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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.

Regards
Nedd Kareiva
Director

UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION

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 ACLU.com (not to be confused with Karieva’s Stop the ACLU.org). 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.

13 Responses

  1. […] Jesus’ General gives his take; Stop the ACLU responds. See my new entry here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Hello to the NormalsWith the ACLU, […]

  2. “We have others we want to put up on the site to shame them but have not gotten around to it…. I would appreciate it if you would sign your actual name rather than JC Christian.”

    So we can shame you too, Jew lover

  3. I hope the lawyers for the family are paying attention. I can see no reason why an injunction against STACLU could not be had — with perhaps a fine for contempt of court.

    It’s clear that STACLU is either raving mad or just evil. The courts won’t care — their actions in trying to organize a virtual lynch mob violate the civil rights of those families.

    I hope STACLU has insurance, so the family can collect.

  4. I can’t find any mention of this on the ADL website. Am I not looking hard enough?

  5. Has anyone pointed out to these bullies and thugs how exactly they are going to be left liable for a couple of million dollars in damages, attorney’s fees, etc? I guess that that will be yet another ‘proof’ of the endless persecution of Xtians (sic).

    Oh, and if it all gets into court by December or so, I wager nobody is going to wish them a Merry Christmas either. More proof!!

    I don’t think their whole case is in any ways going to stand as evidence of “Intelligent Design”, at least as it concerns school boards in Deleware. And we just KNOW that’s an issue there too.

  6. I sent Nedd Kareiva my (real) name, address and phone number and asked him to harass me. I did tell him he might want to google me first, because I have some experience with a certain cult of greed and power.

    I got a response out of him that was a total non-sequitur. The guy’s a fruitcake, but a dangerous one.

  7. Is ‘Nedd Kareiva’ his real name? I took the General’s reference to him as ‘Scrabble Champion’ to imply that it’s an anagram.

    My heart goes out to the Dobriches, and especially the daughter. A Jewish family in my county has taken considerable grief for their efforts to change the “weekday religious (i.e., protestant Christian) education” that takes place during school hours in elementary schools here, but there’s much more local support for their effort than in Indian River, which sounds like a place where non-fundamentalists have been silenced or driven out.

  8. I thought you might be interested. The policy was quite recently revised.
    On this page http://www.irsd.net/policyListing.cfm?policyTypeID=9

    I found this document http://www.irsd.net/uploads/policy/IN.1%20Religion%20(Rev.%206-27-06).pdf

  9. I’m curious how Kareiva imagines “pogrom” is *not* an appropriate term.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Pogrom

    “An organized, often officially encouraged massacre or persecution of a minority group, especially one conducted against Jews.”

  10. As I point out in my own (frequently updated) post on the matter, Nedd Kareiva attacks the Dobrich family for wanting to “impose their atheism” on the community. Evidently, he thought that the family was an atheist family, not a Jewish family — or he was lying here in order to portray the family as worse. So, I think that he did believe that an atheist family had been run out of town.

  11. One thing that has yet to fully surface is the fact that five Delaware state reps encouraged the IRSD to make Christianity the official religion of the district.
    In this message to the school board, the Republican State Reps make their disregard and disdain for the Constitution quite clear.

    So the “STACLU” and the IRSD have some friends in high places.

  12. The response of Stop The AClU.com is feeble. Let’s assume posting the contact info did not contribute to driving the family off because they had already left.
    Secondly, STACLU.org offered no such response. Indeed, Ned’s reply would leave us with two options

    1. He didn’t pay attention to what Jesus General wrote and didn’t notice his program was credited with helping to drive off the family. 2. He did see that and didn’t mind.

    Basically, Jesus General would only need to modify his post slightly and the point would still stand.

    Posting their personal information was still an act of intimidation that would contribute to keeping them away, and had it been done earlier, it most probably would have contributed to them leaving. If a district can drive a family off, disclosing their info to a national audience for harassment isn’t going to make things better.

  13. Richard – I was interested to read the following on Jay ( John ) Stephenson’s website :
    “Stop The ACLU.Com is the official blog of Stop The ACLU.Org. Our goal is to bring public awareness to the radical agenda of the American Civil Liberties Union. We are a grass roots effort to organize and get the general public actively involved in a campaign to stop the radical agenda of the ACLU, and the secular cleansing of America. You can get involved, and share your ideas with us by joining our Discussion Forum or our Blogburst Team. All you have to do is email me at Jay@stoptheaclu.com!

    We also want you to join the coalition, which will be the active arm of our organization, organizing protests, letter campaigns, etc. ” ( emphasis mine )

    source : http://stoptheaclu.com/archives/category/about-us/

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