Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The War on Anti-Semitism Resumed

What I once called "the war on anti-Semitism" has returned to the pages of the Huffington Post.  If you weren't with us then, basically Huffington Post talkbackers (of all political persuasions) seem to try very hard to convince others or themselves that anti-Semitism doesn't really exist or at least not in any significant capacity. The tactics will often vary: blaming Jews, blaming Israel, playing with definitions, deflecting, the usual "legitimate criticism of Israel's policies" defense, and so forth. But rarely will you find a straight up criticism of anti-Semitism, especially when the circumstances are murky.

And we have a case of that at Rutgers University, which appeared in the Huffington Post's College section. The article was long and detailed but long story short there have been complaints about anti-Semitic harassment of Jewish students there. Here's the most informative part:

The complaint quotes alleged comments that the ZOA says the Outreach Coordinator for Rutgers' Center for Middle Eastern Studies made on Facebook about a Jewish student. The comments quoted by the ZOA complaint refer to the student as a "racist Zionist pig!!!!!!!!" and exhort others to look for the Jewish student's Facebook "hate page."The same student was also allegedly the subject of other threats on Facebook, according to the ZOA. The complaint continues: 
"As I was reading the . . . [Jewish student's] column [in the Rutgers student paper] this morning, I realized how Im [sic] a pretty angry person. Id [sic] be happy to see him beat [sic] with a crow bar. Violence doesnt [sic] solve problems but it shuts up people who shoudnt [sic] speak."

So yeah. Who would defend that, you ask? Well, clearly you haven't read the Huffington Post for very long because the vast majority of people in the thread did exactly that. Here are the top favorited comments in the thread:

So that makes it okay, apparently, according to eleven Huffington Posters.

Maybe this fellow missed the part about the crowbar, but in my mind that isn't "political disagreement." Take that as you will. The next one was clearly against the anti-Semitism but then after that we had a copy/pasted quote from Norman Finkelstein and then these:

Welcome to the Huffington Post. The one place on Earth where anti-Semitism doesn't exist. And if you don't believe it, they'll badger you until you do.

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