Is this anti-semitism?

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It's very tricky. Nearly 18% said Judaism was “intolerant” -- even that isn't necessarily anti-semitic; I would saw that Islam, or any faith, really, is "intolerant" too. The Holocaust point is probably more worrying -- this was a cross-Europe poll, so held in countries considerably more culpable in this respect than the UK. Many quasi-Leftists fall on this position when attacking Israel, which is a vile position to hold, lacking in sympathy -- and I'm speaking as someone who is critical of Israel.

Enrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 12:39 (11 years ago) Permalink

I've often thought the biggest problem with the often nebulous and knee-jerk accusations of anti-semitism is that there is an extri special word for it (ie it ain't called Anti-Judaism). Islamophobic is incleasingly being brought in to mean a similar kind of thing for Islam - though certainly not as loaded. But there is no real offical word for hating Christians.

Pete (Pete), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 12:46 (11 years ago) Permalink

It's not vile to be desperately upset with Israel's treatment of Palestinians is it, given the circumstances of the founding of Israel from a political standpoint? Admittedly, the founding of Israel on the ground kinda started to whole treatment of Palestinaians thing thing, but...

Dave B (daveb), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 12:48 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hmm, the Holocaust one I'm not entirely convinced about, Enrique. Some Jewish people argue, not that it is time to forget, but time to get out of a victim-casting obsession with past persecution. Not because they are self-haters, but because they think it helps Jewish culture move on, and because in certain hands, the Holocaust issue is almost used as a trump card in all arguments, which is obviously irritating.

I accept that “Jews should stop playing the victim for the Holocaust and the persecutions of 50 years ago” is anastily-worded statement and I'm not saying I would agree with it. And yeah, maybe it's not for gentiles to say any of these things anyway.

N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 12:50 (11 years ago) Permalink

It's a bit vile to say that Israel only exists because the Jews 'used' the Holocaust as leverage, which is what a lot of revisionist leftists do in their attempt to undermine Israel's legitimacy as a nation. In its less nuanced uses, this is what the Finkelstein book does. Obviousy it shouldn't be used to justify current hostilities against the Palestinians, but I can understand why it was used back in the 1940s, when the area was a British mandate-colony.

Enrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 12:52 (11 years ago) Permalink

What we learned from the Holocaust is that it is a very wrong idea to separate people out according to religion/sexuality (remember Catholics and homosexuals also suffered there), place them in internment camps and then kill them. What we learned from apartheid is that it is wrong to separate people out by skin colour and deny them access to cities and areas and basic civil rights as if on a whim. I would suggest to Israelis of a 'pioneer' bent to learn from the Holocaust and apartheid the lesson about onetime victims relishing their turn on bully duty, and to find a way to resist.

suzy (suzy), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

i thought it said 'jews should stop "playing the violin" for the holocaust'... i wish they had worded it that way because i don't think nearly as many people would be in favour of stopping violins!

jeremy jordan (cruisy), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:01 (11 years ago) Permalink

Is it racist to say that a religion is intolerant? It would certianly be racist to say that Jews were intolerant.

It is not true that Judaism is intolerant, but saying it is might have all manner of motives, not necessarily racist ones. Although not excluding racist ones, either. For instance, someone might believe that Judaism is intolerant because its rituals can comes across as dogmatic and strict, such as not allowing you to use the car on a Friday. But this is not actually intolerance. To say that Judaism is intolerant implies that the religion or the culture has no sympathy for outsiders or other cultures. This is not true. Judaism, like Islam, is a religion of love and charity, which is not confined to the community but extends as far as loving the enemy.

Of course, I'm not talking about any particular state or government here, just the teachings of the religions.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:02 (11 years ago) Permalink

Um, the Balfour Declaration dates back to long before the Holocaust.

Ricardo (RickyT), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:03 (11 years ago) Permalink

How much of the fear and mistrust of Judaism comes from it being a non-evangelical religion (menkos Jews 4 Jebus notwithstanding).

Pete (Pete), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:05 (11 years ago) Permalink

Um, the Balfour Declaration dates back to long before the Holocaust.

Sure it does, but the Holocaust was a major part of the ideological constellation that led to Israel being set up. As you know, the Balfour declaration was no road-map, and of course had its Nazi counterparts (ie setting up of Jewish homeland far away from Europe).

