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Suffer through this preface and eventually you'll get to an introduction and diary.

This diary -- two diaries in one, in fact -- is prompted by three things: (1) the demand for cessation of anti-Semitism on DKos posted by Mets102 just before he left for the boycott on Sunday, Sept. 11; (2) the election of a Republican over an orthodox Jew in historically Democratic NY-09, one week ago, based largely on an activated and agitated Jewish electorate; and (3) the impending vote on Palestinian statehood, my diary of last Saturday asking what political repercussions would ensue if Obama had the U.S. abstain in the vote rather than veto it, which led to some frank discussion in comments, which led me to wonder whether the discussion in comments ought itself to be considered anti-Semitic by the standards of the new and emerging Daily Kos.

The timing of this diary is based on two things.  (1) I had to get through the above incredibly long run-on sentence.  (2) before commenting on the  results of the NY-9 election and its impact on fueling the long-lusted-after-by-Republicans meme that "Jews are abandoning the Democratic Party and Obama particularly," I wanted to wait until after the boycott ended.  (Mets102 just returned to the site while I was working on this diary this morning; I'm notifying him of it by KosMail.)

This diary itself is two diaries in one: (1) a commentary on NY-09 and the reaction to it here, by the populace, and in the media, and then the same for the UN vote on Palestinian statehood; (2) a meta-commentary on whether asking the questions I ask her, and giving the answers that I and others have given, are to be considered bigotry -- and how that adjudication process will work come CSMAS season.  My sense is that in had I published this in a week when many Jewish members of this site were not boycotting (based on, among other things, their complaint that anti-Semitism is tolerated here), I would have stood a good chance of being disciplined or banned for it.  Perhaps I still might.  I think that this is a good time to figure that out, if we can.

As I'm now, per Markos's rules, considered to be doing the equivalent of hosting a party in my home, I will take the opportunity to set some standards of engagement:

(1) Challenge me on my assertions, opinions and choices as aggressively as you want, so long as you avoid invective.  This is difficult stuff to talk about; while I truly don't intend for it to be offensive I recognize that it may be upsetting.  I claim the right to talk about it frankly in part because I proudly self-identify as Jewish, I condemn what I consider to be anti-Semitism where I encounter it, I value my culture and most of those with whom I share it, and I have religious beliefs that fall pretty much within the realm of Reform Judaism (though my religious practices do more rarely.)  In raising these matters, I think that I have to have a thick enough skin to face a rational explanation of how my writing this diary is a Very Bad Thing -- something with which, obviously, I disagree, or I wouldn't do so.  Please leave out the invective and accusations and whatnot; where I see it, I'll try not to rise to the bait.

(2) Be nicer to your fellow guests than you are to me.  On all sides, please cut each other slack.  If this somehow devolves into a "Jew-bashing" diary, I expect to be on the side of those saying "stop that bashing."

(3) I'm conducting myself with an eye towards how this sort of discussion might be used as a model for discussing "difficult topics" with respect to other subaltern groups -- not all of which, as is the case with women and the relatively poor, are actually numerical minorities.  I don't expect you to be blind to that; if you want to explain how something is OK in this diary but would not be OK in a diary addressing another group, that general topic is in-bounds.  It seems like it would be very easy to do that badly, but it is not out of bounds.

(4) More rules may evolve; I'll update them up here if and when they do.

Now, I think I said something up there about actually writing a diary.  Note that it is very long, largely from my including many interesting comments from others.  I'm posting on the late-ish side to give people time to read it in the evening.

1. Introduction

I'll say up front: I reject any notion that this diary is anti-Semitic.  (If it were, I would neither write it nor ask you to read it.)  Yet I fully recognize that it probably would fall within the bounds of the definition of anti-Semitism that has been proposed by "anti-anti-Semitism" activists for use on this site.  (There are obvious analogies to be made regarding similar demands made by other demographic groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, etc.; I'm most comfortable dealing with this one because I'm a proud member of the group in question and thus a little less vulnerable to the charge of bigotry.)

Let's start with the relevant part of the cry of anguish at anti-Semitism launched by Mets102 in the diary referenced in my preface:

How many times do people get to accuse Jewish posters and politicians of dual loyalty?  How many times do they get to claim that the Jews secretly control the government?  How many antisemitic themes do they get to hit on before they’re finally banned?  Do they have to hit on two deadly memes?  Three deadly memes?  Four?  Enough that they qualify to be a star poster at the white supremacist and antisemitic Stormfront?

Good questions, fairly stated.  I could certainly imagine grand and baroque conspiracy theories regarding "Jewish influence" emerging in comments here -- although I hope that they won't.  And yet, both the explanation for NY-9 and the explanation for "why Obama has to veto Palestinian statehood" come very close to, in my opinion, scaled-down and non-baroque assertions that might be taken to be along these very themes.

The tension between how far one can go in explaining the political world as one honestly sees it, based on good evidence (if not always "extraordinary proof," before it turns into something objectionable is at the root of the debate over anti-Semitism here (and, perhaps, of other similar debates as well.)  In my diary on Obama's veto, several statements were made in comments about the influence of conservative Jewish donors.  In the main, these comments seemed measured and they certainly match by experience in politics -- and, god knows, there are probably many more wonderfully liberal Jewish donors as well, but they tend not to be restricted to single issues, like the security of Israel -- but at the same time, had it not been a boycott week, I could have imagined thunderous denunciation of them.  I think that this is an unhealthy situation -- we should be able to talk about such things.  We should work on separating the distance between the arguably real and the false, inflammatory and offensive.

Where better to start than here and now?

I reject as being overbroad any definition of anti-Semitism that would encompass this diary.  I would, though, very likely lose a "popular vote" on the issue if it went to "community adjudication".  I believe that there is much less of a "constituency" for accepting dicey arguments like mine than there is for arguing that anything that is even arguably anti-Semitic should be banned.  (I'd assert, also that many of those arguments are not made in good faith.)  I have no means to "get out the vote" in an adjudication process, and to the extent that some of those who might "vote my way" actually are anti-Semitic -- as I accept that some likely are -- I have no interest in their support anyway.

The diary below therefore offers (or at least is intended to offer) a good example of the biggest challenge to any content-rating system based on popular vote -- one with which those working out such CSMAS a policy in Kos Central will have to grapple (to, I hope, the great benefit of such a plan.)

The prospect of losing a determinative (rather than advisory, as I'd prefer) vote under the as-yet-unreleased new community moderation protocols, would mean that in deciding whether to write this diary I'd have to choose between (1) facing one in a set of exponentially increasing penalties or (2) just shutting up.  So, once I'm done with the substantive part of this diary, let's use this diary as an object lesson and see whether and how the procedures that Markos and his posse are contemplating would apply here.

That's enough of the meta for now.  Let's get to the meat.  And if you want to stop there and not get into the meta, I'll surely understand.

2. DKos discussion of what happened in NY-09

I had a puzzling exchange with Greg Dworkin (DemFromCT, to you) the day after the conservative Christian Republican, Bob Turner, beat the moderate Jewish Democrat, David Weprin by a margin of 53%-47% in NY-09, with the disproportionate number of votes coming from the Jewish areas of Brooklyn.  To a comment about the Likud (Israeli conservative party) slant of these votes, Dworkin wrote

... the Siena poll clearly showed Israel was not a factor. Hating weiner, disapproval of Obama on the economy and trending conservative with ethic groups in this district was.

by DemFromCT on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:13:07 AM PDT

Paleo replied:

That's totally misleading.  If not the main factor, Israel was one of the major factors.  Even if only 7% considered Israel to be their primary issue (which I hightly doubt), that was the difference between victory and defeat in this election.

Weiner and nothing to do with it.  Zilch.  Polls showed before he resigned that he retained majority approval in the district.

Israel, Muslim-hate, opposition to SSM [same-sex marriage], and the economy were the issues.

by Paleo on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:23:40 AM PDT

I was less constructive and was summarily dismissed, after which I tried to be more constructive:

Israel was not a factor?

Take the train south and see.  Oh yes it was!

by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:35:25 AM PDT

your opinion vs polls.  I'll go with the polls.

by DemFromCT on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:49:48 AM PDT

Link to the polls, please and a comment on whether you think Ed Koch's speech was entirely ineffectual.

by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:12:26 PM PDT

I went and looked it up myself.  Here's the link to the report, which precisely nailed the 6-point margin for Turner.  (Warning: 3-page PDF).  Dworkin is apparently citing this finding:

One-third of voters, including nearly half of Turner supporters, say that the candidate’s position on economic recovery was the single most important factor in choosing which candidate to support.  Twenty-eight percent, including nearly half of Weprin’s supporters, said the candidate’s position on federal entitlements, such as Social Security and Medicare, was the most important factor.  The candidate’s party was identified by 18 percent of voters (21 percent of Democrats and 11 percent of Republicans) as the most important factor, followed by endorsement of the candidate by a trusted source at eight percent, and the candidate’s position on
Israel, at only seven percent.

“While a plurality of voters says New York State is on the right track, nearly three-quarters of voters say the country is headed in the wrong direction,” Greenberg said. “The voters’ mood on the direction of the country, coupled with the unfavorable rating of President Obama – particularly among Republicans and independents - makes this a tougher election for Weprin, or for any Democrat running in this district or a district like it.

You can draw your own conclusions from from comparing this section to Dworkin's dismissal of the role of attitudes towards Israel as decisive in the election -- not because they moved the entire electorate, but because they determined the position of an active and cohesive portion of the electorate that swung here from D to R.  It does not even appear that Siena even asked about Israel or same-sex marriage -- the other issue that was used to activate Orthodox Jewish voters in NY-09 -- and in polling the dictum is often "do not seek and ye shall not find."

Why -- besides looking at the disparity between the Queens votes and the Brooklyn votes (where the Jewish voters are concentrated) -- do I think that attitudes towards Israel played a big role in this election?  Well, like jpmassar in his diary, I attended to this report from PPP (which also nailed the 6-point Turner margin):

The issue of Israel does appear to be having a major impact on this race.  A plurality of voters- 37%- said that Israel was 'very important' in determining their votes. Turner is winning those folks by an amazing 71-22 margin. With everyone who doesn't say Israel is a very important issue for them Weprin actually leads 52-36. Turner is in fact winning the Jewish vote by a 56-39 margin, very unusual for a Republican candidate...

There is no enthusiasm gap here.  Obama voters are showing up in the same numbers they did in 2008.  But only 65% of them are voting Democratic.  That's a really big cause for concern.

I derive my belief about the role of Israel -- and Jewish voters -- in determining the election on something else as well: I was paying attention to what was being said in the district.  In endorsing and campaigning heartily for Turner, this is what former NY Mayor Ed Koch had to say:

“If Jewish New Yorkers and others who support Israel were to turn away from the Democratic Party in that congressional election and elect the Republican candidate to Congress in 2011, it might very well cause President Obama to change his hostile position on the state of Israel and to re-establish the special relationship presidents before him had supported.”

As SaoMagnifico noted,

the narrative advanced by some influential Democrats in the district who have turned on Weprin and President Obama, led by Ed Koch and [Orthodox Jewish Democratic Assemblyman from the area] Dov Hikind, is that by defeating Weprin, Israel hawks can send a message to Obama.

I also heard, as skohayes reported in this comment, that

Weprin's vote for same sex marriage and his really poor campaign is what lost this election.

NOM (National Organization for Marriage) spent $75,000 on Weprin's opponent running attack ads on Weprin.

The race had already drawn headlines when former New York Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, recommended voting for the Republican to express displeasure over Barack Obama's policy towards Israel.

Hikind, a staunch supporter of Israel, did not employ this argument when he explained his decision. He emphasized that Weprin had lost his vote by bringing in his religion to back his vote for the gay marriage law that carried the New York legislature in June. The fact that he backed the law at all cost Weprin Orthodox votes.

"I will not support David Weprin," said the Brooklyn state Assemblyman

"Weprin basically used his Jewish orthodoxy to say gay marriage is OK. He used his orthodoxy to say gay marriage is kosher. That crossed the line," Hikind added.

This argument spares us Jews from having to discuss the role of policy towards Israel in NY-09 (call this the "Ed Koch" concern) but instead directs us to focus on homophobia in the orthodox Jewish community -- another unpleasant topic.  And toss this into the mix:

A group of Flatbush rabbonim [rabbis have signed a letter stating that it is forbidden to vote or campaign for Democrat David Weprin] in the race to replace Queens Rep. Anthony Weiner. Weprin is a New York State assemblyman and formerly a member of the New York City Council where he served as chairman of its finance committee.

Weprin, an Orthodox Jew, has sparked the ire of much of the frum [Orthodox] community because of his vote in favor of same-gender marriage. He has defended the vote publicly.

“It has nothing to do with my personal religious beliefs. I am not running for Rosh Yeshiva,” said Weprin, as reported earlier today here on Matzav.com.

“Weprin’s claim that he is Orthodox makes the chillul Hashem even greater,” states the letter signed by the Flatbush rabbonim. The letter states that it is therefore “[forbidden according to Torah law] to vote for, campaign for, fund or otherwise support the campaign of NY State Assemblyman David Weprin.”

The letter contains several non-Flatbush signatories, most notably Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky and Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen.

Many are upset about Mr. Weprin’s vote earlier this year in Albany to legalize same gender marriage in New York state, and particularly that Mr. Weprin cited his Orthodox Jewish faith as a reason to vote for the bill.

To be fair, on the other side, some posters objected to identifying a swing in Jewish voters as the problem while identifying an explanation -- the Weiner scandal -- that also would strip the race of national implications.  For example:

But to imply that the district will go GOP in a special election is somehow linked to Jews in the district without noting that the previous democrat holding that seat left because of a sordid sex scandal and overhyped the media reaction by lying has nothing to do with this shift is simply dishonest and ludicrous

by LaurenMonica on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 07:13:12 AM PDT

Pundits drew a lesson from Turner's win -- that it signaled danger for Obama! -- that completely elided the role of Israel and anti-gay Orthodox Jewish theology in this election.  Take a look at David Nir's pre-election review of the race and look in vain for the words "Israel" or "Jewish" -- or don't, because they aren't there.  Instead, we have mention of "President Obama's unpopularity, cited without assessment of whence it derived, as a factor.  The critical question, for understanding the importance of the election for the rest of the country, was not asked.  It was politely noted, though, by SaoMagnifico in the very first comment:

The question beyond what Turner's margin on Tuesday ends up being (unless Weprin can make a last-minute push to victory, which is unlikely) what President Obama does with the conundrum of the Israel hawks' vote next year.

I think attempting to triangulate would be a misstep. Militant Zionism (to use the term in the I.R. sense, not the anti-Israeli pejorative) is almost a faith unto itself, and just as I don't think Romney can ever ingratiate himself with ardent pro-life conservatives because he was once perceived as a pro-choice moderate, I don't think Obama can win back many of the hawks who have defected to the likes of Turner over this manufactured controversy just by talking tough on the Palestinian statehood bid or revising the administration's policy on the 1967 borders or the West Bank settlements. I think they're gone for good.

Assuming Obama stays the course, and hoping there's not another unexpected showdown between a moderate White House that has decidedly preferred soft power and multilateralism in its foreign policy approach (relative to the previous administration) and a right-wing Knesset that has embraced unilateralism and rejected compromise, it seems likely to assume that the rift between Democrats and the Israel hawks will stay the same or widen.

The question is, and this isn't a rhetorical question, how big a presence are voters whose primary concern is Israel outside of the heavily Jewish Orthodox NY-09?

To his great credit, Nir responded with the single critical piece of information, missing from virtually all other commentary on the election, that one truly needed to gauge the importance of NY-09 for predicting results in 2012:

To answer your question: ... There are no other districts like this one. Yes, there are some districts that may have more Jews, but they are almost all much more Democratic as a whole. According to a study (PDF), this was the 4th-most Jewish district in the nation in 2006. All the other heavily Jewish districts are much bluer, as you can see. You very quickly get into districts where Jews are barely 10% of the population.

by David Nir on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:39:41 PM PDT

I want to cite some other comments from later in that thread because they represent what I think of as the sort of useful analysis that should have occurred in the wake of NY-09, as opposed to "Obama is doomed!":

That's what I figured (6+ / 0-)
My next question, though, is what happens to all the money from disproportionately Jewish and wealthy sectors of the economy that traditionally pours into Democratic coffers? I know there are a lot of big Jewish donors lined up behind the Democratic Party at most election times, helping to counterbalance the flood of big money inevitably unleashed by corporate bigwigs and conservative ultramillionaires like the Koch brothers, J. Boone Pickens, and the Chamber of Commerce crowd in favor of the Republicans. How big a deal is it that President Obama is perceived as being less vociferously pro-Israel than he was in 2008, or than Sen. Kerry was in 2004, etc.?

by SaoMagnifico on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:55:28 PM PDT

So, far, fundraising has been OK ... at least as it was last reported a few months ago.

This election won't help, since it will be publicized in the Jewish media and reinforce a false message that Obama's anti-israel.  That is going to require a lot of repair work.

by LordMike on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:58:45 PM PDT

I'm guessing here ... But I suspect that many major Jewish donors are more moderate/reform Jews and, while Israel may be an issue for them, it's certainly not the only one.

by Tiger in BlueDenver on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 10:31:05 PM PDT

And the Orthodox tend to have less money.  It's the poorest segment of the US Jewish community.

It's also the most socially conservative, which makes them more open to the GOP.  What they make of people like Michelle Bachmann,  I wouldn't even want to guess.  Lay down with dogs...

by mbayrob on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 11:41:43 PM PDT

You mean the Chassidim, don't you?  I think Modern Orthodox Jews tend to be fairly well-to-do. And I don't like confusing the two rather different segments of the Jewish Community with each other.

by MichaelNY on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 02:11:02 AM PDT

Yeah, go to Teaneck, NJ and tell me Orthodox Jews are the poorest...

by sapelcovits on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 06:59:31 AM PDT

True, but they voted Obama in 2008.  They were socially conservative then too.  The question is, what changed?  Is it perceptions over Israel, the economy in general (given Orthodox Jews relative poverty compared to other U.S. Jews), or something else?  

by DB55 on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 08:16:25 AM PDT

Palin. Palin, Palin, Palin.  She scared the vast majority of American Jews of all stripes right into Obama's camp, as her outspoken Christianist (not to be confused with Christian) positions came off with a strong whiff of religious oppression.

by The Caped Composer on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 09:27:24 AM PDT

And finally this:

Orthodox Jews don't vote like most Jews (10+ / 0-)
While I've certainly seen a fair number of Jews who aren't so warm to Obama over what they perceive to be his policy on Israel (which AFAICT, is not actually his policy on Israel), I don't think that this has weakened his support in the Jewish community as a whole that much.  I'm much more likely to hear people who are pissed as hell at him for being a disappointment on economic policy, frankly.

But Orthodox Jews aren't "most Jews".  They've been tilting Republican for a while on social issues, and they are much more likely to support the Israeli right over the Israeli center or left.  But in absolute terms, they are not that numerous.  And it's pretty rare that you'd have enough of them in a single congressional district for them to be a major factor, this one district aside.

I don't think there's much Obama can do to make these people happy.  Mostly, the I/P peace talks have been dead in the water for years, both due to Netanyahu and the composition of his government, the weakness of  Palestinian Authority, and the lack of any constructive contacts between the Hamas government in Gaza and pretty much anyone in Israel, in or out of government.  All the US can do right now is try to keep things from blowing up, and wait for a better set of governments.  I don't see what Obama can do differently here.

