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January 19, 2013 / conservadox

after this weekend, glad to leave

Am moving to Manhattan from outer boroughs in a couple of weeks.  Am definitely more glad to do so than before Shabbat.

At dinner, host asked me about Hagel nomination and then went off on that.  (My sense is that Hagel is like George H.W. Bush- not really anti-Israel in a Noam Chomsky sense, but perhaps someone who might disagree with AIPAC more than I might- but I can’t say I’ve read enough to argue either side of the matter).*  That I didn’t mind so much.

But then at shul at kiddush (the barely surviving shul I keep going to to make the minyan; today they had 13 men) someone announced in a loud “attention everyone” voice that they should write their Senator to oppose Hagel.  That I did not like because it just seemed kind of inappropriate.

Then one of the old  guys said Hagel was “against America” apparently because Hagel was for negotiating with Iran and he thought it was “obvious” that this was ridiculous.  I’m not going to express an opinion on Iran, since I’m sure that there are plenty of people on all sides of this issue more informed than I.

But when hawks call people who don’t support their agenda “anti-American” I start to think to myself: that speech sounded better in the original German.** By which I mean, when you are identifying the nation with right-wing nationalists, and opposition to that agenda as “against” the nation, I would guess you are expressing sentiments that were probably pretty common in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s (at best- at worst, they might have been considered flaky even in Germany).

At any rate, in Manhattan, where people are more liberal, I suspect right-wingers will not assume everyone in the room agrees with them, and thus will be less obnoxious about expressing their views.

*Though my views about Israel and America are so idiosyncratic that I don’t think either most AIPAC supporters or Chuck Hagel or Noam Chomsky would agree with them, but that’s another discussion.

**Which I would never say, since the man who said this was 80 something and for all I know either was a Shoah survivor or (like me) had relatives who were.


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