pageok
pageok
pageok
A Phone Call I Just Got:

I'm transcribing it from memory, so I might have missed a word or two, but this was just half a minute ago, so I'm pretty sure I've gotten all the key words:

I feel sorry for students who have to study with a Zionist pig like you. Comparing Castro to Hitler -- maybe all you've got on your brain is Hitler. You are nothing but a maggot. [Click.]

Everything old is new again . . . .

(By the way, for whatever it's worth, before people assume that this is Arab anti-Semitism, I should note the caller's accent sounded European rather than Middle Eastern.)

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Zionism:
  2. A Phone Call I Just Got:
Justin (mail):
Yes, I think the caller's point is also logically flawed ;).
12.6.2005 1:49pm
Humble Law Student:
I'm sorry professor, I just got carried away. Don't take it personally. ;)


(this is a joke!)
12.6.2005 1:58pm
Justin (mail):
PS I don't think I find the comments themselves are all that anti semetic, although the caller may be anti-semetic.

"Zionist pig like you" - while I find "Zionist" a poor derogatory term for "pro-Israel", it is unfair to say the term also means "Jewish". Indeed, the most religious Jewish sects are not Zionists (they do not believe that political forces can create the Jewish state). Pig, likewise, is a generic insult, though "Zionist pig" may connote something antisemetic.

Comparing Castro to Hitler -- maybe all you've got on your brain is Hitler.

I don't know why you compared the two - Godwin's law and all, and Castro may be many things but genocidal is not one of those things. Strangely, it seems right-winged Jewish organizations seem to attack those who compare things to Hitler as anti-semetic, as somehow lessening the importance of the Holocaust.

Now the Hitler on the brain thing does connote some anti-semetism, though if he is, as you mentioned, European, you should at least construe this as a sort of current events European thing about reconsidering the prominance of the Holocaust in light of other genocides. For some reason not understood by me, it seems the side arguing for the prominance of the Holocaust over other genocides is defended by the staunchly pro-Israel in this debate (ADL, which is not as staunchly pro-Israel, simply believes that all genocides deserve prominance). Now, of course, this understanding may make his point incoherent, but we're not dealing with a grade A intellect.

You are nothing but a maggot. - nothing particularly anti-semetic here.

The only reason I post this is because, as a left-of-center-moderately-pro-Israel jew, I find that the right-winged staunchly pro-Israel movement, particularly the divine right strand (which I am not accusing you as being part of), tends to conflate anti-Semetism and anti-Israel. Although I believe the anti-Israel left to be misguided in much of their criticism, accepting that language would be a major impediment to both legitimate criticism of Israeli policy as well as creating a roadmap to peace.
12.6.2005 1:58pm
Bob Bobstein (mail):
Very sorry to hear that, Prof. Volokh. No matter how obviously moronic and indefensible the comments are, it still cannot be a fun experience to get that kind of phone call. I hope that it did not cause you mental anguish. Anti-Semetism is definitely still real.
12.6.2005 1:59pm
Bob Bobstein (mail):
I see your concern, Justin, but I disagree. Let's not go Derrida on this guy's remarks. "Zionist pig," "maggot," and "Hitler on the brain" strike me as comments intended to offend on the basis of ethnicity, and hence anti-Semetic.
12.6.2005 2:03pm
Bob Bobstein (mail):
ah, geez, misspelled "Semitic" in both my posts.
12.6.2005 2:04pm
Huck (mail):
the caller's point is also logically flawed

I am not so sure.

Comparing Castro to Hitler -- maybe all you've got on your brain is Hitler.

He obviously dislikes EV's comparing them. Why? He must think they are not comparable. One is much worse than the other.

If Hitler was (in his opinion) much worse than Castro is, then calling EV a 'zionist pig' and lamenting about EV's (in his opinion) focusing on Hitler makes no sense.

So he must think Castro is much worse than Hitler.

That would be a consistent interpretation of this dumbass worldview.
12.6.2005 2:08pm
Daniel Golding:
Justin, If you can't figure out why "Zionist Pig" is a anti-semetic reference, I'm afraid there is no hope for you. Let me spell it out: "zionist" is usually a codeword for jew. This is not a new idea - Martin Luther King pointed it out many years ago. Its a particularly transparent code word, for that matter. The theory that one can be anti-zionist without being anti-semetic boggles the mind. Those who hold to this idea are either bigots or simply don't understand what Zionism means. Zionism is the idea that jews are entitled to a homeland, a country of their own. Thats it. Its the idea of jewish nationalism, no different from french nationalism, or russian nationalism.

