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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.


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."

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.

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.

Author's Note:

Here's a video of his Chomsky's exchange:

Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 07:27 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (239+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arealniceguy, LaughingPlanet, limpidglass, poco, Hayate Yagami, sc kitty, live1, Aunt Pat, 420 forever, psilocynic, thestructureguy, side pocket, middleagedhousewife, Deward Hastings, beltane, Andrew C White, SoCalSal, Burned, dsb, Timaeus, humphrey, Gordon20024, a gilas girl, badscience, Clio2, Anak, Catesby, camlbacker, MRA NY, JekyllnHyde, rmonroe, Andrew F Cockburn, ZenTrainer, happymisanthropy, JayRaye, raptavio, padeius, cotterperson, maggiejean, Puffin, Flyswatterbanjo, AoT, Crabby Abbey, coolbreeze, renbear, BradyB, bnasley, SoCaliana, blueoasis, gooderservice, rcnewton, MattR, SallyCat, sofia, nancelot, tiggers thotful spot, nickrud, Gemina13, Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Paulie200, wasatch, socalmonk, msmacgyver, Chaddiwicker, daveygodigaditch, Safina, Ziggystardust125, Keone Michaels, the new, Involuntary Exile, Flint, leftykook, trivium, Nailbanger, revsue, Pinko Elephant, Shockwave, JesseCW, Zaphkiel, Emerson, rasbobbo, slouchsock, koseighty, Nulwee, Quicklund, Wee Mama, deltadoc, dotsright, mijita, NYFM, yuriwho, Gooserock, KenBee, CJB, beaukitty, Jane Lew, pot, MT Spaces, LABobsterofAnaheim, Bonsai66, Going the Distance, Katzy, congenitalefty, cacamp, duckhunter, crose, nailbender, WisePiper, Alexandre, immigradvocate, Meteor Blades, wu ming, happenstance, eigenlambda, GreenSooner, Sandino, Crestingwave, augustin, Pam from Calif, Winston Sm1th, RageKage, Sand Hill Crane, mofembot, amojave, kyril, crescentdave, waiting for lefty, helpImdrowning, denise b, pgm 01, journeyman, drawingporno, aufklaerer, SaraBeth, angelajean, ladybug53, Mike in Denmark, ccasas, molunkusmol, bigrivergal, zenox, isabelle hayes, angry marmot, chipmo, bluedust, claude, Green Mountain Flatlander, boadicea, litho, blueoldlady, weasel, Liberal Mole, Thousandwatts, gzodik, jennyp, Ahianne, genethefiend, jethrock, cv lurking gf, Dexter, Niniane, One Pissed Off Liberal, Brooke In Seattle, Jackson L Haveck, Timothy J, kimoconnor, ybruti, bobdevo, Jersey Girl, zerelda, asterkitty, freeport beach PA, Steveningen, mkor7, businessdem, nzanne, Glen The Plumber, democracy inaction, Evolutionary, jfromga, Jarrayy, wide eyed lib, A Mad Mad World, houndcat, DvCM, Tom Frank, doingbusinessas, Polacolor, nswalls, emal, BluejayRN, freshwater dan, Amor Y Risa, angel d, boofdah, bronte17, liberalcheesehead, Portlaw, mikeconwell, dwahzon, just another vet, ratcityreprobate, jrooth, lastman, pixxer, ichibon, GeorgeXVIII, Statusquomustgo, mrkvica, Catte Nappe, PeterHug, artisan, SCFrog, French Imp, koNko, yojimbo, Tamar, pimutant, elengul, science nerd, Loquatrix, basquebob, J M F, Spirit Dancer, porchdog1961, Geek of all trades, sawgrass727, Kurt Sperry, skywriter, Xapulin, Assaf, SadieSue, Brecht, Lefty Coaster, skayne, edrie, Friendlystranger, jhop7, Diane Gee

    I'm "THE" Troubadour," and not "Troubadour" without the article. We're different people here at DK :)

    by David Harris Gershon on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 07:27:48 PM PST

  •  Thank you for that clarification. (32+ / 0-)

    Thanks to Daily KOS we can listen and learn and grow not just jump and shout and yell a party line. Your points are well taken.

    Just A Real Nice Guy, thinking out loud.

    by arealniceguy on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 07:39:29 PM PST

  •  I had absolutely no idea this shit was going on (54+ / 0-)

    around here. I'm shocked. I will say as a Jew, I do occasionally come across a comment or diary that makes me say: Damn, that motherfucker hates jews. But I bet it's at a lower rate than other political sites. Certainly at a lower rte than life. Or so is my experience.

    Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

    by psilocynic on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 07:46:37 PM PST

  •  I think Chomsky is right on target (38+ / 0-)
    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].
    Hate and bigotry, in their many forms, including anti-semitism, are very real and need to be  combated face on wherever and whenever found... but at the same time the terms are often thrown around far too loosely when... ignorance... is more apt to be the proper term. My experience is that it de-legitimizes the terms on for those times when they are appropriate and in the mean time scare a lot of people away from speaking their mind on sensitive topics.

    Thank you for regularly speaking up from the heart and from your experience.



    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 07:46:42 PM PST

    •  This is a site famous for pie fights (11+ / 0-)

      You can find almost every kind of faction here and lots of sensitivities to step on both inadvertently and sometimes intentionally.

      Obama vs. Clinton (oh you pumas you!)

      Atheist vs. Religious

      And yes... lots of Pro and Anti Israeli policy spats too! There have been lots of legitimate debates in this area and with the push for a strike on Iran and another possible war, I'm sure their will be more.

      The Israeli political scene is as divided as ours is and some of the stuff that has been posted seems like a family feud and I personally like to stay out of those.

      Having said that though... Mets 102 has a point and has linked to some really egregious stuff that should have and did get some posters banned.

      When I have encountered anti-Semitic posts though they have been far a few between and HR'd good and proper.

      Hate speech of any kind should be HR'd and posters banned... no argument there, but we do need to be careful not to confuse legitimate policy disputes with hate speech.

      We also have to have a fairly thick skin too. I've had my beliefs and values trampled on a lot here too. It might be a good idea for all of us to keep in mind when we post to keep emotional and inflammatory rhetoric in check.

      •  So - and here's an honest question - (8+ / 0-)

        so please don't flame me.

        I grew up in Europe. German's camps are vividly imprinted in my mind. I am absolutely one hundred percent in support of all peoples' right to freedom of worship and livelihoods, and have long respected the Jewish traditions of my good friends.

        But I disagree on I/P issues with many of this site's commenters. [My POV is probably closer to opinions posted in Israeli newspapers than US - lol.] Both sides have been oppressed, both sides are scared and angry and oh so much more. I am furious that our President has to go so far out of his way to appease AIPAC, too.

        How do I join those conversations safely without getting slammed for being anti-semitic, which I am not? I don't even dare open most of the diaries to learn and debate....

        "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

        by nzanne on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 07:26:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  excellent question (7+ / 0-)

          Because it is one I have I too am so afraid of participating in that very important discussion because of that very issue. So I stay out and usually don't read them anymore...self censorship due to fear of being wrongly accused, smeared, and labeled by others for something that is really just a difference of opinion on policies.

          The Plutocratic States of America, the best government the top 1% and corporations can buy. We are the 99%-OWS.

          by emal on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 08:10:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  So here is an honest answer... (7+ / 0-)

          Take a tip from pollsters... they know they can elicit a type of response by how the question is asked.

          Much will be determined by how you frame your diary on an issue and sometimes it is better to have your  diary ask a question rather than make a statement.

          By that I mean frame a question and present both sides of an argument by using quotes from both sides of the issue and open it up to discussion.

          You mentioned, "[My POV is probably closer to opinions posted in Israeli newspapers than US", so I would get quotes and site sources from both Israeli news papers and US papers that conflict and use them to frame the question in the diary.

          Be certain that the selected quotes come from respected leaders on both sides of the issue and not extremist from either camp.

          Avoid inflammatory rhetoric and encourage honest intelligent dialogue.

          Having said that though, please realize that you will never get 100% civil discourse on any diary you post on this site... or any site for that matter. So have a thick skin and be prepared to accept some flack... it is inevitable.

          Israeli politics is highly contentious and people on both sides have very strong opinions on the subject... and in some respects it is a "family feud."

          Example from a post up thread:

          As a Jew and a son of a Holocaust survivor (2+ / 0-)

          I feel very comfy here, except when Mets and his allies are calling me an antisemite!

          Actually, I feel comfy even then, because that's par for the course when you speak out against Israel and Jewish tribalism.

          by david mizner on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 06:52:20 AM PST  

          David and Mets represent divergent opinions within the Jewish community and both have valid points to be considered and respected, as does Troubadour the author of this diary.

          So know that from the outset you are going "where angels fear to tread" and be prepared for both the best and the worst so seek to be the voice of moderation as much as possible and don't be reactive to inflammatory accusations. Take several deep breaths before you respond to anything.

          Sadly we appear to be in a run up to another war and emotions will run high on all sides and there are legitimate policy questions to be asked just as there were at the time preceding the Iraq war.

          So choose your words well.

        •  One thing is to make your criticisms specific: (8+ / 0-)

          Criticize the Netanyahu government, not all Israelis.
          Criticize AIPAC, not "The Jewish Lobby."
          Criticize specific incidents -- e.g., the attack on the flotilla, the bombing of Gaza, the attacks by some of the ultra-Orthodox in Israel, not Israel as a whole.
          Criticize specific U.S. policies: e.g., allowing Netanyahu to get away with settlement expansion, not all of the historical alliance of the U.S. and Israel.
          Never equate being Jewish with being Israeli, or being Jewish with support of the Israeli government's actions. I'm Jewish and I don't support the Netanyahu government in any form. But I have no more power over or responsibility for Israeli government policies than I do for the Greek or Russian or Syrian government policies.
          I'm a huge critic of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians; I can't stand AIPAC and see them as a force of right-wing hawkishness; I worry about the increasing power of the right-wing in Israel; I worry about the support of Israel by the craziest right-wing "Christian" religious nuts in this country. But I always remind myself that when George W. Bush was our president, when he attacked Iraq, I felt in no way did he represent me or my beliefs.

          We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

          by Tamar on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 09:55:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very good points! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tamar, RageKage, Andrew C White

            The "broad brush" type statements are dangerous and lead to stereotyping... and are usually wrong.

            They dehumanize a whole group of people, no matter what the group is religiously, racially, sexually, what ever!

            You have to be careful to confine the debate to specific individuals and specific statements and events or the temptation to conflate an issue will get out of control... and get destructive to rational discussion.

            I share your concerns about AIPAC and the christian right (small c), and the importance of addressing the issue they represent... especially with the possibility of war.

