Shared values?

Israel/Palestine
on 79 Comments

Outrage that a poet who married a non-Jew might be featured on Israeli currency– from a rightwing Israeli news site:

Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi, a Bar Ilan University lecturer and brother in-law of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, slammed the government’s plan to issue currency with the likeness of Hebrew poet Shaul Tchernichovsky. Turning Tchernichovsky into a “national icon” was a terrible idea and would set a bad example – because of his longtime marriage to a Christian woman, he explained.

“We cannot turn him into a national symbol, since he disdained such an important component of Jewish identity and intermarried, increasing assimilation,” Ben-Artzi said.

This story is a reminder of Israel’s importance to many Jews and Jewish organizations, preserving Jewish “continuity,” by keeping Jews from marrying out. Dennis Ross is engaged in this enterprise, heading the Jewish People Policy Institute, which opposes intermarriage.

But where are the shared values? I first got engaged on religious-political issues 15 years ago when Protestant Bob Jones University’s ban on interracial dating was drawing national political opprobrium; and I pointed out that the American Jewish community’s policies to stop people from doing what I’d done– falling in love with and marrying a non-Jew– were just as bad. 

By the way, others are complaining that the new Israeli banknotes will only bear images of Ashkenazi Jews. Gershom Gorenberg’s report.

Update: This post originally stated that Bob Jones is a Catholic University. It is Protestant.

About Philip Weiss

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79 Responses

  1. geofgray
    May 7, 2013, 10:32 am

    Bob Jones University is not Catholic. I don’t think Catholic institutions have ever been open to segregation in the US. Georgetown University was founded by a partly black Bishop of the Church. Catholics, in fact, have founded many black schools, e.g. Saint Elizabeth Drexel founded scores of schools for blacks in the South, and the Jesuits founded the black Jesuit college Xavier in New Orleans.
    The Catholic Church has much to be defensive about, but Bob Jones University is not one of them–thank god!

    • Philip Weiss
      May 7, 2013, 11:27 am

      Thanks Geoff. Corrected also by Marc

    • American
      May 7, 2013, 12:31 pm

      “I don’t think Catholic institutions have ever been open to segregation in the US. Georgetown University was founded by a partly black Bishop of the Church. Catholics, “……

      That is true…in fact the Catholic Church in my (Southern) town had black and white members back in the late 40’s- early 50’s .

      • marc b.
        May 7, 2013, 1:07 pm

        Georgetown established the School of Medicine in 1851 and the Law School in 1870. Patrick F. Healy, S.J., the university’s president between 1873 and 1882, was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. and the first to head a major U.S. university. Healy dramatically reformed the university’s curriculum with a new emphasis on history and the natural sciences and started construction on the Flemish Romanesque-style Healy Hall in 1877.

        my father and uncle’s alma mater. along with notre dame, great Jesuit institutions. this is the part i’m proud of, that and the whole liberation theology movements. unfortunately bob jones is right about much of the rest of the history of the catholic church, the ‘whore of Babylon’.

    • Madrid
      May 7, 2013, 6:20 pm

      No offense to this great blog and its contributors, including Phil, but Phil does seem to have problem with the Catholic Church. Not giving the Church credit for its history, going back to the sixteenth century (Las Casas, Francisco de Vitoria, Francisco Suarez, Antonio Vieira), of opposing slavery and segregation– inspired by St. Paul’s admonition, “there is no jew nor greek, nor female nor male, nor slave nor freeman, all are one before Christ,”– is just part of Phil’s problem. He has referred to the Catholic Church as the Church of Pedophilia, before people complained. He has shown a very simplistic notion of belief in historical progress whereby things like abortion rights signal progress, not realizing for example that the ease with which Americans kill the unborn makes it very easy to kill the unseen in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine by drone.

      His biases are typical of liberal journalists, which they have subsumed from the anti-Catholic Protestant heritage of this country: Catholic Church is evil, led by an oppressive tyrant; American democracy and institutions are fundamentally good; Catholic Church persecutes; representative democratic institutions are incapable of persecution, etc etc.

  2. HarryLaw
    May 7, 2013, 11:09 am

    Reminds me of the first scripted racial kiss on television in the science fiction series Star Trek between Kirk and Uhuru in 1968, the Israelis are fighting a losing battle. Earlier NBC had expressed concern when Petula Clark in her musical special, had touched Harry Belafonte’s arm, a moment cited as the first occasion of direct physical contact on US television between a man and woman of different races.

    • Ron Edwards
      May 7, 2013, 2:31 pm

      An overlooked fact about that event: not only was it the first black-white kiss on US TV, the male actor was Jewish. (OK, *is* not was, but I’m talking about the historical moment, so past tense.)

      Dr. Ben-Artzi, may I have your views on that event? Oh! What was that big word? “Mis – ce – gen- ation?” H’m, where did I hear that word before, right around that very time?

  3. Krauss
    May 7, 2013, 11:09 am

    This reminds me of a recent brouhaha that emerged in the wake of new bank notes for the Canadian dollar. The Bank of Canada had a polling group that they tested various images on and tried to measure their response in intelligent ways.

    One such image, an Asian woman at a microscope, was reacted to strongly because it “played into ethnic stereotypes”. The solution, according to the panel, was a more ‘neutral’ image.

    They settled for a white woman – doing the same exact thing. And the new bank notes themselves also ended up with nothing but white people on them.

    It should be noted that 11% of Canada’s population is Asian, twice that of ours. So they’re not a minor group; they’re by far and away the largest minority group in Canada. Oh, and that’s based on numbers from the 2006 Census, and Canada has a net-migration rate per capita which is two to three times higher than America and is much more dominated by Asians.
    So the actual numbers today are probably quite a bit higher.

    “Neutral” in the minds of many Canadians, obviously, is the white default. Many the same for many Ashkenazi Jews in Israel for what a typical(or ‘neutral’) Israeli looks like?

