Here We Go Again…

by Joseph S. Salemi

Oh dear… it looks like the hillbilly software salesman is having another moral fit. Michael R. Burch of Nashville Tennessee has posted more venomous comments about the SCP and Evan Mantyk at his superannuated poetry-and-soft-porn website. Burch seems to be obsessed with us. He certainly reads us regularly!

As I have pointed out previously, Burch’s primary motivations for all these snotty attacks are three-fold, and not one of them is aesthetic. First there is his sheer infuriated envy that the SCP is enjoying great popularity and success. Second there is his brainless left-liberalism, which is deeply offended by the free expression of conservative, Christian, and rightist opinion at the SCP. And third there is his personal animus against me, and my visibility as an SCP contributor. Let’s consider all three.

The SCP is growing by leaps and bounds, and it receives endless submissions from all over the Anglophone world. All kinds of poets—professional and amateur, young students and academic faculty, established and unknown voices—submit material to Evan Mantyk. Naturally the work varies, but that is because the SCP is a teaching site and not just one for showcasing polished poems. And no poetry site allows the free discussion and expression (unhampered by choking left-liberal censorship and cancelling) that the SCP does. This is why the entire po-biz community reads us, even if they hate our guts and only lurk silently.

This troubles and angers Burch, who has in the past admitted to me that he is afraid my published essays and commentary will have a bad effect on younger poets. The SCP is the embodiment of all his worst nightmares. Burch wants to be the dominant voice in the po-biz community, and he wants to use that voice to spread the orthodox left-liberal pabulum that he thinks is appropriate. The discussion threads at the SCP are articulate, intelligent, often quite scholarly, and they do not adhere for the most part to left-liberal ideology. This scares and angers him, as it generally does to everyone on the left when they are confronted with articulate opposition to their assumptions and myths.

Let’s take a side-tangent into contemporary politics to see how Burch’s attitudes manifest themselves. There is an interesting fact to be noted about Burch right now. Since October he has maintained a general silence at his website concerning the current Gaza conflict, other than a mention of its occurrence and an allusion to his quixotic “Peace Initiative,” placed right by his huge collection of pro-Palestinian poems dealing with past Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. This is strange, because Burch normally goes into a moralistic tizzy about Israeli “genocide” and “racism” and “apartheid” and “settler-colonialism” at the slightest provocation. Why the reticence now, when pro-Palestinian demonstrators all over the world are filling the streets and screaming? You’d think that he’d be loading up the screen at his website with one of those endless, scroll-down-forever lectures on Israeli infamy and Palestinian rectitude, followed by a long list of anti-Likud organizations.

Well, it’s not hard to figure out. Burch is terrified (as he admitted at his site after the October 7 events), that Trump will be re-elected. And he is frightened that the Democratic vote will be splintered in 2024 over the issue of Israel and Gaza. He sees that many of his political friends are infuriated with Biden, and may vote for Robert Kennedy or Cornel West, or stay home. So rather than add oil to the fire of left-liberal anti-Biden rage, Burch is keeping his normally big mouth shut—though it must be taking a tremendous effort. I’m sure he and Beth are just itching to be out in public waving Palestinian flags, or carrying “From the River to the Sea” placards. But they simply can’t, because at this moment it might be bad for their long-term political goals. Like a great many left-liberals right now, they are tongue-tied.

Burch always deflects the charge of anti-Semitism by trumpeting himself as a “publisher of Holocaust poetry,” a claim which he has blared so frequently and noisily that there seems to be some nervous defensiveness about it. Why should his publication of Holocaust poetry prove anything at all? Just because Ian Kershaw wrote a massive biography of Hitler, does that mean that Ian Kershaw is sympathetic to Der Führer? But with Burch—as with most liberals—logic doesn’t matter. All that interests him is virtue-signaling emotional posturing. That’s why he can gas on about his publishing of Holocaust poetry while at the same time clamoring for Israel to surrender its Jewish cultural identity. Besides this, the blatant anti-Semitism of the current demonstrations for Gaza probably has him a bit worried. It has ripped the mask off the real hatred animating left-liberalism, and puts him in an embarrassing position.

