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Till American Empire do us part

Israel/Palestine
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This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

“Another Problem from Hell” – Max Blumenthal’s inverted word play on Samantha Power’s book on genocide.  It refers to the video he took of the Paul Kagame/Elie Wiesel love fest last week at Cooper Union.

Since I’ve been writing about Wiesel since 1984, I couldn’t help but watch Blumenthal’s video with interest.  Nonetheless, be forewarned.  If you watch the video till the end you’ll experience a downward spiral of epic proportions.  Once you enter the downward spiral there’s no way out.

Blumenthal’s title is ominous.  Like Power’s book, the Cooper Union event was about Holocaust and genocide.  Unfortunately, the event turned the evil of mass death inside out.  At Cooper Union, Holocaust and genocide were served on fancy platters.

Actually, the staged event lacked oomph.  Blumenthal’s video shows a constricted Kagame fending off genocide charges against him.  Wiesel is distracted.  He’s slumping in his chair.

After the event Blumenthal and fellow reporter, Alex Kane, ask Wiesel about Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.  Wiesel seems unaware of what is being asked.  Wiesel is 85 years old.   Was he showing his age, his ignorance or both?

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the architect of the evening, makes John Kerry look like an upright and determined intellectual.  In the footage of him speaking with Kagame and Wiesel, Boteach comes off as a panderer and a lightweight.  Like Wiesel, he’s busking for megabucks.

When Boteach is serious, he reminds me of televangelist John Hagee. He preaches damnation as he’s showered with money.  When he’s upbeat, Boteach is more like mega-church pastor, Joel Osteen.  He’s preaches Jesus as he’s showered with money.

Another comparable Christian figure is Bishop Eddie Long.  I’m not suggesting Long’s epic sexual scandal stuff, though Boteach is the author of the sexual potboiler, Kosher Sex.  I’m thinking of the time when Long had himself declared King.  In the coronation ceremony he was wrapped in a Torah scroll.  Watch it yourself if you don’t believe me. It’s a hoot.

But, then, aren’t Boteach and Wiesel wrapping themselves in Torah scrolls, symbolically at least, by representing what it means to be Jewish to the world?

A macho, violent, enabling, imperial Jewishness it is.  Right before our eyes.

Another question from Blumenthal, this time to Wiesel and Boteach:  If the evening event was supposed to be about the strong protecting the weak, doesn’t that apply to Israel with regard to Palestinians?

The response – nothing much to say.  Silence.

Though I’m unwilling to pay the freight, there’s an interview with Elie Wiesel conducted by Pastor Hagee on sale at Hagee’s website for $7. Seems it was worth $500,000 for Wiesel’s, Bernie Madoff-depleted foundation.  Sometimes you have to hustle for a buck.

If that isn’t enough of a downward spiral, listen to Wiesel being interviewed by Christiane Amanpour last year.You remember Amanpour, the supposedly serious journalist on CNN.  Wiesel previews his Cooper Union showcase by already conflating the Holocaust and Syria.

Now listen to the lame questions and skewed moral courage Amanpour manufactures.  Doesn’t she know better?  Or is she just acting for the money?

If Oprah Winfrey doesn’t accept Hillary Clinton’s invite to be her VP, she should ask Amanpour.  Like Samantha Power – and Chelsea! – Amanpour married up into the Jewish political elite.

Oprah didn’t marry up but she had her moment with Wiesel as well – at Auschwitz.  In fact her Auschwitz moment is ranked #10 on her all-time hit list of past shows. The shows that rank higher on Oprah’s greatest hits parade include her interviews with Sarah Palin and the reunited Osmond’s.   All were topped by her car give-away.

Am I crazy or is the male Jewish establishment being dumbed down by the as- or more -intelligent non-Jewish women they’re marrying?  Is part of the inter-marriage ceremony a pledge to assimilate to American power for their gain?

Till American empire do us part.

I warned you about the downward spiral.

 

 

Marc H. Ellis
About Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is Professor of History and Jewish Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of the Global Prophetic. His latest book is Finding Our Voice: Embodying the Prophetic and Other Misadventures.

