Words of the Week: Clifford D. May

In America, it’s still considered impolite to openly disparage Jews, Israelis or Israel. But speaking in a coded way is not unacceptable. So it’s fine to suggest that perhaps some Jews exercise too much power and insinuate themselves into positions where they place Israel’s interests above America’s. Efforts to delegitimize Israel and even dehumanize Israelis are permissible “free speech” rather than impermissible “hate speech.” It also is increasingly considered bold, even brave, to suggest that Israel may have been a mistake.

Anyone with a grasp of history or a grain of common sense should know where this road leads. Yet too many people—not least, too many American Jews—seem untroubled by such rhetoric. Some even reinforce it.

Source: Clifford D. May, Moment magazine, March-April 2012