Sick of Zionism’s stranglehold on Jewish culture? There is an alternative.

Activism
on 164 Comments

Hey, did you know that every year thousands of Jews from around the world get to travel to Israel on free ten day trips to learn about how amazing Zionism is?

It’s called Birthright and it’s one of the ugliest examples of how Zionism and a one-sided view of Israel-Palestine gets forced onto young Jews.

At Jewdas we think these trips are sad and dangerous. Not only do they deliberately whitewash Israel’s crimes against Palestinians, they totally negate and marginalise our experiences as Jews living in the diaspora.

Even the name ‘Birthright’ suggests that Israel is somehow our destiny. That for Jewish people Zionism is the only politics that makes sense. But maybe we don’t want a Birthright. Maybe we want to make up our own minds about how and where to live. Maybe we believe something better that the same nationalist politics that led to our own persecution is possible.

We need an alternative, a trip for people sick of Zionism’s stranglehold on Jewish culture. So last year we took a bunch of amazing people to Spain to learn about Jewish culture outside of Israel in all its weird specificities. We called it Birthwrong and it was pretty fucking great.

We learnt about the contribution Jews made fighting fascism in the Spanish civil war. We visited Marinaleda, a communist village in Andalusia. We joined comrades on May Day to march against capitalism. And most importantly we learnt about the Golden age of Jewish culture, a time of stunning cultural achievement and co-existence between Jews and Muslims.

Almost a year later we’re super pleased to announce a new Birthwrong trip for 2016 (more details coming soon).

To celebrate and promote the trip we wanted to share a film we made about the last one.

So here it is. Birthwong 2015. Watch, comment, kvetch and send unto the nations!

164 Responses

  1. msmoore
    January 10, 2016, 8:36 am

    “Maybe we believe something better tha[n] the same nationalist politics that led to our own persecution is possible.”

    Wonderful reference to the foundation shared by Zionism and Naziism.

    • JWalters
      January 10, 2016, 5:53 pm

      Speaking of shared foundations, Netanyahu is also like the Mormon guy who killed his sister-in-law and her infant daughter, because his brother had a revelation God wanted them to die.
      link to huffingtonpost.com

      Netanyahu’s case is “Remember the Holocaust!” And it should be remembered. But it was over 60 years ago, and in the meantime the people of Palestine have suffered unjustly and immensely to enable Netanyahu’s project. Over the course of 60 years a normal person would notice their neighbor suffering greatly. They would think, “Yes, I’m trying to prevent future potential suffering for myself and my family, but that other person is suffering greatly, and their family is suffering, and that’s not a good thing. That’s not fair to them.”

      But Netanyahu has not noticed this, in ever so many years. How could he not? The only explanation is that he is not normal. His normal human empathy response is not working in this case.

      Just as that Mormon guy was subdued, and for the same reasons, Netanyahu needs to be subdued.

      • Kay24
        January 10, 2016, 11:47 pm

        Netanyahu belongs in a home for the criminally insane. His policies are all around waging wars, killing innocent civilians, and getting rid of Arabs from their own territories.

        So nazi like.

    • hophmi
      January 11, 2016, 12:05 am

      Or maybe you’re just naive and self-righteous.

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2016, 1:15 pm

        “Or maybe you’re just naive and self-righteous.”

        Hey, “Hophmi” if I were you, I would show the utmost respect to both naivete and self-righteousness. Zionism needs lots of both to keep going.

  2. ahadhaadam
    January 10, 2016, 9:28 am

    I suggest Birthwrong would be better utilized offering an extension to the Birthright program by offering young Jews who go on birthright trips a free stay at a refugee camp in the West Bank or Gaza. Of course, it wouldn’t be as much fun as Birthright, but then again, that’s the whole point.

    I think it’s a valid idea that Palestinians and Palestinian solidarity organizations should consider sponsoring. Even if not practical, it will help raise awareness to the other side of the so-called birth right.

    • pabelmont
      January 10, 2016, 10:02 am

      Good thinking ahadhaadam. Birthwrong’s name suggests anti-Zionism but the trip described seems merely (though this is not a bad thing) celebrating Jewish-Muslim good-ol-days. It avoids rubbing up against the evils of Zionism.

      A mixture would be good: a trip to see how great Jewish/Muslim cooperation once was and also a visit to show how welcoming Palestinian victims of Zionism can be despite Zionism’s oppression of them. (Would Israel allow such a visit?)

      • ahadhaadam
        January 10, 2016, 10:39 am

        As far as I know, they can visit the West Bank since they hold American passports (Israelis themselves are barred by Israeli military decree from going to Palestinian bantustans). Gaza Ghetto would probably require entry through Egypt, which is less practical.

        Of course if such a program gains traction, I am sure Israel will find a way to block it or make birthright participants sign a declaration seeking restitution in case they participate in birthwrong, etc.

        It is a worthwhile idea though, even if only for raising awareness.

    • tree
      January 10, 2016, 2:23 pm

      Ahadhaadam, there exists such a program, called Birthright Unplugged.

      link to birthrightunplugged.org

      • Froggy
        January 12, 2016, 8:57 am

        tree :: “Ahadhaadam, there exists such a program, called Birthright Unplugged.”

        Then would you say that the zionista-sponsored Birthright trips to Israel should be called ‘Birthright Unhinged’?

  3. amigo
    January 10, 2016, 9:38 am

    What is the process involved ??.Are candidates vetted.Does one go through the Donkey fellation exercise before being allowed to take part.

    Would it be possible to send a few party poopers along to ask the wrong questions and maybe keep insisting that they be allowed to visit “All ” of Israel.They also might , as American taxpayers demand to be shown where their 3.5 billlino dollars a year is spent. This whole birthright propaganda exercise could be demolished if a few non conformists went along each time to put a spanner in the works.

  4. Kathleen
    January 10, 2016, 9:47 am

    What an “amazing project” Opening eyes.

    Have met and talked with 9 young adults who had all gone on Birthright trips. Three of the nine had gone off the planned path of Birthright. Those three young Jewish men and woman all had chosen to really find out what has been and continues to go on in the apartheid state of Israel. They were activated to support Palestinian solidarity efforts. Birthright does backfire.

    Birthed awareness in open minded, fact interested young people and now Birthwrong…

    Sounds like Max may fuel a Birthwrong movement here in the states.

  5. yourstruly
    January 10, 2016, 10:33 am

    Zionism and Nazism

    same deadly hatred
    different targets
    while the world stands by
    genocide
    live

  6. Steve Grover
    January 10, 2016, 10:58 am

    Since a major theme of Birthwrong is alternatives, I offer an alternative promotional video for their trip to Spain.

    link to youtu.be

    • Annie Robbins
      January 10, 2016, 11:05 am

      lol, steve, you’ve outdone yourself.

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2016, 12:14 pm

        “lol, steve, you’ve outdone yourself.”

        Don’t antagonize him, Annie. He’ll call you a Communist!

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2016, 12:59 pm

        “lol, steve, you’ve outdone yourself.”

        Annie, Is that considerate? Is that polite!

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2016, 1:23 pm

        mooser, is this great comedy or what? i just wanted to express my appreciation to steve. it’s almost high art. good comedy is hard to pull off, at least for some of us. maybe you’re just competitive — do you feel the heat?

        ;)

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2016, 2:40 pm

        “— do you feel the heat? “

        Feel the heat? I know when I’m beat! When it comes to “Grover” all I do is play ‘straight man’ or ‘second banana’ and let him do all the slapstick. He’s a riot.

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2016, 2:57 pm

        I also take a great deal of delight in the fact that we have cast off all the trauma and suffering, and produced something as downright precious as “Grover”.
        That, I would think, takes more all-rightness than I ever thought possible, even in the Goldenah Medina but there he is!

      • Steve Grover
        January 10, 2016, 5:01 pm

        Mooser won’t admit busting his gut laughing at this Mel Brooks masterpiece because Jackie Mason plays a significant part in this.

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2016, 7:54 pm

        Mooser won’t admit busting his gut laughing at this Mel Brooks masterpiece because Jackie Mason plays a significant part in this.”

        “Grover” budya, when it hit me that you posted the “Inquisition” video non-ironically after being at the Bethany Koval thread, I started gasping so hard I nearly needed a whiff off the cat’s Albuterol inhaler.

    • W.Jones
      January 10, 2016, 3:00 pm

      ^Was this movie less campy when it was made?

    • Froggy
      January 12, 2016, 9:08 am

      One good stereotype deserves another:

      link to youtube.com

  7. Annie Robbins
    January 10, 2016, 11:15 am

    this jewdas video is really wonderful, it makes me want to go on the trip! a inspiring and beautiful idea. i recall when max went last year and reported it.

    i especially liked that woman’s story with the hamza necklace.

    • Steve Grover
      January 10, 2016, 11:37 am

      Shhhh you birthwrong people….We’ll keep this between you and me.
      You can be a commie in Israel.

      • Mooser
        January 10, 2016, 12:13 pm

        “You can be a commie in Israel.”

        Oh my, the Mods pass the most incendiary accusations! A “commie”

        Quick, call Tail-gunner Joe!

      • Annie Robbins
        January 10, 2016, 12:17 pm

        You can be a commie in Israel

        what? what does communism have to do with anything? do you think these people are commies? you may be missing the point. and israel doesn’t disallow the jewish left or commies from making aliya or visiting, they welcome almost anyone who, inadvertently or otherwise, serves their demographic mission. and when they put that occupation military uniform on the kids, they could care less if they are flaming lefties.

      • oldgeezer
        January 10, 2016, 2:42 pm

        Yes you can, Steve. Just like in any country.

        And you can be murdered for merely looking too much like a non-Jewish Israeli. That is one of the many that is unique and a beacon to hard core racists everywhere.

  8. Steve Grover
    January 10, 2016, 12:33 pm

    The video leads you to believe if you are a communist their trip is for you and Israel isn’t.

