great question. i'm hoping to host a conversation between Dylan and one of the critics of that piece in the coming weeks, to explore the very concerns you raise

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Peter, nice to see you replying here ... but we can't see which comment you're replying to. What is the "great question"? Dylan who? And what is "that piece"?

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Once again, straight from the ivory tower it's Peter Beinart! From the top mind that brought you the one-state solution comes the idea that marginalized groups aren't even allowed to decide what they consider bigotry against them!

Beinart, head back to Washington Square Park. Get up on that stage and declare your belief that women don't get to decide what is sexist and what isn't. Get up there and say that black organizations aren't allowed to determine what's anti-black racism. Instead, express your belief that there should be a liberal debate! A rational argument! As a white man, it's obviously very important for you to get your white, male views included in these conversations. God forbid we let the black community and the women decide these things for themselves. Peter Beinart needs to weigh in.

As for your complaining that Jews determining anti-Semitism "erases identity claims of Palestinians," try this on for size. If you want a "rational debate" over what constitutes bigotry and racism, that's one thing. It's a whole other kettle of fish if you want to include in that debate the viewpoints of a community that absolutely loathes the marginalized group. Since you seem to respect polls, how about the one that said 94% of Palestinians held anti-Semitic views and the study that anti-Israel beliefs corollate to anti-Semitic beliefs? Would you complain about David Duke's "erasure" if he isn't included in debates about what's anti-black racism? Matt Walsh's "erasure" if he doesn't have a seat at the table to determine transphobia?

It's completely absurd that with the amount of obvious, blatant anti-Semitism and Jew hatred that pours out of Palestine and its supporters on a daily basis that their views should be given the slightest consideration when determining anti-Semitism. It's ridiculous. It's entitled. It's classic Peter Beinart.

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A Rhetorical Question:

Should only sexual assault victims be selected to serve on jury trials for criminal rape cases?

Society generally recognizes those victims to have a unique moral authority to speak on the experience and the nature of the crime, survival, and the aftermath. At the same time, however, society also generally recognizes the conflicts and certain trade-offs in being objective and impartial on the part of the victimized, through no fault of their own. This is not controversial; it is usually considered common sense.

Keep in mind, we’re not really just talking about consensus opinion about what is and what is not anti-Semitism and whether or not statements or actions by Elon Musk or Roger Waters qualify, but rather what technical meanings will be backed by the force of law or dictate local western government policy towards Israel/Palestine--and who gets empowered to arbitrate the vagaries.

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Paul, I don't disagree with you per se, I'm just asking why it's always the Jews who have to be the canary in the coal mine and the lab rats for Peter Beinart's radical ideas. It's Jews who alone are expected to form a "one state solution" and just trust that it will all work out, and it's Jews who are expected to concede their right to decide what's racism towards them.

Peter and most of his followers claim to on the left, and the left's point of view about this issue is that it is the historically marginalized groups who decide what is racist. In her book What Does It Mean to Be White?, Robin DiAngelo puts it this way: “Sometimes I am asked, ‘But what if the person of color is wrong and what they think is racism isn’t racism at all?’ To this I say that people of color are much more qualified than we are to make this determination. My not being able to see racism is unrelated to its reality.”

“Minority status,” explain Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, the authors of Critical Race Theory, “brings with it a presumed competence to speak about race and racism.”

So to follow your analogy, no, sexual assault victims are not the only people selected on jury trials, but the idea that a serial rapist should be part of the conversation about what is and what is not the crime of rape under the law is laughable. As I said above, it's black people who decide what is racism, not David Duke, and it's trans people who decide what is transphobia, not Matt Walsh, and it is Jewish people who decide what is anti-Semitism, not Palestinians.

Again, I'm not the one saying that minorities are the be all and end all deciders of where racism begins and ends. The progressive left is. I'm just saying that it should apply in all cases, and that Jews should not be an exception yet again. When you and Beinart are able to convince black people and transpeople and other groups to have a nuanced conversation about this, and that they really need to consider the viewpoint of people who hate them when they come up with these definitions, then we can talk about the Jews. Does that work for you?

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May 31, 2023·edited May 31, 2023

Hey Anonymous , I see that you are still supporting the pulling of braids. Israel is that kid pulling hard on the braids of that girl. That hurts. It’s a violation, an assault, it’s relentless and it doesn’t stop. The girl is frustrated and angry. The kid keeps pulling because he believes he has the right. He doesn’t have the right. Let me repeat: he doesn’t have the right. The girl hates him. That’s not antisemitism. That’s provocation to be hated on the part of most of the Israeli Jews. We should not protect them or Israel from expressions of displeasure nor shield them from blame for their behaviour. In fact, they should be punished with sanctions and no more vetos in the UN security council. When this blatantly missing action is finally righted, then we can talk about antisemitism.

