Might and Right

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ruth Wisse, Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Studies and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University, argues that Jews have overemphasized moral power over political power in her new book, Jews and Power (Schocken/Nextbook, 2007).

Jews and Power is available for purchase at


Ruth Wisse

Comments [67]

Sophia from Columbia

Emanuele Ottolenghi has written an important and profound article in the Jewish Chronicle. He has spotted a particularly striking and grotesque aspect of the odious hatred of Israel displayed by an increasing number of Jewish intellectuals on the left. Redefining moral virtue to exclude every characteristic other than being a left-wing personality, they seek to redefine Jewish moral virtue to exclude Jewish nationalism. Claiming to be returning to authentic Jewish values, they therefore purport to speak in the interests of Jews and Judaism by saving Jews from themselves in their reprehensibly un-Jewish embrace of Zionism and Israel.

Thus Jewish nationalism is un-Jewish, apparently, because it promotes war rather than peace (ignoring, of course, the inconvenient truth that Israel is a militarized society only because it is the historic victim of an unremitting war waged against it); and Jews are said to have a duty to be hostile to Jewish nationalism because Jews were the victims of nationalism. This, of course, is so absurd as to be incredible to anyone outside the bizarre thought system of the extreme left; the equation of fascism with national self-determination not only suggests a form of cultural nihilism, since it would make it morally beyond the pale for any people to have its own nation, but is contradicted by the left's own championing of Palestinian and other supposedly nationalist movements claiming the very same right to self-determination.

Oct. 08 2007 07:45 PM
Occasional Observer from Local

Professor Wisse may know her Yiddish, but she has much to learn about Jewish history.

Any honest observer of Israeli politics sees a blow-up coming, as with every other neocon regional initiative. When that occurs, the policies and repression she rallies to will be reckoned to American Jewry, this though most of us would like to see her position marginalized.

Secular critics will then chime in about undue Jewish influence, while millenialist sallies remind everyone that the Jews spurned Christ and are getting their just deserts. She either sees this risk and is discounting it, or is tied to a particular political policy.

As for her views on accommodation, does she really believe the State of Israel did not bomb Lebanon as an agent of US policy? For that matter, does she think the 2nd Commonwealth did not accommodate Rome and before that Persia? Or that there would be a State of Israel if not for Christian Restorationists, who wanted Jews in Palestine before more than a handful of Jews would go there? And does she think designs on the West Bank would be etched into US policy but for the oil and the end-of-days visions of Christian Zionists?

Professor Wisse's thinking is more topsy-turvy than meets the eye. It is however worthy of the occupant of a chair named for Martin Peretz.

Oct. 05 2007 01:52 AM
lincoln from brooklyn

i'm disappointed that you decided to offer a forum to such a reactionary and irrational figure. it was a painful interview to listen to and i think it was devoid of any educational value whatsoever.

Oct. 03 2007 02:45 AM
myshkin from brooklyn, ny

Prof. Wisse,
god bless you.
you're 100% right.
to all the jewish people that find her so objectionable, you are exactly the phenomenon she is describing.
that she's at harvard tells me that we might have -some- hope.

Oct. 03 2007 12:19 AM
Joel from Monroe, NY

Sohia: “The basic premise of the Palestinian claim - that the 'occupation' causes terrorism - is historically flawed.”

I disapprove terrorism from either side. But to fix the ‘occupation’ to the ’67 war is in itself ‘historically flawed’.
For the indigenes Arabs, the occupation started long before ‘67, long before Israeli forces entered Deir Yassin in ’48, even before 1920.

It started with the First Aliyah in 1880!

Oct. 02 2007 11:29 PM
Joel from Monroe, NY

It’s also important to expose the “word play” here.

Walt and Mearsheimer’s Working Paper dealt with the “Israeli Lobby”, yet Israel’s apologetics choose to frame it as a charge of “Jewish Power”. Jewish myself, I regret their using the Jew as a shield and weapon for Israel’s interests.

