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June 02, 2010


Emily Henochowicz, recently maimed by the IDF, went to Holton Arms in Bethesda, Maryland. There may literally be no high school in the U.S. that would be worse from the Israeli government's perspective. Holton Arms is a private all-girls school where the richest members of the U.S. political elite send their daughters. Alumnae include Jacqueline Kennedy, Susan Ford (daughter of Gerald), Amy Carter, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and many more.

P.S. Kudos to Holton Arms for putting the same African American student in every picture on their website.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at June 2, 2010 11:10 AM

Actually, after thinking about it I've realized that given Holton Arms, that girl's more likely to be the daughter of the Kenyan ambassador to the U.S. than African American.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 2, 2010 11:47 AM

How is this bad from the perspective of the Israeli government?

Do you think the Holton Arms Alumnae Association is going to wake up from their slumber and initiate a major divestment campaign because one of their sisters walked into a can of teargas in a virtual warzone?

Privileged children are often the ones who put themselves in harm's way...that's one of the problems with growing up in a sheltered never imagine the bubble could pop.

Posted by: seth at June 2, 2010 12:17 PM

As I've said, Seth, you do at least provide a reminder of the moronic hatefulness of which human beings are capable, which is important and useful. I appreciate it.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 2, 2010 12:25 PM

What are you talking about?

Posted by: seth at June 2, 2010 12:29 PM

Seth, you said this:
"walked into a can of teargas in a virtual warzone?"

This is both asinine and non-factual. The canister was fired direcetly at her head. And this is actually common IDF practice. Which turns originally non-lethal crowd disruption tools into lethal weapons.

In truth, standing up and saying STOP this is the provenance of freedom loving human beings the world over. And what better location to protest war, than in a war zone.

if a privileged young woman decides to do something with her privilege in an effort to better the world, she deserves much better from us than cynicism, sarcasm and exaggeration.

Your comment was fairly offensive.

Posted by: Xboxershorts at June 2, 2010 12:55 PM

Mr Schwarz, I am not sure if you are serious or being ironical ( I am not smart enough to always get it!!! ) but I see more than one person of colour ( of course, they could be biracial or as you said, daughter of an ambassador but could be also African American ).

The last picture in this media gallery shows Ninth graders..........

Posted by: Rupa Shah at June 2, 2010 12:58 PM

Please: no responses to Seth. It was foolish of me even to say that. This is something he may or may not figure out on his own, but no one else has the capacity to help him.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 2, 2010 12:58 PM

S'all good Jonathan. I was offended too.

Posted by: Xboxershorts at June 2, 2010 01:00 PM


Well, perhaps I was exaggerating slightly ;-) But only slightly!


100% my fault for getting it started in the first place.

If you're coming in late, you may enjoy this sophisticated psychological experiment. I did it for the lulz!

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 2, 2010 01:24 PM

Flip, maybe. But hateful? Get off your high horse.

The only place that throws around the word "hate" more promiscuously is the ADL.

For a site that is supposedly so witty and willing to skewer received opinion, the tone around here is rather blue-nosed and priggish.

I like the idea of a humor site that is so politically enlightened that it doesn't actually have to be funny has already digested all conceivable jokes and gets them all.

"We once laughed so you don't have to."

Posted by: seth at June 2, 2010 01:48 PM

A little detective work. She has one sister, Sarah Henochowicz, working in the DC area as a medical research assistant. Which makes it likely her father is prominent Tel Aviv-born doctor Stuart Henochowicz.

Sorry, no such luck there. Her family's elite, all right, but definitely not political elite.

But what's worth noting is that she's probably Jewish. We oughta be smart enough to blow up that fact.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at June 2, 2010 02:24 PM

Via wiki...

"The School also places a strong emphasis on community service, puts women first, and promotes risk taking among the student body, faculty and staff."

School? More like a breeding ground for antisemitism.

Posted by: John S at June 2, 2010 02:31 PM

JS wrote: "Actually, after thinking about it I've realized that given Holton Arms, that girl's more likely to be the daughter of the Kenyan ambassador to the U.S. than African American."

I don't know about the photos, but that's actually probably true. When I was in college I covertly read a memo recommending a switch from minority recruitment to international recruitment because of the difficulty of finding quality domestic minority applicants (due to grossly unequal primary education in the US). It was way easier to find rich Africans or South Americans than poor American kids who could do well enough on the standardized tests to be accepted, and of course because we're such a color-blind society now we have to pretend that everyone has equal elementary education for purposes of grading the standardized tests that determine college adminssions.