Also, you are incorrect in saying that the most religious sects are anti-zionist. The Satmar Hasidim certainly are, but there are pleny of Hasidim who are quite pro-Israel - the Chabad Lubavitchers, for instance.
12.6.2005 2:11pm
Huck (mail):
The theory that one can be anti-zionist without being anti-semetic boggles the mind. Those who hold to this idea are either bigots or simply don't understand what Zionism means. Zionism is the idea that jews are entitled to a homeland, a country of their own. Thats it. Its the idea of jewish nationalism, no different from french nationalism, or russian nationalism.

Or Kurdish nationalism now, or Irish nationalism before 1920, or Biafra nationalism?

Zionism, in your definition, is a political movement which can be opposed without antisemitism.

I do not say that opposers mostly lack antisemitism. But there is a distinction.
12.6.2005 2:19pm
Bob Bobstein (mail):
The theory that one can be anti-zionist without being anti-semetic boggles the mind.

Well, that's not right either. Even on your terms, if "Zionism is the idea that jews are entitled to a homeland, a country of their own," one can reject the idea that Jews should move to historical Israel without harboring negative thoughts about Jews in general. (Maybe you're arguing that the "country of their own" need not be Palestine/Israel/Transjordan, and that it could be Antarctica or an uninhabited patch of the Sahara. Maybe that was true in 1890, but that's not what it's come to mean.)

My point is that one can vehemently reject Zionism without harboring any resentment against Jews. However, this truth is lost on people who, as you correctly point out, treat "Zionist" as "a codeword for jew." I would lump Prof. Volokh's interlocutor in with that group.
12.6.2005 2:21pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Justin: I've rarely spoken out about Israel; the Castro/Hitler comparison, I take it, refers to my column on Tookie Williams and the Nobel Peace Prize, where I wrote that "Past nominees include Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Benito Mussolini and Fidel Castro," not to any mention by me of Castro in some Zionist-related context. (Incidentally, I don't think that Castro or Mussolini are morally equivalent to Hitler or Stalin; I mentioned them together because I think they were all very bad people, not necessarily that I think they are identically bad.)

Yet the caller didn't just criticize me for the Castro-Hitler comparison. Rather, she (I think it was a she, but I can't be positive) called me a "Zionist pig" and said that "maybe all [I]'ve got on [my] brain is Hitler." Tell me again why she'd say this if she weren't anti-Semitic.
12.6.2005 2:23pm
Kosher Pig:
To correct some of Justin's assertions:

the most religious Jewish sects are not Zionists

There are only a few non-Zionist Jewish sects. They represent very few people. Most importantly, they are not the "most religious." They may be the most extremist in their religious interpretations and behavior, but they are not inherently more religious than any other pious Jew or Jewish movement.

ADL, which is not as staunchly pro-Israel

This confuses support for the State of Israel with support for the current government's policies. The ADL may espouse liberal political values, but it absolutely believes in the State of Israel. The ADL produces a guide for Israel advocacy and is a member of the Israel on Campus Coalition.

the divine right strand ... tends to conflate anti-Semetism and anti-Israel

Antisemitism is a know-it-when-I-see-it phenomenon. While a critic has the right to choose which battles to wage, you must ask yourself why a democratic, Western, UN-created country is the only country singled out for illegitimacy. The anti-Israel crowd disputes Israel's legitimate existence, not the wisdom of its policy choices. So what makes Israel distinct?

"Zionist pig" may connote something antisemetic

I hope my pseudonym eliminates most of that doubt.
12.6.2005 2:23pm
DNL (mail):
Pigs do not have opposable thumbs and therefore cannot answer phones, thus proving that the caller is indeed mistaken.
12.6.2005 2:27pm
Bisch:
The complex subtleties of geopolitics and precise etymology are generally lost on those who make anonymous calls to slur another. Perhaps some of the commenters above suppose the caller was engaging in legitimate, albiet brief, policy debate with the good professor. Thanks for making excuses.