            I do have to make one comment though and that is while I don't agree with Mets102 characterization of D-Kos being a hotbed of antisemitism...

            I do share the concerns of the Jewish community on the dramatic increase of anti-Semitic attacks going on around the country and on some of the "Libertarian" blogs.

            It is getting to be a pretty scary time for all of us.


            •  I think that some of the expression of anger (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Flint, TiaRachel, Andrew C White

              at Israeli government actions has led bigots who were heretofore quiet think that now it's okay to openly express and act on their antisemitism.  That's because they equate Jews with Israel. Bigots don't usually make any distinctions in their wholesale condemnation of a group.
              That said, even if Israel had a wonderful government devoted to peace and justice and working with the Palestinians to create a viable Palestinian state (oh, wouldn't that be wonderful!), even if that were the case, there might be a rise in antisemitism now because of the ugliness coming out of the right wing on so many things.
              Bigotry seems like almost a generic thing -- the Republican support of open hatred of (not just disagreements, but actual malevolent feeling toward) Obama opens the door to all the rest of the bigotry so that you end up with this really nasty soup of anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-gay, and antisemite that we're now seeing.

              We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

              by Tamar on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 10:48:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Agreed... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tamar, Andrew C White

                I don't know if there is a historical parallel or not but we are seeing bigotry and hatred aimed at everyone these days... every group as you point out and fighting battles that were thought to have been resolved many years ago.

                Anti-Semitism, anti-black, anti-woman, anti-imigrant, anti-gay, anti-civil rights... it is like the whole society has gone nuts!

                There is very definitely a generational shift going on and a lot of this comes from the divergent attitudes between generations, but I haven't been able to put this into context for myself yet.

                •  There's a reason for that (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Flint, TiaRachel, Tamar, Andrew C White

                  Rightwingers thrive on splitting people along every line imaginable: sexual, religious, ethnic, u-name-it.

                  Without the splintering of the population of voters, rightwingers would have no chance at influence -- or political power. I think that accounts for the contradiction that causes people to vote against their own best interest.

                  I grew up in the 1950s in Brooklyn, NY where neighborhoods were splintered along ethnic lines. We were taught there was a pecking order and that caused some people to think they were better than others.

                  The fight against racism and sexism and anti-semitism and imperialism in the 1960s triggered teach-ins at many colleges and universities and high schools too. It was a growth experience for us all. Those teach-ins raised the consciousness of people trapped by their own ignorance. It was a time when we learned to pick out and value and respect equality and it was a time for growth of individual and collective spirits.

                  I think we are living in a similar time now where people are realizing we do not have so much in common with rightwing rulers as we do with our own class interests and that the hatred of one group or another is pushed by swine like the Koch brothers who benefit from divisions in the population. The social divisions that ilk like Koch push is a veil for the economic and political control they are after, demonstrated so massively in Wisconsin by Walker and his minions.

                  It is worth noting that in times in history such as these, it is the peoples who are most oppressed who lead the fight against racism, sexism, antisemitism, homophobia, and all the other "isms' that serve to divide people and prevent people from fighting back in our own interest.

                  The people united will never be defeated.
                  It is a simple but true concept.


                  •  I understand "divide and conquer" (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Tamar, Andrew C White

                    and how the reichwing have used it for the last 30 years.

                    What I meant by context is an underlying imperative in the human psyche.

                    As an example, John Nesbitt the trends analyst wrote about the 60's that it was a reaction to "high tech" which produced a counter reaction of "high touch."

                    That high touch push back included the teach-ins and everything else up to various activists projects, products and businesses that started up.

                    I agree that this time does have the hallmarks of the 60's but its the underlying psychological underpinnings that aren't quite clear to me yet as to what we are reacting to.

                    Certainly there is a "generational shift" component, and a reaction to "globalization" but that is obvious and I can't help but feel that there is something still yet to emerge that is driving us not just in a retrograde direction but also forward.

                    I feel like I'm staring at a snow globe and while I can see a lot of the pieces I can't see the over-all pattern to what is happening.

                    I hope that makes sense.

                    •  the '30s, the '60s, the '2010s (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tamar, Flint

                      These are the decades of fast change and fast awareness. Conditions all over the world coalesced in each decade such that people became more aware of their similarities than of their differences. In each case it was and is a conquering of fear spread by bullies. While there was great growth in awareness during the '30s, that decade ended terribly, in conflagration.

                      That was a time when war-mongering bullies thought they could win. But they didn't.

                      The '60s begin in the late 1950s with the Civil Rights movement, in which Jewish people fresh from WW II, took part in great numbers.

                      Seeing the contradictions of what we were taught in school compared with what was in those days, young people rebelled. Faced with being drafted into a war of the rulers' choosing, we rebelled some more. And seeing the differences in the ways in which women and girls were treated, we rebelled even more.

                      So too, the '60s followed and were in direct reaction to the bullyishness of the 1950s McCarthyism where the lives of many people were ruined in an attempt to get them to fall into political/ideologically rightwing line. That's not dissimilar from the bullyishness of the most popular radio program in the US today: Rush Limbaugh. Yes, sad to say, he apparently has more listeners than any other talk radio host.

                      Limbuagh's bullyishness is not different from the wicked Catholic priest ("Father of Hate") Bully Charles Coughlin in the 1930s.

                      Like the 1930s, the 60s was a period of renaissance, of rebirth, for the arts and culture and for a re-evaluation of our values.

                      The rising consciousness that began in 2011 and extends worldwide is remarkable, and in my memory, it is not different from rebellions all over the world in the 1960s-- a time when people came together to fight oppression on so many levels. Not be trite, but it is something of a pendulum swing. The right over-reached. Again. And masses of people, like us, decided we would not and will not be quiet anymore.

                      We are tired of the right's wars of choice and we're tired of them baiting so many parts of the population, including immigrants, Muslims, lesbians and gays and transgender people, that collectively we are standing up in defiance.

                      We don't share their values and we don't share rightwing Christian values about Israel either because the endgame there is the destruction of the Jewish people.

                      We defy those who would be our longterm rulers and once united, we are unstoppable.

                      The right is on the losing side of history.

                      •  a truly lovely rant -- meant as a compliment! (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        skywriter, Flint

                        It could almost be a speech given to arouse people to positive action.
                        In particular, this:

                        We are tired of the right's wars of choice and we're tired of them baiting so many parts of the population, including immigrants, Muslims, lesbians and gays and transgender people, that collectively we are standing up in defiance.
                        I really really hope we don't get bulldozed into a war with Iran by the right wing.
                        Interesting that in Israel there are military leaders and the former head of the Mossad who think that attacking Iran would be a clearly stupid and self-destructive (for Israel) thing to do.  Hope our military leaders speak out against this also. So far I think Obama's been careful and thoughtful in his handling of Iran.

                        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

                        by Tamar on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 04:56:07 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ex-military are speaking out, (0+ / 0-)

                          saying how deeply stupid starting a war would be.

                          See the two links at the bottom of  this rant too. They note the fine line Obama is walking.

                          This is pertinent as well. also from Asia Times The perceptive Pepe Escobar writes:

                          ...  the 120-plus members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) support Iran's right to enrich uranium and BRICS members Russia, China and India, as well as Turkey, dismiss the US and the EU's oil embargo - a true declaration of economic war - on Iran. ...

                          Khamenei's words must be reproduced again and again and again - because the baying-for-blood US corporate media simply won't do it.

                          He said, "The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons. There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous." ...

                          Even Major General Amos Gilad, head of the Israeli Defense Ministry's Diplomatic-Security Bureau, acknowledged last October that Israel cannot win. That's why Bibi the Bully badly wants to extract a formal promise that the US will do the dirty work. ...

                          Bibi the Bully badly wants a Republican to take out Obama in November. Obama knows he can't be defeated by King of Flip Flop Mitt Romney or Ayatollah Rick Santorum. But he can be defeated by the proverbial US gas pump. The problem is, submitting or not to Bibi the Bully's absolutist demands, oil prices go up; they have already have by 20%, and this growth may reach 50% or more if speculators deem an attack imminent.

                          I think the oil embargo will blow up in the faces of the US and Europe. There's been a steady stream of articles at Asia Times pointing out that China and India and other nations fully intend to ignore the embargo by the western states. Now how leaky is that? The price of gasoline here in Northern California is already over $5 a gallon. Iran has already cut off oil to Britain and France based on their signing on to the embargo, which is economic war. The neocons got Obama to call the embargo but it may also be what costs him the election.
                          why the oil embargo won't work.

                          ...Tehran cut off oil exports to the top European war poodles, Britain and France. That's only 1% of British imports and 4% of France's imports - but the message was clear; if the depressed Club Med countries [Italy and Greece] insist on following Anglo-French warmongering, they're next.

                          Brent crude is hitting $121 a barrel - an eight-month high. West Texas Intermediate, traded in New York, is hovering around $105. Brent is crucial, because it sets the consumer price for gasoline in most of the US and Western Europe. The neo-cons swore on their Bibles and Torahs there would be no oil spike. It happened - like clockwork, proving once again their knowledge of market speculation is of a two-year-old (no offense to lovely two-year-olds).

                          The funds Tehran is losing because of the sanctions - in terms of less exports to Europe - are being largely compensated by the oil-price spike caused by the neo-con-driven warmongering. On top of it, Tehran is bound to sell more oil to its top Asian clients - China, India, Japan and South Korea, and even Turkey, all of whom, with varying degrees of diplomacy, have told Washington to mind its own business.

                          As Asia Times Online had advanced, it took some time but Iran and China have just closed a new oil pricing deal. And the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is a definitive go. And Afghanistan and Pakistan - as well as Iran - badly want to be admitted at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), accelerating regional economic integration.

                          The fact that the Israel lobby drafters of the sanctions package couldn't foresee any of this proves once again they live the vegetative life of armchair "action" men.

                          •  Asia Times also has articles about oil going (0+ / 0-)

                            to $50-60 a barrel in late July, and I think those articles are right on target given the way market speculation works these days.

                            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                            by upstate NY on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 06:28:42 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

          •  I really appreciate your comments, Tamar - (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tamar, Flint

            as well as others'. I definitely understand what you mean by being specific, and why it's important. I'll do that. Thanks.

            "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

            by nzanne on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 03:57:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Seconding Flint (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tamar, Flint

          and as a newbie myself, I hesitated to open up I/P diaries for a long time for similar reasons, but I was wrong. Most Likudniks here are really more thoughtful and better mannered than elsewhere and will seriously try to learn from you if you seriously try to learn from them. Nobody will call you anti-Semitic unless you really are, or unless you're Jewish, in which case it's just a (dysfunctional) family endearment.