    • Mooser
      January 10, 2016, 1:01 pm

      “The video leads you to believe if you are a communist their trip is for you and Israel isn’t.”

      Uh, I think he’s taking my advice again. Why did I open my mouth!

    • Marnie
      January 11, 2016, 12:12 am

      Maybe if you keep bitchin’ or whine loud enough they’ll let you taglit along, just for the comedic lighthearted slapstick you think you provide.

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2016, 6:15 pm

        “let you taglit along…”

        Gosh, “marnie” imagine what a charmer, what a mensch, what a gentleman “Steve” is in the actuality!

      • Marnie
        January 12, 2016, 2:29 am

        That went way over my head “Mooser”; still waiting for the “Mooser for Dummies” to arrive!

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 11:53 am

        “That went way over my head…”

        You would think that I would know by now that sarcasm often backfires on the web.

      • Marnie
        January 13, 2016, 1:31 am

        “You would think that I would know by now that sarcasm often backfires on the web.”

        Sorry, it’s definitely wasted on me at times, for sure. link to youtube.com

  9. CitizenC
    January 10, 2016, 1:21 pm

    What does medieval Andalusia have to with Jewish membership in the International Brigades? What do either of them have to do with being a 21st c American or European? Absolutely nothing, except in some mythical construction of “The Jewish People”. This thinking substitutes “being Jewish” for being human, attempts to make “Jewishness” an ontological category, beyond history (like racialist anti-Semitism, the mirror of Zionism)

    This is not an abstract observation. This thinking results in the crippled identity politics that still dominates the left on Palestine. Thus critique focuses on “the occupation” but not Zionism as Jewish racialism, on the absolute distinction between Jew and gentile, which is the fundamental problem, Jewish racialism, now reaching genocidal intensity in Palestine.

    Activism focuses on BDS, rather than on what matters in the US, the Israel Lobby, even as the Lobby moves to quash legally BDS, which has finally attained critical mass, no thanks to JVP et al, which limited it strictly to “the occupation” until a year ago.

    This thinking empowered the JVP/End the Occ attack on Alison Weir, a prerogative of “Jewishness” as constructed on the left by such exercises as Birthwrong.

    It has also throttled the annual rally in DC against the AIPAC meeting. JVP and its affiliate US Campaign to End the Occupation in 16+ yrs of existence never tried to do anything like it until Code Pink came along in 2011. Then Phyllis Bennis came aboard to drive the people who knew something about AIPAC off the program (Jeff Blankfort,Janet McMahon, Grant Smith and Alison Weir). Bennis, according to talk in DC, later masterminded the campaign against Weir. Now Al-Awda and Answer are getting behind it and the Jewish left may be losing control

    This is only the recent history of Jewish identity politics on the left. 30 years ago New Jewish Agenda was suppressing calls for Israel’s aid to be cut, keeping Palestine off the general left agenda, etc.

    The About page at Mondo recently dropped its qualification about “a progressive Jewish point of view” and now states

    We recognize that Jewish voices are often prioritized in discussions of Israel and seek to challenge that dynamic by bringing a universalist focus to an issue that is commonly dominated by narrow points of view.

    Does anyone realize that Birthwrong and the Jewish identity fetish are part of Old Thinking?

  10. HHM
    January 10, 2016, 3:10 pm

    Isn’t there also a “Birthright Unplugged” group?

    • Dutch
      January 11, 2016, 12:08 am

      Yes. See above in the comments. Tree mentions the link.

  11. Michael Rabb
    January 10, 2016, 3:43 pm

    oy vey ! Zionism = Judaism

  12. Mooser
    January 10, 2016, 3:54 pm

    “oy vey ! Zionism = Judaism”

    Now, now, we can’t blame the Zionists for that. Really, where would Zionism be without Judaism? They are going to hang on to Judaism with a death-grip.
    We will have to reject them, they will never, ever let go of us, they can’t.
    And no use asking for their permission to do it either, or guidance in how.

  13. ivri
    January 11, 2016, 4:54 am

    You are all getting it WRONG here. In fact Zionism, which comes from Judaism, is now in the process of superseding it. Judaism was strong in the European and Arab diaspora in exile times simply as a way of keeping the spirit alive but once Zion was re-established the setting shifted and returned to its real self.
    US Judaism by and large complements Zionism within a broader US-Israel alliance – a unity of goals in both the political world and the spiritual one (which, prominently, includes the Christian Zionists).
    So, indeed, it is all not so much about Birthright, as it is misnamed, but really Rebirth got RIGHT.

    • Mooser
      January 11, 2016, 12:44 pm

      “You are all getting it WRONG here. In fact Zionism, which comes from Judaism, is now in the process of superseding it.”

      Exactly! Patsh zich in tuchis und schrei “hooray” Watch out world! With our Jewish numbers, discipline, and unlimited resources, we don’t need to hide behind a Jewish religion any more!

      We are taking over, all several million of us!

      • gamal
        January 11, 2016, 3:56 pm

        “which comes from Judaism, is now in the process of superseding it.”

        oh assimilation is completing Hitler’s work, “Superseceding” is …..? ok by you, how fortunate are the Jews to have people like you attentive to their fate, how is it going to work, in the night a Jew will pupate and on the morrow a shiny new Oren will emerge? if not i guess there may be some Jews who find that notion both offensive and threatening, i have studied their habits but am only guessing.

      • MHughes976
        January 14, 2016, 3:43 pm

        And see II Samuel 22:44 ‘nations I did not know are subject to me’

    • eljay
      January 11, 2016, 2:34 pm

      || ivri: … Zionism, which comes from Judaism, is now in the process of superseding it. Judaism was strong in the European and Arab diaspora in exile times simply as a way of keeping the spirit alive but once Zion was re-established the setting shifted and returned to its real self. ||

      You appear to be saying that:
      – Judaism was never a religion; and
      – Zionism comes from Judaism, but Judaism actually sprang from Zionism and is now reverting to its “real self” of Zionism.

      Interesting.

      So…once Zionism completes its takeover of the Judaism that was actually Zionism-in-disguise:
      – Will there no more Jewish people, only Zionist people?
      – Will the “Jewish State” become the “Zionist State”, the “historic homeland” of all Zionists – including (currently) non-Jewish Zionists – in the world?
      – Will Zionist be the bureaucratic nationality of all of “Zionist State’s” citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally?

      • ivri
        January 11, 2016, 3:59 pm

        @eljay
        Your comments are indeed relevant and some further clarifications are in place. What I wrote was not exactly the standard way things are formulated and what I was trying to suggest is that viewed from today`s perspective it is not Judaism anymore that embodies Zionism but the other way round.
        The reason is that Zionism is now so central to the Jewish world, both quantitatively and qualitatively, that Judaism without it (unless you talk about the ultra-orthodox) is of much less essence. For instance, consider a Jewish (so called) progressive (ordinarily secular). What is exactly in his/her Jewishness that puts him/her apart from other non-Jewish people in this political class? Not much really.
        However if you are a Zionist than there is a clear political statement here, especially in the conditions of today`s politically divided world, and it is in this sense that Zionism came to transcend Jewishness in today`s conditions (unless again a person is ultra-orthodox). For instance, Jerusalem the capital of Israel has become – for the first time since 3000 years ago (the times, approx., of the First Temple) – the world center of Judaism, spiritually and organizationally (within the Jewish world).
        The issue is of course complex but for the purposes here, given the focus of this particular blogging site, the essence of things is perhaps already delivered above.

      • ivri
        January 11, 2016, 4:38 pm

        As an afterthought this issue seems to relate to the broader topic of Judaism defined as a religion and the Jews – a nation. Since the nation lost its country, at some point in history, all it was left with its distinct religion as the only anchor. Now it is again a normal nation, with almost half of the world Jewry in it and the vast majority of the Jewry outside it – in effect all the mainstream Jewish organizations anywhere in the world – holding a Zionist stance (even if they choose not to move physically into it). So you have a reconfiguration here that brought Zionism to the center of the (mainstream) Jewish world – the Jewish nation in a country of its own (then one that is part of both its history and eschatology) with Judaism as its religion.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 11, 2016, 5:24 pm

        Now it is again a normal nation

        oh please!!! stop w/this nonsense!

        and here’s one way (other than that elephant in the room called occupation) israel is not “normal” or the “jewish nation” of people is weird:

        link to jpost.com

        According to Hiddush, a religious pluralism lobbying group, some 660,000 citizens who are either from the former Soviet Union, gay, non-Orthodox converts to Judaism or have specific types of Jewish personal status, are currently unable to marry in Israel.

        but it looks like it could be more that that:

        The organization found that there are 364,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union who are classified as “without religion” and therefore cannot get married in Israel…..Such immigrants are essentially people from the former Soviet Union who were able to gain Israeli citizenship under the law of return but are not considered Jewish according to Jewish law.

        ….

        Another group numbering almost 400,000 people face potential restrictions on who they can marry due to the constraints of Jewish law and the lack of civil marriage.

        In Jewish law, a divorcée or a convert may not marry a Cohen, the Jewish priestly caste, and the Chief Rabbinate will not permit such marriages to be conducted or registered. There are some 80,000 males in Israel who have priestly lineage, who are unable to marry a divorcée or convert.

        Some 269,000 divorcées would not be able to marry a Cohen if they so wished and 50,000 Jewish converts would similarly be unable to marry a Cohen if they so wished.

        how is this normal?

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2016, 4:41 pm

        “The reason is that Zionism is now so central to the Jewish world, both quantitatively and qualitatively, that Judaism without it (unless you talk about the ultra-orthodox) is of much less essence.”

        Yup, religion just doesn’t have the same good ol’ Tribal Unity, and sanctity, unless you are theiving and murdering according to its precepts! It just takes all the Jewish “essence” out of it.
        Got to have the Jewish “essence”! (which you can get from “Ultra-Orthodoxy” or Zionism? Okay!)

