Thursday, November 20, 2014

Potentially the Most Offensively Tepid Post I've Ever Penned.

I don't know what it is about this bombing in Har Nof that pisses me off the most. Is it that the victims were not the ones who are the real enemies of the killers?  Is it that neither side can find a peaceful, more constructive way to ameliorate the tensions?  Or is it the copious posts bleating about how much the whole world hates the Jews?


I have tried remaining silent about this issue. After all, no good has come from my discussing my point of view. I'm not going to change any minds. After all, I am already perceived as a self-hating Yid (I'm not).  And so, not only have I denied my people, I have thrown out the baby, the bathwater, the crib, and most of the nursery too. Right?

After all, how can any decent human being seriously criticize Israel?  If you deny the Jews (even the secular ones) their Israel, you [insert Reductio ad Hitlerum here].


Where I stand (or shall I sit?)

For those following my other posts, you know that I am a pretty hard skeptic about the Bible as a reliable history source. This includes the traditional interpretation I was raised with.
-a one deity
-has all these rules that are imperative
-belief is intrinsic
-there are chosen people

Yes, chosen people. And a chosen nation for a chosen people.

Sure, everyone wants to believe they are special.  Everyone wants to believe they are loved by whatever spirits watch over them. And when bad things happen, why not blame it on the supernatural?

Israel. Palestine. Zion. Judea-Samaria. Whatever you choose to call it.

The chosen land.

Well, I don't necessarily subscribe to the biblical narrative anymore.

So why should I support Israel at all?

Answer: very minimally.

-the only fully Westernized country in the area. Sure, it is as a result of colonialism. But in this case, I would think the bad outweighs the good.
-humanitarian perspective. What other country has full rights for women, minorities, LGBTQ, and people of all stripes?  Israel is much closer to that than Palestine.
-anyone who denies that the Jews had a presence in the land does not know their history. However, the Jews do exaggerate how strong their ties to the land are.


And how about the group known as the Palestinians?

If I hear one more person say "there's no such thing as Palestine", I will blow my lid.

You don't hear Hindus say there's no such thing as Pakistan. Or Turks saying there's no such thing as Armenia. And do the Tutsis deny that the Hutus exist?  And does anyone deny that the Jews exist?

Okay, there are those who deny that Ashkenazim are "Real Jews;" those who say they are Kuzarim who converted en masse; they would say that the real Jews are either nonexistent or dispersed among the Sefardi/Mizrahim.

But other than that--saying that there's no such thing as Palestine is pretty damn pernicious if you ask me.

Sure, it is a synthetic definition. But aren't most regional identities synthetic to an extent?

I mean take my ethnic identities. I am an American. I live in Harlem. I was raised in New Jersey. I was born in Brooklyn. I was raised Jewish. My mother is half-Polish half-Hungarian. My father is a big mix of Polish, German, Galitzyan, and who know/cares what else. I am an ethnic mutt!  And I'm proud.

Palestinian. Until the early 1960s, it meant the people living in the Levant area, what's now called Israel and Jordan. Then Jordan became a Hashimite Kingdom.

Then, the PLO gave it more specific definition. They fit it to mean those who were expelled from their land between the years 1947-50 as a result of the Naqbaa (as they call it). Later, the definition was extended to include 1967 and the West Bank.

And I say so what if they choose to self-identify as Palestinian?

So what if the people who now call themselves Palestinian were not always Palestinian?

For how many years were the Jews considered wretches without a land?

And now, they have become the former slave torturing the former master.

Does that make it right?

Gah. Too complicated to answer in one simple post.

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