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Total number of comments: 361 (since 2012-01-14 01:31:20)

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  • History shows that anti-Semitism and pro-Zionism have never been mutually exclusive
    • Oh, gamal!

      Don't you know an anti-Shemite these days isn't someone who simply doesn't like Shem; per Mooser, it's someone who won't wear a skirt.

    • Dammit, Mooser, I told you, the guys recognizing the cognates between languages had to call the proto-languages something!

      I distinctly remember telling you:

      "Moose, the philologists who came up with the names weren't Bible-Literalists. In particular, they didn't believe that the people who spoke Semitic languages were descended from Shem; for that matter, they didn't believe that the people who spoke Romance Languages were descended from Romulus. They knew that the languages in question were related because they recognized cognate roots. The terms they came up with to classify languages weren't meant to be literal."

      Now, I know you like the Shem joke. But honestly, the Romulus joke is probably even better.

  • The emergence of the Just Jew
  • Israel interferes in our politics all the time, and it's never a scandal
    • Sibiriak: "the relative economic dislocation, population relocation, and immediate and lingering psychological trauma could be significant…"

      Wow. The psychological trauma, and having to move, I mean relocate, or suffer any economic dislocation, and, gosh, we all know how painful that is.

      Sibiriak: "From what I read, an attack on Dimona could result in radiation release and social/economic disruption, but would hardly make the country 'uninhabitable.' And of course, Israel’s reaction to such an attack would be swift, massive and utterly devastating."

      Swift, massive and utterly devastating to whom? They can't be threatening anyone with imaginary suitcase bombs at this point? Seriously?

    • Just a minor point, but Israel has never ever even tested a nuclear weapon of any sort. Why do you believe they have any?

    • You "completely believe"? Why? Because other people do? Because other people say they do?

      You believe what you read in the newspapers? Completely? What you see on the news? Completely?

      No, of course not.

  • Jewish groups battle over Trump's choice for Israel ambassador
    • Mooser wrote:

      "'Keith' if you wish to avail yourself of the superior, all-paid-for Russian health care system (just look at the life-span figures!) you go right ahead."

      Mooser, the Russian health care system has had problems since well before Perestroika.

      Then again, I've heard horror stories from all of them. I'm not sure what Keith has heard.

  • It turns out Jews are as stupid as everyone else
  • 'Love thy neighbor as thyself' -- Really?
    • Jon s: "Moses and Aaron, David and Solomon and lots more – are all flawed. Non [sic] are perfect, non [sic] are saints. We see them with all their frailties and shortcomings. It’s what makes them human, and what makes their stories interesting. "

      They were not human. Their "frailties and shortcomings" were not normal human frailties and shortcomings. Well, unless you think normal humans have serious personality disorders as a rule.

    • Mooser: "And yes, the message of the Bible as history is pretty clear. It is that while Judaism can be a very nice religion (if you keep it under control), it’s no basis for Jewish self-government. Sorry."

      Taking the Bible, or any religious text, as literal history, is making the sacred profane anyway. It's a category mistake.

      And I'm not even religious.

    • DaBakr: "I could name over four major racial and/or cultural nations the US is still struggling to come to terms with. Almost any time as American tv is turn need on [we ask that you will kindly excuse the lack of coherent English on DaBakr's part] to a news/infotainment show, racism is likely to be a major theme. "

      Go ahead, DaBakr. Don't be shy. We know all about it. Could Israel possibly be even worse?

  • US Senate quickly passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act
    • Sibiriak: "Israel exists as an internationally recognized UN member state and has the same rights and duties as every other UN member state."

      And how it got to be one we will not inquire into, because it would be better not to, nor will we inquire into how it has failed in its duties "as a UN member state." Yeah, it exists, for the nonce, like Vichy France, or the USSR, and lots of people in it have second passports.

      I will leave the rest to Mooser.

      Zionism equals Apartheid… Squared. Wait, is that against the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act?

    • Okay, but what are the penalties, really?

      I doubt they're as much fun as re-education camp with Roha, eljay, and echi.

