Monday, June 14, 2010

School of Hard Knocks

Some of us need to be hit in the head before we adjust our world view so that's in more in line with reality. Others need a good swift kick in the pants. Then there are those who need who, unfortunately need to have their reality rearranged by having their family jewels attacked. Yes, I'm speaking of the rabbi who conducted that recent ill-fated interview with the aged anti-Semitic Helen Thomas.
During an interview on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday, Rabbi David Nesenoff, known for exposing Helen Thomas’s anti-Semitic views, informed viewers that, up until now, he has considered himself to be a liberal Democrat – who even opposed the Iraq War and supported Barack Obama – but now asserts that "I have to really reevaluate liberal and conservative and really find out where I stand because I think I've been a little blind."
A little blind?
As Nesenoff recounted that he had previously agreed with Thomas in her opposition to the war in Iraq, and her challenging of President Bush on the matter, he now sees himself as unknowingly being allied with people who think that "Israel and the Jewish people don't have a connection." Before being interrupted by host Howard Kurtz, Nesenoff began to explain his evolution of thought:
He is one of the reasons that when it comes to backing Israel, I trust conservative evangelical Christians more than I trust liberal Jews, even liberal Jewish rabbis. It's not so much that his eyes have been opened, but he's been forced to reevaluate his willful blindness to the anti-Israel agenda.

I have to wonder if the rabbi is part of an interfaith group that is involved in outreach to local mosques. After all, the liberal belief in dialogue with "the other" is a core orthodox (liberal) belief. If so, he would do well to read and reread this article.
Jewish residents in Malmo are furious after the Swedish town's mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, equated Zionism to anti-Semitism in an interview published on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

During the interview with Skanska Dagbladet newspaper, Reepalu was asked whether he considered a public condemnation of anti-Semitism in Malmo. The mayor responded that "Malmo does not accept anti-Semitism and does not accept Zionism," charging that both adopt extreme positions towards certain groups.

Reepalu added that local Jews bear some responsibility for the attitude towards them, noting that "they have the possibility to affect the way they are seen by society." The mayor then urged Malmo's Jewish community to "distance itself" from Israeli attacks on Gaza's civilian population.

"Instead, the community chose to hold a pro-Israel demonstration," he said, adding that such move "may convey the wrong message to others."
He (and you) need to read the whole thing, and then read some more about the current wave of unapologetic anti-Semitism sweeping Europe. Never again? Don't you believe it. It will happen again in Europe. It's already started.

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