Yet another young American Jew has had it with Israel

US Politics
on 31 Comments

We must admit that we live in the golden age of anti-Zionism. You cannot go out for a cup of coffee these days without running into a Jewish anti-Zionist. It is all the rage, and it should be. If you are a young Zionist on campus you probably feel hunted and stupid and alone, and wrapped/trapped in an atavistic narrative, so that you fantasize about your exit strategy. Some way to walk away without attracting any notice.

Of course, all the Older Jews haven’t twigged to the change. They are in denial, thanks to the news media, which embraces wornout themes of Israel’s promise because that’s the conventional wisdom, and there are so many people like Mort Zuckerman, David Cohen and Gary Ginsberg  in powerful media positions, standing up for Israel, writing speeches for Netanyahu. But that’s a brittle foundation, straight out of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It’s all going to collapse soon, even in the mainstream. Someone like Jake Tapper or Max Fisher is going to step out and make a name for himself. Then Andrea Mitchell will tell us that Zionism is a dirty word. (Even Hadassah is debating that now, old Hadassah.) Wolf Blitzer will act like he never was one. Tom Friedman will write a book about democracy in Israel.

Eric Axelman

I say this because the Portland Press Herald in Maine has a big article about a young Jewish filmmaker doing a film, 70 Years Across the Sea: American Jews and 21st Century Zionism, that is critical of Zionism. Not Israel; Zionism. It’s time for the media to talk about Zionism, we urged four years ago. Well the Portland Press Herald‘s Doug Harlow is doing just that. “Maine director’s film turns a critical eye toward U.S. ideas about Zionism.”

The great things about this article are that it’s in a regional publication without censorship and the Jewish filmmaker/artist is discovering anti-Zionism for himself and owning it in his own way without having to parrot slogans. It’s a good reminder: anti-Zionism isn’t rocket science or doctrinal; it’s both obvious and interpretive.

The article ran a few days ago:

Film director Eric Axelman said part of growing up Jewish in central Maine meant believing that the state of Israel represented Jewish hope, strength and perseverance. The founding of the Jewish state in 1948, following the Holocaust and the war in Europe, was redemption, he said.

But as he got older, Axelman, 27, of Norridgewock said he discovered that Zionism – the Jewish nationalist movement whose goal has been the creation and support of a Jewish national state in Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jews – took on a new, more frightening face.

He said the ancient homeland had come to embody colonialism, military occupation and institutionalized racism and that American Jews were not being told the whole story of what was happening to the Palestinian people.

Axelman is interested in the U.S. Jewish component:

“The film is for general audiences, but I’m also really interested in having Jews re-examine what and how we’re being taught about Israel and trying to investigate what being Jewish means to us living in the 21st century and in a world that is changing so much,” Axelman said in a phone interview. “Not only, as American Jews, are we not being told the truth about Israel, but the most disturbing aspect is the censorship of left wing voices and voices that are critical of Israel in Jewish communities.”

Axelman’s trailer is excellent. It’s all about the American Jewish relationship to what Israel has become. Noam Chomsky is in there. So is Daniel Gordis, sounding very defensive.

Trailer (subtitled) – 70 Years Across the Sea: American Jews and 21st Century Zionism from Eric Axelman on Vimeo.

There are a million young people discovering anti-Zionism these days. Each in his or her own terms or language is seeing the plain reality. Reporter Harlow emphasizes the US Jewish responsibility.

In the film’s trailer, Elias D’Eis, project manager at Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem, a Palestinian nonprofit organization seeking peaceful solutions, says American Jews are the main supporters of the Israeli state and have to say “Occupation is not my Judaism.” Americans have “the magic stick,” he says, they can change the Israeli government.

Intermarriage and assimilation are also part of Axelman’s narrative. His mother isn’t Jewish. I sense this is one of the film’s themes. Certainly it is often easier for those who are intermarried or the children of the intermarried to step outside the Jewish communal conversation about Israel. Though Rachel Sandalow-Ash is also in the movie, the inspiring Open Hillel organizer who has worked to expose censorship in communal spaces.

