Blick aus dem Fenster: Sonnenschein
Griff zum Schlüssel, Portemonaie, Treppenhaus runter…

Haustür auf: Regen

Treppenhaus hoch, Wohnungstür aufschließen, andere Jacke wählen, Treppenhaus runter, Haustür auf: Sonne

Wieder rauf, andere Jacke, Blick aus dem Fenster: Hagel

Griff zur Garderobe, wieder andere Jacke, Treppe runter, Tür auf: Sonne

Es gibt tatsächlich kein falsches Wetter - nur falsche Kleidung!

Hagel: US sending troops to Jordan

200 US troops are headed to Jordan, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced today. Their stated purpose is to help contain violence spilling over from the Syrian conflict, and according to Mohammad al-Momani, Jordan’s Minister of State for Information, they should be arriving “in the next few weeks.” This is a significant announcement, but we’re betting it’ll get buried under all the news today about gun control legislation and the Boston explosion. And that’s a shame. source


4 reasons it was a pretty amazing weekend for LGBT rights

"Is it just me," said John Oliver on Sunday night’s Last Week Tonight, “or between Conchita and Michael Sam, did the world — did the whole world feel like it became a better place to live in the last 24 hours?”

We do not have, at 12 o’clock today, a Secretary of Defense.
—  Harry Reid, revealing today that Senate Republicans have rounded up the 41 votes necessary to block the nomination of Chuck Hagel to the Defense Department. Today is outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s last day on the job; if Republicans make good on their threats during Hagel’s confirmation vote tomorrow—and this is certainly a big “if”—it will be the first time a nominee for Secretary of Defense has been filibustered, and the country will be left without a Defense Secretary. A couple of Republican senators have threatened to block Hagel’s nomination unless the Obama Administration releases more information about the attack last year on the American consulate in Benghazi, an incident with which Hagel was wholly uninvolved. A Hagel spokesman said today that despite the threats of his former colleagues, the Nebraska Republican is not withdrawing his nomination. source

It seems natural for me to wade into the swamp of accusations about Chuck Hagel’s feelings toward “the Jews,” given that I write a fair amount about anti-Semitism and because I’m a Jew living in Nebraska.

Still, I hesitated.

In no small part, my hesitation was due to a desire not to offend friends and also because I’m quite sure there’s a great deal about Hagel that I — as someone who only moved to Nebraska in August 2007 — simply don’t know.

Still, I have to say something because it’s been weighing on me. So here’s the thing that I’ll say:

All of the allegations against Hagel that I have seen have to do with his position on America’s relationship with Israel and there is a general mistake that people — including Jews — are prone to make, namely that one’s position on Israel equates with one’s position on Jews.

That this is a mistake should be clear and obvious: There are plenty of Christians who insist on American support for Israel not because they like or support Jews but because they understand the existence of Israel to have some important role to play in the end of the world. And there are plenty of people around the world who don’t particularly like the direction in which the government of Israel has been moving (with regard to the peace process, to immigrants, to the role of religion in the public sphere, and so on) who nonetheles very much like and support Jews.

But we will continue to make this mistake as long as it’s considered inappropriate to ask questions about the bellicosity of Israel’s current government, about the seeming lack of interest in peace with the Palestinians, or about the way in which the United States traditionally supports Israeli policies virtually without question.

That Chuck Hagel doesn’t see eye-to-eye with some Jews in Nebraska and with the GOP more broadly on the question of America’s blank check relationship with Israel does not make him an anti-Semite.

There might be other reasons to believe that he is, but I have not seen them. Since I have many friends and colleagues here in Nebraska who read this blog — including many Jews from Lincoln and Omaha — I’m very hopeful to start a conversation on this topic, to hear from you some of your experiences with Hagel over the years, and to learn whether or not my diagnosis of this issue — controversial though it might be — is accurate.

Forget Homeland and Downton Abbey, the hottest TV in the coming weeks is going to be the double bill of confirmation hearings in which the twin Vietnam vets (Chuck) Hagel and John Kerry face torrid cross-examination from their old pals in the Senate.