Oct. 02 2007 10:43 PM
Joel from Monroe, NY

Professor Wisse to Brian: “their accusation… of excessive Jewish power….really harkens back to the beginnings of anti-Semitism in the 1870’s, where Wilhelm Marr argued, in almost the same words, precisely the same thing”

Hypothetically speaking, if there had in fact existed a powerful Israeli Lobby which was directing some of U.S. foreign policy their way - against American interest, are you Professor Wisse suggesting that ideally, Walt and Mearsheimer would have had to refrain from examining the Israeli Lobby, because to you that would be reminiscent of some elements of Marr’s claims?

Should I not cross the street if Marr crossed it?

Oct. 02 2007 10:42 PM
s autz from li, ny

considering the comments, this guest did a great job of exposing herself for what she really is. she spoke for 25 minutes. brian, obviously could have challenged her but he did not. why?

Oct. 02 2007 09:33 PM
wu from alabama

she has so many "i think"'s, almost everything she said comes from "she thinks". i don't care what she thinks, just tell us where's the proof of her claims???

though, i do suspect the US foreign policies are the result of pro-Israel lobbies.

Oct. 02 2007 09:27 PM
Sophia from Cambridge

"I know in the United States this is a sensitive subject, but before the formation and foundation of Israel, there was very little anti-Semitism in the Arab world. Large Jewish communities lived in the Maghrib, North Africa, or in the heart of the Middle East, in Egypt and Iraq. " -- Tariq Ali"

This is mythology -- designed to attack the State of Israel and Zionism. I especially love the insidious language: "in the United States this is a sensitive subject" -- lol.

Arab/Muslim atrocities and terror against Jews predated the formation of the State of Israel.

The basic premise of the Palestinian claim - that the 'occupation' causes terrorism - is historically flawed.

Arab and Palestinian terrorism against Israel existed prior to the beginning of Israeli control over the West Bank and Gaza as a result of the Six Day War of June 1967, and even prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948.

For example, Arab terrorism was rampant during wave of anti-Jewish riots in 1920-21 (which was characterized by the brutal murder in Jaffa of the prominent Jewish author Y. Brenner), during the 'Disturbances' of 1929 (which included the massacre of the Jewish community in Hebron), during the Arab Revolt of 1936-39, and in many other recorded incidents of wholesale anti-Jewish Arab violence throughout the pre-state period.

Oct. 02 2007 05:03 PM
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Oct. 02 2007 03:07 PM
Sophia from Cambridge

So many of us on the Left are just shocked by what's happening - the sense of having been stranded and betrayed by "our" wing of the political spectrum - and when it's our fellow Jews adding fuel to the flames it's especially difficult to handle.

Wether it's a member of Neterei Carta kissing Admadijenad, or some fool marching with Hezbollah supporters, and these people deserve a spanking.

This doesn't mean we can't "criticize Israel." But I think we all know that the resurgent and truly frightening antisemitism we're seeing isn't "criticizing Israel." It's the ugly old conspiracy theories, the blood libels, the accusations of dual loyalty, the willingness to believe the absolute worst - and buying into that stuff is suicidal.

Worse, it's endangering all of us and it's doing nothing to promote reconciliation in the Middle East. It's muddying the waters, in fact, it's indulging the extremists and giving cover to the bigots. It is costing lives, not saving them, by endorsing the worst, excusing the worst, instead of fighting for the best, the nonviolent, loving solution.

So please - if this is you - STOP. Stop and think - we have a responsibility, as members of a community, to help one another. And marching around with a swastika scrawled on the Star of David - literally or figuratively - isn't helping

Oct. 02 2007 02:47 PM

I had a long post that didn't violate any of the rules but was censored....perhaps because it was critical of Ilsmiasts and some Arab countires

guess it's not only the Israel lobby that controls the media....WNYC's does a pretty good job of stifling debate too!

Oct. 02 2007 02:28 PM
J. Weller

did anyone notice that a bunch of postings were erased???

whose doing the censoring here?

Oct. 02 2007 02:21 PM
MEGAN from Columbia

The Arab-Nazi connection is well documented

Here is a link about the Grand Mufti of Jeruslaem who spent the much of World War II as Hitler's special guest in Berlin, advocating the extermination of Jews in radio broadcasts back to the Middle East and recruiting Balkan Muslims for infamous SS "mountain divisions" that tried to wipe out Jewish communities throughout the region.

In more recent times, extremist Arabs & Islamists have (bizarrely) alligned with Holcaust revisionists & racial supremacists:
Iran's unholy alliance with Holocaust deniers is well-docuemnted, and anti-Semites (under the thin guise of being anti-Israel or anti-Zionist) consistently use Nazi-imagery in their propoganda.

Oct. 02 2007 02:16 PM
Trevor from U$A

Tariq Ali discusses Israel's imperialist policies and where it learned them from:

" I know in the United States this is a sensitive subject, but before the formation and foundation of Israel, there was very little anti-Semitism in the Arab world. Large Jewish communities lived in the Maghrib, North Africa, or in the heart of the Middle East, in Egypt and Iraq. " -- Tariq Ali

Oct. 02 2007 01:56 PM
Trevor from U$A

Why is the debate always framed as if one is anti-Israel, then naturally one is pro-Islam?
Absurd Cold War dichotomies "if you're not capitalist you're a commie pinko leftist".

Tariq Ali, a notable British writer, has commented on little Americans know about what Israel has done to the Palestinians, and yet condemns Islamic extremism as well. This 'either/or' model is not constructive in any sense.

Furthermore, I know lots of Jews who don't agree with Israel's actions at all.

For those who are crying "anti-semitism" you should be ashamed of yourselves. YOU do not speak for all Jews, YOU do not speak for all Americans, and you certainly aren't making any civilized arguments to counter the claims in the Mearsheimer book. Instead, you throw eggs and lower the level of discourse. Shame on you.

Oct. 02 2007 01:08 PM
J. Weller from park slope

I just bought the book last week....short but persuasive...

has anyone posting here actually read it?

Oct. 02 2007 12:51 PM
MEGAN from Chelsea

hi Tim --

I am a Radcliffe alum and I'm not embarrassed by Ruth Wisse at all. I like her defiance in the face of politically correct orthodoxies and I did listen to the show and found her both articulate and well-reasoned.

I'm not her publicist. :>

What specifically did she say that you disagreed with?

What specifically embarrased you?

Just curious....

Oct. 02 2007 12:47 PM

I found this guest's arguments weak and divorced from reality (who could really believe that some lobbies don't possess disproportionate power? NRA, for example.). I think her responses to Brian's questions were condescending: "Have you heard of the oil lobby?" etc.

I was surprised that Brian didn't press her more on her statements which did seem to clearly equate criticism of Israel with anti-semitism and which attempted to dismiss Walt/Mersheimer's arguments by claiming that they were making a fortune off their anti-semitism.

Oct. 02 2007 12:00 PM
Tim from brooklyn

Was that segment underwritten by the ADL? By Brian not contesting her on her paranoid conspiracies with no basis in fact, he tacitly comes off sounding much like old Abe Foxman.

According to Ruth, if you criticize Israel or AIPAC you are an anti-semite (or self hating Jew), a standard defensive argument AND your obviously doing it to cash in on the money... And you wrote this book to lose money Ruth?

There are real anti-semites out there and the real conspiracy is whether they recruited Ruth to help bolster their ranks.

Oct. 02 2007 11:59 AM
VV Pointer

Ms Wisse is merely one more outlet for the vast propaganda machine whose goal is merely to dispose the minds of non-Jewish Americans in favor of her preferred allegiance, the Jewish state in the territory of Palestine.