          •  well, we Jews often have dysfunctional (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yastreblyansky, Flint

            family battles with each other, there's no doubt. If we were all in agreement, we'd be bored to tears!
            Early in my relationship with the guy I ended up marrying, my father asked me "do you ever fight?" When I hesitantly said "yes," he expressed relief. He said, "if a couple doesn't fight, it means one of them is giving in all the time."
            He and my mother never lost an opportunity to prove that they didn't give into each other all the time!

            We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

            by Tamar on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 10:53:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's a wonderfully touching sentiment (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yastreblyansky, Brecht

            and I would sure hope you could express it to those folks commenting in this diary -- they know who they are -- who, even knowing my family history, have repeatedly accused me of anti-Semitism.

            The thing is Chomsky is absolutely right: people use the accusation of anti-Semitism to avoid honest debate about Israel.  Some of those people are active participants in DailyKos discussion threads about Israel.

            Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
            ¡Boycott Arizona!

            by litho on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:09:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I am guilty of at least one of those, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but, I hope my excuse makes sense. As strongly opposed I am to organized religions (for reasons I often list in my sermons), I also support people to worship freely, according to their own set of values, etc. But, the instant they try to impose that crap on others, I draw the line. The nuns who tried brainwashing me K-5 ended up treating my refusal to buy wholesale into their crap as a challenge, a battle, a contest which they were sure could not be won by a 10 year old.

        Instead of convincing my of my sins, they created a militant agnostic, if not an atheist, who never hesitates pointing fingers and pointing out their crimes and hypocrisy.

        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 Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 10:20:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And that is okay... (0+ / 0-)

          We all are entitled to have our opinions and beliefs... we all carry experiences, scars, and baggage from the past that shaped those opinions... and that makes us all human.

          What you accurately point out is that no one has the right to try and force their beliefs on another and that is why the Founding fathers enshrined the separation of church and state in the constitution. 200 years of religious wars in Europe gave them the right idea.

          I do however think that we have to take the time to listen to opinions different from our own and try to understand each other and not just talk past each other in rhetorical diatribes.

          IMHO we need to understand and grant mutual respect to each other.

          I'm a Christian and a Buddhist and I've had my sensitivities trampled on many times here at D-Kos, but I understand and can forgive.

          Further... I know that my faith comes from experiences in my life that are mine alone and I can't expect someone who hasn't had them to believe as I do...  so it is pointless to try to expect I could!

          One of my favorite authors is the Trappist Monk Thomas Merton who wrote a book called "The Wisdom of the Desert" about the Christian monks of the 4th century in Egypt who went into the desert.

          Constantine was Emperor, Christianity was the state religion... and from their point of view what was passing for "Christian Society" was a formula for disaster.

          They weren't interested in shoving their religion down the throats of others, but driven by the desire to follow a spiritual path, to find God on their own terms, and not one based on a state religion or social conformity.

          If you are interested you can read about them on-line in the intro:

          Wisdom of the Desert

          So even other Christians from the very beginning of the "religion" share some of your attitudes.



  •  I think you and Mets are both right. (44+ / 0-)

    That's not a logical position, just an emotional one.

    I see both sides. I agree with both sides. I think both sides are important to express and consider.

    Thanks for the contrarian diary.

    I'm writing this just seconds after tipping and recc'ing Mets's diary.

    •  Completely Agree, Timaeus (29+ / 0-)

      Both sides deserve to be heard and I would suggest people rec both diaries.

      As The Troubadour points out in this diary, periodically one does read some awful comments but it is usually the exception rather than the norm.

      •  I think Mets and others are asking that these... (7+ / 0-)

        exceptions NOT get free passes.   as mets pointed out there was a 'purge' of some of the worst offenders and then another 'purge' that got rid of a few more but there are these 'exceptions' that keep posting stuff I might not be able to remain civil in response to... like that OLD TIRED attack that we Jews 'control everything" "a kabal controling America" "indoctrination junkets"  I particularly wanted to grill the 'person' who made that claim but it was already a hidden comment...

        I don't agree that this place is rampantly anti Jews but some people here most certainly are and they try to cloak their dislike of my ethnic group in discussions about Israel but they always end up back at 'JEWS' in general.  and some one or other Jew here will be attacked as a traitor and a dual citizen who needs to decide which country they side with etc etc etc

        If us Jews seem to be more hypersensitive, these days, its due to the rapid RISE in real anti semitism ...   real attacks on Jews and Jewish neighborhoods.  We can't just HR these attacks out of existence and they do raise our awareness of uncomfortable comments about Jews, even in the places we feel totally safe just being Jews.

        Now I don't usually enter diaries that are discussing the I/P situation because I KNOW that is where the people who dislike Jews gather and I would be posting 'BITE ME" way to often BUT the other day I was moved to go open the HIDDEN COMMENTS and I saw the comments I usually avoid seeing and immediately understood what Wiscmass and mets and others here were asking...  that the 'exceptions' not be ignored and that the most blatant of them AT LEAST get a time out from posting terrible things that arent true about us Jews.  and on THAT point I am in total agreement with Mets.

        I dont know the person who wrote the diary that called for the horrid deaths of all Israelis by tsunami and the defense of the diary angered me... and the refusal to understand just HOW Offensive it came off to the Jews who are also members of DK also angers me.  Some Jewish members respond by leaving BUT as I pointed out in METS diary...that would mean the people posting lies about Jews get free reign here.

        My Solution would be to ask the head honcho (Kos) to put a bottom line to this...   how about an automatic time out for saying us Jews are a secret kabal indoctrinating congress on secret junkets and then sending these manchurian congressmembers back to DC to do OUR bidding cause WE OWN THE WORLD ....  and if you think I made this up go look at the hidden comments.

        "Orwell was an optimist"

        by KnotIookin on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 07:14:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Welcome to the tribe! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My Rabbi used to say that you can recognize a Jew because he has three hands.  Ask him a serious question and he will give you one answer, but then on the other hand...

      Antisemitism is plenty wrong, yet I for one am glad that people who feel it are free to express themselves.  Makes it easier to laugh at, ignore or disagree with them.  I would rather that antisemites feel embarrassed for what they said, or be properly shunned if they don't, than they hide it and maintain a level of respect that they don't deserve.  

      Tom Frank was a pseudo that I coined before I found out about that guy who writes books.

      by Tom Frank on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 07:57:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  While painful, important. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It can be difficult to bring attention to comments that are hateful and don't belong on dailykos, but it has to be done.
      Dailykos is a great place. A powerful place that can attract some truly hateful people who seek to undermine the community. As a community of democrats and progressives who embrace diversity, we have to be vigilant and address hate speech when we see it.
      I support Mets102 and The Troubadour. There is no one right way to feel or to address a problem.

  •  The Chomsky video (17+ / 0-)

    punctuates your point very nicely.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 07:48:20 PM PST

  •  If this diarist is suggesting that (10+ / 0-)

    the author of the diary he is calling out -- or the authors of the diary 8 months earlier -- are calling attention to the many instances of antisemitism in order to "shut people up," then I am truly at a loss of words to properly describe how despicable that suggestion is.

    Most of us here have said things on this site that we later regret. I respectfully ask the diarist to delete this diary and rethink what he has written here.

  •  so why don't you go read the people (10+ / 0-)

    arguing with mets102 and displaying anti-semitic behavior in his diary?  maybe share some recs and hr's appropriately?  

  •  This is a very nuanced view. (13+ / 0-)

    Thanks for sharing it.

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

    by Flyswatterbanjo on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:13:09 PM PST

  •  Wikileaks has been tarred as antisemitic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino, aufklaerer, SCFrog

    by the BBC.

    And when I posted references to the journalist an association with which was used to smear Julian Assange, I got troll rated for citing that alleged antisemite, even though that person, Israel Shamir, is Jewish and has served in the Israeli defense forces.

    •  No, you got Hide Rated because I asked you (15+ / 0-)

      not to cite an author who argues that the antisemitic policies and purges in Soviet Russia were just Western propaganda (he even defends it by saying Stalin had Jewish friends, for chrissikes).  I don't care if the author is Jewish: I'm not going to give deference to that kind of out-and-out mendacious revisionism.  

      But if you want to drag that in here, I suggest people read the article in question, and you can continue to defend it if you like.   Shamir is a hide-on-sight source for me, especially now that he's ratcheting up the lies to smear the pro-democracy movement in Russia.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:21:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Look, I'm White Russian (8+ / 0-)

        My parents were born in Russia, and their parents escaped from the Bolsheviks to Latvia after the revolution. Then, when the USSR annexed Latvia, they escaped the Bolsheviks a second time, that time as adults. My mother hated the Soviets with a passion, and repeatedly told me how the Soviets killed all her cousins, who were cadets.

        Not only does Shamir play down the persecution of Jews in the Soviet Union. He doesn't even mention the terror that the Soviet state unleashed on its people in its early years, exterminating a large part of the educated class. Lenin and Stalin killed a lot more Russians than they killed Jews.

        And yet, I can read that article by Shamir and see what he's getting at, having to read it with a grain of salt, because he's obviously whitewashing grave crimes against humanity (one can say there was a genocide: not of an ethnic group but of a class, people like my grandparents). You, on the other hand, find nothing but antisemitism in the article, which blinds you to the valid points that Shamir makes.

        •  It's not even the antisemitism in itself, (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mets102, TiaRachel, amojave, sdf, kalmoth

          it's the full-blown historical revisionism.  The whole reason we got into this conversation was because Shamir is doing it again, this time regarding the elections.  I had to come back to the states a few months ago, but I've been following the protests as closely as I can from over here, and through my contacts over there, and it's galling to see Shamir trampling over the protesters the way he is.  That, I cannot accept.

          Look, I get that there is some nostalgia for the Soviet years, especially among Russians who've been thoroughly screwed over in the wake of Yeltsin's agreement to subject the country to that disastrous program of economic shock therapy (courtesy of U.S. advisers, no less).  And many of those people lay the blame, not entirely wrongly, at the feet of a U.S. capitalist feeding frenzy.  There's a lot of anger there, and a lot of it is legitimate.   But in Shamir it's curdled into paranoia and a particularly narrow form of ideology that's both baffling and more than a little infuriating.

          Take this interview.  The stuff Shamir says about antisemitism and Jewishness is... Hard to stomach.  I do agree with him on one point, though:

          I am not all that much interested in what happened in reality. I am interested in perceptions.
          This is why I don't put much stock in his writing.

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 09:34:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  *"not only", rather than "not even" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mets102, kalmoth

            For people unwilling to read the interview linked there, I'll just post one exchange:

            Shamir: How do the Jews explain hatred of Gentiles? By their envy. They say that everybody is envious of Jews, and for this reason they hate. It is an article of Jewish faith that everybody should be envious of Jews because Jews are close to God. I hardly ever met a person who would be envious of Jews. That is why I do not believe in existence of anti-Semitism. I’ve met people who were described as anti-Semites; some of them would hate the concept, the idea of Jews but hardly anybody would hate Jews as persons.

