Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2473 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

An Israeli history teacher,long-time activist on the Israeli Left.

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  • Beinart's Jewish double-bind: Support oppression or you're out of the family
    • Just to clarify a point: I posted the link to Alan Johnson's article because I thought it had some good points.
      However it seems to me that ringing the Anti-Semitism bell in all these cases may be overkill: both statements , about moving Israel to America, and about Hitler being a Zionist, may be equally idiotic, but not necessarily Anti-Semitic. We should be careful about crying wolf.

    • Regarding the developments in the British Labour Party:

      link to haaretz.com

      An excerpt:

      Anti-Semitic anti-Zionism is not “criticism” of the occupation and the settlements. It is so much more. It cruelly distorts the very meaning of Israel and Zionism until both can be forced into the categories, tropes, images and ideas of classical anti-Semitism. In short, that which "the Jew" once was, a collective malevolence, the Jewish state now is. The old racist ideas about “the Jew” as an evil force, full of blood lust, all-controlling but hidden, and the only obstacle to a better, purer, and more spiritual world, can be thrown at the Jewish state.
      Anti-Semitic anti-Zionism has a political program: to abolish one state in the world, the little Jewish one formed after the Holocaust.
      Anti-Semitic anti-Zionism has a global social movement: to boycott, divest from and sanction one state in the world, Israel.
      Anti-Semitic anti-Zionism has a discourse: not a rational criticism of particular Israeli policies but a spectral representation of Israel as the essence of evil, a ”Racist-Imperialist-Apartheid.”

  • 'Anti-Zionism = anti-semitism' is a formal logical fallacy
  • Segregation of Palestinians and Jews in maternity wards becomes an issue in Israel
    • silamcuz,
      Just like noone on the medical staff can refuse to treat a patient because of the patient's race, religion, ethnicity, politics, gender, sexual orientation, so, too, a patient should not be able to refuse treatment because of the identity of the staff member. Such considerations have no place in medical treatment, and your comment reveals that you're a bigot.

    • Marnie,
      Again, health insurance in Israel is universal and mandatory, in the sense that all citizens ,regardless of ethnicity, are covered, by law.
      I never said that all's well, I said the sytem is far from perfect and pointed out some of the problems.

    • amigo,
      The topic here was health insurance in israel, which you've diverted to yet another personal attack. Oh, well..
      I'm sorry that I've come across as "hollow". (Truly sorry, not being cynical).
      I'm not going to try to describe how you come across. After all, we're not involved in a competition over knowledge, intelligence, experience and so forth. And you've volunteered very little information about yourself.

    • Marnie,
      Here are the dictionary definitions (Webster):

      Universal =done or experienced by everyone : existing or available for everyone

      Mandatory= required by a law or rule

      So neither "universal" nor "mandatory" mean "free".

      Every Israeli citizen (universal) is required by law (mandatory ) to have health insurance. I didn't say it's free. And I'm well aware of the problems -inequality, over-crowding, long waiting lists and more. The system is far from perfect.

    • chocopie,
      I don't know about the boy you saw, and why his cleft lip had not been repaired but in Israel there is universal, mandatory, health insurance.
      The system, is ,of course not devoid of problems, but all citizens are covered and cleft lips are repaired routinely.

  • Goldman Sachs is funding Hebron settlers
    • MaxNarr,
      The point is that if the settlers can reclaim property owned by Jews before the 1929 massacre, why shouldn't the Palestinians be able to reclaim property that they owned before 1948? In other words: right of return. It can't work only in one direction, and not the other.

  • Against Balance: Thoughts on teaching Israel/Palestine
    • With Passover upon us, I'm extremely busy, and will keep this brief, not answering all the points raised :

      eljay,
      Essentially, I believe that the Jewish people have the right to establish and maintain a Jewish state in part of our historic homeland, same as other nations have nation-states in their homelands, and that the state must be a democracy , in which non-Jews enjoy equal rights, and must strive for peace with the Palestinian people and with the entire Arab world.

      As to whether or not Israel is a democracy, the "Democracy Index " lists Israel as a "flawed democracy", and I can agree with that:
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      In this report Israel receives a fairly high score:

      link to freedomhouse.org

      bryan,
      I'd just like to point out that Jewish history can't be taught detached from world history, as if the Jews were on a different planet. So Zionism can't be studied without the rise of Nationalism in the 19th century, the Holocaust has to be studied in the context of the rise of fascism and WW2, and so forth. Even the 2nd Temple period should be approached in the context of the Hellenistic world and the Roman empire. So you're incorrect in saying that I only teach Jewish history.

      A happy and kosher Passover to all who celebrate!

    • eljay,
      Apology accepted.

      In your view, is Japan Japanese-supremacist?
      Is Portugal Portuguese-supremacist?
      Is Russia Russian-supremacist?

      The world is full of nation-states, states in which there is a dominant culture, a dominant language and in some cases a significant religious component. If those states are fortunate enough to be democratic, the minorities are respected and enjoy equal rights as citizens.

      That's why I asked whether you object to all nation-states , or just to the Jewish one.

      talknic,
      You are aware of the fact that around 25% of Israel's citizens are non-Jewish?

    • eljay,(continuing previous comment, I got interrupted...)

      If the Japanese can have a Japanese state, and the Turks can have a Turkish state, and so forth, why can't the Jews have a Jewish state?
      As to your preference for secular states, the reality here in the region is that all the states, not just Israel have a marked religious identity, The Palestinians themselves intend to establish an Islamic state. Yet it seems to me that it's only the one Jewish state that bothers you.

    • eljay,
      "Equality" also means that Jews have equal rights, including the right to maintain a nation-state, same as other nations. .

    • Keith,
      "Crucified...resurrected..." - I never wrote any such thing.

      One of the problems with your comment is that Zionism pre-dates the Holocaust.

    • eljay,
      I didn't mention "equality" in my comments because I don't think it's in dispute between us that all people should enjoy equal rights.
      As to "justice" and "accountability" -that's where we differ, since I think that the priority should be pursuing peace.

    • eljay,
      In your second-to-last comment you seemed to agree that "accountability" should be applied to the Palestinians as well. Yet in your last comment you once again refer only to those you call "zio-supremacists".

      In any case, I'm convinced that the road to such "accountability" and "justice" would be paved with graves. Accountability will be nothing but a cycle of retribution and vengeance , more bloodshed and tears, on both sides. Much better to pursue peace.

    • tod77,
      Regarding the "promise" which you didn't want to bother to look up, there are several such promises and prophesies. One of the best known is in Genesis (15:18):

      "On that day, the Lord formed a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt until the great river, the Euphrates river..."

      What right-wing religious fudamentalists tend to ignore is the implication that if the land can be given by God, it can also be taken away.

    • eljay,
      Do you realize that the "accountability" that you're talking about would also entail the prosecution of much of the Palestinian leadership (the entire Hamas leadership and, possibly part of the PA authorities) for war crimes and terrorism?
      Much as history is important to me, I really think that our focus should be on the present and the future and not on settling past accounts.

    • eljay,
      I stand by my position that both sides should focus on the goal of achieving peace, a fair, realistic, reasonable , agreement that both sides can live with, rather than striving for some abstract concept of "justice".

    • amigo,
      I generally don't go for any conspiracy-theory-type alternatives . I mean the conventional historical facts that can be found in any mainstream history textbook and historical atlas.
      For example : if I pose a question like this: "Should we consider Herod to have been King over the Jews or a Jewish king? " Obviously, there's no "correct" answer but I would like to see the students base their answers on the record: Herod's background, status, actions, and how he was seen by his contemporaries.

    • amigo, What I meant is that the student should make his point based on the historic facts and his or her interpretation of those facts.

    • An additional note: I also teach a course on the 2nd temple period, in which I can clearly illustrate the danger of messianic extremism. Sometimes it may be easier for a teacher to make that kind of point when teaching a course which is ostensibly far removed from today's realities.

    • Compliments to Joel Doerfler -and to Mondoweiss- for one of the most thoughtful essays I've ever read here.
      As a high school History teacher, in Israel, there's a lot I can relate to and agree with, particularly in regard to teaching the conflict and other topics in which I have my own strong opinions. I've found that it's best to be honest with the students whenever I see fit to express my personal opinion. I'll usually say that in this point I'm expressing my opinion, and it's ok to disagree, if you do so respectfully and base your argument on the historic record. There are some teachers who pride themselves in being "balanced" and "objective" , who boast that the kids have no idea as to the teacher's views. I think that such teachers are not doing their job properly, they are not even setting a good example.
      There are some moral dilemmas: when the Min. of Ed.'s guidelines are in conflict with my personal opinions and with my professional judgement; when students express extremist and racist standpoints; where is the line between teaching and indoctrination...and more.

  • Bernie Sanders and the Brooklyn dream
  • Palestinians say ‘let us move’ as Bethlehem Marathon kicks off amidst severe movement restrictions
    • El Cazador's link is to rense.com, an Anti-Semitic website.

      The quote from Ben Gurion is phony. In fact BG wrote the opposite ("we must not expel...")

  • Finding 1 'Arab' in Israeli basketball, NY Times espouses Zionist racial theory
    • One more point, in which I may be at least partly in agreement with Shmuel: much as the history is important to me, it's futile and counter-productive to focus on it. Who was here first, and who was here for how long and who did what to whom - the history becomes an impediment to finding any kind of solution. There are 8 million Israelis, many of them second, third and fourth generation, who certainly are not "invaders" by any standard, and not going to go away, and neither are the Palestinians. The vital question is the present and the future: more violence and bloodshed or a different path for both peoples?

    • Shmuel,
      A few questions and observations:
      What is it that you see as a myth and fairy tale? Not that the significance of myths can be easily dismissed in any people's historic memory, I would just like to know what you're referring to .
      Terminology is important, it's not just semantics. By using the term "invaders" you conjure certain images and bring to mind certain references : The Japanese invaded China. The Germans invaded Poland. The reader gets the picture.
      The images in my mind are quite different: the followers of R.Yehuda Ha'hasid, making their way to Jerusalem; the idealists of the Second Aliyah, intent on establishing a socialist utopia; the dazed survivors of the ghettos and death camps; the Jews from Yemen and Ethiopia, crossing the desert on foot . Some "invaders".
      As to Jews and Palestinians having equal rights in the country that both regard as their homeland: I don't know of any method to measure each people's rights, relative to the other. Should Palestinians have 70%, Jews 30%? Or, maybe 80-20? Or the other way around? The only sane approach is : equal rights.
      I don't tend to idealize the past , and Land Day is a good example of past injustices, and God knows there are plenty of on-going injustices, but Israelis are not going to see themselves as colonialist invaders. Neither side is going to deny its own legitimacy.

    • Shmuel,
      I didn't mention percentages. Once the principle of partition and 2 states is accepted, the determination of borders is a matter of politics and negotiation and ultimately mutual agreement. There's a general consensus that the pre-67 borders are the most practical and acceptable (just barely) , with some adjustments.
      I know that we differ on the significance of the historic part. In my view it carries significant weight, it makes the difference between being colonialists and our situation.
      I don't deny that from the Palestinian viewpoint they were wronged. The issue is how to reach a reasonable peace agreement for the good of both sides.
      I'm sorry that I came across as lacking humility.

    • MHughes976,
      I pretty much agree.

    • Gamal,
      The present and historic homeland of the Palestinians is.... Palestine.
      So there you have it : two peoples, sharing the same homeland.

    • Shmuel,
      In principle , the West Bank is , indeed, no different, it's also part of the same geographic unit, part of the same homeland. Nablus and Hebron (and even Gaza!) are part of Eretz Israel.
      However , those cities are also part of Falastin, the Palestinian homeland, and so are Haifa and Lod and Be'er Sheva.
      In the interest of peace, and because the Palestinian people also have the right to establish a state of their own, we should realize that we don't have to exercise political sovereignty over our entire homeland. And the Palestinians also should realize that they don't have to exercise political sovereignty over their entire homeland. In short, we can't have Nablus and Hebron, they can't have Haifa and Be'er Sheva).
      Partition , the two-state solution , is still , in my view, the best option, both morally and practically. Not perfect, not easy, but better than any other option.

    • Jews are not illegal invaders in their historic homeland.

    • James Canning, please explain who were the Jews who were "known as Arabs"?
      And known by who?

    • There's some arrogance - even hutzpah - in Scott and Phil presuming to tell other people (Mizrahi Jews in this case ) who they really are and how they should define themselves.

  • Zionism is finally in the news, as officials seek to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism
    • Reading the Book of Esther and appreciating it does not mean agreeing with and identifying with all the actions described and sentiments expressed, same as any book we read.

      That said, the megillah does not describe a slaughter of innocents. Those who are killed are the would-be perpetrators of genocide: Haman and his sons and the men he had recruited as killers. Incidentally, even regarding Haman's offspring, the Talmud astonishingly tells us that his descendants "studied Torah in Bnei Beraq " (Bavli Gittin 57b). Tikkun is always possible.

      As to the feminist angle, I definitely see it in the narrative: in Vashti's defiant refusal in the first chapter, and , primarily , in Esther's transformation . At the outset she's the meek, subservient girl, doing Mordecai's bidding, (chapter 2:10) who emerges as a smart , strong-willed character in her own right, , turns the tables on their relationship and starts giving orders to him and to the entire community.(chapter 4, 15-17).

    • eljay,
      I've been called so many things on this forum, "creepy" is almost a compliment...
      I was serious: I think that reading the book of Esther (which I assume that you did, since you posted the link) , reading it carefully and attentively, enriched by some of the commentaries, is a worthwhile enterprise. The story is of the Jews avoiding a planned genocide, turning the tables on their would-be killers. We find a narrative written by a master story-teller, with a talent for suspense and drama, an eye for details and character-portraits. In many ways it's unique in the Bible: the feminist angle; being a story reflecting the experience of the diaspora; the Jews are saved thanks to an intermarriage; the absence of God ...and more.

    • eljay,
      Thanks for the link to the Book of Esther. Highly recommended.

    • And to all those celebrating: a happy and fun-filled Purim!
      (as much as possible these days...)

    • I would like to add the point that not all anti-Zionism is the same. Zionism was opposed in the Jewish world, from wildly different directions: assimilationists and ultra-orthodox, Reform Jews, Communists and Bundists. So, too, in the world at large, there was opposition to Zionism from various quarters, with different motivations.
      Zionism is also not of one flavor: the Zionism of Meretz and JStreet is a far cry from Lieberman and Bennet and Netanyahu. The crucial debates , in Israel and most of the Jewish world are not between Zionists and anti-Zionists, (though the right-wing loves to portray it as such..). It's "inside the tent", over the struggle for peace, for democracy, for social justice, for religious freedom. That's the relevant battleground.
      And I agree that we should try to adhere to the words quoted by Shmuel : Shun evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it. (Psalms, 34:15)

  • 'NYT' columnist says Hillary Clinton is not pro-Israel enough!
    • El Cazador, we've been over this before:

      The letter shows that Einstein opposed Begin’s brand of right-wing Zionism , not Zionism in total.

      Regarding Einstein's zionism:
      link to zionism-israel.com

      It’s well known that after the death of President Haim Weizmann, Prime Minister Ben Gurion offered Einstein the Presidency. Do you think that BG would have made the offer to a person whose Zionism was in doubt?

      Einstein willed his personal papers and archive to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem:

      link to albert-einstein.org

  • What Bernie Sanders should say at AIPAC (and cause a political revolution)
    • The Zionists intention was to establish a Jewish state, with a Jewish majority. Logically that could be achieved either by drastically reducing the number of non-Jews or by dramatically increasing the Jewish population. Those who say that Zionism intended from the outset to get rid of the Palestinian population, to replace them, are ignoring the second path: immigration, leading eventually to a Jewish majority in the country.
      All the Zionist leaders, the "classical " leaders such as Herzl, Weizmann, Jabotinsky, Ben Gurion, and others, consistently expressed the intention and need to co-exist in peace with the Arab population. The Jewish majority was to be achieved through Jewish immigration, not through expulsion of everyone else.
      Now, obviously , the Palestinians (at least many of them) objected and resisted those intentions, which is quite understandable from their perspective. So, as far as what "had to be" or what "could have been", in my opinion the conflict was inevitable.

    • Amigo,
      The state didn't have to be created by ethnic cleansing.
      It should be a democracy for all, equal rights for all.

    • What Phil can't seem to accept is that you can be against the occupation , and oppose the settlements and support the peace movement, and also still see the need for a Jewish state.

  • In bid for Florida, Rubio says Trump is 'anti-Israeli' and a peace deal must wait 30 years
    • Marnie,
      I don't see Anti-Semitism everywhere, but when I do see it -I call it.

      As to Ayelet Shaked, you have more in common with her than I do, and I'm not referring to gender. I'm referring to the fanaticism and to the hatred.

    • Marnie,
      You don't actually have an answer, do you?
      Aside from just being nasty.

