dangerous lists

by tobybee

The other day I discovered that I’m on one of those lists of Jews who are apparently self-hating, and whose presence in this world will lead to the destruction of all Jews (in this case, it’s the ‘Self-Hating and/or Israel Threatening List. Yes, that’s right, the ‘SHIT List’. So witty. Indeed). It was the kind of thing that I thought might happen at some point, but I didn’t realise it had already happened! Very exciting. I called a couple of friends, got a few mazaltov’s, felt a little proud of myself. After all, the list presents quite an impressive gathering of Jews, and it’s kind of nice to be considered alongside them. As many others have said, if I’m being put on this kind of list, clearly I’m doing something right.

On the list—which, as well as being clearly the rantings of a group of people who have a tenuous grasp on reality, is violently sexist, racist and homophobic—among the nearly 9000 listed, are people such as Judith Butler, Daniel Boyarin (but, interestingly, not Jonathan), Amira Hass, Idith Zertal, and everyone’s favourite self-hating Jew, Woody Allen.

After the initial surprise of finding my name eased, I began to wonder how I ended up there. So I had a look for others in Australia who I thought might be on the list: Antony Loewenstein is there, as is Peter Slezak. Amusingly, so is Fania Oz Salzberger. But no John Docker, no Ned Curthoys, and neither of my fellow bloggers (not that I’m saying that I want them on the list, but it’s interesting to see who is included and who isn’t, I think).

Which does make me wonder how I ended up on the list. As far as I can tell, the organisation on whose website the list is is in America. I’m kind of assuming that someone in Melbourne, someone who knows me, told them to put me on the list. I blog here under a pseudonym, but on the list my birth name is used.

Inherently, the list is bad: for everything that it is, and everything that it signifies. I decided though that I don’t want to dwell on its badness, and instead be amused—and, as I say, slightly proud—by the whole thing. What does upset me is the thought that someone who I know put me on this list. Who knows though. Maybe they just went through some online petition that I signed somewhere along the way and put everyone who signed it on (although that doesn’t seem likely – some others who have signed the same petitions as me don’t seem to be on the list). Or maybe someone I know really finds me that objectionable (which, I worry, is the most likely explanation). Either way, it seems that now I’ve officially been listed.