Sympathies, professor.
12.6.2005 2:31pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Incidentally, I agree that one can oppose Zionism without being anti-Semitic (for the reasons that Huck and Bob Bobstein mention). I'm just pretty sure that this particular anti-Zionist was indeed an anti-Semite.
12.6.2005 2:31pm
Steve:
I never thought I would see the day when someone would claim that "Zionist pig" is not an anti-semitic insult.

As for some of the other comments, sure, if you define "anti-Israel" as questioning Israel's right to exist, I'd agree that it's a fair proxy for anti-semitism. But in reality, the term "anti-Israel" is applied as a perjorative to any number of people who have no problem with Israel's right to exist, but believe it overreaches in aspects of its foreign policy. I don't see anything necessarily anti-semitic about such a position.
12.6.2005 2:31pm
Joshua (mail):
Prof. Volokh wrote:


(By the way, for whatever it's worth, before people assume that this is Arab anti-Semitism, I should note the caller's accent sounded European rather than Middle Eastern


I'm confuesd. What does Arab anti-Semitism have to do with a statement bashing you for likening Castro to Hitler? Castro isn't an Arab, and as far as I know he's never been overtly anti-Semitic either.
12.6.2005 2:32pm
Andy (mail) (www):
And FWIW, I do not think that you are immature fly larva.
12.6.2005 2:37pm
Kim Scarborough (mail) (www):
Eugene:

Does your phone have Caller ID?
12.6.2005 2:37pm
Huck (mail):
Incidentally, I agree that one can oppose Zionism without being anti-Semitic (for the reasons that Huck and Bob Bobstein mention). I'm just pretty sure that this particular anti-Zionist was indeed an anti-Semite.

That's out of question.
12.6.2005 2:38pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
In my experience, many people in recent years tend to assume virulent anti-Semitism mostly comes from Arabs or perhaps other Muslims. I wanted to prevent people's drawing such an inference in this case, by noting that the accent seems inconsistent with that. (Joshua is right that the reference to Castro likewise doesn't point to Arab anti-Semitism, but then again the reference to Castro is mysterious in any event, for the reason Joshua himself identifies.)
12.6.2005 2:41pm
Brooks Lyman (mail):
Joshua -

Currently, the most publicized anti-Semites are Arabs. So EV was just trying to be fair and keep us from jumping to unjustified conclusions.

At a guess, the caller was a confused European leftist, who is both anti-Semitic (currently popular in many left-wing circles - so much for Hitler and the Nazis (national Socialists) as a right-wing phenomenom) and pro-Castro.

Brooks Lyman
12.6.2005 2:49pm
John R. Mayne (mail):
It is possible to use racial slurs without being racist; if I hate Bob the Canadian, and I want to verbally wound him, I might call him "Bob the dumb Canuck," simply to annoy and harrass, and not due to a dislike of Canadians generally. (This assumes I am a jerk.)

In this case, the caller doesn't appear to know Eugene, so that explanation is quite unlikely. Racism seems to be the primary cause, though doubtless other personality disorders contribute.

Still, I think we can get carried away with ascribing the views of one loony dingbat to a significant portion of the population. I am somewhat skeptical of the caller's likelihood of becoming a professor at UCLA or even guest lecturing at USC. Of course, the explanation for that is doubtless the vast Jewish conspiracy against her....

--JRM
12.6.2005 2:50pm
Al Maviva (mail):
In all seriousness, the caller did have a valid point: comparing reds to Hitler is a totally flawed analogy. Hitler was a piker compared to international communism when it came to piling up millions of bodies. He worked faster and committed terrible genocide, but the communists' "body of work" over the 20th century and up through today is far more impressive, by an order of magnitude, than anything Hitler ever did. I believe Anne Applebaum has written on this quite persuasively.
12.6.2005 2:57pm
Bob Bobstein (mail):
Al Maviva: Hopefully your comment is satire.

In the off chance it is not, let me just point out your most glaring error-- calling Castro "the reds." Castro's regime is a moral, political, and economic catastrophe, to be sure; but, perhaps simply for lack of power over enough people, he simply did not wreak the havoc that Hitler did. Be wary of imprecise thinking.

