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March 11, 2015


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But here we have you finally responding to the argument.

Even then it contains an implicit distortion "most people who hate Israel also hate Jews." The inference is that those who criticise Israel's policies "hate Israel." However, I personally don't hate Israel - I object to some of its policies, but I think the state should exist (I may question how it was created.) Again, we end up with the implicit exaggeration.

So I really don't care if you bother responding to me. But what I do care about is that you let people engage in what you now describe as counterproductive, reductionist, and wrong - that you were only spurred to respond when challenged, that you let loud defenders of Israel hurl this sort of crap, silently.

To be absolutely blunt - I find anti-semitism odious - but I find the enthusiasm of so many of Israel's supporters for the casual slinging of the accusation also outrageous - and their silence while fellow travellers do it, while demanding other denounce antisemitism at every turn hypocritical to say the least.

I am very glad to have pissed you off - try staying that way!



Frankly I find your post disingenuous at best.

There are few things as dangerous to any professional or academic as being labelled a racist and in particular an antisemite - cf Salaita. To suggest that the accusation is not flung around like "snuff at a wake" is to "pee down someones leg and tell them it's raining." The accusation is being flung far too casually, it is disgraceful - and pretending it is not does not address the issue.

That those who tend to fling the accusation so easily are now defensive when the issue comes up ... well, hmmm. Hasn't stopped them.



You are coming off as unhinged.

What is sort of surprising is that you got anyone to agree with you that the following statement equals "anyone who hates Israel hates Jews":

"No matter how much they deny it, justifiers who perpetuate and support Jew hate always resort to a debate about Israel. As if proving Israel is evil (a perception often motivated by Jew hate, as the conduct provoking Israel is almost always ignored or quickly dismissed as irrelevant) proves that Jews are evil too."

To reiterate, this instance had nothing to do with Israel or the BDS movement, as stated above. As stated in the post, this issue concerned voting based on a person "being Jewish and active in the Jewish community." YOu quickly hijacked the thread and turned it into a debate about Israel. It is to that resort that I commented, as above. I am sort of doubting that you can't really understand the point here.

As I noted above, Jew hate has for centuries relied, in material respects, on claims that Jews have "dual loyalty" and claims about "worldwide Jewry." These bases for Jew hate exist and have existed independently from views about Israel.

As others pointed out, you have engaged in a terrible proclivity for simply inventing statements by others to knock down. That's cool for litigation; lots of litigators just misrepresent the position of their adversary and then hope for the best in court. Judges often read as carelessly as folks do here in the FL, and this tactic can be effective.

But, it is sort of disappointing that you do this. I thought better of you.


Just to prove the point:

I said:

"See how quickly an instance of conduct so blatantly directed to a person's religion turns into a debate about Israel? Jew has divided loyalty; Jew must not be admitted. These aren't "BDS" questions: these are the age-old memes of Jew hate the world over. Everybody knows it. Don't play us for fools. "

Brackets responds:

"A little while ago you posted a statement that every BDS supporter is a jew-hater. Now you put up a post again returning to the theme."

See how that works?


anon, BDS was central to the discussion which makes it ipsa facto about Israel - read the original post. It was central to you comment that to support BDS meant someone is a "Jew-Hater"

Now you are trying to suggest that calling out that point makes someone a Jew Hater, I.e., an antisemite. Horseshit! You went where you went - own it.


By the way anon at at 6:19 pm - I put a challenge to you - assuming you are the same anon. You did not even try to address it, though it is relevant to your earlier posts and under your more recent. Why not?



Like others, I can't debate with this sort of bad faith on your part. There is no other way to put it. You aren't responding to the points made, you are making up arguments to refute.

I commented: "See how quickly an instance of conduct so blatantly directed to a person's religion turns into a debate about Israel? Jew has divided loyalty; Jew must not be admitted. These aren't "BDS" questions ..."

YOu say what I really meant was "to support BDS meant someone is a "Jew-Hater." Brackets, your reactions are just too bizarre and over the top to formulate a response!

So, like others, I'll leave it to you to continue this somewhat deranged ranting. I actually enjoy reading it, as I'm getting a sense of the rationalizations that so quickly take every issue concerning a Jew into an opportunity to engage in Israel bashing.


Anon -

You are rather predictable


I'm not sure what it means to "fling" anti-Semitism accusations "casually." I imagine it involves doing it while sipping a Corona? If it refers to people calling things anti-Semitic when they don't actually believe that it is, then there's no proof regarding such cynical behavior. If it refers to people calling things anti-Semitic when Mack really doesn't think they are, then there's no reason to elevate Mack's instinctive reactions to the level of a deliberative rule. There's really nothing more complicated than that going on here: Mack thinks that people who disagree with him about what constitutes anti-Semitism are either lying or delusional, and should not be listened to. That's not actually a viable starting point for structuring a conversation.