        That’s what all the real anti-semites, and Zionists say, so it must be right!

        “the Jewish world,”

        Actually, on clear nights about midsummer (in the Western Hemisphere) “the Jewish world” can be seen with an ordinary pair of marine binoculars, as it transits the night sky over the regular non-Jewish world.

        Shorter “Irvi”: ‘What good is a religion, if it doesn’t, you know, get you something.’

      • eljay
        January 11, 2016, 5:28 pm

        || ivri: … what I was trying to suggest is that viewed from today`s perspective it is not Judaism anymore that embodies Zionism but the other way round.
        The reason is that Zionism is now so central to the Jewish world, both quantitatively and qualitatively, that Judaism without it … is of much less essence. … ||

        It seems highly anti-Semitic to suggest that Jewish supremacism is fundamental to the identity and the religion of all Jews (“the Jewish world”). Why do you hate Jews so much?

        Judaism was religion before Zionism; it remains religion during Zionism; and it will be religion once Zionism and the “Thousand Year Jewish State” are dead and gone.

        || … For instance, Jerusalem the capital of Israel … ||

        Tel Aviv – and not the Free City of Jerusalem, currently under occupation and colonization by Israel – is the capital city of Israel.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 11, 2016, 6:12 pm

        eljay, ivri’s pov re judaism/zionism seems to echo points sean mcB used to make (repeatedly) that i found very annoying for the same reasons you mention.

        having said that i am not an expert on sean’s point of view and really should let him just speak for himself. his archives are available as far as i know.

      • Kris
        January 11, 2016, 5:48 pm

        @Annie Robbins: “Some 269,000 divorcées would not be able to marry a Cohen if they so wished and 50,000 Jewish converts would similarly be unable to marry a Cohen if they so wished. How is this normal?”

        It is not normal, but it is awfully funny!

        I am never going to drink coffee while reading mondoweiss again.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 11, 2016, 6:03 pm

        I am never going to drink coffee while reading mondoweiss again.

        the part i almost spit up over was this:

        There are some 80,000 males in Israel who have priestly lineage

        this reminds me of saudi arabia, where there are thousands of princes, so i guess in that regard it’s normal. as normal the as the house of saud.

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2016, 7:23 pm

        For instance, Jerusalem the capital of Israel has become – for the first time since 3000 years ago (the times, approx., of the First Temple) – the world center of Judaism, spiritually and organizationally (within the Jewish world). “

        Well, duh! I mean, who wouldn’t put their headquarters someplace they could get rent-free!

        I mean, does that show the Non-Jewish world what we’re made of, or what! Jerusalem was supposed to be an international free city, sacred to several religions, but we very generously gave that up to make it our capital.

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2016, 7:31 pm

        “It seems highly anti-Semitic to suggest that Jewish supremacism is fundamental to the identity and the religion of all Jews (“the Jewish world”). Why do you hate Jews so much?”

        Don’t say that, “eljay”! He would never try to convince a Jew of that!
        After all, there’s just a few of us.
        But wow, if he could convince a significant number of non-Jewish people it is true about Zionism and Judaism, just think how much further along Zionism will be!

      • Mooser
        January 11, 2016, 8:36 pm

        “eljay, ivri’s ptw re judaism/zionism seems to echo points sean mcB used to make”

        Ouch! Didja have to bring him up? To think that I used to argue with him!
        There he was, layin’ down the Gospel according to Zionism, and all I did was deny, deny, deny.
        Well, I guess nobody can blame me if it took some Jewish commenters to convince me, instead of believing Sean. We’re pretty insular like that, sometimes. Sorry Sean.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 11, 2016, 9:20 pm

        i’m still not convinced.

      • echinococcus
        January 12, 2016, 2:22 am

        Forget McBride etc., this Ivri message is pure, unvarnished Nazi propaganda.
        It is very well to laugh it off but it must also be framed in gold and offered to general admiration. No matter that “Ivri” is not exactly conscious of what he’s doing, he is giving away leading Zionist thought. Moreover, that is evidently the thought more of Labor and other secular Zionists than of the religious right bozos.

      • ivri
        January 12, 2016, 3:18 am

        @Annie 5.24 “how is this normal”?
        Patience, please. The Jewish nation reunited within the new Zionist realm only 70 or so years ago after millennia of exile. It takes time to straighten up things in both the internal and external fronts – setting up branching into the broader international Jewish world and forging global contacts. E.g. with many in the New-World (immigration), countries, prominently the US, now also strengthened links to India and Japan; getting apolitical foothold in the region here; putting a fight to the traditional many detractors; and so on and on.
        It`s a big job in the making, still in its infancy. Including learning from mistakes. Give us time please.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 12, 2016, 4:27 am

        The Jewish nation reunited within the new Zionist realm only 70 or so years ago after millennia of exile.

        this is beginning to sound some star wars trailer or hollywood sci fi thriller.

        It takes time to straighten up things in both the internal and external fronts

        iow, the so called “jewish nation” is not a united front? pity. i’m so shocked. we all are.

        setting up branching into the broader international Jewish world and forging global contacts.

        gee, i almost thought you said setting up branching into the broader international Jewish world order, forging global contacts. please don’t go all zoggy on us.

        with many in the New-World.., countries

        uh huh

        prominently the US

        that part, we already know.

        getting apolitical foothold in the region

        heehehehelol. yeah, right.

        gotta go. i totally catch your drift tho.

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 11:40 am

        “It`s a big job in the making, still in its infancy. Including learning from mistakes. Give us time please.”

        Oh, that’s worthy of writing the entire thing out. Rolling-On-The-Floor- Laughing-My-Skinny- Jewish-Ass-Off!

        I looked for the “Don’t help him, he want’s to do it himself” clip from “Young Frankenstein” but couldn’t find it.

      • Marnie
        January 12, 2016, 11:49 am

        @ivri
        “Give us time please”.

        You’ve have 70 fucking years and all you’ve really managed to do is kill. If there’s any justice in the universe at all, you won’t get any more time. You talk like someone who has been completely zombiefied.

        link to youtube.com

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 11:59 am

        Hey, “Irvi” I’ve got a great idea! Why don’t we, to help Israel get all adjusted and normal, be absolutely selfish about how we set it up?
        Here’s my idea: We look at the political systems and adopt the one under which Jews live best, gain the most, and suffer the least, and have the most freedom, and adopt it for Israel??

        Now gosh-a-roonie, which system would that be?

      • eljay
        January 12, 2016, 12:20 pm

        || ivri: Patience, please. The Jewish nation reunited within the new Zionist realm only 70 or so years ago after millennia of exile. … ||

        That’s an interesting way to describe the actions of Zio-supremacists and a manufactured, religion-supremacist “Jewish State” that has spent the last 70 years intentionally and with impunity:
        – occupying and colonizing Palestine and committing (war) crimes;
        – refusing to honour its obligations under international law; and
        – refusing to work sincerely toward a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

        || … It takes time to straighten up things … ||

        What’s to straighten up? You Zio-supremacists constantly claim to have a “moral beacon”, “light unto the nations” and “Western-style democracy” that’s the envy of the world. Surely such an amazing country has got all its things straightened up?

        Or are you waiting for Palestinian refugees (and maybe the rest of ’em) to die off and for their cold, dead bodies to “straighten up” nice and stiff?

        || … setting up branching into the broader international Jewish world … ||

        The existence of a “broader international Jewish world” sounds very “Protocols”. I’m sure hophmi will be around any moment now to accuse you of anti-Semitism, followed by Steve Grover to accuse you of “Jew hatred”.

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 12:46 pm

        “You’ve have 70 fucking years”

        70? What happened to the other three-thousand odd years? Didn’t that teach us anything?

      • ivri
        January 12, 2016, 12:51 pm

        @annie 4.27: “i almost thought you said setting up…..international Jewish world order”
        Why make a megalomaniac of me? I meant the Jewish world only. That`s the natural Zionist scope. You think anybody here wants Israel to set the agenda for other countries? One got to be crazy even to think about that. Indeed, it is all taking place right at the opposite extreme, namely no wish to dominate others – that has never been, historically, a Jewish ambition – just be left alone in peace. Plus, these days, make sure that this tiny country here manages to withstand the enormous pressures on it while keeping links to its natural partner – the broader world-Jewry. Now what`s exactly so outlandish about it?

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 1:03 pm

        “It is very well to laugh it off but it must also be framed in gold and offered to general admiration.”

        Weeell, “Echin” I’m not so sure. Maybe we should have Prof. Green pass on it first. He might condemn it for “incipient antisemitism’!
        He might even say the source isn’t credible.
        Or he might even schmooze a bit.

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 1:21 pm

        “I meant the Jewish world only. That`s the natural Zionist scope”

        Exactly! Jews are the “natural” property (I rejected “natural prey of Zionists”) of Zionists. (BTW there “Irvi” you wanna be careful with that “natural” Shall we talk of “natural law” and Jews?) We belong to them. Nothing “megalomaniacal” about that!
        Gosh “Irvi” when the nations of the world didn’t at once offer to transfer all the Jews within their borders to Israel, one of the greatest antisemitic crimes of all time took place, huh?

      • eljay
        January 12, 2016, 2:44 pm

        || ivri: … no wish to dominate others – that has never been, historically, a Jewish ambition – just be left alone in peace. … ||

        Yup, nothing says “we want to be left alone in peace” like:
        – lobbying for a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine;
        – engaging in terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population from their homes and lands;
        – establishing a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine;
        – engaging in a decades-long and on-going campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder to expand the “Jewish State” and oppress its non-Jewish citizens and the non-Jewish people under its occupation; and
        – being openly belligerent and intransigent and refusing to honour obligations under international law and to seek a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

        And people say the “North Korean ambition” is nuts…

      • echinococcus
        January 12, 2016, 4:15 pm

        Mooser,

        No need for that; Mr. Green will never accuse a fellow Zionist, especially such a militant one, of anti-whatchamacallit.

