Bari Weiss, official sycophant to Marie Antoinette

There are good reasons I’m incapable of watching Bill Maher any more — I’d have to rip the big screen off the wall and throw it through that expensive big picture window in our living room. This week, he had Bari Weiss on, because of course those two are made for each other.

“This week we opened the American embassy in Jerusalem which did cause a riot, as predicted, and of course people are blaming both sides,” said Maher.

During the embassy opening, a taunting event all but designed to inflame tensions, Israeli forces brutally massacred at least 58 Palestinians protesting along the Gaza border—including women and children. Many were killed by sniper fire hundreds of yards away. Weiss, however, saw no connection between the protests and the embassy launch.

“Bill, I love you, but the riots were not caused by the embassy move,” said Weiss. “They’re not linked. When Hamas attacked Israel in 2008, when Hamas attacked Israel in 2012, when it attacked Israel in 2014, the embassy was in Tel Aviv all of those times… They intentionally moved up the day so that it would coincide with the day of the embassy move so that we would all be disgusted and heartbroken when we saw this horrible split-screen of Ivanka Trump, looking like she was at a country club, next to poor, desperate people dying in Gaza.”

The first line set me back. How can you blame both sides when one side is being gunned down by snipers, and the other is armed, at best, with rocks? When one side is killing children?

But Bari Weiss managed to top it. How horrible that the Palestinian people planned their protest strategically? Why didn’t they schedule it for a day when it wouldn’t make Ivanka Trump look bad?

Talk about missing the whole point…it reminds me of the furious complaints when Black Lives Matter protests inconvenience people. How dare they march where people would notice! Couldn’t they just march down streets in the middle of nowhere that weren’t full of busy white people trying to get to a football game?

Just remember that Martin Luther King Jr. also protested strategically.

Let us remember not just King’s words, but also his actions. King was in his 20s when he helped coordinate the Montgomery bus boycott, which lasted more than a year and brought the city to its knees. Too often today, we hear that protests for justice and equality are being done “wrong.” They’re too intrusive; they’re too loud. But one wonders how the country can laud King, whose efforts shut down public transportation in an entire city, but chastise Colin Kaepernick (also in his 20s) for his peaceful protest of taking a knee at a football game.

It was King’s desire that we each examine our role in the fight for civil liberties, justice and equality. It is not enough to consider ourselves simply “allies” in the fight. Instead, we must put our heads down, listen more, and do the work of improving the lives of a marginalized community to which we don’t belong. Then, and only then, might someone in that community determine that we are worthy of the term.

“Accomplice,” not “ally,” should be the goal. An ally is one who acknowledges there is a problem. An accomplice is one who acknowledges there is a problem and then commits to stand in the gap for those less fortunate than themselves, without hope or expectation of reward. An ally is passive; an accomplice is active.

When you’re more concerned about exposing the superficiality of Princess Ivanka and Slumlord Jared then you are about people being shot in the street, you’re being an accomplice, all right — to the wrong side.


  1. blf says

    The bias in Israeli media coverage of Gaza protests:

    Many Israeli journalists rely on the military for information and access to areas where news is happening. Fear of losing that access stops reporters from challenging the military’s narrative that the protesters were trying to invade Israel.
    Many Hebrew-language media outlets have reported the events as the army trying to prevent a Palestinian invasion.

    It’s becoming difficult for journalists to challenge that view. […]

    The above is a synopsis of a video at the link. The report is from a news source Israel is trying to ban, who some congress critters what to be registered as a foreign agency, and who Saudi Arabia, et al., demand be closed — Al Jazeera.

  2. woozy says

    They intentionally moved up the day so that it would coincide with the day of the embassy

    They had been strategically planning on being massacred?

  3. says

    Cue up Official Racist Excuse 7-A (English Language Version):

    “They’re animals. They’re not like you and me. They’re animals. They don’t value life the way we do. They’re animals. They manipulate us into killing them publicly. They’re animals. That’s why we just shrug and keep shooting. They’re animals.”

  4. jrkrideau says

    How horrible that the Palestinian people planned their protest strategically?

    Yes how dare they plan demonstrations leading up to May 15, Nakba Day? It’s not like they have been doing this for years? Oh, they have?

    Well they should have rescheduled to avoid inconviencing Ivanka and Jerrod.

  5. Owlmirror says

    “Accomplice,” not “ally,” should be the goal.