High schools like Holton Arms (if not Holton Arms itself) do offer financial aide and scholarships, and not all the kids there are rich. Plus, some of the kids are teachers' kids. But pretty much none of them were diagnosed with failure to thrive when they were toddlers, and not many of them received bad early education either. Come to think of it, probably not many readers of this blog did either.

There won't be anything close to equality of opportunity until all children get a decent start in life. That can't suddenly be fixed at the high school or college level, and even the smartest people will fail if they are suddenly expected to perform at a level beyond what they have been prepared for. That's what even well-intentioned colleges learned long ago.

As for privileged children supposedly often putting themselves in harms way, that doesn't seem to me to be an epidemic. It does occasionaly happen, but it doesn't happen because those kids are too foolish to realize they might get hurt. Conformists don't have to think about consequences as much as nonconformists do.

Posted by: N E at June 2, 2010 02:33 PM

Sorry, no such luck there. Her family's elite, all right, but definitely not political elite.

That's actually not the important part, as I see it. What matters is that for the little rich girls of Holton Arms, the Israeli military becomes less Our Gallant Allies In The Struggle Against Terrorism than The Psychos Who Maimed My Older Sister's Friend. The violence now has happened to someone who's actually human, rather than all those expendable dusky types out on the hazy horizon.

This kind of thing contributes to a cultural shift that doesn't have an immediate effect but does change things in the long run. Maybe.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 2, 2010 03:03 PM

I'm with Jonathan.

Kent State, everyone knows about.

Jackson State, what?

Like it or not (I don't), middle class white folks care more when middle and upper class white folks get killed.

Posted by: Jack Crow at June 2, 2010 03:23 PM

Jonathan Schwarz

Someone once told me that at the elite private school attended by some of Bobby Kennedy's kids, a few elite classmates of theirs enjoyed coming up behind them and shouting "bang!" I have no idea whether that's true, but it wouldn't surprise me. Rich kids aren't all pals, or all nice, just like poor kids aren't.

I think your hope that people will maybe at least start to object to the IDF shooting Palestinians with so little reluctance is a good one, but some of those "little rich girls" (an unfortunate phrase) might surprise you in both good and bad ways. They seem to be flying outside your radar.

More importantly, the cultural shift will come, and come quickly, as soon as the Israeli military stops being an extension of the US National Security Strategy, and I'd bet not a moment sooner. Segregation started its demise as soon as it began to jeopardize US National Security interests at the start of the Cold War, but not a moment before. Those National Security Interests are our Sacred Cow, much more than our much-touted love of Israel, and Netanyahu et al damn well know it. The opinions of all the students of Holton Arms and Sidwell Friends and Saint Albans and Georgetown Day and Maret and Lowell etc etc are of little consequence. What really matters is that the Pentagon and Our Rulers consider the Israelis a reliable and very useful ally these days, especially because they can use force without their public going bananas about renewed militarism the way the German and the Japanese publics do at the drop of a hat. (Notice that the German President just had to resign for saying something absurdly obvious and almost insufficiently warlike by US stanards.)

This idea that change comes from protests is a little pernicious. Half the damn world protested the Second Gulf War and as you know it barely even made it onto TV. Protests are great, and if I didn't like my wife so much I might be smitten with that Ms. Hulholland even though she's a little old for me, but don't overestimate their power.

Posted by: N E at June 2, 2010 04:09 PM

OK, I've had it with the nimrods who keep claiming that these tear gas canisters are fired deliberately at the heads of the criminals that Israel routinely has to deal with.

I have considerable experience with such devices, and I'm here to tell you that they cannot be aimed with that degree of accuracy. They throw tear gas canisters into the general area of a problem, but they don't impart any sort of spin on the canisters and the canisters are anything but ballistically stable or balanced. Point 'em--usually with the launcher's butt braced on the ground due to the recoil--and send them off towards the bad guys, hoping that they land reasonably close. Since gas is an area-effect tool, you don't need pinpoint accuracy, and the launchers and delivery systems aren't designed for it.

This girl unluckily stopped a round with her face by sheer dumb luck...but then that's what happens when naive and arrogant trust-fund kids who are used to back-talking their parents and defying authority mistakenly think that they can get away with that sort of thing in someone else's country.

And that's why the terrorist types like Hamas recruit these kids and send them out there--they want them to get hurt or killed just to generate publicity like this.

Posted by: Lagniappe's Guy at June 2, 2010 04:09 PM

Thanks for showing Seth how it's really done, Lagniappe's Guy.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 2, 2010 04:21 PM

Ladygaga's Guy (my glasses seem to be missing)

Talking trash about an injured girl, now that's impressive. And weapons experience and terrorism and contempt for defying authority, wow. Does this have something to do with a micropenis?

