Then They Came For Stephen Steinlight...
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The Kvetcher, in his relentless drive for popularity in the mainstream of Jewish conventional opinion, has outed an attempt by the American-hating Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) to repress opposition:

But HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), which now spends the bulk of its resources advocating for non-Jewish immigration, wants to preempt debate, and is using deplorable means to achieve that end.

This Post is Not for Publication! Jewcy April 1 2009

Their target of this effort is our old friend Stephen Steinlight, whose offence is to dare question the wisdom of mass immigration—and specifically mass Muslim immigration—into this country, particularly from the point of view of the Jews.

The Kvetcher reports

Now, he is being promoted as a persona non grata by HIAS through McCarthyite tactics. This email was sent to various Jewish newspapers and organizations by Roberta Elliot, the HIAS V.P. of media and communications:

Dear editor — This note is not for publication. In the next few days, you may receive an op-ed piece staking a position against ”Progress by Pesach,” a campaign launched recently by a large coalition of national and local Jewish groups who favor comprehensive immigration reform. If this op-ed comes from an author who works either at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) or the Center for Immigration Studies, it is important for you to know the origin of these groups–they were founded and are funded by an individual in Michigan who is a white nationalist and foments nativist groups. Attached is a press release that HIAS distributed several weeks ago and pasted below is a link to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s press release on three anti-immigration groups, including FAIR and CIS. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. comments: Protest to Roberta Elliot. The ”individual in Michigan” to whom she refers is that great patriot, Dr. John Tanton. N.B. Sacramental reference to the Southern Poverty Law Center ($PLC). We hope to have something important on this bunch of thugs later this week.

Ironically, a notable feature of Steinlight’s first public appearance in 2001 was what our observer described as a

vitriolic denunciation of Patrick Buchanan, Peter Brimelow and Alien Nation—”a book I abominate…entirely objectionable and racist”.

As usual, of course, this effort at defense by triangulation did not work.

The remarkably open-minded Jewcy web site has allowed Steinlight to reply himself. No Debate Please, We’re Jewish April 3,2009 reports that the repression campaign is in fact working:

…shortly after the blacklist effort was launched, a New Jersey chapter of Hadassah cancelled my scheduled talk, and my requests for an explanation were met with embarrassed reticence by my hosts. Finally, they confessed they were ”ordered to cancel by the Legal Department at Hadassah’s National Office.”

Steinlight comprehends the wider implications:

what’s happening is frightening...for our community. The question before us is not about which immigration policies we should support. Rather, this: Will the Jewish community be an open forum for competing ideas, or will we surrender to a new McCarthyism? If this blacklist campaign succeeds, we will have permitted cynical opportunists to destroy the intellectual integrity and vibrancy of debate within our community. We will have succumbed to lies and debased ourselves. It is a categorical imperative to defeat it.

Sadly, an early poster to the Steinlight comment thread displays an attitude of which Steinlight would probably not appove, but which may well be be more usual in the Jewish community:

It's not a violation of the First Amendment for someone to organize against your message. If they think you're a racist and your ideas are morally bankrupt, they're allowed to try and silence you by convincing others not to give you a platform from which to speak. That's part of free speech, too.

This claim is of course totally incompatable with the Ango-Saxon tradition which gave rise to Parliamentary government. But notwithstanding Steinlight’s impeccable refutation

Unethical people and organizations with axes to grind can be just as effective in trampling upon our rights as the State’s experience suggests it is the more common.

On a happier note, The Kvetcher reports that the signature gathering aspect of the HIAS Progess By Pesach campaign has been a dismal failure.


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