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This is such a typical Beinart fan response. Ignore the actual topic at hand entirely and just regurgitate prepackaged and generic anti-Israel talking points rather than put forward a single original relevant thought. Also, Cass, did you look up the 1929 Hebron Massacre like I told you about?

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Further, zionism was clearly conceived as a colonial enterprise, rife with chauvenism. Herzl and Jabotinsky constantly used the word colonialism in their writings, and in selling their vision to the gentiles, promoting the idea of Israel being a bastion of civilization amongst the barbarians. It’s so funny that Israeli Jews are now trying to present themselves as the indigenous peoples. They were and are colonists, settlers, except the ones whose families always lived there. To be anti this, anti-zionist is not antisemetic. To be pro-zionist, in an era when colonialism is vilified, is exceptionalizing the Jews. I don’t believe in that. I believe that all humans are equal, not that some humans are “more equal”. So I agree with Peter that the only logical way forward is one state where all the humans have equal rights.

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May 31, 2023·edited May 31, 2023

Let’s see if the steel helmet you apparently wear on your head, prohibiting any new ideas from entering your mind, has any cracks: I fundamentally disagree with the Judaic creed of “an eye for an eye”. I was raised in Christian theology which has as its main creed, “love your neighbour, and turn the other cheek”. What happened in 1929 is irrelevant in 2023. I do not believe that the “eye for an eye” creed is a functional, mature life outlook. It begs for further strife, hate, and violence. It has no place in a harmonious world. So when a country like Canada or the US adopts the IHRA def of antisemitism, I am now an antisemite, an accusation which has grave consequences. This shuts down any thought, any philosophy. It boils down to Jewish domination of the world of thought, which ironically is also an antisemetic meme! It’s absurd. It’s Orwellian. Another commenter on here explained how the IHRA def was never intended to be used as a blanket policy to adopt. Also, the examples attached to the IHRA def were never supposed to be permanently part of it, according to the developers of it. Because the impact of the accusation of antisemitism can ruin lives and careers that affects everyone, I believe everyone should have some input. If people are allowed to criticize Islam and Hinduism, Judaism should not be singled out as exempt, regardless of the history. The often made Jewish claim that antisemitism is without cause or blame is false. There is often a cause, frequently it is the behaviour and actions some Jews take because of another creed of Judaism: “we are superior to other, lesser humans and what we do to them is not so bad as long as we don’t do it to another Jew.” (Paraphrased): Jewish exceptionalism. Believe it or not, non-Jews do not like this exceptionalism, and many don’t believe in Jewish superiority, although some do. They submit. I don’t. I treat Jewish people as being equal with everyone else.

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Amazing. You replied to this comment intending to debunk false accusations of anti-Semitism, and then proceeded to claim:

- that the US adopting the IHRA definition proves Jewish domination of the world of thought.

- that Jews often claim that anti-Semitism is without cause or blame

- That anti-Semitism is often caused by the Jewish "creed" that Jews are superior to other people and can take advantage of them.

- That some non-Jews "submit" to Jewish superiority.

Well done, amigo. You are the quintessential Beinart supporter. Beinart’s refusal to condemn your hate speaks volumes about him.

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That’s a lot to unpack. Believe it or not, I am sympathetic to this view.

I just think it’s important to separate internal social mores and consensus within western liberal societies from external government policies regarding ongoing and complex international conflicts, such as Israel/Palestine.

I read every day about the ugly, hateful, and provocative things hardline Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs say about each other. But it’s not all that different in my view to historical partisan discourse between, say, Northern Irish Catholics/Protestants or Algerians/French Algerians/French in comparable 20th century conflicts.

Adding external constraints and consequences on hateful speech and performative constituent politics by the players into an already insurmountably intractable conflict seems like a self-defeating impediment to the US role in mediating in it. Skepticism increases all the more when I suspect some of those conflict-partisan organizations and their US-sympathizers are driving it for the specific purpose of impeding a “just and lasting” resolution.

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The Biden administration is not adding constraints or consequences on the actions of the players. They are responding to the pro-Palestinian movement’s decision to export the conflict to the West, using places like college campuses and food co-ops as new battlefields, and targeting innocent Jewish people under the excuse of “it’s only criticism of Israel.” The Biden Administration recognizes that just because you claim to be anti-Zionist and not anti-Semitic that doesn’t give you a magic shield and a license to be as anti-Semitic as you want.

During COVID people recognized that beating up Asian people and insulting them, such as when Trump used the term “China Virus” to describe COVID, is not legitimate criticism of China. Similarly, attacking random Jewish people in Massachusetts or California because you consider them to be insufficiently critical of Israel is anti-Semitism as well. The US government has every right to oppose this, and you should be applauding their decision to do so if you really care about human rights and are opposed to racism.

