Our own Ronnie Schreiber is somewhat infamous on these pages for using the phrase “Jew-hater” instead of the more neutral-sounding “anti-Semite”. He believes that it’s both honest and descriptive. I have little opinion on it, other than to suggest that we need yet a third term for people who claim to have nothing against Jews in general but who hate Israeli Jews with a passion. Perhaps there’s also a fourth term required for people who hate Israelis and Israeli but are themselves ethnically Jewish. I don’t know.
In any event, I’m using Ronnie’s phrase because I think it applies very well to a remarkably unpleasant situation within the organization that calls itself “The Women’s March”, albeit in the face of objections from fourteen other organizations.
A few days ago, Tablet published a remarkably comprehensive and well-documented investigation into the Women’s March. Here’s one of about twenty money shots scattered throughout the piece:
Tamika told us that the problem was that there were five white women in the room and only three women of color, and that she didn’t trust white women. Especially white women from the South. At that point, I kind of tuned out because I was so used to hearing this type of talk from Tamika. But then I noticed the energy in the room changed. I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa, who was sitting on a couch, and berating her—but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. ‘Your people this, your people that.’ I was raised in the South and the language that was used is language that I’m very used to hearing in rural South Carolina. Just instead of against black people, against Jewish people. They even said to her ‘your people hold all the wealth.’ You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.
In one heated exchange, Julianne Hoffenberg, who works at the Gathering for Justice, lashed out at a woman on Facebook who criticized Sarsour for alleged anti-Semitism. “Did you march? You marched for Palestine,” Hoffenberg wrote. “You wore a pink pussy hat??? You advocated against the state of Israel and for Palestine.”
Central to this discussion is Linda Sarsour, an unapologetic booster for all sorts of new ideas:
It is doubleplusungood to criticize Ms. Sarsour…
…so I ain’t gonna do it. I will only say that the SPLC, the ACLU, and the rest of the curiously profitable progressive-industrial complex is going to have to decide at some point whether they are willing to put the interests of Ms. Sarsour and her fellow-travelers over those of, say, Ellen DeGeneres. In the meantime, the Tablet piece makes for compelling but exhausting reading. In the end, it appears to boil down to that old pair of immortal interests: power and money. There’s a lot of power to be had from running the Women’s March, and there is also apparently a lot of money that has gone missing. I hope they get it all squared away. I agree with the founders of the Women’s March when they say that women can be an extremely powerful political group, if they all act and vote the same way. The only question is: what happens if and when men decide that they, too, are best served by acting as a group? If all the women march, and all the men march, who is going to keep the country going while they are marching?