  4. Binyamin in Orangeburg
    May 7, 2013, 11:11 am

    Remarkably, Ross’ Jewish mother married a Catholic, and they together raised Dennis (in a non-religious household).

    Does he now criticize his mother for harming the Jewish people and promoting assimilation?

    • Pamela Olson
      May 7, 2013, 10:50 pm

      Hm… this all sounds like Dennis Ross subconsciously wishing he didn’t exist and acting out on it in a most peculiar way (by trying to pre-emptively destroy all people conceived in a similar way)… Very strange indeed…

  5. marc b.
    May 7, 2013, 11:23 am

    Catholic Bob Jones University’s

    catholic? I could be wrong, but I don’t think that’s the case.

    • Philip Weiss
      May 7, 2013, 11:26 am

      Thanks for correction, Marc. It was an anti-Catholic dating policy at that Protestant University. I misspoke!

      • marc b.
        May 7, 2013, 12:54 pm

        bob jones, jim jones, tom jones. we catholics don’t take credit for any of them.

      • Mike_Konrad
        May 7, 2013, 5:16 pm

        They were made at Bob Jones for its anti-interracial dating policy.

        Not that Bob Jones was thrilled with Catholicism either.

  6. irmep
    May 7, 2013, 11:25 am

    Actually, every US taxpayer supports the policy, since they fund the Jewish Agency, which funds the JPPPI, which is anti-assimilation. So your heart may say “yes,” even as your own IRS form 1040 says “no….”
    ***********************************************************************
    …according to a recent Congressional Research Service report (PDF) by 1973 the Jewish Agency began receiving $25 million a year in U.S. taxpayer funding for its settlement and other activities – totaling $460 million by 1991. CRS reveals that between 2000 and 2013 the Jewish Agency will have received another $534 million ($41 million per year) in funding from Congress – none of it easily auditable by U.S. taxpayers.”

    link to fas.org

  7. munro
    May 7, 2013, 11:26 am

    Bob Jones University is a Protestant Evangelical University.

    Bob Jones, Jr. once said that Catholicism “is a satanic counterfeit, an ecclesiastic tyranny over the souls of men….It is the old harlot of the book of the Revelation—’the Mother of Harlots.'” All popes, Jones asserted, “are demon possessed.” In 1966, BJU awarded an honorary doctorate to the Rev. Ian Paisley, future British MP, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, and Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, who has referred to the Pope as a “Roman anti-Christ.” Bob Jones III has argued that the university is “not so much anti-Catholic as it is opposed to the idea that all men, regardless of religious beliefs, will eventually get to heaven through good works which the faithful, practicing Catholic embraces.”

    link to en.wikipedia.org

  8. ckg
    May 7, 2013, 11:32 am

    Phil–I’m definitely no admirer of Bob Jones University but I am pretty sure the political opprobrium was directed at its no-interracial dating policy. It’s also protestant and fundamentalist–not Catholic–and the 2nd university president Bob Jones Jr.once said that Catholicism was “not another Christian denomination. It is a satanic counterfeit, an ecclesiastic tyranny over the souls of men….It is the old harlot of the book of the Revelation—’the Mother of Harlots.'” source

  9. David Samel
    May 7, 2013, 11:45 am

    Interesting dynamics in the Ben-Artzi family, of which Sara Netanyahu is a member. One of her brothers is Matanya, whose son, Jonathan Ben-Artzi, is one of the country’s most famous refuseniks. Jonathan has served many months in jail for refusing to serve in the IDF, rejecting the personal entreaties of his PM Uncle. I believe he enjoys the support of his parents, but it seems Matanya has very different views from his siblings Sara and Hagai.

    With respect to Hagai’s statement, while it is morally repulsive, it seems entirely consistent with Zionist values. I’m sure that many “liberal Zionists” would be offended by his overt racism, but doesn’t he have a point in saying that the Jewish State should not honor someone who intermarried? When my brother married someone not Jewish, our most religious cousin declined to attend, writing on the RSVP card: “We do not attend marriages between Jews and non-Jews, because they destroy the uniqueness and holiness of our people.” The arrogance and racism of this sentiment is plain to see, but his world view is not only tolerated in Israel, it is a fundamental core belief underlying the state. I’m sure many liberal Israelis and Zionists would disagree with that, but they have to grapple with internal contradictions more than people like Hagai Ben-Artzi, who are more comfortably consistent in their views, repulsive though they are. If there is an inherent conflict between intermarriage and Zionist values, the problem is not with intermarriage.

    • hophmi
      May 7, 2013, 5:48 pm

      “With respect to Hagai’s statement, while it is morally repulsive, it seems entirely consistent with Zionist values.”

      It’s consistent with the values of most traditional Jews, who often synonymize intermarriage with total assimilation, and thus, the loss of their faith in a world where there are well over one billion Christians and one billion Muslims, and where the former spent hundreds of years attempting to convert Jews, sometimes with extreme force.

      It is especially hypocritical to bring it up here, given the fact that views on intermarriage are often far more conservative in other communities (particularly the Muslim community) than they are in the Jewish community. link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Talkback
      May 7, 2013, 7:59 pm

      David Samel says: “With respect to Hagai’s statement, while it is morally repulsive, it seems entirely consistent with Zionist values.”

      Of course. Zionism is about the preservation of Jewishness. To not (fully) share a territory with the Goyim is one way. To not share a life with them is another. It’s all about segregation.

    • RoHa
      May 7, 2013, 9:37 pm

      “We do not attend marriages between Jews and non-Jews, because they destroy the uniqueness and holiness of our people.”

      So he’s saying that he believes that we non-Jews are in some way not “holy” enough to marry Jews. But we have to respect Jews and their beliefs, don’t we?

