I first dealt with Richard Silverstein last year. Apparently he makes lists of people who are pro-Israel and posts them with insults. I had written an article suggesting that Palestinians needed to stop invoking my people and our struggle when demonizing Israel. Apparently this struck a sour note with the piano playing Silverstein who added me to his list.
Now he is attacking my friend Chloe Simone Valdary, because she has the temerity to be dark-skinned and pro-Israel. She is staunchly pro-Israel, and has organised several events (including Declare Your Freedom 2.0, a pro-Israel festival). According to Richard, this makes “uncle tom dance” because clearly Chloe cannot be black and support Israel, ignoring that many black people and other people with non pale skin tones are openly supporting Israel.
Richard, you see, is a Racist, with a capital R. When he was attacking me last year, I saw several of his posts about me, where he was far more concerned with my skin tone and my “Race” than he was was about my political opinions. I called him out on that and his excuse was that as a Jewish person who follows Tikkun Olam, he couldn’t be a racist. He then went on a long diatribe about Israel and said I couldn’t possibly understand because I am not in fact Jewish. Something I took issue with because as much as I respect Jewish people and support Israel, I do not believe that only Israelis are moral and rational. I told him so and he then told me that Israelis were horrible people and that if I was Jewish I would understand. He told me I shouldn’t be involved in this fight, because it’s not my fight. I told him it absolutely was, not just because the palestinians keep dragging my people into it, but also because its the fight of any moral, rational and ethical person to stand up for what’s right.
Richard has one sole argument, an appeal to authority argument based entirely on his “Jewishness” He provides no facts, no actual argument as to why anyone who supports Israel is wrong, just his appeal to authority that says “I am Jewish therefore my argument that Israelis are bad is right.” Because my position is that as a non Jew I cannot speak to that and it’s not my place to argue someones “Jewishness”, I base my argument on the fact that DESPITE his Jewishness, he is a simple racist. His position that I cannot be as moral or rational as him is in fact bigoted.
Richard cannot stand dissenting opinions, and he is what I call reality impaired. When confronted with facts that he cannot dispute, he will immediately turn the discourse to ad hominem. He honestly believes that he is making the world better, yet I see people like Chloe making the world better by actually doing the work, by doing things on the ground and advocating for her beliefs. All Silverstein does is blog, hang out with other antisemites in his echo chamber and insult people who have displayed far more moral certitude than he ever has. People like him are dangerous because they claim to speak for Jewish people, when in fact their opinions are anything but mainstream.