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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Deborah Lipstadt Jumps the Shark on Jordan Peterson Antisemitic Claim

Deborah Lipstadt sullied her academic brand this week by intimating that Dr. Jordan Peterson's attack on antisemitism reminded her of antisemitism. In the Forward's article entitled, Is Jordan Peterson Enabling Jew Hatred, Lipstadt went so far out of her way to connect Peterson to antisemitsm that one is tempted to conclude that she is either past her intellectual prime or is allowing some other bias to distort her opinion. Lipstadt is quoted as saying:
Peterson’s willingness to answer questions about “Jewish success” and his interest in IQ literature is “suspicious” said Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of history at Emory University and author of “Denying the Holocaust,” who won a libel case in Britain against prominent Holocaust denier David Irving.
Lipstadt said that Peterson’s statements on Jewish intelligence reminded her of Kevin MacDonald, a professor of psychology who the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as “the neo-Nazi movement’s favorite academic.” MacDonald has written several books criticizing Jewish intellectual culture. (Peterson links to a critique of one of MacDonald’s books at the end of his blog post on Jewish intelligence.) Lipstadt said that MacDonald’s academic language obscures the anti-Semitism behind his opinions. She worries the same is true of Peterson.
“It’s not [Holocaust] denial, but when people start asking questions like that, I begin to get leery,” Lipstadt said. “The question is, is he a self-help guru who find the Holocaust a convenient way of attracting attention, or is there serious thought going on here?”
Peterson responded to Lipstadt's claims via his Twitter account. Peterson wrote:


Peterson's reserve at being connected to antisemitism cannot be overstated. Peterson has made the most convincing argument for people to avoid mass-movements that lead to crimes like the Holocaust. He is also one of the few to make the poignant observation that although most people are horrified at the Holocaust that statistically speaking we would most likely have participated with the perpetrators had we been there. Peterson then concludes that we should not focus so much on the bad behavior of other groups, but on our own individual weakness that would permit us to participate in the horrors if we were to find ourselves in similar circumstances. How else can we really live the motto " Never Again."

Below is an excerpt of Peterson discussing the horrors that occur when individuals participate with collective hate.



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