In connection with this subject, let’s consider the dispute that Burch got into several years ago with the Jewish poet Esther Cameron. When Burch began to publish endless pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli material at his website, Cameron asked him to remove all of her work from the site, since she did not wish to be associated with what she saw as a crypto-anti-Semitic enterprise. Burch turned her request into an opportunity to blather on endlessly about free speech and censorship and—of course—the nefarious Israeli conspiracy to silence the “truth” about the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. He removed Cameron’s material. But not without publishing a long, whining self-defense of himself and the Palestinian cause—a defense that included using our American Declaration of Independence as a rhetorical excuse to say “Palestinians have the right and duty to rise up against and forcefully resist the unjust government of Israel, unless Israel grants them equal rights, including the right to self-determination.”

Of course Burch won’t repeat that publicly now, in the backwash of the October 7 atrocities. He hasn’t even mentioned the name “Hamas.” It’s politically inconvenient for him, and the Democratic Party. His website hasn’t made a public peep about the severe Israeli counterattack in Gaza, which has been the main subject of left-liberal outrage all over the world. One would suspect that the Palestinians are not quite as important to him as keeping Trump out of the White House.

Finally, there is Burch’s private vendetta against me, which now takes the disguised form of a series of sniping attacks at the SCP and Evan Mantyk. Burch and I were friendly e-mail correspondents many years ago, until our disagreements on many subjects (religious, political, and aesthetic) led to strained relations. That would not have been insurmountable, except for Burch’s compulsion to argue incessantly against any position, critical judgment, or poem that offends him, especially if it is well expressed and convincing. But his duplicity in offering to interview me, and then calling in third parties to attack me, was sheer bad faith. His offer to print my counter-replies, and then trying to cut and paste them as a form of surreptitious censorship, was typical of his dishonesty. He then tried incessantly to attack my monthly essays at The Pennsylvania Review, by posting absurdly long and tedious replies to them. This became so onerous that the webmaster, Leo Yankevich, put an end to all discussion threads at The Pennsylvania Review.

As I have mentioned in a previous post here, Burch likes to attack while in a group, so his normal practice is to call in various other persons to join in when he goes after an enemy. He couldn’t do this at The Pennsylvania Review, and was rhetorically chewed to bits by me several times. And since he was long ago banned at the SCP for pretty much the same tactics described above, all Burch can do is attack the SCP and Evan Mantyk in the nastiest ways at his own website. He seems to have been especially enraged by Mantyk’s anti-Thunberg poem—not simply because the Little Swedish Meatball is an idol of environmentalism, but also (I suspect) because she is a fervid pro-Hamas partisan.

So let me predict what he will do now. Burch will summon up anyone he can find in the po-biz world to make up what in academia is called an “attack circle,” urging them join forces to denigrate me, the SCP, Evan Mantyk, and anyone else associated with us. In addition, he will express contempt for the work of poets here whom he dislikes, and will comb through anything they write to find an error or an aesthetic misstep, and then use that as a way to discredit the SCP in general. Then—after reading this piece—he’ll quickly put up some kind of defense of the Gazan resistance against the ongoing Israeli military invasion, a lot of poems or diatribes against the “bad” Jews (like Netanyahu and anyone who votes for him), while saying again—of course—that he is a “publisher of Holocaust poetry.” Then he’ll claim to be in favor of human rights for all, and that everything in the Middle East would be OK if the Israelis accepted his Birch Beer–Elderberry Wine Piss Initiative. (Yes, I’m making fun of it—what else can one do with something so idiotically naive that it suggests Israel should abandon its Western and Jewish cultural identity and become another Levantine sand pit?) And to be sure, he’ll also urge his political friends to not do or say anything that might imperil Biden’s chances in 2024.

He’ll also make a big stink about “censorship,” and how he is being denied his opportunity to answer criticism because he is blocked from posting here. That of course is pure sophistry, since his banishment—as was the case both at The Pennsylvania Review and Able Muse’s Eratosphere—was because of his deliberate strategy of posting long, rambling, and repetitious comments that were deliberately designed to discourage any real discourse.

If Burch really thought that the SCP were unimportant, would he constantly be posting vicious and defamatory material against us at his website every month?

So if he hates us, folks, we must be doing something right. Uncork the champagne.



Joseph S. Salemi has published five books of poetry, and his poems, translations and scholarly articles have appeared in over one hundred publications world-wide.  He is the editor of the literary magazine TRINACRIA and writes for Expansive Poetry On-line. He teaches in the Department of Humanities at New York University and in the Department of Classical Languages at Hunter College.

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33 Responses

  1. Phil L. Flott

    I am so delighted with Salemi’s essay. Finally, here is a place where I can read the truth–unvarnished. Thank God that for this amount of time we can have an open discussion. Write on!

