We can all stipulate definitions of words but there are strange results from saying ‘I define as ‘Jewish’ those who a) meet a genetic test, say by reaching a score of n% on the relevant genetic scale used by reputable scientists. or b) have at least one grandparent who met that test, even narrowly’.
It is then possible, depending on who gets together with whom, that some children of Jews by the a) standard will score n/2% and their children n/4%. If two of these n/4s marry then it is possible that these two Jewish parents - Jewish by standard b) - will have children that are not Jewish in either stated way, since neither they nor any parent or grandparent have reached n%.
This strange result shows, I think, that we are not dealing with a test that is strictly genetic. It does, I admit, have an essential genetic component but that component can be overridden by tests that are legal, cultural or religious. One minute the genetic n% standard must be reached, the next it needn’t be. And the only reason why the genetic element is considered important is the status conferred on the bloodline by law, culture and above and beyond all else by religion.
Sorry to have been slow in replying. Jackdaw and I have different ideas of ‘demonstrated truth’, since to my mind there is a lot of poliicians’ ambiguity in many of the words he quotes and - though there are many more bits of evidence that I could bring up if need be - I would still say that the July 1921 conversation at Balfour’s home, which has I think been mentioned, amounts by itself to proof that there were different interpretations of the Declaration, which had been couched in ambiguous language by Christian Zionists to win the acquiescence of non-Zionists. How else can that conversation be interpreted?
That certain eminent people - those named and others - believed (though others dissented) in Zionism, which in its Christian form was centuries old, is undeniable and a very important historical fact. Some of them were indeed slimy buggers, as RoHa notes, from whom one would not take moral lessons, but maybe some were people of shining honour and sound good sense. All the same they may have been wrong. If they were not wrong we need the arguments, not just the names.
Faisal was not very typical in this matter. Again there are quotes and proof texts that could be cited. In my view the best overall account available is still Margaret Macmillan’s ‘Peacemakers’ of 2001.
I can’t see how it can be questioned that setting up an X state amid an X population raises very different questions than setting up a Y state amid an X population, or that any programme of major ethnic change raises very serious and unique moral challenges.
I still think insuting language - well, not if it’s about dead slimy burgers - is best avoided.
Well, I think that it’s accepted that I reported the words of the SRD without falsehood, so I don’t think I’ve assaulted Truth so far. There was indeed dispute and ‘contradiction’ over the meaning of these words, but that is surely an indication of their objectively ambiguous nature. You are absolutely right, Jackdaw, about Balfour’s personal views. He was a Christian Zionist and made no secret of it, briefing the Press In the way that the Zionists would have wished straight after the Declaration. I’ve often mentioned this here on Mondoweiss, it being a disgrace in my view to the good name of my country. Still, the words were chosen to be acceptable to people who did not share his views and so ambiguity was an important element of them.
Not that any right exists because people, even eminent people, think it does. Not that any proposition is true because people say it is.