting that I am antisemitic for pointing out that anti-BDS laws can subject public employees to termination for supporting a boycott of Israel?”
                  And I responded that this has never happened. You responded with a case that had nothing to do with such laws, and for that matter did not involve termination, but only the question of whether someone who personally boycotts Israeli universities and the like, contrary to university policy, should be a running a program in which she would be obligated to cooperate with Israeli universities and the like. That’s not “cancel culture” that’s ensuring someone is able to do their job. Like I said, a simple assurance that she would follow university policy and respect academic freedom rather than follow her own personal ideological predelictions would be sufficient. But either way, nothing to do with anti-BDS laws.

                  1. “You wrote: “You are suggesting that I am antisemitic for pointing out that anti-BDS laws can subject public employees to termination for supporting a boycott of Israel?””

                    Nope, I did not.

                    “That’s not “cancel culture” that’s ensuring someone is able to do their job.”

                    Lol, this is what many cancel culture activist base their efforts on. They shouldn’t have their job because their comments suggest etc., etc

          2. “No professors have been terminated for supporting a boycott of Israel.”

            I never said they had, I said they could be. These laws are a new innovation, one would expect it to take some time for their impact to be felt.

            “don’t apply to mere support of a boycott”

            The Arkansas law that was just struck down applied to anyone who would “support or promote actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel.”

            “when the ACLU falsely claims that the laws in question require a “loyalty oath” to Israel, it is quite obviously playing to antisemitic sentiment”

            The term “loyalty oath” is the sort of rhetorical flourish that one would expect from a legal advocate writing for a lay audience. It may be a bit reductive, but it is not antisemitic, let alone “quite obviously” so. Are you suggesting that there is some established “trope” about Jews requiring or supporting loyalty oaths? If anything, Jews were disproportionally *victims* of the classical forms of such oaths.

            1. “Are you suggesting that there is some established “trope” about Jews requiring or supporting loyalty oaths?” To Israel? Yes, of course. That was the nub of Omar’s comment about the Benjamins, tweeted in response to Glenn Greenwald’s claim that Congress is more loyal to Israel than to American citizens. And it’s obviously a more general trope that Jews try to manipulate people to promote Jewish domination. I mean, it’s not usually about “oaths” per se, but if you are alleging that pro-Israel forces are trying to force Americans to swear loyalty to Israel, of course you are directly playing on antisemitic tropes. And usually advocates don’t use rhetorical flourishes that are obviously false.

              Re the Arkansas law, the state disclaimed the notion that the law applied to speech advocating boycotts. The court thought it could be read that way. But literally no one who has supported the laws think that the laws apply to speech, nor do any of them object to amendments making that clear, nor has anyone been punished, or threatened with punishment, for speech, nor, again, to the laws apply to employees like university professors.

        2. It’s odd that people like you can’t distinguish between the idea that a campaign to boycott etc Israel isn’t necessarily antisemitic, and the fact that the actual, extant BDSM Ovement is overtly antisemitic, run by Holocaust deniers who can’t set foot in Germany without being jailed for hate crimes, and founded at a conference that was overtly antisemitic to the point where it was condemned by the UNHRC as ‘simply racist’.

          There is simply no doubt that BDS was founded as a racist enterprise, by people who were brought together by shared beliefs in antisemitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial.

  29. Cornell West endorsed a Jew for the presidency, so he can’t be *that* anti-semitic. Indeed, it may just be the case that his problem is, as he says, with people supporting an aggressive Israel policy (Jewish or non-Jewish), and not Jews as a whole.

    1. I limit my claim to that West engaged in antisemitic rhetoric to advance a personal goal, not that he is personally antisemitic. That said, I addressed the issue of “antisemites for Bernie” previously:

      It seems to me, though, that one or both of the following two things make someone antisemitic, and not just prejudiced: (1) one believes in anti-Jewish conspiracy theory, e.g., that Jews run the banks, control the government, etc.; or (2) one affirmatively wishes harm to Jewish people in general, though one almost always makes exceptions for “good” Jewish people (even leading German Nazis often had a favored Jewish acquaintance for whom they arranged an exit visa before the Holocaust began). You don’t need to publicly acknowledge your antisemitism, nor, like the Nazis, consider Jews subhuman, beyond redemption, and marked for extinction.

