- The Washington Times - Friday, September 27, 2002

Never again

"The first intifada, between 1987 and 1993, had claimed 160 Israeli lives. The second killed more than three times as many.

"But it was not until a year after the terrorist outbreaks in Israel that the American media and a significant proportion of American Jewry began to air anxieties about anti-Semitism. The reason clearly had to do with an intervening event: namely, September 11.

"At a Washington rally for Israel in April of this year most speakers, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, linked solidarity with Israel to America's war on terror. William J. Bennett pointed to the Holocaust Museum just a few blocks away and said: 'What we are seeing today, what Israel is feeling today, was not supposed to happen again.' Just as the attack on America had triggered memories of Pearl Harbor, the atrocities in Israel had begun to evoke the mass murders of European Jewry."

Ruth R. Wisse, writing on "On Ignoring Anti-Semitism," in the October issue of Commentary

Two thumbs up

"Having solved all the problems of black America, Jesse Jackson is now turning his stern, lidless gaze to the grave matter of 'Barbershop,' the No. 1 film in America. It is an entertaining, amusing, and morally uplifting comedy about black people. It was written, directed, and produced by black people, and stars an all-black cast, save for one character, a white guy who wants to be black. There is no gun violence, or lurid sexuality, or excessive filthy language sullying the movie. You'd think if Jesse were to protest 'Barbershop,' it would be over the fact that there aren't more movies like it.

"So why does Jesse hate 'Barbershop'? Why is he demanding that MGM, the distributor, censor the film? Because it features black people saying things of which Jesse Jackson does not approve.

"As Ward Connerly and Clarence Thomas can attest, Jesse Jackson is not about to put up with uppity black people wandering off the reservation. Jackson wasted no time in condemning 'Barbershop' for 'the insensitivity of using Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as the butt of jokes and trying to turn tragedy into comedy. We hope the actors and producers would care enough about these grievances to apologize.'"

Rod Dreher, writing on "Who Needs Jesse Jackson?" in National Review Online at www.national-review.com

Missing the target

"[Rosie] O'Donnell's target audience has not responded well to her 'new' image. Rosie announced that she is walking away from the magazine that bears her moniker. O'Donnell's official line for leaving the periodical is her loss of control of the direction of the enterprise.

"Rosie's explanation might make her feel better and she might even believe it; however, the reality is Rosie the magazine is faring about as well as a snowman in the Bahamas. When she launched her foray into the periodical business, her sexual proclivities were not an issue. In fact, most of her soccer mom followers assumed she was straight. Her magazine was a hit, selling as many as 750,000 copies via newsstands. However, once she announced she was homosexual, sales plummeted. 'This year, some issues have sold only 200,000 issues on the newsstand,' reported USA Today.

"Rosie was incredibly popular when she portrayed herself as mainstream and normal. Gushing about her schoolgirl crush on actor Tom Cruise and supporting women's causes, she was a ratings super-star. As a lesbian activist bashing those who dare oppose her lifestyle choice, she is a has-been.

"Rosie's plight underscores that much of America does not affirm homosexuality as mainstream. Time will reveal who will prevail, but for now, chalk one up for the soccer moms."

Kelly Boggs, writing on "Rosie: Out & Down," Sept. 20 in the Baptist Press News at www.bpnews.net

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