UPDATE: Take the Test to find out if you’re liberal on everything but Israel here.
Do you feel dovish most of the time but suddenly hawkish when it comes to Israel? Are you critical of the Democrats for being too centrist but supportive of Likud? Do your liberal ideas apply to every issue except for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
If you answered yes to the questions above, you may be a PEP (Progressive Except on Palestine).
But you are not alone! PEPism is extremely common, especially among liberal Jews. In fact, if you are a liberal Jew, there is a high probability that this syndrome runs in your family. If you aren’t a PEP, you likely have some relatives who are. Though not genetic, PEPism is sometimes, though not always, passed down from one generation to the next. Two PEPs will frequently, but not necessarily, have PEP offspring, some of whom will outgrow the condition. Conversely, occcasionally, the offspring of two PEPs will experience an adverse reaction, manifesting in hyper-keffiyeh use and fetishization of all things Arab.
The onset of PEPism varies. Children of PEPs tend to manifest symptoms as pre-teens. People who do not come from PEP parentage might experience a later onset, especially following a Birth Right trip or, in later years, after a move to Florida.
I am not a PEP and come from a PEP-free family. I have, however, seen how PEPism can affect people’s judgement, end relationships, and make social media extremely unbearable. So, I am speaking out.
And I’m not the only one. The term PEP appears in alternative media. But it hasn’t penetrated traditional media, for the most part. Though I don’t know who came up with the term, and I can’t remember where I first heard it, I unknowingly helped raise awareness about the syndrome via The Washington Post. In a review of Laughing Liberally, a political comedy show which I co-founded and in which I perform, journalist Emily Wax-Thibodeaux wrote,
With her heavy Upper West Side accent and frequent references to Zabar’s, comedian Katie Halper often stuns the audience by giving voice to the Palestinian plight — as a Jewish liberal….
…. Some in the audience laugh. But some clearly experience what Halper, a Laughing Liberally co-founder, calls the “PEP Phenomenon,” or Progressive Except on Palestine.
Because I’m so humble (and/ or was kvelling over seeing my name and my show in print), I didn’t realize the significance of the appearance of PEP in the newspaper, until Philip Weiss wrote a blog post at MondoWeiss called “‘PEP’ (Progressive Except Palestine) makes the Washington Post.”
Do you think you or someone you know might be a PEP? Tomorrow, I’ll have a diagnostic test for people to take. Remember, getting tested is the first step.
Legal scholar tracks down the bizarre origins of the right-wing phrase Justice Kavanaugh used in a new opinion
Justice Brett Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump for one clear purpose: to fortify the majority of conservative justices than can protect the right-wing agenda through the judicial branch.
And while there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Kavanaugh will be a dutiful player in this role, there always remains a possibility that a justice will go rogue once appointed and fail to follow the wishes of the party behind his or her nomination. But in a new majority opinion announced on Monday, joined by the other four Republican appointees on the court, Kavanaugh sent a clear signal that he’s a party man to his core.
We have to prepare for this Trump nightmare scenario as Republican power-grabbers grow bolder
Polls currently show that all the major Democratic presidential candidates are pulling way ahead of Donald Trump, and while Democrats should take nothing for granted — Trump will run a campaign so nasty it will likely put 2016 to shame — there is at least some reason hope that Americans will turn out in large numbers and that Trump will be soundly defeated in 2020. That victory would be both exciting and an enormous relief, a moment when we all collectively begin to believe that the national nightmare is ending.
Jon Stewart’s journey from satirist to political advocate is no laughing matter
When Jon Stewart quit the Daily Show, the satirical news and comedy show he hosted for 16 years until August 2015, he explained to his replacement, Trevor Noah, that he was tired – and angry at the state of politics and political discourse in the US. As Noah reported:
He said ‘I’m leaving because I’m tired.’ And he said, ‘I’m tired of being angry.’ And he said, ’I’m angry all the time. I don’t find any of this funny. I do not know how to make it funny right now, and I don’t think the host of the show, I don’t think the show deserves a host who does not feel that it is funny.‘