Judaism, like Islam, is a religion of love and charity, which is not confined to the community but extends as far as loving the enemy. But neither are interpreted like that, or at least they aren't so often. The problem is the conflation of race and religion -- I think Ed made me think on this. I don't think it's racist to take issue with faith -- no-one will call me racist for having a problem with Christianity's views on homosexuality, for example.


Enrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:10 (11 years ago) Permalink

You're right, Enrique, about no-one calling you racist for taking issue with Christianity's dogma on sexuality. But what about the statement that Judaism might be about love and charity in principle but is is not interpreted like that? Do you mean actual Jews don't act out of love and charity? Or do you mean gentiles don't regard Judaism as about love and charity?

If you think that Judaism is about love and charity but Jews don't act as if it is, then that's already sounding like an attack on the race not the religion to me...

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:14 (11 years ago) Permalink

Pete, that's not at the heart of it at all. The Romans/Greeks didn't really 'get' monotheism, but it's the crapness of Christianity and its prostletysing that created a great deal of anti-Semitic sentiment, what with chasing the money-lenders out of the temple yada yada and people judging ALL Jews as usurers/cash-obsessed/cleverer than. I'm pretty bloody thankful I went to school with thousands of Jews, because they had in their favour a belief in the power of learning and education being a pathway to aspirations. Their parents were the best agitators for getting stuff done for everyone in my town that I've ever experienced.

Again: all bigotry is a manifestation of the bigot's insecurity, usually unsubstantiated.

suzy (suzy), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:18 (11 years ago) Permalink

So, has anybody got any idea why someone would say that Judaism is intolerant? (I'm not asking if any of you are racist, I'm just wondering if anyone has any examples or good guesses about purported Judaic intolerance... And I mean the religion, not the state or Isreal or somesuch)

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:21 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hmm, interesting. I suppose I was thinking that the idea of not wanting to spread "the good news", being a closed community pretty much marks you out as The Other, but certainly the other factors you point out seem a fair bit more convincing.

How has Christianity dealt with the Jesus as king of Jews thing?

Pete (Pete), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:25 (11 years ago) Permalink

Dave, you've already said it's intolerant of several things (like allowing you to use the car on a Friday). You also explained why this doesn't mean the same as 'intolerant' to you. I understand that, but 'intolerant' means different things to different people.

Perhaps the main point of this thread was that I hate ambiguously worded questionnaires, esp. if they're deliberately so.

N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:26 (11 years ago) Permalink

because people conflate judaism with the state of isreal?

Stringent Stepper (Stringent), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:30 (11 years ago) Permalink

Or with 'all Jewish people'.

N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:33 (11 years ago) Permalink

I don't mean that it doesn't mean intolerant to me, I mean it is not what intolerant means. Intolerance is an unwillingness to endure differing opinions. Religious Law is not intolerant of those who break religious law. Laws are not opinions, so flouting the law is not a differing opinion either.

If you are a Jew, you do not drive etc on the Sabbath. This is a ritual by which you live a religious life. It is the code by which you get closer to god. That is not intolerant. Judaism would be intolerant if it forbid non-Jews to drive etc on the Sabbath.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:34 (11 years ago) Permalink

good point, what about forcible removal of non-jews and 'pioneer' settling though?

Stringent Stepper (Stringent), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:35 (11 years ago) Permalink

That's Isreal, not Judaism

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:37 (11 years ago) Permalink

Is a state intolerant for forbidding someone to open his business, or restricting his hours of busines by law on the Sabbath no matter what his religion?

Pete (Pete), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:37 (11 years ago) Permalink

in·tol·er·ant    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (n-tlr-nt)
adj.

Not tolerant, especially:
a. Unwilling to tolerate differences in opinions, practices, or beliefs, especially religious beliefs.
b. Opposed to the inclusion or participation of those different from oneself, especially those of a different racial, ethnic, or social background.
c. Unable or unwilling to endure or support: intolerant of interruptions; a community intolerant of crime.


