Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Godammit, Alan Colmes

Alan Colmes, still obviously miffed from the Ann Coulter idiocy from the last two weeks, says he wants to give her the opportunity to apologize. She refuses. He quotes "my friend, Conservative rabbi Shmuley Boteach."

Dammit Alan. He's freaking Orthodox. Weird, yes. But at least get the MOVEMENT right. Jesus.

Ann counters by saying she's got 1000 Orthodox rabbis on her side. Alan says that plenty of Jewish organizations have condemned her. She says the same people that hate her hate Dennis Prager.

Wow, I wonder why. Could it be because he spends most of his time alternately fellating and defending first-tier Conservative commentators such as your self, even when they say things that are plainly ridiculous and arguably offensive?

Ann decides to get HER dander up, thank you very much, saying Colmes should explain why what she said is antisemitic. He bumbles for a while, clearly not expecting this. God fucking dammit, Alan. Just give me your job and go home. He attempts to yell at her for a while, but isn't really doing a good job. She finishes by rambling on about how she's offended at the implication that being a Christian is antisemitic (now who's putting words in people's mouths?) and then making idiotic comments about how the battle isn't between Christians and Jews but the faithful and secularists- which would be more convincing if she hadn't been wasted most of her time making Democrats-are-stupid-when-it-comes-to-the-Bible-jokes.

Since Ann and Alan gave me another excuse, here's a little more commentary on CoulterGaffe 2007, part Six, from some interesting sources: Arutz Sheva. Two women, both religious Jews and Zionists, one in Jerusalem and one in the Golan. One thinks Coulter is a jerk, the other says she's a useful tool to wake Jews up.

Penina Taylor, a "former missionary who returned to the faith of her people" reminds her readers that Coulter's comment shouldn't be a newsflash:

What gets me isn't that Ms. Coulter thinks that all Jews need to be Christians - I could have told you that. What gets me is that the Jewish world has convinced itself that the Evangelical Christian Right doesn't really want us all to convert to Christianity. Hello? Is anyone home out there?

"Evangelical" means "missionary." That's what it means. And the Jewish world, Israel in particular, so much wants the friendship and financial support of the Christian world that they've convinced themselves that Evangelicals are not missionaries, that they don't want to convert us.

Let me give you a little Bible lesson here. Evangelical Christians who are calling themselves Zionists and who give moral and financial support to Israel do so because they believe with every fiber of their beings that the Christian Bible - what they call the Old and New Testaments - are the word of God. They believe every word of it, literally. That's why they are generally very good, moral people and that is also why they believe, in no uncertain terms, that anyone who does not believe in Jesus will go to Hell. That includes the Jews.

Pretty much, which is why it's hypocritical for folks that ignore evangelicals or consider them useful idiots will take their money and political support and keep quiet except when they remind them that they're not supporting Israel and the Jews JUST because they liked Fiddler on the Roof, but also because, yes, despite what some of them may say, they do indeed want to save our souls.

Taylor concludes:

So I would like to say one thing to Ann Coulter: Thank you! Thank you for saying out loud what some of us have known all along, but many of us were afraid to accept. Thank you for getting the Jewish community upset about something that it should be upset about and for speaking the truth, even if it came out by accident.

Yes, Ann Coulter is useful to beat RW Jews over the head with, but that doesn't mean I want to take her out to lunch as a thank you.

Ellen Horowitz, who I can't recall ever having agreed with, is a little more up my self-righteous indignation alley.

...some Jews who were enamored with Ann have just found out that those spindly legs that graced the cover of Time are made of clay. Others, like David Horowitz, are doing their best to make repairs on a very flawed "Ms. Right" by propping her up and declaring her an honest Christian woman.

How about an honest assessment from the right-wing Jewish pundits who, in light of over-the-top US Christian nationalism, may have to reassess their loyalties and direction?

Damn straight, and quite refreshing, too.

Horowitz goes on to identify more cases of Jews being asleep at the wheel when Coulter's "rah-rah-Christians" cheer reared its head:

Coulter has always worn her cross on her sleeve (when she wears sleeves), but Jews never seem to notice these things until the crucifix is dangling within an inch of our eyes. In response to 9/11, she wrote, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." But "them" wasn't us, and so we let it pass.