      • ivri
        January 12, 2016, 4:55 pm

        @ejay 2.44
        I think you know what I mean. Very many other nations in the world spent much of their energy conquering and ruling other countries: From the Babylonians and Persians through the Greeks and Romans to modern-day Britain and France. Judaism has no such ambitions and that`s important to notice. The fight on its OWN land is a different issue and has taken place also in ancient times with the then nations in this area.

      • MHughes976
        January 12, 2016, 6:16 pm

        I’m sure it’s true that Judaism has – present tense – no programme of conquest. No mainstream religion has. For the ancient world things are not so clear cut: everyone calls Joshua’s activities a conquest, evidently portrayed as pursued with little restraint against people who had done the conquerors no harm. You might say that the Bible paints a kindlier, if slightly less significant in religious terms, picture of the Persian Cyrus than of the Israelite Joshua, traces of whose work modern Israel has made massive efforts to unearth. Perhaps the Joshua Conquest did not really happen, but in King John just before 100 BCE we find a real and very significant expansionist and sometimes harsh ruler, whose territory was never on the grand scale but who surely left a greater matk on history than is often acknowledged.

      • eljay
        January 12, 2016, 6:47 pm

        || ivri: @ejay 2.44
        I think you know what I mean. Very many other nations in the world spent much of their energy conquering and ruling other countries … ||

        So…your point is that if other men each rape dozens of women, your friend should be allowed to rape only a few women. I strongly disagree with this bit of Zio-supremacist “logic”.

        || … Judaism has no such ambitions … ||

        I wasn’t aware – and it seems highly anti-Semitic of you to suggest – that the religion of Judaism has any (war) criminal ambitions. As far as I can tell, those are your ambitions and the ambitions of hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists like you.

      • ivri
        January 12, 2016, 10:58 pm

        @MHughes
        The wars of the Israelites in Biblical times were aimed at conquering the Promised Land only. You find no intention to wish to constantly move into other places and add them to own rule – as Alexander the Great clearly exemplifies, the Romans and the Spanish and Portuguese Kings. All of the above spent huge energy on military expeditions even very far away. It appears that the Jewish nation, following Judaism prescriptions, had little interest in all that

      • zaid
        January 13, 2016, 1:02 am

        ” The fight on its OWN land is a different issue and has taken place also in ancient times with the then nations in this area.”

        The people that your claimed ancestors slaughtered ,expelled and subjected were not just “nations in this area”, they were the indigenous and rightful owners of the land of Canaan . and if you want Israel to carry out the same way it did in the old state , then be prepared to see an ending similar to the fate of the old state .

      • MHughes976
        January 13, 2016, 8:28 am

        It might seem that the ancient Israelites and Judahites were not in the position where they were already in possession of one land and then moved on to seize another. I would say first that this, if it is the whole truth, not does not distinguish them from other smaller political units of those days, who may have had fairly frequent frontier squabbles but few big territory shifts and often put themselves under the protection of greater powers (Jerusalem/Babylon; Samos/Athens). Second, that it is not quite the whole truth: if you read the stories connected with David, Joab and Edom and with Omri, Ahab and Moab do you really see simply an ideology of defence of the promised land?
        The idea of a kingdom from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates, connected to the area from which ‘the United Monarchy’ is said to have drawn tribute, is part of the political ideology of the Hebrew or Hebrew-Greek Bible.
        Many other conquerors have said ‘not for us, but for Liberty!’ or ‘not for us, but for God!’ – vain propaganda, you may say. But does the story of Joshua, where ‘tribes’ subsisting in the desert invade a more prosperous area and drive out, sometimes kill, and take possession from people who have done them no harm really put those tribes on to a moral plane clearly different from that of others at the time or since? Does the claim ‘this was God’s promise’ make such a difference to the true description – conquest, frightfulness – of these events, as they are reported to us? To the evaluation of the events if you accept the theology, perhaps.
        Alexander’s claim to be liberating the cities was in great part dishonest propaganda but contained a grain of truth.
        Well, all these old things are long gone. But it surprises me that the Joshua narrative should be treated as it is, with much desire for its truth, and with the assumption that it is in some way a sound moral basis for claims to peaceful possession – and a peaceful disposition – both in those old days and now.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 14, 2016, 12:38 am

        @annie 4.27: …You think anybody here wants Israel to set the agenda for other countries? One got to be crazy even to think about that. Indeed, it is all taking place right at the opposite extreme, namely no wish to dominate others – that has never been, historically, a Jewish ambition

        oh heavens no ivri! why would i think that just because israel’s prime minister challenged our presidents foreign policy on the iran deal in front of the world stage congress, uninvited in any sort of normal protocol, and israel’s lobby spent 40 MILLION dollars for propaganda to bring it down. it’s outlandish actually, to ever imagine a lil bitty “tiny” country like israel would ask anyone else to do its bidding or spend their blood and treasure (meaning the deaths of our soldiers, like the kind the israeli military DID NOT sacrifice for the genocidal iraq invasion the israel lobby went all out for, or don’t you recall) to dominate others.

        but i will agree with you about one thing, although i can’t be certain, i would assume you are correct in stating that has never been, historically, a Jewish ambition .

        but zionist ambition has radically changed jewish history, now hasn’t it?

      • MHughes976
        January 16, 2016, 3:29 pm

        There’s a new article in Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentlische Wissenschaft (in English, I think) by Israel Finkelstein arguing that Chronicles is greatly concerned with territorial expansion and reflects the Hasmonean agenda. You may say that this expansion was all within the Promised Land but what moral difference does it make if the expansionist merely says that the whole territory was promised by God to him? In a way it makes the whole thing more terrifying, even if the claim of divine donation is actually true. On the whole, though, Zionists do not ask us to accept the theory of divine donation as the truth. Judaism and Christianity both have brilliant theological ideas but Judaism – and Zionism even more emphatically – still bears the marks of the Hasmonean period, just as we bear the marks of the Crusades.

  14. JLewisDickerson
    January 11, 2016, 6:44 am

    RE: “[W]e’re super pleased to announce a new Birthwrong trip for 2016.” ~ Geoffrey Jewdas

    MY COMMENT: Das ist verboten!
    Verboten!
    Verboten!
    Verboten!

    Capiche?

  15. yonah fredman
    January 11, 2016, 7:35 am

    Maimonides had to flee Cordoba when Berber Almohads (Muslims but intolerant Muslims) conquered the city from Almoravids (tolerant Muslims). And of course after the Christians took over Spain, the Jews were kicked out. How this choice of a location for Birthwrong demonstrates the viability of the Jewish diaspora is beyond me.

    • Shmuel
      January 11, 2016, 9:11 am

      And of course after the Christians took over Spain, the Jews were kicked out

      Both the myth of the eternal golden age under Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula and the lack of such an age under Christian rule are false. Many of the Jews who fled the Almohades in the 1140s found refuge in the Christian lands in northern Spain and southern France. The “golden age” of Jews in Christian Spain lasted for some two and a half centuries (about the same length of time as the “golden age” in al-Andalus) — until the persecutions and forced conversions of 1391.

      The impact of this half a millennium of Jewish creativity in Iberia — within a context of productive interaction with Muslims and Christians — on future Jewish culture is immeasurable.

      • Mooser
        January 12, 2016, 12:48 pm

        Shmuel, I said it before, and I’ll say it again: we should be so lucky as to always have you explaining! That would be very good.

  16. CitizenC
    January 11, 2016, 1:24 pm

    Gosh, whatever happened to, what was it called, I think… secularism. What Israel Shahak called “the modern, secular [non-]Jewish tradition”, which he dated from one of those old guys, who was it, Spinoza, yeah, the greatest of the 17th c rationalist philosophers so they say. But that was then, “Jewishness” is now, fuggedabout that passe secular stuff. Too goyisch.

    Remember this? Not secular, but universalist, goyisch…

    link to mondoweiss.net

  17. lysias
    January 11, 2016, 2:34 pm

    “There is no alternative” is a phrase that was much used by Margaret Thatcher.

    Trump is now using an alternative to this phrase: “We have no choice.”

  18. ivri
    January 12, 2016, 4:44 pm

    To sum up the above: the interrelations between Israel/ Zionism on one hand and the World Jewry/Judaism on the other hand is not at all a simple topic – involves many related issues. It is also an evolving one – Israel, after all, is in historical terms a new phenomenon.
    Whatever the case, to me it`s a great thing to be fortunate enough to be born, within the Jewish history, into the generation that has seen the rebirth of Israel – what few people in the past really expected to materialize (even as they were daily praying for it) – which, astonishingly, came on the heels of the complete opposite of it: one of the lowest points in Jewish history and its greatest tragedies. These are all truly BIG things, except that by living through them, with their everyday mundane details, we lose sight of the grand scope here. That probably will be what future historians will be concerned with.

    • Shmuel
      January 12, 2016, 5:22 pm

      the generation that has seen the rebirth of Israel – what few people in the past really expected to materialize (even as they were daily praying for it)

      Which prayers would those be? The ones for the restoration of the divine presence to Zion? For the rebuilding of the Temple and the re-institution of the sacrificial cult? For the universal recognition of divine unity? For the resurrection of the dead? For the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven — marked by loving kindness, compassion, righteousness and justice?

      Or perhaps you were referring to the liturgical reading from the prophets on the Sabbath before the 9th of Av: “Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and her penitents with righteousness.”

      As anyone can see, all of those things have “materialized”.

      Reminds me of another daily prayer: “Blessed are You our God, king of the world, who causes the blind see.”

      • ivri
        January 12, 2016, 10:34 pm

        Excuse me Shmuel but this comment is manipulative. There are VERY MANY prayers – and I was of course referring to them – that asks simply ask for a return to Zion and Jerusalem. There are of course also many other kinds of prayers – you quoted some of them – but what does that prove?
        I am afraid the last one you quoted indeed applies here, only in reverse, as are those, in the Yamim Noraim mainly, that warn against such attitudes.