I'd say a) is pretty different to b)

N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:38 (11 years ago) Permalink

That's Isreal, not Judaism
-- run it off (davebeec...), January 27th, 2004 1:37 PM.


because people conflate judaism with the state of isreal?
-- Stringent Stepper (stringen...), January 27th, 2004 1:30 PM.

there you go mate

Stringent Stepper (Stringent), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:39 (11 years ago) Permalink

the State may well be intolerant if it restricted business hours for citizens who don't share the law of the Sabbath, but the religion isn't intolerant because the state does this.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:40 (11 years ago) Permalink

So, if the problem is the conflation of the state and the religion, does that mean it is racist to say that Judaism is intolerant instead of saying that Isreal is intolerant?

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:41 (11 years ago) Permalink

not racist, I mean anti-semitic...

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:41 (11 years ago) Permalink

Huzzah, The UK is intolerant (no shock there....)

Pete (Pete), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:42 (11 years ago) Permalink

Well, a lot of places in London settled by Jews had Sunday trading by dint of being closed on Saturday for Sabbath: see Brick Lane/Whitechapel, Golders Green/Hampstead.

suzy (suzy), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:44 (11 years ago) Permalink

the religion isn't intolerant because the state does this

I don't know enough about the tenets of Judaism to go into it, but by analogy -- it *is* intolerant if it sanctions the law, surely?

Judaism != Jews, maybe, run it off? It's clumsy, but race and religion are not the same. So it isn't racist to criticize a faith? I doin't know.

Enrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:46 (11 years ago) Permalink

Religious Law is not intolerant of those who break religious law.

Surely religious las IS intolerant of people who break it. I'm guessing there must be punishments for transgression, even if it's just an evil look during church - and that kind of emotional punishment can be extremely effective/painful, especially in close-knit communities and ones where the people have a God's good will yo lose.



Laws are not opinions, so flouting the law is not a differing opinion either.
If you are a Jew, you do not drive etc on the Sabbath. This is a ritual by which you live a religious life. It is the code by which you get closer to god. That is not intolerant. Judaism would be intolerant if it forbid non-Jews to drive etc on the Sabbath.

-- run it off (davebeec...), January 27th, 2004.

Laws are opinions, they're (usually(should be!)) the opinion of the majority as to how individuals should behave.

Also, not being allowed to drive on a Sunday (or Saturday) IS intolerant: intolerant toward Jews. I think most religions are least tolerant of their own.

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:52 (11 years ago) Permalink

Laws are opinions, they're (usually(should be!)) the opinion of the majority as to how individuals should behave.

That's a bit of a shallow view of jurisprudence.

Ricardo (RickyT), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:55 (11 years ago) Permalink

jurisprudence = ideological screen for repressive state apparatus

Enrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 14:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

how could a religion as old as the hills sanction a state as young as Isreal? Still less the acts of the leaders of such a state.

The ideological screen idea is itself an ideological screen.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 14:34 (11 years ago) Permalink

Ideologies don't screen. They are productive not obstructive. Eagleton at one point uses the example of the phrase "the Prince of Wales is a nice chap". This is ideological because it produces a certain effect (support for the Royals as people) not because it hides the real social relations (Royals are social leeches, or etc). The fact that it makes no mention of politics, economics, and so on does not mean that it is a screen any more than a black and white photo can be said to be a screen against colour.

As such, juridprudence is not an ideological screen; it is ideological. That doesn't mean it is no different from other ideas or opinions. Opinions that are ratified and authorised are not opinions in the same way as opinions that are not.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 14:41 (11 years ago) Permalink

Sorry -- it was just my little joke. Nonetheless, I think it's interestingly provocative to call laws 'opinions'.

Enrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 14:46 (11 years ago) Permalink

yes, I agree.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 15:02 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hey, we Jews are barely tolerant of each other, let alone the rest of you.

Chuck Tatum (Chuck Tatum), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 15:12 (11 years ago) Permalink

Enough with the kvetching!

suzy (suzy), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 15:41 (11 years ago) Permalink

kvetching - one of my favourites. A friend calls her young baby a kvetch box

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 15:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

Every time you moan you have to put a coin in the kvetch box.

Chuck Tatum (Chuck Tatum), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 15:55 (11 years ago) Permalink

[all babies are young, aren't they... doh!]