The caller had no valid points. If you find yourself picking out the valid points made by racist crank callers, it is time to pause and evaluate your approach to politics.
12.6.2005 3:05pm
Kim Scarborough (mail) (www):
Now if the caller had said Eugene was comparing apples and oranges, that would have been funny.
12.6.2005 3:14pm
Rob (www):
I'd have to agree with Bob Bobstein's comment ... what with the proximate use of these particular insults, it is anti-semitic.

But what grabbed my attention was the generic feel of it. Remove the context of the words, and I could see them being used against any number of Jewish professors. After all, "Comparing Castro to Hitler" is vague enough that it isn't all that exclusive. Especially since there was no comparison to speak of in the first place.
12.6.2005 3:16pm
Moshe (mail):
Sorry you had to experience that Prof. Volokh. I would have been pretty shaken up.
12.6.2005 3:17pm
Houston Lawyer:
Identifying the caller's accent as European is helpful since antisemitism is almost as virulent there as it is in some Middle Eastern countries. Many Europeans also have a soft spot for Castro since he provides the ultimate in socialism, that is socialized medicine. It is horribly disturbing when the unhinged know who you are and care enough to harrass you.
12.6.2005 3:17pm
Matt22191 (mail):
Brooks's explanation is the one I was going to go with. Anti-Semitism is hardly unknown among Europeans (and not just Germans). Ditto for communism. It probably offends her terribly to see a Jew comparing her hero, Castro, to Hitler. She may not have a problem with Hitler's anti-Semitism, but she no doubt despises him for his passionate hatred of communists.

Why "Zionist pig" rather than, say, "dirty Jew"? She presumably sees no distinction.

Don't be surprised to find holes in her reasoning; we are, after all, talking about a crank caller. Attempts to parse her words as though she were lucid are bound to end in frustration.
12.6.2005 3:22pm
Huck (mail):
Many Europeans also have a soft spot for Castro since he provides the ultimate in socialism, that is socialized medicine.

Huh? The United Kingdom introduced that more than 50 years ago. Mrs. Thatcher choosed not to change this.

The ultimate in socialism? Come down.
12.6.2005 3:25pm
DaVid:
The way to identify anti-semites is when they start talking of suspect loyaties and shadowy cabals in Washington and the media.
12.6.2005 3:25pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Rather, she (I think it was a she, but I can't be positive) called me a "Zionist pig" and said that "maybe all [I]'ve got on [my] brain is Hitler." Tell me again why she'd say this if she weren't anti-Semitic.

Well, it's a bit of a challenge but not impossible; given the state of some schools, it's possible she was calling you bad names without any awareness of how those names became bad.
12.6.2005 3:29pm
Rob (www):
To the choice of "Zionist pig" over "dirty Jew" ... Since the caller apparently sounded European, perhaps the latter insult has legal implications in her nation of origin. (Some European nations have far stricter "hate speech" laws than America.) It would be natural for an anti-semite to develop socially and legally acceptable code phrases in order to express hateful sentiments to Jews.
12.6.2005 3:33pm
DK:
Context matters, people. If someone used the phrase "those people" in the middle of a stream of insults and invective, it would have a different meaning than if they said "those people's report on taxation policy did not sufficiently address the impact on the WTO of a US VAT."

Likewise, the use of "Zionist" as an epithet has a clear context and history as a code-word for anti-Semitism. Someone who uses the phrase "Zionist pig" is probably not trying to make a subtle point about a theological dispute over the Messiah.
12.6.2005 3:34pm
James of England:
I tend to think of accusations of Zionism as having the potential to be legitimate. For instance, I have been present whilst Christian and Atheist friends who enthusiastically talk about nuking Syria in order to protect Israel. I'm talking about a moderate size group of law school students and a professor insisting that they were serious about this as a plan, and that it was likely to happen, in 2004. It was one of the first moments that I experienced what it was like to be the moderate republican in the room. ;-) There, I think that, should "pig" be an epithet that I frequently used, "Zionist pig" would not have been an awful way of describing the conversation's leader.

As Prof. Volokh says, though, he rarely talks about Israel. I don't remember him doing so, but I'd be surprised if he were particularly extreme when doing so. I think that some of his positions offer philosophical support to some of the more unpleasant ideologies found in Israel (I'm thinking mostly of his support for making wrongdoers suffer). I don't get the impression that the caller was making that sort of nuanced point, though. As such, it seems incredibly unlikely that the caller was making a point about Prof. Volokh's political views, but was rather making an argument based on identity politics. As such, it seems indisputable to me that it was an anti-Semitic comment. My sense is that "maggot" is also a term strongly associated with hostility to Jews in the rhetoric of the European left.

