Culture, Identity, Politics

Jewish Voice for Peace Call to Action and a Challenge to Jewschool

In between trips, I am quickly posting this call to Jewschool:

Join Daniel Boyarin, Debra Chasnoff, Ronnie Gilbert, Rabbi Lynn Gottleib, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, Rela Mazali, Adrienne Rich, Avi Shlaim, Howard Zinn, Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman and over 2,000 others. Let the world know that Jews and our non-Jewish allies understand that Israel will never find peace by bombing their neighbors into submission.

With the post, and with limited time, I am also calling to question the claim of this blog that it is the leading progressive Jewish voice after reading David Kelsey’s now feel even more compelled after reading David Kelsey’s post about immigration. I have had conversations with Mobius and with other contributors off the blog that alternative views doesn’t mean opening up space for people to be xenophobic, sexist and racist in order to say all views are respected. I do not support calling this blog a leading voice in progressive Jewish perspectives if we allow our contributors to post blatant calls for hate and xenophobia in such blatant disregard for our own history as people who have been barred and locked out from this country and many others because of our religion, our ethnicity and our culture. There are some of us on this blog that are progressive, and some of us that are absolutely not, and David’s call is a slap in the face of everything that I know I hold sacred in calling myself a progessive and radical Jew.
So I wonder, what is this blog for if we have contributors who go against the very claim and call of what it was supposedly about, if we give and allow space to people who air views and perspectives without any accountability when they are not just being subtly, but are overtly racist and oppressive. If we have categories like “Arab World”–if we have no categories for occupation or Palestine.
So this is a call, a challenge to Jewschool and to the readership–what is this about for you because in my eyes, the very idea that we are allowing people to post viewpoints like the one’s I have seen from David (and other contributors–I am in no ways confining this to David) over and over again is just another liberal ideology that we should “allow” all voices equal space and equal share in time, that we should call them all valid when some are flat out oppressive and Right wing–and if this is so, then the call, the “about us” of Jewschool should be renamed and rewritten for people to take stock of who and what this project is really all about–can we really call a number of the contributors disfranchised Jews? Monikers can’t hide the fact that a number of the contributors are straight white men–disfranchised my a**. Allowing Right wing voices and perspectives is in no way an open revolt–while the project has many elements to it that make it progressive, this last post just makes me have to call into question and honestly say at this moment, progressive it’s not.
There’s a lot of work and honest reflection and conversation that needs to happen to make it so and I hope I am not alone as a contributor, as a reader and as a radical Jew in thinking that many of the contributors also will find this call necessary for our work to be true and accountable to the very vision and community we claim we are trying to build.

39 thoughts on “Jewish Voice for Peace Call to Action and a Challenge to Jewschool

  1. Bless you and ‘true dat’ toward your statement.
    Indeed, the people fighting the nazis and the people thrown into ovens are not respected when some rightwing Jews align themselves with the same supremicist mentality that engaged the primary crimes against women, people of color, non-Christians, etc.
    hell, these rightwingers would spit on Christ and call him a ‘pussy’ for advocating non violence.
    Stick with peace, human solidarity and rightiousness and Jews will do fine in the world–align yourselves with rightwing haters, white supremicists, and the new anglo-Roman empire and you would take part in your own destruction.
    O’Rielly and Limbaugh, Coulter and Hannity are not the friends of Jewish, non-Christian/non-anglo people. This is true in every policy that they advocate.
    Hate to end on a partisan note, but this is partisian. People claiming the legacy of Christ’s teaching believe that the end of times will be signaled with nuclear annihilation of Isreal and surrounding environs. These people are not your friends, they are fanatics that feed your paranoia.

  2. don’t forget carol, condemn anyone whoever wrote anything on this progressive blog and blame anyone on it and everyone on it for the views of one person. what;s that called? collective blame? like blaming all Jews for killing Jesus for posterity? How about murdering an entire Jewish community because one person did something…hmmmm. gee. how about some more general condemnations… you have an option. LEAVE.
    do you understand the difference bet. Palestinians and Hezbollah? No? Figures. Now go shut me up because I disagree with you, so I have to be pernamently silenced. put me on the mute list how dare I disagree with the likes of you????????

