From Harry’s Place

12 Responses to “From Harry’s Place”

  1. eamonnmcdonagh Says:

    Philosopher and philosphy blogger Brian Leiter has stepped up to defend Mearsheimer http://bit.ly/oHjcrm

  2. Adam Holland (@adamhollandblog) Says:

    Leiter defends Mearsheimer in the name of “academic freedom”. What he doesn’t understand is that Mearsheimer is free to praise the bigot Atzmon, and others are free to condemn him for it. That’s freedom.

  3. Ignorance is bliss Says:

    Whilst Newman’s comments are to be supported he nonetheless fails to address the question of antisemitism (past and present) that is firmly rooted in a left history. Instead, he argues that the antisemitism affecting the pro-Palestinian position is solely the product of “far-right” infiltrators.
    That this view falls far short of reality can be easily seen. In the yesterday’s Guardian letter pages (can someone provide the link, please) Lord Phillips of the Lib Dems writes about the power of the “Israel Lobbies” over the US and UK governments. Jenny Tonge made the same claim. Tony Benn claim that the power of the Lobby was behind the BBC’s refusal to air the Gaza appeal.
    Whatever Benn, Tonge and Phillips are, I think we can all agree that they are not of or from the “far right”.
    Newman needs to be a bit more aware and open about the antisemitism present in some pro-Palestinian discourse that stems, not from the far-right, but from the left and liberal left.

    • Thomas Venner Says:

      For some members of the hard left, though, claims of far-right infiltration are the only way to make them realise that there is a problem. Going straight in and telling them that there’s a history of anti-Semitism on the left and that current events are just another manifestation of this will simply lead to them dismissing you as someone trying, maliciously, to “break their faith” or “silence debate”, because they believe so strongly in the idea that their ideology is the heart and soul of all progress and goodness in the world.

      Saying that there are far-right infiltrators trying to corrupt their perfect vision may not be honest, but at least it will lead them to notice the problem by circumventing their faith-blindness about their own ideology’s deep flaws. Newman may just be doing this to himself, convicing himself that ideologically “alien” infiltrators are causing the problem, or he may be just being pragmatic and trying to do what he can to deal with anti-Semitism within his own political circle. Whichever it is, it’s still a step forward.

  4. Absolute Observer Says:

    Apparently for Leiter, anybody who raises concerns about Mearsheimer’s recommendation of Atzmon’s new book is engaged in a “right-wing smear”.
    Once again, as Leiter demonstrates, anyone brave enough to raise the question of antisemitism in the USA is met immediately with a disqualification of legitimacy as to motives. Apparently, Goldberg and others are not simply wrong in their views (as can be anyone), but are deceitful right wingers engaged in nothing more than a “smear campaign” of a “critic of Israel”.
    As is so often the case, Leiter offers us a greater understanding of the question of antisemitism amongst liberal left academia than he realises.

    • Thomas Venner Says:

      I wonder sometimes if Atzmon is just taking the piss, seeing how far he can push the overt anti-Semitism until his supporters start saying “hey, actually this isn’t just criticism of Israel, this is stuff from Mein Kampf”. It could be just an incredibly elaborate and in-depth work of extreme satire, and one of these days he’s going to come clean about the whole thing and have a good laugh at the expense of all the people who bought into it.

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        If only.

      • Paul M Says:

        In that case he should leave it to Sacha Baron Cohen. (Maybe Atzmon is Sacha Baron Cohen — have they ever been seen in the same place at the same time?)

        Joking aside, Atzmon creates a straightforward bright line. If you can’t see the Jew-hate in Atzmon, or aren’t repelled by it, what weight does your judgment of Jews, Israel or Zionism carry?

        • Thomas Venner Says:

          Seriously, I think we should start pushing the line that Atzmon is just doing this as some kind of satire. I’d be fascinated to see his reaction if he starts being sent loads of fan mail and approving comments on his website talking about how he’s one of the best no-holds-barred satirists around, as good as Chris Morris…

  5. schalom libertad Says:

    Writers of the publishing company which is putting out Gilad Atzmon´s book wrote a protest letter here: http://leninology.blogspot.com/2011/09/zero-authors-statement-on-gilad-atzmon.html

  6. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Adam Holland, above, modestly fails to mention his latest posting on his own blog (here http://adamholland.blogspot.com/) in which he shows that Mearsheimer is (attempting to) defending himself on Walt’s blog against charges of endorsing a Holocaust denier and antisemite. Adam’s argument is impressive.


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