      Echi, I get what you're saying. The agreements made by Quisling Palestinian government officials, especially when they cede important legitimacy and territory, are for the birds. But, I also get what eljay and talknic are saying, in that, even with those agreements, Israel is sooo history. As talknic keeps pointing out, Israel was fundamentally a pyramid scheme from the get-go based on the (more rather than less confiscated) land fund, and the mortgages, interest, taxes and fees to be milked out of that. Now, Israel gets largesse from the U.S. taxpayer, it has really seedy money laundering and not-even-legal weapons deals going on. Anything to make ends meet, you know. It's not the poor Israelis' fault, they've just inherited the whole mess.

      Mind you, I'm not just picking on Israel. The U.S. is really creepy, too. And from what Roha says, even Australia isn't safe. So you know, I am not in violation of this Act!

  • 'Tis the season, to boycott!
    • The phrase that sprang to my eyes was "keeps me grounded in my Jewishness."

      Not only is that very odd ("keeps me grounded in my Episcopalianism," really, play mad lib with it, with anything), anyone who says something like that is obviously very insecure.

  • I'm not worried about anti-Semitism
    • But how do you stay up there?

      That's why I liked "Shoggoth on the Roof"!

    • Oh my Gawd! Does that make me Iago? Eww!

      Sorry, Annie, that I couldn't come up with a cite or site with women going on about how silly men can be. I did think of Dorothy Parker's "Men: A Hate Song" but the men she was complaining about were mostly just irrational, and she was the one who was irritated. I had a nasty sinus headache coming on that turned into full-blown head and stomach flu, which is why I'm just coming back to this now.

      Anyway, I sympathize with your being shocked that there is racist/sexist stuff on the web that you didn't know about.

      "…calling that kind of racism “anti-pc” can be used as a slur/smear."

      I wasn't clear what that meant. A slur on whom? I thought of calling that kind of racist speech "un-PC" initially, but my better half thought "anti-PC" was more accurate. Perhaps you felt I was praising with too faint condemnation. I thought I was describing and dismissing them as "a bunch of immature gas-bag trolls." The people whose hate-speech worries me most are the ones in power whose hate-speech is unrecognized as such because they sugar-coat it.

      "is that what you think of the US being an all white nation? anti politically correct?"

      Not trying to cherry-pick, but anybody calling for the US to be an all white nation is obviously more than a few french fries short of a Happy Meal. So yeah, mostly I think they are just gas-bags trying to be shocking for the sake of it. Lots of sick people out there in need of serious therapy, lots of internet trolls, but that's nothing new.. But no, I don't think "the youth" are seriously following that. I haven't seen any reliable stats, but I'd be surprised. When I described them as "immature" I wasn't referring to their chronological age.

      I don't think Keith was implying that you were agitated because you're female or anything to do with your menstrual cycle. I think he thought, like I did, that you had seen a really disturbing web-site. I'm not even going to look at it if it disturbed you that much. It sounds like more internet trolls.

      As for my being married not being a defense, well, I have to say that in all the years I've been married, I've never ever noticed that "having her period" makes a woman more agitated, or discombobulated (which is a good word!) than reading a disturbing website can make anyone, male or female, agitated or whatever. But I do get that it's seriously annoying to be told to calm down when you're upset about something.

    • Well, couldn’t they (i.e., agitated and irrational) be terms used primarily to describe and dismiss men as well. Just saying, if the shoe fits. -

      Annie: "yes they could be. primarily tho, they are not. i could be mistaken, and if that’s the case it would only take you a matter of seconds to find a supporting link (like i did). good luck w/that. - "

      You never read Shakespeare? Othello, you know?

    • "is that what you think of the US being an all white nation?” For crying out loud, who does?

      why you did philemon.

      Actually, no.

      you called them “A bunch of immature gas-bag internet trolls being deliberately anti-PC, trying to be shocking, and using cute little green frogs as their strange device”

      I described the posters on the website you were shocked at in those terms.

    • Annie quotes me" "To the extent that you are not thinking clearly, I think it is dangerous for you."

      "that would get more traction from me if you actually cited what was unclear. but you didn’t, hence it’s merely a form of ad hominem."

