Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Crazed Health-Reform Opponents

See Nazis and ‘death panels,’ blame Zeke Emanuel

Print Email

Traditionally, if you were going to pick an Emanuel brother to hate, you’d most likely pick either Rahm—known variously as the White House chief of staff, Machiavellian enforcer, and “Undersecretary for Go Fuck Yourself”—or Ari, the Hollywood superagent who inspired Jeremy Piven’s supremely arrogant, supremely successful Entourage character. But now, thanks to the rapid descent of the health care debate into the netherworld of Nazi references and Commie jokes, the latest hot target for conservative activists is the eldest brother, Ezekiel, a physician and doctorate in political philosophy who is advising the Obama Administration on health-care policy.

Last week, Minnesota Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann attacked Ezekiel Emanuel in a floor speech, citing a New YorkPost columnist’s interpretation of his writings about rationalizing the distribution of health care to argue that under the Democrats’ healthcare plan, elderly or disabled patients like her senile father-in-law would be stiffed medical care. On Friday, Sarah Palin—making the most of her unemployment—posted an item on Facebook inflating Bachmann’s critique into an attack on Emanuel’s “Orwellian thinking” and accusing Obama of planning to convene “death panels” of bureaucrats who will decide, essentially, who shall live and who shall die. It’s not really clear how far the Nazi trope will go—Mengele references are already circulating in the outer reaches of the Free Republican universe, after surfacing, perhaps predictably, on the blog of perennial presidential candidate (and anti-Semitic crank) Lyndon LaRouche—but if Zeke is anything like his brothers, it’s not likely to keep him up at night. After all, even actual torture doesn’t scare him: “I’ve had various episodes where people have not liked what I said and tried to put the thumb screws to me to shut me up,” he told The New York Times last spring.

Sarah Palin: Statement on the Current Health Care Debate [Facebook]
Previously: Limbaugh Sees Swastikas Everywhere

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Crazed Health-Reform Opponents

See Nazis and ‘death panels,’ blame Zeke Emanuel

More on Tablet:

Why the World Should Test Netanyahu’s Newfound Commitment to Peace

By Yair Rosenberg — Bibi announces support for Arab Peace Initiative. It doesn’t matter if it’s real.