It used to be much lonelier to adopt these views. Think of when Norman Finkelstein would walk into campus halls to screams of abuse. But we really are living in the golden age of Jewish anti-Zionism. One day we will celebrate this moment, but right now there’s a lot of work to be done.

Axelman’s movie is coming out in 2018, he will take it to festivals. I hope he gets funding. Here’s his GoFundMe page!

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31 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    April 30, 2017, 1:44 pm

    i wish we didn’t have to wait until 2018 to watch it. hats off to Eric Axelman.

  2. JoeSmack
    April 30, 2017, 5:28 pm

    No, we are living in an age of Jewish criticism of Israel. There is almost no meaningful challenge of the notion that Jews constitute a national group with racialized ties to a foreign, settler-colonial state. Indeed, such critiques continue to be sidelined. It is important to recognize this difference if we want to move forward.

  3. JWalters
    April 30, 2017, 6:51 pm

    Just as the Southern slave owners lived in constant anxiety about a slave revolt, I’m guessing the Israelis live in fear of a U.S. media revolt. I had a dream ….

    In a quiet corner of the MSNBZ lunchroom, cell phones turned off –

    O’Donnell: I’m getting really tired of being mocked as a Oligarchy mouthpiece.

    Rachel: I am too. But what are we gonna do?

    O’Donnell: If we could get a bunch of reporters on the air at the same time …

    Rachel: And it would have to be live air, or they’ll just cut it out.

    O’Donnell: And there would have to be a lot of us.

    Rachel: Yeah, they knocked Dan Rather from the CBS anchor chair, no problem. Nobody’s safe.

    O’Donnell: Still, when something breaks, I’m glad you’re in that seat. You’re ready to go.

    Rachel: A lot of us are. But nobody wants to be a wasted martyr. There has to be a real chance.

    O’Donnell: And then there’s the issue of what we’d lead with. We’d need to cut to the core immediately. And it’s a complex story.

    Rachel: The financial control has to be in it.

    O’Donnell: And the manufactured wars.

    Rachel: How much would we tell about MSNBZ?

    O’Donnell: We have to tell everything.

  4. eljay
    April 30, 2017, 7:13 pm

    Yet another young American Jew has had it with Israel

    He may have had it with Israel, but there’s no indication that he’s had it with or given up on religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

    Maine director’s film turns a critical eye toward U.S. ideas about Zionism:

    … Israel was forced into a war of survival when it “captured its historical highlands,” Oded Ravivi wrote in an opinion piece for The Jerusalem Post in September. The land was legally ownerless at the time, he said. “No other nation on earth has more right to Judea than the people of Judah, aka the Jews,” Ravivi wrote.

    Axelman agrees to a point, noting that Jews didn’t have much of a choice but to move to Palestine … The Jews are a Middle Eastern people originally, he said, but it’s the militarized aggression of the occupation forces that scare him. …

    Those are the sounds made by a “liberal Zionist” who believes in a “kinder, gentler” religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine. Nothing new here.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 30, 2017, 7:51 pm

      to be fair eljay, you’re not quoting axelman directly. ie, did he say “i agree” with your point? or is that how the journalist framed it? did the journalist even reference Oded Ravivi, the chief foreign envoy for the YESHA Council and mayor of Efrat, or his quote in the jerusalem post article “Mr. President: The Israeli settlements are legal” in his discussion w/Axelman? what is ravivi’s quote doing in an article about axelman and his movie? http://www.jpost.com/printarticle.aspx?id=468596

      Over half a million Israelis currently live in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. This is an irreversible fact.

      No Israeli government could feasibly ethnically cleanse hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from their homes, schools and businesses.

      These are not makeshift forts as the word “settlement” indicates, rather they are established towns and cities with shopping malls, high-rise buildings, factories and a large university.

      clearly, the Israeli government could feasibly ethnically cleanse hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from their homes, schools and businesses…. as they have already done that! so why is this article even brought into the discussion?

      based on that segment of the discussion, the only quote of axelman’s was ” “unbelievable oppression” “.

