By Jane Rose
This is in response to “Criticizing Epstein, Wexner or Bronfmans is Not Anti-Semitic.”
You have eloquently, and I believe sincerely, clarified that you yourself do not harbor anti-Semitic feelings. And for that I am relieved, as I otherwise admire all you have done to put the menace that is Keith Raniere in a place where he can not hurt others again.
Nevertheless, I still take issue with several things that you stated in your reply.
Let me number them for my own organization:
1. Your reply to my comment is entitled: “Criticizing Epstein, Wexner or Bronfmans is Not Anti-Semitic.”
This is an eye-catching, but misleading headline, for nowhere in my comment did I say that criticizing anyone who is Jewish for their individual failings, misconduct or certainly criminality is anti-Semitic.
We Jews (yes, I am Jewish) have our “bad apples” just like every other religious, ethnic or minority group on the planet. And when someone Jewish breaks the law, or acts unethically or immorally, they must be held to account just like anyone else. I would be the last to say otherwise.
Agreed that Jeffrey Epstein is “odious”, and I would add pathological and criminal. So, to be clear, that is not what I take issue with.
Rather, the original “opinion piece” [not written by you] – Were Wexner and Epstein Working Together to Blackmail for a Good Cause?, without even a scintilla of evidence, posits the possibility that two members of the Mega Group, “a group of wealthy Jewish-American businessmen” have been blackmailing public officials for the benefit of Israel.
That is a very serious accusation to make, particularly as to Mr. Wexner who stands accused of nothing, and certainly one that should not be made without at least some evidence to back it up.
I don’t think it takes you off the hook to simply say, “The author suggests it is possible that….”
Again, the author simply engages in pure speculation and guilt by association. Reputable media would never publish that kind of piece without some evidence to support it.
I have noticed that you now consider yourself an investigative journalist. I think you could be successful at it. But to be a journalist, you have to abide by journalistic ethics. This means publishing facts substantiated by multiple reliable sources and evidence, not merely repeating scurrilous material found on conspiracy theory websites. And not fantastical false claims whose only source is in the mind of the author (see point 2. below).
I understand that you did not write the piece. But you published it, and there have been similar articles on your website in the past, and this is what made me question where you are coming from, and by publishing it without comment, you may be understood to at the very least believe it has some merit.
2. Second, claims that smack of a “Jewish Conspiracy”, particularly involving wealthy Jews, are in fact an old anti-Semitic canard, centuries old in fact. This is a theme that was used to justify murderous programs (sadistic and deadly attacks against innocent men, woman and children of the Jewish faith) in the old Russian Empire, and was certainly employed to maximum devastating advantage by Hitler.
The piece by “Jeff Bacon” (an interesting choice of moniker, assuming it is one), plays off of that same theme of a nefarious Jewish conspiracy. Similarly, the article you published on December 8, 2018 by a “Jamo Lorswal,” –A few tidbits about the Rothschild clan – with a little Bronfman connection implied that the Bronfmans and Rothchilds (i.e. wealthy Jews) engaged in “human sacrifice” and that the Rothchilds held a ball in 1972 “photos of which show “referenced to cannibal dishes.’”
Mr. Parlato, this is all too reminiscent not only of the Jewish conspiracy canard (of which the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are but one example), but also the anti-Semitic “blood libel” canard, i.e. the claim that Jews killed non-Jewish children and made matzahs with their blood.
Perhaps you are not familiar with these infamous anti-Semitic libels, but it would be interesting and worthwhile to Google them. You might then better understand why most Jewish people would read this kind of thing and take great exception to it. And I do recall that I was not the only reader of your blog who made a comment that Mr. Lorswal’s (cuckoo) article was in fact anti-Semitic in its content.
3. Perhaps you’ve forgotten, but Mr. Lorswal, in his anti-Semitic conspiracy piece also (falsely) stated that “Edgar Bronfman” was “involved in criminal activities” and “hid behind philanthropy.” If that is not attacking Mr. Bronfman, then I am missing something.
Granted, Edgar’s father, Samuel Bronfman, was apparently involved during Prohibition in illegally importing into the U.S. the liquor that he legally manufactured in Canada. I am sure he dealt with some rough characters…. criminals…. the underworld….. in the chain of distribution into the U.S.
Does that make him a murderer? You’ve leveled this charge. I Googled his name and nowhere did I read that he was ever charged with murder or anything of the sort. Where do you get this from? I’d be interested to read a fact-based article from you on this specific point (i.e. murder).
In any event, I hope you do not believe that the “sins of the fathers” must be vested upon their children.
4. Bottom line: Respectfully, I believe you are capable of better than this and that you can hold yourself to a higher journalistic standard. I look forward to continued interesting reading on your blog.
Keith Raniere will be but a small footnote in history in the end, as much of a menace as he was to those who unfortunately fell into his orbit. The much more significant story, which I know you are pursuing, is: how was this rascal allowed to get away with his misdeeds for as long as he did?
Keep shining the light on this question.