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 15:59 (11 years ago) Permalink

Laws are opinions, they're (usually(should be!)) the opinion of the majority as to how individuals should behave.
That's a bit of a shallow view of jurisprudence.

-- Ricardo (boyofbadger...), January 27th, 2004.

Jurisprudence is the philosophy of law isn't it? Isn't what I've said what that all boils down too?

Where _is_ the depth?
It's simple isn't it?

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Can you explain how it all boils down to opinion?

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:01 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hey, we Jews are barely tolerant of each other, let alone the rest of you.
-- Chuck Tatum (sappy_papp...), January 27th, 2004.

See! Told you!

And more kvetchup please!

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:01 (11 years ago) Permalink

Laws (attempt to) make people behave in the ways other people _think_ they should behave.

How humans should behave is a matter of opinion. Different religions, for example, havie differing opinions.

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:02 (11 years ago) Permalink

Sorry -- it was just my little joke. Nonetheless, I think it's interestingly provocative to call laws 'opinions'.
-- Enrique (miltonpinsk...), January 27th, 2004.

To clarify, laws themselves aren't exactly opinions, but what they attempt to enshrine as 'right' and 'wrong' ARE opinions.

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:05 (11 years ago) Permalink

I might break the law even though I agree with it generally, but I may also break the law because I have a different opinion as to what is 'rihgt' and what is 'wrong'.

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:06 (11 years ago) Permalink

who are these other people? Don't the laws apply to the people who write them? (Seriously)

If laws are backed by the state (and, after all, that's what makes them laws, rather than guidelines or codes or something else) then they are not just opinions, they are sanctified, ordered, institutionalied, backed up by the criminal justice system etc. I'm not saying power and hierarchy and stuff aren't involved -- of course they are -- but laws don't get to be laws without going through a socially sanctioned process.

The case of breaking the law because you have a different opinion (civil disobedience etc) does not mean that the law is treated as opinion it means that laws are seen as arbitrary and changeble, so that collective action can bring about social changes that force laws to change.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:07 (11 years ago) Permalink

Yes they do apply to those that write them (or they're supposed to).

Yes, they are socially sanctioned, they are the combined opinions of a lot of people.

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:09 (11 years ago) Permalink

looking at long-term risks there is probably no place where you are more likely to be killed for being jewish than israel

iatee, Monday, 16 February 2015 18:40 (1 week ago) Permalink

Ok fine he's a jerk but is he really the villain of this event? I expect to hear that ppl fucking hate Islamist terrorists, not the PM of Israel.

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 18:40 (1 week ago) Permalink

nobody here doesn't hate islamist terrorists

iatee, Monday, 16 February 2015 18:41 (1 week ago) Permalink

let me state my objection differently. i've read enough ppl on the internet who claim that this (and the kosher mart attack) were mossad false flags to convince jews to move to israel, or in its more polite wink-wink version say something like 'well, these certainly work to israel's benefit, right?' that i don't want anything to do w/ the argument that somehow bibi is to blame for islamist terrorists confusing diaspora jews w/ israeli jews. (<< btw this last part is particularly odious, as if attacks on jews in synagogues would be okay if it happened in israel. just this entire discourse is so sick and fucked it's not a surprise it's thriving so much in europe.)

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 18:47 (1 week ago) Permalink

as if this were just an innocent mistake. oh they didn't realize all jews weren't israelis but bibi convinced them otherwise. the poor dears, being misled by the tricky jew. like maybe this has nothing to do w/ bibi, or even israel, but rather w/ intense incitement and antisemitism that would persist whether or not there were settlers living in gush etzion.

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 18:50 (1 week ago) Permalink

"it doesn't make a lot of sense to get angry at bibi bc jews in europe don't feel safe. that's just more conflation bullshit."

Yeah, notice I didn't say this at all.

Also, fuck you, mordy. Quite honestly. This happened right where I live, don't imply that it's in any way our fault for not making Jews 'feel safe'. We're doing what we can in a quite honestly pretty chaotic and difficult situation, with thousands and thousands of refugees entering the country, fleeing the chaos in Syria, mostly.

Also, nobody knows if he was islamist yet. I know, it's crazy to hear, but the guy spent the last two years in jail, where he was for unprovokingly stabbing another guy in the leg. He was a psycho. And I fucking hate that guy, of course.

