Breaking news--New restrictions again--Agreement signed to build elevator from Jewish Quarter to Western Wall and JONATHAN S. TOBIN Why can’t you get canceled for anti-Semitism? and A Nazi Collaborator’s Fund is Paying Black People to Call Jews, “White Supremacists” By Daniel Greenfield and what can you expect if you live over 100?
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement. Now also a Blogger on the Times of Israel. Look for my column
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: Latest regulations
The government approves the following: 1) Event halls, clubs, and bars – closed 2) Gyms and public pools – closed 3) Culture halls – closed 4) Buses – no more than 20 people, windows must be open, no air conditioning allowed 5) Houses of worship – no more than 20 people in the building 6) Restaurants – 20 people inside, 30 more allowed outside 7) Summer programs at schools – only from gan to 4th grade 8) All other camps and youth activities – closed 9) All other gatherings – no more than 20 people, masks required, 2 meter distancing between people (The Knesset will be voting on the measures – likely later tonight)
From Times of Israel: The government on Monday passed a raft of restrictions to contain the renewed coronavirus outbreak, including limiting restaurants and synagogues, reducing the number of passengers on public transportation and shutting down event halls, cultural venues, swimming pools, gyms, bars and nightclubs.
Israel is "a step away from a full lockdown," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told cabinet members during the special meeting. While falling short of shutting down the country like earlier this year, the new measures are a significant step back from May's reopening of the economy.
Today, anyone under 60 will most likely live past 80 and will do so in the knowledge that they are generally a button away from getting help if needed
What can you do if you make it to 80?
Well, if your brain and heart are in relatively good condition, you will be surprised to know that you will feel about 40, or even less
If you want to make it to 80, my advice is to go for it
You will not be short of company
Several people have commented about their elderly relatives who suffer from illness and loneliness.
It has been suggested that more people die of loneliness than illness, but worse, many who suffer from loneliness are neither ill nor old
Here was one of my other reader's response:
I shall be 87 next month
I am totally deaf, partially blind, and can only read books with difficulty, so it is many years since I read a book, though I can read a computer screen easily
I'm very much overweight, and take pills daily, which I will do for life
Problems with legs and lungs make me largely housebound
I live alone, apart from my cat, but I am lucky in so far as I can look after myself Most of the friends of my generation are gone, and several are severely ill or have dementia, but also several others of my generation are still working
To some extent, it is the gene lottery that keeps one going though not always. My father was ill all his life, and died at 43
He, like my mother, could not swim or ride a bicycle
I could do both, as of course, could every one of my generation
Both of my grandfathers were illiterate
My mother and father could read, but neither ever read a book
There were no books in the house other than those I got myself
My mother had two stillborn children prior to myself, and told me that I was a sickly child, so it would seem that neither nurture or Nature favored me
So what is it that keeps one going into old age?
In my case it was largely the Times one was born in
My grandparents born in the 1870–80's London were poor
They worked full time as young teenagers, so denied an education
My parents born in 1900, were slightly better off, but as young teenagers were caught up in the 1914–18 war and later the Great Depression. They had few choices in life, and simply accepted that surviving was meeting the battles of the day
My generation - 1930's - were again better off, but there were few people I knew who owned a phone or a car, and even a radio was a luxury, but we did have one thing; WW2
Yes, WW2 had its downsides, but it did provide free travel, and a wide range of opportunities to be educated, and meet people if you were in the military, and if not, work was plentiful.
My mother who had earned a pitiful living as a house cleaner before the war, was now a machine operator in a wartime munitions factory, and getting relatively good money
Wartime, for my generation who are now in the '70–'90s, had to look after themselves. Not so much in the USA, quite a bit in the UK, and totally in war-torn Europe
There was a great sense of purpose that a 'World fit for heroes' might exist, though not quite
Every technological advancement took away a minor joy. The electric toaster took away the joy of using a toasting fork to make toast in front of an open coal fire that you stared into, as if hypnotized as the coal burnt and created shapes.