      Given those definitions of antisemitism, there is no particular reason that an antisemite couldn’t support a Jewish candidate for president. If one believes in anti-Jewish conspiracy theory, for example that many or most of the world’s Jews plot to control world governments to benefit Israel at the expense of their home countries, one can still believe that Sanders has shown himself to be an exception, that despite being Jewish he is not controlled (unlike many Gentile politicians!) by the “Jewish lobby.” And if one wishes harm to the Jewish people, one can make an exception for a “good Jew” like Sanders–especially if one believes he is more likely to create or allow harm to other Jewish people than his presidential rivals.

  30. There has long been a disconnect between progressive secular Jews who don’t like Israel, and Orthodox Jews who have families of 10 kids and make up an increasing number of Israeli Jews. If Israel were a US state, no doubt it would have gone for Trump.

  31. Anti-Semitism, as borne out by centuries of terrible evidence, is a true horror that needs to be removed from society, root and branch. Despite the fact that the conspiracies and hate that drive it have no real basis, it keeps surfacing, and as such, it is best to be overly vigilant.

    Which is why I am always baffled by what Prof. Bernstein chooses to post on. Most people would stipulate that there exists fringes, throughout the ideological spectrum, that are anti-Semitic. Yet Prof. Bernstein has taken it upon himself the special duty to insist that the “right” needs to be defended from these charges, while the “left” is a source of constant problems. Which is … interesting. Even acknowledging the issues on the left, it still would seem that there is a whole universe of anti-Semitism on the right that is much more acceptable. The left laughs at “Jewish Space Lasers” because it’s absurd; while the right keeps up on the latest QAnon theories.

    Which goes to a more fundamental issue; there is a difference between getting rid of anti-Semitism because you live in a liberal, tolerant society that respects diversity, as opposed to cynical political gain. To a large extent, in the past, there was an overwhelming amount of bi-partisan support for Israel. But we have seen two things happen:

    1. Netanyahu, unlike his predecessors, chose to pursue a partisan policy of appealing directly to the GOP. This … has made it easier for some Democrats to distance themselves from Israel, and has weakened traditional bi-partisan support.

    2. Many of Israel’s policies are seen as overbearing; the generations growing up today don’t remember the PLO’s campaign of terror in the 70s and 80s, and instead just see a military occupying force and a beleaguered population that suffers the brunt. These are untenable optics for many people; and this tends to hit hardest with those young, “left-y” activists.

    When you combine these factors, you end up with a number of issues coming to the fore. Because of the strong identification of Israel with the Jewish people (of course), it becomes hard to criticize the country without sliding into anti-Semitic tropes; in addition, some people use criticism of Israel as a cover for anti-Semitism, and some people who criticize Israel long enough begin to slide into anti-Semitism themselves.

    But then you have the recent political alignment of Israel’s government with the GOP, which means that there is decreasing grass-roots support for Israel with some of the Democratic base. However, that political alignment at the top is not matched by the voters; you see that it is much more acceptable for “the right” to openly traffic in anti-Semitism; I have trouble imagining what would happen if a Democratic house member was openly talking about the Jewish Space Lasers and the Rothschilds, and the Democrats refused to do anything about it.

    When you combine these factors, it explains a lot of the posts like these. Attack “the left,” and excuse “the right” for pure political reasons. It is true that the politically, the left is drifting away in its support for Israel; but doing this (and these types of repetitive posts) just makes the problem worse, especially given the long history of ignoring and defending the anti-Semitism on the right.

    1. “I have trouble imagining what would happen if a Democratic house member was openly talking about the Jewish Space Lasers and the Rothschilds, and the Democrats refused to do anything about it.”
      Lucky for you, then , that it requires no imagination. A Democratic house member was openly talking about how “Israel hypnotizes the world” and that “It’s all about the Benjamins”, and in response, the House passed a resolution to condemn “anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry”, not mentioning her at all or censuring her in any way, and the Democratic leadership rewarded her by appointing her to sit on the Foreign Affairs, Education And Labor Committees.

      1. Here we are with the same false equivalency that gets trotted out each time.

        So:
        1. The quotes are never given in context. To make them worse than they are – not that I condone them – but they aren’t talking about the Rothschilds and using space lasers to set America ablaze, are they?

