On Antisemitism and other crimes. Political Dissident comments

In the Sunday edition of The New York Times of March 19, 2018 two articles have been published:

Headline: Anti-Semitism Is Rising. Why Aren’t American Jews Speaking Up? by Jonathan  Weisman.

Headline:‘Testilying’ by Police: A Stubborn Problem

Sub-headline: Police lying persists, even amid an explosion of video evidence that has allowed the public to test officers’ credibility. By Joseph Goldstein

Mr. Weisman offers some compelling evidence of the rise of Antisemitism. But he leaves out the rise of the Alt-Right’s  Steve Bannon, and others like the self-proclaimed Aryan Milo Yiannopoulos. Yet two of the most compelling domestic contestations BDS and anti-infant circumcision, Iceland had banned this practice, remain absent from his condemnation of Antisemitism! Both remain part of the claim of Antisemitism, made by so many Jews, its become part of the phalanx of the charge of Antisemitism:

Headline: Rabbi Cardozo: outlawing circumcision would ‘end the state of Israel’

The debate concerning outlawing ritual circumcision is raging. Also here in Denmark, it is now very much at the fore, in mainstream news. Other Nordic countries such as Iceland and Norway have had strong popular motions to set an age limit to circumcision, and this is following the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe’s suggestion from 2013 to ban ritual circumcision (Children’s right to physical integrity). I have even attended a church sermon recently (yes, that’s right – I went there mostly to hear Bach’s music!), where the priest used his whole sermon to address the debate – pointing out that Jesus was also a circumcised Jew!

The latter is a kind of an amusing statement – but there’s an irony there, which was clearly lost on the priest – that Jesus couldn’t have taken a decision about his own circumcision at the age of 8 days. And this is really the point of the whole debate. It’s not about circumcision as such, as a medical procedure – but about ritual, forced circumcision.

Recently a very prominent rabbi, Nathan Lopes Cardozo, has made a novel assertion in the debate (writing in Times of Israel):

As Spinoza, who had left all Jewishness, so correctly observed, circumcision is the secret to the miracle of Jewish survival. What those Jews who oppose circumcision should never forget is that the attempt to outlaw this rite may not just make Jewish life impossible, but would probably end all Jewish existence. In fact, it is a call to end the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

Cardozo’s piece is so egregious, it deserves its own particular focus and analysis, which I will provide here. But before I go further into the intricacies of Cardozo’s piece, I would just like to accentuate that Cardozo is an Orthodox rabbi of considerable international clout. UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has said that “Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo has emerged as one of the most thoughtful voices in contemporary Judaism. He is a man of deep faith and wide intellectual horizons, unafraid to confront the challenges of the age with the quiet confidence of one who is attuned to the music of eternity.”  

And Cardozo does manage to address a wide audience with the modern language of “human rights”. In fact, his article’s title contains a witty irony to attract the “human rights” interested: “Circumcision: Why risk your child’s well-being? A call to all Israelis”, it says (and he really means just Jews).


Perhaps Mr. Weisman being an editor at the New York Times mutes his essay to appear ‘evenhanded’, although Barrie Weiss and Bret Stephens provide the most hysterical iterations of the bogus charge of Antisemitism at the Times.

BDS is prima facie Antisemitism, as Zionism/Israel is also prima facie incapable of wrong doing. Their European suffering is the badge of their moral exceptionalism!

The reader should contrast Mr. Weisman’s essay with the stark reality of officers of the Court lying under oath written by Joseph Goldstein. These officers of the Court ,the police, lie with impunity! There is no ‘lesser of two evils’ here but the reality that black Americans are treated as less than. A confirmation, in contemporary jurisprudential  terms ,of the  Declaration of Independence’s assertion that slaves are 3/5 of a person?

An investigation by The New York Times has found that on more than 25 occasions since January 2015, judges or prosecutors determined that a key aspect of a New York City police officer’s testimony was probably untrue. The Times identified these cases — many of which are sealed — through interviews with lawyers, police officers and current and former judges.

In these cases, officers have lied about the whereabouts of guns, putting them in suspects’ hands or waistbands when they were actually hidden out of sight. They have barged into apartments and conducted searches, only to testify otherwise later. Under oath, they have given firsthand accounts of crimes or arrests that they did not in fact witness. They have falsely claimed to have watched drug deals happen, only to later recant or be shown to have lied.

No detail, seemingly, is too minor to embellish. “Clenched fists” is how one Brooklyn officer described the hands of a man he claimed had angrily approached him and started screaming and yelling — an encounter that prosecutors later determined never occurred. Another officer, during a Bronx trial, accused a driver of recklessly crossing the double-yellow line — on a stretch of road that had no double-yellow line.

In many instances, the motive for lying was readily apparent: to skirt constitutional restrictions against unreasonable searches and stops. In other cases, the falsehoods appear aimed at convicting people — who may or may not have committed a crime — with trumped-up evidence.

Does the reader need also to be reminded of the Show Trial  of Cecily McMillan, in which the prosecution fixed the case, by denial of the argumentative line of the defense?

On March 17, 2012, McMillan was at Zuccotti Park during a protest marking the six-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. When the police began a mass arrest of the peaceful protestors, she was violently grabbed on her breast from behind — an action that, as any woman will tell you, will cause an instinctive response. McMillan’s response is what the NYPD calls an assault on their officer; the physical evidence of what prompted her action is downplayed.

But the bruising on her breast wasn’t all. After her arrest, McMillan was beaten severely by the police on her ribs and arms until she went into a seizure. She was subsequently denied medical treatment by the police, in full view of other protestors who pleaded with police to attend to her. The NYPD claim she initiated the altercation and charged her with a felony — an unfortunately common reversal on the part of the police after abusing arrestees.

Assistant district attorney Erin Choi stated in court that during McMillan’s arrest she cried out to protestors “Are you filming this?” and implied she did so out of fear of being caught on video attacking an officer. But Occupy Wall Street activists — and anyone who has ever demonstrated and seen police mistreat protestors — knows that the reason we chant “the whole world is watching” is that we want to remind the police that their actions will be documented. Unfortunately, it is a usually fruitless attempt to dissuade excessive force, as in McMillan’s case.

McMillan is just one of more than 700 protesters arrested in the course of New York Occupy Wall Street’s mass mobilization. These mass arrests during a peaceful protest resulted from a policing policy of arresting first and finding charges later — a pattern of unjust policing noted in a scrupulously detailed report issued by the NYU School of Law and Fordham Law School faculties. According to this report, the NYPD routinely used excessive force against Occupy protestors, with the police employing batons, pepper spray, scooters, and horses against the peaceful demonstrators. This behavior has led to the vast majority of these 700 charges being dismissed by the courts.

McMillan’s case, however, has not been dismissed. The DA’s office offered her a plea bargain: avoid jail time in exchange for pleading guilty to felony assault. A dedicated pacifist, she refused.

McMillan’s arresting officer Grantley Bovel has previously been involved in incidents involving the possible excessive use of force, as well as other possibly illegal behavior, but the judge ruled this history is inadmissable. Bovel is also currently being sued by a protestor arrested the same day as McMillan for purposefully bashing his head into the seats of a police bus while dragging him down the aisle.


Bloomberg’s minions manipulated that verdict! Or should the reader look to the removal of Judge Scheindlin removal from the ‘Stop and Frisk’ case? Her 2016 New York Times interview:

Headline: Departing Judge Offers Blunt Defense of Ruling in Stop-and-Frisk Case

For weeks and months, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin had been excoriated by New York City’s highest public officials for her ruling in 2013 that the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy had violated the rights of minorities. At the time, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, in essence, that he hoped the ruling would not take effect while he was still in office, because he did not want to be “responsible for a lot of people dying.”

The attacks on Judge Scheindlin only intensified after a federal appeals panel stayed her ruling, criticized her actions in the case and removed her from continuing to oversee it.

But last week, as Judge Scheindlin prepared to step down after nearly 22 years as a federal district judge in Manhattan, she offered her first extensive interviews about the case and her tenure, with a particularly blunt response to the criticism.

She would never forget, she said, seeing a front-page photograph in a newspaper the day after she released her ruling, showing Mr. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, as she put it, “looking like two angry white men.”

“They seemed out of touch with the issues that the communities cared about,” Judge Scheindlin said. “They didn’t seem to understand the impact of these policies on real people and real neighborhoods and real communities and the detrimental impact it was having, even on policing. And that’s the point. They didn’t seem to get it. It was all about fear — New York would blow up.”

What can the reader think about both Antisemitism, actual and conjured by apologists,  and institutional injustice black defendants, charged with crimes on the basis of lies and falsified evidence? What level of injustice and hate do we tolerate in the Age of Trump ? That has its root in a failed political class, that is defined by its fealty to careerism/opportunism, based in a Free Market Mythology, rooted solely in the profit motive.  This political class has demonstrated that it has willfully discarded the republican tradition for the shit-hole of The Market, as singularity. That has supplanted  a moral/ethical/political tradition that evolved over two millennia. If there is only The Market as the ultimate vacuity, where can morality,  respect for diversity, even democracy be?

Political Dissident


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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