The best thing Obama can do about the Jewish vote is to improve the economy,  and show some fight, frankly.  Which is not that different from what Obama needs to do about the rest of the US vote.

by mbayrob on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 11:35:08 PM PDT

The above discussion is, I submit to you, really good.  It is the sort of thing to which we should aspire in our political analysis.  And, as a Jew, I find it --uncomfortable.  It feels like being put under a microscope!  But that's what scientists -- including social scientists, and including the amateur social scientists that we see practiced here -- do.  If it's uncomfortable, it's because it's of a kind with "the male gaze" that feminist scholars note, and with normative heterosexual perspective that GLBT scholars note, and the dominant culture perspective that scholars from minority races and ethnicities generally note.  But it's not wrongful.

(A few side points I picked up while researching this diary.  If the uninitiated want an example of how these debates often proceed, see this exchange between Paleo and greatdarkspot].  The diary in which they appear, by sidnora, is a good example of an analysis that contributes much even without focusing on Israel.)

OK, that was a robust discussion, one where I've tried to represent every side.  In the final section I'll return to Mets102's questions, but to get you thinking, let's raise them again here:

How many times do people get to accuse Jewish posters and politicians of dual loyalty?  How many times do they get to claim that the Jews secretly control the government?

By raising the example of Ed Koch's stance on using the NY-09 election to "send a message" on Israel, am I accusing him of "dual loyalty"?  To the Democratic Party, certainly I am, but to the county?  Maybe I am.  Maybe not.  Maybe I should.  Maybe it's out of bounds.  (But does it matter if it's true?)  Let's consider another example before we get fully into meta.

3. DKos discussion of the prospective veto of Palestinian statehood

We had, I think, a good discussion in my diary from Saturday evening about what the political ramifications would be if President Obama chose not to exercise the U.S.'s veto in the Security Council to prevent the recognition of Palestine as a state.  Some of the comments, though, that sought to explain why Obama couldn't refuse to veto the proposal even if he thought that it was in the best interests of the United States -- or even Israel as well made me pretty nervous about how they (and the diary overall) would be taken.

In that diary, I asked eight questions about what would happen if Obama didn't veto:

(1) Would he -- could he -- be renominated?  If not, how would it be prevented?

(2) If nominated, could he be re-elected?

(3) How much worse would his numbers get overall, or among some demographic groups?

(4) How much better would his numbers get overall, or among some demographic groups?

(5) How would the media react to the substantive decision?  Would it be unanimous or fragmented?

(6) How would pundits react?

(7) Is there any conceivable defense for abstaining that Obama could "get away with"?

(8) Why, so far as I can tell, aren't people asking these questions?

I got some thoughtful and interesting answers.  Here's one from Brainwrap:

As an American Jew, my take is (6+ / 0-)
What would happen, rightly or wrongly:

1. Yes, he'd probably squeak out a re-nomination, but he would lose in the general election to Romney, Perry, or possibly even Bachmann.

2. See #1

3. He'd lose a huge chunk of the Jewish vote.

4. I'm sure his numbers would skyrocket amongst the Arabic population.

5. Media reaction would be about 95% hugely negative, aside from al Jazeera

6. Pundits' heads would explode all over.

7. None come to mind.

8. Because the answers are all pretty obvious, except possibly for #1.

As for my personal opinion, I'm all for a Palestinian state, with two caveats: ... [omitted]

Here's a thoughtful comment from wu ming:

my guess is that he'd take a hit especially among older jewish voters, that might make things harder both for him and for democrats in certain districts with large number of older jewish democrats, but that it needn't be as big of a hit as the media and GOP would try to make it be, if he sold the thing in terms of making peace in the middle east. a lot of jewish democrats are both concerned with perceived threats to the state of israel, but are also very strong supporters of the peace process and a two-state solution. the trick with allowing a palestinian state would be convincing that majority of jewish democrats that a palestinian state would be an important step towards a lasting peace, and thus would help reduce threats to israel in the long run .

he would also get huge bumps among muslim and arab voters, which would have significant influence in those states and districts. i have no idea how that would balance out what he'd lose, though.

the nutjob rightwing christian "obama's a secret muslim" pro-armageddon israel hawks would lose their shit if obama let the palestinians have a state, but i'm not sure that it would make much electoral difference, since they're not voting for him anyways.

it might have a significant positive effect on the support of left independents, who are openly critical of the occupation itself, and who are generally less than thrilled with obama's foreign policy, since making such a move would be seen as seriously politically courageous. that being said, the effect there is unlikely to matter much, though, given how those voters tend to be clustered in states and districts where he's going to win anyways (although it might matter to some degree depending on the state or district).

in terms of diplomacy, i think there's no question that supporting statehood would be a hugely beneficial move across the board, and vetoing a state would be a huge mark against american credibility. in terms of influence in israel, i think it could undermine netanyahu and favor livni, because it would prove that likud irredentism has led to an epic foreign policy fail for the israeli government. it could also trigger a domestic israeli backlash and support of likud, but my hunch is that, combined with the widespread protests against netanyahu on economic grounds, that the net effect would be to undermine the israeli right in favor of the center-right.

my guess is that he vetos it, and takes a political hit from conservative jewish voters anyways.

Here's an exchange between me and The Troubador:

I just posted another diary on the boldness of the Palestinian move, but what I didn't address is the depth of political boldness it would take for Obama to allow for Palestinian statehood (via full U.N. membership at the Security Council).

Honestly, if this were to happen, I don't know what the domestic repercussions would be. I do know that Obama's advisors have gathered that the diplomatic damage the U.S. will incur as a result of this move is going to be trumped by any potential domestic political damage.

In my mind, any damage could have been muted by a much more honest and forceful presentation of the realities by President Obama. At this stage, I image a U.S. abstention or "yes" vote at the UNSC would be politically damaging in the short term.

by The Troubadour on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:55:05 PM PDT

 Damaging in how short a term?  I expect that it would -- but he's being damaged in the short term anyway.  Create a new reality and he can then try to help Israel deal with it.  A year from now, he might actually come out ahead.

I know Obama's advisors see this as impossible, but their track record is spotty.

by Seneca Doane on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 07:01:16 PM PDT

 I agree with you that in the long term, he could actually come out ahead.

And honestly, I think the Israel question vis-a-vis electoral impacts are vastly overstated. The Jewish, conservative vote in terms of numbers is quite small (our tribe makes up approximately 2% of our population), and those Christian conservatives who would make Israel a single-issue voting element aren't going to be voting for Obama anyway.

This is about the impact from power and money brokers in the Democratic party and beyond who are willing to fund and lobby solely based on Israel policy.

This from Hoodoo Man:

No veto, kiss Florida goodbye and probably the 2012 election.

It's not worth it.  Obama's gotta veto this.

by Hoodoo Man on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:55:26 PM PDT

A view from New York:

The only political consequences of not vetoing Palestinian statehood are:

(i)  Obama loses Florida
(ii) Obama puts New York in play.
(iii) Democrats from heavily Jewish districts need to be seen opposing the President or be subject to serious challenge themselves

by Justanothernyer on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 07:58:50 PM PDT

This from citizen53:

Do not believe it would inure... (1+ / 0-)
to his benefit.  I think most Americans support this position, and they are not just right wing apologists either.

by citizen53 on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 09:13:52 PM PDT

This detailed and thoughtful comment from Terra Mystica:

Four US dynamics. Votes, Timing, Money, Risk...

Votes: It's a winner, bigtime.  

A non-veto would lose some Jewish votes, maybe enough to lose FL, but it would gain other votes, maybe too in FL (significan Arab/Muslim population), based on a principled, leadership stance, acted upon.  WRT Jewish votes, I'm not even sure it would lose that many as we are at or near a tipping point on I/P.  I think many Jews are ready for a resolution or just new-think on this issue.  The status quo is just so destructive to everyone connected to the I/P conflict that I do believe even some hardcore Israel supporters would respect a change in our "problem solving method" on this issue - at the voting level.

In short, it's time, and I think most people, Jew and non-Jew would eventually swing behind a different, directed, and above all durable approach.  Kicking and screaming maybe, but moveable.  The eventually part leads to timing.

Timing:  Do it now so that people can come to understand the implications and new avenues that a non-veto would open up in solving one of our/the world's most intractable conflicts.  If Obama is resolute and follows up a non-veto with an effort to guide the process as only the US can toward a positive result, but doesn't, apocalyptic fears can be and may be assuaged by 2012.

Do it now and it drains a significant (how much and for how long, who knows?) and married anti-Israel/anti-US sentiment from the Arab street.  That may give the Arab Spring some breathing room to flower (there's so much more to this but that's the simple version) such that the peace process would have fewer external provocations and/or distractions.  Particularly, it would buy some time in Palestinian politics by sucking the Oxygen from the radicals to some extent.

Risk:  Domestically, can Obama maintain a course the a non-veto would establish?  My inner optimist will go as far as maybe.  My inner realist says unlikely.  That is the deal killer in all this.  Better to let the Palestinians work the global legal aspects of this, than for the US to make yet another show of words supporting a just resolution and backing away from it immediately.  This is more destructive than a veto to US sincerity and credibility around the globe.

Money:  Specifically, campaign money.  Big, big, big, loser.  This is being openly discussed by many Jewish and non-Jewish pundits.  Every President since Truman has felt this pressure.  Sarah Palin wears the Magen David.  No secret why.  

Could Obama make up that loss through small donations or in the votes area, by street organizing to make up for media spending?  Not likely, even based on a change for the better on this one issue over the next year, imo.  There have been so many other missed opportunities, mainly economic, that it would be tough to energize broadly to make up for this single-issue money hit.

---

Still, anything different is good on this issue.  And to Obama's credit (and I'm no fan), as The Troubador correctly framed it, he has publicly outlined TWO FP objectives, as opposed to just one.  He didn't have to take that risk, but he did.

---

Bottom line:  Sadly, he has to veto (and I clearly wish he would NOT).  To NOT do so would be a "strike three" reversal on this issue (Cairo speech and the settlements veto of his own stated policy being one and two).  He's already expended so much verbage saying he would, and SO much diplomatic arm-twisting to avoid having to do so, that he (and the US) would look overtly duplicitous and unreliable on anything FP.  As a practical matter, that has to be avoided, come what may.  Lost opportunity or not.

I believe, pragmatically, that has to be avoided at all costs, from the perspective of future US relevance in the world.  A UNGA vote and subsequent bilateral recognitions will open enough legal avenues to the Palestinians that what the US does or doesn't do won't be terminal to their efforts to gain international leverage. ...

by Terra Mystica on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 09:44:38 PM PDT

Another thoughtful and more extreme opinion:

Disaster

Without commenting on any of the I/P issues and getting into how this would play domestically, I have to say I think it would be a complete disaster for Obama.

1. First of all, his funding would take a MAJOR hit. I believe many large Jewish donors would either try to find someone to primary him or even fund one of the GOP candidates (probably Mitt Romney). Given how they went after Cynthia McKinney (twice!) this seems clear to me.

2. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz would probably resign from her post as chair of the DNC in protest.

3. The press would eat Obama alive. I would expect something in the neighborhood of 85% of the punditocracy would oppose this in one degree or the other.

4. This would certainly cost him FL, and probably several other states.

Overall, from an electoral standpoint, I can see no upside to this for Obama. And the reason that these questions are not being asked is because I think the answers are fairly obvious.

by Zornorph on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 12:11:34 AM PDT

And I'll end with two final perspectives:

The US will veto any Palestinian statehood initiative at the Security Council. If the US does not veto, the President will be nominated by the Dems but will lose the general election in 2012.  The Dems are already seeing a decline in support from the Jewish community.  The US has tried to be a broker in the I/P conflict and maybe this veto will end the call for the US to play a major role in I/P negotiations. Let some other country try to sort out this problem.

by VClib on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:41:32 AM PDT

I think a yes vote could work (1+ / 0-)
The real kicker will be what happens after. If we end up with huge peacekeeping forces because the battle becomes bloody, then it's a loser issue for Obama's reelection.

However, if it leads to renewed talks and even some progress, then he comes off as bold and freedom-loving. Voting America has proven time and again it likes decisiveness and strength, almost no matter how it is applied. Obama looks like an international leader again.

The money issue is huge, but if the outcomes are decent then the votes are there anyway.

by merrily1000 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:53:18 AM PDT

Again, I think that this was a healthy, perspicacious discussion (the sort that we should be having here and that I barely (if at all) have seen in the rest of the media) but I want to return again to Mets102's questions --

How many times do people get to accuse Jewish posters and politicians of dual loyalty?  How many times do they get to claim that the Jews secretly control the government?

-- and then quote a reply I made to Zornorph in the above discussion:

I also have to note again, as with a commenter above, that your argument essentially comes down to "he has to concede to 'Jewish money' and 'the pro-Israel media' (a good part of which may well be Jewish), which is exactly the sort of stuff that is considered prima facie anti-Semitic here.

I don't make that accusation, but I'm surprised to see people who oppose the idea of abstaining invoking these ideas.  I'm not sure what to make of it!

You'll find more discussion in the thread in that diary -- and below.

4. Is this diary (along with the comments it cites) anti-Semitic?

In the discussion of NY-09, accusations are made (note the deft use of passive voice) that Jewish leaders such as Ed Koch make the interests of Israel paramount.  As I've argued elsewhere, I don't think that this is a "dual loyalty" attack because I presume that Ed Koch believes, very deeply, that what is best for Israel is what is best for the U.S.  That being so, he would view this as a matter of "single loyalty."  He might even be (or act) offended that one could think otherwise.

There are two problems with this.

First, the charge of "dual (or divided) loyalty" remains even under the analysis I give of a non-conflicted Ed Koch. This charge is an ancient one, used pervasively against the Jewish people wherever they would travel within the Diaspora.  (Within the Soviet Union, for example, it took on the guise of "cosmopolitanism.")  So, even a recognition that Ed Koch's loyalty is not subjectively divided would still be a charge of objectively divided loyalty -- and would be liable to be classified as anti-Semitic.

Second, the explanation I gave would apply as readily to any other nationality or religion as well.  Al Qaeda may think that the U.S.'s real interests would be best served if we all converted to its brand of Islam.  International communism, back in the day, was intent on helping countries reach their socialist potential.  Many (but not all!) Filipinos and Mexicans I know argue that the interest of the U.S. are best served by allowing more substantial immigration from their nations.  Give the ground that someone's interest in another country is not "dual loyalty" and the concept itself disappears.  But don't give that ground and you end up doing things like accusing Ed Koch of "dual loyalty" -- which Mets102 (and many others) see as prima facie anti-Semitic.

Regarding the "Obama veto of Palestinian statehood" issue, the notion that wealthy Jewish elites (operating against the wishes of many or most Jews, for whatever that's worth) make it impossible, by their willingness to deploy their money to punish opponents of Israel, for Obama to acquiesce to Palestinian statehood even he thinks that it's the right thing to do is, so far as I can tell, squarely within the "Jews control the government" argument that Mets102 would find offensive and anti-Semitic.  (When one commenter mentions that the media would flay Obama for this as well, that also invokes the "Jews control the media" argument that would also be seen as anti-Semitic.)  I don't think that people commenting to this effect -- largely people who think that Obama had better not fail to deploy the veto -- were being consciously anti-Semitic.  In my opinion, they were not being unconsciously anti-Semitic either -- I don't know how broadly that opinion would be shared -- but were simply calling the world as they see it.  (From my involvement in politics, I can say that many pro-Israel activists I've known make no more bones about the ability to punish politicians for straying from support of Israel than the NRA does about its ability to punish politicians for opposing an extremely robust vision of gun rights.)

This leads to a strange contradiction, where saying and believing that Jewish voters (and donors, and powerful actors in commerce) will punish those who stray from unwavering support for Israel (often as defined by Likud) is good, but characterizing it as Jewish control of government or media is bad.  (For what it's worth, I don't believe that there is a Jewish "cabal" or "Jewish control" is absolute; it's influence, it comes from our appreciation of our background, and there's not necessarily anything sinister about it.  Most demographic groups do it -- or at least try to.)  The acceptable formulation is that Jews support Israel because it's objectively right (rather than due to ethnic loyalty), and that Jews are effective in gaining support for this position because others know that it's objectively right (rather than because we donate so much money or we are so willing to punish politicians who stray, etc.)  That could, in fact, all be true -- but it means that those whose positions are opposed to that of Jewish advocates of Israel -- Palestinians, Egypt, Turkey -- must be wrong, and that strikes me as an assumption that demands real questioning.  (It may also itself be racist, etc.)  For insight into U.S. Congressional proposals to punish any organization that promotes a Palestinian state, see here.

So, this diary -- and the comments it mentions -- may or may not be anti-Semitic.  I've made it clear: I don't think that this diary is -- or I would not have written it.  But in specific cases, someone will have to judge.

That someone, under the policies being developed is -- all of us.  And, if an author is found to be in the wrong more than a few times, the promised exponential growth of their punishment means that they won't get to be wrong too often before being gone.

5. How will we decide, next year, whether this diary is anti-Semitic?

Markos has made six tentative decisions that I think will create trouble for us.

First: as part of the Community Self-Moderation (CSMAS) process, people will vote not only on the question of whether comments should be hidden, but on the question of whether commenters should be punished.

Second: the votes on whether commenters should be punished will be determinative rather than advisory information given to management.

Third: there will be a "volunteer jury," members of which appoint themselves to be involved in conflicts in which they is interested.

Fourth: someone will be judged right and someone will be judged wrong; there is no "safe haven" good-faith verdict such as "not proven" and no "the offense was either not malicious or not so grave as to require punishment" outcome like a suspended sentence.

Fifth: the party found to be in the wrong will be punished.

Sixth: those who coordinate their votes to promote certain outcomes -- even if they do so in good faith and act out of legitimate belief -- may be punished.  

I invite you to take this diary -- assume for the moment that I stand by the legitimacy of all of the comments that I've cited -- as an example and try to work through how the process will work.

I think that it probably won't work well, for one big reason: the argument in favor of allowing people to publish what they will -- which, as much as people seem to resist the term, is an argument for free-speech and against censorship (although it is not an argument for unrestricted free speech or against all censhorship) -- is itself one that involves protection of minority rights: that of people with unpopular viewpoints.  Markos has reiterated that "Hide Ratings are not for disagreement," but putting the acceptability of a given post up to a plebiscite is essentially asking people to express disagreement.  I simply don't believe that Markos is going to ban as many people who will vote against some of the responses I've seen above; the site would start hemorrhaging its most devoted users.

Rather than either suckering people to vote to ban people for infractions that warrant protection, or allowing people who (as most people do) undervalue the benefits of allowing even offensive speech to drive out those who offend them, the right approach in this matter is to take some things off of the table.  Don't put them to popular vote.  Instead, train administrators to do the job you want done.  Or, at least, if people do vote, keep the vote advisory and require administrative intercession to act on it.

How do I say the things I have to say above without being anti-Semitic?  I don't know -- but I've certainly tried.  But given the sort of community moderation system under construction, as it has been described to us so far, that's not the question.  The question is: "How do I say the things I have to say above without seeming anti-Semitic?"  That is, how do we have the good and useful conversations I present above without the writers facing being dragged into tribunals?  I find that one even harder to answer.

One answer is: err on the side of not giving offense.  So I ask you: what of the above discussion do you want to see forbidden from Daily Kos?

