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August 26, 2014

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Yalov Dov

And back to the point: do you disagree with his very narrow claim that much of the current anti-semitism you are referring to do is quite clearly partly caused by Israel's aggressive military policies (please avoid discussion of anti-semitism that is 200 years old - no one disputes the origins of that and this has almost zero relation to the incidents in Europe today).

A simple yes or no please.

Steven Lubet

Sorry, this is not cross examination, so you are not entitled to demand a yes or no answer (not that you are always entitled to one even in cross examination).

But I do disagree strongly with his claim that current anti-Semitism must always be discussed in the context of Middle East policy. The issues need to be separated. One can oppose Israel's militarism without descending into anti-Semitism, and one can oppose anti-Semitism (whatever its cause) simply because it is poisonous.

NattyB

"Without even a word of condemnation for the treatment of Jews, Shipman argued that the best “antidote to anti-Semitism” would be for “Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.” In other words, the Jews in Europe will not be safe until the Jews in Israel (and their “patrons”) start behaving themselves."

Nor do you acknowledge any truth to his claims. Every time Netanyahu says "on behalf of the Jewish people," and then declares something along the lines of "we must destroy Hamas" resulting in a lot of civilian deaths (notably about 500 children so far!) he stains all European Jewry with the aggressive acts of the State of Israel.

Not everyone is so sophisticated to distinguish between the Israeli government and Jews, and in fact, The Israeli government deems itself to be the representative of all Jews. As such, it is reasonable that less sophisticated people will take to blaming "the Jews" for the acts of the State of Israel, which the State of Israel claims to be undertaken on behalf of "all Jews."

David B

Nor do you acknowledge any truth to his claims. Every time Al Qaeda says "on behalf of the Muslim People," and then declares something along the lines of "we must destroy the Great Satan" resulting in a lot of civilian deaths (notably tens of thousands of children so far!) he stains all Muslims in the world with the aggressive acts of Al Qaeda.

Not everyone is so sophisticated to distinguish between the Al Qaeda and Muslims, and in fact, Al Qaeda deems itself to be the representative of all Muslims. As such, it is reasonable that less sophisticated people will take to blaming "the Muslims" for the acts of the Al Qaeda, which the Al Qaeda claims to be undertaken on behalf of "all Muslims."

(Not that Israel bears any resemblance to Al Qaeda, mind you, but Natty B. has just excused any future violence against Muslim anywhere in the world.)

NattyB

I don't understand your re-joinder? That the acts of Al-Qaeda lead to increases in Anti-Muslim racism? Is that even in dispute? How many times have we observed mainstream advocacy along the lines of "where are the Muslim moderates, why don't they condemn this brutality."

Rev. Shipman doesn't even assert such positive obligation with respect to European Jewry, he merely posits that the greatest antidote to European Anti-Semitism would be a just resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

anon


Let's forget about what happened before 1948? Oh, please. The conduct of Israel is an excuse, not the cause. Look at the number of UN resolutions condemning Israel in a world awash with violent injustice and one starts to get the feeling that something other than reasoned thought is in play here.

If violent, unjust conduct were the cause of the moral posturing by the Israel haters that come out whenever Israel is mentioned, then their outrage would be directed at the oceans of injustice in the countries surrounding Israel.

Yet, the violent and extreme acts which occur in those countries (on a scale of death and dislocation that dwarfs anything occurring in Gaza) seems always to pale in comparison when the haters come out in response to any mention of Israel.

Those injustices, almost always done IN THE NAME OF RELIGON, are totally ignored. Ethnic cleansing in those countries is not only tolerated, it is APPLAUDED by the haters. Yet, any mention of Israel is accompanied by the most egregious and obvious expression of bile and hate.

Academia in general, and legal academia in particular, has so lost its way. It no longer maintains even the pretense of common sense and even-handed deliberations.

C'mon haters. Defend the conduct of the countries that surround Israel - conduct that has nothing whatsoever to do any "occupation" by the hated Jews, and everything to do with other conflicts that seem to never end in that region of the world (yes, we are speaking of thousands of years here).

NattyB

And just to further follow-up, I think it's less reasonable to blame "the Muslims" for the acts of Al-Qaeda, since very few Muslims in the world are actually aligned with AQ. They're a terrorist group that kill significantly more Muslims than non. Whereas Israel is a nation-state, whose population comprises about 1/2 of the world's Jewish population and will grant residency to any Jew in the world.

It's just crazy that you throw out the Rev.'s analysis out of hand and then claim he's just victim-blaming per Christian tradition. Like, when this happens: http://youtu.be/lZtoD-SCkBg, I feel this stain as an American Jew. I feel like, when this happens, if people know that I'm a Jew, they'll think I somehow approve of destroying entire residential towers. I don't blame Hamas for that. I blame Israel for staining me with their aggressive actions and then saying it's on my behalf. And yes, if Al-Qaeda and IS turned to peace and negotiations I think it'd be safe to say there'd be less anti-Muslim racism.

Barry

Steve Lubet:

"It is hard to say whether Shipman’s tolerance for the current outbreak of anti-Semitism is worse than his ignorance of history, but he ought to know that violence against Jewish individuals and institutions long predates the current fighting in Gaza. Consider, for example, shootings or bombings at synagogues in Paris (1980), Rome (1982), Istanbul (1986 and 2003), and Tunisia (2002) ; a delicatessen in Paris (1982); the Jewish community centers in Buenos Aires (1994), Seattle (2006), and Mumbai (2008); the murder of Leon Klinghoffer for the crime of cruising while Jewish (1985), and enough other incidents to fill this page."


Rates, rates, rates, rates, rates, rates.
And please note that your list covers pretty much the entire (non-communist) world, over 28 years.

For example, how many Palestinian civilians were killed by Israel over the past 28 years?

Heck, how much of a list could be compiled from Israeli actions in Lebanon alone?

Barry

Anon: "Those injustices, almost always done IN THE NAME OF RELIGON, are totally ignored. Ethnic cleansing in those countries is not only tolerated, it is APPLAUDED by the haters. Yet, any mention of Israel is accompanied by the most egregious and obvious expression of bile and hate."

Wow - I missed out on that applause for ethnic cleansing (from anti-Israel people). Could you please help me find all of that applause?

anon

The countries surrounding Israel are pretty much Judenfrei, no?

And, certainly, any Jew living in certain areas can never be a "citizen" ... that Jew is a "settler" to be removed, as soon as possible. That is because removal of Jews is not desired and celebrated?

Please, tell me that the removal of Jews (often by death) has not been celebrated widely in the countries surrounding Israel. Tell me all about the wonderful religious tolerance of Jews in those countries.

In fact, the entire area of Israel is believed by many in the countries surrounding Israel to be an area properly made Judenfrei. No?

Please, rather than asking, tell me: has the expulsion of the Jews from the countries surrounding Israel occurred (in not de jure, de facto)? If so, please defend this on the basis of claimed religious tolerance and justice in those countries.

As for the Israel haters, their deliberate indifference to the conditions mentioned above, while posturing endlessly about Israel, speaks volumes. In my view, their selective outrage constitutes celebration of the undeniable hate that the Israel haters tolerate in the enemies of Israel's very existence.

anon

And, while you are at it, let's hear a defense of the treatment of other minority groups in the countries surrounding Israel: Christians, etc. Ethic cleansing galore! And, often by the most disgusting and brutal means.

Celebration? Well, again, deliberate indifference while posturing endlessly about Israel fits the bill.

David B

No one doubts that anti-Semitic acts increase when Israel is in the news, or that anti-Muslim acts increase when there is Muslim terrorism. But the Rev. isn't explaining, he's excusing and justifying, and holding Jews' security hostage to their willingness to take his political line on Israel. "You Jews want to live in peace and security--better pressure Israel to concede to Hamas." Well, Jews have a right to live in peace and security regardless of what Israel does or doesn't do. No matter how mad I was at Al Qaeda, for good or bad reason, I have no right to go punch the nearest hijab-wearing woman in the face, or to go throw a molotov cocktail at the nearest mosque, regardless of whether I think Muslims in general have been sufficiently outspoken in condemning Al Qaeda. One's human rights are not dependent on whether people agree or disagree with the policies of a state or organization that claims to speak in one's group's name.

Strike

If you can hold all Jews an 100+ countries responsible for the conduct of Israel in a war -- a war in which far fewer people were killed than the war in neighboring Syria or nearby Iraq or not-too-faraway Libya were killed during the same time period -- then you'd better hold all Muslims responsible for the behavior of the vast majority of their governments (up to and including the ISIS "state" and the Taliban, and Boko Haram, and the Al Shabab, and yes also Hamas who use their civilians as human shields).

Let's assume for a second that sooner or later, one side will relent. Let's even go further and assume that it actually makes a difference to the Western World which semitic branch holds this piece of the Mediterranean, and that it will somehow affect you personally (if it's the Jews, it's doubtful it will affect you -- if it's not, it might affect you greatly).

In that case, and assuming we're holding every individual responsible for the acts of their religion, which world would you rather live in? One of permanent war, submission, oppression of women and dissidents and outliers and freethinkers, which values death and "martyrdom"? Or one that values human life, free thought, freedom of religion and individual rights?

The self-important Rev here took the side of a terrorist organization and blamed a race of people for the country fighting it. If he were a legitimate scholar or held any kind of valid credential, it oughta be taken away, but since anyone can be a "reverend" out of an ad in the back of Rolling Stone, it doesn't much matter. The man should be shunned and treated as the racist pariah he apparently is, and sent back to malinger in whatever swamp he crawled out of.

twbb

"Celebration? Well, again, deliberate indifference while posturing endlessly about Israel fits the bill."

No. It doesn't even approach an honest definition of "Celebration."

