One of the more telling traits of anti-Israel leftist commentators is their immutable belief in their own virtue. As I’ve argued elsewhere, Israel’s leftist Jewish critics often see themselves as more virtuous, more morally enlightened than their opponents, and, by definition, free of prejudice, hate or malice.
Thus, the NYT’s Thomas Friedman can advance an argument about the corrosive effects of Jewish power on the American body politic which is nearly indistinguishable from those found on the antisemitic right, while largely escaping opprobrium from his political fellow travelers.
An even more egregious example of this dynamic is found on the blogs of Jewish commentators such as Glenn Greenwald and Philip Weiss - who both employ classic antisemitic tropes while continuing to enjoy the moral rewards endowed by the “progressive” brand.
They often see themselves as – per the name of Richard Silverstein’s blog – attempting to perform Tikun Olam (to repair of heal the world). They may express hate towards Israelis, and diaspora Jews who support Israel, with an unbridled passion, and even at times defend the most reactionary and racist (anti-Zionist) movements, yet reconcile such enmity as somehow consistent with the values of liberalism and tolerance.
As Woody Allen’s character in Annie Hall quipped, “I’m a bigot, I know, but for the left”.
As we noted in our previous post about Silverstein – in which he was caught posting what he thought to be the personal identity of a pro-Israel blogger with the flimsiest of evidence – his liberal street cred (as a supporter of “social justice”) has not substantially been eroded, despite a record of commentary which includes defending Hamas, characterizing Israelis soldiers as “subhuman“, and likening the Jewish state to Nazi Germany – all while comically claiming to “love” Israel.
One would think that, following the revelations of Silverstein’s gullibility and recklessness in attempting to expose the identity and location of a pro-Israel blogger, he would be at a bit repentant, and perhaps engage in some self-reflection over how his blog, which fancies itself a forum for healing the world, had devolved into a disseminator of vicious anti-Zionist antiprop.
In fact, not only has Silverstein’s subsequent posts clearly demonstrated that no such introspection, personal or political accounting of his devolution occurred, but the opposite dynamic appears to have taken hold.
Per Israellycool in a Dec. 31st post:
While I enjoyed the Sabbath, the Jewish day of rest with my family (and thus could not be online), anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein went ahead and revealed what he claims is my real identity, including the neighborhood in which I live. He also claims to have seen photos of my wife and kids.
Silverstein, in the post cited by Israellycool, gloats:
Dave. I hope you’re ready for your closeup. Dave was proud that he snared me in a trap he set inducing me to report a fake identity that he’d devised. What he didn’t bargain for was that someone (not me) would be so offended by his shenanigans that he outed him. So here’s what I know: his home address and phone, his wife’s name, her website. I’ve seen pictures of him, his wife, his kids. I know where his parents live…
Silverstein then revealed the neighborhood where Dave lives, and issued the following thinly veiled threat:
Dave and his supporters may be tempted to dream up some twisted form of revenge. I’m holding information in abeyance to tame their passions.
People now know who he is. If he continues breaking rules and acting the role of agent provocateur, at least we now know who to blame and can put a name and face to his misdeeds.
And, now we know who you are Richard – a spiteful, petty and grossly irresponsible propagandist.
It speaks volumes about the Jewish anti-Zionist left when their understanding of liberalism is so distorted that terrorist movements like Hamas can engender their sympathy – and inspire “liberal” imagination – yet what moves them to righteous outrage are Jews like Aussie Dave with the temerity to passionately and unapologetically defend their family, their community, and their nation from the very real threat posed by malevolent antisemitism.
There’s nothing liberal about Richard Silverstein and his fellow travelers, nor is his animosity towards the Jewish state in any way consistent with the values of Tikun Olam.
You can’t simultaneously claim to “love” Israel, while loathing, and continually expressing contempt towards, actual Israelis.
Hate – even in the name of “progressive” politics – is still hate.
- Richard Silverstein Gullibility Watch: The anti-Zionist “journalist” gets fooled again. (cifwatch.com)
- Lauren Booth on “Jewish supremacism”, why antisemitism is justified, & the wisdom of Gilad Atzmon (cifwatch.com)
- Geary Theory: A Goy contemplates “As-A-Jews” (cifwatch.com)
- Why is anti-Israel extremist Gary Spedding affiliated with Holocaust Memorial Day Trust? (cifwatch.com)
- CiF’s Rachel Shabi, Israeli democracy and the rank dishonesty of the anti-Zionist Left (cifwatch.com)
- Will radical anti-Zionist Richard Silverstein be charged with espionage? (cifwatch.com)