Thursday, March 01, 2007

Short Takes

Let’s Be Frank

The House of Representatives is slated to take up a proposal to offer honorary citizenship to Anne Frank. How ironic!

Letters from Anne’s father, Otto, show how desperate he was to get his family to America. He, and thousands of others, were denied entry into America due to a combination of fear of German-born refugees, and homegrown anti-Semitism. Granting her citizenship now is somehow obscene. And, given the state of education in this country I can foresee students reading her Diary will and believing that she didn’t die at all, but made it safely to Long Island.

If we really want to do something to honor Anne Frank, why not pass a bill in her name that brings Iraqi war refugees into the US in numbers commensurate with the violence we unleashed in that country?

Century 21…. BCE!

Rabbi Pruzansky brought hundreds of Jewish families from New York and New Jersey together to explore buying homes in Jewish settlements on the West Bank. This is like Custer selling housing to whites on Indian reservations. Rabbi Pruzansky obviously finds the illegality of West Bank settlements irrelevant. “Peace is an illusion already,” the rabbi said in the New York Times (Monday, February 26, 2007). “We’re fulfilling a biblical commandment, God commanded us to settle the land of Israel. This is a very natural step.” Toward what? Armageddon?

Americans who buy housing on the West Bank don’t have to move there. They can rent their new homes to Israelis. That way the owner can have the nachas (joy) of having a home in the Promised Land without having to worry about a rocket attack taking out their living room. This reminds me of rich northern draftees hiring people to take their place in the Union Army during the Civil War. If you’re going to buy a house in Palestine I think you should be required to live among the Palestinians. I assure you that if Rabbi Pruzansky made this a requirement he would have few takers.

Korean Komics

“The final obstacle to success is always a fortress called Jews.” Though it sounds like a fortune cookie proverb, it is actually a caption of a comic strip showing a man climbing a hill topped by a wall plastered with a Star of David. The strip appears in a South Korean educational text called “Distant Countries and Neighboring Countries” designed to teach children about foreign lands. Needless to say Jews are angry, some Koreans are embarrassed, and the author, Lee-Won Bok, a college professor, is clueless.

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