29 December '16..
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman likens Prime Minister Netanyahu to a “dog” and a “drunk” — and then, with a remarkable lack of self-awareness, faults President-elect Trump’s choice to be ambassador to Israel for insulting other Jews.
Sure enough, in his latest column Friedman writes that “Netanyahu is a leader who is forever dog paddling in the middle of the Rubicon, never ready to cross it.”
That isn’t even good writing. If Friedman wanted to convey the idea that Netanyahu is indecisive, or stuck, he would have done better to have written that Netanyahu is a leader who is forever treading water in the middle of the Rubicon, or forever backfloating in the middle of the Rubicon. That, however, would have avoided the opportunity to describe the elected leader of the Jewish state as a dog, and thus repeat a classic antisemitic trope last seen in the infamous New Yorker article by Lena Dunham, “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz.” As the Anti-Defamation League helpfully pointed out back when that New Yorker screed was published, “The piece is particularly troubling because it evokes memories of the ‘No Jews or Dogs Allowed’ signs from our own early history in this country, and also because, in a much more sinister way, many in the Muslim world today hatefully refer to Jews as ‘dogs.’”
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