The Zionist Conspiracy
Thursday, February 26, 2004
Column of the Week
A number of people who have e-mailed in response to my weekly critique of a column have questioned the description of such feature as the "Stupid Column of the Week." Since I do not mean to unnecessarily offend, henceforth the word "Stupid" is being omitted. This gives me more flexibility to criticize columns, such as those discussed below, that are not necessarily stupid, but perhaps only silly.
In this week's Jewish Week, David Klinghoffer writes that Christians should thank Jews for their rejection of Jesus's claim to be the Messiah. After all, since most Jews did not accept Jesus, "the church turned to the gentiles and freed Christians from the restrictions of Torah law."
"The Jesus movement could not have spread wildly across the Roman Empire, later across all Europe. Judaism is simply not suited to be a mass religion. Its rewards ascend to the heavens, but its requirements are precise and demanding." As a result, "there would be no Christian Europe" and instead Islam would have become the dominant religion in Europe.
I liked Klinghoffer's book and a lot of his writing, but lately he's been less on target, as this column demonstrates. He makes one wild assumption after another - and insults his own religion - just to make what is a weak and irrelevant argument.
Next is Ron Rubin's Jewish Press column. Rubin is interested in how Joe Lieberman's "candidacy forced American Jews to face their spiritual selves" and believes that "Senator Lieberman`s piety confronted other Jews, at least on some level, with challenges, curiosity and, perhaps, doubts about their basic life choices."
Rubin writes that an intermarried secular Jew might view Lieberman's observance as a "clear throwback to the superstitions of this man`s black-hatted European grandfather," even as that person's Christian spouse would express admiration for Lieberman. A traditional but not fully observant Jew, would, in Rubin's view, "study more, observe more and affiliate with his people more based on Joe Lieberman's positive role model."
All of this sounds good, but in reality, with the exception of Orthodox critics of Lieberman, nobody paid much attention either to Lieberman or his level of observance. I very much doubt Lieberman was the subject of much spiritual angst among secular Jews or that he inspired others to be more observant.
Finally, Isaac Kohn has a satire in the Jewish Press about Shimon Peres's objection to transferring Israeli Arab cities to PA control. I'm in no mood to defend Peres, but Kohn apparently misunderstands the nature of any such transfer: The people would not be physically transferred. They would remain where they are, but sovereignty over the city (and its residents) would turn over to the PA. In any event, Prime Minister Sharon has now apparently disavowed the whole idea.