The toast would be covered in a homemade jam. One felt safe in such surroundings
When my mother made an apple pie, I saw her make the dough, roll it out, peel the apples, stoke the cast iron stove, boil the custard, lay the table, poke the pie with a knife to see if it was cooked, then deliver it triumphantly straight from the oven to us as we waited in anticipation
On first taste, we look at her and say 'It's delicious, can I have a second helping'. She would smile. It was her way of saying 'I love you all', and our way of saying 'We know you do'
Technology has given us microwave ovens, precooked pies, and tinned custard, but there is one ingredient that has been left out. Other people
This reminds me of an old joke.
A man visits a doctor, asking how he can live till 100. The doctor asks him if he smokes. "Occasionally," the man replies. "Well that's got to stop," adds the doctor.
"Do you drink alcohol?" the doctor continues. "Well, yes, from time time…" The doctor shakes his head. "That will have to stop too".
"Do you eat fast food?" inquires the doctor, to which the man replies that he does. Again, the doctor tells him it needs to stop.
Finally, the doctor asks him if he exercises. "Well, sometimes…" the man starts, "but doctor, are you sure this will make me live for a long time?"
"No," says the doctor, "but it will sure feel like it."
My point is that, beyond genetics, there is a lot at play. If your relative took a walk after every meal, it probably helped. But was that meal a Big Mac Super Large meal? I'm guessing not.
Did she drink like the local bar regulars? Unlikely.
Finally, did she have close friends and family? Because that is said to play a part too…
You often find that people who focus on one healthy thing actually have a range of healthy habits too.
Ideas, that help explain how the world works
Rabbi Yishmael tells us, in Pirkai Avos, to "Greet every man with a smile."I think we should include ourselves in this advice. When a part of us is downtrodden and gloomy, the neshama part of us can respond with a smile of compassion and uplifting words.
Agreement signed to build elevator from Jewish Quarter to Western Wall
Elevator to be built at cost of NIS 55 million will bring worshipers from Jewish Quarter to Western Wall plaza and provide disabled access
The agreement to establish a special elevator to connect Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter with the Western Wall was signed today between the Jewish Quarter Development Company and the Jerusalem Municipality.
The elevator, which will cost NIS 55 million, will transport worshipers from the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall plaza and is expected to serve tens of thousands of people who have difficulty reaching the Western Wall plaza due to accessibility difficulties. Construction of the project is expected to be completed within three years.
The signing ceremony was attended by Mayor Moshe Leon, City Manager Itzik Larry, who spearheaded the project's advancement, Legal Advisor Eli Malka, and Rita Lydzansky, Property Department Manager, who was in charge of conducting negotiations with the development company.
At the signing ceremony, Mayor Leon said: "Today we're signing an historic agreement for which hundreds of thousands of people have been waiting for decades. This is a day for Jerusalem, the State of Israel, and the entire Jewish People."
City Manager Itzik Larry said, "Under the Mayor's guidance we worked hard to remove all obstacles that stood in the way. This is one of the most complex projects undertaken in Jerusalem; there were moments when it seemed like a hopeless project, but faith in the path brought the desired result."
Jewish Quarter Development Company Director Herzl Ben Ari who also signed the agreement said: "This day is a day for tens of thousands of families: Mothers with children, disabled, and elderly who wanted to go to the Western Wall, but had no way. Today, with the signing of the agreement, we can look them in the eyes with great pride and satisfaction and say to them: We have removed the obstacles, the Wall is in your hands!"
A Nazi Collaborator's Fund is Paying Black People to Call Jews, "White Supremacists" By Daniel Greenfield
Only a few days after Orthodox Jewish synagogues and schools were targeted by black supremacist rioters and their allies, Shais Rishon, the Content Manager for Bend the Arc, posted a hateful image of an Orthodox Jew in a Klan hood wearing handcuffs and nooses over his Tallit surrounded by text from Jews complaining about Black Lives Matter anti-Semitism and violent riots by the racist hate group.
Rishon accused Jews, who had anti-Semitic slurs shouted at them, seen synagogues defaced, congregants attacked, and stores looted, of "cluck clucking" about the black supremacist riots.
The Bend the Arc content manager had previously defended Farrakhan supporter Tamika Mallory's slur that Jews uphold white supremacy by claiming that there is "white supremacy aplenty" in synagogues.
