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‘Daily Beast’ crank against intermarriage pushes regime change in Iran on the side

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Last week, in serving the rightwing Jewish elements of its constituency, Open Zion ran a really nutty piece by Andrew Apostolou opposing intermarriage, “because it undermines Jewish identity and so weakens the Jewish people.” The Jewish people means the Jewish nation: 

This is bad for American Jews and bad for Israel. The Jewish state needs a vibrant and viable Diaspora—as a partner and source of immigration. That relationship is endangered when the largest Jewish denomination in the U.S. enables assimilation.

The piece identified this expert on Jewish marriage as “a historian of the Sephardic Jews of Greece.”

But Apostolou’s main resume item is being an Iran hawk at the federally-funded thinktank Freedom House— where he had the ear of congress to push his anti-Iran agenda. There he teamed up with rightwing Josh Block to advocate for regime change in Iran, with hints that we should go to war there:

The administration’s initial policy was an attempt “to test Iran and give Iran a chance to say we are serious about talking about our nuclear regime, and I think the Iranian response was loud and clear that [Iran was] not serous,” Apostolou said. “What are you supposed to do, after 30 years … the same thing?

From the Freedom House bio:  

Andrew Apostolou is the Director for Iran at Freedom House, America’s leading human rights and democracy promotion organization. Apostolou leads programs that assist Iranian dissidents and human rights activists as they seek to organize and protect Iranians from the abuses of the Islamic Republic. He has testified to Congress about Iranian regime human rights abuses, has provided training to Iranian activists, and has published widely on Iran and the Middle East. Apostolou also co-chairs Beyond Sanctions: the Next Iran Strategy, a joint Iran policy task force with Josh Block, Senior Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute….
He has also been a Postgraduate Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Visiting Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. His research on the Holocaust has been published in leading peer reviewed journals. Apostolou also sits on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.

To its credit, Open Zion has also published a piece by Sarah Posner characterizing Apostolou’s intermarriage piece as an “ugly tirade.”

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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92 Responses

  1. Ranjit Suresh on October 18, 2012, 11:50 am

    Sarah Posner may have called it an “ugly tirade” and an “embarrassment” but truth be told, if Apostolou wrote a piece decrying racial intermarriage between whites and blacks , I have no doubt that her response would be much harsher.

    I know this because Posner has condemned, rightfully so, the Mormon Church’s past ban on blacks in the priesthood. In fact, in a piece for Salon, she called for Romney to be held to account and be compelled to explain the past racist practices of the LDS church. But when you think about it, is such a racial restriction fundamentally any different than requiring rabbis to be Jews by birth? Why is one race-based religion inherently illegitimate and another race-based religion just fine, as long as it maintains a very slightly ajar door for the odd convert?

    • tokyobk on October 18, 2012, 12:44 pm

      Pure ignorance.
      Not that that ever stops anyone in a comment section(a good thing I suppose the internet being democracy in action)
      Several of the Jewish patriarchs were converts. Ruth, the grandmother of King David was a convert. More recently, the Ger Tzedek, a renowned rabbi was a convert. And thousands of others. The Rabbi of the Tokyo JCC’s last name is Di Gesu. (hint- it is not De Moishe).
      Judaism is not a race-based religion. (nor a white one though Ashkenazic dominance is as much at fault for this perception as any outside ignorance). Judaism is (for now, there have been other periods) a matrilineal religion and one which has always had a steady stream of converts and renouncers.

      • seanmcbride on October 18, 2012, 2:10 pm

        tokyobk,

        Judaism is not a race-based religion.

        And yet ancient Judaism, and both contemporary religious and secular Zionism, are intensely and obsessively ethnocentric and ethnic nationalist ideologies which often manifest all the classic signs of racism. 19th century European and American Jewish intellectual leaders referred to Jews as a “race” all the time.

        Your off-handed dismissal of the questions surrounding this issue really aren’t satisfactory.

      • tokyobk on October 18, 2012, 2:47 pm

        I dismissed the idea that only born-Jews can be rabbis as pure ignorance because it is pure ignorance.

        Yes, as I mention, Ashkenazi Jews have been part of creating the assumption that Judaism is a race and in the 19th century everything and everyone, including the Irish and the Laplanders were considered a race.

        Ethnocentrism can function like racism. Ethnicity is not race.

        Judaism, as a religious system, is not race based. A convert and their offspring through the mother – at this time in Jewish history (i.e. King David) are Jews no less than any other. Abraham the patriarch of Judaism is considered a convert as is, for one of many examples, Moses’ wife Zippurah who was thought to be both African and black.

        You have plenty of facts to work with in pursuing your political agenda, no need to make stuff up.

      • American on October 18, 2012, 4:42 pm

        @ sean…

        tokyobk is right, is wasn’t race based originally , because Judaism in ancient days actively sought out converts of every race and ethnic.
        I think I am gradually getting the gist of the race thing or developing some theories anyway as I look more into it thru Sand and others who have laid out some real history.

        Where the race based idea ‘may’ have started might have been in what Sand and those others describe about how Jewish religious hierarchy, the Rabbis and such, in ancient days considered and promoted themselves as “Nobles” ….a nobility like the Royal House of Windsor ..a royal “bloodline”, not only superior to others nobility at the time , but even superior to other lesser Jews.
        One could theorize that the idea of ‘nobility of Jewish leaders was gradually tranferred to include all the Jews as a way of keeping them attached to the ‘specialness’ of the tribe and supporting it. Hence the ‘bloodlines’, the passing of’ biological’ Jewishness from Mother to child and so forth. The morphing of religion to race…..the making of a ‘distinct’ people for tribal leaders to hold the tribe together on a basis besides religion. IOW Jews could change their religion but they could never change their Jewish bloodlines, they would always be Jews.

      • seanmcbride on October 18, 2012, 5:39 pm

        American,

        Have you read the early books of the Bible lately and closely? They are saturated in “seed” and bloodline concepts and imagery. And if you Google [jews race], the first article that pops up is from the highly respectable Jewish publication, Forward, declaring Jews to be a race on the basis of the latest genetic research.

        Why do you think it was that early Revisionist Zionists (the forerunners of Likud) felt a close affinity with Nazi ideology? Blood and soil, mystical peoplehood (in the ethnic sense), etc.

        Do you notice how often the binary contrastive terms Jews/Arabs, Jews/African-Americans, etc. occur in mainstream speech? These are ethnic-racial, not religious categories, and everyone understands intuitively what they mean.

        We would never contrast Christians with Arabs, or Christians with African-Americans, or Christians with any other ethnic or racial group. Christianity comprehends all ethnic and racial groups.