Anything that people like her spout is classifiable as knee-jerk, tribal, pro-Israel pap.

One question that people like Ms Wisse choose to never answer is "what would you do if you owned a piece of land in the United States and an American Indian should tell that your plot is on his tribe's ancestral land and that he wants to take possession of your plot and of others in your neighborhood?"

Oct. 02 2007 11:57 AM

One does not have to be an anti-semite to think that Israel and it's policies might be wrong. I firmly believe that this woman is an example of why Arabs and Israel have such an inability to come to terms with each other. She is also an example of those in Israel who feel that there are many Jews in the US that make peace difficult, as has been addressed on this show before. I think it's time that this old guard mentality move on if it can't adapt to a new world. This applies to both sides of this issue.

These sides need to have a meeting of minds and stop blaming secret groups of Jews or Arabs in the US or in the Middle East that are controlling this or that. Rather they must find a common ground in spite of these pressures and in spite of people like this whose rhetoric is at the very least useless and on the other end destructive.

How about writing about how both sides are similar? But I guess peace doesn't sell. Too bad. She should spend more time with her therapist and less with her publisher.

Oct. 02 2007 11:54 AM
R. Applebaum from New York

I am appalled that someone with such toxic "If-you -do-not-support-Israel-you are anti-semite" attitude is not only a member of an academic institution that is supposed to be a beacon of knowledge but that is given air time to advertised her toxic views.

And she wraps up her toxic message by daring to say that if "Palestinians would change their attitude..." Unbelievable.

Oct. 02 2007 11:54 AM
Norman from New York

I think the consensus on this message board is that Brian was much too easy on Wisse and didn't challenge her ideas enough.

It sounded to me as if he was trying, but just couldn't do it. Exposing the truth about Wisse takes somebody like Amy Goodman.

Oct. 02 2007 11:53 AM

I might be wrong but Arabs are semite too.

Oct. 02 2007 11:52 AM
derek wong from Columbia

Eric -- of course Wisse would not call you anti-Semitic.
Nice try at a smear by repeating the canard.

But what was your specific critique of Wisse's argument against Walt & mearshiemer?

or do you not actually have one?

Oct. 02 2007 11:50 AM
Eric from B'klyn

Her characterization of the Walt/Mersheimer arguments are so off the mark that they appear to be deliberate mischaracterization. I find her arguments thoroughly unpersuasive, even obtuse. Does it follow that I am anti-Semitic?

Oct. 02 2007 11:47 AM
rick from brooklyn

never mind that "the arabs" have offered to recognize israel in exchange for pulling back to 1967 borders for more than 30 years. why let the facts get in the way?

Oct. 02 2007 11:46 AM
hjs from 11211


Oct. 02 2007 11:46 AM
abu from nyc

It is in America's interests to keep Israel as strong as possible? This is a Zionist American point of view. Next she will say we need to support the "greater israel" and allow them to keep the Golan Heights and West Bank and all other lands seized in warfare. What's good for Israel must be good for America....right?

Oct. 02 2007 11:46 AM
Leo L from Queens, NY

Can Professor Wisse explain why Eliot Abrams develops US foreign policy to Israel AND all Arab and Muslin states FROM the WHite House and in direct dialogue with Israeli government officials and she does not consider this as undue influence? How many countries have their own lobbyists IN THE WHITE HOUSE formulating policy directly with these foreign government officials?

Oct. 02 2007 11:45 AM
derek wong from Columbia


so criticizing those who attack Israel is "crazy" and "stifling free speech"

much phoniness & hypocrisy on this site... :>

Ruth Wisse makes some sharp points - haven't seen any "logical" critique of her *ideas* - just a lot of rudeness and name-calling.

Oct. 02 2007 11:44 AM
Lorenzo from NY

About Israel's air raid into Syria.. where else but in an excessively a-critical country would this story get no press

Oct. 02 2007 11:43 AM
Leo L from Queens, NY

WOW!!. This woman is a professor at Harvard? I guess anybody can be a professor and write books making general sweeping accusations and statements. I have not heard any facts supporting her points.