      Well, no, I didn't cite what you weren't getting, because it would have been a form of ad hominem to suggest that you didn't get what Keith was saying while you were thinking clearly.

      Sometimes people get discombobulated, male, female, left, right. It happens, It's normal.

    • Annie: "really? well, consider yourself informed. agitated, like irrational, are terms used primarily by men to describe and dismiss women."

      Well, couldn't they be terms used primarily to describe and dismiss men as well. Just saying, if the shoe fits.

    • In my defense, I've been married now for quite some time.

    • Telling a woman she’s “obviously agitated” is about .0% from telling her she’s having her period. or didn’t you know that? -

      Well, actually no, I didn't.

    • Annie, you are discombobulated.

      "is that what you think of the US being an all white nation?" For crying out loud, who does?

      Annie: "what do you think was keith’s point in telling me there’s great danger in overemphasizing this. do you think talking about it at all is dangerous? do you think my thinking (or concern) is dangerous?" -

      To the extent that you are not thinking clearly, I think it is dangerous for you.

    • 2) Increase fundraising for Zionist organizations by stoking Jewish fears. -

      Well, duh! They like the money.

    • Roha, Nelson Goodman was cool and all but, as an indictment of induction, grue was a bit lame.

      Annie, I know you meant to insult Keith by claiming you'd rather have a conversation with me, but this is so second grade, primary school, you know, elementary!

    • Yeah, Yonah. Glick and Weiss. Peas in a pod. They have so much in common, we just have to get those two together!

      Do I really need a [i] sarc[/i] tag here?

      But just for you, Yonah, because you know I love ya, maybe you're just

      Yeah, I know, I know... Israel claims to be a light unto, or on, or some prepositional relationship to the nations of some sort or other, but, face it, they are not doing a very good job.

    • Maghlawatan: "The US economy is close to collapse."

      Reality check.

      Now, the Venezuelan economy has collapsed. (I almost typed the "Venusian" economy, which, as we all know, collapsed years ago due to catastrophic global warming.) I mean, really collapsed. It's bad.

      I'm keeping my eye on the Saudi Arabian economy. Those petrodollars don't buy what they used to.

    • Annie, the Salvadoran death squads were based on ideology, and people at the time did comment, well, I did anyway, "if John Negroponte comes, can death squads be far behind?". And lo and behold, they did, sure as shooting.

      A bunch of immature gas-bag internet trolls being deliberately anti-PC, trying to be shocking, and using cute little green frogs as their strange device (of all the nefarious things, pace Kermit!), has you worried about whether to be concerned that they represent "the millennial rightwing". Yeah, right. I don't think you're really that naive.

      That's Keith's point. Sowing seeds of distrust and suspicion between people is part of divide et impera.

      It can be ideology, it can be religion, it can be class, it can be culture, it can be speech-codes… it can even be cuisine. The divide et impera folks aren't picky. They will use whatever they think works.

  • In standing up for Bannon, Dershowitz is true to his Orthodox Brooklyn roots
  • Saving the daughters of Israel from the annihilation of intermarriage
  • Where do we go from here? Our thoughts & yours on the US election
    • C'mon, Reagan made a point of shaking hands with David Rockefeller. He was bought and paid for.

    • "Where do we go from here?" What??!!

      "Why is the path unclear?" Phil, Adam, and Scotty, "finish your group sing; get your kumbayayas out." I'm pretty much with Keith, Sibiriak, Roha, Sally, and to some extent, Mooser. Well, Mooser seems to think antisemitism is a real concern, which I just can't see. But there you go.

      Less dead people is good.

    • Keith: "The Seattle Times reports that a couple thousand students cut classes…"

      Oh, my Gawd! It's the end of civilization as we know it!

      Seriously? Students cut classes? And this is news?

      The Seattle Times is really reaching there.

  • Before Trump's revolution, there was Sanders'
    • Kay, if a "Bedtime for Bonzo" B-actor was not the last nail, I doubt Trump will be. If you weren't disillusioned with the entire political system before, it's simply because you didn't notice that LBJ got elected, Nixon got elected, in a landslide no less, and, hey, Teddy Roosevelt, completely barking mad, got elected.