  3. Sorry, but that’s just lame, CK.
    Grow up and get over your self-righteous nonsense. Maybe you’re too caught up in a right/left divide and see the term ‘progressive’ merely in political terms—when it’s just as possible that “progressive” could be taken to mean simply, well, “progressive”…i.e. forward-thinking and unlike anything out there.
    In that sense, Jewschool passes with flying colors. It’s not a lame, right-wing blog like Jewlicious (sorry guys) and it’s not some uber-dorky “left-wing” blog. Both types are unreadable. Instead Jewschool is a true ‘progressive’ blog in that it surpasses such political alegiances altogether.
    Attack David’s post for being stupid and unthoughtful (which it certainly was), but don’t attack it for being “racist” and “right-wing.”

  4. Thank you for this. David Kelsey had made veiled references to banning immigration from Muslim countries in a previous post, a couple of months ago. I called him on this in the comments, and he repeated the position more or less explicitly. His overt post to that effect is shocking, and, frankly, one of the reasons why I’ve stopped reading Jewschool on a regular basis. The general tenor of some posts (frankly, largely those by David Kelsey, but some others too), caused me, as a casual reader, to go elsewhere for progressive content. Not to say that there isn’t a lot of interesting stuff on Jewschool, but I don’t think the site itself can call itself a ‘progressive’ blog while playing host to such rants.
    I doubt I’m alone here in being somewhat shocked by some of the content. If I want this stuff I’ll read Commentary. But I don’t, so won’t. Read either Commentary of Jewschool, that is.

  5. i understand you’re concerns cole; as a jewschool contributor I understand your frustration. I do however think that DK’s and others’ posts add an element that we need. Here at Jewschool, we should remember that its of no use to preach to the choir. I think contributors should be judged on the merit of their insight, not simply on the political vibe. So if you get rippin pissed, figuring out textured ways to counter shitty posts is the way to go. Political posts easily identified as “liberal” posts or “right wing” posts lack the sort of complexity that will elevate this blog.
    I think too many Jewish liberals don’t know how to move beyond the typical left wing postcolonial lens and figure out how to move beyond trying to figure out who is oppressed or “disenfranchised.” That reflex, which I believe derives directly from the tension between Jewish and White identity, is something that holds back all liberals, whatever color or nationality they are.
    Being a straight white man doesn’t disqualify anyone from claiming a strong intellect, or even a superior one to a gay black man, or whatever the analogous opposite would be.
    While I echo you’re concerns about DK, I’d ask you to argue his points, not his vibe – that’s not fair to him, us or readers looking for lively debate.
    …I hope to see you in Tel Aviv soon, if you come out. You seem like a smart yid.

  6. THANK YOU CK. htrouser, I have been thinking the same things about Jewschool for some time now. I have been wondering why there has been such concern about personal attacks on this blog (which I agree there should be) but racism, sexism and heterosexism are OK. I’m not a big fan of censorship, but I am starting to get more than a bit creeped out by some of the anti-Muslim remarks on Jewschool. Just re-read some of these comments but substitute “Jews” for “Muslims” and folks, it will all sound very familiar.

  7. Yes, let’s substitute Jews for Muslims and see what happens: A mad terror sect of Jews, supported by many at the Union of Reform Jews, have beheaded several Muslim civilians for the crime of not being Jews; Jewish terrorists have just blown up a Pizza parlour filled with Muslim teenagers because the teen are infidels; Jews in Thailand have just murdered several Muslim schoolgirls because they want a separate country from the rest of Thailand; Jews in Nigeria have just murdered a town filled with Muslims because they want to enforce Orthodox Jewish law – should I go on, or do we all want to admit what is as plain as day – Islam (as practiced by many of its adherents) is a deviant religion that either needs to jump about 8 centuries into the 21st century, or go out of business. I initially thought that Anne Coleter comments that we should invade Muslim countries, kill their leaders, and convertt them to Xtianity was extreme – and it is, but the world would be a better place if we could do it.

