Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Eric Yoffie says what I've been pleading for someone to say: Synagogues (or other Jewish communal spaces) are not open-mic nights. There is no obligation to let everyone speak. The Jewish community should welcome vigorous debate (it wouldn't be much of a Jewish community if we didn't), but it is also entirely appropriate to police the borders of that debate, and to declare that certain views are simply unwelcome. We should oppose ethnic hatred, racism, and bigotry. We should oppose those who object to Jewish self-determination or who think Jews can justifiably be murdered for having the temerity to live in their homeland. We should oppose those don't think Israel should be allowed to exist as a secure Jewish democratic state.

And to wit, Yoffie says: J Street yes, BDS no. CUFI yes, Pamela Geller no. And I agree with that. I'm no fan of CUFI, to say the least, but so long as it doesn't endorse one-stateism or other bigoted proposals, I'll disagree with them on the stage. And J Street and I also have our quibbles, but same deal. Meanwhile, I am a strong supporter of recognizing that the BDS folk and Pam Geller are more or less cut from the same cloth, in part because it causes both parties' heads to explode (both groups are also prone to calling for the other to be excluded while wailing about "censorship" or "muzzling" when they're left out).

So all in all, I consider Yoffie's typology to be pure win.

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