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N.Y. Times Issues Correcton re American Jewish Committee:

An article in The Arts on Wednesday about an essay titled "'Progressive' Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism" on the Web site of the American Jewish Committee referred incorrectly to the committee. Its stance on issues ranges across the political spectrum; it is not "conservative."

Well, that's better, and given that the AJC identifies itself as "centrist," it's about all we can expect. But don't be fooled, as Ilya pointed out previously, the AJC's stance on issues does not "range across the political spectrum"; it is consistently mainstream liberal, including on Israel-related matters.

ReVonna LaSchatze:
Good heavens, DB, you certainly are ... monomaniacal.

Will Israel win the SuperBowl tonight? Oh forget it. They're not playing.

No apologies or "corrections" on those cluster bomblets in Lebanon, then? Just a worn out discussion if those who criticize Israel are bigots or anti-Semites, eh?

I wonder if Israel commits a pre-emptive nuclear strike (to prevent another country from gaining nuclear technology, imagine that!) how you're respond to all those who criticize Israel's actions? Better start building bigger pens for all those "anti-Semites" we'll be seeing.

Expand your issues, and take care.
2.4.2007 8:15am
advisory opinion:
ReVonna why are you so obsessed with DB's obsession with Jewish issues? Then again, he's Jewish. What's your excuse? Oh wait.
2.4.2007 9:06am
ReVonna LaSchatze:
Not obsessed.
Just a regular reader and commenter. I suspect there's more like me out here too.

Are you saying all Jews are obsessive on Jewish issues? This one seems a special case, particularly as his interest seems so one-sided, not balanced.
2.4.2007 10:08am
advisory opinion:
I'm saying that his constant posting on Jewish issues is understandable, not that all Jews are obsessive on Jewish issues.

If you don't like it, don't read it. Why do you incessantly carp about what he chooses to post about when it's his blog? In this instance, you're not even addressing the substance of what he's posted about, just carping in a kind of fixated rage. Try unclenching your sphincter pal...
2.4.2007 11:16am
Daniel Chapman (mail):
There are plenty like you. They can be found on most of Kopel's posts too. Oddly enough, I've never seen anyone complain about how Prof. Volokh's "obsession with First Amendment issues."

Seriously... they don't get paid for this, and they write about what catches their attention. I honestly couldn't care less about The Clash, but that's why I just skip past the sunday song lyrics every week.
2.4.2007 12:15pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
Revonna, seriously, there are literally thousands of blogs that never mention the word "Israel." I recommend you go there. Alternatively, go to the Economist, and complain about how they keep writing about England.
2.4.2007 12:42pm
JonC:
Prof. Bernstein regularly posts on a variety of issues, including the real estate market and Daubert/evidence law. He also posts a lot about Jewish/Israel issues. So what? If you'd rather read about something else, it's a big internet out there.
2.4.2007 12:42pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
If you don't like it, don't read it.

I do like to read it. Ignorance of his type of thinking is costly in the long run.

Deal with the critical comments, folks. Don't run off those who disagree. There's too many of us that are critical that aren't "anti-Semitic", just long-term observers. Perhaps just as obsessive on the Middle East as DB. We're not going away either...
2.4.2007 12:59pm
Pokey:
In 1980, I telephoned in a correction to a factual error in an article in the New York Times. I'm still waiting for it to appear.
2.4.2007 1:02pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
"Good heavens, DB, you certainly are ... monomaniacal."

monomaniacal, Revonna, means "obsessed with a single idea." So don't pretend to be a legitimate critic. You are not criticizing DB's views - you are criticizing the frequency with which he expresses them, and that's what the comments following yours addressed. So, again, you are not a critic - you are a heckler.
2.4.2007 1:07pm
advisory opinion:
Deal with the critical comments, folks. Don't run off those who disagree.


What an absurd confabulation in the light of your first comment. You weren't addressing the substance of his post but complaining about the frequency of his posts on Israel. In other words, attempting to "run off" posts on the subject, the very sort of behaviour you chastise against. Contradict yourself much?

