Four years ago, you could have almost seen Bill Clinton’s thought bubble as he watched Barack Obama’s weak and listless performance against Mitt Romney during the first presidential debate: “I can’t believe we lost to this guy.”
As for joining with black social justice groups, the JCC must know that Black Lives Matter has deemed Israel an apartheid state that practices genocide and that Jewish groups that are pro-Israel are automatically excluded from joining in solidarity with BLM which stands together with Students for Justice in Palestine and supportive of the BDS movement against Israel. Of course there will always be Jews who will bow before their enemies and blame themselves or their brothers for this irrational anti-semitism. By identifying their group with a ‘black’ pedigree, the leadership of JCC hopes to curry favor much as the Jews who marched for civil rights expected to be appreciated for their front line solidarity with black leadership. Yet the lessons of black hatred of Jews were manifest in the platform of the Black Panthers, in the race riots of Crown Heights, in the sermons of the Reverend Wright and in current BLM policy and propaganda.
It promises to be the greatest show on earth: the first presidential debate to be held Monday night at Hofstra University in New York. Rarely has a political event attracted this kind of Super Bowl-level excitement, curiosity and anticipation. Then again, rarely have we had two presidential candidates who light up the political sky like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
I haven’t read Bruce Springsteen’s memoir, “Born to Run,” but I read Dwight Garner’s review of it (NYTimes 9/21/16) and was incredulous about the following declaration: “Mr. Springsteen’s father was a frequently unemployed bus driver among other blue-collar jobs; his mother a legal secretary. They were fairly poor. In their houses - half-houses, more often - there was generally no telephone and little heat.” Bruce grew up in the 50’s and 60’s in the state of N.J. - not in Yoknapatawpha County in the backwoods of Mississippi. In America during the the 50’s, two thirds of all homes had phones and though air conditioning was not yet common, heating certainly was. I won’t quibble about whether or not these statements are partially true but I will say that a boy whose mother was a legal secretary was not poverty-stricken, so why the desire for that illusion? Does it increase his creds as a man of the people to boast that despite being a member of the 1% now, he came from dirt-poor beginnings?
In his ongoing blindness towards the reasons for reluctance to allow mass immigration of Muslim refugees to the U.S., Nicholas Kristof inverts them in his article titled “Would You Hide A Jew From the Nazis?” (NYT 9/18/16) During the thirties, Jews were victims of increasingly harsh and restrictive laws imposed on them in Nazi Germany and once the war began, they became dead men walking throughout Europe until 6 million of them were finally exterminated. The comparison of this unique genocide with the situation of Syrian refugees is preposterous. Despite the epidemic of Muslim terrorism throughout the world, the current refugees have been accepted into many countries in Europe as well as the U.S. There are numerous refugee camps that have been created for them in Turkey as well as neighboring Arab countries which share their language, religion and culture. The outcome of this generous in-gathering as well as previous welcoming immigration, has proved profoundly problematic and tragic for European countries where the incidence of rape, assault, murder and massacre has altered the lives of all these populations. In post 9/11 America, we are experiencing similar outbreaks of terrorism and wholesale murder by stabbing, shooting and bombing innocent men, women and children. Today’s news reports several bombings in the tri-state area as well as serial stabbings in Minnesota; the bombs were similar to those used in the Boston Marathon.
When I go to Target with my wife, I’m like a bored 6-year-old. She’s busily checking items off her list, muscling slabs of paper towels into the huge red cart while I wander off, not quite humming “la la la,” but gazing dreamily around finding . . . what?