I Truly believe that Jews have a right to have a nation of their own that is vibrant and safe. Yet this woman is distorting history and the facts. - The 'terrorists' or people fighting for their independence in Palestine are terrorists being released to the World? Where does she get this from? She is also associating terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians as a preparation against attacks against the West - hint hint - 9/11. Can we stop prostituting the people who died and suffered on that day?

Oct. 02 2007 11:42 AM
RB from brooklyn

So, a strike against Syria, even though there is no proof as to what was hit, is perfectly legitimate. OK. So, Would your guest favor a military strike against Dimona, ie where Israeli nuclear weapons are PROVEN to be built? Or is Israel the only country over there allowed to have weapons, and the only country allowed to strike at others' supposed nuclear efforts? Double standards anyone?
And this person teaches at Harvard... oh, boy...
RB, PhD student...

Oct. 02 2007 11:42 AM
eric fluger from jersey city

one of the problems with recent public discussion of so-called "jewish power" in the US is that there are some small but very visible and influential groups that present themselves as representing all american jews and supporting a particular subset of israeli politicians.

folks reacting to the antics of the so-called "jewish lobby" seem to have bought into this.

the political views american jews are pretty divers and israeli politics are complex.

i doubt that the so called "jewish lobby" represents JFREJ (jews for racial and economic justice) or JVP (jewish voice for peace) or the israeli peace movement.

i wonder how the guest would feel if all american jews became more politically active and the diversity of viewpoints got more became more apparent in the mainstream media?

Oct. 02 2007 11:42 AM
ab from nyc

Ugh...I have news for this woman: during 9/11 I was dating a wonderful woman who happened to be Jewish and was very connected to her background and SHE was critical of Israeli policy!

Oh...I guess she was an anti-semite too. Ridiculous. Just ridiculous.

Oct. 02 2007 11:42 AM
Simon from Bronx

Once we hear the argument that anti-zionism= anti-semitism. The opposition to zionism, a modern remnant of western imperialism is not anti-semitism!

Oct. 02 2007 11:41 AM
Sally Brynn from Soho

Why is the media misleading us about the recent Israeli violation of Syrian airspace? The raid by Syria? In all of these articles the US media would have us believe Syria is staying silent on this matter.

How would ANYONE even have ever known this event had taken place is Syria did not speak out?

Oct. 02 2007 11:41 AM

Why do people always equate Israel with the Jewish people on the whole??? Disagreeing with the policies of a government does not equate to religious prosecution, which is a different matter on the whole. There are rabbis who disagree with Israel's policies. Does that make them antisemites?

This delusionally "victimized" lunatic being a professor at Harvard gives me the goose-willies. I'm not being anti-semetic, I'm being pro-logic.

Oct. 02 2007 11:40 AM
derek wong from Columbia

I love how some of the commenters above falsely smear Ruth Wisse of "stifling speech" - she never said that criticizing Israel is anti-Semitism. Of course, it often is - bit nopt always.

Then again, the biggest critiquers of Israel are Israelis and Jews fomr the left AND the right.

But beware of the those who falsely accuse others of stifling speech - they often are trying to do just that themselves.

Oct. 02 2007 11:40 AM
Nick from nyc

This woman is crazy!!! How does someone this trite teach at Harvard?!?!?

Oct. 02 2007 11:40 AM
Norman from New York

She critcizes Israel for releasing Palestinians from prison.

This is typical of AIPAC and the Likud. You ask them when they've ever criticized Israel, and they criticize Israel for not being hard-line enough.

Oct. 02 2007 11:40 AM
Terri from Brooklyn

Brian, you've pushed other guests a lot harder on their views (and their representation of their opponents' views) than you have this one. Please, stop being Charlie Rose and return to your usual, thoughtfully critical, self.

