Obama, Israel and the Jews

If you’re a liberal Jewish voter, and tremendously excited about Obama’s candidacy as the fulfillment of the civil rights movement, slow down, Pardner.  Jews have always assumed that, because they supported the civil rights movement with enthusiasm and hard work, there would be a quid pro quo by which blacks, recognizing Jews as fellow victims, would be equally supportive of Jewish issues.  Jews have held to this viewpoint despite regularly occurring proof of the fact that African-Americans, perhaps resentful of having to share the “victim” limelight with the Jews, are not supportive of Jews or Jewish causes.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in Obama himself, a man who has aligned himself with anti-Semitic churches and causes his entire adult life.  If you think this will change when he reaches the White House, I would suggest that you think again.  And if you believe that Israel, a small island of democracy surrounded by hostile tyrannical nations should exist without anyone questioning her legitimacy, you may not want to vote for Obama.  (Of course, if Israel’s security matters to you, you also might want to rethink any vote for Hillary, either — not just because she mouths the usual liberal pieties about a Palestinian state, but because she kissed Suha Arafat immediately after the latter spouted vicious antisemitic lies.)

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Ann rightly attacks the ADL

Smarting from her encounter with the ADL a couple of weeks ago, when she announced the perfectly accurate Christian belief that Christianity represents the perfection of Judaism, Ann Coulter took aim at the ADL in her latest column — and she’s absolutely right in what she says. The ADL is fighting the last century’s battles regarding anti-Semitism, and it’s fighting them from a Leftist perspective, which puts it neatly in bed with this century’s enemies of the Jews:

Let the cat out of the bag that a 2,000-year-old religion practiced by a majority of Americans teaches that Jesus came in “fulfillment of the scriptures,” and you might be better off if you had adopted the preferred approach of liberals’ new friends the Muslims and simply slit the Jew’s throat.

At least the ADL wouldn’t object.

They’re too busy conspiring with the Council on American-Islamic Relations to denounce Dennis Prager. And promoting gun control. And gay marriage. And illegal immigration. You know, all the issues that have historically kept the Jews safe.

The ADL denounces the teaching of intelligent design, the placement of the Ten Commandments on public property and Bibles in public schools. Any entity that disagrees with them on these issues will be labeled an “extremist organization.”

Gosh, it’s a good thing there isn’t a worldwide terrorist movement dedicated to killing Jews. The ADL might have to tear themselves away from promoting faddish liberal causes.

The ADL is more concerned with what it calls the “neo-Nazis” and “anti-Semites” in the Minutemen organization than with people who behead Jews whenever they get half a chance. It’s only a matter of time before the ADL gets around to global warming.

Earlier this year, the ADL issued an alarmist report, declaring that the Ku Klux Klan has experienced “a surprising and troubling resurgence” in the U.S., which I take it to mean that nationwide KKK membership is now approaching double digits. Liberal Jews seem to be blithely unaware that the singular threat to Jews at the moment is the complete annihilation of Israel. Why won’t they focus on the genuine threat of Islamo-fascism and leave poor old Robert Byrd alone?

The ADL goes around collecting statements from Democrats proclaiming their general support for Israel, but it refuses to criticize Democrats who attack Joe Lieberman for supporting the war and who tolerate the likes of former Rep. Cynthia McKinney.

Sure, Hillary will show up at an ADL dinner and announce that she supports Israel. And then she gets testy with Bush for talking about sanctions against Iran in too rough a tone of voice.

What does it mean for the ADL to collect those statements?

The survival of Israel is inextricably linked to the survival of the Republican Party and its evangelical base. And yet the ADL viciously attacks conservatives, implying that there is some genetic anti-Semitism among right-wingers to hide the fact that anti-Semites are the ADL’s best friends – the defeatists in Congress, the people who tried to drive Joe Lieberman from office, the hoodlums on college campuses who riot at any criticism of Muslim terrorists and identify Israel as an imperialist aggressor, and liberal college faculties calling for “anti-apartheid” boycotts of Israel.

This is how you apologize

I can take or leave Halle Berry.  I consider her a phenomenally pretty women, but otherwise don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about her.  She popped up in the news, though, for making a catty comment on the Jay Leno show about Jewish people’s noses:

The Oscar-winning actress has issued a public mea culpa for a quip made on The Tonight Show Friday, in which she joked that a photograph making her nose look unusually large could pass for a picture of  “my Jewish cousin.”

While making the requisite small talk with host Jay Leno, Berry pulled out pictures she had taken of herself on her computer through Apple’s Photo Booth software.

“The machine morphs your face to look like all these silly other people,” she said. “Whenever I’m feeling really bad about the world I do this to crack myself up.”

In introducing the first picture from the batch, in which her nose was vastly distorted, Berry said, “This one, I don’t know, this is like my Jewish cousin.”

The full remark never made it on air, however. The audience’s silence at the attempted joke was covered with a laugh track and the word Jewish was muted out.