      • eljay
        May 8, 2013, 7:22 am

        >> So he’s saying that he believes that we non-Jews are in some way not “holy” enough to marry Jews. But we have to respect Jews and their beliefs, don’t we?

        Anything less would be anti-Semitic. ;-)

      • hophmi
        May 8, 2013, 10:32 am

        “So he’s saying that he believes that we non-Jews are in some way not “holy” enough to marry Jews. But we have to respect Jews and their beliefs, don’t we?”

        Why do you care so much? Are you arguing that it is the norm in say, Islam, for intermarriage to be celebrated and encouraged? You don’t respect Jewish beliefs anyway, RoHa.

      • RoHa
        May 11, 2013, 12:31 am

        ” You don’t respect Jewish beliefs anyway, RoHa.”

        Jews who think that non-Jews are not fit to marry don’t deserve any respect.

        “Are you arguing that it is the norm in say, Islam, for intermarriage to be celebrated and encouraged?”

        The Muslim objection is purely religious. Jewishness, we are told, is more than just religion.

  10. Shmuel
    May 7, 2013, 11:57 am

    Turning Tchernichovsky into a “national icon” was a terrible idea and would set a bad example – because of his longtime marriage to a Christian woman, he explained.

    Shhhhh. Not so loud, or everyone will want one!

    I’ll save Yonah the trouble, by pointing out that Hagi (not Hagai) Ben-Artzi is a member of the lunatic fringe.

    What I want to know is what were they thinking honouring the author of “Sahki sahki al ha-halomot” (Ani ma’amin/I believe), which MK Mohammad Barakeh once suggested Israel adopt as a more inclusive national anthem (in place of Hatikva)?

    Excerpt (translation mine):

    For my soul still aspires to freedom,
    I have not sold it to a golden calf,
    For I still believe in man,
    And in his spirit, his bold spirit.
    His spirit will cast off the chains of vanity,
    Will raise him up on high;
    Workers shall not die of hunger,
    Freedom for the soul, bread for the poor.

    link to zemer.co.il

    • Ecru
      May 7, 2013, 1:39 pm

      Well I can see why that wouldn’t work as an Israeli national anthem. Israel IS the Golden Calf.

      Oh and all that stuff about freedom. It’d be fine if they could work in “for Jews and Jews only” in there somewhere otherwise it’s just too damn universal.

      • ToivoS
        May 7, 2013, 3:38 pm

        Please stop demonizing the Golden Calf. That represented our Aryan ancestors Cattle deity. It was a much more practical deity than that ridiculous desert sky god imported by the Jews and Christians.

      • Daniel Rich
        May 7, 2013, 3:47 pm

        @ ToivoSS,

        off topic

        Q: It was a much more practical deity than that ridiculous desert sky god imported by the Jews and Christians.

        R: You mean that deity that pretends to be a liberal but likes to ban people?

      • Ecru
        May 7, 2013, 4:17 pm

        By Aryan deity I assume you mean Indo-European a la the one at Catalhoyuk? Yes I agree just about any deity’s better than that infantile and genocidal loon foisted on us from the Iron Age Levant.

      • ToivoS
        May 7, 2013, 6:49 pm

        Just a general sense that people from Central Asia and the steppes were cattle herders, they migrated and invaded the ME on multiple occasions and cattle were central to their religion. Aryans is very vague term to describe those people.

      • piotr
        May 7, 2013, 10:27 pm

        Çatalhöyük is incredibly ancient, dates a few thousand years “before the beginning of the world” if you wish to use Jewish calendar, and in this time frame it makes no sense to mention Aryans in this context, as they appeared roughly 6000 years after the beginning of Çatalhöyük, or even Indo-Europeans whose existence is purely conjectural in the period Çatalhöyük existed, and putative location totally uncertain.

      • Ecru
        May 8, 2013, 12:16 am

        @ piotr

        Not sure what the state of scholarship is these days, linguistic archaeology changing its mind almost as often as molecular, but if you follow Renfrew’s hypothesis Anatolia of the period of Catalhoyuk was the birthplace of Indo-European so whilst there’s no way to say for sure what language these people spoke it may have been a form of Proto-Indo-European. Emphasis on the “may.” And then of course you enter the minefield of a “material culture” being confused with a “linguistic culture.”

        But yes, point taken.

      • Shmuel
        May 8, 2013, 2:16 am

        The Israelites seem to have been rather keen on cattle deities themselves (Aaron’s calf, Jeroboam’s calves, Hiram’s oxen), but the Yahwists got to write the books (and destroy the ones they didn’t like). All’s fair, eh? You don’t hear the Baalists or the Ashtorethists whingeing, do you?

      • ToivoS
        May 8, 2013, 3:33 am

        Shmuel, it did not occur to me before that the old Hebrew religion had many calve deities. Isn’t there also some notion if a truly red calf is born in Israel, then to this day it means that Israel can begin to rebuild their temple on the Dome of the Rock.

        What a hoot. WWIII happens because a sacred red calf is born. And this happens 2,500 years after the old testament fanatics suppress the worship of the the Golden Calf and their followers destroy the world over a red calf.

        Now that would be ironic. What goes around comes around I guess.

      • Shmuel
        May 8, 2013, 4:16 am

        ToivoS,

        The birth of a red heifer (not necessarily in the Land of Israel) is considered a harbinger of the rebuilding of the Temple, as it is a required for a purity ritual (see Numbers 19), without which the Temple cult cannot function.

        The ancient Egyptians also had a thing about cattle (Osiris, Apis, Mnevis), the colour red, and even red cattle (see Frazer, The Golden Bough, ii, 59-62).

