Stop the ACLU Director “Pleased” with Role in Jewish Family’s Flight

Back on Monday I blogged on a report from Jews on First about a Jewish family who had allegedly been forced to leave town after complaining about aggressive proselytising by the local Indian River School District in Delaware. One detail which was not included in that report, but which I picked up on via a commentator at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, was that an organisation named the “Stop the ACLU Coalition” (STACLU) had publicised the family’s home address and phone number, in order to “expose” them as “ACLU plaintiffs”. STACLU’s denunciation wasn’t even accurate  – the ACLU has given the family some support, but they are in fact being represented by a Wilmington law firm.

Jesus’ General has now contacted STACLU director Nedd Kareiva, to congratulate him for his part in what he calls the “Indian River Pogrom”:

I think you deserve partial credit for making that happen. After all, you did publish their name, address, and phone number on your web site (see screen cap below) as part of your “Expose ACLU Plaintiffs” project. It certainly wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that such information gave people the means they needed to drive the Dobrich family from their home.

Of course, you didn’t do it all by yourself. The good god-fearing Christians of the Indian Hill School District deserve most of the credit…

Kareiva responds to the General (emphases added):

Pogrom? I’m not sure I want to call it that. That is not an appropriate term, however, I am pleased that we had an effect in this case. We have others we want to put up on the site to shame them but have not gotten around to it. And I’m not so sure I can take credit for it. However, if an ACLU speaker was booed, that’s music to my ears.

I would appreciate it if you would sign your actual name rather than JC Christian.

Nedd Kareiva


This story has now received considerable attention on the blogosphere. Most vociferous among those defending Karieva’s posting of the address is Jay Stephenson of Stop the (not to be confused with Karieva’s Stop the He writes:

Assuming the original reports are accurate, the mother and son apparently moved as early as late 2004. How could the 2006 publication of the address the father maintains have “driven” the family from their home in 2004 or played any role at all?

I must confess that it had not occurred to me that Karieva might have been so incompetent as to post an outdated and therefore incorrect address (although in fact the exact date from which the family was allegedly split up cannot be discerned from the article), but in fact I never claimed that the posting of the address had led to the family’s alleged flight; it just seemed to me to be a significant bit of context worth including in an overview. Karieva became a central issue only when he expressed his pleasure at having “had an effect” when told about the family’s predicament. We can draw significant conclusions about him and his movement from that, whether or not he actually managed to get the address right.

Karieva also insists that he is in no way anti-Semitic, being himself part Jewish. Stephenson, meanwhile, treats us to some rambling anti-Palestinian rhetoric in order to prove his own pro-Jewish credentials. Again, such an allegation was never made by me, although Karieva’s lack of concern about the family having been allegedly subjected to anti-Semitic abuse is telling. There does seem to be some surprising anti-Semitism in the USA (currently being dredged to the surface by Sacha Baron Cohen), but in this case Karieva was simply unlucky that his target was Jewish. Had an atheist family been run out of town, no doubt it could be “justified” (to some) on the grounds that atheists are either Communists or extreme moral relativists. Pagans could be dismissed as devil worshippers, Muslims as America-haters, Hindus and Buddhists as stroppy immigrants. Christians who prefer private devotion over officially-decreed piety would simply be baffling. But, for obvious historical reasons, picking on a Jewish family throws the unpleasantness of certain actions into sharp relief; hence the popularity of the term “Judeo-Christian” on the US right.

Now, it seems, Karieva has decided to end his campaign against private individuals:

It was suggested, NOT compelled or mandated, by our legal counsel to delete the content and thus take this page out of your [sic] arsenal. In its place, we will continue to post ACLU supporting lawyers and companies like Progressive Insurance and the Ford Foundation so that we may boycott them from ever getting our money and business.

Karieva addresses himself to “The Daily Kookoos (KOS with 3 extra O’s), Jesus (Armchair) General, (Hair) Salon and others.” I assume the last reference is to me, since my blog is [UPDATE: was] hosted by Salon magazine, but readers should be aware that I do not work for Salon itself.