Pinkwashing and the Mind

Sometimes, a writer publishes a piece that manages to cut through the immense amount of clutter that passes for discussion and debate on the Middle East, providing insights that lead to instant (and deserved) virality. Matti Friedman’s 2014 story that provided an insider’s explanation for so much journalistic malpractice when it comes to coverage of […]

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How Pinkwashing Makes You Dumb

It continues to be an open question whether stupid people gravitate towards joining the BDS “movement” vs. participating in BDS itself lowering one’s iQ. One of the things that makes this a tough call is that participating in BDS and associated propaganda activity requires you to believe so many demonstrably false things (Jenin, Jenin, anyone), […]

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Let’s All Become BDSHoles!

In the past, I’ve riffed of what it would take for us to truly turn the tables on Israel’s foes and treat them in the same way they treat us.  But today, I’d like to dig deeper and fully list out everything we would have to abandon in order to become the kind of people […]

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Occupations

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the word “Occupation” recently. Anyone reading this already knows the centrality of that term (in a more specific form of “The Occupation”) in any discussion or debate about the Middle East.  But rather than just being a piece of terminology that can be defined and then applied to […]

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American Historical Society and BDS – Strike Two!

By now, most of you have probably heard the good news that the American Historical Association (AHA) has voted down a motion “critical of Israel” (i.e., the best the BDSers could do in an environment where their squalid little boycotts are treated with understandable suspicion) by a 2:1 margin. The group responsible for forcing this […]

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Shame

With little time to blog as this year comes to an end, it’s tempting to do a run-down of some of the good news that’s come our way (like the recent reversal of that outrageous vote within the graduate student union in California to join the BDS “movement”) as well as ominous tidings (such as […]

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Academic Boycott Blues

Recent anti-Israel votes by academic associations (notably ones devoted to anthropology and women’s studies) were shocking, but not surprising. Shock derives from the fact that academic boycotts have always been the most loathed of all boycott, divestment and sanctions activities, given how they collide with and threaten the very academic freedom upon which every scholar […]

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A Culture of Pride

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Culture Wars

There are several ways to approach today’s problems of campus unrest. The first is to treat them not as a challenge to the current moral order, but rather as a “moral panic” that will eventually burn itself out. That phrase, used a couple of times in this series, describes a phenomenon that emerges in most […]

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What can BDS Teach Us About the Culture Wars?

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Culture Wars

Many who criticize outrageous forms of behavior on college campuses, from “micro-aggression” to “safe spaces,” warn (either out of fear or glee) that once students who have been sheltered from challenging ideas and conflict enter the “real world,” they will quickly discover what it’s like to encounter an obstacle without “daddy” there to intervene. While […]

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Culture of Victimhood

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Culture Wars

The concept of a “Culture of Victimhood” will be familiar to most people who have observed or participated in debates over behaviors seen on college campuses (and elsewhere) over the last several decades. The notion of establishing victimhood as a means of social control has been applied to a variety of situations, from debates over […]

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Culture of Dignity

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Culture Wars

Among those covering or participating in the fight against BDS and similar propaganda campaigns on college campuses, I’ve always been one of the least enthusiastic for the tactic of turning to college administrators to solve the problems supporters of Israel (and Jews in general) face at more and more schools. Perhaps this reflects my preference for […]

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