April 30, 2019

Synagogue Shooting, and NYT Cartoon

Editor's note: We couldn’t be more proud of one of our teammates, Isaac Rose-Berman, who penned his first op-ed this week in USA Today: “How college students can bridge American divides: 'Study abroad' in Alabama or New York.” Please give it a read, and share far and wide!

On Saturday, “a gunman walked into a San Diego-area synagogue crowded with Sabbath worshippers on Saturday and opened fire with an assault-style rifle, killing one woman inside and wounding three others.” Reuters

On Sunday, the New York Times editorial staff stated that they are “deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic cartoon” that was published last Thursday in the international edition of the paper. New York Times, Axios

See past issues

From the Left

The left is focused on the shooting -- condemning white nationalism, and criticizing Trump for his divisive rhetoric and once again defending the Charlottesville protestors.

“Saturday's attack came just a few weeks after reports emerged that the Department of Homeland Security had disbanded its group of analysts who focused on stopping such attacks. That occurred even though domestic terrorism is arguably one of the biggest threats to American national security: In 2017, 150 Americans were arrested for plotting attacks in the United States, compared to 110 arrests of international suspects. That commitment requires action by the Trump administration — which seems uninterested in this growing threat.”
Joel Mathis, The Week

“The fact is that anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the West flow from one source: the quest for ethnic purity. Those who accept one bigotry while thinking they will be safe from the other are living a delusion… both minority groups are today threatened by the emergence of far-right movements utterly hostile to diversity… History has already shown us where this road leads.”
Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept

“At the core of the white nationalist movement is the anxiety of ‘the great replacement,’ a conspiracy theory that posits Jews, black people, and Muslims will ultimately replace white people and force them into subordination. Jews are viewed by those who ascribe to these set of beliefs as the master manipulators behind this elaborate plan, trafficking in non-white immigrants and refugees… anti-Semitic rhetoric and anti-immigrant violence go hand in hand.”
Rebekah Entralgo, ThinkProgress

“During a question-and-answer session with reporters on Friday, Trump was asked if he still thinks there were ‘very fine people’ on both sides of the Charlottesville rallies… Trump responded to the question by defending the widely denounced false equivalency he drew between white supremacists and people who were in Charlottesville protesting white supremacy…

“While it may have been the case that some people were in Charlottesville demonstrating that weekend merely because they felt aggrieved about a Confederate monument being taken down, many others walked through the streets chanting ‘Jews will not replace us’... what ‘Unite the Right’ was really about was never in doubt.”
Aaron Rupar, Vox

“It takes away nothing from the horror of the [recent] crime to say that it feels familiar, following not just the October 2018 massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh but also a rise in reports of anti-Semitic incidents overall. None of this felt nearly so normal before the march in Charlottesville… the consequences of shrugging off anti-Semitic violence remain with the nation… The weekend of August 12, 2017, may well have been a turning point in recent American history.”
David A. Graham, The Atlantic

Regarding the Times cartoon, “Before San Diego & Pittsburgh, deadly attacks on Jews in synagogues happened in other countries. Before Charlottesville, violent nationalists marching with torches screaming ‘Jews will not replace us’ happened in other countries… before the NYT made its terrible decision, the publishing of outrageously anti-Semitic cartoons by leading national newspapers also happened only in other countries… We must confront the anti-Semitism in America.”
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Twitter

Others argue that “Biden was almost the only one on the stage who talked like a normal person. There was a point near the end of the debate when he was talking about getting men involved in stopping domestic violence and he said that we need to keep ‘punching’ at it… I knew that the twitterati and the analysts would tut tut. Ol’ Joe is just out of touch! He doesn’t know you can’t use words like that. Meanwhile, every non-political junkie watching the debate thought there was nothing wrong with this. Biden was just using ordinary language, not worrying too much if it was fully approved by the woke brigade.”
Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

From the Right

The right rejects attempts to blame Trump for the shooting, and argues that theTimes cartoon exemplifies growing acceptance of anti-Semitism on the left.

From the Right

The right rejects attempts to blame Trump for the shooting, and argues that theTimes cartoon exemplifies growing acceptance of anti-Semitism on the left.

