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“On February 11, Glenn Greenwald tweeted “It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”
Omar responded “it’s all about the Benjamins,” obnoxiously suggesting Jews buy America’s friendship. But Omar stumbled onto something. The American-Israel relationship is all about the Benjamins, reflecting the shared values of “the first American,” Benjamin Franklin, and modern Zionism’s founder, Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl, Theodor Herzl’s Hebrew name.
Both iconic figures are caricatured endlessly. Franklin’s jowly oval face, rock-star, shoulder-length hair, and wire-rim sunglasses are instantly recognizable; so, too, are Herzl’s piercing eyes and bushy black beard. How can an American who lived from 1706 to 1790 and a European who lived from 1860 to 1904 explain a 21st-century alliance between two countries? Therein lies these Benjamins’ enlightening, hard-working, liberal nationalist power.
Both were intellectuals who harmonized dreaming with building, idealism with pragmatism. Scientist, inventor, printer, wiseacre, Benjamin Franklin was America’s philosopher king. He believed in thrift – “A penny saved is a penny earned.” He revered hard work – “Well done is better than well said.” He believed in leaving the world better than how we found it – “Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.””
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Thousands of gay rights supporters gathered in heavy rain outside parliament in the capital, Taipei, to watch a live broadcast of the proceedings. Supporters shouted “First in Asia!” after the article was passed."
"It’s increasingly clear that Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision protecting a woman’s right to choose abortion, is in jeopardy. But what is Roe all about? Privacy? Liberty? Women’s equality?"
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being cautious about engaging Israel in the US-Iran tensions, though he would surely not object to an American attack on Iran."
"Hello. I’m a person who has never watched Game of Thrones. You’re a person who has watched every episode. Here is what I have learned about you through the cultural osmosis..."
"The vacation rental industry is mired in claims that it harms neighborhoods and housing markets. Can a nonprofit co-op make the tourist trend a community asset?"
"One of the many important facets of special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry is his observation that President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter and other mass media could subvert the criminal-justice system."
"Even in a profession where major commissions rarely materialize before a man (and, beginning only recently, a woman) is well past fifty, it is hard for anyone alive today to remember a time when I.M. Pei was not a dominant, commanding figure."
"If you’re old enough to remember the Soviet Union, you’ve probably wondered why so many young people today seem attracted to socialism. One influence is Howard Zinn, who published “A People’s History of the United States” in 1980..."
"Moms and dads may be new to microdosing, but the trend has been bubbling for years in Silicon Valley. The tech set claim that taking 10 to 20 micrograms of LSD every few days makes them more creative..."
"In 1983, the Italian-Israeli professor Sandra Debenedetti Stow stunned the scholarly world with an explosive article that proposed that Jews introduced pizza to the European diet."
"During a military mission, whether in peace or in war, if a pilot or soldier can’t identify an object, they have a serious problem: How should they react, without knowing if it is neutral, friendly or threatening? "
"Wouk, an Orthodox Jew, embodied the new postwar possibilities for American Jews and his writing helped normalize Judaism within the larger American landscape..."