Wednesday, November 14, 2012

There's Nothing More Terrifying Than a Jew Who Won't Die Quietly

I still think Anna Breslaw will hold the honor, but John Cook is making a late season run for the coveted "most anti-Semitic article published in a mainstream outlet" award. The piece is titled "Israel Names Its New War After Biblical Story About God Terrorizing Egyptians," referring to the Israeli operation "Pillar of Cloud" (translated into English as "Pillar of Defense").

The reference is to a Biblical story where God protects Israelites fleeing Egyptian slavery via a "pillar of cloud" which deflects Egyptian arrows and stones. Or, as Cook calls it, "God terrorizing Egyptians." Because nothing is more terrible than Jews not being enslaved.

That's what's truly bizarre -- of all the objectionable Bible stories (and there are many) -- freeing Jews from slavery isn't typically considered one. And this particular story, which is nonviolent and defensive (the cloud blocks enemy projectiles) is especially unobjectionable. Yet Cook not only slots it into "angry Old Testament God" territory, he actually views Jewish emancipation as an example of injustice to the Egyptians.

This doesn't even go into the dark murmurings that Israel's campaign is part of "a broader agenda rooted in ancient mysticism." I mean, come on. And Cook only digs in deeper on twitter, where he's basically delivering a live lecture on why you shouldn't opine on the meaning of another culture's stories without any actual knowledge.

Of course, I saw the link from someone who was telling Cook to rock on, so there's still work to be done. If you want the actual Biblical meaning of "pillar of cloud", this Tablet Mag article is a good primer.

Great Moments in Juxtaposition: Bobby Jindal Edition

Bobby Jindal tells the GOP they need to "stop being the stupid party":
"It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments - enough of that," he said, according to Politico. "It's not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can't be tolerated within our party. We've also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters."
Sound advice, Governor! But look at the next paragraph:
Jindal initially backed the presidential bid of his western neighbor Gov. Rick Perry, then campaigned for and alongside Mitt Romney.
Ah, Rick Perry -- the man who actually managed to prove you could be too dumb to win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Specks and logs, Governor Jindal. Specks and logs.