Friday, December 25, 2009

Salon, Huffington Post and Daily Kos hotbeds of anti-Semitism!

Or so claims what Alternet’s Josh Holland calls a “ridiculous” new study by the Institute for Global Jewish Affairs. Holland writes:

Given how ubiquitous unsubstantiated charges of anti-Semitism have become in the debate over the Middle East conflict, I’m tempted to ignore the Institute for Global Jewish Affairs’ recent “report” supposedly exposing the liberal blogosphere as a teaming hotbed of raw Jew-hatred.

It’s easy to dismiss. It may dress itself as some sort of empirical research project, but the “study” is transparently devoid of any informational value, intellectually bankrupt and clearly the product of working backwards from a conclusion arrived at on ideological grounds.

But I won’t ignore it, because the strategic decision to pin one’s political opponents with charges of anti-Semitism only dilutes the power of that word. Then, like the boy who cried wolf, when real anti-Semitism rears its decidedly ugly head the word loses its all-important power to shame. I’m Jewish, and I don’t fear sharp-elbowed criticism of Israeli policy on websites, so it’s not in my interest to allow it to be conflated with true anti-Semitism, which is absolutely no joke.

Most of what passes for anti-Semitism in this new “report” is nothing new to readers of Muzzlewatch, and you should read Holland’s full piece where he does a fantastic job of dissecting the terrible methodology of this blatantly propagandistic report. But this is the part of Holland’s analysis I find most heart-breakingly sad and true:

It’s a slanderous report, and just to bring home the point of how dangerous it is to minimize real anti-Semitism by bitching about mean commenters on websites: I’m on various list-servs with progressives who write about Israel and Palestine — most of them Jewish — and when the report was issued our reaction was: ‘what do you have to do to get on this list — why weren’t we included?’

When you have progressive Jewish writers looking at charges of anti-Semitism as a badge of courage, it’s time to re-think your tactics.

And what other tactics do those geniuses over at the (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Institute for Global Jewish Affairs have to offer us?

In “How to Fight the Campus Battle against Old and New Anti-Semites:
Motifs, Strategies, and Methods”,
author Manfred Gerstenfeld seems to have absolutely no idea that Israel is consistently in violation of international law. He therefore consistently conflates authentic anti-Jewish hatred with virtually all criticism of Israel, making the following suggestion for embracing campus-based tactics that require a “low investment of human and financial resources and a potential high return in terms of damage to the enemy”:

  • The methods to be used in the battle against anti-Semitism on campus should include counterattack, ridicule, exposure, “name and shame,” monitoring, documentation, mobilizing lawyers for arguing, as well as legal actions. Crucial battles against anti-Semitism are often fought with one hand behind the back. This facilitates free anti-Semitic lunches for the attackers.

Of course, those tactics are already in use everywhere on campuses, just ask Daniel Pipes. Are they likely to help those of us who sincerely want to fight anti-Semitism, seeing it as linked to all forms of bigotry? Guess.

Source: Jewish Voice for Peace's Muzzle Watch

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