Identity, Israel, Politics

Juan Cole may be an idiot, but David Horowitz is a bigger idiot

“Where’s Jewschool on Juan Cole?” the emails keep asking. Jewschool has better things to do. Like visiting kibbutzim in the Arava in hopes of discerning the kind of intentional community he (and I refer to myself as Jewschool because Ziva keeps calling me that) and his friends would like to create for themselves — an option more appealing than anything else this world presently has to offer. It’s certainly a better use of time than entering the fray on an issue as divisive and mind-numbing as this. Frankly I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a quinoa stalk than get involved here.
But, you know, communal responsibility and all. So, here’s the gist of it:
Juan Cole has always struck me as something of a douche. He’s one of those professors who, like Chomsky, is more well-known for his detestment of Israel than anything else he’s ever produced. Cole hearts Mearshimer & Walt. Cole hearts Israel-was-behind-9/11 conspiracy theorist Justin Raimondo. Cole thinks MEMRI is a Likud sponsored agency. In his world, Larry Franklin must be a Jew. The examples go on and on.
All throughout Cole’s writing on Israel, you can find dozens of reasons to denounce him as a Judeophobic loon, propagating the worst kind of Jewish conspiracy theories and regurgitating the same antisemitic pap that passes for critical thinking these days as I railed on about in my recent post on Left-wing antisemitism. But don’t dare call him an antisemite, his defenders pronounce, because after all, he’s against the academic boycott of Israel. Of course, they fail to realize that he doesn’t want to weaken Israel’s radical left-wing professors because they are helping to “destroy the country from within.”
Glenn Greenwald writes,

Anyone who has ever read anything written by Professor Cole — and I have, and I have disagreed with much of it — knows that the claim that he is anti-Semitic is a baseless and defamatory myth. It is a smear that is achieved only by the depressingly common attempt to equate hostility towards the political agenda of Likud with hostility towards Jews generally, a tactic that is nothing short of disgusting.

No, no… Giving a platform to people who say the Jews were behind 9/11 is nothing short of disgusting. Looking for a Likud-backed conspiracy in every facet of life is nothing short of disgusting. Making excuses for a guy who’s hunting for the misdoings of Jews where there are none is nothing short of disgusting.
All of this exploded recently, when Cole was offered a tenured position at Yale, and the neocon attack dogs subsequently let loose on the creep, with a multitude of op-eds in newspapers I don’t have the stomach to read, and a lobbying effort directed at Yale’s Jewish funders intent on getting him booted from the shortlist. Cole was turned down for the job shortly thereafter.
Were their actions towards Cole ethical? Appropriate? Censorious? Unjust? I really don’t give a sh*t. Cole made his own bed, and he can sleep in it. Cole goes far beyond the pale, using his contempt for Likud as a fig leaf for his obvious abhorrence of Israel and its American supporters. He can fight his own battles. I’m not rushing to his aid. Flies are attracted to sh*t, and they’re piling on. That’s his problem.
The more important question is, are Daniel Pipes, Joel Mowbray, David Horowitz, and their attack dog tactics good for the Jews? To that, the answer is resoundingly “no.” These are the kind of folks that attack the ACLU and its predominantly liberal Jewish supporters as “un-American” for championing the American principle, “I may not agree with a single word you say, but damnit, I’ll fight like hell to defend your right to say it.” They are hypocrites who demand academic freedom for right-wing nationalists while decrying the freedom of guys like Cole, who, no matter how idiotic and deplorable they tend to be, are free to express their views, whether in the op-ed section or in the classroom. Rather, they smear the entire Zionist community by painting us as crybabies and Stalinists, in turn legitimating undue criticism of Israel by attacking deserved criticism, often labeling it antisemitic when it is not. All one needs is to glance about the blogosphere for the reaction to the Cole fiasco to get an understanding of the impact it has on Israel’s legitimacy among the population whose representatives will soon be reclaiming both houses of Congress.
Popular liberal blogger Billmon writes,

