Danaa, great comment. Vaguely reminds me of an exchange with a Jewish Canadian vs a Jewish American scholar. Multiculturalism vs the Melting Pot ideals. Long time ago.
There is a trace in Yonah Fredman's post above. See his no 2. The Canadian, by the way, was a scholar of First Nation Rights vs the usual handling by the Canadian courts. I agree with Nathan too that Phil's assimilationist position is sometimes not fully convincing.
No one can deny that America has benefitted enormously from its minorities, be they jewish, or black, or carribean or Cajun, or Asians, or Hispanic. All of them encountered difficulties on the road to integration, but all did, more or less successfully (OK, I am totally glossing over the not so good aspects now, but the fact that not all is well does not detract from the fact lots is well for most people. By no means all…).
How well will that perception survive the next decades? Both in the US and the "Western World". Is there a chance that Israel will turn into "a light unto the nations", a model to follow, how to effectively deal with the respective minorities? Not least Arabs and Muslim .
to pick up Mooser's response: my prosperity, not yours or theirs? ...
This is absolutely great, Yakov. The Goldie once again. I cannot read him anymore, but apparently there are others. Without even caring to take a look.
The layman's use of psychology is something I deeply dislike for longer now. But narcissist may well top the list in this context. Seems to pop up everywhere as core argument.
But this is a gem, no doubt, I suppose the guy was pretty pleased when he had this revelation how to best connect lines of thought, but it seems to belong into a larger recurring theme in variations:
"This is not a new phenomenon for Jews on the left, who have always had to balance their commitment to cosmopolitan principles with their communal concerns. … For many left-wing Jews, distancing oneself from Israel and the American Jewish majority has become a marker of enlightenment and urbanity not unlike the way German Jews looked down upon shtetl Ostjuden from Poland and Russia. Contemporary Western liberal Jewish criticism of Israel’s “right wing drift” also has an unspoken racial component, as the vast majority of American Jews are of Ashkenazi descent while more than half of Israeli Jews are of Sephardic or Mizrahi lineage. And so the tension that long existed (and to some extent, still exists) between the old, Ashkenazi Israeli elite and the dispossessed Mizrahim is now being grafted onto the American-Israeli relationship—with the “good leftist” in the role of the racist Ashkenazi snobs."
Some else vague impression somewhere, they seem to consider their readers as children that have to be led on the right path. Well done.
Pleased to see you are still around too, Shmuel.
"That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about Finkelstein"
I think I understand your line of thought. Without descending too deeply into it.
Let me tell you what I found the most important matter in this interview. From a more personal position, no doubt.
In a way it triggered an earlier private exchange I had with him, years and years ago. At the time a campaign against him in an academic field had caught my attention. No doubt with many non-academic highly emotionally concerned citizens around that wouldn't be very easy to connect to "the lobby", if you ask me, and as I realized looking more closely into matters, not the first campaign against him either.
What I find deeply ironic, cutting matters short here, is, that now the opposite camp has fulfilled the ultimately desire driving the campaign/campaigns: push him outside public discoursee. Apart, hopefully, academia.
I am pleased he hasn't lost his humor. Concerning the specific passages: They are well chosen. I surely hope too, that his books find many readers ideally outside academia too.
Another from the top of my head issue which caught my attention. There was a point in time his critique of Human Right Groups caught my attention. It was a more general statement on Democracy Now. I recall Amy's puzzlement concerning this statement. If I recall correctly he had to elaborate. If you take a look at the larger ME, to the extend I follow it. Matters have turned out much more difficult, then I was aware of at the time. And yes, I highly appreciated he picked it up again.
I am not going to carefully proofread this, in spite of the appreciated edit option. ;)