      • eljay
        April 30, 2017, 8:50 pm

        || Annie Robbins: to be fair eljay, you’re not quoting axelman directly. … ||

        From what I can gather, Mr. Axelman was raised a Zionist but now has concerns about:
        – Israel’s colonialism, militarism and racism;
        – the occupation and the settlements;
        – the censorship of Jewish criticism of Israel; and
        – Israel’s increasing nationalism and international isolation.

        Even after a quick google, I couldn’t find any indication that Mr. Axelman:
        – objects to the religion-supremacist “Jewish State” construct;
        – favours reforming Israel into a secular and democratic Israeli state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally; and
        – wishes to see Israel honour its obligations under international law (incl. RoR) and be held accountable for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

        I don’t see how this makes him any different from a “liberal Zionist”.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 30, 2017, 9:48 pm

        couldn’t find any indication that Mr. Axelman:
        – objects to the religion-supremacist “Jewish State” construct;

        ok, and any indication he supports a “religion-supremacist “Jewish State” construct;”?

        or is absence of something the only indiction required to be labeled a zionist? any indication he doesn’t favour reforming Israel into a secular and democratic Israeli state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally? or again, is absence of reference the only indiction required to label him a zionist?

        any indication he doesn’t wish to see Israel honour its obligations under international law (incl. RoR) and be held accountable for its past and on-going (war) crimes?

      • Maghlawatan
        May 1, 2017, 6:57 am

        Yesha is not irreversible. Even Israel is reversible. Events, dear boy, events.

      • eljay
        May 1, 2017, 7:13 am

        || Annie Robbins @ April 30, 2017, 9:48 pm ||

        The only thing Mr. Axelman appears to object to is Israel’s militarism, colonialism and racism. So as far as I can tell he’s no different from a “liberal Zionist” like jon s and, therefore, I don’t see what all the fuss is about him.

        If Mr. Axelman actually does favour ending “Jewish State” and requiring Israel to honour RoR, etc., I’d be happy to read about it.

      • pabelmont
        May 1, 2017, 9:54 pm

        We all know that Israel DID ethnically cleanse 750,000 Palestinians in 1948, Roughly speaking, give or take, that’s the number of Jewish-Israelis now living in oPt (including the region called East Jerusalem, of course). So we know as a matter of long-established fact that Israel/Zionism are able and sometimes willing and even eager to expel large ethnic bloks.

        But they expelled non-Jews in the Nakba, And as many people say, GoI would be very, very, very unlikely to decide (willingly) to expel that many Jews as a blok. And the removal of settlers would indeed be seen (by Jewish Israels) as expelling them, not for a minute as conforming to international law (or to a treaty).

        An interesting question: would Israel ever remove all or a large number of the Jewish settlers unwillingly — say as a result of pressure from sanctions? Or would it prefer some kind of “nuclear option”?

      • talknic
        May 2, 2017, 2:56 am

        @ pabelmont May 1, 2017, 9:54 pm

        “… would Israel ever remove all or a large number of the Jewish settlers unwillingly — say as a result of pressure from sanctions? Or would it prefer some kind of “nuclear option” “

        The nuclear option taking out who?

        ‘unclear option’ is their choice of weapon. Keep the legal ball in the air for as long as possible. Until there is a deal or a resolution, continue settling, continue bombing, continue breaking the law

    • helen4yemen
      April 30, 2017, 10:50 pm

      I am Middle Eastern and I am here to state clearly that no Ashkenazi is. What is their proof? They have none! DNA is against that claim since all the Ashkenazi score as as high as 99.9% European and 0% Middle Eastern ancestry. Why can’t we all just accept who we are instead of pretending to be a people we are not?

    • yonah fredman
      May 1, 2017, 1:36 am

      Eljay- you’re very doctrinaire and conceivably in a blog comments section a doctrinaire person is required to establish whether the words fit the orthodox doctrine.
      But politics is also people and people are on journeys.
      One item in the news was the israeli govt blocking Palestinians who were seeking to participate in a joint Palestinian israeli mourning for those killed by the conflict. Your reaction, I’d predict, is: If those Israelis are not orthodox (to your or morality’s right beliefs), they’re religious supremacists and are automatically disqualified. But it is a process involving human beings.
      My gut reaction to axelman is to attack him because he is an enemy to israel. But I too can be seen as an enemy to israel. My point: besides the doctrine there are people involved.

      • eljay
        May 1, 2017, 8:44 am

        || yonah fredman: Eljay- you’re very doctrinaire … ||

        Says the unrepentant Zionist. That’s funny. :-)

        || … One item in the news was the israeli govt blocking Palestinians who were seeking to participate in a joint Palestinian israeli mourning for those killed by the conflict. Your reaction, I’d predict, is: If those Israelis are not orthodox (to your or morality’s right beliefs), they’re religious supremacists and are automatically disqualified. … ||

        Not surprisingly, your prediction would be incorrect. If Palestinians and Israelis have agreed to mourn together – whether in Israel or in not-Israel – neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis should be prevented from attending the gathering.

        || … My gut reaction to axelman is to attack him because he is an enemy to israel. … ||

        Mr. Axelman receives praise for being anti-supremacist (anti-Zionist).
        – I question whether there’s sufficient evidence to suggest that he merits the praise.
        – You instinctively want to attack him for not being sufficiently supremacist.

        Thanks for clarifying just how different you and I are.

      • Mooser
        May 1, 2017, 11:33 am

        “My point: besides the doctrine there are people involved.”

        You know, you’ve got a point, “yonah”, “there are people involved”

        But not enough of them to do what Zionism wants, and nobody sees any more coming, rather, for many reasons, less.

        As “Mayhem” reminded us, we haven’t even made up for the losses of the Holocaust. We may have to downsize.

    • Maghlawatan
      May 1, 2017, 6:51 am

      I think American non Orthodox Jews are more likely to become disillusioned with Israel. The US still has an education system. IsraEl doesn’t. English speakers are more likely to fall out of love than Hebrew speakers because of exposure to reality. Within Israel secular Jews are most likely. Mizrahi and Orthodox/Haredi less likely . They have most to lose.

      • RoHa
        May 2, 2017, 5:48 am

        “The US still has an education system.”

        Don’t tempt me like that.

    • David Samel
      May 1, 2017, 9:38 am

      eljay, with respect, I also think you’re being unfair. Axelman is at the forefront of the younger generation’s disenchantment with Israel. His film is a huge project that has the potential to change the opinions of many and significantly move the discourse in the right direction. His only statement that you find objectionable is that after the devastating war, the few remaining battered and bruised European Jews had no choice but to move to Palestine. From this you conjure support for an oppressive Jewish supremacist system. Such criticism acts to discourage people like Axelman from their activism. He is obviously sincere and committed, and even if you are correct that he is protective of his “right” as a Jew to superior rights in Israel/Palestine over indigenous inhabitants (an enormous IF since Annie is absolutely right that there is no evidence to support it), he should be persuaded to complete his journey rather than rejected as impure.

      I can understand the impatience and irritation at so-called “liberal Zionists,” but there is a huge spectrum of LZ opinion with some far more objectionable than others. You are not only speculating that Axelman is one, you are lumping him in with the worst of the lot, all on the basis of a single, fairly innocuous statement about post-war European Jewry. Give the guy a break.

      • eljay
        May 1, 2017, 11:05 am

        || David Samel @ May 1, 2017, 9:38 am ||

        A few thoughts:
        – Mr. Axelman is being praised as an anti-Zionist, but from what I have been able to gather he is a liberal Zionist. I’m happy to be proven wrong, but I don’t see what’s “unfair” about my understanding that he – like jon s – is a liberal Zionist.
        – I agree that Mr. Axelman should complete his journey to anti-Zionist, at which time I won’t question the praise he receives for being one. (Same goes for every liberal Zionist, including jon s.)
        – The only liberal Zionist to whom I directly compared Mr. Axelman is jon s. I don’t think jon s is “the worst of the lot” – do you?

      • Annie Robbins
        May 1, 2017, 1:13 pm

        only thing Mr. Axelman appears to object to…..from what I have been able to gather

        by “appears” and “gather”, do you mean, primarily by what he has not stated, or based on:

        His only statement that you find objectionable is that after the devastating war, the few remaining battered and bruised European Jews had no choice but to move to Palestine.

        so, would david be correct in assuming: From this you conjure support for an oppressive Jewish supremacist system ?

        or was there something (anything) else he said, specifically? or again, is your opinion primarily based by what he has not stated.

      • eljay
        May 1, 2017, 1:26 pm

        || Annie Robbins @ May 1, 2017, 1:13 pm ||

        Annie, to the best of my knowledge the only things he HAS said make him at best a liberal Zionist. So, naturally, I assume he’s a liberal Zionist.

        Your opinion that he is an anti-Zionist seems to be based on things he hasn’t said.

        But maybe he has said things that make him an anti-Zionist and I haven’t come across them yet. Fair enough. If/when I do, I will gladly stand corrected.

        Until then – to the best of my knowledge based on the things he has said – he’s a liberal Zionist.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 1, 2017, 4:37 pm

        to the best of my knowledge the only things he HAS said make him at best a liberal Zionist.

        ok, so according to you someone who thinks israel embodies colonialism, military occupation and institutionalized racism is at best a zionist. i guess that’s your default position unless proven otherwise.

        Your opinion that he is an anti-Zionist seems to be based on things he hasn’t said.

        you might have a point had i expressed that opinion, but since i didn’t — you’re wrong. and unlike you, i didn’t quote some yesha overlord and then claim he “sounds” like he believed in a “kinder, gentler” religion-supremacist “Jewish State” and determine he was a zionist.

        i guess i don’t have any particular bone to pick with him based on what he said and have no need to make conjectures he supports an oppressive Jewish supremacist system. i liked what i saw in the movie and am glad he’s out there doing his thing.

        you can take the last word.

      • eljay
        May 1, 2017, 6:28 pm

        || Annie Robbins: ok, so according to you someone who thinks israel embodies colonialism, military occupation and institutionalized racism is at best a zionist. … ||

        No, that’s according to you.

        According to me, I know that Mr. Axelman opposes Israeli militarism, colonialism and racism. If I also knew that he…
        – objected to the religion-supremacist “Jewish State” construct;
        – favoured reforming Israel into a secular and democratic Israeli state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally; and
        – wished to see Israel honour its obligations under international law (incl. RoR) and be held accountable for its past and on-going (war) crimes,
        …I would agree that he is an anti-Zionist.

        Since I do not know these things because they are not stated here and I couldn’t confirm them using Google, all I know for certain is that he is a liberal Zionist.

        I really don’t know why it should bother you so much that I think he’s a liberal Zionist based on the only information that’s available to me.

        || … you can take the last word. ||

  5. RoHa
    April 30, 2017, 9:02 pm

    “Of course, all the Older Jews haven’t twigged to the change.”

    What? All “Older Jews” have their eyes closed? Not one of them has seen what is happening?