Shais Rishon, who goes by Ma Nishtana on social media, is a black nationalist activist who claims to have been secretly ordained as a rabbi: a common claim made by radical leftists who want the status of the clergy. And Rishon/Nishtana fits in perfectly at Bend the Arc and its various bigoted arms.
Alexander Soros, on behalf of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, a PAC he founded, had endorsed Keith Ellison, a longtime member of the Nation of Islam hate group with an even longer history of antisemitism. Bend the Arc's CEO is Stosh Cotler is a former sex club dancer and anti-Israel activist.
Like its cousins J Street and If Not Now, Bend the Arc claims to be Jewish while violently hating Jews.
When Black Lives Matter added support for BDS to its platform, Cotler blamed the Jews. Yavilah McCoy, a Bend the Arc board member who serves as a coach for the Presbyterian Church's Auburn Theological Seminary's Pastoral Coach Training Program, had accused Jews of white supremacy. "When Jews accepted a white identity in America, they participated in sustaining white supremacy," she ranted.
When Bend the Arc talks about defeating white supremacism, it really means defeating Jews.
When House Democrats tried to deal with their internal anti-Semitism problem, they invited Bend the Arc to send in a facilitator. That facilitator got things off on the right foot with an anti-Semitic joke.
None of that is surprising because Bend the Arc is as Jewish as a ham sandwich with cheese.
Cotler had been plucked from obscurity by a project run by "Rabbi" Rachel Cowan, a Unitarian descendant of the Mayflower, who went on to wreak havoc on the Jewish community. And considering the non-Jewish billionaires who fund it, it's a good thing that the leftist group changed its name from Jewish Funds for Justice to its current name based on a quote from an anti-Semitic Unitarian minister.
Bend the Arc scored over $14 million from Warren Buffett's son. Why is the son of a Presbyterian agnostic pouring a fortune into an organization that claims to be promoting Jewish issues?
The group also gets $1.5 million a year from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The Rockefeller clan has been accused of being many things, but being Jewish isn't one of them. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund however does provide major funding for a spectrum of anti-Israel hate groups that back BDS. A significant amount of funding for the infrastructure of the BDS movement comes from RBF.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has also given millions to the anti-Israel J Street lobby along with aggressively backing the propaganda campaign in favor of legalizing Iran's nuclear program. One of its major recipients, the Ploughshares Fund, had aggressively campaigned for the Iran Deal. Its board members included Valerie Plame, who had tweeted an Unz site article titled, "America's Jews are driving America's wars". This is the sort of gutter anti-Semitism that Bend the Arc is conjoined with.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund had been set up by the sons of John D. Rockefeller and funded partly by him. But that's not all he funded. Edwin Black's War Against the Weak credited the Rockefeller Foundation with essentially providing the blueprint for the ideology utilized in the Holocaust.
As Black noted, "The Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz." Alexis Carrel, a Rockefeller beneficiary, proposed gassing "defectives" and cheered the Nazi regime for its "energetic measures against the propagation of the defective."
Rockefeller money was used to fund an institute run by Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer who promised a "total solution to the Jewish problem." His assistant was Mengele: the Nazi regime's Frankenstein.
As his boss later noted, Mengele was "presently employed as Hauptsturmführer and camp physician in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Anthropological testing of the most diverse racial groups in this concentration camp is being carried out with the permission of the SS Reichsführer."
The Rockefellers have always been interested in diversity.
Only in the upside-down world of the progressive movement can a Nazi collaborator's fund that helped finance the Holocaust and has gone on to champion Iran's nuclear program, which is meant to kill millions of Jews again, be funding programming that accuses Jews of being the real white supremacists.
A Nazi collaborator's fund is paying black people to call Jews, "white supremacists".
If Bend the Arc's folks want to find the real white supremacists, they can follow their own paychecks.
Bend the Arc's big backers, the Soros clan and the Rockefeller clan, were at best complicit in the Nazi oppression of Jews. Now they're financing black supremacist trolls who arrogantly tell Jewish people that if they don't like their synagogues being vandalized, they're white supremacists.
If you oppose the new Kristallnacht, you're a Nazi.
