Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Grand Old Pogrom

Editors' Note:  Due to breaking news, we are unable to bring you today's planned feature: “I Knew It All Along” by legendary Spy Sports Columnist Shill Shamelessly.  We'll try to bring you his peerless insights soon!

By A. Cahan
Jewish Affairs Editor

Shabbat morning in America.  Jews everywhere are heading toward shul, late of course.  Perhaps it's a bar mitzvah, a bris, a yahrzeit, or they simply want to remind Bob Feldman to pay his damn pledge to the Building Fund already.

Instead, on Saturday,  October 27, 2018, in the comfortable suburb of Squirrel Hill, what they got was a pogrom.

And what all surviving American Jews got was a wake-up call.  In the wake of the massacre and the responses of Republican politicians and their apologists, running from the lame to the incredible, it has become clear that any Jew who votes Republican is putting his people at grave risk.

The leading candidate for Republican
Speaker of the House published

then deleted this Tweet
The lone gunman, a white male loser who was able without any serious difficulty to amass a 21-gun military-grade lethal arsenal, decided that he had enough of the international Jewish conspiracy to overrun America with Honduran terrorists disguised as hungry, wretched women and children.

From whence could he have gotten this crackpot idea?  After 0.05 seconds of searching, we found out: from the alternative white supremacist Republican media machine.  A representative sample appears above but we could afflict you with an infinite number of like examples.

Now Jew haters have always been with us.  But only since the Bigot-in-Chief stole the Presidency with his toxic brew of hatred, bias, stupidity, and anger, have they felt emboldened to stroll into synagogues and open fire.   As the Editor of the Forward, Jane Eisner, summed up:

But very worst of all, we are a nation with a president who stokes this anger — against immigrants, against minorities, against anyone who disagrees with him at any moment — and then, when violence and death stain the landscape, blames the victims for not protecting themselves enough, as if that were the reason for the bloodshed.
It’s time for the Jewish community in all its many facets to confront the complicity of the man in the White House, and all who support him — with money, votes, political expertise and moral cover.

Let us savor the full bitterness of the response of the U Bum Administration to this appalling disaster.  By selling their soul (not a particularly valuable commodity at this point to be sure) to gun nuts, the entire Republican Party has endorsed the idea that any hate-addled nut should be able to stroll into any gun lover convention and walk out with an unlimited amount of military-grade weaponry that can kill 30 innocents a minute and overpower any defender armed with only a handgun.

The price for that insanity has been paid by high school students, people of color, concert goers in Las Vegas, and now the Jews.  Who knows who will get the butcher's bill tomorrow?

We know it won't be the Grifter-in-Chief.  With his now-legendary response to any tragedy – half-assed off-the-cuff ignorant hateful bullshit – he blamed the Jews for not posting armed guards at every U.S. synagogue.  Leaving aside the obscenity of blaming victims at a time of crushing loss, there's no doubt, as was the case with innumerable school shootings, that a guard with a handgun is no match for a white maniac with an array of heavy semi-automatic weaponry.

And by the way, who's supposed to pay for all of this round-the-clock security?  We know it won't be President Tiny Toadstool.  Or his hidden genius son-in-law Jared.  Will it be the Jews themselves, taxed to provide their own security as in the medieval ghetto?

Here's an idea: the $25 billion that the Groper-in-Chief wants to spend on a wall to guard against a nonexistent threat at the southern border could buy plenty of security for religious institutions currently being targeted by white male extremists.  

This is how a Jewish journalist is treated
in U Bum's America
But surrender to gun maniacs, while bad for the Jews, isn't necessarily anti-Semitic.  It's the rest of the Republican party prescription that sends our co-religionists to the real estate listings in Montreal and Toronto.

Let's consider the oafish response of brain-dead extremist and ghoul in waiting Mike Pence who said that anyone who shoots up a temple or a church should pay the “ultimate price.”  Leaving aside that the death penalty is already available for terror attacks (ask the Marathon Bomber), isn't something missing from this list?  Are there any other religious institutions in America?  If not, where do America's 3,000,000 Muslims congregate?  So it's OK according to Mama's Boy Pence to leave mosques off the list because it's OK to ban, if not shoot, Muslims?  And who thinks that anti-Islam bigotry is good for the Jews?  (Actually, we'll get to that.)

As Julia Ioffe – who has been smeared with unspeakable anti-Semitic abuse for the crime of truthful reporting – said in today's Washington Post:
In the two and a half years that followed, Trump’s tune has become a deafening roar. The closing ad of his campaign reprised the kind of anti-Semitic tropes that populated “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”: “It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities,” Trump’s voice said, as pictures appeared of then-Federal Reserve Board chair Janet Yellen (a Jew), billionaire progressive donor George Soros (a Jew), and then-Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein (also a Jew). The ad was called “Donald Trump’s Argument for America.”  In fact, Trump had so much to say about the Jews that his Jewish son-in-law has had to publicly defend him as “not an anti-Semite.” 

Bigotry wasn't some incidental aspect of the the Republican argument for political power.  It was the core, and anti-Semitism was right in there with racism and anti-immigrant animus.

Speaking of people whose concern for American Jews we're having trouble stomaching, according to the The New York Times:
Leaders in the United States and across the world condemned the attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said he was “heartbroken and appalled” and that the “the entire people of Israel grieve with the families of the dead.”
Is he now?  It's nice that Netanyahu evinces such tender concern for Conservative (that is, mainstream) Jews, having denied them the right to pray as they see fit at the Western Wall in Jerusalem to protect his frail extremist coalition.

More fundamentally, Netanyahu and the entire Likud apparatus, from Las Vegas to the meanest illegal settlement in the hills of the West Bank, have done their level best to demean and marginalize liberal Jews, especially those who have the temerity to question the wisdom of paving the West Bank with settlements to deny Palestinians any hope of a real state in the region.

For that reason, the Likud has enthusiastically backed U.S. extremists and the Tangerine-Faced Golem, all the while undermining Democrats who have dared to express support for a two-state solution.  We are told in ways subtle and otherwise that only Republicans, who support the extirpation of legitimate Palestinian aspirations (whether as part of the end of the world and the Rapture or otherwise), are good for the Jews.

Yesterday's massacre demonstrates just how ludicrous that position was.  The blood of our brothers and sisters in Squirrel Hill cries out to us from the floor of their violated sanctuary: No one who cares about their fellow Jews can even think about voting Republican.

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