      • seanmcbride on October 18, 2012, 8:45 pm

        American,

        On the race issue, here is Max Nordau, one of the most important early Zionist ideologues:

        The new Zionism has partly arisen out of the inner impulses of Jewry, out of the enthusiasm of modern educated Jews for their history and martyrology, out of the awakened consciousness of their racial fitness, out of their ambition to preserve the ancient stock to as distant a future as possible and to follow up the worthy deeds of ancestors with worthy deeds of descendants.

        http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Zionism/Nordau_Zionism_Survey.html

        Interesting phrase: “racial fitness.” That is a concept that the Nazis shared and later fully developed.

        And here is Nordau on Messianism and Zionism, demonstrating that the expression “religious Zionism” is arguably redundant:

        Zionism is a new word for a very old and thing, so far as it merely expresses the longing of the Jewish people for Zion. Since the destruction of the Second Temple by Titus, since the dispersion of the Jews throughout the world, this ancient people has not ceased to long fervently for a return to the lost land of their fathers nor to entertain for it a determined hope. This longing of the Jews for Zion, this hope for Zion, was the concrete, I may say the geographical, aspect of their Messianic faith, which formed itself into an essential part of their religion. Messianism and Zionism were actually identical concepts for almost two thousand years, and it would be difficult, without subtlety and sophistry, to separate the prayers in the Jewish liturgy for the appearance of the promised Messiah from those for the not less promised return to the historic home. These prayers were meant literally by all Jews until a few generations ago, just as they are meant to-day by plain believing Jews. Jews had no other thought but that they were a people which had lost its hereditary land as a punishment for its own sin, condemned to live as strangers in foreign countries, and whose grievous sufferings, will cease only when the Nation will again be gathered together on the sanctified soil of the Holy Land.

        Blood and soil, anyone?

      • American on October 19, 2012, 12:07 am

        Sean,

        No I stay away from the bible, except for the parts that are worth while like the 10 commandments, the rest is too mythical and weird….lol.

        Interesting what you point out …but I was only trying to figure where the idea of Jews being a pure race or distinct race came from ‘originally’ when it is plain Judaism converted heavily and took in more than ‘semites in it’s beginning. .
        Are black Ethopian Jews which are plainly not the same ‘race’ as
        white Russian Jews included in this distinct Jewish race?
        Doesn’t make sense.

        It’s all crazy…that’s probably why it’s interesting…..lol…people are fascinated by crazy

      • Hostage on October 19, 2012, 6:52 am

        Blood and soil, anyone?

        Actually no, I don’t see how Max Nordau could possibly be cited in support of the views of the author of the Daily Beast article on intermarriage:

        By his early thirties, Nordau was established with his mother and sister in Paris, which became his adoptive home city. There in 1895, he married Anna Dons-Kaufmann, the Danish Protestant widow of one of his friends. Nordau’s mother had objected to a previous love, finding her ethically lacking despite the fact that she was Jewish, but accepted Anna Dons-Kaufmann even though she was Protestant. Mme. Dons-Kaufmann was interested in converting to Judaism, but Nordau did not think this either necessary or desirable.

        Melanie A. Murphy, “Max Nordau’s Fin-De-Siècle Romance of Race”, Peter Lang, 2007, page 3 http://books.google.com/books?id=SR_72s9lpXgC&lpg=PA3&ots=HhVqlE4Gto&pg=PA3#v=onepage&q&f=false

      • LeaNder on October 19, 2012, 9:49 am

        Interesting phrase: “racial fitness.” That is a concept that the Nazis shared and later fully developed.

        Yesterday I remembered an old statement by you, that went something like, correct me if I am wrong. The Nazis may in fact have based their ideology of racial purity on the Jews/Israelis. In a way copied it.

        Max Nordau is a very interesting and specific case, but can he be used as pars pro toto for Zionism in its time?

        I am not aware that anybody has written a biography of Max Nordau (or Simon Maximilian Süssfeld) or studied his “political genesis” apart from his literary one. If so, I surely would read it, just in case you can help me out.

        What I have in mind is reading Nordau’s life in the context of the ideas around him, linguistically e.g. the Aryan language family versus the Semitic, for instance (when exactly did he change his name to Nordau, was it influenced by the Romantic revival or Northern myth?), or Darwinism, and related racial mental excursion, the rise of antisemitism, the big antisemitism dispute triggered by Treitschke?

        I have to admit that 19th century liberal thought in certain aspects is just as nauseating to me as our own mainly neo-liberal streams today, for instance. Even today the rare authentic liberal voices, from my perspective, not talking the left parties mind you, but in the German liberal party seem to be receding into pure neo-liberalism .

        To copy the approach of a perfect article by Phil meditating about what he would have been at a certain time in history: what streams of thought would have influenced me at the time depending on my background and influences, to what extend would I have been attracted to political romanticism myself? And “political romanticism” may actually have been one of the influences on Nordau at his time.

        But strictly I agree for the superficial person, that loves fast and easy categories it must be a revelation to discover Max Nordau’s Degeneration.

        Sounds pretty similar to the Nazi’s politics not only in culture, doesn’t it?

      • LeaNder on October 19, 2012, 9:52 am

        By the way, the book you allude to doesn’t satisfy my desires.

      • seanmcbride on October 19, 2012, 10:49 am

        Hostage,

        Max Nordau’s marriage to a Christian in no way obviates his numerous “blood and soil” proclamations regarding Zionism and the Jews, of which the above quote is a perfect example. Key terms and concepts:

        1. racial fitness
        2. preserve ancient stock
        3. worthy deeds of ancestors
        4. worthy deeds of descendants
        5. ancient people
        6. lost land of their fathers
        7. geographical aspect of the Messianic faith
        8. hereditary land
        9. historic home
        10. the Nation will again be gathered together on the sanctified soil of the Holy Land

        If this isn’t the discourse of blood and soil, what would be some authentic examples of the genre?

        Wikipedia on blood and soil:

        Blood and Soil (German: Blut und Boden) refers to an ideology that focuses on ethnicity based on two factors, descent (Blood (of a folk)) and homeland/Heimat (Soil). It celebrates the relationship of a people to the land they occupy and cultivate, and it places a high value on the virtues of rural living.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_and_soil

        It is no surprise that some Revisionist Zionists supported “cooperation between the new Germany and a renewed volkish-national Hebrium.”

        Key phrase: volkish-national Hebrium.

      • seanmcbride on October 19, 2012, 10:59 am

        Leander,

        Yesterday I remembered an old statement by you, that went something like, correct me if I am wrong. The Nazis may in fact have based their ideology of racial purity on the Jews/Israelis. In a way copied it.