  6. Huasquero
    May 1, 2017, 2:42 am

    Any ‘historical’ ties we have with the geographical region are based primarily on hearsay. At least for a majority of Jews. This is borne out by genetic data. This in itself does not mean the concept of Judaism is meaningless. What people believe is after all the basis for identity. The Zionists denial of the existence of Palestinians as a people is in this sense pathetic. Jews ought to appreciate the power of ideas and imagination as the driving force of history. I am not surprised that so many members of our community are turning away from Zionism, with its disgusting ties to Jewish messianism and fundamentalism and its reliance on colonialist strategy and language. What does Israel really have to offer in terms of ideals? More technological development, hard work, more concrete structures covering the land, more disastrous wars? This is not after all what the mythological Jewish soul yearns for. We are reaching a stage in human history when the narrow ethnic identities become increasingly useless and we will have to forge new identities based on solidarity and on our ethical awareness. This is an entirely foreseeable development and it never ceases to amaze me that the ‘elites’ within the Israeli national project have been so shortsighted as to overlook the fact that each generation must forge its identities on the ruins of its predecessors. Therefore, the less we leave by way of impediment the better. Except that the lies and deceit and manipulation of truth and injustices committed against Palestinians leave an enormous debt on the shoulders of the next generation. That too could have been predicted.

  7. YoniFalic
    May 1, 2017, 5:21 am

    Axelman is still mentally imprisoned within the fake propaganda history, which has no connection to the facts.

    [Example 1] He said the ancient homeland had come to embody colonialism, military occupation and institutionalized racism and that American Jews were not being told the whole story of what was happening to the Palestinian people.

    [Example 2] Israel was forced into a war of survival when it “captured its historical highlands,” Oded Ravivi wrote in an opinion piece for The Jerusalem Post in September. The land was legally ownerless at the time, he said. “No other nation on earth has more right to Judea than the people of Judah, aka the Jews,” Ravivi wrote.

    Axelman agrees to a point, noting that Jews didn’t have much of a choice but to move to Palestine, having faced “unbelievable oppression” in Europe, and America wasn’t taking Jewish refugees after the war. The Jews are a Middle Eastern people originally, he said, but it’s the militarized aggression of the occupation forces that scare him.

    It’s time to start to understand the real history of ancient Judeans and modern Jews.

    Jews (especially Ashkenazim) have never been smarter than the non-Jews among whom they lived. They simply had certain advantages that like greater literacy and numeracy became operative in the early phases of modernization and that resulted from the Jewish role in pre-Modern Europe. As those advantages vanish, the Jewish gentile gap rapidly closes.

    Medieval Jewry brought an invention to the world that dwarfs the cultic importance of the various forms of Judaic religion from the Persian imperial period through today’s modern Rabbinic Judaism.

    First we must understand what Islam is. Fragmentary textual, epigraphic, and archaeological evidence indicates that Judean Christianity spread from Southern Palestine into Hijaz. Judean Christianity differs from Constantinian Christianity in that Jesus is Messiah but not divine.

    The names of Muhammad, his father, and his grandfather appear to be more like titles of authority in a religious community than like true names. This community seems to have observed and guarded the teachings of Jesus as it transitioned from Aramaic to Arabic.

    The Islamic religious history is self-contradictory, late, and non-consistent with texts closer to the start of Islamic rule in Syro-Palestine. Patricia Crone and Yehuda Nevo have been pioneers in analysing early contemporary religious history texts, epigraphy, archaeologic information, and numismatic data.

    The early historical Caliphs seem to have origins from the Roman-Byzantine foederati tribes that served as mercenaries for the Byzantine Empire in the S. East of the Roman-Byzantine Orient. Judean Christianity began to evolve into an Arab religion in Hijaz while the Byzantine empire became overextended and retrenched by pulling back from Syro-Palestine. The foederati took over rule of the region and in their earliest period served as an autonomous tributary government to the Roman-Byzantine government.

    Because religious and political authority were mixed, the new political entity needed its own religion, which would be acceptable to the populations of the Arabian, Syro-Palestinian, and Mesopotamian regions of the new polity.

    The political economic history of the transition from classical antiquity to Middle Ages is complex. We see a mixing of evolved Christian Judean ideas, concepts from the Talmudic academies in Mesopotamia, and Irano-Mesopotamian legal theory. The ultimate result was a separation of politics and economics or business. This separation did not exist in earlier polities. Islamic commercial networks expanded eastward by means of a common faith, developing sharia as a Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), and an early form of modern banking.

