‘Time’ features generational divide over Israel– when will 92d St Y stage this family affair?

Israel/Palestine
on 125 Comments

Having long pressed for an open division inside the Jewish family over Israel, I’m pleased by Dana Goldstein’s New Year-timed piece at Time.com titled, “Why Fewer Young American Jews Share Their Parents’ View of Israel.” The piece begins bravely with Goldstein’s differences with her mother and though it concludes on a pro-Zionist note, captures some important elements of this new moment in Jewish life, including the idea that Zionism and liberal values are irreconcilable. 

“I’m trembling,” my mother says, when I tell her I’m working on an article about how younger and older American Jews are reacting differently to the Palestinians’ bid for statehood at the United Nations….

“This is so emotional,” she says as we cautiously discuss our difference of opinion. “It makes me feel absolutely terrible when you stridently voice criticisms of Israel.”

I respect the word cautious characterizing Goldstein’s conversation with her mother, that’s like my conversation with my mother; but I want Goldstein and her mother to go on stage at the 92d Street Y, along with a neoconservative and anti-Zionist relation or two. Have it out in front of everyone. Jewish identity is central to the mess. This is very nice:


Hanna King, an 18-year old sophomore at Swarthmore College, epitomizes the generational shift. Raised in Seattle as a Conservative Jew, last November King was part of a group of activists who heckled Netanyahu with slogans against the occupation at a New Orleans meeting of the Jewish Federations General Assembly.

“Netanyahu repeatedly claims himself as a representative of all Jews,” King says. “The protest was an outlet for me to make a clear statement, and make it clear that those injustices don’t occur in my name. It served as a vehicle for reclaiming my own Judaism.”

Toward the end of the piece Goldstein reels in some line:

Ben Resnick, 27, [rabbinical student]… published an op-ed pointing out the ideological inconsistencies between Zionism, which upholds the principle of Israel as a Jewish state, and American liberal democracy, which emphasizes individual rights regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. “The tragedy,” Resnick says, is that the two worldviews may be “irreconcilable.”

Still, after living in Jerusalem for 10 months and then returning to New York, Resnick continues to consider himself a Zionist.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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125 Responses

  1. kursato
    September 29, 2011, 4:13 pm

    There was an article on the Economist about this issue…

    I am quoting from there:

    Steven Cohen of the Hebrew Union College in New York is one of several scholars to say that apart from the Orthodox minority, younger Jews in America show less attachment to Israel than their elders.

    Why this is happening is fiercely debated. One theory blames intermarriage; another that the young are alienated by Israel’s policies.
    Peter Beinart, the author in 2010 of a scathing critique of the Jewish establishment in the New York Review of Books, says that by drifting right and defending whatever Israel does, AIPAC and other leading Jewish organisations have become “intellectual bodyguards for Israeli leaders who threaten the very liberal values they profess to admire.” He says that a Zionism that emphasises Jewish victimhood and allows no empathy for the Palestinians is losing its resonance with younger Jews.

    For the present, of course, AIPAC remains highly effective. It still towers over J Street, its doveish rival. Also secure for now is Israel’s standing in the United States. It is, after all, not only Jews who favour Israel over the Palestinians: just ask the evangelicals.

    But if young American Jews really do turn away from Zionism, or are turned off by it, everything could one day change.

    http://www.economist.com/node/18744129

    • eGuard
      September 30, 2011, 10:21 am

      Not a ground breaking piece in The Economist. Three quarters is about the Jewish vote (2% overall), none about Jewish campaign money (double digit % overall).

      But hey, The Economist did not warn us for the banking crisis too, remember.

    • silencenolonger
      October 1, 2011, 12:43 am

      I read Dana’s article, it was very understandable in a cultural/historical way, if you are Irish English, French, German, Russian, etc you can visit the place your Great Grand-parent lived. In fact you can probably trace their roots back hundreds of years. Mohammed Ali was able to visit the place his Irish Great Grandfather lived in Clare Ireland before moving to Kentucky. For most Israelis that is not possible, tracing back their roots would bring them back to Russia, somewhere in the Middle East, Morocco, Baghdad, Tehran.
      To expect someone to feel a connection about a place last occupied nearly 2000 years ago would be like expecting the British to get nostalgic about their Druid ancestors. There have always been Jews in Palestine/ Israel, but they were small in number relative to the immigration in the 20th Century.
      That is one of Zionism’s fatal flaws it lacks cultural/historical continuity, it is a construct that ultimately will collapse because its foundations are shaky and shallow

  2. Citizen
    September 29, 2011, 4:41 pm

    I commented on, and referenced that TIME online article earlier today in another thread on MW. Now, here’s a more recent tweet:
    100,000 US Israel 1st Jews petition Obama 2 veto Palestinian state says Israeli radio; US MSM silent.
    http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/americas/2876-american-jews-petition-obama-against-palestinian-state

  3. annie
    September 29, 2011, 4:54 pm

    phil, on page 2 of the time article is a link to the rabbinical report mentioned in the article. following the link, from the report:

    And, at the heart of all these alleged shortcomings is a flabby commitment to Jewish Peoplehood:
    [W]hat is entirely gone is an instinct of belonging—the visceral sense on the part of these students that they are part of a people, that the blood and the losses that were required to create the state of Israel is their blood and their loss. … What is lacking in their view and their approach is the sense that no matter how devoted Jews may be to humanity at large, we owe our devotion first and foremost to one particular people—our own people.
    All this is simply a reflection of the decreased role of “peoplehood” in Judaism.

    quite revealing.

    • pabelmont
      September 29, 2011, 7:14 pm

      Revealing indeed. It means that — from the perspective of these young folks — there is no such thing as a “Jewish People” or, at least, not one DICTATED TO and CENTERED UPON Israel. And it also seems to mean that those old folks who seem to believe (or to want to believe) that there is such a Jewish People centered on Israel — THEY TOO are seeing a dissolution of the Jewish People of their imagining because of the abandonment by the young.

      The universal ethics of many young American Jews beats the readiness to consort with evil of too many older ones. Too bad the old folks didn’t recall that “when you sup with the devil, use a long spoon”. They’d been co-opted before they ever learned that Israel (because of the method of its formation, because of its habit of lawlessness, because of its greedy imperialism) is a “devil”.

    • RoHa
      September 29, 2011, 8:35 pm

      “no matter how devoted Jews may be to humanity at large, we owe our devotion first and foremost to one particular people—our own people.”

      Gee!

      • James
        September 29, 2011, 9:56 pm

        tribalism trumps humanitarianism… this is one of the reasons some folks wait til they are next to dying to ””get”” religion…

    • yourstruly
      September 29, 2011, 10:22 pm

      speaking of peoplehood, how’s this (substituting German for Jew) –

      …”What is lacking is the sense that no matter how devoted we Germans may be to humanity at large, we owe our devotion first and foremost to one particular people –our own people*”

      *& our homeland, the 3rd Reich

  4. Dan Crowther
    September 29, 2011, 5:23 pm

    This is probably the best obfuscation I have read in a while. This girl is hardly “liberal.” Israel was “more of a victim” in her parents generation. Was it? Is there not a library at Swarthmore or wherever Goldstein went to school? How can blatant falsehoods like the “victimization” of Israel continued to be published? In a ARTICLE CRITIQUING ISRAEL?!?!?! The Zionists/Israel was the aggressor pre-48, in 48 and in 1967 ( as well as others) Those are called FACTS. This article is propaganda, pure and simple. “Humanizing” racism – thats all this article does. Who would have thought that a movement to create a state for a specific group of people on land that did not belong to them “might” be “irreconcilable” with liberalism?