MacK

The evidence for a rise in antisemitism in Europe is, at best, weak - and indeed in most western countries. See:

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28853221

Thus the entire debate may be based on a false premise. There is a lot of evidence that the Netanyahu administration and its followers are seeking to portray a world with rising levels of antisemitism - in part to encourage the Jewish diaspora to rally around Israel, in part as a tactic to infer that European governments and politicians, normally more critical of Israel's behavior do so out of some latent antisemitism - an accusation which if sustained would be fatal for a mainstream center or center left politician in Europe. Oddly enough the European far right are broadly sympathetic to the Israelis - they generally hate Muslims and ethnic Arabs, Turks etc. and see any Israeli harshness as - "well hey, they're brown...."

Israeli embassies in Europe have been sending out some pretty disgraceful twitters too - crude anti Muslim propaganda, with various statues and monuments wearing full Islamic women's dress and holding Kalashnikovs with the usual caption "you're next..." Interestingly, while most Europeans can distinguish between Israeli policy and their Jewish colleagues and friend's religion, Israeli embassies across Europe are crudely trying to promote a view that all Muslims back al Quada and ISIS, which puts them in bed with the far racist right.

One of the things that I always find shocking by the way is how much antisemitism there is hidden under the surface. How many American whites (particularly in the South and Mid West) hold antisemitic views handed down from their parents, how common it is in France for old rich families, formerly anti-Dreyfusards and Catholic party types to hold such views. The evangelical right, I suspect of still being as deeply antisemitic as when many of their. Umber were running around in bed sheets. So, one has to ask, is there really a rising tide, or is this the antisemitism that never really went away?

anon

That's right. Quibble about a word. A last resort when there is no cogent response.

That's because the truth is the truth. Celebration is precisely what we are talking about.

We are now speaking of the rejoicing in the countries that surround Israel that often has accompanied numerous barbaric atrocities against Jews and other minorities, and the terrible fixation of the US academy in hating Israel while mainly ignoring these atrocities, which is every bit as much a celebration of hatred and enmity.

Let's hear a defense of the treatment of religious and other minority groups in the countries surrounding Israel: Jews, Christians, etc. Ethic cleansing galore! And, often by the most disgusting and brutal means. Medieval means.

What's that? I haven't heard the response. Instead, you want to know what "celebration" means?

Let's hear the same level of moral posturing about the horrific actions that those in these countries carry out.

You can quibble with a word, but you've made no point at all.

Deliberate indifference to the conditions mentioned above, while posturing endlessly about Israel, in my view, constitutes a celebration of the undeniable hate that the Israel haters tolerate in the enemies of Israel's very existence.

Condemn those who apply double or triple standards, and condemn the enemies of Israel with the same moral posturing that you do Israel or own your celebration of Israel hating.

Kevin Jon Heller

If you believe America's policies in the Middle East play a role in anti-Americanism, you're an apologist for al-Qaeda.

David B

Not surprisingly, Heller doesn't recognize that the analogy between "American policies" and "anti-American" is rather imprecise to "Israeli policies" and "hatred of Jews in Europe".

David B

MacK, your understanding of anti-Semitism is 40 years or so out of date. Survey data shows Democrats more anti-Semitic than Republicans, the result of Democratic constituencies--blacks, Hispanics primarily--being much more anti-Semitic than the public as a whole. Despite lower education levels (correlated with anti-Semitism) evangelical Christians are no more anti-Semitic than other Americans. The most publicly accepted forms of anti-Semitism, like attacks on "neocons" in the Bush Administration for being an Israeli fifth column, come from the left. But I'm suspecting that you wouldn't let data and facts get in the way of your gut feelings.

Anonymous

I certainly don't hate Israel, and I am appalled by the actions of ISIS and other extremist groups in the world. That includes Hamas when it deliberately targets civilians. On the other hand, I strongly disagree with Netanyahu's long-standing commitment to undermining any chance at peace, including his expansion of settlements in Palestinian areas, his cruel blockade of Gaza, his continuation of apartheid-type subjugation of the West Bank and Gaza, and his reckless response bordering on war crimes to the rocket attacks.

Not that the Palestinians are at all blameless. In fact, Netanyahu supporters are welcome to say Palestinians have done more bad things than Israelis. I can accept that suicide bombing a pizzeria or randomly firing rockets at civilian areas is more evil and more immoral than recklessly engaging in warfare that kills four children on a beach, or many more at a U.N. safe shelter bombed by large caliber artillery fire. But gosh that's too close a call for comfort.

Just because I am appalled by Hamas' conduct does not make me anti-Palestinian. Similarly, please don't call me anti-Semitic because I am appalled by Israel's conduct. Certainly some of the voices opposing Israel are motivated in part or in whole by anti-Semitism. I'd need a new pair of glasses if I couldn't see that. And I definitely condemn anti-Semitism. But that doesn't change my disgust with Israel's conduct. I can love Israel and hate it's actions.

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