Political Commentator Attacked For Israel Stance and…Circumcision???

Liberal pundit David Pakman estimates half the emails he received were “overtly antisemitic.”
February 27, 2024
Screenshot from YouTube

During his Feb. 24 livestream covering Donald Trump’s victory in the South Carolina Republican primary, liberal commentator David Pakman’s commentary took a left turn. Around 45 minutes in, he turned to his producer and asked, “should I do the circumcision rant?” Pakman, who has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers, explained that since someone called in with a question about circumcision the previous day, people have been emailing him and he wanted to address the topic once and for all.

“I know this may come as a shock because I’m Jewish, I don’t think about circumcision ever unless someone calls in and asks me about it,” Pakman said. “… The last I checked, the American Academy of Pediatrics said the benefits outweigh the risks but it’s not an issue of critical importance and parents should decide … the anti-circumcision people sent me about 100 e-mails in the last 24 hours. Half of them are overtly antisemitic, a quarter were subtly antisemitic, and the other 25 didn’t appear to be antisemitic, but they also said I was completely wrong.”

Pakman explained that some people won’t listen to his views on the Israeli Palestinian conflict because he is Jewish and that makes him biased and some will say the same about circumcision, even though it is not political. There are some men, he said, who can’t find a partner and blame it on either being circumcised or blame society for conditioning women to prefer circumcised men.

“It’s a little weird,” Pakman said.

Pakman listed some health benefits for circumcision, as well as the argument that circumcision violates the bodily autonomy of a child. Adult circumcisions are extremely painful and parents make other decisions for kids, such as having them get vaccines. From what he’d seen, the risk of complications for circumcision is rare. It’s also been claimed that circumcision could reduce a man’s sexual pleasure, but Pakman said it’s hard to measure and that argument was not compelling to him.

Some left-wing commentators have been using the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a litmus test. One example is “The Majority Report,” hosted by Sam Seder and Emma Vigeland. Vigeland thought Pakman was wrong to not bring up the topic on his show; Seder commented that he’s had a disagreement with Pakman on the Israeli Palestinian conflict for a decade. Cenk Uygur of “The Young Turks” and Kyle Kulinski, a co-founder of Justice Democrats and the host of “The Kyle Kulinski Show” on YouTube, are among those on the left with large followings who have called Israel’s actions genocide.

On Jewish comic and musician and political commentator Ami Kozak’s show, “Ami’s House” Pakman said he’s “treading a fine line,” and that for a long time he saw antisemitism from the right — including “overt Nazis” — and now he’s getting shots from those on the left.

“How dare I say it’s tough to do a ceasefire with someone that says ‘we will never stop attacking you’”? – David Pakman

Pakman thinks those on the left aren’t happy with him because “I’m not aggressively … and in an unrestrained fashion denouncing Israel as a mere concept of existence. How dare I say it’s tough to do a ceasefire with someone that says ‘we will never stop attacking you?’ I think it’s tough to do a ceasefire with group that says that … Unfortunately the situation has become one where if I talk about this issue, I’m attacked for not saying the right things, if I don’t talk about it, I’m attacked for hiding behind my Judaism…”

Pakman, who Kozak complimented for having guests that disagree with him on his show, finds it “extraordinarily frustrating” that some say his being Jewish means his opinion is not valid, when that same concept is not applied to issues of other groups. Pakman said he lost 500 to 600 paid subscriptions based on his not roundly condemning Israel, but later got 1,500 new ones. “What I say on my show is absolutely what I think and there is no calculated position that I’m taking in order to prevent some negative effect.” He believes if there is a conflict and one side is perceived as not being white, the non-white population must be the oppressed one, or if the U.S. is allied with Israel, Israel must be in the wrong.

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