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Author Topic: I don't want to be chosen...
Gaoics79
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I'll tell you honestly, as a Jew, I am not comfortable with the existence of a separate word describing hatred of Jews, namely anti semitism. Such a word is not necessary, as you can just as easily and accurately call it racism.

Unfortunately, the Jewish community jealously guards its status as 'victim', and having a special word to describe the victimization of Jews (as opposed to the victimization of another group) is a symptom of this problem. Many Jews really believe that the suffering of the Jews is special, in effect in a league entirely of its own. As a Jew, I find this worrisome for two reasons:

1. It is a false belief. There's been enough genocide in the world to go around, especially in the 20th century. True, the Jews may have borne a disproportionate brunt of this genocide (relative to its population) but the character of genocide against non-Jews has been no different than the character of genocide against the Jews. Undoubtedly, the gypsies and homosexuals who were were murderered by the Nazis took no consolation from the fact that they died in lesser numbers; a gas chamber is a gas chamber to any person being herded into one.

2. This arrogant belief that only we have suffered, that we are somehow unique in this regard (reinforced by the use of a separate distinct word that is reserved exclusively for our use) makes people hate us, because people always hate those who set themselves apart, who claim to be special. And we Jews are masters of setting ourselves apart.

When you combine the above two points with the fact that Jews are not, in point of fact, really persecuted anymore (at least in the western world) and indeed, quite to the contrary, have achieved extraordinary success in all aspects of public life), you get what I perceive to be a very dangerous publlic image problem.

I imagine a black person, for example, working in a Starbucks for 8$ an hour, serving the nicely dressed guys in business suits, the lawyers, the bankers, etc..., many of whom probably have Jewish sounding names and Jewish looking faces. To this guy, these are the privileged people, chosen to be the elites of our society. How it must gall him to then have people say (implicitly and explicitly) that somehow these privileged people have suffered more than any other, and deserve special protection, special treatment.

My point is, I don't want to be the "chosen people". I don't want people getting up in public, claiming to represent me and my interests, telling the world that we're special, using special words to describe us, making special rules to protect our interests, and using disproportionate power to protect that "chosen" status.

I don't want special hate speech laws passed to lock up people who happen to have opinions offensive to Jews, thereby validating their theories of Jewish conspiracies, changing them from racist kooks to martyrs.

As much as I support Israel and agree with it in most respects, I'm uncomfortable with the near unquestioning total support that the U.S. government has sometimes shown it, and hope that some of those Jewish people in high places have not allowed loyalty to Israel as Jews to cloud their judgment vis a vis doing what's best for the United States, rather than what's best for Israel.

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kenmeer livermaile
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amen.
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Jesse
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Not trying to pick your post apart or ignore the sentiment so elequently expressed jason...

What's best for Israel, so far, pretty much is what's best for the US...unfortunately...many of those (not all Jews by any means) claiming to "Support Israel" are in truth supporting policies and attitudes which hurt Israel at least as much as they hurt the US.

In America, Jews became essentially equal citizens for the first time in their history. I mean that. Previously, they had always been subjegator or subjegated.

Giving their loyalty to this Noble Experiment, they made immense contributions to its success. They fought at all levels to improve conditions for all workers, battled against racism no matter who it hurt, firmly believing that their fate was tied with that of their fellow Americans.

To a greater extent than anywhere or anywhen else, Jews became part of a non-jewish "us", instead of purely identifying themselves as Hebrews facing The Nations.

America didn't embrace it's Jewish citizens, it tolerated them. Jews embraced America whether it hugged back or not.

It was a boon for the Jews able to come here, a boon for this nation, and a boon for the world.

Unfortunately, it seems to be ending.

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Everard
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Jason-
1) Anti-semitism is very different from racism. Racism is prejudice based on the appearance of aperson, anti-semitism is not. Sexists and racists can identify their targets on site. The islamic world has long realized, and hitler recognized, that you can't identify a jew on site, so you need to force them to wear an identifier. Even the perpetrators of anti-semitism that have recognized that the veyr nature of their hatred is different from racism or sexism or xenophobia.

2) The suffering of jews really is in a league of its own. We've been victimized in more places, over a longer period of time, in a greater variety of ways, then anyone other then homosexuals.

3) The nature of anti-semetic genocide has been similar to certain other genocides, in the 20th century. But anti-semtism isn't limited to genocide. And slaughter of jews hasn't been limited to one or a few milieus, like the slaughter of so many other people has been.