        2. The House condemned bigotry in response.

        3. The Democratic Leadership demanded an apology. More specifically, the entire Democratic leadership of the House called for Omar to apologize “without exception” and said that they “condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”
        And then:
        “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Omar said. “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”

        So sure! You keep on peddling that nonsense. This is exactly like Kevin “Profile in Courage” McCarthy, isn’t it? Or maybe we should look at how well she has ingratiated herself with (former) President Donald J. Trump?

        “Hey look, a squirrel!” I swear … it must be so tiring to be you.

        1. 1. Way to nitpick . Omar siad “All about the Benjamins”, not “Rothschilds”, and “hypnotizes the world” instead of “used Space lasers” – that’s completely different, and makes it acceptable, does it?
          2. The house was specifically asked to censure her, by name, and antisemitism, specifically, because of her remarks. It did not do the former, and watered down the latter by making a general condemnation of all forms of bigotry. Not even a slap on the wrist. See “House Democrats fail to condemn anti-Semitism, don’t rebuke Rep. Ilhan Omar” https://apnews.com/article/890c970cbbe3b0e631504f47e2e5a5cc
          3. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lip%20service

        2. Omar was forced into a non-apology, but hasn’t stopped doing and saying obviously antisemitic things. Like AOC, she can’t, because her entire worldview is built on belief in antisemitic conspiracy theories.

          We’ve just seen the same thing with the Corbynites here. The Socialism of Fools is still all too prevalent.

    2. “When you combine these factors, you end up with a number of issues coming to the fore. Because of the strong identification of Israel with the Jewish people (of course), it becomes hard to criticize the country without sliding into anti-Semitic tropes; in addition, some people use criticism of Israel as a cover for anti-Semitism, and some people who criticize Israel long enough begin to slide into anti-Semitism themselves.”

      Actually, it’s not that hard to criticize Israel without sliding into antisemitic tropes. People slide into antisemitic tropes because it’s an effective way to criticize Israel because it plays on people underlying, and often unconscious, prejudices.

      It’s also the case that there was plenty of preexisting antisemitism on the far left, just as a historical matter, long before Israel existed.

      But with those two caveats, your analysis of why anti-Israel sentiment correlates with antisemitic sentiment is generally correct.

      I just don’t get why that means one shouldn’t call it out. Indeed, it’s more important to call out antisemitism that claims it’s not than open and proud antisemitism, that almost no one wants to be associated with. No one is going to give some openly antisemitic right-wing Holocaust denier a political science chair at an elite university, but they will to academics who traffic in antisemitic tropes so long as they claim these are only aimed at “Zionists.”

      1. Oh, and you missed one important aspect. The leading font of anti-Israel propaganda for decades was the Soviet Union. The Soviets routinely used antisemitic tropes in their “anti-Zionist” propaganda. While the Soviets are long gone, their anti-Israel campaign had a significant influence on the Western far left, both in making hostility to Israel a touchstone of far left thinking, and in normalizing the use of antisemitic tropes in the guise of “anti-Zionism.”

      2. “I just don’t get why that means one shouldn’t call it out. Indeed, it’s more important to call out antisemitism that claims it’s not than open and proud antisemitism, that almost no one wants to be associated with. No one is going to give some openly antisemitic right-wing Holocaust denier a political science chair at an elite university, but they will to academics who traffic in antisemitic tropes so long as they claim these are only aimed at “Zionists.””

        Allow me to explain:
        1. Admissions against interest are always more interesting (and powerful) than thinly-veiled partisan snipes. You are welcome to go back through your own posts, and see your history. I could be mistaken, but … in my recollection, you almost always have posts criticizing “the left,” while the few posts that deal with anti-Semitism on the right are to debunk it. Arguing it’s not that prevalent, etc.

        In short, you provide useful cover (wittingly or unwittingly) for anti-Semitism on the right, by making it a partisan issue.

        2. Left-wing anti-Semitism certainly exists; of course, some of us would say that Cornel West is a loon even without the anti-Semitism. Regardless, this isn’t just a feature of academia. There has been an unfortunate tension with the beliefs of some members of the African American community, where, for various reasons, anti-Semitism has been more tolerated.

        That said … there is a real danger, as in actual danger, in terms of some of the anti-Semitism on the right. IMO. On the other hand, the anti-Semitism on the left, while odious and in need of combat, tends to often conflate various strains (from anti-Israel, to Nation of Islam nonsense) … but usually lacks the racial essentialism and acceptance that has been a hallmark of the extreme right wing.

        1. “Antisemitism is only dangerous if it’s based on racial essentialism” is a very dumb take. Just for example, 1 million or so Jews were forced out of their homes in the Middle East and North Africa since 1948. Very little of the antisemitism that motivated these expulsions had anything to do with racial essentialism (nor, for that matter, did the antisemitism of the most powerful and damaging antisemitic powers in world history before the Nazis, Tsarist Russia and the unified Spanish monarchy). You are engaging in a fallacy that I’ve written about previously, which is using Nazi racial, genocidal antisemitism as the standard for antisemitism to be judged by.

          Meanwhile, it’s quite obvious why one might blog about antisemitism among people who deny they are antisemitic rather than people who are open about it. Virtually no one denies that right-wing Holocaust denial is antisemitic. Lots of people not only deny that claiming, falsely, that Israel only vaccinates Jews is antisemitic, they argue that it’s unreasonable to even suggest that it may have antisemitic implications because it’s “only criticism of Israel.”

          1. “Lots of people not only deny that claiming, falsely, that Israel only vaccinates Jews is antisemitic, they argue that it’s unreasonable to even suggest that it may have antisemitic implications because it’s “only criticism of Israel.””

            It’s Michael Che. SNL. It’s hardly surprising. Here are a few others:

            “A new study finds that pigeons in New York City are genetically different from pigeons in Boston. It’s actually easy to spot the difference because the Boston pigeons are the ones yelling at blackbirds to go back to where they came from.”

            OH! ALL BOSTONIANS BE RACIST!!!!!

            “President Biden signed an executive order repealing Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military. It’s good news, except Biden is calling the policy: ‘don’t ask, don’t tuck,’ which is not good news.”

            ON NOES! HE MADE FUNS OF THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY.

            Yeah, he made a joke. A lot of jokes are “edgy,” for lack of a better term. I really thought that the VC “Cancel Culture Warriors Since 2020!” posters would have looked for a different example of how “The Left” is anti-semitic that Cornel West and an SNL joke.

            Because there are some real issue that are going on.

            Also? My dumb takes? You just justified not caring or posting about right-wing anti-Semitism BECAUSE THEY ARE SO OPEN ABOUT IT! What is wrong with you?

            “Well, I mean … I could criticize Kristallnacht, but they were so open about their anti-Semitism! That’s nothing to worry about. When people feel comfortable being completely open about their anti-Semitism, to the extent that it exists in the mainstream of a political party … well, that’s good, right?”

            I can’t even.

            1. I said in my post that jokes sometimes misfire. No biggie. The problem is failure for those who otherwise have finely tuned attennae for any hint of prejudice to even comprehend why, without any context provided, suggesting (falsely) that Israel only vaccinates Jews causes anyone concern regarding antisemitism, especially when the implicit rationale seems to be that all is fair and just if the underlying purpose is criticizing Israel. So I didn’t call out SNL for making the joke, I called out a dude who works for the ACLU as head of their “human rights program”(!) for being utterly dismissive of the concerns–before they were even raised.

  32. “Actually, it’s not that hard to criticize Israel without sliding into antisemitic tropes. ”

    You’ve, according to your own admission, been closely following the issue for many years. What are your top five criticisms of Israel (which I don’t think could be said to slide into anti-semitic tropes)?

  33. It’s weird how David Bernstein takes issue with anti-semitism amongst the left but seems to have no problems with the multitude of comments regularly posted on volokh that characterize Jews as monsters and the source of all the world’s problems.

    1. Your first mistake is thinking that I regularly read the comments on posts other than my own.

      1. First was describing paltry, partisan, pretextual polemics at this White, male, movement conservatism blog as “weird” rather than “incessant.”

        Making support for Israel’s right-wing belligerence a left-right divider in American politics seems a silly — even stupid — mistake for Israel, even without regard to choosing the losing side of the American culture war.

