Some Lessons about Cancel Culture from a Former Refusenik

Feb. 12 2021

Last week, a New York Times reporter resigned after it was found out that, in 2019, he employed a racial epithet not out of malice, but in the context of an abstract discussion of the term itself. His departure was accompanied by a public apology that put some in mind of the confessions elicited at Soviet show trials, and seemed to many the epitome of the censorious attitudes that have come to be known as “cancel culture.” The former refusenik and Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, writing with the historian Gil Troy, reflects on his own experience with the USSR’s suppression of thought and speech, and notes the parallels to the present climate. Although today saying the wrong thing can’t get a person executed or sent to the gulag, Sharansky nevertheless believes that both situations require people to live in constant tension between the ideas they believe and those they express:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Natan Sharansky, Political correctness, Refuseniks, Soviet Union

For a Leading Israeli Anti-Zionist, the Plight of Two Peoples Is Less Important Than Her Moral Preening

Founded in 2004 by IDF veterans, Breaking the Silence aims to expose the supposed wrongdoings of the Israeli military in the West Bank. In her recent Hebrew-language book Who Do You Think You Are?, Yuli Novak, who served as the group’s director until 2017, reflects on the internal turmoil she has experienced in the ensuing years and explains how she came to reject Zionism altogether. Einat Wilf finds the book cliché-ridden and solipsistic, while the author comes across as a “petulant child.” Moreover, writes Wilf, Novak’s argument rests on false premises:

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Read more at Tel Aviv Review of Books

More about: Anti-Zionism, Breaking the Silence, West Bank