Leno’s reaction, though, was not.

“I’m glad you said it and not me,” he said.

Frankly, it was tacky, but I’ve heard worse — and more dangerous.  Making remarks about people’s looks is mean-spirited, but it’s not anti-Semitic in the way you see in remarks about “world domination,” “controlling the money supply” or “drinking children’s blood.” The latter remarks are explosively dangerous, the former just mean.

And it turned out that it probably wasn’t quite as mean as it sounded, but showed the difference between a group making jokes about itself, and those same jokes coming out of someone else’s mouth:

Berry also said one of her assistants, who happens to be Jewish, actually made the joke just before the actress went on.

“What happened was I was backstage before the show, and I have three girls who are Jewish who work for me. We were going through pictures to see which ones looked silly, and one of my Jewish friends said, ‘That could be your Jewish cousin!’ And I guess it was fresh in my mind, and it just came out of my mouth.

Give the nature of the remark, and given the explanation behind the remark (which sounds true), I’m inclined to accept Halle’s wholehearted, un-waffling apology (emphasis mine):

“But I didn’t mean to offend anybody. I didn’t mean any harm.

“It was just supposed to be a silly segment. I am so sorry, and I apologize.”

Having said that, I’m with Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin in decrying the different way in which the media treated this flap, as opposed to flaps emanating from big mouthed celebrities with Republican connections.

My sentiments exactly

As is often the case, Jonah Goldberg has elegantly and eloquently nailed my thoughts on a subject — this time, abortion.

And while we’re on the subject of someone articulating better than I could my ideas about a subject, why am I not surprised that Dennis Prager correctly summarizes how false the kerfuffle is about Ann Coulter’s latest remarks.

And on the subject of good writing, Rick Moran brilliantly dissects Hillary Clinton’s logical fallacies and factual misrepresentations regarding foreign policy as it would be under her watch (although he’s honest enough, when the rare occasion merits, to give credit where credit is due).

Ann — an open mouth is not a resting place for your foot

Courtesy of the Anchoress, I’ve learned that Ann Coulter has done it again, this time coming out with remarks that are going to sound anti-Semitic. Here’s what Ann said during an interview with Donny Deutsch:

DEUTSCH: Christian — so we should be Christian? It would be better if we were all Christian?

COULTER: Yes.

DEUTSCH: We should all be Christian?

COULTER: Yes. Would you like to come to church with me, Donny?

DEUTSCH: So I should not be a Jew, I should be a Christian, and this would be a better place?

COULTER: Well, you could be a practicing Jew, but you’re not.

***

DEUTSCH: That isn’t what I said, but you said I should not — we should just throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians, then, or —

COULTER: Yeah.

DEUTSCH: Really?

COULTER: Well, it’s a lot easier. It’s kind of a fast track.

DEUTSCH: Really?

COULTER: Yeah. You have to obey.

DEUTSCH: You can’t possibly believe that.

COULTER: Yes.

DEUTSCH: You can’t possibly — you’re too educated, you can’t — you’re like my friend in —

COULTER: Do you know what Christianity is? We believe your religion, but you have to obey.

DEUTSCH: No, no, no, but I mean —

COULTER: We have the fast-track program.

DEUTSCH: Why don’t I put you with the head of Iran? I mean, come on. You can’t believe that.

COULTER: The head of Iran is not a Christian.

DEUTSCH: No, but in fact, “Let’s wipe Israel” —

COULTER: I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention.

DEUTSCH: “Let’s wipe Israel off the earth.” I mean, what, no Jews?

COULTER: No, we think — we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say. .

I’m Jewish, but I have to admit to being entirely unoffended by what Ann said — but that’s only because I understand what she said. All Christians believe that Jews have stopped short of attaining salvation, in that they’ve got a firm grasp of the “Judeo” things regarding morality and God, but they forgot to put in the Christian part. That is, as a Jew who does not recognize Christ as my savior, I’m denying myself salvation. Indeed, that’s what Christ himself said. Indeed, that’s the entire point of Christianity, especially when seen against the foil of Judaism against which it arose. And that’s what Ann is saying in the language I highlighted: “We have the fast-track program.”

Of course, we Jews think the other way entirely: Since we do not recognize Christ as the Son of God (sorry), we do not see him as a path to salvation. Instead, we believe salvation can be achieved only through keeping the terms, the many terms, of the covenant with God.

What rational Jews and rational Christians have in common is that, rather than hating the “other,” they are saddened that the other is failing to recognize the true path to God. Ann doesn’t want to kill me. She wants to offer me, without violence or coercion, the opportunity to get with “the fast-track program.” In this, she is entirely distinct from an Islamist who will either convert me at sword or gunpoint, or kill me. And indeed, when it comes to the Jews, Islamist hatred is so wild, killing is often deemed the better option.

Jews, of course, don’t have a conversion tradition, but they certainly don’t hate Christians. Indeed, smart Jews nowadays recognize that Christians are our companions in morality, and that we serve each other well by having dialogs about the values common to both faiths.

