Intermountain Jewish News

Jul 23rd

Dense: from Amos Oz to Tennessee

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On the left and the right — again — the Holocaust is shamelessly exploited

A Republican Tennessee state senator had this to say about Obamacare in a blog post:

“Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for ‘train rides’ for Jews in the ‘40s.”

We wish we could say that metaphor-challenged State Sen. Stacey Campfield later acknowledged his gross ignorance. But sort of like Donald Sterling apologizing, Campfield had this to say:

“I regret that some people miss the point of my post. It was not to offend. It was to warn. In no way was my post meant to diminish or detract from the pain, suffering and loss of human life that occurred during this dark time in human history. Instead the post was meant to draw attention to the loss of freedom that we are currently experiencing. I stand by my steadfast opposition to Obamacare.”

A warning about loss of freedom in healthcare is — it seems necessary to remind the dense state senator from Tennessee — qualitatively different from an entire race of people singled out for extermination. Obamacare has nothing to do with serially fired bullets into millions of human heads and even more humans killed in gas chambers.

It is necessary to issue the same reminder to the equally dense, leading Israeli literary figure, left-wing novelist Amos Oz, who said:

“‘Price tag’ and ‘hilltop youth’ are sweet, sugary nicknames, and the time has come to call this monster by its name. We wanted to be like all other nations, we longed for there to be a Hebrew thief and a Hebrew prostitute — and there are Hebrew neo-Nazi groups.”

If you long for a Hebrew thief and prostitute, Mr. Oz, speak for yourself. More to the point, a warning about “Price Tag” criminals who deface buildings with hateful slogans is qualitatively different from neo-Nazis, some of whom kill people. Oz’s later defense — a distinction between “neo-Nazis” and “Nazis” — between “neo-Nazis”  who, for example, desecrate places of worship and “Nazis” who “build incinerators and gas chambers” — is inaccurate. Some neo-Nazis kill people; and the Nazis in the 1930s did not not build incinerators and gas chambers. This, like the words and deeds of neo-Nazis, hardly makes the early Nazis’ intent less evil or potent. Oz’s use of “Nazi,” with or without “neo,” is as exploitive and inaccurate as the words of Sen. Campfield of Tennessee.

With their execrable malaproprisms, both men create distractions — the opposite of the serious discussions they want.

Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 May 2014 01:40 )  

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