    Zionism is the HUGE elephant in the room, with Goldstein, with the girl from swarthmore and the kid Resnick at yeshiva. Your problem isnt with the current state of Israel, your problem is with a racist and exclusivist ideology that makes a mockery of your religion and threatens to engulf the region and the world in war. And please, no more bringing up the holocaust to defend Zionism, Zionism predates the holocaust by a long measure.

    But there is hope, there is hope that eventually young jews the world over will expand their criticisms beyond Israeli policy and go after the heart of the matter: Zionism. It is the enemy of liberalism, of peace and of mankind.

    – Dan

    • pineywoodslim
      September 29, 2011, 8:04 pm

      That the girl thinks Israel was a victim in the past doesn’t bother me one bit.

      She’s only 18 and probably just now beginning to question her upbringing and the status quo in general. A year ago, she probably didn’t give two hoots about I-P other than to be dimly aware of how Israel was “something good” on the other side of the planet and the Palestinians were “something bad”.

      She’s a freshman, she’ll grow and if she stays involved she’ll learn the truth soon enough.

      • Dan Crowther
        September 29, 2011, 8:57 pm

        “That trip deepened my conviction that as an American Jew, I could no longer in good conscience offer Israel unquestioning support. I’m not alone. Polling of young American Jews shows that with the exception of the Orthodox, many of us feel less attached to Israel than do our baby boomer parents, who came of age during the era of the 1967 and 1973 wars, when Israel was less of an aggressor and more a victim”

        This was Dana Goldstein’s voice. Dana Goldstein is not a 18 year old college student.

      • Shunra
        September 29, 2011, 10:18 pm

        I entirely agree with you, Dan. In what way was Israel not an aggressor in the ’67-’73 period?
        I’ll venture a guess: everything it was doing couldn’t be “voiced” then.

        This is in living memory, distinctly in living memory. What actually was going on in ’67-’75 or so? How many homes demolished (*by* vile Israel), how many settlements built, how much pure destruction was wreaked in those years, when Israel was still sowing the devastation it is now reaping?

        Time to hit the history books – before the history books hit back.

      • chocopie
        September 30, 2011, 4:33 am

        There was no internet back then, so outsiders didn’t see what Israel was doing. The internet has changed everything.

  5. Hostage
    September 29, 2011, 6:02 pm

    Still, after living in Jerusalem for 10 months and then returning to New York, Resnick continues to consider himself a Zionist.

    If he lived in Jerusalem for 10 months, then he must have witnessed or heard about the many violations of Article 8(2)(a)(vii) of the Rome Statute: Unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement; There are more than 7,000 Palestinians imprisoned in jails on the Israeli side of the Green line and revocation of residency rights in East Jerusalem continued unabated in accordance the express policy of limiting the ratio of Palestinians to no more than 28 percent of the city’s population. The numbers of Palestinians that have had their residency rights in Jerusalem and the OPT revoked by administrative decisions since 1967 is measured in the hundreds of thousands. Even the elected representatives of the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have been deported.

    He also must have witnessed or heard about the many violations of Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute:The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory; There are 650,000 people living on state lands and expropriated private property that has been illegally converted for use by Israelis as Jewish-only racially segregated communities.

    So after living in Jerusalem for 10 months and then returning to New York, Resnick seems to be a heartless thug with the manners of a common bully.

  6. Les
    September 29, 2011, 6:08 pm

    Are we supposed to believe that younger Jews are not emotional about occupation and ethnic cleansing?

  7. Shunra
    September 29, 2011, 6:13 pm

    The quote from Goldstein’s mom encapsulates the problem with what American Jews are trying to do. The mom says: “It makes me feel absolutely terrible when you stridently voice criticisms of Israel.”

    Let’s unpack that: it’s not that she disagrees with the criticism. It’s not that she’s engaging with the actual argument: no. It’s that there is a tribe-wide taboo against SPEAKING any criticism.
    And the taboo is enforced by an odd hostage-taking mechanism: the mother holds herself hostage, and if her daughter “voices” (SPEAKS, damn it!) any criticism of Israel, the daughter will have “made her feel terrible”.

    Bit of a hideous guilt-tripping mechanism, there.

    This was the exact argument made by the Port Tosnwend Jewish community when I was part of making a bid for our Co-op grocery to join BDS. People were disgusted that the subject was even being discussed (and said so to us, to the Co-op Board, to the local newspaper) – and then came, as a group, to the Co-op Product Review Committee to tell us how much they were all crying (implication: how much we all MADE THEM CRY).

    The guilt-trips booked by these weak-spined wannabe-liberals are being used in order to prevent any conversation about the ongoing destruction of Palestine, the land grabs, the displacement, and the daily killing of Palestinians.

    Truth and reconciliation would be a good idea. But they’d have to start with truth, not silencing.

    • pabelmont
      September 29, 2011, 8:42 pm

      If a group of folks who do not suffer from a taboo on speech SPEAK FOR BDS at a CO-OP (for instances), it transforms SOME of the Jews-who-would-prefer-silence: they TAKE SIDES, THEY ALSO SPEAK. They align with Israel. Your mother might prefer utter silence, but the power-Zionists prefer to SPEAK OUT (often to silence others) (and often to distort facts).

    • yourstruly
      September 29, 2011, 10:36 pm

      yes, there’s pressure from jewish israel-firsters to shut-up about israel’s transgressions against palestinians. the point here is that, despite this pressure, more and more jews (especially our youth) are speaking out. the battle isn’t won yet, but it will/ has to be. nothing new in the old guard’s reistance to change. nothing new either in youth rebelling against the status quo and speaking/reaching out. have faith in the the righteousness of our cause. we shall prevail!

    • eGuard
      September 30, 2011, 7:36 am

      Good analysis, Shunra. Another pattern is “You make me feel afraid/scared”. Or, hidden: “I am afraid/scared (and you are to blame for that)”.

      This is only the #2 step out of four, and already spoiling the discourse.

    • MRW
      September 30, 2011, 2:09 pm

      Good comment, Shunra.

    • Donald
      September 30, 2011, 2:42 pm

      “implication: how much we all MADE THEM CRY).”

      That reminds me of that girl who cries in the documentary about Norman Finkelstein–he really rips into her with her crocodile tears and in my opinion she deserved it.

      • MRW
        September 30, 2011, 3:30 pm

        Donald, that was a beauty moment when Finkelstein did that.

  8. Duscany
    September 29, 2011, 7:35 pm

    “It makes me feel absolutely terrible when you stridently voice criticisms of Israel.”

    It makes me feel absolutely terrible when some Americans can’t see far enough beyond their tribal loyalties to realize our identification with Israel has made us hated around the world.

    • yourstruly
      September 29, 2011, 10:40 pm

      makes me feel angry more than terrible. angry in the sense that i have to do something about it. not that all jews are turning against zionism, but a shift is taking place. not fast enough? then we have to try even harder.

  9. longliveisrael
    September 29, 2011, 7:47 pm

    Actually, it’s not as dramatic as many of you want it to be. It’s a generation that grew up in comfort, so their interests are their Facebook status, their career etc.

    Should they see Israel seriously threatened, that will change.

    • Mooser
      September 29, 2011, 10:26 pm

      “Should they see Israel seriously threatened, that will change.”

      ROTFLMSJAO! Yeah, they’ll be over there, begging for Uzi’s (or whatever the hell it is your goons use) and refusing to eat anything but kosher-combat rations.
      Make sure you include them in your defense planss, LLI, cause you can count on them all enlisting.

      ROTFL.

