How Do We Talk about Recent Incidents of Anti-Semitism?

Prominent black celebrities like Nick Cannon, DeSean Jackson, and Ice Cube have all faced fallout for anti-Semitic posts and comments in the past week. At a time when building solidarity between black and Jewish communities is of utmost importance, how do we talk constructively about these incidents of anti-Semitism? More at Forbes.

Our fears about antisemitism are warranted. Antisemitism is real – and it’s tougher for those who are obviously Jewish in public. It can be isolating to feel like others aren’t showing up for us even when we show up for them. We can hold this truth AND we MUST still fight anti-Black racism. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

Recent incidents of anti-Semitic tweets and posts from sports and entertainment celebrities are a very troubling omen for the future of the Black Lives Matter movement, but so too is the shocking lack of massive indignation. Given the New Woke-fulness in Hollywood and the sports world, we expected more passionate public outrage. What we got was a shrug of meh-rage.

Black Lives Matter, which most American Jews support for noble reasons, continues to carry a torch for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and spouts blood libels against the Israel Defense Forces. Racism and anti-Semitism are operating on different levels of social respectability. From a charge of racism, there is no redemption. Anti-Semitism, however, now is a hatred without limits. Almost no Jew-hatred is beyond the pale.

Is DeVos Right About Reopening Schools?

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been imploring schools to stay open this fall despite coronavirus spikes. “Education is an essential function,” DeVos stated in a recent interview. Many parents and teachers would agree, but does that mean reopening is the safe thing to do?

“What we’re saying is that kids need to be back in school and that school leaders across the country need to be making plans to do just that,” she said… There’s nothing unclear about this; nor is it unreasonable. Administrators are being instructed to open their schools with safety precautions for teachers, staff, and students alike.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is pressuring schools to open and threatening to cut off funds to public schools that don’t fully open in the fall… In other words, Ms. DeVos is not only failing to provide public schools the federal money they need to reopen safely; she is also potentially destabilizing the budgets of already struggling schools.

She lives on Planet MAGA…Back here on Planet Earth, public school administrators are spending their own summers trying to figure out how they’re going to keep classrooms staffed and COVID-free at a time when the tax revenues their districts rely on are shrinking.

Should the Hagia Sophia Be a Mosque, a Museum, or a Church?

The Hagia Sophia was constructed in 6th century Istanbul as a cathedral. It was later converted into a mosque. And then later yet into a museum, open for all. Now the majestic landmark is being converted back into a mosque by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

[Turkey] is being systematically remade by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has come to dominate Turkish politics with his own malevolent brand of neo-Ottoman Islamic nationalism… If Turkey is to receive any more economic, military, or diplomatic favors from the Western world, Hagia Sophia should either be returned to its status as a museum or remanded into the care of the Greek Orthodox Church, for whose liturgy and worship it was purpose-built so many centuries ago.

By serving as a museum, Hagia Sophia, a vast, 1,500-year-old structure that previously served as a church and then a mosque, represented the essence of Istanbul, a place where world-changing empires and religions conflicted and intersected but whose monuments and artifacts can be enjoyed by all.

The Turkish government has stated that, although Muslim religious services will resume at the site, it will remain open to visitors of all nationalities and faiths—much like the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which has been an active Catholic church as well as a major tourist attraction and UNESCO World Heritage Site… Although the change raises serious concerns about the fate of the cultural landmark, it’s also pretty much par for the course in Hagia Sophia’s dramatic history, which started a century before the current cathedral was built.

What Did This Week Look Like in Numbers?

Does Trump have an enthusiasm problem? How many parents will be left in the lurch if schools don’t reopen? How much economic relief did Bibi just give Israelis? Here are some of this week’s important questions answered in numbers:

Biden’s net enthusiasm rating is near zero, which is similar to most major-party presidential candidates’ ratings from 1980 to 2012. Trump’s current score of around -20, on the other hand, has only one historical comparison other than his own campaign four years ago: Hillary Clinton in 2016.

People living with children under the age of 14 were 32% of the US workforce in 2018, according to an analysis of US Census data by the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago. That means 50 million workers would need to figure out what to do with their children if workplaces open before schools and day care facilities.

44,714 people in Israel have so far tested positive for the coronavirus; 380 people have died… Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a universal aid package that would see all Israeli citizens receive a one-time payment, pending a government decision. Netanyahu’s proposal would allow between 2,000 and 3,000 shekels ($584-875) to families with children, and 750 shekels ($218) for single people.

Have Goya Beans and Ivanka Trump Been Canceled?

After the CEO of Goya Beans came out in support of President Trump, Ivanka Trump came out in support of Goya Beans, posing with a can on her Twitter. The post was swiftly mocked and criticized. The White House is blaming “cancel culture.”

True to form, when someone announced a generous and important action that will help untold numbers of Americans, Democrats and the left launched into cancel mode. Why? Because when Robert Unanue, the CEO of Goya Foods, announced a massive donation of their products to food banks across the country, he also praised President Trump.

For some, cancel culture involves high-flown principles and concepts immortalized in documents like the letter recently published in Harper’s. But what’s going on with Ivanka is much simpler… Her stance against “cancel culture” is not ideological. It’s preservationist. If people are less likely to hold others accountable for their past associations, that would certainly serve her in post–White House life…

Amidst ongoing calls for a boycott of Goya Foods, President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, took to Twitter on Tuesday to express support for the Spanish-owned food company. In doing so, injected herself in a political firestorm and cynically stoked the current debate about cancel culture.

Are Pandemic Sweatpants Here to Stay?

The pandemic has generated more than a few iconic looks. For many, face masks and gloves come to mind. More iconic and less publicly visible, however, are the lockdown sweatpants.

In April, clothing sales fell seventy-nine per cent, the largest decline since records have been kept. But tracksuit purchases were up seventy per cent, and sweatpants eighty per cent. Sales of pajamas rose a hundred and forty-three per cent. Evidently, pants are cancelled (unless they come with an elastic waistband). Their sales declined thirteen per cent. The new focus is above the waist.

When we’re not burdened by looking nice all the time, looking nice can be more fun. One of the little hopes I have for this god-awful period in time is that we can return to offices someday wearing clothes that are more comfortable in our outfit rotations.

Yesterday’s Prada menswear show, the final “solo” effort from Miuccia Prada before she is joined by co-creative director Raf Simons, was one for the books… a crisp white collared shirt, complete with a thick black tie, worn tucked into a pair of pleated sweatpants…

Call it Zoom Chic. Leave it to Miuccia Prada, master of filtering complicated clothes through a prism of elegant simplicity, to distill our moment into a single outfit. And in typical Prada fashion, it’s still a look that you want to wear.

Today’s Hot Issues

How Do We Talk about Recent Incidents of Anti-Semitism? Is DeVos Right About Reopening Schools? Should the Hagia Sophia Be a Mosque, a Museum, or a Church? What Did This Week Look Like in Numbers? Have Goya Beans and Ivanka Trump Been Canceled? Are Pandemic Sweatpants Here to Stay?