Amusingly, not only do you dissemble, you do it with sanctimonious pomp. Time to wind your neck in chump...
2.4.2007 2:10pm
Richard S (mail):
It turns out that the AJC and "Commentary" just separated. Hence the organization has shed its right flank.
2.4.2007 2:44pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
Good job.
The more you can aim the fire at those who are critical of America's role in supporting Israel's failing strategies and policies, the less substantive talk... until maybe it's too late.

I can see why DB is so monomaniacal about those who are critical of Israel these days...

MIkeBU -- looks like you learned a new word here today. Good job! Keep growing and never never be afraid to learn, eh? Indeed.
2.4.2007 3:55pm
Cenrand:
ReVonna,

It's funny that you are critical of others in this thread for a lack of substantive talk...when all you have done is criticize DB for having the nerve to post about Israel.

I'm curious - do you also consider Norman Finkelstein monomaniacal about Israel - or is it merely people supportive of Israel who merit your scorn for posting on the subject?
2.4.2007 4:03pm
advisory opinion:
lol ReVonna sounds off the hinges now. Pity.
2.4.2007 4:10pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
"MIkeBU -- looks like you learned a new word here today. Good job! Keep growing and never never be afraid to learn, eh? Indeed."

Yeah, I did learn a new word. I previously did not know the word "monomaniacal," really. Should I be ashamed?
2.4.2007 4:41pm
Stating the Obvious:
ReVonna was clearly incorrect that DB is "monomaniacal" on Israel. He posts on a variety of subjects. It would, however, (and I think this is more likely the real thrust of RaVonna's posts, albeit poorly expressed) be correct to describe DB's posts on Israel as one-sided, unbalanced, biased. Now no doubt DB doesn't think himself biased in this fashion, and perhaps many of his defenders on this blog don't as well, but THAT is a substantive question worthy of debate, unlike whether or not he is "monomaniacal".
2.4.2007 4:42pm
JonC:
Stating the Obvious: Since when does a blogger- any blogger- required to present all sides of an issue, including those with which s/he disagrees? Prof. Bernstein is an academic and a commentator with a particular point of view-- he does not hold himself out as some kind of neutral observer. Deriding him as "biased" because he subscribes to a pro-Israel view is about as silly as calling Prof. Doug Berman "biased" because Berman takes a pro-defendant stance on most sentencing matters.
2.4.2007 5:18pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Yes, I'm biased, because I think Israel is more in the right than is her enemies, though I hardly support every Israeli government action, past or present.
I'm also one-sided in other posts in preferring strict standards for the admissibility of expert testimony, supporting free speech over censorship, believing that the real estate market got overheated in 2005, noting that Lochner has been misinterpreted for decades and so forth. "Biased" doesn't mean "wrong"; everyone who reads this is probably "biased" against Nazis.
2.4.2007 5:35pm
PaulB (mail):
Getting back to the point of the post rather than trying to psychoanalyze Prof. Bernstein, the AJC probably defines itself as "centrist" by looking at where it stands in relation to American Jewish opinion. That of course is to the left of overall American political views.

To be fair to the NYT reporter who called AJC "conservative", anyone whose familiarity with the organization comes from reading Commentary would be most surprised to see their formal political stances.
2.4.2007 10:42pm
JonC:
What was the previous relationship between AJC and Commentary?
2.4.2007 10:54pm
Stating the Obvious:
Prof. Bernstein is correct that "biased" doesn't mean wrong. But it does mean one has little epistemic justification in one's opinions being right because one is unwilling to look objectively at the evidence.

This has nothing to do with one's personal preferences. It has to do with willingness to look at evidence.

To some degree, it also has to do with bizarre weightings. For example, being more concerned about rebrushing/staging photographs of actual killings of children than the killing of children itself.