        Actually what I think I may have said is that Dennis Prager (as I recall) remarked in his book on antisemitism — “Why the Jews?” — that Nazism modeled its master race ideology in part on biblical chosen people concepts. The Nazis viewed themselves as being in competition with the Jews for the status of the world’s supreme people and peoplehood.

        Max Nordau is a fascinating character, and someone I need to study much more closely — along with Theodor Herzl, Moses Hess, Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Avraham Stern. And you are right: Max Nordau’s “Degeneration” certainly has a Nazi look and feel about it. All ethnic nationalist movements — particularly the messianic ones (and Max Nordau *explicitly* described Zionism as being messianic in character) — tend to resemble one another.

      • seanmcbride on October 19, 2012, 11:17 am

        Hostage,

        If one were to assemble a collection of quotes by leading Jewish Zionists which best express the core ideological principles of Zionism, which Jewish Zionists would you pick?

        Off the top of my head, these names come to mind:

        1. Abraham Kook
        2. Ariel Sharon
        3. Avraham Stern
        4. Benjamin Netanyahu
        5. Benzion Netanyahu
        6. Chaim Weizmann
        7. Danny Danon
        8. David Ben-Gurion
        9. Elliott Abrams
        10. Israel Eldad
        11. Martin Peretz
        12. Max Nordau
        13. Meir Kahane
        14. Menachem Begin
        15. Menachem Schneerson
        16. Moses Hess
        17. Moshe Feiglin
        18. Norman Podhoretz
        19. Ovadia Yosef
        20. Richard Perle
        21. Theodor Herzl
        22. Yitzhak Shamir
        23. Yitzhak Shapira
        24. Ze’ev Jabotinsky

        What names would you add?

      • seafoid on October 19, 2012, 11:55 am

        Jabotinsky, Uri Avnery, Jeff Halper, Zippy, Brad Burston. Amos Oz

      • seanmcbride on October 19, 2012, 1:10 pm

        Leander,

        More Max Nordau on the race issue:

        http://www.herzl.org/english/Article.aspx?Item=531

        After the completion of Herzl’s drama “Das neue Ghetto” – “The New Ghetto”, Max Nordau captured the essence of the play’s character Wasserstein. He wrote to Herzl: “I must give you great credit for interweaving compassionate humor in the base, degraded Jewish usurer Wasserstein, whose character has been pulverized by a two-thousand year old Jewish fate, but who lets us see, under all the dust, the original and abiding nobility of our race.”

      • Mooser on October 19, 2012, 3:25 pm

        “the core ideological principles of Zionism,”

        I would have thought we’d have more than enough to think about just considering Zionist actions. You can drive yourself nuts refining your expressions of the “core ideological principles”. Do it in a train, and you’ll get off at the Berlin station, if you get my drift.

        Although, as a Jew, I think I have a special insight into Zionism’s core ideology. As far as I know it’s ‘get something for nothing, with others bearing the cost and making the sacrifices’. It’s not an uncommon ideology, and hardly exclusive to Judaism.

      • Hostage on October 19, 2012, 4:26 pm

        If this isn’t the discourse of blood and soil, what would be some authentic examples of the genre?

        Nordau’s case illustrates perfectly that his racial theory only required the preservation of an element, or blood quantum, not racial purity. To some, “The Jews” were only the family of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, including all those gentiles – like Anna Dons-Kaufmann – who had married-into the clan. Ritual “conversion” was irrelevant to that family relationship and was therefore unnecessary.

        Re: “Messianism and Zionism were actually identical concepts for almost two thousand years, and it would be difficult, without subtlety and sophistry, to separate the prayers in the Jewish liturgy for the appearance of the promised Messiah from those for the not less promised return to the historic home.”

        This only calls attention to the fact that there was an adequate amount of subtlety and sophistry available to do exactly that. Zionism was an expedient solution to overcome the persecution that targeted the Jews of Eastern Europe. It had nothing to do with the appearance of the mythical Messiah or the dawning of a messianic age where the proverbial lion and the lamb could lay down together. That particular formula doesn’t really appear in the scriptures and neither did a Jewish return to the land without their Messiah.

      • seanmcbride on October 19, 2012, 5:39 pm

        Mooser,

        I would have thought we’d have more than enough to think about just considering Zionist actions. You can drive yourself nuts refining your expressions of the “core ideological principles”. Do it in a train, and you’ll get off at the Berlin station, if you get my drift.

        I take the point of view that history is largely driven by ideas, ideological systems, collections of myths, symbols and archetypes, etc. Culture is software. Know the code, understand collective behaviors and their interactions — and *predict* those behaviors and interactions with some accuracy.

        This stuff — patterns of collective behavior (and patterns of individual behavior within collectives) and the “programs” that drive them can be figured out. It’s not rocket science — although rocket science (or advanced cybernetics) can be applied to them.

        Strategic patterns are all around us — we just need to see and interpret them. History — especially intellectual history combined with sociolinguistics — is the key to unlocking many mysteries of human behavior. Been there, done that. You just need to apply enough analytical force on enough n-grams.

        Which is another way of saying that the same sh*t keeps coming up again and again.

      • seanmcbride on October 19, 2012, 5:52 pm

        Hostage,

        There is of course no such thing as “racial purity” in the world, but there are myths of racial purity, and Nordau was strongly drawn into that ideological orbit.

        Regarding messianism, and Zionism, both metaphorical and literal — tbey have comprised a consistent theme — one might even argue a core or dominant theme — throughout several thousand years of Jewish history. Nordau in his time expressed the current iteration of that impulse, which is with us more than ever today in the year 2012. I use the term “messianic ethnic nationalism” to describe it. It clearly derives from ancient Judaism. It’s no wonder that Zionism has easily been able to swallow contemporary Judaism whole with barely any resistance from the Jewish establishment. The symbol systems of Zionism and Judaism mesh almost perfectly.

      • Hostage on October 19, 2012, 10:18 pm

        What names would you add?

        I think Ezra and Nehemiah were in the same boat as Herzl and Nordau. They were stuck in a divinely ordained exile, they weren’t prophets, but they needed to manufacture a loophole that would permit a return to Israel. So they used a verse about the scepter departing from Judah and played-up Cyrus as some sort of gentile Messiah who had given them a mandate under divine inspiration.

        According to Jewish tradition, it was Ezra the scribe who redacting the scriptures. He certainly appears to be responsible for the introduction of the xenophobic and misogynistic beliefs and practices that are foreign to the stories about Deborah or Ruth. Those new elements could have been assimilated from the Persians and promulgated by the Pharisee (Parsee, Farsi?) party that is familiar to readers of the Christian scriptures.

