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The callousness of this 25-year-old sex-and-celebrity blogger can’t be dismissed as ignorance, since she confesses to enduring the insufferable boredom of a “de rigueur exposure” to the ghastly nightmare of the Holocaust. She simply couldn’t find sympathy for those icky old people with their uncool tattoos, including those in her own family whom she holds in such contempt, anywhere in the blasted landscape of her soul; instead, she views them suspiciously as hypocritical and villainous. How cynical must one be to believe that “triumph of the human spirit” is merely an empty phrase? One has to wonder how representative she is of her generation, many of whom embrace a jaded, emotionally detached, hipster irony and treat just about everything as fodder for ridicule, including Anne Frank.
Breaking Bad is a TV series about a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher named Walter White who turns to crime, making and selling drugs to provide for his family after he’s gone. In Breslaw’s disturbed mind, this somehow links that fictional character to real-life Holocaust survivors:
Walt and Breaking Bad express one of our most inherent psychological fallacies: the ability to do any number of consciously reprehensible things while persisting in considering ourselves the protagonist at all times. From world wars to breaking hearts, we cling to the destruction done to us in the past as a justification for the destruction we will cause in the future.
Besides being a complete misinterpretation of Breaking Bad, this is a substance-less and cynical argument. Her claim is that the Jews who escaped Hitler’s genocidal reach must be guilty of “reprehensible things” and continue to use it to justify their “conniving” selfishness. Breslaw is apparently more repulsed by their “extreme will to live” than by Hitler’s extreme will to murder them.
The greater outrage is not that a pathologically hateful young Jew trashed Holocaust survivors as self-promoting villains, but that a Jewish arts and culture magazine accepted her execrable musings for publication. Let Breslaw retreat into her shallow tabloid milieu and be forgotten; it is Tablet that ultimately must be held responsible for her stunningly offensive piece, chosen no doubt for its shock value. Deluged by hundreds of reader comments universally expressing outrage, editor-in-chief Alana Newhouse followed up two days later with a response in which she blathered on about the magazine exploring its responsibility to “Jewish communal discourse.” Her readers were not pacified by this non-apology apology; nor was Commentary, which condemned it as “self-referential, self-aggrandizing, and ultimately self-infatuated.”
In a time in which Jews once again find themselves the target of a genocidal, anti-Semitic ideology – Iran’s bombing of a busload of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria is only the latest example – Jewish liberals such as those at Tablet who entertain such Jew-hating venom as Anna Breslaw’s piece are siding with their own enemy.
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