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15 Responses

  1. Don
    Don
    October 8, 2013, 12:40 pm

    Interesting question, Prof…”Am I crazy or is the male Jewish establishment being dumbed down by the as- or more -intelligent non-Jewish women they’re marrying? ”

    Boundaries Blur Between Jews and Christians in Shocking Ways
    http://forward.com/articles/184996/boundaries-blur-between-jews-and-christians-in-sho/?p=all#ixzz2h9Jpz7Xl

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      October 8, 2013, 1:16 pm

      Boundaries Blur Between Jews and Christians in Shocking Ways

      34% of Jews said that they think being Jewish is compatible with believing that Jesus is the Messiah

      http://forward.com/articles/184996/boundaries-blur-between-jews-and-christians-in-sho/?p=all#ixzz2h9QneIeu

      It is more shocking that 76% of them do not think that. What, if you change your religion you become devoid of ethnicity? And what about Jesus, Joseph, and Mary. Have a look at this Times of Israel article criticizing Palestinians thinking that if Jesus was from Palestine he was Palestinian:

      Most [Christians] recognize he was a Jew, and think he became the first Christian…. [But among Palestinians,] instead of Jesus being seen as a Jew, he has become a ‘Palestinian.’ …Such outrageous claims negate virtually all known historical fact about who Jesus is…

      http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jesus-a-palestinian-martyr

      You may remember this too:
      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/17/israel-embassy-palestinians-would-lynch-jesus-and-mary.html

      So on one hand, you have a “shocking minority” in the Forward’s survey saying you can be Christian and Jewish, and there are a multitude of pro-State articles saying Jesus was Jewish.

      • annie
        annie
        October 8, 2013, 1:36 pm

        W.Jones, that forward article is interesting

        One side effect of the blurring religious lines is the growth in the number of people who somehow qualify as Jewish. As definitional divisions once firm grow fuzzier, and as increased intermarriage opens Jews to the notion of mixed Jewish and Christian identities, the number of people recognized as having some sort of Jewish identity grows. While the Pew survey estimates that there are 5.3 million Jewish adults the United States, the survey also estimates that the number of adults with a Jewish background or a Jewish affinity is 8.9 million — a full 3.7% of America’s population.
        “There are so many people who are the children of intermarriage, or who are married to non-Jews, who do practice elements of both religions,” Benor said. “The more Jews who are married to non-Jews, the more likely other Jews are to accept intermarriage and to accept that kind of syncretism, or mixing.”

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 8, 2013, 8:41 pm

        “Such outrageous claims negate virtually all known historical fact about who Jesus is”

        Of course, there are no known historical facts about who Jesus was. It cannot even be established that he existed, though most historians think he did.

        But if the usual stories about him are true, he was a native Palestinian Jew. He was born in Palestine, and had a Jewish mother. (His father is a matter of debate. The two most commonly suggested candidates are God and a passing Roman soldier, neither of whom were likely to have been Jewish.)

        So it would seem he was a Palestinian and a Jew.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        October 9, 2013, 8:19 am

        “Have a look at this Times of Israel article criticizing Palestinians thinking that if Jesus was from Palestine he was Palestinian:”

        Let’s see: he was born in Bēt Laḥm, in the West Bank; grew up in an-Nāṣiriyyah in al-Jalīl; lived when his native land was occupied by a band of occupiers hailing from Europe; was falsely imprisoned by the IDF (Imperial Defense Force); was tortured and then murdered by that very same IDF.

        Yup. He was a Palestinian, all right.

  2. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    October 8, 2013, 1:23 pm

    Am I crazy or is the male Jewish establishment being dumbed down by the as- or more -intelligent non-Jewish women they’re marrying?

    What does that mean? Phil’s wife is not Jewish, as I understand it.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      October 8, 2013, 4:10 pm

      Marc Ellis is old, so this is just random bigotry you can encounter from people of his generation. It’s like Phil’s insistance that people marry Jews for money. You see the same train of thought in Ellis’ remarks.
      And then he blames non-Jewish women for the “decline of Jewish intelligence”.
      Those damn shiksas.

      Oh, and don’t mention that neither Adelson, Wiesel nor Boteach are intermarried.
      But why facts and logic get in the way of a good racist rant?

      Ellis, your age and racism is showing.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        October 8, 2013, 11:43 pm

        Krauss,

        About a year or two ago Mondoweiss had a few articles criticizing Israeli agencies for running campaigns against intermarriage. Now we read this. Are the two claims really so different?

    • bilal a
      bilal a
      October 8, 2013, 6:22 pm

      :Am I crazy or is the male Jewish establishment being dumbed down by the as- or more -intelligent non-Jewish [Shiksa] women they’re marrying? ”


      We can sort of trace “shiksa” to the Hebrew sheketz, a word from Leviticus that describes revolting nonkosher bugs, via the Talmud: “Let him not marry the daughter of an unlearned and unobservant man, for they are an abomination [sheketz] and their wives a creeping thing.”
      http://www.salon.com/2013/03/06/is_shiksa_an_insult_partner/

      Old prejudices die hard.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        October 9, 2013, 8:13 am

        Yes, “shiksa” is perhaps the most vile slur, perhaps second only to the “n-word” in the world today. But Hollywood throws it around like a punchline. Disgusting.

  3. RoHa
    RoHa
    October 8, 2013, 8:32 pm

    “If Oprah Winfrey doesn’t accept Hillary Clinton’s invite to be her VP, she should ask Amanpour.”

    Oprah Winfrey is running for president?

    Or did you mean “If Oprah Winfrey doesn’t accept Hillary Clinton’s invite to be her VP, Hillary should ask Amanpour”?

  4. Rusty Pipes
    Rusty Pipes
    October 8, 2013, 10:19 pm

    The American Jewish establishment has been dumbed down so much by being entangled with Zionism, that any numbing of their senses from other sources (like love being blind) is negligible in comparison. The logic of this piece spirals down toward the end.

  5. mcohen
    mcohen
    October 8, 2013, 10:29 pm

    soon before noon there is going to be a cutting out,a banishment from the tribe,of a certain type of American jew-you know who
    and it will not be done by fellow jews but by the Department of Purity and Sanctification…….its motto at the entrance of the building a warning

    “tarry not on the road to hell
    for the gatekeeper awaits,judgement book in hand
    marry a shiksa and you will be banned”

    but seriously once the children of intermarriage grow up they abandon Judaism,not all but most,and some abandon religion altoghether and thats a pity.

    • annie
      annie
      October 9, 2013, 2:27 am

      but seriously once the children of intermarriage grow up they abandon Judaism,not all but most,and some abandon religion altoghether and thats a pity.

      did you see this from nyt today? http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/science/ashkenazi-origins-may-be-with-european-women-study-finds.html?_r=2&amp&

      Genes Suggest European Women at Root of Ashkenazi Family Tree
      ……
      A new genetic analysis has now filled in another piece of the origins puzzle, pointing to European women as the principal female founders, and to the Jewish community of the early Roman empire as the possible source of the Ashkenazi ancestors.

      The finding establishes that the women who founded the Ashkenazi Jewish community of Europe were not from the Near East, as previously supposed, and reinforces the idea that many Jewish communities outside Israel were founded by single men who married and converted local women.

      • DICKERSON3870
        DICKERSON3870
        October 10, 2013, 4:53 pm

        ANOTHER EXCERPT FROM THE SAME NYT ARTICLE:

        “Thus the great majority of Ashkenazi maternal lineages were not brought from the Levant, as commonly supposed,” Dr. Richards and colleagues conclude in their paper. Overall, at least 80 percent of Ashkenazi maternal ancestry comes from women indigenous to Europe*, and 8 percent from the Near East, with the rest uncertain, the researchers estimate. – http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/science/ashkenazi-origins-may-be-with-european-women-study-finds.html?_r=3&amp&

        * HENCE: “Why no Israeli government will ever impose mandatory IDF service on the ultra-Orthodox”, By Steven A. Cook, +972blog, 1/19/13
        Compulsory military service for yeshiva students is a popular issue for secular politicians. But Shas and other Orthodox parties will continue to get their way on this issue, partly because of Israel’s fragmented electoral system, but also largely because Zionism depends on the haredim for its raison d’être.

        [EXCERPT] Although compulsory military service for yeshiva students is popular among Israelis and thus a good issue for secular politicians, Shas and other Orthodox parties will continue to get their way on conscription and a variety of other issues. That is the way it has been and likely the way it will continue to be. A good part of the explanation for this has to do with Israel’s electoral system, which can best be described as “disproportionate representation,” but there is something else going on that is at the heart of the Zionist project that gives the Haredim and other prominent religious voices far more sway than most Israelis prefer. Setting aside the gauzy images of secular sabras tilling fields, Paul Newman in Exodus, and more contemporary high-tech entrepreneurs who got their start in Unit 8200, the army’s intelligence unit, Israel is dependent on the Haredim. Not financially, of course, but without the likes of Yosef, other ultra-Orthodox rabbis and their followers, secular Israelis have no better claim to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea than the Palestinians do. . .

        ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://972mag.com/why-no-israeli-government-will-ever-impose-mandatory-idf-service-on-the-ultra-orthodox/64159/

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