“Because everything must be about President Trump, the left blames him for Pittsburgh and San Diego. His critics point to his shabby response to Charlottesville (Trump actually did condemn the white nationalists and neo-Nazis, but posited ‘fine people’ on their side who didn’t exist). Yet, Trump was explicitly ­rejected by the San Diego and Pittsburgh shooters, precisely ­because he’s so pro-Israel.”
Rich Lowry, New York Post

A hatred of Israel is the one thing all anti-Semites have in common… The [shooter] hadn’t cooked up his ugly ideas reading ‘Mein Kampf’ in a cabin in the deep wilderness of Red America, but in a comfortable home in Southern California using the internet. The shooter wasn’t raised under the shadow of a Robert E. Lee statue or a Confederate flag, but in a substantially diverse area in a deeply liberal state… The shooter’s manifesto makes clear that he didn’t kill because of Donald Trump or some alleged dog whistle or a New York Times cartoon or any concerted ideological cause other than racial hatred.”
David Harsanyi, The Federalist

At the same time, “the distance between the offices of The New York Times international edition and the Chabad synagogue in San Diego, which a gunman attacked on Saturday, is growing smaller as the reach of the internet is growing larger…

“Jews have been killed by extremist right wingers and by extremist Muslims, but not by hard left haters, at least not yet. Why focus so much attention on the ‘benign’ anti-Semitism of anti-Israel extremists on the hard left? For one obvious important reason: The violent anti-Semitism of the hard right, as represented by the murders of Jews at prayer in San Diego and Pittsburgh, is universally condemned by all decent people, including conservatives. The ‘benign’ anti-Semitism of the hard left, which often is disguised as anti-Zionism, [gets] a pass from many liberals.”
Alan Dershowitz, The Hill

“Here was an image that, in another age, might have been published in the pages of Der Stürmer. The Jew in the form of a dog. The small but wily Jew leading the dumb and trusting American. The hated Trump being Judaized with a skullcap. The nominal servant acting as the true master. The cartoon checked so many anti-Semitic boxes that the only thing missing was a dollar sign…

“[But] the problem with the cartoon isn’t that its publication was a willful act of anti-Semitism. It wasn’t. The problem is that its publication was an astonishing act of ignorance of anti-Semitism — and that, at a publication that is otherwise hyper-alert to nearly every conceivable expression of prejudice, from mansplaining to racial microaggressions to transphobia.”
Bret Stephens, New York Times

“If the Times management was as horrified by the international edition’s transgression as they should be, they would engage in the same deep repentance — meaning a sincere and articulated apology combined with a commitment to change — that the paper would demand of other publications (particularly conservative) that committed similar wrongdoing… the paper should explain in detail how the cartoon came to be published. It should explain what — if any — disciplinary actions were taken against those that made the decision to print it, and what steps the paper is taking to ensure there are no repeat performances.”
Wesley J. Smith, National Review

“If a dozen drones or missiles can do the kind of damage to the world economy as did those fired on Saturday—shutting down about 6 percent of world oil production—imagine what a U.S.-Iran-Saudi war would do to the world economy. In recent decades, the U.S. has sold the Saudis hundreds of billions of dollars of military equipment. Did our weapons sales carry a guarantee that we will also come and fight alongside the kingdom if it gets into a war with its neighbors?… the nation does not want another war. How we avoid it, however, is becoming difficult to see. John Bolton may be gone from the West Wing, but his soul is marching on.”
Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative

Others note, “I’d hate to be a Democratic member of Congress trying to convince Joe Sixpack that this is a whole new ballgame. The transcript shows Trump being Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky trying to ingratiate himself with the big dog by, for instance, mentioning that he stays at Trump hotels. Trump’s conversation is typically scattershot, wandering all over the field, leaving a reasonable listener puzzled about what the takeaways are supposed to be…

“I think Joe Sixpack’s response is going to be a hearty shrug. After all that has emerged about Trump so far, his approval rating is closely tracking Obama’s approval at the same point in his presidency. To get Mr. Sixpack’s attention you are going to have to do better than this.”
Kyle Smith, National Review

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“While running for president in 2000, George W. Bush derided ‘nation building’ and said American foreign policy should be ‘humble’ rather than ‘arrogant.’ As president, Bush brought us the disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq… While running for president in 2007, Barack Obama rejected the idea that the president has the authority to wage war without congressional authorization whenever he thinks it is in the national interest… As president, Obama did that very thing in Libya… A few years before his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump said the U.S. should withdraw immediately from Afghanistan… As president, he sent more troops to Afghanistan…

“Three men with little or no foreign policy experience entered an office where they were surrounded by experts, and they quickly shed their initial skepticism of military intervention… we should worry about a president with little knowledge of the world whose military decisions are driven by anger or domestic political considerations. But it's not clear to me that such a president poses a bigger danger than the experts who have been disastrously wrong more times than we can count.”
Jacob Sullum, Reason

On the bright side...

Crocs with miniature fanny packs actually exist, and we have so many questions.

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