    • Marnie,
      I must admit that I'm stumped: You quoted Ayelet Shaked, I wrote that she's a "malevolent" figure. Do you think that a person who opposes the fascistic tendencies represented by Shaked is supposed to make excuses for Anti-Semitism? Anyone who opposes racism and fascism and terrorism should do so regardless of where they're coming from. That's consistency.

    • Marnie,
      Why is it so hard for you to understand that a person can be against deliberately harming civilians , and also not willing to excuse Anti-Semitism? Where is there any inconsistency?

    • Let me repeat what should be obvious: Innocent civilians -especially children - should never be deliberately targetted, by anyone, anywhere. Israelis or Palestinians, Jews, Christians, Muslims or whatever. Whether their names are Abu Khdeir or Dawabshe, Haran or Ohayon, or Fogel.

      Ayelet Shaked is one of the most malevolent figures on the political scene here, and her incitement, cited by Marnie is inexcusable. Some Minister of Justice, what a sick joke...

    • "love to kill babies..."
      Nice to see that the resident Anti-Semites are in agreement.

    • amigo, I wrote "Chemi Shalev's fantasy". I repeat: fantasy.
      Looks like you're the one with comprehension problems.

    • Chemi Shalev's fantasy: President Trump saves the Israeli Left...

      link to haaretz.com

  • Bernie Sanders's God is a lot like John Brown's
    • I wouln't say that John Brown ended slavery "more than anyone".
      Clearly, slavery was on its way out. See the timeline here:
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Brown may have been significant as a symbol, but slavery ended thanks to Abraham Lincoln and to the efforts and sacrifice of the Union soldiers.

  • 'We wasted 40 years talking about nothing, doing nothing' -- Pappe demolishes peace process
    • In response to what yonifalic thinks the Palestinian leadership may have been "willing to accept", see here:

      link to pij.org

    • OK, Annie, thanks. Though your tip is counter-intuitive.
      It would be helpful to have a reply button under every comment.

    • oldgeezer,
      I always reply on the first reply button below the comment I want to reply to .
      Why in the world would I go to the trouble of posting a comment and "hiding "it?

      Ok, so you don't want to explain your comment. It will, indeed, stand for itself.

    • oldgeezer,
      I said that I don't know what you mean. Feel free to explain.

    • What's wrong with the maps?
      Taking them chronologically (from left to right):
      In the first map, the impression is that the white is Jewish-owned land and the green Palestinian-owned. However there was a third category, state land. Land controlled by the government (the Turks, then the British and so forth), ostensibly to be used for the benefit of the entire population, from all communities. Conveniently, it's included in the green, in order to convey the impression that the Palestinians lost it.
      The second map accurately depicts the UN partition plan.The problem is just that : it shows a PLAN , a recommendation, that was never implemented as planned, since the Arab side rejected it.
      The third map ("1949-1967") ignores the reality of those years, when Gaza and the West Bank were under Egyptian and Jordanian rule, respectively. It creates the misleading impression that there was a Palestinian state which was subsequently erased.
      The fourth map, supposedly depicting the present, shows zero Palestinian land-ownership inside Israel, an obvious falsehood. Once again, like in the first map, state land is ignored, or, rather, shown this time as non-Palestinian, to emphasize the loss. Also, according to this map , the Palestinian (green) areas of the West Bank are not occupied.

      I must say that these maps are a superb propaganda gimmick . They catch the eye, convey the message, but they're still wrong.

    • oldgeezer,
      I don't know what you mean by "...some Jewish agency involved...". The victims of the Holocaust were totally innocent people, murdered for the "crime " of being Jews.
      I've personally never used the Holocaust to justify anything Israel has done. I dislike any such exploitation.

    • As to "precision" - those "shrinking Palestine" maps are anything but precise. In fact they are false and misleading.

    • YoniFalic:
      "Such participation and planning of murder and atrocities is the root cause of the blow back that was directed against Jews and whose most well known example is the Holocaust.

      While the innocent Jewish victims of the Holocaust deserve sympathy, denying Jewish agency in the creation of the circumstances that brought about the Holocaust is a combination of bigotry, denial, and propaganda."

      So, ultimately, the Jews were to blame for the Holocaust. The Holocaust was nothing but "blow back". YoniFalic's bizarre crackpot theories, genocidal intentions and Anti-Semitic propaganda reach a new low. His post is an insult to the survivors and to the memory of the victims.

