Satire is a beautiful thing. But it can also cross the line.
During the Weekend Update portion of last weekend’s Saturday Night Live, anchor Michael Che made a joke about Israel. To say that it did not go over well is an understatement.
The question I have to ask, is it satire or antisemitism?
I get that it was a joke. Weekend Update is not your serious local weeknight news. It is supposed to be funny and perhaps bordering on not exactly being 100% politically correct.
That being said, I can’t help but agree that it did have a slightly anti-Semitic undertone. My people have been persecuted and murdered because of the lies that have been told about us.
Unlike other countries (ahem, United States) on which the the rollout of the vaccine programs have been unnecessarily complicated or messy, the Israeli government got their shit together. As of February 4th, US News & World Report put out a story that all Israelis over the age of sixteen were able to get the vaccine. The important word in this headline is all. There was no mention of any specific group that was either pushed to the head of the line or denied access because of their religious or cultural background.
I’ve been a fan of SNL for more than twenty years, this program is usually the highlight of my weekend. I can usually laugh at anything. But this joke, I cannot and will never be able to laugh at.
“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views,”
Her right leaning politics is not the issue here. The issue is the correlation between being a Republican in America in 2021 and being Jewish in Nazi Germany.
Being Jewish in Europe during World War II was a death sentence. Belonging to the Republican party is not a death sentence.
I take offense to her statement for two reasons. The first is that the entire narrative of Star Wars is about the importance of protecting democracy and human rights from autocracy and hate. The second is that I am a Jewish woman who lost family in The Holocaust. Comments like these make it seem like the six million have been killed all over again.
Only time will tell if Cara will be written out completely or if Carano will be replaced. But there is one thing that is certain, firing her was the right decision.
The idea of becoming a lawmaker to represent and speak for the voters in your area is a noble one. But not everyone who is elected is worthy of the job they have been hired to do by their constituents.
Minority leader Kevin McCarthy has stated that he will talk to Representative Taylor Greene about her statements. It will be nothing more than a slap on the wrist. She will likely keep her seat on the education committee and be allowed to continue to spew the poisonous lies that are coming out of her mouth.
A slap on the wrist and is the last thing this woman needs. She is entitled to her opinions, as we all are. However, there is a distinct line between one’s cultural/political perspective and making the type of statements she is making. She must be expelled from Congress if we are move on from the chaos and darkness of the last four years.
Democracy, as Americans have recently learned the hard way, is not guaranteed or promised. It must be cherished, protected, and stood up for when necessary. The same could be said for human rights.
Today is International Holocaust Memorial Day. Some may say that we no longer need this day of remembrance, it so far in the past that we can move on. The hard and sad truth is that we cannot move on. Eighty years after the end of World War II, anti-Semitism (and prejudice is general) is as alive and well now as it was then.
Back in the summer of 2019, I went to the Auschwitz museum in New York City. If there is one message that is clear, it is that both the perpetrators and victims were normal people, as normal as you and I.
I recently finished watching the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. It takes place in the fictional Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian patriarchy in which women are second class citizens and non-conformists are enslaved or killed. Though it could be called dystopian science fiction novel, the truth is that this world is closer to our reality than we think it is. The riot in Washington D.C. three weeks ago was a cold slap in the face and a harsh reminder of that truth.
The only way to prevent another Holocaust of any group of people is education, respecting diversity, and remembering the past.
May the memory of those who were murdered because of who they were (my own relatives included) forever be a blessing.
History is not always made by the powerful. It is sometimes made by those who have been pushed to the margins of society. It is easy to remain quiet and just go about your business. It is infinitely harder to stand up for your rights and beliefs.
Today is also the first anniversary of the shooting in Jersey City. Motivated by antisemitism, the killers walked into a kosher grocery store and started shooting. They killed four innocent people, two of whom were targeted because they were Jewish.
As I write this post, I write it in honor of the victims who are not here to celebrate the holidays with us this year.
May their memories forever be a blessing.
P.S. I thought I would lighten the mood a little, because after all, Chanukah is a celebration of overcoming adversity and the push to assimilate. Thank you, Daveed Diggs for making us laugh and smile in this time of darkness.
Among the major cities in the world, Vienna ranks among the most beautiful. The city is elegant and timeless, attracting visitors from around the world.
But there is another side to this city that came to the forefront during World War II. Only 130,000 Jewish residents were able to leave Europe before the borders closed. Of the 650,000 people that remained, approximately 2,000 were alive at the end of the war.
