A Return to Amsterdam: Jewish Tour and A Golden Age Uncovered 🌷🇳🇱
More from The Wandering Jew: A return to a place I visited 25 years ago, and some Jewish surprises there
Cover image: Design by Avital Dayanim; Photos of Donald Trump and Kanye West via Getty; Other assets via @mattxiv on Instagram (via Hey Alma with credit)
A look at the past weeks in America:
I’d say Ye’s wild-eyed, stadium concert-sized antisemitism comes from the far left idea that Jews are all white, but he’s a troubling mix of far-right and celebrity, which is a rare, noxious blend. Like a Tasmanian Devil vortex sucking up all the air in the room, he mixes far-right white nationalist talking points (literally wearing a White Lives Matter shirt as a Black man) and good, old fashioned Protocols of the Elders of Zion (the worst disinfo campaign slash fanfic ever concocted, and Russian, natch). He really believes Jews are to blame for all of his, and everyone’s problems, based on the idea that they’re all white and all-powerful (we are, by far, not either). Meanwhile, he enjoys more Twitter followers than Jews in existence—twice as many, in fact—and presents lists of Jews, the same style spreadsheets that get passed around by murderers and would-be killers online.
Kanye’s antisemitism came just after He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named doubling down on his antisemitic Dual-Loyalty trope, and a slew of Republican candidates echoing it with things like “I know non-Jews more supportive of Israel.”
Ye’s Twitter following brings me to:
How in the name of January 6th does a massive social network—from which everything from left-wing news is shared to right-wing political violence is advertised, if not openly planned—get bought by world’s richest man* to be digested and shat out again as a factory for the N-word and Nazi circle jerks?
That we are still not regulating this shit after 2016 and 2020 is damning.
What could go wrong? Other than terror plots being openly planned, and innocent civilians and pols alike getting targeted not just for harassment, but violence.
* I’m a believer the world’s richest man is, or was, actually Vladimir Putin. The fact that this isn’t widely accepted (or known) is testament to his prowess.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Nancy Pelosi, whose husband was violently attacked not far from where I live in San Francisco. This was an attempted assassination on the Speaker of the House, 2nd in line to the Presidency, and the assailant had a hit list, a white nationalist blog, and was no-doubt inspired by the stream of relentless attacks on democracy, the capital, and Jews. Nancy isn’t Jewish, and the assassin not a celebrity, but that’s the point: Kanye and Elon and Trump are stochastic terrorists, and this occurring days after all of the above, and mere days before a midterm election that could be the last really fair and free* one in America—not a coincidence, and a harbinger of more.
* “Free and Fair Elections” in America is, as always, a bullshit term (cough, cough, Voting Rights Act), and since we now allow—yes, in the same week as everything else here!—armed white nationalist goons to “oversee” election “integrity” at polling locations, while you can’t bring voters water at the same time. Can you bring armed cults water at the polling place while they intimidate voters? I’m sure the Supreme Court will step in and make it all OK again!
In a bit of related, fictionalized nosh, this most recent episode of A Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu dramatically escalated tension between refugees from the religious nationalist state formerly known as America to Canada, with Canadians (yes, those nice northern neighbors) harassing and beginning physical altercations with people who’ve already been through hell. The fictional Gilead on the show being what our own Supreme Court has pasted to their wall as a blueprint—red twine connecting plot points to giant cards and Trump’s shit-grinning portrait somewhere in the medley—I can’t help but see the heroes on the show as representing the Jews. Escape one crisis and genocide, then get chased out of your new home by folks telling you to “go home”. Repeat for 2,600 years, including, now, in your own original country where you’re called a colonizer (see Kanye and the rest of the far-left, including folks now posting about unity with the Jews in the same breath).
But where is home for us, or June Osborn, or any of those who oppose Trumpism and Nazis in our streets? We’ve been here before, we can’t vote our way out of it, and there are still fewer of us Jews than before the Holocaust.
Much of my disaffection may stem from the breakneck pace at which we went from Rosh Hashanah (Joy! Renewal!) to Yom Kippur (Starve! Atone! Reflect!) to Sukkot (I Love It So!) and immediately to this news cycle, and all during the same week, too, as the anniversary of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh four years ago.
May the memories of those lost be a blessing.
And may what happened be a warning; are we any closer to security?
Will celebrity Instagram stories protect us when the next rabid Trump supporter, or wing-nut who thinks Trump is too liberal, buys an assault rifle with no impediment?
Learning that Texas is sending home DNA kits so parents can ID their children should they be shot in the face, No—I don’t think Jews are alright. We can’t even protect our kids, and that’s with a decent man and Democrat in the White House, and (kind of) Democratic control of Congress.
So vote, but also…. what? What else? I’m seriously asking because I do not know, and you’d think that at this point in history after this has happened so many times that we’d be able to fix it.
If only there were a vaccine for hate.