It almost brings to mind the old Brezhnev-era KGB, obsessed with tracking down every obscure dissident with a mimeograph machine and packing him or her off to the nut farm, while the Soviet versions of the Moonie Times and Fox News thundered at full volume about capitalist plots and foul slanders against the people’s vanguard party.
This is only a moderate exaggeration. The neocons may not be in command of a fully functioning police state – yet – but like the enforcers of Brezhnev’s Politburo, they seem to understand instinctively that their ideological monopoly is too fragile to tolerate much dissent. All three branches of the government, both political parties and virtually every major media organization are firmly in the hands of people who believe – often passionately – in America’s alliance with Israel. Politicians compete to see who can offer the most generous aid concessions, or utter the most strident denunciations of Israel’s enemies, or turn the blindest eye to the latest illegal settlement expansion. Polls show the public overwhelmingly supports these positions. And yet, somehow it’s still not enough. And so one academician/blogger who believes, and publicly states, that the Palestinians are human beings – and have rights that are being violated daily by the Israeli government and the settlers – becomes a mortal threat, to be fought with every weapon the gang can bring to bear, including Yale’s Jewish donors.

Another liberal blogger, Majikthise, wrote:

Note to the neoconservative zeolots who screwed professor Juan Cole out of a job at Yale: If you don’t want people to think that you’re a shadowy cabal that mercilessly quashes dissent, then don’t act like one.

Don’t even get me started on Richard Silverstein’s response.
And finally, in the latest salvo, fired by a contributor to DailyKos, the leading “netroots” Democrat blog, the following cartoon was posted:


The so-called Middle, of course, used this post and its ensuing idiotic comments as an opportunity to lambaste the entire Democratic party as anti-Israel, proving once again how endearingly center-of-the-road he really is.
And everyone, across the board, is ignoring Yale’s staff itself who are saying they had their own reasons for shooting down Cole’s tenure, having little to do with his politics.
The Jewish Week reported,

The major opposition to Cole, most faculty members interviewed for this story agree, came from within the departments themselves. At least two faculty members said they had witnessed senior professors at both departments attempt to influence their peers to vote against Cole. One university insider familiar with the case said that there may be several reasons why the tenure committee shot down Cole’s appointment. First, according to the source, most of Cole’s scholarship pertains to the Baha’i faith and is limited to the 18th and 19th centuries, a liability for a professor charged with teaching about the contemporary Middle East. Second, the source continued, Cole appears to lack in collegiality, as his penchant for combative blog entries and personal spats with detractors might make him an unnerving fixture on Yale. Finally, Cole’s politics may have played a role, though a less important one than the other two factors, said the source.

So what did the neocons actually accomplish? Did they get Cole blocked from Yale? No. Yale blocked Cole from Yale. Did they create the impression that they got Cole blocked from Yale? Yes. Who looks bad in the situation? Israel and its supporters. What was the intent of this attack? To help sustain support for the state of Israel. Was their action effective? No. It completely backfired. Was it, therefore, good for the Jews? Not a friggin’ chance.
Someone needs to put a stop to these fools before they turn everyone except the evangelicals and the Islamophobes against us.

20 thoughts on “Juan Cole may be an idiot, but David Horowitz is a bigger idiot

  1. There has been some talk lately that people only comment when they have something negative to say. So, I will happily be the first to say: amen and thank you, Dan. And in case anyone doubted the relevance of all these discussions about anti-semitism on the left, this post should be a wake up call. Unfortunately, all progressive Jews, whether zionist, anti-zionist or unzionist, need a *nuanced* and comprehensive analysis of this brand of anti-semitism.