  2. Mike Bryant

    Joe, I agree with everything you’ve said about Burch, aka Kim Cherub. I also agree with an award-winning poet from England who said that Burch’s website is more about “tits and knickers” than it is about poetry.

    According to a free website checker:

    The top three pages on Burch’s website are:

    1. Famous Beauties with Small Breasts 45,900 views
    2. Visible Panty Lines………………………….…. 383 views
    ……………………….….………Total Soft Porn 46,283 views

    3. Best Unknown Poets 175 views

    Total Organic Traffic 50,800 views

    Burch’s top two most looked at pages are 91% of his total organic traffic. The third most popular page amounts to point three percent (0.3%) of his total organic traffic.

    These numbers are from the report I ran on December 9 of this year.
    I have the screenshot. If anyone would like a copy just let me know.

    I’m not sure why but I have the idea he spends most of his time clicking through the pictures on his number one post… could that help explain its overwhelming popularity?


  3. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    The reams of venomous spiel spewed by this hyper-griper about a poetry site he deems so inferior to his literary sensibilities it galls him, has made me question this viper’s sanity. Joe, thank you for helping me to understand the befuddling machinations of a bile-fueled bully – a hypocrite who claims to care for children yet promotes the cruel neutering of minors whose “brains don’t match their genitals”. The apposite expression, “You can’t fix stupid” springs to mind.

  4. Sally Cook

    You are so right when you say that Mr. Burch likes to attack from within a group. Witness one of the first poems I printed at SCP. It raised a tremendous amount of messages, – mostly negative and never to be seen again in these parts. My crime ? I had dared to criticize the wrong people.

    And now – years after, same old song .


  5. Joshua C. Frank

    Thank you for this, Joe. There’s so much I didn’t know about Burch, and this explains a lot.

    I’ve never dealt with him directly, but like many here, I have dealt with a clone of his (anyone interested can read about it in “The Certainty of Kelly Green”), so I can imagine what it’s like.

    We should all be honored that we’re living rent-free in his head. The real-life basis for the Kelly Green character wrote about my stance against contraception seven months after my December 30 poems on the subject were published, claiming that I “loudly” and “frequently” mention it. I consider it an honor that my poems had such a big impact even on someone who hates everything I stand for!

    I’d be similarly honored if Michael Burch verbally ripped me a new one over my poems; in fact, I feel a bit left out because he hasn’t. I’ve written against all kinds of things leftists cherish and in favor of all kinds of things they hate; I kept thinking, “This one will get me lambasted by him for sure!” But given everything you’ve said about him, it’s not likely.

    • Joshua C. Frank

      I checked his page at 6:45 AM Nashville time today (December 15, 2023, for the record) to see if he had responded in the less than 24 hours since this article was posted… he sure was quite the busy bee in writing a long, angry diatribe!

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Joshua, there is an old proverb: “Nobody watches you harder than the people who can’t stand you.”

        Burch, Conor Kelly, and others of that ilk are fixated on the SCP, and obsessed with it. The totalitarian mindset is incapable of ignoring its opposition.

  6. James Sale

    Well done Joe, as always you’ve nailed the critter! The troubling thing about these people is, as you point out, is the lack of any logic, not to mention consistency: whatever it is that drives them, it’s not rationality, it’s not thought, it’s not anything that resembles ‘sense’. It’s this kind of thing that persuades me – aside from all the evidences we might want to adduce from metaphysics, scriptures, world history et al – that the Fall of Man occurred, that evil is real, and being possessed by the devil or a devil is also a reality. How can we account for these absurdities – specifically, this absurdity called Michael Burke? I have not been to his site for quite a while, so I am not sure whether I have been further ‘honoured’ by more attacks from him or not – but thanks for keeping a look-out for us all!

  7. Roy Eugene Peterson

    It is hard for me to imagine a leftist surviving in Nashville! But then again, it is difficult for me to imagine a leftist anywhere. I am only vaguely aware of Burch by your essays, Dr. Salemi, and am both amused and angered by his attacks on you, Evan, and SCP. Never having read his blogs, I would have the same feelings of amusement and anger if I were ever mentioned. If he reads this, I recommend he peruse my book, “Democratic Party Down the Rabbit Hole,” that destroys them, or that he read my book, “As the World Burns: Poetry to Read by the Fireside,” that obliterates Islam. I agree with you, Joshua, being criticized by such a slug is an honor and privilege that may result in my increased book sales and poetry popularity.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Nashville is a university town, so there is an infection of left-wing academic types in its environs. They consider themselves as living in “the belly of the beast.”

