NYT today has an article saying that ethnic solidarity across nations is problematic. The piece is about Ireland’s support for the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, which is heavily Irish-American and was socked by Sandy. But that’s not altogether a good thing:
But complicating the current embrace from abroad is the gated community’s extreme insularity. Breezy Point is the whitest neighborhood in the city, a demographic makeup that critics say illustrates the enclave’s entrenched xenophobia, a dark flip side, perhaps, to all that ethnic pride. The consul general of Ireland, Noel Kilkenny, said he and others had made special efforts to avoid the impression of “the Irish looking after their own.”..
[Breezy Point’s] ethnic and racial makeup has also been a source of controversy. It was once called an “an apartheid village” by the Rev. Al Sharpton during a protest. Steve Greenberg, the former chairman of the Breezy Point cooperative’s board, said that to his knowledge, no black family had ever held a share in the private community.
Nir’s father Yehuda served in the Israeli Defense Forces in 1948 and after moving on to the U.S., sought to rejoin the Israeli army in ’67 and ’73. “I had to fight our enemies and rejoin the Israeli army,” he writes of the second war in his autobiography. Huh; I wonder how Sarah Maslin Nir feels about Israel…
I bet Sarah Maslin Nir knows a lot about the xenophobia of ethnic pride, the racism inherent in trans-national ethnic claims. Maybe one day she’ll write about the American Jewish relationship to Israel.