Jews

A Misguided Argument About Anti-Semitism

February 18, 2014

(This essay originally appeared in the Algemeiner on February 11, 2014.) In the Wall Street Journal of February 3, Harvard’s Ruth R. Wisse published an Op-Ed titled “The Dark Side of the War on ‘the One Percent.” In the article, Wisse argues for a “structural” connection between “anti-Semitism and American class conflict.” First tracing the [...]


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Academic Boycotts and Re-Colonization by Theory

February 3, 2014

(The full text of the following essay was published by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.) from “Academic Boycotts and Recolonization by Theory“  As a matter of international justice, however, conceptually distinguishing and crucial in consideration of what constitutes an indigenous people have been the following characteristics, developed for the Working Paper on the Concept [...]


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A Campaign of Willful Blindness on Terrorism

May 6, 2013

. This article first appeared in the Algemeiner on May 2, 2013.   On April 15, 2013 at 2:49 p.m. two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Most of us know the details, more or less – the three dead, 264 wounded and maimed, the days of fear, of investigation and pursuit, the [...]


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The Boston Marathon Bombing and The Faith Privilege

May 3, 2013

This article first appeared in the Algemeiner on April 23, 2013.  You can read the follow up there now: “A Campaign of Willful Blindness on Terrorism.” The Boston Marathon bombing provoked enactment of what has emerged, since 9/11, as a ritual of political theater refined even beyond its long history of performance. Even while law [...]


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Response to Judith Butler at Brooklyn College

February 18, 2013

. This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on February 15.  The ironic and the disingenuous are kin. Their commonality resides in a gap, which is the distance between what is said and something else. With the ironic, the distance is between what one says and what one means. With the disingenuous, the distance is between what [...]


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They of All People

January 30, 2013

. (Updated) It has been a fascinating week in anti-Semitism, but then they all are. The more I witness it, the more persuaded I become of the identity of the purer, more direct forms and the ignorant forms. After all, much ignorance – lack of knowledge and sophistication – is open with wonder and without [...]


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Two Epistemic Closures: The GOP and Israel-Critics

January 28, 2013

. (This commentary originally appeared in the Algemeiner on January 25, 2013.) What do Tuesday’s election results remind us of? They should recall the result of November’s U.S. elections. Against all evidence – and here I do mean all evidence – Mitt Romney and Republicans of every stripe, from Tea Party to establishment, genuinely believed that they [...]


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Not So Random Questions, Facts, & Observations about Gaza & Israel

November 17, 2012

. If forces in Mexico – drug cartels, for instance – were firing rockets and missiles into an area roughly covering 25% of the United States this is what it would look like. If the U.S. equivalent of one million Israelis were under threat of this bombardment on a daily basis, running for cover, hiding [...]


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The Dangers of Golden Dawn – and National Public Radio

November 13, 2012

. Where do we find the licensing body for the journalistic profession? Who are the determinants of journalistic malpractice? There are none. Sanction for malpractice can be found only in the response of the audience. What price will National Public Radio pay for the following travesty, aired this morning and, of course, disseminated widely, such [...]


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Maureen Dowd and her Critics

September 24, 2012

. A couple of interesting comments from Noga and David on my post, “A Political Hall of Mirrors,” prompts these further considerations on the reaction to Maureen Dowd’s neocon puppet master column. I don’t think this is a subject in which people need necessarily hold hard positions unwaveringly and completely opposed to differing views. Of [...]


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(Updated) Impenetrable: The Hollow Rhetoric of Judith Butler

September 10, 2012

. (Update) Tomorrow, September 11, 2012, the birthday of Theodor Adorno, and only chronologically coincident with the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attack, Judith Butler is set to receive the triennial Adorno Prize, awarded by the city of Frankfurt. Resonant with the themes addressed in the commentary below, originally posted last week at the Algemeiner, is this [...]


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The Palestinian Failure

August 16, 2012

. Some nations are lucky in their leaders. For decades now, academic historians have downplayed the significance of the leader – the “great man” – in the understanding of historical epochs and focused their attention elsewhere. Still, you cannot study the early American republic without renewed appreciation for the role of George Washington. How lucky was the U.S. again [...]


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Anti-Labor, Anti-Free Press, Anti-Gay, Anti-Israel

August 8, 2012

. Some people never get the point. Some people once got the point, or claimed to, claimed to see it – there it is, over there – and then they got their hands on the point and stretched the point, to make a point, turned it inside out, inverted and perverted the point, developed a [...]


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Playing Politics with Jews

August 6, 2012

. This post previously appeared in the Algemeiner on August 1, 2012. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), in his best Captain Renault form – which includes being entirely insincere and unconvincing – is shocked, shocked to discover that there is politics going on in the U.S. of A. Never played any of that sort [...]


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Alexander Cockburn: Remembering the Dead

July 25, 2012

Cross posted at the Algemeiner. It really is the ultimate sentimentality. That concern with how we will be remembered, or how those for whom we care will be treated in the minds of others, or who is saying what about whom now gone. It is too obvious to say we will never know the reputations [...]


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The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in a Single Conversation

July 12, 2012

. The following is a partial transcript of a “discussion” on Democracy Now between Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin and Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada. In this brief exchange we see all of the essential characteristics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tobin makes the point that regardless of any opinion regarding the settlements, peace can be had. Legal settlements can [...]


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The Arguments against Israel: Indigeneity

May 7, 2012

. Outside of war, no modern state has ever been subject to such an attack on its legitimacy and existence as has the state of Israel. Indeed, the concerted transnational political challenge to Israeli legitimacy – given the longstanding open-ended conditions of military and other violent conflict against Israel – may be truly conceived, to [...]


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“How the Left Turned Against the Jews”

March 30, 2012

. Nick Cohen at Standpoint writing, in “How the Left Turned Against the Jews,” about Colin Shindler’s new book, Israel and the European Left: But in a strange manner few discuss, the death of Communism has freed far-Left ideas from the cage of the Cold War. When the far Left was a global force, the [...]


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Institutional Antisemitism

July 12, 2011

For Americans unfamiliar with it, Britain’s University College Union (UCU) might be thought of as a higher ed American Federation of Teachers (AFT) or National Education Association (NEA) combined with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). It is a union and a professional association. It has a membership of 130,000. After years of obsessive political attention [...]


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The End of Memoir II: Allison Benedikt and Life before Thinking

June 28, 2011

(Yesterday: The End of Memoir, part I) Though he did it not well, Jose Antonio Vargas, in “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” had a compelling reason to write. He is not merely affected by illegal immigration: he is, individually, a story of illegal immigration. He has lived the subterfuge, the fiction, and the uncertain [...]


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A Lesson in Slanting on Israel & the Palestinians

June 12, 2011

Matthew Yglesias posted the briefest of responses to the just released Pew poll on various international and Mideast matters, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is a pearl of a primer in slanted language and presentation – all in two sentences. I commented on it at Yglesisas’s blog. I told him he packed as much slanting [...]


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