    • Well, I don't remember the Democrats being all that agin it.

  • 'A revolt against the future': Quick reflections on the November 2016 Election
    • Mooser, Crocodile Dundee got a First at the University of Woolamaloo. He studied under Bruce.

      Our Roha, on the other hand, went to some pommie university.

  • 'The era of the Palestinian state is over' -- Israeli right celebrates Trump win
    • Mooser: "Please tell me what you can blackmail Trump with."

      Mooser, that is just what I thought. I mean what are they gonna do, threaten to release that photo of him kissing drag-queen Giuliani? He's Trump, how much more embarrassing can you get? But wait, there's more …


  • BDS and Normalization: A Palestinian perspective
    • Actually, Naftush (Ha ha! What a name!) none of us really care any more about you than we do the three noes, or noses, of Khartoum.

      You are so obviously a troll. You couldn't be more obvious if you tried.

    • Naftush (what a name!) says: "It mirrors the conduct of anti-'assimilation' radicals in Israel who, when they can’t or don’t dare assault Arabs, assail Jews who don’t clear their bar."-

      And this is new how? Assaulting or assailing other Jews has been part of the Israeli play-book from the very beginning. Get a grip.

  • Sanders is in Jewish tradition that rejected exceptionalist nationalism of Zionism
    • Boy, you take one yonah quote about: "If myerson has numbers that prove otherwise…"

      And you add one movie quote, and jeepers.

      You know, the thing that gets me is that yonah never even noticed that I was quoting him. (I meant to put in quotation marks, but my editor was asleep.) But you would think the exact wording might have clued him in. Apparently other people got it, but not yonah.

    • If myerson has numbers that prove otherwise, let him or Phil Weiss who quotes him provide statistics regarding the residency of NYC teachers in 68.

      See you next Tuesday, Myerson.

  • Israeli army stations dedicated PR officer at site of Hebron execution
    • "The Israeli Zionists are in it for the long haul."

      So long as they think it's a going concern and they don't need to exercise their second citizenship.

  • Why I chose to get arrested at AIPAC
    • rugal_b: "I am not trying to be an Israeli apologist." Well, for someone who isn't trying, you seem to be doing it pretty well.

      Look, maybe, being a Marxist and all, you don't get the structural framework's nuts and bolts, but U.S. civil rights in re Native Americans and Blacks have diddly-squat to do with U.S. support of Israel. It's its own thing. It has its own economic raison d'être, divorced from other money trails.

      "Just as the Palestinians are suffering in Gaza and Westbank, millions of native Americans are suffering in their reservations, millions of blacks languishing in prison for the crime of being black, millions of Hawaiians not being able to govern their own homeland."

      One of these things is not like the others; one of these things is not quite the same. You, know, rugal_b, you sound just like a hasbara troll.

    • Oh dear, rugal_b thinks that the U.S. is the most racist nation on the planet, not excepting Israel, only Gawd knows why..., and he also claims, "your tax dollars only exists [sic] due to the violent occupation of native American land by European capitalists." You're not familiar with the Delaware, are you rugal-b? What you are claiming is not consistent with a lot of the history.

      This guy is such a thin disguise for every other ignorant Israeli apologist claiming that, "Hey, you U.S. folks did it, so why can't Israel?"

  • Young liberal Zionists, it's time to let go and move on
    • "It’s true that Jews have had an unbroken historical presence in the Holy Land for the last three thousand years."

      "It’s true that a relationship to the Land has been central in the development of Judaism itself."

      Hmm. I keep seeing that "it's true" and believing it less. Even if I didn't independently know better, even if I had no other reason for doubting the assertions based on other evidence, that rhetorical emphasis on 'the truth' would make me suspect it.

      Here's for better and more entertaining Zionist apologists.

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel respond to poll showing Jewish support for expelling Arabs from country
    • Dan, here's the key:

      You say: "Question: What language do the Jews of Israel speak? Answer: Hebrew."

      That is exactly the problem. "Hebrew." What is that?

      Most people, your average person, if you will, would have little or no acquaintance with the Hebrew alphabet, let alone words.

