Thursday, April 25, 2013

We are all Gil Student

Today the Yated doubled-down on its malicious and falsehood filled attack on Gil Student. The new assault came on the letter page, where Gil Student's letter of protest was answered with more lies by Avrahom Birnbaum, author of the original hit piece. You can read it here.


What's this really about? For whatever reason, Gil Student has been made the poster boy for blogs, dissent, free expression, religious moderation, modernity, etc. By attacking Gil, they are attacking all of those things.

What do they hope to gain? Ideally, they want Gil to sell out his friends and bash Modern Orthodox Jews. They probably expect he will do this in exchange for the Yated's tolerance and respect. The fusillade launched against Gil is likely also meant to frighten the rest of silence. Though the Yated says they are simply promoting the idea that all Jews are brothers, we note that they have yet to censure any of the blogging Haredim (eg Avi Safran) who whitewash Haredi misdeeds while trumpeting heterodox sins. If what they want is for all Jews to love each other, its odd that they only speak up when their own sect is under attack.

What did Gil get?
The chance to present his side of things in front of the 12 people who read letter columns and a second thrashing in their response

What did the Yated get?
The opportunity to smack Gil around again, plus whatever good will they generated by providing Gil with an ordinary and obvious courtesy. Also, the Yated may have bargained that publishing Gil's letter would keep him from taking his complaints to the blogs where, he not they, is the 500 pound gorilla. So far it looks like they were right: Gil hasn't, as yet,  posted his own letter on his own blog

Winner: Yated.

Fellow Jews, we are all Gil Student. If the Yated can slander him, it can slander you, too. The only way to respond is to remind these unethical hacks that we are not without recourse. I invite and encourage all of you to take to your blogs and Facebook pages to let the Yated know that this will not stand.

Along with publishing your protests on the web and social media, you can contact the Yated directly at 845.369.1600.

Points to make:

1) We support Gil Student and Harry Maryles
2) We are offended by the Yated's cavalier disregard for truth and accuracy
3) We protest the Yated's expectation that two blogging Rabbis would speak poorly of a colleague in a public
4) We note the Yated's double standard, exemplified by its failure to criticize blogging Haredim who criticize Modern Orthodox and heterodox Jews.

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