(It sounds worse that way, doesn't it?  And yet -- there we are.)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (187+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jethrock, itzik shpitzik, VClib, GayIthacan, Lefty Coaster, beltane, citizendane, Nailbanger, blue earth, boofdah, jeff in nyc, pinhead, chuckvw, Clem Yeobright, Justanothernyer, YsosadisticGOP, capelza, James Allen, bythesea, Egalitare, Flyswatterbanjo, codobus, hester, CJB, Texknight, Pluto, Catesby, Carnivorous Plantling, docmidwest, Miss Blue, camlbacker, happymisanthropy, killjoy, ratcityreprobate, soysauce, PeterHug, falina, crose, Florida Democrat, lineatus, bronte17, Snud, Dont Call It, SwedishJewfish, catilinus, OrganizedCrime, Aunt Martha, Ray Pensador, FG, CT Hank, KathleenM1, Dracowyrm, YucatanMan, DaveinBremerton, Anorish, mjfgates, Ozzie, zedaker, Sandino, wu ming, RageKage, CaliSista, LeftHandedMan, offgrid, Bill O Rights, outragedinSF, joesig, CarolinW, Mariken, Jane Lew, sfbob, FrankCornish, Euroliberal, elliott, Fire bad tree pretty, philipmerrill, riverlover, DeadHead, aggieric, political mutt, SJerseyIndy, MartyM, MrSandman, homunq, badscience, poco, CTPatriot, angry marmot, h bridges, No Preference, mayim, stegro, skymutt, elsaf, Steven D, The Troubadour, the new, enemy of the people, cybrestrike, CoyoteMarti, sb, reginahny, joe shikspack, felagund, effervescent, Pilkington, Renee, triplepoint, JillR, blue aardvark, sfgb, Detlef, cslewis, Jackson L Haveck, oortdust, artisan, ricklewsive, Geekesque, Neglected Duty, Wee Mama, sofia, letsgetreal, ScienceMom, 1180, FishOutofWater, Robobagpiper, Xapulin, tle, caul, chipmo, SadieB, fiddlingnero, sturunner, Mr Horrible, bozepravde15, Redbug, HairyTrueMan, roses, Sean Robertson, roadbear, Wolf10, Kantro, zerelda, profh, ozsea1, lissablack, Shadowmage36, cpresley, word player, khereva, old wobbly, Rich in PA, DoGooderLawyer, johanus, Hayate Yagami, Statusquomustgo, An Affirming Flame, Mr Robert, wytcld, LeftOfYou, Anak, Friendlystranger, Brooke In Seattle, ivorybill, lotlizard, Assaf, unspeakable, Dillonfence, thariinye, dadadata, annieli, citydem, Kurt Sperry, koNko, Dexter, Got a Grip, milton333, Wood Dragon, AZ Independent, Hark, Simian, ZenTrainer, HeyMikey, BeeDeeS, Oh Mary Oh, RenMin, joey c

    In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

    by Seneca Doane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 06:35:46 PM PDT

    •  The issue is which side are you on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul

      There is way too much in the diary to label it but doesn't that also apply to the decision making process for people who self identify with more than one category of identification; American, Jewish, Liberal, Feeling betrayed by Weiner specifically and wanting to punish Democrats in general, feeling betrayed on Social Security and Medicare and wanting to send a message that gets heard loud and clear, feeling betrayed on human rights and wondering what are we fighting for, feeling betrayed on issues of war, poverty, education, unions, etc; despite all that being conflicted because Obama's 11 dimensional chessboard is simultaneously attacking Rumsfeld, bankers, Scott Brown, tax breaks for millionaires, defense spending, Republican sacred cows across the board, and the idea that run on sentences are a bad thing.

      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

      by rktect on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 03:01:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  likewise (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      prfb

      what this diary needed was an executive summary

      Scientific Materialism debunked here

      by wilderness voice on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:35:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please excuse me for busting in w a late breaking (24+ / 0-)

    development on topic #3.

    U.S. & Europeans will try and delay Security Council vote on Palestinian Statehood

    In what seems to be a desperate last moment attempt by the United States to delay or avoid having to use its Security Council veto against the Palestinian's bid for statehood, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the vote will be delayed.

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:02:31 PM PDT

  •  As far as the veto goes, (18+ / 0-)

    I think the political risk isn't in endorsing a Palestinian state but in endorsing a unilateral declaration of one.  I'm completely sympathetic with vetoing the declaration in these circumstances even as I support a P state.

    As far as NY 9 goes, Obama had fewer votes in it than Kerry.  Make of that what you will.  This was and wasn't about Israel.  It was a dressed up white ethnic call for tribalism, with Obama as the other and Weprin as his dupe.  The impact of same sex marriage also fits into an us versus them mold.  Who gets to make these decisions?  Coastal elites in Park Slope or the Rabbi?

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:05:56 PM PDT

    •  I am very familiar with that district (29+ / 0-)

      and a lot of this is good old NYC "ethnic" neighborhood racism. Plus, there has been a concerted smear campaign being waged against Obama in the Jewish community since 2007. You should see some of the filth my mother gets emailed to her. The anti-Arab stuff is even more nauseating and is eerily reminiscent of czarist era antisemitic propaganda.

      If the fall of the house of Murdoch is a tragedy, it is the feel-good tragedy of the century-James Wolcot

      by beltane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:26:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Look at the polling cited above (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      effervescent, caul, Seneca Doane, cpresley

      "The issue of Israel does appear to be having a major impact on this race.  A plurality of voters- 37%- said that Israel was 'very important' in determining their votes. Turner is winning those folks by an amazing 71-22 margin. With everyone who doesn't say Israel is a very important issue for them Weprin actually leads 52-36. Turner is in fact winning the Jewish vote by a 56-39 margin, very unusual for a Republican candidate"

      I have no idea how you can say Israel was not an enourmous factor in that loss.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:12:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because I'm not taking it literally (0+ / 0-)

        or at surface level when they say Israel.  Even on a subconscious level, whthe any respondents cite Israel they mean race, is my point.  I agree with the polling, but not at face value.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:38:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane, cpresley

          understand your response.

          The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

          by fladem on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:15:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't either (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cpresley

            but it seems like when I do understand the point, it will be interesting.

            In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

            by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:21:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Two democrats running (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Seneca Doane, Kurt Sperry, milton333

            both with identical views on Israel.  These views are also more or less approximate to Obama's views, but not the perception of them.  Which tells me that something other than "Israel" as  an issue is at work, here.  Why are x number of people not only assuming Weprin/Obama have differing views on Israel but feel so strongly about that they change their votes?

            I suspect what's at work is that the voters in the district have adopted "Israel" as a way of dressing up voting along ethnic lines, which is again ironic as Weprin is orthodox and Turner is a goy.  "Obama's anti-Israel" sounds better than saying "Obama's anti-Semitic," or even, Obama sympathizes with Muslims or African-Americans, neither group being terribly popular in the NY-9 for reasons having nothing to do with the battle of Jericho.  

            For reasons that are completely appropriate and correct, many Jews see defense of Israel as a defense of themselves.  But that can get perverted, as I think it did in this case.  I think race played a role in why Obama underperformed in the district compared with 2004 in the last election, and in a low turnout special election, it benefitted the Republicans.  

            I hear this at work sometimes -- there's a lawyer I work with who's involved in the orthodox political groups, and you cannot convince him Obama isn't out to destroy Israel entirely, and much of the criticism is so personal, so vitriolic, I can't but see some racial resentment at work, even though the only points of criticism specifically raised are over mideast policy and over school funding.  I think something similar is at work here, where people say they're voting based on Israel, but the role Israel plays in the creation of the political identity is pure tribalistic.  This is less true of your more reformed Jews than it is of those who live in fairly monoethnic communities.  

            If this had been an Irish district 25 years ago, you might have seen people saying Obama's too pro-British, and it'd be the same thing.

            "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

            by Loge on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:37:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with much of this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Seneca Doane

              though I am not sure people would agree generally with the idea that a vote in a US Election should be cast based on the interests of another country.

              Jews are hardly the first to do it: See the Irish, the Cubans and even the Poles in 1976.

              But I don't think most Americans would agree that it is right.

              The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

              by fladem on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:41:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well, i'm cutting that gordian knot (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Seneca Doane

                as i think "the interests of Israel" are really "the parochial resentments of some of the least cosmopolitan people around."

                I also don't think it's (a) necessarily a conflict to vote based on the interests of a foreign country as long as one subjectively sees the interests aligned in the U.S., and (b) I don't see how it's necessarily bad, as long as there are competing interest groups that can roughly counterbalance each other.  In the case of Israel, I think the thumb on the scale comes from conservative Christians, but only Jews get criticized for the dual loyalty charge.  Clinton supporting NATO expansion to win eastern european ethnic votes in the midwest in 1996 was pretty awful, too.  Are we really militarily committed to defending Slovakia from invasion?  Should we be?

                "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                by Loge on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:45:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Palestine declared statehood in1988 (4+ / 0-)

      That declaration was acknowledged by the general assembly at the time.  The US and Israel voted against that.

      Dozens of other nations have already recognized Palestine as a state.

      The UN bid is not to declare statehood--already done--but to seek membership as a state in the United Nations.

      These are two separate issues.

      •  that's a point that escapes about 90% or more (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh

        of American adults. how many people even here understand that distinction?

        The lamestream cable TV print  mass media pushes current  talking points blurbs "recognition of statehood" as opposed to  ignoring the precise issue on the agenda:  another UN membership application  from a state for full participation, not as a an advisory  group or observer.

        135  countries who are already UN members, soon to be more, already recognize Palestine as a state.  The question is indeed as to when to accept the application for UN membership.

  •  tipped and recommended (24+ / 0-)

    for an exhaustive and honest effort to explain your position.

    Thank you for your efforts.

  •  The diary was well written and (18+ / 0-)

    not at all anti-Semitic.  I think that was true of all the quoted comments as well.

    I can't guarantee, of course, that everyone else would agree with me, so under the new system you post at your own risk.  

    Realistically, however, I expect people are likely to take into account the past history of the poster and thus you will have more latitude than others.  

  •  This is a tough one (34+ / 0-)

    For me, antisemitism is like pornography, I recognize it when I see it. My mother, who is Jewish, used some language to describe the voters of NY-9  that could have been construed as antisemitic had they been written here, but which were really intended to express her fear of the consequences of religious fanaticism. I guess to me, anything which lumps all Jewish people together under a common stereotype is heading in the direction of antisemitism (and this applies to descriptions of other ethnic groups as well).

    In discussions, I prefer to use more specific terms such as "ultra-right wing" Jews or "fundamentalist" Christians, because it is insulting to insist that every member of a large group thinks with one mind.

    By the way, back in 2004 Ed Koch was heckled at my grandmother's temple for his support of Bush and the Iraq war with the comment "Hey, Ed, how much are they paying you?" Was the 80 year old Jewish man who heckled him an antisemite? I'll leave that to others to decide, but I'm sure the old man would have had choice words for anyone who called him one.

    If the fall of the house of Murdoch is a tragedy, it is the feel-good tragedy of the century-James Wolcot

    by beltane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:19:10 PM PDT

    •  One problem with "I recognize it when I see it" (22+ / 0-)

      is that I don't think it translates well into a plebiscite -- especially one where we assert that the standard is the offense taken by someone else.  It is extremely tough -- and I hope that we treat it accordingly.

      I don't think the Ed Koch needs to be paid.  He believes in what he's doing.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:26:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Having no technical dawg in this hunt (8+ / 0-)

      as I'm not Jewish either by culture, religion, or nationality, nor am I Arab by culture or nationality, or Muslim by religion...(or Christian, for that matter so I really do have no dawg in the hunt), my best discussion on the "Jewish political mindset" came from a good friend and former coworker who was half-Jewish (religion and nationality) and half Cherokee/Chickasaw (born on the Rez and still a member of the Nation as well). He said clearly that his big problem with approaching politics from a "Jewish" perspective is that a lot of people forget that "Jew" is culture, it is religion, and it is nationality, but it is unique in that those three elements intersect in so many points.

      The convo was ten years ago now, and it's still clear in my mind. And based on my observations of treatment by most people of subjects that are of Jewish Interest (and this is broad, not just in politics), it's not readily apparent whether or not the particular subject is cultural, religious, or nation-based.

      As an outsider, it does seem that anything dealing with Israel needs to be treated with kid-gloves in a way that no other foreign policy dealing with another sovereign country is handled. I don't know if that's truth or perception, but I don't see us collectively worrying that we'll bring down the wrath of France upon us. OTOH, certain behaviors of Saudi Arabia are carefully side-stepped in Middle East foreign policy. It makes me curious as to why our foreign policy must so carefully tiptoe around another country. Is it that we already have all those tiptoes in place and well-assumed for countries like Great Britain or Germany or Japan or Brazil?

      As for the religion, the OP's comment that a handful of rabbis handed down a religious edict that forbade their congregants from voting for a candidate bothers me because this is expressly forbidden if they want to hold onto their tax-exempt status. But I couldn't tell if a.) they are tax-exempt in the first place or that b.) anyone had noticed this would be a violation of the tax code and more obliquely, the separation of church and state.

      Culturally, I'm less inclined to butt into other people's cultures, but I also figure if you're going to be "-american" then be american. The reason why this country works (when it works) is that people's tribal connections don't override the civic connections we've all agreed to live under.

      I think that Jewish things need to be discussed because not enough people know how to talk about the cultural, the national, or the religious, without conflating them all.

      Having zero dawg in this hunt, I don't think SD's diary is anti-semitic. It's not asked disrespectfully, and it's not combative. We need to be able to talk about difficult conundra in order to understand them better.

      How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

      by athenap on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:30:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  there's a group of people here who go (30+ / 0-)

    too far in seeking out anti-semitism here when Jews like you and me are getting flack from them.

    I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:26:32 PM PDT

    •  they dont 'go to far' James (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, Seneca Doane

      first of let me say I am a Jew :)  

      as for saying SOME people here go to far in looking for anti semitism   ....  just as there are different degrees of judaism, so there are different depths a questionable comment will reach re prejudice.

      what might not bother me, a very very reform Jew, might well bother a very observant Jew.

      my problem is that to many people lump ALL Jews into one category "JEW" and discuss us as if we speak and think with one mind ...  so many of the comments that start with the words THE JEWS come off sounding antisemitic...and some of them actually ARE.

      There are all kinds of JEWS...practicing, non practicing, conservative, reform, religious, ethnic  and even messianic and, as the old saying goes, put three Jews into a room and you will get 5 opinions.

      So people who worry about whether they are posting what might be construed as an antisemitic comment should ask themselves, before they hit send, have you made a general observation about THE JEWS ,,, if so you should rethink 'sending' because the only general observation that comes even close to being correct is that we Jews probably ALL have a box of Matzoh in the back of our pantries that is more than a year old.

      "Orwell was an optimist"

      by KnotIookin on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 07:53:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I might add that the same applies to those who (4+ / 0-)

        want to lump all Christians together.

        The same also applies to those who casually refer to "the South" as alien country.  Being a Southerner, this does grate because it happens so frequently and thoughtlessly.

        •  Muddying the waters (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kantro

          If you disagree with xtians, you stop being a xtian.

          If you disagree with Jews, you can't stop being a Jew.

          Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

          by Clem Yeobright on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:09:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry if you thought I was muddying the waters. (0+ / 0-)

            I just wanted to point out the obvious; stereotyping is wrong.  It doesn't happen only to Jews.

            Why can't a Jew stop being a Jew?  Whether I agree, or "disagree with Jews" is beside the point.

          •  Well, yes and no (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright, Simian, Oh Mary Oh

            Ethnically, you can't get rid of being Jewish.  (Jews got a strong reminder of that 70-odd years ago.)  Religiously, you can.  Culturally, who would want to?

            In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

            by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:24:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ya think? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Seneca Doane

              Seneca, a Jew can become a bishop in the Catholic church - it's happened - and when the other bishops are sitting around the table chatting and his name comes up, be assured that one will lean over to his neighbor and say softly "Jewish, you know" ...

              I'm guessing you have more than once had someone say to you"I had no idea you were Jewish" - as if that were a compliment, no?

              I'm not Jewish, but I would be surprised to learn that I've known or dealt with more than half a dozen Jews of whom I was not aware they are Jews. (Of course, how could I know?)

              Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

              by Clem Yeobright on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:40:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  P.S. 'Ethnically' (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Seneca Doane
                Ethnically, you can't get rid of being Jewish.

                Technically speaking, I think your 'ethnic' location in Judaism is fairly easily muddled, e.g., "Really? He's Eastern European Jewish? I'd always understood he was Sephardic ... Who'd a thunk it?"

                To us gentiles, that's a curiosity. That you are Jewish, not so much ...

                Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

                by Clem Yeobright on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:48:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  One of the leading candidates for Pope (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clem Yeobright

                back when Benedict XVI was chosen was a French Cardinal who was born Jewish.  I was rooting for him only so I could go around and say "Of course it's so!  Is the Pope Jewish?"

                I get your point; I'm just noting that many Jews would disagree.  Here's an ironic example that I was informed of by a Reform rabbi who decided not to marry me and my lapsed Catholic first wife (because we hadn't decided in what religion we would raise our children, if we had any, which we ultimately didn't):

                Orthodox rabbis, he told me, would continue to recognize someone as Jewish even if they had renounced the religion of Judaism (most commonly by converting to Christianity) based on their maternal ancestry, per the Torah.  Reform rabbis, on the other hand, would consider the renunciation of the status of being Jewish as a permanent change, and would require someone who wanted to go back to being Jewish to go through conversion.  So Reform Judaism, the rabbi's lesson went, was in some ways more hard-assed than Orthodoxy!

                Of course, as you note, "how could [one] know?"  If you move to a new town, who would know that you had ever (even if briefly) become a Christian?  The same logic, of course, applies to Catholics who seem to receive communion despite not having confessed their sins.

                In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

                by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:06:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I thought that was the case (the Cardinal) (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Seneca Doane, lissablack, Oh Mary Oh

                  but it was too trivial to look up, so I went with 'bishop'.

                  BUT of course YOU knew! LOL

                  When I was young and Catholic, I knew every ballplayer who was Catholic and probably all the politicians too. I reveled in JFK's Houston speech and was more than a little outraged at the girl in my 9th grade class who said "Well, we're Republicans but we're Catholic too, so we're voting for Kennedy". [Jesus, Janet, put a bow on it and HAND it to them!]

                  I'm not Catholic now, and no one knows - or cares - that I ever was. My 'Catholic side' is German so it wouldn't be obvious if my 'stock' were Catholic or Lutheran.

                  It's not the same for you. To us, you will always be Jewish and your opinions - and your person - subject to dismissal on those grounds alone.

                  I've read a bit on the '30s - most recently, In the Garden of Beasts - and I think we are 'cavalier' in thinking that it's a new world. For that reason, I think that anti-Semitism ought to be subject to 'strict scrutiny' here at DK in a way that would be silly for anti-Irish or -Italian or -German or -any other group. Including AA, in my opinion.

                  Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

                  by Clem Yeobright on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:38:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I was just about to a comment above, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane, Oh Mary Oh

        and was juussst about to give up on posting that...

        It seems to me that much of the many,  MANY caveats the author provides to this conversation is due to the bigotry that occurs when any group (ethnic/racial; religious; gender; orientation) is seen as monolithic.

        In other words "Jews/gays/[fill in the blank] think/want/believe [X]."

        And, as is often true within communities, criticism of the community BY the community is always perceived differently than criticism of the community outsiders. (And criticism of the community, by the community WHERE OUTSIDERS CAN SEE IT is also likely to bring about charges of bigotry.)

  •  I agree with you that there were many good (14+ / 0-)

    discussions on this topic during the boycott. It was much more frank, yet less vitriolic, for the most part. I wasn't boycotting, but I stayed out of it just to hear many of these great "new" (and some old) voices on I/P.

    I also thought the commentary "went to the line" that would have been shouted down two weeks ago. Even so, the commenters were pretty respectful. I don't know what that means for us now.

    That's all it takes, really...pressure and time.

    by Flyswatterbanjo on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:26:42 PM PDT

  •  Good God that's a long diary - great effort (29+ / 0-)

    I recently read an article by one Alan Hart who is often accused of being anti-Semitic.

    He defends himself by explaining that he is anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic.

    To prove that he is not an anti-Semite, he points to his friendship with Golda Meir who signed a picture of herself to him "To a good friend - Alan Hart".  