Oct. 02 2007 11:40 AM
Gaines from Knoxville, TN

She needs to give her definition of lobby. I do not believe the arab lobby has any where near as much influence in the US; I believe that she is combining the OIL lobby with the arab lobby in her definition. And a lot of our dealings with the arab world is driven by foreign affairs and oil interests, not with a particular affinity for arabs. "Anti-semitism" against Jews is prosecuted far faster and seen as a morally depraved thing, while "anti-semitism" against the arabs is seen as just part of popular culture <-- This is not the success of any "powerful" secret arab lobby.

Oct. 02 2007 11:39 AM
jeapes from Manhattan

Oh my god, this guest's arguments absolutely makes no sense. The last statement that Arabs have to definitely attack on America is a proposing the 'clash of civilization.'
What is her point on the 'the Palestinian issue'?
Her statements will only increase anti-semetism?

Oct. 02 2007 11:39 AM
Fred from Soho

You know, when the two other authors were on you thre was some guy with the same views as this woman that was brought on later as a counterpoint. It is interesting to see that she is getting this segment all to herself. So much for unbiased Public Radio. I guess the 2.5 million people incarcerated in the USA are not mostly black people but jews.

Oct. 02 2007 11:38 AM

Let's face reality, the Israel Lobby has far more influence than any other lobby in the United States. And I am insulted that she would associate whatever Arab Lobby as automatically being anti-Israeli lobby. It is quite clear this woman is a propagandist and not willing to concede that the APEC and other Israel lobbies use their power to influence foreign policy.

Oct. 02 2007 11:38 AM
Alice MacDonald from Peekskill NY

It seems like your guest doesn't answer any of the specific points put forward about the Israel lobby, but simply compares them to previous beginnings of anti-semitic movements. I would be interested in hearing a point-by-point rebuttal including an explanation of why our government's large amount of financial support for Israel is beneficial to our country and justified from a human-rights standpoint. I'm not sure where I stand, but I'm interested in hearing both sides of the issue. Calling the other side anti-semitic and not answering the points leaves me feeling uneducated and unable to take the guest's side, since I don't know their answers to these questions.

Oct. 02 2007 11:38 AM
Haim from Brooklyn

Ms. Wisse, your comments are the kind that encourage the festering of latent antisemitism. You may criticise Israel, and the disproportunate power of the jewish lobby, without being antisemitic. To label this open and honest criticism antisemitic does a diservice to all those who have truly been a victim of antisemitism.

Oct. 02 2007 11:37 AM
Matt from Northern NJ

I cannot believe that Brian let her get away with the statement that criticism of an Israel lobby is always -- she said always -- an attempt at distraction. Also, someone may want to point out that the "Arab action" she believes has spurred recent U.S. responses was taken as a result of U.S. support for Israel? Every statement this woman has made could have been predicted.

Oct. 02 2007 11:37 AM
AC from Queens

Unfortunately Ms. Ruth Wisse, is indicative and systematic of the deteriorating University system in the United States. Ms. Wisse believes that having a rational discussion on the effect of Israel politics on the United States and the Middle East is labeled as anti-Semitic! It is disturbing to see that this is what our so called elite Universities are producing and teaching our future leaders. The only pattern that I can see here is her discussion is the pattern of trying to stifle free speech with the label of anti-Semitism.

Oct. 02 2007 11:36 AM
Paulo from New Jersey

I think the people she criticizes overstate the problem, but I think she overstates her position as well. Such is the problem with academics. They look so hard for trends that the trend becomes the only thing they see. Trends are definitely present in human society and interactions, but trends never work wholly and completely. There is randomness and deviation from trends, there are competing trends, and there are multiple factors that influence any and all events.

In the end, both she and her opponents look ridiculous.

Oct. 02 2007 11:36 AM
Erik from NYC

She lost me as soon as she claimed that congress always acts in the best interest of the people and there are no special interest groups with disproportionate power.

