Quick follow-up to this post yesterday, as well as the whole “Israel First” debate. Here’s Phillip Weiss again trying to justify antisemitic language on the basis that a Jew used it. This time, he is responding to Spencer Ackerman in Tablet noting that the term “Israel Firster” was popularised by neo-Nazis. (my bold)
Well Ackerman is wrong. The term Israel Firster was used by a Zionist before it was used by white supremacists. I just got a hold of the American Jewish Committee’s Yearbook for 1961. It cites the use of the term “Israel Firster” by a legendary Zionist, the late Abram Leon Sachar, the leading American historian of Jews and president of Brandeis when he said it.
Congratulations Mr Weiss, you managed to find a tenuous link to the term from several decades ago. Point proven, if Sachar said it there is no way that it could be antisemitic when used by people who you agree with. I wonder if David Duke got it from Sachar.
Meanwhile, have a look at the quality of comments Weiss is attracting (my bold):
there is no phrase as bitingly accurate to these traitors as israel firster. those to whom it applies know this too, which is why they’re so furious at its being applied to them. it’s as if they’ve been lassoed and are desperately trying to shake off the rope. for those who take pity on them, you let them loose at the risk of endangering not only yourselves but all living beings.*
Yup, nothing racist there.