SJP Vassar College

The Vassar College chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.

We will make it known that Vassar College supports Settler colonialism.

May 11, 2014 at 8:11pm
Reblogged from schraubd

Innocent Until Proven Nazi


I’ve been reading with interest the saga of Vassar College’s Students for Justice in Palestine branch, which recently has posted a series of material from various White supremacist websites. Rebecca Lesses, a professor at a fellow New York liberal arts college, initially posted about it here and has since written several follow-up posts.

Suffice to say, Vassar SJP is not backing down. They concede that their source (Occidental Quarterly) “is a white nationalist publication, that doesn’t mean everything they say is invalid though!” “If the idea is alright, who cares where they come from?” (The idea here, in case you’re curious, is that the intertubes are infested with “Zionist internet trolls” — the electronic cohorts of “fifth columns in foreign governments who subvert national policies to serve Israel”). They contend that linking to OQ “does not mean we support white nationalist ideology; rather, we found this particular article’s description of those behind zionist propaganda campaigns and how they operate to be a helpful articulation of problems many organizations like us face.” In short, “we’re not white supremacists, but they sure do have it right about the Jews!”

In a sense this is almost too easy. If you call yourself an anti-racist but find yourself nodding along with neo-nazis, maybe that’s a sign that your anti-racist bona fides aren’t quite what you think they are. Clearly they don’t view themselves as anti-Semitic, but one wonders what exactly would be evidence to these students that this self-appraisal isn’t reliable? In large part, this discussion is about Jews who are describing their oppression and gentiles who call us crazy for doing so. Once you’re far enough down the rabbit hole, there is no threshold of evidence that makes the Jewish claim credible. The louder we speak, the crazier we are. But most people are not so far gone as to be unable to understand what it means when one starts unapologetically parroting white supremacist slogans. Demonstrating the overlap between “left-wing” anti-Semitism, which clothes itself in anti-racism discourse, and its “right-wing” counterparts is a way of validating the claim — we can feel confident that these students are anti-Semitic because they’re essentially waving its flag. “You shall know them by their fruits” indeed.

But in another sense I find this very frustrating (aside from the obvious reasons, of course). Suppose Vassar SJP had posted the exact same material, only it wasn’t attributable to an avowedly white nationalist website? Would the reaction have been the same? For some of us, sure: we know anti-Semitism when we see it. But for others, it seems that the Nazi link is a crutch — without it they find it very difficult to even raise the prospect of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism has symbology but no content. Ideas, policies, statements, actions, and motives are not anti-Semitic — only associations are. We saw this with Jenna Delich too — it wasn’t what was said, it was that David Duke was saying it, that was the smoking gun. You are anti-Semitic to the extent you can be tied to Nazis. If you can’t, you’re in the clear.

via The Debate Link

To be clear, we definitely did back down. Our responses have been slowed up due to finals week, but we definitely do not condone the publications!

Your point on the reactions and whether the content would get the same reaction without the inflammatory source is interesting, and something we talked about as well. I think it would not have gotten the same response, as we have posted much more radical things than a description of Zionist trolls and a cartoon about the UN ignoring the ongoing genocide within Palestine. I’m wondering if you’ve looked at any of our other content tho, because I want to ask if you see the content of which we post as anti-semitic? 

Are you the kind of zionist defender who equates critiques of zionism with antisemitism? and if not what about our content is anti-semitic?


  1. goldhornsandsteel reblogged this from schraubd and added:
    We live in a world where racism is bad but nothing is “really” racist.
  2. weregrizzlysnakes reblogged this from schraubd
  3. sparklingcleanlies reblogged this from littlegoythings
  4. bisexualnikita reblogged this from littlegoythings
  5. littlegoythings reblogged this from sjpvassar and added:
    Keep backtracking, but NO See, you said you carefully vetted the MATERIAL but not the SOURCE and now you’re tyring to...
  6. femme-and-furious reblogged this from littlegoythings
  7. sjpvassar reblogged this from littlegoythings and added:
    The material was a article written by a guest columnist who wrote about how some zionist trolls get paid to obstruct...
  8. actual-jewish-magical-girl reblogged this from littlegoythings
  9. semiticsemantics reblogged this from littlegoythings
  10. thejewsareinspace reblogged this from iamtheporpoise
  11. feministrhymeswithwitch reblogged this from littlegoythings
  12. snarkengaged reblogged this from schraubd
  13. schraubd reblogged this from sjpvassar and added:
    See my reply here.
  14. angryjewishknitter reblogged this from schraubd
  15. reallymakesyouthink reblogged this from iamtheporpoise
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  17. yungteuthida reblogged this from brainstatic
  18. my-slightly-awkward reblogged this from gaypocalypse
  19. iamtheporpoise reblogged this from tastykake and added:
    The whole thing is really long, and I totally think you should read it if you want. But I am mostly here to first, quote...
  20. bettyhooker reblogged this from baruchobramowitz and added:
    It’s strange that people forget that “white” Jews aren’t white in the eyes of white supremacist groups. Or did the KKK...
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