            Will: Do you think Hitler hated Jews, or Jews hated Hitler?

            Shamir: Hitler perceived the Jews as an idea opposing the Aryan idea. He followed the concepts of Weininger; Otto Weininger, an Austrian Jew from Vienna, an elder contemporary of Hitler, a young man who committed suicide. Hitler followed his idea of paradigmatic struggling figures of Jew and Aryan.

            There really is on positive spin on this kind of thinking.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 10:01:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  As a gentile, I see this as an internal debate, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            mostly. Nevertheless, I am puzzled by this remark of Shamir's in the interview you linked to:

            I’ve met people who were described as anti-Semites; some of them would hate the concept, the idea of Jews but hardly anybody would hate Jews as persons.
            All you have to do is think of the Nazis' anti-Jewish propaganda films, which were very much designed to make the audience hate Jews as persons. Also, I think that most of us have known people who hate Jews as persons, and distinguishing being Jewish as a "concept" as opposed to somebody's being a Jew is a fairly intellectual position which I would say is not representative of most antisemites.

            So, as far as I can tell, Shamir is being deliberately provocative here and engaging in snark (irony) to bring the dominant narrative under question. His apparent friend Gilad Atzmon also challenges conventional understandings of what it means to be Jewish. Shamir is evidently less subtle than Atzmon, but I think that what both are doing shows us the richness and vitality of Jewish culture. Few other cultures show such willingness to question themselves. When Americans or Russians point out contradictions or shortcomings in their own culture or history, no one criticizes them for that, and I don't see why we should find fault with Jews when they do the same thing.

        •  i've been reading trotsky (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and john reed, and finding out what really happened to russia after the revolution

          mostly i've come away with a tremendous admiration and appreciation of the russian peoples' strengths and integrity, no matter what their govt is like

          one of the most impressive morsels of fact about the bolsheviks was that after they had (sort of) taken over the (sort of ) govt, in the very earliest days, a directive went out listing a number of proscriptions, including that there were to be no pograms

          someone commented here including lenin in stalin's antisemitism, which i question, as trotsky and he were almost one

          •  Lenin made a point of explicitly (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sdf, mrkvica, kalmoth

            rejecting anti-semitism in his speeches.  It was the pogroms that drove so many of the educated Jewish population into the revolution in the first place, although they quickly realized that the new state was only nominally better (see: Babel, Isaac).

            Stalin... was a bit more complicated, and by the end of his life his paranoia had extended to a very Jewish-specific set of purges, the most infamous of which was the Doctor's Plot.  Ehrenburg was still naive enough to think that Stalin didn't know what the upper echelons of the government were doing to its Jewish population, but he was quickly disabused of that when he appealed to Stalin directly.  Grossman was a bit quicker to understand how antisemitism had become a state policy, and it cost him his career.  

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 08:50:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  rest assured... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mets102, volleyboy1

      that if you smear this site with more Putinoid lies and propaganda from the despicable Holocaust denialist Adam Yermash (Israel Shamir is not his real name), you will have more donuts coming your way.


    •  And there was a good reason for the HRs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mets102, volleyboy1

      Shamir isn't Jewish, at least not any more: He converted to Christianity some years ago. He is a holocaust denier and has been called out as a liar by no less a person than Norman Finkelstein.

      •  OK, so Finkelstein called Shamir "sleazy" (0+ / 0-)

        That may well be true, considering how much Shamir has moved around. But if Finkelstein really saw a problem here, I imagine he would have written something denouncing Shamir himself. Counterpunch has been very supportive of Finkelstein, and yet it sees fit to post pieces by Shamir (that's how I learned about him).

        And I don't think that converting to Christianity stops you from being Jewish. Nobody says that a Jew stops being a Jew if he stops believing in God.

        •  Converting to Christianity makes you a Christian (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mets102, charliehall2
          •  Paul was a Christian but he was a Jew, too n/t (0+ / 0-)
            •  I didn't Christians existed in Paul's time. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Wasn't there a meeting at Antioch when they were officially so denoted?

              Jesus the Christ was a Jew, also.

              If you do not believe that there is an ongoing war on women, then you aren't paying attention. h/t The Pootie Potentate

              by glorificus on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:38:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Antioch was the first city where the followers of (0+ / 0-)

                Jesus were called "Christians," according to Acts, but there was no formal meeting to do that. It would seem to me that any monotheist who calls Jesus their savior could rightly be called a Christian.

                Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                by Wee Mama on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 06:21:00 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Paul was the first true convert (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                and the inventor of the new religion (Rabbi Yeshua was as Jewish as it gets). He was the one who made the teachings of Rabbi Yeshua non-Jewish, and he made himself non-Jewish too, giving himself a Greek name and telling the Romans to eat whatever they wanted (Romans 14:14). And emphasizing faith (conversion or being born again) over works (charity or the Jewish value of loving your neighbor). In fact he was the first right-winger.

          •  Depends. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            claude, mrkvica

            There is one valid and historically very relevant definition of Jewish as everyone who would have been persecuted as a Jew in the Third Reich.

            Converting to christianity didn't make you any less Jewish in the eyes of the SS. It didn't spare you Auschwitz.

            So, historically, and in line with the Jewish law, a Jew is the child of a Jewish mother. Whatever religion s/he chooses later in life.

            "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

            by aufklaerer on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 02:17:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  On what constitutes being jewish, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pimutant, Tamar

              I think Mets said in a comment in his diary yesterday that being jewish was being part of an ethno-religious group, so being Christian or not seems irrelevant then.

              I'm not clear on this and I hate to ask because I really don't know but I don't want to be construed as an anti-semite. I'm uneasy about accepting Hitler's definition on who is or isn't a jew.

              •  The way I see it: (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aufklaerer, word is bond

                "Judaism" is the indigenous culture of the Jewish people. And it's always been about being a (responsible) member of the community.

                Is someone who explicitly rejects a community, a culture, still a member of it? Shaped by it, certainly-- but part of it?

                Becoming christian isn't just about joining "the enemy" (though there are those who feel that way)-- it's also about adopting a worldview with different basic philosophical concepts about the relationships between humanity and the divine, between humanity and humans, and between humans.

                A huge part of this particular disagreement, IMO, is a failure to understand that -- that the same words (and actions) can have different implications depending on the contexts brought by each individual, and that others might not just have different perspectives, but might be unaware of other perspectives -- and even blind to the even the possibility.

                Of course, much of the argument has to do with simple respect for the pain of others. Or a lack of it.

              •  I'm not 'accepting Hitler's definition'. (0+ / 0-)

                As I tried to imply, it is the traditional definition in Jewish law itself.

                One may or may not accept this definition, but it is obviously one that is historically relevant for many reasons. Since we are talking about anti-Semitism here, our very own definition(s) (I happen to think that 'being Jewish' means different things to different people) might be less relevant than the one of the anti-Semites - because they do the attacking, after all.

                "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

                by aufklaerer on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:04:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Actually there is a difference (0+ / 0-)

          between a Jew becoming an atheist and a Jew becoming a Christian.

          A Jewish atheist is simply a Jew who doesn't believe what Jews are supposed to believe. A Jew who becomes a Christian has left the Jewish people. For essentially no religious purpose is the person considered Jewish. The only real religious difference between such a person and someone who was born into a Christian family is that such a person does not have to go through the same formal conversion process to become a Jew again.

  •  My own personal opinion (24+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this - as one who is constantly accused of anti-semitism on other political forums (not here), few things aggravate me more than the intentional conflating of hatred-of-Jews with criticism-of-Israeli-politics by those who wish to shut down any and all discussion of the latter.    It's a big problem in this country, and much like the fable about the Boy Who Cried Wolf, the term itself is in danger of being rendered ineffective by those who overuse it with ulterior motives.   When otherwise reasonable people grow tired of hearing the accusation applied so often, eventually they lose the ability to recognize actual anti-semitism, and that's dangerous for us all.

    •  The thing is... (4+ / 0-) that if this was any other ethnic group, we'd all be having a big chuckle at how ridiculous the denials were. People's best friends are black!

      The problem isn't so much the crying of wolf, it's the fact that the right-wing tries to use Israel as a partisan issue and it does so in a McCarthyite kind of way.

      But that doesn't mean that some of the shit people say about Israel isn't ... weird.

      GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

      by Attorney at Arms on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:47:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is a difference between (8+ / 0-)

      criticism of Israel's policies, which is legit, and delegitimization of Israel's existence, which happens here all too often. Also beyond the pale are the diaries and comments that claim that AIPAC controls the US government, that President Obama puts Israel's interests before that of the US, or side with the Iranian theocrats. The sympathy for the theocrats on a Progressive blog is truly depressing.

      •  Can't address your first point, as... (12+ / 0-)

        I've never seen anyone delegitimize Israel's existence.  
        I have seen concerns or complaints or whatever you want to call them that justifications for Israel's existence are not applied equally regarding Palestine's right to exist.   I think those concerns are valid, otherwise it's "one set of rules for us, another set of rules for them".

        I also think that while "AIPAC controls the US government" is a slight exaggeration, they do have entirely too much influence here.   I want a government that puts US interests first, then worries about Israel's or anyone else's.  

        Finally, I find any theocrats repulsive, be they Christian, Jewish, or Muslim;  foreign or domestic.  Most people (not all, but far too many) who are so vocal in condemning Iranian theocrats want their own Christian theocrats in power here.   They want a "my god is better than your god" fight, and nothing perturbs them more than someone like me who finds both sides disgusting.

      •  Charlie, while I agree... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jackson L Haveck, mrkvica

        ...with most of your comment (AIPAC's alleged "control," Obama's focus, siding with Iran's "theocrats"), how often and from what percentage of our community do such comments arise? And it depends upon what you interpret to be taking the "side" of Iran's theocrats (I would have to read the comments in question). Lots of what you wrote above depends upon interpretation. Many Americans - including many American Jews - believe AIPAC presents itself as representative of ALL U.S. Jews when that is not true. While I think it's nonsense to suggest AIPAC "controls" the U.S. government, as lobbies go, AIPAC does have a great amount of influence among policymakers here; and no one knows that more than AIPAC - why does any lobby exist but to influence policy; but I'm not implying there is anything evil or untoward about that. I haven't seen any evidence that Obama has put Israel's interests above those of the U.S.; but if one DOES believe that, I'd like to hear his case so that I can determine for myself whether or not the assertion is valid. I think it's absurd. But even that belief is not antisemitic. But here is where it becomes thorny - for Israel is not just any old country, it represents ITSELF as a Jewish state. And while there's nothing wrong with that, it's a little too easy for accusations of antisemitism to arise when one disagrees with a policy action by the government of Israel, when  criticism of a like policy action BY ANY OTHER STATE would be addressed strictly on its merits. While I'm not accusing you, or any other commenter here of doing that, the fact is that has and does occur. And this, I think, goes to the point of The Troubadour. There are legitimate criticisms to be aired. But too often, a disagreement over a policy directive by Israel can be unfairly painted as siding with Iran (or whomever).