  8. Heterosexism? That’s a new one on me, does that mean that one supports normative Judaism’s view that the ideal situation is a family composed of a man and a woman who are married – with children if possible? And that’s a bad thing? You might speak to members of the black community, who have seen their lives decimated by the attempt of single mothers to raise healthy children.

  9. i have read this blog for a number of years now and have geerally held back from commenting. One of the things that makes it compelling is the diversity of opinion expressed by folks who are educated and actively connected to the Jewish community. I’m not sure what the value is of having an exclusively progressive (or conservative) forum. There is nothing radical about an echo chamber.

  10. I don’t get it. One Jewschool contributor expresses his opinion on a controversial topic, inviting people to weigh in with their own opinions and engaging them directly in the comment section. Another contributor disagrees with the first one, refuses to engage in debate, labels him “oppressive and Right wing”, and calls for him to be silenced (on this blog, at least).
    So which one is the progressive and which one is the fascist?
    I, myself, am a Jewschool contributer. But I’ll be honest. I don’t post very much because my views are not the type of political “progressive” Cole has in mind. This type of post has a chilling effect on me. It makes me far less likely to express myself on this space.
    Ultimately, it makes the site smaller and narrower. It turns it into a space for people who already agree with each other. If that’s what people want, that’s fine. But it’s hardly revolutionary.

  11. Wow I love the Stalanist left! Forget the war, forget the terrorist attack on Jews in Seattle–forget everything. Either you talk the talk or you walk the plank. Good going!

  12. Listen, I know I represent the voice of the Lame Right-Wingers, being an implacable Lame Right-Winger myself, and I know I have more important things I should be doing, like drinking the blood of Lebanese children, grinding American peace activists under my D9’s treads, suppressing the indigenous rights of brown people, dragging queers behind pickup trucks, invading the wombs of America’s womyn, disenfranchising radical Jews and bringing the light of democracy to the savages or whatever it is right-wingers do – but I just had to weigh in.
    This may cause me to run afoul of Comrade Krawitz’s newly established Jewschool Cheka, but I have this crazy idea in my head that writers, even blog writers, should be judged by their talent, not their ideological purity. And despite (or because of) Mr. Kelsey’s penchant for pushing the buttons of the cookie-cutter wealthy radicals which populate the, ahem, progressive blogosphere, he is undeniably a very fine writer. I may rarely agree with him, but I appreciate his talent for deflating self-important windbags and his wit.
    So to Jewschool I pose a question: is it better to be an echo chamber for the narrow agenda of disenfranchised humorless gay black Jews, or whatever Comrade Krawitz may be, which frankly appeals to approximately .0000026% of world Jewry – or is it better to represent a wider range of opinions, including those of talented, amusing writers who may just happen to be a touch insane? I know what I would say – but then again, I’m obviously a Sinister Right-Winger, so who cares?

  13. Who was it that said ‘I disagree with your opinion but I will die defending your right to voice it…’ (or something to that effect).
    CK, whoa, froth is more appropriate on tops of Cappuccinos … Admittedly, DK is a self-professed Kvetcher, but to throw the whole Jewschool babe out with the distasteful water?
    The onerous task of forming reasonably balanced opinions and making soundly informed choices is pretty damn miserable enough if one subscribes to the general hysteria in the mass-media. But to tackle the odd-one-out view on one’s cyber-quest for understanding who’s who and why is a blessing. If the page was not white, you could not read the black ink as easily. I have always imagined Jewschool to be a little like a town square – more in the Hippie hills of California, or the urban dog’s yards of NY, than in the rugged red-neck quarters of the fly-over States, but a square nevertheless. No bouncers at the entrance but a self-regulating community of people who have more time and opinions than really important things to do, or at least find it more important to negotiate a better understanding of the world than the immediate work on their tables (sorry boss). You don’t like this post (and it is bizarrely xenophobic), reap it to shreds – without killing the messenger, or indeed burning down the whole square.
    By your logic, we should also ban all the oft posted commentaries by some of the wonderfully nutty, right-wing war-mongers who make it a point engaging in piss-down competitions of who loves Judaism more. That would make Jewschool one boring hangout for like-minded armchair wrestlers. Oy Vey…

  14. No Johny, be nice, just cause that boy slugged you with a hammer doesn’t mean you should use force to respond, you just dialogue with him in a very pleasant way — and Johny if you can’t be nice we are going to send you home (though we worry about the kind of atavistic home that would create a little monster like you)! Shall we all sing songs, children? (And Johny, please wipe that blood off you forehead, we wouldn’t want your mommy and daddy to sue us for negligence, would we)?

  15. the second i read kelsey’s post, i wanted to delete it and put him on ‘leave.’ i was thoroughly apalled, on multiple levels, though i won’t engage that right now. i agree, in no small part, with you cole, that giving voice to those types of views is precisely the opposite of jewschool’s intent. it’s not why this blog exists.
    i’m just uncomfortable ‘firing’ people from the blog — particularly people who i consider friends — because i disagree with their views. david’s been a committed contributor, despite my utter disagreeances with him on issues like this. i don’t want to see posts like that last one ever published to this site, except when we’re ripping them to shreds. i just really don’t like the idea of saying, “you don’t belong here.”

  16. Hey! ck from Jewlicious here – the Official Voice of the Lame Right Wing! As a wealthy white heterosexual Rhodesian colonizer whooping it up in occupied Palestine, my first instinct was to take umbrage with the content as well as the tone and timber of Cole Krawitz’s post.
    I know that in the past I was offended whenever left wingers would try to take the mantle of “progress” and make it their own. Also, I noticed that if you told women you were a right wing reactionary, you wouldn’t get laid – which is a problem for a heterosexual. But I’ve since learned to be at peace with my inner Hitler, mostly because I still get laid. I mean times are tough for heterosexual women and right wing reactionaries are pretty much the only gig in town if a good snogging is what you’re after.
    So, now that sexual issues are no longer relevant, I can say that I heartily agree with Cole’s position. I don’t come to Jewschool for balanced opinion and commentary! I come here to see how I and those of my ilk are doing in our never ending battle to suppress womyn, brown people, black people, members of the LGBTQ community, and all the other dispossesed people of the world. The Jewish angle gives it a nice haimishe touch too! The existence of opposing view points trying to engage in enlightened dialogue really just gets in the way! I hate that that Kelsey guy asks difficult and uncomfortable questions that force me and others to think.
    I don’t want to think! I want a pure dose of the PC party line! I want to hear the voices of the oppressed wailing at the daily injustices of their lives – the sound of which is like the sweetest wine to my rich white heterosexual lips!
    So yes! Go go Cole Krawitz! Whip Jewschool into shape! You and your gang are the shocktroops of a new Cultural Revolution and I for one am eagerly anticipating this Great Leap Forwards!
    Also, Kelsey is a nut. Fuck him!

  17. While I a obviously on the ‘peacenikish’ leftwing, I don’t find value in just ‘banning’ people. But certain ideas need to be excoriated, debated, ‘deconstructed’, and challenged vociferiously.
    Any ideas that smack of the racist arguments used by nazis automatically raise alarm bells. However, far better to expose the intellectual weakness of these aruguments than simply ‘ban’ or otherwise malign (as much as I do enjoy maligning rather than digging deeper and using logic and art to expose nazi-thinking).
    There are always ‘limits’–this is the sine qua non of all identity. But to complicate this identities are, somewhat, fluid–in the process of being broken down and reconstructed.
    No, don’t lie down in the same bed as the nazi, the white supremacist. But in opposing this nazi–don’t become one either.
    Again, expose the flaws and the nazi-quality of ideas through debate–not reactionary hate.

  18. Just my 2 Cents but, the day this blog calls for the end to debate should be the day this blog considered dead.
    I agree with many of the commenter’s here before me, if you don’t agree with the content, say so, debate it, pick it apart, rip it shreds, but to say it doesnt belong here, simply because YOU don’t agree with it, well, that’s just wrong.
    It’s easier to punish a child than it is to educate him. (Not that The Kvetcher is a child, I was just saying “In general”, I happen to enjoy reading his posts, even if I don’t always agree with them.)

