Tuesday, October 18, 2016

More Grading Roundup

In the middle of a paper-grading binge. That means it's roundup time!

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The conservative Arizona Republic endorsed Hillary Clinton. It got death threats in response. Its reply is a stirring defense of First Amendment values that deserves to be circulated widely.

The Washington Post has a fascinating profile on Derek Black, a young man who was raised in the White Supremacist movement and was considered a rising star in that community, who has since come to repudiate his old beliefs. The turning point was when -- after his racist affiliations became known to his college classmates -- an Orthodox Jewish classmate took it upon himself to invite Black to Shabbat dinners. It's a beautiful and touching story about how courageous acts of kindness really can make a difference even in very dark places.

The recent UK parliamentary report on anti-Semitism is a masterclass on how its done. It begins by adopting the MacPherson principle (that the starting point for when something ought to be deemed racist is when a member of the targeted group perceives it as such) for when it is appropriate to consider an anti-Semitism claim, which is correct; it then observes that more than just subjective sentiment of the aggrieved party is necessary to sustain a complaint of anti-Semitism, which is also correct. As Anshel Pfeffer put it: "British Anti-Semitism Report Declares War on ‘Goysplaining.’" I highly encourage everyone to read it in full.

Someone just sent me a link to Unite for Palestine, which is basically the internecine (and inverted) version of the Canary Mission -- an attempt by one wing of pro-Palestinian activists to name-and-shame anyone in their movement who is too concerned about anti-Semitism. JVP is a favored target, which is deliciously predictable.

"First they came for Assange." Then, maybe, they'll come for some other accused sexual predators. We can only hope.

UNESCO formally adopts resolution denying Jewish connection to its own holy sites. In conclusion, it's inexplicable why the Israeli government doesn't heed UN resolutions which are only interested in attaining peace and justice throughout the region.

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