Episcopal chaplain at Yale: Jews are to blame for anti-Semitism for not making peace with genocidal enemy (UPDATED with statement from Yale’s Center for Jewish Life)

August 26

Speaking of moral obtuseness (or how “Palestine makes you dumb,”) I reprint for you in full Rev. Shipman’s letter as published today in the New York Times:

To the Editor:

Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.

The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.

As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.

(Rev.) BRUCE M. SHIPMAN
Groton, Conn., Aug. 21, 2014

The writer is the Episcopal chaplain at Yale.

Next on Rev. Shipman’s bucket list: blaming women who dress provocatively for rape, blaming blacks for racism because of high crime rates, and blaming gays for homophobia for being “flamboyant.”

If Rev. Shipman had made analogous comments about any other “ism,” he’d be out of a job.  [UPDATE: In response to an inquiry, a Yale spokesman tells me that "Rev. Shipman is called to serve the Episcopal campus community at Yale, but is not employed by Yale or the Yale Chaplain’s Office."]  And if it were any group but Jews, their student organization would be occupying his office and demanding it.

H/T Ted Frank via Twitter, who also provided the title for this post.

 UPDATE: Rabbi Leah Cohen, director of the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish life at Yale, sends along this statement on behalf of the Center: 

Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale welcomes open dialogue and genuine civil discourse. We are committed to the pursuit of Jewish life at Yale and the personal identities of our students, including close and serious engagement with Israel and world Jewry. We are adamantly against any justifications of anti-Semitism and hatred of any kind. Individuals who perpetuate these ideas stand in the way of the thoughtful and open engagement that is emblematic of Slifka Center, the University Chaplain’s Office and Yale in general. Any individual or group who stands for or justifies hatred stands dramatically opposed to the mission of Slifka Center. At Yale, we engage through learning programs, speaker events and discussions groups with students, faculty and members of our community who support intelligent discourse.  On this campus, we draw upon the cherished principles of freedom of expression and our rich and deep relationships to promote respectful conversations that matter.

Rabbi Leah Cohen, Executive Director and Senior Jewish Chaplain, Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale

David Bernstein is the George Mason University Foundation Professor at the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, VA. He is the author of Rehabilitating Lochner: Defending Individual Rights Against Progressive Reform (2011); You Can't Say That! The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties from Antidiscrimination Laws (2003);
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