A Response to Ann Coulter, and a Personal Reflection on the Jews

During the most recent Republican presidential debate, Ann Coulter sent an obscene tweet about Jews. P. J. O’Rourke takes her comment personally:

[F]irst, my contempt is moral. Anti-Semitism is evil. . . . For the sake of argument, let us stipulate that you are not . . . an anti-Semite. . . . Being so stipulated, you are damn rude. One does not say, “f—ing Jews.” One does not say “f—ing blacks” or “f—ing Latinos” or even “f—ing relentlessly self-promoting Presbyterian white women from New Canaan.” . . .

[But also], Ann, it really is personal. . . . When I was growing up, Toledo was a factory town, a magnet for the immigrants you deplore (both foreign and from Kentucky). . . . The Jewish kids were the only kids who considered it cool to be smart. And so did their parents.

I was raised in a house without smart. My mother may once have had a life of the mind. . . . But being widowed, raising kids, marrying a drunk second husband, and having cancer distracted her.

One night at the dinner table, when I was about thirteen, my stepfather called me a skinny little smart-ass show-off for asking what Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was about. Of course I was showing off. What it’s about is self-evident. I was smugly savoring the fact that I was the only person in the family who knew the title and author (if nothing else) of such a tome.

But I bet the conversation wouldn’t have gone that way at my friend Barry Cantor’s house. There would have been a discussion. Perhaps with a tactful elision of how it was all the Christians’ fault. Or at least somebody would have looked up Gibbon in the World Book Encyclopedia. The Cantors owned the complete set.

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Immigration, Politics & Current Affairs, Republicans

An Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Violate International Law

 The IDF announced on Thursday that it is safe for residents to return to some of the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip that have been abandoned since October 7. Yet on the same day, rocket sirens sounded in one of those communities, Kibbutz Mefalsim. To help ensure security in the area, Israel is considering the creation of a buffer zone within the Strip that would be closed to Palestinian civilians and buildings. The U.S. has indicated, however, that it would not look favorably on such a step.

Avraham Shalev explains why it’s necessary:

The creation of a security buffer along the Gaza-Israel border serves the purpose of destroying Hamas’s infrastructure and eliminating the threat to Israel. . . . Some Palestinian structures are practically on the border, and only several hundred yards away from Israeli communities such as Kfar Aza, Kerem Shalom, and Sderot. The Palestinian terrorists that carried out the murderous October 7 attacks crossed into Israel from many of these border-adjacent areas. Hamas officials have already vowed that “we will do this again and again. The al-Aqsa Flood [the October 7th massacre] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”

In 2018 and 2019, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized mass marches towards the Israeli border with the goal of breaking into Israel. Billed by Palestinians as “the Great March of Return,” its name reveals its purpose—invasion. Although the marches were supposedly non-violent, they featured largescale attacks on Israeli forces as well as arson and damage to Israeli agriculture and civilian communities. Moreover, the October 7 massacre was made possible by Hamas’s prepositioning military hardware along the border under false cover of civilian activity. The security perimeter is intended to prevent a reprise of these events.

Shalev goes on to dismantle the arguments put forth about why international law prohibits Israel from creating the buffer zone. He notes:

By way of comparison, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, France occupied the Saar [River Valley] directly until 1947 and then indirectly until reintegration with Germany in 1957, and the Allied occupation of Berlin continued until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Allies maintained their occupation long after the fall of the Nazi regime, due to the threat of Soviet invasion and conquest of West Berlin, and by extension Western Europe.

Read more at Kohelet

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, International Law, Israeli Security