Earlier this week, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) added the cartoon character and internet meme Pepe the Frog to its “Hate On Display” database, saying it promoted “anti-Jewish, bigoted and offensive ideas.” The announcement gained major media coverage, from The New York Times to The Washington Post to TIME Magazine.
David Benkof | All Articles
For Republicans, the 2016 election is an acid test that burns like acid. Donald Trump is so wrong for America that months ago I decided to squelch my ideological instincts and vote for Hillary Clinton. But as Trump further deteriorates and his prospects grow, members of our party must take extraordinary, even painful measures to avert national catastrophe.
In a tale marbled with irony, an Ashland bookseller is blaming her store’s closing on a boycott by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). That organization, ostensibly devoted to artistic expression, has refused to do business with Shakespeare Books & Antiques because of the specific way it communicated a cherished idea.
Political prognosticators started last month to foretell a Democrat majority in the Senate, right after former Sen. Evan Bayh announced he would run for his old seat. Given the popularity of the Bayh name in the Hoosier State, holding the seat currently occupied by Sen. Dan Coats became a much steeper challenge for Republicans.
Many Republicans who have watched the grotesque, self-parodying campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump with dismay have resigned themselves to vote for him nonetheless, thus dodging another President Clinton. In particular, they dread the activist jurists she will inevitably appoint to the Court – an urgent situation given the current vacancy and several aging justices.
As Ivanka Trump prepares to address the Republican National Convention (RNC) Thursday night, the fact she is Jewish is drawing renewed attention. As it should – for the nominee of a major party of a world power to have a Jewish daughter is unprecedented in American history, and very unusual in Jewish history.
Donald Trump’s dominance of polls nationally and in early states has fostered nervousness among Republicans eager to elect a reliable conservative next November. His extremist proposals (most recently, halting visas for Muslims), perpetual vagueness (“You don't want to hear how I'd handle [terrorism] … we are going to handle it so tough!”), and confusion about our system of government (his “executive order” mandating death for cop killers) raise bright red flags about a man whose nomination could torpedo the entire party.
The online bickering between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his fellow billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal over Trump’s proposal to ban Muslim immigration is seeped with irony: For decades, Saudi Arabia has had a near-total ban on granting visas to Jews.
Yesterday, I was stunned to read an E-mail from Andrés Spokoiny, the president of the Jewish Funders Network (I’m a member) with an interpretation of the Chanukah story that was skewed so far left it praised Che Guevara (!) as being essentially a Maccabee. The missive was yet another piece of evidence, albeit an extreme one, of a major Jewish organization run by people with a hard-left worldview.
Today, as the Supreme Court takes up yet another affirmative-action case, advocates of racial engineering are urging the justices to allow public universities to continue considering race a factor in admissions in order to promote “diversity.” But they’re hiding their true motives. Support for affirmative action by Americans on the left is overwhelmingly based on a desire to remedy past and present discrimination, not to racially redecorate classrooms and dormitories. But the Supreme Court has already outlawed affirmative action for reparative purposes as unconstitutional, so they are throwing their hopes behind the thin reed of campus diversity.
In response to protests by Princeton’s Black Justice League, that Ivy League university may soon start purging the name and likeness of President Woodrow Wilson from the campus of the school he once led.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s claim that the Charlie Hebdo attacks had “a legitimacy” – he quickly corrected himself to say “a rationale” – has been widely condemned by conservatives, and widely ignored by the media. (For example, The New York Times ran an 11-paragraph Reuters story about Republican reactions to the remarks, but did not cover the comments themselves.)
A gaffe is “when a politician tells the truth,” as per Michael Kinsley’s apt definition. Yesterday’s gaffe by Secretary of State John Kerry claiming that the Charlie Hebdo attacks had “a legitimacy” – he quickly corrected himself to say “a rationale” - reveals such gross misunderstanding of the threats our country faces that he simply must resign.
Fierce debates this month over women clergy represent the most fractious internecine conflict in the Orthodox Jewish community in a generation. After the progressive movement known as Open Orthodoxy ordained its first women, denunciations by centrist and right-of-center Orthodox rabbis alike were inevitable.
Brace yourselves for more bathroom battles after last week’s smash 22-point repeal of Houston’s equal rights law. Traditionalists on gay issues, long stymied at the polls and elsewhere, finally see a winning path in the Houston campaign’s near-exclusive focus on the specter of predatory males lurking in women’s facilities. LGBT advocates are undeterred in their demand that the government treat a person’s gender identity as equivalent to biological sex in every way.
The Internet is in a tizzy over allegations that Republican frontrunner Dr. Ben Carson fabricated details of a troubled, hostile youth for political gain. CNN interviewed nine of Carson’s childhood friends, classmates, and neighbors about the claims in the surgeon’s 25-year-old memoir Gifted Hands (which he later repeated on the stump) of violent, even homicidal episodes, but none could recall any.
Last week, Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) head Matthew Brooks told The Hill, “We as a Jewish community have to take a long, hard step back and acknowledge the reality … that today there is one pro-Israel party and that is the Republican Party.”
Yesterday’s overwhelming repeal of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity was a shocking repudiation of lesbian mayor Annise Parker, the face of the campaign who worked tirelessly and desperately to keep the law on the books. A major refrain from supporters of the law was that repeal would lead to boycotts of the city, and maybe even a loss of the Super Bowl planned for Houston in 2017.
Questions were raised on the Internet today regarding three Democratic members of the United States Senate who may or may not have been convicted or suspected of pedophilia.