Thursday, March 03, 2016

A Claim of Anti-Semitism is an Argument, not a "Smear"

My (first ever!) column for Ha'aretz is online, titled "The anti-Semitism Problem of pro-Palestinian Progressive" (I would have picked the title I used for this post instead -- hey, nobody ever said I knew how to sell copy). It is directly a response to Mira Sucharov's "Crying Wolf on Campus Anti-Semitism" editorial, but more broadly it provides a public exposition of the argument I explore in "Playing with Cards: Discrimination Claims of the Charge of Bad Faith".

Readers of the blog know the drill. Responding to claims of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, etc., with the presumption that they're "made in bad faith" or are the product of hypersensitivity or parahoia, is a response built on prejudicial foundations. It is the key move in the right-wing playbook regarding race ("You're just playing the race card!"), and it is migrated without a hitch over to many on the left regarding anti-Semitism (The Livingstone Formulation). In neither case is it fair play. Anti-Semitism claims are arguments; they may be right or wrong, but they should be addressed on their merits, not swept aside as part of a supposed pattern of Jewish perfidy and dishonesty.


David Bernstein said...

Good for you for calling out anti-semitism on the left and its enablers. But the apparent position that we should presumptively credit virtually any claim of racism, sexism, or anti-Semitism because it comes from a "victim" group is silly.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I really, REALLY think we ought to stop calling these antisemites progressive. All that does is legitimize antisemitism, in my opinion. Also, the comments on the article itself are predictably terrible. Your points didn't sink in with any of them.