  • Israel returns body of Palestinian to his family 65 days after he was killed by soldiers in Jerusalem
    • Just,
      As I recall, that particular campaign raised over 360,000 shekels.
      My personal contribution , and other efforts,will remain private.
      "Visited again"? Sa'ad Dawabshe died a few days after the visit I described.

    • Just, yes, I did write about helping the Dawabshe family.
      I don't know what you mean by "funny" in this context

  • 'When I have the opportunity to do it, I will': Likud lawmaker vows to demolish Al-Aqsa mosque
    • Keith,
      Nice to see a voice of sanity.

    • Keith,
      I'm assuming that you're not kidding, in asking why rense.com is Anti-Semitic, but I must ask you whether you've ever looked at it. Because if you have, you don't have to be a Zionist Jew to see what I mean. It's full of the most nauseating Anti -Semitic propaganda.
      Just one example :if you want to know what a fun place Auschwitz was...
      link to rense.com

    • echinococcus,

      1. There are numerous quotes and anecdotes regarding Einstain's Zionism:
      link to zionism-israel.com

      2. It's well known that after the death of our first president , Haim Weizmann, Prime Minister Ben Gurion offered Einstein the Presidency. Do you think that BG would have made the offer to a person whose Zionism was in doubt?

      3. Einstein willed his personal papers and archive to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
      link to albert-einstein.org

    • I didn't dispute the authenticity of the letter to which Einstein added his signature. As I noted, it shows that Einstein opposed Begin's brand of right-wing Zionism and regarded it as fascist.

      That letter can be found in numerous sources, I found it curious that of all those sources Kay24 chose the Anti-Semitic rense.com.

    • Kay24, Albert Einstein certainly was a humanist and a Zionist, who opposed Begin's brand of Zionism.

      Note that Kay24 links to the Anti-Semitic rense.com.

  • Palestinian fugitive is killed inside Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria; family calls it 'assassination'
    • In fact, the murderers of Mohammad Abu Khdeir have been apprehended and prosecuted.

      In the case of the Dawabshe family there is a prime suspect in custody, not yet convicted.

  • Jews aren't special
    • Annie, sorry, I didn't notice that in the text.

      However:
      As you can see , the "quote" in the text is inaccurate.
      The caption in the photo at the top appears to attribute it to Netanyahu.

    • Incidentally the quote that you attribute to Netanyahu is from the Passover Haggadah:

      "This is what has stood by our fathers and us! For not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand!"

    • I recall that a similar discussion - of Jews being "chosen" - has appeared previously on MW.
      I'm allowing myself to recycle a comment, (with an update):

      There is a undeniable concept, in Judaism, of being "chosen". Observant and traditional Jews include in their prayers a blessing to God who "chose us from among the nations". Also the well-known "Aleinu" prayer gives thanks for creating us different, "and our destiny is not the same" [as that of other nations]. However – and this is the main point – "different" doesn't necessarily mean "superior". In the Bible, Abraham is chosen to be the father of the nation, but God doesn't make him King of the World. Instead, he is required to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. No power over others , no superiority, only an agonizing sacrifice. The Torah is also quite clear on equality: "One law shall be unto him that is homeborn and unto the stranger…" (Exodus 12:49); "Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger as for the home-born" (Leviticus 24:22) , and elsewhere. Sadly, over hundreds of years , including the 20th century, being "chosen" has meant being singled out for discrimination, persecution and annihilation. (There's a heart breaking Hebrew poem by Nathan Alterman , from 1942, on Jewish children , "chosen from all the children in the world " , chosen to be murdered. I haven't been able to locate an English translation.) I recall a discussion I had with my father (of blessed memory) on the "Chosen People" topic. He said that being "chosen" doesn't entail any kind of privilege in relation to other peoples, only obligations : to live an exemplary moral life, to stand up for good against evil, which, for him, meant fighting for social justice and against racism and fascism. It also entails a feeling of pride in our traditions and heritage.

      Update : Meanwhile, I've found a partial traslation of Alterman's poem:

      "Praised are You ... who has chosen us out of all the nations". In this poem Alterman says, "At our children's cry, shadowed by scaffolds, we heard not the world's furor. For you have chosen us out of all nations, you loved us and favoured. For you have chosen us of all nations, of Norwegians, Czechs and Britons. As they march toward scaffolds, Jewish children of reason, they know their blood shan't be reckoned among the rest, they just call to the mother 'turn away your face'."
      link to en.wikipedia.org

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