      They've been told that Jews in Israel speak Hebrew and see a different alphabet and they think, "Oh well, of course, they are speaking some original language of the region, maybe even pure Biblical Hebrew" not realizing that Modern Hebrew is, as was pointed out, a "conlang", or, as I think of it, a concocted language, just as much as Esperanto, even based on the same syntax.

      I don't think your "average person" by which I mean a person who has little or no linguistics background, and probably no grounding in Hebrew whatsoever, would think, based on the alphabet or the words, that it was anything other than some strange language, maybe Old Persian, or modern Etruscan, even. And that is the point.

      The imposture wasn't for the poor folks having to learn the language to get by, poor things, they had no choice; although some of the weaker-minded younger ones might have fallen for it.

      Think about where most of the money was coming from. If the people on whom this imposture was foisted knew that it was an imposture, if they knew they'd been conned, they might have had a different impression of "good old Israel." And, baby, if you think they had lots of Hebrew under their belts....

      If somebody had put them wise to fact that "Modern Hebrew" was, just like Esperanto, completely artificial, maybe some of them would have had some doubts. I mean, just speaking for myself, but, if I was laying out real money for something I thought was the real thing and found out that it was as about as real as Disneyland, I'd have serious second thoughts myself.

      Dan, don't you know the anecdote about the mother, or even grandmother, teaching a little boy Yiddish on a bus in Israel and having some officious person, probably some IDF officer, telling her, "You should be teaching him Hebrew." The punchline being, "But I don't want him to forget that he is Jewish!" I'm skeptical of any historical facts, myself. Lots more than most people. But anecdotes are friends.

      And I do think the varieties of Yiddish with smatterings of other languages would have been more than enough to form a common creole Yiddish, which would have been lots of fun, linguistically speaking.

      Of course, it would have been mostly Eastern European, and that wasn't acceptable to the powers that be. Because there were lots of people out there with money who had to be conned into supporting "good old Israel" on irredentist lines. And there were also lots of immigrants who had to be cowed into supporting Israel.

      I have nothing against modern Hebrew itself, except for the ways it was implemented by Israel.

    • Well, Dan, I'm all curious now as to what you "strongly disagree with".

      You think your average person would recognize letters or words in Hebrew as Hebrew letters or words? (I am, of course, excepting the occasional math geek who would know 'aleph' from Set Theory.)

      Or you don't think it was cruel to the elderly immigrants, probably especially women, to enforce a non-Yiddish speaking, "Modern Hebrew only" for every little thing they might have to deal with the state bureaucracy for?

      I get that somehow you think foisting this concocted language on the immigrants was some sort of nation-building enterprise. But don't you get that the whole thing was a cockamamie scheme by the guys in charge to have control over the people they had forced to immigrate there? No, you seem to think the whole thing was put into effect with the best intentions. I'm just not seeing that.

      However, I notice you don't deny that, "it certainly would have made it much more difficult to perpetrate the irredentist pretense underlying so much Israeli propaganda. Which is my point. Wouldn't that have been good?"

    • "Rockets, stones and knives..."

      We heard it from the people in the town. They told us, "rockets, stones and knives..."

      "But if you had a gun..."

    • Dan, sorry to be coming back late to this. I don't really want the last word, but I still think you're not seeing the situation clearly and you seem to be an intelligent guy. Echi made a good point, as well.

      What you are saying about a common "national" language that was simply a matter of practicality and common sense simply wasn't.

      None of the immigrants spoke "Modern Hebrew" for practical purposes. In terms of a common language, there were mostly a couple of Yiddish dialects in common, some Polish, some Russian, a little German leavened with some Yiddish, which was close enough to get by with. Anyway, they could all have managed to understand one another with the languages they spoke already.

      In other words, there was no need of a common language, they had it already. But, here's where the conmen come in: the state bureaucracy insisted that all those poor Yiddish-speaking people had to ditch Yiddish and any other language they spoke as a native, and speak "Modern Hebrew" in order to negotiate the set-up bureaucracy. Now, I'm not saying that the conmen were fluent speakers of "Modern Hebrew" themselves. In lots of cases they weren't.

