Monday, July 27, 2009


Guestpost by ATBOTH

Rabbosai, good news for a change! Normally, political activism in the SF Bay Area, in so far as it involves Jews and concerns Israel, revolves around the hysterical members of the Proud To Be Ashamed To Be Jewish Contingent and their urge to make nice for the rather too ignorant instinctive supporters of underdogs.

We all know that the Arabs are underdogs, don't we? Poor little puppies!

Or at least, we've been told that so many times by so many honest and sincere individuals, who want nothing more than a peaceloving world in which bunny rabbits and butterflies can lead artistic and fulfilling lives, that we know the tropes.


One of the newspapers that hammers home the "Arab: GOOD - Jew: Bad" message is the Berkeley Daily Planet. Which is the same newspaper that gleefully publishes Joseph Anderson's racist screeds against Jews, policemen, and other 'white imperialists'.

While the Berkeley Daily Planet may assert that it is a valid source of both news and opinion (debatable, for several reasons), there is little doubt that both it and its various pet-opinionists slant towards a point of view that is 'charmingly' old-fashioned, and nestled deep within the political traditions of the nineteenth and twentieth century in Europe (and Detroit).

Specifically, the urge to BLAME THE JEWS for everything.

In it's current incarnation, it is best expressed by the phrase: "being anti-Israel is not anti-Semitic".
Surely you've heard that phrase before? And what did you think it really meant? Given the general nature of the person who screamed it during an angry hate-filled confrontation?

[For further background on the old-fashioned tropes that the Berkeley Daily Planet insists on white-washing and reformulating, go here: and especially here: ]


There is now a site where you may counter the crusade waged by the Berkeley Daily Planet and it's obsessed owner/editor against anything and everything Jewish (except for the 'house-Jews', who obediently parrot the party line).

If you've ever found yourself nauseated after hearing "I'm not anti-Semitic, many of my friends are Jewish", "hating Israel is not anti-Semitism", or even "I'm a Jew and these people are sincere and not racist at all", then this site is for you:



We abhor the deliberate and willful publication of anti-Semitic and other hateful rhetoric and screeds by the Berkeley Daily Planet.

We stand with the free speech rights of those who would criticize the Berkeley Daily Planet for its obsessive and one-sided campaign against the State of Israel.

We join these people in insisting that the publisher and editor of the Daily Planet display integrity and responsibility to ensure that their pages are devoid of irresponsible misstatements of facts whose sole malicious intent is to besmirch Jews at large, the State of Israel, and individual citizens who decry the Daily Planet’s practices.

Contributions gratefully accepted. Please send to checks made out to IACEB and post to Israel Action Committee of the East Bay, POB 9354, Berkeley, CA 94709

Go ahead - sign the petition.

Of course, if you yourself have ever used the sentences "I'm not anti-Semitic, many of my friends are Jewish", "hating Israel is not anti-Semitism", or even "I'm a Jew and these people are sincere and not racist at all", you probably won't agree.
In that case, you may be reading the wrong blog. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

[Cross-posted from my own blog. Yes, I'll admit to being an opportunist for a good cause. Please also note that odd behaviour in the SF Bay Area is not unusual - see here: or check any post that has the clickable link "Berkeley Cossacks"]

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


neshama said...

ATBOTH: Should have guessed you were the author of this sharpness. One question tho, only Detroit? What about Chicago? Any good chulent recipes lately? Still smokin those seegars?

YMedad said...

I've been published there, see
my letter and comments

Helene Rock said...

Jameel, Are you ready to take on the Bay Area crazies who decided to show the film "Rachel" at the SF Jewish Film Festival and invite her mother to speak. Rachel Corrie
s cause has been taken up by the whole alphabet soup of nice "Jewish" sounding organizations such as the "Jewish Voice for Peace, the International Solidarity Movement, South Bay Mobilization etc. etc. to actively promote some of the worst anti-Israel, anti-Semitic rhetoric. Mind boggling, how "SOME main stream Jewish organizations supported this.

The back of the hill said...

Detroit The Ford connection - Henry Ford's notorious 1920s newspaper, the Dearborn Independent. And Detroit is, as you probably know, Hamas-support Central in the US.

Yep, still smoking cigars. I usually light a good one up around the beginning of twilight on Saturday. One which will last beyond the fall of night.

The rest of the time it's either cigarillos or a pipe.

The back of the hill said...

Ymedad, I note that the usual angry people have reacted to your letters. Berkeley is, in its own special way, a window to a section of the world we normally do not wish to visit.

Though I note that there are some thriving shuls in Berkeley et environs. There is Jewish life in the East Bay hills. Fairly thriving, too.

YMedad said...

I once heard a SF Jewish joke about the gay synagogue there. The visitor from NY is there on Shabbes, spots a nice guy, chats him up over Kiddush and then as he leaves, three toughies bash him about. He asks why, as everyone is supposed to be tolerant and the answer: "hey buddy, no one starts up with the Rebbitzen".

Yes, BOTH, I agree but I have a habit of going everywhere - even Berkeley. At the very least, it bothers them I'm there.

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