        But they get to make that choice — and to live (or die) with the consequences.

        1. Your preferred solution to the left-right divide on Israel seems to be that no one should support Israel, which hardly seems like it would to Israel’s benefit.

          1. If he hadn’t written “Israel’s right-wing belligerence,” you might be correct. But he did. “Support of Israel” should not need to be synonymous with “support for Netanyahu’s government.”

            1. Is there any other democratic country for which US support depends on the particular government in power at the moment, short of a literal Nazi getting elected (I’m thinking Kurt Waldheim here)?

              1. Is there any other democratic country for which US support depends on the particular government in power at the moment, short of a literal Nazi getting elected (I’m thinking Kurt Waldheim here)?

                Bizarre question. Does the US never object to the policies of other democratically elected governments? No disputes?

                Anyway, it’s not clear what you mean by “support” here, but you do seem to be equating support for Israel with support for Netanyahu’s policies.

                I don’t think that supporting Israel means being a fan of Netanyahu. I’m certainly no such fan, partly because I think his policies are unjust, partly because I see no sensible endgame.

                And I can assure you that I support Israel, and my doubts about Netanyahu have a lot to do with its long-run wellbeing.

                1. I’ve interacted with quite a few people who claim they have nothing against Israel, but really dislike Netanyahu. When you get into specifics, it turns out they really dislike Israel, and when they claim otherwise, they mean that they like some mythical Israel that existed before Begin and was a Social Democratic, peaceable paradise. This was Obama’s position…. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/05/22/obama-is-nostalgic-for-white-israel/

                  1. Obama: And I care deeply about preserving that Jewish democracy, because when I think about how I came to know Israel, it was based on images of, you know—
                    Goldberg: We talked about this once. Kibbutzim, and—
                    Obama: Kibbutzim, and Moshe Dayan, and Golda Meir, and the sense that not only are we creating a safe Jewish homeland, but also we are remaking the world. We’re repairing it. We are going to do it the right way. We are going to make sure that the lessons we’ve learned from our hardships and our persecutions are applied to how we govern and how we treat others.

                    1. IOW, people who want Israel to be some kind of Ashkenazic Jewish Disneyland, basically the (non-Orthodox) Upper West Side, the Fairfax District, and similar politically and religiously liberal Jewish enclaves transferred somehow to the Middle East. And if Israel turns out to be, as someone put it, “an overperforming Turkey” rather than the middle eastern equivalent of Sweden, then Israel, unlike every other non-Sweden in the world, somehow loses it’s moral right to be.

                    2. I’ve interacted with quite a few people who claim they have nothing against Israel, but really dislike Netanyahu. When you get into specifics, it turns out they really dislike Israel, and when they claim otherwise, they mean that they like some mythical Israel that existed before Begin and was a Social Democratic, peaceable paradise. …

                      And if Israel turns out to be, as someone put it, “an overperforming Turkey” rather than the middle eastern equivalent of Sweden, then Israel, unlike every other non-Sweden in the world, somehow loses it’s moral right to be.

                      This is really pretty insulting, David. I don’t appreciate it.

                      Are you in love with Netanyahu’s settlement policies – see no problems? Think they are going to lead to long term stability? Maybe you do.

                      Well, you’re entitled to express your opinion, without being told you don’t really support Israel. So am I, and it differs from yours.

                      And as for that “mythical Israel that existed before Begin and was a Social Democratic, peaceable paradise. …,” wasn’t that the Israel story we were all taught growing up? Israel never harmed a Palestinian flea? Why the objections now? Maybe wanting the country to be “a light unto the nations” isn’t such a terrible thing.

                      And maybe pointing out when it fails to live up to its own professed ideals doesn’t imply one thinks it has lost its moral right to exist.

                  2. I’ve interacted with quite a few people who claim they have nothing against Israel, but really dislike Netanyahu

                    This describes not only bernard11, but a lot of my Jewish friends, some of whom are current or former Israelis.

                    It appears you are drawing an inference that they’re all anti-Israel because they don’t have your view of what needs to be done in dealing with Palestinians is some pretty impressive partisanship, albeit not domestic American partisanship.

