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Another ‘NYT’ piece leaves out the occupation

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In a piece on the spate of sex scandals involving Jewish politicians, New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor says that American Jews are not just embarrassed, but made anxious by the news:

Jews harbor their own historically grounded fears about reputation, acceptance and negative stereotypes, and those anxieties have flared recently in articles in the Jewish press and in conversations about Mr. Weiner, Mr. Spitzer and Mr. Filner. On a recent Friday night, after Mr. Filner announced he would not resign, Rabbi Michael Berk of Congregation Beth Israel, San Diego’s largest synagogue, tore into him from the pulpit. “I’m sure I’m not the only Jew who is embarrassed,” he said.

It’s the view of our website that American Jews should be embarrassed by their public connection to the Israeli occupation and to the second-class citizenship of Palestinians inside Israel–a status we would never accept here for historically grounded reasons having to do with the Bill of Rights.

Of course Kantor is silent about that part of our reputation, though Anthony Weiner outspokenly supports the occupation. I’m not surprised. Kantor went to a benefit for an Israeli dance company 5 years ago, along with the Israeli ambassador (And she did a fellowship in Israel in the late 1990s.)

Writes Donald Johnson, who alerted me to this piece: “I was thinking about why there’s no mention of Weiner’s denial of the occupation and I think it’s this–in the case of individuals guilty of fraud or sex scandals or other crimes, the impulse to do this comes from within the person and it really doesn’t reflect on the community, though people fear that others will see it that way.   But when Weiner denies that there is an occupation, he is pandering to some bad impulses within the community.  He’s done a political calculation that it’s better for him to deny the occupation than admit it.”

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6 Responses

  1. Krauss
    August 5, 2013, 5:33 pm

    As far as I know, Jewish stereotypes revolve more around money than sex. If anything, Jewish women get slammed for being cold and boring sexually and have gotten a bad name generally in the sack(usually by smearing Jewish men who need to justify their abandonment of Jewish women for hot gentiles).

    And at any rate, how many even know that Filner is a Jew? I didn’t, even if when I heard his name my Jewdar perked up. I think this is just community paranoia. Most Gentiles don’t form these kinds of connections.

    And at any rate, Al Gore has a curious habit of trying to rape his masseauses, Bill Clinton probably should have gone to jail for rape but his victims were brutalized by his political machine(with Hillary leading the charge) and the fact that you didn’t have modern DNA sampling the way you do today.

    If anything, Israel is far worse on these issues than the Jewish-American community’s leadership men. Moshe Katzav, the ex-president, just went to jail for rape.
    Tons of people out of Bibi’s staff are either under suspicion or have already crossed the threshold into an open investigation for sexual harassment.

    These issues seem to be a sore point for a certain kind of Jewish woman. I remember reading Jane Eisner’s naked(pun unintended) attack on Lewinsky a while back. Instead of trying to at least for a second view the 90s scandal from her eyes, or by understanding how Monica’s life got ruined for the rest of eternity while Bill got away almost entirely, she blamed Monica for “bringing out the worst stereotypes about the money-grubbing Jewish woman” (that their relationship was one of passion seems to have eluded Ms. Eisner).

    Finally, to your point about the occupation and where the community’s real shame should be concentrated, I also think it’s worth mentioning that if your/our primary concern is how random Jewish dudes get their sexlives portrayed in the media, we as a community don’t really have that many problems and live a pretty privileged existance.

  2. MRW
    August 6, 2013, 5:12 am

    This is the maudlin disgrace Jews should be ashamed of:
    Across Forbidden Border, Doctors in Israel Quietly Tend to Syria’s Wounded

    I find this vile in light of this Israel is accused of abusing Palestinian children– again and this Children in Israeli Military Detention and this BREAKING THE SILENCE Children and Youth – Soldiers’ Testimonies 2005-2011.

    One big maudlin currying of sympathy to an (unaware) American audience. Shame on you.

    • Donald
      August 6, 2013, 7:57 am

      In this case I blame the NYT for its editorial choices—I don’t recall them ever doing a detailed story on, say, Israeli mistreatment and cruelty towards Palestinian children or the random shooting at Gazan farmers and fishermen. They will mention the latter in passing. Sometimes. Other times they talk about how a “ceasefire” was broken when Palestinians fire across the border, since Palestinian casualties during a “ceasefire” don’t count. In the story about the rock throwing, Rudoren mentions how Palestinian children are mistreated by the Israeli justice system, in one paragraph at the end after two and a half pages about the culture of rock throwing. So here they follow up a story which I think they’d portray as sympathetic to the Palestinians (it wasn’t–it was the usual watered-down condescension the NYT specializes in) with a story that could have been put out by the Israeli government about treatment of Syrian wounded. That’s the NYT notion of balance.

      And of course the NYT doesn’t criticize Weiner for denying the occupation–if they did, they might have to get into why a politician would think that this is tactically smart.

      • MRW
        August 6, 2013, 2:36 pm

        Front page, above the fold? Israel helping Syrian children in wheelchairs? Color photo? Feel-good headline?

        My brother-in-law sent it to me to prove that I was wrong about Israel and Palestine/Gaza, so it worked.

    • jon s
      jon s
      August 6, 2013, 3:16 pm

      MRW, are you saying that when wounded Syrians show up at the border they should be turned away? That’s what you expect?

  3. braciole
    August 6, 2013, 11:52 am

    Maybe now that some Jews regard themselves as WASPs, perhaps it is right they introduce a bit of Puritanism into their lives.

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