    • annie
      September 29, 2011, 10:28 pm

      Should they see Israel seriously threatened, that will change.

      there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

      • yourstruly
        September 29, 2011, 10:42 pm

        only a very few will put their lives on the line. and when there are casualties among them, the pipeline for wannabe idf warriors will dry up.

    • Chaos4700
      September 29, 2011, 10:50 pm

      Oh, sure, longlivehungary, I’m sure Jewish American kids would just love to pick up a gun, cart themselves halfway across the world and risk their lives to be ordered to shoot at people because of their religion. That’s why SO many Jewish Americans volunteer for the US army too, right?

      • James
        September 29, 2011, 11:04 pm

        maybe brevik can get a ‘get out of jail’ free card with a little aipac help or something? oh, dang, he isn’t sitting in an american prison, but a european one… guess they will have to hold off on getting brevik to help out the idf…

      • john h
        September 29, 2011, 11:27 pm

        Here you are Chaos, how’s this for an example of a young American halfway across the world?

        It’s part of a comment from another site:

        “I’m an american and I have this to say about other americans. Why don’t you go to Israel and see what it is really like? YOU WOULD NEVER LEAVE because the place is AMAZING not bc it is SCARY.

        I had a really great person tell me recently when I was In Israel that it is the safest country in the world and I think so! How many other places have kids with m-16’s everywhere you look?”

        How’s that for a description of the safest country in the world?! Sounds like one of the scariest ones to me.

        I think this guy is someone yourstruly described.

    • mig
      September 30, 2011, 1:06 am

      lli :

      “Should they see Israel seriously threatened, that will change.”

      ++++ Exactly. Straight from the horse mouth. One on The classic example how people are intimidated into a war. And this case, continued clash. Keep repeating same argument over and over. Finalle when these people decide to jump out that circle, thats a hard fall into a reality.

  10. Citizen
    September 29, 2011, 8:19 pm

    Will the Time article appear in print as well as online? Will it make its appearance in thousands of dental and medical offices across the USA?

  11. Sin Nombre
    September 29, 2011, 8:27 pm

    Dana Goldstein’s mother said:

    “It makes me feel absolutely terrible when you stridently voice criticisms of Israel.”

    You know, this is interesting given something I was reading the other day. (Elsewhere that is.) A hard-eyed attack on American jews for supporting Israel to the detriment of the U.S., in my estimation it just seemed to me to go over the line of sobriety. And my overall suspicion about this given the age of the writer, his conservative background and clear identification with “patriotism,” and what he wrote otherwise was that his feelings were motiviated by payback in a way: Payback for what he saw as decades of American jews having been … if not unpatriotic then at least delighting in trying to subvert traditional American mores and values and culture and etc.

    You know: the number of American jews in the Communist party of the U.S., the number of jews involved in soviet/communist espionage against the U.S.; the number of jews in the most radical student movements of the Sixties and the number of jews among lots of the professors and etc. who were cheering same and etc. and so forth.

    In short a kind of logically unwarranted “payback” emotion, but anyway then along comes this quote from this mother and I have to admit it did make me wonder: She feels “so terrible” now when she hears “strident” criticism of Israel, there’s some suggestion there perhaps that no, she wouldn’t if it were mere strident criticism of the U.S.

    And how did jewish mothers and fathers feel when their kids like Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin and Bernadine Dohrn and so many similar others were rather “stridently” criticizing America such as waving flags spelling out “Amerikkka” and saying it was irredeemably evil and visiting Castro and calling for even violent revolution here?

    And indeed have to admit my sense (from reading, having somewhat grown up during the times, seeing the older generation of jews in the academy at that time and etc.) was that no, those jewish parents weren’t feeling so terrible about it. Indeed there seemed to be lots of pride and support for their kids, like the parents of that jewish girl arrested down in Peru some long time ago for consorting with Shining Path guerillas who didn’t just seem upset with her treatment, but instead went about proclaiming how proud they were of her fight for “social justice.”

    Anyway, as I say, not logically warranted and thus not intellectually fair, but it sure does kind of bring to mind the old saying about what goes around comes around.

    (Fully acknowledging that very much of the moral criticisms that are made of Israel now, and which are giving it such fits, did indeed—and righteously—were fought for by Diaspora jews, although that too can be seen as a “go-around-comes-around” kind of thing I guess, and is certainly bitterly ironic to some.)

    • Mooser
      September 29, 2011, 10:30 pm

      “Bernadine Dohrn”

      Yeah, I remember her Bat Mitzvah. It was wild!

      Look Sin, I’m really sorry the liberal Jews fucked up America for you. But look, fella, a better day’s a coming, and life will be one grand sweet tea-party.
      And they’ll know what to do about the goddam liberal Jews, you betcha.

      BTW, if you want to buy a “The Liberal Jews took my guns away and made my son have an abortion” bumper sticker, I got ’em.

      • Mooser
        September 29, 2011, 10:43 pm

        Oh, and Sin, you have my personal apology for the Civil Rights Acts. I mean, c’mon, let’s be frank, that was the beginning of America’s downhill slide, wasn’t it? And that abortion thing. And to some extent, disco.
        So I don’t wonder you’re pissed off at us.

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        September 29, 2011, 11:54 pm

        “Look Sin, I’m really sorry the liberal Jews fucked up America for you.”

        You’re being too hard, Mooser. The point, I think, was that at least some people don’t think it was just “liberalism” motivating Abbie and friends. There may also have been more than a hint of delight in simply tearing down the existing (WASP) power order. I’m old enough to have attended SDS meetings, and I think there’s some truth to that. (Of course, some tearing down of the existing order is the occupation of all youth.)

        And time has shown that for most of them their liberalism didn’t run deep enough for them to ever direct their energies against Israel, so there must have been a limit to it.

      • Sin Nombre
        September 30, 2011, 12:50 am

        Well since I can’t write in crayon for you Mooser all I can do is repeat in the same English I used before that this “payback” business wasn’t mine, and that it clearly seems intellectually invalid and unfair.

        You go right ahead though pushing the idea that one can speak generally of jews (and not be an anti-semite) so long as one only ascribes positive things to them such as the Civil Rights movement. And go ahead too mocking any negative things, such as say Ms. Dohrn and her gleeful satisfaction in the killing of some policemen and the Manson gang’s sticking a carving fork into the abdomen of an utterly innocent, bound and helpless woman. (“Wild,” I believe she admiringly said of it.)

        What’s the catch though, Mooser? That those cops and that woman (and her additionally butchered husband) weren’t jewish like you?

        Nah, can’t be that with what you clearly like to present as your all-terrain humor, but give us a citation anyway: Where’s the last time you made a sneering, oh-so-jolly defense of someone who got a thrill out of butchered jews?

      • HRK
        September 30, 2011, 10:32 am

        He’s talking about hypocrisy, Mooser–not about liberalism. You’ve done this before–manage to put words in people’s mouths as opposed to respond to what they’ve actually said.

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2011, 12:30 pm

        Bernadette Dorhn was in the Manson Gang, too? I didn’t even think she was Jewish.

        “That those cops and that woman (and her additionally butchered husband) weren’t jewish like you?”

        Sinbad, baby, nobody is Jewish like me! Not even close.

        “Where’s the last time you made a sneering, oh-so-jolly defense of someone who got a thrill out of butchered jews?”

        Want to know? Just Google “sneering, oh-so-jolly defense of someone who got a thrill out of butchered jews” and the top item will be “Mooser”.

        You might Google “drama queen” while you’re at it.
        Ach, who can blame you? You thought you left it to Beaver, and Jewish hippies stole your America. That’s tough to take.

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2011, 12:32 pm

        “hint of delight in simply tearing down the existing (WASP) power order.”

