Barbara Kay: A Macleans columnist’s selective nausea trigger


National Post - Monday July 28th, 2014

Emma Teitel, a columnist of progressive views for Macleans magazine, recently walked into a north Toronto camping stores serving a largely Jewish clientele. There she saw something “that made my stomach turn.”

Pundit stomachs don’t “turn” lightly, so I braced myself for the answer. Was it a big, slimy rat poking its head out of a sleeping bag? A drug addict shooting up in a pup tent?

The answer (put off for 10 suspenseful lines) was quite a letdown: there on a table “piled high with T-shirts…sitting neatly right beside stacks of Batman and Superman shirts, a pile of forest-green tees bearing the bright yellow lego of the Israel Defence Forces (my emphasis).

Teitel then informs us she was so agitated at the very idea that “war” and “fashion” and “superhero movies” could be conflated that she took a photo of the offending T-shirts, intending to “share” them via a disapproving hashtag (#Jewsishdiasporafail strikes her as a possibility). Then she realizes this could be something anti-Semites might seize on (ya think??), and resists the temptation.

Good call, Emma!!

But let’s backtrack a bit here. The IDF is a democratic nation’s legitimate military branch. Its mandate is to defend Israel. What’s with the stomach-turning over Jewish kids declaring pride in the armed forces of a nation to which one is historically, culturally and emotionally attached?

Let me guess. Because the IDF, in the course of defending Israel from a barbarian, exterminationist gang of terrorists bent on murdering as many civilian Jews as possible, has ended up killing Gazan civilians whom they warned to evacuate buildings but who refused (or Hamas did not permit) to leave?

Teitel has fallen into the victim-numbers trap: she’s rewarding Hamas with the moral high ground because Israel actually protects its citizenry. More than any other military, the IDF routinely risks – and loses – lives to minimize civilian loss of life. To Israeli children huddled in shelters, and to Diaspora kids who feel their fear, the IDF is indeed as heroic as Superman. They merit proud sartorial lamination.

Know what turns my stomach? Impossibly high standards for Jews alone. I’ve probably seen a thousand T-shirts bearing the iconic likeness of bloodthirsty massacrist Che Guevara gazing romantically into the future. Now those are tees deserving of condemnation. But so far I’ve never read of a progressive writer, certainly not Emma Teitel, even burping at the sight of them. Check your #Jewishself-righteousness.

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