The conflation of religion with politics is fundamentally dangerous. The problem with that conflation is that it is driven from three directions.

You have those who seek to conflate religion with criticism of a policy that is associated with member of that religion, as in jewish means automatically being a supporter or indeed responsible for Israel's policies "the Israelis did it, they are jewish, it's the fault of the Jews," i.e.- the antisemitic approach.

Then you have those who try the "any true Englishman" approach, as in if you are Jewish you must support Israel, or if Irish you are a traitor if you don't support the IRA (I ran into that one on this forum from a someone the spam filter blocks commenting on.)

Then you have those who advocates any position they disagree with means someone is a racist bigot (see anon above.)

The problem with these gambits in argument is that they are not benign - they can get people killed. They certainly create a situation where all sensible debate is quashed. These gambits have come to be deployed in pretty well every debate about Israel, rendering the discussion a scorched wasteland where most people fear to tread. This is drive by people like anon - let's just read what he now wants to distance himself from:

"No matter how much they deny it, justifiers who perpetuate and support Jew hate always resort to a debate about Israel. As if proving Israel is evil (a perception often motivated by Jew hate, as the conduct provoking Israel is almost always ignored or quickly dismissed as irrelevant) proves that Jews are evil too."

"most do [hates all Jews], because, as said above, they reveal THEIR bias by focusing only on the response by Israel and almost never on the provocations"

He rounds this up with "Instead, we need to endure lectures about Israel. What does that tell us?"

So to carefully parse what anon had to say, raising the question of whether it is appropriate for those opposed to BDS to be bringing those about to vote on the issue on expensive, fully paid excursions to Israel, amounts to a conflict of interest is "a lecture about Israel" that his non sequitur "what that does that tell us?" invites the answer anti-semite. [A]non obviously thinks those reading this tripe are idiots, or cannot remember what he said a few posts back.

To put it more simply - I regard associating someone's religion with their political views- in general (I can make exceptions for lunatic religious extremism), odious. I also find associating someone's ethnicity with their politics toxic and outrageous. Do I think that critics of Israel do this - yes indeed, some do. Do all, far from it.

Do I find it offensive that someone would require that to be a good "insert religion here" or " - insert ethnicity" you better agree with policy X or Y, or they have the right to speak for you. Absolutely.

Do I think that the debate at UCLA has become toxic based on these standards - its toxicity is pretty damn obvious. Do I think that the supporters of Israel are innocent in its toxicity - no, I think they contributed, as did many of those supporters of the Palestinians. But trying to pretend that one side is Simon-pure or the other side wholly guilty is dishonest - it is part of what created the toxic discussion in the first place.

And yes, I think throwing accusations of anti-semitism around casually have contributed to the mess. And those do I think anon is full of it ... well obviously.

Douglas Levene

Thank you, Prof. Lubet, for your informative and important post.

I don't think the BDS advocates at UCLA should be expelled for their Jew hatred and their offensive conduct and remarks. I think the First Amendment protects hate speech and offensive speech. But I would be a lot happier if the UCLA Chancellor took the opportunity to denounce plain old fashioned Jew hatred like this. He should make clear that the BDS cause is vile and disgusting even if it is protected speech. His remarks, tailored carefully so as not to offend the leftists on campus, fell far short of what was required.


And so Schraubd - how would you see Douglas Levene's little missive above.

"the BDS cause is vile and disgusting even if it is protected speech" = "BDS advocates .... Jew hatred"

In effect Leven has now, sweepingly, announced that all BDS supporters are vile and disgusting Jew-haters, i.e., antisemites.

Do you agree? Do you think everyone who supports BDS is an antisemite? If you don't, why not object to Douglas Levene's posting, why does Tsipras stay silent.

Have you ever heard the expression "to act with good authority." The person who uses it most, indeed may have coined it, is a strong supporter of Israel. What does it mean - it means that you don't let people get away with things - you don't accept antisemitism, but you also don't accept the misuse of the accusation. And here we have a posting that says that all BDS supporters are vile and disgusting Jew-haters - and the sound of crickets chirping where those who were so exercised earlier now sit.

BDS article

This article might help to understand:

From Durban to Los Angeles: the BDS movement’s long trail of anti-Semitism

By Tammi Rossman-Benjamin/

Last month, in a breathtaking display of anti-Semitism reminiscent of Nazi Germany, members of the student government at South Africa’s Durban University of Technology (DUT) called for the expulsion of all Jewish students from their campus. The very next day, halfway around the world, the student government at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) engaged in a similar display of anti-Jewish bigotry, nearly denying a highly qualified young woman a position on the student judiciary board after four student representatives brazenly argued that her Jewishness and affiliation with Jewish organizations should make her ineligible for the position.

