I’ve promised to track Juan Cole’s deletions, and here’s a fine one. Yesterday he threw up a post with this title: “Israeli Brown Shirts Protest, Threaten Violence.” (He wrote this: “To the lexicon of brown shirts and black shirts of the European far right can now be added the phrase ‘Orange Shirts,’ the color favored by the pro-colonialism demonstrators.”)
A while later, he deleted “Israeli Brown Shirts” from the title of the post, and replaced it with “Israeli Orange Shirts.” (That also changed the url of the entry, so any links to it went dead.) As it happens, Feedster still shows the dead entry with the original title. This is how the entry looks now.
What can one say about the phrase “Israeli Brown Shirts” that tripped off Cole’s slippery keyboard? It belongs to a class of comparisons that crosses the line between criticism and hate speech. I’m glad he took it down. I’m astonished he put it up in the first place.