    From what I have observed, it seems clear to me that Jews and Israelis suffer from the cruel leadership of Zionists just as Americans (and much of the rest of the world) suffer from war-mongering, imperialist, neocon and neoliberal leadership of Americans who believe whatever the fuck it is that they spout (American Exceptionalism, Christianity, Ayn Rand, ..) as strongly as Avigdor Lieberman and Benjamin Netanyahu believe in Zionism.  

    Just as the warmongers here accuse us DFH's of being unpatriotic fascist commies, Zionists accuse anyone who opposes their apartheid policies, of being anti-Semitic.  

    Let us not be afraid of being called names as we point out the truth.

    And especially let's not fall into the stupidity of equating Judaism with Zionism any more than we would equate American imperialism and war crimes with typical Americans.

    Of course when I put it that way, you can't help but notice that the governments that govern in the name of Israeli citizens and American citizens respectively, are dangerous to the well being of vast numbers of people. American citizens and Israeli citizens owe it to themselves and to the world to take control of their fucked up governments and restore governance OF, BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE.

    In spite of the pop-culture vampire revival, we're still missing the underlying social metaphor of the original Dracula: Those exotically beguiling aristocrats are sucking our blood. - Pericles

    by citizendane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:27:41 PM PDT

  •  Your diary (7+ / 0-)

    is far too binary. The only way it approaches "anti-semitism" in any way shape or form is in constructing the Jewish vote as dependent on such simplistic, all or nothing categories.

    IMO (based on experience and on several conversations with friends/relatives/acquaintances in the area in question) the question of class interest is one that is far too often ignored completely.

    I personally know a lot of orthodox, reform, liberal jews that voted for Obama and now condemn Obama over one thing and one thing only: His handling of the economy.

    They will tip a nod to Israel policy, and blah blah blah... but I know a LOT of investor-class, business-class "liberal" Jews that simply hate the bailout, think he's been completely wrong with the various bailouts, and on and on and on.

    I think most of them are idiots, and I think that most of them are terribly misinformed... but these are socially and generally politically liberal folks whose bank accounts and investment funds and so on have been hammered in the last few years, and they (for whatever stupid reason) blame Obama, hate Geithner, and hate Bernanke.

    Israel-Palestine policy, orthodoxy, gay marriage... meh.

    Money no longer in retirement accounts??? That makes ANYONE mad, and if they have been getting a steady stream of wall street blather blaming the bad business on Obama, then they qualify as low-information voters.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:34:11 PM PDT

  •  It is not anti-Semitic, but it is simplistic to (13+ / 0-)

    the point of foolishness.

    Jewish votes? Seriously? Jewish voters are a drop in the bucket compared to the number of Christians who feel strongly about and support Israel, and who would be turned off to Obama for failing to veto.

    The very idea that the only people who could care would be the Jewish voters, or that support of Israel is about "Jewish votes" (or Jewish contributors), is simplistic and foolish.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:39:49 PM PDT

    •  As a Jewish voter (21+ / 0-)

      I generally feel like a proxy victory for Christian fundamentalists who want to say "I got YOUR vote!" I'm also pretty acquainted with NY-09 and its demographic makeup. I don't know what happened there, I haven't followed, but I can imagine. The simple and incessant drumbeat of blame of "the Jews" (like we're some monolith) is patently absurd. I can think of few more diverse groups, politically, than Jewish people, other than that we TEND to lean toward the Left.

      One decade, we're Communists, the next decade we're giving it up to the GOP. In some peoples' eyes, we can't win, and really, we're not meant to; we've been a handy tool for blame since the Dark Ages. It is impossibly stale. And no, I haven't the faintest clue what happened in NY-09 with this election. But there's a larger point here. It reminds me of how some voters blamed the loss of Prop 8 on AA religious voters and whipped out charts and figures aplenty to support that meme.

      Whatever truth there is, or is not, in this one -- and I don't claim to know -- the meme itself is a questionable one to spread.

      And why don't people distinguish between Orthodox Jews and Hassidic Jews a bit better? There is a chasm of difference there alone.

      My family is secular Jewish, FWIW.

      •  Well, I was following the race there (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul

        and you can find different perspectives on what happened there at the links I provide.

        The issue that might conceivably come before you as one of our community moderators, early next year, is what if any of the material presented (and linked) here is anti-Semitic.  Do you have thoughts on that?

        In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

        by Seneca Doane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:56:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Since I don't have the next 800-years (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Radiowalla, hikerbiker, JNEREBEL

          to play online moderator, can you link me to a specific one of your many links for a more concise purview? I'm sure I would have thoughts on individual statements in the context of anti-Semitism. I'm sure most Jews would have perspectives on what is, and is not, anti-Semitic. Particularly if you have family members who went through the Holocaust, and if you yourself have been subject to violent anti-Semitic assault in your own life. Then views on anti-Semitism become yet more salient, given how very fresh they are in not only some nebulous online hypothetical but in a more immediately lived sense that transcends the simple term or idea and its remote signification.

          As one Jew to another, why don't you lend a hand and provide a specific link? I am at work. I have limited time. I am not approaching this as an academic conversation. It's not an exercise in online conjecture for me. It can only be regarded as a real issue for very serious consideration.

          Thank you.

          The medium IS the message.

          •  I included most of the comments in full (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            beltane, Wee Mama, lotlizard

            in the diary text, but here's a link to a comment that I believe was supportive of Israel (considering a veto politically impossible) that gave reasons that, had they come from other fingertips, might well have been taken as reinforcing anti-Semitic themes.

            In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

            by Seneca Doane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 08:13:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You asked if a comment was anti-Semitic (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zemblan, JNEREBEL

              not pro-Israel. You link to a comment that you say you believe is "supportive of Israel," and then ask me if that supports anti-Semitic memes.

              Why?

              Do you want to know whether I think the comment is pro-Israel or if it's potentially anti-Semitic?

              Does not compute.

            •  That's the comment I was (6+ / 0-)

              referring to. I have also noticed a general tendency for Likud supporters to unwittingly employ anti-Semitic memes in their arguments. The irony burns.

              If the fall of the house of Murdoch is a tragedy, it is the feel-good tragedy of the century-James Wolcot

              by beltane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 05:07:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                beltane
                The US veto will be good for President Obama's (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JayinPortland, leftynyc
                re-election.

                Both parties need to negotiate an end to the fighting and a beginning to the two state solution.

                "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

                by JNEREBEL on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 03:44:52 PM EDT

                [ Reply to This ]

                 This is a hideous comment to make. (0+ / 0-)
                It suggests that Israel and Israel related issues could affect the election of the USA.  It suggests that a lot of people vote in elections based on the policy of "Israel first".

                Of all the people who would make this comment, I am surprised that it was you.  Since you are so active in trying to stamp out ZOG and ZOGesq comments as well as insinuating that if Obama doesn't choose to go for the two state solution, then individuals, jewish and none-jewish, will change party affiliations.  Which verges on another anti-Semitic meme of "stab in the back".  

                I have noticed that you have said this in multiple other diaries.  This is a new low for you and i suggest that you cease to use this irrational politically intimidating and borderline racist meme that can be found on the racist and xenophobic blog like that of karmafish.  Which is basically a racist blog whos owner and commentators stalk and target dailykos users who do not agree with his racist and ultranationalist attitude.  Which also apparently also went under the name of "dailykoswatch" in a previous incarnation.

                I know you are better then this sorta comment that you have been making in various diaries.  Because in the past you have hiderated such memes and called them out.  That is why I won't be HR'ed you.

                Please reconsider these sorts of posts and stop making them in multiple diaries.  It hurts your credibility when you try to fight actual anti-Semitism on this site.  Then you go on to make comments such as this.  Other users might see your comment and think such notions are "OK" to post on this site.  They are not.  

                A democratic come back

                by Dont Call It on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:19:22 PM EDT

                [ Parent | Reply to This ]

                 * [new] If you feel it is hideous, it must mean it is one (0+ / 0-)
                of the most beautiful things in the world then.

                Thanks for the compliment as I would have never elevated it so myself.

                BTW, my comment suggests nothing of the nature for which you seek to imbue it.

                I hope that does not detract from its beauty for you.

                "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

                by JNEREBEL on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 11:22:50 AM EDT

                [ Parent | Reply to This |  Recommend   Hide ]

                Before that JNEREBEL and others had spammed the same sort of comment in various other diaries.  Going by the groups own standards I asked them to stop.  Instead I received an insult.  

                A democratic come back

                by Dont Call It on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 07:48:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  A few responses: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beltane, seriously70, caul, Hark

      (1) If Obama didn't veto this, it would be expressly framed in the context of changing the "game board" in the Middle East to one where we could more effectively pursue peace.  I don't know that this would turn off many voters.

      (2) Of the "Christians who feel strongly about and support Israel," my guess is that many of them are already lost to Obama.

      (3) That people feel strongly about an issue doesn't mean that it will be the one that decides their vote (as with liberal devout Catholics who vote Republican due to the issue of abortion.)  I think that Jews are much more likely to feel that way re Israel.

      (4) The arguments made by several people in comments to the previous diary is that it's much more about contributors than about voters.  I think that your argument suffers if you lump them together.  I know that when I've worked in Vegas, it was overwhelmingly about the former and hardly anything about the latter.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:49:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh Gods... I tried to read, I really did (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allergywoman, Seneca Doane

    but it's too late, I'm too tired, and it just kept going :P

    I didn't note anti-Semitism as far in as I got.  But I will note that, as I pointed out in an open thread comment earlier, there were comments under a diary earlier today in which the commenters blatantly stated that Israel controlled the US or that the US was a 'puppet' of Israel, both of which sounded like things I'd heard were on the 'no-no' list.  I don't know if they got the HR's they needed or not.

    Good luck, though, and I hope those folks who aren't too tired to work their way through the entire diary have a fruitful and civil discussion.

    •  I wrote this more for the record than the Rec List (5+ / 0-)

      I wanted to give examples of the sorts of choices we would, as it stands, have to make in the community moderation process -- and they're tough.  I will, I hope, make people consider the extent to which community moderation is the best means of addressing them.  I hope people will use this example in discussions.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:59:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the Old Correlation-Causation Thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane

      I see an uncanny correspondence between the policies that AIPAC promotes and the policies of successive administrations of both parties.  Now you can look at this correspondence as a natural consequence of allied interests converging in policy agreement and I'm sure this is usually the case, but sometimes from a Lefty perspective it appears that the interests of Israel- and this is generally shorthand for the interests of the Israeli political Right, the actual interests of Israel often may not align- will be favored over those of the US when and where those interests diverge.  

      I see the prospect of a veto of state recognition of Palestine in the UN as one of those instances where those putative interests clearly diverge.  A lone US veto will clearly not be in the US national interest yet I fully expect that to happen.  One can't help but wonder why our own national interests are sometimes subordinated to perceived Israeli ones.  I say perceived because I see UN recognition of a Palestinian state as a likely if not necessary prerequisite to a comprehensive peace settlement that will unambiguously in both Israel's and the US' long-term best interest.

      The US should be aligning policy with Israel, but not necessarily with its frequently extreme Right wing governments but rather with those in Israel who are serious about advancing the cause of a just and lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East. The Israeli Right is every bit as intractable and irrational as the American Right, we as Democrats should avoid advancing either's interests where those interests diverge from our own. Even if looks like the politically expedient thing to do in the short term.    

      Advisors for President-Elect Barack Obama feared the new administration would face a coup if it prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a new report out this morning.

      by Kurt Sperry on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 12:18:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another question (6+ / 0-)

    should be: why would anyone comment in this diary at all if they are afraid they will be punished now or in the future? Bolding mine:

    First: as part of the Community Self-Moderation (CSMAS) process, people will vote not only on the question of whether comments should be hidden, but on the question of whether commenters should be punished.

    Second: the votes on whether commenters should be punished will be determinative rather than advisory information given to management.

    Third: there will be a "volunteer jury," members of which appoint themselves to be involved in conflicts in which they is interested.

    Fourth: someone will be judged right and someone will be judged wrong; there is no "safe haven" good-faith verdict such as "not proven" and no "the offense was either not malicious or not so grave as to require punishment" outcome like a suspended sentence.

    Fifth: the party found to be in the wrong will be punished.

    Sixth: those who coordinate their votes to promote certain outcomes -- even if they do so in good faith and act out of legitimate belief--may be punished.

    Those who were previously sacked have been sacked again...

    •  Fair question (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe I misunderstand the new procedures, but I think they're fairly described.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 08:06:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your description perhaps doesn't make it clear (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane, EdSF

        That if a comment is deemed to be acceptable, those who would be punished would be the ones who flagged it as inappropriate, sending it to adjudication, not those who voted against it in the "trial".

        It also minimizes the proportionality of punish.  As I understand, kos leans towards bad commenting as being punishable by a suspension of commenting privileges and bad flagging punishable by taking away flagging privileges.  

        •  I will never flag any thing under these rules... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sychotic1, Seneca Doane

          just not worth it.

          One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -- Plato

          by Jane Lew on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 04:26:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It does seem like an obvious personal solution (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright, Jane Lew, CaliSista

            to the problem, doesn't it?  In lots of neighborhoods, people don't call the cops for similar reasons: no good comes of it and it can blow up in one's face.

            In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

            by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 07:53:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Some rules are bad rules, and I think this is one. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CaliSista, Seneca Doane

              To put the whistle blower in the same dock as a potential violator is just not right.

              This rule is designed to decrease the number of complaints.
              That is why it is set up the way it is. When people do not flag,  it is a deliberate function of the rule.

              If people do not report, change the rule.

              One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -- Plato

              by Jane Lew on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:51:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I T-h-i-n-k I Like the Rule (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Seneca Doane

                Censoring another member's speech is a pretty extreme step, I'd like to see that it isn't done flippantly or for simple disagreement on policy or tone as is very commonly done presently.  People who routinely do so should lose the ability to continue doing so.  But of course it's all down to how it's implemented.

                Advisors for President-Elect Barack Obama feared the new administration would face a coup if it prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a new report out this morning.

                by Kurt Sperry on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 12:23:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Good-faith exceptions" (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Jane Lew, ricklewsive, Clem Yeobright

                  That's most of what's missing.  A good faith challenge that fails should mean no punishment.  If someone keeps on challenging the same things and failing, then the presumption becomes that they lack good faith -- or else they'd be adapting.

                  In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

                  by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 03:16:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Do you trust people to be fair? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      EdSF

      If you don't, then why bother hanging out here?

      Do you trust kos to be capable of noticing groups trying to game the system?  That's a different question.  I tend to say yes, but I can see how someone might disagree....

      •  The question, I'll suggest (5+ / 0-)

        - illuminated by much of the commentary here - is not fairness but knowledge, awareness, and sensitivity. I don't think people here - or elsewhere - are 'unfair' when they respond to a survey about whether the Higgs boson will be detected or not; they just have no foundation to answer the question. (The Onion has great fun with its 'on-the-street interviews' on such topics; so does Jay Leno.)

        There is also a question of consistency.

        I am very uncomfortable ceding the final authority in these matters to the unqualified masses. I think it is fine to allow the community to express itself advisorily, as long as there is an understanding that an 'appeals court' can legitimately  and without controversy reverse the communal decision in the interests of knowledge, awareness, sensitivity, and - most of all - consistency.

        [This roughly encapsulates SD's call for a 'common law' at Dailykos, administered by knowledgable people to enforce 'fairness as consistency'. Or something like that.]

        Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

        by Clem Yeobright on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 09:24:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand those concerns (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright, EdSF

          Heck, I often cringe when someone cites popular support in a poll as a reason why a policy choice is a reason why the policy is good.  And, yet, at the same time, I call for the Democratic Party to be more open to populist fervor.

          I do think kos is working under certain constraints.  One, he doesn't with to permanently hold the mantle of uber-moderator.  Two, he's not hiring anyone to be a moderator.  Three, he's not going to rely on a volunteer team of moderators.  I also believe that he wants something that mimics the notion of bottom-up rather than top-down.

          And there is an appeals court with a membership of one.

          •  Four, a self-imposed restraint: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright, milton333

            He doesn't want to develop a "printed and bound" set of examples that could be used to guide such decisions -- say, by inducing people to err on the side of free speech in close situations.  Unlike the others, that is a "reform" that would cost him nothing in terms of time or money.  It would just mean generating an informed jury rather than a capricious one.

            In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

            by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 07:56:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It is sort of amusing, in a way. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Seneca Doane, milton333

              He won't write down what the rules of the site are, and won't hire moderators to moderate it.  

              Instead opting for the himself-admitted capricious model of moderation, either his own or that of the local mob.

              What sort of way is that to run a community, one that has made him a fairly well off fellow?

              It's a bit baffling to me.

              "Blind cheerleading of the president will create jobs and get him to stop droning on and on about deficits no one cares about to the point that his numbers have tanked among independents?" - Markos Moulitsas 8/20/11

              by Rick Aucoin on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:18:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Consider Athenian ostracism (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Seneca Doane

                Every year in the sixth month the populace was asked if it wanted to have an ostracism that year. If the vote was positive, then in the eighth month everyone was permitted to write a name on a shard, the shards were counted, and the citizen receiving the most shards was exiled for 10 years, with no further penalty (loss of property, for example).

                There were no accusations and no defense. There was no expectation of having to justify one's vote. And there was no association with the concept of 'justice'.

                It's just a blog, ferxrissakes.

                Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

                by Clem Yeobright on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:49:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Great (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clem Yeobright, Oh Mary Oh

                  Now you're giving Markos ideas.  With a Greek provenance, yet!

                  In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

                  by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:21:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'd hoped we'd evolved past that. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Seneca Doane

                    Athenian "democracy" was a huge step forward.

                    For 500BC.  

                    "Blind cheerleading of the president will create jobs and get him to stop droning on and on about deficits no one cares about to the point that his numbers have tanked among independents?" - Markos Moulitsas 8/20/11

                    by Rick Aucoin on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:30:10 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Ouch. Is that how you see it? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Seneca Doane

                      I think I need an expansion from you on 'evolution'.

                      What aspect of Athenian democracy is obsolete?

                      Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

                      by Clem Yeobright on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:36:45 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Obsolete? (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Clem Yeobright, Seneca Doane

                        That's an interesting choice of words.  :)

                        I don't know obsolete, but I'll pass on Athenian democracy only being available to the "in group".

                        Sadly I suppose that isn't technically obsolete, looking around here.

                        "Blind cheerleading of the president will create jobs and get him to stop droning on and on about deficits no one cares about to the point that his numbers have tanked among independents?" - Markos Moulitsas 8/20/11

                        by Rick Aucoin on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:48:45 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  His "guest in someone's house" rule last week (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clem Yeobright, CaliSista, milton333

                was a good start.  He did have rules expressed in there -- even though, left to our own devices, they may end up being scattered.  But he has to realize that community moderation will work best if people believe that the system is just, and that that trust in non-capriciousness needs to be earned rather than being an entitlement.

                In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

                by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:49:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There's a problem there, Seneca. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  milton333

                  Kos himself has declared local justice to be capricious.  Even bragging referred to it as such.

                  And subjective rules like "someone's house" won't cut it for rules of a community this diverse, we all know it.

                  I've STILL not been told why I got NR'd.  I don't want to argue the thing, I'd just like to know WHY.  

                  For instance.  :)

                  "Blind cheerleading of the president will create jobs and get him to stop droning on and on about deficits no one cares about to the point that his numbers have tanked among independents?" - Markos Moulitsas 8/20/11

                  by Rick Aucoin on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:03:10 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yep -- that's why that comment of his sent me (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Clem Yeobright

                    into a frenzy.  It was 180 degrees in the wrong direction.

                    Have you written Markos to ask why your ratings were pulled?

                    In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

                    by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:20:15 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, I've not. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Seneca Doane, milton333

                      I've considered it, of course, but just like when MB was moderating I'd rarely message him about stuff like retributive HR's and whatnot.  