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I don’t disagree. The Biden administration wisely resisted pressure for full adoption of the IHRA definition.

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That’s one way to describe it. A less conspiratorially minded sort might say they agreed with the IHRA definition in some places but not others.

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You apparently do not understand the power imbalance between the Jews and Palestinians in greater Israel. One side is not allowed to think angry thoughts or write them online in response to being denied free movement throughout the territories, being assaulted by settlers, having their properties destroyed or appropriated, and having their children be shot standing in the street, while the other side can shoot someone with the mere excuse that they seemed threatening - and get away with it. With AI surveillance tech, the Palestinians are not even allowed to be angry with Israel’s blatant land theft. Think hard about my metaphor of pulling braids. This isn’t about two equals calling each other bad names. It’s about an oppressor covertly committing genocide, one or two Palestinians per day.

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I think of Israel/Palestine from an American liberal perspective in two frames—a moral framing of basic human civil rights and justice and another as an international conflict between two national liberation movements, in which other historical analogies—such as the ones I mentioned, Algeria or Northern Ireland, —can give perspective. After 30+ years of following the subject closely, I find both framings can inform the other.

My liberal impulse to join you in full-throated condemnation of current Israeli government policies towards the Palestinians is tempered by sensitivity to and shame for the charge of hypocrisy. No matter what crimes Israel is guilty of in its 75 year history, my country has done far worse in its history and at a larger scale.

For the present, my concern with broad IHRA adoption by the US government would be, for example, some UNRWA official in Ramallah expresses an anti-Zionist view on social media, as might be his wont to do, and therefore federal US law would require that he be denounced as an “anti-Semite” thus disqualifying his employer, UNRWA, from receiving US funds. Especially since any given member of the Netanyahu government openly says something bigoted or hateful against Palestinians every 3-5 minutes and there are no analogous consequences on order regarding US support for HIS employer. It’s precisely that power imbalance you speak of that worries me from both human rights/justice and conflict resolution perspectives.

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May 30, 2023·edited May 30, 2023

Peter, there's no contradiction or "impasse" here.

The vast majority of Jews think anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism for a whole variety of reasons but mostly because Zionism is the extension of the Jewish people's rights. The Palestinians (according to you, you didn't bother to cite any polls) think Zionism is bigotry for a whole variety of reasons but mostly because Zionism exists at the expense of what they feel they're entitled to.

What constitutes bigotry, misogeny, homophobia, has always been a matter of opinion. Some black people think affirmative action is racist. Some gay people were opposed to gay marriage legislation. So, let the majority of each group decide for themselves what they think is bigotry against them, and let each individual person or government administration decide for themselves whether that group's argument is valid. Clearly the Biden administration think the Jews' argument is valid and the Palestinian argument is not. Probably because I daresay the Jewish argument is based on human rights while the Palestinian argument is based on temper tantrums.

You're assuming that the Biden administration adopted this definition of anti-Semitism solely because that's what the vast majority of Jews believe and because they think minority groups should decide what constitutes bigotry so the Biden administration repeats what those groups tell them unthinkingly. I think the Biden administration DID have a rational argument and a liberal debate in the public square, they just came to a different conclusion than you because they aren't willing to hold contradictory worldviews like "Ukrainians can have their own nation state but Jews can't." Your entire argument hinges on this one point that you haven't proven.

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May 31, 2023·edited May 31, 2023

It’s not “what the Palestinians feel they are entitled to”! Under international law they ARE entitled to a homeland in Palestine. Also, under international human rights laws, they have protections which the Israeli government is violating. The Occupation is illegal and inhumane. Murder, a slow form of genocide, is how the zionists are dealing with the Palestinian “problem”.

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At the risk of feeding the anti-Semitic troll, what international law are you referring to that says Palestinians are "entitled to a homeland in Palestine"?

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It's not just a matter of opinion if people are legally made to be unequal or repressed without rights or recourse or denigrated in speech using dehumanizing language or harmed because of membership in a specific group. That is all a factual question. Disagreement on any matter doesn't make something a matter of opinion because there are rational arguments using facts and some are better than others. Moral subjectivism of the type you argue isn't a good path to walk down if you care about anything at all.

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Right. Anti-Zionism is a movement that would make Jews legally unequal and repressed without rights or recourse and denigrated in a variety of ways, and its followers often denigrate Jews in speech using dehumanizing language. Those are factual truths, and thus anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, with no room for moral subjectivism and opposing opinions. Thank you for your contribution. Peter would do well to heed the basic criteria you laid out.

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Are you honestly here only to give this person trouble?

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No, I'm not.