  2. hass on October 18, 2012, 12:09 pm

    Iran is only deemed “serious” about negotiations when it agrees to capitulate to US/Israeli demands, in their eyes.

  3. hophmi on October 18, 2012, 12:31 pm

    You’re incorrect. Converts may become rabbis.

    • Dan Crowther on October 18, 2012, 12:36 pm

      Yeah, wasn’t Maimonides father a rabbi and a convert?

    • Krauss on October 18, 2012, 11:18 pm

      Good luck trying to pull that trick in a modern Orthodox congregation, hophmi.

      Converts face many hurdles, often many more than born Jews, and that is for a reason. To keep as many of them as possible out.

      You can’t escape the fact that, aside from Reform Judaism, there’s a strong ethnocentric element in Judaism in a way that isn’t the case in more universal religions like Buddhism or Christianity.

      • andrew r on October 20, 2012, 5:40 am

        Converts face many hurdles, often many more than born Jews, and that is for a reason. To keep as many of them as possible out.

        I’d expect even a born Jew without a traditional education would face a struggle to become an Orthodox convert, especially a rabbi.

  4. Dan Crowther on October 18, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Too bad Posner can’t put the same bright interrogation lights onto Judaism; her site if filled every day with the ridiculousness of other religions, and yet here she says she is also one of the “faithful.” That means she believes stuff on zero evidence, which means she believes in wishful thinking, which means…….well, you know where I’m going with this. And she’s gonna criticize someone else for their beliefs?

    To me, this is all a good thing – the more people bend religion to their liking, the more it becomes irrelevant.

  5. Les on October 18, 2012, 12:56 pm

    The Federally funded Freedom House should not be confused with ngos.

  6. chinese box on October 18, 2012, 2:01 pm

    If it needs a “strong diaspora” just to survive, maybe it can’t be considered a normal nation. Depending on remittances and support puts it in the category of client state, or perhaps glorified third world country.

  7. traintosiberia on October 18, 2012, 2:09 pm

    This is the typical path taken by the neocons to utter some nonsense,get it published ,get it heard in Senate and then get it having impacts on Pew Research or some other varieties o polling geared to
    gauging public opinion. War will knock at the door soon.It is mapped out at the inception.it’s trajectory is determined .
    This ensures that the US public get blamed ,senate is investigated for coming to certain wrong conclusion and the media starts pointing fingers at the sloppy legworks .The cycle starts again with the stupid assertion how this time is different and this time intelligence is in no mood at supporting any claims unless they have verified it and vetted it .How do we know it? Well they dont want to miss the signs this obvious after messing things up last time ! Nice argument to convince people accept the empty bottle by labeling it as waiting to be filled up with one of “your” choices. Americans like autonomy .
    To write something this monstrous one have to establish the credentials with the local Jewish community or with some Israeli settlement site or with Israeli military or prison. Men and women interfacing between these organization and their sisiter organizations in US will be more than happy to add a few nice stuff like democracy promotion and human right advocacy to the evolving resume’. Public now is really thrilled .He or she has to know the different branches of Shia and the name of the last Shah of Iran , a little bit about Carter’s fiasco over hostage crisis. Bingo! We have an Iran expert. FOXNews /CNN/MSNBC will ask him as stand by to offer some insights .Another achievement in the eyes of the public and the senate. Both now will weigh in favor of what the expert says about Iran. He then scores another point that goes into Pew research findings. So we get there where the pinheads want America to go that is to go for the war

  8. Kathleen on October 18, 2012, 2:30 pm

    What the hell do they mean by “Open Zion” and is there a equivalent open Palestinian perspective at the Daily Beast? Know there is not. Is Jane Harman involved with the publication of the Daily Beast? Wikipedia says Daily Beast owned by IAC Edward Feisenthal executive editor. Newsweek and Daily Beast merge a few years ago forming the Newsweek Daily Beast Company. Never go there to read always figured it sold out to the I lobby on opening day. Tina Brown never says anything close to the truth about the middle east when I have heard her on MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough

  9. HRK on October 18, 2012, 3:51 pm

    We generally give people some slack when it comes to their religious beliefs–even if we don’t hold those beliefs. If a person’s religion is Judaism and they believe that God commanded them not to intermarry–then that’s their religious belief. I don’t think such a belief is racist for the simple reason that for the devout person it’s simply about what God says.

    But a lot of Jews aren’t religious or, if they are, they don’t believe in God as a giver of divine command. It would seem that these people would have to justify their being against intermarriage through rationality. And wouldn’t it be the case, then, that all other races could make use of those reasons–assuming they exist? (Which I don’t.)

    • Woody Tanaka on October 18, 2012, 5:46 pm

      “We generally give people some slack when it comes to their religious beliefs–even if we don’t hold those beliefs.”

      Well, some would feel this way. I don’t. I think that any irrational belief, and religious beliefs are absolutely that, should be criticized.

      “I don’t think such a belief is racist for the simple reason that for the devout person it’s simply about what God says.”

      And that, in a nutshell, is how religion is poison. If you’re going to excuse racism because the person says he thinks it’s what God wants, how about assault? Murder? What else would you refuse to accept from any ol’ Joe that you would accept once he says, “oh, it’s my religion.”

      • Mooser on October 18, 2012, 6:36 pm

        “If you’re going to excuse racism because the person says he thinks it’s what God wants, how about assault?”

        The First Church of Dacoity, coming right up.

      • HRK on October 18, 2012, 10:00 pm

        Here’s another example: I read about a rabbi who went to lengths to find a way around the law prohibiting the use of certain devices on the Sabbath–he was trying to make it easier for a handicapped Jewish man who was a member of his synagogue (or something like that).

        Ultimately, he just couldn’t find a way to bend the rules–although he really tried.

        To me, this rabbi seemed to be a good person. But I suppose I could have concluded that he was evil–who but an evil person would suggest that a handicapped person not be able to use technology which made his life more convenient?

        I could have used an example involving fundamentalist Christians, as well.

        I’m not saying that I agree with their take on the Bible. And, yes, there’s a point at which people’s religious beliefs are simply too damaging to all of society or to a segment of society for me to allow without some kind of political pushback or opposition.

        I don’t think this issue is one of them.

        I do find it interesting that our society tends to turn a blind eye to the no intermarriage idea even when it comes to secular Jews.

        I could go so far as to understand how religious Jews might want secular Jews not to intermarry–and I even would consider this non-racist–since from the perspective of religious Jews what they’re doing is still simply following a commandment from God.

        A little more on the intermarriage thing: I think a lot of people are tribal. I admit that I have a tribal side to my personality–one that I try to keep in check. I read someone on this site write about how she simply couldn’t understand tribalism–that her own outlook was so completely different she simply couldn’t relate.

