Soros Criticism Is Not Anti-Semitism

So says my friend Jeff Dunetz (@yidwithlid) over at The Lid.

George Soros was born Jewish but not a big friend to the Jewish people and has tried to hurt the Jewish State. And finally Trump may be the most pro-Israel President in American history, and if he were actually an anti-Semite, he would hate his daughter Ivanka and all of his grandchildren.

However, if any of those liberals want to really find a president who spewed anti-Semitic dog whistles, I have done some homework, and discovered an ex-president who did that..his name is Barack Obama.

Read the whole thing.

On the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

I have had to let a day or so pass before writing about the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. My reaction was of such anger and disgust that I needed to settle down before commenting. Part of that disgust has to do with some of the comments being made about the crime. In the meantime, others have offered comments that come close to summarizing what I think needs to be said, and David Harsanyl’s post at The Federalist comes closest to reflecting my views, but with some differences. Harsanyl is a Jew, and I am a gentile, so his perspective is somewhat more personal than mine.

Jordan Peterson has made the observation that both the Left and the Right can go too far with their politics, noting that the responsible members of the Right have figured out that the line on their side relates to identity politics devolving into racism. The Klan and neo-Nazis are beyond the pale. The responsible Left has no such line, yet the Left’s identify politics can also devolve into forms of tribalism that allow, encourage, or demand violence against the “other.” Perhaps the responsible Left needs to begin taking the same kinds of steps that the Right did decades ago to isolate its more destructive members.

It doesn’t matter to me whether the shooter was motivated by a political ideology or whether he was simply evil. What he did was evil.

UPDATE—A rabbi has these thoughts—

My synagogue is on the west side of Los Angeles. On a rough guess, about half of my congregants support Donald Trump. Many of those who do, but certainly not all, are from the Persian community. We have had frank discussions. They know I deplore many of the things he says and I oppose much of what he does. They know that I have criticized, publicly and privately, the inflammatory rhetoric of his presentations and warned them of its effects. They also know that we respect and listen to one another, that I do not preach politics at them but do speak with them and learn from them, and that our relationship in many cases is not only one of affection, but of genuine love.

So when I see major American Jewish figures tell me that my congregants are illegitimate, my blood boils a little bit.

The calculation here, I suppose, is that people voted for Trump to get an embassy move and their vote proxy murdered other Jews. How careful should one be, should a distinguished reporter be, when accusing others of such enormities, even indirectly? How do people think this message will fall on the ears of those who fled from Iran, to be told that they are in fact guilty in the death of Pittsburgh’s Jews?

Or — even more shamefully — on the ears of Judah Samet. Mr. Samet, a Holocaust survivor, escaped death by 4 minutes because he was a little late to shul. He is also a strong supporter of Trump. Frank, Julia: Would you stand before this 80-year-old man, not in a tweet or online piece, but face to face, and tell him he is responsible for the death of his friends, the people with whom he prays each Shabbat? Would you bar him from the shul where he almost died, again, at the hands of Jew haters? Really? And that would make us the righteous ones?

Read the whole thing.

Taking the Long Term View

I’m in the Nashville area attending a conference for people involved in church leadership positions. The conference is built around a series of talks by Christians describing how their religious identity has helped them through adversity and how that adversity helped strengthen their faith.

The first speaker yesterday was David French. Yes, that David French, the one who writes for National Review, the one who has been tagged as the president of the Never Trumpers. Like me, French did not support Trump in 2016, and his continued opposition to the President has been costly for him at times.

French built his talk on the biblical narrative of the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem and King Hezekiah’s response. Rather than call on Egypt for help, Hezekiah listened to what God was calling him to do through the prophet Isaiah, and the Assyrian siege was eventually broken. In French’s view, Hillary Clinton might have been a terrible choice for President, but turning to someone like Donald Trump was not unlike the temptation of turning to Egypt for help against the Assyrians, something to be avoided. For French, refusing to support Trump was a refusal to take an unnecessary choice between two evils. In his view (and mine), many Christians have been too caught up in the political polarization afflicting America. The rancor isn’t healthy, and it leads us into false dilemmas.

In the end, the real choice is between worldly power and Truth. Sometimes, standing up for our understanding of the Truth can be costly, but it’s worth the price. Truth wins in the end.

Quote of the Day

Some people talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger—according to the way you react to it.

—C. S. Lewis

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Brett Kimberlin has tried to paint his enemies as racists (especially Stacy McCain) and Islamophobes (especially Aaron Walker). The following is from a piece that ran six years ago today titled Dread Pirate #BrettKimberlin and Muslim Hurt Feelings.

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In an earlier episode of our series, we saw that TDPK seems to have a special sensitivity for the feelings of Muslims who have been hurt by depictions of their Prophet. Indeed, in his most recent court filing TDPK asserts that the whole brouhaha between him and Aaron Walker relates to disrespectful treatment of Mohammed in pictures posted on one of Mr. Walker’s websites.

<mockery>One of the claims that TDPK has made all along is that he has been concerned that Mr. Walker would be the victim of violence at the hands of Islamic extremists. As a result of that fear, he needed to out the Aaron Worthing nom de cyber. Clearly, TDPK has been taking lesson from the same strategist who had to burn villages in order to save them.

If it were honest, TDPK’s concern for Mr. Walker’s safety would be touching.

What would make more sense would be for TDPK to be concerned for his own safety should he fall into the hands of those same Islamic extremists. TDPK is an avowed atheist, and avowing atheism is consider telling a lie about Allah by the Koran. Furthermore, sura 4:89 says:

They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah’s way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.

TDPK may be even less wise in his selection of friends than in his selection of enemies.</mockery>

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Here’s an interesting factoid about the Justice Through Music Project website. It still has a couple of posts up from 2011 and 2012 about working with activists from moslem countries as part of a State Department program. (Claims in some of The Dread Deadbeat Pro-Se Kimberlin’s LOLsuits have related to losing that work with the State Department.) While the texts of the posts are still online, all of the pictures have been taken down.