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Sunday, January 15, 2012

. . . Only A Week After the Beit Shemesh?

The images from the Beit Shemesh are still fresh and a two weeks later AMI Magazine publishes a picture of the White House draped in Swastikas and Nazi storm troopers on the front lawn (in an article on neo-Nazism) and the editor issues an "apology" stating "Because of the uproar in Israel over the use of the Jewish star, we may have made a poor choice and we regret putting that in this week's issue."

I simply don't even know what to say. All reality has been lost.


JoelC said...

I honestly don't get the comparison. The cover was intended to illustrate the horror of the growth of Neo-Nazism. I think there are vanishingly few cases where it is appropriate to compare something to Nazism, but a movement that wants to bring back Nazism is clearly an exception. I would not have a problem with dressing up my children as concentration camp victim to protest these vermin.
So, a magazine that depicts a future dystopia where the swastika flying over the white to illustrate the evil of Neo-Nazism does not offend me at all.
Can someone please explain this to me?

JoelC said...

That should be "flying over the White House"

Anonymous said...

Joel: I understand your point, but given how quick the orthodox have been to throw around the term Nazi and to use it entirely inappropriately and given how that term is used by both the Jewish and Christian far right when talking about members of our government, the magazine cover appears to be accusing the President and executive branch of being a bunch of Nazis.

Anonymous said...

As for our White House, I'd worry more about a hammer and sickle.

Anonymous said...

You know you overreacted when even the ADL calls you out:

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, told The Jewish Week that that the problem of anti-Semitism is “serious enough not to have to exaggerate.” He said that although it has increased worldwide, it has declined in the U.S. over the last 30 to 40 years.
“That is not to say that America is immune from anti-Semitism, but certainly the White House or America is not overrun by Nazis and neo-Nazis,” Foxman added. “There may be an increase in anti-Semitism, but comparing America to Germany – it will never reach that situation. Both the drawing and article are an exaggeration.”

Orthonomics said...

Anon, Good points.

Anonymous said...

anon said...

So many people have made this mistake about Bet Shemesh,
The haredi protests with the swastikas were in JERUSALEM not Bet Shemesh.
Bet Shemesh has its own crazies who do other crazy things.

Pragmatician said...

I don't even understand why anyone would buy AMI, similar weeklies are so much more interesting and appropriate.

Miami Al said...

Anti-semitism as reflected in attacks and hate crimes is down in America. The only way the ADL is able to show an increase (which they need to to fundraise) is to define down examples of anti-semitism.

That's not to say don't be vigilant, we should be, but also don't by hysterical and "cry wolf" all the time.

Look, America's immigrant population is going to bring anti-semitism with them when they immigrate from areas with that history, happened at the beginning of the 20th Century as well. America doesn't have an indigenous anti-Semitic culture, sure the WASP establishment in the 19th Century looked down on Jews, but they looked down on Catholics, people of color, people of Asian and Mexican ancestry as well. In fact, they looked down on people members of "lesser" Protestant denominations.

However, the Confederacy had a Jewish cabinet member, there were at least two Jewish politicians in the 19th Century.

The trick is to focus on weeding out the new immigrant anti-semitism like was done a century ago with Polish/Irish/Italian immigrants, not acting like lunatics with Nazi imagery that makes us look like we are crying wolf.

Dealing with anti-semitism brought by Muslim immigrants needs to be handled by dealing with THEIR problems, not the 20th Century European ones.

Anonymous said...

Bad choice. Perhaps it reflects the insularity of segments of the Orthodox community.

JoelC said...

Starting at the top:

Anon 5:24
It is inaccurate to say that the "orthodox" throw around the term "Nazi". I, a mainstream chareidi living in New York, do not think I have heard the term used to describe anyone who wasn't actually a Nazi. I also think there is almost universal condemnation of the use of holocaust symbols by the protestors in Jerusalem by all sectors of orthodox jewry in the US. In any case, I don't think a magazine can be condemned for publishing a photo that can be misinterpreted when they wrote an entire article making clear they were talking about actual nazi sympathizers.

Anon 12:32 and Miami Al
I, not very respectfully disagree, with Abe Foxman. If you take a look at the ADL website you will quickly get a sense of where their sympathies lie. They seem to think that their anti-defamation mission includes opposition to intelligent design being taught in school, understanding the first amendment as ensuring separation of church and state while ignoring the religous freedom elements of the first amendmant (while at the same time claiming that efforst to limit sharia law in the US are discriminatory). The ADL has an agenda and it is against any form of fundamentalist religion (other than Islam).
His eagerness to bash the orthodox makes him miss a tremendously troubling phenomemon taking place today. Ron Paul had his name on a newsletter that published vile anti semitic and racist trash. He has said that the US was wrong in getting in WWII and should not have taken any steps to stop the Holocaust. He is entirely sanguine about the possibility of Iran using a nuclear bomb on Israel. And he is currently running second in the race for the Republican presidential nomination with particular support from the young.
Now, I know that it is very unlikely that Ron Paul become president. But can you imagine anyone with his views even being allowed in polite company 25 years ago? The demonization of Israel, the growing disapproval of "Wall Street financiers" and the general acceptance of of anti-religious viewpoints have all combined to make me more nervous about an undercurrent of anti-semitism that at any time in my life.
Maybe Ami is right. Maybe they are wrong. But I do know that I lose respect when anyone whose family died in the holocaust says
"There may be an increase in anti-Semitism, but comparing America to Germany – it will never reach that situation".
That is idiotic. Do you think any of the thousands of Jews serving in the Wehrmacht in WWI thought that Germany would ever do anything like the Holocaust? Of course it is exceedingly unlikely that that will happen in the US but if we Jews don't work as hard as we can to publicize and fight against any such possibility, who will?

Anonymous said...

Abe Foxman is Orthodox and davens in an Orthodox shul. Maybe not "as" Orthodox as JoelC would like him to be.

JoelC said...

Or maybe we are "too orthodox" for Abe Foxman.

Zach Kessin said...

I think the comments about Mr Foxman's orthodoxy or lack there off to be in poor taste. If you want to disagree with his politics go right ahead, but where he davens is really not relevant.

Back in the bad old days of the Internet was Rocks were soft and Mud was a fresh new Idea (IE 1992) there was a rule known as "Godwin's Law*" It stated that the first person in any argument or debate to call his opponent a "Nazi" or compare him to Hitler or similar persons (Stalin, Pol Pot etc) had automatically lost the argument, on the grounds that when all you have left is calling the other guy names then you have lost the argument.

* Normally I would link to Wikipedia but they are blacked out today and I am supporting that

JoelC said...

Hey, I did not bring it up. It was brought up by someone who seemed to think that his being shomer shabbos immunized him from my contention that he was anti-chareidi.

Miami Al said...

JoelC, you didn't say anti-chareidi, you said anti-Orthodox,

"His eagerness to bash the orthodox makes him miss a tremendously troubling phenomemon taking place today"

That's a huge stretch.

JoelC said...

You are correct. I only know about Foxman's public positions and my assumption was that they were generally anti-orthodox but if he himself is orthodox, then I would assume he is just anti-chareidi (although, as an aside, it is not uncommon for the orthodox non-chareidi Jews to take reflexively anti-orthodox positions).

Miami Al said...


I'm not a huge fan of Foxman's politics, but I wouldn't attribute it to anti-chareidism, his position is anti-religion in the public sphere. I don't espouse that position, but to call it anti-chareidi is unfair.

Bob Miller said...

Re Foxman,see