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You took one poll from the "Jewish Electoral Institute," whatever that is, which surveyed 800 AMERICAN Jews and based on the viewpoints of 200 of those Jews, decided that "there is not a Jewish consensus" worldwide on the definition of antisemitism and whether anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. You have declared there's not a consensus based on 0.00125% of worldwide Jews.

If that's what you consider to be "not a consensus", I don't know what could be one. You're allegedly a Jew, so you might be familiar with the expression "two Jews three opinions." But when it comes to Israel, Jews in general are more united on the subject than really any other issue. "95% of Jews have favorable views of Israel.”




Meanwhile, you declare with no citations whatsoever that the "vast majority" of Palestinians think Zionism is bigotry and that among Palestinians there's a "real consensus." I'm willing to bet that I can find 200 Palestinians who don't think Zionism is bigotry. I'll start with Bassam Eid and Khaled Abu Toameh and take it from there.

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Only 62% of women disagreed with the decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade:


I guess Beinart would agree then that there isn’t a settled viewpoint on abortion, that being opposed to Roe v Wade isn’t misogyny, and that people who don’t think women have a right to control their own bodies should be included in the conversation about what constitutes sexism? LOL.

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Thank you for this Peter!

This is how the conflict manifests itself in America. Growing Palestinian American presence in the conversation about the reality of the conflict, it’s history and American policy will be a big and necessary change to the ways we are having this debate in America and the American Jewish community. It’s about to get harder than it already is.

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This is exactly why Palestine and their allies like Peter keep trying to join the left, but they can’t do it. Because the pieces don’t exactly fit.

The left cares about human rights. Palestine doesn’t, except when it benefits them.

The left cares about minority rights. Palestine doesn’t, except when it benefits them.

The left cares about democracy. Palestine doesn’t, except when it benefits them.

And in this case, the left believes that minorities must be protected and listened to and respected. Palestine doesn’t….except when it benefits them. And that just isn’t going to wash in the real world. Among pro-Palestinians, it’s taken as gospel truth that Jews/“Zionists” are always playing the race card to silence criticism and or gain something. That’s not a left wing belief, Peter, that’s a RIGHT wing belief. No wonder Palestine can only find friends among the most radical leftists.

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Thanks for this


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We need to look at the big picture and see we must join together in every way possible

Thanks for all you do

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May 31, 2023·edited May 31, 2023

“ Antisemitism is part of the machinery of division and fear politicians and pundits use to hold onto or expand their power — the same machinery that is used to target people of color, Muslims, Palestinians, and other minority communities. At a time when the dangers of white nationalism, including racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia, are all too apparent, the need to build safety for all people has never been greater.

However, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) controversial working definition of antisemitism is fundamentally not the answer. The IHRA definition was originally drafted as a possible way for European governmental bodies to monitor antisemitism in Europe; as one of its authors points out, it was never intended for use in policy or legislation.

As a definition, it does nothing to make Jewish people safer. It fails to capture or identify the true nature of antisemitism or its root causes, and is of no use in identifying the different forms that racism and antisemitism often take. In essence, it is not fit for purpose. Moreover, when applied in policy or legislation, it violates our Constitutional right to free speech.”


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Israel’s One-State Reality It’s Time to Give Up on the Two-State Solution By Michael Barnett, Nathan Brown, Marc Lynch, and Shibley Telhami


“It is past time to grapple with what a one-state reality means for policy, politics, and analysis. Palestine is not a state in waiting, and Israel is not a democratic state incidentally occupying Palestinian territory. All the territory west of the Jordan River has long constituted a single state under Israeli rule, where the land and the people are subject to radically different legal regimes, and Palestinians are permanently treated as a lower caste. Policymakers and analysts who ignore this one-state reality will be condemned to failure and irrelevance, doing little beyond providing a smokescreen for the entrenchment of the status quo.”

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I agree with Peter but think some things need clarification.

If we are to believe the claim that all Jews trace their roots in Palestine, are they not brothers to the Palestinians who are also semites?

Is Jew (ish) a race or a religion? Can a black, asian etc be a real Jew? I know some Americans who identify as Jewish American vs White American. Is a secular Jew in Tel Aviv a real Jew? Is a convert a real Jew?

So what's antisemitism? Peter, who's a Jew??

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You're leaving out the only thing that matters, especially in this country...


WHO/WHAT big money controls the mainstream narrative?

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“Why Jews should alone..”

“Why Palestinians alone…”

“Why women alone should not define misogyny”

You pretend politics is like philosophy for the same reason others pretend philosophy is like physics.

The more Zionists-not Jews-continue to cheapen the definition of anti-Semitism the less those charges will stick. That’s not rocket science. And you’re still a Zionist, right? So you have a problem.

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We are facing serious problems on many levels so working together is very important

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