06.10.2012   14:59

Blumenthal’s Butler

At the museum event, Butler tried to ingratiate herself to the crowd by hamming it up with an ersatz-Borscht belt routine to make her audience feel more comfortable in their prejudices. Dropping the word tsuris at one point, she looked at the audience with a coy smile: “You don’t know what that word means?” she teased. Asked what she felt about the term “anti-Zionism,” she quoted Franz Kafka as saying that “he couldn’t stand Zionists, but he couldn’t stand anti-Zionists either.” This didn’t earn the intended laugh, a fault she then attributed to “the lack of Jewish humor in Germany,” which did. When Butler’s co-discussant Micha Brumlik, a liberal German Jewish professor of pedagogy at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, replied that her support for boycotting Israel has little following among Jews worldwide, she insisted that “1,000 Jewish groups” support BDS, an absurd allegation that no one in the audience challenged.The message was clear: It’s OK for you Germans to start complaining about Jews again. Indeed, as one German Jew in the audience told me afterwards, “The German people love to hear someone hate Israel.” http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/113334/the-professors-shoddy-history?all=1


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