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Liberal on everything but Israel? There’s a name for that!

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- Commentary

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).

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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.”

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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.

 


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Is it an impeachment inquiry, an investigation or something else?

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There has been a gymnastic drama going on in the Capitol, where fans of impeaching Donald Trump and those who think that process is not the best way to confront the president are writhing in definitional arm-wrestling.

Weirdly, any value you might assign to the actual words used, you can expect a lot more confrontational congressional committees towards Trump’s White House in the next weeks. Those hearings may or may not add up to impeachment efforts, which has been true until now, of course.

The House Judiciary Committee, newly driven by the extraordinary efforts to land government meetings at Trump properties and to promise pardons for illegal acts to promote his agenda, has wanted to broaden the basis for impeachment, essentially to argue that profiting from the presidency is unconstitutional.

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Republicans know Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath — they just don’t care

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angry Brett Kavanaugh

Republicans know Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath. They just don't care.

The debate over whether the most recent Supreme Court justice perjured himself during his Senate hearing last year — which would be an impeachable offense — fired up again over the weekend, after New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly published new evidence confirming stories that Kavanaugh whipped out his penis on not just one, but perhaps two non-consenting women as a student at Yale in the 1980s.  The article was promoting Pogrebin and Kelly's new book, "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation," which showcases a year's worth of in-depth research into Kavanaugh's past. They interviewed many witnesses the FBI overlooked during its own investigation of Kavanaugh's background.

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We now know Senate Republicans sandbagged the FBI’s investigation of Kavanaugh

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Two days before Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, I wrote that the Republicans were poisoning its legitimacy and the Democrats must redeem it. I said doing so required questioning the high court’s integrity, foremost the integrity of the “due process” that was installing Brett Kavanaugh. On October 4, 2018, I wrote:

There is in fact a growing nonpartisan consensus that [Kavanaugh is] not only unfit. He’s a liability for a court whose legitimacy has been increasingly in doubt. … This means the Democrats are on solid ground for any attempt to reform the court to restore its credibility. The question isn’t whether they should. The question is how.

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