Oct. 02 2007 11:36 AM
Norman from New York

I'm Jewish, and Ruth Wisse doesn't speak for me.

Does Wisse think that progressive Jews like Tony Kushner are helping anti-Semites?

Oct. 02 2007 11:34 AM
RB from brooklyn

Please, ask your guest to deal with some FACTS about the Walt and Mersheimer book: i am not sure that the argument that they are "making a fortune" out of their book has anything to do with their argument. They are talking about the effect of what they call the "Israel lobby" on US foreign policy, not on the ability of some to make money out of books written about Israel or US foreign policy.

Their book is about two main questions: Is the moral and strategic rationale for support ofr Israel valid or not.

As for the "arab lobby", the issue IS discussed in the book. With FACTS, not just with the "you must be jocking" argument of your guest. They DO talk about the "oil weapon." Oh and the number of arabs "in the world" has NOTHING to do with the lobbies in the US. Oh, and there are NUMBERS in the book about "Arab" money, the numbers are immensely SMALLER than the "Israel lobby" numbers... please, facts facts facts...


Oct. 02 2007 11:34 AM
hjs from 11211

American democracy doesn't work!

Oct. 02 2007 11:32 AM
ab from nyc

Whaaaaat???? The ANTI-Israel lobby has MORE power in government than the pro-Israeli lobby? WHEN??? WHO??? HOW??? What fantasy world is this woman living in??? I don't get it....

Oct. 02 2007 11:32 AM
chestine from NY

this is - excuse me - too ivory tower for me - the usa is made of minorities and we all have a politics of accommodation, it's how we make our way in the melting pot. What group hasn't been scapegoated? (beside WASP establishment)

Who doesn't organize to get heard?

Oct. 02 2007 11:31 AM
pinto from NY

How does she explain the extraordinary influence AIPAC has in the US and the amount of US aid that goes to Israel? Why is any and all criticism of the actions of the state of Israel considered antisemitism and compared with the Nazis?

Oct. 02 2007 11:30 AM
Lorenzo from NY

I totally disagree: one should be able to criticize Israel and pro-Israel politics without
being labeled anti-semitic. Jewish account for 2% of the United States population.. would you say that Israel occupies the same place in the United States foreign policy?

Oct. 02 2007 11:29 AM
Nicole from Manhattan

Ms. Wisse does a horrible disservice to everyone in America and all Jews when she declares that anyone who disagrees with Israeli policy and AIPAC is anti-semitic. That is a cheap low blow and a cop out - just a way to avoid having real discussions about real issues. The anti-Semite accusation is a cruel and hateful tactic that stalls progress.


Oct. 02 2007 11:29 AM
ab from nyc

yeah I'm going to have to agree with Rick. It seems as if she is saying that to criticize the Israeli governent automatically makes you an anti-semite (correct me if i misunderstood her) which is utterly ridiculous and is the worst form of stifling criticism and dialogue.

Oct. 02 2007 11:29 AM
David Harrington from Columbia University

One interesting historical case that backs up your guest's point is the anti-libel lawsuit that California lawyer Aaron Sapiro brought against Henry Ford. Sapiro organized California farmworkers. Ford published anti-Semitic propaganda in his Dearborn Independent that accused Sapiro and Jews of plotting against America. Many prominent Jews, including NYC lawyer Lewis Marshall came down hard against Sapiro because they didn't want the attention, even though Sapiro was right.

Oct. 02 2007 11:28 AM
Sally Brynn from Soho

What people don't adapt? This woman is driving me crazy. If black people were to say this stuff about the "reverse" they would never be on the radio.

There is not repression.

What is with this station.

Oct. 02 2007 11:28 AM
rick from brooklyn

so by definition, if you point out that the israelis and their cohorts have too much influence over US foreign policy, then you are an anti semite.

it's a convenient way to stifle criticism, and it works very well.

Oct. 02 2007 11:24 AM

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