    But “accomplice” has certain unfortunate negative connotations. First definition: “(law) An associate in the commission of a crime; a participator in an offense, whether a principal or an accessory”.

    (The second definition, “cooperator”, is “rare”).

    I would strongly suggest using a phrase like “active (or committed or co-operating) ally” rather than something that leaves the implication that opposing bigotry is illegitimate.

  6. cartomancer says

    Owlmirror, #5,

    How about “auxiliary”, as in one who lends aid or assistance?

  7. mythogen says


    I think that’s a feature, not a bug. Standing up to bigotry often means standing up to the law, which generally supports bigotry. To my mind the implication that one’s work as an accomplice should be in defiance to the system is critical. It helps move one out of the comfortable position of acknowledgment without action.

  8. lotharloo says

    I’m sorry but there’s no MLK in the Palestinian side. Not even close. The whole Palestine vs Israel conflict is basically rightwing stupid policy vs rightwing stupid policy which shows rightwing stupid policies can lead to perpetual wars.

  9. Nemo says

    Bari Weiss is also responsible for that “intellectual dark web” garbage. I’ve only recently become aware of her, but it’s been too long already.

  10. says


    But “accomplice” has certain unfortunate negative connotations.

    So fucking what? Usage is fluid, as is demonstrated by the full definition. It can easily shift back positive, people just have to use it that way. Also, civil disobediance, anyone? Seems a perfect fit to me.

  11. unclefrogy says

    more is the pity but it sure looks that way to me as well.
    it is at the base a religious war and it will remain so until a majority decide that they need a secular solution which includes the freedom to believe or not. The most difficult aspect is that land has been associated intrinsically with religion and religion has been combined with nationalism all following a long history of colonialism and with oppression on all sides.
    This situation has been used by politicians when ever they think they can get an advantage from doing so, dam the people who die as a result.

    uncle frogy

  12. nomadiq says

    Ms Weiss also tried the old ‘It’s the West Bank authority that punishes the Gazans. They tried to switch off their power!’ schtick, which is a simple diversion – anything but talk about how Israel gassed an infant to death with tear gas. To her, Palestines problems are all of their own making. They are shot at for protesting – Hamas’s fault. Energy crisis – PLAs fault. But if Palestinians could function as their own country, which Israel does not permit, their is little left to protest and they could generate their own power and not have to purchase from Israel.

    Blaming the victim is a hobby for the powerful. They will never understand why the angry masses have come for their blood.

  13. Owlmirror says


    I think that’s a feature, not a bug. Standing up to bigotry often means standing up to the law, which generally supports bigotry. To my mind the implication that one’s work as an accomplice should be in defiance to the system is critical.

    No, that’s backwards. What you really want to do is emphasize that the current system is illegitimate, not the opposition to it. E.g.: The police, courts, and prison owners are all accomplices in promoting bigotry and exploiting minorities; they are all complicit.

    Consider another example: The civil rights movement. Calling it that emphasizes that what the movement is trying to achieve is something they should already have. Calling it the “overthrow segregation movement” wouldn’t have worked the same way, even though it was part of what they wanted to accomplish.

    This is really basic rhetorics.

  14. unclefrogy says

    I think what is meant is akin to
    “I’m Spartacus!”
    uncle frogy

  15. Owlmirror says


    Usage is fluid, as is demonstrated by the full definition.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, “silly” once meant “blessed”, and then “innocent” or “humble”; “idiot” once meant “someone who keeps to themselves”; “parasite” once meant “someone who shares the table”. So fucking what indeed?

    It can easily shift back positive, people just have to use it that way.

    How many bigoted slurs have been “easily” shifted back to positive?

    Really, trying to shift “accomplice” to positive would be a huge extra effort, and an utterly unnecessary one given that there are perfectly useful easy alternatives.

    And it’s an especially hard extra effort, given that “law and order” is already a dogwhistle for “delegitimize minorities”, and people have already called the police or the police have initiated arrests against people who are doing “innocuous activity X” while black.

    Also, civil disobediance, anyone?

    But civil disobedience was a tactic, not how they labeled themselves. To reference my #13 above, calling it the civil disobedience movement would have been a huge rhetorical mistake.

  16. Owlmirror says


    I think what is meant is akin to
    “I’m Spartacus!”

