Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Exchange With Richard Silverstein (He's a Blogger in Seattle Who Hates Israel)

Gary Fouse

Rule violation. Fighter in the white trunks is disqualified.

As previously described, Seattle blogger Richard Silverstein is a virulent hater of Israel who stoops to very low levels in attacking people with whom he disagrees. Two notable examples are Chloe Valdary, a black female college student who has the audacity to be pro-Israel and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In the case of the former, Silverstein likens her to Uncle Tom and refers to her as a "Negro", a term he use derisively against other blacks he doesn't like. In this case of Ali, he calls her an Islamophobe ignoring the fact that she lived as a Muslim. He refers to most of her claims regarding her life story as "all fiction".

I caught up with this character on his blog, Tikun Olam, when he posted a series of pieces lately attacking Ali, whom he went after during the Brandeis controversy. Below is his piece and the reader thread where I weigh in. Note that he twice deleted my comments for some rule violation (which appears to be effectively refuting him). I have long noted that Israel bashers usually have very strict rules when it comes to debate. I's a form of stacking the deck.

When Silverstein first deleted my comment (April 15), he said I was off-topic because the topic was the Ali's comment about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Well, that was the title, but the post contained much more than that. What he deleted was that I told him before he admonished me for being off-topic he should admonish the other reader (Dieter) and himself because the post had contained a lot more than just Ali's comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which the reader can plainly see in the post.

Here is what I wrote the last time he deleted my words. This time, I took the trouble to copy it before posting.

"Wow. You have an interesting way of debating. When someone makes a point you can't deal with you delete the comment for an imagined violation of your rules. I assume you will do the same here, so consider this for your eyes only if you wish.

I took the trouble to pull up Submission to judge for myself if I agreed with Dieter's view (I don't). As for my comment to him about visiting those camps, no I don't want a medal. I went as a tourist and for my own education. I was trying to make a civil connection with him because even if I disagree with him, I respect his family history.

As for the MPAC conference, here is what I posted on my blog about it. You can read it and judge for yourself.

As for any organization, I am a lone ranger. I have like-minded friends, and I cross-post with other blogs, but I don't work for anyone. I have my blog and I make no money from it.

I would like to close this thread because I have said my piece and whether you care to post it, I don't care.

What I have learned about you is that your critics are correct. You have an unnatural hatred for Israel and have allied yourself with forces that would destroy Israel and kill every last Jew if that's what it took.

In addition, you are a bully. I offer as an example Chloe Valdary, a college student, whom you denigrate as some sort of female Uncle Tom. You refer to other blacks with whom you disagree as "Negroes" . You are old enough to know the history of the word and what it implies when you attach it to blacks. And you call me a racist?

In contrast, I am a part-time teacher at UC Irvine and as a (non-Jew) defender of Israel and foe of anti-Semitism, I regularly challenge the speakers brought to our campus by the Muslim Student Union or SJP, some of whom say anti-Semitic things. But I would never single out an MSU/SJP student by name and attack him or her as you do Ms Valdary. I consider that off-limits because, after all, they are college students.

So feel free to read this and delete it as you wish.

BTW: I have actually linked your blog on mine. You can find it in the Fiction Section."


Silverstein is free to set his own rules on his blog. I basically have two criteria for deleting comments. Racist attacks are out though everyone has their own definition of what constitutes racist. I may occasionally post such comments (which invariably come from anonymous sources) if I feel they prove my points especially as to anti-Semitism).Then I will take the time and trouble to refute them. I will also ban a reader if he or she personally attacks my character. (Hi, Lance.) Other than that, I post the comments even if I don't respond to all of them. I don't delete them just because the reader has effectively rebutted what I say.

As I told Silverstein, his critics are right. Not only does he have an unnatural hatred for Israel, he is also a bully. But he is free to come on here and respond. I will even waive my rules for him.

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