Monday, January 10, 2011

Always the Jews -- Not: There Is No Specifically Jewish Angle to the Giffords Shooting

I respectfully recoil from asserting a Jewish angle in every story (although JTA effectively finds it). Although everything in HKBH”s world may unfold with a purpose to help the Jewish People to perfect our souls, not everything arises from someone thinking about “The Jews.” Edward VIII did not abdicate the throne after ten months because he was infatuated with the chance to marry a woman who had divorced a Jew. (Wallace Simpson had divorced Ernest Aldrich Simpson. His father, Ernest Louis Simpson, had changed his surname from Solomon. Always the Jews.)

This guy was a nut. He merits the privilege, by dint of his own hard efforts, of being deemed by all of us a 100% nut. He may have had an interface with an extremist hate group because they hate Latinos or African Americans or even people from the planet where Loughner perhaps thinks he comes from.

It does not help us or abet the truth to find a Jewish angle in this if there honestly is none. Giffords is a Jew because a Reform rabbi married her to an astronaut named Kelly?

This maniac, Loughner, loved Mein Kampf? Well, he also loved Marx’s Communist Manifesto and Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan. My mind can be changed, but I am not persuaded that this is about Jews. Nor is it about American politics. It is about a nut.

It is not about the Tea Party any more than John Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan because of Democrat rhetoric that demonized Reagan in the day. Hinckley wanted to impress a fictional character protrayed by Jodi Foster in the movie “Taxi Driver.” Our present maniac, Loughner, wanted to change the currency or English grammar. Really. It is like the guy who killed Allard K. Lowenstein – he had been very close to Lowenstein but became a paranoid-schizophrenic. Much as some people needed to find a Jewish angle, or blame the Republicans for prosecuting the Vietnam War in the face of Lowenstein’s principled objections, the bottom line behind Lowenstein's murder was that that his assassin was a nut. Charles Manson’s extended family did not slaughter Sharon Tate because she was married to a Jewish filmmaker.

Representative Giffords’s mother, Gloria Fraser, was a Christian Scientist. In 2001, at age 31, Giffords began identifying with the paternal side of her ethnicity. The interesting thing, though, is that her Jewish paternal-line grandfather, Akiba Hornstein, had changed the family surname to “Giffords” in order to hide their Jewish identity. Now, with Hornstein’s presumably non-Jewish granddaughter tragically shot by a nut, some in the American Jewish media race to turn her tragedy into an act of anti-Semitism. The Hornsteins can run, it seems, but they can’t hide.

Although Loughner may indeed have been motivated by anti-Jewish animus, I am skeptical. Give the crazy man his due – he is just plain insane.

1 comment:

  1. Actually Giffords is not Jewish at all (although she has a Jewish father)