  2. I agree that David Horowitz and his right wing cronies and their lessers like Lee Kaplan are all deplorable, however I think there is an important aspect of this issue that hasn’t been addressed…
    You wrote that the neoconservative Israel supporters must be stopped before their tactics turn the main stream against Israeli policy. There is something terribly awry in public discourse when we are concerned more with the tactics of opponents rather than the actual substance of their arguments. The fact that Horowitz et al stifle academic freedom and intimidate criticism of Israel in America has very little to do with actual Israeli policies. Yes, Horowitz & co are deplorable, but in this case it is specifically a free speech issue and not one regarding Israel.
    I think it benefits us all to separate the two issues when they are collided. In a situation like this, neither being critical of Horowitz’ tactics or supportive of Cole’s freedom is necessarily an attack on Israel. It is only the right wing’s ability to frame the issue as such that has allowed them to blur the two so closely. This detracts from the public’s freedom and ability to engage in rational discourse on the Middle East, but also unwittingly allies the pro-Israeli factions of the US with these nutjobs. Ultimately, when they are exposed, people are going to automatically categorize the two and it could backfire severely, as you stated. That is, probably neither of us wants the reality of the Israeli occupation to be smokescreened behind this free speech debate; and certainly neither of us wants to have the free speech debate dominate and decide people’s opinions regarding the occupation. It may be expedient in the short run, but it sets an unhealthy precedent.
    That said, what I find most interesting about this post is that beneath it all, it seems like you agree with Horowitz and co that Cole is an anti-Semite. If this is the case (and I can’t really make a judgment, but I’d appreciate it if you provided some solid examples), then the difference between your outlook and that of Horowitz is not that great. Maybe you both agree that being critical of Israel is synonymous with anti-Semitism, but you don’t agree on how the response should be coordinated. If this is the case, then I commend you for your sound judgment, but the more serious and endemic problem of misconstruing criticism of Israel as being anti-Semitic lays unresolved…

  3. What I find most disconcerting about the Coles, Chomskys and Finkelsteins of the world isn’t their warped, paranoid view of the world order. But more than anything else is just the fact that they present themselves on experts on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Certainly their p.o.v. is no more (or less) inherently valid than yours or mine (assuming neither of us are scholars in said field), however, Chomsky et. al. are given platforms to spew anti-Israeli sentiment despite that their fields of expertise have nothing to do with that specific field. In this sense, I think that Pipes’ work is important. There is no reason that academia should get a free pass just because it has often been one of the few forums for dissenting views. There is never an excuse for faulty, misleading scholarship, and that is what Chomsky, Walt, Mearsheimer, etc…often produce.
    And just for the record, I’m an American history student, so I’m not railing because I need a job in Middle Eastern studies…

  4. There is something terribly awry in public discourse when we are concerned more with the tactics of opponents rather than the actual substance of their arguments. The fact that Horowitz et al stifle academic freedom and intimidate criticism of Israel in America has very little to do with actual Israeli policies. Yes, Horowitz & co are deplorable, but in this case it is specifically a free speech issue and not one regarding Israel.
    i don’t disagree, but i think that within the jewish community it is much harder to find consensus on what the facts of the matter are. there is a spectrum of viewpoints, all of which have legitimate grounding in their perspectives. both the right-wing and left-wing jewish position have their validity and merits.
    i am working within my community to bring about progressive change on this issue. having non-jews screaming about zionist conspiracy theories only inflames the situation, exacerbating emotional responses which empower nationalist responses. it is entirely counterproductive because it adds many more obstacles to the process of making headway in changing attitudes within the zionist community itself.
    That said, what I find most interesting about this post is that beneath it all, it seems like you agree with Horowitz and co that Cole is an anti-Semite. If this is the case (and I can’t really make a judgment, but I’d appreciate it if you provided some solid examples), then the difference between your outlook and that of Horowitz is not that great. Maybe you both agree that being critical of Israel is synonymous with anti-Semitism, but you don’t agree on how the response should be coordinated.
    i don’t believe that criticizing israel is antisemitic at all. however, as with the examples i did, in fact, provide in my post, i think that making a career out of criticizing israel, applying more attention to israel than to regimes which do far worse, applying a hermeneutics of suspicion to every jewish lobbying effort and/or all zionist activity, providing a platform to those who put forth dangerous speculations about israeli involvement in 9/11, and so forth, paints a very ugly picture and suggests a bias which is consistent with traditional antisemitic behavior.
    that i could believe that only 60 years since the holocaust that antisemitism could be just as culturally entrenched now as it ever was should not suggest a wingbatitude on my part. what i think is more deceptive is to believe that the use of politically correct language and “tactical maneuvering” somehow eliminates bigotry that simply never went away. all it does is provide a harder-to-pierce cover for the same shtick we’ve seen for millenia.
    as per cole, i say don’t interfere with his career. educate your children and educate yourself. encourage schools to provide independent courses in critical thinking. encourage people to pursue facts on both sides of an issue and to make up their minds for themselves. give them a framework to detect bias on both the left and the right. set the people free.

  5. This is such a sorry-assed post I don’t know where to start. First, this issue may not mean much to you but it does to many, many people in the U.S. and it should to you too. But you can lead a horse to water…
    This is an important issue regarding academic freedom; it is important for bloggers as well unless you wish to see candidates for academic appointments who write controversial blogs blackballed for what they write; it’s important for the American Jewish community; and finally it’s important for Israel.
    As I sent Mobius a polite e mail last night asking him if he would post on this subject, I didn’t really expect the derisive dismissal connected to my post you link to above: “Don’t even get me started on Richard Silverstein.” Which is shorthand for what argument precisely against what I wrote? Interesting though, that you sent me a trackback. You can dismiss me here AND generate some more site traffic for yourself. Zayer shein.
    And your following comment also gets things precisely wrong: “So what did the neocons actually accomplish? Did they get Cole blocked from Yale? No. Yale blocked Cole from Yale.” The neocons started this campaign way back in April. They started it as soon as they heard Yale was even considering Cole. They set the tone for the debate, even within the Yale academy. To say that Cole’s rejection was solely a matter concerning the faculty is disingenuous. Certainly the faculty made the decision. But do you deny that the smear campaign had a very significant impact on Yale’s decision? You don’t think Yale administrators and faculty read all the shmattes that attacked Cole in their news & editorial pages? You don’t think they listen when Jewish fatcats tell them Cole is treif? If you believe this had nothing to do w. his rejection then you at best naive & at worst a fool.
    Until now, I thought you were a decent sort, a tad irascible, but essentially a mensch w. your heart in the right place. But now I see you’re a bilious, dyspeptic old sod. Doubtless you’ll respond with some smart-alecky crack. Go ahead, but I’m just plain sad to read a post like this which so profoundly misunderstands the issues at stake and which takes such a toxic, cynical approach.
    And as for Cole’s alleged anti-Semitism. You don’t quote a single passage from his writing to prove your accusation. As for yr alleged claim that he supports the theory that 9/11 was caused by Jews, this is far-fetched. Cole does say that Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians played a role in 9/11 which should be self-evident to anyone but the neocon pro-Israel crowd.
    And regarding your contention that he’s anti-Semitic, in an earlier version of my post Cole pointed out to me that it might appear I was saying his battle was between “Jews & Gentiles” (which I was NOT saying) & he pointed out that there were many Jews supporting him. He was deliberately trying to avoid any argument that might engender anti-Semitism. No doubt, you’ll have some smart crack to impugn Cole’s motives. Sad.

  6. Mobious, I need some evidence from you showing that Cole has been anti-Semitic in any way. Nothing I’ve seen shows that. (As Silverstein writes, there is a difference between A) suggesting that the US relationship with Israel is part of the context for 9/11, and B) suggesting that the pro-Israel ‘war party’ allowed/orchestrated 9/11 as a ‘Pearl Harbor’ that would allow it to ‘take over’ the United States.)
    Furthermore, conflating Chomsky, Cole and Finkelstein does you no service. Chomsky is a Hebrew speaking Jew, whose work is replete with footnotes, and who is getting flak for his OPPOSITION to the thesis that Israel has taken over US foriegn policy. Finkelstein, however awful his tone, is a researcher who makes valid points – but then takes them to an extreme many find uncomforable. Cole is the least ‘offensive’ of the bunch.
    The thing is, there ARE anti-Semitic memes getting out there in the far left. Some of those idiots are fans of C, C and F. But those folks have difference heroes and a different language. Look for euphamisms like war party, pearl harbor, and the naming of Jewish names out of context.
    I think that the anger Mobious expresses is justified – but not against the target in question. The sane left, which is most (but not all) of UFPJ, is fighting to distinguish itself from anti-Jewish loonies. The insane right would like to prevent them from accomplishing that task by tarring thier intellectuals with the same brunch. In this instance, Mobious appears to be aiding the insane right against the sane left, as a result of repeated provocation by the insane left.
    That might not be what Mobius is thinking…. but I think it’s a conversation worth having, with the help of concrete quotes helping to prove or disprove these allegations. I promise to help by finding links for horrific crap in circulation on the far left, today, that will help illustrate the chasm between Cole and the anti-Semites.
    (Are they still nude sunbathing on those Arava kibbutzim?)