        The Egyptians, because of their belief that Typhon was of a red complexion, also dedicate to sacrifice such of their neat cattle as are of a red colour, but they conduct the examination of these so scrupulously that, if an animal has but one hair black or white, they think it wrong to sacrifice it…. This is also the reason why, since they hated Ochus most of all the Persian kings because he was a detested and abominable ruler, they nicknamed him “the Ass”; and he remarked, “But this Ass will feast upon your Bull,” and slaughtered Apis, as Deinon has recorded. But those who relate that Typhon’s flight from the battle was made on the back of an ass and lasted for seven days, and that after he had made his escape, he became the father of sons, Hierosolymus and Judaeus, are manifestly, as the very names show, attempting to drag Jewish traditions into the legend.

        —Plutarch, Isis and Osiris, 3o

        The allusion to a legendary connection between Typhon and the Jews is intriguing.

    • yonah fredman
      May 7, 2013, 6:07 pm

      Shmuel- I went to yeshiva with Hagi ben Artzi, back in the year of their lord 1973, and although he expresses himself in an extreme way (I myself do not care who’s on the currency, as long as it ain’t charles lindberg), I understand the impulse in opposition to intermarriage. Certainly if one believes in God and Torah like Hagi ben Artzi does, intermarriage is a catastrophe, in that belief in one God and Torah has diminished chance of growing in a house that has both a christmas tree and a menorah (although there are many Jewish homes without intermarriage that have a christmas tree just the same, see Wallace Shawn). When translating this religious impulse into nationalist Zionist terms, the religious is bound to sound racist, even though as most of the DNA experts here at Mondoweiss will tell you, Jews are not a race.

      Slowly as i have emerged from the shadows of my religious upbringing I have come to attempt to accept the inevitability of intermarriage, though i must tell you one fact. a good friend of mine, who has since died, was the son of a Jewish father and a nonJewish mother, and married a nonJew and I was very close with him and once I was on the bus with his daughter as the bus passed a church and she crossed herself, and though I was aware that she was raised Catholic, this obvious act of observance made me think: It would kill me to have a daughter or a granddaughter who would cross themselves.

      • Shmuel
        May 8, 2013, 3:14 am

        Yonah,

        I won’t argue with your memories of Ben-Artzi, but I think it’s fair to say (based on his activities and statements since the Rabin days) that he is at the extreme right of the political spectrum.

        I get the anti-intermarriage “impulse”, but I also get the allusions to “miscegenation” – especially when such arguments cross over (as they inevitably do in the “Jewish” state) to general and official discourse (see e.g. the current post by Ginsberg/Jabara).

        Tchernichovsky was not only an assimilationist, but also a “Hellenist” (“Before a Statue of Apollo”) and a humanist (“For I believe in man”). It’s a good thing that Ben-Artzi managed to latch onto Manya Tchernichovsky’s religion, because that other stuff is harder to explain to the broader Jewish-Israeli public. Right-wing, religious “guardians of the faith” like Ben-Artzi and Bennett are expected to remind everyone else of the “shared values” of the “Jewish Home” (like the anti-intermarriage “impulse”), but they must also be mindful of the fact that they are not (“yet”, they say) the majority.

        I think the comparison to Bob Jones is a fair one, not because Ben-Artzi opposes intermarriage in and of itself, but because his opposition is part of a much broader, racist ideology that finds comfort in religion.

        See Simon Shereshevsky (from Magnes Zionist):

        People are speaking of “Greater Israel” and God’s promise to Abraham “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river” (Gen 15:18). Most of those who cite the verse are fascist unbelievers, or believers and God fearers with fascist opinions. What is the practical, real meaning today of the words, “To your descendants I have given this land,”, when Arabs have lived for generations on a great part of this territory. Who and what will symbolize this “greater Israel”? The soldier who is armed “from the sole of his foot to the top of his head,” the armored vehicle and the tank that strikes fear in the hearts of the citizens who live under a regime of “emergency regulations”?

      • jon s
        May 8, 2013, 4:59 am

        It would be fair to mention that Tchernichovsky was also a Zionist.

      • jon s
        May 8, 2013, 5:29 am

        Shmuel, while you’re at it , perhaps you could translate the 7th stanza of “Ani Maamin” or -better yet-: the entire poem.
        As to inter-marriage, with Shavuot around the corner, we could mention the most momentous inter-marriage of all: Boaz and Ruth the Moabite, producing the “line” of David and his dynasty.

      • eljay
        May 8, 2013, 7:17 am

        >> Certainly if one believes in God and Torah like Hagi ben Artzi does, intermarriage is a catastrophe, in that belief in one God and Torah has diminished chance of growing in a house that has both a christmas tree and a menorah …

        Funny that human beings “god” didn’t design a belief system that could be strengthened, not weakened, by intermarriage. Either they “he” was (and remains) incompetent, or it was always their “his” plan to sow discord and, thereby, to control mankind more easily.

      • Shmuel
        May 8, 2013, 9:45 am

        It would be fair to mention that Tchernichovsky was also a Zionist.

        Absolutely, mention away.

      • Shmuel
        May 8, 2013, 9:59 am

        Shmuel, while you’re at it , perhaps you could translate the 7th stanza of “Ani Maamin” or -better yet-: the entire poem.

        I’m sure Barakeh was well aware of the Zionist allusions in the poem, but one need not be a deconstructionist to apply such sentiments to all of the inhabitants of “the land” (same goes for the definition of “my people”).

        As to inter-marriage, with Shavuot around the corner, we could mention the most momentous inter-marriage of all: Boaz and Ruth the Moabite, producing the “line” of David and his dynasty.

        Not a very good example, because Ruth married “in” rather than “out (and Boaz was just doing a mitzvah ;-]). Mahlon and Kilyon are not exactly remembered as heroes.

      • jon s
        May 8, 2013, 10:54 am

        I second the proposal to change the anthem to “Ani Maamin”, especially since one of my students recently asserted that Hatikva was written by Naftali Alzheimer.

