Such Decrepitude!

I know most of you don’t care about Richard Silverstein’s most recent screed against me, but… but… he called me mean!! And… and… he said I was jealous of him! So let’s just put it on the record that should I ever express any jealousy towards Mr. Silverstein, please, I urge you to put me out of my misery and put a bullet through my head.

A more detailed analysis after the bump!

So yeah, Richard Silverstein is at it again. The man who is at once the defender of decency, the bane of all bullies and also the most indecent bully out there, took umbrage with something I wrote. He said I was mean – the king of mean even! And he repeated his Abitbol-is-a-liar mantra that he is so fond of. Also, I’m disgusting, a scoundrel, cruel, vicious, brutal and on and on…

He was upset that I called him old and decrepit. My Dad is 20 years older than Silverstein and he shares none of these traits? Why? Because decrepitude is not just a physical attribute, it’s state of mind and never has an adjective been more appropriate. But Silverstein has serious comprehension issues when it comes to the English language. For instance, he states quite clearly that Israeli singer Noa accused Hamas “of acts of rape and other heinous crimes which were baseless accusations.” What did Noa say?

I see the ugly head of fanaticism, I see it large and horrid, I see its black eyes and spine-chilling smile, I see blood on its hands and I know one of its many names: Hamas. You know this too, my brothers. You know this ugly monster. You know it is raping your women and raping the minds of your children.

Now please raise your hands if you think that Noa was saying that members of Hamas literally rape their women and children? OK, thanks, you can put your hand down now Richard. Everyone else with the most basic English comprehension skills knows that she was speaking figuratively.

But Richard Silverstein will put on whatever gloss necessary in order to paint those he disagrees with in the most negative way possible. In a recent post, he cites a Ha’aretz poll of 500 Israelis that found, amongst other things, “that 57.6 percent of the respondents agreed that human rights organizations that expose immoral conduct by Israel should not be allowed to operate freely.” Silverstein’s conclusion? “Israelis appear unwilling to make the sacrifices and compromises necessary for peace with the Palestinians.” However, when it suits him, he’ll say the exact opposite! In a comment last year he wrote “I am in favor of a Palestinian state, so are most Israelis. I’m in favor of sharing Jerusalem, so are most Israelis. I’m in favor of negotiating with Hamas, so are most Israelis. I’m in favor of withdrawal from most West Bank settlements, so are most Israelis. I’m in favor of the Geneva Accord parameters, so are most Israelis. The opinion polls proving these statements are all in this blog. You can argue till you’re blue in the face. But yr arguments will just be wind I’m afraid.” So which is it? Did things change so dramatically in less than 6 months? Or is Richard Silverstein’s analysis and understanding of the Middle East severely flawed? And he wonders why no one with any credibility is remotely interested in giving him a book deal!

We see this same messed up perception when he uses the term “liar.” Many people who he disagrees with are called liars. Not “mistaken” or “wrong” but rather outright liars. Go ahead do a search on the use of that term on Silverstein’s site. You’ll quickly see what I mean. It’s like when he calls me a liar for expressing my opinion that he is anti-Israel. I feel I have valid grounds for my opinion and thus I am not by definition a liar. But you know, such “subtleties” are not Silverstein’s strong suit. Everything can be put aside in the name of fulfilling his craven agenda which has more to do with arrogant self righteousness and self aggrandizement than it does with actually forging a path to true and lasting peace in Israel. Tikkun Olam my ass.

In his “King of Mean” post, Silverstein notes that his Goldstone/Bar Mitzvah post was written on April 14th while The Middle’s post was written on April 15th. I noted that our post was out first. Silverstein stated “So what’s wrong with Abitbol? Did he make a mistake? Did he lie? Does it matter?” However, Silverstein’s post was published at April 14th, 2010 at 10:38 PM PST while ours was published Apr 15, 2010 at 0:43 EST – over an hour before Silverstein’s post given the 3 hour time difference between PST and EST (our blog is set to EST while his is set to PST). So what’s wrong with Silverstein? Did he make a mistake? Did he lie? Does it matter? Well I guess it kind of does. Silverstein has demonstrated a pattern of activity and behavior that shows him to be completely incapable of nuance and balance, a petty demagogue who bullies and belittles anyone who dares express an opinion different from his gospel. This is the drek that is Silverstein’s contribution to the blogosphere.