80 years later, European Jews (and Viennese Jews to be more specific) still have a target on their backs. At 8PM local time, six gunmen spread across the city. Their first target was the Seitenstettengasse synagogue. As of the most recent news reports, fifteen people were injured and one person is deceased.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am getting tired of seeing headlines like these. At the end of the day, we are all human beings. We all deserve the same respect, opportunities, and rights, regardless of who we are as individuals.
Humanity is better than this. We know that. We have seen what happens when we start to love one another. Unfortunately, there are still far too many who believe that their faith/culture is better than all others. I don’t know what it will take, but its time to stop this foolishness.
One of my favorite quotes from Star Wars the following:
“Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger… anger leads to hate… hate leads to suffering.
Yesterday was the second anniversary of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Those were murdered that day (Z”l) because they were Jews.
Unlike the America that my parents and grandparents were born into, my early years were free of antisemitism. I lived in multi-cultural world that respected everyone, regardless of labels or ancestry.
October 27th, 2018 changed all that. It was a slap in the face, a cold reminder that antisemitism is still alive and well in the United States. It has been said that time heals all wounds. But time can never take away the pain of that day.
But even with the heartbreak, there is still hope.
Our people and our faith has been threatened countless time over the millennia. But we are still here and we will always be here.
While we carry on as we always have, the memory of those killed that day will live on forever, in spite of the heartache that comes with that loss.
Looking back on my childhood, I can appreciate the things that my parents did for me. Without their love and support, I would not have the achievements I have today. But, there was one caveat: they were not going to do everything for me. At a certain point, I had to put on my big girl boots and become self- sufficient.
“President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about but he can’t help them be successful more than they want to be successful,”
Within Jewish culture, we have a joke: Is something or someone good or bad for the Jews? Kushner is definitely bad for the Jews.
Anti-Semites have never needed a reason to hate us. They will find any excuse to blame us for whatever is going wrong in the world. The problem is that his statement legitimizes their lies and gives an air of truth.
He is also bad for his father-in-law’s Presidential election. The administration claims that they understand the needs of the working man and woman. If they did, this kind of statement would never have left his lips.
This is a privileged family who has never had to worry about where the next paycheck is going to come from or if they will be able to keep a roof over their heads. Their children have been and will be gifted jobs within the family business. They will never know the agony and stress that comes with looking for a job while making due on unemployment checks.
The truth is that we all want success. But success only comes hard work, which comes from opportunities. Kushner’s remark is disparaging, hurtful, elitist and racist. If you know who truly wants another term, they had better start living up to the claims they are making.
If we have learned nothing else about Covid-19 since March, it is that the virus neither knows or cares about the labels and boundaries that human beings have created.
In New York City, there are about a dozen zip codes in both Brooklyn and Queens in which there is a rise in Covid-19 cases. Most of these neighborhoods have a large population of Orthodox Jews. Some have claimed that the city’s response is anti-Semitic.
My personal reaction is the claim is mixed. If I felt it was truly anti-Semitic response, I would be direct in saying so. But it is not antisemitism, it is common sense. If anything, their reactions only amplify the anti-Semitic lies and imagery. Being learned in the text and customs of any religion does not stop this disease. Wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands frequently will stop this disease.
However, the residents of these zip codes are not completely to blame. If the news reports are true, there are not enough Yiddish speaking tracers to reach out to the community. That failure falls firmly on the shoulders of the Mayor and other officials.
The problem with Covid-19 is that common sense and logic are replaced by fear and anxiety. While those responses are normal, given the circumstances, they will not help us in the long run. We need a clear head and a well constructed plan if we are able to return to some sense of normalcy.
We live in a world in which antisemitism and misogynistic views still have a hold on us. But there is still hope that both can be overturned.
Last week, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s funeral was held in Washington D.C. As I listened, my pride in her accomplishments as a Jew and a woman were just as prominent as my tears.
She is an icon for so many of us who feel marginalized and pushed aside because of who we are. Listening to Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt speak the ancient Jewish prayers, I had a feeling that in spite of the hatred that still exists, there is light and love at the end of the tunnel. We can look past labels and see each other’s humanity. We only need to open our eyes and our minds.
Though Judge Ginsburg is no longer physically with us, her legacy will last forever.
This hobby blog is dedicated to movie nerdom, nostalgia, and the occasional escape. In the late 90s, I worked at Blockbuster Video where they let me take home two free movies a day. I caught up on the classics and wrote movie reviews for Denver 'burbs newspapers and magazines. Today, I continue to revisit the old and discover the new on the screen. Comments and dialogue are highly encouraged. This year, I'm excited to collaborate with other writers via SLICETHELIFE in which we will share our movie genre favorites in our 2021 Movie Draft!