Culture critic: Rogen’s Israel Hang-Up
Seth Rogen “has always been first in line” in “calling out anti-Semitism,” cheers Lana Melman at the Jewish News Syndicate, noting that the actor was among the first to sign a 2014 pro-Israel statement she circulated. “So it was a big surprise to hear him speak disparagingly of Israelis, Israel and Orthodox Jewry” in a recent podcast. Rogen argued that Israel, as a Jewish state, “makes no sense,” because it’s risky to put the Jews “all in one place.” Yet, as James Inverne writes in the Jewish Chronicle, Jews “tried the nomadic existence thing,” living “without a Jewish state” — “it doesn’t work out so well.” Rogen tied his views to his experience at a Jewish camp, where he disliked his counselors. Sorry, but Israelis shouldn’t have to pay for a famous actor’s summer-camp hang-ups.
From the left: Dems Won’t Condemn Cancelers
At The Hill, former Democratic City Council President Andrew Stein wishes at least one member of his party would stand up against “cancel culture,” our “new wave of reverse McCarthyism,” and against “the mindless violence in our cities.” No Democratic leader, alas, is that brave. Even supposedly less extreme Joe Biden is too busy “courting left-wing voters to call out these destructive currents.” One of the few people who have spoken out is not a politician: In her resignation letter, journalist Bari Weiss “exposed and denounced” The New York Times’ “unlawful discrimination and hostile environment.” Not heeding Weiss’ words would be “a huge tactical mistake” for Democratic leaders, who should be joining with Republicans to oppose violence and defend free speech. “These are not election issues,” after all — “they are basic American issues.”
Pandemic journal: COVID’s a Dress Rehearsal
While COVID-19 has brought “unprecedented economic and social disruption” across the globe, “the end of the pandemic” won’t mean “a return to the relatively stable world of the post-Cold War era,” Walter Russell Mead predicts at The Wall Street Journal. Post-World War II, the West assumed “humanity could deal with most natural disasters, health problems and the business cycle,” a level of “self-confidence” that “reached new heights” after the Soviet Union fell. The pandemic has undermined that assumption: Among other things, it has brought back “great-power competition” between the West and China and highlighted how “the information revolution” is “destabilizing” traditional society. The pandemic is just “a dress rehearsal for challenges to come.” Our “leaders, values, institutions and ideas” need to be ready.
Religion beat: WaPo Smears a Good Priest
The Washington archdiocese’s “most charismatic priest,” laments The Federalist’s Christopher Bedford, “has the coronavirus,” yet a snarky recent Washington Post article decided to note that by accusing Monsignor Charles Pope of having “written and preached against Christians cowering in fear of death.” Truth is, he “and other front-line clergy like him” are determined to “care for our souls,” even at the risk of contracting COVID-19. “Over the past few months,” Bedford recalls, “Msgr. Pope has counseled me through some of the most difficult times of my life, despite the risk it poses to him as he approaches 60 years. . . . His private — and now public — sacrifice was given without hesitation, and for our sake,” only to be mocked by the media.
Historian: A 75th-Anniversary Nuclear Lesson
“Cancel culture” will exacerbate Americans’ annual debate over the United States’ decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan, whose 75th anniversaries are Aug. 6 and 9 this year, fears Victor Davis Hanson at The Washington Times. Yet the fundamental question remains: What alternatives did President Harry Truman have? Letting Japan’s fascist government stay in power would have mocked the millions the Japanese had killed and allowed them to regroup. Invading Japan would have made Okinawa’s “three-month blood bath” look like “child’s play.” Letting “the Soviet Red Army overrun China, Korea and Japan” would probably have “led to more war.” And dropping a demonstration bomb might have shown “weakness.” In “that bleak context,” Truman opted for “a terrible choice among even worse alternatives.”
— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board