Today’s irony award goes to Mr. Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, who, when defending the ADL’s opposition to building an Islamic center near Ground Zero, was quoted in the New York Times as saying:
Survivors of the Holocaust are entitled to feelings that are irrationalâ€¦ Their [families of September 11 victims] anguish entitles them to positions that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted.
Yes, Mr. Foxman, the survivors of the Holocaust, the families of the victims of 9/11, they are entitled to their irrational emotions. I’d hazard a guess that anyone who has survived a particularly traumatic event is entitled to their feelings about it, feeling that would be understandably irrational and possibly bigoted. But we cannot base public policy decisions on irrational emotional states.
One could make the argument that, following the devastation of the First World War, Great Depression-era Germans were understandably embittered about the state of their country. You might say they were even entitled to feeling that their country had fallen from its former glory, that they were entitled to this feeling. But this feeling in turn lead them to allow a sociopath to rise to power who, in turn, initiated the very Holocaust you speak of.
Where does it end Mr. Foxman?
If we allow the fear mongers and the politics of hate to dictate public policy, would we not become the very thing which we are ostensibly fighting against?