Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Calling a Moratorium on Attacking Linda Sarsour

It's back-to-back big media David. Fresh off yesterday's call in the Forward for a "Democratic Hillel", today I'm in Haaretz urging Jews to lay off the histrionic attacks on Linda Sarsour.
Linda Sarsour is not perfect. There is plenty she has said and done that is the valid subject of critique, and on anti-Semitism, in particular, she has much to learn. But she is not the monster she is made out to be, and the level of vitriol directed her way rings eerily familiar. To wit:

Linda Sarsour is a lot like Israel.

No doubt neither would appreciate the comparison. But it fits. Both have done genuinely objectionable things, ones which it is perfectly proper to call out. But in both cases, there is something about them that causes people on the internet to go absolutely wild and lose all sense of perspective and proportion.

And in both cases, there is not a lot of mystery about what that "something" is.
Incidentally, "Linda Sarsour is a lot like Israel" is my entry in the "how can I get everyone on the internet to hate me?" contest.


DrMike said...

David: if Linda Sarsour was simply some grassroots BDS activist in Brooklyn, then both the volume and the vitriol against her would be disproportionate. But, unfortunately, she's much more than that now, thanks to her own keen instincts for self-promotion and the fawning of media that willingly overlooks her extremism.
Linda sought the spotlight and is now in a position of national prominence. So she is an entirely legitimate focus of concern for the pro-Israel community.
That doesn't mean that we should stoop to her level of threatening bodily harm to those who disagree with her. But as long as she's making a name for herself, our community is fully entitled to expose Linda's own hateful words and acts (such as her literal embrace of the terrorist Rasmea Odeh). The outrage at The New School for including her in a panel on anti-Semitism is entirely justified by her own history, just as if they had Richard Spencer on a panel on race relations.

I'm sure that we agree that some of the responses to Sarsour are not helpful in tone or content. But addressing that is far different than giving her a pass on all criticism.

Mike Harris

Mismos said...

I think you got it wrong. Hillary Clinton is more like Israel.