Frederik B, Monday, 16 February 2015 18:50 (1 week ago) Permalink

sure let's hold our judgement on whether he was an islamist. in the meanwhile tho, "Omar el-Hussein, suspected in twin Copenhagen attacks, loved to discuss Islam and Israeli-Palestinian conflict, newspaper reports."

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 18:51 (1 week ago) Permalink

i wonder what the chief rabbi of copenhagen says at the end of his pesach seder

― Mordy, Monday, February 16, 2015 8:50 AM (4 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this is why judaism is as bankrupt as any other world religion

I dunno. (amateurist), Monday, 16 February 2015 18:58 (1 week ago) Permalink

i mean, sure call him out on it, i'm pretty sure bibi is made of more shit than the chief rabbi of copenhagen, but it's all BS.

I dunno. (amateurist), Monday, 16 February 2015 18:58 (1 week ago) Permalink

I still don't get why people are so preoccupied with calling Judaism a "religion". And the concept of a "chief rabbi" is one that's pretty alien to my Judaism.

stately, plump buck angel (silby), Monday, 16 February 2015 19:02 (1 week ago) Permalink

I mean I do get why but y'know rhetoric.

stately, plump buck angel (silby), Monday, 16 February 2015 19:03 (1 week ago) Permalink

huh? among other things, it's a religion.

I dunno. (amateurist), Monday, 16 February 2015 19:03 (1 week ago) Permalink

i mean, i don't see how you argue otherwise, even if you agree that it also describes a kind of nationality or ethnic group

I dunno. (amateurist), Monday, 16 February 2015 19:03 (1 week ago) Permalink

from my pov judaism is 100% a religion. jewishness maybe some other things as well.

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 19:05 (1 week ago) Permalink

yeah saying "judaism isn't a religion" is kind of like saying "socialism isn't a political philosophy" -- i mean, judaism is an /archetypal/ religion.

I dunno. (amateurist), Monday, 16 February 2015 19:08 (1 week ago) Permalink

on the other hand "religion" is kinda a nonsense paradigm which is why only christianity (the religion that hume used to design the term) is really the only one that doesn't seem chockfull of caveats + exceptions. but i'm not sure judaism is less of a religion than hinduism or buddhism or whatever tribal "religions" that hume tried to shove into his system.

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 19:11 (1 week ago) Permalink

i'm a little concerned that some ppl's response to an antisemitic attack in denmark is to get really angry at bibi.

I'm the guy who posted the thing about Bibi. Do you think that's my only response? Do you think I'm not angry at the murderer who killed innocent people? I am. But what would be the point of saying that on ILX? I talk to lots of people who sympathize with Netanyahu and I think a lot about whether my own reasons not for sympathizing with Netanyahu are good ones. And I think about how, if my reasons are good reasons, I can best express them to my Netanyahu-sympathizing friends.

And I think the question of whether Diaspora Jews are really "at home" in the countries of their birth and their parents' birth is really a live issue, one I feel strongly about, and one I want to talk about.

I have NO friends who sympathize with people who murder Jews in synagogues. So I don't really have to spend any time working out my feelings about those people. My feelings about them are already worked out.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 16 February 2015 19:22 (1 week ago) Permalink

tbh i was responding more to "Fucking hell how I hate Netanyahu," which seemed bizarre to me

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 19:23 (1 week ago) Permalink

You were just too chickenshit to name me? And do you think that's my only response as well? It's what was going on in this thread, of course that's what I reply to.

Frederik B, Monday, 16 February 2015 19:27 (1 week ago) Permalink

i've read enough ppl on the internet who claim that this (and the kosher mart attack) were mossad false flags to convince jews to move to israel, or in its more polite wink-wink version say something like 'well, these certainly work to israel's benefit, right?' that i don't want anything to do w/ the argument that somehow bibi is to blame for islamist terrorists confusing diaspora jews w/ israeli jews.

This is of course a different story and I hope nothing I said makes it sound like I think Bibi is secretly rubbing his hands with glee when Jews get murdered in Europe. I do, to be honest, think the line that "a Jew's true home is Israel and only Israel" feeds anti-semitism, but I don't really think it feeds the kind of anti-semitism that drives the murders in Europe. Those people weren't killed for not being French enough or Danish enough.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 16 February 2015 19:29 (1 week ago) Permalink

my wife asked me if there was an attack in our neighborhood on one of the synagogues here would we think about moving. i said i thought probably not - but more bc it would be an aberration, we don’t feel threatened every day, i wear a yarmulke on the street etc. but if an attack happened already in the context of feeling threatened and hiding being jewish etc?

I get this, and I can't honestly say how I would feel if anti-semitic violence in the US became more than a very occasional aberration. Would I leave? I guess I might. But what I feel Bibi fails to grasp is that, if I moved to Israel, I wouldn't be coming home. I would be leaving my homeland and moving to a foreign country for the sake of my family's safety.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 16 February 2015 19:36 (1 week ago) Permalink

I feel both ways about this - in some ways I'd feel like I was leaving home, but in other ways I'd feel like I was coming home. Israel is not just a foreign country to me but a place intricately connected to the texts + prayers i've been studying + reading since i was a child. my middle name is "israel," i say "lshana haba b'yerushalayim" at the seder, i light candles, fast and read eicha on tisha b'av, like my whole life has been very intimately associated w/ israel (and not - or at least not just - as a political entity). when i've visited i've immediately felt welcomed + among family. but i understand this isn't true for all jews.

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 19:43 (1 week ago) Permalink

it probably helps that my hebrew language skills are good and that i have multiple friends + family who already live there that i'd be joining. it wouldn't really be like moving to a totally foreign country where i didn't know anyone and didn't speak the language.

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 19:46 (1 week ago) Permalink

that said, there's a reason i don't live there now. i love my home in the US - it's where my Rebbe lived and family for 3 generations and it has been warm and welcoming to me, and the fact that it's probably safer to be a jew in the Northeast US than in Israel definitely plays a role bc at the end of the day i'm extremely pragmatic about keeping my family safe + alive. not to mention i'm so totally acculturated into US culture, music + literature + television, etc. it would be a bummer to only get to see a band i love when they bucked the BDS vitriol and played their one israel show of the decade or whatever >> nb i feel like this last reason is very superficial but idk it feels substantial to me?

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 19:48 (1 week ago) Permalink

sorry frederick, i didn't mean to call you out personally bc tbh even tho i see the bibi-evocation as part of a continuum obv your post was barely participating in what really bothers me which is that the moment these incidents occur there's this almost knee-jerk gesture back towards the Jews. whether it's BBC reporter Willcox after the Kosher Mart attack, or Jimmy Carter, not to mention even less acceptable arguments like ppl saying that it was a mossad false flag, etc. so i'm kinda sensitive to any discursive shift that in anyway seems to blame (or assign culpability to) Jews, or Israel, or the government of Israel, for totally unrelated attacks in the diaspora. this kind of thing has a long history obv, from WW2 (jews were blamed for the German defeat at WW1 and the bad terms they got at Versailles), as well as this conspiracy i keep hearing about how post-1948 violence against mizrachi jews were mossad false flags intended to convince jews to move back to israel, or the really hideous suggestion that Zionists helped plan the Holocaust to force European jewry out of europe. that's the subtext i see when ppl talk about how bibi is cynically using these attacks to bring jews back to israel (w/ the double subtext that he's bringing jews back to israel so that he'll have a pretext to "steal" more land from the palestinians). when the more likely explanation is that bibi sincerely believes that europe is dangerous for jews (for very good reason, present + historical) and that israel is their home. nb i'm sure it doesn't need to be said, but i don't think europe in 2015 is remotely comparable to europe in 1938 - for one antisemitism is, for the most part, not coming from official governments and being backed by State militaries. that's obv a huge difference. but i don't think any jew who looks at europe and says, "jews might be safer elsewhere" can just be discounted as a cynical opportunist.

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 21:18 (1 week ago) Permalink

and as israel was partially founded as a response to european antisemitism (both from the pov of early zionists + the UN countries who voted for its existence) it's not insane at all for bibi to respond to european antisemitism by saying, 'hey, this is why we founded israel.'