  19. Isn’t the whole thrust of pcness, campus behavior codes, and the like the protection of the left from ideas and positions they can’t respond to? That’s part of the explanation of why the right has the better arguments, the more thought out positions, the right has to constantly fight the forces of the left thrust upon them by their schools, their media, their clergy – they have honed their positions in the midst of intellectual diviersity. To be a leftist, however, means never having to look at an opinion different than your own, you can live in a protected cacoon. Just look at the responses to the postings on Jewschool – the rightists are wittier, more thought out, more logical. So yes, if you want the right to continue to prevail intellectually, do ban rightists from posting.

  20. Awww, poor dirrigible. Constantly fighting The Left in every area of life! Surely, the day will come when The Left no longer has Total Control in the formerly United States of America? I mean, sure, you may have the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government, and a huge Murdoch-owned media echo chamber, but the left has — Jewschool!

  21. Again, coming at this with very little at stake (i.e. as a casual reader with only so many hours in the day to read blogs), it’s not a matter of wanting a left-wing echo chamber. But I am a bit disturbed by the number of responses to all this that frame things in terms of “getting over” a left/right political dichotomy.
    (Cue sarcastic voice…) Silly me! If a regular contributor of this blog, nay a staple of this blog, posts a screed that I would expect to hear from Pat Buchunan (in fact, one that even Lou Dobbs would think twice about lest CNN cut his massive pay cheque) it’s me who is remiss in judging the over all tenor of this blog, because I’m viewing the world through an outdated left-right political lense. Really I just need to get over such an absurd, cold war, pre-millenial, pre-war on terror way of viewing the world, and see DK’s hatred of Muslims as… well, as what exactly? A hyper-ironic manifestation of Jewish hipsterdom? A bold, South Parkesque attempt to be offensive and say the unsayable? A manifestation of some sort of new political framework that appropriates ideas previously associated with the far-right for the hipster left?
    Look, there really are so many blog reading hours in the day. I want to read stuff that will challange my own views, including my own version of leftyism. But there’s just been a little too much crypto-fascism around here lately.

  22. I would love to have someone define for me just what ‘progressive’ means. Seems to me that there are some who wish to define themselves as ‘radical’, ‘progressive’, ‘post this or that’ and hey…fine with me. Define yourself however you see fit. But what is important to me, the very reason that I began reading and commenting on this site to begin with, is that we are Jews engaging in discourse. Jews engaging in discourse is what created the Talmud and, in my humble estimation, is what has allowed us to survive for millenia.
    Now, living in London, UK I hear all too often that ‘one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom figther’. This opinion disgusts me every bit as much as the description of some contributors’ opinions as ‘crypto-fascist’ or ‘xenophobic’. If you don’t like someone’s opinion, great! This dissonance is what creates discourse. Don’t confuse railing against a ‘right wing’ opinion and calling it ‘crypto-fascism’ for what it truly is…an opinion you don’t like and don’t agree with. So discuss and banter in an intellectually mature and fortright manner. To call each other names and describe another’s opinions as ‘fascist’ et al is just intellectually dishonest and lazy.
    Progressive for me is our ability to rise above labels, poltical orientations, etc. and appreciate each other’s opinions to move forward as one cohesive people. It is this that makes Jewschool strong and worthwhile endeavour. Let’s not destroy that. And let’s not forget that someday (and that someday may be quite soon) we will be the leaders of our kehillot. Are we leading in a manner conducive to ensuring the survival of our people or just arguing with one another in a vain attempt to win intellectual points?
    Me? I’m a Masorti Jew who is a card carrying member of the UK Conservative party living in London. But that doesn’t stop me from reading and appreciating opinions so far to the left that I wonder how far we can go before breaking, nor does it stop me from reading a view so far to the right it would make Attilla the Hun blush. But the day I stop seeing these contributors as my fellow Jews, as my bothers and sisters….well, that will be the day I put down all of this and have a good hard look in the mirror.