    But that was one last defiant cry from a group that had already been defeated. The goal is to effect changes to society, not reject a special concession from a victorious enemy.

    Don’t be distracted by shadows.

  17. says

    Owlmirror, give pushing the fucking status quo so hard a rest. You’re going along with what authoritarians want. Fuck them, and fuck kissing their status quo arse.

  18. Owlmirror says

    @Caine: So, you’ve chosen to scream stupid and obviously false accusations at me rather than make the slightest attempt to defend your thesis that it’s easy to change the negative connotations of words.

    Bless your heart.

  19. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    I think you’re missing the point, but my take couldn’t be boiled down to a comment. If you’re interested, I’ve posted it here, on Pervert Justice.

  20. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    How many bigoted slurs have been “easily” shifted back to positive?

    Just since I’ve been an activist? How about gay, homosexual, bisexual, dyke, and lesbian for starters?

    Yes, the shift came in the context of larger struggles, but the actual usage was easy as hell, and when people found that they couldn’t hurt me with those words, they used them as slurs less often. When others heard me using some of those words for myself, they felt more comfortable using them positively without ever having a big conversation about it.

    My contribution to the change was easy as pie.

  21. blf says

    If the meaning shifts(changes) then “invaders” (see @1) is also an appropriate term, and simply anticipates some hypothetical future shift in common understanding.

    Commonly-understood meanings do shift. Nonetheless, I know of no reliable method of predicting any future commonly-understood meaning. And any shift does not invalidate / change the intended meaning at the time of usage.

  22. blf says

    The n–r word has not shifted, despite attempts to do so (e.g., the band NWA), nor has nazi, nor has racist (also despite (admittedly quite recent) attempts).

    Also, where did the idea an “ally” is passive come from? Relatively recent usage — e.g., WW ][ allies — does not seem to support that notion.

  23. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    I think the idea comes from (and is being applied specifically to) the context of anti-oppression work, where “ally” once meant someone taking active measures and has since been watered down.

    and you’re right that not all attempts to reclaim words are successful, but that doesn’t mean that the effort itself is strenuous.

  24. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    I have never understood why, given that fighting for social justice and equal rights is already an uphill battle, so many people in the movement are absolutely dead-set on adding to that by deliberately, avoidably using language that is guaranteed to be misunderstood by those not already immersed in the movement culture.

    Why must we duck into every single punch?!

  25. methuseus says

    I understand some people may have a negative connotation with “accomplice”. Fortunately I have never thought it was negative. Yes, it does have a slight connotation of the admission of a crime, but I have used it since I was a child to mean “to assist with” and having no negative connotation. Such as to be an accomplice on an assignment, or an accomplice to talk to administrators about something. It honestly is more about friendliness in the way that I and others I’ve known have used it. It only has a negative connotation when you’re talking about a crime.

  26. mythogen says

    You provide a handy hook on which to further explicate the “accomplice” issue: not every bit of writing is meant for every person. As Crip Dyke notes in long form, some things are not about convincing large, and largely passive, majorities. They are about energizing and promoting the minority of people at the “coal face” of activism, putting their bodies on the gears of the machine itself, rather than merely condemning the operation of it. Personally, as someone who grew up with substantial privilege, the use of the term “accomplice” helped me break free of the White Middle Class conception that crimes are innately Bad and that if you want to accomplish something good you cannot ever do something Bad (like a crime!) while pursuing it. It helped me internalize that the point of civil disobedience is specifically to break the law because the law is unjust, not as an unavoidable side effect, or perhaps even as a way of “doing it wrong” as you sometimes see in conservative media. Breaking the law is the core of civil disobedience, and encapsulating that lawbreaking implication into a word that we use to mean those who are most effective in their defiance of injustice is important in conveying that if you wish to take that role at the coal face of activism, you MUST be breaking laws.

    The word is not intended for those who won’t ever put their bodies on the gears of the machine itself. It is for those who have not yet realized that they must do so, but can be galvanized into such action. People who need a new to conceptualize the law and its relationship to activism to take the next step in their work. The vast majority of people in the English speaking world will never even come across its use in this way; probably the majority of people who identify as allies won’t either. And that’s fine. It’s not for everyone. It’s for the next Irene Morgan, or for someone standing next to her when the cops come.

    Definitely read Crip Dyke’s piece if you haven’t. All this is there, in more detail, and with a historical case study to boot.