That said, would it really be much better if it was just about his political views? Some nut calling up in a threatening manner to berate him for views that he does not hold? I don't believe that Prof. Volokh is a Zionist to the point of being a pig about it (although I hope and assume he is to the point of believing that a successful Arab invasion would suck for the world). He doesn't believe in that Castro and Hitler were similar. He certainly thinks about matters other than Hitler. There's definitely an irrational hatred here. Even if there were a real chance that this was not anti-Semitic, I'm not certain what value there would be to highlighting that chance.

Prof. Volokh, this is the least hysterical and most emotionally persuasive anecdote of this kind that I have seen for a while. Thank you for putting yourself into the public sphere, where we can all benefit from your thoughts, despite receiving such abuse. I know that I benefit from your bravery on a daily basis. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
12.6.2005 3:44pm
Huck (mail):
(Answer to: Zionism)

I am sorry you did not activate the comment function.
12.6.2005 3:59pm
Edward A. Hoffman (mail):
I'm sorry this happened to you, Eugene. Calling someone a "Zionist pig" is definitely not kosher.
12.6.2005 4:03pm
Brennan:
I'm not sure if this would work if you are reached through a switchboard, but hanging up and then picking up and dialing *57 should activate a call trace function.
12.6.2005 4:14pm
Huck (mail):
I am sorry you did not activate the comment function.

So let me comment here.

So let's get things straight: Zionism is the term that describes the movement for a Jewish state in the "Land of Israel"--the area that was once a sovereign Jewish state, but over almost two millenia had been controlled by various other nationalities, including Europeans (Great Britain and also briefly and in part during the Crusades), Mamluks, Romans, Arabs, and Turks. Zionists are those who believe in Zionism.

That's the historical viewpoint, but it should be added that Palestine wasn't the only possible ground for a jewish state early in Zionism.

Nowadays, to say one is a Zionist means nothing more than that one supports the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. One could be a liberal Zionist, who wants Israel to withdraw from the territories and achieve full equality for its Arab citizens, or one can be an illiberal Zionist, and support a vision of "Greater Israel" with a suppressed Arab minority. One can be a secular Zionist, or a religious Zionist. There are Christian Zionists, and even a few Muslim Zionists.

The main difference from 1930 is, that Israel exist now for 56 years. There are children in Israel whose grandparents were born in Israel.

They have a right to stay there. Similar to those polish people in formerly German cities like Wrozlaw (Breslau). It's time which has it's own weight.

Anyway. Zionism was - for more than half of its existance - a very contoversial political movement.
12.6.2005 4:19pm
Huck (mail):
(Sorry for the typos.)
12.6.2005 4:22pm
Seamus (mail):

While a critic has the right to choose which battles to wage, you must ask yourself why a democratic, Western, UN-created country is the only country singled out for illegitimacy.



To be fair, many of these people used to denounce Rhodesia and Nationalist-ruled South Africa and the "independent" homelands as illegitimate too. Some of them also probably denounced the Republic of Vietnam as illegitimate. And those who are really getting old probably denounced Katanga as illegitimate
12.6.2005 4:32pm
JRL:
Are you sure the caller wasn't saying Castro needs a hitter? With all the news about the World Baseball Classic coming up in March, the caller may have been lamenting Cuba'a chances against what's shaping up to be a very impressive US roster.
12.6.2005 4:39pm
Al Maviva (mail) (www):
Partially satirical, partially a commentary on European left wingery and its invidious and pathological blindness to the massive death toll inflicted by Soviet, Chinese, Korean, Cambodian, North Vietnamese and Cuban death toll. I know I'm leaving some out, but y'know, 8 million is a number, 200 million+ and counting is just a statistic.
12.6.2005 5:10pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Now if the caller had said Eugene was comparing apples and oranges, that would have been funny.
But are we comparing oranges to an apple in the mouth of the pig? There's the question!

It is very unnerving to get these sort of abusive phone calls (I speak from experience). It is generally the case that losers like this are all bark, no bite. Still, there are just enough cases where abusive calls and letters turn into physical violence that it should at least cause one to be a bit wary.