        I think this type of person is in the minority–though many of us with a tribal side try to keep that under wraps and not really talk about it.

        An example: I’m an American, but the last Olympics I found myself rooting for an athlete from the country which is closest to my own heritage–even though he was competing against a well-known American. And this despite the fact that I don’t speak his language and have only visited his country once. And despite the fact that I really don’t know much about his culture.

        Now, if my brain waves could have actually influenced the outcome, I would either have changed my mind or turned off the set so as not to influence the outcome–because my loyalty is really to the U.S. But, hey, as long as it’s just a benign ethnic fantasy . . . why not? (He lost, by the way!)

        Some people may think I’m weird, but I suspect a lot of people have these strange, seemingly irrational ethnic feelings–at least every now and then.

        I can understand tribalism–even from the inside out.

        But I think it’s best to reject it. Sure, different ethnicities don’t always get along, and so the thinking might be: Why not just each have our own little area–no outsiders allowed, no intermarriage.

        Okay, so far so good. But here’s the next issue: What do you do with those people who, for whatever reason, don’t play by the rules? Do you shun them? Ostracize them? Ostracize their mixed-race/ethnicity kids?

        None of that is loving, and that’s why I’m not opposed to intermarriage–even though I do have tribal feelings sometimes.

      • Mooser on October 19, 2012, 3:30 pm

        “Ultimately, he just couldn’t find a way to bend the rules–although he really tried.”

        That ritual rules are bent for life-saving pruposes is a basic principle. Even us Reform kids learn about the horse that was drowning on the Sabbath. It got saved.
        That Rabbi didn’t try very hard, or he had it in for the guy, or maybe the device he wanted to use on the Sabbath was his vibrator.

      • libra on October 18, 2012, 10:28 pm

        WT: I think that any irrational belief, and religious beliefs are absolutely that, should be criticized.

        Woody, on the issue of intermarriage, would you marry someone who was not an atheist?

      • Krauss on October 18, 2012, 11:22 pm

        libra, those two are not at all compatible with each other.

        Atheism is a choice. Race, is not.
        And we’re not even talking specific races here. Some people have a preference for blondes. That’s another thing.

        Here, we’re talking anyone who isn’t Jewish. And that, for the most part, means people of Jewish ancestry from birth with the odd convert(and most people convert when they are in a relationship already with a Jew).

        In other words. If you’re Jewish in America and refuse at any point to have any serious relationship with someone who is not Jewish, you’re excluding 98% of the population on a pre-determined basis. Yes, that is the definition of racism.

      • Woody Tanaka on October 19, 2012, 9:40 am

        “Woody, on the issue of intermarriage, would you marry someone who was not an atheist?”

        libra, yes, I would; in fact, I did.

      • libra on October 19, 2012, 2:50 pm

        WT: in fact I did

        Woody, good for you. And thank goodness when it really counted there was one moment in your life when you realised it can be rational to embrace the seemingly irrational. And there was I beginning to think you were a Dr. Spock-like creature trapped in a world of hard-wired logic.

      • libra on October 19, 2012, 3:03 pm

        Krauss: libra, those two are not at all compatible with each other.

        Krauss, I fear you might have been taking my question to Woody a bit too seriously. I think it’s tokyobk you might need to discuss this issue with.

        But your comment does make me think whether you feel the same way about the Amish? If not, why not? I tend not to be bothered by them because they literally don’t bother me. They simply serve the very useful function of reminding me why I don’t want a low-energy solution to climate change.

      • Mooser on October 19, 2012, 3:33 pm

        “Here, we’re talking anyone who isn’t Jewish.”

        You know somebody who really isn’t Jewish? That’s cool! Everybody I know is a little bit Jewish. Sometimes they don’t even know it but they are.

  10. doug on October 18, 2012, 3:52 pm

    And rabbis can convert.

    Andy Bachman, in the recent pic with Oren, fairly recently did so.

  11. American on October 18, 2012, 5:03 pm

    Well I am very much against religion telling members who they can’t marry.
    All religions seek members and try to hold on to members, they all want the numbers and support….but that sure isn’t the way to go about it.
    One of my uncles married a Baptist girl way back in the day and the church was very against alcohol, drinking, having a cocktail, had to be tee totalers. His famous and very common sense remark was he wasn’t going to resign from the Baptist over it and upset his wife, he just wasn’t going to observe that ‘silly rule’ . Made perfect sense to me. OTOH if it had been about anything bigger than that like making his chidren all vow to marry only Baptist he probably would have left the Baptist.

    • Mooser on October 19, 2012, 5:16 pm

      “Well I am very much against religion telling members who they can’t marry.”

      Let’s not go overboard. Rabbis have no more authourity in forbidding banns than do Catholic priests, Protestand ministers, or any other cleric in America. They can refuse to perform the ceremony, of course, if they don’t like the match-up.
      Parents of course, can either have reasonable objections, or make themselves a pain in the ass, or write you out of the will, if they have any assets worth quibbling over. Sometimes they do.

  12. sciri21 on October 18, 2012, 5:39 pm

    If I was a Jew, I would be against intermarriage.

    • Mooser on October 18, 2012, 6:31 pm

      “If I was a Jew, I would be against intermarriage.”

      But, seeing as how you aren’t, it’s pretty much ‘anything goes’ in the matrimonial maelstrom? That, sir (or Madam) is a wide, generous and flexible outlook, which I commend unstintingly.

      • annie on October 18, 2012, 7:37 pm

        you continue to crack me up mooser.

      • Mooser on October 19, 2012, 3:44 pm

        When I found the lodestar to which my own compass-needle would forever point, religion didn’t make us no never-mind, no-how, any-which-way. Our love was pure, we didn’t think about sects. And it was just a hop, skip, and a jump into the wedded abyss and marital law.
        Of course, I did once live with a woman, “supping ere the priest said grace” a long time ago. Common-law marriage, they called, and it went without a hitch, as I remember.

  13. Mooser on October 18, 2012, 6:42 pm

    Well, if there weren’t professionals to sort out all those confusing issues in Jewish life, how would us ordinary Jews know what to do?

  14. RoHa on October 18, 2012, 7:59 pm

    ‘opposing intermarriage, “because it undermines Jewish identity and so weakens the Jewish people.” ‘

    And why is this a bad thing?

    • Krauss on October 18, 2012, 11:25 pm

      Weakening the Jewish people is a bad thing. The problem, however, comes when you equate racism with being ‘strong’. Then, inevitably, you set people up to defend racist practices. Like scaring little Jewish children of those terrible goys who will destroy Jewish life if they let them too close to their hearts.