        Oh, is that what happened? Sorry, I got stoned and I missed it.

      • annie
        September 30, 2011, 12:49 pm

        i thought the whole hippie movement was about tearing down the power order. it wasn’t just a jewish thing. donna reed and leave it to beaver days were over. it took a mass movement, they were not all jews. i was there.

      • annie
        September 30, 2011, 12:54 pm

        i’m confused. what does the manson gang have to do with jewishness?

      • annie
        September 30, 2011, 1:06 pm

        go ahead too mocking any negative things, such as say Ms. Dohrn and her gleeful satisfaction in the killing of some policemen and the Manson gang’s sticking a carving fork into the abdomen of an utterly innocent, bound and helpless woman.

        was that her inner jew speaking? what does dohrn’s joke have to do with anything? is that supposed to somehow represent some jewish strain running threw the movement? aren’t we getting a little sidetracked?

        what’s next patty soltysik? maybe we should discuss the symbionese liberation army.

    • yourstruly
      September 29, 2011, 11:02 pm

      most jews didn’t join the communist party. and, yes, many jews participated in the civil rights and anti-vietnam war movements. do you include those in your list of immoral activities. i agree with you, though, that diaspora jewish support for the zionist entity israel, could be one of those go-around-come arounds. if, that is, there’s no awakening in the so-called* diaspora

      *so-called, because it assumes that israel is the center and jews in the rest of the world are in some sort of holding position, eagerly looking towards the day when they can make it back to the motherland. except tain’t so, sn, the good ol u.s. of a.’s the homeland for most jews in america. that’s what’s so upsetting to the zionists.

    • DBG
      September 30, 2011, 1:33 pm

      This is why many people are skeptical of the anti-Israel movement. There seems to be much more there than simply being against Zionism.

      • Donald
        September 30, 2011, 2:05 pm

        That cuts both ways, DBG. Some of the strongest arguments against Zionism at this website are made inadvertently by most of the Zionists who post in the comment section.

        My reaction to Sin’s comment was similar to Mooser’s (though it wouldn’t have been as funny if I’d typed it out.) Reducing the 60’s to radical Jews tearing down the WASP power structure seems a little odd to me. I think Phil’s formulation is far better–a lot of those 60’s radicals were progressive except for Palestine. (Something Chomsky pointed out in “The Fateful Triangle”, specifically about Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda.)

  12. RoHa
    September 29, 2011, 8:34 pm

    ‘the ideological inconsistencies between Zionism, which upholds the principle of Israel as a Jewish state, and American liberal democracy, which emphasizes individual rights regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. “The tragedy,” Resnick says, is that the two worldviews may be “irreconcilable.”‘

    May be?

  13. Richard Witty
    September 29, 2011, 8:36 pm

    How is this proposed generation gap re: Israel different from the one when my generation was kids?

    Phil?

    • annie
      September 29, 2011, 9:07 pm

      witty, did you read the article?

      • Richard Witty
        September 29, 2011, 10:01 pm

        Is your name Phil?

        Of course I read the article.

        If you were Jewish, young, alive in the 60’s and 70’s, Israel was not a priority interest for most of us.

        Vietnam was a priority. Civil rights were a priority. Counter-culture was a priority. Environment was a priority. Gender issues were a priority. Community development was a priority.

        In our 20’s, for many, studies were a priority (Phil at Harvard), then our careers were a priority (Phil as high profile freelancer).

        Comparable percentages of youth to now described what happened to Israel as anywhere on the map even.

        For those of us that got to know parents experience (not just our own rebellion), got to know European survivors’ experience (not just our own), got married facing the question of “should I look to marry only Jews?”, then faced the question of “should I bring up my children as Jewish?”, then if we were still dissenters (like myself) faced the questions of contemptuous treatment of Jews (not just Israeli policies) by die-hard activists.

        Views change over a life, and mostly learned, not residue to cast away.

        The effort to “purge” Jews’ sympathy for Zionism, is a negligent or malevolent one.

        The effort to apply morality/justice and the urge for peace within Zionism is a virtue.

      • James
        September 29, 2011, 11:06 pm

        witty, putting the words morality, justice, peace and virtue in the same sentence as zionism, is something only a certain kind of person could do… i got to hand it to you!

      • eGuard
        September 30, 2011, 7:55 am

        Is your name Phil?

        Witty, you asked two questions, can you remember? Annie was answering the first one.

        Your second question is structured as a complete telephonic conversation. Of course the other side disconnected after your syllable.

      • MRW
        September 30, 2011, 2:51 pm

        If you were Jewish, young, alive in the 60′s and 70′s, Israel was not a priority interest for most of us.

        You answered your own question: Israel wasn’t an issue in your youth the way it is today. Different times. Different questions.

        Peter Beinart’s article should have told you that. Or the kids who protested Netanyahu’s appearance.

        But then, what you really want is for Phil to sit in his Israeli hotel room an extra half an hour and answer you. You really are a 60s kid, aren’t you: Me, Me! ME!

    • Dan Crowther
      September 29, 2011, 9:18 pm

      Witty actually raises an important question. The insinuation, of course, is that young jews “will eventually come around” just like Witty and his generation. But how is it different?

      I think the answer is that Israel has yet to “fight a war for survival” in this younger generations lifetime. Pre 1967 there was a far different attitude about Israel among american jews. The six day war changed all that – and made it easy for young jews to assimilate right in to the “Israel right or wrong” culture that was created in its aftermath.

      Here’s hoping that Witty doesnt get his indirect wish. The last thing we need is another Israeli aggression followed by a “Raid on Entebbe” remake.

      • annie
        September 29, 2011, 10:26 pm

        The insinuation, of course, is that young jews “will eventually come around” just like Witty and his generation. But how is it different?

        i completely misinterpreted him dan. silly me, i thought he was asking phil a question because he didn’t understand how they were different. i thought the article did a good job portraying the difference of the writer and his mother which is not surprising considering it’s titled “Why Fewer Young American Jews Share Their Parents’ View of Israel”

        now i realize richard was wearing his elderly instructor hat revving up to give phil a lesson by way of asking him questions. but in his response to me he makes it very clear what he thinks the differences are only i don’t agree with his conclusions. and there he goes again putting quotes around “purge” insinuating phil used that word.

        anyway, it’s clear he thinks zionism deserves “sympathy” in this day and age. that is rather absurd.

      • Mooser
        September 29, 2011, 10:36 pm

        “Witty actually raises an important question.”

        “Is your name Phil”? Well, I guess it’s important to him, anyway.

    • yourstruly
      September 29, 2011, 11:14 pm

      can’t answer for your or phil’s generation but it sure is different from when my generation was kids. friends of mine had relatives who were into smuggling arms to the settlers. there was almost no opposition to the zionist enterprise expressed publicly. i was a sympathizer. it wasn’t until the ’67 war that i woke-up to the fact that the truth was the opposite of what i’d formerly believed, with the settlers the oppressors, the palestinians the oppressed. based on their personal histories today’s young jews are having their own individualized epiphanies on the i/p conflict. not all of them but enough to begin to make a difference. enough to put the lie to the one about jewish anti-zionists being antisemitic, paving the way, thereby, for a more widespread defection of jewry from the zionist road to doomsday. and for this i am grateful to them.

      • Richard Witty
        September 30, 2011, 8:02 am

        You know, dissing me does not answer the question.

        A large part of Phil’s thesis projection is that this generation will see something new about Israel, do something new.

        But, from what I see, its not new.

        Issues of community shift from indifference, to idealism (“community”), to actuality, to loyalty occur naturally in the maturing process.

        The phrase “get a life” is representative.