I am inclined towards the explanation that is is some leftist upset about the implied comparison of Castro to Hitler. (As if including them in the same list implies a comparison.)
12.6.2005 5:11pm
just me (mail):
Mr. Mayne says -

"I am somewhat skeptical of the caller's likelihood of becoming a professor at UCLA or even guest lecturing at USC."

I wish I could share Mr. Mayne's optimism. I can't claim a specific familiarity with UCLA/USC, but in general, it seems to me that people with such "beliefs" are indeed among the ranks of the tenured in America. In fact, I'd say that today's anti-Semitism is stronger on campuses than anywhere else.

Prof. V, if you look into caller ID options, make sure that it detects calls on the internal system as well, and not just off-campus callers.
12.6.2005 5:12pm
NickM (mail) (www):
The comments got me thinking about another topic: how do we measure evil?

I expect almost all of us consider Hitler worse than Castro, but how do we compare Hitler against Mao, Stalin, or Pol Pot? Where does a Saddam Hussein, who personally killed real or imagined opponents, fit in to the framework? Is there some type of depravity which leapfrogs other dictators over all of these?

I answer my own last question in the affirmative - cannibalism of real or imagined enemies is the touchstone for the greatest evil. I pick Jean-Bedel Bokassa (Central African Republic), who ate children and served human flesh at state dinners because he found it funny, as the nadir of evil among modern leaders.

Nick
12.6.2005 5:14pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
The theory that one can be anti-zionist without being anti-semetic boggles the mind.
It's logically true; one can be the former without the latter. One could be an anarchist (and not support the existence of any nations at all); one can be a Satmar or Neturei Karta (and think that any Jewish attempt to recreate Israel is heresy.)

It's just not practically true. The number of people who fit in the above categories are tiny; the rest of the "anti-Zionists" are quite obviously people who take traditional anti-semitic rants and replace "Jew" with "Zionist."

To be sure, some defenders of Israel mis-equate all criticism of Israel's policies with attacks on Israel's existence; on the other hand, many people who purport to "only" attack Israel's policies (a) single it out for criticism of behavior that many countries engage in, and/or (b) attack policies that without which Israel couldn't exist.

And nobody who is merely criticizing Israel's policies uses terms like "Zionist pig."
12.6.2005 5:23pm
Tim:
I just wanted to leave a comment of support for Professor Volokh; how disappointing that he received such a nasty call. David Brooks wrote a few months ago about the decline of public intellectuals, but I believe that blogging like Professor Volokh's keeps this spirit alive. He and his fellow blogging academics of all stripes do a great service sharing their thoughts and generating public dialogue. Volokh and company could very easily cloister themselves at universities and never share their thoughts outside of classes, conferences, and journals. I'm very glad that so many academics have chosen to open up through blogging and I hate to read of such inappropriate reactions.
12.6.2005 5:28pm
Niels Jackson (mail):
That couldn't have been Brian Leiter, could it? Leiter appears to detest Volokh; he's in Europe right now; he seems to like Castro, at least when Castro writes a propaganda piece denigrating the United States.
12.6.2005 5:30pm
plunge (mail):
[sarcasm]I dunno. This sounds awful suspicious to me. A PHONE CALL? That's awfully old fashioned for a college professor. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but are you didn't, say, stage the whole thing? I'm betting there's a lot more to this story than the LIBERAL MEDIA wants us to know about.[/sarcasm]

Seriously though: this guy seems like the sort of fool who doesn't know about *69 or phone records. I'm betting that this call would trace right to some dorm room or student cell phone. This sounds exactly like some kid who's just come out fresh from getting all worked up by some zany pro-Castro professor.
12.6.2005 5:36pm
Anthony (mail):
Joshua writes "Castro isn't an Arab".

But Iranian clerics have invited him to become Muslim.
12.6.2005 5:40pm
Bud Selig:
JRL:Are you sure the caller wasn't saying Castro needs a hitter?.

More like Castro is a hitter, or more accurately, a pitcher.
12.6.2005 5:43pm
A.S.:
That couldn't have been Brian Leiter, could it?

