Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Down with Daniel!

For me, this is Chanukah in June

Writing in TNR, Frankiln Foer tells us why "rabbi" Daniel Lapin is greasier than a plate of day-old potato kugel. What follows are some of the best bits from Franklin's article, for those of you too lazy (or anti-intellectual) to subscribe to TNR:

(1) "...he begins presentations with remarks that you might expect from a devoted watcher of Al Jazeera: "I don't need to tell you that, historically, Jews have been pretty good with money." He then proceeds to tell his audience how they can earn money just like a Jew. "You don't have to be Jewish to have access to the lessons of wealth that have been part of traditional Jewish culture for centuries," he wrote in his 2002 book, Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money."

(2) "Some on the right have an unfortunate tendency to blurt out the occasional anti-Semitic remark, creating firestorms that require defusing. So Lapin made it his business to defuse. When Pat Robertson came under attack in 1995 for his ravings about Jewish financiers, Lapin leapt to the minister's defense. "[Robertson]'s foolishness-per-volume rate is, for example, far, far lower than that of Vice President Al Gore," he told the Forward. After Pat Buchanan questioned the magnitude of the Holocaust, Lapin retorted in the Jewish Week, "Is it really worthwhile getting all of Jewish America in a dither over the question of whether 5.9 million or six million Jews died?" More recently, Lapin waxed lyrical about the virtues of Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ."

(3) "Earlier this year, Lapin achieved an even greater distinction--providing a blessing at the wedding of (the unmistakably gentile) libertarian impresario Grover Norquist, who was marrying a Muslim. Judaism, though, was beside the point. Lapin was there in his role as rabbi to the right."

(4) "...over the years, Daniel has alienated a broad swath of the Jewish community with his flip dismissals of anti-Semitism and his frequent proclamations that make it sound as if American Jews, with their "anti-Christian" bigotry and "secular fundamentalism," are almost asking for a pogrom. ("You'd have to be a recent immigrant from Outer Mongolia not to know of the role that people with Jewish names play in the coarsening of our culture," he recently wrote on "The sad fact is that through Jewish actors, playwrights, and producers, the Berlin stage of Weimar Germany linked Jews and deviant sexuality in all its sordid manifestations just as surely as Broadway does today.")"