So I totally get what Ann is saying, and I don’t take offense. But, Gosh Darnit Ann! — could you have phrased the whole thing more stupidly? Here’s what the Anchoress has to say, and I second entirely her point of view:

If you read that transcript to the end, you can see where Coulter tries to clarify her meaning, but she can’t, partly because a sound-bite forum is NO PLACE for that sort of deep and too-easily-misunderstood discussion, and partly because her host is, from his perspective as a Jew, unsurprisingly appalled by what he is hearing, by what he thinks Coulter is saying. This is a discussion best left to someone with a gift for diplomacy, a deft tongue and a loving, civil and collected mien. It is is absolutely not a discussion that should be undertaken by someone who has the deftness of a hammer and the mien of a German Shepherd. Coulter tries to explain, but keeps sinking further because she’s in deep waters, weighted down by time constraints and her own clumsiness; rather than rescuing herself, she’s taking down a whole ship!

The damage is done and it is HUGE damage, done very thoroughly; and her clarification is too little, too late and too inarticulate to do the job. And this is going to be red meat all through ‘08, folks. This is going to be the caricature of Christians and conservatives for the next 18 months, (and beyond) and it’s going to stick because people want it to stick and because it’s EASIER to let it stick than to find out what this woman – who is really out of her depths here – was trying to say.

Or, as we Jews say, “Oy vey!”

UPDATE:  I’ll second Charles’ viewpoint at LGF, which echoes Dennis Prager’s viewpoint on his morning radio show.  We on the Right should be less upset, and should be vaguely amused, in a superior way, about the hysteria on the Left.   Having said that, I still think Ann does not serve the Conservative cause well by making a spectacle of herself in this way.

Livening up the Presidential elections

I complained yesterday about tightly constrained, programmed Presidential candidates. I can stop complaining now. We’re about to have a candidate who says anything that comes into her head, no matter how stupid. FogCity Journal, citing “reliable sources,” says that Cynthia McKinney is planning on throwing her hat into the ring as Green Party candidate for the Presidency:

According to a reliable source, former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga) will officially announce her candidacy for U.S. president as early as next week. According to the source, the Green Party has been actively courting McKinney to switch party affiliation and run as a Green. (*)

McKinney has been outspoken about the Iraq war, AIPAC’s lobbying influence over U.S. foreign policy, the 9/11 Commission Report, and the partisan decision by a partial body of the Supreme Court to elect George W. Bush to the presidency in 2000.

She is also trumpeting the call of millions of Americans calling for the impeachment of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for perpetrating war crimes against humanity.

McKinney is in San Francisco this weekend. Her schedule includes an appearance at a CodePink party tonight at El Rio, and an appearance tomorrow at a campaign rally to elect mayoral candidate Ahimsa Sumchai.

(*) Update 3:10 p.m: According to a source, McKinney officially registered as a member of the Green Party yesterday.

This should be fun, especially since I suspect that she’ll leech some moonbat energy away from the mainstream Democratic candidates.

By the way, if you haven’t been thinking about McKinney lately, let me remind you of why you’re familiar with her, when most minor former Congress people don’t cross your mental radar. She’s been in the press for:

  1. Assaulting police officers.
  2. She’s got a reputation for being anti-Semitic and supportive of radical Islamists. (In this, sadly, she is entirely in step with the Democratic party’s problem with anti-Semitism.)
  3. She inadvertently criticized one of her aides on air, and then tried to censor the remark.
  4. She’s been a Truther since at least 2002.

And there’s more and more and more, some of which is detailed in a 2002 Slate article. The bottom line is that she is a perfect reflection of the angry, extreme end of the Democratic party. Her candidacy, assuming she is able to garner some media attention, should be amusing.

Did I just see a pig fly by?

Actions tomorrow will speak louder than words today, but something interesting came out of the mouth of a UN representative — namely, the admission that the UN is focusing a disproportionate amount of its attention on condemning Israel. You don’t believe me? It’s true:

The UN Human Rights Council has failed to handle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a balanced fashion, the council’s chair Doru Costea said in an interview published Saturday.

Costea suggested in the interview with the daily Le Temps that the council was concentrating too much on human rights abuses by Israel, adding that he was dissatisfied.

“On this point, the council has failed,” he said, days after US President George W. Bush attacked the body for perceived anti-Israeli bias.

“The council must remain simple, and concentrate on the human rights dimension, but it must look at the stance of all sides, not only one country.”

Costea said that the majority of the 47 seats held by Asian and African countries on the council “gives a certain power, but that does not mean that this power is always used wisely.”

It’s entirely possible that President Bush had something to do with this, since it was he who said:

This body has been silent on repression by regimes from Havana to Caracas to Pyongyang and Tehran while focusing its criticism excessively on Israel.

Hear!  Hear!  And maybe, just maybe, someone in the UN heard! heard!