This obscene inversion turns Jews into Nazis, and racial supremacists who quote Hitler-lover Stokely Carmichael into the new Jews. Perpetrators became victims and victims are turned into perpetrators. The police are the criminals, and the criminals are oppressed victims. Jews who don't want their synagogues vandalized are Nazis, and anti-Jewish groups funded by Nazi collaborators are the real Jews.
Bend the Arc's Twitter account tweeted an article by Rebecca Pierce, an anti-Israel activist with JVP and If Not Now, who had accused Jews of white supremacy, in which she wrote of the riots, "property destruction becomes a symbolic tool." Much like Kristallnacht. There was a lot of symbolism there too.
The new Klan are Orthodox Jews cleaning Black Lives Matter graffiti off their synagogues.
Bend the Arc has gone on championing behavior that threatens Jews while working closely with Black Lives Matter, an anti-Semitic group that endorses BDS and whose activists have triggered attacks on Jewish establishments. Meanwhile, the hate group keeps claiming that it's Jewish and represents Jews.
As Jewish as John D. Rockefeller, George Soros, and Peter Buffett.
What would inspire Buffett's son and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to plow a combined $26 million into Bend the Arc? As Sean Cooper's Bending the Jews notes, neither has a history of giving to Jewish causes. But
Like its counterparts, Bend the Arc has adopted the Unitarian approach of performative political religion in which community organizers function as clergy and treat political chants as inspirational prayers. The distinctions between the Quaker summer camp and the Unitarian Church youth movement that Cowan née Brown credited with inspiring her and Bend the Arc is which religious tradition they've hollowed out.
Unlike its partner If Not Now, Bend the Arc hasn't even bothered appropriating a Jewish expression.
Bend the Arc's name, as its CEO Stosh Cotler noted, "comes from a sermon by a 19th century Unitarian Minister named Theodore Parker."
Parker was a transcendentalist minister in the Unitarian Church who hated Jews.
In all fairness, Parker hated a lot of people. The Unitarian minister, whose phrase about the moral arc of the universe always bending toward justice became Obama's go-to line, was a career bigot.
The abolitionist hero was prone to saying things like, "the Irishman will always lie if it is for his momentary interest" and describing the Irish as the "N___ of the South". And while he fought vigorously for the rights of slaves, he also insisted that there was "no doubt the African race is greatly inferior."
The minister, whose sermon gave its name to Bend the Arc, reserved a special contempt for Jews, which may be because he disliked the bible, which he believed, was the work of "bigoted Jews."
The Jewish intellect, Parker ranted in one letter, was "pinched in those narrow foreheads". Jews are "lecherous", "incline to despotism", and "were always cruel".
"I doubt not they did sometimes kill a Christian baby at the Passover," he speculated.
That is the origin of Bend the Arc's name. Jews are being accused of white supremacy by an organization named after a line from an actual white supremacist whose funding derives from a Nazi collaborator.
The moral arc of Bend the Arc will always bend toward antisemitism.
The Danger of Strife
There is an old saw about a Jewish preacher who had but one d'rasha that served him well no matter whenever he was called upon to speak – the subject of machlokes, strife.
Since every Parsha invariably contains some measure of conflict, the maggid would cleverly segue into this topic by intoning, "Since our Parsha happens to be discussing this problem of …, it reminds me of the story of Korach which tells of the evils of machlokes …"
Unfortunately, the reality of machlokes is always in season, be it between individuals – family and friends, large conglomerates of people – political parties, or geographic nationalities. Rav Elimelech Biderman, in his popular Torah Wellsprings, references some important sources which, taken together, serve as an important warning about the sheer toxicity of this shameful aspect of the human condition.
Here are a few (with my edits and some additions):
The Foolishness of מחלוקת:
The Talmud (Chulin 58b) discusses a baka, a fly that only lives for one day and stings like a hornet and yet, notwithstanding their short lifespan, the male and female constantly fight. The baalei mussar propose that this Gemara helps us understand why we should avoid disputes. When one sees baka bugs fighting, one thinks, "Isn't it a pity that they're fighting? They live for such a short time. Shouldn't they make the most out of their brief lives?" Life is longer for human beings, but relatively speaking, it's also but a drop in the sea of time. Does it make sense to fill this short period with infighting and quarrels?