Posted by: N E at June 2, 2010 04:52 PM

Was there ever a successful social movement that wasn't helped along by wealthy/educated kids discovering injustice for the first time in their lives and reacting in horror?

I'm running down a mental checklist here: American Revolution, women's suffrage, Civil Rights, the Mexican Revolution, the French Revolution, the Indian independence movement, etc etc. They all had highly visible components of young educated folk who naively believed they could change things.

I'm never going to be on the front lines of a revolution, but I reserve some respect for my starry-eyed brethren (or sisters in this case), whether or not I agree with them.

Posted by: Rebecca at June 2, 2010 05:19 PM

Not going to respond directly per the host's request, but I will note in general terms the tendency some of us have to resent people who are willing to stand up for their beliefs in such a way as to characterize them as unrealistic, spoiled and ridiculous. One finds these arguments in police brutality stories as well, i.e. that the victims should have known better than to mouth off to the police and to resist was idiocy, evidence of immaturity.

Posted by: Justin at June 2, 2010 05:20 PM

It's depressing how the number of people I'm ashamed to live on the same planet with just seems to keep increasing....

Posted by: NomadUK at June 2, 2010 05:39 PM

My heart goes out to Emily and her family, just like it did to Rachel Corrie. I will forever remember then and honor them for their bravery. I cannot imagine being that brave and that righteous, but I try.

Posted by: Susan at June 2, 2010 05:45 PM

I wonder if Seth's last name is Freedman.

Posted by: Susan at June 2, 2010 06:13 PM

If I was shooting teargas canisters at a crowd of protesters, I'd be trying to hit the target. But that's just me.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 2, 2010 06:37 PM

Justin you're quite correct. The point is assholes like mr. ballistics expert and the one who should not be named are subconciously aware that they will never posess the moral courage of people like this girl who bravely stand up for their beliefs in the face of heavily armed goons. Since they are aware of their cowardice they are enraged when they see how weak they really are and become ennraged. PS. I was a Military Police Officer for four years and you are eevidently full of shit. These projectiles are never to be fired directly at anyone read the munitions box it says it right on it. They are to fired in an arc. But its amazing just how many identicle "accidents" seem to occur with the "IDF"

Posted by: demize! at June 2, 2010 07:23 PM

I apologize for my spelling and syntax errors, the more angry I get the worse I type.

Posted by: demize! at June 2, 2010 07:26 PM

The Swedish volunteer who was with Emily Henochowitz says they fired two canisters on either side of her before hitting her in the face.

"They clearly saw us,” said Sören Johanssen, a Swedish ISM volunteer standing with Henochowicz. “They clearly saw that we were internationals and it really looked as though they were trying to hit us. They fired many canisters at us in rapid succession. One landed on either side of Emily, then the third one hit her in the face.”

The IDF killed Bassem Abu Rahmah the same way. For something so un-aimable, these tear gas canisters sure seem to be effective at killing uppity activists and protesters.

This woman is a hero, plain and simple. Calling her "arrogant" is an appalling example of the inhumanity that support for Israel seems to inevitably degenerate into.

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at June 2, 2010 08:32 PM

Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner -- three more spoiled brats who flaunted the law. Walked right into those Mississippi police bullets. Commie dupes.

Posted by: Dennis Perrin at June 2, 2010 08:54 PM

If I dood it, I get a whippin' ... I dood it!

N E: Does this have something to do with a micropenis?

Rudeness. You make Jesus cry when you talk like that.

Certain unnamed people's reaction is hardly surprising, is it? This young woman was running around with a bunch of Arab bucks and anti-semitic hoodlums to ramble over this country with the express purpose of violating the laws of certain states and attempting to incite acts of violence. As Jon said, all angry confused monkeys sound the same.

Posted by: Duncan at June 2, 2010 08:54 PM

Did any of you ever attend Holton Arms? I did. None of you have any idea what the school is like. It's the most diverse private school in the DC/VA/MD area and we are taught respect above all. It's really awesome that all of you are talking about this injured girl that I went to school with like she was an ignorant "little rich kid". None of you have any idea what it's like to be in the environment we grew up in. Also, why are you blaming her education for the situation she was in? If anything, our high school taught Emily to stand up for what she believed in. She's a hero.

Posted by: BCA at June 2, 2010 10:31 PM

Thank you, BCA.

And I suspect Emily would be a hero no matter what school she went to. I have a great deal of respect for her, just like I have for Rachel Corrie.

