The consequences of a website that spouts anti-Semitism entering mainstream discourse on Israel and Palestine.
Some ideas have earned their banishment from civilized discourse, and anti-Semitism is one of them. The paranoiac take on Jewish peoplehood holds that there are not Jews, but The Jews, a self-interested group of people who don't as much think individually as answer to tribal imperatives; an omnipresent mass of ravening self-interest, whether they're cooking matza with the blood of Christians or bending modern-day superpowers to their will.
We live in a society of competing ideas -- not, as anti-Semitism frames it, of competing groups, competing ethnicities, or competing fears. This is particularly important when it comes to Israel and Palestine. Ethnically and religiously-dominated understandings of the conflict, as well as of the wider world, have repeatedly dragged the region away from peace. By vilifying and dehumanizing one side of the conflict, the poison of anti-Semitism makes a constructive, forward-looking discourse far more difficult to achieve.
Yesterday, Peter Beinart's pluralistic blog, Open Zion, published a post by Alex Kane, a staff writer for a website called Mondoweiss.It's impossible to peer into the hearts and minds of the people who edit the site, but Mondoweiss often gives the appearance of an anti-Semitic enterprise. Site founder and editor Phil Weiss, a former writer for the American Conservative when Pat Buchanan was editor, wrote this past May, "I can justly be accused of being a conspiracy theorist because I believe in the Israel lobby theory ... certainly my theory has an explanation of the rise and influence of the neocons. They don't have a class interest but an ideological-religious one."