4) I don't know of any jews who think "only" we have suffered. In fact, Jews and Blacks have worked very closely together on civil rights issues for blacks for most of the history of that movement.

5) While we aren't currently persecuted anymore in the US and canada, it wasn't that long ago that we were. The first half of the 20th century was not a great time to be a jew in the US. it was better then many places in the world (we weren't actively being slaughtered like we were in russia), but it was worse then others (even germany, prior to hitler's assent to power). But just because we aren't currently persecuted, it doesn't mean it can't happen again... and the indicators are there in many parts of europe that it isn't THAT far off.

And when that happens, European jewry will be very glad israel is there...for the first time in the history of persecution in europe... a history that extends back almost 2000 years... there will be a place for european jews to flee to.

[ October 15, 2006, 02:04 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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Liberal
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I don't usually like to go near this with a ten foot pole due to many people on this board and their unwillingness to be even slightly objective about Israel and Judaism, but I think it's important to note that as a movement in transition, anti-Judaism had taken on much of its identity as a racist movement, peaking most recently with the Nazis and the writings of Gerhard Kittel. Since then that racist element has backed off a lot.

While percentages of people oppressed/killed may serve to be many people's basis for the extent of the Jew's suffering, far too often an extremely large population allows us to turn a blind eye to the suffering and deaths of literally thousands and millions of times more people than the miniscule amounts of european, african, semitic and persian people in the world. In reality, large portions of the Chinese society (we're talking 300-400 million here) have been killed off, purposefully starved, etc., over the recent history of man and instead of dealing with this staggering failure we play around with "percentages." If one had to prioritize mass kill-offs and the ones we bother with stopping, as was seen with Rawanda and now Sudan, the Nazi Holocaust is just a minor incident compared to the mass slaughter that Mao committed. But then, I don't particularly believe that being in any ethnic, religious, or any other type of group grants you any special status, humans are humans.

[ October 15, 2006, 02:45 PM: Message edited by: Liberal ]

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Gaoics79
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quote:
Jason-
1) Anti-semitism is very different from racism. Racism is prejudice based on the appearance of aperson, anti-semitism is not. Sexists and racists can identify their targets on site. The islamic world has long realized, and hitler recognized, that you can't identify a jew on site, so you need to force them to wear an identifier. Even the perpetrators of anti-semitism that have recognized that the veyr nature of their hatred is different from racism or sexism or xenophobia.

With respect Everard, I don't see this as being a meaningful distinction. What racism boils down to is a hatred of individuals from a certain ethnic group purely because they belong to that ethnic group. Anti Semitism is precisely that. The fact that racism has traditionally focused on physical differences whereas anti semitism has not, is, in my opinion, a trivial distinction, and does not merit the creation of a whole new categorical designation. To use an apt and somewhat related analogy: the mere fact that black people have dark skin does not make them a separate "race" anymore than people with blue eyes constitute a separate "race". We are all human. Similarly, just because hatred of Jews has taken on a slightly different appearance over the years, does not merit the creation of a whole new category of discrimination.

Also on the point of physical difference: the fact that Jews are not persecuted for their appearance does not support the setting aside or elevation of Jewish suffering above that of others. Quite the contrary, it is an example of how Jews actually have it easier than other persecuted minorities. As a Jamaican friend once told me, when people look at me, for the most part, all they see is a white guy. Yes, there are some who might spot Jewish features and certainly if I told them my name they would know. But I could change my name. Jewish features are suggestive, but not conclusive that I am Jewish. The point is, I could pretend to not be Jewish and I'd probably get away with it. Lots of Jews did it quite successfully during the holocaust. Black people don't have that luxury. A racist can spot a nigger a mile away. The Kike is more difficult prey, which is why the Nazis had to invent ways of marking and identifying us, hence the yellow stars.

quote:
2) The suffering of jews really is in a league of its own. We've been victimized in more places, over a longer period of time, in a greater variety of ways, then anyone other then homosexuals.
You say that we've been victimized in more places by more people over a longer stretch of time than any other group. That's technically true, but given that we're the only ethnic/religious group that has been around for so many millenia in so many parts of the world, that's hardly a revelation. A 90 year old man will have gotten sick many times more often than a 20 year old. Does that mean that the 90 year old is more disease prone than the 20 year old? Obviously you can't persecute a group that no longer exists because it was wiped out or assimilated or whatnot! That's not exactly evidence that Jews were more persecuted than others, it's merely evidence that Jews were better survivors. When the Romans destroyed our temple in 70 a.d. and enslaved our ancestors, was it any worse treatment than any other group got who rebelled? Were we the only ones who went to the gas chamber in the holocaust? And who is to say that the Spanish Inquisition was worse than, say, the trans atlantic slave trade? Who is to say that the holocaust was more brutal than, say, the Rwandan genocide? You put our suffering on a pedestal, in its own "league", but I see little evidence that it really exceeds the suffering of other groups, in either relative quantity or relative quality.

quote:
3) The nature of anti-semetic genocide has been similar to certain other genocides, in the 20th century. But anti-semtism isn't limited to genocide. And slaughter of jews hasn't been limited to one or a few milieus, like the slaughter of so many other people has been.
Again, this is a product of the fact that we have been around longer, as a coherent ethnic group, than just about anyone else. And other ethnic groups have suffered their own persecution outside of genocide on par with or greater than anything we have.

quote:
4) I don't know of any jews who think "only" we have suffered. In fact, Jews and Blacks have worked very closely together on civil rights issues for blacks for most of the history of that movement.
The operative word is have as in the past. Jews used to be close to the blacks, back when we had alot in common. In the days when Jews were a persecuted minority, I'm sure we had alot in common with the black community. But in some ways we've become victims of our own success. Remember my analogy of the black person working in the Starbucks. He sees what appear to be a bunch of white guys in suits with Jewish sounding names who don't seem to be having any problem at all getting by. Unlike him, they're doing better than getting by: they're at the top of the pyramid. But he's supposed to believe that he should feel kinship with these guys, because they both have been "persecuted"?

I'm not saying I'm unhappy with the fact that Jews are disproportionately likely to be doctors, lawyers, accountants, and to climb to the higher echelons of society. But now that we've reached this level, its obnoxious of us not only to cling to the idea of our own persecution, but also to jealosly seek to monopolize persecution and suffering, claiming it as some kind of Jewish patent. The fact is, you can't have your cake and eat it too: you can't have economic, political, and cultural success the way we have and then turn around and play the victim. We aren't victims anymore.

quote:
5) While we aren't currently persecuted anymore in the US and canada, it wasn't that long ago that we were. The first half of the 20th century was not a great time to be a jew in the US. it was better then many places in the world (we weren't actively being slaughtered like we were in russia), but it was worse then others (even germany, prior to hitler's assent to power). But just because we aren't currently persecuted, it doesn't mean it can't happen again... and the indicators are there in many parts of europe that it isn't THAT far off.
Yes it could happen again. I'm not saying it can't. But there are enough persecutions to enough groups that are happening now in the present, that I don't see the mere possibility of persecution as being reason to maintain our arrogant, patronizing attitude towards the suffering of other groups.

When a new holocaust happens, they'll be no shortage of victimhood for us. But in the interim, clinging to the fiction of present victimhood, and raising our victimhood above that of others alienates us, and makes that second holocaust all the more likely.

[ October 15, 2006, 03:34 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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RickyB
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Good one, Jason. There are peculiarities to antisemitism, and when discussing history it is useful to note them, but there is nothing about the attempt to eradicate the Jews that is worse than the recent experience of the Tutsi, for instance.

Kudos on the post.

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Everard
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Rather then arguing points with you (and I do have arguments with many of your counter points. Just as an e.g. jews aren't AN ethnicity. We are almost EVERY ethnicity. Racism extends to people of an ethnic category. Anti-semitism includes people from eveyr walk of life), let me say that I agree with your broad point... many jews, including myself from time to time, say or act in ways that probably convey the idea that we think we're special in ways that demand special laws or protection, and that this is, in the long run, harmful to jews.

Where I disagree with you is that I don't think we should forget our history, because if we forget it, we WILL be slaughtered again. We're not well liked, in most places, jason. Even in the US, there's a fairly broad swath of conservatives who think that jews should shut up and accept this is a christian nation, or move to israel. Thats nothing close to being slaughtered, but it indicates that a lot of americans aren't really accepting of us being different.

And our history IS unique. In part because we've been around for so long, but also in part because we've only recently had a "home." People don't like people who are different, and jews are exhibit 1A of how that works when we're talking about national identity or populations and sub-populations.

What we, as jews, need to remember, is that the lessons we have learned and apply to ourselves, we need to apply to the people around us. I think many DO... I think this is why jews have been at the forefront of most populist and civil rights movements around the world. Are we always perfect? No. But we do better at remembering that its easy for people to be hated by their neighborsthen most groups of people.

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Richard Dey
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Jesse:

the Jews were more or less equalized in Granada, until it fell to the Spanish Catholics.

It ought to be remembered in all these discussions, however, that the Jews did have signifiers -- amongst them religious, culinary, and genetic ritual purity. These signifiers offended many of the host communities.

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RickyB
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Richard, no they weren't. Life was very pleasant and civil in Granada, but we were 2nd class citizens, as were the christians there.
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Jesse
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More less than more Richard. They weren't subjected too much in the way of Violence, but that's largely because they behaved themselves like good Dhimmis.

Still subjegated and seperated, just not getting murdered in large numbers with one exception, an anti-Christian riot in which Jews caught some spillover ... to call it a pogrom would be like claiming the 1992 riots in LA were anti-Korean.

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Everard
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"It ought to be remembered in all these discussions, however, that the Jews did have signifiers -- amongst them religious, culinary, and genetic ritual purity. These signifiers offended many of the host communities."

Uh huh. And not being able to tolerate a group's religious beliefs is an excuse for persecuting them? No. (Of course, the genetic ritual purity is at best a completely ignorant remark, and at worst an outright lie).

Would you accept as an excuse for homophobic persecution "It ought to be remembered in all these discussions that homosexuals did have certain signifiers-- amongst them sexual deviation, and social exclusion."

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Richard Dey
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I made my points [Smile] .
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kenmeer livermaile
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Anti-Judaism waned with the decline of the Catholic church. Anti-Jewishism -- what some folks call 'anri-semitism' -- rose roughly in synch with the rise of nationalism, the enlightenment, et cetera. I note that the extreme peak of anti-Jewism -- the Shoa -- derived its rationale more from the quasi-science that was eugenics of the previous fin de siecle than from religious differences.

Fropm the Shoa we proceed almost directly to 1947, and a whole new sripe of tiger. Currently, the only significant reservoir of anti-Jewishness is Islamic hatred of what *they* see as a Jewish Palestine, i.e., Israel.

Outside of Israel, Jews are mostly accepted and in many ways revered, if grudgingly. Jews, after all, dominated the 19th & 20th century in science and art. They rode the Enliughtenment better than anyone but Newton -- and hey, Newton *looked* Jewish.

The main thing that promotes anti-Jewishness in today's non-Islamic world is, ironically, the perception that Israel treats Arabs badly.

THAT'S a problem, and it would be SO ironic if Jews found themselves again unwelcome in Europe for behaving badly toward those Arabs who so strongly desire to see them return to Europe. The defining nations of Europe are more likely to survive than Israel.

The Romany have equal claim to status as a uniquely persecuted people, but their bitching wouldn't sway the surviving relatives of the victims of Armenia or Srebrenica or Darfur or Cambodia or the Congo's centuries of agony or the Amerindians et cetera to feel sorrier for Jews than for themselves or other oppressed peoples.

I grew up in the 60s/70s in a neighborhood dominated by Schwartzes and Dershowitzes and Cohens. Lady who ran the candy store nearby had an Auschwitz tattoo on her arm. There was a synagogue a block away from my house. The local neighborhood recreation center was Jewish owned and run. Lawrence Avenue, nearby, swarmed with Hassidics muttering Hebrew under their breath.

I know the drill; I grew up in the drill.

And I say that singing 'nobody knows dah trobble ah'b seen' in a Yiddish accent is negative PR.

"And not being able to tolerate a group's religious beliefs is an excuse for persecuting them? No. (Of course, the genetic ritual purity is at best a completely ignorant remark, and at worst an outright lie)."

Dude, people need a REASON to hate a group. Something to speareate us from them, so we won't hate ourselves for being the jackasses we too often is. The Jews' unique two millennia history of being persecuted is a result of their holding to a set of beliefs that offended the reigning theocracy (those lovely sweet Catholics).

Be proud of this, I say, and quitchyer bitchin' awreddy. Jews stuck to their guns in spite of all -- and here they are. But don't expect me or anyone else to admire you for Judaim's sake. Far as I'm concerned, it's no better than Moonyism. Persecution for any reason other than defense of one's side opf the Golden Rule is not to be condoned, but adhering through millennia to brand a) of Yahwehism despite strenuous oppression and occasional attempts at extermination by brand b) (Xtianity) of yahwehism, intermingled with periods of being caught in the attempts of brand b to exterminate brand c) (Islam) is, in my eye, the same as Marxist holdouts like NK struggling to survive against nearly global disapproval and intent to eradicate them.

There's something plain perverse to clinging to a superstition that brings something like the Shoa on your head. Suffering persecution for tangible abtractions like raw human freedom and eglaitarian processes of mutual governance, sure. Fight and die and persvere and be reviled for them if so it must be.

But to fight or endure persecution over one's claim to have a patent on God the Imaginary Being, and to insist on holding to these while people persercute you doesn't raise your stature in my eyes.

SURVIVING this... aye. That impresses me. Was a time not long ago when whining and weeping and waling were wise survival methods for Jews (even those who no longer professed Judaism but were nonetheless identified as Jews). But now such whining seems detrimental to me, even dangerous.

If y'all wanna die for the right to avoid eating pork, go for it. To me it's like Sunnis and Shiites killing each other because they hold differing views on the lines of prophetic succession from Mohammad. Hmmm... not unlike Jews and Xtians.

Moral: you wanna die for your religion, or grow tough through your religion, or fight for an ancestral homeland on a religious basis, go for it. To me, lethally competing lunacies are equally deserving of annihilation. Puritans suffered persecution so they could... burn witches?

Personally, I'd prefer it if everyone gave up their competing claims to God the Imaginary Being and returned to fighting for things we can at least sink our tootsies into.

If there's anyone whose sensibilities *haven't* been offended by this post, well, I *would* apologize but why waste a chance to offend ye yet?

Me, I'm SICK of contest of whose religious persecution outshadows whose. Blacks can't stop being blacks, but Zoroastrians can stop being Zoroastrians. The things we cling to, fight over, die in the name of... should NOT, in my opinion, include unprovable recipes for adhering to God the Imaginary Being's alleged will or attaining the ultimate high ground of either a Promised Land whose Terran soil was allegedly promised by God the Imaginary Being, or of or a Heaven in the afterlife which exists only in the unverifiable imaginations of believers, and is also promised by an alleged almighty being Whose existence is the very definition of ambiguity.

Old vicious racist joke:

Why do black people smell different than white people?

So blind people can hate them too.

Why do Jews believe one thing about the Bible and Xtians another?

Because they all smell alike in the dark?

Like the woman said to her friend the battered wife:

"Why do you STAY with him?

To which the battered wife replied:

"Beats me."

or somp'n

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Gaoics79
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quote:

There's something plain perverse to clinging to a superstition that brings something like the Shoa on your head. Suffering persecution for tangible abtractions like raw human freedom and eglaitarian processes of mutual governance, sure. Fight and die and persvere and be reviled for them if so it must be.

But to fight or endure persecution over one's claim to have a patent on God the Imaginary Being, and to insist on holding to these while people persercute you doesn't raise your stature in my eyes.

I agree, and I've said it many times before. It got me called a self-hating Jew in the past, but I stick to it. What exactly has clinging to brand A Yahwenism (as Kenmeer calls it) gotten us but blood and death? Culture should serve people, not the other way around. I don't want to die because my ancestors decided that their pride was worth more than survival.
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Everard
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A very strong and dynamic culture that has gotten us to the forefront in most fields we choose to participate in?
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kenmeer livermaile
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"A very strong and dynamic culture that has gotten us to the forefront in most fields we choose to participate in?'

That's the plus. The minus is that sore spot you whine so much about: anti-semetism. However, it was the inmcreased Darwinian survival pressure produced by anti-semetism that is mostly responsible for the strong and dynamic culture.

There's nothing strong and dynamic about Leviticus; it reads like Pentagon bureaucratic shoe-polish boilerplate. As for ethical monotheism: brilliant in its day (although no match for Roman social-military engineering). But now it's old hat. EVERYbody's doing it. And killing each other over it.

All you hear anymore is yahweh yahweh yahweh...

It's funny. Zionist conspiracy theories ('The Protocols', et cetera) essentially envision
'ethical monocorporatism', although they deny any ethical virtue.

Imagine Chinese massivism, Japanese fanaticism, and Israeli moxee: The Pawnbroker meets The Seventh Samurai meets massive Chinese pirated copies of each in mass-produced syntheses...

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Everard
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" However, it was the inmcreased Darwinian survival pressure produced by anti-semetism that is mostly responsible for the strong and dynamic culture."

Maybe. I'm not sure there's any way of demonstrating that, other then as a hypothesis. A lot of what makes judaism strong and vibrant was past of the culture prior to the diaspora, so...

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Maybe. I'm not sure there's any way of demonstrating that, other then as a hypothesis. A lot of what makes judaism strong and vibrant was past of the culture prior to the diaspora, so..."

A lot of what makes or made a lot of cultures strong also existed before they had *their* asses kicked out of their home turf and became a despised people most anywhere they went. (EXTREME irony alert)

[ October 15, 2006, 08:55 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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flydye45
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"Even in the US, there's a fairly broad swath of conservatives who think that jews should shut up and accept this is a christian nation, or move to israel. Thats nothing close to being slaughtered, but it indicates that a lot of americans aren't really accepting of us being different. "

Ignoring that asshat Buchanan, I'd like some evidence of that. I know Conservatives. I know Christians. I can't speak for all of them, but overall, fundie Christians are VERY supportive of Jews and many Conservatives as well. It isn't the Conservatives (again save Buchanan) who is trying to link neo-con with Zionist conspirator. Check the other side of the aisle.

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kenmeer livermaile
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I'd say it's the far reaches on both sides of the aisle that do that.

I'll also say this: just because loony eugenic paranoids think there's a Jewish conspiracy doesn't mean there isn't one. Ashkanezi Jews are considered by many to be the greatest deal makers homo sapiens has produced. Wielding influence through flexibly dynamic channels that rely less on visible overt power than on obscure covert power is something Jews are very good at. They have fingers in more pies per capita, I suspect, than any other ehtnicity.

But that doesn't make it evil. Calling it conspiratorial doesn't make it either. It just makes them shrewd and subtle and wise in the wisdom expressed by this:

'Discretion is the better part of valor.'

A 'Jewishism' that applies:

'A Jew will live like you won't live until a Jew will live like you can't live.'

I've seen this principle used by other ethicities as well. The Koreans, for example, who immigrated in large numbers into my old Chicago neighborhood in the late 70s through the 80s. THey went from rags to prosperity by focusing, serving, respecting, pooling assets, doing without and -- very important -- taking care of necessary violence with bland ruthlessness and tight secrecy.

Jews, particularly Ashkenazi, make the ultimate 'middlemen'. In a global culture, this bodes very well for Jewry.

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Jesse
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Flydye

I'm not so sure wanting all of the worlds Jews to return to Israel so that the Rapture can happen constitutes "being supportive of Jews".

I'm not aiming that accusation at you, but it is the operative theory of many Fundementalist Chistian "Pro-Zionist" groups.

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Everard
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And... after kenmeer's racist screed (see, jason? I avoided anti-semitism) I'm done here.
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DonaldD
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I'm not sure about 'Darwinian survival pressure' but I've certainly noticed that families previously almost divorced from their culture have turned back towards a stronger cultural and civic-minded brand of Judaism in large part because of the Shoa. Anecdotal I know, but it's out there.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"And... after kenmeer's racist screed (see, jason? I avoided anti-semitism) I'm done here."

Ev, I like Jews. I just don't like Jews who going around hollering anti-semite all the time.

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Everard
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You don't get to say you like jews after you repeat the accusations that have been made against us in order to get populations to turn against us, and expect to be take seriously.
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kenmeer livermaile
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Aw, yer whinin' again? I assume you refer to my depictions of Jews as exceptional deal-makers and scrappy survivors/

Well, they are. The fact that some idjit cultures reviled them for doing something (like usury) that they wouldn't do themselves but wouldn't do without, and in so doing gace Jews a fast-track advance course capitalist financing, isn't a slander on Jews. It's a friggin' compliment!

All those 'Elders of Zin' monkeys were just pissed that some Jews had beat them at their own game with one hand tied behind the Jews' back... and it was the idjit Xtian culture's fault!

And lookit now! 63 years ago, USA wouldn't take in more Jewish refugees than it felt like even though we already knew the Shoa was in progress!

But 63 years later, Israel gets financial aid and other considerations from Uncle Sam that surrounding Arab nations envy -- and Israel s virtually oil-free!

Be proud, dangit, and quitchyer whiny bitchin, says I! You make Jews look bad!

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RickyB
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Don't discount Sepharadi Jews, Ken. Many, many of them in the upper echelons of world business, art, entertainment and so on. Same qualities.

As for conspiracy - there is no specific conspiracy, but Jews in powerful psitions make things more comfortable for Jews at all levels. Yes. Groups that behave like this tend to be successful. Groups that don't tend to miss out pn potential benefit.

Yemenite Jews in Israel are notorious among the various ethnic groups for having less sense of communal mutual bond. Others (like Persians) have extensive networks of mutual help.

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Gaoics79
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This is such an interesting topic, at least as much for what it says about the people debating as the topic being debated.

