03 October 2010

Open letter to Isi Leibler

Update: I am happy to tell that, upon exchange of e-mails with Mr Leibler, the issue at hand was resolved to everyone's satisfaction. The mention of liberals was a slip up and not an intentional insult.

And as an aside: it takes a mensch to own up to the mistake, and Isi Leibler is certainly a mensch!

Dear Mr Leibler,

In your JP article Candidly Speaking: Islamophobia and the Jews you have twice mentioned an entity you call "liberals" in the same breath with "Muslims". According to the claim you make re liberals in cahoots with Muslims, they spearhead "the greatest revival of global anti-Semitism since the Middle Ages". The only other mention of liberals in the article is found in this sentence:
It is macabre to observe the alliance between liberals and jihadists who represent the antithesis of everything the Left purports to represent.
This sentence indicates that you have equaled "liberals" with "the Left". There are no more mentions of liberals or explanation why liberals found themselves on the same side (of global anti-Semitism) as Muslims.

According to the definition of classical liberalism, it means:
a political ideology that developed in the nineteenth century in Western Europe, and the Americas. It was committed to the ideal of limited government and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets. It drew on the economics of Adam Smith, a psychological understanding of individual liberty, natural law and utilitarianism, and a belief in progress. Classical liberals established political parties that were called "liberal", although in the United States classical liberalism came to dominate both existing major political parties.
Rereading this definition, I can say that I sincerely hope that you, Mr Leibler, belong to or, at least, sympathize with this brand of ideology. I certainly do.

I can only guess that you have (mistakenly) conflated liberals with the Left. There are indeed some left-wing liberals, however not many of them are anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic. It is true that the Left these days, by and large is anti-Israeli, although it's not true regarding all Lefties, and one should be careful when ascribing anti-Semitism to every left-leaning person.

However, going back to liberals, seeing them spearheading a revival of modern anti-Semitism is quite a wide miss, not to mention a grave and unjust accusation to throw at a generally good group of people.

I think that for a man of your caliber and achievements, such a sweeping (and simply wrong) allegation against a large group of individuals is beneath you and urge you to correct or retract it.

With regards.


Dvar Dea said...

<p><span><span>Well said!</span></span></p>

jams o donnell said...

The crass anti semitism of too many fellow leftists angers me. Being lumped in with them angers me too!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Happily it was rather a slip up and not an intentional slur.