  8. Brian A. Yapko

    Joe, we all appreciate your diligence in bringing this information to the SCP as well as your sharp analysis of the substance and motivations behind Burch’s attacks on members of the SCP – especially you and Evan. I am wont to leave such people alone because, as Susan notes, there’s no way to fix stupid. Nonetheless, we operate in a public forum and words are stated which warrant response lest silence imply consent or acquiescence. It is, in all candor, an energy-drain to spend the time and effort to do so, but the record demands it.

    I don’t know Burch. I’ve glanced at some of his blog entries and a couple of his poems simply because he has become a negative object of interest at SCP. I’m not sure what all the fuss is about because he’s clearly not a particularly talented fellow and he’s a uniquely shallow thinker. I’ve seen the type hundreds of times in law practice. He believes everything he thinks. He cannot fathom that anyone would interpret his motives as anything other than magnanimous because, gosh darn it, he’s such a nice person with such a good heart. He cannot fathom that his choices and ethics are those of an angry 17 year-old who hates his parents and despises anyone who he thinks might recognize and expose his secrets. I’m sure he has good qualities. He likes poetry. He feels compassion for others. But these are trivial in comparison to the damage he does. He is invested in a vendetta which gives him relief as he tears people down for sport (because he’s so nice.) He mocks. He stalks. He seems like the type who broods exhaustively over not being properly worshiped. This is the type of personality who is a nightmare client because he/she hires a lawyer – and then refuse to follow the lawyer’s advice. This is the type of client who insists on taking a terrible case to trial against the lawyer’s best judgment, loses, and then blames the lawyer. Such people are what I would call self-referential.

    Joe and other commenters – there is no fixing such people. There is no reasoning with such people. They are unteachable because they already know so much and are so utterly invested in their narratives that nothing one can say can penetrate that thick outer shell of certainty. You can show such a person a Jewish baby’s corpse, baked in an oven by Hamas in front of its wailing parents, and the response will be “meh.” But show this same person a Palestinian whose pride was wounded because a soldier (assuming it was an Israeli soldier) yelled at him and he goes berserk with hatred. You can explain till the cows come home that bullying the only Jewish state – a tiny one with a Jewish population outnumbered 1000 to 16 by the Muslim world – is per se antisemitic because it denies Jews any right to self-determination in their own home – but it will never penetrate. You can point out to such a person that there are over 30 officially Muslim states, most of which have expelled their Jews – but he’lll say it is Israel alone which is the apartheid state and which is not allowed to state a religious identity. That is the nature of antisemitism. These people don’t care what the truth is. Nothing must upset what they think they know. They will never see Israel as the last land of refuge for the persecuted Jew, almost annihilated within living memory and in every age since before Roman times. In their perversion, they will see it as a land of greedy white supremacist Jews (!!!) building condos on the bones of poor Arab children. These antisemites who have never even been to the Middle East are utterly divorced from reality. They will consider Jews as vile aggressors and the poets of the SCP as neanderthal subhumans . That’s what he’d say. If he wasn’t so darned nice.

    Let Mr. Burch go to Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. Let him spend a month there. Then let him speak. I’ve been there. Twice. I know the truth with my own eyes, not out of the mouths of propagandists with poison agendas.

    So what to do with the inestimable Mr. Burch? Unless this man commits a crime or a tort, I think investing energy in his unfixable antisemitism and smug confidence in his ever-so-highly and evolved compassionate nature is a waste. He’s so not worth it. But monitor. And rebut when necessary.

    One last note from history. Leni Riefenstahl was Joseph Goebbels’ favorite propagandist. She produced and directed all kinds of bleeding- heart films for the Third Reich. Those poor, abused aryans being taken advantage of by those horrible Jewish capitalists/communists – that sort of thing. She had neither talent, insight nor class. She was a social-climbing mediocrity who made pictures which supported Hitler’s genocidal narrative and so she was given favor. From age to age this woman exists and never goes away. It would seem we have found the Jew-hating Leni Riefenstahl of our age. What a deep-thinking and impressive ally the antisemites have as their self-chosen standard-bearer! All hail. Or should I say sieg heil?