                      It all seems rather petty, when it comes to actually kicking up a stink about it.

                      I imagine I got NR'd for uprating somewhere that was inappropriate?  But I can't know for sure, and I can't guess what uprates were inappropriate, 'cause they don't tell us.

                      It's like a guessing game.  Capricious is exactly the right word, my hat is off to the KosMan for accurately using it.  

                      Maybe I should message him to just ask why.  I don't intend to contest the thing, not really.  He's defined the community moderation as capricious and unfair, deliberately, so it is what it is.

                      I DO find it a very odd way to treat a community that makes you pretty good $.  I've been a moderator and manager of several online groups over the years (decades? argh) and I understand Kos HATING that aspect of his business.

                      But jeez, it's his BUSINESS.

                      "Blind cheerleading of the president will create jobs and get him to stop droning on and on about deficits no one cares about to the point that his numbers have tanked among independents?" - Markos Moulitsas 8/20/11

                      by Rick Aucoin on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:28:01 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Additionally, it looks to me like Groups will to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane, capelza

      a significant extent be able to set their own rules so I foresee a situation in which a comment about the role of AIPAC in American politics could be acceptable in a personal Diary posted to DK, but the same comment might be HR'd if posted to a Diary in Team Shalom because it appears Team Shalom is adopting a definition of anti-Semitism that is much broader than we will see in Daily Kos.  I think the same situation is evolving as regards Black Kos and RKBA.  I suppose that is OK but I imagine discussion in those groups will be become pretty sterile if any dissent from the party line is defined as bigotry.  I may be mistaken but that is the way I read the rules that Markos is proposing.  Anyone commenting in a Group Diary is going to have to step very carefully to live within the "when a guest in someone else's house" rule.  I think the prospect of two sets of rules will cause problems.

      Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

      by ratcityreprobate on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 04:00:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have been thoroughly educated (7+ / 0-)

    by this diary... wish there were more like it. I had assumed that NY-09 was the result of an enthusiasm gap, but I now stand corrected. It seems have been a typical Republican win delivered by social-conservatives stubbornly voting against their economic interests.

    As for Palestine, I hope Obama does not veto, I hope he is reelected, and I pray that the Palestinians have the good sense to delay the vote until 2013.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 08:04:04 PM PDT

    •  You've said it all (3+ / 0-)
      It seems have been a typical Republican win delivered by social-conservatives stubbornly voting against their economic interests.

      NY-9 is an extremely conservative district from a religious standpoint. There are few (if any) other districts in the country that are so dominated by the Jewish variety of religious fundamentalism.

      If the fall of the house of Murdoch is a tragedy, it is the feel-good tragedy of the century-James Wolcot

      by beltane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 05:13:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An illuminating piece. Very interesting and (6+ / 0-)

    informative. As to anti-Semiticism, I've no basis to judge, except I've seen if people want to be offended, they will be. Regardless of reality.

    Also, kudos to The Caped Composer for "Christianist" (Palin). I think I'll use that in the future.

  •  I wrote this... (12+ / 0-)

    on the morning of Election Day.

    Yeah, so about the special election in NY-09, it's not just about Israel, but also about gay marriage. The PPP poll showed more people in this district think gay marriage should be illegal (45%) than those that think it should be legal (41%). And while 69% of voters said Israel is an important factor, PPP's poll also showed 55% of voters say the issue of gay marriage is also important in their vote, with 29% saying it's VERY important. You can't just discount that.

    Breaking down the numbers even further, the PPP poll showed 36% of likely voters today are Jewish, with 31% being Catholic. Among the Jewish vote, a slight plurality do support gay marriage (45% to 43%). But among the almost 1/3 of Catholics who will vote today, a whopping 55% of them are against gay marriage, with only 31% in favor.

    And like it or not, hatred and bigotry does motivate bigots to go to the polls and vote to enshrine hatred and bigotry.

    Though the ideal information I hoped to see from PPP (which they don't provide) is the comparison of the same-sex marriage question with who they're going to vote for today.

    So Israel most likely is playing a role in this. But so is gay marriage. There's a reason why two DEMOCRATS, a state senator and a state assemblyman, have both endorsed Bob Turner (R) in this race, SPECIFICALLY citing Weprin's support of gay marriage. For them, it has nothing to do with Israel, but all about hating on gay people. Sad, but true.

    Simply making it an issue over Israel and Obama and the Ground Zero mosque, while it certainly is a factor, is ignoring another important factor of a different strain of bigotry that's playing a significant role in this race.

    BTW, I even tried calling PPP at the phone number they listed today, but nobody picked up.  :-\

    I'll also note that someone like Joe Lieberman seems to still be liked among Democrats in NY-09, when it seems most Democrats across the country (and especially in his home state) loathe him with a passion.

    •  It might have been easy to miss (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruinKid, mayim

      but I did address the same-sex marriage issue in the (overlong) diary itself.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 08:15:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I saw that. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane, beltane, mayim, cpresley

        Just wanted the record to show what I had written before the results came in.  :-)

        But yeah, I think overall, this race was decided by a whole host of factors, not just one.  To make it about just Israel or just gay marriage is too narrow, but we also need to acknowledge those issues were the determining factor for a not-insignificant amount of voters in the district.  (Perhaps not of people overall in the district, but of the voters who actually showed up to vote.)

        Certainly Ed Koch didn't make that robocall without the Turner campaign first message-testing the Israel issue.  Same goes for the two Democrats in the state legislature that specifically cited gay marriage as their reason.

  •  I'm confused about dual loyalty (5+ / 0-)

    Are people claiming that an assertion of "dual loyalty" is antisemitic? That seems odd for a few reasons:

    1. Some people ARE loyal to both Israel and the United States. And UNDERSTANDABLY SO!!! Israel holds a special place in the hearts of many.

    2. Others simply have loyalty to the United States (and maybe also the world as a whole).

    When the interests of Israel and the United States collide (and on a real-politic level, this happens all the time) group #1 and group #2 become annoyed at each other.

    Group #2 accuses group #1 of having a dual loyalty. This is correct. Group #1 is pulled in both directions here.

    Group #1 accuses group #2 of abandoning Israel. This is also technically correct (in the sense that they are prioritizing US interests - as they perceive them - over Israeli interests).

    What I find odd about the antisemitism charge (in this case) is that the most rabidly "dual loyal" politicians tend to be right-wing Christians and/or neo-con "hawks" (who range in creed from atheist to Jewish to Christian to whatever).

    My point? Why is this an "out of bounds" charge to make? If I'm debating US foreign policy with someone and they have conflicting interests, then we might as well be talking past each other.

    There are many other examples of "dual loyalty". People are understandably proud of their heritage or their native countries. People are complicated like that.

    LOOK IT! I WROTE A COMMENT ON BIG ORANGE SEXY TIME!!!!

    by Mark Warner is God on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 08:17:53 PM PDT

  •  I looked through all the comments again (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, SaintC, blueoasis, Mariken

    and there was only one that I found borderline objectionable but not to the point where I would HR it. It was the comment which stated that all Jewish people were going to support Romney en mass if Obama didn't veto the resolution. I am only half-Jewish, and the Jewish part of my family has been secular at least since my very left-wing grandfather emigrated here over a century ago, but I don't really know people who would be willing to turn their own country to shit over a UN vote having to do with someone else's country.

    Also, you'd be surprised at how many non-Jewish, non-evangelical Christians just want the whole I/P issue to go away.

    If the fall of the house of Murdoch is a tragedy, it is the feel-good tragedy of the century-James Wolcot

    by beltane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 08:25:36 PM PDT

  •  I'm in the midst of a debate.... (10+ / 0-)

    really more like an argument with a Tennis friend who has a daughter and grand kids in Israel, and is an active conservative member of AIPAC.  For starters,  I happen to like the guy a whole lot for many reasons.

    We were debating whether Hamas is the legitimate government of the Palestinian area.  I argue that it is, and he, allied with another friend refuse to accept my narrow definition of "legitimate" seeing as approval.

    For me, even though I'm a Jew it is somewhat abstract.  For him it is his daughter who is the target of the missiles, and his grandson who fought in Gaza.  His G.S. was texting him from the area, describing how they dropped leaflets telling people to leave the areas where the missiles were stored, and when they finally entered there were people who said they were forced to surround the missiles.

    My friend is passionate, but when he told me about this, just today, I don't believe he was lying.  He is old enough to remember when Jews who were fleeing Hitler had no place of refuge....not here, not anywhere.  Asking him to be "reasonable" doesn't ring true, and he only see's friends or enemies.   And he does not see Obama as being a friend of Israel.

    With the consequences of the Arab Spring, the equation has been dramatically changed in the middle east.  The dictators of Egypt and Libia were under our thumb, and their military was not a threat to Israel.   Add Turkey to the mix and Israel can very quickly become isolated.  The cost of defense, if it came to this, could be considerable for the U.S.

    At that point, anything less than fanatical commitment to Israel, not based on pragmatic considerations, but because God has said that the second coming is dependent on Israel being occupied by Jews, seems too tentative.  

    This seems too close to a conversation that could have occurred a thousand years ago, but it could be we have not come as far as we assumed.

    •  I'd question his choice of "friends" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      World Patriot, arodb, Seneca Doane

      The fact of the matter is that right-wing Christians have been the leading cause of Jewish suffering over the past 2,000 years. The Republican's "pro-Israel" stance is of a deeply anti-Semitic, eliminationist nature. I personally don't trust people whose religion finds its ultimate expression in my death, but I'm just a secular liberal so what so I know.

      If the fall of the house of Murdoch is a tragedy, it is the feel-good tragedy of the century-James Wolcot

      by beltane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 05:21:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  where I draw the lines: (9+ / 0-)

    Criticism of Israel is criticism of a nation-state: not anti-Semitic in and of itself.

    Derogatory stereotypes about Jews as an ethnic/religious group: anti-Semitic as hell, instant HR.

    Criticism of Jews as a voting demographic: borderline depending on what & how.

    For example, "The polls say that if Obama does X, then Y percent of Jews are more likely to vote Republican."  That's OK.    I can't think of a way to provide an example of a not-OK without using the nasty language so I'll skip that part.  

    •  What about things like media control? (0+ / 0-)

      Saying, truthfully, that the media would likely be overwhelmingly all over the President's ass if he didn't veto the Palestinian measure at the very least implies a "Jewish control" of the nation's media.

      That sort of statement, that President Obama would take a beating in the press for (insert perceived lack of support for Israel here), has been called anti-semitic, repeatedly, around here.

      "Blind cheerleading of the president will create jobs and get him to stop droning on and on about deficits no one cares about to the point that his numbers have tanked among independents?" - Markos Moulitsas 8/20/11

      by Rick Aucoin on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:23:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Calling it "control" seems to go too far (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza

        (if there's a meeting of Jews to decide what may or may not be said, I haven't been invited to it, and I presume that I would be invited!!!), but there's certainly an outsized influence.  One argument is that this tendency to see things through a lens of Israeli security exists because, well, it's clear that that's the right thing to do!  I find that unsatisfying.

        It's a nasty problem because I can easily see how talking about "Jewish control of" -- and maybe even "influence of Jews within" -- the media can foster some truly wacky and corrosive conspiracy theories.  On the other hand, refusing to note the number of Jews involved in the media seems to be such an overreaction that it may facilitate exactly the kind of conspiracy theorizing that it purports to oppose.

        In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

        by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:53:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  k.i.s.s. version please! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, Seneca Doane

    The boycott was about anti-Semitism? You know, people on Daily Kos write such long and complicated diaries ....even when they have intelligent things to say.....that I frequently feel it's less informative and more like material to be waded through in the future when researching what went wrong in the early decades of the 21st Century.

    Aaaargh.

    My eyesight gives out along with having to scroll down, page down.......

    Could we sometimes please have a brief abstract or executive summary to begin with?

    Many thanks.

  •  Best analysis of NY-09 by sidnora (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    she wrote a diary that was FANTASTIC...explaining what happened in that district, and why Dems lost. Nobody else seemed to pick up several facts that she did, but which explain it clearly.

    As for measuring anti-Semitism, from what I've seen over the decades if it isn't outright hostility and stereotyping, then people find it hard to know when they are being anti-Semitic. When people bring up I/P  but ignore other and worse situations, for example. What about the treatment of Palestinians in Jordan and elsewhere in The Middle East?  And what about all the countries where American assistance and weapons are involved in death squards, etc. School of the Americas, etc.

    •  I think that I linked to it above (6+ / 0-)

      The notion that "selective outrage" is evidence for anti-Semitism is interesting (and arguable -- would we veto a UN resolution condemning Jordan?), but the point at hand is whether you think that that would warrant community moderation.  If so, you'd have to explain why.

      I know that when I was active in CISPES in the 80s, generally supporting anti-death-squad movements in Central America, my finding out that Israel was supporting the Guatemalan generals was a kick in the teeth far beyond that what I would have experienced had I found out that it was true of South Africa or Portugal, etc.  It wasn't supposed to happen.  Maybe the answer lies somewhere in there.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 09:21:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If a person or a country commits an illegal act, (5+ / 0-)

      he or it does not get a pass because somebody else was not charged with the illegal act before him or it. The proper question is whether he or it done it, not whether somebody else got off who also did it, or this is the first time out for the charge.

      •  Yes, but I recognize the concern expressed about (0+ / 0-)

        "selective prosecution" (often here termed as "selective outrage.")  I think that people saying it are (often) sincere.  But it doesn't erase the problem.

        In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

        by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 07:59:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Selective prosecution is a form of defense, but it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane

          does not change the question as to whether No. 1 in fact did the illegal act, which is the core of the question. It only comes up when the response is that it doesn't matter whether No. 1 did it, because that other guy over there didn't get charged with this. Not that No. 1 didn't do it. A proper response to a selective prosecution charge is NOT to refuse to charge No. 1 but also to charge No. 2.

          In some cases, the charge of selective prosecution is based on the notion that no law applies to the doer unless somebody else has gone done for it first, that is, it does not even become a law which can be broken by the complainer unless someone else has gone down first. First bite is a freebie. This guts the effect of every new law, and every law which may be old but where the facts in prior cases were not identical., so the situation can be argued to be 'different' and with a new First Bite rule.

          And in the subject matter of the diary, selective prosecution has been used as a defense so many times, no matter what the facts are, that it loses its power, save for those who want a law to be other than what it is and what it says literally, but can't get the law, and the illegality of what No. 1 did, erased. It wouldn't be a law unless those who had made it so with the authority to do so meant what they said.

  •  Way too long (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla

    I look forward a much condensed version that is readable.

    •  I wrote it for the record (6+ / 0-)

      There are many comments copied in here that give examples of issues that we might adjudicate.  The "payoff" of the diary is: how would we adjudicate these?

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 09:22:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To me this diary is not anti-semitic (6+ / 0-)

        I have a diary up now regarding the Air Force's policy review of its ethics and leadership training, training which had a decidedly Christian slant.

        Did I write an anti-Christian diary because I stated I oppose using the US military to promote Christianity?

        Under these so-called proposed rules of engagement, perhaps I did.

        In my mind I did not.  The diary related facts regarding the use (misuse and abuse I would call it) of Christian beliefs and values to indoctrinate members of the military into accepting a fringe belief system regarding the teaching of Jesus in violation of the Constitution.

        Yet, to some people (probably not many here at Dkos) I would be considered anti-Christian.

        I believe we will not resolve issues at Dkos regarding anti-semitism in comments or in diaries posted by the system that has been proposed.

        Why do I say that?  Because people here (and elsewhere) define anti-semitic behavior by differing standards.  There is no single accepted definition for anti-semitism, or a defined criteria for what constitutes an anti-semitic comment or diary.  Until we are all speaking the same language, i.e., we all accept what does and does not constitute anti-semitism any process that allows the community at large to judge a person's statements or remarks is an exercise in both futlity and possibly censorship.

        For some individuals here any criticism of the policies of the Israeli government is sufficient to meet their standard.  Others have a looser definition, but the crux of the matter is that this is a topic that the community at large (and yes I know this is a generalization) does not make based solely on objective, rational arguments and/or facts.  It is a topic that clouds by emotional reactions, and in many cases very deep and strongly felt emotions.

        This is one reason I rarely participate in IP diaries, nor do I post them anymore though I have my opinions regarding the Israeli government's policies regarding the Palestinians and the United States close ties and involvement with Israel.  The simple truth is that any diary expressing discontent with Israel will bring a charge from someone here that the diarist is anti-semitic.

        This is not a problem merely with diaries about Israel.  For example, you see the same reflexive emotional responses by some people in the RBKA community to any diary that seeks to discuss the role of guns and proposals to regulate gun ownership.  And I don't mean to pick on that community, because the same can be said for any self-defined group here.  It is hard enough to have a civil discussion on many issues simply because as a diverse community, we do not always agree on many issues, and for some any disagreement is tantamount to an attack on their core beliefs.

        What concerns me is that if Dkos move to a Community based system allows members to "punish" contributors here, diarists and those who post comments that goes beyond the current system, inevitably certain people will be banned based on the extreme reaction to their views by a minority of active members.  Others will simply avoid these so-called hot-button topics (race, immigration, gun control, IP, etc.) or simply leave the site altogether as not worth their time and effort.  

        The end result will be a more bland version of Dkos with fewer and a less robust and diverse discussion of many important and significant political issues.  Perhaps that;s what the community, collectively, wants.  I for one, do not.

        "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

        by Steven D on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:21:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pardon my grammatical errors. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          angry marmot, Seneca Doane

          Should have proof read before posting.

          "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

          by Steven D on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:24:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I was pretty confident that the diary was not (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steven D, soysauce, RageKage, Wood Dragon

          anti-Semitic.  However, if I had included only sections 2 and/or 3, criticizing the Brooklyn Orthodox community and/or those who want the U.S. to veto Palestinian statehood, I think it might be taken as such.

          As you recognize, though, the thrust of this diary is not to focus on I/P, but on how we will deal with I/P under a new moderation regime.  I too think that a pure "community adjudication" system that is not advisory will drive people off -- some removed from the community in disgust, some on slabs.

          This is a much more productive discussion than I could have hoped for -- again, in publishing something of this length I did not expect to make the Rec List -- and I truly hope that it is useful for Markos and his crew.

          In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

          by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:05:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent Diary SD, I will come back and read it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, No Preference

    again tomorrow.  There is much to think about in your fine effort.  Also read another diary "Dog-Whistles, Israel and Anti-Semitism" today which I found problematical and unhelpful.

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

    by ratcityreprobate on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 08:58:32 PM PDT

  •  This is an exceptionally thoughtful diary. (3+ / 0-)

    Well done. I'm sure the comment thread will heat up with the usual we-see-anti-semitism-in-every-discussion-relating-to-Jews-that-doesn't-agree-100%-with-us crowd, but you have put your finger precisely on the issues. Thank you.

  •  I like your framing of 'dual loyalty' issues. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    In general, good diary.

  •  Just right, SD (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, beltane

    The only thing I might have done differently, had this been my issue, would have been a paragraph after the Likud explanation in section 4 with a link to J Street, to answer the dual loyalty question.  I don't have statistics, but I'd say that more American Jewish voters do NOT walk lock-step with the Israeli government than do, and the "dual loyalty" meme is itself an anti-semitic remark.  For those of you who doubt me on this, go back and look at the speech JFK had to give proving he didn't have any dual loyalties to the Pope.  We've come a long way, haven't we.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 09:11:51 PM PDT

  •  Isn't this the phrase?: Es usted de los Justos. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    Thank you, Seneca Doane, for this painstaking relation,
    for rehearsing so many thoughtful comments on a vital political issue of the moment, and for linking it to important matters of our selfgovernance.
    There ought to be a category to distinguish thinkpieces like this... so as not to miss them.

