…but it’s really just the same old sad stupidity.
Or, barrel o’ links. (Beryl O’Links is an Irish lass, she is!)
As we wind down 2018, a few links of interest: the death of Georges Loinger, may his memory be a blessing; trove of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poems found; kitties domesticated themselves; and, Hijab in the House, by the brilliant Bruce Bawer. In regards this last story, I mentioned to one of my sisters this summer that I was concerned about the anti-Semitism of some of the rising young “stars” of the Democratic Party, and she insisted that anyone openly espousing contempt for Jews would never be elected. I was like, yeah, we’ll see. Cough.
Yeah, so many of my relatives need to read this column. Here’s a snippet:
Anti-Zionism is ideologically unique in insisting that one state, and one state only, doesn’t just have to change. It has to go. By a coincidence that its adherents insist is entirely innocent, this happens to be the Jewish state, making anti-Zionists either the most disingenuous of ideologues or the most obtuse. When then-CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill called last month for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” and later claimed to be ignorant of what the slogan really meant, it was hard to tell in which category he fell.
That variety of anti-Semitism — which many in the media ignore — is deadly and dangerous, and it is the kind to which certain relatives of mine subscribe, sadly. I had a “discussion” (those don’t really happen in my family) with someone to whom I am related about these ladies in July – she insisted that no, no, no, these anti-Semites would never be elected. Yeah, well, they have been.
Some excellent links regarding Pittsburgh specifically and anti-Semitism generally. First, a couple of articles from John Podhoretz, a real anti-Trump guy who does not blame Trump for this attack (and I am in total agreement there). Elder of Ziyon weighs in here and Ruth Wisse here. And the always-worth-one’s-time Brendan O’Neill offers his thoughts.
This piece, written before the Pittsburgh massacre, is spot-on correct, and made me think of certain relatives of mine and some other folks I know. Terribly sad. Finally, we just passed the 80th anniversary of Kristalnacht (and the fall of the Berlin Wall), and David Frum wrote something at which you ought to take a look.
It might seem strange to say this, given what happened, but I love America. I love America because I know this horror is not all of what America is. America is so much more. I love America because it is also this:
And it is so, so much more that is good and kind and brave.
The round-up and deportation of the Jews of Rome to death camps happened on this day in 1943. Three plaques from my recent visit to the city.
The first is a street named after the date, with ‘the deportation of the Jews of Rome’ written underneath.
Here, a commemoration of all who were taken away and murdered.
And this is in memory of the very young – newborns killed before they had a chance to live.
Large families are sometimes romanticized, but I am here to tell you that they are also often highly over-rated. Paul Gosar could tell you the same. I was thinking about this, when I stumbled upon a months-old column about Israel and the Mavi Marmara, in which an anti-Israel “activist” who was aboard the boat admits that the Israelis did not initiate the violence. No kidding. Was there ever any doubt?
What is the connection between these two topics? Well, I have a relative who is a bullying anti-Semite (cough, “anti-Zionist”, cough), who spent the better part of the first 18 years of my life putting me through unmitigated hell. Now, when the Mavi Marmara news hit the headlines, I wrote a story in the National Post about it. Aforementioned bullying relative (“BR,” for purposes of expediency) then sent me an email comparing the incident to the Achille Lauro (and comparing the Israelis to the terrorists). He also went on to accuse me of having written (on my previous blog) that I don’t believe in fact-checking. A lie and absurd, of course. I am a journalist and a historian (albeit, an amateur historian) and facts are what interest me the most. BR further asserted that he believed in “rigorous fact-checking.” Another lie.
So I wrote back to BR saying, “Put the words ‘fact’ and ‘check’ into the search box on my blog and anything I have written containing those words will come up. I guarantee I have never written that I don’t believe in fact-checking.” So BR writes back saying he is not good at technology and can’t put words in a search box and click. Yet another lie.
We went back and forth a couple of more times, with him trying to weasel out of his lies and me finally saying, “Follow your own advice and fact-check.” When I sent that message it bounced back with the message that I had been blocked. Bullies hate it when you get the better of them.
I forwarded the message chain to my oldest brother, Alan (far and away the smartest person in our family, and now deceased, sadly), who couldn’t stop laughing at BR’s assertions. Few things, said Alan, were more ridiculous than the notion that BR believed in checking facts in any capacity, least of all rigorously. Alan also gave me this advice: eventually BR will start messaging you again. Before that even begins, block his email address. So I did. It was great advice.
I also forwarded the message chain from BR to a non-family member to see if they thought I was making too much of it. Nope, they replied, this person is obsessed with you, and with hurting you, and is clearly deeply jealous of you. This person is nasty. He gave the same advice as Alan – block BR.
The moral of this story? Make sure your email program has a “block” option, something I’m assuming Gosar has already done. (A side note: if I had to wager a guess, I’d say the Gosar family divisions go far deeper than politics.)
One of the most harrowing interviews Lanzmann did was also among the briefest in Shoah — Yitzhak Zuckerman, a leader of the Jewish resistance in Warsaw, who survived Treblinka and saw untold numbers of friends and comrades die. He told Lanzmann bitterly, “if you could lick my heart, it would poison you.”
At the film’s premier, the French journalist Jean Daniel told Lanzmann: “This justifies a life.”
The emphasis is mine, and I utterly agree with Jean Daniel’s comment.