    [As the nascent Islamic polity became richer and more powerful, it developed the standard Islamic religious history as a legitimization narrative. This narrative is not history in any objective sense but should be studied as an historical phenomenon.]

    Muslim merchants could not bring these developments to the West, but Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and N. African Judaic communities were well-positioned to develop the new business ideas and forms to bring them to Europe from Egypt via ship to France; from Morocco across Gibraltar into Spain, France, and the British Isles; from the Peloponessus and Attica into the Balkans; and from Pontus through the Caucasus into the Ukraine and E. Europe.

    The disproportionate wealth of Mesopotamian Jewry facilitated the enlistment of non-Mesopotamian Judaic communities as junior partners until the Mongol invasions.

    [At a later time period we see a similar process of recruitment of North African, Middle Eastern, S. Arabian, and Indian Jewish communities in the business endeavors of European Jews in conjunction with European colonialism.]

    As halakhah (Jewish sharia) became a universal commercial code, we see the crystallization of Rabbinic Judaism especially in the completion of a predictable calenderical system, better accounting techniques, efficient human trafficking (brought to Judaic religion by Phoenician converts of antiquity) along with associated medical or religious practices, and highly efficient highly extractive or exploitative banking practices especially attractive to rulers in Germano-Slav regions. Associated with these developments (identified by Botticini & Eckstein in The Chosen Few) is Talmudization of Judaic communities (identified by Talya Fishman in Becoming the People of the Talmud) and creation of Yiddish (identified by Paul Wexler in The Two-Tiered Relexification of Yiddish).

    WHILE JUDEANS PASSED ALMOST ENTIRELY IN ISLAM (SOME STUCK WITH CHRISTIANITY), JUDAIC COMMUNITIES DESCENDED FROM CONVERT POPULATIONS CREATED

    1) GLOBALIZED BUSINESS NETWORKS THAT WERE UNSTIFLED BY CENTRAL ECONOMIC DIRECTION AND

    2) MONETARY CONCENTRATIONS THAT MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR EUROPE TO LEAVE THE MIDDLE AGES AND ENTER THE RENAISSANCE FOLLOWED BY MODERNIZATION THROUGH NEW SCIENTIFIC AND POLITICAL IDEAS AND STRUCTURES.

    There are substantial differences in the processes of the Talmudization/Mesopotamization:

    1) of Ibero-Berber or N. African Judaic communities and

    2) of Central and E. European Judaic communities.

    Talya Fishman discusses the some of the differences, but never seems fully to analyze the complete situation. Communities of type (2) were mostly using Latin, Greek, or other European languages and were isolated from Palestinian and Mesopotamian Judaism. Communities of type (1) represented a fusion of ancient Greek and Phoenician convert populations and while divergent from Palestinian and Mesopotamian Judaisms, these communities were not quite so isolated as the European Judaic communities were. The Masoretes seem to have been active in both Egypt and Palestine and to have applied Alexandrian textual apparatus to Hebrew scripture. Saadya Gaon was a major transition figure in the creation of Rabbinic Judaism and was active in Egypt, Palestine, and Mesopotamia. There is no comparable figure in the European Judaic communities although one might argue than the Tibbonides played a similar role albeit in a much smaller way.

    IN CREATING THE AFORESAID MONETARY CONCENTRATIONS EUROPEAN JEWS BECAME DE FACTO (WEST AND WEST CENTRAL EUROPE) AND DE JURE (EAST AND EAST CENTRAL EUROPE) PART OF THE 2ND ESTATE (CONSISTING OF TITLED ARISTORCRATS, NOBLES, AND CLOSE USUALLY JEWISH COLLABORATORS).

    SUCH IS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF RABBINIC JUDAISM (FIRST IDENTIFIED BY SOMBART ALTHOUGH VON TREITSCHKE SEEMS TO HAVE A PARTIAL UNDERSTANDING) OF WHICH ALL PEOPLE DESCENDED FROM MEDIEVAL JEWISH COMMUNITIES CAN BE PROUD, but the minds of meathead Zios are so rotted by their sick and perverted belief system that they put their efforts

    1) into antiquated 19th century style white racist genocidal European settler colonialism and

    2) into stealing the history or cultural product of the Greco-Roman Judean ancestors of Palestinians.

