• Uncategorized

    Response to Judith Butler at Brooklyn College

    . 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 one says and what one has reason to recognize as true. Judith Butler is not an ironist – not intentionally so, or perhaps only once, when she opened her remarks at Brooklyn College by referring to the controversy surrounding her appearance with Omar Barghouti at the Students for Justice in Palestine BDS event as a Megillah: “What a Megillah!”…

  • Israel,  The Political Animal

    Glenn Greenwald criticizes Bibi AND Obama’s “policies” of intentionally killing innocent Muslims

    . Cross posted from Cif Watch by its managing editor, Adam Levick. “Every person has their own definition of terrorism.” –Glenn Greenwald. Glenn Greenwald makes characteristically hysterical claims about Israel and the US in his latest ‘Comment is Free’ piece titled Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza‘: Here are the most egregious examples: 1. He claims that “overwhelming Israeli force slaughters innocent Palestinians, including children”. There’s nothing new here in Greenwald’s use of the most unserious hyperbole to impute the most violent and malevolent motives to Israel. Greenwald ignores the fact that Israel uses unprecedented restraint in targeting only Hamas leaders and terror targets, which would explain that…

  • Israel,  The Political Animal

    The Dangers of Golden Dawn – and National Public Radio

    . 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 as here, on Minnesota Public Radio, where you can listen to the audio version? For it demonstrates gross malpractice by its author, Joanna Kakissis, and the editors and producers who let her reporting on the rise of Greece’s fascist and neo-Nazi party Gold Dawn, pass muster. Kakissis does not simply report on the rise of Golden…

  • Indian Country,  Israel,  The Political Animal

    Writing Paradise

    . I learned at an early adult age, with only minor but memorable pain, not to hero-worship. When we lionize people, we tend to forget the natural inclination of the lion to consume the person. I prefer admiration. Admiration works from the muck up. While hero worship sets up the faithful for a fall, admiration begins in the recognition of human failings and appreciates a person’s achievement in rising above them. Fewer disappointments that way, more genuine appreciation of the distinction in the ascent. I was asked the other day, after tweeting of his death, about my thoughts on Russell Means. Not that I have any special standing to speak…

  • Israel

    (Updated) Impenetrable: The Hollow Rhetoric of Judith Butler

    . (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 reporting, yesterday, from Deutsche Welle’s DW website. The now long-noted rise in anti-Jewish sentiment and ideas, on the left, in Europe, and recently, most disturbingly, in Germany is subtly reflected in the DW report. What is the headline of the report? “Adorno Prize for Judith Butler irks Jewish groups.” Irk. To annoy. To irritate. That…

  • Israel

    Tyranny of Victimhood: Why the Guardian gives a free ride to reactionary Palestinian movement

    . This is cross-posted by CiF Watch managing editor, Adam Levick. Yesterday, some anti-Israel agitators pretended to be “civil rights” activists by riding on buses Israeli citizens in the territories use to travel to Jerusalem. These buses do not allow non-citizens (without proper permits) to enter communities in Judea and Samaria in order to stop potential Palestinian terror attacks. No, it’s not surprising that the the decidedly reactionary Palestinian movement would cynically exploit the genuinely liberal US Civil Rights Movement – which, in the early 1960s, attempted to end the practice, in the American south, of requiring that African Americans ride on the back of municipal buses. And, no it’s not surprising that the Guardian…

  • Israel

    Institutional Antisemitism

    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 to that crucial British educational issue, Israel, and ever growing resignations by its Jewish members, who cite a hostile and persecutory environment, one Jewish UCU member is now calling a spade a spade. From Engage: Ronnie Fraser, a Jewish UCU member who has been bullied, scorned, ridiculed and treated as though he was a supporter of…

  • The Political Animal

    The End of Memoir: Allison Benedikt and Jose Antonio Vargas

    Well, no, not really. But Fukuyama got a lot of mileage out of “The End of History,” and we’re still living it. People will keep on writing memoirs, long and short, and they’ve written bad ones before. This latest acme in the genre may not even have been reached yet. Still, there is a point to be made: we have seen twice in one week the reduction of memoir to self-refuting callowness. The causes célèbres of last week, across the blogosphere and journoverse, were Village Voice film editor Allison Benedikt’s “Life After Zionist Summer Camp,” at The AWL, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas’s “My Life as an Undocumented…

  • Israel

    An Affirmation of Zionism

    At the very core of the recent dispute between Leon Wieseltier and Andrew Sullivan, as I saw it, have seen it, and see it, is Sullivan’s imbalanced adoption – even as he professes his empathy with, and idealized admiration of, Jews – of the anti-Israeli perceptions and rhetoric that are the currency of anti-Zionists. The notion that Zionism should require any defense is abominable. The current atmosphere, in which such defenses might seem necessary, is abominable: see Robert S. Wistrich’s just published A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad. What I offer here, instead, from Ernest Sternberg, author of “Purifying the World: What the New Radical Ideology…

  • Israel

    The Convergence of the Twain – A Mind Game’s Post

    And as the smart ship grew In stature, grace, and hue In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too. Thomas Hardy, “The Convergence of the Twain” Judeosphere has only been back to blogging a few weeks, but he is quickly making his mark again with very sharp and important posts. A couple of days ago he posted on Ernest Sternberg’s new article in Orbis, “Purifying the World: What the New Radical Ideology Stands For.” From Judeosphere, Sternberg, with Judeosphere commenting in the midst: Though it’s a mouthful, world purificationism would do well in expressing what the movement wants. It wants to achieve a grand historical vision: the anticipated defeat of…

  • Israel

    Where We’re Coming From, Where We’re Going

    Here is the cache of James Kirchick’s post that led to my email exchange with Andrew Sullivan and that was removed from the Contentions site. I’m not posting it here directly because it is, in fact, filled with scatter-shot invective, including, in line with my speculation about the cause of the post’s removal, one gratuitous and irrelevant swipe at Sidney Blumenthal. Kirchick may even have set a record for “number of people attacked in a single short blog post.” His essential point, though, is a genuine one. I’m not willing to ascribe the term “self-hating Jew” to Max Blumenthal because I don’t know enough about him. I know enough about…