The War on Chanukah

In the midst of the war in Iraq, the Katrina catastrophe, the staggering deficit, the climate change talks, the torture scandal, the Plamegate scandal, the Abramoff scandal, the Delaygate scandal, and the (fill in blank) scandal, the House of Representatives has decided that its first priority is to pass a resolution defending the symbols of Christmas.

It’s about time to call the Republican Party’s staged hissy-fit over Christmas for what it is: thinly-disguised anti-Semitism. Such a thesis is at least far more plausible than the original assertion that there is a War on Christmas.

Is that going overboard? Well, several Representatives asked the House leadership to amend the resolution to protect the symbols of Chanukah as well, and it refused. That means that the leadership explicitly decided to protect Christmas and not Chanukah. What else could that be but anti-semitism?

So let’s ask Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Hastert: why do you hate Chanukah so much? Do you want to rename December “judenrein” (jew-cleansed)?

Maybe someone should ask the President, too: do you support the House’s call for a jew-free December?

That is, if he ever takes questions again…..

—Jonathan Zasloff

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

One thought on “The War on Chanukah”

  1. Staying on the plantation

    In December, Jonathan Zasloff of the comically named Same Facts blog (formerly Mark Kleiman's blog) suggested Dennis Hastert, George Bush,…

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