Monday, March 15, 2010

Uh...Bagel Brain Jews?

Okay, I'm acquainted with Aaron Zelman. We're not bosom buddies, but I've done a little copy writing for him and I hold him and JPFO with a certain amount of affection. I'm more than reasonably sure he's not an anti-Semite. So when I was directed to this article titled "Anti-Semitic flier takes aim at Md. lawmakers for their gun bill", I expected an anti-JPFO/anti-gun rights screed.
A Maryland senator and delegate are the targets of a flier that attacks them as "bagel brain Jews" for their support of pending firearms legislation in the General Assembly and accuses them of pursuing "racist policies to destroy your gun rights."
And it's certainly true that the article mostly takes the side of the two politicians skewered by JPFO's handbill.
"It's ugly, and I suppose it's intended to be threatening, but it doesn't change my view," said Frosh.
Okay, I don't see how it's in any way threatening, but I am forced to agree that it certainly is ugly.

JPFO (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, for those even further out of the loop than I am) is, as the name implies, a primarily Jewish organization. Nothing comes out of it that doesn't have Zelman's seal of approval. And Zelman, though rarely the most self-censoring of men, is very unlikely to be anti-Semitic. In fact I've seen him take a very hard line with would-be contributors that were. So I take it on faith that the handbill isn't.

But...well...I've got to admit that even by my standards, this just isn't the most unambiguous or well-considered publication I've ever seen. I mean, come on. Bagel brain Jews? I know I'd be expecting to see something from Stormfront.

EDIT: Okay, I give up on trying to get the damned thing to format properly. Just click on the pic for the whole thing.


Anonymous said...

It's an extension of the notion that only those with dark skin can call another person with dark skin "nigger." Lighter-skinned folks using that word risk a world of hurt, but it's common slang among those who believe the term applies to them as well as the object of their remark.

Zelman's doing the same thing. As a Jew, he can remark upon the Jewishness of those he skewers.

I agree it's not the best bit of copy I've seen from Aaron. He has been uneven before. Principle is his long suit, not diplomacy or even appeal.

Joel said...

I get that. Part of JPFO's purpose is to counterpoint the famous American Jewish aversion to personal weapons, which in light of 20th century (or hell - the whole past millennial) history has never made any sense at all. I've never understood it myself. I've often said that if I were a Jew, I wouldn't leave my house without a Galil or equivalent, an RPG and a sack of rockets. History has not been kind to anti-defense Jews.

This is one reason I've always been drawn to JPFO. And yes, it's easier for a Jewish organization to criticize common behavior among Jews. I just think that with this one, Zelman takes it a lot farther than is good for him. It's like he wants to be misinterpreted.