Blogging has become ubiquitous – with no holds barred. And that’s a pity, because civil discourse in this country is fading fast.
A case in point is a blogpost by Nancy Pincus, a member of Hoboken’s Zoning Board, that was called to our attention on Wednesday by the National Jewish Democratic Council. It featured a crude graphic portraying Councilwoman Beth Mason wearing a necklace – like a trophy – bearing the image of Councilman Tim Occupinti (whose election Mason supported). The graphic bears the words “Triumph des Shillen,” an apparent play on words of “Triumph des Willen,” “Triumph of the Will,” Leni Riefenthal’s notorious film celebrating Adolf Hitler. (To see the graphic – although why would you want to? It’s revolting, whether or not you know the players – go to grafixavenger.blogspot.com.)
Pincus, who is Jewish, should know better than to invoke the Holocaust against a political opponent – who happens to be Jewish herself.
Indeed, the Holocaust should be off-limits to anything that does not pertain to the Nazis’ vicious and concerted murder of six million Jews and millions of hapless others.
What their deaths have to do with the Hoboken Zoning Board’s agenda is anyone’s guess, and whatever point Pincus sought to make has been rendered irrelevant by her boorish blogging.
Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, the White House named 15 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. There was a kerfuffle last year when Mary Robinson, the former U.N. official who presided over the 2001 Durban conference at which Israel was more or less ambushed by Arab delegations, was awarded a medal. She was also known for harsh criticism of Israel. This year’s list seems controversy-free.
We were pleased to see, in particular, the name of Gerda Weissmann Klein, a Holocaust survivor who has written and lectured – at least once locally – about her experiences, including surviving a 350-mile death march. The White House release noted that Klein, who is a naturalized citizen, “recently founded Citizenship Counts, an organization that teaches students to cherish the value of their American citizenship. Klein has spoken to audiences of all ages and faiths around the world about the value of freedom and has dedicated her life to promoting tolerance and understanding among all people.”
We should introduce her to Hoboken’s Pincus.