I was the guest of Dr. Mike Chupp, CEO of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, along with Dr. Jeffrey Barrows, their Senior Vice President of Bioethics and Public Policy, on CMDA Matters, their weekly podcast. With their permission I am passing it along to you as well. You will hear how heartening it was to them to hear a Jewish voice speak in favor of Biblical values, freedom of conscience, and even the divisions within the Jewish community.
When what was fine to say against Trump is encouraging violence against Cuomo, you know that neutral standards have been abandoned.
In fact there are a series of things said by Democrats that were totally acceptable, far worse than what Trump said that supposedly incited an insurrection.
And the left has now explicitly censored opinions they don’t like, simply for expressing views against their prevailing Orthodoxy.
None of us are safe in a society where thoughtcrime, rather than freedom of speech, is the order of the day.
Mary Miller is a new member of Congress. An Illinoisan since birth, she ran on a platform of supporting farming and bringing manufacturing jobs back to her district. She won.
And then, two weeks ago, she quoted Hitler. Specifically, she said, “Hitler was right about one thing: Whoever has the youth has the future.”
A brouhaha of criticism followed, and my high-school age son asked me what the fuss was all about. I told him what she said, and he immediately declared, “That’s not anti-Semitic!”
When I explained that she wasn’t accused of being anti-Semitic per se, but of admiring Hitler, he dismissed the charge: “Saying that someone got one thing right doesn’t mean you admire that person.”
He’s correct, of course. In fact, it implies the opposite. Saying that Hitler got one thing right indicates that he got everything else wrong.
Once the full video of Miller’s remarks was released, it became apparent that those accusing her of “admiring Hitler” are guilty of nothing less than malicious slander. Miller quoted Hitler’s words to scare her audience and help them understand the danger of indoctrination – a subject Hitler understood well and exploited. If she and her audience didn’t regard Hitler as the paragon of evil, his actions wouldn’t have provided a potent example of the danger she was attempting to highlight.
Was it ill-advised for her to use Hitler to make her point? Yes. There were many better, less inflammatory examples she could have used.
Nonetheless, Rav Noach Weinberg, zt”l, once did something very similar. He took the leadership of Aish HaTorah on a tour of Nazi death camps to learn what one person with a single-minded focus and determination could do for evil, which only teaches us how much could be accomplished if we used that same single-minded focus for good.
Of course no one in his right mind would accuse an Orthodox rabbi like Rav Weinberg of admiring Hitler or even his “single-minded focus.”
Actually, that’s not correct. The Coalition for Jewish Values – the organization I serve as managing director – rejected calls for Rep. Miller’s resignation after the story broke and, as a result, we were called “Rabbis for Hitler.” This, despite the fact that the organization represents over 1,500 Orthodox rabbis.
Learning from history – including its paragons of evil – has always been the Jewish approach. We learn from Laban, Pharaoh, Haman, and the Roman general Titus who destroyed the Holy Temple and exiled us from our homeland. To learn how Hitler brought his evil plans to fruition – and the tactics he used to convince ordinary Germans that murdering of Jews was moral – is not merely commendable, but obligatory.
As George Santayana famously put it, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”
Some people told us that they agreed with our stance but believed that a public statement from the Coalition of Jewish Values in support of Miller was unnecessary. We disagree. We considered sending her only a private letter of support, but then we saw an increasing number of Jewish organizations and legislators calling for her resignation. These calls were both wrong and – considering the silence of these same people in response to disturbing statements from such people as Rep. Ilhan Omar – clearly partisan.
Defending Miller was the right thing to do. We were obligated to defend her, even if that meant entering a firestorm.
Those who find our statement disturbing will soon forget this entire episode. Rep. Miller, though, never will, which should go a long way to deepen her friendship with the Jewish community.
Originally published in The Jewish Press
My friend Ron Coleman, a lawyer, was fighting cancel culture and social media censorship long before Twitter, Facebook and YouTube silenced the President, and Google, Apple and Amazon ganged up to silence Parler.
We talk about the double standards, the silencing of conservative voices, the inaction of judges — and lower courts ignoring Supreme Court precedent — and conclude with a surprisingly positive message for the future.
If any good will come out of the horrible riot at the Capitol last week, it will be unifying around the idea that violence is always wrong under all circumstances. Given the leftist narrative of the summer, however, there is ample reason to believe that they will persist in promoting the idea that violence is an appropriate way to express a grievance. They are placing their vendetta against the President ahead of their own agenda, much less the needs of the American People, and censoring (deplatforming) dissenting voices, which — according to their own rhetoric, and reality — only encourages violence to erupt.
Published in American Greatness
With the impending end of his presidency, there were hints that the irrational hatred for anything associated with Donald Trump—the chronic ailment that became known as Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS—might soon be cured as well. Portland’s Democratic Mayor, Ted Wheeler, openly acknowledged that Antifa existed, was violent, and needed to be stopped.
Democratic lawmakers and the media have adamantly denied this fact ever since the president called out “violence on many sides” in 2017. Denying photographic evidence to the contrary, his opponents insisted that only neo-Nazis and white supremacists were responsible for the melee in Charlottesville. Or as Maxine Waters famously put it, “No, Trump. Not on many sides, your side. #Charlottesville.”