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 21:25 (1 week ago) Permalink

"Europe is dangerous for Jews" seems to me to be demonstrably false, given that by any indicator Western European (at least) societies are safer by pretty much any measure than either the USA or Israel, and so far as I am able to tell this applies to Jewish communities as much as any others. This does not mean that there isn't a problem with anti-Semitism in Europe, of course.

Keith Moom (Neil S), Monday, 16 February 2015 21:30 (1 week ago) Permalink

http://dsadevil.blogspot.com/2015/02/outward-bound.html

Last week, a former colleague of mine from Illinois emailed me about a German decision where torching a synagogue was not anti-Semitic, just "criticism of Israel" (not the first time I've heard that argument). And earlier this week, a law school classmate sent me an Austrian prosecutor's conclusion that putting up a picture of Hitler captioned with "I could have annihilated all the Jews in the world, but I left some of them alive so you will know why I was killing them..." was likewise just a means of exposure displeasure with Israel. Seriously, this argument has to be bounded somewhere, yes?

Oh, and half of all racist attacks in France are directed at Jews, who constitute one percent of the population. Makes me glad to have the #JewishPrivilege of living in the United States, where we're only the second most common (per capita) victim of hate crimes.

Mordy, Monday, 16 February 2015 21:34 (1 week ago) Permalink

Yeah, honestly, I've not looked at the statistics/numbers (and maybe I should), but last I heard the US was the safest place for Jews, not Europe.

Neil S seems to be conflating general safety with where are Jews least likely to be victims of racism, hate crime, etc., which albeit is sometimes hard to quantify (racism comes in many ways).

F♯ A♯ (∞), Monday, 16 February 2015 22:30 (1 week ago) Permalink

Thanks, mordy. I am quite on edge at the moment, I don't mean to be too much of an asshole. Realizing that one of the guys talking at the attacked meeting was an old professor of mine from college. A girl from work was at the synagogue just a few hours before the shooting - it's at one of the most crowded streets in Denmark. And the murderer was killed a few blocks from where I used to live. It does all of a sudden become pretty close, and pretty stressful.

But the attacks on Bibi weren't 'kneejerk'. Nobody was talking about Israel until he inserted himself in the conversation, with his stupid comments. And I would be okay if he said 'hey, this is why we founded Israel', but that wasn't what he said. This is me cutting and pasting, but he did say: 'Obviously Jews deserve protection in every country, but...' Like, that isn't a sentence that anyone should put a 'but' behind, no matter what is the followup (the followup is ...'but we say to the Jews, to our brothers and sisters: ‘Israel is your home') He said 'Israel is the home of every Jew.'

Also, with the other moves Netanyahu is making at the moment, I don't think it's unfair to accuse him of cynisism. I just read his speech about the speech in Washington. I hate him.

Jews have been in Denmark for hundreds of years. They were made citizens back in the beginning of the nineteenth century. Most of them survived the German occupation. We haven't had a deadly terror attack on anyone in almost thirty years. The standard of living is high, and the murder rate is low. I don't think Jews are much safer elsewhere but here.

Frederik B, Monday, 16 February 2015 22:34 (1 week ago) Permalink

According to estimated numbers of populations in the US and FBI data, per capita, Jews make up the largest, not second largest, group of hate crime victims in the US:

(as a percentage of each group)
Jewish Black LBGT
0.00012 0.00004 0.000091

bamcquern, Tuesday, 17 February 2015 02:10 (1 week ago) Permalink

oops there go my spaces

bamcquern, Tuesday, 17 February 2015 02:11 (1 week ago) Permalink

does that statistic only capture hate crimes where a conviction was obtained? it is notorious that prosecutors are reluctant to bring charges under hate crime statutes because the burden of evidence is harder to meet than simply proving that a crime was committed by the assailant. when you add that filter, it is hard to say if it skews the distribution.

Aimless, Tuesday, 17 February 2015 02:59 (1 week ago) Permalink

There is an election coming up in Israel, just to give a little (more) context to Netanyahu's remarks.