  •  didn't read all of it, but very good... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, angry marmot, Seneca Doane

    i'll address the meta since I'm not completely up on the content, particularly concerning the special election

    in terms of the meta, my rule of thumb is that if it's well thought out, good for you--and if there's someone who objects to it that's their problem.

    If it's ad hoc, or some cheap political attack, then it's probably designed to piss people off.

    But there's a really  thin skin here when it comes to evaluating any ethnic group.  There are things to be learned by analyzing the Jewish vote, or the black vote, or the Latino vote, or whatever--and some of those demographic analyses may be hurtful for some people.

    Again, that's their problem.  

  •  Can you state the premise... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP

    in a paragraph?

    That said, I tend to agree with the comment that said the matter was much more complex than made out to be.

    I would be interested to know, however, when does one stray across the line from criticism of Israel into antisemitic remarks.

    I recall the Durban NGO conference in 2001 where the participants never would have believed their actions and words were antisemitic, but were they?

    A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

    by citizen53 on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 09:46:56 PM PDT

    •  Probably not -- unless it's a long paragraph -- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, Oh Mary Oh

      but I'll try:

      In trying to determine what bigotry should be excluded from the site, we should be aware of (and create systems that take into account that) it is very easy even for people writing in good faith to venture into ideas that could be characterized as bigoted.  Using the example of anti-Semitism, I show how what seems like a benign discussion of the result in NY-09 can lead to a conclusion that Jewish voters there  themselves equated support for Israel with their personal interests, leading them to switch from supporting Democrats to Republicans, with the expressed intention of forcing Democrats to adopt policies more favorable to Israel.  Using the example of what seems like a benign discussion of the prospective veto of Palestinian statehood, I show that even supporters of Israel end up invoking ideas that more or less sound like "wealthy Jews control the government and media" -- here invoked as reasons that Obama can't veto.  I then ask how, in light of this, we can structure community moderation to deal with the problems of bigotry in comments.  It won't work well on its own.

      Of course, it's early here, and that's off the top of my head.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:17:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry for the late reply. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane

        Still do not really get the point.  Voters are free to use any criteria they want, even those we may not like, to send whatever message they believe they must.

        As to this:

        I show that even supporters of Israel end up invoking ideas that more or less sound like "wealthy Jews control the government and media" -- here invoked as reasons that Obama can't veto.

        Aren't these people FOR the veto?  Have an example so that it's more clear?

        In the end, there needs to be more tolerance, but there are too many instances of slipping into the gray area of questionable conduct.

        A writer cannot prevent and is not responsible for the deliberate desire of some to distort his words. -- Eric Sevareid

        by citizen53 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 10:34:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right, that last part should have been (0+ / 0-)

          "cannot fail to veto."

          In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

          by Seneca Doane on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 01:52:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  No Meta. Just an article you may find interesting. (0+ / 0-)

    This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
    --Ian Curtis

    by jethrock on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 10:04:44 PM PDT

  •  that's an impressive job of collating comments (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RageKage, 1180, Seneca Doane

    it really makes these discussions look remarkably informed and thoughtful.

  •  One of the problems on this site and with the rule (5+ / 0-)

    about commenting and penalizing, is that he or she or they who controls the definitions of any issue involving bias control the outcome. Warning: I always write long.

    This is a diary posted today by Canadian Gal here on DKos which involves the definition of antisemitism in various places. In connection with this diary only, I  recommend both  it and the comments attached which discussed changes in the notion of what constituted anti semitism at various times and how it may have changed in some places. Keeping in mind as one reads, the application of said rules and the problem the diarist has raised.

    Down toward the bottom of Black Kos, Tuesday Chile, on the recc list, there is also a discussion about  whether a comment by Ralph Nader that contained references to President Obama and the term "Uncle Tom" constituted or did not constitute bigotry actionable there. Whatever the rules on bigotry, racism, etc. will apply equally to their on a different fact situation.

    I add as a third comparison the RKBA situation, in which a certain number of Kossacks have a very strong view on the specific  subject of gun rights, assuming that is an acceptable short summary, which leads to many a hot word, and more than a few flying ad hominim insults and also donuts on a regular basis, but which IMO at least is not a situation in which either side can or does invoke bigotry. I am suggesting its inclusion in this thought and those of the readers for an example of extremely hot writing, not involving sanctionable bigotry but a vast difference of opinion not apparently bridgeable thusfar to any useful degree between the two major sides. (Note to readers: Commenter requests that disagreements with what is here written about RKBA. ditto for the painful matters which gave rise to the recent boycott, not become an OT distraction from Seneca's issue, since under the new rules He is the Householder of this house.)

    The problem based on any rule about bigotry is always one which requires all persons to know and understand the rule the same way. Generally I would say that people can disagree about the definition of almost anything without one of them crossing an objective line, but in the matter of definition of anti semitism as with other bigotries when truly and properly tagged, beyond a baseline level, there are disagreements about where the line is, more so when ideas or concepts are being discussed, abstracts, and somewhat less so when the question is did the event described as a fact in X location in fact occur, or occur as described, and where is the proof?

    The problem here with a voting rule will be whether voters understand any of the issues presented by the commenter or the flagger or both in the same way they do. A just result may not be the outcome where the definitions are legitimately different.

    And if there are memes which are generally accepted as bigoted dog whistles, what they are and what the limits on the scope of them are, is not always uniformly self- evident. I/P is particularly noted for having such problems in all directions, where some of the invoked language charged as dog whistles are understood by all, such as violations of Godwin's Rule for one  relatively uncontroversial example, and others are seriously arguable or plain overreaching to shut someone up with a charge so difficult that no one will dare argue with the one making the charge or risk its being made against him or her, but there is no similar system of fairly clear  and generally dogwhistles and near misses when it comes to anti-Palestinian/Arab/Bedouin/Muslim, and no rules at all about pissing off  any Iranians who may find their way to DKos, if any.  

    Several attempts at a definition have been made here including by Mets102 and Canadian Gal, but none so far have won the wider acceptance of those outside of I/P (or in I/P for that matter) as would form a rational basis for a DKos definition.

    Many of the niceties of the working DKos definition of antisemitic comment  were created by MB in individual precedential rulings, as he saw comments going by, but those were never accumulated and collated where they could be reviewed as a group, and knowing what a ruling was  or whether there was one depended more than was desirable upon he or she who wanted to cite it having kept a copy when the particular ruling went by. Generally he or she who did not read I/P and many avoid it like the Plague, would not know any of these rulings beyond Godwin. This included the compilation of a list of sources more obscure than the Protocols of  the Elders of Zion which were forbidden to be cited.  Not a good long term methodology for general application.

    The absence of an agreed definition of anti semitism here is that those who see it are sure that they do, or assert they are, and there are those who don't agree, or may not know what hit them, in addition to clearly and indisputably intentional violators who knew what they were doing, such as Godwin violators.

    It also produces in a supposedly progressive site, at which people are supposed to be able to speak their minds, groups of people so anxious about the details of what constitutes actionable antisemitism that they do not comment at all out of fear of an inadvertent violation. This makes DKOs for them a place where the First Amendment notions of this site and the rules produce the one undesirable result, nonparticipation in the conversation at all for inappropriate but real reasons of fear of consequences unintended by the writer.

    This  is an extremely difficult situation when confecting any rule which can get people bounced out of here. There is a reason legal technical language found in rules makes people who do not deal with it regularly gag, and the agonizing need to define everything in a way that is neutral and agreed by all parties to mean one and the same thing and nothing else,  is it.

    It may be that the solution will require demonstration of intent, that is, the writer in question had to be intending to insult Jews AS A GROUP,  and BECAUSE THEY ARE JEWS, not to have spoken on another subject which involves some particular individuals.

    If you understand the words  in a way that it clearly applies to your nice local rabbi or the lady at work in addition to politicos, then it's  over the line. If it's talking about existing ethnic voting patterns in Brooklyn, more thought may be required to see if it is talking about the 355th distinct ethnic minority voting block in that Borough, acting differently than other blocks not because they are members of it and acting in solidarity, but because of the name of the block, rather than simply no. 355 acting on its issues, as no. 354 and 356 also do and doing so in solidarity, as the others also do. Or if a pol said the evil words, name the pol or the political group and not any ethnic/religious group. AIPAC is not an ethnicity, and Samuel Bronfman is not all individual Jews, and the State of Israel is a state, which recently had half a million of its citizens, mostly the majority, saying many evil words at its government, from tents. At the same time, one cannot exclude the Jonathan Pollard case or a like situation which makes it into public official discourse, his being charged and his trial,  from discussion.

    A second useful thought might well be a need to keep all Kossacks running their comments off provable facts, and arguing from them, not from the underlying views about the doers or the text of of those facts or those affected by them. With proof of the correctness of the facts alleged in the first instance and in any rebuttal  and a ban on ad homs- no more "You are a liar,' end of comment. MB's sign line,'Tell me what you do and I will tell  you what you believe' works especialy well here.

    In the absence of a clear definition and uniform application to all possible bigotries in a given situation given equal weight, anti- Arab etc as well as anti Jewish, all there will be is a mess which makes more people unhappy than already are.

    •  If someone had compiled the rulings of MB (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane, milton333

      Do you believe it would make things better?  I'm not volunteering to do that, but I do see ways that a group effort can do it efficiently.

      •  Yes, I think it would help considerably (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, RageKage, milton333

        That's the group-sourced "creation of a common law" that I proposed, but that kos doesn't want "printed and bound."  The common law is designed to give us examples of applications of rules, with explanations, to use as guidance.

        I don't know that it would need to go back and collect everything from MB, but I do think that it should be compiled going forward, if we're to do this right.

        In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

        by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:20:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  haha, I just dumped my novel of an answer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane, RageKage

      and decided it would make a better diary than comment.

      But I like your comment as I agree.

      1.  we've seen with BBB and many other frequent black posters that the "pervasive racism of dKos" isn't seen or felt in the same manner by them as it is for others.  I'm sure this is the same for Jews, Arabs, women, gays concerning conversations that revolve around their particular group.  In short, even people belonging to a minority don't always agree with one another.  It's acknowledging that problems exist, that opinions differ...but we're trying to find the middle ground instead of demanding punishment or expecting uniformity.  DK has a bunch of different people from a bunch of different walks of life and to expect everyone to know every word or phrase that offends every single group is crap.  What can be done is for people to keep offensive words in context with the entire statement rather than singling the word(s) itself out as proof positive that JHJHJHJHJ3 is ...(fill in the blank accusation).

      2.  The old method of community moderation is fine and much better than the new.  The only thing it lacked was a disinterested Moderator who had no dog in any fight and didn't mind hurting feelings.  MB was good and tried hard but his problem, IMO, was that he'd been here for years, knew everyone, liked everyone, and was far more interested in educating than punishing.  The dissatisfied customers knew this and the abuse went on as a result (and I mean verbal abuse, abuse of minorities, HR abuse...all of it.)  MB wanted a big happy family where adults solved their own problems and found their own middle ground.  Unfortunately, his equanimity was not shared by the abusers...who, when they didn't get their way took it out on MB as well their normal targets.  

      3.  The new system is going to fail.  All it does is put the onus for "justice" on people who are going to WANT to be on these little "juries".  And just like with MB or Kos...the juries are going to piss off one side or another by "getting it wrong" or "shoulda been banned not suspended" etc.  

      What this blog needs is a serious in your face moment by Kos saying, "YOU chose to be here...no one forced you...this is MY site and these are MY rules...if you don't like it...scram!  No personal attacks of any kind...ever!  No vendettas or stalking, if you have a disagreement in a diary...it ends before you leave that diary, if you follow to another diary and resume the previous argument, see ya.  If someone says something offkey and it gets hidden, fine...if they continue to be similarly offensive, keep hiding, but if the first statement was an aberration let it go.  If you continue to hide rate reasonable comments, it's your ass that gets banned.  Last, if you can't absolutely prove your accusation with facts, as if you were in a court of law...don't make the accusation."

      Jeez, maybe I shoulda just posted the long version.

      But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have laid my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams. – Yeats

      by Bill O Rights on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 04:17:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am surprised (1+ / 0-)

    you could go into such a lengthy analysis of the NY09 special election without mentioning once the primary factor that determined the outcome: voter turnout that was at an historical low. This blind spot means that you speculate about the role of the Palestine/Israel conflict ad-infinitum (mostly a conservative talking point), yet don't even discuss the low level of enthusiasm among Democratic constituencies that has been critical since the 2010 mid-term election and could well determine 2012.

    •  It was a special election (0+ / 0-)

      Was the turnout low given that circumstance?

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:24:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  PPP is wrong about enthusiasm. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DampSquid, World Patriot, cpresley
    There is no enthusiasm gap here.  Obama voters are showing up in the same numbers they did in 2008.  But only 65% of them are voting Democratic.  That's a really big cause for concern.

    That statement is just straight up false.  From the AP Weprin got 29,688 votes and Turner got 33,816 votes.  That's a total of 63,504 voters.  In 2010 Weiner got 67,879 to Turner's 43,129 for a total of 111,008 votes.  In 2008, the presidential election, Weiner got 112,205 to Donohue's 8,378 for a total of 120,583 votes.

    In an off year election, Weiner got more votes than the total that voted in the special election, and Turner won with fewer votes than he got in that same election.  To say there is no enthusiasm gap is to completely ignore the actual number of people voting or better yet, the number of people NOT voting.

  •  Fantastic diary, but aren't you fear mongering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    just a little bit?  I honestly have no fear that any of the above comments, and least of all this diary, would ever result in punishment.  And if some ghastly designed community moderation system did end up punishing stuff like that, it would be rectified and the system scrapped.

    That said, sometimes a little pre-emptive fear mongering isn't a bad idea.

    Also, amazing job collecting so many thoughtful comments.  You must of waded through a lot of crap to find all those!

    We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

    by RageKage on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 11:33:28 PM PDT

    •  Maybe not these specific examples (0+ / 0-)

      (although didn't the easy recharacterization of "Obama has to veto because otherwise Jewish donors and the media will abandon him" into "wealthy Jews control government and the media" raise your eyebrows?), but I think that some things like this would likely be punished.

      Smart people are working on the community moderation project; I just want to help make the results more imaginable.  Better to design something that would not invoke these problems than to go too far and then back off to get there.

      The comments on the Obama veto were easy to find -- all in my diary from Saturday (unless I'm forgetting something.)  The other ones were more of a challenge!

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:29:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Phew...Made it through the entire Inception-like (5+ / 0-)

    diary :)

    I am pretty much on the outside looking in on I/P issues but for what it's worth, I didn't see antisemitism especially since you went to great trouble to explain the purpose of writing the diary.

    Some things kinda surprised me that they would be seen as antisemitic such as the media flaying him alive if he did not veto the bid for statehood. It seems some view that as a subtle (or not so subtle) jab at supposed Jewish media ownership while I saw it as the regular media frothing over anything controversial. I can hear them now:

    Is this a bid for Muslim votes? Is Obama breaking from long standing US support for Israel? Is this a slap in the face to Netanyahu? Will Democratic Jews desert Obama? Is he really a secret Muslim after all?
    Just recall the flag pin frenzy.

    In terms of NY-09, I'll defer to the locals on the ground as to why the Democrat lost. Polls are tricky things. Saying that the loss of Jewish votes cost the Democratic candidate the election reminds me of the aftermath to Prop 8 here in CA where teh Blacks were blamed for its passage based on some poll being waved around.

    I'm very uncomfortable with Rabbis telling their followers not to vote for someone just as I am with Catholic Bishops denying communion to pro-choice politicians or a fatwa delivered by a Muslim cleric. Religion and politics don't mix well.

    Even though I have opinions, questions, etc. on various I/P issues that arise from time to time, I generally shy away from commenting because I am not knowledgeable about the subject and worry about giving offense to either side.

    "Someone just turned the lights on in the bar and the sexiest state doesn't look so pretty anymore" CA Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Texas budget mess

    by CaliSista on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 11:59:40 PM PDT

  •  Three things you should know about this diary/book (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane

    1) If you think that something you say or read smells of antisemitism, it probably does. (I am NOT saying that the above diary itself is antisemitic).

    2) The majority of American Jews still support President Obama because he supports Israel. He always has and he always will, regardless of how those on the left feel.

    3) Speed kills

    Las Vegas Democrat Examiner | Examiner.com

    by David Phillips on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 12:10:27 AM PDT

  •  can i just say something about Israel? (10+ / 0-)

    it is a country. it is not a religion.

    the Jewish homeland? i am a jew and I wouldn't live there with its policies of violence and the political influence of religion.

    oh wait... kinda sounds like my own homeland.

  •  I think you've done as well as you could under the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    circumstances. It seems to me that we are stuck with a collection of terms that really are not useful for the discussion at hand.

    I confess that I really don't much understand what happened in NY-09. My best guess is that the voters of NY-09 got played.

  •  I think you've convinced me. Initially, in Kos' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, Detlef, Seneca Doane

    original diary announcing the coming of CSMAS, Kos had me convinced, and when you were expressing concerns, I thought you might "yeah, but what if" it to death.  I think one of the biggest debate killers is  an endless litany of obscure and unlikely "yeah, but what if" situations, and I feared you were heading in that direction.

    However, your diary, along with Clem's comment linking to Kevin Drum's column on the "wisdom" of crowds and Christy1947's comment, which is meatier than a boneless t-bone steak, have swayed me.

    For starters, this quote in the Drum article (which, for those who didn't follow Clem's link) is really a commentary on an Ed Yong article discussing a James Surowiecki piece which examines a research project)

    King found that he could steer them back towards a wiser guess by giving them the current best guess..(snip)  Maybe the real trick to exploiting the wisdom of the crowd is to recognise the most knowledgeable individuals within it.

    led me to the conclusion: perhaps, since he created and nurtured this site, we consider Kos to be one of the most knowledgeable members; in this case he is giving us HIS current best guess on how to self-moderate the site.  And in many cases, he probably is, so many of us don't express any reservations, we just go along with an acceptance that he's likely to be more knowledgeable on things related to his website.  Including in how best to self-moderate.

    And, there's just so much food for thought in Christy's comment that excerpting bits and pieces of it seems impossible - best to just go back and read it again and again.  Whether I correctly interpreted what Christy meant is up for debate, but what I got out of it was basically that we don't all have the same understanding of any given "ism"; indeed, we almost can't have the same understanding, because of the differences not only in our make up: race, gender, sexuality, upbringing, etc, etc, etc, but also because individuals within any given identity group don't uniformly have the same experiences.  In short, no group, if it's of any size at all, is monolithic.  And as such, there will only be a handful of violations so egregious that everyone will agree on them - where, in effect, the Wisdom of the Crowd actually works.

    Our problem is going to be with the multitude of cases where there is no uniform agreement, and the Wisdom of the Crowd can become suspect, but will carry the day by virtue of the certainty of its wisdom. Or, where one, or a small group, recognizing that the crowd often follows a strong leader, exert their "wisdom".  The recent boycott illustrated numerous divides in various groups; when such divisions exist, the question might be "who will be most influential" and perceived as most knowledgeable on a given topic?

    And thus, having now reflected on all of this, I have two concerns; the first is, as Christy put it, "A just result may not be the outcome where the definitions are legitimately different." And the second, which I have yet to see raised anywhere in this discussion, is that, with CSMAS, DKos will begin to codify a hierarchy of oppressions.

    I'm one of those lucky homos in a bi-national relationship - at the age of 49, all I had to do was give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my aging, diabetic mother, my family & friends and move to the Netherlands. Easy peasey!

    by aggieric on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 03:37:00 AM PDT

  •  PS: I'm really kind of saddened by the (8+ / 0-)

    "it's too long!" comments, particularly since one of the things almost universally lamented in DKos is "low-information voters."