        OWS (Occupy Pittsburgh) - REAL MOVEMENT of, by, for AND from the people!

        by waiting for lefty on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 03:13:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have seen anti-Semitism here (26+ / 0-)

    myself. I have had to donut it quite a few times, and not related at all to I-P or any of that nonsense. It definitely does exist here. This site marginalizes Jews by failing to recognize many of the dog whistles of antisemitism. I remember this acutely during the Sarah Palin flap with "blood libel" when a huge number of posters here had no idea what this term meant or how bad it was. No fault of theirs. They just did not know, being from a different background.

    I am also the granddaughter of a holocaust survivor.

    I endured antisemitic bullying as a child.

    I feel my radar is well tuned here.

    You know I love your diaries. But I am confused by this one and what you hope to accomplish with it. Vigilance toward bigotry is VITAL. For all people.

    You might want to re-think those ties. - Erin Brockovich

    by mahakali overdrive on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:22:29 PM PST

    •  Some of the targeted comments (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, mrkvica, yuriwho, pimutant, Mariken

      in the Mets diary were written by atheists who are critical of religion in general. Mormon "baptisms" of dead people are ridiculous. To an atheist the whole controversy must seem insane.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 06:46:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I saw that too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt, mrkvica

        There are anti-religion people around, including here at DK. I mean those who are not just atheists, but strongly denounce anyone who is religious and religions in general. These are not the majority here or in the country in my opinion. They don't pick on Jews in particular as far as I can tell.

        Personally I want separation of church and state, does that make me an Israel hater? Of course not. But I am a bit nervous to voice this opinion for fear of being labeled as such. And that is wrong.

        Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

        by kimoconnor on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 07:06:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is it necessary to specifically target something (0+ / 0-)

          in order to be in opposition to it? Though one of the problems with those anti-religion athiests is that they almost always see judaism pretty much as 'christianity without christ', and reject any assertion that they're objecting to a phantom, striking out at an illusion but doing a sort of injury to something real.

          Some of what's been experienced as "antisemitism" here is not just a rejection of jewishness and jewish ideas (or deliberate, conscious hatred/rejection of jews, not necessarily the same thing), but a rejection of someone's experience of that rejection. It's not just the difference between ~ism and that's an ~ist thing to say, it's the difference between "I'm sorry that you're hurt, even though I didn't see and don't understand what's hurting you" and "no, you're not really hurt."

  •  I'd feel uncomfortable posting on a site where... (7+ / 0-)

    ... anti-semitic comments were normal, common, or accepted.  I'm not Jewish but I consider myself an ally against anti-semitic bigotry. I haven't encountered a single comment that gave me pause here, but I do focus mostly on horse-race political stuff. It's important that this issue is being raised, but I hope it doesn't become too finger-pointy and divisive. Hopefully it's a teachable moment for some who've been insensitive without ill will.

  •  I've spent a lot of time (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frederick Clarkson, amojave, mrkvica

    debunking the anti-Semitism accusations against the Occupy movement, even though I personally think that it is badly mistaken in many areas and that the founder of Adbusters actually IS an anti-Semite. But mistaken is not necessarily anti-Semitic.

  •  Having been here for 6+ years (25+ / 0-)

    And with nearly 40k comments to show for it, I can state with much assurance that I've encountered exceedingly little overt or even covert anti-semitism here, either to myself or to others (I am Jewish). Maybe I'm just an idiot and I don't see it when it's hidden just under view, but I honestly don't see it very often, and when I have seen it, so have others, and it's been dealt with swiftly and correctly.

    Hell, I'm probably more guilt than most of covert anti-semitism, what with my occasional Jewish jokes and reversion to self-deprecatory humor.

    Apologies if I've offended.

    P.S. My cousin was almost killed by a scud missle during the first gulf war, that landed right across her parents' apartment building in Ramat Gan. Miraculously, no one was seriously hurt by it, let alone killed. So I feel for your wife.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:37:27 PM PST

  •  I am very offended that Mormons are baptizing (7+ / 0-)

    people who do not belong to their faith. It sounds creepy and, for a lack of a better word, icky.

    But DKos is not a Mormon site.

    Are there some (a few) creepy and icky anti-semites on DKos? Absolutely. They are sent to the hiddens and everybody agrees with the community moderation.

    The conflation of anti-semitism with advocacy for the Palestinians is what I object to, very strongly. The Adalah/Team Shalom diaries have had very little back-and-forth in recent days. But comments in Mets' diary conflating the real anti-semitic trolls with I/P stuff is very upsetting.

    And then there is this:

    volleyboy1Mar 5, 2012 01:55 PM

    Answer for what? I was perfectly clear... I have to wonder if you vote for Israeli interests as priority over American ones, why do you live here? You are more than welcome to vote in any way you want so that's that... but, I am just wondering why not just live there? BTW, my Israeli friends all feel the same way I do about this.

    Anyway, take a break Michael, you need it. This breakdown is tough to watch.
    volleyboy1Mar 5, 2012 02:02 PM

    oldschool... did you just compare me to the U.I.???? (the troubadour who we "untrustworthy Jews" call the Useful Idiot)...

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA This is freakin' comedy gold.

    I just want to make a couple of points: 1) Dual loyalty smears come from everywhere; and 2)  TT--you are the best person to figure out how to respond to these slanders.

    It's *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

    by poco on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:40:20 PM PST

  •  Dude (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You can detect 11-dimensional chess with people wanting to discredit Occupy because some of wonder what on earth class issues in the US have to do with I/P but you don't think that there's any problem with antisemitism on DKos?

    And you know what else is antisemitic? Your attempt to claim that you're somehow a more real Jew than me because your family were Shoah victims, and, therefore you have the license to speak for all of us.

    Of course the anti-muslim hysteria is worse. Walk. Chew Gum.

    GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

    by Attorney at Arms on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:45:02 PM PST

    •  Anti-Semitic? (12+ / 0-)
      And you know what else is antisemitic? Your attempt to claim that you're somehow a more real Jew than me because your family were Shoah victims, and, therefore you have the license to speak for all of us.
      You really shouldn't throw the word around inappropriately like that. You want to say it offends you, say it offends you.

      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

      by denise b on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 01:34:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "license to speak for all of us" Since when did TT (0+ / 0-)

      make any such claim? He has the right and the license to speak for himself, which he does, and I feel that he often does a good job of representing my views.
      and Mets often does a good job of representing how I feel.
      and sometimes I have views entirely different from either of them, and then I write about that.
      That's the whole point of a forum like this.

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 10:19:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh My. This is feeling like the diaries over the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    weekend and today that sought to take an internal pie war onto the main site. I am not going to play. The factions of this site that want to have pie wars - have at. In diaries that are not on the rec list.

    Sig seen on Redstate: ABO Anybody But Obama. Sorry, I'm stealing that.... Another Barack Opportunity. Vote Obama/Biden 2012!

    by mrsgoo on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:50:06 PM PST

  •  P.S. (0+ / 0-)

    Let me just add that while I resent the Shoah-one-upping, I do admire, even if I don't understand, what you set out on your website about your book.

    GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

    by Attorney at Arms on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:51:01 PM PST

  •  Thanks The T, this makes me feel better. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Lefty Coaster

    After reading this, I suspect a little more healthy dialogue will sort this matter out to most everyone's satisfaction.

    (Can I call you The Thé?)

  •  Some things just give me the creepy-crawlies . . . (5+ / 0-)

    I see that Chris Hedges has just given a talk claiming that AIPAC represents the 1%. IOW we should be against AIPAC on economic exploitationist grounds.

    I'm no friend of AIPAC, being a J Street person myself, but Hedges severely distorts their views, membership, and funding sources. If you want a little information about AIPAC the Wiki is here.

    In line with Hedges' take on this, a spin-off of OWS demonstrated outside the recent AIPAC conference, even though AIPAC is actually against war with Iran, just as they were against war with Iraq. I've demonstrated with OWS for sensible domestic policies, but this sort of thing moves into an area that gives me the creepy-crawlies.

    This conflating of the economic terrorism of the 1% with the Jewish homeland, Jews in the US, and the I/P issue makes me extremely uncomfortable. I think the diarist is not looking clearly at where this can go, and Mr. Chomsky's response is either ignorant of Occupy AIPAC and anti-Semitic influences in American I/P politics or chooses to make light of them.

    People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

    by CarbonFiberBoy on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 09:27:04 PM PST

    •  Thank you for that link. Diarist didn't do that. n (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CarbonFiberBoy, volleyboy1

      Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 06:57:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Chomsky is hardly a neutral authority (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CarbonFiberBoy, Mets102, volleyboy1

      in these discussions. Choosing to use him (and his words) as such is already a strong ideological position. I would have looked elsewhere.

    •  I don't know AIPAC's position on Iran, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but my daughter was at Occupy AIPAC and it was specifically because of the way the Palestinians are treated by the Israeli government.
      I asked her about what your statements and she said, sure, there were anti-war-with-Iran people there, but most of the people at the demonstration were there because of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (she said: "I have no idea what AIPAC feels about war with Iran.").
      As for the Chris Hedges statement: I went and read the piece and I really like this paragraph:

      I spent seven years in the Middle East. I was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. I lived for two of those seven years in Jerusalem. AIPAC does not speak for Jews or for Israel. It is a mouthpiece for right-wing ideologues, some of whom hold power in Israel and some of whom hold power in Washington, who believe that because they have the capacity to war wage they have a right to wage war, whose loyalty, in the end, is not to the citizens of Israel or Palestine or the United States but the corporate elites, the defense contractors, those who make war a business, those who have turned ordinary Palestinians, Israelis and Americans, along with hundreds of millions of the world’s poor, into commodities to exploit, repress and control.
      And, BTW, we're Jewish. I'm incredibly proud of Jewish involvement and leadership in social justice around the world. (Look at the number of Jewish writers Hedges ends up citing).

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 10:33:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The portion you highlight (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TiaRachel, volleyboy1

        is exactly what I object to. Hedge's assertion is that it is rich Jews, who have no loyalty to the United States, who are depriving the Palestinians of their rights. This is the exact anti-Semitic slur that has been used against Jews for hundreds of years. You might want to read up on the Dreyfus Affair.

        I also object to the Occupy movement being used by people who want to whip up anti-Jewish sentiment over I/P politics. Did you ever go to an ANSWER rally? This is that crap all over again.

        People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

        by CarbonFiberBoy on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:13:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  don't agree with your interpretation. (0+ / 0-)

          Sorry -- we'll just have to agree to disagree. And I am also a Reform Jew involved with our Temple.
          We just see things differently.

          We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

          by Tamar on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:06:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

          Saying that "right-wing ideologues, some of whom hold power in Israel and some of whom hold power in Washington" are loyal to "corporate elites, the defense contractors, those who make war a business," rather than to the "to the citizens of Israel or Palestine or the United States" is off-limits?

          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 Mar 06, 2012 at 02:46:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, but (0+ / 0-)

            alleging that Jews specifically are not loyal to the United States is. This is the exact "internationalist" libel promulgated against German Jews by Hitler, that they deserved whatever they got because they were not loyal to Germany. When in fact they were at least as loyal to Germany as most ethnic Germans.

            You don't know any of the people whom you are libeling. You don't know any of the facts. All you know is that someone alleges that these Jews are bad people, and that's enough for you, I guess.

            People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

            by CarbonFiberBoy on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 03:03:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm still unclear - and who did I libel? (0+ / 0-)

              Are you saying it is OK to accuse someone of being more loyal to their own wealth and power than to their fellow citizens, unless that person happens to be Jewish, in which case it is not OK?

              I certainly agree that saying "Jews are disloyal to the US [or any other country]" is anti-semitic.  But that is not what Hedges said.

              And I have no hesitation agreeing with Hedges that AIPAC serves the interests of power-hungry war mongers, and no one else.  

              And by the way, I am an "internationalist socialist Jew" and proud of it.  I believe in the rights of humans, no matter what country they are from, and I believe the only way forward is for the workers of all countries to unite.  Any loyalty I have for my country is strictly conditional.  (But I'm also Canadian - and I think that is more par for the course up here)

              Just because Hitler said I would deserve to die for that does not mean that it is libel.  

              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 Mar 06, 2012 at 03:26:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's not a case of accusing "someone" (0+ / 0-)

                of disloyalty. It's a case of accusing Jews of disloyalty. True, Hedges only accused a class of Jews, the wealthy, but that's how it usually is. "International banking conspiracy" ring a bell for you? This is all code to say that it's OK to start hounding Jews for their behavior in operating defense plants, for instance. Hounding Jews for their positions on Wall Street. Hounding Jews for spilling the blood of Americans in pursuit of their own financial interests. If you don't see that, I'm very sorry.

                Hedges said exactly that. It is said that those who deny history are bound to repeat it. I don't think that's true in this case, however it can become true if we turn a blind eye to the persecution of our brethren or worse, encourage it thinking that we are thus serving some higher cause.

                It's still like your grandfather said, "Is it good for the Jews?" You are exactly the person that they hate. Don't turn that on it's head by allowing them to create a wedge issue that says we should hate our own. Because that's what's really going on.

                People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

                by CarbonFiberBoy on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 04:14:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I should also mention (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TiaRachel, volleyboy1

        that I'm not only a Jew, I'm an active Reform Jewish temple member. I know some "rich Jews" and I know some AIPAC members. They are all staunchly loyal to the US, give a great deal of money to good causes, and want the I/P problem settled peaceably with a 2-state solution. They are also all staunch Democrats.

        I hate this tarring, I hate it, I hate it.

        People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

        by CarbonFiberBoy on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:39:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's a big site but some members of it are (6+ / 0-)

    certainly antisemitic. That's not to say that the site itself is, of course. Examples Mets had are certainly real and there are plenty of others.

  •  I was perplexed by those diaries (12+ / 0-)

    I am an atheist.

    I find the Mormon obsession with baptizing people from other religions as perplexing as anyone else. What can I say. It's Moronic.

    However, I do not consider my lack of interest or amusement on this topic to be anti-Semitic.

    I find the topic trivial.

    I also do not consider it soul-stealing. To me, that concept is impossible. But that is my opinion.

    I guess this is the core philosophical difference between us.

    I do not think religion matters. Only individual actions matter.

    You could be listening to Netroots Radio. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 09:35:32 PM PST

    •  Dammit, I meant to spell Moronic as "Mormonic" (8+ / 0-)

      and missed the punch line.

      You could be listening to Netroots Radio. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

      by yuriwho on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 09:38:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am an atheist Jew, and to me (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel, Mets102, yuriwho

      these are issues of respect for the living, not about soul-stealing.

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 09:25:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not about the magic. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mets102, AaronInSanDiego

      It's about intercultural respect.

      If you continue to be uninterested enough to be curious, you might take a look at some of my recent comments (there are only a handful or so) .

      No one is asserting that a "lack of interest or amusement on this topic" is antisemitic in either intent or result. But the sometime aggressive assertions along the lines of  "what I know is true and what you think you know is irrelevant -- and it's important for you to understand that I believe this" can sometimes come close.

      •  Speaking of intercultural respect, (0+ / 0-)

        what happens when the cultures clash? How does a Jew respect the culture or Mormonism, and their rituals of baptizing non-Mormon dead?

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

        by Flyswatterbanjo on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 10:46:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My first thought: (0+ / 0-)

          Do those affected non-mormons even need to know about any of this?

          It's my understanding that the point of these baptisms is to ensure that family stays together in the afterlife, even if they lived before that particular revelation. How does Anne Frank or Daniel Pearl fit into that? What's the justification for baptising {random person whose name we know}, anyway?

          Though I suspect that part of the appeal in these cases is some sort of (probably unconscious) "I feel bad about something that happened and there's absolutely no way I can make it better. Oh wait, there's this!" Regardless  that holocaust survivors and relatives have pointed out repeatedly that this practice is injurious to those still living (and to the living memory of the dead, which is a jewish thing). And, of course, the LDS church has repeatedly promised to stop.

          This assertion that "our way" is the only right way, so right that we have not only the right but a duty to somehow impose it on everyone else (even if just in the realm of ideas) is very, very Christian, and very much underlies much of western culture. But even though the idea is so deeply entrenched that opposition to it can feel both surprising and offensive, I have a hard time understanding why "Dude, leave my family alone" is so problematic.

          •  That was a very thoughtful response, (0+ / 0-)

            but the short version seems to be that in this particular culture clash, the Mormons are saying my way or the highway, and so are the Jews . It doesn't seem to be a particularly Christian bug.

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

            by Flyswatterbanjo on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:24:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, no -- what the jews are saying is (0+ / 0-)

              "do whatever you want, just leave us out of it".

              Most of the outrage at this particular practice comes from relatives & survivors of the dead, though the repeated "sure, we'll stop" which is then followed by, well, not stopping expands the range somewhat.

              Now, it's true that christianity fundamentally appropriates part of jewish tradition (which wouldn't bother me so much if it also admitted its ancient non-jewish roots), which may be part of the conceptual issue. If you're familiar with the idea of Cultural Appropriation, it ties in here too. I don't know whether someone who's part of the mainstream, not  a minority culture, can really get it (because in large part the mainstream worldview is based on the acceptability of appropriating from others regardless of their approval).

              But in this case it's not just ancient history that's being appropriated (which we've had millennia to get used to), it's people we actually knew. Sort of: "yeah, you can decide that your northern european ancestors have some spiritual claim on our ancestral middle eastern culture, but you have no right to Grandma."

  •  I am very glad! (4+ / 0-)

    I am glad you feel supported here!

  •  I had not noticed the anti-semitism that (10+ / 0-)

    the other diary detailed, but now that I see it, I don't like it.  Unfortunately, it is part of a larger issue, and that is the ease with which people insult each other for any number of reasons or just for the hell of it.

    But some of them, I think, are the result of a combination of insensitivity and ignorance of what it means to be Jewish.  I am not Jewish, but my interaction with Jewish friends has taught me that being Jewish is not solely belonging to a religion or having a semitic ethnicity.  It's a personal and real spiritual identity with an ancient people and culture bound with a common covenant.  It is also a community whose bond has been forged repeatedly in the most heinous persecution imaginable.  

    There is both a sensitivity and a great pride in being Jewish that, while very different in many ways, has something in common with the way Native Americans feel about themselves.  Maybe I'm blind, but I've never seen bigoted comments about Native Americans on this site.  Americans tend to understand the pride and heritage of Native Americans, and for the most part accord appropriate respect.

    That's why I think that some people who make antisemitic remarks do so out of ignorance of what it means to be Jewish, carelessly thinking they are simply expressing their general anti-religionism or political disagreement, and not realizing that their remarks may strike at the very core of a person's being.

    I certainly think that it is perfectly within bounds to argue politics, but it is also very easy to blunder into antisemitic remarks in the process without really meaning to.

    But I think it would go a long way toward avoiding antisemitic remarks if we would all try to be more sensitive to each others' feelings in general.  When someone tells us they have been injured by our remarks, their injury should be taken at face value, regardless of whether we understand why someone would find our remarks insensitive.  Just take their word for it and apologize.  

    Apologies won't stop antisemitic remarks, or insults of any sort, but they will certainly take the sting out of them, and will serve to lessen their occurrence in the future.

    This is a close community and like a family, there will be disputes and there will be hurt feelings.  But if we are really as close as we like to think we are, we will never intentionally wound, and failing that, we will not leave an unintentional wound open to fester.

    What'd the devil give you for your soul, Tommy? He taught me to play this here guitar REAL good. Oh son, for that you traded your everlastin' soul? Well, I wuddn' usin' it.

    by ZedMont on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 09:39:35 PM PST

    •  small quibble (12+ / 0-)
      Maybe I'm blind, but I've never seen bigoted comments about Native Americans on this site.  Americans tend to understand the pride and heritage of Native Americans, and for the most part accord appropriate respect.
      This is very wrong, Americans in fact are very racist towards my people and that often extends to dkos. One might notice the nickname of a prominent football team in this nations capitol as a case in point. Or "squaw valley" for another. Or reference the fact that the three poorest counties in America are on Indian reservations and five out of the bottom ten. Or the rape rates of Indian women. Or the incarceration rates of Indian men. Or history books and hollywood.

      But this is off topic so I won't go any farthers except to reference you to the weekly series written by kossacks Meteor Blades and Navajo each Sunday which outlines many of the struggles going on across the USA by Indian people, many about racism, stereotypes, land stealing and government misconduct.

      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

      by cacamp on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 10:39:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ojibwa, not Navajo (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Too bad you can't edit a comment.

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

        by Dave in Northridge on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:12:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  cacamp, I did not intend to imply that Native (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fou, cacamp, mrkvica, TiaRachel

        Americans do not suffer racism in the world at large.  Until I read your comment I did not realize how broad my statement was.  To claim that "Americans" are not racist toward Native Americans was ridiculous on my part, and is not what I intended.  My intent was to state the general premise (understanding even then that I could be wrong) that such racism did not appear to be the case on Daily Kos.

        Even while I was writing the comment I was thinking some of the very things you mention, so I don't know how I so absent-mindedly said "Americans."

        Considering the absurdity of what I actually said, your criticism is very reserved.  You are 100% correct, and I'm sorry I was so clumsy with my words.

        What'd the devil give you for your soul, Tommy? He taught me to play this here guitar REAL good. Oh son, for that you traded your everlastin' soul? Well, I wuddn' usin' it.

        by ZedMont on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 06:43:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wish the anti-semites would disappear.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crestingwave, SCFrog

    ...and take the Israel First! clowns with them.

    Here's an example of what I have to deal with living here in Kentucky:

    I watched Netanyahu's speech at the AIPAC.
    He made me long for the days when we had a REAL LEADER leading the United States instead of a spineless apologist.

    Netanyahu's speech was inspiring, something I have yet to see from our very own president.
    He was spot on target about Iran. While Netanyahu's is concentrating on Iran, our president is concentrating on contraception. Very disconcerting to say the least.

    After watching his speech, it really concerns me as to who we have in postion to guide this country and protect it. Seriously, I have my fears and concerns this adminsitration is up to that task or is capable.

    Loosely translated, what he wants is a President who will serve a an apologist to Netanyahu and Israel.
    It disgusts me.

  •  I don't understand the argument here (11+ / 0-)

    I have no interest in curbing anyone else's speech - I don't have to continue to listen or read or whatever.

    And therefore I would have no reason to lie or fabricate a claim that a statement is anti-semitic.

    Is it rampant?  Frankly I don't know because I don't bother to read I/P diaries anymore and most diaries aren't about Jews in particular so anti-semitic comments would be few and far between.

    I don't get why folks reading the links in the other diary can't see those comments are anti-semitic.  To me, many were rather clearly anti-semitic.  And it's doubly insulting to be told I'm making it up to avoid listening to other viewpoints, blah blah.

    Just because you can't hear the dog whistle doesn't mean it isn't there.  It doesn't mean that people who do hear it are just over-sensitive or afraid of hearing alternate viewpoints.

    Any time you hear "the Jews run everything", it's anti-semitic.  It just is.  It's a lie and in history it was a way to marginalize Jews, foment fear, blame Jews for widespread problems.  If this isn't anti-semitism to you, and it doesn't scare you, I don't know what else to say.  

    It has no place here.

    I've seen some really abhorrent statements at DKos and have pointed them out, including links.  But I was so roundly trashed, bullied, and ridiculed I simply stopped visiting diaries that might engender the despicable comments.  It was dispiriting, and sad for me to know that there would be hurtful, misguided, even nasty, comments that would be uprated, and that I would be ridiculed if I pointed them out.

    Do I see them often?  No.  How many racist or homophobic comments do there have to be to justify stating that they happen?  It happens.  It's mostly not a problem.

    The problem is when the few anti-semitic comments are uprated or defended, or we're told we're being silly or even lying when we say we find them offensive.  It magnifies the problem.

    Let's not pretend it doesn't exist.  It doesn't have to be pervasive for it to be real.

    Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

    by delphine on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:08:08 PM PST

    •  I note there are no links to anti-OWS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      antisemitism claims...perhaps the author could provide them? The only reference I can think of is that there were at least 2 regular posters in the OWS diaries who felt the need to come into Mets' diary and be "concerned"..and they were rightly called out for it.

      Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 05:30:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The argument is that Mets is (7+ / 0-)

      exaggerating the prevalence, with language like this:

      More and more of us are leaving this site each and every day.  We find ourselves exhausted from dealing with the antisemitism day in and day out
      This is silly. A tiny number of Jews have left this site because of anti-semitism, 99.9 percent of us are still here, and we wouldn't be if antisemitism were widespread or condoned by admin.

      What's more - and this is a complex, delicate issue -- most of the allegedly antisemitic comments are of the ZOG variety, whereby people claim that Israel or Jews are controlling the U.S. government or that American Jews place their loyalty to Israel above their allegiance to the U.S. There is, in fact, a big debate among Jews (and others) over whether this kind of sentiment constitutes anti-semitism.

      Often it depends on the context. To say that AIPAC has a stranglehold on U.S. policy toward the Middle East is probably okay, but to say that Barack Obama is doing the bidding of his puppet masters in Israel probably isn't. (It's also inaccurate.)

      On the second point - the matter of so-called "Israel firsters" I don't use that kind of language both because I think it perpetuates anti-Jewish stereotypes and because I don't value loyalty to a country, whatever that country is, but I don't accept blanket claims that this charge is automatically antisemitic. Jews like Eric Alterman, Joe Klein, and Glenn Greewald don't believe it is.  

  •  Thanks for posting this (4+ / 0-)

    I am reminded of a brief conversation I had with someone years ago.  I never really talked politics with them, but somehow the topic of Israel/Palestine came up.  To put this in context, I never looked into the issues myself, so I had what I considered a fairly neutral position.  I was still a bit surprised by what I heard.

    This fellow told me that he felt that as a Jew, he had to support Israel in everything they might choose to do.

    "Really?  Support them, no matter what they do?", I asked, somewhat baffled by the sentiment.

    "Yes, no matter what.", Came the reply.

    This is a paraphrase of our chat, and I wish I had more time to talk about it with the person.  I don't know if I remember that conversation as accurately as I think I do.  It seemed to be a rather strange position to espouse.

    Another similar conversation I had with someone was with a Republican.  Good, intelligent fellow.  He explained to me once why he was a loyal Republican voter.  It went something like this.

    "My family has always been taken care of by the military, and the Republicans support the military.  Because of my family's good living, I owe it to the military to give them my continued support."

    At the time I was too shocked by the reasoning to address the underlying assumption (ie, Republicans provide more quality support to the military).  But that line of thinking is just so strange to me that it's hard for me to know how to react to hearing it.  It was certainly surprising to hear.

    I can't help but think that the two are fairly similar in reasoning style.  I doubt most people who support Israel or the military do so for those reasons, but it seems like such a bizarre justification that I don't know if I understood them.  I certainly remember having the conversations, though.

    I wonder if some antisemitism arises because people think Jews are monolithic and rigid as a group, and all behave and think exactly like that one I spoke to?  Maybe others have had similar conversations with differing groups before, and that's how other forms of bigotry develop.

    Just to be clear.  I don't think that supporter of Israel spoke for any Jew but himself, or that Republican spoke for any military family member but himself.

    In fact, I so doubt that this kind of thinking is common that I still wonder to this day if I really understood what their line of reasoning was.  Maybe they had other good reasons that they just couldn't figure out how to express to me at the time.  Maybe they simply didn't want to get into a political argument.  I can accept that my impressions were inaccurate for any of these reasons.

    Sometimes it's hard to really sit down and discuss things in great detail.  Politics is often so charged with emotion that it's hard to have deep, honest conversations.

    Sometimes, it's just easier to let our bias impact our perceptions, and ignore the conversation that could've taken place.  It's notoriously easy to do.  But it's not what I do.  It's not what I want to be.

    And I accept, that sometimes, I will be surprised by what I hear people say.  I try not to dwell on such surprises, or take them too seriously.  To do so would be a mistake.  As I believe that a mutual understanding is more likely than not.  And that, I believe, is something that I share with just about anyone.  Regardless of arbitrary division lines.

    •  Bias/perception/action (0+ / 0-)
      Sometimes, it's just easier to let our bias impact our perceptions, and ignore the conversation that could've taken place.
      I think the harder issue is not whether our bias impacts our perceptions, but the extent to which bias and perception drive or limit our actions.

      For people who believe that the existence of Israel is continually threatened (a perception that arises out of a bias which has many factual and logical reasons to support it), their actions need to reflect a fairly inflexible Maginot Line against perceived threats.   "Never again" is, I believe, a not irrational organizing principle for one's life.

      Personally, I have a number of views on social and political issues that aren't traditionally liberal or Democratic.  But my bias (toward the underdog) drives my perception (that right-wing billionaires buying our political process is the greatest current threat to our future and our freedom), which in turn drives my current activism on behalf of Democratic candidates.

      We all have to decide how many differences we're willing to set aside in the pursuit of that common goal.  For me, at this point in our collective history, I see the paramount goal as prying those cold billionaire fingers off the throats of everybody else.  For people with other life experiences, they may perceive a greater threat elsewhere, and I respect that.

  •  If Hitler came to power now in the US (17+ / 0-)

    i'd turn to the DKOS community to help me, hide me, get me out of the country, whatever.  And I have absolutely no doubt that the majority of people who post here would be the people who would step up to the plate and do just that.  To me, that's the line.  I mean, does anti-semitism exist here?  No doubt.  I couldn't cite any specific examples, but I've certainly seen comments that made me flinch over the years.  But that's unavoidable when you get a large group of anonymous people together on a site like this.  If I needed help, because Jews were being targeted, I really feel this is the community that would take action to help.  Just as they would if Muslims someday come to need that sort of help.  

    •  That's hardly the point. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fou, Catte Nappe, TiaRachel

      I live in a northern liberal town where one still hears the n-word on the street. You might at least read the Wiki on anti-Semitism in the US.

      The specter of a Fascist clique coming to power in the US definitely exists. It seems doubtful that it would be anti-Semitic, though certainly anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. So that's not the issue here. The issue is the "broken window" theory of law enforcement.

      If it becomes acceptable to publish anti-Semitic slurs, that encourages that sentiment, which is always present in every population in the world where an Abrahmic religion other than Judaism is practiced. There is already a certain amount of shunning in personal and public life. If anti-Semitic speech is allowed to flourish, that becomes worse, as people see it as being acceptable to voice their prejudices.

      In short, if we can keep anti-Semitism tamped down in public, it will also be tamped down in private, and we Jews can get on with our lives with less of the constant pain of Jew jokes, Jew slurs, and denied admission into the power cliques where things happen in America.

      People wish to be settled, only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. - Emerson

      by CarbonFiberBoy on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 07:39:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A lot of the strife still comes from I/P when (3+ / 0-)

    folks can't delineate from that matter and Judaism in general. Sometimes self-identified Jews on this site are a bit too defensive of Israel, but much more often its those with a hatred of Israeli politics and military actions not being able to separate that from Judaism and Jews in general.

    Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 05:32:07 AM PST

    •  Begin by distinguishing the rightwing (0+ / 0-)

      governments of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran from the people of those states.

      They are vastly different. The governments of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran are every bit as bad as Republican government in the US and often much worse because they can get away with abhorrent practices.

      All three are run in the name of religion, each claiming to have their creator on their side.

      Each is different from the majority of its people, whom the rulers oppress in the name of religion and nationalism.

      Now I will get some kickback on that last statement with some saying "Oh Israel's rightwing government is different because Israel is a democracy."

      And I would reply, "Israel puts restrictions on who can run for office in the same way the so-called democracy in Iran runs its "elections."

      All three governments travel rightwing trails and that makes all three serious problems for their own people and for the world we live in.

      The majority of people in Israel are not itching for war although its government is. The majority of people in Arabia are not itching for war with Iran although the government is. The majority of people in Iran are not itching for war.

      The governments of Israel and Arabia are trying hard to draw the US into war, and Obama, to his credit, isn't buying it. At the same time, Obama is running for election against Republicans who are itching for war. Obama is walking a tightrope but I don't think he will start a war like Bush did.

      Obama's tone is different from Netanyahou at AIPAC:
      different tone

      Obama gets Iran right, finally

  •  Thank you for posting this (7+ / 0-)

    I didn't read the other diary, as I refuse to read anything its author posts.  In the past, when I did read him, I found his work to be unfailingly tendentious and ideological.

    Jewish criticism of Israel has a long and rich history.  Not all Jews are Zionists, and not even all Zionists support the war-mongering racism of Israel's current government.  I fear the focus that some put on the anti-Semitic minority is really a smokescreen to avoid all criticism of Israel.

    Your courage is an inspiration.  Thank you for posting.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 06:11:09 AM PST

  •  So rather than responding (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou, volleyboy1

    to the blatantly anti-Semitic comments, you claim they don,t exist or that noting them is done with an ulterior motive, all the while working to make this place as safe as possible for the haters.


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

    by dhonig on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 06:18:35 AM PST

    •  Yep. (4+ / 0-)

      I think OWS has a real problem with anti-Semitism. The movement's singular focus on bankers and Wall St. is a magnet for anti-Semitism.

      Also, I categorically reject the idea that those who call out anti-Semitism are stifling legitimate criticism of Israel. I think that that argument is often an attempt to make anti-Semitism pass for legitimate discourse.

      Have you googled Romney today?

      by fou on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 08:07:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yepper (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoldlady, happenstance, sfbob, mrkvica

    Also a heeb, also feel just fine here.  

    One of the first things that a Jew learns is that you are only free if everyone is.  If I can stifle ideas that I don't like, then my ideas might easily be next.  Call it a yiddish tendency towards pessimism.  I prefer that people with antisemitic opinions feel free to speak and get laughed at than have them cultivate some undeserved martyr complex.  

    Tom Frank was a pseudo that I coined before I found out about that guy who writes books.

    by Tom Frank on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 07:38:54 AM PST

    •  I wish more of us Muslims thought that way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      though I admit being powerless probably contributes to our fears and complaints

      Muslims have very little power in America....less so than Jews, African Americans. I'm struggling to think which demographic group is less powerful?

      Possibly only the homeless and medicaid recipients.

      If you aren't aren't paying attention

      by happenstance on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 08:25:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Quite frankly (0+ / 0-)

        I think the US would be a better place if groups that define themselves on religion alone (jews have a racial/ethnic association as well) have zero power outside of their religious organization.

        Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 09:33:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh that's perfect (NOT!) (0+ / 0-)

          So if Muslims as a group are discriminated against they should just take it right? Instead of trying to gain some political power to fight it?

          Jews are a religious group. You can be Jewish and be black, european, or arab... I've met all 3. The thing that binds them is their religious affiliation (I've never met a white christian who identifies as of the Jewish ethnicity, for example)

          Paul Krugman shares fewer genes with an african hebrew from ethiopia than he does with say...I don't know... Angela Merkel

          Jews are allowed to organize along their religious affiliation, and have quite a bit more power. Muslims should be allowed to attempt the same.

          If you aren't aren't paying attention

          by happenstance on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:23:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They don't have power because they are jews. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            If Muslims put together PAC's, etc...they would be perfectly legal and could gain influence that way.

            Why would you conflate opposing religious influence on political affairs with supporting discrimination? What part about my comment do you think doesn't cover ALL religious groups? I frankly think groups like AIPAC should not be granted non-profit status.

            Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 11:44:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK sorry..I jumped the gun (0+ / 0-)

              I thought you were making an exception after your declaration

              I think the US would be a better place if groups that define themselves on religion alone . . . have zero power outside of their religious organization.
              but made this a parenthetical (almost as if it was an exception)
              (jews have a racial/ethnic association as well)
              but that was a bad assumptionon my part

              as my wife says...don't assume otherwise you will make an a** out of u + me

              If you aren't aren't paying attention

              by happenstance on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:32:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not sure about that last part tbh. (0+ / 0-)

                There are people ID'ing themselves as "agnostic jews" in one of the opposing does that mean that jews ID as an ethnicity too? If so, does that mean Muslims or Christians can/should/do? I figured Islam was closer to Christianity than Judaism in that matter, but ymmv.

                Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

                by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:36:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  looks like I misread it two ways (0+ / 0-)

              you are also saying religious orgs shouldn't have influence on the political system

              I don't disagree with that. But when it comes to Jews & Muslims....who aren't organized as large churches/entities our organizations tend to be federations/ would be hard to figure out which org is "religious"and which one is not

              Is J Street a religious org? They'd argue no. I might agree.

              A church makes it fairly clear

              If you aren't aren't paying attention

              by happenstance on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:38:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Agreed. The line is blurred. (0+ / 0-)

                My standpoint is that because one may experience prejudice and, at time, extra-legal treatment (see American Muslims), that doesn't mean everybody else is privileged or has any power, it just means that particular group is unfairly downtrodden. Though I readily admit that groups like AIPAC have successfully inserted themselves into positions of a lot of influence and that they are, at the end of the day, a religious organization.

                Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

                by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:59:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Native Americans, for one. (0+ / 0-)

        There may be others.

        But this sort of ranking -- who has more/less power -- can sometimes lead to "the opression olympics", where the relationships between those with limited power is given more attention than taking action to increase power across the board.

  •  Reminiscent of Kevin Bacon (5+ / 0-)

    in Animal House:

    It seems like any time anyone demonstrates a large volume of anti-Semitism at dKos, you instinctively decry any such demonstration. This part in particular:

    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.
    ...suggests that we ought not to discuss any problems here because it "delegitimizes this site." At what level does anti-Semitism need to rise before we can discuss it being a problem? And in the mean time do we need to stay silent? Because that's the clear implication.

    Unapologetic Obama supporter.

    by Red Sox on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 08:14:56 AM PST

  •  I'm a Jew and I agree with this sentiment (5+ / 0-)

    but I wouldn't ignore the diary that was up yesterday.

  •  I would be afraid to post any comment critical of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster

    AIPAC on this site. Having read many of the diaries involving Israel/Palestine, AIPAC and Iran, I've concluded the HRing is often done indiscriminately and reflexively. It is like "guns", best just to stay away from it.

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

    by ratcityreprobate on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 08:55:49 AM PST

  •  I was called anti-semitic here once... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ratcityreprobate, Lefty Coaster

    because I questioned some policies of Israel. I was very surprised and upset that such a thing was said. I've always thought Kos was a place to discuss opinions and to stand up for what is right no matter where the wrong happens.

    You are one of my fav posters Troubadore. Glad you like it here too ;)

  •  I am not personally as disturbed as some (4+ / 0-)

    by the antisemitism here, but it's not just about me or my feelings. It's important to take these concerns seriously, even if you don't personally feel the same way.

    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

    by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 09:19:44 AM PST

  •  Thank You For All Your Great Diaries (0+ / 0-)

    You are an important part of what -- for me -- makes this site worth reading.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 10:11:12 AM PST

  •  Trou, A few years back, on the way to the Cup (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in Germany, I stopped on the way and visited sites in Poland. Saw some sights, enjoyed the countryside, liked the cities, and then I saw Auschwitz-Birkenau.

    Nothing, NOTHING, drives home some facts like seeing the place where one of the greatest modern horrors took place. I can only imagine how seeing the mines in Siberia (where most of my relatives perished), or the mountain of skulls Pol Pot created, would affect me.

    Here in Illinois we have a white power racist running for congress. He denies what happened in WWII, and has nothing but disdain and hatred for jews, blacks, or anyone who might disagree with his perverted views. Watch him get 27% of the vote, despite his ideas.

    I would only hope that someone would take him to Auschwitz and explain just what the fuck happened there to so many innocents, but I suspect that facts and a reminder of the horror would have no impact on people like him.

    Thank you for this diary.

    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 Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 10:13:15 AM PST

  •  Thanks for your thoughts, TT... n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 10:39:35 AM PST

  •  I saw that other diary (0+ / 0-)

    and thought, "Stay and fight."

    Running away never solved a problem.

    Glad you wrote this, TT. It is exactly as I see it.

  •  as I see it (0+ / 0-)

    Often people do say things that are inappropriate or inflammatory, but they may not be aware of it. Other times they may be aware of it. In either case, it is not my problem.

    I personally feel no desire to hunt people down and call them on their negative or ignorant remarks. It's not worth the emotional energy. Nor do I feel the need to be defended in the face of comments that are clearly ridiculous and hence require no response.

    Bat-sh*t crazy attitudes are out there in the world, and all around us, and no amount of argument - or even attempt at rational discussion - is likely to change that reality. Sometimes it can be truly appalling, the nutty stuff people think, but so it goes.

    There are often times when I disagree with a diarist, but if the issue is not emotional for me, I either ignore them, or try to think about why they believe as they do. Sometimes I will ask. Usually my questions are ignored. If an issue is addressed in an offensive way, I will often avoid it entirely, because it's bad for my mental health to get wound up about what people I don't even know think of me or things I care about. If I know I'm going to be reactive, I try to avoid the situation, and to remind myself that ultimately what others think of me is none of my business. If I'm having a big emotional reaction, that usually tells me that I'm stuck in memories of the past, and allowing them to have undue influence on how I experience the present. I try to own my own bullshit as much as possible. If I'm not up to, I just leave until I calm down. And if I feel I can educate someone, I will try to do so. My theory is that most of us come by our perspectives honestly, and are not of evil intent because of it, even if we are ignorant.

    I often wonder why people are so addicted to conflict. What's so great about having your panties in a bunch all the time? Wouldn't it feel better to just...not?

    Whatever we discuss, I wish we could try to do so with respect, with an open-mind, hopefully giving one another the benefit of the doubt (possibly on the assumption that self-proclaimed liberals share humanitarian values) and with the agreement to disagree when necessary, so as to avoid acting like jerks. Let's not cast aspersions at anyone, nor attack personalities. Could we talk about issues and facts, and leave the insults out of it? Avoiding static is the best way to foster true dialogue, in my opinion.

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