This past summer, CNN quoted “local authorities” denying that Antifa had taken over streets in Seattle, at least until the shooting started. Portland’s city council announced that, rather than quelling the riots that made defensive measures necessary, it was fining the federal government $2000 per hour until it removed fences protecting a federal courthouse. Wheeler calling for federal law enforcement to help fight Antifa was a 180-degree reversal—and recognition of the foundational need for law and order in a civil society.
Wednesday’s atrocious attack on the U.S. Capitol demonstrated, among other things, that any hope for a return to civilized norms proving a trend rather than an aberration is fleeting. I am not only speaking about the horrifying scene itself or the assault on the seat of government. I am speaking, as well, of the desire to attribute blame where it does not belong, and the resumed demonization and censorship of those with different political views that has followed.
I gave up on the president weeks ago. He continued to push allegations of fraud unsupported by judges, has turned on his allies, and even lost the Senate (and endangered his legacy) by suggesting that Georgia votes wouldn’t be counted properly anyways. I also missed both the riots and the online outrage until the breach of the Capitol was well underway.
By the time I learned the president was locked out of his Twitter account, I could no longer see why. I reached out to multiple friends and on Twitter itself, hoping to hear something more reasonable than the claim that “go home, we love you, you’re very special” was incitement or support for violence.
Someone wrote back. He indicated that the president said protesters needed to “show strength,” that “we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… our Republicans, the weak ones… the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.” But my correspondent agreed with me: there’s no there there. Nothing the president said could be misconstrued as endorsing riots. Yet CNN reported as fact that Trump was “inciting [a] mob,” Facebook has frozen his account until the inauguration, and Chuck Schumer has called for him to be removed immediately.
Clearly, TDS is still with us. Where, in reality, did these rioters get the idea that such behavior was ok? It wasn’t the president who gave the green light to those attacking federal facilities, even threatening federal law enforcement for protecting them; that was the Portland city council. It wasn’t the president who said that violence and arson are “mostly peaceful” when they express a grievance; that was CNN, and others who characterized those standing between the president and a firebombed church as “peaceful protesters.”
That leading Democrats and media figures would join in to promote such an obviously false narrative, and silence the president on that basis, has terrifying implications for the future of America.
This threat to free speech precedes the Trump presidency; it has been cultivated by the Left for more than a decade, growing in strength year by year. It is something to which, as a Jew, I am very sensitive: in 2017, an LGBT celebration in Chicago banned Jewish Stars, claiming they were “offensive” and “made people feel unsafe.” Israeli officials and Ben Shapiro have been prevented from speaking by those falsely claiming they promote hate and endorse brutality—and, based upon those false charges, their left-wing opponents engaged in both loud and violent disruptions.
No one claims that every student biased against Israel is personally responsible for attacks on Jews. No one says that every Democrat implicitly supports Antifa. But many would like to claim that the actions of no more than 740 knuckleheads, and probably more like 74, reflect upon the president and the 74,000,000 voters who supported him. That’s less than one one-thousandth of one percent.
As a nation, we can do better than that. And we must, because the quelling of free speech is the quickest route to totalitarian control—and the false claim that the opposing side is promoting hate or violence is a proven method to start this process. Twitter has shown them the way.
According to the left, Rabbi Ilan Feldman, Mort Klein and I are all “racist” and “Islamophobes.” By this math, Hadar Susskind, the President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now, is an Anti-Semite, and everyone associated with Electronic Intifada and the “Palestinian” cause is directly tied to the murder of Jewish children. That’s what happens when you distort what people say and engage in guilt by association to attack a person rather than address his or her statements. Listen to learn more.
I refer to my opinion piece, “The Jewish Left’s Warnock Whitewash,” Electronic Intifada honoring me among “The anti-Palestinian racists attacking Raphael Warnock,” and a previous interview I gave on Israel’s Nation-State Law.
The Jewish Left helped create the environment in which the Rev. Raphael Warnock could conceivably be a major party candidate, much less a viable contender to become a U.S. senator.
I decided to renew the podcast under a new name, with a new dedication and sponsor that obligates me to keep it up on at least a weekly basis. That, and the downside of new ideas.
If you want to know about Hasidism, shouldn’t you talk to Hassidim?
I was struck by the JTA’s article, “Rabbi Art Green says the Hasidism that lasts finds sparks of holiness everywhere.” I understand that the real focus of the article is Rabbi Green and his life of service to the Jewish community. I’ve never met nor, to my recollection, even heard of Rabbi Green before, so this certainly is in no way about him or even his scholarship.
But if the Jewish Telegraphic Agency wants to know about Hasidism, especially a “Hasidism that lasts,” shouldn’t they ask a Hassid? Why is it that Hassidism is seen as something to be studied from the outside, rather than encountered? YouTuber Peter Santenello visited Borough Park, Williamsburg and Crown Heights, and learned more about the Hassidic community — and how Hasidism is realized in practice — that one could hope to get from a conversation with a non-Hasidic, non-Orthodox Rabbi who is deemed “one of the world’s leading experts on Hasidic Judaism” in a world with over 100 actual Hassidic Rebbes that one could ask.
It’s astonishing. Please listen for more.