Thursday, November 10, 2005

An Evening with Abe Foxman

Interesting commentary on a discussion with Abe Foxman of the ADL. I think it confirms the concerns many have with Mr. Foxman, who demands a "liberal" secular American state, but who works so hard for a hard line sectarian Israeli state.

The other day I was invited to participate in an hour-long discussion with Abraham Foxman from the ADL. The setting was pretty intimate - about 20 students attended - and I must say I was not impressed by the guy who leads one of the most important Jewish and "anti-Hate" organizations in the world.


Foxman brought up the example of divestment to show that the unique negative attention Israel receives is an indication of anti-Semitism. It wouldn't be anti-Semitic, he argued, if a group calling for divestment listed Israel among many other countries who perpetuate much worse war crimes. Such a list wouldn't be accurate according to him (Israel - commiting war crimes?! Has ve'halila!), but it since it didn't single out Israel it wouldn't be anti-Semitic.

I challenged this view by bringing up the following possibility: What if Students for a Free Tibet came out with a divestment campaign against China? Would singling out China be derived from a hatred for the Chinese people?[Nice!]

At this point Abe Foxman lost it, cut me off and went on and on about two thousand years of prosecution and anti-Semitism. How dare I compare a recent historical conflict to such deep-seated hatred that goes back so far?! It seems then, that his original argument collapsed: At first he tried to use the "singling out" argument to prove anti-Semitism. Then, he was forced to assume anti-Semitism in order to argue that one case of "singling out" as different than another.

This is an excellent debunking of a common, and incorrect, argument used to claim any criticism of Israel is actually anti-semitism.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great find. Thanks.

11/10/2005 03:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm married to a Jew, so I guess I sleep with * the enemy* every night.

Let's say we have the same discussion about any other country -- let's say we talk about El Salvador's spies in the Pentagon and the Bush administration, as well as Clinton and Pelosi addressing the American El Salvador Public Affairs Committee, and Clinton and Pelosis promise to make sure that the Bush administration and/or theirs invade Costa Rica to protect El Salvador you would say I was crazy, right?

It's only because Israel is such a threat to America and our whores of congresspeople know it that the topic of Israel is off limits. But our children will die in Israel's wars. WORD.
(please forgive me for reposting)

11/10/2005 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

You wouldn't be crazy if you could back it up.

Would you be concerned if some high percentage of the people in the pentagon were El Salvadoran, and the convinced us to invade Guatemala on information that turned out to be bogus and incorrect? And furthermore, these people had a long track record of demanding Guatemala be invaded?

At that point, I get concerned.

11/10/2005 05:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before you discuss El Salvador or anything else with your wife, I would first ask her what she thinks of Mr. Foxman's logic as displayed in that article. No use wasting time on someone who can't tell tell the difference between argument and special pleading.

11/10/2005 06:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Arminius said...

What is really sad is that in the long run Mr. Foxman will turn out to be worst thing possible for people of the Jewish Faith. His constant manipulating of the charge of anti-Semitism to defuse any criticism of Israel and political Zionism will very likely result in real anti-Semitism.

11/10/2005 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Just to be clear, the person writing about AF is Jewish.

Lots of Jewish people understand the problems with people like Abe.

11/11/2005 06:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've actually been to Tibet, and thus can say with first-hand knowledge that what the Chinese government has done there is genocide.

It appears that the genocide is continuing: a cultural and physical invasion is taking place as the Chinese government offers special incentives for ethnic Chinese to move into Tibet.

Much like the incentives that Israel offered the settlers, many of whom are US Jews, huh?

In any case, I can talk about Tibet in any private or public forum without being accused of being anti-Chinese. I can talk to Chinese Americans about Tibet without being called anti-Chinese, because I'm not -- I am against the actions of the Chinese GOVERNMENT.

As someone pointed out, many Jews worldwide are against the actions of Israel's GOVERNMENT. We need to make sure never to blur that line, even when confronted with hard evidence that Israel's GOVERNMENT has spies in our government, and successfully lied us into this tragic invasion.

But we also need to make sure that Israel's GOVERNMENT never is allowed to lie to us again.

To that end it's interesting to note that most of the victims of the Jordan blast were Palestinians, and an ex-leader of the IDF is quoted in the LA Times that Israel was forewarned. Ha'aretz may have repudiated the story, but this man says he heard from sources inside Israel that Israel was foreworned

Things that make you go hmmmmm....

11/12/2005 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anti semitism, blah, blah, blah....yawn!

11/12/2005 03:51:00 PM  

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