Posted by: Susan at June 2, 2010 10:42 PM

"It's really awesome that all of you are talking about this injured girl that I went to school with like she was an ignorant "little rich kid"."

Really? I must be imagining things, because I see several people not doing what "all of you" did.

I agree with most of what you have to say, but try being accurate before slinging around blanket accusations, please.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at June 2, 2010 11:14 PM

According to this old article in the NYT, she also went to Hebrew school.

"...Ms. Henochowicz, who was raised as a Jew, said she began questioning the concepts of God and faith after the death of her grandfather a few years ago. A high school senior, she formerly attended a Hebrew school.."

Posted by: sign at June 4, 2010 04:32 AM

Obviously the sound of ignorance can best be described as the sound of a thousand keyboards being pecked on. In this case, it has to be the keyboards of those who persist in calling Emily and others like her "brave" and "heroic" for basically just going to Israel, standing near some rock-throwers who were trying to hurt other people, and getting accidentally injured. So what's she actually do that was so special?

I don't hate Emily. I just think that she was stupid and she got what stupid people often get. Her choice, but that's what happens when 21 year old girls take money from their over-indulgent parents and run off to other people's countries to challenge the power. (And for the record, the same thing applies to Rachel Corrie, aka: St. Pancake.)

And let's not kid ourselves--she and other little ego-driven crusading kids choose this conflict because it's chic to support the bad guys and because they know that the Israelis won't deliberately try to hurt them. If that wasn't true, she and the other wunderkind would be in China or North Korea trying to stop some real human-rights abuses. THAT would be brave, but it would also carry real risks so I don't expect to see it happen even though bringing change to those places would really help a lot of innocent people.

Of course she and the rest of you could always join the Peace Corps and help the needy, but again, that entails real work, not merely standing on the sidelines blogging and accepting kudos from each other.

Seriously, if you want to help someone, then you need to stop talking and go get your hands dirty digging wells and building schools and hospitals. If you want to fight, then pick up a rifle and go fight--don't just stand around playing on the internet and calling yourself brave while condemning others who also aren't hefting a rifle in support of your chosen cause.

And if you want to be a real hero and do both things, join the United States military. They'll make a man out of you and give you plenty of opportunities to make this world a better place.

Posted by: Lagniappe's Guy at June 4, 2010 10:13 AM

Uh oh, grandpa is drunk again.

Posted by: N E at June 4, 2010 12:03 PM

What's really sad is Lagniappe's Guy is apparently not Chinese, so he probably didn't get the chance to really exult in the Tiananmen Square massacre, when those over-privileged conceited students finally got what they deserved.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 4, 2010 01:12 PM

You guys are talking about a school you don’t now a thing about first hand and could never attend (you two, Seth and Jonathan may be one of the best arguments for single sex education EVER). Holton is more than 30% women of color and nearly every friend group is tremendously diverse (ethnically and religiously). As for anti-Semitism Seth, a very high percentage of Holton women are Jewish. Holton has as some of the most down-to-earth students you will ever meet who are as smart as they come and as involved as you can get in global issues. Sure there are some “little white rich girls” but those exist everywhere. And last time I checked being white was no worse nor better than being any other color, and being rich was no crime.

Seems to me that both of you – Jonathan and Seth – are exhibiting prejudice in the extreme. Why is it more acceptable to stereotype the students of a school like Holton than to stereotype “poor people” or “people of color?” It’s not. You guys are just bigots.

Posted by: Lizzy at June 4, 2010 01:14 PM

Lizzy, I think you may not be perceiving what I'm saying clearly. I'm not saying the people who attend Holton Arms are horrible human beings. How could I? I think Emily Henochowicz is extremely impressive. And I grew up nearby and I don't find myself to be horrible.

But what I am saying is that they're the largely the children of the U.S. political and economic elite, and hence almost always shielded from the results of U.S. foreign policy. So was I (sort of) and almost everyone I went to high school with. I would also describe my school as filled with little rich kids.

These are people who are almost never grievously wounded by the Israeli military. On the other hand, Palestinians are almost every day, and what happened to Emily Henochowicz will likely bring that home to people at Holton Arms like nothing else could.

On the other hand, I encourage you to whale on Seth as much as you have the energy for.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at June 4, 2010 01:43 PM

I totally love this comment thread, because it demonstrates Jon's initial point EXACTLY.

