8 thoughts on “Jewish Bloggers Initiate Online Petition Against Knesset’s Denial of Arab Citizens’ Right to Lease State Land – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Oh we’ve got a live anti-Semite here folks. I’ve just reviewed the blog to which you linked & its instructive, though painful to wade through the miasma of generalizations he makes about Judaism [UPDATE: For those who don’t read carefully, the epithet above refers to the commenter here & not the author of the post he links to]:

    Jewish law is littered with references which dehumanize gentiles and treat them as little better than animals (though there are certainly other thinkers who contradict or ameliorate some of the harsher sentiments).

    Littered? Oh really. Try providing one reference for starters. That would be nice. How do you level such a charge w/o providing a single reference to support you? But at least he tempers his ridiculous statement by acknowledging there may be a Jew or two who doesn’t share such views.

    Obviously a critical aspect of Judaism is it is understood is that the Jewish people are the Chosen of the One True God, and as such their lives of far greater worth than those of the gentiles in the eyes of many Jews.

    This author makes no distinction between Orthodox Judaism & other denominations which makes this generalization worthless. Orthodox Jews constitute perhaps 20% of the overall Jewish population. There are SOME (though not all) Orthodox Jews who see their lives as being worth more than a gentiles life. But is it valid to extrapolate fr. such a minority view that this is the view of “Judaism?” No, of course not.

    Though clearly most Jews do not take these general principles to their reductio ad absurdum

    In fact, most Jews do not maintain such a belief at all.

    ..>Enough do to have material impacts on the world. For example, the author of the above piece notes that Baruch Goldstein, the American-born physician who perpetrated the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre had a reputation for not wanting to treat gentiles. As a matter of fact when Goldstein was stationed in Lebanon two Druze members of the first unit in which he was stationed approached their commanding officer and asked that he be transfered. Their reason was that they were worried that Goldstein would not treat them if they were injured during action. Note, these were not enemy soldiers, they were men in his own unit. Ultimately the situation was resolved when Goldstein was transfered to an all-Jewish unit.

    Goldstein and his fellow travelers are extreme cases; but, they are illustrative of a trend and tendency, which I believe does seep into the self-perception, unconscious or conscious, of many Jews.

    Again, this is preposterous. Baruch Goldstein no more represents the views of normative Judaism than David Duke represents the views of all southerners. Are there a few hundred Jews in the world who agree with Goldstein’s views (in fact there is a hardy minority who worship at his grave on the date of his suicide)? Sure. So what does that prove. And I should add that I have practically devoted my life to fighting the Goldsteins of the Jewish people and it is why I am hated among a narrow band of my own people. But to say that this murderous nutcase represents me or my fellow Jews is deeply offensive & just plain wrong.

    When I was in college my friend who was self-identified as Conservadox asked me in an offhand manner once if I was jealous that she was one of the Chosen People. Of course, she knew I was an atheist, and I laughed it off because I didn’t even believe in her God let alone her innate Chosenness, but her tone did suggest to me that she was conscious of her special standing within the broad sweep of the human race. Later on I recall her commenting that she could care less if I fucked a donkey, I was after all a gentile (we were talking about the morality of homosexuality). Only later did I find out that some Jewish literature does imply that gentiles are as bestial as donkeys, so the choice of animal might not have been a coincidence.

    I’ve learned at this blog that there is a certain class of people who have extreme views & to bolster them they often resort to anecdotal evidence that can hardly be replicated outside of the one or two people offered as evidence of a wider trend. So we have here one Jewish woman espousing views I would view as bizarre & aberrant to Judaism as I know it. What does such a person represent? A trend? An important statistic? Hardly.

  2. Richard, have you ever considered doing a cost-analysis of your blog? How many thousands of words have appeared here over the years? How many thoughts and opinions have found sanctuary in its columns ? What numbers now languish within its archives, fading day by day into the ever receding past? And what has been the result of all this written contention? Has it stopped one single war, saved one single life, changed one single mind? Sometimes you just have to wonder where it’s all going, don’t you?

    A petition as a means of alerting the troops and rousing the populace! OK, it might work but, seriously, I would question its efficacy. Why? Because it’s so predictable. It’s the sort of thing expected of you, Richard. It’s the liberal approach, enlightened, reasonable, rational….. but, just maybe, a bit too conventional. No doubt there will be many who will hear your call and add their voice to yours. And that’s all well and good and as it should be but, in the end, what is really achieved? Will there be any discernible end-product to show for this most laudable endeavour?

