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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
"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."
"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."
"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."
"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."
"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."
"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."
"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."
"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."
"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."
"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."
"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."
"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."