My late father-in-law was a snowbird and invariably, during every snowstorm or patch of bad weather we suffered through in Sharon, he would call us with very self satisfying remarks on what great weather he was experiencing in Florida. So, only out of great love of that memory do I sit here in Palm Springs letting you all know that the sunny and warm temperatures continue unabated here, and we are shortly leaving for a round of golf. Life can be tov, but it can also rear it’s ugly head, as it did last week in a Texas synagogue.
Apologies to Sandy. She has chided me recently for not being positive enough in my recent postings. We do have a lot to be thankful for in our sweet, bubble of life we have created through hard work and good fortune. But there apparently was some kind of major glitch in the matrix last week, and I cannot just turn a blind eye. Each week I regretfully include a link to a news item about anti-semitism as my own way of keeping the “never forget” slogan alive. It’s usually about some hateful speech or action on a US campus, where anti-semitism seems to be running rampant these days. But this week some anti-semitic nut job decided to take some hostages at a Texas synagogue, where thankfully, the potential nightmare scenario ended without any loss of life. More remarkable in my mind was the FBI and mainstream media response to the clearly anti-semitic attack. The FBI seemed to do backflips in trying to avoid calling it what it was, and the mainstream media, with the exception of the Washington Post seemed to follow suit. “He was singularly focused on one issue, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community, but we are continuing to work to find motive,” the F.B.I. special agent in charge, Matthew DeSarno, said shortly after the standoff ended, presumably referring to the assailant’s bid to free the imprisoned terrorist. Both The Associated Press and the BBC parroted the line, with the BBC tweeting, “Texas synagogue hostage standoff not related to Jewish community — F.B.I.”
Seriously? WTF? A moron singles out and attacks a synagogue believing Jews have the power to release a prisoner, and that is not considered an anti-semitic attack? We clearly have more work to do.
The events in Texas brought to my attention another bit of Jewish news which has not received much attention. Stupid-ass Republicans have been blocking the nomination of Deborah Lipstadt as the new “Ambassador on Anti-Semitism”, a post the ADL worked to elevate and fund at the Ambassador level, which is pretty cool. Her nomination is supported by just about every Jewish group in the world, which in itself is a major accomplishment. So, what’s the hesitation by Republicans? For months, it seemed that Sen. Ron Johnson, a far-right Republican from Wisconsin, was blocking Lipstadt’s confirmation over a tweet in which she correctly described as “white supremacy/nationalism” Johnson’s assertion that he would have been more concerned about the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol if the protesters were connected to the Black Lives Matter movement. The Times reported that Senate Republicans might demand Lipstadt apologize. Then Johnson, in announcing his campaign for reelection, said he was not aware he was holding up any nominations. Still, no hearing has been publicly announced. Again, WTF?
I will end this week with a quote from Lipstadt herself which she penned eloquently and recently in an op ed for the NYT, “ “It is not radical to say that going to services, whether to converse with God or with the neighbors you see only once a week, should not be an act of courage.”
That’s all this week everyone. Off to golf, but hey, please continue to be careful out there.