Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
After twenty minutes of dead air, Biden’s Virtual Passover got underway. Biden, who can only be counted on to remain coherent for short stretches of time before launching into a random tirade, only showed up briefly. And that was the only good thing about Virtual Passover.
Virtual Passover, like the Biden administration, makes no sense. But the Biden administration can’t be expected to ruin every aspect of our lives, without also ruining Passover.
Kamala Harris had been delegated to take over the border crisis, and so her husband, Brentwood entertainment lawyer, Douglas Emhoff, took over the job of ruining Passover.
Dubbed a “Virtual Passover Celebration”, it was not a celebration, it had nothing to do with Passover, but it was virtual. The one thing that the Biden administration can be relied on is to be virtual. And by being virtual, to offer nothing real. Passover wasn’t going to change that.
Hosted by “Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff”, also known as the father of Kamala’s obnoxious stepchildren, his scripted speeches proved that everything he knows about Judaism he learned from leftist anti-Israel radicals and late night reruns of The Nanny.
Emhoff started out by touting Sharon Brous and IKAR.
Brous is an anti-Israel leftist who heads up IKAR, dubbed by Variety as a “trendy, progressive congregation” whose members include Steven Spielberg. If your synagogue is profiled in Variety, it’s pretty bad: if it’s “trendy and progressive”, it’s even worse. That means IKAR is also exactly the kind of synagogue a Brentwood entertainment lawyer like Emhoff would promote.
Then, Emhoff gave an insider’s wave to his own mention of IKAR.
Brous had delivered the inauguration prayer for Obama and the inaugural prayer for Biden calling for “a justice driven, multiracial democracy.” Now she was back to ruin Passover.
Sharon Brous is a member of the councils of J Street, and the New Israel Fund: because the only clergy with Jewish last names that are allowed at Biden events are anti-Israel.
When Jews came out against the antisemitic and pro-Farrakhan leaders of the Women’s March, especially Linda Sarsour, Brous falsely claimed that the criticisms were, “a deliberate smear campaign from the far right to delegitimize the march itself.”
“A much greater problem would be if the Jewish community stepped out of activism because we’re afraid that someone on the stage has a position on BDS different than our own,” she complained. To Brous, it would be a “much greater problem” to treat the efforts to destroy the Jewish State as more important than her extremist politics which align her with antisemites.
When Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib were barred from entry to Israel, Brous spewed a hateful unhinged rant, falsely claiming that American Jews “have spent years in hive mentality, pouncing on indications of anti-Semitism among Israel’s critics”, accused the Jewish State of a “52-year military occupation of millions of Palestinian people” and ranted that American Jews must “hear Palestinian voices and see what the Israeli government is so intent on members of Congress not seeing.” A terrorist spokesman couldn’t have said it any better than Brous.
Having Brous attend a Passover celebration is like inviting a medieval blood libeler to a seder.
Brous signed on to a letter attacking Israel for banning a JVP BDS activist, a hate group that provided space for antisemites, including activists associated with claims that Jews drink blood.
It’s hard to think of anyone that belongs at a seder less than Brous: except maybe Pharaoh.
But before Brous could spew all over the non-seder, Emhoff began by lecturing attendees at a virtual event about the importance of socially distancing and wearing masks.
Nothing says freedom like telling people what to do.
“Passover,” Emhoff then intoned with the dead smile and lifeless cadence of a late-night infomercial host making an unconvincing pitch for a supplement made out of dried kangaroos, “has always been one of my favorite holidays.” Then he relived memories from Nanny reruns of attending a seder in Brooklyn with “plastic cushion covers” and “gelatinous gefilte fish”.
With the obligatory Jewish stuff out of the way, Emhoff shifted over to the “power of the Passover story” in the fight for justice. Naturally, not in the modern day Israelites trying to keep the aspiring killers of their sons from the Gazan vicinity of Egypt from getting to them.
Emhoff insisted that Passover is about the “search for justice”. It’s not. If he had opened a Bible, or a Haggadah, the traditional text of the Passover seder, he would have noted a lack of calls for social justice, and a lot of praises of G-d for liberating the Jews from bondage through miracles.