I'd peg it as the Bushisms writer from Slate (Jacob Weisberg?), who EV taunts mercilessly. Or, more, generally, any Slate writer, since EV seems to pick on them a lot.
12.6.2005 6:50pm
Justin (mail):
Given the context later provided, I'd agree that this was anti-semetic. I couldn't figure out the context before and assumed (incorrectly) that this was over some comment you made somewhere about Israel. Apologies.
12.6.2005 7:06pm
Justin (mail):
It's just not practically true. The number of people who fit in the above categories are tiny; the rest of the "anti-Zionists" are quite obviously people who take traditional anti-semitic rants and replace "Jew" with "Zionist."

David, I know a ton of anti-Zionist Jews, who, although not particularly religious, have many religious friends (and are not agnostic/athiest - they'll do the passover/rosh hashana/yom kippur trifecta).

Rabbi Lerner is one of the most famous anti-Zionists, and I recall him actually using the term Zionism in his speeches, to the degree that I think he once claimed that Zionism and Judaism could not coexist. Is he an anti-Semite too?
12.6.2005 7:10pm
Justin (mail):
BTW, the use of this comment to make rediculous stereotypes about "Europeans" generally, or to take the anonymous caller and attribute his actions to particular individuals because of their politics seems to have a certain amusing/disturbing symmatry.
12.6.2005 7:18pm
Justin (mail):
Oh, and Professor Bernstein, there's an assumption in your post that only leftists are anti-Zionist, but clearly there are also those on the far right, including the vast majority of the religious zealots who are actually doing the legwork to destroy Israel.
12.6.2005 7:31pm
James of England:
Justin, do you mean that the Christian right in the US is doing the legwork to destroy Israel, or do you mean that the Islamists in the Middle East are a bunch of free trading, stability supporting, Burke and Hayek loving types? I'm not sure which is more wrong.

With regard to your other entry, can you please quote for me a ridiculous stereotype of Europeans that in another reader's comment? The only one I can find is the idea that Hitler is a "current event" to Europeans, but I'm assuming that you didn't mean to suggest equivalence between yourself and the caller.
12.6.2005 8:24pm
Justin (mail):
James, to assume that right-winged is limited to the provinces of Burke and Hayek is being intentionally naive. It's also hypocritical, as you seem to have no problem identifying the very UnBurkean, UnHayekian "Christian right in the US" as right winged.
12.6.2005 9:03pm
Wince and Nod (mail) (www):
I am sorry to hear this, Prof. Volokh, and hope you are keeping your Second Amendment Rights appropriately clean, oiled and at hand in case the caller is indeed dangerous. As usual, you are weilding your First Amendment rights very effectively, and clearly are keeping them appropriately clean, oiled and at hand.

Yours,
Wince
12.6.2005 9:21pm
James of England:
Justin, Do I take it that you're suggesting that the government of Syria is right wing? Are there many right wing governments that call themselves socialists?

How about the PLO? The Popular Struggle Front? Hezbollah?

Are these the people that you are saying are right wing?

As it happens, most of the hard religious right political figures I know tend to be pretty fond of Burke, although they may not agree in all respects.
12.7.2005 12:08am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I see this as anti-Semitic. And I know that Eugene doesn't jump to that conclusion as often as I, a non-Jew, do. But I have been following his blog for quite awhile, and have looked over a lot of his other work over time, and I frankly don't remember his speaking very much at all about Israel. How can this guy accurately call Eugene a Zionist when he probably doesn't really know where he sits on the subject? Rather, what he knows is that Eugene is of Jewish descent, and, thus, is assumed to be a Zionist. But since it is highly probable (IMHO) that the caller believed Eugene a Zionist based solely on his ethnicity, I would call him anti-Semitic.

But then, as Eugene knows, I see anti-Semitism where he doesn't.
12.7.2005 4:33am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
One thing alluded to above though is that there are a lot of us who are not Jewish, but who are Zionists. Indeed, I would suspect that there are probably more non-Jewish Zionists in this country than Jewish ones.

Of course, this excludes Utah, where the term is probably taken by many there to mean keeping the state safe for Mormons.
12.7.2005 4:37am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Oh, I should add that one of the more humorous things about Utah is the religious terminology. A friend of mine in college grew up there and always thought it strange that he was termed a "gentile", given that he was Jewish.
12.7.2005 4:39am