January 28, 2007


"Progressive" anti-Semitism?: S.F. meet considers phenomenon (Ben Harris, Jan. 23, 2007, JTA)

On Jan. 28 the ADL will try to do more than just douse fires when it convenes Finding Our Voice, a daylong conference in San Francisco aimed at empowering Jewish progressives to respond to anti-Semitism on the left.

Co-sponsored by more than 50 Jewish organizations from across the political spectrum -- including the ADL, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, Americans for Peace Now and the Jewish Labor Committee -- the conference aims to empower participants to respond to what organizers describe as an alarming trend. [...]

The left's tolerance for anti-Jewish bigotry is considered strange by many progressive Jews in the Bay Area, who noticed a marked increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric following the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Several anti-war protests in San Francisco organized by the ANSWER Coalition featured imagery and slogans some considered anti-Semitic, including the burning of the Israeli flag, chants of support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Nazi-like arm salutes.

Conference participants say that while some of this activity reflects a sinister political agenda, much of it stems from ignorance of the complexity of the Middle East conflict.

Some say a tendency to project familiar tropes of imperialist aggression or American racial politics onto the conflict produces a simplistic narrative in which Jews are the "white" oppressors and Palestinians the "black" victims. [...]

Rabbi Michael Lerner, the founder of Tikkun and perhaps the most well-known Jewish progressive in the country, will be in Washington on the day of the conference protesting the Iraq war.

A spokesperson for Jewish Voice for Peace, a liberal advocacy group working on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said: "From our perspective, you cannot get to the roots of anti-Semitism in the progressive movement without honestly addressing the severe human-rights violations that Israel engages in every day. Judging by the lineup, that kind of honest examination is not likely to happen at this conference."

Translation: We deserve it?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 28, 2007 8:00 PM

The left--the so-called, self-proclaimed "progressives"--are solidly in the trap we have laid for them and connot chew off that "Israel" arm.

The article is worth readung in its entirety. Note how one of the subjects covered by the arm-chewers was entitled,"The myth of Jewish whiteness." The thrust of this is to maintain that Jews have no business being men of the West.

Sorry, tovarischii, the Jews, with Greece, Rome and the Church are what makes the West the West. The Jews cannot be other than white because they are so much a part of the definiion of whiteness.

If that were not enough, the spiritual jailhouse has been drawn into irrepressible conflict with the West by means of our establishment of the State of Israel.

No amount of red-diaper nostalgia can overcome these realities.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 28, 2007 8:36 PM

the severe human-rights violations that Israel engages in every day.

Maybe when judged against an imaginary human rights utopia, but of course compared to most countries they're above average, and compared to their opponents, they're saints.

Posted by: PapayaSF at January 29, 2007 12:37 AM