      • Shmuel
        January 13, 2016, 1:37 am

        There are VERY MANY prayers – and I was of course referring to them – that asks simply ask for a return to Zion and Jerusalem.

        That are not in the context of the return of the divine presence, rebuilding of the Temple, restoration of the sacrificial cult and/or universal recognition of God’s unity? Which ones?

        Could you point them out to me? Even the “ingathering of the exiles” blessing in the Amidah cannot be detached from the subsequent blessings referring to religious redemption, restoration of the Temple cult and the Davidic (messianic) dynasty, etc. I can’t think of one single prayer (let alone “VERY MANY”), daily or otherwise, that “simply asks for a return to Zion and Jerusalem”.

        Furthermore, such a suggestion is extremely problematic from a theological point of view. Traditional Judaism is theocentric. There is no “simply” anything. The Jewish people, the Land of Israel, have no intrinsic worth — beyond their contribution to the establishment of God’s universal kingdom. Praying “simply” for national “rebirth” or territorial conquest, divorced from the broader context of universal redemption is a form of idolatry — a “cardinal sin” (perhaps the cardinal sin) in Jewish tradition.

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 10:42 am

        “There are VERY MANY prayers – and I was of course referring to them – that asks simply ask for a return to Zion and Jerusalem.”

        And a Shetland pony! And I saw a new “Scion”(?) coupe which I thought pretty cute. How’s about it G-d?
        And from the heavens thundered the answer: “I’ll buy you a sports car when your —- can reach your —!”
        Funny, that’s what my Dad said when I asked him to buy me an Jaguar XKE.

      • MHughes976
        January 14, 2016, 1:27 pm

        ‘Mentally crippled’ is violent language, Yoni. I think we have to accept that all the major views of religion can look strange and somewhat frightening from the outside – ‘he thinks THAT?!’ – but are all held by people who are not disabled mentally in the sense of having some generally remarked lack of ability to reason, to gather information or to have humane feelings. I’ve been impressed by your arguments about the Palestine problem in all these respects.
        On another level I’ m concerned about the appearance here of comments about Judaism harsher than I wpuld expect to see about Islam or Christianity.

      • YoniFalic
        January 14, 2016, 6:14 pm

        After I left Israel and moved to NY City, I investigated several religions. I have to admit that I find Christian theology silly but not as different from Judaism as many “Jews” believe.

        Religious Muslims seem very sincere, but I simply see no reason to believe that there is some sort of universal intelligence that created or controls the universe. If I were theologically inclined, I think I could created a theology based on the big bang theory that holds that the universe is a sort of egg that will once one day create god.

        I tried out some groups for חוזרים בתשובה and visited a few Yeshivas. I was not impressed by the level of knowledge or of scholarship.

        Noah Feldman’s NY Times Magazine article goes through a simple example of the vileness and of the crippled nature of Rabbinic Jewish thought. (I quote it below.)

        It should be obvious to any reasonable and decent human being why Central and Eastern European Jews left their repugnant ancestral religion in droves during the 19th and 20th century. I have no doubt that the sick nature of Rabbi Judaism contributes to the evil nature of Zionism. I make an effort to scorn this stupid religion every chance I get, and I simply don’t understand why an intelligent person would identify with it in any way.

        Here is one of Noah Feldman’s anecdotes.

        For many of us, the consilience of faith and modernity that sometimes appears within the reach of modern Orthodoxy is a tantalizing prospect. But it can be undermined by the fragile fault lines between the moral substructures of the two worldviews, which can widen into deep ruptures on important matters of life and love.

        One time at Maimonides a local physician — a well-known figure in the community who later died tragically young — addressed a school assembly on the topic of the challenges that a modern Orthodox professional may face. The doctor addressed the Talmudic dictum that the saving of a life trumps the Sabbath. He explained that in its purest form, this principle applies only to the life of a Jew. The rabbis of the Talmud, however, were unprepared to allow the life of a non-Jew to be extinguished because of the no-work commandment, and so they ruled that the Sabbath could be violated to save the life of a non-Jew out of concern for maintaining peaceful relations between the Jewish and non-Jewish communities.

        Depending on how you look at it, this ruling is either an example of outrageously particularist religious thinking, because in principle it values Jewish life more than non-Jewish life, or an instance of laudable universalism, because in practice it treats all lives equally. The physician quite reasonably opted for the latter explanation. And he added that he himself would never distinguish Jewish from non-Jewish patients: a human being was a human being.

        This appealing sentiment did not go unchallenged. One of my teachers rose to suggest that the doctor’s attitude was putting him in danger of violating the Torah. The teacher reported that he had himself heard from his own rabbi, a leading modern-Orthodox Talmudist associated with Yeshiva University, that in violating the Sabbath to treat a non-Jew, intention was absolutely crucial. If you intended to save the patient’s life so as to facilitate good relations between Jews and non-Jews, your actions were permissible. But if, to the contrary, you intended to save the patient out of universal morality, then you were in fact guilty of violating the Sabbath, because the motive for acting was not the motive on the basis of which the rabbis allowed the Sabbath violation to occur.

        Later, in class, the teacher apologized to us students for what he said to the doctor. His comments, he said, were inappropriate — not because they were wrongheaded, but because non-Jews were present in the audience when he made them. The double standard of Jews and non-Jews, in other words, was for him truly irreducible: it was not just about noting that only Jewish lives merited violation of the Sabbath, but also about keeping the secret of why non-Jewish lives might be saved. To accept this version of the tradition would be to accept that the modern Orthodox project of engagement with the world could not proceed in good faith.

    • ivri
      January 13, 2016, 4:52 am

      @shmuel 1.37
      I see you are deep into this theological-philosophical context. I am not, so I cannot argue about that from a scholarly position. But my instinctive feeling is that what you suggest here is an overshoot and contrary to the common interpretation and conventional wisdom in Israel and the Jewish world of the issue – a kind of eccentric view of matters. Would you agree with that?

      • Shmuel
        January 13, 2016, 5:47 am

        But my instinctive feeling is that what you suggest here is an overshoot and contrary to the common interpretation and conventional wisdom in Israel and the Jewish world of the issue – a kind of eccentric view of matters. Would you agree with that?

        A fair question, ivri (very similar, in fact to a question I was asked when I decided to leave the Orthodox fold), but first I would like to answer something you didn’t ask.

        From a sociological perspective, the views of intellectual elites do not necessarily coincide with the beliefs of the “common man” (see e.g. Carlo Ginzburg’s The Cheese and the Worms). Theology is one thing and and the ways in which the proverbal “simple Jew” perceived her/his prayers may be quite another, but could the “simple Jew” (European and non-European) have conceived of modern European nationalism (of which Herzlian Zionism and, ultimately, the State of Israel are expressions) before the concept had ever been developed? Could Jews, living in the Roman, Byzantine, Holy Roman or Ottoman empires, the Papal States or the Caliphate, princedoms, duchies or emirates have longed to live in a political framework (the ethnic nation state) of which they had no experience?

        Would it not make more sense — whether in times of deprivation and suffering or in times of prosperity — that the “simple Jew” prayed “to the hilt” in matters of redemption: a utopian, Eden-like heaven on earth, replete with trees that would produce your every desire (as one legend goes)? As long as they were praying and dreaming, why would they make do with a problem-riddled statelet, established and maintained “by the sword” that, for the most part, violates and rejects their dearest beliefs and devotions?

        Back to the question you did ask. As in the case of Jews who lived before the advent of modern European nationalism, it is very hard to imagine that things were not always as they are now. If the current reality is what Jews have always prayed for, how could a majority of religious Jews (of all streams) have opposed Jewish nationalism in general and Herzlian Zionism in particular, prior to the Holocaust?

        What you call an “eccentric view” was once (not so long ago) “the common interpretation and conventional wisdom”. It is thus an anachronism to attribute current sensibilities and interpretations to previous generations. Jews before political Zionism were not “proto-Zionists”; they were simply not Zionists, in the modern political sense.

        I have no argument with you about the current (morally-abhorrent, in my opinion) state of most Jewish theology. What I strongly disagree with is the posthumous “conversion” to Zionism of generations of Jews who were quite obviously nothing of the kind, and the idea that Zionism is somehow a fulfilment of the aspirations of traditional Judaism, rather than a Jewish manifestation of modern ethnic nationalism, which naturally draws on elements of Jewish culture, religion and mythology.

      • yonah fredman
        January 13, 2016, 6:47 am

        Shmuel and ivri- Here is the gist of it. CLOSEUP of Yehudi in Jerusalem. Yehudi: Our people have prayed “next year in Jerusalem for thousands of years”. Subscript: This year in Jerusalem. ZOOM OUT: Yehudi with boot on Palestinian neck. Subscript: “Caught in a dream, where everything goes wrong.”

      • RoHa
        January 13, 2016, 7:16 am

        As a side note, can I point out that, even if (contrary to your suggestion, Shmuel) Zionism actually is “somehow a fulfilment of the aspirations of traditional Judaism “, that still is not a moral justification for Zionism.

        Zionism, and the conception of Israel, and the creation of Israel, and the conduct of Israel, would still be evil.

      • Shmuel
        January 13, 2016, 7:43 am

        Hi Yonah,

        Rather than a flawed return (or dream gone wrong), I am suggesting that it is, in fact, no return at all. The zoom out reveals that it is not even the same dream. The expression לא לנער הזה פיללנו — “this is not the child we prayed for” (paraphrasing Hannah, in 1 Samuel 1:27) — comes to mind.

        On a more pedantic note, the prayer “next year in Jerusalem” is not thousands of years old. See link to mondoweiss.net

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 10:49 am

        “But my instinctive feeling is that what you suggest here is an overshoot and contrary to the common interpretation and conventional wisdom in Israel and the Jewish world of the issue”

        I mean, after all, didn’t every Jew in the world immediately set sail for Pal;estine. And even if they didn’t, the entire “Jewish world”…”Jewish world….” sorry, laughing too hard to go on.