  7. Now to show what I meant with a link of my own:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/christison06162006.html
    This is an excerpt, where the authors (former CIA analysts) are complaining about critics from the left, who aren’t sufficiently critical of the Israel Lobby; these critics, apparently, don’t think that the lobby supersedes US national interests. Here goes:
    Most disturbing and harder to dismiss is the criticism of the study from the left, coming chiefly from Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, and abetted less cogently by Stephen Zunes of Foreign Policy in Focus and Joseph Massad of Columbia University. These critics on the left argue from a assumption that U.S. foreign policy has been monolithic since World War II, a coherent progression of decision-making directed unerringly at the advancement of U.S. imperial interests. All U.S. actions, these critics contend, are part of a clearly laid-out strategy that has rarely deviated no matter what the party in power. They believe that Israel has served throughout as a loyal agent of the U.S., carrying out the U.S. design faithfully and serving as a base from which the U.S. projects its power around the Middle East. Zunes says it most clearly, affirming that Israel “still is very much the junior partner in the relationship.” These critics do not dispute the existence of a lobby, but they minimize its importance, claiming that rather than leading the U.S. into policies and foreign adventures that stand against true U.S. national interests, as Mearsheimer and Walt assert, the U.S. is actually the controlling power in the relationship with Israel and carries out a consistent policy, using Israel as its agent where possible.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/christison06162006.html
    My point is, the nuts at Counter Punch are the ones worth knocking about; going after Chomsky, Cole (I’m not as sure about F.) seems less productive and overly narrows the limits of what’s acceptable.

  8. Mobius,
    I don’t think Cole devotes his entire career to criticizing Israel, but even if that is what you believe, he certainly doesn’t do it (or at least there’s nothing to indicate it) because Israel is a Jewish state. It seems he does it because he genuinely believes that its current policies, along with what he perceives to be the imperialistic support of the US, are detrimental to the region and the world.
    Would you say that Americans who have devoted their lives to ensuring a US invasion of Iraq or attack on Iran because they consider both to be dangers to the US or Israel are Islamophobic?

  9. This is an important issue regarding academic freedom; it is important for bloggers as well unless you wish to see candidates for academic appointments who write controversial blogs blackballed for what they write; it’s important for the American Jewish community; and finally it’s important for Israel.
    Firstly, Yale is a private university. What it chooses to do is its own business and none of mine. What its funders choose to do, for whatever biases they hold, is their own business. It is not a public institution, supported by my tax dollars, and therefore I have absolutely no say in its internal dealings.
    Secondly, individuals should be held accountable for their deeds. If you fancy Zionist conspiracy theories, you should be held accountable for your words and actions.
    When I wrote posts previously criticizing Israeli policies, people called up Dorot, the organization that was funding my learning in Israel, and demanded they kick me off the program. Did I cry about it?
    Cole recently quipped, “If Israelis want to be a state, they, both genders, should take the criticism like men and stop being crybabies about ‘anti-Semitism.'” If you want to be unyieldingly, unrepentantly, and even unfairly critical of Israel, don’t cry when people hold you accountable for it.
    Interesting though, that you sent me a trackback. You can dismiss me here AND generate some more site traffic for yourself. Zayer shein.
    Don’t flatter yourself. WordPress automatically generates trackbacks.
    You’ll have to excuse me Richard, but while you’re trying to convince the world that Israel intentionally murdered seven civilians in the Gaza strip (which HRW has conceded is not the case), I don’t see you drawing any attention at all to the fact that Palestinian shot up a bus full of school children yesterday. Nor have you mentioned the non-stop barrage of Qassam rockets that have been falling on Sderot not just in the last week, but in the last two years. (Why were they firing on the beach to begin with?) Even when you reported on the suicide bombing that struck Tel Aviv recently, you used it as a stage to attack Israel for drawing attention to the fact that Iran is financing Islamic Jihad.
    Your pathology of attacking Israel belies your alleged sincerity. Your defense of Cole is just more grist for the mill.
    But do you deny that the smear campaign had a very significant impact on Yale’s decision?
    Can you identify a single person who claims to have been influenced by this smear campaign?
    You don’t think Yale administrators and faculty read all the shmattes that attacked Cole in their news & editorial pages? You don’t think they listen when Jewish fatcats tell them Cole is treif? If you believe this had nothing to do w. his rejection then you at best naive & at worst a fool.
    The Jewish Week:

    Mowbray went as far as to send a letter to a dozen of Yale’s major donors, many of whom are Jewish, urging them to call the university and protest Cole’s hiring. […] Last week, as Cole’s hiring was being discussed by the tenure committee, the letter’s recipients apparently weighed in, according to sources. Several faculty members said they had heard that at least four major Jewish donors, whose identity the faculty members did not know, have contacted officials at the university urging that Cole’s appointment be denied.
    And while most faculty members contacted for this piece agree that it is highly improbable that outside pressure played a part in the tenure committee’s decision, the letters and the subsequent calls suggest a campaign to discredit Cole.

    Wow. Four people out of 12 chimed in. And everyone says their protestations didn’t amount to a hill of beans. In fact, “Despite the op-ed pieces, Cole’s nomination was brought to the history and sociology departments, both of which voted in late May, to approve Cole’s hiring.”
    Yes, I am more likely to believe Yale’s own faculty than I am bloggers who have no relationship to the situation whatsoever and who otherwise demonstrate a penchant for seeing conspiracies where there are none.
    I must be an utter fool.
    Until now, I thought you were a decent sort, a tad irascible, but essentially a mensch w. your heart in the right place. But now I see you’re a bilious, dyspeptic old sod. Doubtless you’ll respond with some smart-alecky crack. Go ahead, but I’m just plain sad to read a post like this which so profoundly misunderstands the issues at stake and which takes such a toxic, cynical approach.
    Personal attacks are a great way of winning an argument.
    And as for Cole’s alleged anti-Semitism. You don’t quote a single passage from his writing to prove your accusation. As for yr alleged claim that he supports the theory that 9/11 was caused by Jews, this is far-fetched. Cole does say that Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians played a role in 9/11 which should be self-evident to anyone but the neocon pro-Israel crowd.
    And I would say that the Islamic world’s use of the Zionist sockpuppet as a means to deflect attention from their own misdoings has way more to do with it than Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. And I’m not going to spend hours fisking Juan Cole when my point is not the specifics of his speech but the fact that his conclusions ultimately amount to the same sort of antisemitic accusations that have been levelled against Jews for the last thousand years. It’s not that he’s an antisemite. It’s that he draws conclusions which are ultimately antisemitic. « Charles, Yaman, this is my response to both of you as well.
    And regarding your contention that he’s anti-Semitic, in an earlier version of my post Cole pointed out to me that it might appear I was saying his battle was between “Jews & Gentiles” (which I was NOT saying) & he pointed out that there were many Jews supporting him. He was deliberately trying to avoid any argument that might engender anti-Semitism. No doubt, you’ll have some smart crack to impugn Cole’s motives. Sad.
    “Jews are great so long as they agree with me on what’s best for them.” That’s the leftist version of philosemitism. It’s a bullshit posture. Jews are great so long as they’re court Jews — “house niggers.” The second they become liberated and start thinking for themselves, and acting in the interest of their own sovereignty and security, it’s a whole other story.

  10. This stuff regarding Juan Cole is full of crap. I read Cole’s stuff regularly, and while he could occasionally use an editor to make the tone some of his statements (and not only on Israel) a littler more reasoned, he’s usually correct. And when he’s worng, it’s not becuase he’s anti-semitic. And unlike most of us, he can actually understand what these guys are saying becuase he knows the languages.
    Glenn Greenwald is correct, aand Mobius is wrong. I’m sick of these bogus accusaions of anti-semitism aginst people whose views are similar to my own. The herd mentality and groupthink of the organized US Jewish community regarding Israel is disgusting. I susepct that it’s one of the reasons why over half of American Jews don’t affiliate wioth the community. And the Israelis don’t return the love and respect we lavish on them, they just use us.

