Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who's A Jew?

According to the fine folks over there at the Wall Street Journal, Apple has withdrawn an app from its French online store. Now, Apple withdraws and rejects apps all of the time. But I think this might be the first case of Apple withdrawing an app that I really can't imagine that anyone would have wanted in the first place.

See, the app is called "Jew or Not Jew" and it "...allows users to identify whether a politician or celebrity is Jewish." Really? First of all, the name leaves a bit to be desired. I think they should have gone with something a little snappier like "Are Jew A Jew?" or "Jew Who?" Even "Jew Or No Jew" (you know, like Deal or No Deal) would have been better as far as a snappy moniker goes. But I digress.

According to the guy who made the app, a one Johann Lévy, he wanted "...a "recreational" tool for users curious about the religious background of famous people." Specifically, whether or not someone was Jewish. While I don't give a fat rat's ass what religion someone is, Mr. Levy seems to have given it a lot of thought, as he explained, "I often ask myself whether this or that celebrity is Jewish or not...I believe that it's a question that many Jews ask themselves too." Really? Jews are really that concerned about whether or not a politician is Jewish or not? I mean, so concerned that they'd go to the trouble of either writing an app or seeking out and buying an app in order to tell them about the Jew-ness of a politician? Huh. That's really important to you folks, eh? I had no idea.

And I guess that in France, you're not allowed to disclose people's religion. (See? Folks and bitch and complain all they want about the United States, but when you compare our freedom of speech to other countries NOT freedom of speech, it really puts things in perspective. Well, it should.) Yep, they have rules "...that ban disclosing people's religion without their consent as well as compiling data about people's religions." Some groups complained and cited that law and Apple decided to take down an app that I don't think that anyone was clamoring for in the first place.

I find this whole thing a little weird. Why is whether or not someone is Jewish a big deal? What does that do for people who find it important? Do they like non-Jews less? I don't get it. And why would anyone even care about the app? Are they afraid it's going to spur another Hitler? Oh, God. I just used Hitler as a hypothetical argument. Please forgive me.

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