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 11:07 am

        “I see you are deep into this theological-philosophical context. I am not,”

        Gee “Irvi”, you sure as f–k trotted out those prayers and verses pretty damn quick. FIRST as a matter of fact! Now, all of a sudden, (when you couldn’t BS past “Shmuel” ) “I am not”.

        So it is just about land and power, right, “Irvi”? Not that “theological-philosophical context”? Then don’t BS us with Jewish prayers.

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 11:09 am

        “Shmuel and ivri- Here is the gist of it.”

        ‘Steve Urkel’: “Did I do that?”

      • Keith
        January 13, 2016, 11:10 am

        SHMUEL- “If the current reality is what Jews have always prayed for, how could a majority of religious Jews (of all streams) have opposed Jewish nationalism in general and Herzlian Zionism in particular, prior to the Holocaust?”

        Impeccable logic succinctly phrased! Awesome comment in its entirety!

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 11:14 am

        “If the current reality is what Jews have always prayed for, how could a majority of religious Jews (of all streams) have opposed Jewish nationalism in general and Herzlian Zionism in particular, prior to the Holocaust?”

        Oh, please, that’s easy. The enlightened and politically educated cadre of Zionists will instruct and lead the rest of us common Jews to victory and our own state!

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 11:19 am

        “The expression לא לנער הזה פיללנו — “this is not the child we prayed for” (paraphrasing Hannah, in 1 Samuel 1:27) — comes to mind.”

        Ah, Thank you, Shmuel! I never knew what the Hebrew phrase meant. My Mom used to look at me and repeat that Hebrew phrase over and over.

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 11:45 am

        “Impeccable logic succinctly phrased! Awesome comment in its entirety!”

        Notice the progression of the conversation? “Irvi” (and the ilk) start out with psuedo-political and historical arguments. Then, they switch to all that religious-prayer-Old Testament stuff, only to draw those suberb explanations from Shmuel .
        And then “Irvi” says “I see you are deep into this theological-philosophical context. I am not so I cannot argue about that from a scholarly position.”

        So “Irvi” drew a great rebuttal for a position “Irvi” himself admits he doesn’t hold! Which he then admits was strictly a bullshit holding maneuver (“I am not”)!!!

      • YoniFalic
        January 13, 2016, 12:02 pm

        לשנה הבאה בירושלים

        only refers to the rebuilding of the Temple and the resumption of pilgrimages. It expresses no desire whatsoever for “return” to the “Land of Israel”.

      • eljay
        January 13, 2016, 12:19 pm

        || Mooser: Notice the progression of the conversation? … ||

        Conversation? Are you sure that wasn’t “dialog”?  ;-)

      • Annie Robbins
        January 13, 2016, 12:41 pm

        On a more pedantic note, the prayer “next year in Jerusalem” is not thousands of years old. See link at: link to mondoweiss.net

        from the link:

        The custom of reciting the phrase at the end of the Passover Haggadah was introduced in the late 15th century.

        In Halevi’s poem, it is actually God who is supplicated to utter the phrase to his people, ushering in the era of messianic redemption. The stanza in question reads as follows (translation mine):

        Draw us up from sin / You who reside in Heaven
        When the sun sets declare / to those who go through fire and water
        Next year / in Jerusalem!

        Shmuel, in the comment you linked to from feb.2014, you write also of earliest known source for the phrase as well as where it was retained. but was it a daily prayer in any of those traditions you mentioned? in your translation here the meaning of jerusalem doesn’t sound like jerusalem is the fulfillment of a nation state. are there other peoples translations that make it seem more so? or do you believe after zionism came about, as a Jewish manifestation of modern ethnic nationalism, the meaning of the phrase, or the translation, was altered to accommodate zionism? and if so, is there a different translation and if so how so?

      • Shmuel
        January 13, 2016, 1:38 pm

        … you write also of earliest known source for the phrase as well as where it was retained. but was it a daily prayer in any of those traditions you mentioned? in your translation here the meaning of jerusalem doesn’t sound like jerusalem is the fulfillment of a nation state.

        It is part of a liturgical poem (piyyut) that was recited, in some traditions, at the end of the final Yom Kippur prayer (ne’ilah — literally “closing”, referring to the gates of heaven) — the climax of a day of fasting, prayer, confession and repentance. Central to the Yom Kippur service is a detailed account of the sacrifices brought in the temple on that day, and especially the dramatic role of the High Priest.

        The sentiment expressed in this poem is certainly a longing for the Messianic Age and specifically for the rebuilding of the Temple and restoration of the sacrificial cult — which must be initiated by God (“You who reside in Heaven … declare … Next year in Jerusalem!”).

        in your translation here the meaning of jerusalem doesn’t sound like jerusalem is the fulfillment of a nation state.

        Nowhere in the liturgy does Jerusalem refer to the fulfilment of a nation state in and of itself. Even references to the restoration of the Davidic dynasty (according to tradition, the Messiah will be a descendant of the House of David) are religious — closely associated with the construction/reconstruction of the Temple — rather than political in nature.

        are there other peoples translations that make it seem more so?

        I do not know of any other translations of the poem — which is no longer recited, except in the Yemenite tradition. The single phrase “Next year in Jerusalem”, which has been retained in most traditions is pretty straightforward and doesn’t leave much room for alternative translations. The general context is still the same (Yom Kippur prayers), although the specific context of the poem has been lost.

        or do you believe after zionism came about, as a Jewish manifestation of modern ethnic nationalism, the meaning of the phrase, or the translation, was altered to accommodate zionism?

        The translation is still the same, but for very many today, the phrase has been infused with ethnic nationalist meaning.

        One change has been made in relatively recent years. The phrase is repeated a number of times, and on the final repetition, the word הבנויה, “the rebuilt”, is added — apparently to distinguish Jerusalem — the physical city under Israeli control, which any Jew may easily visit — from the Jerusalem of the final redemption (“rebuilt Jerusalem”). The simple phrase, without the addition may thus be understood in a Zionist vein, as a reference to visiting or immigrating to Israel, while the phrase with the addition clearly refers to the Messianic Age and the rebuilding of the Temple.

      • YoniFalic
        January 13, 2016, 1:44 pm

        Pesikta Rabbati Shabbat v’Rosh Chodesh 2 provides the standard religious understanding of the Messianic Era.

        After the Messiah comes, the holiness within the Holy of Holies expands to the whole Temple, the holiness of the Temple expands to all Jerusalem, the holiness of Jerusalem expands to all of the Land Israel and the holiness of Land expands to the whole world.

        This understanding makes sense within Judaism because real (Rabbinic) Jewish services end by expressing the hope that one day the whole world will practice Judaism. The idea of return to the Land of Israel simply makes no sense within that context.

        Here is the final Aleinu prayer with an English translation.

        link to chailifeline.org

        As silly and repugnant as Rabbinic Judaism is, Zionism makes no sense even from the mentally crippled standpoint of Jewish religion.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 13, 2016, 1:57 pm

        ok, thank you.

      • Shmuel
        January 13, 2016, 2:04 pm

        YoniFalic,

        Just curious. If you consider Rabbinic Judaism “silly and repugnant” and Jewish religion “mentally crippled”, why is your avatar an iconic portrait associated with one of the leading exponents and codifiers of Rabbinic Judaism and the Jewish religion?

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 4:24 pm

        ,” why is your avatar an iconic portrait associated with one of the leading exponents and codifiers of Rabbinic Judaism and the Jewish religion?”

        It’s a reproach. That guy, whoever he is, has a neatly trimmed beard, he’s been to see the Wailing Wahl.

      • RoHa
        January 13, 2016, 6:01 pm

        “Dialogue”, at the very least, eljay.

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 6:37 pm

        “After the Messiah comes, the holiness within the Holy of Holies expands to the whole Temple, the holiness of the Temple expands to all Jerusalem, the holiness of Jerusalem expands to all of the Land Israel and the holiness of Land expands to the whole world.”

        Oh yeah, and when the Holiness reaches your area, the rents and house prices are heaven-bound! Count on it. It’s one of those ‘gentrification’ schemes. And you thought they had ‘covenants’ back in the 50’s? Just you wait.

      • yonah fredman
        January 13, 2016, 8:01 pm

        Shmuel- Sorry I don’t have a Hebrew font, but tell me the year on the intro to the Haggada: hashata hakha, l’shana haba’a b’ar’a d’yisroel. hashata avdei l’shana haba’a, bnei khorin. (The tale of the haggada begins with a passage in Aramaic: that includes the line: This year here, next year in the land of Israel. This year slaves, next year free men.)

      • Mooser
        January 13, 2016, 9:13 pm

        “Yonah” what difference does it make what year it went it. Does sufficient antiquity make it a land-deed, or a license to kill?

        Just how much do you wish to degrade Judaism?

      • Shmuel
        January 14, 2016, 1:42 am

        tell me the year on the intro to the Haggada: hashata hakha, l’shana haba’a b’ar’a d’yisroel. hashata avdei l’shana haba’a, bnei khorin

        Gaonic period — 9th century or so. Here too the context, as explicitly stated in the passage, is the paschal sacrifice (יֵיתֵי וְיִפְסַח) , necessarily replaced, “hakha” (here), with the seder ritual. Hope is thus expressed that “next year” we will be able to have the real thing, at the reconstructed Temple in “the Land of Israel” — as also expressed in the blessing concluding the “maggid” section of the Haggadah: “… bring us to other holidays and festivals that await us in peace, with happiness at the building of Your city and joy in Your service. There may we eat of the sacrifices and of the Passover offerings …”

      • yonah fredman
        January 14, 2016, 2:31 am

        Shmuel- I was not there when the gaonim wrote this passage, but if a Zionist had been whispering in their ears, they could not have written a more Zionistic passage than the one they actually wrote.