The Metastasizing of מחלוקת:
The Talmud (Sanhedrin 7b) states that a primary cure for machlokes is to stop it in its very early stages. As it states (Mishlei 17:14), ",פוטר מים ראשית מדוןThe beginning of a dispute is like water streaming through a crack." When water pushes through an opening, it begins with a small trickle, but it then widens until the water gushes through the breach. Disputes are similar. They start small, but if one doesn't stop a squabbles at the onset, it can become unbearable and unstoppable. Consequently, one should be vigilant in attending to the smallest breach in peace, because if you leave it unrepaired, the disagreement can metastasize and become overwhelming.
It states (Koheles 4:9), "טובים השנים מן האחד." The Ahavas Shalom,zt'l explains, if you see two people getting along - טובים השנים - know that it is ,מן האחד because one of them is mevater and lets the other one have his way. It is he/she who restores the peace in the relationship. Rambam (Hilchos Dei'os 7:7) writes, "It is proper for a person to be מעביר על מדותיו – to be mevater - because so much in this world is utter foolishness, and it's just not worth fighting over."
מחלוקת: The Case of Friday Night:
The Chida writes, "Erev Shabbos afternoon is a dangerous time for machlokes between a husband and wife… The sitra achara (the evil one) strives with all its might to initiate a dispute between them…" Chasam Sofer (Likutim Vayakhel) explains why: "Six days of the week receive their blessings from Shabbos. A vessel is needed to contain those brachos, and that vessel is peace (see Uktzin 3:2). The yetzer hara, therefore, sorely tempts the married couple to quarrel on Shabbos – that day which is filled with brachos - so that without the vessel to receive those blessings, the entire upcoming week will be ruined. With these ideas, the verse (Shemos 35:3) forbidding lighting a fire on Shabbos becomes clear. Your success in the six weekdays comes from the seventh day — Shabbos. Therefore, ",לא תבערו אש ביום השבת don't ignite the fire of מחלוקת on Shabbos, otherwise you will have no vessel to hold the brachos." Running from מחלוקת:
Rambam wrote his son the following letter: "Don't contaminate your soul with machlokes, which destroys body, soul, and money. I saw…families perish, cities destroyed, communities disintegrate…the respected disgraced, all because of machlokes. The Prophets discuss how terrible machlokes is, and the Sages added on more to this, and they haven't yet reached its ultimate evil. Therefore, hate it, run away from it, and keep away from all its friends, lest you perish…"
The Imrei Noam offers this counsel when a machlokes is raging - keep away, because getting involved will only bring you trouble. The town of Shechetz, Poland, had two shochtim. Both shochtim were Gd-fearing and they got along quite well. However, they were supported by two different factions in Shechetz, and each group wanted their shochet to be the primary shochet. This situation caused a machlokes. One of the shochtim was a student of the Sifsei Tzaddik, zy'a, the Pilitzer Rav, so he wrote a letter to his Rebbe, telling him of the dispute that arose. The Sifsei Tzaddik wrote back, "Machlokes is fire, and one has to run away from fire. Pick up your feet and leave Shechetz right away." Similarly, the Chofetz Chaim once left Radin to avoid being drawn into a machlokes. Indeed sometimes, the best solution when confronted with machlokes is to flee from it.
The Severity of מחלוקת:
The Shlah Hakadosh writes, "We do not need to discuss the severity of machlokes, (see Rashi on 16:27 and Ramban on 16:30) because Chazal discuss it at length. But take this rule with you: The sin of machlokes is worse than idolatry …" The Shlah is referring to the following Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni 218): '[Almost] everyone in Achav's generation was an idol worshiper, yet they were victorious in all their wars. Why? Because none spoke lashon hara and as such they got along. While, in Dovid HaMelech's generation, where even young children knew Torah…, when they went to war, they lost because there was lashon hara and contention.'" The lesson is clear: machlokes and lashon hara are worse than avodah zarah.
