While Israeli Jews vary greatly as to how, and even if, they observe the series of holidays that mark this time year, it is impossible for them to be unaware of them. From pre-Rosh Hashanah traffic patterns to headlines about a possible holiday chicken shortage to questions for celebrities about how they plan to repent in advance of Yom Kippur—these sacred days are part of everyday life. They also take on a national and communal element that has no precise parallel in the Diaspora, contend Donniel Hartman and Yossi Klein Halevi. Elana Stein Hain finds a precedent for this discussion in the book of Nehemiah’s description of the Rosh Hashanah celebrated by Babylonian exiles returned to the Land of Israel. (Audio, 35 minutes.)
How the Jewish Calendar Became the Israeli Calendar
Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity
Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:
If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.
It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.
I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”
Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.