One simple test of bias is to reverse roles and see how that affects the analysis. If Hezbollah killed thousands of Israelis in the nation's capital because the IDF crossed into Lebanon to capture two Hezbollah soldiers, what would DB's attitude have been?

In summary, and to answer JonC, Bernstein is under no obligation to post in a non-biased way. It's his blog, in part, and as a Jew myself I'm well aware of the challenge one has in being objective when something you view as of transcendent worth is felt at risk. (I do believe, however, that this challenge makes an effort at objectivity even more important.) I was not saying he should post differently. I read him. I read Finkelstein. I make my own judgments. I was merely noting that ReVonna would have been on stronger grounds by accusing Bernstein of bias than of monomaniacism.

PS: I admire Professor Bernstein's willingness to agree to my charge of bias. His post, however, suggests either a confusion of "bias" with "preference" or an underlying assumption that objectivity is impossible (does he really believe it impossible to objectively explain what is wrong with Nazism as a political theory?)
2.4.2007 11:51pm
luagha:
To answer:
One simple test of bias is to reverse roles and see how that affects the analysis. If Hezbollah killed thousands of Israelis in the nation's capital because the IDF crossed into Lebanon to capture two Hezbollah soldiers, what would DB's attitude have been?
---
If the IDF crossed into Lebanon to capture two Hezbollah soldiers, Hezbollah would be justified in declaring war on Israel and prosecuting that war according to international standards.
Strangely, Hezbollah has already declared war on Israel. It repeatedly does not prosecute that war according to international standards, and so Israel similarly is not bound when responding to them. This bias test is easy.

(Pst. The trick is that you're not actually reversing roles. Israel is a nation with territory, civilians, and a military while Hezbollah is a terrorist group hiding on other nations territory and shielding themselves with other nations citizens to which they are not beholden.)
2.5.2007 12:36am
ReVonna LaSchatze:
Yeah, I did learn a new word. I previously did not know the word "monomaniacal," really. Should I be ashamed?

Not at all.
But you do come across as rather arrogant when you define the word to the person who originally (correctly) used it.

Glad to be of help.
2.5.2007 1:41am
ReVonna LaSchatze:
LYes, I'm biased, because I think Israel is more in the right than is her enemies, though I hardly support every Israeli government action, past or present.


I thought that Israel's invading Lebanon, with a half-assed plan and half-hearted goals ("bring the kidnapped soldier home!") set back Lebanon and the region years.

Anything that had been gained, ever so slightly, by the population in the Cedar Revolution was immediately set back by Israel's hot-heated action that ... failed.

Linking America to such actions -- we provided the bomblets that were left behind... still killing innocents ... it's stupid for America. Until we can reign in Israel (no growth in the West Bank. Period), America would be wise to distance herself until Israel matures in her policies and actions.

How much more innocent blood needs to be shed in that region before Israel and America get it? And no, I don't think only Israel's dead is innocent.

God help us if anyone is stupid enough to think they can score points in this situation detonating a nuclear bomb. On this count, we should keep our eyes closely on our sometimes ally, Israel. Jews and non-Jews alike.
2.5.2007 1:47am
anonymous333:
The last poster writes,"(no growth in the West Bank. Period), America would be wise to distance herself until Israel matures in her policies and actions"

Make up your mind, which one is it? In the same sentence you call for the genocide of the indigenous Jewish population of the West Bank - just like the Islamofascist war criminals ethnically cleansed Mecca (695) and Gaza (2005) - but then you say America should be hands off. Which one is it? Should America follow your policy presciption and kill every Jewish child in the West Bank ("no growth in the West Bank. Period")? Or should America oppose genocide? ("America would be wise to distance herself")?
2.5.2007 7:55am
anonymous333:
"Suddenly the Israeli govt. announces they'll be building up once again in the West Bank?"

Again, you believe that the indigenous Jewish population of the West Bank may not grow and that every Jewish child born should be killed. Stop saying you don't support genocide. (Or maybe you believe that every Jewish person has to live at their parents house after they get married, or move out of their homeland. What exactly should the indigenous Jewish population of the West Bank do if they can't build more housing?)


"Settlements for those families who didn't want to be split up when they were finally forced to evacuate Gaza?"

The indigenous Jewish population was ethnically cleansed from Gaza - it wasn't "evacuated". The Islamofascist world which was responsible for the ethnic cleansing (yes the Israeli government did the actual war crime, but only out of fear of the Islamofascists) is deeply deeply responsible. I personally believe that the Islamofascists can apologize by allowing the rebuilding of the historically Jewish cities of Makka and Medina and allow the indigenous Jewish population of Gaza to build communities in the those historically Jewish cities.

"Don't go thinking you can make your home there in the first place,"

The indigenous Jewish population of Gaza and the West Bank has as much right to live, build communities and defend itself in Gaza and the West Bank as the arab population of Makka Medina and Deerborn Michigan have in their communities. Or Mexicans in Texas for that matter. Who the hell are you to tell the indigenous Jewish community where to live?

"then we won't have ugly chanting scenes with "civilians" pouring battery acid on Israeli soldiers to get them out"

Using your Andrew Sullivan definition of civilian I guess Martin Luther King, Jr. Was also a "civilian".

"(sorry if that's an anti-Semitic fact to bring attention to."

Only if you believe it wrong for civilians to defend themselves from Islamofascist ethnic cleansing would you think that the fact is anti-semetic. Or do you believe its anti semetic for a Jew to beat the crap out of its enemies?

"I sure wish some of those who truly love Israel would start reining in the extremists whose rationale relies on "G-d promised it to us!!")"

The rights of the indigenous Jewish population of Gaza and the West Bank to grow, to build communities and to defend itself does not come from "god gave it to us", these are natural rights that every person is entitled to.
2.5.2007 10:13am
Seamus (mail):
ReVonna LaSchatze:

If you disagree with Professor Bernstein, then fine; disagree with him. But in that case, it's a lot more productive to point out where he's wrong, and not bitch and moan about his "obsession" with Israel. Because if he's right, the fact that he's "obsessional" really doesn't matter, does it?

But of course, if your purpose is, not to debate, but to say that there shouldn't be a debate at all, then I suppose accusing someone of being "obsessional" works just fine.
2.5.2007 10:18am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
Seamus, that she of all people derides someone for being obsessive is certainly ironic, given her own apparent obsession with DB's Israel posts.
2.5.2007 10:33am
DavidBernstein (mail):
I got tired of Revonna hijacking threads, so I deleted her last three or four screeds (which were about my latest post, for which I specifically stated I was not seeking comments), and banned her.
2.5.2007 10:52am
Seamus (mail):
Well, now that that's cleared up, I guess we can return to the subject of the thread.

I have to agree with those who have suggested that the NYT's error came from thinking that Commentary was representative of the AJC as a whole. The fact that they didn't bother to check that assumption brings to mind Mark Twain's (or was it Will Rogers') comment that "It's not what they don't know that worries me; it's all the things they know that just aren't so." Not a good thing for a "newspaper of record" to have people worrying about.
2.5.2007 11:14am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
..And one does wonder how much of that is willful, being that it's expected of the NYT to represent views it finds distasteful as coming from "conservative" organizations, rather than acknowledging that a fellow traveller went off the reservation for a particular issue.
2.5.2007 11:25am
ReVonna LaSchatze:
No.

You just proved yourself a chickenshit who can't debate on the subtance of the issues, DB.
2.5.2007 1:58pm
Yankev (mail):

To be fair to the NYT reporter who called AJC "conservative", anyone whose familiarity with the organization comes from reading Commentary would be most surprised to see their formal political stances.


Of course, anyone who can keep a straight face when describing Mamoud Abbas as "moderate" -- despite Mr. Abbas never having disavowed his PhD Paper denying the Holocaust, advocating attacks on Israeli civilians as a solution to the Palestinian civil war, continuing the Palestinian Authority's proud record of anti-Jewish indoctrination from pre-school through university, and advocating the destruction of Israel while still calling for peace negotiations -- may well consider anything to the right of Karl Marx to be centrist.
2.5.2007 2:05pm
advisory opinion:
Haha. "ReVonna" went through the effort of changing her IP just to circumvent the ban. Obsession. QED.
2.5.2007 2:38pm
advisory opinion:
And please, you weren't debating the substance of anything. You were criticizing DB's posting frequency. This is frivolity, not substance. Move on, thank you.
2.5.2007 2:40pm
Seamus (mail):

You just proved yourself a chickenshit who can't debate on the subtance of the issues, DB.



Geez, I thought that troll was banned. But advisory opinion got it exactly right. Ms. LaSchatze didn't come here for an argument; she came here for abuse--on the abuser side.

I engaged in a perfectly civil debate with Professor Bernstein, on the subject of Israel, on another thread and guess what: there were no accusations of monomania or obsession, and no questioning of anybody's motives, on either side to the debate.
2.5.2007 3:20pm
JosephSlater (mail):
The definitive answer (in comedic poll form) as to whether you are a liberal anti-semite is found here:

http://www.slate.com/id/2158962/fr/flyout
2.5.2007 3:51pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
Haha. "ReVonna" went through the effort of changing her IP just to circumvent the ban. Obsession. QED.

Wrong again. Same computer, same IP.

He's so smart, I wonder whose IP address he really just deleted... Heh!
2.5.2007 3:53pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
I engaged in a perfectly civil debate with Professor Bernstein, on the subject of Israel, on another thread and guess what: there were no accusations of monomania or obsession, and no questioning of anybody's motives, on either side to the debate.

Ah Seamus.
Bet he gave ya a big kiss on the cheek too, shook your hand, and assured you he didn't consider a gentile like you to be anti-Semitic, eh?

Incidentally, what was deleted was my questioning of how much longer Israel's intrinsic interests will be assumed to be directly linked with America's. That is, I suspect the tide is turning in that you'll see a lot more questioning critical of America's role in supporting Israel's failed policies. Understandably, DB didn't want to think about this; he's still looking for congratulations on not automatically labeling honest critics as anti-Semites.... monomaniacal indeed! Biased to the point of blindness. The rest of America... not so much so.

You heard it hear first folks. (if he doesn't get scaredy and have to delete such ... words. Heh)
2.5.2007 3:58pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
Revonna, you are clearly not wanted here, by the blog's proprietors and commenters alike. Why do you insist on degrading yourself by staying? Don't answer that. Just leave, please.
2.5.2007 4:13pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
I don't suppose anybody cares, but reporters do not have to label groups they write about. I've been a reporter for a long time, and I never do so, unless to point out that a self-declared liberal/conservative/progressive/whatever group is acting against its own declared ideology.

The NYT has a lot of lazy reporters and editors. Attaching labels willynilly is a symptom of that.
2.5.2007 8:15pm
ReVonna LaSchatze:
2.5.2007 9:13pm
advisory opinion:
"ReVonna" dissembles:

Wrong again. Same computer, same IP.


Unfortunately for her, Eugene Volokh confirms in another thread: "I can't ban your IP address, because your comments come from varying addresses."

So: a dissembler, and a liar.

Why do you persist in self-humiliation?
2.5.2007 11:04pm
dsn:
Actually, if anything, I'd say that Prof Bernstein is monomaniacal about the real estate bubble :P

Hmm ... but being monomaniacal about two things seems to contradict the implication of the term "mono". Care to enlighten me as to how this is possible Ms. LaSchatze?
2.6.2007 1:17am
Mike BUSL07 (mail):

It's hard to think a gal like me has anything to teach the likes of you.

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
2.6.2007 8:54am
Seamus (mail):
Must . . . not . . . feed . . . troll.
2.6.2007 11:12am