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Feb. 18, 2011 buzz: Rabbi Marvin Hier on anti-Semitic slurs and author Susan Patron on saving L.A.'s libraries

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Journalist Helen Thomas. Hollywood director Oliver Stone. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. They are among those on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's 2010 "Top 10 Anti-Semitic Slurs" list, which Rabbi Marvin Hier wrote about  for Friday's Opinion pages. "Taken together," he writes, "the comments suggest that a bold new kind of anti-Semitism is emerging around the world."

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Elsewhere in our pages, we've been ramping up for the March 8 election with endorsements and a voter guide. On Friday, author Susan Patron added her opinion to the conversation around Measure L (libraries). She writes:  "The library's budget is only 2% of the total city budget. In the past two years, the library force has been reduced by 28%. The book budget has shrunk to $1.70 per capita, versus a national average of $4.20. This is shameful. Measure L can change it."

--Alexandra Le Tellier


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Maybe you should delete the option to give comments to articles that are a digest to articles that already have comments. It seems redundant.


"Journalist Helen Thomas. Hollywood director Oliver Stone. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad."

Just the latest victims in a shrill conversation that in which the aggressors (defender of Israel's infallibility) are shouting down anyone who defends those they oppress (those people whose land they still hold illegally and treat as permanent refugees). It's the same phenomenon as when white people in this country accuse Spike Lee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or in some cases, President Obama of anti-white hate speech. You only get to accuse people of anti-semtism when they make negative RACIAL claims about the Jewish PEOPLE, not when they make POLITICAL claims about the nation of ISRAEL. Despite concentrated efforts by the Wiesenthal Center and others to blur this line, it DOES exist, and this issue should at least be addressed if your complaints are have any validity. Also keep in mind, that despite not enjoying the single most disproportionately powerful lobby on earth, there are lots of Jews who agree trying to make their voice heard.


Also, since we seem to playing the 'list-making game' (putting out new lists every month or so of all the people who have disagreed with us, making them inevitably 'Anti-Semitic') how about if OUR side starts making a list... a list of all those people who have accused open-minded, decent, innocent folks of being hate-mongers simply because they don't think any particular nation is God's favorite or deserves to treat their neighbors with impunity because their religion tells them they can. Rabbi Hier would certainly be high on the list. We can all make a public list of 'undesirables' if we want to... If this is offensive and hits too close to home, maybe it ought to make you think about the wisdom of solving your disagreements by demonizing people and putting them on lists.

peter m graf

So many of those comments were probably not anti-Semitic at all.


az66: Are you familiar with the term, "Thou dost protest too much?"


In the interest of fair play, L.A. Times, how about a column highlighting those who have made anti-Arab and anti-Palestinain slurs the past year?

Thank You

T. Greene

In reference to the article by Rabbi Hier on the worse Anti-Semantic slurs, I do not disagree that the personalities mention do have strong negative views of the Jewish Faith (and I’m sure many other people to whom they feel superior), however, I have noticed that in many cases, when it comes to such acerbic outbursts, it may have more to do with their own fears and loathing’s than a real passionate focused hate on a specific people. This is nothing new (when it comes to blaming the Jews, it’s perhaps about 5000 years old or so!), but when an individual, especially one who leans towards cowardliness and denial, suddenly finds themselves in a personal and professional collapse, it is easier for them to find blame elsewhere than to look in the mirror. Oliver Stone has basically never made any kind of splash since “Platoon”, (whose success has more to so with Samuel Barber than Stone’s “talent”), and with over a dozen or more failed and embarrassing attempts at movie making since, has become nothing more than a has-been and a punch line, tailor made for his own reality show or Comedy Central Roast. I think we can chalk this up to what I call the “Mel Gibson Syndrome”, another card carrying self-loathing shambles who blames the Jews for the traffic accident that has become his professional and personal life and who has also become a punch line for late night talk show hosts, and great fodder for “South Park”. The Australians call it “Blame it on the Kelly’s”, a reference to an outlaw clan who robbed and pillaged about a hundred years ago, and became the “whipping boys” for every farmer in the territory to blame the missing of a plow or the death of their cow. I believe if you were to scratch the reptilian scales of any of the people that the good Rabbi mentions, you will find very much the same fear and self-loathing.


Helen Thomas' career stands on its own. she has consistently found topics to write about and does so very well. On the other hand Hier is a shrill one trick pony who requires fear to further his agenda. Marvin would be out of a job without his constant fascist fear mongering. Thomas on the other hand continues to write well on many subjects affecting Americans. The recent U.N. vote on the Israeli settlements only demonstrates the stronghold Hier and his fascist cohorts in AIPAC have on Capitol Hill and the White House.


ABG: Yes I am. Are you familiar with the phrase, "If you don't have anything to add to the discussion you should probably shut up." Yeah. I just made that one up especially for you.



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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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