    Judaism and Jewishness have become so detestable because of Israel, Zionism, and Zios that no one even bothers to understand the real history of Judaism and the valuable contributions that Judaism has made to historical development. Today for scholars, progressives, and for decent human beings in general there can be no more noble calling than working to bury Israel and Zionism in the garbage dump of history.

    To reiterate, Jews had an advantage at the beginning of modernization because they tended to be more literate and numerate than most of the peoples among whom they lived. That advantage has almost entirely vanished at this point although I think there may be a residual musical advantage — especially in playing the violin, an esoteric skill that Armand Emmanuel Sophie Septimanie de Vignerot du Plessis, 5th Duke of Richelieu, 6th Duke of Fronsac, Count of Chinon, encouraged while he was governor-general of New Russia.

    In managing New Russia the Count de Chinon made a major change in the Czarist Empire because in dealing with a lack of administrative personnel, he placed Jews in administrative roles from which the Czarist Empire normally excluded them. This decision on the part of the Count de Chinon, who one must remember was a French Royalist and certainly not interested in Jewish emancipation, has effects among the descendants of the Jewish communities of New Russia to this day. New Russian Jews responded with a vengeance to the love of the Count de Chinon for certain types of music — especially the violin.

    I mention the Count de Chinon to assist understanding of the organizational structure of pre-Modern Europe, in which the Jews as untitled members de facto or de jure of the 2nd Estate provide the main commercial-financial stratum throughout Europe while the titled nobles/aristocrats served as an administrative political military stratum throughout Europe. Members of both strata often relocated throughout European regions with relative ease while maintaining the same role/job function. These two strata made use of scholarly strata one for gentiles and one for Jews. Occasionally there was some overlap in these two strata as a Jewish scholar converted to Christianity and became a notable scholar among gentiles. (The other job-change also occurs but is rarer.) The pre-Modern titles of these two scholarly strata generally continue in use to this day.

    • pabelmont
      May 1, 2017, 10:12 pm

      “Jews (especially Ashkenazim) have never been smarter than the non-Jews among whom they lived. They simply had certain advantages that like greater literacy and numeracy became operative in the early phases of modernization and that resulted from the Jewish role in pre-Modern Europe. As those advantages vanish, the Jewish gentile gap rapidly closes.”

      I think I’d agree and amplify:

      When I was a kid (1950s, San Francisco), an awful lot of up-and-coming musicians (pianists, violinists) seemed to be Jewish. And the smartest kids in my high-school (as measured by college entrance tests) were also Jewish. My mom always said it had more to do with emigrant work-ethic than brains as such.

      Now the kids in my San Francisco high-school seem overwhelmingly of East Asian backgrounds, and I’d bet the reason is at least in part what my mom said: where the work ethic is these days. (Perhaps also demographics of course in SF.) And the students in New York City’s three great music conservatories (Juilliard, Manhattan, and Mannes) are overwhelmingly East Asian (and VERY VERY good pianists and violinists they are, too!).

      • Mooser
        May 2, 2017, 11:51 am

        “pabelmont” that’s all very nice (BTW what price Janine Jansen?) but let’s talk about what really counts. How many Jewish jazz organists are there? Not that many.

    • JWalters
      May 2, 2017, 9:33 pm

      Thanks for countering the myths with FACTS.

  8. Ossinev
    May 3, 2017, 10:59 am

    @JWalters
    “Thanks for countering the myths with FACTS”

    Speaking of facts and myths the lunatics on the left (LOL) in the centre (LOL) and on the Right in Zioland are busy spewing out the alternative Zioreality and anyone anywhere anyhow disagreeing with them well they are just straightforward Untermenschen anti – semites don`t you know.

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/UNESCO-vote-denying-Israeli-ties-to-Jerusalem-meaningless-says-minister-489648

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