Besides a shared proclivity for anti-Jewish bigotry, the DUT and UCLA student governments have something else in common: both bodies had previously voted to embrace the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. This is not a coincidence, but rather further evidence of the well-documented relationship between BDS and acts of anti-Semitism, particularly on college campuses. At schools where groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) promote BDS, Jewish students have routinely reported being harassed, physically and verbally assaulted, threatened, vilified, and discriminated against. Jewish students’ property and the property of Jewish student organizations have been defaced, damaged, or destroyed, while Jewish student events have been disrupted and shut down.

The link between BDS and anti-Semitism should come as no surprise to anyone who knows the history of the BDS movement, which ironically emerged at the 2001 U.N.-sponsored World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance—held in Durban, South Africa. Dubbed by former Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General Irwin Cotler as “the tipping point for the coalescence of a new, virulent, globalizing anti-Jewishness,” the Durban conference and its concomitant NGO Forum featured posters displaying Nazi icons, anti-Jewish cartoons, hecklers chanting “Jew, Jew, Jew,” and wide distribution of the virulently anti-Semitic “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” forgery. Tom Lantos, the late member of the U.S. Congress and Holocaust survivor, was part of the American delegation to the Durban conference and said the following: “For me, having experienced the horrors of the Holocaust firsthand, this was the most sickening and unabashed display of hate for Jews I have seen since the Nazi period.”

BDS was spawned in the Durban conference’s fetid swamp of Jew-hatred and brought into the world through the NGO Forum’s Declaration of Principles, a document that not only laid the groundwork for the BDS movement, but also set the stage for today’s broader landscape of global anti-Israel activism. Written in highly politicized language, the Declaration of Principles declared Israel to be “a racist, apartheid state” and accused Israel of “crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing [and] acts of genocide.” According to the declaration, Israel should be punished for its “crimes” by “the launch[ing] of an international anti-Israel movement as implemented against South African Apartheid,” as well as “a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state, which means the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes, and the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military operation and training) between all states and Israel.”

If the BDS movement was born in 2001 at the Durban Conference and NGO Forum, it came of age in 2005 with the Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS, which virtually all subsequent BDS campaigns—including anti-Israel divestment resolutions on U.S. campuses—have acknowledged as their source and guiding light. Although it was signed by more than 100 Palestinian NGOs, the main group behind the Palestinian Civil Society Call and the subsequent Palestinian BDS National Committee, which facilitates coordination of BDS campaigns worldwide, is the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine. The council is a coalition of Palestinian political factions founded by Yasser Arafat at the start of the Second Intifada in 2000, for the purpose of opposing Israel and coordinating terror attacks against it. Not surprisingly, many of the council’s organizational members are linked to terrorism against Jews in Israel and worldwide. The council’s chief sponsors and major partners, the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization, were recently indicted in a U.S. federal court for sponsoring terrorism, and at least three other organizations in the council are on the U.S. State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the PFLP General Command.

Whether they have terrorist affiliations or not, all of the signatories to the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS—along with all of the groups that have established BDS campaigns in response to that call, including campus organizations like SJP—are committed to the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state and see BDS as an excellent means to that end. This is reflected in the demands of the Civil Society Call, particularly that Israel end “its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” and permit all Palestinian refugees and their descendants “to return to their homes and properties.” The fulfillment of those demands would require Israel to commit territorial and demographic suicide. It is important to point out that denying Israel’s right to continue as a nation-state in which the Jewish people expresses its right to self-determination is a core element of the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism.

Those who monitor global anti-Semitism agree that the number and intensity of attacks against Jews worldwide are at levels not seen since the Holocaust. Given the BDS movement’s anti-Semitic nature, its clear ties to terrorist organizations committed to the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews, and the anti-Semitic effects of the BDS movement on Jewish students, it is reasonable to ask: Why are BDS campaigns allowed on college campuses at all?

BDS and anti-Semitism


In an effort to explain why the BDS movement is connected to anti-Semitism, I offer you this article. I'm sure you'll never the less defend the movement as a legitimate force, but it's connection to anti-Jewish attacks is clear:


(Apologies to Steve for a completely off-topic comment. Of course pls feel free to delete if you believe inappropriate here) - -

Alex: impressive job on the Thrower Symposium. Very well done overall and a great line-up of speakers with provocative views.

Alexander Tsesis

Thanks for your kind words, Concerned_Citizen. I don't know your identity but appreciate the kind post about the 2015 Thrower Symposium.


BDS and antisemitism,

Have you ever heard the expression "when you are in a hole stop digging"

The basic complaint is that various commentators have suggested that all supporters of BDS are antisemites, a lazy and offensive conflation. What, in your glorious brilliance do you do, double down.

And by the way, intellectual honesty points to Alexander Tsesis for dodging the opportunity to say he disagrees with that thesis. He is outraged, so far..... Just so far....

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