Smoke rises after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the village of Dourit, August 17, 2013. Picture taken August 17, 2013. (Reuters/Khattab Abdulaa)
My new Think Again column is called The Mainstream Media and the Slowly Boiling Frog and it’s about global warming.
1) Here is a list among other things, of people who thought it would be cool to invade Iraq, with pro-genocide, Elliott Abrams.
2) In this article about a visit to the West Bank town of Hebron in the Times of Israel, Marc Goldberg writes, “in Hebron I feel like we’re winning the battle and losing it at the same time. I feel like God himself is playing a trick on us, saying that we can have our Holy Places and the land He promised us but that in payment we have to give up on our own moral code, the same one He instilled within us. He gave us a cruel choice to make and that the punishment for making the wrong choice is to lose the country entirely.”
Reading it reminded me of a fascinating recent discussion I attended after synagogue recently where a noted scholar gave a lecture on the philosophy of Emile Fackenheim, who among many other things, is the author of the philosophical concept of the 613th commandment, that advises that Hitler should not be given any posthumous victories. When I raised the issue of the difficulty of its application with regard to say, Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, a man in the room stood up and screamed at me that I was equating Israel with Nazis and I “should be ashamed of myself.” Naturally, I was not ashamed of myself, as I had done no such thing. (He was the only person who brought up Nazis.) But the issue left me profoundly depressed about the ability of American Jews to hold any kind of intelligent discussion about Israel at all. I learned more about the fellow in question here and here and I suppose one should not draw too many conclusions based on this kind of individual whose wealth, I imagine, provides a useful shield from people explaining to him when he is acting like an idiot. But he received a great deal of assent for his ignorant grand-standing from the room and those who were aware of the foolishness of his point kept their own counsel. The political implication of this is that John Kerry is unlikely to receive much in the way of domestic support from American Jews for the peace process so long as Israel’s government remains intransigent with regard to its continued construction of illegal settlements. More and more Jews, especially younger Jews, may be alienated from Israel than ever before, but most of those who do remain engaged are largely stuck in a time-warp which, ironically, reinforces the arguments of those who would like to see Israel destroyed as a both a democratic and Jewish state—just as its professed enemies would also like.