At a lecture at Northwestern University a few years back she declared, "This is a religious war, not against Islam but for Christianity, for a Christian nation.... The concept of equality, especially when it comes to gender equality, was not invented by Gloria Steinem. It was invented by Jesus Christ. As long as people look long enough, they will always come to Christianity."

Good thing we weren't looking.

And it isn't just an issue in America, but in Israel, too. As in America, though, it seems there are always more toadys and supposed pragmatists willing to accept evangelical aid (and money), regardless of whatever strings, theological, political, or otherwise, are attached:

Things are getting sticky for us Jews in Israel, too. What was supposed to be a practical marriage of convenience to improve and strengthen our economic, political and security standing in Israel has been converted into a full blown love affair of Biblical proportions. And our Evangelical partners are pushing for a Judeo-Christian consummation - a spiritual bonding - of our relationship. We should have had a prenuptial agreement drawn up before embarking on this precarious interfaith venture.

Too bad, because we Israelis had always enjoyed tremendous benefits from our connection with Gentile friends and supporters. We didn't have to cross questionable political, legislative, halachic, monetary and spiritual territory in order to nurture and build on that potential. But in our enthusiasm, we created a missionizing monster.

Knowing what we now know about Coulter and company, do we really want to pursue theologically based bonds with Christians who are so passionate about their beliefs? And if we do opt to continue our relationship, how far do we take it?

Should the Jewish people attempt to form a union with another faith whose members can't keep their mouths shut about what they perceive to be the sacred truth, but which to us is utter and explosive blasphemy? With headlines from major Christian Zionist and Jewish Messianic publications boasting that "Jews Beg Christians to Save the Temple Mount," it appears that we have been handed the short end of the grafted Judeo-Christian stick.

The good news is that we hold the key - a common denominator - for Jewish unity. Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, secular and atheist Jews - across the entire political spectrum in both Israel and the Diaspora - all agree that Jesus is not our Lord and savior. Bingo. Maybe saving Judaism, Jerusalem and Eretz Yisrael is as simple as saying the Shema.

Perhaps we Jews would be more successful if we would focus on strengthening ourselves and our faith, rather than empowering Christendom in Jerusalem and Washington.

I'm not sure how I feel about Horowitz's proposed "solution" to this issue- it still smells like a covert plug for the Jewish Agency- but she is right that the solution to Jewish problems, politically and otherwise, lies less in strengthening (and particularly overlooking) questionable alliances with potential threats (be they Pat Robertson or ANSWER) and more on keeping dialogue open between all different kinds of Jews. Ignoring all the sins of the Christian right because they're "good for Israel" is just as big a mistake as giving blanket support to anyone on the left. If people like Dennis Prager (or Jack Engelhard) don't understand this simple fact then they're letting their ideology cloud their judgment.

P.S. I found another annoyed commentary on Coulter from another surprising source: fellow Conservative and WND columnist Barbara Simpson. Money quote:

For all her education and media experience, Ann Coulter shows herself to be a narrow-minded, holier-than-thou Christian of the worst sort.

Even the pope had the grace to apologize for the antagonism toward Jews, which long lingered with Catholic laity and many clergy who interpreted Catholic teachings to provide a basis for anti-Semitism.

Coulter's brand of Christianity (she didn't specify which, and they're not all the same) gives all reasoned, educated Christians and Catholics a bad name.


Edit: A Transcript of the Coulter-Colmes not-really-showdown. Amazingly, the commentator seems to look to people like Coulter to help "the American people... be significantly more informed about current events and matters impacting the nation." Talk about two people watching the same thing and yet not. Also check out some of the comments for fun Jew-baiting. But don't worry, I'm sure they're just irked at the liberal ones, of course.

1 comment:

Jack's Shack said...

Maybe saving Judaism, Jerusalem and Eretz Yisrael is as simple as saying the Shema.

I like simple solutions, don't really believe in them, but I like 'em.