                    1. Allow me to clarify, Sarcastro. Of course there are people who like Israel but don’t like Bibi. Including many Israelis. Including me. But there is also a large cohort who claim their only problem is Bibi or Likud, but when you dig deeper, they are lying. They will say things like I hate this Likudpolicy. Then you point out that there is a consensus in Israel, even among Meretz voters. Say, the partial blockade of Gaza. And then you find out that “likud” or “Bibi” is not the issue at all

                    2. But even if there is a consensus in Israel, disagreeing with that consensus is not questioning Israel’s right to exist.

                    3. Bernard: It’s not. But there is a reason that there is a consensus in Israel re the blockade, which is without it Hamas will create a massive military infrastructure to use against Israel and in particular its civilian population. So if you ask people against the blockade what Israel is supposed to do about this, they will either talk about how Israel created Hamas to begin with (which is false), or about the legitimacy of Hamas’s grievances against Israel. Which is their way of saying that Israel has no right to defend itself against Hamas. Which is their way of saying that Israel needs to surrender to Hamas. Which is their way of saying that Israel shouldn’t exist. Now, they may still support Israel’s right to exist in some theoretical way, but not the actual Israel, or any actual Israel that could exist under current practical circumstances.

                  3. “I’ve interacted with quite a few people who claim they have nothing against Israel, but really dislike Netanyahu. When you get into specifics, it turns out they really dislike Israel, and when they claim otherwise, they mean that they like some mythical Israel that existed before Begin and was a Social Democratic, peaceable paradise. ”

                    You’re a full-of-shit, at-the-fringe, right-wing kook on this issue. With pals like you, Israel may need no enemies . . . and may wind up with few, powerless friends in the United States.

                    1. And if I deleted this comment for being an obnoxious and vulgar personal insult, you’d whine like a 2 year old for the rest of your life about “censorship,” right?

                    2. Comments are not deleted for being obnoxious and vulgar personal insults at this blog. They are censored, but for other reasons.

                      If I promise to use the ‘n’ word periodically, can I get back into your good graces?

          2. I have no single preferred solution.

            I would prefer that Israel ditch its right-wing belligerence (or, if it does not, that America stop providing political, military, and economic skirts behind which Israel conducts that right-wing belligerence).

            I would prefer that Israel ditch its snowflake-level flattery of indolent religious kooks. I would prefer that Israel stop being an occupying power.

            I would consider offering statehood to Israel. I would consider offering American citizenship to Israelis (in part because it would be far easier to protect them here than it is to protect them in Israel, in part because the immigration would benefit America, in part because that could improve the position of Israelis and others).

            The big points for me include (1) the unpleasant, immoral things I am subsidizing at great and varied cost with respect to Israel, (2) a desire for substantial, painful consequences associated with Israel’s obnoxious alignment with America’s right-wingers, and (3) a general inclination that America should diminish a number of unsavory, expensive relationships (including those with Saudi Arabia and Israel) in that region.

            Unless Israel’s right-wing supporters recommend suitable for Israel’s partisan cuddling with America’s ugly right-wingers, I hope America’s liberal-libertarian mainstream identifies and imposes consequences severe enough to damage the perpetrators and deter recurrence. Losing the culture war should have consequences, including for those who made common political cause with the losers.

      2. I don’t think I said that you read them…

        1. How would I have a problem with antisemitic comments I’ve never seen and aren’t aware of?

          1. David, why play games like this, aren’t you an attorney? Reading comments is not the same thing as being aware that they exist. We both know you know that they exist. Your initial response to me was a tacit admission as much. I don’t read the antisemitic comments and I know they exist. I’ve seen them discussed on your posts before and I’d bet money that if I went through the comment history on your articles, I was not the first person to point such comments out.

            As another Jew, I find your ostrich-like behavior here rather shameful. I fully admit that we can disagree about politics and what Israel should and shouldn’t do, but the antisemitic comments on this platform are disgusting and you seem to not even be remotely bothered by the antisemitism and antisemitic environment your own posts and the volokh conspiracy, in general, foster. Instead you sit here and say to me “what posts?” Please, I’m not one of the stupid anti-semites.

      3. Here’s a hint: you should.

        Rightly or wrongly, the company you choose to keep reflects on you. The comment section, and the co-bloggers, of this blog reflects on all the authors.

