As a committed Jew who lost the majority of his family in the Holocaust and whose wife was bombed by hate-filled terrorists, I am acutely sensitive to places where anti-semitism is pervasive.
Daily Kos is not one of those places.
Yes, all forms of hatred can be found at a community, user-driven site which allows anyone wandering the streets into our doors. Anti-semitism lives and breathes in the dark, dank corners of this site just as racism, homophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments can be found here.
I suppose I feel a bit sensitive to the focus being placed on anti-semitism in a recent Rec. List diary, "Regarding Antisemitism at Daily Kos," not because anti-semitism cannot be found here – the diary demonstrates that it can – but because the focus on it feels as misplaced and unfortunate as those charges of anti-semitism levied recently against Occupy Wall Street, charges which sought to delegitimize the movement.
To focus on anti-semitism at Daily Kos, which is overwhelmingly friendly and tolerant to those with differing cultural backgrounds and personal identities, including Jews, is not to focus on an over-arching truth. Instead, it's a focus that, unintentionally no doubt, delegitimizes this site by making it look as though anti-semitism is rampant. It's a focus which may even have the consequence of muffling legitimate criticism of, say, Israel.
Perhaps I'm wrong.
Noam Chomsky astutely said recently when debunking claims of anti-semitism in Occupy Wall Street:
"I don't doubt that if you're out to look you'll find things. But if you take the big mass of people, you're going to find a little bit of almost anything.I very much identify with his position on the matter vis-a-vis Occupy Wall Street, and it's very much similar to the position I take here concerning a focus on anti-semitism at Daily Kos.
The cry of anti-semitism is a good way to shut people up, so I'd be pretty cautions about those charges [of anti-semitism in Occupy Wall Street].
Whatever it is, anti-semitism today isn't even a toothpick on a mountain as compared with with anti-Muslim hysteria. There aren't any states in the union, here in this country, passing constitutional amendments to prevent the courts from using halacha, Talmudic law. I mean if they were doing it, we'd laugh. But there are states doing something equally laughable, except that it's dangerous, which is passing constitutional amendments forbidding sharia law.
This is all over the place. That's real."
This is an emotional position, and so I in no way pretend to be correct. Hatred must be countered when it's found, and so in that way, perhaps the diary mentioned above is doing that.
However, it doesn't sit well with me. It feels not like the essential combating of a real, endemic problem here at Daily Kos.
Instead, it feels at best misplaced, and at worst, a misrepresentation.
Here's a video of his Chomsky's exchange: