Opinion: Dividing the Community
Stan Kreis

Opinion: Dividing the Community

Michael Rabb Has a Right To Be Anti-Semitic

Stan Kreis

Michael Rabb, whose November 10th letter to the Daily Camera calls for a demonstration this Saturday against Jewish Congregation Bonai Shalom, has a right to oppose AIPAC and demonstrate wherever it is allowed. He has a right to tell lies, misrepresent the Palestinians, misrepresent Israeli history and spread hatred. He does NOT have a right to anti-Semitism, though.

And, the Daily Camera does not need to publicize for free the date, time and place for a demonstration against Jewish Congregation Bonai Shalom. They do anyway. Does the Daily Camera have the duty and need to publicize Michael Rabb’s rally? No, they have a duty to be fair and represent all points of view in their Letters, depending on each side expressing them. But to publicize demonstrations against Jews? No.

Michael Rabb does not target Israel, he targets the Jewish community. What is the connection? Rabb’s reasoning is that the Jewish Diaspora supports American intervention on the side of an apartheid state through organizations such as AIPAC. My reasoning is that Bonai Shalom takes no particular position in opposition to the Palestinians, supports Israel’s right to self-defense and desires a state of peace in the Holy Land.

Nothing controversial. Rabb is straining to make a link. Why target Bonai Shalom if he can target AIPAC?

Could it be that he is trying to threaten the Jewish community if it expresses any sympathy for Israel by supporting AIPAC? Like terrorism, such demonstrations are meant to divide people, not publicize a wrong.

In this case, it is meant to divide Bonai Shalom or Bonai Shalom from other religious organizations. His hope is to divide Protestants, for instance, from Jews, or those more critical of Israel from those more critical of the Palestinians. His message is this: If you are Jewish and you want to support Israel, then the Protestants who back the Palestinians will and should hate you. Rabb suggests that if you are Jewish and back Israel, then you are unworthy of protection from pro-Palestinian hatred. In other words, you should either cave to their message or you too will be deservedly hated, ipso facto.

Is there anti-Semitism at work here? Yes, there is a double standard for Jewish pro-Israel organizations and pro-Palestinian activists. Jews cannot support Israel because they become apartheid representatives by doing so, and they therefore have no right to publicize a pro-Israel point of view. It’s like being in court and the judge stops you from representing your point of view because you are already considered guilty. Unfortunately, the Daily Camera has fallen into this manipulation.

About Stan Kreis

Stan Kreis has degrees in sociology, economics and accounting. Therefore he is wise, literate, financially sound and married to Kathryn Bernheimer (she would never marry anyone without such credentials). Grave marker: "the world was his oyster, unfortunately, he ate it and got stomach cramps."

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  1. Interesting letter, but note: people in the United States DO have the right to be anti-Semitic, racist, or embrace any other hateful position they want. They even have the right to speak and write about those views, within imperfectly-delineated guidelines (“You can’t shout fire in a crowded theater”). That’s part of the miracle of this great country. Stan is right, however, that the Camera crossed the line when it included that part of Rabb’s vile letter that called for a vigil at Bonai Shalom on Shabbat (with their address, yet!). That may be free speech, but it showed extremely poor judgment on the Camera’s part.

  2. For those who saw my letter to the editor in the Daily Camera, here it is without the Camera's (unwelcome to me) edits:
    "No Thanks for another "Anti-Israel Diatribe"

    I am saddened and frustrated when a fellow area resident, and in turn,
    the Daily Camera, choose to write and publish a one-sided, fact-starved
    diatribe against Jews and Israel (Michael Rabb, November 10) without the
    teensiest effort of balance or fairness. But what really motivates me to
    write this letter is his call for intimidation of fellow citizens who
    will merely be going about their business on a typical Saturday morning,
    attending the Sabbath worship service of their synagogue.

    Mr. Rabb’s letter – and his choices of words – intend to
    inflame and misinform the reader. In his plea for readers to understand
    the plight of Palestinians, he forgets that there are two sides of every
    deep conflict on this earth. He forgets that “Arab” countries
    in which Jews lived and maintained communities for hundreds and even
    thousands of years, at the same time “expelled”
    their Jewish citizens; those Jewish communities experienced “home
    destruction”. they experienced “ethnically cleansed”
    villages; they were not “allowed to return”; and they
    experienced “fear inducing propaganda”; (oh wait – he’s
    describing his own letter!).

    And Mr. Rabb’s implications that the 1967 war was just another
    opportunity for that small nation to continue “ethnic
    cleansing”; into the lands of neighboring nations which, by the way,
    all had troops amassed readying a massive and deadly set of attacks from
    all of Israel’s borders is just laughable if it weren’t so evil
    in thought.

    Mr. Rabb – take your anger and proposal of intimidation of fellow
    Boulder neighbors who happen to attend a local synagogue somewhere else.
    Work to build peace, as many Jews do (even though you would not likely
    recognize it as that). And people of Boulder: Please do not take
    this person’s bait, anger, and blind-rage.

  3. "The Plight of the Palestinians" is cast in their fatalistic approach to their supposed situation. Great assistance sent their "authority" is misappropriated by their leadership toward nihilistic or self centered actions, not toward organizing their people to be an effective workforce for building up a civilization aimed to accomplish community by any accepted measure of progress. Should not those who oppose Israel politically, and give regard to an undefined "Palestine", give at least equal attention to matters like unemployment, illiteracy, competitive business structuring, and non-militaristic ideology which employs young men and women as a priority in the Middle East?