Bari Weiss discusses her new book and anti-Semitism

September 7, 2019 • 12:30 pm

Bari Weiss is a New York Times columnist who, like me, is a Trump-hating Leftist who criticizes the Left. The result, of course, is that she’s been demonized by the Left, and by many writers at her own paper. Her generally pro-Israel views don’t help, either.  Weiss’s new book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism will be out September 10. In this 75-minute discussion with political journalist Michael Barbaro, Weiss not only discusses her book, but anti-Semitism in general.

Among the topics Weiss covers are why Jews should oppose Trump and the Republican party, why BDS (and “anti-Zionism”) is anti-Semitic, why Jews are considered “white” and Palestinians are not, why anti-Jewish hate crimes don’t make the news, how and why anti-Semitism manifests itself on the Left, and why the UN repeatedly condemns Israel a gazillion times more often than it condemns far worse regimes. She’ll let you know why she says, “Anyone who knows Jews in Europe knows that they all have a plan,” and she gives a simple four-word answer to her book’s title.

The conversation proper ends at 1 hour and 15 seconds, but the last 15 minutes are devoted to listeners’ questions sent to Barbaro. And the questions are very good.

Weiss is a thoughtful and eloquent defender of Judaism, and not at all an uncritical booster of the Israeli government (she thinks, for instance, that Israeli occupation of the West Bank is untenable in the long term). I’d strongly recommend this video. As Weiss said, American anti-Semitism is the “canary in the coal mine”, warning of a future dissolution of the American ideal.

What a shame that so many people dismiss her as an “alt-Righter”.


h/t: Michael

21 thoughts on “Bari Weiss discusses her new book and anti-Semitism

  1. Yeah, it seems that if you are to the right of the leftmost 10%, you are “alt-right” these days. Does anyone really think Bari Weiss or Ben Shapiro are alt-right?

    As regards criticism of Israel, the great American philosopher, Bill Maher, is onto something when he commented on BDS, “It’s a bulls**t purity test by people who want to appear ‘woke’ but actually slept through history class. I think it’s very shallow thinking that the Jews in Israel are mostly white and Palestinians are mostly brown, so they must be innocent and correct and the Jews must be wrong,”.

    Unfortunately, this is where identity politics is taking us.

  2. As many others have pointed out, the Woke Left we hear on Twitter and in other places, is not representative of most on the Left. One important piece of evidence of this is the fact that Joe Biden still leads in most polls over other Democrat presidential candidates. Joe seems the least Woke of all the candidates, at least the top ones. Of course, we still have to fight the Woke but we’re not losing so far.

      1. Yes, but they’re not really lost. Even there I would think it is a minority with those ideas and feelings. I’m hopeful that with so much pushback from people like yourself, it will be a temporary thing.

        These attitudes are prevalent on Twitter, as many have pointed out, but they also get a lot of pushback from both Left and Right. I try to do my part in pointing out their ridiculousness. 😉

        By the way, you might enjoy Bill Maher’s interview with “The Factual Feminist” host Christina Hoff Sommers on his show last night:

  3. I’m very glad I watched this. Weiss’s book will land in my Kindle Tuesday.

    What a shame that so many people dismiss her as an “alt-Righter”.

    Putting her in any category is too limiting. She seems pretty self-defining to me.

    I would be happy never to see “alt-right” again. Whatever the intended original meaning, about all it tells me now is to be wary of the person using it.

  4. “Weiss is a thoughtful and eloquent defender of Judaism.”

    I hope she is more a thoughtful and eloquent defender of the jewish people and of Israel rather than of a religion. I might be wrong, but I think Weiss is a humanist.

    1. Weiss clearly see’s Judaism as wider than “a religion.” The people, their ideas, their history, their culture, and religion proper are all bound up in the concept.

    2. Weiss has often spoken if the Jewish identity as preceding the religion and being something bigger than the religion. She is a Reform Jew and I suspect an atheist.

  5. Thank you for this. Bari Weiss is a truth speaker, it’s plain. I’ll read more of her. I had never heard of Miftah before, it’s views, or connections to Ilhan Omar. I am appalled. This is several bridges too far for me.

    I am also glad she commented on hyper vigilance among Jews in Europe, and also culturally, historically. These days it seems like everyone I know is hyper vigilant.

  6. Excellent talk from Weiss. Anyone who thinks she’s an alt-righter is a goose. (No offense to geese or water-fowl-ophiles!) She took extra care to note the disgraceful way that Trump and his co-bigots treat Ilhan Omar, while noting Omar’s own despicable actions regarding Israel and Jews. She also covered the ill-placed hopes that some Jews hold for Trump.

  7. Though I’m not a huge fan of Weiss, I truly have no idea what the backlash against her is about. The hatred of her apparently started when she wrote an Op-Ed back in the summer of 2017, criticizing the leaders of the Women’s March for their ties to Louis Farrakhan. Over the last few years, many others have made similar criticisms, including (as detailed on this blog) Alyssa Milano, Teresa Shook, and Mercy Morgenfield.
    The negative publicity got so bad that the actual targets of the criticism-Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez-were forced to apologize and eventually resign. Do the people maligning Weiss hate Milano, Shook and Morgenfield equally? Do they hate Sarsour, Mallory and Perez for caving in and apologizing? If not, then why the hell is Weiss being singled out?

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