Sufficient unto the day

Mitt Romney plans to land in Israel on the Ninth of Av. How appropriate!

The ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av (Tisha B’Av) is a thoroughly unlucky day, observed as a strict fast by the observant. Traditionally, it marks:

1. The destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians and the beginning of the Exile.

2. The sack of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans.

3. The failure of Bar Kochba’s revolt.

4. The expulsion from Spain.

This year, it will also mark the arrival of Mitt Romney in Israel. (He’s buzzing in for a fund-raiser right after the fast ends.)

Seems to me this is just piling on. As a great rabbi once said, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (or, in the words of a contemporary translation, “The day has troubles enough of its own”).

Typical Romney: kicking a day that’s already down.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

15 thoughts on “Sufficient unto the day”

  1. Yeah, not much else to be said. But not to change the subject, why is the linked article’s second picture a shot of Glenn Beck, and who’s the guy with him? I never visit the J Post and don’t know their hagiography so this is an honest question. If it’s what I think it is, I have to say this cozying up with people who are fundamentally anti-semites really gives me the creeps.

  2. The style isn’t pure tabloid, but ideologically JPost = NY Post. Love Bibi, love the settlements.

    Ha’aretz = NY Times.

    And yes, Israeli wingnuts call Ha’aretz “anti-Zionist.”

  3. Ha’aretz=Times? Close, but not quite. It has all of the Times’ high-mindedness (and then some!) but lacks the Times’ smugness. Ha’aretz knows that it is a minority position in Israel; the Times still knows it is the voice of all right-minded people everywhere.

  4. Wait a minute! If he arrives after the fast ends, i.e. after sunset, it’s the 10th of Av (although still July 29). Of ocurse he won’t hold a fundraiser during a fast day.

  5. I find the Jonathan Pollard thing very amusing. Pollard is a heroic figure in Israel–in a US jail. But given their druthers, the Israeli government would rather he stay this way. He would be far less heroic in Israel, possibly even embarrassing. But they have to pretend to want him, for a number of reasons related to internal Israeli politics, and possibly Israeli foreign policy. Therefore, the my-Israel-right-or(preferably)-wrong contingent in the US makes Pollard a high priority. But if Romney gets elected and really wants to make Bibi happy, he will find a way to keep Pollard in the slammer. If a US President really wanted to drive Bibi insane, he would give them Pollard and open wide an immigration pipeline from Tel Aviv to Silicon Valley.

    That being said, Pollard’s life sentence really is a miscarriage of justice. But since miscarriages are not rare in our system, I see no reason to obsess on Pollard’s.

  6. Am I the only one who finds it odd (and disturbing) that Rmoney [sic] is holding a fundraiser in a foreign country?

    1. Foreign country? Why, Israel is the 51st state! Or at least it ought to be. So saith Rabbi Shmuley Boteach continues what began on page 1 .

      IIRC the good rabbi made a big deal in 2004 about John Kerry having signed a prenuptial agreement with his wife, leading to the rhetorical question “If she doesn’t trust him with money then why should you?” In 2008, when John McCain was running for president and he, too, had signed a prenup with his heiress wife, the rabbi was much more forgiving.

    2. Dennis, you are not alone. It’s indistinct, but I’m hearing mumblings of Mr. Bellmore citing examples of Democratic candidates who did as much. I just don’t know if they’re true.

    3. Kevin Drum noted a few days ago that both Romney and Obama hold fundraisers in foreign countries, and from his post I got the impression that this is typical and established practice.

      1. I don’t like Obama doing it any more than I care for Rmoney [sic] doing it. Where is the FEC when you need them?

  7. We don’t call it the expulsion from Spain any more; ever since the Greater Israel Movement we have to call it the Spanish Transfer.

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