        Its not the only way to think about things, but the presumption that the patterns of relation to Israel are new, is at least an untested one.

        You don’t find out if you are just self-talking or actually observing an insight, unless you ask self-skeptical questions, that you ACTUALLY try to find out.

        It is the difference between propaganda and journalism.

      • Richard Witty
        September 30, 2011, 8:04 am

        Annie,
        Zionism deserves some sympathy because democracy deserves sympathy, self-governance, self-determination.

        It also deserves reform, but not rejection and not antipathy, certainly not a purge as if Jews living, associating, defending were a disease on the planet

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2011, 12:37 pm

        Say, Richard, I didn’t go to college. Could you tell me what “thesis projection” is?

        Oh, and if it’s “some sympathy” you want, believe me, I can give it to you. I feel, as I am sure many here do, very sorry for Israelis and American Zionists. I have quite a lot of sympathy for them and the absolute mess they have made for themselves.
        Okay, now that the “sympathy” is out of the way, (and you can have as much as you want, anytime,) how about justice?

      • MRW
        September 30, 2011, 2:56 pm

        Mooser,

        Say, Richard, I didn’t go to college.

        Don’t worry, Moose. If he did, he missed the logic classes: “Zionism deserves some sympathy because democracy deserves sympathy.”

      • James
        September 30, 2011, 9:29 pm

        mrw – brilliant, lol…. another witty-ism manifests…

        reforming zionism… send zionism to an aa meeting so they can learn to swear off tribalism, lol..

  14. radii
    September 29, 2011, 9:08 pm

    if only Nixon could go to China then only American jews can stop zionism

    … zionists don’t want to share – they want it all … and this is untenable to the rest of the world so zionists need to wake up and smell the reality – they will SHARE the land and live peaceably as good neighbors or they will end up living in a bunker and never feel safe and the world will say you deserve it

    • yourstruly
      September 29, 2011, 11:19 pm

      not that only american jews can stop zionism, but that the presence of american jews in the palestinian liberation movement can help the cause

  15. atime forpeace
    September 29, 2011, 9:29 pm

    To add a little color to this fine discussion…it seems that Fidel Castro wishes to try to disparage Pres Obama by highlighting key parts of the speech at the UN.

    http://www.granma.cu/ingles/reflections-i/27sept-40reflex2.html

    “If our Nobel Prize winner is deceiving himself – something that has yet to be established – that perhaps explains the incredible contradictions in his reasoning and the confusion sowed among his listeners.

    There is not a drop of morality, not even of politics, in his attempt to justify his announced decision to veto any resolution approved supporting the recognition of Palestine as an independent state and a member of the United Nations. Even politicians who in no way share socialist ideas and lead parties which were closely allied with Augusto Pinochet support Palestine’s right to full membership in the UN.

    Barrack Obama’s words on the main topic of discussion today in the organization’s General Assembly can only be applauded by NATO, with its artillery, missiles and bombings.

    The rest of his speech consisted of empty words, lacking moral authority and making no sense. Let us observe, for example, how just how vacuous they were.”

  16. thetumta
    September 29, 2011, 9:30 pm

    The ground is dissolving from under Likud’s feet. They are aware of it. It is only a question of time and not much at that. The Soviets fell in days much to everyone’s amazement. When Israel unravels, it will be like the scene in Titanic. We will see the the last gasp strategy of the “the most charming war criminal, Moshe”. It will involve a nuke, here and we’ll get it wrong.
    Hej!

    • yourstruly
      September 29, 2011, 11:21 pm

      don’t know about the nuke (certainly hope not) but everything else you say gonna happen, gonna happen sooner rather than later

  17. atime forpeace
    September 29, 2011, 9:51 pm

    The birth of Israel must have been life altering for some.

    After a generation or two things change though, and that nation isn’t looked upon with the same reverence as the generation that saw it birthed in hope and idealism.

    Then what?

    Change is painless.

  18. thetumta
    September 29, 2011, 9:53 pm

    Thank God and I’m an Atheist. This trend has been reported for the last several years, some young Jewish-Americans rejecting racism and treason. Hence the delema for the Zionists as the trend is against them. They have to act within the current generation(Witty) and they don’t have any rational options. So they reset the clock.

    • Mooser
      September 29, 2011, 10:49 pm

      Any given ethnic group (if you wish to divide people along those lines for whatever sociological purpose, even tho the division has no ultimate meaning) will produce a certain number of sociopaths and psychopaths, and there are lots of people with an unfortunate quantity of credulity combined with a desperate need for acceptance. So the Zionists are assured of at least a minimal supply of new adherents.

  19. Audrey
    September 29, 2011, 10:41 pm

    The importance of the article is not that her views are particularly groundbreaking (they’re not) or progressive (they’re not), but that they are more progressive and more groundbreaking that the views attributed to Jews by the majority of real Americans, not coastal academic liberals: that is, those who actually read TIME. A white American who has never met a Jew doesn’t know that there are Jews who criticize Israel. Then they read this article in TIME in the dentist’s office in, say, Wyoming, and realize that there is something amiss.

    Then maybe they change their views (little by little), then they vote for new people (little by little), and eventually the US-Israel bludger bully duo is weakened (little by little).

    It must be the excess of raisin challah that has made me an optimist today.

  20. Mooser
    September 29, 2011, 10:45 pm

    “It makes me feel absolutely terrible when you stridently voice criticisms of Israel.”

    Well even Jewish mothers (God forbid) expire eventually, or so I’ve heard. I have no proof it’s true, but that’s what I’ve heard.

  21. Nevada Ned
    September 29, 2011, 11:18 pm

    On the topic of the generation gap among American Jews in their attitude towards Israel, I recommend the excellent book by Norman Finkelstein, This Time We Went Too Far, which covers the Gaza War and the reactions to the war by American Jewry. Finkelstein points out that many of the strongest supporters of Israel are now in their 70’s or older. Many younger Jewish bloggers and activists (40’s and younger) are indifferent or critical towards Israel. An increasingly common attitude among younger Jews is indifference: Israel just doesn’t appear on their radar screen at all. On this topic, as on others, Finkelstein is a reliable source.
    I look forward to his next book.

  22. DICKERSON3870
    September 30, 2011, 12:11 am

    RE: “This is so emotional…It makes me feel absolutely terrible when you stridently voice criticisms of Israel.” ~ Dana Goldstein’s mother

    FROM WIKIPEDIA:

    Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions.[2] Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying [in other words, by employing defense mechanisms – J.L.D.]. The phrase was coined by Leon Festinger in his 1956 book When Prophecy Fails, which chronicled the followers of a UFO cult as reality clashed with their fervent beliefs. [3][4] It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology. A closely related term, cognitive disequilibrium, was coined by Jean Piaget to refer to the experience of a discrepancy between something new and something already known or believed.
    Experience can clash with expectations, as, for example, with buyer’s remorse following the purchase of an expensive item. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise,[2] dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment. People are biased to think of their choices as correct, despite any contrary evidence. This bias gives dissonance theory its predictive power, shedding light on otherwise puzzling irrational and destructive behavior…

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
    ALSO SEE: DEFENSE MECHANISMS & COGNITIVE DISSONANCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/the-privileged-divide-non-jews-want-to-talk-the-issue-jews-dont.html#comment-365465

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 30, 2011, 12:31 am

      RE: Ben Resnick, 27, [rabbinical student]… published an op-ed pointing out the ideological inconsistencies between Zionism, which upholds the principle of Israel as a Jewish state, and American liberal democracy, which emphasizes individual rights regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. “The tragedy,” Resnick says, is that the two worldviews may be “irreconcilable.”