      I don't know if you've ever seen an elderly person trying to converse in a language they have only a passing knowledge of. It's beyond pathetic and frustrating for them. And I'm just guessing , but I bet the grandkids missed out on lots of bedtime stories.

      Now, maybe, as you say, this won't strike a chord, and "they already know Israel was founded by European Jews, [do they?] they will notice that the letters are the same [what letters?] and that enough of the words, WTF, the words? are the same, and that’s it, close enough."

      Dan, you really think your average person would recognize a letter or a word in Hebrew script? They wouldn't just think it was design motif. You can't be serious.

    • echinococcus; "Again, not a topic for MW." You keep saying that but I can't see why.

      As you said, "Also, the propaganda of the 'Jewish peoplehood' malarkey to other, totally unrelated other groups of historically-Jewish groups would have been much harder using a liturgical-only [or literary-only] language. Meaning that the East European nature of Zionism would have been more transparent."

      And, as I've said, the Israelis are claiming other people's historical and archeological heritage based on this sort of but-we-speakum-Hebrew stuff.

      Echi, I must apologize, I was kind of joking about the whole-hearted adoption of the Slavic declensions and conjugations and pronunciations. There were lots of Eastern European languages, though. So aome of the people who adopted Yiddish might have been speaking some other unrelated language(s) originally.

      Spoken languages do tend to be conservative, though, otherwise the kids won't understand. You do have a point, in that languages are adaptable to a certain extent. I don't quite understand your objection to a Slavic-origin Yiddish, it seems possible and even likely to me; maybe, maybe, there was some other substrate language in some cases. If you dig down,

    • YoniFalic: "Because the Catholic church was more centralized during the Middle Ages than Judaism, divergence in written Latin might not have been as great as existed in written Hebrew…"

      Oh, well, you probably haven't run across Middle Irish Latin. Talk about weird.

    • Mooser: "Wait a minute, I’m Reform, maybe I’ll just go get a package of frozen, skinless, boneless chicken breasts out of the freezer. I’ll wave it over my head, then let it defrost for dinner."

      Dora would approve of that.

      Especially, if you share some of the chicken. My dogs don't care what you do if there's chicken in it.

    • echinococcus: "That discussion is yet again going too far for this site."

      Well, mebbe. Actually, I find it intellectualy stimulating. But I love linguistic stuff, in any case.

      Unfortunately, it isn't just of academic interest. The Israelis are claiming other people's historical and archeological heritage based on this sort of stuff. So, in at least some cases, it might be useful to know the inside scholarly story.

      echinococcus: " I am somewhat familiar with those development theories re Yiddish –none of them justifies a theory of a Slavic-origin language."

      It probably wasn't a "Slavic-origin" language, from what I've remembered of what I've read.

      But whatever language(s) they were speaking, they started speaking some Slavic language as well, maybe just to trade with the natives, and that influenced the declensions and conjugations and pronunciations and what have you of whatever they were speaking originally.

      Languages are fascinating in the directions they can take.

    • yonah says: "philemon- previously you have objected when i asked you your ethnic identity."

      Well, in my defense, I didn't really object, I just found it hilarious in the context. No, yonah's not bigoted at all!

    • Yonah Friedman: "And the Haskala movement had resurrected Hebrew, which was the language that rabbis who did not share Yiddish or Arabic used to speak to each other, and the mishna is not liturgical and it is in Hebrew."

      Taking the points in reverse order, the Haskala movement invented a Hebrew-Esperanto; the Mishnah are religious texts, literary or liturgical in the broad sense and written in Mishnaic Hebrew, which doesn't really derive directly from Biblical Hebrew anyway. Be that as it may, Mishnaic Hebrew hasn't been a spoken language for nearly two thousand years now. Rabbis who did not share Yiddish or Arabic used to maintain their written correspondence with one another using whatever language they had in common. There are no tape-recordings of medieval rabbis' conversations so we have no idea what language(s) that used to converse with one another. Whatever it was, it wasn't some precious, preserved "Biblical Hebrew." They might have quoted Biblical Hebrew or used Ladino words with Hebrew roots or some such in their letters; perhaps that's what threw you.