Chasam Sofer teaches that Aharon agreed to make the Golden Calf because he realized that by standing up against the People, a great machlokes would have ensued. He thus chose avodah zarah over machlokes, because machlokes is worse. He said, let them make the egel and afterward they will repent. But if there is a dissension in Klal Yisrael, who knows where it will end? In fact, when Aharon felt he did not deserve to be the kohen gadol because of his participation in the egel sin, Moshe told him (Rashi, Vayikra 9:7), "Why are you ashamed, for this you were chosen." Chasam Sofer explains, Moshe, in truth, consoled him: "You were chosen to be kohen gadol because you made the egel, for this protected the Jewish nation from machlokes," which would have been far worse. Indeed, as the Shevet Mussar (37:22) states: the manna fell almost every day in the desert. It even fell on the day the egel was made. But the manna didn't fall on the day Korach provoked his machlokes. Bitter מחלוקת is worse than idolatry.
One cannot belabor enough the horrible tragedies that מחלוקת can spawn within a family and among people. As the great Rav Yosef of Posen once declared when asked to intervene in a community squabble: "A tzelem [cross] in the Beis HaMikdosh is preferred over a machlokes in klal Yisrael." (Chashukei Chemed, Nedarim 66b)
No one ever gained from machlokes. Rashi (Bereishis 28:11) tells that the stones upon which Yaakov sought to rest were fighting, as each stone wanted Yaakov to place his head on them. A miracle occurred and all stones became one. We can ask, if a miracle took place, why couldn't the stones have turned into a comfortable, soft cushion? The answer: softness never emerges from a machlokes!
The Talmud (Sanhedrin 110a) states the matter quite clearly, "He who persists in מחלוקת transgresses a negative commandment." And although the context there is the Korach controversy, the lesson from that rebellious event must never be lost upon us.
We may wish to seriously reflect and conclude with some determined resolve that it's about time we found other strategies to deal with disagreement? Aren't there ways other than confrontation, mayhem and violence to defuse a מחלוקת? If the wisest of men declares, (Mishlei 3:17) דְּרָכֶ֥יהָ דַרְכֵי־נֹ֑עַם וְֽכָל־נְתִ֖יבֹתֶ֣יהָ שָׁלֽוֹם, Its [the Torah's] ways are ways of pleasantness, and all of its paths are peace," shouldn't we be all studying that Divine wisdom for the right answers?
JONATHAN S. TOBIN Why can't you get canceled for anti-Semitism?
As careers are ruined for often-wrongful accusations of racism, Ilhan Omar remains untouchable, despite her anti-Semitism. The same will be true for Chelsea Handler.
In the weeks since the brutal and unjustified killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, America has been undergoing what The New YorkTimes approvingly called a "reckoning" that marks a fundamental shift in attitudes about race.
But the onset of this surge of public soul-searching and consciousness-raising about race has brought with it a trend that is deeply troubling. The heightened sensitivity about racism has led not merely to an epidemic of insincere virtue signaling about racism. It's also brought about a flood of accusations against alleged offenders that have more to do with politics, and out-of-control illiberal and intolerant social-media mobs, than making the country a better place. The widespread "canceling" of people who are deemed racists is becoming a serious problem.
The question is, if it's so easy to cancel someone for not going along with the prevailing orthodoxy about what constitutes racism, why does engaging in anti-Semitism not bring about the same moral opprobrium from the media and the cultural forces taking down people for dissenting from the Black Lives Matter catechism?
Examples abound of instances in which people's careers and lives are being ruined because of their refusal to bend the knee—literally or metaphorically—to a Black Lives Matter movement that is determined to condemn anyone who dissents from their ideology or even question it.
One involves Gordon Klein, a professor at UCLA's School of Management who was placed on leave and had his classes taken away from him after refusing to grant African-American students exemptions from taking final exams because of their collective state of mind after the death of Floyd. The university took that action after angry students accused him of racism and because he had paraphrased Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous statement about judging people by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin. Klein, who had taught at the school for 39 years, was doxxed by the students (they made public his email and home addresses) and is now under police protection because of death threats.
He isn't alone.