    Now the way I see it is this. If you really want a result, you first have to get noticed. And for that, it’s better to do the unexpected. It’s no good always pitching straight down the middle. Once in a while there you have to throw in a curve-ball. If nothing else, it does liven things up and makes others sit up too.

    How about this for unconventionality? Announce that you’re positively in favour of land reserved exclusively for Jews. No problem there at all. It’s only fair, simple natural justice – even God himself approves; the Bible says so, doesn’t it? Of course, by the same token, it must follow that land also has to be set aside similarly for any non-Jews who might want it.

    Refer them then to the TOY blog at http://yorketowers.blogspot.com and suggest this as a way in which such exclusivity might be so sanctioned and legitimised. I can almost guarantee then a flight from any vision of permanent land retention held by those willing to promote such a scheme. God forbid that the sacred soil of Israel should ever be put at risk. No, we’d rather continue on with things just as they are, fighting, killing and squabbling over it as always. Please forget we ever mentioned anything concerning special land reservation.

    ‘The children of this world, in their generation, are wiser than the children of light’

    (translation: ‘It often helps, in this world, if you can be a lot sneakier and more savvy than those who aren’t’)

    alternative translation:’ never give a sucker an even break’ Not very liberal, of course, but then who cares? If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, we can always…. you know what.

  3. “Oh we’ve got a live anti-Semite here folks.”

    Richard, you must learn to tame that instinct to yell “anti-Semite.” You’re by no means the worst offender, but the practice is deeply entrenched and demands continual vigilance.

    Razib was fully justified in removing your post, and you might want to consider apologizing.

  4. Anon: No, it’s you & Razib who owe ME an apology. I didn’t accuse HIM of being an anti-Semite unless his name is really Ryan Kermode & he wrote the comment published here which linked to his post. You guys should read more carefully before you accuse people of accusing you of anti-Semitism. I think it’s you guys who are the jittery, defensive ones. Not me.

    You mean you read my analysis of his post above & you think he was justified in deleting it. I think it’s pathetic. My comment on his post contains factual information & legitimate challenges to his claims. What does he do–press delete. Pathetic. And then he snidely says I should go ahead & waste my time & post again so he can delete again. Worthless.

  5. “You mean you read my analysis of his post above & you think he was justified in deleting it?.”

    No, I thought he was justified because I was under the impression you had called him an “anti-Semite”. But apparently I was wrong, so I apologize.

    But now that you’ve explained that it was really commenter Ryan Kermode whom you calling an “anti-Semite,” perhaps you could explain what in his short post justifies this?

    “And then he snidely says I should go ahead & waste my time & post again so he can delete again. Worthless.”

    Impolite perhaps, but I think you’re going to find that the “anti-Semitism” charge will increasingly draw this kind of vigorous reaction. People are tired of it, and are beginning to suspect that it’s used to hide more harm than it claims to expose.

  6. what in his short post justifies this?

    I don’t much like people who claim Israel is racist and blame the Jewish religion for such racism saying that Israelis oppress Arabs because Jews think they are “little better than animals.” That’s what Kermode was getting at. And that’s precisely the danger of what Razib is doing. I don’t think he’s anti-Semitic. He probably doesn’t think much of ANY religion, let alone Judaism. He’s clearly read a lot about Judaism. But his “knowledge” of Judaism is skewed by his inherent prejudices & overgeneralizations. A religion is a huge belief system that includes much that is garbage & much that is sublime. To make the type of sweeping generalizations he makes in his post does tremendous violence & disservice to my religion.

    I am not one who throws around the term ‘anti-Semite’ wily nily. I have been accused by my own fellow Jews too many times of hating my religion & Israel to do that to someone else w/o good justification.

    And if you’re in touch w. this fellow you should ask him to ponder the question–if I was accusing him of being anti-Semitic in the comment I published at his blog, why did I remove the phrase containing that term, which opens the comment I wrote here directed at Ryan Kermode? Does Razib think I was just being 2-faced & didn’t want to call him an anti-Semite to his face? I’ve got news. I call ’em as I see ’em & if I thougt he was one I would’ve said so right at his blog. I think he’s terribly ill-informed. But not an anti-Semite.

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