So this is what I have to be jealous of? This person who is the veritable personification of moral decrepitude? This bitter man who couldn’t analyze his way out of a paper bag? This self styled pro-Israel Zionist who never has a good thing to say about either Israel or Zionism as he sits in his unemployed glory spewing venom and schnorring for a friggin’ $25 web cam?? Yeah, the day I’m ever jealous of that, please put me out of my misery. Please shoot me.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Um, David, you know, this was a nice piece of writing, but you could have expended the same effort writing something (or two) that actually enlightens us about Israel or the Jewish world. Jus’ sayin’.

    Great graphic, though.

  • Kol Ha Kavod David. This guy must have a screw loose

    But I hate! that pic omg! I never want to imagine our dear, harmless, lovable, sensitive activist, justice seeker, Shabbos enlivening, peace making David with a gun to his head! even if you are an Abitbol! if you didn’t write the funniest comment that made it make sense I would be even more mad about it. ok

    Um this was the most enlightening bit about Israel and Jewish world Mr. Middle. Here we have a Jew from the Diaspora who came back to the Holy Land and is defending himself against and not taking any bullshit from haters. That’s all the Jewish world/ Israel needs to do currently….well that and import some better clothing…geeze.

  • You’ve got some flaws but being mean is not one of them. As your sis I can vouch that you are mostly super duper nice.

  • i luvs me a good blog war

    now lets see how dick responds

    although he may have some prob understanding the nuances of the above blog post

  • Uncle Joe: Do you really expect a coherent response from Silverstein? Really? Don’t hold your breath. Just expect the more of the same from him – nastiness, self righteousness, presumptuousness, hatred of Israel and… decrepitude. Of course.

  • rofl

    not really…i just wanna see his head explode

    that guy wants to be norman finklestein in the worst way

  • I have been in an ongoing argument with Silverstein and you are 100% right about his rudeness. He is incapable of being polite to anyone who expresses views with which he disagrees.

    I told him that I would quote him on my blog and he replied that he didn’t mind as long as I quoted him in full and in context. I replied that I would follow the precedent he had set (in quoting me). He responded with a cowardly silence. (I think I can boast that I am the first man to have silenced Silverstein!)

    I also got under his skin when I told him that I once thought as he did but had grown out of it. He told me that this was insulting to him. I replied that it was shameful to me!

  • I have crossed swords with Silverstein numerous times in his own blog – pounding him every time with logic, facts and humour (three things that he lacks). I always remain polite in my use of language and usually even in content (e.g. I accuse him of getting his facts wrong, seldom of lying).

    However, when he tries to order me to “drop the subject and move on” (meaning he knows he is losing the debate and can’t make a halfway decent comeback) I just ignore him and plough on. This has led to me being “moderated” several times. And now he has finally banned me – the ultimate confession of defeat.

    I mention this not to boast or brag – Silverstein is not a very good debater – but just to add my voice regarding his hypocrisy and his inability to take what he tries to dish out to those who don’t agree with him.

    He is also a hypocrit when it comes to what he allows people to say. I know of one contributor who was described by one of his supporters as having “reptilian skin” – and he let it pass without comment. But when she replied in similar language, he warned her and told her that she would now be moderated. It seems that his hypocrisy and double standards are his most conspicuous feature.

    • Some of us were banned by him a long time ago. 😉

      Come to think of it, despite unfailing politeness and great accuracy in my comments which I am always able to back up with links to valid sources, I have been banned from a number of leftist sites. It’s interesting to see them practice censorship at every opportunity while continuing to complain about Israeli “hasbara.” Talk about double standards.