Nut-bloody-rageous (Tom D.), Tuesday, 17 February 2015 10:53 (1 week ago) Permalink

Ok fine ("Bibi")'s a jerk but is he really the villain of this event? I expect to hear that ppl fucking hate Islamist terrorists, not the PM of Israel.

yes let's not hold the head of an alleged democracy to a different standard than that for assassins. this trick is always boring.

touch of a love-starved cobra (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 18 February 2015 19:39 (1 week ago) Permalink

i will consider your analogizing Netanyahu to Al Sharpton as throwing in the towel, though

touch of a love-starved cobra (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 18 February 2015 19:52 (1 week ago) Permalink

i think everyone but maybe u can agree that we should treat burning ppl alive as a more serious offense than giving a speech about the dangers of iranian nukes.

Mordy, Wednesday, 18 February 2015 20:16 (1 week ago) Permalink

'bibi' has done both, so

touch of a love-starved cobra (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 18 February 2015 20:17 (1 week ago) Permalink

i wonder if you're aware that your contributions to almost every discussion on ilx are totally worthless

Mordy, Wednesday, 18 February 2015 20:21 (1 week ago) Permalink

can we lock you two in a room? you already have complementary names.

I dunno. (amateurist), Wednesday, 18 February 2015 20:21 (1 week ago) Permalink

tbh i had no idea there was still a Temani community in yemen, but maybe not for much longer:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/world/middleeast/persecution-defines-life-for-yemens-few-jews.html

they're one of the few jewish groups that have a custom/tradition that allows them to eat kosher locusts. other groups (like all ashkenazim) lost the tradition and so it's not in the kosher canon

According to Yemenite tradition the four types of kosher locust in the Torah are:

The red locust (Hebrew: ארבה, Arbeh, Aramaic: גובאי, Govei, Arabic: الجراد, Al-Jaraad).
The spotted gray locust (Hebrew: חרגול, Chargol Aramaic: ניפול, Nippul, Arabic: الحرجوان, Al-Harjawaan).
The white locust (Hebrew: חגב, Chagav, Aramaic: גדיאן, Gadayin, Arabic: الجندب, Al-Jundub).
The yellow locust (Hebrew: סלעם, Sal'am, Aramaic: רשון, Rashona, Arabic: الدبا, Al-Daba).

Mordy, Wednesday, 18 February 2015 23:03 (1 week ago) Permalink

did u inform lex that you were gonna talk about the canon

local eire man (darraghmac), Wednesday, 18 February 2015 23:11 (1 week ago) Permalink

wow, i honestly had no idea there were more than a tiny handful of jews left in yemen.

I dunno. (amateurist), Wednesday, 18 February 2015 23:11 (1 week ago) Permalink

depends what you consider a handful: "The Houthis, who now dominate the country, are particularly strong in the two places with confirmed remaining Yemeni Jews: here in Raida, where there are 55 Jews, and in Sana, the capital, where a small number of others live under what amounts to house arrest by the Houthi leadership."

Mordy, Wednesday, 18 February 2015 23:13 (1 week ago) Permalink

interestingly, tho way off-topic from temanim, a lot of nearly immigrated kosher jews to the US weren't sure whether it would be okay to eat turkey bc they didn't have a tradition for it being kosher (a giraffe is also theoretically kosher but there's no tradition for how to slaughter it). the custom eventually spread throughout europe after the early explorers of the americas brought them back, but for a while it was controversial. i guess turkeys were too delicious to prohibit tho.

Mordy, Wednesday, 18 February 2015 23:17 (1 week ago) Permalink

meanwhile no one (but me) is clamoring for a new kashrut custom for locusts

Mordy, Wednesday, 18 February 2015 23:18 (1 week ago) Permalink

more of the same from sweden

contenderizer, Thursday, 19 February 2015 16:49 (1 week ago) Permalink

this game crusader kings 2 has been free on steam this week and i've been playing a little. there are different plots you can execute by spending prestige (along the lines of 'visit a holy site,' 'invite a nobel to court,' etc) and two of them are 'borrow money from the jews' and 'expel the jews,' executing both of which can net you a one-time quick influx of like 5,000 /currency/. i don't have any problem w/ its inclusion in a game committed to accurately depicting the messy religious politics of like 15th century europe (i mean, it's a game about the crusades so i don't think sensitivity should be emphasized), but i do feel a little weird about a mechanic that can net u the biggest immediate currency gain in the game, therefore almost always making it - on a gamey level - the right move.

Mordy, Sunday, 22 February 2015 01:35 (1 week ago) Permalink


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