        Which is to say… you can, of course, choose ignorance. But your choice of ignorance is still a choice, and does not negate the reflection.

        1. Every comments section of every blog has antisemitic comments, as does the New York Times and Washington Post comments.

          1. This blog has a nearly ceaseless flow of vile racial slurs (every week or so, it seems, either the proprietor — or a commenter responding to the proprietor — unleashes that particular bigotry), antisemitic comments, right-wing threats of violence (gassing liberals, shooting liberals in the face, ‘Second Amendment solutions,’ Zyklon showers, placing liberals face-down in landfills, gay-bashing comments, Muslim-bashing comments, misogynistic comments . . . all of which are within this blog’s ostensible ‘civility standards.’

            Why does this White, male, right-wing blog attract such fans?

            (Using ‘c_p succ_r’ precipitates deletion of comments, though, while use of ‘sl_ck-j_w’ draws a censorship warning and making fun of conservatives can precipitate a ban.)

          2. They really don’t. Hell, even the main Reason blog has fewer rabidly anti-Semitic comments then the Volokh Conspiracy attracts. There are other sites I’ve gone to which openly engage in other kinds of bigotry that don’t hold a candle to the shit I see here.

            The Conspiracy has a problem whether you choose to see it or not.
            But don’t think that anyone is going to mistake you burying your head in the sand for a virtue.

            1. If so, your theory is that the VC attracts more antisemites than the main reason site because we are more attractive to them than, I don’t know, perhaps because almost all the regular bloggers at the VC are… Jewish? LOL.

              1. And what point do you think that makes as a defense? Do Jews not work at the NY Times? You are accused of being a Jew that is tolerant of the antisemitic party you and your colleagues facilitate on a daily basis. I’d like to think that you aren’t this oblivious but the way you are playing “internet” with your comments makes me think you aren’t that much different from the anti-semitic posters.

  34. All due respect to prof. Bernstein… posting this on the same day as YOung Pharoah/CPAC gate is unfolding , is omg so delicious. It’s like 10000 spoons when all you need is a knife. I echo others above: physician heal thyself!

    1. I would have to google to find out what you are talking about.

      1. Maybe you should!

        1. As someone concerned about anti-semitism on the march I mean! How did that guy get invited in the first place?!

      2. I’ll help out.

        CPAC had invited a character named Young Pharoah to appear on some sort of panel. Turns out YP is a virulent, no-doubt-about-antisemite. I guess they didn’t check, or didn’t care.

        The news having come out, they “cancelled” him.

        Amusing.

  35. I don’t have much interest in digging into any of this, but after reading further in the blogs something caught my eye from last Friday:

    In 2017, Arkansas enacted a law requiring government contractors to certify that they won’t boycott Israel.

    And while that reminded me of it, it’s not new. I think Texas tried a similar law?

    So I have to say… if this rando’s response sounds like anti-Semitic conspiracy nonsense, but also like accurate headlines, there might be a problem.

    I find it important, at this point, to note that Arkansas’s law, and similar efforts, are not actually being pushed by American Jewish communities. They are being pushed by a specific brand of Christian, who is in love with the idea of Israel, but has no use for the Jewish folk in their own backyards.

    1. “I find it important, at this point, to note that Arkansas’s law, and similar efforts, are not actually being pushed by American Jewish communities.”
      False.

      “They are being pushed by a specific brand of Christian, who is in love with the idea of Israel, but has no use for the Jewish folk in their own backyards.”
      False. Studies show that the more an evangelical Christian has a favorable view of Israel, the more likely he has a favorable view of Jews, and vice versa. The evangelical Christians who don’t like Israel also don’t like Jews, and vice versa. This would surprise no one who is actually familiar with the extensive literature on the subject, as opposed to just making stuff up.

      1. This would surprise no one who is actually familiar with the extensive literature on the subject, as opposed to just making stuff up.

        This is hilarious coming from someone who endlessly equivocates away anti-Semitic violence on the “right” by pointing at tasteless jokes on the “left”.

        But hey, I needed a laugh this morning, so good on you.

  36. A more self-aware SNL could be pointing out their own bias.
    “and I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.” is self referential, after all.
    More likely, target fixation made them stupid. They walked rightpast the obvious Jewish Doctor jokes.

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