  9. Joseph S. Salemi

    Brian, ordinarily I would follow your advice fully, and simply ignore Burch when he insults us and mocks us. But as you say, in the eyes of others that might imply consent to or acquiescence in what the man says. Let me say this: as a child and a young man, I was always deferential and accommodating to others, even when I was mistreated or abused. I was only cured of that habit late in life, when the poet Leo Yankevich (a very tough, hard-bitten, and fearless man) taught me to be otherwise, and demanded that I never accept a wound without dealing out a savage counter-wound in return. Leo once said to me “You’re a Sicilian! ACT LIKE ONE!” Leo reminded me, unconsciously, of what my prizefighter father used to say: “Never just take a punch. Just grit your teeth and throw another punch right back, even harder.”

    Your description of Burch’s personality is right on the mark: a shallow thinker, a self-absorbed narcissist, and a 65-year-old man who is still angry at his mom for scaring him with threats of hellfire. There’s no real sense in arguing with him, and as his latest diatribe shows, all he can do is accuse me of being some kind of “hypocrite,” without answering a single point raised in the essay above.

    He tries to put a wedge between me and the Protestants at this website by triumphantly stating that I said things against them in other places. But anyone who has followed the discussion threads here at the SCP knows that I have never made a secret of my distaste for Low-Church Protestantism, fundamentalists, Bible-thumpers, and evangelicals. On occasion I’ve even denigrated “religionists” in general, because of their lack of hard political savvy. More than once I have made it clear that I hold some of the Old Testament to be figurative-symbolic rather than historically literal, and I have defended this view stoutly in debate here at the SCP. That isn’t “hypocrisy” — it’s brutal honesty.

    He cries out that I have criticized Israel in the past, and showed sympathy with the Palestinians on some issues. So what? That was many years ago, and since then I’ve come to understand the sheer anti-Western hate that motivates the entire Palestinian movement. The movement has no other purpose than the annihilation of Israel as an outpost of Western cultural identity. I’m hoping that the Israelis kill every damned Hamas operative they can find, right down to the last lowly file clerk.

    He complains that I have not jumped in to correct every misplaced punctuation mark or bad metaphor that appears here at the SCP. Well, that’s not my job, and it would be totally presumptuous of me to nitpick about every infelicity of style that appears here. Every good teacher knows that criticism is like vinegar in a salad — you use very little of it in comparison to a free use of the oil of praise.

    Anyway, I hope this will be the last that we hear of (or have to do with) the pathetic Mr. Burch.

    • Joshua C. Frank

      Wise advice from both men. My father always said essentially the same, adding, “Pain is the great teacher.” You remind me quite a bit of him.

      It’s no secret that I agree with you about the Israelis and Hamas, but also, I’m finding that I agree with you about “religionists” more and more. And I’m one of them. I used to think (thanks to the Church of Being Nice that has taken over every church community out there) being a good Christian meant stoically accepting the death of our faith as “entire worlds are assimilated, and we fall back” (to quote Star Trek: First Contact, and yes, I’m comparing the left to the Borg because it’s accurate and well earned). Thanks to you and the SCP in general, plus some books I’ve found invaluable, I’m seeing that we need to fight incessantly if we want to keep our children from being led to Hell by those pied pipers, and that means resisting and hating what is evil and ruffling a few feathers.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Josh, nearly every single mainstream church in the Western world today has been infected with the “Being Nice” heresy, including our own. This is why I find it next to impossible to talk with clergy from any denomination. They are all living in a cloud of dreams and hallucinations.

        Are there exceptions? Yeah, sure. You can count them on your fingers, like the doctrinally sound members of our hierarchy.

      • Joshua C. Frank

        That’s really interesting… that’s my exact experience with all kinds of clergy.

  10. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Joe and Brian, I would like to thank you both wholeheartedly for making this great site even greater. In this ongoing verbal spat with Michael Burch (which has escalated to eye-rolling heights) Brian, you are right when you say, “we operate in a public forum and words are stated which warrant response lest silence imply consent or acquiescence.”

    The constant spew of spleen from this spiteful troll is sullying the name of many on this site in an attempt to cancel opinions that don’t align with the “current thing” – a wicked tactic that has shut down honest and worthy voices in journalism, science, politics, the arts etc, etc. all at the behest of an unelected, greedy global governance that doesn’t have the people’s interest at heart. The SCP is trying to uphold the traditional values of the Western world by embracing robust debate in its comments section for which I am most grateful.

    The problem lies in the fact that Mr. Burch thinks he knows everything and strives to let the whole world know, via his sleazy and bitchy website, that he is the arbiter of the truth and anyone challenging his outlook is worthy of disdain… a disdain that culminates in having their name dragged through the linguistic mud until they shut the hell up.