Check out this parallel debate I've been having anonymously on another thread. Reading this thread should make you appreciate the jewel that ornery is. It should also illustrate the impossibility of rationally talking about this particular point.

Anti Semitism

My first post is 10:51 p.m.

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Richard Dey
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I think the Jewish thing that does annoy me is the idea that nobody outside Judaism has any idea who Jews are -- as if somebody wandering from law office to law office in Boston or New York doesn't actually bump into the conspiracy.

[FootInMouth] "But do we have anybody in Caribou?"

"Hey! Hey! Goyboy!" [Eek!]

Israeli moxee! Now that's rich, Oz! [LOL] And Jews settled in upstate Maine?

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kenmeer livermaile
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Sephardis? Sure. I just cited Ashkenazis cuz them the Jews I know. As for conspiracy, I really mean what you said: cooperation, looking out for one
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kenmeer livermaile
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continued.. . fellows. Good old boy network. But for Jews, the GOB network has been transcontinental by necessity for centruies and centuries, eh?
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Sigh... I don't know how to prove to you that I'm a Jew, short of cursing at you in Yiddish."

That's funny.

Yiddish I did not absorb growing up in a Jewish hood*, except for the requisites: shmuck, shtup, shlep...

*can't you just see it? Itzak and the boys driving around town in low-rider silver-grey Caddies, long Hassidic bruns fluttering out the windows, wearing dark fedorahs, listening to heavy gangsta rap in Yiddish and Hebrew...

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
2) The suffering of jews really is in a league of its own. We've been victimized in more places, over a longer period of time, in a greater variety of ways, then anyone other then homosexuals.
Suffering is a human universal, and a completely subjective experience. ANYONE who claims to suffer more than others is speaking in ignorance, because the extent of anothers suffering is unknown to us.

I've known Tibetan Lamas who survived torture in Chinese prisons, whose lives were purely expressions of joy and compassion. And I've known people in affluent western society, with all outward marks of comfort and security,who took their own lives to escape unbearable inner pain. The mystery of suffering isn't as simple as counting war wounds.

Adam

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scifibum
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Well said.

However, perhaps we can guesstimate at quantities of persecution, if not suffering.

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Richard Dey
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Oz

I have no objections to keeping it in the family, Oz; its 'the family' that makes me queasy (especially mine [Wink] ).

"Oy vey, so I'm supposed to get good chicken zoup from the Chinese take-out already?"

Mexicans donno what a Yankee boiled dinner even tastes like. We find their food amusing (well, I don't, but many do); they haven't begun to taste ours. Give 'em time. I have an Italian friend, from the North End yet, who hates Italian food. When hissa mama notta lookin', he eatsa 'merican and Quebecois (!). He eats French pastries like they're going to keep his weight down -- and always turns down the Italian ones at home watching his waist!

All minority groups are obliged to deal 'in house' until they learn good English and are culturally assimilated -- but to find it still going-g on in a huge Jewish ad agency in Boston in the 21st century (see my Caribou quote) is a bit much, don't you think? These guys handle the Jerusalem Patriots (Sorry, the Foxborough Patriots, 2 syllables their owner can't quite master!*)

I think many minorities sort of panic at the point of assimulation. They're afraid of losing themselves. I think it takes intermarriage in a Unitarian service to finally lose the roots. You know, my piss-and-vinegar Yankee great-grandmother always said (having married an Irishman), "Some leave it all behind -- and some bring it all with them." She was of the opinion that those who brought over too much took too long to get rid of it. I think she was right, but then she's the one who thought that The Statue of Liberty was a Trojan Horse [Wink] .

* Fox'-bruh it's pronounced, not Fox-boh'-roh.

Suffering

Suffering is not, I think, just 'subjective'. There is a kind of 'cultural suffering' that can be inherited, especially if it is reinforced by disdain. It can and often is protracted for political (and religious) purposes. Examples:

(1) The Irish of Boston were still complaining loudly in 1978 about how Yankees were keeping the Irish downtrodden and oppressed. The Irish took Boston in 1878. They'd controlled the city for a century. It's not real suffering but a kind of ersatz pain; it's a comforting self-delusion.

(2) In 1927, Jews complained that they were being kept out of The Country Club (that's its official name, as if there were no others). Well, it was exclusive. The Jews who were complaining had arrived in Boston about 1910. The Country Club (later managed btw by Tammy Grimes' father Luther Grimes) had a queue 1.5 generations long for current members' families in 1929 and, I can only presume, at least a generation long in 1927. The Jews went and founded their own country club, at Sidney Hills, but continue to this day to claim that The Country Club is "antisemitic". Cripes! It's in Broog-line! It's not real suffering but a kind of ersatz pain; it's a comforting self-delusion.

