A Television Drama Libels Hasidic Jews as Benighted Bigots

In its latest episode, Saturday Night Live featured a joke based on the presumption that Israel denies medical care to its non-Jewish citizens. Another series—Nurses, also on NBC—recently aired an episode featuring an injured ḥasidic teenager and his father. Not only do the writers misrepresent Orthodox Judaism as hostile to medicine, they perpetuate the old anti-Semitic stereotype that Jews are possessed, as the Roman historian Tacitus put it, by “a hatred of humanity in general.” Allison Josephs writes:

Israel, [the ḥasidic teenager], is told by the doctor that he’ll need a bone graft to heal fully. Israel doesn’t understand what this means, so the doctor explains that he’ll have to have part of a dead person’s bone surgically inserted into his leg.

Cue the horror! Israel and his father are distraught at the notion that he’ll have a dead person’s body part in his body and a “goyim” part to boot! But even worse than that—it could be an “Arab” body part or a “lady” body part. Or as the nurse reminds them, “an Arab lady” body part. There is no prohibition, [of course, even in the most stringent interpretations of halakhah], on getting a dead body part surgically inserted into one’s body. In fact, Jewish law [strongly encourages the use] of medicine to recover from illnesses. Nor is there a prohibition on getting a non-Jewish body part inserted, even if it belonged to a woman or an Arab.

[T]he idea that such a surgery would be problematic in general or problematic because of where the bone came from . . . is a vicious lie that endangers men who walk around with curled sidelocks and black hats.

As an aside, another theme of the episode, involving other characters, was kidney donations. If the writers ever bothered to learn about Orthodox Jews, they might discover that they and specifically ḥasidic Jews, are off the charts when it comes to donating kidneys to strangers—15 percent of all altruistic donors in the U.S. are Orthodox Jews, even though they make up only 0.3 percent of the population.

Read more at Jew in the City

More about: Anti-Semitism, Hasidism, Television

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy