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  • Hell just froze over: the New York Times runs an article saying Zionism is racist
    • "“Hophmi” do you think “Yoni” will “fall away” like Phil Weiss?"

      Fall away? He renounced his Judaism. He hates the religion. He's been quite clear about that. There's nothing for him to fall away from.

      “Hophmi” wouldn’t it be less effort, and achieve the same result, if you simply used the “fall away” comment, (which you have never bettered, it was a masterpiece!) and plugged in new names, as required? Instead of writing essentially the same comment over and over."

      Phil is a lot more interesting to me than Yoni is, but Yoni fits into a certain pattern of Jews who completely broke with their faith, and treat it much like ex-smokers treat cigarettes - with extreme loathing (I would say self-loathing). Every minority group contain folks like this; they're people who internalize the bigotry directed toward them and regurgitate it toward their own. What's more interesting is the reaction of other Mondoweissers toward Yoni. Predictably, it's the same acceptance that BDS proponents show toward other overt antisemites like him. Uncritical acceptance.

      “He’s, of course, neither a scholar of religion or a scholar of genetics”

      "You are right , and he’s never claimed to be those things. He is, however, a well educated person who grew up in Israel, participated in Zionist life, and knows the score."

      Well, there are certainly many books by, you know, geneticists and scholars of religion, on these topics, so it's interesting to me that none of you seem to have time to look at them, but endless time to quote political extremists with no demonstrated expertise in the fields that they're writing about.

  • Netanyahu's speech and the American Jewish condition
    • This analysis is nothing new. It is typical of Phil's writing, which suggests, as it always does, the Phil has internalized anti-Jewish hatred, and like those secularist Jews in Europe who looked down upon their brethren or converted to Christianity to escape their Judaism, Phil adopts the classic tropes of the self-hater. The key point here is that he quotes Gilad Atzmon's views, shared by some commentators on his site, that Jews control the world, ostensibly to illustrate the challenge of criticizing the Jewish community, and he missed the irony, which is that his critique amounts to the same claim.

      There are, of course, the mistakes. Zionism was not a response to the elite Jewish condition. It was a response to antisemitism of non-Jewish elites, and the failure of those non-Jewish elites, even in a time of emancipation and enlightenment, to offer basic protection for their Jewish populations. Those who believed in it most strongly were not European elites, but Eastern European peasants, who wished to shuck off perpetual discrimination and poverty at the hands of Christian brethren and to exchange it for a better life.

      There are several clear American national security interests in maintaining a strong alliance with Israel. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and more importantly, it is only stable country in the region. It is the only one that reflects anything approaching American values. It is the only one where people can speak freely, and do. It is the only one where democratic elections are routine, rather than American-engineered one-time events. It is only place where gay people are not kept in the closet or thrown off of the buildings and stoned to death. It is the only place in the Middle East where Americans can go to conduct joint research in any number of fields, including military technology. It is the only place America can count on, and for that reason alone, the amount of change possible because of a tiff between two leaders is extraordinarily limited. America doesn't have other choices in the Middle East, and common sense, not to mention polling, shows it again and again. Who is America going to ally itself with? Iran? A country that brings people out into the street to wish it death? Saudi Arabia? A country where women don't drive? It won't happen, because if it did, America would be a worse place and a less great country.

      It is astounding that anyone could look at the Middle East today and conclude that any meaningful share of the problems there are traceable to Israel. It is nonsense. Sunni and Shia Muslims do not war with one another because of Israel. Libya is not in pieces because of Israel. The radical clerics that constitute Al-Azhar University in Egypt are not there because of Israel. ISIS does not exist because of Israel. Bashar al-Assad isn't murdering his own citizens because of Israel. Omar al-Bashir didn't commit genocide because of Israel. These things are happening because the places in which they are happening have been troubled societies for a long time, and this is how they are choosing to resolve their problems. And in too many cases, to justify the horrors that occur there, they blame others. And unfortunately, there are many, many more of them than there are Jews in this world, and if you repeat the big lie enough, it has an effect. Because people in the region are seen as victims of Western machinations, left-wingers have picked up on these themes, and they too repeat them. They're wrong, and history will be brutal to them for it, just as it will be brutal to them for opposing US intervention in Bosnia and Serbia and for favoring the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

      As he has forever, Phil offers nothing but anecdotes (read: stereotypes) to support his analysis. Jews are all over the media, and this is why Israel comes in for less criticism than it should. Except, of course, when it is criticized. By Jews like Anthony Lewis. By non-Jews like Charlie Reese. By Jews like Tom Friedman. By non-Jews like Zbigniew Brzezinski. But the media is Jewish for Phil, because the stereotype serves his political outlook and feeds his insecurity with power and supposed privilege.

      Phil compares treatment of Jews to treatment of Catholics. He fails to mention, of course, that there are more than five times as many Catholics as Jews in the United States, several dozen times internationally, and financially, the Catholic Church is second to no institution in opulent wealth, some of it brazenly stolen from elsewhere around the world, including the Jewish community.

      He posits a Jewish establishment that he says took the place of the WASP establishment, a nonsense point that he can't begin to prove, and that is laughable given the stark difference in size, influence, and history between the two. He says Jews are here and Jews are there, and then he blames them for a lack of diversity in the same breath as he notes that the same institutions have fostered diversity. So when he can attribute negative characteristics to this supposed Establishment, he does so. When he talks about positive developments, he does what he can to make sure and not give the Jewish community he says is so elite any credit for them.

      Self-hatred is a disease. It is a sad disease borne of many generations of persecution, but it is a disease. And Phil is afflicted with it, as many Jews have been in the past. And it is usually the self-haters who cause the worst damage to the Jewish community, precisely because of how small it is.

      American Jewry, and the American-Israel relationship will survive the Phils of this world. American Jews, long a positive force in American society, will continue to be, far into the future, and Israel will endure, far into the future. The Phils will fall away, as they always do.

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