Out there in the world, people are thinking Holton Arms is a school full of "little rich girls." Just like they consider Dalton (for example), Harvard-Westlake, et al collections of the lucky sperm club. And because this reality isn't fair, and some people get more, and some people get less, the people who unfairly get less look at the people who unfairly get more and call them names. In response, the people who unfairly get more, feel attacked and angry and guilty and either try to explain why it's totally right and logical that they get more, or apologize and say that, while they do realize they get more, they at least try to appreciate it, be better people, etc.

Politics aside, what Emily did was courageous. She put her life on the line for what she believed in, and one would think that the posters in this thread with military experience would respect that MORE than the rest of us. That some do not is puzzling.

My guess is that this courage was encouraged, if not actually linked to her experience at Holton Arms--not only her knowledge that she was "getting more" while some people "get less," that she had a capacity to act that others do not, but that that happenstance came with certain responsibilities.

The posters in the thread from Holton demonstrate that these "little rich girls" get that--that's why they're pissed off. "You're saying we're x, and we're not!" To which all the rest of us say, "Okay, prove it. Emily did."

That's powerful, powerful motivation.

The military industrial financial complex is run by the sons and daughters of the overclass. As long as their actions have no consequences for "people like us," they will act crazy. Every time that the Overclass realizes that they, too, suffer the consequences of a lack of wisdom, they take a step towards wisdom. Not because it's right, or because we on the outside say so, but because it's in their best interest to act this way.

An activated conscience is necessary to evolve; because it's difficult (though not impossible) to pay attention to such stuff when you're hungry, privileged people have an opportunity for growth that others do not. The shame is not in the circumstance of wealth; it is in actively choosing to ignore one's conscience because it is inconvenient. I think having the violence in the Middle East personalized in this way will be an opportunity for the girls/women of Holton to realize "we are them...they are us" which is (IMHO) one of the central realizations. Israeli soldiers, Palestinian demonstrators, privileged Americans, idealists, frauds, entitled, unselfish--if we look inside, it's all in there. The question is, what do we express at this moment, the good stuff or the bad stuff? Personally, I think the injured artist was attempting to express the good stuff, as best she knew how, in a nonviolent way. Anybody who castigates her for that should probably spend the time thinking about their own behavior instead.

I know everybody already knows this, but sometimes it helps me to say it.

Posted by: Mike of Angle at June 4, 2010 02:41 PM

Lizzy, I think you are also missing my point. I have absolutely nothing against the girls who go to Holton Arms...I certainly would never imagine that they are anti-Semitic, probably quite the contrary.

In fact I imagine that, as products of a private, liberal education, they are extremely sensitive, well brought up individuals with great respect for others.

I was only making the point that it is, ironically, the products of privileged backgrounds who feel assured enough of themselves to make sacrifices on behalf of causes they espouse. Perhaps they are not entirely aware of the dangers they may face because they have grown up in relatively sheltered environments...certainly not in war zones.

I, like Jon, went to a high school (in fact the same high school) filled with rich kids. So I do not approach this subject in the spirit of class war.

I have respect for Emily Henochowicz and regret what happened to her. However, one must recognize that she placed herself in a risky situation.

Posted by: seth at June 4, 2010 03:39 PM

OK, enough with pretending Emily is some kind of hero. She didn't do anything other than go hang out and have an accident. It's no more "heroic" than if she'd gone to London to blog ab out the Beatles and gotten hit by a bus while crossing Abbey Road.

Granted, if she'd minded her own business in the first place and just stayed home, getting a job and marrying a good man like most real women do, she's still have two eyes today.

Posted by: Lagniappe's Guy at June 4, 2010 04:25 PM

Thought 'Lagniappe' was a troll, in the older 4chan sense. Clicked on his blog.


The horror ... the horror ...

Posted by: Cloud at June 4, 2010 04:38 PM

How hurtful.

But if you checked my blog, you'd see that Lagniappe is just the dog who lives here. He doesn't post or comment on other sites. I do.


Emily just needs to buck up and focus--er, concentrate on getting on with life. She's still young and somewhere out there is a great guy with a lot of laundry that's not going to wash itself.

Posted by: Lagniappe's Guy at June 4, 2010 06:07 PM

Lagniappe's Guy: OK I'll bite--how did you lose your leg?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 4, 2010 06:28 PM

I had a bad day. Someone else wasn't paying attention to what they were supposed to be doing. Life happens.

Posted by: Lagniappe's Guy at June 6, 2010 01:15 PM

Lagniappe's Guy: Good job saving that snake.

Posted by: Lurker at June 6, 2010 07:15 PM

Lagniappe's Guy: Congrats on the ten mile run. I enjoyed the aircraft pictures.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 6, 2010 09:29 PM