December 19, 2006

Furious they assailed us

I don't want to open up the whole Joel Stein debate here. Not only is he one of those "love him or hate him" figures, you never know which side someone is going to come down on. People who generally share opinions about what's funny and not can split violently over Stein.

But I'm going to risk the firestorm because his column today, about the War on Hanukkah, is so full of delicious... what's the Hanukkah version of chestnuts?

THERE IS A WAR on Hanukkah. I know this because, even by late last week, I had absolutely no idea it was Hanukkah. Usually my grandmother sends a card, or the radio plays that Adam Sandler song, or one of those Chabad people in a Mitzvah tank picks me out on the street as Jewish and hands me candles, causing me to worry that I'm balding and short and my nose is too big. Apparently, disseminating self-loathing is a mitzvah....

These should be good times for Hanukkah and the Jews. After all, the Christmas story offers nothing besides a guy who erases all our sins, but the tale of Hanukkah centers on a magical, super-efficient oil that causes an eightfold decrease in carbon emissions....

You have deployed your most annoying Gentiles against us: John Gibson and Bill O'Reilly. So forget Al Franken. Once we find the alley that Pauly Shore is sleeping in, he'll be singing the dreidel song outside your house. We'll force storeowners to greet you with a "Happy Hanukkah" — and not the secular version but the one with the "Ch" in front and all the accompanying spittle. We're also going to shoot you. Us Jews hear war, we take it seriously.

Because if you're going tribal, we're going tribal. And though our tribe is small and often out of shape, we're scrappy. So think twice before you spill out too much vitriol about this war on Christmas that you're winning. When the empowered convince themselves that they're under attack, they often convince themselves that cruelty to the powerless is justified. These are the scary sugar plums that dance in Lou Dobbs' head.

More here. Less elsewhere.

Posted by Daniel Radosh

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