Matisyahu and Suicide Girls?


matisyahu
What could they possibly have in common?

One’s a Hassidic Reggae Superstar, and the other is a, uh… Web site that features naked goth-type women. Apples and oranges, right? Well, not quite, see both are the subject of criticism and boycott calls, in part because of their perceived Zionism. Allow me to explain.

Some guy named bruce posted a call to boycott Matisyahu on San Diego’s indymedia Web page. Amongst Matisyahu’s crimes is the cultural insensitivity of a reggae singer who is anti-marijuana: “Reggae is the music of Rastafarians and marijuana a sacrament … and Matisyahu’s marketing association with reggae is blasphemous to the Rastafri religion.” More importantly however, is Matisyahu’s association with Chabad Lubavitch, described as an organization that is “a primary purveyor of Zionism.” This bruce dude urges us all to

… call your radio stations and tell them not to play ‘King without a Crown’ until Matisyahu speaks out against the subjugation and bankrupting of the Palestinian people. And tell ormusic.com and jdubrecords.org and ‘hasidicreggae.com that you won’t be buying anything associated with Matisyuahu until he speaks out against the subjugation and bankrupting of the Palestinian people.

Dude, I’ll speak out against the subjugation and bankrupting of the Palestinian people… by corrupt PA officials. But whatever, let’s continue. A Lubavitcher who supports Israel isn’t such a stretch, but what of the Suicide Girls? Well I was reading this blog entry by one Andrea Rubinstein. Andrea is one of those people, so certain of what is right and what is wrong, so full of self-righteousness and hubris, that she can arrogantly assert what is best for you and for everyone else. I mean cripes, I consider myself left-wing – I am a strong supporter of things like socialized health care, freedom of choice, affirmative action, I oppose racism, sexismand homophobia etc. etc. but people like Rubinstein sometimes make me embarassed because we are ostensibly in the same camp.

But I digress. Rubinstein reported on trouble in Suicide Girl land. Apparently 30 of the Girls have left the company amid allegations of abusive practices by Sean Suhl, one of the founders of Suicide Girls. Rubinstein provides a plethora of links outlining the company’s misbehavior towards its staff, including the Wired News piece that broke the story. That’s all fine and good. But what really gets me is that one of the things Sean Suhl is accused of is that he is a Zionist and that the company gives 10% of its profits to the IDF. This and other similar claims are now all over the Web. I have no interest in defending Mr. Suhl, but why do people give a rat’s ass about his Zionism? How does one even give money to the IDF? Why are self styled progressives so stupid??

All this almost makes me long for days of dudes like Noam Chomsky and Edward Said. Say what you will about their politics, but neither guy was stupid… What? Chomsky’s not dead yet? Oh. OK.

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ck

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Founder of Jewlicious? Publisher? Man I hate titles. I coined the name Jewlicious and I slave over the site. I live in Jerusalem and I need to get some breakfast.
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49 Comments

  1. Zooka23

    10/6/2005 at 1:00 am

    So okay, let me check my new additions to the “common” dirty words set, just so I can clarify these things:

    Zionism, feminism, liberal

    Anyone can confirm or deny these for me? Would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Elon

    10/6/2005 at 1:50 am

    I could spend all day poking holes in his ludicrous arguments…but instead i only wasted 10…

  3. michael

    10/6/2005 at 1:58 am

    Dummy. Reggae is not Rastafarian music, it’s music that happens to be often played by Rastafarians.

    If this asshole knew what he was talking about, he would have realized two things:

    a) Reggae and its musical predecessors ska and rocksteady were largely invented by non-Rastas, as the population of the Jamaica is largely non-Rasta. Just because it was popularized by Rastas (okay, basically one Rasta in particular) doesn’t mean it’s music by and for Rastafarians.

    b) Many orthodox Rastas spurn reggae as a commercial sellout to Babylon, preferring instead various Afro-Jamaican forms of drum music. Reggae has no religious status within Rastafari.

    Basically, this guy’s argument is like saying a black dude playing klezmer is offensive to Judaism. Which is patently ridiculous. Maybe he should ask some actual Rastafarians what they think before he runs off his mouth.

  4. michael

    10/6/2005 at 2:04 am

    Which reminds me, actually, when I met Matisyahu I asked him how he had been received in the Rasta-dominated reggae scene, he said people had mostly been very supportive.

    Because real musicians care about somebody’s chops, not their color, religion or how much ganja they do or don’t smoke.

    Damn. Stupid people.

  5. Zoe Strickman

    10/6/2005 at 6:27 am

    Oh no! This is not needed. They don’t own the style — music is an expression of a person’s heart, and Matisyahu has plenty of it.

    G’mar chasima tova.
    -Zoe

  6. mobius

    10/6/2005 at 10:22 am

    i heard that stuff about sean a while ago as well from some suicide girls themselves. there’s an ‘israel’ group on sg and when i posted things that contradicted what the group’s right-wing american owner said he banned me from the group. so i asked to start an “israel-palestine peace” forum and they rejected it.

    ridiculous about the ban on matisyahu. clearly this dunce doesn’t know about the fact that mat played in the unity sessions with palestinians and muslims. tamar nafar — the palestinian rapper from lod — has been asking me when matis is coming to israel so they can chill.