  11. please, please, please don’t ever put me in the same boat as the mainstream american jewish community, and please, please, please don’t think that i would allege antisemitism in order to defend israel from due criticism. i’m the same guy who did a point by point comparison of israeli laws and apartheid south african laws asking what the discernable difference between the two are.
    that said, i can accept “you’re just misreading him because of his tone” moreso than i can the statement that there’s no justifiable reason to suspect he harbors a hostility towards israel and its supporters.

  12. btw:
    Close to 90 percent of Israeli Jews believe that their country still needs the support of American Jewry, and of them nearly 50% think there should be more support coming from across the ocean, according to a survey released Monday. The poll did not specify any particular kind of support.
    In addition, some 60% disagreed – 40% strongly disagreed – with controversial statements made recently by author A.B. Yehoshua, while 22% did agree with them and 8.7% said they didn’t know.
    source.

  13. Mobius, I’ve read your comments, and I think you are commiting a logical fallacy. (I’m guilty of crimes against spelling and grammer, but that’s another story…)
    You say that Cole may not be anti-Semitic in his views, and he may have reasoned arguments, BUT:
    The conclusions and potential extrapolations from his arguments are the same as those put out by actual anti-Semites.
    AND THEREFORE it makes no sense to frisk Cole for actual quotes.
    You know the phrase, just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get you?
    In the same vein, one major reason why anti-Semitic discourse and anti-Israeli occupation, or anti-Zionist discourse veer so closely together, is that both can draw upon some of the same facts to make thier points.
    Some Israeli Jewish critics of the occupation do indeed sound anti-Semitic, precisely because they spew facts and analysis without thinking about the existence of anti-Semitism.
    The right wing abuses this convergence of discourses to smear broadly with the charge of Jew hatred. The anti-Semitic left and extremist Palestinians do the reverse; they embrace any voice sufficiently sympathetic to the Palestinians as a potential ally and intellectual hero. In both cases, we should remain free to come up with our own judgement, free from the appeals to emotionally boycott anyone. Well, maybe not anyone; but certainly reasonable dudes like Cole and Chomsky.
    While some attack Israel because they are anti-Jewish, far more attack Israel because of things Israel – and its supporters – have done or said.

  14. The part of the Daily Kos thread you mention I liked best/found the most offensive is where he writes,
    “because a bunch of Israel-first, rightwing flacks went and scared Yale’s Jewish donors, and they in turn scared administrators at Yale. ..That’s three groups of people right there who need to reconsider what country they live in. ”
    I assume he is saying those people should go live in Israel and not the US. yeah, thats not antisemetic at all..reminds me a bit of Bill O’Reily telling a jewish caller to go live in Israel if he doesnt agree with him.
    i have lost all respect for daily kos and cant bring myself to read it anymore.

  15. The problem is that by twisting and dementing the facts to make Juan Cole look like a filthy anti-semite, you continue to blur the distinction between those accused of being anti-semites because they criticize Israeli policies, and those who really are anti-semitic.
    At the end of the day, it makes Zionists sound like just another ethnic special interest group, constantly crying racism as an all-purpose reply to any argument, any objection their list of political demands.

  16. “The problem is that by twisting and dementing the facts to make Juan Cole look like a filthy anti-semite, you continue to blur the distinction between those accused of being anti-semites because they criticize Israeli policies, and those who really are anti-semitic.”
    I have no idea what sort of personal opinions Cole holds about individual Jews. I have read what he writes and he comes off as another Israel-obsessed loon. What matters is fairness. Do Cole and other Arabists single out Israel as being some sort of pariah-apartheid-genocidal state while ignoring far worse human rights violations in the region? Do they apply anti-semitic shorthand? You know, refering to Jewish conservatives as “Likudniks” even if they have no relation to the Likud party, or, as in the case with Paul Wolfowitz, they actually express disdain for the Likud’s settlement policies?

  17. I almost forgot why I almost never visit here anymore. Instead of the well thought-out and reasoned progressive Jewish analysis that used to be so common, it’s mostly nonsensical, irrational posts like this, where the author takes the time to write a lengthy denunciation without providing any evidence (and when (s)he does provide evidence, such as when prompted in the comments section, it doesn’t even support his/her point!). Seriously, what happened? This used to be the best site for enlightened, careful political analysis with a Jewish slant.
    I’m sorry – I’m just really really depressed. Again, what HAPPENED?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.