The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
the New Anti Semitism Part II
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By Rob Meltzer
March 4, 2013 5:05 p.m.

A few weeks ago, Rick commented that the AP handbook was being less than politically correct in how it referred to various spouses in same-gender marriages. On the other hand, I have yet to hear any condemnation of anti semitic slurs from the AP.† We heard the news this week of the tragic accident in Brooklyn in which a young man, his wife and their baby were killed in a car accident. We also had the story about the man swallowed up by a sink hole in Florida. But the story about the young family made mention that they were “ultra orthodox Jews” and what they wear and their “curious” cultural habits and so forth. We have yet to hear about the religious affiliation, belief system or creed of the Florida man, notwithstanding that his unfortunate end was remarkably biblical. The term “Ultra Orthodox Jew” is grossly offensive, inaccurate and just plain insulting.† The religion of the victim is also irrelevant to the story. If we referred to Bernie as the Ultra Reform Jewish Senator from Vermont, everyone would scratch their hands and inquire why that terminology mattered. i don’t know what an “ultra Orthodox Jew” is, but the phrase is used to indicate exclusivity, insularity and a sense of the “other” and it is clearly used to bring to mind negative stereotypes. I have absolutely no idea what it means, but I know what it means to others–that these people are weirdos. If we are going to live in our new era of hypersensitivity to labels, and criticize the AP for lacking sensitivity and focus, let’s at least be consistent and recognize that Jews have a right to be free of slurs as well.

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