    I'm one of those lucky homos in a bi-national relationship - at the age of 49, all I had to do was give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my aging, diabetic mother, my family & friends and move to the Netherlands. Easy peasey!

    by aggieric on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 03:43:34 AM PDT

    •  I wrote this to appear at 5:00 p.m. PT on a Sunday (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      (usually a good time for reflective discussion), but then I had an unexpected client call and it got pushed back by 90 minutes.  That made it 9:30 p.m. ET, rather then 8:00 p.m ET, and for that late on the East Coast it probably was too long.  (I hate it when life gets in the way of my blogging!)

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment above as well.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:35:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  anti-semitic? this? (6+ / 0-)

    I was prepared for a Mel Gibson meltdown and what I got was reasonable.  Disappointing to say the least.

    I had a three diary long response to your questions about what constitutes offensive language and Kos' moderation adjustments.   They'll just have to wait for me to decide to put them in a diary as I didn't want to totally regurgitate 9000 words all over your diary.

    Let's just say that I think you think the same as me.  Context matters.  As we are all assumed to be intelligent adults, not finding offense in a reasonable statement, regardless of disparate points of view..should not be too much to ask.  Neither should we jump to conclusions as to someone's motivation for the statement even if we find it distasteful.  1.  We're on the same team, or we wouldn't gravitate to this blog in the first place.  2.  one person's funny bone might be another person's sore spot.  3.  Just because Joe Blow from the burbs is interested in learning about black or Jewish culture and starts to participate in such groups...they might not be indoctrinated into what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate concerning that group as they might be book and street smart, but not worldly.

    On the Kos NWO for DK....I think it is a mistake and if I go ahead and put what I've cut and pasted out of this window into a diary, you'll know why.  Short version:  I'm for the tried and true HR community resolution process with a separate moderator with suspension/ban powers for the egregious comments and repeat offenders of both abusive language and HR power.  I think the little "tribunals" are going to be "mock" justice/no justice and the "community moderation trials" are going to end up being witch hunts and stake burnings that draw a crowd and elicit a public execution rubberneck mentality whereby people are going to be attending the feedings in the Coliseum (kinda like Meta diary of the day) instead of talking issues...and that the diary list is going to be filled with "punishment of X wasn't severe enough" and "punishment of X was too severe" and "DK CENSORSHIP TRIBUNALS CONTINUE" and "PC and THOUGHT POLICE...BIG BROTHER AIN'T GOT NUTHIN' on DK".  

    anyway, great diary.

    But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have laid my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams. – Yeats

    by Bill O Rights on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 03:44:51 AM PDT

  •  We Now Have Full Page Ads (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    in the NYT accusing Obama of anti-Israel bias, which is a preposterous lie.  Put there by the "Emergency Committee for Israel". It is ironic that American Jews, traditionally supporters of progressive causes, might now be acting contrary to the interests of progressivism.  Certainly the Jews in NY-09 have.

    •  Same wine, new labels (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, Dont Call It

      Back in the late 70s, Jimmy Carter -- after having done incredible work on behalf of Israel in nailing down the Camp David agreement -- came to believe that Menachem Begin was reneging on some obligations he had made during those negotiations.  He became the focus of similar media campaigns.  I may have the timing a bit wrong, but I recall the major players being the original "Project for New American Century" and a group called FLAME: "Facts and Logic About the Middle East."  This is one case where history starts out as tragedy and repeats itself as tragedy, not farce.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:41:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think you're mixing apples and oranges (3+ / 0-)

    and getting fruit salad. I was scratching my head and trying to figure out how our respectful exchange got put into either a "dismissive" (is the definition of "dismissive" that I disagreed with you? my citation to me simply shows there was a multi-factorial account of that election and a simplistic "its all about Israel misses the big picture") or anti-Semitic frame.

    Color me puzzled.

    Separately i am well aware of of some of the noxious stuff floating around about Obama, but it is, alas, nothing new. Nor is Ed Koch.

    Enjoyed the discussion in any case. Did not enjoy the election results.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 04:31:57 AM PDT

    •  What, you don't like fruit salad? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT, DoGooderLawyer

      My understanding of your expressed position was that the Siena poll settled things: "the result wasn't about Israel."  The PPP poll -- and the knowledge of what Koch and Hikind were doing -- suggested otherwise.

      My guess is that for 80% of the voters, NY-09 wasn't about Israel.  For 20% it was -- and those 20% showed up in force and switched from D to R.  So the issue of Israel turned out to be decisive -- and the motive for raising the issue (against the likes of David Weprin?  Really?) were designed to send a resounding message to Democrats that failing to support Israel as much as Israel demanded to be supported would lead to electoral disaster -- which was duly and widely reported.

      You seemed to dismiss this with your "the Siena poll clearly showed Israel was not a factor."  If I misconstrued that, I apologize.  Usually, you and David Nir are extremely perspicacious analysts and I didn't read this as "one factor among many" but, as stated, "not a factor."  I (and you, and Nir) wish!  But, alas.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:49:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it was one factor among many (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane, DoGooderLawyer

        and was stated in reaction to "it's all about israel". it's not it's about a bunch of things as the siena poll showed clearly.

        if Obama had a 50% positive, the D wins. he was clser to 35% so no way the D wins.

        I didn't have a lot of time that night to stay on line, alas. Always makes you look ruder than you mean to be.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:53:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ps as a native New Yorker (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DoGooderLawyer

        I have been ignoring Ed Koch for decades and I think most NYers do. In 2004 he backed Bush.

        He's everyone's cranky uncle, and generally gets an eye roll akin to the Donald.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:56:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Would that you had more company (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright

          in ignoring Ed Koch.  Yes, I remember what he did in 2004, the momzer.

          In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

          by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:27:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Anti-semitism vs. Racism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye54, Seneca Doane

    I have some attitudes which I know are racist, and which I try to get rid of.

    But I also have some views which I know sound racist, but which I don't think are actually racist. In reality, cultural and historical factors mean that there are specific subgroups, which are by no means synonymous with racial categories, but certainly have a "racial" aspect to their composition; about whom generalizations, including negative generalizations, can reasonably be made.

    The interesting thing is, what to do about that.

    When the categories involved are Black vs. White, I think it's mostly best to keep my mouth shut. The slope from adequately-qualified true statements to real racism is too slippery, and the benefits of "facing up to the truth" are just too slim. In fact, looking at things from a racial dimension, even without racism, is more likely to cloud than clarify the issues and possible actions. So, I would be happy with DKos having relatively strict rules on black/white racism (including restricting accusations thereof).

    When it's something else - say, older-generation Miami Cubans, a group I could certainly criticize - I think that it's OK to shut up or blab, depending on the situation. I have no particular inclination.

    But when it's a matter of anti-semitism... I think it's best to be open about things. I know that there are still places in America today where Jews are an oppressed minority. But I've never been in any of those places. In my America, Jews can dish it out, and they can take it, and "the anti-semitism card" is a transparent and pathetic rhetorical strategy which most of them avoid. Both my parents have PhD's in physics, and thus even though I'm not a Jew, I regard the Talmudic tradition of vigorous and well-founded argument as an important part of my own heritage.

    So. Yes. There are some Jews with dual loyalty. AIPAC does have an outsized influence in politics and the media. And I am not ashamed to say either of those things, and I know a lot of Jews who'd back me up on both. And any moderation system which makes comments like this one punishable, is not something I'd want.

    Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

    by homunq on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 05:04:54 AM PDT

    •  While I largely agree (5+ / 0-)

      (especially with the conclusion), and would never want to see the sentiments you express here suppressed, I do have a slightly different perspective.

      I have, literally, been "the only Jew in town" when teaching at one rural liberal arts college, and one of very few in town at another.  I have, literally, been asked by a guileless student about the whereabouts of my "horns."  I have, literally, been dragged through the whole "you guys killed Jesus" attack in elementary school.

      Anti-Semitism does exist.  Usually, in my experience, it comes out in areas in which the ACLU gets involved, where Christians see Jews as an impediment to their loudly proclaiming their Christian beliefs in public (in, ironically, a way that Jesus himself had something to say about, no fool he.)

      The sensitivities of Jews about certain attacks are often real, not disingenuous.  But, too often, especially as regards Israel, they can be otherwise.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:58:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You've driven me to ACTION! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh

        Well, in a manner of speaking ...

        Reaching back nearly 50 years, I searched and found that Amazon has available The Complete Stories of Bernard Malamud for Kindle here

        So I've bought it and rushed to The Jewbird, the particular story this diary made me want to re-read. As it happens, there is nothing in the story directly relevant to the diary, but I now look forward to many hours of enjoyment and re-apprecation of this American master's work ...

        Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

        by Clem Yeobright on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:30:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Understood. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane

        I live in Guatemala. My house in the city (not where I live, I rent it out) is a few blocks from a synagogue, which has formidable walls and probably for a good reason. I've talked to people around here whose idea of "Jew" is, literally, some kind of boogeyman monster, not even remotely human. So I know that there are places where antisemitism exists, even though my milieu in the US is very much not that (for instance, I bet I have a better Purim story than most Jews, though it's not really fit for DKos).

        But unlike Black people, most Jews can get away from it. I mean, they're not subject to racism every time they walk down the street. And they have a set of cultural coping strategies which work really well.

        So I am way more sympathetic to zero-tolerance-style arguments in the case of Black/White racism, than in the case of Jewish stuff. Certainly there is stuff that's beyond the pale, but especially when you're talking about the state of Israel, the presumption for me goes very much in favor of free speech.

        Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

        by homunq on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:01:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Fantastic diary, SD. (3+ / 0-)

    Just one note: regarding the potential electoral impacts of a U.S. veto or abstention at the U.N., they could be larger than I initially indicated in our dialogue. Given that PA and FL have 4% and 5% Jewish populations, respectively, the impact could perhaps be significant. But that would require large movement within the Jewish community based on this issue.

    I'm squarely against the administration's stance and handling of this issue, but understand the motivations.

    Again, this is a really valuable contribution. Thanks.

    I'm "THE" Troubadour," and not "Troubadour" without the article. We're different people here at DK :)

    by David Harris Gershon on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 05:51:03 AM PDT

  •  This Diary Is Really Problematical (7+ / 0-)

    1) Ms Seneca, I'm usually in Little Saigon midweek, any time you're having a party in your home, please invite me over.

    2) I cannot support, on its face, any diary which has to defend itself, especially one written by a Jew, with your track record here as a member and as an activist preemptively from charges of anti-Semitism. It's like conceding control of the asylum to the inmates. It smacks of appeasement.

    2a) I concede that discussing NY-09 is tricky, but we're grown ups here and grown ups should be given the benefit of the doubt when trying to discuss the issues of the day.

    3) I feel bad for people like Mets102. I/P obviously gets him so wound up he can't reason straight. When he's writing about something other than I/P, he's very good to outstanding. There are others in this group as well, extremely bright young individuals, but IMHO have a blind spot how to discuss I/P, or for that matter Judaism or Israel.

    3a) Some people will obviously construe (3) as a concern troll, which is exactly the problem DKos is facing these days. No wonder Mr. Markos is frustrated.

    4) I once had a dinner with an attorney friend, and his longtime good friend, a very high powered entertainment lawyer, both of whom are Jewish. Our conversation drifted into something which I'll be happy to share with Ms. Seneca privately, but would probably be too tough to handle for some here. The punch line was, "Jews are big into everything", which is only logical. Since the comment came from a guy who probably donates over $100K/a year to UJA, you can question his Antisemitism-just leave me out of it.

    5) With a few members here, their threshold for Antisemitism is narrow beyond the scope of the TOS, and the Moderators here should lay the law down severely upon those who cannot play nice.

    6) Is it possible that point (5) in your diary could be construed as a concern troll? Just sayin'.

    I had a comment removed today because it was misunderstood; it was construed as advocating a position where no such advocacy was given. The person giving the HR needs to work on his reading comprehension, and consider himself fortunate I didn't complain about HR abuse. I have gotten over it already, because at the end of the day, this is an Internet message board, and not real life.

    Finally, your diary is, as I expect it to be, well reasoned and intelligently written. It's tragic to me that someone like you has to justify everything you write with a minority who accuse people of being anti-Semitic for merely disagreeing with their rigid POV. If I wanted to see discourse like that, I'd be on Redstate.

  •  A knife to cut the fog, Seneca (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, capelza, Seneca Doane, sdf

    Orthodox (or rather Haredin [black hat] Ultra-Orthodox) have been trending rightward for a while.

    This is a backlash to the 21st Century and the impossibility of maintaining the insular communities they had in America in the Digital Age.

    As it is with Christianists.

    As it is with certain radical interpretations of Islam.

    As it would be if there were more Shiv Senna type Hindus in America.

    The grumbling of some Jewish donors is as multi-faceted as the grumbling on the blog.  Much more of it, especially among the more secularized, has to do with the President acting more like a talk radio host and less like a community organizer.

    As it is here, and on talk radio, and so forth.

    In other words, Jewish Americans act mainly like Progressive Americans and their relatives.

    They have a few crazy relatives, but lumping those crazies in with the rest of us is as silly as stating that Jimmy Carter and Rick Perry have the same aims because they are Christian men of the South.

    For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

    by Ptolemy on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:00:29 AM PDT

  •  Excellent discussion of important (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, esquimaux, Seneca Doane

    issues.  Censoring poliyticla speech is a bad road.  Overdefining isms with respect to political speech will chill speech.  

    By placing ideas outside the discourse, one controls the discourse.  I would err on the side of speech and let people rebut statements.  That means, in a close case, debate don't destroy comments.  

    Silence is GOLDEN, but duct tape is SILVER =)

    by effervescent on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:13:55 AM PDT

  •  The fact this diary had to be written shows (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    that criticizing Jews or Israel can always be considered anti-semitism. It's always "considered" and debated. Can anyone name me one time someone criticized a Jew or Israel where anti-semitism wasn't debated?

    If Kasich says State Troopers are assholes, What does that make me?

    by buckshot face on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:17:19 AM PDT

  •  Thoughful perspective, thanks... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sofia, capelza, Seneca Doane

    I suspect we'll have ample opportunities in the near future 1) to revisit the question of how to define antisemitism (i.e., whether the EU working definition showcased in the 'Letter' is appropriate); 2) to discuss whether specific comments are or are not antisemitic; and 3) to make suggestions / demands regarding how to 'control' and 'punish' perceived antisemitic memes, sources and posters/commenters.  The question of whether the new form of community moderation will be susceptible to gamesmanship is also an important one.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:20:07 AM PDT

  •  Good diary, senacadoane (4+ / 0-)

    The problem is that with broad definitions of anti-semitism, sexism, racism, etc., is that speech is chilled.  Better to err on the side of political spepech in close cases and discuss or rebut.  In addition, who determines what is anti-semitism, etc.

    Good discussion.  

    The American people must wise up and rise up!

    by TomP on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:21:02 AM PDT

  •  Seneca, now I want you to tackle the ME issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    Please.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:21:06 AM PDT

    •  Why should he tackle the YOU issue? (4+ / 0-)

      And why are YOU so damn important?

      :-)

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:58:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What did I ever do to you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RageKage, agnostic

      that would make you wish such a thing on me?  ;7)

      I generally agree with J Street.  I think that, if we leave some "creative ambiguity" about the final status of Jerusalem (which I think is the central sticking point for both sides) so that solutions become possible between friendly neighbors that are not now possible among antagonists, one can imagine peace in that area.  I think that Israel working in hand with a Palestinian state, in the atmosphere of this year's reforms in the region, would be a startling boon for the world.  There's much to love and value in (largely secular, highly educated) Israel, and a just peace in the region -- one that the Palestinians recognize as such -- would allow many more people to appreciate what Israel could be.

      That's mostly it!

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:09:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope we can have these discussions (7+ / 0-)

    To bury our heads in the sand and somehow pretend that ethnic group bloc voting never has any relationship to foreign policy is silly. I think a good analogy would be the Cuban-American community and our policy towards Cuba. Is it "anti-Cuban" to say that we would not have the same policy towards Cuba if the Cuban-American political establishment wasn't continually demanding a "tough on Castro" policy?

    That's a feature not a bug of the American political system. Groups can organize around a given issue, and as long as they convince the majority that their interests align with the national interest, then they can prevail in the policy realm.

    Jews as a group certainly don't "control" American policy towards Israel, but certainly organized groups representing Jewish-American voters have an influence over that policy, and actively seek to persuade others that their interests "align" with the nation's interests.

    I'm not sure how much "bleed" there will be between the Orthodox Jews who broke from the Democratic Party in NY-9, and the rest of the Jewish community. They are fairly separate entities, as far as I know.

  •  A claim of dual loyalty isn't anti-Semitic IMO (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, Seneca Doane, RageKage

    If an American Jew is "dually loyal", then by definition they are loyal to the United States.  What more can be asked of a citizen?  What is wrong with a little tribal loyalty to fellow Jews on top of that?  

    If it is considered anti-Semitism to point out that it is likely that some percentage of Jews in NY-9 are fairly partisan Israel supporters and are thus also "loyal" to Israel in some sense of the word, then I must be behind the curve and missing something, because I cannot see what is possibly offensive about that observation.  

    I think that somehow people have gotten their wires crossed somewhere along the way and "dual loyalty" became anti-semitic.  The anti-semitism I am familiar with involved the idea that Jews were traitors.  A traitor, in terms of loyalty, has an absence of loyalty to their country, coupled with a loyalty to something else.

  •  Of course this diary is not anti-Semitic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, RageKage

    Orthodox Jews constitute an identifiable group of people, like NASA employees or the left-handed. We attempt to analyze what motivates the political actions of just about every group in the country here; it's not anti-Semitic to ask what floats the boats of Orthodox Jews.

    If anyone thinks that the security of Israel is NEVER a motivation for the political actions of ANY Orthodox Jews, I must ask what the weather is like on their planet.

    Therefore, unless you subscribe to the dictum that what's good for Israel's security is good for the United States, without exception, it is at least possible for an Orthodox Jew to have divided loyalty. It is also possible for a NASA employee to support a program because it employees him rather than being a good use of tax payer dollars, or for a left-handed person to support regulations which benefit the left-handed but which are not cost-effective. That is, every single one of us has divided loyalty in some sense. Taking the issue of "divided loyalty" off the table for Orthodox Jews is elevating them to some super-patriotic group whose motivations are above suspicion or analysis. That's reverse antisemitism, IMNHO.

    So ...

    The key fault in the Kos plan, as detailed above, is the combination of #1 and #2. #1 fails to recognize that voters will be self-selected and it is very unlikely that the vote will be representative of the community as a whole. #2 forces the results of the vote to be high stakes so that those who are "fanatics" on one side or the other of an issue are certain to vote.

    The combination means that if we have a vote on a comment, we're going to count the number of fanatics on each side, not the opinion of the community. So if on an issue there are 3% fanatics for YES, 2.5% fanatics for NO, and 94.5% non-fanatics who would vote 75-25 for NO if they bothered to vote at all: YES will likely carry the day in the voting.

    That's not a good way to run a railroad, IMNHO.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:52:21 AM PDT

  •  this discussion is good (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, Seneca Doane, Oh Mary Oh

    and so neutral that it would be insane to ban it.

    Frankly we need to be able to say things on this site about what different ethnic groups are likely to do with respect to elections, money, politics, etc., both domestically and abroad. We can't analyze without that. If someone thinks that wealthy Jewish-American people are going to vote for or against certain policies because of concerns about Israel, he or she needs to be able to say that; just as if someone thinks that broader Middle East policy will influence Muslim-American voters, or immigration policy Latinos, etc. Of course no-one has to agree with such assertions, and we should all try to use neutral, respectful language as this diary does.

    I personally feel that there is quite a large range of opinions under the progressive umbrella and we can't afford to censor any of them. Ethnic slurs and stereotyping are bad, but we have to be able to try to assess the reality and figure out what statistics and reporting are telling us about various groups of people, and sometimes like it or not those are going to line up with stereotypes, caricatures, and so on. Not being a jerk and not perpetuating racism, classism, sexism and so on are tremendous concerns, but they don't trump trying to understand what is going on, and for that you need to look at what is happening.

    •  Yeah, but here's the point (3+ / 0-)

      SD has presented a pretty balanced view. If you went through this diary and excised half the comments (either pro or against a veto of the Palestinian State), the diary should still NOT BE BANNABLE. We have to be able to talk about things like this.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:56:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Letter to the president (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, artisan

    Mr. President,
    I know there is an election coming up and you are in campaign mode but the republicans have no candidate that can beat you. Don't use that as an excuse to abandon the Palestinian people. You just convinced us that you have stopped backpedaling and are starting to get tough. Don't let AIPAC be stronger than the president. Stand and fight. Refuse to veto the Palestinian state. It's going to happen anyway and you'll get caught on the wrong side. You are the president. Do the right thing.

    Author of The Firewall Sedition, a novel about an economic model for social justice.

    by jdp55 on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:55:22 AM PDT

  •  Just look at our national debate on I/P. (12+ / 0-)

    Compare the amount of rhetoric--for or against any particular policy--devoted to demonstrating why a policy would be:

    (a)  Good for Israel vs

    (b)  Good for the United States.

    Even for the 'liberal' positions on I/P (67 borders, stop settlements, two state solution), the primary argument is that they are necessary for Israel's long-term well-being.

    We don't have this debate when talking about nations like Mexico, or Canada, or Japan, or Korea, our the Phillipines, or Italy, or the UK, or France, or Germany.  

    The closest parallel is Cuba.

    What do Cuba and I/P have in common?  It should seem uncontroversial to note that both are driven by politically influential ethnic blocs of voters who have succeeded in dominating the national debate as to make disagreement with their basic premise unthinkable for national figures (how can you be so soft on Castro!  How can you not care about what's good for Israel?)  In both cases, there has been additional weight added by the neocons and theocons.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 07:21:10 AM PDT

  •  Kos's proposed community mod system would (5+ / 0-)

    promote avoidance of difficult political topics like I/P.

    This site is already much less diverse than the Democratic party as a whole.  I think that the proposed moderation system would further narrow the site's demographics.

    Thanks for the excellent analysis and hard work that went in to writing this post.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "Forgive them; for they know not what they do."

    by FishOutofWater on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 07:34:45 AM PDT

  •  It took me a long time to finish reading this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, Oh Mary Oh

    But I thought it was excellent and well worth my time. And I do not think it's anti-Semitic at all. In fact, it's an important discussion.

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    by HairyTrueMan on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:27:08 AM PDT

  •  I think I might be able to explain it, but (4+ / 0-)

    the explanation is so boring that I doubt many people will have the patience to listen to it. Racism is, among other things, a form of essentialism, meaning it attributes a certain property to the members of a given category qua members of that category. Essentialism is racism whenever the category in question is one of race (whatever that means - it's a purely culturally construed concept) or ethnicity. To say that Jewish voters support and vote out of concern for Israel is (a) bullshit and (b) clearly antisemitic, because it attributes properties (supporting and voting out of concern for Israel) to membership in the category "Jewish" that are clearly not entailed by it. Now suppose you single out certain members of the category in question, as when saying that for many Jewish voters in the U.S., the security of Israel is an important concern at the ballot box. This avoids attribution to the category as a whole, and to that extent it's not antisemitic.  However: you're still identifying the subset to which you are making the attribution as a subset of the larger category - and that's the only way you're identifying it. In other words, you're still talking about those Jewish voters who happen to vote out of concern for Israel as Jewish voters, and in no other terms. That makes your statement ambiguous and suspect with regard to your intentions - it opens you up to accusations of antisemitism. And there is no easy way to adjudicate such charges. The bottom line is this: as long as you talk in ethnic categories at all, people will be reading your pronouncements very very carefully, in some cases with a sense of alert, and some will jump to the conclusion that you are acting out of racist sentiment.  If you want to avoid that appearance, don't talk in ethnic categories. But if you want or need to immerse yourself in identity politics - and it seems as though that's inevitable if you want to win elections in this day and age, or even understand how elections are won or lost - then you may unfortunately not have that option. The best advice in such cases is this, I think:

    (i) Be extremely careful in identifying the group of people you are making an attribution to.

    (ii) Cite uncontroversial evidence for the attribution - if you can't, it becomes much more likely that readers will question your motives.

    Now did I put everybody to sleep?  

    "Maybe there's only one revolution, since the beginning -- the good guys against the bad guys. Question is: Who are the good guys?" ("The Professionals," 1966; Bill Dolworth (Burt Lancaster) to Hans Ehrengard (Robert Ryan).

    by brainwave on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:27:32 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      I think that such a degree of care, though, would hamper one's understanding both of the result in NY-09 and of why we are about to veto (if the need arises) Palestinian statehood.  We have many freewheeling discussions here.  I'm uncomfortable with the notion that this must be an exception.

      The notion that much can be solved by just changing the "All" in "All Jews support Israel" to "Most" has some appeal, but I wonder how much of a difference it would really make.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:18:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No antisemitism here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, Clem Yeobright, Seneca Doane

    Well thought out. A very good discussion.

    My forthcoming book Obama's America: A Transformative Vision of Our National Identity will be published in Summer 2012 by Potomac Books.

    by Ian Reifowitz on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:28:17 AM PDT

  •  Shame on you Seneca! (0+ / 0-)

    Seneca, what is going on here? I have never read so solipsistic a diary, or piece of writing for that matter. And it is all mechanism with precious little content -- very Rabbinical, in that sense. Tedious, crushingly self-conscious, and if you make it to the end, what have you gained?
    I feel I am a stranger in a strange land; good bye. You can have the floor and keep it.

  •  Thanks Seneca Doane (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, elliott, sofia, Oh Mary Oh

    I've read it a couple of times now and need to read it again.  It's certainly hotlist worthy.

  •  In terms of the veto (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    the only thing that matters is the genuine national interest of the United States. There are things that trump politics, things like the right thing.

    In terms of the national interest of the United States and its citizens, what is the best thing to do on the issue of Palestinian statehood in front of the community of nations?

    Nothing else should enter into the decision, which is in the hands of Obama.

  •  Awesome diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    I'm gonna have to re-read it after i get home from work.

    To delay the UN vote is prolly the best of the shitty choices available.

    I think Obama's trying to accomplish The Right Thing here, but is bucking three thousand years of blood and tears.

    It's not how many votes are cast, but counted.

    by ozsea1 on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:06:30 AM PDT

  •  Interesting diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, RageKage, sdf

    A few points:

    1. Your multiple statements about "this diary is not anti-semitic" are, in my view, counter-productive, whether a person views the rest of it as anti-semitic or not (I didn't see it, myself).

    For me, at least, when someone starts a statement with "I'm not THIS BAD THING but...." my immediate presumption is that they are that bad thing.  

    2. I think voting for Palestinian statehood, or even abstaining, would be an electoral disaster, costing Obama Florida, putting NY in play, and doing most of the bad things that other posters claimed it would.  

    3. I think that the better route to a two-state solution is to go within Israeli politics; most American Jews (but NOT the ulta-orthodox) are liberals. I believe my own NY-08 is the most Jewish district in the country, and Obama got 74%.  Netanyahu is anathema.  The only reason some American Jews support Netanyahu is that they would support ANY Israeli PM.  

    I think a Palestinian state created while Netanyahu is PM would lead to war; that would be catastrophic, and would vastly strengthen Netanyahu, who is finally becoming unpopular.  

    Of course, any move by the US within Israel would have to be subtle, but I think Obama could talk to prominent liberal Jews here and figure out a better approach.

    4. With the Arab spring still springing, I think it is a key time for the US to work on longer term solutions.  The problems at the Israeli embassy in Egypt are emblematic; but the problems in the Arab world go beyond I/P issues, just as the problems in Israel do.  

    We can align ourselves with the liberals and moderates on ALL sides of the issues by stressing the NON-I/P issues.

    Founder Math and Statistics Geeks . Statistics for progressives

    by plf515 on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:07:52 AM PDT

    •  Thanks. I hope that I didn't come off as (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515

      too defensive about the notion of it being anti-Semitic; I am quite secure in believing that it isn't.  Yet that means that it is not anti-Semitic despite treading into some waters that would often raise suspicions of anti-Semitism.  So how do we deal with that?  That's the problem I hope to pose for people.

      I'd look forward to discussing points 2-4 with you, but I'm actually trying not to expand this into a larger I/P policy debate.  I just want to help ensure that such discussions can be had here safely, even under community moderation.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:32:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A moment to voice my frustration: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, khereva

    If someone am critical of an Israeli policy, that does not make a person anti-Semitic.

    In a related vein, one that is apparently raging, it is not reasonable to say that anyone who disagrees with an Obama policy is a racist - and I've seen way, way too much of that, here and on Facebook, lately.

    The world delivers entirely too much anti-Semitism and actual racism for anyone to need to try to create more where there is simply none.

    So he says to me, do you wanna be a BAD boy? And I say YEAH baby YEAH! Surf's up space ponies! I'm makin' gravy WITHOUT THE LUMPS! HAAA-ha-ha-ha!!!

    by Cenobyte on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:09:47 AM PDT

  •  Blah, blah, blah. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't get it.

    If people say Jewish money and/or Jewish influence over the media has or can have a concrete political impact, commenting upon such influence is supposedly anti-semitic.  

    How is such an observation any different from noting any other group that has political influence via money, institutional, or media power?

    Liberals are always criticising the outsize influence of money and lobbyists on the political process--they complain about the influence of Wall Street, the banking industry, the agricultural industry, etc, etc, etc.  Liberals complain about the disproportionate control/ownership of the media by conservatives.

    How is complaining about Jewish power and the resulting impact on political decisions any different than what I've listed above?

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:34:42 AM PDT

    •  Why did you title such an interesting comment so (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane

      rudely?  This diary is really cathartic.  You could have introduced your comment with more respect.

      •  True. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elliott

        It was somewhat rude.

        I'm just really tired of ad nauseum discussions about 'right' and 'wrong.'

        It's getting to be impossible to thread the needle.

        If a commenter dislikes BO's methods, he is racist.  If a commenter points out Palestinian woes, he is anti-semitic.  If a commenter talks about voting blocs, it can be racist or anti-semitic.

        I've just reached a point where I think heated discussion should be allowed, may be more enlightening to the participants, and may be more preferable to phony civility enforced by lengthy lists of rules.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:17:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The answer I think many would give is that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, sdf, Oh Mary Oh

      the other examples you mention don't have a millennia-long history of persecution behind them, culminating, within the lifetime of many people here, in the Holocaust.

      I don't argue that this excuses anything one could do or say, but it's also not something to be dismissed lightly.  Jews are a minority and we have been viciously victimized over history, often by people rallying under a banner of opposing "Jewish power."  I completely understand the desire for sensitivity.  It is also, frankly, why "crying wolf" and lumping legitimate critics in with true anti-Semites enrages me.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:50:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know what to think. (0+ / 0-)

        This is how I see your argument:

        We were oppressed and exterminated in the past, therefore, nobody should criticize our current efforts to achieve and use power, analyze how we use the power we have, or analyze the impact of our power.

        IMO, it's just not realistic.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:35:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not my argument (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright

          and I agree that it's not realistic.

          I do believe that some attenuated version of it -- less than "nobody should criticize or analyze us," but more than "believe any crazy thing you want about us" -- deserves attention and respect.

          In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

          by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:56:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I took away a completely different (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane, Oh Mary Oh

          message from this whole diary and thread, which only serves to point out the problem I believe SD was trying to get at.

          In some discussions people give offense. In others people take offense when none is offered. It's a problem and a threat to the exchange of ideas and the concept of free speech. Whatever new system of regulation is designed it is likely to degenerate into a new version of the old HR wars unless people take a moment to understand what they say will land on people differently. And for others to understand that the medium sometimes means people will not express themselves as clearly as they would like.

          I do not see anything in all this as a defense of Israel or Jewish anything. It's an example that serves as a vehicle to have a constructive conversation about how screwed up things can get. And it has been very enlightening. Thanks, SD.

          Improvement is change. Not all change is improvement.

          by ricklewsive on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 12:30:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ricklewsive

            I don't know what my "wildest" expectations were for this diary, but the quality of this comments section did exceed at least some of the friskier ones.

            In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

            by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 03:22:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I think you've made all the right points (4+ / 0-)

    It's a very interesting question in all sorts of ways.  For instance, while it's a slander to presume that all or even most or even an unnamed "some" or "a few" American Jews put Likudnik-Israeli interests ahead of US interests, it's entirely possible that a given American Jew, or non-Jew for that matter (say, an end-times Christian nut-job or longtime governor of Texas)  might do that.  What if that person happens to be a Jewish US Senator? I don't think anyone should have to renounce the right to make the accusation, if they're willing to back it up empirically.  The difficulty is that most people of the sort we're tempted to accuse have such distorted notions of national interest, Israel's and our own, that they genuinely believe that what's good for Israel (again, Likud version) is good for the US.  

    The Rent Is Too Damn High Party feels that if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you. --Jimmy McMillan

    by Rich in PA on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:44:04 AM PDT

  •  But is it anti-Palestinian? (4+ / 0-)

    The Palestinians as an ethnic group (incidentally racially speaking a Semitic one, if we go by genes) are as entitled to a state as the Israelis are. If someone here were to oppose the existence of the State of Israel, they'd pretty clearly be ant-Semitic. If someone here were to oppose the existence of a State of Palestine, they're pretty clearly anti-Palestinian. And that should be equal in weight to being anti-Semitic. If the latter is unacceptable in this venue, the former should be.

    If the US does veto UN recognition of the Palestinian State (which is already recognized by governments of 4/5ths of this world's population), that's anti-Palestinian, and just as racist as it would be if we insisted the UN cease to recognize Israel.

    Even terrorism has no play here as an excuse. The Palestinians are involved in far less of that than occurred during the founding of Israel by the Israelis. Yet the UN did recognize Israel.

    Let me make clear. I'm a Zionist. I'm also a Palestinianist. I don't see any ethical case to be made for being one without being the other too.

    •  Interesting question in your title (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soysauce, capelza

      I don't think that this diary is anti-Palestinian, but I'd listen to arguments.

      I'm going to skip the rest because I see it leading into an I/P discussion that I would not find productive, partially because we won't resolve those issues here.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:58:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In response to both of you, (5+ / 0-)

        I find your diary very interesting, Seneca, but it really is a discussion among Jews and for Jews.  

        The main contention on this site about anti-semitism is about who is a "good" Jew.  Jews who criticize Israel strongly or who are anti-Zionist are labeled soft on antisemitism or antisemitic.  The parameters of discourse are limited because of this.

        Forget what they call me and the other Palestinians.  

        I take responsibility for what I say. I do not take responsibility for what you understand.

        by soysauce on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:07:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of necessity, it has to be a discussion for us all (4+ / 0-)

          because as it stands we'll all be involved in the community moderation process.

          In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

          by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:18:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, that is true. (5+ / 0-)

            But my input carries little weight both here and in the real world.  American Jews who provide Israel unwavering support are not ready to bring Palestinians or anyone else into the tent.  They have to attack dissident Jews because they undermine "support" for Israel.  This is why your diary is so very important.  An essay like this could not be written by a non-Jew.  

            You have correctly assessed that there are well-organized individuals on this blog that will attempt to shut down discussion of I/P under this new moderation system.  However, we also have an opportunity.  What the new moderation system does is allow us to educate the community about what is truly antisemitic (and truly anti-Arab and anti-Muslim) in the process of reviewing flagged comments.  This is a smart community and if Jews like you stand up to abuses of the antisemitic smear, our community will be better informed for it.
            It is too bad that this type of discussion comes after several of very limited number of Palestinian and Arab contributors have been banned or run away from the site.  

            I take responsibility for what I say. I do not take responsibility for what you understand.

            by soysauce on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:28:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  God this is a boring diary. (0+ / 0-)

    Terribly, terribly long (it should have been split into two or three diaries).

    NY-09 is not the United States. On occaision, and specifically during special elections, districts swing to the other party. We have already seen this several times just in the last few years.

    Elizabeth Warren looks like the next Senator from Massachusetts.

    I leave it at that.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:33:28 AM PDT

    •  I'm sorry that you read it all the way through (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soysauce, DeadHead, capelza, Oh Mary Oh

      You did read it all the way through, right?

      It originally was two diaries.  Then I realized that the examples I was using had significant implications for the question of community moderation.  So ... you see.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:36:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What a constructive comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane

      Your taking the time to post it will undoubtedly motivate the diarist to strive for less boring in the future.

      -
      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 12:20:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd love to have time to read this (0+ / 0-)

    but, alas...

    Even as diaries need to "do their job" to get the get the job done there most be a way to make them more succinct!

    Maybe an executive summary at the top?

  •  Of course, the great irony is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    that there's more free and open discussion of this issue in Israel than in the U.S.  Just read Haaretz and compare it to, say, the NY Times.

    The Likudnicks in this country have learned to play the anti-Semitism card very well by equating opposition to Israel with anti-Semitism.  That in conjunction with the Muslim fear card, and the power of AIPAC to punish those elected officials to dare cross them by using these cards, have contributed to the relative cone of silence on the entire issue of whether blind support of Israel is in the U.S. national interest.

    But it is rapidly approaching the point where the cone will burst.  The Likudnicks have abandoned the patina of "bi-partisanship" through their policies and their efforts to smear, libel and humiliate a Democratic, and black, president.  Especially should Obama you lose, and unless there is a change in Israel, you are going to see more and more Democrats, in and out of office, breaking with Israel.

    “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

    by Paleo on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 11:47:18 AM PDT

  •  Hotlisting for future reference. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, Oh Mary Oh

    I think you've hit on a major problem with discussing issues like I/P here.

    Unfortunately, as people try to game the system to remove viewpoints, everyone becomes unhappy.

    What Kos is doing, in a way, is moving from a single-source content creation model (kos & the FP) to the distributed content creation model (having FP'ers post on the recent list). While we're all supposed to have our own blog here and treat it as such, it rarely works that way in practice.

    IMHO, a better system would be a distributed model of content creation, with each author having full moderation control over his/her content, with content discovery methods (FP) determined by sole community action.

    This solves the problem of moderation (responsibility of author, as it is with most blogs), but introduces a problem with recommended material.

    A "guiding hand" moderation approach might be the best, especially when it comes to content promotion to FP streams, and a separate comment system that interleaves comments there with comments on the creator's blog, a one-way street so to speak- leaving moderation duties simply to the site administration.

    FYI, this is all based on an upcoming project, but the ideas for DK that would be practicable (distributed administration/moderation) would still hold, with only egregious cases being removed.

    Again, a great exploration of the difficulties of moderation, and a very very good exploration of anti-semitism.

    "Look at this; I'm a coward too; You don't need to hide, my friend; For I'm just like you" - Monster/Sprite (Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites - Skrillex)

    by AZ Independent on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 01:06:12 PM PDT

  •  this is now one of my favorite diaries ever (0+ / 0-)

    and I'd like to thank you for the thoughtfulness and effort that went into it.

    I don't think it's anti-Semitic at all (but then again, I'm not Jewish so maybe my opinion doesn't count on that score), and I think that Mets102's diary was overkill.

    Everything you said here has been a legit topic for political discussion, and if you really had to think the title of your diary to yourself while you were writing this, the brigades of righteous anti-anti-___-ism have gone too far.

    and to the commenters who said this diary was too long: no, it's not. your attention span is too short.

    "You try to vote or participate in the government/ and the muh'fuckin' Democrats is actin' like Republicans" ~ Kweli -8.00, -6.56

    by joey c on Fri Sep 23, 2011 at 02:41:11 PM PDT

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