  23. Okay, “crypto-fascist” might have been over the top… believe it or not, I normally blanche at throwing the word “fascist” around too much. But then again, I strongly disagree with DK’s post because it most certainly is xenophobic. What else do you call advocating a moritorium on immigration based exclusively on country of origin, or on religion? And, indeed, advocating that sort of thing, which not even the mainstream right tends to do, is a position consistent with elements of our culture that enable genuine fascism. Last time I checked, fascism as a political movement, involved elements such as the scapegoating of minority groups, an us vs. them mentality, along with all sorts of things that DK obviously is revulsed by and would never advocate. But in so far as an open and blatant call to targeting a minority group is a central pillar of fascism, the word is probably justified with a “crypto” prefix.
    And again, what’s with the “progressive means getting beyond labels” thing? Maybe because you’re in the UK (Matityahu), but in the US “progressive” is generally used to describe a political position that’s left of center, perhaps even left of “liberal” (whatever that means these days). I take it to mean a position that, at the very least, is in favour of extending as broad a number of rights to as broad a group of people as possible, combined with the advocacy of economic and social justice (and hence not the same as libertarianism).
    “Progressive” doesn’t mean “inclusive of all political viewpoints.” It is, itself, a political viewpoint, albeit one that embraces a number of points on the generally left side of the political spectrum.
    Should we allow Kahane, JDL types to post here? Are we not being sufficiently “progressive” if we deny them a voice? There’s a difference between an editorial line (even in a blog) and censorship.
    My point: Jewschool explicitly calls itself a progressive Jewish blog. DK’s post is the exact opposite of that. Thus I have good reason to doubt Jewschool’s progressive credentials.
    That’s different to expecting every post to follow the same ideological line.
    No time to proof-read, so apologies in advance for any typos or incoherence.

  24. htrouser: Well made points, although on this I think we will have to agree to disagree. Just so we’re clear, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition defines ‘progressive’ as ‘Moving forward; advancing. Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments: progressive change. Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods: a progressive politician; progressive business leadership.’ I’ve intentionally not used the OED so as not to confuse matters, but I still fail to see where ‘progressive’ means left of liberal. Then again, I’m sure that you and I would disagree on how to pronounce ‘leisure’, that an ‘elevator’ is in fact a ‘lift’, and that tea is much nicer than coffee. But these opinions don’t make me a neo-teafascist or a liftNazi now do they?
    You may very well disagree with DK’s point of view, but I can tell you that as a Jew living in the UK where demographics point to an Islamicised continental Europe by the year 2200, immigration is very much a ‘hot topic’ here. Given our collective history as Jews, I think we are quite sensitive to xenophobia, but I fail to see how the questioning of immigration policy can make one a xenophobic crypto-fascist.
    To question immigration policies regarding countries hostile to our own is not fascist.
    Further, ‘Should we allow Kahane, JDL types to post here?’ We’re overegging the pudding just a bit there, aren’t we? DK made some very harsh and tough comments, but do we know that he is a card carrying member Kahanist??
    ‘Are we not being sufficiently “progressive” if we deny them a voice?’
    No…you’re just planting your flag for a preference to read and discourse with folks who are terribly similar to yourself. I don’t see that as progressive, just equally as close minded as you have accused others of being.

  25. Well, my final word here too, Matityahu. And thanks for a thoughtful response. Ironically, I’m British, actually! I’ve just been over here a little too long. And I follow both British and European immigration matters very closely (sounds like we might disagree there too, but I’ll leave that one). I didn’t want to suggest the DK is a JDL type. I know for a fact that he isn’t, and wouldn’t want to accuse him of such. Just that there are obvious ideological parameters to a “progressive” blog, even one embracing dissenting voices (dissenting from progressive views, that is). DK is a Jewschool staple, not a “guest” right-wing contributor, and I think his views do raise an issue about the political stance of this blog.
    For the record, I vastly prefer the OED myself, but I think we’re probably quibling here over the meaning of a word. Here in the US, “progressive” in a political context really does mean liberal or left of liberal. This is certainly true in blogging circles, as well as in the wider press. Thus, both the Nation and Mother Jones refer to themselves as progressive publications, and often speak of their political constituency as progressives.
    And before anyone else brings this up, yes I do know that this isn’t the same as Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party!

