Why People Love Dead Jews

Aug. 23 2021

Reviewing Dara Horn’s recent anthology, People Love Dead Jews, which he describes as simultaneously “filled with anger” and “delectable,” Elliott Abrams writes:

Horn’s target is a world obsessed with dead Jews, whether found in Holocaust memorials, the rebuilding of old and abandoned synagogues and cemeteries, or in assigning students the reading of The Diary of Anne Frank. Jews, she writes, are “part of a ridiculously small minority that nonetheless played a behemoth role in other people’s imaginations,” both here and in countries where they have faced persecution and even extermination. As Horn observes of some high-school girls she met in Nashville when she was seventeen: “Like most people in the world, they had only encountered dead Jews: people whose sole attribute was that they had been murdered, and whose murders served a clear purpose, which was to teach us something. Jews were a people who, for moral and educational purposes, were supposed to be dead.”

The center of this book is Horn’s absolute rejection of all that ostensibly heartfelt, morally significant, admirable concern about dead Jews. “I had mistaken the enormous public interest in past Jewish suffering for a sign of respect for living Jews,” she writes, but it is not so. She concludes that “even in its most apparently benign and civic-minded forms,” it is “a profound affront to human dignity.” People Love Dead Jews explains why, and does so in colloquial, even conversational language with sparkling insights about Jewish life. At root, Horn says that this obsession with dead Jews distorts not only Christian but also, and perhaps more painfully, Jewish understanding of Jewish reality.

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Dara Horn, Holocaust, Jewish-Christian relations

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism