‘Haaretz’ says many Orthodox are taught to see non-Jews as ‘not quite human’

Israel/Palestine
on 160 Comments
Stark

Stark

Here’s a fascinating piece in Haaretz on Satmar Jewish attitudes, stemming from the recent murder of a Brooklyn landlord named Menachem Stark, 39, who is said to have been generous inside the Satmar community but ruthless outside it, treating tenants and others with contempt. (The New York Post angered many in the Satmar community by headlining a piece on Stark, “Who wouldn’t want this man dead?”) The Haaretz reporter is Debra Nussbaum Cohen:

Sources say that in fact there is no contradiction between the role Stark played in his Satmar community of Williamsburg, and how some tenants and legal documents say he behaved outside it.

“What you do to the goyim is not the same as what you do to Jews,” said Samuel Heilman, an expert on Hasidic communities like Satmar. Heilman, author of “Defenders of the Faith: Inside Ultra-Orthodox Jewry” and a distinguished professor of sociology at Queens College, is currently at work on a book about succession battles in Hasidic courts.

That attitude stems from days when Jews were actively persecuted, he said. “Part of the collective mind-set in the crucible of history when this part of Jewry was formed, the outside world was filled with anti-Semitism and persecutors. The whole understanding of that was that you need to keep a distance from them, that they are a different level of human being,” Heilman told Haaretz.

According to Samuel Katz, who was brought up as a Satmar but later became secular, boys in the community are taught that non-Jews aren’t quite human. Speaking from Berlin, where he is doing biomedical research on a Fulbright fellowship, Katz explained that growing up in such a community, “you don’t see commonality with people who aren’t Jewish. There is a completely different taxonomy of people. There are Jews and then there are non-Jews, who don’t have souls.”

When the messiah comes, “every boy is taught that the bad goyim will be killed and the good gentiles will have the privilege of serving us, of being our slaves,” he told Haaretz. “The way Stark dealt with tenants is part of that world view… It’s not taking advantage of them, [rather] that is the world order you’re taught to expect.”

“It informs your moral compass. Like all good people Stark was benevolent and generous to the people who he saw were like himself,” but not to other people, added Katz. “There’s an empathy ‘blind spot’ that imbues the Haredi outlook.”

P.S. I generally avoid pieces about nutty Orthodox teachings because I think all religious fundamentalists are crazy; but as Tolstoy said, every family is unhappy in its own way, and one Jewish issue I struggle with here is exceptionalism, superiority. Also note that one of Max Blumenthal’s alleged sins in his landmark investigation, Goliath, was the chapter title, “How to Kill Goyim and Influence People” describing an Orthodox tract in Israel laying out the circumstances under which it is permissible to kill non-Jews.

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160 Responses

  1. OlegR
    January 7, 2014, 11:07 am

    I wonder if it’s important that Satmars are virulent anti Zionists.

    • Donald
      January 7, 2014, 11:26 am

      “I wonder if it’s important that Satmars are virulent anti Zionists.”

      No you don’t. You’re trolling. But I ‘ll bite. If they were anti-Zionist because of a concern for the rights of Palestinians, then yes, that would be important. If the opposition is for some religious reason and they couldn’t care less about the rights of Palestinians, then no, it’s not important.

      • bilal a
        January 7, 2014, 11:58 am

        Yes it is important, criticism of the Supremacism of this Hasidic sect is only possible by identifying this belief as particular to it, that is particular to a ‘nutty fundamentalist’ anti-zionist sect, and this is why it is featured in the NYP and Haaretz. Yet the human taxonomy or bifurcation only becomes tribal when Judaism disappears and what is left is only a loyalty to the ‘Jewish people’. Judaism is not racist, but it attempts to separate itself from the idol worshipers, this has no reference to ethnic or racial identity, even if its secular tribal Jewish manifestation differs:

        Judaism is committed to an ongoing war against Avodah Zarah (literally, Strange Worship – usually rendered idol worship). From the beginning, Judaism has seen idol worship and all it entails as the ultimate source of ritual and moral pollution. Thus, the ongoing conflict with the various bearers of paganism throughout Jewish history. The books of the Bible are full of references to this conflict, which resurfaced as a (if not, the) major factor in the wars against the Hellenists and the Romans. In terms of this elemental conflict between good and evil, the pagan nations of the world are viewed in thoroughly negative terms; they are labeled Amalek, Esau or Edom. This of course does not contradict the concept elucidated above that individual non-Jews who were virtuous could rise to the heights, even without conversion. There is an important differentiation between pagan idol-worshipers who are by definition corrupt and wicked, and of non-Jews in general. One definition of virtuous non-Jews is those who observe the seven Noahide laws. Although in the early centuries of Christianity its practitioners were to be shunned first as Sectarians and then as Idol Worshipers as well, by the Middle Ages there is general affirmation that Christianity not be considered Idol Worship. And so, the Prohibition against associating with pagans does not apply to them.

        Considering the history of Church hostility and periodic persecution, it is not surprising that this theoretical underpinning to necessary commerce was not quite unanimous. Further, there remained both ideological (the question of the Messiah) and concrete problems (the use of three-dimensional images in Catholic, Orthodox and Byzantine worship). These factors do not exist with Islam, which was uniformly viewed as being acceptably non-pagan. The descendants of Ishmael pose fewer theological/historical problems than the descendants of Edom (Rome).
        Is Judaism by its Nature Racist?
        (not in the Shulhan Arukh), ]Rabbi Friedman?]
        link to responsafortoday.com

      • Hostage
        January 7, 2014, 1:17 pm

        Yes it is important, criticism of the Supremacism of this Hasidic sect is only possible by identifying this belief as particular to it, that is particular to a ‘nutty fundamentalist’ anti-zionist sect, and this is why it is featured in the NYP and Haaretz.

        Read the headline again. This teaching is not limited to anti-Zionist Jews. You can find ardent Zionists, like the Chabad movement, whose texts have been used to teach the very same thing.

        In fact, if you read the text of Ha Tanya by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, without the modern interlinear commentaries, you’ll find that it unabashedly teaches the very same things about Gentiles. For example, you can compare the text of Chapter 1 of the Tanya regarding the evil nature of the souls of the nations with Rabbi Wineberg’s “elicidations” and see that it is only the latter who mentions “the pious of the nations” and claims that in these very rare cases some of them have souls derived from kelipat nogah. He is citing a work by Rabbi Malisov, that is not part of the Tanya by Rabbi Zalman, which claims:

        The explanation [of the questions raised above] is to be found in the light of what Rabbi Chayim Vital wrote in Sha’ar ha-Kedushah (and in Etz Chayim, Portal 50, ch. 2) that in every Jew, whether righteous or wicked, are two souls, as it is written, “The neshamot (souls) which I have made,” [alluding to] two souls. There is one soul which originates in the kelipah and sitra achra, and which is clothed in the blood of a human being, giving life to the body, as is written, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” From it stem all the evil characteristics deriving from the four evil elements which are contained in it. These are: anger and pride, which emanate from the element of Fire, the nature of which is to rise upwards; the appetite for pleasures— from the element of Water, for water makes to grow all kinds of enjoyment; frivolity and scoffing, boasting and idle talk from the element of Air; and sloth and melancholy— from the element of Earth. From this soul stem also the good characteristics which are to be found in the innate nature of all Israel, such as mercy and benevolence. For in the case of Israel, this soul of the kelipah is derived from kelipat nogah, which also contains good, as it originates in the esoteric “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” The souls of the nations of the world, however, emanate from the other, unclean kelipot which contain no good whatever, as is written in Etz Chayim, Portal 49, ch. 3, that all the good that the nations do, is done from selfish motives. So the Gemara comments on the verse, “The kindness of the nations is sin,”— that all the charity and kindness done by the nations of the world is only for their own self-glorification, and so on.

      • Hostage
        January 7, 2014, 2:28 pm

        Is Judaism by its Nature Racist? (not in the Shulhan Arukh),

        Right, and we should listen to David Duke when he writes about “the real racists” and exonerates himself. (/sarcasm off)

        The whole two-tiered legal system that the Torah, the Talmud, and the Shulhan Arukh prescribe for Jews and Gentiles was racist. For example, the number of generations that Edomites and Egyptians had to wait before they could enter into the congregation of the Lord was based upon their nationality. It was not a commandment geared to combating idolatry.

        The Noahide laws come from our national myths, not those of the Gentiles. They represent forced conversion to a second-tier or class of Judaism, whenever Gentiles are subject to our jurisdiction. The seven commandments are really just generalities, like the prohibition of sexual promiscuity, that entail several specific commandments. These Noachide laws appear to encompass nearly 60 of the 613 biblical commandments incumbent on Jews. Yet for all that, the Gentiles would remain an unassimilated sub-population or caste, like the Untouchables.

        See “The Obligation of Jews to Seek Observance of Noachide Laws by Gentiles” link to jlaw.com
        and “Gentiles in Halacha” link to daatemet.org

      • yonah fredman
        January 7, 2014, 3:00 pm

        Hostage- To turn Halacha into a universalist system is indeed suggesting an attempt to circle a square. The Halacha (not blaming Halacha per se as if it were the rabbis, who represent the oral law, rather than the written law, who were/are to blame) is geared for an elite (tribal or not, 613 commandments are geared for an elite) not for the world.

        The implications regarding adjustments vis a vis today into the future need to be addressed, although they are more likely to be addressed by those who do not observe Halacha but are aware of it, rather than by those who observe Halacha and consider it the path towards expressing a love of God for those born and commanded.

      • W.Jones
        January 8, 2014, 1:23 am

        “there remained both ideological (the question of the Messiah) and concrete problems (the use of three-dimensional images in Catholic, Orthodox and Byzantine worship).”

        First, Judaism should be familiar with many various claims about the Messiah, like those of the Lubavitchers. Granted, this is not the only ideological issue.

        Second, Orthodox and Byzantines do not use statues to the extent Catholics do. It is very rare for them.

        Orthodox do use crosses, but so do Protestants.

    • adele
      January 7, 2014, 11:34 am

      Not really Oleg, I doubt that his mistreated tenants would really care about such a distinction. Besides, human rights are universal, that is what everyone here keeps telling you but you somehow always twist things around in your quest to preserve your Jewish privilege in your Jewish Disneyland.

    • Bumblebye
      January 7, 2014, 11:38 am

      Come off it, OgleR!
      The Satmars are only one of a whole bunch of sects who believe exactly this nonsense.

    • Cliff
      January 7, 2014, 11:55 am

      @Nakba-denier Oleg

      I’m sure you feel the same way about Palestinians. Since in a previous thread, you justify torture if ‘they’ do it to you.

      Then you went on an idiotic rant about how war is hell and Israelis are justified in being uncivil if the other side is uncivil.

      Of course, you also do not want to get into who started being uncivil first.

      [...]

    • Annie Robbins
      January 7, 2014, 12:01 pm

      I wonder if it’s important that Satmars are virulent anti Zionists.

      not really. it’s fascinating regardless of political affiliation.

      boys in the community are taught that non-Jews aren’t quite human. Speaking from Berlin, where he is doing biomedical research on a Fulbright fellowship, Katz explained that growing up in such a community, “you don’t see commonality with people who aren’t Jewish. There is a completely different taxonomy of people. There are Jews and then there are non-Jews, who don’t have souls.”

      it’s interesting that as a scientist he used the word ‘taxonomy’. and it makes sense you’d have to sequester your community in order to brainwash them like this in this day and age. but we’ve heard this stuff before, it’s not new. i’ve heard some of this stuff about chabad too. not sure if that’s similarly cult-like or a variation of the same genre of judaism.

      “every boy is taught that the bad goyim will be killed and the good gentiles will have the privilege of serving us, of being our slaves,” he told Haaretz.

      it reminds me of this video. the settler was very clear, like the most normal thing in the world to tell them they (the palestinian farmers) would be their slaves one day, if they were worthy.

      Video: Israeli settler lecturing Palestinian farmers — ‘You’ll all be our slaves, if you’re worthy, if you behave well’

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 10:51 am

        OK Annie, you live in the Bay Area. How much time have you spent in the last year with people who were not secular or progressive? How many friends do you have that are not in both of these categories?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 9, 2014, 12:21 pm

        why do you asked and how does that relate to my comment? i said ” it makes sense you’d have to sequester your community in order to brainwash them like this” i’ve had no contact that i know of with a jewish person living in one of these communities. however, i did have a roommate a few years ago who grew up in monsey ny who left the community. i heard about some of these strange thoughts from him. i’ve discussed this before in these threads.

      • hophmi
        January 9, 2014, 12:26 pm

        “why do you asked and how does that relate to my comment? ”

        Because I think you’re not generally inclined to sensationalize the views of people you don’t know and have little interaction with. You don’t seem very happy when people do this with Muslims in the Middle East. So I don’t see what role sensationalizing the views of haredi or chassidish Jews has here.

      • Hostage
        January 9, 2014, 7:03 pm

        So I don’t see what role sensationalizing the views of haredi or chassidish Jews has here.

        Nobody has to sensationalize their racist claptrap Hoppy. All you have to do is give a Gentile a link to the stuff and they can read it for themselves. That’s why there are so many people trying to shutdown this discussion. Who should people believe, their own lying eyes, or the apologists here trying to soft-peddle blatant examples of racism and supremacism as theology?

    • ckg
      January 7, 2014, 12:08 pm

      Here is an Israeli settler who says the same thing while lecturing Palestinian farmers about the coming of the Messiah: “You’ll all be our slaves, if you’re worthy, if you behave well”–

      link to mondoweiss.net

      (Edit: I see Annie just shared the same link above.)

      • Annie Robbins
        January 7, 2014, 12:35 pm

        thanks ckg, and no problem.

    • Hostage
      January 7, 2014, 12:14 pm

      I wonder if it’s important that Satmars are virulent anti Zionists.

      No, if that were the case The New York Post would have headlined the piece, “Who wouldn’t want this anti-Zionist dead?”

      It’s much more likely that a member of the Satmar community would be killed for spitting on someone, setting trash bins on fire, throwing rocks, or tossing dirty diapers at an adversary.

      • seafoid
        January 7, 2014, 2:15 pm

        The Satnavs are worse than the Satnars.
        They have no defined direction.

    • The Hasbara Buster
      January 7, 2014, 4:39 pm

      @OlegR

      I wonder if it’s important that Satmars are virulent anti Zionists.

      “Gentile sperm leads to barbaric offspring,” said rabbi Dov Lior in a ruling against artificial insemination of Jewish women with semen from non-Jewish men. Lior is a senior authority on Jewish law in the Religious Zionism movement.

      So that no, it’s not an anti-Zionist thing. It’s an ultra-Orthodox Jewish thing.

      Unfortunately, those Jews who could fight these horrible teachings don’t, and Lior gets paid a salary by the State of Israel. My conclusion is that these monsters are useful to Zionism.

    • thankgodimatheist
      January 7, 2014, 7:37 pm

      Oleg
      If supremacism and racism are wrong when Zionist are concerned they’re equally wrong when anti-Zionists are concerned. Wrong is not relative.

    • piotr
      January 8, 2014, 8:20 am

      I do not know what Satmars are “virulent”, they are just anti-Zionists like most of Orthodox 60 years ago, and basically, most religious Jews 60 years ago. Some Orthodox are Zionists, and “virulent” applies more aptly to them, with the talk of Amelek, what may justify killing of a non-Jew (basically, the fact that he/she is one) and so on.

      Deeply religious persons often view divine law as superseding laws of humanity, which may be convenient. For example, Kenneth Lay, chairman of Enron, made various references to his piety in the aftermath of the Enron scandal. I though that to people like him, insider trading is a mere law of humanity, it does not violate any of the commandments.

      In more secular realm, some people recently seem to worship “academic freedom”, and severe impairment of freedom (and even life) of non-academicians does not seem to concern them at all — non-academic considerations that are inappropriate in academic context. Ultimately, the division of the humanity into full members and lesser creatures can be traced all the way to our hunting-gathering forebears. Zionist academicians are perhaps even more amusing throwbacks to the past than Satmars because they use much more “advanced” language.

  2. Bumblebye
    January 7, 2014, 11:31 am

    I’ll take issue with the word “exceptionalism”, because this is so far beyond that, it’s supremacism. And, like with the ignorant idiots who can’t tolerate difference in others – ie those who reach for the Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve argument – this is a case where, in Israel certainly, and among others, this nuttery often appears to ‘trickle down’ and inform attitudes of secular and unreligious who grasp it to support their prejudice/racism/ethno-supremacism.

    And what kind of torturous reasoning led to this belief, which we’ve all read about with regard to Orthodox clerics in Israel as well as in these insular NY communities?

    • seafoid
      January 7, 2014, 12:17 pm

      There is no supreme authority in Judaism, no caliph or pope. So there’s no brand management. It’s anything goes. And take an often persecuted sect like the Hasidim and give them a state. It’s not ever going to be My Little Pony.
      There’s no separation of synagogue and state so these schmucks get their funding and the pols are afraid of them. It’s a real mess.

      And of course the stones in Erez Israel are holier and so are the mitzvoth and anyone who disagrees will get their head kicked in.

      Meanwhile most orthodox kids lived mired in poverty but the Jews are great for Nobel Prizes so it’s a non issue.

      • Citizen
        January 7, 2014, 1:10 pm

        @ seafoid
        The living stones are the Palestinians.

  3. Whizdom
    January 7, 2014, 11:40 am

    Also the Mizrahi, not just the Haredim, . Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (of Iraqi Mizrahi) issued several halachic judgements that physicians must do everything in their power to aid a jew injured on the sabbath, but it is breaking the sabbath to treat a gentile. It also plays out in bioethics and organ donation halachic rulings. It has been explained to me that this distinction between norms of conduct between Jews and other Jews and to non jews is not inherently an assertion of superiority, but difference.

    link to ynetnews.com

    • Citizen
      January 7, 2014, 1:11 pm

      @ Whizdom
      David Duke says the same thing, but he’s relegated to the fringe of US society…

    • Reds
      January 7, 2014, 6:04 pm

      Don’t forget this one

      link to m.bbc.co.uk

      Rabbis Dov Lior and Yacob Yousef had endorsed a highly controversial book, the King’s Torah – written by two lesser-known settler rabbis. It attempts to justify killing non-Jews, including those not involved in violence, under certain circumstances.

      The fifth chapter, entitled “Murder of non-Jews in a time of war” has been widely quoted in the Israeli media. The summary states that “you can kill those who are not supporting or encouraging murder in order to save the lives of Jews”.

      At one point it suggests that babies can justifiably be killed if it is clear they will grow up to pose a threat.

      Both men have strong support among ideological Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, but the wider religious community also took up their cause.

    • piotr
      January 8, 2014, 8:35 am

      Honestly, the difference between Misrahim rabbinate and Ashkenizi rabbinate is that the former is more “lax”, and Rav Ovadia offered some solutions to go around the prohibition of treating gentiles on Sabbath. And Rav Ovadia did not invent anything here. He followed sage Caro who followed Rambam. Rambam himself was a physician.

      Actually, Jewish physicians were allowed to treat gentiles on Sabbath to avoid conflicts with the ruling gentiles and thus to save Jewish lives. Thus Rambam rules were merely theoretical in the absence of a Jewish state.

  4. Annie Robbins
    January 7, 2014, 11:55 am

    (The New York Post angered many in the Satmar community by headlining a piece on Stark, “Who wouldn’t want this man dead?”)

    omg i burst out laughing…ok, back to article.

    [edit], btw, i see they have a photo of the post cover on this haaretz addition link to haaretz.com

    huge font!

  5. Sammar
    January 7, 2014, 12:17 pm

    Are you kidding? These people are nuts!!
    That’s probably why some Jewish parents sit shiva when their child marries a goy or goya (?). Imagine the shame of their offspring marrying a future slave.
    It’s so sick, it’s almost funny……

    • Citizen
      January 7, 2014, 1:12 pm

      @ Sammar
      Yep. I’m personally familiar with this practice.

    • yonah fredman
      January 7, 2014, 2:27 pm

      Sammar- The “weakness” of the attitude towards Gentiles expressed in the “differing souls” assessment of the reality of humans versus other humans, is different than the “weakness” of the sitting of shiva when a Jew marries out. A nomadic people that desires to survive as a group would as a tactic of survival condemn marrying out, this is a logical consequence of the two factors : nomads and will to survive (as a group). The philosophy of supremacism to the degree expressed in the “differing souls” belief system might be a “natural” consequence of the urge towards survival that mourns intermarriage, but is most likely a combination of factors: including persecution and theology run amok.

      • Cliff
        January 7, 2014, 2:29 pm

        You say survival, we say supremacy.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 7, 2014, 3:23 pm

        Wow, I never read such a long-winded excuse for someone’s racism before. Oh, wait, not racism, but “weakness”… got it.

      • yonah fredman
        January 7, 2014, 4:01 pm

        Woody- What an easy job to rid the world of racism, one singular goal, unattached to any tradition, history or reality other than destroying everything that smacks of racism. An easy job you have. I am attached to the Jewish past, the Jewish present and the Jewish future, aside from my attachment to the human past, the human present and the human future. As such I cannot afford to carelessly destroy all racism, but must instead understand it,in order i hope to create and not merely destroy.

        For you the disappearance of Judaism and Jewishness would be a blessing, for they contain vestiges of racism and as long as there is no need to kill or persecute individuals but merely to assert your desire for their disappearance, your job is done. But I choose to attempt to separate the different strands that have created the current state of Jewish thinking including the thinking that I wish I could undo (supremacism) with the wave of a wand and including the thinking (survival) that I value and do not wish to undo.

      • Elliot
        January 7, 2014, 10:40 pm

        @Yonah –
        I cannot afford to carelessly destroy all racism, but must instead understand it

        Why?

        All Woody was attacking was racism. Why did you get defensive about Judaism?

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 9, 2014, 2:48 pm

        “What an easy job to rid the world of racism”

        Nothing easy at all, given how many people excuse their own racism based on “tradition, history,” religion and so forth.

        “As such I cannot afford to carelessly destroy all racism, but must instead understand it,in order i hope to create and not merely destroy.”

        Oh, please do be careful you don’t break your arm, patting yourself the back so much. And nothing requires you to accept racist thinking, regardless of its source, and if you choose to accept it, the fault is solely your own.

        “For you the disappearance of Judaism and Jewishness would be a blessing”

        That’s a libel. Where the hell do you get off with this nonsense. I am opposed to racism, not Judaism or Jewishness.

        “But I choose to attempt to separate the different strands that have created the current state of Jewish thinking including the thinking that I wish I could undo (supremacism) with the wave of a wand and including the thinking (survival) that I value and do not wish to undo.”

        And there is nothing which requires anyone to accept the supremacism unless they chose to do so. And if they do, then the fault is theirs for excusing the unexcusable and accepting the unacceptable.

        Again, it is stunning to see such a long winded excuse for racism.

      • Bumblebye
        January 7, 2014, 8:39 pm

        There’s a bit o’ real “weakness” here:

        link to failedmessiah.typepad.com

        “As a reader of your/our newspaper I’d like to ask that you should be careful with the pictures, regarding goyim and non-religious Jews.

        It is well known the words of the Talmud (Megilah 28): “Rabbi Yochanan said, it is forbidden to look at a person who is evil.” It is self-understood that the above mentioned (i.e. goyim and non-religious Jews) are counted in this category…

        We always have to remember that we are Jews and we have no relationship with the Goy, and we should not see his picture.

        Although in certain cases we ought to flatter the goy, because ultimately we are in golus [exile], but is it enough for that moment only, and it’s enough to only report the news. But pictures are not necessary – they darken the pages of a Jewish publication, including the pictures of local Jewish liaisons photographing themselves with goyim, as if it is an honor.

        So we beg you: clean up your newspaper from the filth of pictures of goyim and non-religious Jews.”

        So now we know, goyim are not just soulless, but they *and* non religious Jews are evil!

      • RoHa
        January 7, 2014, 9:00 pm

        I know I’m evil, but I’m getting really confused about the soul issue. According to deputy Religious Services Minister Eli Ben Dahan, I do have a soul, albeit one of a very low order. But according to these people I don’t have a soul at all!

        Could some expert on Jewish theology clear this up, please? That is, if you are allowed to communicate with evil people. I promise I won’t touch your wine and curdle it.

  6. Annie Robbins
    January 7, 2014, 12:28 pm

    this is interesting, slip of the tongue?

    “It informs your moral compass. Like all good people Stark was benevolent and generous to the people who he saw were like himself,” but not to other people, added Katz.

    not all good people limit their generosity and benevolence to people like themselves and not to other people. which reminds me of the iranian family who donated their young 27 year old daughter’s organs to 7 americans last week. link to usnews.nbcnews.com

    • Citizen
      January 7, 2014, 1:13 pm

      @ Annie Robbins
      Yeah, such a moral compass; it’s the one the KKK and Nazi Germans subscribed to also.

    • Shingo
      January 7, 2014, 4:45 pm

      not all good people limit their generosity and benevolence to people like themselves and not to other people.

      I’d say that only good people extend their benevolence to everyone.

    • hophmi
      January 7, 2014, 4:58 pm

      “not all good people limit their generosity and benevolence to people like themselves and not to other people.”

      In fact, most Jews give more to non-Jewish causes than they do to Jewish ones.

      • amigo
        January 8, 2014, 9:05 am

        “In fact, most Jews give more to non-Jewish causes than they do to Jewish ones.”hopknee

        You mean donations to AIPAC /CAMERA.Those are Non Jewish causes, right.

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 10:49 am

        “You mean donations to AIPAC /CAMERA.Those are Non Jewish causes, right.”

        No, amigo, I mean more than 9 out of 10 Jews give to non-Jewish causes and more than half are more likely to give to social-service organizations than they are to their religious congregations. 20% give exclusively to non-Jewish causes. link to philanthropy.com

        The most interesting finding is that the more connected Jews are with their faith, the more likely they are to give to secular and religious causes alike.

      • traintosiberia
        January 8, 2014, 12:30 pm

        Yes Hophmi
        90% of Homeland Security budget on inland security of non government institutes go to Jeiwsh institutes and synagogues .Other have to fend for themselves if they want protection from fire bombs,burning,or shootings inside their religious premises .
        That money saves a lot for Jewish philanthropist to do other stuff.

      • hophmi
        January 10, 2014, 6:51 am

        “90% of Homeland Security budget on inland security of non government institutes go to Jeiwsh institutes and synagogues .Other have to fend for themselves if they want protection from fire bombs,burning,or shootings inside their religious premises .
        That money saves a lot for Jewish philanthropist to do other stuff.”

        We’ve been over this territory many times. The fund is for non-profit groups, not non-governmental groups.

        link to fema.gov

        There is nothing stopping non-Jewish groups from applying to the fund. The overwhelmingly majority of the groups that do apply are Jewish groups, so the overwhelming majority of the recipients are Jewish groups.

        And it’s not saving anyone a great deal of money. The whole fund is about $10m.

        link to forward.com

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2014, 3:40 am

        define “non-Jewish cause”. would that include MoMA or harvard law school? are they ‘non jewish’?

      • hophmi
        January 10, 2014, 6:54 am

        “define “non-Jewish cause”. would that include MoMA or harvard law school? are they ‘non jewish’?”

        “Fifty-four percent of Jews in the study are more likely to give to social-service charities than to their religious congregations”

        I assume that doesn’t include law schools and museums.

        But last I checked, giving to educational institutions is not the equivalent of giving to a Jewish cause, and the assertion that it is is ridiculous.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 11, 2014, 1:11 am

        it wasn’t an assertion. and it wasn’t even an implication either institutions were jewish causes, it was the opposite, that they were non jewish. and your link was bigoted.

      • traintosiberia
        January 8, 2014, 12:20 pm

        Jewish people donate to universities .Those donations dont go to the US academics in the interior of US or to struggling urban universities ,actually the donations are limited to those institutions that also have Jewish students ,faculties and productive relation with the administrations,military , business think tanks, and media .These institute also provide the opportunity to those who become ex out of jobs from military ,government ,and intelligence. These institute provide enormous propaganda support when needed and donations are withheld if the ranks are broken. Recent example was University of Michigan over Alice Walker .There are threats to other universities over similar issue including BDS.

      • yonah fredman
        January 8, 2014, 7:20 pm

        traintosiberia- According to this article, Jews are more likely to give to the poor. link to psmag.com

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 11, 2014, 3:25 am

        “There is nothing stopping non-Jewish groups from applying to the fund. The overwhelmingly majority of the groups that do apply are Jewish groups, so the overwhelming majority of the recipients are Jewish groups.”

        Your Forward link does not support that statement at all, hoppy. It, in fact, states that the allocation is a decision of the agency and the agency decided to give 97% to the Jewish groups. There is nothing in the story that ties this percentage to the application rates. And, indeed, it specifically rejects that, claiming that Jews face “special risks.” Indeed, it appears that the recent amendments were aimed at increasing the allocation to non-religious Jewish institutions.

        “And it’s not saving anyone a great deal of money. The whole fund is about $10m.”

        It depends, if you’re an abortion clinic or mosque in the Bible Best at risk for attack that could use the money, but have to scramble for the 3% the Fed has decided to give to non-Jews, it would seem an enormous amount of money.

    • gamal
      January 9, 2014, 12:43 pm

      as to souls, 398 and 399 i guess is a Muslim answer, to this vexed question, both for Jews and Ethiopians (Chrisitians) who get a look in, 428 seems prescient.

      link to searchtruth.com

  7. Chu
    January 7, 2014, 12:56 pm

    1.’non-Jews aren’t quite human’.
    2. ‘non-Jews, who don’t have souls.”
    3. ‘good gentiles will have the privilege
    of serving us, of being our slaves’

    wow… Imagine if a waspy american said this about a Jew.
    The Weisenthal center and the ADL would be on them in an instant.

  8. Jim Holstun
    January 7, 2014, 1:08 pm

    The linkage of Hasidic ethnosectarian bigotry and this guy’s actions makes me queasy. And the loan sharking (and sexual molestation?) toward members of his own community suggests that the in group/out group argument has some holes. Maybe we should be asking different questions here–like what failings in NYC’s housing authority allowed this abuse to go on for so long?

    This is no worse than, but also no better than, an article moving from a Palestinian knifing an Israeli Jew to an examination of some of the ranker bits of Muslim and Christian theology (say, St. John on the “synagogue of Satan”). Why use the story of this alleged scumbag’s death to meditate on Satmar bigotry?

  9. American
    January 7, 2014, 1:36 pm

    I dont know enough about the various sects of Judaism and the differences in all of them —but from what I have seen on the ultra Orthodox and or Hasidic groups you can only label them extreme religious cults.
    However ‘if’ they are teaching the same things we have seen from Rabbis in Israel about killing gentiles, etc then they should be treated as any other hate group in the US.
    I found the sexual abuse stories in Brookyln very distrubing—-the idea that there is a religious or ethnic group that law enforcement basically keeps their hands off and leaves it to that community to deal with is outrageous.
    Look at how the gov treated the Waco group just on hearsay of abuse and how the gov looks the other way when it comes to actual evidence of such by these groups. The DA had to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing anything at all about it.

  10. Elliot
    January 7, 2014, 1:38 pm

    I was going to post this on the excellent Idan Raichel discussion, but it works here too.
    I know secular, self-styled leftie Israelis who hate the Occupation, have Arab friends, don’t serve in the army. They read The Guardian. They live in West Jerusalem’s hip enclave of the German Colony with like-minded folk. Yet they still feel it is their duty to promote Israel’s good name. I suppose they are trying to project their bubble existence. They wouldn’t call what they do Hasbara, except in quotes. They are not radicals. They don’t want to through the pain of declaring for Palestinian solidarity and the high social price that entails. Bottom line, it is Hasbara. Without the quotes.
    I think “Hasbarah” is a secularized form of “kiddush hashem/chilul hashem” (Sanctifying/profaning the Name). Every Orthodox child, from Satmar to the most liberal Modern Orthodox is taught to always make the community look good. The good name of the community (or, God, as they put it) rests on the shoulders of every member of the community. If they misbehave in public, they are shamed with: “what you are doing is a chilul hashem!”
    Israelis adopted certain mindsets from pre-modern Jewish life. Even though they would vigorously deny that the New Hebrew Man kept anything from the shtetl. I think that’s what Phil is getting at in exposing Satmar. The Us vs. Them construction that justifies all manner of wrongdoing comes inevitably from this carefully constructed and rigorously enforced sense of “us”. The damage done is a function of the power of the community. For Satmar, it’s a landlord scandal. In Israel, it could start a new Mid East war.

    • Walker
      January 7, 2014, 4:54 pm

      Excellent point, Elliot.

      IMO this impulse of “sanctifying the name” powerfully affects public discussion in the US.

      It was absolutely scandalous how, during the leadup to the Iraq invasion, the mainstream press made practically no mention of neoconservatism or how the strong pro-Israeli sentiments of Paul Wolfowitz, Scooter Libby, Doug Feith and others might affect their pro-war positions. You had to look to someone like Jim Lobe standing off to the sidelines for information about neoconservatism. In my opinion these guys’ backgrounds and activities might have been given a pass by Jewish publishers and editors out of a desire to avoid embarrassing the Jews.

      This is done out of love in a way. But what about the rest of us? What kind of consequences did we (not to mention Iraq) suffer due to this desire to hide dirty laundry?

    • MRW
      January 8, 2014, 4:04 pm

      Elliot and Walker,

      I agree, Walker: excellent point, Elliot.

      And you expand on it, Walker, with this:

      In my opinion these guys’ backgrounds and activities might have been given a pass by Jewish publishers and editors out of a desire to avoid embarrassing the Jews.

      Add that specifically to Elliot’s point which I expand upon in bold

      The Us vs. Them construction that justifies all manner of wrongdoing comes inevitably from this carefully constructed and rigorously enforced sense of “us”. The damage done to US foreign policy is a function of the power of [this] community. In the US, they are using this to justify starting a third World War.

      • Elliot
        January 8, 2014, 9:17 pm

        I should have stated at the end of my post that Haredi and Israeli insularity obviously do not result inevitably in this kind of crime or attempt to . There are sleazy types everywhere. But I do think that American Jews tend to fantasize Israel as more authentically Jewish because they see it as an all-Jewish society and the authentic heir to the supposed all-Jewish world of their ancestors. There are all sorts of problems with these dangerous fantasies, not least is that the fantasy does not match reality.

  11. Krauss
    January 7, 2014, 1:39 pm

    Every religious group has its fundamentalists but not all are the same.

    Fundamentalist Christians tend to share the same homophobic views (among many other illiberal things) with other fundamentalists but they are probably the most decent/peaceful in their everyday life.

    On an abstract level, however, they are evangelical and we see this damage being done in Africa, among other places.

    The worst fundamentalists are muslims, because violence is so often an accepted part of their ideology(suicide bombings, violent jihad etc).

    The Jewish fundamentalists are probably the most peaceful in an abstract sense; they do not seek to impose their views on others but merely be left to their own devices. They seek to segregate themselves from the world.
    On a personal level, however, it is remarkable how much of a clannish mentality they have and how ready they are to jettison any kind of notion of friendlyness towards non-Jews, hence the amazing amount of racial epithets given to non-Jews, which has influenced secular Jewry to some extent(we’ve covered this issue before).

    I’ve always thought that the issue of anti-Semitism was more complicated than usually presented. Were the Polish peasants in daily contact with their Jewish slumlord-equivalents always irrational in their hatred of these people, especially as the Haredim were dominating Polish Jewry? Does it rationalize the pogroms. No. But the issue is more complicated than the self-serving tale you get told by people like Wistrich and others who seem to posit that anti-Semitism is always a one-way street and Jews are innocent victims at all times.

    Things are a bit more complicated when you have a community like the Hasidics where non-Jews are seen as inhuman at best.

    • quercus
      January 7, 2014, 4:00 pm

      @Krauss. No, orthodox Jews do not seek to impose their views on others, but that is not from a sense of morality, but from the sense that they are not going to share with gentiles, what they believe is their preferential status with god.

      And you are correct — anti-semitism is far more complicated and I believe, as exhibited in the question I posed to American, came about from very unpleasant experiences gentiles had with religiously zealous Jews.

      • American
        January 8, 2014, 3:04 pm

        ” anti-semitism is far more complicated and I believe, as exhibited in the question I posed to American”…..quercus

        I never saw your question, what was it?

      • hophmi
        January 9, 2014, 11:29 am

        “And you are correct — anti-semitism is far more complicated and I believe, as exhibited in the question I posed to American, came about from very unpleasant experiences gentiles had with religiously zealous Jews.”

        The deicide charges and the blood libels and the claims that Christians had superceded Jews as the chosen people had nothing to do with it, right? Hitler was just a guy who didn’t like Jewish slumlords, right?

      • Hostage
        January 10, 2014, 8:04 am

        The deicide charges and the blood libels and the claims that Christians had superceded Jews as the chosen people had nothing to do with it, right? Hitler was just a guy who didn’t like Jewish slumlords, right?

        You could say the same thing about the teachings of John Hagee, and he’s obviously willing to perform fellatio on a donkey for Israel. The New York Post article doesn’t say a word about Jewish teachings regarding Gentiles. link to nypost.com

        That was published in Haaretz, which isn’t widely read by Gentiles in the USA or Canada. None of the mainline Protestant denominations in the USA had a hand in the Holocaust and aren’t inherently anti-Semitic. Nonetheless, Jewish religious leaders have engaged them and demanded statements about their positions on deicide and supercessionism, and even attend their General Assemblies to lobby on resolutions about the subject of Jews and Israel. So there is no reason we shouldn’t focus a spotlight on the teachings of the ultra-Orthodox Jews regarding Gentiles and try to change those attitudes too.

      • yrn
        January 10, 2014, 9:17 am

        Hostage
        “So there is no reason we shouldn’t focus a spotlight on the teachings of the ultra-Orthodox Jews regarding Gentiles”.
        Don’t be the routine hypocrite, if you push to focus a spotlight on the teachings of the ultra-Orthodox Jews regarding Gentiles,
        why don’t you push to focus a spotlight on Jewish politics, Jewish power, Jewish Chosen-ness; Jewish supremacy.

      • yrn
        January 10, 2014, 5:32 am

        quercus
        “anti-semitism is far more complicated ”
        Antisemitism = Hate of Jews !
        Nothing complicated, Antisemites want it to look like complicated, in order to hide behind complexity.
        Always have been, so you hate Jews or you don’t.

    • Kris
      January 7, 2014, 7:43 pm

      @Krauss: “The worst fundamentalists are muslims, because violence is so often an accepted part of their ideology (suicide bombings, violent jihad, etc.).

      Please present some evidence to back this up. I don’t see any reason to say that fundamentalist Muslims are any more violent than fundamentalist Christians or fundamentalist Jews. We see the fundamentalist Jewish “settlers” attacking defenseless Palestinians, every single day. We see the racist and supremacist statements made by fundamentalist Jewish rabbis. We see most fundamentalist Christians in full support of the violence of the U.S. and Israel against people of color and Muslims.

      Fundamentalist Jews and Christians also tend to be racist, as well as cruel to outsiders.

      You have little knowledge of fundamentalist Christians, or you would certainly not claim that they are “probably the most decent/peaceful in their everyday life,” unless you mean that they are mostly peaceful toward other members of their OWN COMMUNITY. Just like every other group, including gangs of criminals.

      Did you throw in this unwarranted praise of fundamentalist Christians in order to distract from your baseless claims against fundamentalist Muslims?

    • irishmoses
      January 7, 2014, 8:08 pm

      The worst fundamentalists are muslims, because violence is so often an accepted part of their ideology(suicide bombings, violent jihad etc).

      Christian Crusaders, both past and recent, not to mention the Inquisition folks, might suggest some violent predilections on the part of Christians. One could argue that the Iraq invasion was motivated by Christian right-wingers wanting to exact revenge on the godless Muslims. One could also argue that neocons (Jewish and non), motivated by a desire to enhance the strategic position of the Jewish State, did a pretty good job of selling the advantages of an Iraq invasion to their credulous Christian counterparts. The violence (past and ongoing) inflicted on the Iraqi people by a “Christian” nation far exceeds any Muslim violence I am aware of.

      Modern Muslim violence doesn’t take place in a religious vacuum. Per the 9/11 Commission investigation, the 9/11 highjackers as well as the instigators of all recent major Muslim terrorist events, cited violence by the US and Israel against Muslims as the primary reason motivating their terrorism.

      The last time I looked, the violent death toll between Israelis and Muslims favored the Israelis by about 10 to 1. For a religion that ‘…is probably the most peaceful in an abstract sense…” and whose adherents “…do not seek to impose their views on others but merely be left to their own devices”, its Jewish State seems to be doing a pretty good job of killing and oppressing Muslims and imposing its views and will on them. As a fallen Christian I look forward to the day that the Jewish State decides it wants only to be left to its own devices. The question is whether there will be any devices left for the Palestinians.

      It seems odd that you are so willing to label Muslims as inherently violent yet you view Jews as inherently peaceful. Does the violence of the Jewish State against Muslims in 1948, in Lebanon, in Gaza, and the ongoing violence in the occupied territories somehow not qualify as violence by Jews?

    • irishmoses
      January 7, 2014, 8:48 pm

      Krauss said:

      Were the Polish peasants in daily contact with their Jewish slumlord-equivalents always irrational in their hatred of these people, especially as the Haredim were dominating Polish Jewry? Does it rationalize the pogroms. No. But the issue is more complicated than the self-serving tale you get told by people like Wistrich and others who seem to posit that anti-Semitism is always a one-way street and Jews are innocent victims at all times.

      A thoughtful and interesting comment. From my reading (admittedly superficial) some of the early pogroms seemed to be motivated by economic reasons, particularly in Odessa where Greeks were attacking Jews who had displaced them from their traditional positions in the shipping trade. These pogroms were certainly anti-Jewish but motivated more against a group who had done them economic harm by being better competitors in dog-eat-dog world of emerging capitalism. A lot of antisemitism seems to me to be based on envy at the economic successes of an identifiable “other” group. Some of it, as you point out, may be based on hatred against a group (Jewish slumlords) who are perceived as oppressors.

      The flaw and unfairness in these arguments is the attaching of the hatred, blame, or envy, whether valid or not, against particular individual Jews, or Jewish subgroups, to all Jews. That’s antisemitism. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s ipso facto antisemitic to question the actions of Jewish individuals or Jewish subgroups. One can criticize the actions of AIPAC, or the Israeli government, or question the admission rate of Jews versus equally qualified Asians in Ivy League schools for valid, non-antisemitic reasons. As you say, the issue is more complicated.

    • traintosiberia
      January 8, 2014, 11:45 am

      Krauss says:
      January 7, 2014 at 1:39 pm.

      The Reality is different –

      Roman Emperor Trajan did not attack Libya,Cyprus,or Egypt er Palestine even- he attacked “Among his mistakes, however, was an attack on the Parthian Empire beginning in 115 or 116. He personally led his troops into Mesopotamia (what we now call Iraq)” by GARY LEUPP

      and the rabid fanatics rose up brandishing swords and religious zeal

      “These Middle East conquests did not turn out well for Trajan. The Mesopotamians rose up in rebellion; a nephew of the king (who had fled beyond the Zagros Mountains) organized Parthian resistance, attacking Roman garrisons. According to F. A. Lepper (Trajan’s Parthian War, 1948) “traders and middlemen of all kinds” opposed the invasion. Local Jews who had been comfortable under Parthian rule constituted a key component of the uprising. Meanwhile Jews in Roman Judea, having revolted in 66-70, were again rebelling in what historians call the Kitos War (115-17).

      Elsewhere too Semitic monotheism attached itself to political upheaval. In Cyrene (in what is now Libya) Jews revolted under the leadership of a self-styled messiah, Lukuas, in 115. His forces destroyed the Roman temples and government buildings in Cyrene, slaughtering Greeks and Romans, and advanced on Alexandria where they destroyed more pagan temples and the tomb of Pompey. Jews on the island of Cyprus rebelled as well, under one Artemion. (New Testament readers will recall reference to Jews in these far-flung locales: Simone of Cyrene who carries Jesus’ cross, and Paul’s traveling companion Barnabas, a Jew of Cyprus.)

      Religious-based terrorism became the order of the day, if we’re to believe the third century Greek historian Dio Cassius, who records (no doubt with some exaggeration) that Jewish rebels killed 220,000 in Cyrene and 240,000 on Cyprus. Rome, having invaded Mesopotamia, was unable to contain the fighting to that one front. The war exacerbated simmering anti-Roman resentments, fanned religious fanaticism and intolerance, and produced terror as far away as Northern Africa. But with great effort Trajan’s forces suppressed the several Jewish revolts, although some fighting continued about a year after the emperor’s death. (As a result of this episode, according to Dio, Jews were expelled from Cyprus entirely.) ”
      by GARY LEUPP Prof of History at Tufts
      link to counterpunch.org

  12. pabelmont
    January 7, 2014, 3:52 pm

    I think that anyone who teaches that large blocks of humanity are “not quite human” is INCITING to HATE. (Just saying. Could be wrong, here.)

    Now, don’t some Israeli-Jews accuse the Palestinians of inciting to hate (of Israelis or of Jews)? Goose and Gander, anybody?

    BTW, and speaking of incitement, what exactly are the instructions given to Israeli army recruits (and Border Police recruits, and etc.) as to the proper treatment of those human beings (if any) who are not Jews?

  13. hophmi
    January 7, 2014, 4:56 pm

    “and one Jewish issue I struggle with here is exceptionalism, superiority. ”

    This has nothing to do with Judaism and everything to do with ghettoization. You can find exactly the same dynamics within tight-knit groups of immigrants. And by the way, plenty of people living in Stark’s buildings are Jewish (because there are Jewish fake hipsters too). There is no evidence that they were treated any better than the non-Jewish residents of his buildings.

    And for the record, most Satmars are not rich landlords. They’re poor people with a lot of children.

    It was not just Satmars who were unhappy about the Post headline. It was anyone who thought that regardless of what kind of character Stark was (and it seems that he was a pretty bad guy), it was in bad taste to print that headline the day after the guy was brutally murdered, and unethical to print what turned out to be a false allegation that the guy had been convicted of forcible touching.

    How about you do the following, since, you’re a “journalist”: investigate the matter for yourself, and ask some actual Satmars about it. Better yet, go visit Williamsburg and go to a place like Gottlieb’s Restaurant, order the chicken cutlet and some Shliskas, and chat up the nearest Chassidish folks and ask them about it. I dare you to do it. It’s so easy to write stuff like this when you’re some liberal yuppie or newspaper editor in Park Slope. And I say that as someone who is not at all a big fan of these insular communities and quite familiar with their shortcomings.

    • Cliff
      January 7, 2014, 6:03 pm

      Except, you always defend Jewish racism, fascism, colonialism.

      You’ve defended the racist Rabbi. You’ve defend Jewish terror during the Mandate era and said Palestinian should move on (while we all, Jewish and non-Jewish should fixate on the Holocaust).

      Etc. etc. etc. etc.

      In other words, you’re full of crap. The New York Post reported on this story. Not MW, not ‘liberal yuppies’ or a ‘newspaper editor in Park Slope’ (which is to characterize the author as what? cosmopolitan? progressive in the cynical context you use it in?).

      The New York Post is a RIGHTWING publication.

      And you are the only yuppie here. Comfortably whitewashing Israel and the most vile aspects of the American Jewish community.

      • hophmi
        January 9, 2014, 11:39 am

        “The New York Post reported on this story. ”

        Yup, and now Mondoweiss is covering it. Sometimes, more than one media outlet reports on a story.

        “The New York Post is a RIGHTWING publication.”

        Yes, it is right wing. Surprisingly, the New York Post has been known to report stuff that is inaccurate or in bad taste. Remember that Debbie Almontaser story years ago? Cardinal example of shitty, unethical Post reportage.

        “And you are the only yuppie here”

        I’m a yuppie? Did I get a big raise that I didn’t know about? A promotion that I forgot about? Jeez. I won’t tell you what I do, because, frankly, I don’t trust you, but it ain’t corporate, and it ain’t gonna make me rich. Being a yuppie would require more ambition than I have.

    • irishmoses
      January 7, 2014, 9:06 pm

      Interesting comment Hop. There’s an academic quality to much of the I-P argument. This is not to say all arguments are invalid, just that they tend to be far removed from the on-the-ground reality of what is taking place and not grounded in actual experience in the region with those living within the conflict. In my own case, I not only have never been to Israel, I’m not even Jewish! Still, some of my best friends are Jewish so I’ll probably stick around. More seriously, the I-P issue is not just a Jewish problem, it’s also an American one. It’s too bad the only non-Jewish Americans with direct experience in the area tend to be Christian evangelists.

    • Hostage
      January 7, 2014, 9:35 pm

      “and one Jewish issue I struggle with here is exceptionalism, superiority. ”

      This has nothing to do with Judaism

      Or he could just report on the Haaretz article in which former members point out that these are the religious beliefs of a well known branch of Judaism and that the fruit they bear is an irrational dislike or fear of Gentiles.

      How about you do the following, since, you’re a “journalist”: investigate

      There’s already a blog devoted to reporting on this subject. It’s hardly limited in scope to this man’s murder.

      As a troll who is trying to distract attention away from the subject, why don’t you stop lying about the so-called shortcomings of these insular communities and discuss their brand of Judaism?

      The following letter was published Friday in Satmar-hasid-owned Der Blatt Yiddish newspaper. Published in Brooklyn, Dr Blatt is considered to be the mouthpiece of the Aharon faction of Satmar, which is based in Kiryas Joel. The letter was published without comment from Der Blatt’s editors:

      Criticizes Pictures of Goyim and Non-Religious Jews

      As a reader of your/our newspaper I’d like to ask that you should be careful with the pictures, regarding goyim and non-religious Jews.

      It is well known the words of the Talmud (Megilah 28): “Rabbi Yochanan said, it is forbidden to look at a person who is evil.” It is self-understood that the above mentioned (i.e. goyim and non-religious Jews) are counted in this category.

      How fearful are the words of the holy [book] “Degel Machane Efrayim”: “It is known that when one looks at a tzadik’s (righous person’s) face, it brings light to the soul of the one who looked, and the opposite applies when one looks at the face of an evil person, and therefore one should not look at the face of an evil person.”

      Therefore, since your newspaper is read by thousands of Jews, you carry the immense responsibility not to cause them to look at the faces of evil people.

      It should be noted that in certain articles that are accompanied with pictures you do ensure that the faces of goyim are blurred out. We thank you for that, and we beg you that this should be your policy for the entire publication.

      We always have to remember that we are Jews and we have no relationship with the Goy, and we should not see his picture.

      Although in certain cases we ought to flatter the goy, because ultimately we are in golus [exile], but is it enough for that moment only, and it’s enough to only report the news. But pictures are not necessary – they darken the pages of a Jewish publication, including the pictures of local Jewish liaisons photographing themselves with goyim, as if it is an honor.

      So we beg you: clean up your newspaper from the filth of pictures of goyim and non-religious Jews.

      [Signed…] הרוצה בעילום שמו [The Hebrew equivalent for "anonymous." It is widely believed that Der Blatt's staff writes many of the letters it publishes.]

      link to failedmessiah.typepad.com

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 7:19 am

        “There’s already a blog devoted to reporting on this subject. It’s hardly limited in scope to this man’s murder.”

        Oh, there a BLOG? A whole BLOG? Genuflect, everyone, there a BLOG!

        I’m quite familiar with Failed Messiah. It’s a good source, mostly devoted to exposing child abuse, but citing it on the practices of Satmar Chassidim is like citing Arutz Sheva on Palestinians.

        “why don’t you stop lying about the so-called shortcomings of these insular communities and discuss their brand of Judaism?”

        I’m not lying about anything. I’m simply pointing out that it’s very easy for secular liberals from Park Slope to point to groups of people like this and talk about their backward beliefs in the orientalist way Phil does. They’re quite nice people if you actually try and interact with them. Their views on outsiders are typical for an insular community. But they’re not Judaism as practiced by most Jews.

      • Hostage
        January 8, 2014, 9:51 am

        Oh, there a BLOG? A whole BLOG? Genuflect, everyone, there a BLOG!

        Mondoweiss is just a blog, but it sure keeps your panties in a wad.

        I’m not lying about anything. I’m simply pointing out that it’s very easy for secular liberals from Park Slope to point to groups of people like this and talk about their backward beliefs in the orientalist way

        Sure you are. We don’t need to visit Kiryas Joel to find Orthodox Jews who don’t believe in universalism or who view Gentiles as second class creatures. The Failed Messiah blog addresses that issue:

        Those of us upset at the corruption and backwardness of the haredi world often delude ourselves into believing Modern Orthodoxy holds promise, that it will somehow stand up to haredi threats and abuses and win out in the end.

        Increasingly, it is clear to me that hope is misplaced.

        – Orthodox Judaism and Non-Jews – Seperate and Unequal link to failedmessiah.typepad.com

        FYI, you spend half your time here engaged in orientalist whataboutery pointing out corruption and backwardness in the Arab or Muslim world. I usually reply by explaining that I support treaty bodies and international organizations that promote universalism and demand reforms and equal human rights. I think that position can be defended based upon the universalism taught by some of the prophets.

        For the most part, the members of the Satmar community were born and raised in the USA or Europe. The fact that they are backward, insular racists is due to their own personal choices and religious teachings, not the fact that are orientals or have an oriental culture.

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 10:39 am

        “Mondoweiss is just a blog, but it sure keeps your panties in a wad.”

        Mondoweiss is different. Mondoweiss is considered to be the most important American pro-Palestinian blog. It’s written by many people. Moreover, it has a much larger readership than Failed Messiah does.

        And did I somehow give you the impression that I consider Mondoweiss as an authoritative source on Judaism?

        “We don’t need to visit Kiryas Joel to find Orthodox Jews who don’t believe in universalism or who view Gentiles as second class creatures.”

        No, we don’t. That has nothing to do with my main point, which is that many insular community have belief systems like this, and in reality, few of them practice their belief in any meaningful way beyond living in communities of their own people. I include secular liberals in that group. Many secular liberals, and many observant liberals, like myself, have no affinity for beliefs like this, and are harshly critical of them. That doesn’t mean that we discriminate against Satmar Jews or that we can’t have a pleasant conversation with them.

        “Those of us upset at the corruption and backwardness of the haredi world often delude ourselves into believing Modern Orthodoxy holds promise, that it will somehow stand up to haredi threats and abuses and win out in the end.”

        Uh-huh. Shmarya’s an angry guy, as alumni of Chassidish movements tend to be, and I agree with a lot of things he writes. But most Modern Orthodox Jews do not believe that gifts to non-Jews have to have “a purpose” or any such 12th century nonsense.

        “FYI, you spend half your time here engaged in orientalist whataboutery pointing out corruption and backwardness in the Arab or Muslim world.”

        You mean, I say bad things about Arab and Muslim countries? Someone around here has to, where Israel is depicted as a country of religious fanatics and everything an Israeli does is spun into some evil act. But I’m no orientalist, Hostage. I’m simply a realist. And true realists understand that the situation in the Middle East is much more complicated than the picture presented here, and part of that is the decrepit state of politics in most Middle Eastern countries brought about by a lack of democracy, education, and accurate information. It’s not as easy as Israel making concessions and withdrawing, and yelling your head off about international law.

        “I think that position can be defended based upon the universalism taught by some of the prophets.”

        There is no doubt that many figures in Jewish history wrote in ways that serve as a foundation for universalism, and also no doubt that regardless of whether they wrote that way or not, Judaism is ever-evolving, and certainly can be and has been a basis of universalized values.

        “For the most part, the members of the Satmar community were born and raised in the USA or Europe. The fact that they are backward, insular racists is due to their own personal choices and religious teachings, not the fact that are orientals or have an oriental culture.”

        I don’t see what their country of origin has to do with it. There are plenty of members of the Asian community in the United States who might believe similar things about non-Asians. They are an insular group, and there are many of them here in the United States, and certainly in Europe. I’m really amazed that you would take this Eurocentric POV and suggest that a normal person growing up in Western society would not have bigoted views. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      • Hostage
        January 8, 2014, 3:03 pm

        I’m really amazed that you would take this Eurocentric POV and suggest that a normal person growing up in Western society would not have bigoted views. Nothing could be further from the truth.

        I’m not amazed that you keep beating the dead horse and switching your argument around. You said that Phil is attacking them in a Orientalist way, now they’re just bigoted westerners and I’m taking a mistaken Eurocentric POV. Actually none of us have done anything of the kind, Phil, Katz, Heilman, and myself are all just American Jews expressing views about some aspects of the teachings of this American Jewish community regarding Gentiles and noting that they are shared by many other Orthodox Jews.

      • amigo
        January 8, 2014, 9:15 am

        “Therefore, since your newspaper is read by thousands of Jews, you carry the immense responsibility not to cause them to look at the faces of evil people.”

        Now I know why Israel,s Jews invented photo shop.

      • Obsidian
        January 8, 2014, 2:29 pm

        @Hostage

        You keep this stuff in a database, don’t you?

      • Hostage
        January 8, 2014, 7:50 pm

        @Hostage You keep this stuff in a database, don’t you?

        Yeah its called the Internet, the Wayback Machine, the University of Wisconsin and US State Dpartment FRUS Collections, the UK National Archives Cabinet Papers Collection, halakhah.com my own book collection, my really good memory, and several HP Tablet PCs running Linux Mint. One of these days, when I find the time, I’ll put together a list of the books so I can do lookups for other people.

  14. Yserbius
    January 7, 2014, 10:43 pm

    I have a difficult time understanding what this article is doing on this site. This site claims to be a place to critique Israel and Zionism. The only connection that the subject of the article has to those two topics is that he’s Jewish. He’s even most probably an anti-Zionist (as Oleg pointed out earlier).

    If you (Phillip Weiss) are so keen on refuting all accusations of anti-Semitism, perhaps you can start by not writing articles on something that a Jew allegedly did that was bad. If he was a Palestinian would we be reading this here?

    • Annie Robbins
      January 8, 2014, 2:23 am

      perhaps you can start by not writing articles on something that a Jew allegedly did that was bad.

      but that’s not what the article is about. see the headline: ‘Haaretz’ says many Orthodox are taught to see non-Jews as ‘not quite human’

      that’s not something one reads every day in the MSM.

      • Yserbius
        January 8, 2014, 10:08 am

        This is a statement about an American anti-Zionist group of Jews. Why is it in a blog about Israel and Zionism?

        It’s actually funny, as Weiss often lauds the accomplishments of the Neturei Karta group who are actually an extremist fringe spin-off of Satmar. So Jews are good when they are speaking out against Israel, but they are otherwise bad.

      • Hostage
        January 8, 2014, 2:43 pm

        It’s actually funny, as Weiss often lauds the accomplishments of the Neturei Karta group who are actually an extremist fringe spin-off of Satmar. So Jews are good when they are speaking out against Israel, but they are otherwise bad.

        The idea that the source of a correct or an incorrect view is somehow a decisive factor is an argumentum ad hominem or logical fallacy. When Neturei Karta is right, they are right; and when Neturei Karta is wrong, they are wrong. There is nothing inherently bad or devious in pointing that out in either case.

      • eljay
        January 8, 2014, 2:55 pm

        >> So Jews are good when they are speaking out against Israel, but they are otherwise bad.

        Jews who do not speak out against Israel are not necessarily bad.

        Jews who…
        - advocate for Israel as a supremacist “Jewish State” rather than as a democratic, secular and egalitarian state of and for all of its citizens, equally;
        - defend and justify Israel’s past and ON-GOING (war) crimes, including land theft and colonization of Palestine;
        - support Israel’s refusal to honour its obligations under international law; and
        - argue against Israel entering into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually beneficial peace,
        …are wrong to do so.

        Jews who do speak out against the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” are absolutely right to do so.

      • American
        January 8, 2014, 3:24 pm

        Yserbius says:
        January 8, 2014 at 10:08 am
        This is a statement about an American anti-Zionist group of Jews. Why is it in a blog about Israel and Zionism?”>>>>>

        I dont think the anti zionism of this group is the point in posting the article.
        I think or hope the point of it is pointing out the racism or anti gentile/otherism in some Jewish groups to illustrate that it is no different than the anti semitism of some non Jewish groups.
        Anti semitism is the major talking point of zionism and their reason for Israel—-but the anti gentile/otherism of some Jewish groups is rarely mentioned.

        And on the few occasions when Jewish anti otherism it is mentioned it is of course justified and blamed on the others treatment of them, not on any attitudes or teachings among the Jewish groups themselves.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 8, 2014, 4:13 pm

        yserbius, phil doesn’t “often lauds the accomplishments of the Neturei Karta group”, phil has written almost 12 thousand posts for mondoweiss, and i’d be hard pressed to find even 3 “lauding the accomplishments of the Neturei Karta group,” if any.

        further more we do address anti semitism and islamophobia and there’s nothing wrong with covering a msm story about a religious belief that non jews don’t have souls. it’s actually rather revealing to many people. i would imagine this is something that is not discussed in public that much. i’ve hardly ever read anything like this, if ever. but if what Samuel Heilman said is true (and i welcome a refutation of that idea, he sounds very definitive) it’s radical.

    • talknic
      January 8, 2014, 3:01 am

      @ Yserbius “I have a difficult time understanding what this article is doing on this site. “

      ‘Haaretz’ says many Orthodox are taught to see non-Jews as ‘not quite human’

      “This site claims to be a place to critique Israel and Zionism “

      There are no orthodox in Israel?

      “The only connection that the subject of the article has to those two topics is that he’s Jewish. He’s even most probably an anti-Zionist (as Oleg pointed out earlier). “

      “he’s” ? ‘Haaretz’ says many Orthodox are taught to see non-Jews as ‘not quite human’

      “If he was a Palestinian would we be reading this here?”

      Many Orthodox Palestinians?

      • Yserbius
        January 8, 2014, 10:12 am

        ‘Haaretz’ says many Orthodox are taught to see non-Jews as ‘not quite human’

        And therefore what? There are Orthodox in Israel, sure, but the group mentioned in the article (the Satmar Hassidim) are very anti-Zionist. This article has absolutely no place here, a blog about Zionism and Israel. It shows an anti-Jewish bias on the administrators part and promotes anti-Semitism by talking about how eeeevil some Jews are.

        If there was a group of Palestinians in the US who are taught in school that non-Muslims are the sons of apes and pigs, would we see an article about that on here?

      • talknic
        January 8, 2014, 11:06 am

        @Yserbius
        Hasbarrister Hijack alert!!

        “There are Orthodox in Israel, sure, but the group mentioned in the article (the Satmar Hassidim) are very anti-Zionist.”

        Does anti-Zionist mean they and orthodox Jews in the diaspora and Israel AREN’T “taught to see non-Jews as ‘not quite human’”

        “This article has absolutely no place here, a blog about Zionism and Israel.”

        Tough! The owners of the site can write on any topic they want

        ” It shows an anti-Jewish bias on the administrators part and promotes anti-Semitism by talking about how eeeevil some Jews are”

        No, it shows how Haaretz claim many Orthodox are taught to see non-Jews as ‘not quite human’.

        “If there was a group of Palestinians in the US who are taught in school that non-Muslims are the sons of apes and pigs, would we see an article about that on here?”

        “If” schmif

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 1:52 pm

        Welcome Yserbius. Mondoweiss is not, in fact, a blog exclusively devoted to anti-Zionism or Israel. It’s devoted to an overall critique of Judaism, particularly American Judaism, sometimes as a religion, sometimes as a culture. Much of that critique bears a distinct resemblance to the old-timey antisemitism where Jews are depicted as rapacious financiers stealing from the rest of us (see the recent post on The Wolf of Wall Street), or where Jews are depicted as cultural parasites, or where their ritual practices are condemned as barbaric (see the numerous anti-circumcision posts).

        When people like talknic accuse you of hasbara, you know you’ve scored a hit.

      • traintosiberia
        January 8, 2014, 11:34 am

        Can you show us one Imam or Hadji or anti Pamella, anti Horowtiz ,anti Spencer ,anti Pipe, anti Kruthammaer or those terrorist caught in the act saying that ? Just one will do.
        He or she will be picked up by police on hate speech .

      • Hostage
        January 8, 2014, 2:32 pm

        This article has absolutely no place here, a blog about Zionism and Israel. It shows an anti-Jewish bias on the administrators part and promotes anti-Semitism by talking about how eeeevil some Jews are.

        So the person who established and operates the blog, who wrote this article, and the bullet on the website “About” page that says: To publish important developments touching on Israel/Palestine, the American Jewish community and the shifting debate over US foreign policy . . . doesn’t get to decide what “belongs” here?

        The people who established Agudath Israel despised secular Zionism too, but that didn’t prevent them from signing a Status Quo Agreement with them that still gives the Orthodox sects a government-franchised monopoly in Israel. Non-Zionst parties, like Agudath Israel, Degel HaTorah and Shas are very much opposed to equal rights for Palestinian Arabs in many cases for the same reasons mentioned in this article.

        I call bullshit anytime we can’t discuss racist streams of Jewish theology that are taught by hundreds of thousands or even a million Orthodox people in the USA, Israel, and other countries for fear that the truth might “promote” anti-Semitism – “as if’ those doctrines of anti-Gentile racism aren’t doing that anyway e.g. Don’t Publish Pictures Of Goyim Because They Are All Evil, Hasidic Letter Writer Says link to failedmessiah.typepad.com

        That letter is citing Rabbi Moshe Chaim Ephraim of Sudilkov, the Baal Shem Tov’s grandson. So we are talking about the views shared by the Hasidic community in Israel too.

      • yrn
        January 8, 2014, 3:02 pm

        Hostage
        “Non-Zionst parties, like Agudath Israel, Degel HaTorah and Shas”

        What an Ignorant you are.
        Drop your cut a paste and get some knowledge once.
        If you call Shas a Non-Zionsit party, you can write that max blumenthal is a Zionist.

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 4:26 pm

        “I call bullshit anytime we can’t discuss racist streams of Jewish theology that are taught by hundreds of thousands or even a million Orthodox people in the USA, ”

        Just hold it right there. You’ve not shown that any of this stuff is actually taught by anybody. You can dig through any religion and find exclusivist stuff like this, particularly Christianity and Islam, where fundamentalists in both religions openly use exclusivist rhetoric today. It is another thing entirely to claim that it is being actively taught. I had a modern orthodox education; it was not part of what I was taught in school, and I was not encouraged to think that way. As you go further to the right, the more likely you are to find people with these views, as you are in any insular religious group, but again, it is not by any means true that they are universally held.

        “for fear that the truth might ‘promote’ anti-Semitism”

        Stop hiding behind this line. It’s quite clear that amplifying stuff like this does promote antisemitism, because it encourage people to judge Jews as something other than the individuals that they are.

        ” Don’t Publish Pictures Of Goyim Because They Are All Evil, Hasidic Letter Writer ”

        Yeah, says a letter writer. That’s letter writer. Not the Pope of the Jews.

      • Hostage
        January 8, 2014, 5:27 pm

        Just hold it right there. You’ve not shown that any of this stuff is actually taught by anybody.

        No you can hold it. The Haartez article supports the claims by citing a Jewish sociologist, who is an expert on Hasidic Jewish communities and another fellow who is a Fulbright scholar and former member of the Satmar community.

        I have provided links that confirm that the text of the Ha Tanya and the interlinear commentaries are still advertised and available on the Chabad website. They also offer lessons and classes on it too. link to mondoweiss.net

        Even the commentaries and the Lessons say that the souls of the nations are made up of completely evil stuff with no redeeming qualities. They only admit a rare exception to the rule in the cases of “the pious ones of the nations of the world”. It’s very clear that those people are not growing on trees and that there are several billions of completely evil Gentiles who do not fall into that category.

      • Hostage
        January 8, 2014, 5:43 pm

        Hostage
        “Non-Zionst parties, like Agudath Israel, Degel HaTorah and Shas”

        What an Ignorant you are.
        Drop your cut a paste and get some knowledge once.

        I’m aware that the party voted to join the WZO a few years ago, and that the leadership is pro-Zionist. But for most of its existence, the constituents were considered post-Zionist Mizrahi Jews who questioned the legitimacy of the State of Israel and the Ashkenazi Zionist establishment in the tradition of the Black Panther movement. See for example Meyrav Wurmser, Post-Zionism and the Sephardi Question link to vijayvaani.com

        In any event, I was commenting on the fact that these parties had all reached an accommodation with the Establishment in line with the Status Qua Agreement and in return for the perks they could obtain through the Orthodox monopoly.

        I don’t think there can be any doubt that Ovadia Yosef held racist views about Gentiles. After all he claimed they only exist to serve the Jews.

      • puppies
        January 8, 2014, 6:39 pm

        “Non-Zionst parties, like Agudath Israel, Degel HaTorah and Shas are very much opposed to equal rights for Palestinian Arabs”

        Can’t you even see the absurdity of calling these “non-Zionist”? They are squatting on stolen land, want an all-Jewish state and the elimination of the locals. That is more than enough to define any Zionists. No one is interested in internal theological bickering. Reading you one would imagine they were, say, Neturei Karta, putting their bodies on the line to defeat Zionism.
        This time I hate to admit that even yrn has it right.

      • Hostage
        January 8, 2014, 7:27 pm

        “for fear that the truth might ‘promote’ anti-Semitism”

        Stop hiding behind this line. It’s quite clear that amplifying stuff like this does promote antisemitism

        You keep trying to portray the teachings of a couple of million Hassidic and Haredi groups as if they are a national secret that only a traitor or bigot would openly discuss. But these groups run their own websites and publishing houses and are openly discussing their beliefs on the Internet everyday. Some of them, like Aish, run the Hasbara Fellowsips and bring thousands of Jews to Israel for indoctrination every year.

        Many of these works I’m talking about cite the Babylonian Talmud or the Shulchan Aruch as a proof texts for these doctrines. Those works are available online in English and their discussions regarding the rules governing relations or the legal status of Gentiles strike most modern readers as racist.
        link to halakhah.com
        link to yonanewman.org
        link to yonanewman.org

        They say that Gentiles, with the exception of a few predestined converts, lack any manifestation of the Divine spark of a Jewish soul and that their spark has become so separated and darkened that it is only enough to sustain their existence. So for all practical purposes they are completely evil. These Gentiles, the bulk of humanity, are second class creatures.

        It’s pointless for you to suggest that no one is actively teaching or promoting these doctrines, just because they weren’t part of your own Orthodox upbringing:
        Ha Tanya Chapter 1
        link to chabad.org
        An explanation of the statement in Tanya, ch. 1, that the souls of the gentiles do not possess any good
        link to sichosinenglish.org
        Can you describe the Jewish soul?
        link to askmoses.com
        How does a convert get a Jewish soul?
        link to askmoses.com
        FAQ: Non-Jews & more
        link to chabad.org
        Reincarnation
        link to rabbimaller.com
        How a convert can help a wandering soul.
        link to chabad.org
        Holocaust: Reincarnated Souls?
        link to aish.com

      • Hostage
        January 9, 2014, 7:56 pm

        Can’t you even see the absurdity of calling these “non-Zionist”? No one is interested in internal theological bickering.

        At the time that World Agudath Israel signed the Status Quo Agreement it wasn’t squatting on any stolen land and it didn’t recognize the legitimacy of establishing a secular Jewish State.

        FYI, I didn’t call them “Anti-Zionists”, I called them “Non-Zionist”, i.e. Zionists believed an obligation existed for secular and religious Jews to immigrate to Eretz Israel; and were Jewish Agency members of the ZO or WZO.

        “Non-Zionists” either believed it was merely optional for Jews to immigrate to Palestine; or that it was wrong for non-believers to immigrate; or opposed the establishment of a secular state. They were members of the Jewish Agency who were not members of the Zionist Organization, i.e.:

        The attitude of the Non-Zionists within the Jewish Agency was explained today to Sir John Simpson by Maurice Hexter, American member of the Palestine executive of the Jewish Agency, when Sir John visited the Agency’s headquarters. Col. Frederick Kisch, Rabbi Meer Berlin and Joseph Sprinzak presented the Zionist attitude. Sir John later visited the offices of the Jewish National Council.

        link to jta.org

        Anti-Zionists opposed Jewish immigration and the establishment of any type of Jewish state – and were neither members of the Jewish Agency, nor the Zionist Organization.

        One of my Great Uncles was a non-Zionist who went to work for the Jewish Agency after the Sixteenth Congress finally approved Weizmann’s six year-old proposal to accept them as part of an expansion of that organization.
        link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        This time I hate to admit that even yrn has it right.

        You might try reading what I actually said about equal human rights for Gentiles, I don’t believe it’s a mistaken view of these party’s positions on that issue:

        The people who established Agudath Israel despised secular Zionism too, but that didn’t prevent them from signing a Status Quo Agreement with them that still gives the Orthodox sects a government-franchised monopoly in Israel. Non-Zionst parties, like Agudath Israel, Degel HaTorah and Shas are very much opposed to equal rights for Palestinian Arabs in many cases for the same reasons mentioned in this article.

      • Hostage
        January 9, 2014, 8:13 pm

        P.S. Shas grew out of the Black Panther Movement of the 1970s. It questioned the legitimacy of the Askenazi Establishment and discriminatory nature of State institutions. It’s views could be considered non-Zionist (not anti-Zionist)

        For much of its history it was not a member of the WZO, which it finally joined in 2010. See also: Shas and Jewish Agency Reach Agreement on Orthodox Conversion Aliyah link to ejewishphilanthropy.com

      • Hostage
        January 9, 2014, 9:10 pm

        Hostage- The social background of the emergence of the Shas party should include mention of Black Panther Movement of the 1970′s.

        I did that when I said its constituency were considered to be Mizrahi Jews who questioned the legitimacy of the State of Israel and the Ashkenazi Zionist establishment in the tradition of the Black Panther movement – and cited the Wurmzer article.

        To say that Shas grew out of the Black Panther movement is a misleading statement.

        You’re splitting hairs. You said “the emergence of the Shas party should include mention of Black Panther Movement” and the term “emergence” is a synonym for “outgrowth” (aka “grew out of”).

      • Talkback
        January 8, 2014, 3:53 pm

        Yserbius: It shows an anti-Jewish bias on the administrators part and promotes anti-Semitism by talking about how eeeevil some Jews are.

        Imagine someone would argue, that talking about some “eeeevil” Americans who only consider white Gentiles to be human would promote anti-Americanism and show an anti-American bias. Wouldn’t you say that sounded insane, too?

      • yonah fredman
        January 9, 2014, 8:40 pm

        Hostage- The social background of the emergence of the Shas party should include mention of Black Panther Movement of the 1970′s. Still if you had asked Rabbi Ovadia Yosef about this new party, do you think he would have said, “Yes, we are the logical conclusion of the black panther party”? Of course not. To say that Shas grew out of the Black Panther movement is a misleading statement.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 8, 2014, 4:17 pm

        Yserbius, i’m curious what was it about this particular post that inspired you to comment. how did you hear about this blog? you’ve never commented here before this thread. why now.

        and what difference does it make whether this group is zionist or anti zionist wrt this information? don’t all orthodox jews reference the same data and merely interpret it differently. it’s sort of radical information. the politics of the people is irrelevant if religiously they believe this stuff. don’t you think?

        and who are you to tell us what belongs on this blog. it’s not as if mondoweiss is turning into failed messiah.

      • Yserbius
        January 8, 2014, 8:42 pm

        Annie,

        I read MondoWeiss from time to time, sometimes on my own, sometimes linked from Twitter or reddit. As to why I chose this to comment on, that needs a bit of explanation.

        Personally, like many others here I am an anti-Zionist. Unlike many others here I agree with many of the decisions that Israel has to make to ensure their own security. So I find myself in this weird sort of niche. Everyone is either calling me an anti-Israel nut, or a Zionist nut. While I find most articles on MondoWeiss to be rather factual, there is a very clear bias against Israel which I do not like.

        As a black hatted Orthodox Jew, the story of Mr. Stark (may his memory be blessed) was somewhat eclipsed by the story of how the Post treated the news. Now, don’t get me wrong, I pretty much agree with what Ha’aretz says. I’m a major Misnaged and have no love for the Chassidish organizations.

        That being said, it still bothered me that the Post decided to portray a murder victim as someone deserving of his punishment. It bothered me even more that anti-Zionist websites (such as this one) all seemed to be reporting the news. Yes, there are bad Jews in the world. Yes, there are entire organizations and sects of Jews that are bad. But does the dirty laundry really have to be aired for all to see? Is it not enough that Stark was torn apart by one of the largest newspapers in the world, but anti-Zionists have to be given another excuse to hate Israel?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 9, 2014, 12:11 pm

        Yserbius, i mentioned earlier, pertaining to the topic, i don’t think it really matters whether you are anti zionist or not or misnagdim or not. your point about not airing ‘dirty laundry’ is interesting. however, as i mentioned before the point of the article is in the headline, something you seem unable to discuss in all your comments, even not once. i’m curious why that is. you began by saying “I have a difficult time understanding what this article is doing on this site.” and we’ve told you over and over. yet you cannot seem to fathom, or address why something so egregious as a belief buried somewhere in bowels of judaism (albeit, not interpreted/ believed or taught by all rabbis, hopefully/thankfully) is the idea non jews are not quite human or have no souls. now this is an interesting topic, especially in light of the fact a major news outlet is reporting it. and what this post is about.

        now, your allegation is very interesting about having “given another excuse to hate Israel”. um, as a non jew i can tell you categorically that having an excuse to hate israel is the very least of my concerns wrt this concept of me not being quite human. that’s not really “about israel”. i mean the only mention of this in phil’s post was that kings torah book about killing gentile babies (that curiously so many rabbis in israel were unable or unwilling to denounce).

        That being said, it still bothered me that the Post decided to portray a murder victim as someone deserving of his punishment. It bothered me even more that anti-Zionist websites (such as this one) all seemed to be reporting the news.

        yeah, well, as phil said a fascinating piece in Haaretz on Satmar Jewish attitudes, stemming from the recent murder of a Brooklyn landlord named Menachem Stark, that’s very clear it’s not a report focused ‘on the murder’. it’s a report on ‘Jewish attitudes’ that was revealed thru the report of the murder.

        so if your main complaint or concern as a regular reader of this site is “given another excuse to hate Israel” there’s article after article here you could have commented on but you didn’t. it’s this particular topic, the one you refuse to address, about non jews not being quite human, this is the dirty laundry you do not want aired. this is the one post that dragged you out of your silence to come lecture us about what is and is not appropriate to discuss. and that’s interesting to me. it’s not really about, as you say ” there are bad Jews in the world.” it’s about beliefs about non jews embedded in interpretations of judaism. and those beliefs are rarely aired in public, and they are about me. why should these beliefs be silenced? how do they better serve you or people who believe them by keeping them private? why this one thing?

    • Hostage
      January 8, 2014, 3:18 am

      The only connection that the subject of the article has to those two topics is that he’s Jewish. He’s even most probably an anti-Zionist (as Oleg pointed out earlier).

      I presume the Satmar community is actively searching for someone to come along with the proper Messianic pretensions. Then they’ll be just as ardent about their doctrine of Zionism as they are about their doctrines of exceptionalism and superiority. There are some other groups that already fit that description who got caught up in the fervor surrounding the late Rabbi Schneerson.

      • Yserbius
        January 8, 2014, 10:21 am

        The Satmar (really the Orthodox) idea of the Messiah is much more of a religious belief than anything practical. According to the Orthodox, the world will be in a huge upheaval when the Moshiach comes, and there will be a sort of miraculous (but peaceful) return to Israel.

        The Schneerson cult is actually good evidence of what may happen. They are still pretty anti-Zionist and keep talking about how Israel will be miraculously returned to Jewish hands and how it’s forbidden to conquer it by force.

      • Hostage
        January 8, 2014, 1:34 pm

        The Schneerson cult is actually good evidence of what may happen. They are still pretty anti-Zionist and keep talking about how Israel will be miraculously returned to Jewish hands and how it’s forbidden to conquer it by force.

        Nonsense. Moment Magazine asked Chabad Rabbi Manis Friedman “How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?” He replied:

        “I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children and cattle.

        Ask the rabbis

        When he tried to clarify what he meant for the Forward, he only dug himself in deeper and simply reiterated what he had already said in different terms. Incitement to commit genocide and preventative wars are not a legal means to deter others and it violates those pesky legal concepts derived from western morality regarding the prohibition of threats or the actual use of force as instruments of national policy. The line from the Torah has nothing to do with human shields or discriminating between military and non-combatant civilian targets. It’s all about exterminating non-Jews in order to conqueror the land.

        Haaretz published “Chabad rabbi: Jews should kill Arab men, women and children during war: Rabbi Manis Friedman clarifies his controversial comment as quote from Torah permissible in case of self-defense”, and noted that these were pretty typical views among Chabadniks:

        Friedman quickly went into damage control. He released a statement to the Forward, through a Chabad spokesman, saying that his answer in Moment was “misleading” and that he does believe that “any neighbor of the Jewish people should be treated, as the Torah commands us, with respect and compassion.”

        But Friedman’s words have generated a debate about whether there is a darker side to the cheery face that the Chabad-Lubavitch movement shows to the world in its friendly outreach to unaffiliated Jews. Mordecai Specktor, editor of the Jewish community newspaper in Friedman’s hometown, St. Paul. Minnesota, said: “The public face of Lubavitch is educational programs and promoting Yiddishkeit. But I do often hear this hard line that Friedman expresses here.”

        “He sets things out in pretty stark terms, but I think this is what Lubavitchers believe, more or less,” said Specktor, who is also the publisher of the American Jewish World.

        “They are not about loving the Arabs or a two-state solution or any of that stuff. They are fundamentalists. They are our fundamentalists.”
        Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League and a regular critic of Arab extremists, said that in the Jewish community, “We are not immune to having these views. There are people in our community who have these bigoted, racist views.”

        But Shmarya Rosenberg, a blogger and critic of Chabad who lives a few blocks from Friedman in Minnesota, says that the comment in Moment is not an aberration from his experiences with Friedman and many other Chabad rabbis.

        “What he’s saying is the standard normal view of a Chabadnik,” Rosenberg said. “They just don’t say it in public.”

        link to haaretz.com

      • hophmi
        January 8, 2014, 1:54 pm

        Yeah, I would not describe Chabad as anti-Zionist. They may not have incorporated a prayer for Israel into their liturgy as more modern groups have done, but they’re quite rightist on Israel politically.

      • puppies
        January 8, 2014, 4:18 pm

        Even a Hophmi is right once in a century: “I would not describe Chabad as anti-Zionist.”
        These guys are as Zionist or more than the official organs; what counts is their belief in their right of squatting on other people’s land by all murderous means necessary, as illustrated here. Not theological subtleties.
        What most of all makes them Zionists is their xenophobic beliefs and racism against all non-Jews. Again, it’s absolutely irrelevant if the origin of this is Romantic German racism or Stone Age tribal polymonotheism. After all, they weren’t this aggressive when under the Atamans and Boyars; their coming out of the closet as a threat to humanity is another result of Jewish fake nationalism, aka Zionism.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 8, 2014, 4:47 pm

        hophmi, yes i know chabad is right wing. but i thought anti zionism was defined not by the left or the right but by the belief jews should have their own state of government or something. and i thought there were strains of the religious who believe that after the messiah came then jews could do that, have their own state. and then there’s that strain of chabad who think their rabbi isthe messiah, so it all gets wrapped in circles. but i was using anti zionist in that context. but i know they’re rightwing.

      • Talkback
        January 12, 2014, 5:27 am

        Annie: i mean the only mention of this in phil’s post was that kings torah book about killing gentile babies (that curiously so many rabbis in israel were unable or unwilling to denounce).

        It’s even more curious that Rabbies like Dov Lior were invited by police for questioning, didn’t show up and the police let it go. Says anything you need to know about Israel’s official position on the King’s Torah: Nothing to be persecuted for incitement, because form their point of you it is isn’t.

      • yrn
        January 10, 2014, 5:54 am

        Yserbius
        “Is it not enough that Stark was torn apart by one of the largest newspapers in the world, but anti-Zionists have to be given another excuse to hate Israel?”

        If you don’t see the connection between Anti Zionists and Antisemites, you are more the blind and Deaf, you represent the Anti Zionist that are afraid to be exposed to Antisemitism, that’s why you write “But does the dirty laundry really have to be aired for all to see? ”
        So What, yes maybe this Orthodox Jew was a bastard , there are good and bad Jews, so what, same as others, but you ……. you are afraid to be exposed, typical Anti Zionist diaspora Jew.

      • Hostage
        January 11, 2014, 7:18 am

        If you don’t see the connection between Anti Zionists and Antisemites, you are more the blind and Deaf, you represent the Anti Zionist that are afraid to be exposed to Antisemitism, that’s why you write “But does the dirty laundry really have to be aired for all to see? ”

        In “The Jewish State”, Herzl had explained that Zionists would employ anti-semitism as the engine to drive their movement. So they have always directly depended upon anti-Semites. He noted that unfriendly Gentiles would benefit from outward emigration of the Jews to a state of their own by taking over Jewish properties, businesses, and be employed in jobs vacated by the Jews. It was no accident then, that Herzl, Jabotinsky, and Arlosoroff allied themselves or formed business partnerships with anti-Semites like the Kaiser, Petliura, or Hitler. If your family had read Der Judenstaat, they’d have known all about that plan of action. Mine did.

        In “Every Spy a Prince: the complete history of Israel’s intelligence community”, authors Daniel Raviv and Yossi Melman described Mossad Aliyah Bet as “an economic empire and an operational masterpiece”. They said “the Jewish state has never had anything else like it” and that it was a huge global organization. More importantly, they note that the Iraqi Jewish community came to believe “that Shiloah’s Mossad was trying to grab their impressive assets.” (page 38). The Zionist’s wholly-owned subsidiary bank was certainly fleecing them out of a third of their wealth in the form of currency exchange fees. Why don’t you bitch about all of that instead of imaginary threats posed by anti-Zionists?

      • yrn
        January 10, 2014, 6:01 am

        Yserbius
        “and there will be a sort of miraculous (but peaceful) return to Israel.”
        How will they return peaceful to Israel
        Give me your (but peaceful) fantasy, will the Palestinian disappear and then you will become a Zionist as it is Peaceful .

    • Shingo
      January 8, 2014, 3:41 am

      I have a difficult time understanding what this article is doing on this site.

      I see. So you would rather it be kept in the family I take it?

      In any case you are wrong. These same beliefs are being preached in Israel.

      • Yserbius
        January 8, 2014, 10:23 am

        There are plenty of beliefs preached in Israel. That doesn’t mean that this blog is a place to air them. Ha’aretz, yes as it’s a website on Israeli and Jewish interests. MondoWeiss no as it’s a website on Zionism.

        Tell me, if there were an American Arab group that taught its children about how all non-Muslims were animals would you say that this blog is the place to talk about it, as there are doubtless Palestinian groups that do the same?

      • talknic
        January 8, 2014, 11:13 am

        @Yserbius “Tell me, if there were an American Arab group that taught its children about how all non-Muslims were animals would you say that this blog is the place to talk about it, as there are doubtless Palestinian groups that do the same?”

        “If” isn’t

        “There are plenty of beliefs preached in Israel. That doesn’t mean that this blog is a place to air them. Ha’aretz, yes as it’s a website on Israeli and Jewish interests. MondoWeiss no as it’s a website on Zionism.”

        link to mondoweiss.net Mondoweiss is a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective.

        It has four principal aims:

        To publish important developments touching on Israel/Palestine, the American Jewish community and the shifting debate over US foreign policy in a timely fashion.

        etc etc

      • Hostage
        January 8, 2014, 12:53 pm

        Ha’aretz, yes as it’s a website on Israeli and Jewish interests. MondoWeiss no as it’s a website on Zionism.

        No, Mondoweiss is About the War of Ideas in the Middle East and developments touching on Israel/Palestine, the American Jewish community and the shifting debate over US foreign policy; dialogue on these important issues; the movement for greater fairness and justice for Palestinians in American foreign policy; and to offer alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity.

      • Talkback
        January 8, 2014, 3:59 pm

        Ha’aretz, yes as it’s a website on Israeli and Jewish interests. MondoWeiss no as it’s a website on Zionism.

        And the difference is?

  15. ckg
    January 7, 2014, 10:52 pm

    I think it would be informative for MW to present a survey of messianic and apocalyptic views in Judaism. I am quite familiar with the corresponding apocalyptic views of Christian Zionism, having been an adherent in my pre-enlightenment youth.

    • puppies
      January 8, 2014, 6:45 pm

      “I think it would be informative for MW to present a survey of messianic and apocalyptic views in Judaism.”

      You would be inviting a major censorship war. See half-formulated policy and explicit practice.

  16. Obsidian
    January 7, 2014, 11:53 pm

    “The whole understanding of that was that you need to keep a distance from them, that they are a different level of human being,”

    And gentiles would never treat Jews differently.

    • Shingo
      January 8, 2014, 3:39 am

      And gentiles would never treat Jews differently.

      Any who did would be regarded are immoral, unjust , and such actions to be illegal and unacceptable.

      These individuals are justifying their behavior as normal and a belief that is encouraged.

  17. Shmuel
    January 8, 2014, 1:28 am

    How unusual: a nasty piece of work who was good to his family and community (or so they say now that he’s dead and the community finds itself under attack). It must be due to a group-specific sociological pathology, they say – citing one expert (in a brief quote that looks like it was lifted from a book) and a former community member (who warns against “othering” while making sweeping generalisations himself).

    Phil justifies this post as part of his “struggle with [Jewish] exceptionalism and superiority”, implying that there is some sort of unifying “Jewish” principle behind the (ultra-)nationalism of Zionists, the class interests of elite Jews, and the insularity of Hasidim. Add a few unscrupulous individuals, like Stark and the guys in the ‘Wolf of Wall St’ post, and you’re set to go. But where?

    • Ellen
      January 8, 2014, 4:29 am

      Thank you Shmuel. I found the navel gazing, fogged with WASPS here JEW there myths and preoccupation in the Wolf of Wall Street post quite troubling.

      And now this – A classic tasteless NY Post article on the murder of a New York slumlord who had lots of enemies. A man who happened to be part of a community with beliefs we find wrong, primitive and bizarre. We can find that everywhere.

      Where is this struggle with self exceptionalism going?

      • Sibiriak
        January 9, 2014, 1:52 am

        Ellen:

        A man who happened to be part of a community with beliefs we find wrong, primitive and bizarre.

        The valid question is: was there a causal connection between those beliefs and his reprehensible actions. Beliefs are properly judged by the actions they produce or rationalize.

        Where is this struggle with self exceptionalism going?

        Hopefully, to notions of universalism, equality, human rights, the negation of an “us vs. them” mentality etc.

    • OlegR
      January 8, 2014, 4:46 am

      Made you feel a bit uneasy right Shmuel ?
      All the classic ingredients used to justify lots of nasty stuff done to Jews in one article.

      I wonder why nobody tried to approach this from the other way.
      Maybe the guy was a prick on general principles and only nice to his family and community because faith mandated it.

      I am quite nauseated by Haaretz in this case.
      I know they can’t stand Haredim but this sort of “Judaism is hateful towards all non Jews” argumentation something they wouldn’t dare to write about any other monotheist religion.This is classic antisemitism i have no other word for it.

      • Shmuel
        January 8, 2014, 8:51 am

        I am quite nauseated by Haaretz in this case.

        Me too. It’s open season on Haredim in Israel.

      • OlegR
        January 8, 2014, 8:59 am

        It’s a bit worse .
        They didn’t print this article in Hebrew (at least i never found it). Because i am pretty sure it would have caused a big public outcry (as it should).
        This is supposed to be an Israeli paper, who they hell are they trying to address with this article?

      • Shmuel
        January 8, 2014, 9:19 am

        They didn’t print this article in Hebrew (at least i never found it).

        I couldn’t find it either.

        Because i am pretty sure it would have caused a big public outcry (as it should).

        I wouldn’t be so sure (with the exception of a few irate “talkbackistim”). A Haredi journalist once showed me a dossier of anti-Haredi articles and cartoons from the Israeli press. Some of it was pretty sickening.

      • Hostage
        January 8, 2014, 11:05 am

        Made you feel a bit uneasy right Shmuel ?
        All the classic ingredients used to justify lots of nasty stuff done to Jews in one article.

        Most readers also register the content about the theology employed to justify lots of nasty things done to Gentiles. There’s been an open season on them in Israel, for a lot longer time than the political discontent over the rights, privileges, and position of the Haredim.

      • American
        January 8, 2014, 3:35 pm

        ‘Maybe the guy was a prick on general principles and only nice to his family and community because faith mandated it.”..Oleg

        Well if his faith mandated that he be nice ‘only’ to his family and own kind then theres something wrong with his faith isnt there?…its primitive at best.

      • Shingo
        January 8, 2014, 10:15 pm

        Maybe the guy was a prick on general principles and only nice to his family and community because faith mandated it.

        Perhaps but as Hostage has pointed out, this is by no means an isolated incident.

        I know they can’t stand Haredim but this sort of “Judaism is hateful towards all non Jews” argumentation something they wouldn’t dare to write about any other monotheist religion.

        What ever you say Abe Foxman.

        This is classic antisemitism i have no other word for it.

        I do. Deflect and whataboutery.

      • Sibiriak
        January 9, 2014, 1:59 am

        OlegR:

        All the classic ingredients used to justify lots of nasty stuff done to Jews in one article.

        Imo, the fact that certain realities can be misused to justify “lots of nasty stuff” does not justify closing our eyes to those realities.

        I don’t think we should stop criticizing any fundamentalist ideology because such criticism can be used by bigots to malign groups associated with those ideologies. For example, we should not refrain from critiquing Islamic fundamentalism on the basis of universal values, human rights etc. just because some folks may use that criticism to justify anti-Muslim bigotry.

  18. Hostage
    January 8, 2014, 6:52 am

    Where is this struggle with self exceptionalism going?

    In Israel there doesn’t seem to be a struggle to establish the principles of social equality and respect for the individual anymore. Even the leaders of the coalition factions are publicly telling Israeli Palestinians that Judaism is incompatible with democracy and equal rights for Gentiles. You can go on ignoring the elephant in the room, but the headline got it right. Many Orthodox Jews are taught to see non-Jews as not quite human. That cultural attitude has always been shared by the majority of the members on the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee who have refused to anchor equality and individual rights in the law or a Constitution.

    The Knesset has always had the ability to overturn any Supreme Court decision in those areas. For example, the “Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation (1994)” codified the fact that the Knesset could even adopt undemocratic and unconstitutional laws that contradict the freedom of occupation, and circumvent any action by the Courts, so long as the laws reflect the values of the Jewish state and get periodically renewed. link to knesset.gov.il

    Nonetheless, the legislators used to be wary of adopting new laws like that. But recently, the MKs have been competing with one another to see who can introduce the most laws to protect Jews from democracy and Gentiles.

  19. Ellen
    January 8, 2014, 11:49 am

    Hostage, all you say above is correct, but you are making that logical leap to look behind legal developments in Israel to “protect Jews from democracy and the Gentiles.”

    The NY Post article was, well, The New York Post reporting on a gruesome murder of an unpleasant slumlord. This is their forte. Who — for those around then — will forget the NY Post cover on Carmine “The Cigar” Galante?

    The Haaretz article would have been more relevant and worthy had it explored the creep of odious cultural attitudes — from wherever they come — into legislation in a country that presents itself democratic and even “progressive.” Just as you have above.

    • Hostage
      January 8, 2014, 3:49 pm

      Hostage, all you say above is correct, but you are making that logical leap to look behind legal developments in Israel to “protect Jews from democracy and the Gentiles.”

      I’m not making a logical leap. This debate is nothing new, it has been going on for decades. There have been a multitude of Israeli news articles and law journal articles over the years which say that Judaism, as such, is inherently incompatible with human equality and democracy and that religious and non-religious members of the Knesset and the majority of the Israeli public agree that the laws and the Constitution have to protect the unequal values of Jews and Judaism at the expense of the rights of the non-Jewish citizens of Israel. Hannah Arendt and her books were banned, in part, for pointing out the effects of the application of rabbinical laws on Gentiles in a Jewish-nation state and the similarities to the Laws for the Protection of German Blood and Honor. So I’m even used to people freaking out when the subject comes up – and it always does, because its the elephant in the room.

      There’s even a proposed Basic Law which says the right of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish People and that the Basic Law and all other laws shall be interpreted in conformity with that provision.

      * Lapid: Israel’s definition as Jewish and democratic is an unsolvable contradiction link to jpost.com
      * MKs debate protection of ‘equality’ in future constitution
      Religious MKs reject inclusion of ensurance of equality, saying it would contradict Judaism. link to haaretz.com
      * Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People
      link to index.justice.gov.il

    • Sibiriak
      January 9, 2014, 2:13 am

      Ellen:

      The Haaretz article would have been more relevant and worthy had it explored the creep of odious cultural attitude — from wherever they come…

      That’s why MW is so great! A relevant article like “‘Haaretz’ says many Orthodox are taught to see non-Jews as ‘not quite human’” provokes deeper discussion by many of MW’s well-informed commenters.

  20. Talkback
    January 8, 2014, 4:16 pm

    ‘Haaretz’ says many Orthodox are taught to see non-Jews as ‘not quite human’

    Many? Who isn’t? Don’t say Israel’s Chief Rabbies.

  21. hophmi
    January 9, 2014, 12:22 pm

    “You keep trying to portray the teachings of a couple of million Hassidic and Haredi groups as if they are a national secret that only a traitor or bigot would openly discuss.”

    Not at all. I think I’ve made crystal clear that I am harshly critical of all of this stuff. The only point I’ve made is a broad point about judging people as individuals, rather than through the lens of liberal smugness. Thus my suggestion that people actually visit Williamsburg. I’d make the same point about Islam; there are all kinds of exclusivist beliefs in Islam (and globally, these views have had much more dire consequences than the views of a few million ultra-orthodox Jews), but I surmise that most people living in the places where these beliefs emanate are decent people, and I would recommend visiting their countries with an open mind.

    “But these groups run their own websites and publishing houses and are openly discussing their beliefs on the Internet everyday.”

    As I said, I’m not a supporter of their views.

    “Some of them, like Aish, run the Hasbara Fellowsips and bring thousands of Jews to Israel for indoctrination every year.”

    Aish is your example? I don’t think you’ll find very much on Aish’s website in the realm of gentiles-are-less-than-human. Your one cite is to a brief answer from a rabbi addressing the issue of reincarnation. As the rabbi who answered it said, Jews are not the only people who believe in reincarnation, and aside from these rabbis who sometimes say these things, it’s not a very big issue in the haredi community, and does not have anything to do with Gentiles, as far as I can tell.

    Aish itself is an organization that focuses on outreach to secular Jews, usually by providing opportunities for Jewish learning, much of which is of the pop-psychology variety.

    “Many of these works I’m talking about cite the Babylonian Talmud or the Shulchan Aruch as a proof texts for these doctrines. Those works are available online in English and their discussions regarding the rules governing relations or the legal status of Gentiles strike most modern readers as racist.
    link to halakhah.com
    link to yonanewman.org
    link to yonanewman.org”

    I’m sure they do. The Talmud was written around 1500 years ago. It reflects the mores of 4th or 5th century Babylonia. And yes, in this very, very long compendium, it is not hard to find stuff that is exclusivist and anti-Gentile, though a good deal of it was removed by Christian censors. For the record, the Talmud also says plenty of nasty things about women, and plenty of nasty things about, well, Jews. It’s a 73-volume compendium of lecture notes. It’s not a holy book.

    By the way, I would recommending upgrading from the Soncino edition you use. The Soncino is a very literal translation of the text, which really cannot be understood without Rashi, which is how religious Jews have understood it for the last several hundred years. Most people who study Talmud in the English speaking world today use Artscroll, which reflects a certain Haredi bias; the best edition out there is probably the new Koren edition, which is quite a literary and aesthetic achievement, and incorporates the work of both academic scholars and rabbinical authorities, and the translation of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.

    You’ve cited to the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, a work compiled in the 19th century. That’s sort of the Shulchan Aruch Cliffnotes. A good deal of the full Shulchan Aruch is available in English on Wikisource. It’s not the only source of Halacha, but it is a major source.

    “They say that Gentiles, with the exception of a few predestined converts, lack any manifestation of the Divine spark of a Jewish soul and that their spark has become so separated and darkened that it is only enough to sustain their existence. So for all practical purposes they are completely evil. These Gentiles, the bulk of humanity, are second class creatures.”

    Yes, Hostage, some people hold retrograde views like this, just like they believe that the Earth really is around 5,700 years old. But no matter how many times you point this out, it has not much to do with the political conflict in the Holy Land, or more accurately, about as much to do with it as the anti-Jewish views of Islamic fundamentalists in the West Bank and Gaza. Both play some role, but these views are amplified by partisans on either side to distract from the political shortcomings of the protagonists.

    “It’s pointless for you to suggest that no one is actively teaching or promoting these doctrines, just because they weren’t part of your own Orthodox upbringing:”

    I’m not suggesting that at all. I was merely responding to those who suggested that Modern Orthodox Jews teach these things. That’s the educational upbringing that I had.

    You’ve posted some Chabad links. I don’t see eye to eye with Chabad on politics or theology. But they provide a fairly good example of a community where these ideas, whatever role they may play in the educational process (and I cannot speak to the issue having never been to a Chabad school) mean little in the real world. The Chabadniks interact plenty with the Gentile world, whether it’s with their African-American neighbors in Crown Heights, where they’ve been at the center of reconciliation efforts since the early 1990s, or with the many communities in foreign countries in which they serve. I’ve been around Chabad rabbis enough at this point; I have never once heard any one of them talk about Gentiles in this way, and frankly, I cannot imagine any of these guys doing so; it’s just not who they are. I mean, it’s easy enough to ask them these questions point blank. I’m sure there are Chabad rabbis in Kansas to whom you can place these theological questions, rather than reading one of the rebbe’s sichot and simply assuming that everyone thinks this way or cares about this issue.

    By the way, in this whole discussion of Hillel, people here may not know that Hillel’s biggest competition these days is Chabad, which has been aggressively expanding on campuses across the country, much to Hillel chagrin, I’m sure. They’re not using the opportunity to teach these kids about how Gentiles are bad. They’re using it to give them Friday night meals and a place to celebrate Jewish holidays.

    • Hostage
      January 9, 2014, 6:51 pm

      Aish is your example? I don’t think you’ll find very much on Aish’s website in the realm of gentiles-are-less-than-human.

      I find many things in Orthodox Judaism’s views about Gentiles that should be repulsive to any modern mind. The nonsensical way that “conversion” or lack of it is used to control the legal status of Gentiles. Aish peddles a second class form of Judaism for Gentiles (i.e. Noachides or Nochris) prescribed by the Talmud.
      link to aish.com

      Aish points out that: The Talmud states: We (the Jewish people) will not accept converts in the Messianic Era, similarly, they did not accept converts, neither during the time of [King] David, nor during the time of [King] Solomon. (Avodah Zarah 3b). So exceptions are invented to account for the conversions of Moses, Boaz, or Solomon’s wives, while the presumed lack of it is conveniently used to denigrate the wives of others.
      link to aish.com

      The notion that a Priest who marries a Gentile or Convert woman passes on an incurable spiritual defect to the child (a mazer) and all succeeding generations, or the racially supremacist idea that God only rests His Divine Presence on the families of Israel who possess purity of lineage is another example. (Kiddushin 70b) Aish teaches that and that:

      A mamzer is created in the context of a relationship that is by definition inconsistent with holiness. The moral turpitude of the parties involved has no relation to the holiness of the act that produced the mamzer. As stated earlier the mamzer is spiritually wounded; the word in Hebrew stands for mum zar, or ‘strange defect’. (Yerushalmi, Kiddushin,3,14) The Presence of God cannot rest on a person whose very being is synonymous with the absence of holiness.

      link to aish.com

      Then there are the multitude of stories from the days of Phinehas down to Ezra and Nehemiah that prohibit marriage or relationships with Gentiles or so-called “heathens” and even condone physical violence or vigilante-style slayings (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin Folio 82a).
      link to aish.com
      Zealots May Kill One Who Has Bi’ah With A Nochris
      link to dafyomi.co.il
      link to halakhah.com

      Aish also has racially demeaning stories about “righteous Gentiles” who serve in their Synagogues and tastelessly says:

      The fact is that they have always been part of our culture, the hewers of wood and the carriers of water going back to the days of the Temple.

      link to aish.com

      Here’s one which appeals to the racial stereotype that Jews have higher IQs and that declining test scores are evidence that assimilation of Jews into broader American culture is detrimental to Jewish intelligence.
      Endangered: Jewish Genius
      link to aish.com

      Then there’s the Talmudic prohibition against a Jew informing on another Jew to non-Jewish authorities: See: Orthodox Jew says he can’t testify: ‘Mesira’ vs. American justice link to ijn.com
      Goldstone’s Feeble Backtrack
      link to aish.com

    • puppies
      January 9, 2014, 9:05 pm

      For the Nth time, like Wile E. Coyote, you relied on your remarkable power to bore the light out of the sun itself, and for the Nth time you were defeated by Hostage.
      But now another reason why you really would not want to go where you seem to be going if you had brains enough: it’s because this will inevitably entail a discussion on how much the obviously and expressly tribal-racial, non-universal character of the Jewish religious canon (even in its pre-monotheist times attested by linguistic relics) has inspired Zionism’s racial supremacist character (a little like the moronic discussions about Islam’s or Christianity’s supposed bloody inbuilt tendencies.)
      Personally I believe that a critique based on the respective sources do not justify making any such link, but surely it is open to discussion. And not only do you not want to go there; I suppose Phil would also be horrified at the idea of hosting it.

  22. irishmoses
    January 9, 2014, 12:36 pm

    Yserbius said:

    Everyone is either calling me an anti-Israel nut, or a Zionist nut. While I find most articles on MondoWeiss to be rather factual, there is a very clear bias against Israel which I do not like. [snip]

    Is it not enough that Stark was torn apart by one of the largest newspapers in the world, but anti-Zionists have to be given another excuse to hate Israel?

    Interesting comments Yserbius. Welcome.

    I see a glaring, logical flaw in your viewpoint. Mainly, you are conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Israel bias. I think most MW commentators would like to see a new, enlightened Israel emerge from this conflict. Their beef is with Zionism and what it has done to Israel and the original concept of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine.

    Your final sentence in your comment sums up your viewpoint, why do “…anti-Zionists have to be given another excuse to hate Israel?” Ergo, all anti-Zionists hate Israel. Therefore, all anti-Zionists must hate all Jews, and, bingo, all anti-Zionists must be anti-Semites. Surely that’s not what you meant to say, or is it?

    Did anti-Naziism equate to hatred of Germany and all Germans? I think it expressed a deep disappointment if not outright disgust with what Germans had allowed the Nazis to do to Germany, but not an inherent hatred of Germany and all Germans. The same can be said for anti-Zionism. You will see a lot of outright disgust on MW for what Zionism has done to the Palestinians, as well as to Israel, but don’t conflate that with inherent Israel-hatred, Jew-hatred, or anti-Semitism.

    • MHughes976
      January 11, 2014, 8:57 am

      A belief that someone is mistaken – seriously mistaken and acting destructively on the mistake – never entirely equates to hatred of them. I remember the alleged wartime slogan ‘the only good German is a dead German’ only from the postwar years and only from hearing it denounced from the pulpit. Hatred is an element in the emotional mix but rational people try hard to discriminate, accepting that hating Hitler does not imply hating Sophie Scholl. It actually doesn’t, does it? And hatred is usually mixed with hope that the adversary may come to better things. If majority sentiment goes the wrong way you may hate it for now but also hope that people will come to their senses in due course.

      • MHughes976
        January 11, 2014, 12:15 pm

        Just to add that where hatred is deserved in response to hateful deeds, if (as is widely denied in some religions) it ever is deserved, it should not be choked back on the ground of the race of the person concerned, any more than love or other justifiable emotions should be.

  23. yrn
    January 10, 2014, 6:14 am

    irishmoses
    “Did anti-Naziism equate to hatred of Germany and all Germans?”
    Yes , because most Germans where Nazis, that’s why Anti Zionists equate to hatred of Israel and Israeli Jews, Because most Zionist in Israel are Jewish, then……. you gave the answer.

    I think it expressed a deep disappointment for you.

    • Hostage
      January 11, 2014, 7:32 am

      that’s why Anti Zionists equate to hatred of Israel and Israeli Jews,

      No, I am aggravated by Israel and individual Israeli Jews, because their society or actions are overtly racist and criminal. But I nonetheless am a strong advocate of the position that they do not have to earn fundamental human rights and equality or lose them on any account. I feel exactly the same way about Palestinian government officials or individuals when they say or do things that are overtly racist or criminal. The idea that anti-Zionism is a reflection of hatred for Jews is nonsense. The majority of Anti-Zionists have always been Jews, like Phil or myself, who care a great deal about the welfare of others.

    • eljay
      January 11, 2014, 8:40 am

      >> I think it expressed a deep disappointment for you.

      People rightly despise and oppose supremacist Jews, not all Jews. You’d like for all Jews to bear the brunt of the unjust and immoral shit you, your Zio-supremacist co-collectivists and your supremacist state undertake and advocate, but the fact is they shouldn’t and they don’t.

      It expresses a deep disappointment for you that this is the case. What’s disturbing is that you and hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists like you seem intent on doing everything you can to take all Jews down with you.

      You, your ideology, your co-collectivists and your supremacist state are truly ugly. Sadly, this is something in which you take pride.

  24. irishmoses
    January 11, 2014, 3:04 am

    1. Less than 10 percent of Germans were members of the Nazi party in 1945 which was the high point of Nazi party membership.
    2. Criticizing the Communist Party of China does not make me a China hater nor does it make me anti-Chinese. Criticizing Zionist behavior in Israel and the occupied territories does not make me anti-Israel, anti-Israeli, or antisemitic.

    Jews are not above criticism, whether Zionist, Israeli or not. If Jewish behavior warrants criticism that doesn’t make the critic an antisemite. If you spent less time whining about antisemitism and wallowing in Zionist self pity those obvious distinctions might be clearer to you.

    The only “deep disappointment” I have concerns the need to respond to inane, thoughtless fools sent trolling on MW by hasbara-central.

  25. MHughes976
    January 11, 2014, 8:43 am

    I understand Zionism as the belief that Jewish people and they only have an inherent or natural right (‘birthright’) to a share of sovereignty over the Holy Land, others having a share only by the grace and generosity of the natural heirs. I think that this belief is false, so I am in that sense, the sense that matters to me, an anti-Zionist. If you say that it can be regarded as false only as a result of some kind of prejudice I deny it. On the contrary, it results from a normal belief in human rights plus the observation that Zionism, as defined, abrogates (makes conditional, rather than inherent) the human rights of the Palestinians and has acted very vigorously on that abrogation. Because the view taken of Palestinians is so unfair I think that there must be an element of prejudice on the other side.

  26. talknic
    January 11, 2014, 10:18 am

    “that’s why Anti Zionists equate to hatred of Israel and Israeli Jews”

    According to a supporter of Israel’s illegal expansionist policies

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