Bibi Netanyahu proved last week beyond a doubt that he was an American Jew. How so? He boycotted the New York Times!
Some American Jews angry with the Times’ coverage of Israel have employed the boycott strategy for years. When they haven’t liked the slant of news and editorial coverage, they’ve cancelled their subscriptions to the Times. Rabbis have taken to the pulpit to urge their congregations to stop buying the paper (even as they preached sermons from its pages) and others have organized anti-Times campaigns on Facebook and petitions on the Internet.
It’s probably impossible to count the number of film reviews that attack kitschy takes on the Holocaust like this: “an impossible movie that has no reason for being other than as another pop-culture palliative for a trauma it can’t bear to face.”
Or like this: “This is how kitsch works. It exploits familiar images, be they puppies or babies …and tries to make us feel good, even virtuous, simply about feeling.”
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman told The Jewish Week Tuesday that the wording of a memorable phrase in his Dec. 13 column (“Newt, Mitt, Bibi and Vladimir”) may have been inexact when he wrote that the standing ovation Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received in Congress this year “was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”
I haven’t forgotten my pledge to respond to Dr. Jack Wertheimer’s op-ed. And, of course, I still remember my earlier promise to post more articles and resources about “December Dilemma” — which from now on I’m thinking of referring to as DD or D&D. Or maybe I could call it the Kislev Konundrum, although all those K’s start sounding a bit Teutonic.
I recently started reading Eric Foner’s “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery,” which won a Pulitzer this year. It’s a subtle yet fast-moving narrative about Lincoln’s evolution from a man merely averse to slavery to the one who would abolish the institution forever in America. Slavery in America is inexhaustible topic for historians, but a subject harder to come by is Jews in America, at least before the late 19th century.
What would you do if you were a Shabbat observer on a delayed flight late Friday afternoon and it became increasingly unlikley you'd get to your destination before sundown? Ask to get off the plane, or stick it out and hope for the best?
Maybe you shouldn't have been on the flight in the first place.
There's been a glut of 9/11 books published on the eve of this year's 10th anniversary. But all the new-ness overshadows the rich bevy of writing that's been published over the past decade since the attacks. Literary critics have been debating what effect, if any, Sept. 11 has had on fiction in particular in recent days, but one of the best essays I've read is this one by Adam Kirsch.
As I write this, we are packed for another weekend up in the Catskills, a place where it's still considered pretty safe for small kids to roam unattended within the confines of bungalow colonies. This is why The Mountains continie to draw tens of thousands of New York area, mostly Orthodox families, to leave their comfortable homes for broken-down shacks that list to starboard like a sinking ship, have broken appliances, leaky roofs, bad ventillation and are shared with all manner of crawling things.
It doesn't matter if you're liberal or conservative--if you're European, "mutliculturalism" has become a dirty word. The New York Times ran an op-ed today by a British writer attacking multiculturalism as form of public policy.