      • Shmuel
        January 14, 2016, 3:02 am

        I was not there when the gaonim wrote this passage, but if a Zionist had been whispering in their ears, they could not have written a more Zionistic passage than the one they actually wrote.

        That’s the “beauty” of appropriation (beginning with the name Zion itself — or the word “exodus”, as long as we’re on the subject of Passover), and is emblematic of the kind of anachronistic interpretation ivri was engaging in with regard to the daily prayers. For the Geonim, ge’ulah -redemption was not about “auto-emancipation” or “normalising the Jewish condition”, as much as some of their words may set a modern Jewish nationalist’s heart aflutter.

        Imber (author of “Hatikvah”) was inspired by the (decontextualised) words of the Geonim, when he wrote “to be a free people in our land”, not the other way around.

      • MHughes976
        January 14, 2016, 1:29 pm

        My reply to Yoni has slipped into the wrong slot, sorry.

      • Mooser
        January 14, 2016, 3:23 pm

        “but if a Zionist had been whispering in their ears, they could not have written a more Zionistic passage than the one they actually wrote.”

        SO FR—–G WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why the hell were we stupid enough to take it seriously, or materially?

        And just so we are clear,. no matter what year it went in or how Zionistic it may be, it doesn’t mean a thing to Gentiles, obligates them to nothing. And there’s no reason why all Jews have to fall for the Zionist crap. Cause it was in a prayer, we get to kill people? Me, I’ll wait toll G-d tells me personally on something like that.

        “YONAH” NOBODY OWES US ANYTHING CAUSE WE ARE JEWISH.

      • MRW
        January 17, 2016, 5:18 pm

        @Shmuel

        A spectacular comment at January 13, 2016, 5:47 am.

      • MRW
        January 17, 2016, 5:20 pm

        @Mooser

        Cause it was in a prayer, we get to kill people?

        ✔✔✔

      • Shmuel
        January 18, 2016, 1:47 am

        Thanks MRW.

  19. Misterioso
    January 12, 2016, 7:56 pm

    Some history:

    Perhaps the most outstanding example of the harmony that existed in the past between Muslims, Christians and Jews was the magnificent and legendary kingdom known as al-Andalus (Andalusia) established in the southern two-thirds of the Iberian Peninsula (part of present day Spain) by Arab Muslims following their defeat of the Visigoths and conquest of the city of Cordova (which became their capital) in circa 711. They treated the defeated Christians with clemency and were welcomed as liberators by the Jews of Spain. Although the Muslims made no concerted effort to convert Christians and Jews, by the tenth century Islam became the dominant faith.

    The Golden Age of this province of the Islamic Empire (established in 756 by the exiled Syrian Prince Abd al-Rahman) lasted for well over 400 years. During these centuries under Muslim rule the three Abrahamic faiths lived in friendship and developed the world’s most advanced centre of learning and the arts, challenged only by Baghdad.

    “In principle, all Islamic polities were (and are) required by Quaranic injunction not to harm the dhimmi [religious minorities in a Muslim state], to tolerate the Christians and Jews living in their midst. But beyond that fundamental prescribed posture, al-Andalus was, from these beginnings, the site of memorable and distinctive interfaith relations. Here the Jewish community rose from the ashes of an abysmal existence under the Visigoths to the point that the emir who proclaimed himself caliph in the tenth century had a Jew as his foreign minister. Fruitful intermarriage among the various cultures and the quality of cultural relations with the dhimmi were vital aspects of Andalusian identity as it was cultivated over these first centuries.” (Maria Rosa Menocal, Ornament of the World; Little, Brown and Company, 2002, pp. 11 and 30)

    • gamal
      January 12, 2016, 8:49 pm

      (established in 756 by the exiled Syrian Prince Abd al-Rahman)

      thats Saqr-ul-Qureish, the Ummayyad, it wasnt really exile rather a 2000+ mile flight from Abassid assassins, his mother was a Berber from north west Africa, al-makkari in the 17th century wrote a famous “history”, he had red hair which didnt aid him in his 6/7 year incognito flight to Spain, then he played everyone off against everyone else and seized the state by acclaim, managing the arrogant Yemeni’s, when he showed up for battle on a fine Spanish charger, they mocked him “that’ll make fine escape vehicle” he had to swap it for a Yemeni mule, from the marwanid wing of the ummayyads.

      the ultimate survivor

  20. ivri
    January 13, 2016, 4:35 pm

    @mooser (your various comments)
    Actually I did have a reaction to those counterclaims – for instance the ultra-religious Jews didn`t sign up on present-day Israel because it was established on a secular basis – but it seemed to me not central to the argument so don`t worth the effort. After all I began it with claiming that Zionism is the leading force today in the Jewish world – namely, the national side of Judaism is central now – whereas in pre-Israel times religion was the only anchor to cling to. This argument still stands and it is what really matters today in any practical way (as different from scholarly arguments on the historical evolution, which is certainly interesting but is also under serious dispute).

    • Annie Robbins
      January 13, 2016, 5:10 pm

      after all I began it with claiming that Zionism is the leading force today in the Jewish world – namely, the national side of Judaism is central now – whereas in pre-Israel times religion was the only anchor to cling to

      but is there an argument to be made Judaism doesn’t have a “national side” as it pertains to a nation state (vs the definition of “nation” that implies a peoplehood)?

      and when you say “religion was the only anchor to cling to”, what about the “a peoplehood” concept which also pertains to secular jews? in pre-Israel times wasn’t the “peoplehood” concept an anchor jews clung to? or was that absent prior to zionism too? or perhaps one could argue it’s absent for those (secular) jews sans religion?

      • YoniFalic
        January 13, 2016, 6:13 pm

        Racist ethnic Europeans [..]Jews [..] changed the meaning of עַם in Modern Israeli Hebrew to conform to their extremist racist organic nationalist ideas.

        עַם in Rabbinic, Mishnaic, and Biblical Hebrew refers to members of a religious community.

        The Septuagint always translates it as λαος.

        Here is Strong’s Commentary on the word.

        link to biblehub.com

        In Greek it makes sense to say.

        Ο Ιπποκράτης ήταν μέλος της λαος του Ασκληπιού.

        Hippocrates was a member of the cult of Asclepius (the god of medicine).

        [I may have incorrect cases. I am mixing classical and modern forms. Greek is not my best language.]

        In crafting Modern Israeli Hebrew, the genocidal invaders changed the meaning of עַם to the equivalent of Volk in the German Nazi sense, and the racist invaders made a point of replacing the religious expression עם ישראל with the rabid nationalist phrase העם היהודי which is unknown outside of Modern Israeli Hebrew and certainly was never used in Rabbinic, Mishnaic, or Biblical Hebrew.

      • RoHa
        January 13, 2016, 8:42 pm

        Annie, you mustn’t ask him to sort out the ambiguity, the vagueness, and general incoherence of all the nation/people codswallop. If he does that, the whole construct will fall apart and he”ll see it for the load of old cobblers it is. And then he’d be upset, and you would be an anti-Semite for upsetting him.

        (Not that you aren’t one now.)

      • Annie Robbins
        January 14, 2016, 1:14 am

        RoHa, we’re all doubly screwed since there are 2 definitions of nation with two different meanings, far apart. in our pledge of allegiance when we say “one Nation .. indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” we mean everybody. in israel, the word “nation” means just jews. the ethnic peoplehood kind of nation. not the nation state that implies everyone in it. two very opposing descriptions.

        for ethnic nationalists, the concept of nationhood is sort of being merged and used interchangeably which makes it confusing for the listener, especially when they do it (use the term twice w/different meanings) in the very same sentence or passage.

      • yonah fredman
        January 13, 2016, 10:42 pm

        annie- I think the key word in ivri’s comment is anchor: religion or nationality are anchors, as in central tenets of weight that promise continuity. The secular Jewish identity is something that can last two or three generations, but one can see from various polls that in the long range it does not seem to promise continuity.

      • Mooser
        January 14, 2016, 1:40 am

        “changed the meaning of עַם in Modern Israeli Hebrew”

        Good Lard, is nothing sacred to those people? Did they change the meaning of “vey” too? Why can’t they leave stuff alone?

      • RoHa
        January 14, 2016, 4:24 am

        “we’re all doubly screwed since there are 2 definitions of nation with two different meanings, ”

        I sorted out three concepts of nation, but I got no thanks for it. Zionist do not like exposure of their amphiboly.

        I’m also curious about ivri’s concept of “normal” , even though he has admitted Israel isn’t quite normal yet.

        What makes a country normal? Which countries are normal? The USA is crazy, Japan is weird, Australia is full of yahoos, France regards Jerry Lewis as a great auteur, Canada is boringly inoffensive, and New Zealand doesn’t really exist. Is he thinking of Denmark and Uruguay? Are they normal?

      • ivri
        January 14, 2016, 4:49 am

        Secularism is kind of misleading term. Zionism is at best when embeds in it the macro Judaism trajectory, which includes the history of the Jews and with that Moses and the Promised Land. Nothing is clear cut here – it cannot be – we humans are destined to live with “vagueness” in all realms of life. A lot is often left to beliefs, emotions, instincts and alike and expecting to have it all clarified rationally is delusional. Indeed, while frustrating, it can fortunately be turned into a plus – perhaps that`s the secret of it all – just requires the right attitude and proper balancing.

      • ivri
        January 14, 2016, 5:23 am

        Regarding Yonah`s comment above: I agree that Zionism, the Nation, requires the religious heritage to survive, even just to be complete. However, the reverse dependence may be also true, even as many would be reluctant to admit. Namely, at this historical juncture, as different from previous ones, what future Judaism really has without the existence of Israel?
        The two are now inextricably intertwined. Something truly big happened in Jewish history in the return of the nation to a land of its own (which, importantly, it is an intrinsic part of its eschatology – the divinely promised one), and there is no going back to the past anymore, in any clear sense.

