Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Only Winning Move is to STFU

There's another BDS brouhaha, with Brooklyn College hosting Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti at a college forum on the topic. Such things are always touchy -- college faculty members should be free to host or even promote racist or anti-Semitic speakers or ideologies, and other people should be severely disconcerted at the fact that college faculty members want to host or even promote racist or anti-semitic speakers or ideologies. Straddling that position is rather delicate. After all, if one says something like "Omar Barghouti and Judith Butler are promoting an anti-Semitic ideology", why, one is silencing debate!

And what if one doesn't say that, but instead tries to step back a bit and call the event one "that will verge on anti-Semitism"? Lawyers, Guns and Money with the call:
Seriously, talk about yer classic moments in passive-aggressive weasel wording ... "We won’t actually call the speakers anti-Semitic. But they might do something other than criticize the Likud platform for being insufficiently dismissive of Palestinian rights, so close enough."
Seriously, talk about yer classic moments in moving the goalposts. After constantly howling about Jews call everything and its mother anti-Semitic, we discover that it doesn't actually matter if we agree to dial it back. Just as the "criticizing Israel isn't anti-Semitic" debate doesn't change a whit when someone says the quiet part out loud, it doesn't actually matter how the objection is raised -- objecting is still objectionable.

Meanwhile, the post comes with the bonus revelation that the BDS movement comprises the entirety of the political spectrum left of Naftali Bennett. Somebody should page that dastardly, settlement-freeze-promoting radical leftist .... Alan Dershowitz.

.... I feel like in posting this, I'm thumbing the eye of a friend who asked me to post on Jon Chait's glorious takedown of the ludicrous Free Beacon claim that TNR was purging its Jews. Alas, that the Free Beacon is run by utter idiots is neither novel nor capacious enough for significant commentary, and Chait, as per usual, has said anything I might want to.