How to win a vacation for posting something anti-Semitic

DeSean Jackson as a role model. Once this Art Buchwald-style column would have been comic, but Jews aren't laughing at this anymore. Op-ed.

Marc Berman ,

NFL Kneel
NFL Kneel

My next-door neighbor Kyle has never taken a summer vacation since he and his family moved in. I’ve always thought that was because Kyle couldn’t bear even a temporary overgrowth of his immaculate lawn.

You see, Kyle loves yardwork. This time of year, he’s outside most every day tending to his greenery.

Friday, though, I saw Kyle, his wife Katie and their two pre-teen girls packing suitcases into their gray 2010 Chevy Impala. Naturally, given the family’s history of warm-weather immobility, I became curious. So I went out to speak to Kyle before he left.

“Hey dude,” I said. “What's this? You guys are taking a vacation?”

Kyle gazed at the sidewalk.

“Well?” I persisted.

“I guess you’re not on Instagram these days,” he replied.


“I'm sorry.”

“Sorry about what? You're entitled to take a vacation once and a while.”

“I mean I'm sorry about what I posted on Instagram.”

“What did you post?” I asked.

“I didn't mean it. It was just that Krissy and Kathy have been nagging us like crazy about taking a summer vacation, just like their friends do.”

Kyle turned to look at his front lawn. After a seeming eternity, he blurted, “I don't really think that Jewish people were responsible for last year’s lame Super Bowl half-time show.”

I nearly dropped my Diet Coke.

“You posted that,” I said. “Gee, I’ve never known you to be an antisemite. Anyway, what does a post about a Super Bowl halftime show have to do with your family taking a vacation?”

“DeSean Jackson,” Kyle replied.

“Huh? He's a player. He wasn't even in the show.”

“It's not that. Don't you remember what happened to him when he posted anti-Semitic comments on Instagram?”

“As I recall, not much. He still has his job.”

“Are you kidding?” barked Kyle, extending his arms upwards toward the cloudless sky. “Why, barely a day had passed after Jackson’s post when he received several travel invitations from various Jewish people and groups. One offered to take him to Europe. Another to Center City Philadelphia. A third to Washington, D.C. It was amazing. All just to start a “conversation’ with him about antisemitism.

“Look,” Kyle continued, “Finances are tough. This lockdown business has cost me a bundle. There was no way that I could pay for a vacation myself.”

"So you decided to post antisemitic nonsense?”

“Exactly. True, I'm no star football player. But if Jackson could win a transcontinental vacation just for quoting Louis Farrakhan, I figured that I could at least get a trip to Cape May for making up something about last year’s big game.”

“And someone actually gave you the vacation?”

“Certainly. Turns out, there were hotels in Cape May a hundred years ago that didn't admit Jews. The local chapter of the ADL has arranged to explain the whole thing to us. And even show us where the hotels once stood. That way, I’ll feel guilty about what I posted and won't do it again.

“Even better, they're also paying for beachside accommodations for five days. I hear the promenade is lovely this time of year.”

“Not bad,” I said. “Maybe next year you can post something against African Americans, LGBTQ people or Latinos and grab a vacation from one of those groups.”

“Are you insane!” screamed Kyle. “Who else but Jewish people give vacations to someone who smears them? Every other minority would demand that the offending party be publicly shamed and terminated from his job. Not to mention denied membership in the local swim club.”

“You have a point,” I conceded.

“Sure I do. Come to think of it, Marc, why don’t you post something anti-Jewish like DeSean and I did? Your family could use a vacation, too. Summer’s almost over.”

“It doesn’t work like that.”

“Why not?”

I'm Jewish, they wouldn't give me a vacation.”

“Not even if you said something nasty about, say, Israel?”

“Especially not if I trashed Israel.”

My neighbor cocked his head to the side. “I’m sure that if you defamed the world’s only Jewish state, the organized American Jewish community would do something to you.”

“Probably just give me a job with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. I mean, the Conference recently selected Diane Lobe as its leader. Lobe heads HIAS, an organization that supports people like Linda Sarsour, who claims that ‘Israel … is built on the idea that Jews are supreme to everyone else.’ HIAS also collaborates with radical Islamic groups that support Hamas.”

Kyle put his arm around me.

“I’ll send you a postcard,” he said.

Marc Berman writes on politics, law and culture. He can be reached at