About a month ago, Above the Law published an article about eagle feathers. More specifically, it discussed whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby (which recognized the company’s claim for a religious exception to secular laws) will be extended to Native American tribes who wish to use eagle feathers in religious ceremonies despite their protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. In the form of an aside, the article made a good point:
Jon Stewart couldn’t get wait to get back from his 4th of July vacation and discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; the unfolding debacle was featured heavily in his very first segment the Monday of his return, (500) Crazies of Summer.
You’ve probably seen the segment by now. You’ve probably even seen some of the criticism it’s attracted. You might have even stuck around long enough on Tuesday night’s The Daily Show to watch Hillary Rodham Clinton tell Jon why she thinks his understanding of the conflict is skewed (here and here).
But even if I hadn’t directed you to those pieces of criticism, you probably could have just watched the clip yourself and had no trouble arriving at the conclusion that Stewart’s analysis of the current situation was largely facile and pointless. Essentially it boiled down to this: Israel has bigger guns.
Thank you, Mr. Leibowitz, for the nuanced update.
Though I don’t agree with everything Horovitz had to say about the segment (in “some of the criticism” above), there was one paragraph fragment that stood out to me as undeniably true and to the point:
Oklahoma-based chain-store Hobby Lobby has come under considerable criticism due to the fact that, according to the NY Daily News, “its stores do not carry Jewish holiday decorations”:
The controversy erupted Friday after blogger Ken Berwitz posted an article on political website Hopelessly Partisan after receiving word that Hobby Lobby stores in Marlboro Township, N.J., refused to sell menorahs and other Jewish holiday items.
“One of our friends entered the store, asked where the Chanukah goods were, was told there wouldn’t be any, and asked why,” Berwitz wrote. “According to her, the answer was: ‘We don’t cater to you people.’”
OK, so the “you people” thing might have been a step or two too far, but the mere fact that Hobby Lobby stores fail to sell menorahs is by no means prima facie evidence of what the Daily News insists is “anti-Semitism”. I would simply argue that those up in arms (branches?) have failed to consider the broad definition of what constitutes a “Jewish holiday decoration” in America today: