Jewish Journal


September 7, 2007

Anti-Semitism and homophobia—kissing cousins


In today’s Jewish Journal, Daniel Hemel argues that Jews should oppose the forced resignation of scumbag Sen. Larry Craig because, much to Jewry’s surprise, Craig has turned out to be a strong supporter of Israel.

While I don’t believe that those who love Israel must love politicians who share the sentiment, no matter how vile their other public policies or private actions, Hemel draws an interesting comparison between the perceived double standard in the GOP—Craig solicits sex in a men’s bathroom and has to resign; Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana’s number appears on a madam’s phone list but an apology suffices—and the atmosphere for anti-Semitism.

As the late Yale historian John Boswell showed, where there is homophobia, anti-Semitism very often lurks around the corner.

“The same laws which oppressed Jews oppressed gay people; the same groups bent on eliminating Jews tried to wipe out homosexuality,” Boswell wrote.

While his study was based on medieval Europe, his words ring true in modern America. Jews may disagree about the status of homosexuals within our own religious communities, but when there is an upsurge of homophobia in society at large, all Jews should take note.

Craig, even though he insists he is not gay, appears to be a victim of homophobia.

Is Craig a victim of homophobia? And, if so, should that be enough to swing the pendulum back in the direction of getting to keep his job?

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