Is Richard Silverstein Mad?

Richard Silverstein, of Tikun Olam, says the following on Comment is Free:

Pakistani militants have been known to select prominent foreign targets within Pakistan, as the Mumbai terrorists did last week. But few, if any, Pakistani militants have been known until now specifically to target Israelis. I say, Israelis rather than Jews because the single surviving terrorist noted that they chose Chabad House to avenge the suffering of the Palestinians. Therefore, the attack was anti-Israeli, though not necessarily antisemitic.

“Not necessarily antisemitic”? What is Silverstein talking about?

And then later on, Richard Silverstein starts to wiffle on about “the western jihad against radical Islam”. Jihad? In what sense “Jihad”? Does he think we should be combatting “radical Islam” or making friends with it?

Silverstein continues:

They conveniently label Palestinian militants as radical Islamists or jihadis, when Palestinians themselves largely do not recognise or accept the terms. While it is true that Gaza is ruled by Hamas, which is a movement with a religious identity, most Hamas leaders eschew the language of religious jihad to portray their struggle.

For fuck’s sake. Has this man EVER read the Hamas Covenant?

Then later, we get this:

Even the Chabad movement should taken to task for not providing greater security


A commentator called lipschitz makes the point far better than I could.

Richard Silverstein, you say “the attack was anti-Israeli, though not necessarily antisemitic”.

Your argument for this is because “the single surviving terrorist noted that they chose Chabad House to avenge the suffering of the Palestinians”.

A non-Zionist rabbi and his wife lie dead, their 2 year old kid is smuggled out by the nanny. But its not antisemitic, because one of the terrorists – one of the wannabe mass murderers – says they wanted to avenge the suffering of Palestinians?! He doesn’t even say who he blames for the Palestinian situation – he deosn’t even say if he blames The Jews! But you give him, this wannabe mass murderer the benefit of your doubt.

Ok, how about I go out and murder a couple of Black people because I’m angry with Mugabe? or Congo? or Rwanda? Would that be racist? Does that help you to understand the idiocy of your moral bypass?

In Casablanca in 2002, 3 of the 5 targets simultaneously attacked were Jewish connected, another was a hotel used by Israeli tourists.

In Istanbul in 2003, 2 synagogues were blown up, days later, the same terror cell then attacked 2 British targets.

Thats what Al Qaeda franchise groups do.

Al Qaeda declares itself to be genocidally antisemitic. They go out and kill Jews. If you want your local terrorist group to be allowed into the Al qaeda franchise then you have to do likewise. Thats why this group kills Jews.

If dead, bound, Jews don’t count as antisemitism, then the term has lost all useful meaning. Is that your objective?

Surely Richard Silverstein knows all this. Why did he come to say such a strange thing?

This man is a menace to the reputation of liberals and progressives. He makes us look like cretins and self-deluders.