      Look, yonah, if it is all that interesting the you, I did study Akkadian at one point. You can do that even if you're not white. So, I know a dead language when I see one. Biblical Hebrew is a dead language, really. It's shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain, and joined the choir invisible, etc.

    • Odd, isn't it? When you reverse the accusation, it's almost like that was what they were thinking in the first place.

    • Dan: "If you can point to some evidence that it was calculated con job I’d be interested to see it."

      Dan, it had to be a calculated job. The Israeli state bureaucracy with orders from above insisted that the people they had forced to immigrate there learn it. They set up schools to teach it to children. Otherwise, like Esperanto, it would have only been a hobby for some people. Look, they terrorized and murdered people, and forced people out of their homes, which they then confiscated, and they finagled the property rights to make it a legal mess. The folks who orchestrated all that were not nice people. And they were not above gulling the people they had forced to immigrate there out of whatever savings the poor souls had managed to salvage, either. You really think they were above any subterfuge? And if you think this was one issue on which they were innocent…

      Dan: "I said that they made a conscious decision to resurrect – that was their goal, what they thought they were doing in their minds."

      Dan, the guys in charge knew it was a concocted language, not a resurrected "Biblical Hebrew." The guy farming Arabic roots for supplemental lexical items to give it an adequate vocabulary for dealing with current realities was certainly under no illusions. Yeah, there was a guy who did that. Come on.

      Dan: "If they had chosen pure Yiddish as the common language, which some wanted to do, would you feel better about the whole enterprise."

      Well, if the folks in charge of the bureaucracy and the educational system hadn't made every effort to discourage every variety of Yiddish that the various forced immigrants were inclined to speak, maybe some sort of common Yiddish creole would have emerged. It would have been less high-handed and they couldn't have acted all holier-than-thou about it, but, above all, it would have been more honest and probably more interesting. Maybe the grandkids would have been able to understand more of the stories their grandparents wanted to tell them.

      It certainly would have made it much more difficult to perpetrate the irredentist pretense underlying so much Israeli propaganda. (Which is my point. Wouldn't that have been good?)

      Which is one reason why it had a snowball's chance in hell. And you think it wasn't a calculated con job...

      And "pure" Yiddish? Ain't no pure language. Heck, there was a Scots Gaelic Yiddish. Yep, Yiddish is really a variety of Gaelic.

    • Yoni's made the case as clear as I could. So, I'm not sure this'll help, but Dan might still be a bit confused.

      "The Yiddish speaking Jews who moved to Palestine in the late 19th/early 20th century made a conscious decision to resurrect Hebrew as a modern language."

      Actually, no, they didn't. They couldn't have anyway, because Hebrew as a living spoken language is lost in the mists of time. There are some liturgical vestiges, but that's it. No resurrection possible.

      What happened was that the crooks, conmen, and cranks running the state and immigration in Israel back then imposed an artificial language which they called "Modern Hebrew" on the would-be immigrants without the immigrants' say-so or vote. And that language was basically a relexified Yiddish with some Hebrew and Arabic "roots", which are just the basis of words without conjugation or declension. (In English, "to talk", talking, talked; "noise", some noises, noisy, etc. )

      Since most of the immigrants spoke Yiddish, it was easy for them to learn enough get by with. There's a joke about it. But it was pretty much Esperanto with Semitic as opposed to Romance "roots."

      What chafes Yoni's hide, and mine too a bit, is the idea some Israeli sympathizers have that this Yiddish Esperanto with some Hebrew and Arabic root-words thrown in is a "resurrection" of biblical Hebrew. But you get that at times.

      As f'r'nstance:

      "Hophmi: '[Modern Hebrew is]… related to Biblical Hebrew in much the same way Modern English is related to the English of Shakespeare’s time…'"

      Well, no, not really...

  • The Tantura massacre of 1948 and the academic character assassination of Teddy Katz
    • Forcing prisoners to dig graves for themselves? Give credit were credit is due. The Bolsheviks were doing it way before the Germans got the idea.

      And it wasn't as though Kitchener's camps were health resorts to begin with.

    • That's about the size of it.

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