Thursday, December 29, 2005

Assorted Jewish Blogging

A few Jew-related blog posts and articles I've stumbled across these past few days...

Julia Gorin writes a piece entitled "Dumb Jews"--presumably, she is the paradigmatic example because it is just awful (H/T: Feministe). I mean really, I have rarely seen idiocy on such a grand scale. Net story, she apparently cannot conceive that Jewish leaders can criticize both Evangelical Christians AND radical Islamists--and then (I swear I'm not making this up) she thinks that God has abandoned his "Chosen People" because we don't vote Republican. Yeah, I can imagine that ticking Him off. She continues:
Foxman also noted that 70 percent of weekly churchgoers and 76 percent of Evangelicals "agreed that 'Christianity is under attack' in this country -- a conclusion that is hard to square with their growing influence in Congress, the White House and the courts, he said."

With attacks on religion that target "In G-d we Trust", "Under G-d", tiny crosses on county seals, Christmas trees and the 10 Commandments, Christians really have nothing to fear.
There is only one group in America that is victim to bigotry on a massive scale, and that is the Christians. For those who think the minority can't oppress the majority, think again. The minority with its various minorities can oppress an entire nation.

Is she stoned? Or is this from natural causes? Somewhere along the line, getting rid of "Under G-d" has mutated into "bigotry on a massive scale." Next step, Stalinist Russia (a claim she, unsurprisingly at this point, makes as well). I'd like to think anyone with a passing knowledge of Jewish history knows that "bigotry on a massive scale" encompasses slightly more than removing overt state support for religion. Those little things like death camps, and burning Jews at stake, and tearing down synagogues--that's religious bigotry. And would someone introduce this woman to a inquisitor, so she can get off from the notion that wherever Christians are safe, Jews are too? I mean, honestly.

Fortunately, the remaining posts were slightly less likely to get my blood pressure up. David Bernstein remarks on the growing integration of Ethopian Jews into Israeli public life. This is important on several counts. First, Israel has had an unfortunate history of discrimination by the (European) Ashkanazis against the (African and Middle Eastern) Sephardim. That they are starting to move past this tradition is great news by itself. But also, Israel represents perhaps the best model of what a racially integrated society could look like. This isn't to say it is all that great--but then, no country is. Rather, I think would could plausible argue that on the race issue alone, Israel might have made more strides toward full integration than any other country in the world. People who criticize Israel as a "racist" or "apartheid" state would do well to remember that--and remember that their rhetoric completely writes out of existence the Sephardic Jewish population. They're people too, and they deserve to have a role in our political/historical dialogue.

On the subject of Israel, Iowa Law Professor Adrien Wing has given "part one" of her trip to Israel. Though this part is positive, it ends with the ominious "Unfortunately, we did not feel peace in the Holy Land." I had recalled from looking over Professor Wing's C.V. that she had done a lot of work on Palestinian legal issues, so I am particularly curious to hear her first-hand opinions of the current status there. I will admit that when I see a Professor who specializes in "constitutionalism decision-making in the Palestinian intifada...and women's rights in Palestine" (among many other things) I get suspicious of how fairly they will treat Israel in their scholarship. It isn't fair of me, and I desparately hope to be proven wrong (I can't fiat my prejudices out of existence, but I can acknowledge them and hope to keep the suppressed until factual backing comes out). I firmly believe that there are persons who are personally invested in seeing Palestine become a stable, progressive, and democratic state that also harbor no ill will toward Israel and recognize its legitimate security and political interests as well. In fact, I'd like to think I fall into that category as well. So I eagerly await this next post by her that she claims is forthcoming.

David Kopel inquires about that prevelance of the phrase "First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people" in Palestine and the surrounding areas. The good news is that the consensus seems to be it's rather rare. The bad news is that this seems to be more a function of anti-Christian sentiments lagging far behind anti-Semitic sentiments than any true repudiation of violence. Ah well.

And there you have it--the complete blog-day in Judaism. Consolodated for your pleasure by your friendly Debate Link staff.

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