      • talknic
        January 14, 2016, 5:44 am

        @ ivri January 14, 2016, 5:23 am

        Wonderful. Now, if you want peace, f*ck off out of ALL non-Israeli territories. Quite simple.

      • RoHa
        January 14, 2016, 6:15 am

        Congratulations, ivri. With that load of old moody you have shown yourself unwilling to attempt any real thinking. Good thing that not all of us have that attitude, or we really would be destimed to live with vagueness in all realms of life.

        “Zionism is at best when embeds in it the macro Judaism trajectory, which includes the history of the Jews and with that Moses and the Promised Land. ”

        And at its best it is still an evil ideology. All your beliefs, emotions, and instincts will not change that.

      • eljay
        January 14, 2016, 7:42 am

        || ivri: … what future Judaism really has without the existence of Israel? The two are now inextricably intertwined. … ||

        You anti-Semitically say they are intertwined because you need Judaism to legitimize your oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” project.

        But Judaism is a religion – a faith – and its survival is not dependent on the existence of a (war) criminal and supremacist state.

        || … Something truly big happened in Jewish history in the return of the nation to a land of its own … ||

        There has never existed a “Land of Jewish” and neither Israel nor Palestine is the land, “historic homeland” or “one true homeland” of every person in the world who happens to:
        – have undergone a religious conversion to Judaism; or
        – be descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.

      • diasp0ra
        January 14, 2016, 9:00 am

        @Ivri

        “Namely, at this historical juncture, as different from previous ones, what future Judaism really has without the existence of Israel?”

        Yes, yes, and the Medieval Christians couldn’t fathom a future for Christianity without the Kingdom of Jerusalem, but it seems like things worked out.

      • YoniFalic
        January 14, 2016, 10:16 am

        As a former Zionist Hans Kohn was important in analyzing the distinction between voluntary/civic nationalism and ethnic/organic nationalism.

        link to books.google.com

        Organic nationalism need not be ethnic, but Zionism is a particularly vicious form of Eastern European ethnic nationalism in its very essence and by its very nature demonstrates that its adherents are Eastern European or Eastern Europeanized to the core and simply have no connection to Palestine whatsoever.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 14, 2016, 10:54 am

        yes i know nationalism need not be ethnic, or even if ones is/was ethnic, it need not be twisted and manipulated for the purpose of colonization. for example, listen to this hogwash and see if you can figure out what brilliant mind came up w/this masterpiece of logic:

        A lot is often left to beliefs, emotions, instincts and alike and expecting to have it all clarified rationally is delusional. Indeed, while frustrating, it can fortunately be turned into a plus – perhaps that`s the secret of it all – just requires the right attitude and proper balancing.

        iow, one could, if one were so inclined, merge the two meanings purposely in order to manipulate the little minds out there. it just requires the right attitude and proper balancing — because anyone can be brainwashed… to expect clarity is delusional!!!

      • YoniFalic
        January 14, 2016, 1:11 pm

        @ivri:

        Something truly big happened in Jewish history in the return of the nation to a land of its own (which, importantly, it is an intrinsic part of its eschatology – the divinely promised one), and there is no going back to the past anymore, in any clear sense.

        When I was in high school, I believed such moronic nonsense. Now such crap makes me feel like vomiting.

        Geary has an appropriate passage on pp. 118-119 in The Myth of Nations, The Medieval Origins of Europe.

        Conclusion: Old Names and New Peoples

        The fourth and fifth centuries saw fundamental changes in the European social and political fabric. In the process, great confederations like those of the Goths disappeared, to re-emerge transformed into kingdoms in Italy and Gaul. Others like the Hunnic Empire or the Vandal kingdom seemed to spring from nowhere, only to vanish utterly in a few generations. Still other, previously obscure peoples, such as the Angles and the Franks, emerged to create enduring polities. But whether enduring or ephemeral, the social realities behind these ethnic names underwent rapid and radical transformation in every case. Whatever a Goth was in the third-century kingdom of Cniva, the reality of a Goth in sixth century Spain was far different, in language, religion, political and social organization, even ancestry. The Franks defeated by Emperor Julian in the fourth century and those who followed Clovis into battle in the sixth century were likewise almost immeasurably distant from each other in every possible way. The same was true of the Romans, whose transformation was no less dramatic in the same period. With the constant shifting of allegiances, intermarriages, transformations, and appropriations, it appears that all that remained constant were names, and these were vessels that could hold different contents at different times.

        Names were renewable resources; they held the potential to convince people of continuity, even if radical discontinuity was the lived reality. Old names, whether of ancient peoples like the Goths or Suebi or of illustrious families such as the Amals, could be reclaimed, applied to new circumstances, and used as rallying cries for new powers. Alternatively, names of small, relatively unimportant groups might be expanded with enormous power. The Franks were the most significant of these. In the third century, they were among the least significant of Rome’s enemies. By the sixth century, the name Frank had eclipsed not only that of Goth, Vandal, and Sueb, but of Roman itself in much of the West.

        Geary’s comment applies just as much to the name “Jew” (יְהוּדִי ,يهودي) as it does to Frank, or perhaps one should say more correctly racist ethnic Eastern Europeans seized upon “Jew” as an ethno-national designation in order ” to convince people of continuity, even if radical discontinuity was the lived reality” and in order to justify and to legitimize horrible crimes against humanity.

      • MHughes976
        January 14, 2016, 3:35 pm

        I’d take ‘nation’ to mean a group of real people treated in certain stories as a) having an affinity with each other and no comparable affinity with anyone else b) glorious c) to be trusted, because affinity promotes cohesion and glory inspires admiration and trust, with political power d) associated with a certain territory.
        The group may not be defined clearly either in extension (who belongs to it) or in intension (what are the crucial characteristics) and it may be that not everyone claimed for the group by the stories would want to be claimed.
        There then arises political debate, often impassioned and often very protracted, about whether the stories are true, but this is of limited importance because political rights are not determined by stories about groups in the past but by facts about individuals in the present, though a few historical facts about how individuals came to be where they are – as refugees, as invaders, as normal participants in a social contract – remain important.

      • Mooser
        January 14, 2016, 4:10 pm

        “… Something truly big happened in Jewish history in the return of the nation to a land of its own …”

        Yes, a truly momentous event. Why, it’s the biggest event in it’s modern history!
        And since it’s strictly “Jewish history” why should it bother anybody else?

    • Mooser
      January 14, 2016, 3:56 pm

      ” The USA is crazy, Japan is weird,”

      “Weird?” I’ll have you know, “RoHa” that in Japan, you can take Jazz organ lessons in schools! Crazy?
      Like a fox!

      • RoHa
        January 14, 2016, 6:17 pm

        But normal?

      • Mooser
        January 14, 2016, 7:34 pm

        “But normal?”

        As normal as blueberry pie. If you’ll excuse the expression I use.

      • RoHa
        January 14, 2016, 8:23 pm

        Blueberry pie isn’t normal round these parts. Nor are daisies in May. Remember, when you communicate with me, you aren’t in Kansas any more.

      • Mooser
        January 15, 2016, 10:28 am

        “you aren’t in Kansas any more.”

        But I’m still just as corny. As Kansas is, (or so I have auscultated) in August.

      • diasp0ra
        January 15, 2016, 12:05 pm

        @Mooser

        Did you find yourself a wonderful guy? :)

      • Mooser
        January 15, 2016, 12:24 pm

        “Did you find yourself a wonderful guy? :)”

        Oh no, not at all. I’ve found myself lacking in a lot of areas.

      • RoHa
        January 15, 2016, 6:44 pm

        Kansas corn may not be as strong as Ziocaine (TM), but take care. You can still get as high as a flag on 26 January.

      • Mooser
        January 15, 2016, 7:38 pm

        “You can still get as high as a flag on 26 January.”

        I’ll be at Mt. Coulee on the 26th., studying the structure. There’s nothing like a dam, you know.

      • RoHa
        January 15, 2016, 9:10 pm

        Certainly nothing acts like a dam or attracts like a dam. My father was a structural engineer, so when we travelled around Australia we always took side trips to look at various dams and how they were built. I found it interesting. But that’s just talking happy talk.

      • Mooser
        January 16, 2016, 1:21 pm

        “Certainly nothing acts like a dam or attracts like a dam.”

        I get a bally high looking at them.

      • RoHa
        January 17, 2016, 7:25 pm

        I think dams are best appreciated if you have a bit of engineering knowledge, but you’ve got to be carefully taught.

      • Mooser
        January 18, 2016, 12:08 pm

        ” but you’ve got to be carefully taught.”

        Yup, there’s nothing like a dam designed by a cock-eyed optimist! Structures like that don’t stay younger than Springsteen, honey buns. They tend to wash right out, like a man from your hair on one of those enchanted evenings. Finale.

      • RoHa
        January 18, 2016, 6:12 pm

        You want to end this conversation? O.k. , I reluct agree. I was stuck like a dope with a thing called hope that we could carry on until we got to Oklahoma, but that is not to be. Ah, well. It nearly was mine.

  21. Mooser
    January 13, 2016, 11:15 pm

    “The secular Jewish identity is something that can last two or three generations, but one can see from various polls that in the long range it does not seem to promise continuity.”

    Oh, “Yonah” if I thought my religion could only attain “continuity” by being imposed by a religious government I’m not sure I’d admit it.
    Sorta begs for the question: “gee if all these other religions can get along without forcing people into them, why can’t we?”

    “Jewish continuity” is our problem, “Yonah” not anybody else’s.

  22. Kay24
    January 14, 2016, 3:09 am

    If only Islamphobes realized that more Islamic nations are the real victims of extremists, and that more Muslims are being killed by these Islamic terrorists. Maybe they do, but it is convenient for them to not mention it.

    link to reuters.com

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