      MY COMMENT: These ideological inconsistencies between Zionism and American liberal democracy (two different “worldviews”) produce cognitive dissonance (emotional pain).
      Cognitive dissonance is caused by two cognition’s (elements of knowledge)… usually one conscious and the other subconscious… being in direct conflict with each other.
      The two opposing cognition’s are located on neural networks in the brain. They create anxiety that steadily intensifies until the subconscious mind employs a solution from its list of defense mechanisms…
      DEFENSE MECHANISMS & COGNITIVE DISSONANCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/the-privileged-divide-non-jews-want-to-talk-the-issue-jews-dont.html#comment-365465

      • MRW
        September 30, 2011, 3:01 pm

        Alternatively, read Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts.

  23. eee
    September 30, 2011, 1:59 am

    By the time American Jews finish having this discussion in 25 years, there will be 15 million Jews in Israel and 3 million Jews or so in the US. So go ahead, and have your discussion but at least be sensible enough to give it the right weight.

    • annie
      September 30, 2011, 2:05 am

      eee, is there any evidence at all the number of jews in the US is decreasing?

      i didn’t think so.

      • eee
        September 30, 2011, 2:21 am

        We had this discussion before. 50% of Jews marry non Jews. Of course the number of Jews in the US is decreasing.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Jews#Assimilation_and_population_changes

      • Sumud
        September 30, 2011, 2:49 am

        We had this discussion before. 50% of Jews marry non Jews. Of course the number of Jews in the US is decreasing.

        The article you cite doesn’t support that claim eee. In fact, the very section you linked to notes intermarriage in certain areas is resulting in a net increase in the local jewish population:

        The Boston area, for example, is exceptional in that an estimated 60% percent of children of intermarriages are being raised Jewish, meaning that intermarriage would actually be contributing to a net increase in the number of Jews.

        The info box on right page of that article describes a ~400,000 person increase in the size of the jewish community between 2000 and 2009. And in the actual article there are wildly different estimates.

        On what basis are you making your claim eee, beyond making an assumption based on an intermarriage statistic?

      • Hostage
        September 30, 2011, 2:57 am

        We had this discussion before. 50% of Jews marry non Jews.

        We secular folks don’t buy that “conversion” bullshit that you use to conceal the fact that Israelis marry-out and assimilate too. DNA tests reveal that Jews are mostly descended from gentile women and the Rabbinate says that lots of those modern-day conversions were invalid. How can the IDF tell if a person is Jewish when the Rabbinate doesn’t even have a clue? This whole line of argumentation is mental masturbation.

      • annie
        September 30, 2011, 3:02 am

        sumud, i think eee is drunk tonight. he just told me Mearsheimer is going down…he will have the same credibility as Duke.

        delusions of zionist grandeur are filling his head. tomorrow is another day. someone should put him to bed.

      • annie
        September 30, 2011, 3:05 am

        DNA tests reveal that Jews are mostly descended from gentile women

        shhhhh..hostage, not on the jewish new year!

      • Hostage
        September 30, 2011, 3:49 am

        DNA tests reveal that Jews are mostly descended from gentile women

        shhhhh..hostage, not on the jewish new year!

        FYI according to Jewish legend, when King David conducted a census like these mentioned here, God dispatched a destroying angel. It was alleged that happened because the merits of the fathers were exhausted. So thank God we had some merits left-over from all of those gentile and Jewish matriarchs or none would have been spared. It’s ironic, based upon that tradition, that so many Jews put such stock in these modern demographers;-)

      • seafoid
        September 30, 2011, 5:13 am

        eee , the mask falls and he is revealed as a clown

        “By the time American Jews finish having this discussion in 25 years, there will be 15 million Jews in Israel and 3 million Jews or so in the US”

        and what are these 15 million Jews going to drink? Sand?

      • eGuard
        September 30, 2011, 8:07 am

        eee: 50% of Jews marry non Jews.

        That does not diminish the number of Jews. The maternal line you know. Also, it might add converts (while keeping the secularised in the number). Hell, by the Nuremberg laws, which were not that sexist, the number of Jews would increase.

      • eee
        September 30, 2011, 9:59 am

        In 1947 there were 500,000 Jews in Israel. The growth in the number of Jews in Israel is much much faster than that of Jews in the US (even if you do not believe that the Jewish community in the US is growing smaller). In 25 years, the Jewish community in the US will be much smaller than the Jewish community in Israel. Get used to it.

        Another thing you need to get used to is that the Jewish community in the US will be much more religious and less liberal in 25 years. The orthodox and ultra-orthodox parts of the community are growing while the secular part is growing smaller.

      • eee
        September 30, 2011, 10:02 am

        A Jew is not someone with Jewish genes. A Jew is someone who is part of a Jewish community. Madeline Albright is not Jewish and neither is William Cohen. Nor are any of Judt’s children Jewish since they don’t identify as such.

      • James North
        September 30, 2011, 10:13 am

        But Madeline Albright, William Cohen, and Tony Judt’s children all have the right to fly to Israel tomorrow and become citizens, while Palestinians who were born there cannot even visit. Justify?

      • DBG
        September 30, 2011, 10:17 am

        Israel is a sovereign state which gets to dictate its immigration policies and who can visit/reside in the country.

        With 60+ years of Palestinian persecution came 60+ years of Palestinian retribution. This is why it is hard for a Palestinian to visit Israel.

      • James North
        September 30, 2011, 10:26 am

        First, 3e said Albright et al “are not Jews.” Under what right, then, do they immigrate to Israel?
        Second, where do I say Palestinian “immigrants?” I said “Palestinians who were born in Israel,” who in some cases still have the keys to their homes.
        Hasbarats always downplay the Law of Return, because it is one of their Achilles heels. Fair-minded people who might concede that Israel served as a refuge for European Jews in 1946 do not see why the law still applies to armed arrogant Jews from Brooklyn in 2011.

      • eee
        September 30, 2011, 10:29 am

        James North,

        Very easy to justify. The Israeli state is not in the business of reading minds. The Law of Return had to have practical provisions. The law clearly states “that a Jew FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS LAW is”. The Law does not try to define a Jew but to define who can immigrate to Israel. And yes, the law let’s non Jews in also (such as Tony Judt’s children), so what? No law is perfect. It is better to err in this direction than not let a Jew in.

      • Sumud
        September 30, 2011, 10:41 am

        With 60+ years of Palestinian persecution came 60+ years of Palestinian retribution. This is why it is hard for a Palestinian to visit Israel.

        Oh really…!

        So Israel’s denial of the refugees right of return is really about terrorism?

      • eee
        September 30, 2011, 10:57 am

        Israel was founded as a haven for the Jewish people, most of whom were not in Israel at that time. The law of return attempts to include as many Jews as possible, arrogant and not arrogant alike. Really, Israel is not in the business of sorting out the nice Jews from the not nice ones, poor ones from rich ones etc. All have a right to Israel just as much as any Jew born here. I welcome them with open arms.

        As for the Palestinians, they can return to the Palestinian state as soon as it will be negotiated.

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2011, 12:43 pm

        “DNA tests reveal that Jews are mostly descended from gentile women”

        Hmmm, I’ll have to get me one of those DNA tests. I couldn’t tell you how many times I heard my mother say ” My son? You’re not my son!” Funny, my Dad used to say the same thing, too, although it may have been just the normal male instinct to deny paternity.

      • DBG
        September 30, 2011, 12:52 pm

        DNA tests reveal that Jews are mostly descended from gentile women and the Rabbinate says that lots of those modern-day conversions were invalid

        Please show me these DNA tests hostage. being critical of Israel and questioning it is one thing, but when you start to spout racism like this it is purely another.