  26. Fair play, htrouser. I’ll send you some PG Tips and Walkers crisps anytime! How shallow of me to have assumed you a Yank. Just goes to show you where assumptions with a lack of discourse gets you.
    I suspect we wouldn’t agree on immigration policies, but I do hope that we can push ‘progressive’ to mean something more than just ‘left of liberal’. Vigourous debate is what makes our people strong (and what makes being the chairperson of a shul so difficult, but that is another matter). Just becuase progressive means one thing in the US, does this mean that this is the only definition worthwhile? We should really be challenging ourselves a bit more in my opinion.
    As it happens, I don’t agree with everything that DK has to say. But to even consider censoring DK, or others who hold opinions similar to his, is a step backwards and not forwards. And, following this definition, not progressive.

  27. Cole — Why don’t you argue with David Kelsey’s points, rather than calling him names and complaining that they conflict with your identity. The funny thing about self-proclaimed “progressives” is that they love being “transgressive” and saying “radical” things, but then as soon as someone else says something that falls outside THEIR comfort zone (i.e. that’s not P.C.), they get flustered and resort to name-calling. It’s much easier than presenting cogent arguments. And much lazier, too.

  28. “Join Daniel Boyarin…”
    …and that’s as far as I got; moved on the next post.
    A Cal Alumnus

  29. In comments to another post, Mobius asked if everyone had gone mad. Reading these comments, it seems so, with few exceptions.
    Komai: The paraphrased quote is of Voltaire, which ‘leftists’ tend to throw around a lot. Though leftist myself, whenever I hear any friends use it, I ask them ‘are you f-ing nuts? You’d give your life so that Hitler can spew his venom? Or, you’d give your life so that someone else can be completely wrong? Life’s too precious to threaten to chuck it for stupidity.’
    Didn’t the first blogger suggest removing the adjective ‘progressive’ from Jewschool’s description, NOT censuring David?
    CK — your getting laid remarks would have been quite funny, did they not sound so boomeresque. They can be getting laid off from a great job, and their biggest fear is how will they pay for their Viagra, with no health insurance…

  30. Isn’t the line: “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.”
    You aren’t defending Hitler, or defending what he is saying. What you are defending is the specific right to say what you believe. Such a right is worth defending, regardless of whether fools misuse the right to put forth deformed agendas.

  31. miriam: boomers with no health insurance can buy cheap generic vi*gra off the internet. Or they can do what the men in my family have done for centuries to maintain their virility – eat lots of shakshuka. Seriously, it’s a veritable wonderdrug, Here’s my mom’s recipe. Feel free to forward it to all your unemployed limp dicked white heterosexual boomer oppresor friends.

  32. Mordy, your comments are concise and cut the the nugget of what this is about. Defending Hitler’s right to state his belief is righteous–and so is shouting his facism down when it is put into action in the corporate/capitalist media, when he tries to organize the brownshirts, and when he sweet-talks the WASPS (like Joe Kennedy) in the US and Europe. Remember, capitalists were all down with Hitler because they hoped he would make short work of the USSR.
    If you develop a space where people cannot say what they believe and are able to defend their ideas–that is when you are honoring the memory of the thug Hitler.

  33. Personally, I don’t care whether Jewschool calls itself progressive or not as long as it continues to advance the dialogue of our people in the vital way that it does. Maybe you all in the big cities have plenty of exposure to “dialogue” but for most young jews in the American Diaspora Jewschool is the single best resource they have– I travel constantly throughout the US working with inds and communities and I see that this is true over and over again. It’s true the site needs some maturing– like can we get over the playground infighting? But I say Yasher Koach Mobius and crew for this work that you do.
    Oh yeah– since when did Jews become white?

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