I’m really shocked that James Tabor has commented as follows to Bob Cargill’s expose of Simcha’s absurd ‘Jesus Nail’s rubbish-
Beyond any substance to this post I find the personal slander, diatribe and ugly anti-Semitic innuendoes totally disgusting. Where have we come to as academics if this is the kind of style we use to make our points. There is even a Web site out there called “Let’s beat the snot out of Simcha.” I find it really beyond sad. To charge that Simcha’s motivies are “to prey on the hopes and beliefs of the faithful in anticipation of making lots of money for Simcha Jacobovici” and that it is all “topped with a colorful hat” referring to Simcha’s kippah, is really beyond the pale–not to mention a half dozen other slanderous comments. My comment here has little to do with Simcha per se, whom I know to be a totally honorable person, or the subject at hand, i.e. the nails and the Caiaphas tomb, on which I think there is a lot to say, but just the sad level to which some of my colleagues have seemed to stoop in ridiculing others. #7 – James Tabor – 05/10/2011 – 19:29
What anti-semitic innuendo????? There’s not a shred of it in the essay and it is both preposterous and absurd that Tabor claims as much. What’s more interesting is why he does it.
Why, when someone disagrees with another, is the nearly default position to fall back to claims and denunciations of antisemitism? Because it serves only to marginalize and demonize. It was used by Hershel Shanks against Keith Whitelam (to sad effect) and it has been used by others against Davies and Lemche and Thompson, and now it has been used by Tabor against Cargill. Because there is no reasonable or rational support for Simcha’s absurdities, Tabor does the only thing he can do- he attempts to distract with a smoke-and-mirrors offensive lie.
Yes, it’s a lie to say that Cargill’s piece is in any way, innuendo or otherwise, antisemitic. When one can’t refute, the only thing left to the defenseless is a grotesque lashing out. And that is, tragically, what Tabor has done.
I can only hope that people of sense will be able to see through the attempt and recognize it for what it is- nothing but a diversionary tactic to throw back on Cargill a false accusation so that the real issue, Simcha’s false and unsubstantiated claims, can be allowed to stand. Preposterous. Absolutely preposterous.
Tabor is right to say
Where have we come to as academics if this is the kind of style we use to make our points.
Exactly. How have you come, Prof. Tabor, to use false smears of antisemitism to make your point?
UPDATE: Professor Tabor’s remark has now, it seems, been removed from the comment section of the B&I essay. I’m a bit nonplussed I have to admit. Do I now remove the post which stands above as though the accusation was never made, or do I let it remain in hopes that unsubstantiated accusations of supposed antisemitism aren’t tossed about so easily since ‘once it’s online, it’s online forever somewhere’? The fact is, the remarks above attributed to Tabor are Tabor’s own unedited and unaltered remarks. Once the tube of toothpaste is squeezed, the toothpaste can’t be put back.