      • flyod
        May 8, 2013, 8:34 am

        ” It would kill me to have a daughter or a granddaughter who would cross themselves.”

        not unlike a vampire i suppose?

  11. LanceThruster
    May 7, 2013, 12:02 pm

    I remember an Alan Dershowitz piece in a freethought publication (Free Inquiry?) arguing against Jewish assimilation. Even without the religious component, he said intermarrying would destroy/dilute what it means to be Jewish. I guess according to him there are sub-groups within humanism to preserve against the onslaught of the dreaded “other.”

  12. miriam6
    May 7, 2013, 12:19 pm

    “Shared values”?

    I would imagine every Israeli citizen would be mortified and sickened to think ANYONE might presume they share values with America and it’s utterly barbaric treatment of political prisoners at the notorious Guantanamo Naval Base.

    link to rt.com

    • marc b.
      May 7, 2013, 1:19 pm

      having problems with the ‘cap lock’ key again Miriam? no, Israelis certainly wouldn’t want to be associated with American values as their country regularly kidnaps children from the street, holding them without charges, denying them legal counsel, threatening them and their family members with physical and sexual assault in order to turn them into informers. what a proud tradition! Israelis don’t want to be associated with the US? the feeling is mutual. adios. arrivederci. au revoir. auf wiedersehen. dovidenia. good luck sorting that thing out with Syria and Iran. we wish you the best.

    • miriam6
      May 7, 2013, 1:29 pm

      “More than 125,000 people have signed a petition to close Guantanamo Bay, sponsored by Col. Morris Davis, the former military prosecutor and a 25-year veteran of the Air Force.”

      The petition now has 171,168 signatures a this moment.

      To sign Colonel. Morris Davis petition see at this link;

      If link does not work see Andy Worthington’s website.

      link to change.org

      • Ecru
        May 7, 2013, 1:45 pm

        And how many Israelis have signed a petition to stop

        Collective punishment
        House demolitions
        Incarceration without charge or trial of adults and children
        Kidnapping of children
        Abuse of prisoners both adult or minor – up to and including torture
        Seizure of Palestinian Property
        Ethnic cleansing of Area C
        etc. etc. etc.?

        Not you obviously but have any?

      • marc b.
        May 7, 2013, 1:58 pm

        thanks for the concern trolling, Miriam. (have you fixed Darfur yet?) no one here disagrees that Guantanamo should be closed, but that has f*ck all to do with the ‘anti-assimilationist’ positions of bob jones or Netanyahu’s brother-in-law.

      • munro
        May 7, 2013, 2:15 pm

        Guantanamo is a consequence of the Israelification of US
        link to mondoweiss.net

      • Cliff
        May 7, 2013, 7:14 pm

        No one cares about an fake outraged Zionist Jew, fake outraged at American atrocities.

        Just like all the other conflicts you use to HIDE your own crimes and responsibility, ‘Guantanamo Bay’ is equivalent to Zionist non-sequiters like ‘Darfur, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Congo’ etc.

        Not only do Zionist Jews like you disassociate Israel-Palestine from the world and from the human condition so that you can WHITEWASH your evil.

        You also whitewash Palestinian suffering while Israelis suffer a FRACTION of what the Palestinians suffer – and that’s just casualties.

        No Israeli lives under military occupation. Israelis are the jailers and slave-masters.

        It’s disgusting that after 100 years of this bullshit, people like you are still fanatically ignorant.

        Who do you think you’re fooling? No one here buys your diversionary b.s.

        Get new material, troll.

      • hophmi
        May 9, 2013, 10:32 am

        “Not only do Zionist Jews like you disassociate Israel-Palestine from the world and from the human condition so that you can WHITEWASH your evil.”

        Someone get a soapbox! When we compare Israel with other places around the world with much worse human rights problems, it’s not to “disassociate” the conflict from the world. You’re the one doing that by placing an obsessive focus on the conflict and ignoring much worse human rights situations because Israel’s easier for you than they are because there are some white people there to accuse.

        ” Israelis are the jailers and slave-masters.”

        Oh no! Is there slavery in Palestine now? I thought that was only going on in South Sudan in the 2000’s. Oops, there I am again with the real world comparison.

        “It’s disgusting that after 100 years of this bullshit, people like you are still fanatically ignorant.”

        Yeah, it’s really disgusting. It was also disgusting to downplay the massacre in Darfur and deny there was a genocide there, especially since the perpetrators were the same people who enslaved Christians in South Sudan.

        “Who do you think you’re fooling? No one here buys your diversionary b.s.”

        Apparently plenty of people outside of here, who are not political extremists like you are.

    • Ecru
      May 7, 2013, 1:53 pm

      Does that include the Israeli “advisors” who taught the late unlamented Shah how to torture people? Does that include the Israelis who had no problem dealing with apartheid South Africa and learning from them? Does that include the Israeli “advisors” who helped the regime of Guatemala commit GENOCIDE?

    • tree
      May 7, 2013, 2:03 pm

      Your ignorance of what goes on in Israel is showing yet again, miriam.

      Facility 1391. Israel’s Guantanamo. Except that its been around longer than the US’s shameful use of Guantanamo as a political prisoner holding pen.

      The men under the black hoods all have the same question once the blindfolds and manacles are off: Where am I? A voice filtering through a narrow slit in the steel door told Sameer Jadala he was “in Honolulu”, Raab Bader that he was “in a submarine” and “outside the borders of Israel”, Bashar Jadala that he was “on the moon”. None of them imagined it at the time, because only a handful of the political and security establishment knew such a thing existed, but they were prisoners in Israel’s Guantanamo: Facility 1391.

      “I was barefoot in my pyjamas when they arrested me and it was really cold,” says Sameer Jadala, a Palestinian school bus driver. “When I got to that place, they told me to strip and gave me a blue uniform. Then they gave me a black sack. They told me: ‘This is your sack. You need to keep it with you. Any time someone comes to your cell, you must put it on your head. Any time they deliver the food, you must put it on your head. You must never see the soldiers’ faces. You do not want to know what will happen if you take it off.’ Sometimes I thought I would die in that place and no one would ever know.”

      Facility 1391 has been airbrushed from Israeli aerial photographs and purged from modern maps. Where once a police station was marked there is now a blank space. Sometimes even the road leading to it has been erased. But Israel’s secret prison, inside an army intelligence base close to the main road between Hadera and Afula in northern Israel, is real enough. For 20 years or more it has been housed in a large, imposing, single-storey building designed by a British engineer, Sir Charles Taggart, during the 1930s as one of a series of garrison forts designed to contain growing unrest in Palestine. Today, the thick concrete walls and iron gates are themselves protected by a double fence overseen by watchtowers and patrolled by attack dogs.

      The prison has held Lebanese abducted by the Israeli army as hostages, Iraqi defectors and a Syrian intelligence officer who tried to defect but was accused of spying and chose to remain in another prison rather than return home and face a firing squad. More recently, scores of Palestinians were incarcerated in 1391 for interrogation, which finally led to the almost accidental disclosure of a prison the state decreed did not exist.

      Those who have been through its gates know it is no illusion. One former inmate has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was raped twice – once by a man and once with a stick – during questioning. But most of those who emerge say the real torture is the psychological impact of solitary confinement in filthy, blackened cells so poorly lit that inmates can barely see their own hands, and with no idea where they are or, in many cases, why they are there.

      “Our main conclusion is that it exists to make torture possible – a particular kind of torture that creates progressive states of dread, dependency, debility,” says Manal Hazzan, a human rights lawyer who helped expose the prison’s existence. “The law gives the army enough authority already to hide prisoners, so why do they need a secret facility?”

      Unlike any other Israeli prison, the International Red Cross, lawyers and members of the Israeli parliament have been refused access. One leftwing MP, Zahava Gal-On, describes Facility 1391 as “one of the signs of totalitarian regimes and of the third world”. The Israeli government declines to discuss the secret prison other than to issue a standard response: “Facility 1391 is situated on a secret military base. The base is used by the security services for various classified activities and thus its location is kept confidential.”

      …….

      Raab Bader, a 38-year-old accountant and father of two, was also in the cells, although the two men had no contact. He too had been detained in Nablus, though he was convinced he had nothing to hide. “I was held like a blind mole, except for the prolonged hours that an [intelligence] agent interrogated me,” he says.

      Bader was variously told that he was on a submarine, in space or outside the borders of Israel. He was pushed into a windowless cell, 6ft square. A fan high in the ceiling drives air into the cell, but inmates say the noise is deafening.

      “The cell walls were painted black. I never saw the ceiling. When I looked up, I saw only darkness. Light no stronger than the power of a candle penetrated in a peculiar way from one side of the room,” he said in an affidavit.

      The bed was a thin, damp mattress on a concrete slab a few inches above the ground. The toilet was a bucket, emptied every few days. Water to the cell came out of a hole in the wall, controlled by the guard. “On the ninth consecutive day in the stench-filled cell, one of the soldiers was supposed to come and take me out. He almost vomited and rushed out of the cell,” Bader says. “I spent many days in that solitary confinement cell and in others like it, and hour after hour I would talk to myself and feel that I was going crazy, or find myself laughing to myself.”

      link to guardian.co.uk

      Read the whole article, miriam. It makes Guantanamo look like a summer camp in comparison. And Facility 1391 PRE-DATES Guantanamo by two decades.

      Israel also had a similarly notorious prison/torture facility that pre-dates Guantanamo. It was set up in Lebanon during Israel’s occupation of Southern Lebanon, Khiam Prison, open from 1985 to 2000, when Israel withdrew from Lebanon.

      link to news.bbc.co.uk

      Guantanamo is an abomination, as was Abu Ghraib, but it is, in fact, one instance where the US and the Israelis have come close to having “shared values”, and it isn’t a case of Israel mimicking US actions but instead its the US taking on Israeli “values”.

      link to counterpunch.org

    • Daniel Rich
      May 7, 2013, 2:47 pm

      @ miriam6,

      Q: I would imagine every Israeli citizen would be mortified and sickened to think ANYONE might presume they share values with America and it’s utterly barbaric treatment of political prisoners at the notorious Guantanamo Naval Base.

      R: Is that why y’all use that crappy US gear in training, Palestinian kid target practicing, Iran bashing, cuz its for free?

    • ToivoS
      May 7, 2013, 3:41 pm

      Wish you were right Miriam but we all know that probably more than 80% of Israelis approve of torture prisons for Arab prisoners only.

    • eljay
      May 7, 2013, 3:43 pm

      >> miriam is feigning outrage again.

      miriam6eee.

  13. seafoid
    May 7, 2013, 12:43 pm

    How did the Ashkenazim become Jewish? Surely at some point they were assimilated without being previously Jewish.
    It’s very sad when religions enter their fundi phases. Aurangzeb was dreadful compared to his grandfather.

  14. eljay
    May 7, 2013, 1:20 pm

    >> I would imagine every Israeli citizen would be mortified and sickened to think ANYONE might presume they share values with America and it’s utterly barbaric treatment of political prisoners at the notorious Guantanamo Naval Base.

    Given that the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” of Greater Israel is full of hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists who are perfectly comfortable with their supremacist state’s past acts of terrorism and ethnic cleansing, and with its 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder, I have no doubt that there are plenty of Israelis who would be perfectly comfortable (if they aren’t so already) with the fact that America treats its political prisoners barbarically.

  15. Stephen Shenfield
    May 7, 2013, 1:34 pm

    But there are genuinely shared values. The most important one is hypocrisy.

  16. Whizdom
    May 7, 2013, 1:45 pm

    Of note, in Islam, intermarriage between Muslim, Jew and Christian are considered equally valid. No pagans, though.

    • CloakAndDagger
      May 7, 2013, 9:54 pm

      Except, there is special dispensation if you are able to convert your spouse to Islam (not by force, I agree).

  17. John Douglas
    May 7, 2013, 2:43 pm

    Catholics have not been without sin when it comes to marrying outsiders. When I brought my Episcopal bride-to-be to the priest of the parrish of my alter boy days, he did his vetting and then was prepared to sign a document attesting that she did not pose an “undue threat of pollution”. We were married by a justice of the peace.

    • marc b.
      May 7, 2013, 3:37 pm

      Catholics have not been without sin when it comes to marrying outsiders.

      yup, we all got our prejudices in our closets. my polish grandmother was convinced that her soon-to-be son-in-law was jewish because he was a dentist. ‘only jews are dentists!’ (or was it ‘only dentists are jews’? i forget.) anyway that was over half a century ago. nobody in my family gives a sh*t about that part of identity anymore.

  18. DICKERSON3870
    May 7, 2013, 3:55 pm

    RE: “This post originally stated that Bob Jones is a Catholic University. It is Protestant.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: As a lapsed Protestant, I would prefer that Protestant be put in quotation marks when referring to Bob Jones University. As in: This post originally stated that Bob Jones is a Catholic University. It is “Protestant”.
    Or you might say Bob Jones is an evangelical Christian university.
    I would like to think that Bob Jones University is not truly a Protestant university.

  19. Bandolero
    May 7, 2013, 3:59 pm

    Once again, it’s Israels behaviour what costs it sympathy of the world opinion.

    I want to bring to your attention an article in the current Chinese Global Times – a publication of which to say that it usually reflects Chinese government opinion is a safe bet:

    Chinese popular sympathies swinging against Israel

    … China’s Middle East policy upholds the principle of supporting the just side. China suffered from imperialism since the 1840s, hence China’s sympathy with the Zionist movement over a century ago.

    For the same reason, China’s public opinion today stands with the Palestinians, the weaker side of the conflict.

    For both Israel and Palestine, a faster reconciliation in the short term between the two is best for both, particularly Israel. The longer we wait for the final peace deal to be made, the more likely the Middle East will see a more pro-Palestine China wanting to voice its opinions. In the long run, China’s pro-Palestine inclination will work more and more against Israel, in contrast to the strong pro-Israel inclination of the US.

    With the weakening US influence in the region, and the growing clout of China, the odds are not favoring Israel.

    As you are probably aware both, Netanyahu and Abbas are currently in China and China offered to faciliate talks between them:

    One day before Netanyahu’s arrival in China, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has begun a state visit to China that will last from May 5 to 7.

    The coincidence has attracted much attention. According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, if the leaders of Palestine and Israel have the will to meet in China, China is willing to offer necessary assistance.

    However, there seems to be a problem: PNA says not officially informed about settlement freeze

  20. shachalnur
    May 7, 2013, 4:04 pm

    Jewish population world wide 1945; 13,5 million.

    Jewish population world wide 2013; 13,5 million.

    And that includes about 500.000 russian “Jews” in Israel without a Jewish mother.

    Jewish bithrates since 1945 should have produced about 35 million jews world wide now.

    Where have they gone?
    Nobody seems to ask the question where 20 million Jews went,since 1945.

    A hint;
    Jews marrying outside their faith in 1940; 4%
    Jews marrying outside their faith in 1990(US); 52%.

    My family(not too big because of unfortunate circumstances in Holland in 40-45) consists of 11 Jews that have assimilated in silence ,or disgust.
    What’s left is me,wife and 4 kids.

    So,since Zionist Israel exists,Jews have land,an ideology and an army.

    The price to pay is that 2/3 of Jews have taken distance from Judaism.

    That’s why a Jewish poet that married a non-jew is not acceptable,not Zionist.

    Try to find anybody explaining where these 20 million jews have gone,you won’t find it.

    Doesn’t fit the narrative of Zionists or Jew haters.

    Still it’s true.

    • hophmi
      May 8, 2013, 9:57 am

      “Try to find anybody explaining where these 20 million jews have gone,you won’t find it.”

      Well, first of all, your figures are wrong. In post-Holocaust 1945 there were around 11 million Jews, not 13.5 million, down from about 17 million before the war. Today there are around 13.5 million.

      link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

      link to jewishdatabank.org

      “Try to find anybody explaining where these 20 million jews have gone,you won’t find it.”

      Here it is.

      link to jewishdatabank.org

      In Israel, Jewish population is growing.

      • shachalnur
        May 8, 2013, 12:11 pm

        I would like to thank Mondoweiss for publishing my post,and Hopmi for answering.

        First of all you bring up one source only.
        Second the number of 11,5 million jews in 1945 is disputed by many.

        But let’s stick to these numbers from Jerusalem University anyway,though not exactly neutral.
        Please go to page 4-5.
        It says that since the 70’s zero Jewish population growth.
        and 4,75 Jews per 1000 in 1945 to 1,95 per 1000 in 2010.

        They are talking mainly about population growth in Israel,which was achieved mainly through Aliyah,and high birthrate,(2,9 in the 90’s)
        Don’t underestimate the 500.000 Russian “jews”.
        Besides that there’s about 800.000 Israeli Jews living permanently abroad and are counted as living in Israel.

        I studied birthrates in Israel and Diaspora since 1945.
        Birthrates just after 1945 were very high in the Diaspora,and are still higher than non-jews around them.

        In 1970 Jewish population started to plummet relatively.
        Found some reports articles about assimilation in european countries and US.
        But they only talk about local phenomena.

        Jews marrying outside their faith in US at 52% is real .