But attendees at IKAR can’t be expected to actually know anything about Judaism.
In the theology of Tikkun Olam, every Jewish experience and holiday must be universalized, with the relentlessness of Marxist dogma, into class struggle and identity politics. Passover, like Purim, Chanukah, Yom Kippur, and Thursday must be about the search for justice. Emhoff, whose Judaism consists of distant memories of gefilte fish can’t be expected to know any better.
In his opening address, Emhoff failed to mention G-d, but made Women’s History Month the focus of his talk. He complained that Judaism neglected the “midwives who saved Moses” by refusing to implement Pharaoh’s sex-selective post-partum abortion decree. Had those midwives been in California, Kamala Harris and Xavier Becerra would have locked them up.
Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, had made a special point of targeting Jewish families, had addressed the KKK and counted future Nazi eugenicists among her supporters, warning that if “the sickly and weak” are “allowed to propagate”, they will “produce a race of degenerates.”
Pharaoh couldn’t have said it any better than Kamala’s favorite infanticide organization.
But Emhoff was just reading from talking points prepared by the National Council of Jewish Women which, as I exposed in a previous article, has, like Brous, a history of supporting Sarsour, and other antisemitic leftists. His conclusion is that Passover is about “unsung heroes”, just like “the pandemic”. But there’s just one unsung hero in Emhoff’s speech. G-d.
Douglas Emhoff may not believe in G-d. His daughter’s spokesman has insisted that, “Ella is not Jewish.” But then it might be nice if Doug would spare us all the tales of gefilte fish and plastic seat covers while mangling the beliefs of a religion he has no connection to beyond his last name, and using it to promote some of the worst enemies of the Jewish people.
When Moses first confronts Pharaoh, the Egyptian tyrant declares that he does not know of a G-d. Emhoff doesn’t seem any more aware of the existence of a higher power than Pharaoh.
Then Brous came on, all but screaming at the camera that the mission of the seder was to “imagine a more just and loving world”. But there wasn’t much love on the menu. Passover, the radical cleric insisted, was a “political story”. I doubt that Brous believes that there’s an apolitical story anywhere in the world and, like her ilk, can’t think of religion in other than political terms.
Brous’ religion is politics, her deity is social justice, and her messiah is a community organizer.
And so there followed an extended bout of yelling at the camera about justice and oppression, interspersed with meaningless New Age Obamaisms with an audience of one potted plant.
Not Biden. He hadn’t joined the zoom seder yet.
“We all belong to one another,” Brous declared.
That’s the opposite of Passover which is instead the story of the birth of a particular nation through the belief, not in Emhoff’s “all faiths”, but the faith in a particular G-d.
G-d doesn’t just take the Jews out of slavery, but to bring them to Israel. It’s understandable that Brous seems less interested in addressing that awkward part of the Passover story.
But we can be thankful for one small Passover miracle, at least Brous didn’t repeat her Yom Kippur rant in which she falsely claimed that, “The treatment of the Palestinian people, the restriction of their rights, the daily humiliations and the stubborn expansion of settlements threatens to destroy not only Zionism, but to make a mockery of Judaism.”
The only one making a mockery of Judaism is Brous and her extremist political agenda.
The virtual celebration that celebrated nothing closed with Kamala Harris showing up to thank Brous for “all her work”. It was unclear if she meant her work supporting Sarsour or Omar.
The Passover from Hell echoed everything that Jews had come to expect from Obama’s Jewish events, from the anti-Israel clergy to the exploitation and erasure of Jews from their own religion. From Emhoff to Brous, there’s only ever one message, which is that thousands of years of Jewish religion, history, and thought are reducible to the 19th century ideology of the Left.
Pharaoh had set out to kill the Jews. The Left has done plenty of killing, but it also erases Jews. And, worse still, it makes Jews complicit in that erasure. Pharaoh did not allow the Jews to forget that they were slaves. Their modern enslavers convince many Jews that freedom is slavery, and that slavery is freedom, that survival is death, and that suicide is Jewish morality.
Passover is the celebration of G-d’s redemption of the Jews from slavery to freedom. The Biden virtual seder is a call for the Jews and for all Americans to leave behind freedom for slavery.
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