April 30, 2019

Synagogue Shooting, and NYT Cartoon

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

“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

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 Joe Biden can win his way through the primaries, he’s almost lab-engineered to beat Trump. He doesn’t cause Republican panic, he has the potential to connect with white working-class voters in a way that Hillary couldn’t in 2016, and he has a potential to connect better with black voters than Hillary did… if Biden emerges from [this] crucible, Trump will face a very different challenge than he faced in 2016.”
David French, National Review

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

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

“The fans who avidly followed the men’s tournament certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. And it’s hard to argue that each of them had a moral obligation to be exactly as interested in women’s soccer. Even if we could stop them from watching the men more than the women, should we?…

“It’s tempting to answer that the fan choices aren’t innocent, they’re sexist. But since we can’t peek into their hearts, to say that definitively, we’d have to assume that men’s greater speed, strength and endurance definitely make nodifference to the sport’s quality. Fair enough, but then why do fans prefer to watch Megan Rapinoe play instead of the sedentary elderly who could presumably use some exercise? Alternatively, maybe pay should be equalized precisely because biology is unfair. But that seems to be an argument for curbing the pay of all top-level athletes, who have to hit the genetic lottery just to get on the field. It might be easier to focus on the distributions across society at large, rather than every individual industry, especially when fundamental biology is in play.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

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

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