        What Rabbinate are you talking about? The Orthodox Rabbinate, especially in Israel is not the end-all be-all of world Jewry.

        Things are much deeper than hatred of Israel on here, much deeper. It is easily illustrated by comments like these.

      • MRW
        September 30, 2011, 3:06 pm

        Read your goddam history, eee, written 100 years before the Nakba. Your ignorance is getting tiring.

        Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine
        By Rabbi Joseph Schwarz, 1850
        Jewish-American History Documentation Foundation
        P.O. Box 760325
        Lathrup Village, MI 48076

        http://www.jewish-history.com/Palestine

      • MRW
        September 30, 2011, 3:27 pm

        DBG,

        when you start to spout racism ???

        You mean when someone dismantles the myth, don’t you? (Look up the definition of racism. It does not apply here.)

      • eee
        September 30, 2011, 3:33 pm

        MRW,

        What is amusing is your belief that somehow I should care about what some obscure Rabbi wrote in 1850 because you support his point of view. You are a radical extremist who has a completely one sided view of history.

      • Hostage
        September 30, 2011, 4:08 pm

        A Jew is not someone with Jewish genes. A Jew is someone who is part of a Jewish community. Madeline Albright is not Jewish and neither is William Cohen. Nor are any of Judt’s children Jewish since they don’t identify as such.

        Says you. The notion that “a Jew is someone who is part of a Jewish community” is a platitudinous tautology. Gentiles who choose to marry people with Jewish genes may be part of a “Jew-ish” community without ever becoming Jews.

      • Hostage
        September 30, 2011, 4:21 pm

        In 1947 there were 500,000 Jews in Israel. The growth in the number of Jews in Israel is . . .

        . . . due to unsustainable rates of immigration. You don’t have the natural resources (water) and there aren’t any large communities left in Europe, the Arab countries, and Africa desiring to make aliya.

      • Hostage
        September 30, 2011, 4:27 pm

        Israel is a sovereign state which gets to dictate its immigration policies and who can visit/reside in the country.

        Palestinians are neither immigrants nor tourists you delusional jerk.

      • Antidote
        September 30, 2011, 5:11 pm

        joke related by Mark Twain:

        Teacher: Who was the mother of Moses?

        Pupil: Pharao’s daughter

        Teacher: No, no, no. She just found him

        Pupil: That’s what SHE said

      • Hostage
        September 30, 2011, 5:19 pm

        James North,

        Very easy to justify. The Israeli state is not in the business of reading minds. The Law of Return had to have practical provisions.

        Please drop the dissembling B.S. The minute your Knesset adopts a legal definition of the term “Jew” that excludes Reform, Conservative, & etc. streams, support from AIPAC and the Congress will evaporate and your officials won’t have any veto in the Security Council anymore – and you know it.

      • Hostage
        September 30, 2011, 5:37 pm

        The law of return attempts to include as many Jews as possible, arrogant and not arrogant alike. Really, Israel is not in the business of sorting out the nice Jews from the not nice ones, . . . As for the Palestinians, they can return to the Palestinian state as soon as it will be negotiated.

        You are definitely one of the arrogant, not nice ones.

      • Hostage
        September 30, 2011, 6:40 pm

        Please show me these DNA tests hostage. being critical of Israel and questioning it is one thing, but when you start to spout racism like this it is purely another.

        I was referring to well known studies done by Behar, Hammer, and others on founder effects discovered in Ashkenazim MtDNA studies. They attribute those to a bottleneck caused by descent from a handful of local Gentile matriarchs about 100 generations ago. Here is a quote from the “racists” at Commentary Magazine:

        Jewish females from the same backgrounds, on the other hand, yield opposite results: their mitochondrial DNA has markedly less resemblance to that of Jewish women from elsewhere than it does to that of non-Jewish women in the countries their families hailed from. The main difference between them and these Gentile women is that their mitochondrial DNA is less varied—that is, they descend from a small number of maternal ancestors. Geneticists call such a phenomenon, in which a sizable population has developed from a very small number of progenitors, a “founder” or “bottleneck” effect. (In “bottlenecks,” these few progenitors are survivors of larger groups that were drastically reduced by war, famine, plague, or other calamities.)

        http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/jews-and-their-dna/

        In any event, Israeli mythology itself claims that the Jewish nobility were descended from Canaanite and Moabite women like Rahab and Ruth. Two of the most populous tribes were descended from an Egyptian woman, Asenath. Moses supposedly married a Midianite or Ethiopian. His sister was apparently striken by God when she complained about his intermarriage. According to legend the “Lost tribes” returned during the reign of Josiah and would be mingled among the ancestors of modern-day “Jews”:

        “Since the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah reigned, all Israel did not perform a Passover sacrifice in Jerusalem, because the kingdom had been divided in two since Jeroboam, and they would go to the calf in Bethel and in Dan until now that the ten tribes were exiled, Rashi says: “and Jeremiah brought them back, and Josiah reigned over them, and they all came to Jerusalem.”. — Melachim II (II Kings) – Chapter 23:22 from Rashi’s Commentary and the Judaica Press Tanach

        The legends of the Temple cult established by Ezra and Nehemiah relate that the Princes of the Tribe of Judah were notorious for the practice of intermarriage with Gentile women and that many of the am ha-aretz were considered mamzers. Let me know if I can be of further assistance in acquainting you with these legends about the various Gentile matriarchs.

      • RoHa
        September 30, 2011, 7:41 pm

        How interesting. Denying the racial purity of Jews is racism.

      • Hostage
        September 30, 2011, 7:42 pm

        What Rabbinate are you talking about? The Orthodox Rabbinate, especially in Israel is not the end-all be-all of world Jewry.

        The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that there is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people – including those of us in the so-called Diaspora. So the dysfunctional state of Israel claims for itself the right to make legal determinations regarding the question of “who is a Jew?” and to be the end-all be-all of world Jewry.

        For a number of years the Court has been trying to give the Ministry of Interior the authority to answer the question “Who is a Jew? by resorting to other authorities on “world Jewry” besides the Orthodox Rabbinate, with little or no success. It has been impossible to pry the cold dead hands of the religious parties in the Knesset and the Orthodox Rabbinate off the registries long enough for a more pluralistic method to take effect.

        That means the Israelis have a State-funded Orthodox monopoly with anti-miscegenation laws that would make Adolph Hitler blush with envy – and they try to enforce that ethic on everyone else. So take your mock outrage over racism somewhere else. Nobody here is deceived by it for one minute.

      • DBG
        September 30, 2011, 9:03 pm

        LOL, did you read the whole article Hostage? I recommend it to anyone who buys into the whole Shlomo Sand’s argument and the Khazar myth.

        Thanks Hostage, I will definitely bookmark this!

      • Hostage
        September 30, 2011, 10:51 pm

        LOL, did you read the whole article Hostage? I recommend it to anyone who buys into the whole Shlomo Sand’s argument and the Khazar myth.

        Strawman alert. The Commentary article is based upon well supported peer-reviewed MtDNA studies published by Hammer Behar et. al. 2004; Behar, Skorecki et. al. 2006, Feder et. al. 2007, and confirmed by many others long before the publication of Schlomo Sand’s 2009 book. In fact the Commentary article was published in 2008 and doesn’t mention Schlomo Sand at all. You are introducing an argument based upon a genetic fallacy (in both senses of the phrase).

        I notice that you are strangely silent about the abundant evidence in the Tanach for the Gentile matriarchs that I mentioned. Do you intend to dismiss that by appealing to Schlomo Sand or some other strawman too?

      • DBG
        October 2, 2011, 7:31 am

        So Israel’s denial of the refugees right of return is really about terrorism?

        Maybe, maybe not, but it sure makes a good excuse for the Israelis not to allow the ROR (something that is now moot btw).

        The Palestinians should have given up ‘armed resistance’ a long time ago.

      • DBG
        October 2, 2011, 7:32 am

        abundant evidence? there was a small paragraph about it. I am not threatened by ‘gentiles in our ranks’

        as for the rest of your comment, what are you blathering about?

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2011, 12:21 pm

        So Israel’s denial of the refugees right of return is really about terrorism? . . . Maybe, maybe not

        It is about violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Israel’s neighboring states. No state can ever be allowed to drive portions of its own population into another state, forcing the citizens there to share their territory, resources, and funding with others against their will.

        The Zionists agreed to exercise their self-determination through free association and incorporation in another state – Palestine. They should have been reminded of that fact long ago like Rhodesia and the Union of South Africa.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2011, 12:33 pm

        abundant evidence? there was a small paragraph about it. I am not threatened by ‘gentiles in our ranks’ . . .as for the rest of your comment, what are you blathering about?

        If you aren’t afraid of Gentiles in your midst, then STFU about the Palestinian right of return already. You still won’t admit that you were incorrect about the published evidence for the descent of the Jews from a number of Gentile matriarchs. As for the rest of my comment, it was a fairly thorough trashing of your bullheaded and uneducated racist blathering.

      • DBG
        October 2, 2011, 1:43 pm

        yeah I was wrong Hostage, what you said was misleading and you took a small paragraph out of an article proving Judaism’s link to the land and to the continuity of our heritage, but yeah other than that you were dead on.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2011, 7:07 pm

        yeah I was wrong Hostage, what you said was misleading and you took a small paragraph out of an article proving Judaism’s link to the land

        The article, “Jews and Their DNA”, was about genetic studies performed on Jews, not Judaism. A person’s religion or beliefs cannot be determined by examining their DNA. The paragraph that I quoted verbatim was not misleading or taken out of context. The same thing applies to the anecdotal evidence that I cited from biblical sources. OTOH, your comments about racism, racial purity, and Judaism are deliberately misleading and false.

  24. Hostage
    September 30, 2011, 2:19 am

    By the time American Jews finish having this discussion in 25 years, there will be 15 million Jews in Israel and 3 million Jews or so in the US.

    According to Drs Ira M. Sheskin and Arnold Dashefsky the Jewish Population in the United States, 2010 is 6,543,820. http://www.jewishdatabank.org/Reports/Jewish_Population_in_the_United_States_2010.pdf

  25. Kathleen
    September 30, 2011, 8:52 am

    Early on Obama expressed he was aware that there was a change going on in the Jewish community in regard to the conflict. Clearly every little bit helps. But

    “But speaking my mind on these topics — a very Jewish thing to do — has never been easy. During my childhood in the New York suburbs, support for Israel was as fundamental a family tradition as voting Democratic or lighting the Shabbos candles on Friday night.”

    For decades the majority of Jewish families have not talked about these brutal racist actions of the Israeli government. . Clearly this is changing.

    “The bliss I felt floating in the Dead Sea, sampling succulent fruits grown by Jewish farmers and roaming the medieval city of Safed, the historic center of Kabbalah mysticism, was tempered by other experiences: watching the construction of the imposing “security” fence, which not only tamped down terrorist attacks but also separated Palestinian villagers from their land and water supply.”

    “fence” demonstrates an unwillingness to even go to the middle on this one. State the facts. Fence, wall, BARRIER…partially built on internationally recognized Palestinian land. International criminal court and the UN have determined is ILLEGAL.

    “Polling of young American Jews shows that with the exception of the Orthodox, many of us feel less attached to Israel than do our baby boomer parents, who came of age during the era of the 1967 and 1973 wars, when Israel was less of an aggressor and more a victim.”

    “less of an aggressor and more a victim”

    When was this? Never. She needs to read more about the facts and history of the acquisition of the land.

    ” Over 40% of American Jews under 35 believe that “Israel occupies land belonging to someone else,” and over 30% report sometimes feeling “ashamed” of Israel’s actions.”

    In many ways this is sad that this is what we call movement. What is over 30%?

    “They were sharing their families’ experiences of life under occupation and life during the war in Gaza,” she remembers. “So much of what they were talking about related to things that I had always been taught to defend, like human rights and social justice, and the value of each individual’s life.”

    I believe that this another myth that so many Jews are brought up with.

    On the other hand celebrating that there is movement.

  26. Shmuel
    September 30, 2011, 9:07 am

    roaming the medieval city of Safed, the historic center of Kabbalah mysticism

    http://www.palestineremembered.com/Safad/Safad/index.html

    Did she notice or wonder where these http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Mosques_in_Safed came from, or where the people who used to pray there all went?

  27. American
    September 30, 2011, 10:20 am

    Reposted by arrangement with Think Progress

    The American Jewish Committee (AJC) released its annual poll of Jewish-American public opinion yesterday, which, as with all demographics, showed a dip in Jewish support for President Obama over various issues including his handling of Israel-related matters. All the usual neocon partisans, who would love to see Obama wounded because of the importance of Jewish Americans to the Democrats, seized on the some version of the news. But the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin, in an article accurately headlined “Obama disappoints, but we’ll vote for him,” hit on a point of the survey the others missed:

    On Iran, Jewish voters are much more hawkish than the president. If sanctions fail to halt Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, 56 percent favor the U.S. taking military action, and 88 percent favor Israel doing so.
    Rubin initially got one of the numbers wrong (the post has since been corrected): In reality, 68 percent of respondents said they would support Israeli military action. (Both figures are down slightly, within the margin of error, from last fall’s AJC poll.) But the questions themselves, which are typical of this issue, are tricky. Here are the relevant questions and (actual) numbers from the AJC poll:

    http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=ijITI2PHKoG&b=846741&ct=11229303

    While the survey asks about strikes “to prevent [Iran] developing nuclear weapons,” military analysts and non-proliferation experts from both the U.S. and Israel agree that attacking Iran’s nuclear installations would only delay — not stop — Iran’s nuclear progress.

    At an event hosted by the Arms Control Association in Washington last week, senior fellow Greg Thielmann said, “[E]ven U.S. airstrikes would only delay, not prevent, an Iranian nuclear weapons capacity.”

    That judgment corresponds with that of Jeffrey White, a military analyst at the pro-Israel Washington Institute, who said this summer:

    You can’t destroy knowledge and you can’t destroy the basic technology. The setback to the program would be measured in years I think — two years maybe three years.
    White thought an Israeli strike, because of Israel’s lesser military capabilities, would cause an even smaller delay of probably only a year.

    Another skeptic of the efficacy of Israeli airstrikes against Iran is the former commander of the Israel Navy, retired Rear Admiral Avraham Botzer. In June, Botzer told Haaretz:

    I’m afraid the air force has convinced the politicians that an attack on Iran is possible and will achieve results. If I’m right, then we’re dealing with a dangerous illusion.
    Since an Israeli strike is less likely to significantly delay Iran’s nuclear progress, perhaps American Jews show greater support for that option because of the increased threat perception. The distinction might be moot anyway, since the U.S. could potentially be dragged into a very risky regional conflict because of an Israeli strike. Those kinds of consequences of an attack weren’t so much as hinted at in AJC’s poll.

    http://www.lobelog.com/ajc-poll-advances-baseless-claim-that-attack-will-%e2%80%98prevent%e2%80%99-iran-from-developing-nuclear-weapons/

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