      It’s pretty disgusting scaremongering – and also belongs in another era, which, by the way, most younger secular Jews realize anyway.

      • Carowhat on October 20, 2012, 10:11 pm

        “Weakening the Jewish people is a bad thing.”

        I always thought if a Jew marries a non-Jew both of them get as much as they lose. It’s not enough to say “our culture must be preserved.” People ought to just jump into the ethnic stew and not worry themselves that somehow a bit of carrot got in the horseradish.

      • RoHa on October 21, 2012, 2:08 am

        What does “weakening the Jewish people” mean, and why is it bad?

  15. NickJOCW on October 18, 2012, 8:16 pm

    If Jews shouldn’t marry non-Jews, doesn’t that mean non-Jews shouldn’t try to marry Jews? After all, it takes two to tango. “I can’t marry you because you are Jewish”. Wouldn’t that be anti-Semitic? Heavens, what a quandary!

    • Ellen on October 19, 2012, 5:23 am

      When in college I was told by a young man I was seeing that after graduation he could not see me anymore because I was not Jewish.

      He would ridicule my girlfriends who were Jewish, dismissing them as “something he had to marry.”

      All those words were a shock to me, even then. But maybe he was being honest and saying what many of his background really thought?

      I ran into him years later in NYC and he seemed to be a depressed person.

      Very sad dynamics.

      • Mooser on October 19, 2012, 3:52 pm

        “But maybe he was being honest and saying what many of his background really thought?”

        Remember, an inheritance (except for memories, of course) is a gift, not a right or a certainty. Nor must an inheritance, by any law, be divided equally among issue. Somebody who really got somebody upset might get bupkis.

  16. yourstruly on October 18, 2012, 9:40 pm

    Israel needs a viable and vibrant diaspora – as a partner and source of immigration?

    since here in the usa intermarriage is so well established, sure looks like israel’s destined to collapse.*

    that’s when happens when an entity is established on the basis of something about a land without a people for a people without a land

    especially when it turns out that there’s a native people on that land

    *the entity, not its people

  17. wondering jew on October 18, 2012, 9:57 pm

    There are a few special things about the Jewish religion/people: One is their longevity. Although this involves some mythologizing: “Jews are direct descendants of those who stood at Mount Sinai and received the Torah” or even “Our religion is 3500 or 3000 years old”, one cannot deny the fact that the survival of the Jews as a distinct group with a distinct set of customs and observances is one of the surprises of history. As such the desire to keep that chain of observance of continuity going seems pretty natural to me. (not of the highest order of human desires, but certainly recognizable as a very human reaction.) Add to this the recent (in history’s sweep) attempt to undo that survival not through cultural means, but through extermination, it is not surprising that this can cause some Jews to react and say: You ain’t going to wipe me out, I will survive.” Thus given longevity and recent adversity the tendency of a group to try to assure continuity seems to be a very human reaction.

    • annie on October 18, 2012, 10:12 pm

      one cannot deny the fact that the survival of the Jews as a distinct group with a distinct set of customs and observances is one of the surprises of history.

      yonah, what do you mean? the greeks are a distinct people, they are still around.it’s actually not that unusual for groups of ‘distinct’ people to survive. is it?

      • wondering jew on October 18, 2012, 10:45 pm

        Annie- The Jews remained a distinct group despite being scattered.

      • Krauss on October 18, 2012, 11:28 pm

        That is true, yonah, but how many Warsaw ghettoes or shtetls can you count on your hand today? There is one, but it is self-imposed and it’s called Israel.

        When the last ghetto was razed, it seemed we couldn’t be without another so we built a new one. We even had to build a tall, thick wall surrounding our new ghetto just to make us more at home.

        But, you know, even this self-imposed ghetto will fall one day. Israel can’t survive with a bigger and bigger population of dispossesed Arabs inside it and an exploding Haredi sector, which want to turn the nation into a Jewish Saudi Arabia.

        And what then? Trying to convince people the next wave of Nazism is just around the corner hasn’t worked out so well the last half century or so.

      • Ellen on October 19, 2012, 5:15 am

        yonah,

        “Annie- The Jews remained a distinct group despite being scattered.”

        Catholics are scattered (and the Coptic/Catholic faith started in the Middle East) Muslims are scattered all over the world and Islam started in the Middle East. And Judaism, which started in the Middle East, and its Jews are scattered around the world. What is the dif?

        A Somali Jew may share the same religious culture of the Central European Jew, but that is where the cultural similarities end.

        As for attempts to “wipe out Jews” tragically, and throughout history, most every defined (through religion of nation-hood) group of people share a period of heinous genocide attempts, etc. Fast, slow or invisible. So no defined group is exceptional in this regard. Not even Jews.

        Golda Meir declared that Palestinians do not exist. That is the start of such an attempt to deny a people identity and existence. Zionism has brought Palestinians into the club.

      • Cliff on October 19, 2012, 5:59 am

        WonderingJew.

        What makes you think being ‘scattered’ is a bad thing? The entire ‘history of Jewish suffering’ is a powerful recruitment tool unto itself and strengthens the tribal mentality.

        And last I checked, many civilizations never really vanish. They simply change. Who were the pueblo before they were the pueblo?

        And Jews today have cleared changed with the advent of the ZIONIST movement.

      • Cliff on October 19, 2012, 6:00 am

        WJ is really just talking about the Holocaust and near-annihilation.

      • Hostage on October 19, 2012, 3:46 pm

        Annie- The Jews remained a distinct group despite being scattered.

        Duh! The Torah (Deuteronomy 28:64-69) was based upon a prophecy of Divinely ordained exile.

        The exile liet-motif of Abram leaving Ur of the Chaldees and taking up a life of wandering in his tent; Jacob fleeing and laboring for Laban; and Israel becoming a nation during its exile in Egypt and wandering for around for 40 years was deliberate. During the Second commonwealth, the Jews of Israel went into the Judean wilderness and pretended they were in exile. They had cults there with rituals of initiation which were based on the principle of a spiritual exile from the cares of the world. Rabbinical Judaism was no different. It’s rules are just fine for a diaspora community, but completely unworkable as a basis for living at home and governing a state.

      • Mooser on October 19, 2012, 3:54 pm

        “The Jews remained a distinct group despite being scattered.”

        Human beings have been around muc, much longer than the Jews. I’ll stick with the club that’s been around for a while, and moreover, one that can’t reject me because I’m qualified to be a member, like the Jews do.

      • seafoid on October 19, 2012, 6:14 pm

        “Its rules are just fine for a diaspora community, but completely unworkable as a basis for living at home and governing a state”

        Or running an advanced consumer moron society where continual growth in the sale of imported shiny geegaws is the driver of progress.

        BTW there seems to be a lot of money in commercial Ashkenazi rabbi work

        http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/with-a-little-help-from-my-friend-the-rabbi-1.460284

      • Hostage on October 19, 2012, 11:47 pm

        BTW there seems to be a lot of money in commercial Ashkenazi rabbi work

        I’m pretty certain that rabbinical Judaism had already adopted the concept of “Oriental fiefdoms” long before the Ashkenazi franchises were granted;-)

    • eljay on October 19, 2012, 7:34 am

      >> There are a few special things about the Jewish religion/people: One is their longevity. … Add to this the recent (in history’s sweep) attempt to undo that survival not through cultural means, but through extermination …

      Jews appear to be no more special than gays and witches.

      But you don’t hear gays and witches clamoring for a supremacist state of their own. Advantage: Gays and witches.

    • seafoid on October 19, 2012, 11:58 am

      There are a few special things about the Jewish religion/people: One is their longevity

      http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jun/09/storm-over-syria/?pagination=false

      The Alawis of Syria, who make up only 12 percent of its population, split from the main branch of Shiism more than a thousand years ago. Taking refuge in the mountains above the port of Latakia, on the coastal strip between modern Lebanon and Turkey, they evolved a highly secretive syncretistic theology containing an amalgam of Neoplatonic, Gnostic, Christian, Muslim, and Zoroastrian elements. Nusayrism could be described as a folk religion that absorbed many of the spiritual and intellectual currents of late antiquity and early Islam, packaged into a body of teachings that placed its followers beyond the boundaries of orthodoxy. Mainstream Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, regarded them as ghulta, “exaggerators.” Like other sectarian groups they protected their tradition by a strategy known as taqiyya—the right to hide one’s true beliefs from outsiders in order to avoid persecution. Taqiyya makes a perfect qualification for membership in the mukhabarat—the ubiquitous intelligence/security apparatus that has dominated Syria’s government for more than four decades.
      Secrecy was also observed by means of a complex system of initiation, in which insiders recognized each other by using special phrases or passwords and neophytes underwent a form of spiritual marriage with the naqibs, or spiritual guides.
      It does not take much imagination to see how such beliefs, programmed into the community’s values for more than a millennium, and reinforced by customs such as endogamous marriage according to which the children of unions between Nusayris and non-Nusayris cannot be initiated into the sect—create very strong notions of apartness and disdain for the “Other.”

      • wondering jew on October 19, 2012, 5:30 pm

        Various thoughts-
        I haven’t done a thorough study of all “peoples” and all religions. The Jews have existed in the Western part of the world as a nation apart, as a minority religion, in a way that is, if not necessarily unique, certainly different. Catholics have been mentioned as a scattered group. But Catholicism was the majority religion in many countries for centuries before the dispersal of Catholics.

        There are certainly various Jewish identities, primarily Jews who lived in Christian lands versus Jews who lived in Islamic lands.

        One minute I read on this site how the Jews survived dispersal, and so they need not fear their proposed dispersal by those who wish to undo Zionism. To propose this and to ignore the difficulty of the survival of the Jews despite their dispersion and minority status is to see with one eye and be blind with the other. (or to speak out of both sides of your mouth and say different things.)

      • Mooser on October 19, 2012, 5:51 pm

        “One minute I read on this site how the Jews survived dispersal, and so they need not fear their proposed dispersal by those who wish to undo Zionism. To propose this and to ignore the difficulty of the survival of the Jews despite their dispersion and minority status is to see with one eye and be blind with the other.”

        Yessiree, you gotta start preparing the ground for excusing the Zionists for leaving all the Arab and other minority Jews there to face the consequences when Israel collapses.

        Funny thing about Zionists. They want to rule the Jews, but they don’t want to be responsible for what happens to the Jews. It’s always somebody else’s fault.

      • seafoid on October 19, 2012, 5:57 pm

        It is such a dilemma. Face intermarriage in the diaspora or join the mass sadism movement in the Jewish state. G-d- the choice must be excruciating.

      • Mooser on October 19, 2012, 5:48 pm

        Hey Seafoid, have you ever noticed that the picture of Jews, Judaism and Jewishness presented by professional and wanna-be-professional Jews bears no relation to the ways that Jews actually live and are? And how fungible it is, this professional-Jew view of Judaism? One day it’s one thing, one day its another.

      • seafoid on October 20, 2012, 3:26 am

        You know, Mooser, I think about it sometimes, especially after looking at “this day in Jewish history” in Ha’aretz with the regular massacres and pogroms and I find reassurance that Jewish women somehow had time to cook and figure out some wonderful recipes and I wonder which version of Jewish history is closest to reality.

        I think building a durable state was harder than they realised.

        http://sjlendman.blogspot.ch/2009/07/breaking-silence-testimonies-of-israeli.html

        Also that Israel was fighting a “war of choice, (a) holy war (with) differing rules.” The message “aimed at inspiring the men with courage, cruelty, aggressiveness (and feeling) no pity, God protects you, everything you do is sanctified….Palestinians are the enemy….everyone.”
        Soldiers were told to be “crusaders,” to have a “proper fighting spirit,” and show no mercy. Distributed pamphlets said: “Palestinians are like the Philistines of old, newcomers who do not belong in the land, aliens planted on our soil which should clearly return to us.”

        One man introduced as Rabbi Chen presented his talk in points, also covered in pamphlets. First was “the sanctity of the People of Israel. He put it this way: he said while going in there, we should know there is no accounting for sins in this case.” In other words, “whatever we do is fine.”

  18. on October 18, 2012, 11:25 pm

    glad to see that final sentence of the post, as I would hate to see this blog calling out Beinart’s blog as being more prone to collecting and coddling cranks.

    Beinart is pro-Israeli but rather more moderate than ……others.

  19. RoHa on October 19, 2012, 3:05 am

    I thought the Jews became a number of distinct groups because they were scattered.

  20. DICKERSON3870 on October 19, 2012, 6:07 am

    RE: “Open Zion ran a really nutty piece by Andrew Apostolou opposing intermarriage, ‘because it undermines Jewish identity and so weakens the Jewish people’.

    MY QUESTION: Is Apostolou essentially saying that intermarriage is a “security concern” because it is a threat to the Jewish “Volk”?