Tiffany Riley, a Vermont school principal, was placed on administrative leave for a Facebook post that said that while she agreed that black lives matter, she didn't support coercive measures to advance that cause or the demonization of police.
Harald Uhlig, an economics professor at the University of Chicago, was fired from a consulting job at the Federal Reserve for saying that Black Lives Matter had "torpedoed itself" by aligning the movement with calls for defunding the police. A mob of outraged economists and journalists led by The New York Times' Paul Krugman wanted Uhlig's head on a spike for this offense. Though Uhlig had issued a groveling apology for his heresy, the Fed acceded to their demand, saying there was no room at the institution for "racism," even though the economist's statement could not credibly be described as such a thing.
There are many other examples of similar incidents of people being canceled over dubious accusations of racism. But what is also interesting about what's going on is that far more egregious examples of anti-Semitic hate aren't producing the same results.
One prominent example was that of popular comedian and television star Chelsea Handler, who approvingly posted a video of National of Islam hatemonger Louis Farrakhan on her Instagram page this past weekend.
Handler said a Farrakhan statement on racism from an old clip from "The Phil Donahue Show" was "powerful." Farrakhan is a purveyor of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and vituperation against Jews. But according to Handler, his comments about the evils of racism directed at blacks deserved to "stand-alone."
When a commenter asked her if she would single for praise out some out-of-context statement of Adolf Hitler, she argued that Farrakhan's hate was different because "he is just responsible for his own promotion of anti-Semitic beliefs. They are very different."
In other words, anti-Semitism is just another opinion an otherwise laudable person might hold, not evidence of murderous hate.
In the current moral panic about racism, one might have expected a surge of anger directed towards Handler by her colleagues in the entertainment industry, in addition to announcements that indicated that both individuals and companies wouldn't work with her in the future. That didn't happen. Instead, several celebrities even more famous, such as Jennifer Anniston, Jennifer Garner, and Michelle Pfeiffer, voiced support for Handler.
Handler's ability to survive this incident with her career intact shows that myths about Hollywood being controlled by the Jews are nonsense. It's also likely that most Jews in the entertainment industry are either so cowed by the Black Lives Matter movement that they wouldn't dare to act against her or actually agree that anti-Semitism shouldn't disqualify Farrakhan from being considered a respected voice. But the pass for anti-Semitism doesn't just exist in the arts.
In early 2019, newly elected Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) made a splash by engaging in anti-Semitic incitement against Jews and Israel with accusations about AIPAC buying congressional support for Israel with "the Benjamins," coupled with charges that supporters of the Jewish state were guilty of dual loyalty.
While many on both sides of the aisle condemned her remarks, when push came to shove, congressional Democrats refused to censor her. While at the same time Republicans were punishing Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for remarks that seemed an endorsement of white nationalism, Omar was rewarded with a seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, where she could pursue her vendetta against Israel and support for the anti-Semitic BDS movement.
More than that, she got a pass from the same cultural forces that are canceling dissenters from the BLM mantra by being treated as an honored celebrity. Nor has that changed, since during the past two weeks she has made the rounds of the Sunday-morning talk shows, where hosts like CNN's Jake Tapper fawn on her.
The practice of shaming, shunning and silencing those with unpopular or even offensive views is antithetical to democracy and the free exchange of ideas. That is especially true when it involves actions or statements that are not actually racist.
At the same time, it says something truly ominous about our society and culture that questioning the BLM movement—even while avowing that, of course, black lives matter—can destroy a career, while endorsing anti-Semites and even engaging in Jew-hatred is not considered a big deal. We already know that the consequences of giving anti-Semites a pass can lead to horror. Apparently, those who pose as the supposedly enlightened guardians of our culture have either forgotten that or no longer care about it.
Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.
Chaim Yankel's Freebees
Chaim Yankel's Freebees
After trying a new shampoo for the first time, Chaim Yankel fired off an enthusiastic letter of approval to the manufacturer.
Several weeks later, he came home to a large carton in the middle of the floor. Inside were free samples of the many products the company produced: soaps, detergents, toothpaste, and paper items.
"Well, what do you think?" Chaim Yankel's wife asked, smiling.
"Next time," he replied, "I'm writing to General Motors!"