Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Criticism and Antisemitism

On a Facebook group called "ADL Should Acknowledge the Armenian Genocide," Jeremy Menchik from Wisconsin says:
The *immediate* purpose, Jewish interests, has always taken precedent [sic] over civil rights for all. Examples: the Sylvio Berlesconi [sic] affair, vocal support for the war in Iraq, persistent harrassment [sic] of mainstream Muslim-American organizations, the deliberate blurring of anti-zionism with anti-semitism in order to slander enemies, close cooperation with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, opposition to Affirmative Action, etc etc. The mistake in this discussion, therefore, is thinking that ADL would do anything *but* deny the Armenian genocide.
Is this antisemitism? Just wondering.

I thought this was apropos our discussion about the ADL brouhaha below, andI think that my question also touches on an earlier discussion I had with Redel and others.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You took that quote entirely out of context by dropping the preceeding lines. If you are going to quote people, you should do so honestly.

Ani said...

here's the paragraph with the preceding lines:

ADL is not a civil rights organization. ADL's mission statement reads "The immediate object of the League is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike...." The *immediate* purpose, Jewish interests, has always taken precedent over civil rights for all. Examples: the Sylvio Berlesconi affair, vocal support for the war in Iraq, persistent harrassment of mainstream Muslim-American organizations, the deliberate blurring of anti-zionism with anti-semitism in order to slander enemies, close cooperation with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, opposition to Affirmative Action, etc etc. The mistake in this discussion, therefore, is thinking that ADL would do anything *but* deny the Armenian genocide.

Anonymous said...

It's getting harder these days to distinguish between antisemitism, BDS, antiamericanism and antiwar sentiment.

Someone who thinks that cooperating with homeland security is a betrayal of the people of this country is so far gone in the way of paranoia that being antisemitic, if they are, is not the worst of their afflictions.

So the question of antisemitism is not constructive here. If this person were to be purged of all hatred, he would still think "the jews" have conspired to direct US foreign policy and that "jewish interests" supercede the interests of jewish americans as americans at the ADL. He will still argue that antizionism has no overlap with antisemitism, the better to protect his own world view, and that muslim groups in this country are mostly victims.

If you wanted to "fix" this person, removing hatred, of jews or anybody else, wouldn't accomplish anything. You'd have sever the part of his brain that thinks in terms of identity politics. You'd have to reboot the part that is responsible for recognizing his own interests as an american. You'd have to deprogram his mind to such an extent that, again, the jewish element would be an only an insignificant part of it.