The “New Yorker” Looks for Family in All the Wrong Places

July 26 2022

Having read the New Yorker’s recent “family issue,” Naomi Schaefer Riley concludes that the magazine, and some of its readers, “seem bent on destroying” the institution:

Take the extensive interview with Laura Wasser, “divorce lawyer to the stars.” The founder of the website “It’s Over Easy,” which was recently bought by, Wasser enjoys philosophizing about how people weren’t meant to be monogamous. Echoing her favorite pop sociologists, one assumes, she notes that marriage was really for a time when people only lived a few decades.

The idea that “family” means what is convenient and enjoyable for adults is clear also in a piece on Feeld, a “hookup app for the emotionally mature,” which author Emily Witt found when “her fantasy of family dissolved.”

Between the articles about why prenups are so popular and “what should a queer children’s book do,” the one article that seems most relevant to a “conventional” definition of family is about children who lost parents to COVID-19.

It’s a hard piece to read, with emotional interviews with children and teens on what it was like to lose the most important person in their lives. . . . The spouses left behind are also bereft, trying whatever they can do to comfort their children even as they process their own grief. . . . The kids have friends, but it’s not the same. They want the person they have grown to depend on. They want family.

Read more at Deseret News

More about: American society, Coronavirus, Family, New Yorker

Israel’s Friendship with Iraqi Kurds, and Why Iran Opposes It

In May 2022, the Iraqi parliament passed a law “criminalizing normalization and establishment of relations with the Zionist entity,” banning even public discussion of ending the country’s 76-year state of war with Israel. The bill was a response to a conference, held a few months prior, addressing just that subject. Although the gathering attracted members of various religious and ethnic groups, it is no coincidence, writes Suzan Quitaz, that it took place in Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan:

Himdad Mustafa, an independent researcher based in Erbil, to whom the law would be applied, noted: “When 300 people gathered in Erbil calling for peace and normalization with Israel, the Iraqi government immediately passed a law criminalizing ties with Israel and Israelis. The law is clearly aimed at Kurds.” . . . Qais al-Khazali, secretary-general of Asaib Ahl al-Haq (Coordination Framework), a powerful Iranian-backed Shiite militia, slammed the conference as “disgraceful.”

Himdad explains that the criminalization of Israeli-Kurdish ties is primarily driven by “Kurd-phobia,” and that Kurd-hatred and anti-Semitism go hand-in-hand.

One reason for that is the long history of cooperation Israel and the Kurds of Iraq; another is the conflict between the Kurdish local government and the Iran-backed militias who increasingly control the rest of the country. Quitaz elaborates:

Israel also maintains economic ties with Kurdistan, purchasing Kurdish oil despite objections from Iraq’s central government in Baghdad. A report in the Financial Times discusses investments by many Israeli companies in energy, development sectors, and communications projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, in addition to providing security training and purchasing oil. Moreover, in a poll conducted in 2009 in Iraqi Kurdistan, 71 percent of Kurds supported normalization with Israel. The results are unsurprising since, historically, Israel has had cordial ties with the Kurds in a generally hostile region where Jews and Kurds have fought against the odds with the same Arab enemy in their struggles for a homeland.

The Iranian regime, through its proxies in the Iraqi government, is the most significant source of Kurd-phobia in Iraq and the driving factor fueling tensions. In addition to their explicit threat to Israel, Iranian officials frequently threaten the Kurdish region, and repeatedly accuse the Kurds of working with Israel.

Read more at Jersualem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Iran, Iraq, Israel-Arab relations, Kurds