  21. Nevada Ned on October 19, 2012, 8:39 am

    If some loons are dead set against intermarriage, Israel should pass a law against it. A while ago, right wingers in the Knesset proposed a bill that would have made sex between a Jew and non-Jew crime, punishable by jail. The bill didn’t pass, but got a surprising (to me anyway) number of votes.
    There is precedent for such laws: in Germany, the 1936 Nuremberg Laws.
    In the US, when Obama was born in 1960, about half of the US states had some kind of marriage restriction: outlawing marriage between blacks and whites, between Philippinos and whites, between Asians and whites, etc. The law stopped being enforced some time in the 1960s, and were all ruled unconstitutional in Loving vs Virginia (about 1968 or so). Mr. and Mrs Loving (yes, that was their name) were a white man and his black wife. They were the test case that went to the US Supreme Court. Mr/Mrs Loving also got the hell out of the State of Virginia, because they got death threats.
    Now, some Zionists are agitated about intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews. The intermarriage rate is pretty high in the US. Dennis Ross is now employed by some anti-intermarriage organization funded by the Jewish Agency. They have a hopeless task. About of half of marriages including US Jews are to non-Jews.

    I propose that, in discussions on the MondoWeiss website, people like Andrew Apostolou and Dennis Ross, enemies of assimilation and intermarriage, should be referred to as “Jewish segregationists”. It should be pointed out that they are opposed to intermarriage choices made freely by about half of US Jews. Unless they can get a Nuremberg-like law passed, the task of the self-appointed Jewish segregationists is hopeless.

  22. NickJOCW on October 19, 2012, 10:44 am

    Most religions and cultures frown on intermarriage as do most individuals if they are honest, and responsible. From a global perspective, the number genuinely indifferent to the colour or religion of their son or daughter’s choice must be infinitesimal. Just think how you might feel if your offspring brought home a mulligatawny coloured Sikh. It’s unfashionable to say such a thing, of course, but that doesn’t make it untrue, just better left in the closet.

    • Woody Tanaka on October 19, 2012, 11:15 am

      “Most religions and cultures frown on intermarriage as do most individuals if they are honest, and responsible.”

      I don’t think there’s anything “responsible” in such an attitude. Quite the reverse, in fact.

      “Just think how you might feel if your offspring brought home a mulligatawny coloured Sikh.”

      I would ask myself if this person is one who is kind and loving and respectful of my offspring and ensure that this person is the one who my offspring loves, respects and is kind to. If these things were true, I would feel happy. The rest is trivia.

    • Woody Tanaka on October 19, 2012, 11:24 am

      “It’s unfashionable to say such a thing, of course, but that doesn’t make it untrue, just better left in the closet.”

      No, it should not be left in the closet. That only protects two kinds of people: bigots and cowards.

      For the bigots, we should bring the attitude out and confront them, so as to work towards eliminating the bigotry (if not in them, then perhaps in others.) For the cowards, people who aren’t themselves bigots but who don’t have the courage to confront bigots and who are okay with it because the end result is that they won’t have to stand up for their principles, we should insist that they make a stand and not permit them to permit the bigots to win by default.

    • seanmcbride on October 19, 2012, 11:30 am

      NickJOCW:

      Most religions and cultures frown on intermarriage as do most individuals if they are honest, and responsible.

      I don’t get the sense that this attitude carries much weight in the contemporary United States.

      Where are you coming from on these issues: ethnicity, religion and nationality?

      • NickJOCW on October 19, 2012, 3:21 pm

        Sean, You are absolutely right, my attitude carries no weight at all in the contemporary United States. Mine is probably a generational attitude. Not that long ago marriages were arranged and in much of the world they still are. Americans may not like that, may even wish to flush such attitudes away, but Americans are a very small percentage of a global population that still largely values the concept of the family unit, which itself depends on stable marriages. That is why serious and supposedly enduring vows are still part of the marriage ceremony. In my lifetime although marriages were no long ‘arranged’ they were overseen and the selection process was steered and guided. Movies depicting 20th century life are full of scenes where a young man asks a father’s permission to court his daughter. Romantic love has never been a good basis for enduring marriage any more than it would be for selecting a secretary or a boss. More and more Western couples don’t bother to get married, they just cohabit and drift apart as it suits their whim, and so diminished has the concept of marriage become that even gender distinctions are no longer deemed relevant. Such attitudes, among many others, lie behind the conflict between the Western world and Islam. It’s not a question of how you behave or what you do, but how you know you should behave and what you know you should do. Nor is it a question of ‘morality’ so much as discipline. The Western world has become inherently ill-disciplined which is one reason if condones what Israelis do in Palestine. However, the Jews opposed to mixed marriage are in favour of discipline in the same way Islam’s requirement of regular bowing, homage, worship and prayer demands discipline. The immoral resent the moral, the ill-disciplined resent the disciplined, they arrive at conflict. Will we live see who wins?

      • Mooser on October 19, 2012, 5:35 pm

        “In my lifetime although marriages were no long ‘arranged’ they were overseen and the selection process was steered and guided. Movies depicting 20th century life are full of scenes where a young man asks a father’s permission to court his daughter.”

        Did those people know that their intimate family moments were being filmed for a documentary? Cause that could change the way they act.
        But you know, I did that, I actually asked my FIL-to-be for his daughter’s hand:
        “Bob” I said (I called him “Bob” because that was his name.) We would like to get married, and we hope you can support us in this”
        “Listen here, bohmer if you’re going to marry my daughter, you better get yourself a job, pronto. Don’t depend on me to support you!”

        True story! I wonder where he learned a Yiddish word like bohmer?

      • Mooser on October 19, 2012, 5:39 pm

        “Will we live see who wins?”

        Oh, there’s no question about that. Morality and discipline will collapse, and people will start marrying dogs and cats as soon as you go. Probably the entire world will come to an end. Let us know. Mondoweiss, as far as I know, accepts posthumous comments. (some mornings, I’m sure they do.)

      • RoHa on October 21, 2012, 1:58 am

        “The immoral resent the moral, the ill-disciplined resent the disciplined, they arrive at conflict.”

        Is it immoral or undisciplined to marry someone of a different race?

    • Hostage on October 19, 2012, 4:55 pm

      Just think how you might feel if your offspring brought home a mulligatawny coloured Sikh.

      If it was another grandchild, overjoyed as usual. Don’t be in such a hurry to cut-off your own posterity or you just might die old, alone, and full of regrets.

  23. Mooser on October 19, 2012, 5:43 pm

    “Just think how you might feel if your offspring brought home a mulligatawny coloured Sikh.”

    Got to admit, the specificity is a lot more revealing then the usual ‘How would you feel if your daughter married one of them“. Maybe JCOW has had a bad experience with a lentil-based soup.

    • RoHa on October 21, 2012, 2:02 am

      My in-laws are Japanese, and hence highly disiciplined. Nonetheless, they were prepared to put up with my wife marrying me. Astonishingly, they even accepted her sister doing the unthinkable. She married a Frenchman!

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