        Whatever the Jewishdatabase claims doesn’t explain GENERAL birthrates in Jews since 1945 and the fact that Jewish population growth is stagnant for 70 years ,with birthrates that should have produced 35 million Jews now,never mind where they live.

        Even if Jewish population was 11,5 million in 1945,a number I have doubts about, there should be about 28 million Jews now.

        My point is that if there is a Jewish state ,no Holocausts and high birthrates,how it is possible that Jewish population is stagnant for 70 years,while the World population tripled (europe more than doubled)

        I’ve been literally meeting thousands of Jews all over the world,not being part of any Jewish community,raising their children without Jewish upbringing married to non-Jews.
        The situation in my family is just an example,and I’m sure every Jew knows various familymembers and friends that took distance from Judaism.

        I call them the silent mayority of Jews,and nobody asks them about their opinion.

        They are there,only don’t want to be part of it anymore.

        These facts are very painful for Zionists and “Jew-haters” since it doesn’t fit in any narrative.

        It might imply that zionism is very bad for Judaism ,like most European Jews claimed before ww2.

        Putting these numbers in front of a “Jewhating” crowd,the numbers were not disputed,but the only explanation someone came up with is ,that jews have assimilated on purpose to “infiltrate other cultures and religions”.

        Well,there you go.

        The Jewishdatabank doesn’t give an answer for the missing 16 to 20 million jews.
        And nobody seems to want to adress this phenomenon.

        I wonder why.

  21. Ecru
    May 7, 2013, 4:10 pm

    Other people have a nationality, the Jews and the Irish have a neurosis.
    Zionists have a full blown psychosis.

    All this angst about assimilation is laughable. Yes, Jews have probably resisted mixing with their neighbours more than any people in history but the idea that today’s Jews are “pure” is just hogwash (and wasn’t there a certain Austrian trouble maker really into “purity” as well?).

    What was the most widespread language of Jews until very recently?
    Yiddish – a branch of GERMAN.
    Since when are big black coats and huge fur hats traditional wear for people originating in a desert?
    Why does the schtreimel copy the form of Russian royal head-gear?
    Bagels aren’t exactly well attested in the Tanakh or the Talmud. And salmon’s an Atlantic or Pacific fish, not a Mediterranean one.
    Even Judaism itself was heavily changed not only during the Hellenistic period (for all the resistance by the Maccabees) but also during the Roman (uhm, didn’t we used to have a temple thingy?) and then Medieval periods.
    (And that’s being nice btw – I’m deliberately missing out earlier periods because the Hebrews weren’t even monotheists for most of their history.)

    Take a Jew from 1st Century Palestine and introduce them to one of today – and even if they were able to get over the language barrier (Aramaic was the language back then not Hebrew) they still wouldn’t recognise the Jews of today as anything like themselves. There’s just been too much (prepare yourselves for a dirty word) assimilation, culturally and religiously in the intervening centuries.

    Seriously are there a people in the world more caught up in masturbatory mythology than Zionists?

    • MRW
      May 8, 2013, 6:17 am

      Thanks for the laugh: “Since when are big black coats and huge fur hats traditional wear for people originating in a desert?” “And salmon’s an Atlantic or Pacific fish, not a Mediterranean one.”

      link to furhatworld.com
      link to davidmoskowitz.net

      • Ecru
        May 8, 2013, 4:42 pm

        Thanks for that ref to “Wolves in the Land of Salmon” I’m definitely buying a copy. One of my greatest pleasures has been seeing wolves in the wild here in Spain, within minutes (on foot) of my home. Just….magical is all I can call it.

        Oh and the hat – might come in useful during our winters (but not summer, I’m not so loopy as to wear one in the summer heat…..)
        ;-)

    • hophmi
      May 8, 2013, 10:36 am

      “What was the most widespread language of Jews until very recently?
      Yiddish – a branch of GERMAN.”

      Your point? Many Jews lived in Europe before the war. Today, the most widely spoken language amongst Jews is probably English.

      “Since when are big black coats and huge fur hats traditional wear for people originating in a desert?”

      Since they were exiled and ended up in Europe. Again, do you have a point?

      “Seriously are there a people in the world more caught up in masturbatory mythology than Zionists?”

      Seriously, do you get that people do change over time but that even with that change, they can be united by religious practice and culture? Do you understand that the fact that people in China and Egypt do not dress the way they did 4000 years ago does not mean they do not come from a 4000 year old culture?

      • Cliff
        May 8, 2013, 11:13 am

        Yep.

        Yiddish, not hebrew.

        English, not hebrew.

        LOL

      • seafoid
        May 8, 2013, 11:19 am

        “Since they were exiled and ended up in Europe. Again, do you have a point? ”

        Why doesn’t anyone else in the region wear furry hats, Hoph? any idea?
        Did Maimonides have a fur coat ?

      • MK_Ultra
        May 8, 2013, 10:33 pm

        In other words, you are united in fanaticism, bigotry and feelings of supremacy and self-righteousness.

      • Ecru
        May 9, 2013, 9:39 am

        Waiting for my other reply to you to appear just one last question…..

        Exiled? When and by whom?

        The Romans? Even ignoring the lack of evidence for large scale depopulation in Roman Palestine, are you seriously proposing that Jewish slaves taken in a revolt against Roman rule would have been able to keep their customs and religion as slaves? Customs and Religion that helped get them into trouble with the Romans in the first place? Through multiple civil wars, plagues, fires, invasions and eventual dissolution? That’s just so ridiculous. For starters most of the men would have been worked to death in Roman industry within a couple of years, and the women……well probably best not to think about what happened to them. Put it this way though, the chance of any offspring being raised “Jewish,” really very remote. Very very remote indeed.

  22. MK_Ultra
    May 8, 2013, 10:31 pm

    LOL! At least they’re consistent on their bigotry and cruelty.

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