Rosenfeld replies to his critics

Prof. Alvin H. Rosenfeld created a great furor with his essay “Progressive Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism” published by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) (PDF downloadable from the AJC here). It seemed to me that his thesis — that there’s a lot of antisemitism out there and some of it is starting to come from left-wing Jews — was unexceptionable; but it triggered a remarkably violent response.

In any event, he has written a reply to his critics which is worth reading even if you didn’t read the original essay. For example:

It goes something like this: (1) Spot an Israeli action that can serve as the ground of “criticism of Israel” (e.g., Israel’s military incursion into the area near Jenin in April 2002 in response to Palestinian terrorist massacres); (2) Then “dissent” in the strongest possible terms, for instance by likening the “razing of Jenin” to the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, while anticipating that “powerful” and “repressive” Jewish institutions will try to “silence” the critics by calling them anti-Semites; (3) When taken to task by more sober-minded critics who find that, contrary to your charge, there was no such thing as “the razing of Jenin” and that the IDF has nothing in common with the SS, cry “foul” and claim their censure perfectly illustrates the point that there really is a Jewish organizational conspiracy to silence “criticism of Israel” by branding the authors of such criticism “anti-Semites.”

Rosenfeld’s reply can be found here.

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