    The SCP has given me an insight into the extraordinary world we live in, a great respect for many differing viewpoints, and an eye-opening lesson on those seemingly innocuous paths in life that often lead to ruin. It is a place of education, beauty, honesty, and friendship. It is the sort of place those wanting to exert control over independent thought despise, which is why the likes of Burch are so eager to ruin it.

    Joe, you (a man who’s been willing to change his outlook as he’s gained wisdom) have been accused of being a hypocrite by a fraud who is keen to let the world know his passion is excellent poetry and social justice while posting salacious pictures of women to gain traffic on a site that grows increasingly perverse. Your essays, poems, and advice have been invaluable to many. As for Burch…

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Susan, many thanks. Like you, I have come to love the SCP and the sheer freedom from constraint and censorship that exists here. The measure of our value is the level of antagonism we provoke in those who are desperate to make sure that the world of poetry stays politically controlled by the left.

  11. C.B. Anderson

    What has the worm done now? Do I have to wade thorough Hypertext hazmat muck to find out? Though ad hominem rhetoric is usually frowned upon, in this essay, Joe, you have elevated the ad hominem approach to a fine art — it’s not a fallacy when the man and the deeds are inextricably of one piece. We can now safely say that the phrase “drinking the Kool-Aid” has been replaced by “drinking the Burch beer.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      He attacked Evan Mantyk’s poem on Greta Thunberg in a very vicious and nasty manner, and then tried to claim that he was only trying to help out by offering advice and suggestions. What a lying prick.

      He also continues to denigrate and cast contempt on the SCP, even though we here have said nothing about him or the Hypertexts, except in response to his attacks. I’m sure his spiteful comments will not stop, as long as the SCP continues making his website look like last week’s chopped liver.

      So now we find out that 91% of his total organic traffic is from soft-porn photos! Gee, I wonder what his feminist readers think.

      • Joshua C. Frank

        Actually, pornography fits in quite well with feminism. In both, women step away from their God-given roles as wives and mothers to use their God-given charms to entice men to step away from their God-given roles as husbands and fathers in order to make a buck and then pretend they don’t need men.

  12. Yael

    This is amazing! I never knew that there is a “po-biz” or that it has a soft-porn sleazy under belly. Thanks for enlightening me on this reality and teaching me a new thing today. Even though I’m a complete outsider to the world of po-biz, I was so entertained by this essay that I read through it twice.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      “Pabulum” is the original Latin term. The shorter English word “pablum” is due to the omission of an unaccented schwa vowel. Both are correct.

  13. Joshua C. Frank

    Now Burch is whining about being written against yet again, trashing Israel, and claiming his anti-semitism is all about a concern for Palestinian children… even though he hasn’t typed a single word about Palestinians persecuted in Muslim countries. Worse, he won’t stop pissing and moaning about how Palestinian children have a right to life, while he’s openly pro-abortion. I guess anyone can claim to care for children if he gets to ignore inconvenient truths.

    Oh, and he’s still writing anti-Israel poems; I saw one of them published last month in another magazine.

    But somehow he calls you a hypocrite.

    • Mike Bryant

      Josh… I think you have the makings a poem coming on with that brilliant analysis!

      • Joshua C. Frank

        Thanks! Though I think I already did that poem: “A Leftist Rebukes Hamas.”

  14. Brian A. Yapko

    I heard today that I’ve been targeted by the astonishingly talented and insightful Mr. Burch.

  15. Charles Q.

    “What else can one do with something so idiotically naive that it suggests Israel should abandon its Western and Jewish cultural identity and become another Levantine sand pit?”

    Well, well, wasn’t ancient Israel Levantine to begin with?

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Is that a serious comment?

      It’s like saying that North America used to be Amerindian to begin with, and therefore should give up its European culture now to become Amerindian again.

      You can make stupid comments on social media, Charles Q., but you can’t make them here without being blasted. Got that?

      • Charles Q.

        Yes, this was a serious comment. Your comparison is unfair.

        Americans never had Amerindian culture, they are descendant of European settlers. While Jews had a “Levantine” Old Testament culture back when Europe was a wilderness.

        So, by embracing their Levantine roots, they would become more Jewish.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Charles Q., what you are saying is absolutely fatuous.

        I invite you to travel to Israel, and go around to modern Israelis and try convincing them to give up their Westernized habits and lifestyles and ways of thinking. Then tell them how great it would be if they went back to herding sheep and goats, living in tents, performing clitorectomies on girls, and quoting from the Koran.

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