(3) Homosexuals claim that they were denied any public expression of their culture and their history. Yes, but they had it to themselves. Small comfort, but it was pain.

Pain one can handle. A toothache is the center of the universe. Nothing else exists. The whole world disappears in that black hole.

Discomfort is miserable. Arthritis. It is bearable only in screeches of pain that occur, but excruciating in the ache of it that impedes, limits, and restricts. It traps, and the claustrophobia of old age, for example, is frustrating.

What is uncomfortable is unbearable!

What is unbearable, as Wilde put it, is temptation; and temptation is a chronic and, indeed, terminal condition of mankind.

I'm going to have a piece of pie, a slice of cheddar, a cup of coffee, and I'll top it off by trying out a new body pillow somebody's given me.

I cannot bear the unbearable. Fortunately, that is the kind of pain one can alleviate simply by giving in to temptation.

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Richard Dey
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Ooops, what I had been thinking Jason was that Warren Johansson said to me once (the Jewish scholar I studied with), that his response to 'being chosen' was in 'not chosing it'. He was an expert in "it", but he avoided being chosen by it by "chosing myself". That way, he said, "they" couldn't force me into "their" agenda.

One always has the right to refuse an invitation, providing that the rsvp is politely -- but firmly -- turned down. I suspect Miss Etiquette would recommend that you give no reason at all. That always creates a slight aura of mystery -- and might well lead to a better subsequent offer [Smile] . You know Groucho Marx's response; that was nouveau.

I turned down the opportunity to head a financial committee at my (Unitarian) church by thanking them profusely for the flattering offer, but declined by saying that I was not going to be a Unitarian anymore.

They were expecting a degree of faith which I simply did not have, but I did not feel obliged to offer any real reasons on the grounds that being a non-Unitarian financial officer of a Unitarian society would have appeared somehow unseemly.

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RickyB
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Yeah, yeah, yeah, we suffered the worst, yada yada.

That ain't what being Jewish is about. My least favorite Jews are the ones for whom "I am a Jew" is mainly "I am of the group to which this horrible thing was done". If that was all it was about, it would be sad.

Not only is it not materially different to have been a Jew in WW2 than to have been a Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994, there is no material difference between the Jewish experience in WW2 and the Roma one.

We already parlayed our suffering into a real compensation and protection from repetition. Many other groups have yet to do so. We should focus on why we rock than on why woe is (was) us.

Richard - I don't mean to pick on you, but once again I must point out that this ain't about country clubs. [Big Grin]

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RickyB
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BTw, you know who speals fluent Yiddish despite being of Jamaican descent? [Big Grin]
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Richard Dey
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RB:

It seems to have been an issue for those who founded Sidney Hills.

Let's put it this way. Within 10 miles of The Country Club are a dozen 'socially acceptable', Dey-approved country clubs.

Belmont Country Club
Braeburn Country Club
Charles River Country Club
Newton Centre Country Club
Dedham Country & Polo Club
Dedham Country Club
Oakley Country Club
Watertown Country Club
Wellesley Country Club 36 holes
Winchester Country Club
Wollaston Golf Club

All right, 11 off the top of my head, but I'm sure I'm missing some -- oh, one in Weston. And these clubs already had Jewish members. I can attest for 8 of them, and I'm sure there were others.

Maybe pain and suffering and country clubs are not a dancin' couple, but then why give pain to everybody with nothing more than a trumped-up charge of anti-Semitism because "words are hurtful"? Right on Wikipedia some Jewish person is still claiming that Wellesley was "antisemitic" and kept Jews out. It has 25,000 people and there are two synagogues. The only people keeping Jews out were Jewish real-estate agents.

You know, claiming that people are 'exclusive' who make no pretenses to such exclusivity creates pain as hurtful in its own antisocial way as excluding people.

Marcia Myers, head of Boston Historic Commission, was accused of being anti-Semitic because she saved a Jewish cemetery that included a lot of slave dealers.

The issue is hurtful because it is the charge of inhospitality which the Jews used to invade Israel at the 7 Cities of the Plain.

Can we really sit back and say, oh it's a gambit. Ignore it. Nobody who is invaded it ignores it if the entry wound is rubbed raw all the time. That's what's leading us to build a 750 on our 3000 or whatever-mile border with Mexico.

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