Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Marjorie Taylor Greene, Turx, and Dov Bear

Jake Turx (VIN)
Chasidic political commentator, Jake Turx is kind of a legend in the ‘Frumie’ media. His publisher managed to secure a plumb assignment as part of the White House press pool. One of the more famous experiences he had there was when then President Trump pointed to him allowing him to ask a simple question. But his question  was prefsced by a rather lengthy and somewhat confusing preamble. Trump complained that it wasn't simple and berated himTurx was defended by fellow reporters who saw the President unfairly bullying him for simply elaborating. Ironically the question was asked with a very positive spin towards the President. That event made several major mainstream news outlets.

Turx’s political orientation leans conservative and with a rare sense of humor his columns are always entertaining. 

On the complete polar opposite side of the political and religious spectrum is an anonymous left wing Orthodox blogger who calls himself Dov Bear. His criticism of the both the religious and political right is the stuff of legend as well. Although he has not blogged in years, he is apparently still around using other platforms like Twitter to promote his message. I had a good relationship with him back then and we actually once exchanged interviews and posted them on our respective blogs. Although he and I have politically opposite views, I respect his intellectual honesty.

I would have never thought that Turx and Dov Bear would cross paths. But apparently they did. They had a twitter exchange. From VIN

A Twitter war has erupted among Orthodox Jews, over conservative congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.

It began when an outspoken leftist Jew accused MTG of being an antisemite, in part because she supports Christian Nationalism.

The blogger, known as “Dov Bear”, sarcastically wrote on Twitter: “Why is Trump, our super best friend, toying with elevating a self proclaimed Christian nationalist who attends Nazi events and spreads anti-semetic lies?”

He also insinuated that Ami Magazine’s Turx helped MTG spread “propaganda”, saying: “Did @JakeTurx see this coming? What did he and MTG discuss during the propaganda tour of Boro Park?”

In response, Turx suggested that Jews who rampantly label people they don’t agree with as “Nazis” and antisemites are actually stoking hatred.

Dov Bear accused Turx of “blaming antisemitism on the Jews.” 

Blaming antisemitism on the Jews is not what Turx did. He was just pointing out that one has to be careful about the consequences of exaggerated  accusations. 

This is one of those cases where I have issues with both of them. I have no problem with journalists reflecting their political perspective in their columns. As long as they are clear that they are not misrepresenting them as objective news. The one thing you can say about Turx is that no one accuses him of that. His columns are filled with humor which cannot seriously be taken as objective news reporting. (Although it isn’t always clear which side of a controversial issue he is on.)

That being said, taking a political clown like Marjorie Taylor Geeene on a tour of Boro Park was not a good idea. I get why he might have done that. He probably wanted to show Ms. Greene that Chasidic Jews are on the same politicly conservative page she is on. But when someone goes around declaring that  America is a Christian country (not even adding the prefix ‘Judeo’) that should tell you just what she actually thinks of us.  Which is basically that we are second class citizens.  That real citizens are Christians. Jews  may be welcome, but only if we recognize what our place is. I don’t think that a tour of Boro Park – or even the Modern Orthodox enclave of Teaneck, New Jersey will change how she views ‘real’ Americans as necessarily Christian. 

Furthermore if indeed she attended a Nazi rally as Dov Bear claimed. then in my view she forfeits her right to represent anything American. Even if she is not a Nazi herself, it is abhorrent that she would place herself in the company of a group of Nazis, let alone some sort of rally. The only acceptable approach to Nazis by any decent human being is full condemnation. When a prominent visibly Orthodox journalist takes someone like Greene on a tour of Boro Park he is in effect granting her legitimacy. 

For his part, Turx in essence rejected the notion that Greene is a Nazi or Nazi sympathizer and tweeted  the following: 

If you run around all day yelling "Nazi" at everybody you don't like, don't act too surprised when you eventually manage to turn some of them into haters like you. 

I don’t know where Greene’s  true sympathies lie. But I doubt that wants to exterminate Jews or even hates us. But clearly she does not see us as equals. Or even as real Americans. That is reason enough not to give here the time of day, much less give her legitimacy among Orthodox Jews by taking her on a grand tour of Boro Park. 

I suppose part of Turx’s motivation was based on Greene’s supposedly conservative credentials, that in many ways mirrors Orthodox religious values. But that is not enough. You can’t support the devil just because he’s a good conservative. 

At the same time, I have to question Dov Bear’s objectivity here since I know where he’s coming from. Did Greene knowingly attend a Nazi Rally? Or was it something just short of that? I find that the word Nazi is too easily bandied about these days. Used too frequently to vilify someone that may not deserve it. It  also  minimizes the enormity of what the Nazis actually did to us. Turx is right about what he said. 

With respect to Trump’s support of Greene’s reelection, that doesn’t surprise me either.  She is an election results denier.  Trump supports all candidates that have repeated that lie. But this isn’t about Trump. It’s about a clown who in my view isn’t all that funny. She ought not get any Jewish support and certainly not get reelected. Taking her to  Boro Park will have the opposite effect. I’m sorry Turx did that.