  7. mobius

    10/6/2005 at 10:23 am

    er boycott of, not ban on

  8. tekanji

    10/6/2005 at 10:28 am

    1) You’re misrepresenting me by implying that I called Suhl a Zionist. I did no such thing, nor did the word “Zionist” appear in my post. My critique of him was limited to his business practices and conduct towards his employees.

    2) …that she can arrogantly assert what is best for you and for everyone else

    Excuse me, when did stating that I would personally boycott a company and speak to any feminist or sex-positive organization about its bad business practices translate into “arrogantly assert[ing] what is best for you and everyone else”?

    I never said that you had to agree with me, or that people who subscribed to SG were bad people, or anything like that. I said that SG engaged in some truly awful business practices, that they misrepresent their business with words like “empowerment” and “equality”, and that I believe that they engage in the same kind of exploitation as other mainstream porn companies do.

    Neither your disagreement with me nor my critique of the company itself is the same as me knowing what’s “best” for everyone.

    3) …but people like Rubinstein sometimes make me embarassed because we are ostensibly in the same camp.

    Ad hominem attacks like this and the one in #2 are unwarranted and unnecessary. It hurts your argument if you have to insult me in order to prove your point about disagreeing with me.

    And, for the record, I consider myself a feminist progressive, not a liberal (because liberal is often synonymous with Democrat). Part of that is not shutting up like a “good little girl” when I see something I perceive to be wrong. Espousing my opinion, embarrassing or not, is my right. A right that is, and should be, protected. You trying to bully me/shame me into shutting up because you don’t like what I said isn’t going to work.

    Frankly, if you had argued your point rather than attacking me, I would have been more than happy to discuss any objections you may have had. I got into a rather long discussion with one of my posters because she disagreed with me about American Apparel. She brought up many good points, as did I. In the end, we may have acquiesced a few points to each other, but we mainly stood in the same camp we started in. But, if you actually bothered to read my blog as a whole, you’d see that I think disagreement can lead to personal growth, even if one’s basic stand isn’t changed.

    In fact, I don’t think argument needs to be for changing one’s basic stance, but rather for showing and seeing the other side of things. I would have tried that here, but all I see is you agreeing that my post was “all fine and good” and then going off on a tangent about Zionism that had nothing to do with what I was saying.

    How, exactly, are my views “embarrassing” and how, exactly, does my post mandate that everyone agree with me?

    Until you answer that, all I’m left with is you disagreeing with me in a way that 1) misrepresents my point, and 2) attacks me personally, rather than my argument.

  9. themiddle

    10/6/2005 at 12:34 pm

    Oooh, Mobius, have you met Andrea? Andrea, have you met Mobius?

  10. ck

    10/6/2005 at 12:37 pm

    Gaaah!
    For the record, in case you care about this story but did not follow the links, Andrea Rubinstein never accused Sean Suhl of being a Zionist.

    My comments about Andrea are based on reading a big chunk of her recent posts and comments on isues that have nothing to do with Suicide Girls. The frustration expressed about Andrea is one that I have with many progressive writers and organizations who, rather than fight the rise of the right in the US, are busy fragmenting the left. I mean seriously “I consider myself a feminist progressive, not a liberal (because liberal is often synonymous with Democrat).” Huh? Would a real Liberal ever tell you to be a good little girl and shut up in the face of injustice?

    I did say that my comments were a digression, right? I actually think that Andrea Rubinstein is a fine writer and worthy of attention, because why would I read her blog otherwise? Also Andrea, in the spirit of the season, please forgive me if I caused you any offense. Happy New Year and Shana Tova!

  11. Calvin

    10/6/2005 at 1:16 pm

    How interesting is the fact the reggae often speaks about “zion”, that the rastafarians call their god “Jah”, that Babylon is considered bad, etc.
    i’m not saying that rasta=reaggae=zionists, but the whole idea of the boycott is ridiculous. not surprising at all, though…

  12. josh

    10/6/2005 at 1:24 pm

    How do you give money to the IDF? write a check, bank transfer? Some people just buy bullet-proff flak jackets and donate them, othersbuy Litton sniper-scopes. Maybe they are talking about the associataion for the welfare of the soldiers which buys dvd players, weight room equipment, and toothpaste for the Zionist army?

  13. tekanji

    10/6/2005 at 3:41 pm

    Thank you for your clarification on the Zionist issue.

    The frustration expressed about Andrea is one that I have with many progressive writers and organizations who, rather than fight the rise of the right in the US, are busy fragmenting the left.

    ck, if you truly believe that then you really haven’t been reading my posts. Disagreement does not equal inability to work together. I just simply refuse to be such a hypocrite that I can’t criticize the arguments of my ideological allies just as readily as my ideological opponents. I believe that we need to look just as hard at ourselves, if not harder, before we can point fingers at other people. At the same time, I strive to see the common goals that all of us have. If we threw out the divisive discourse that to criticize an argument is to slander an entire movement, then we’d find that even those of us diametrically opposed have some common ground to work with. I think that, more than anything, would strike a large blow to “the right” and its black and white ideology.

    And, speaking of “fragmenting the left” what, exactly, do you call your ad hominem attacks on me like the one where you said that I made you “embarrassed because we are ostensibly in the same camp”? Your divisive discourse is just as hurtful as the one you accuse me of. Perhaps even moreso, because you do it in a personal way while I try to discuss ideas/arguments/practices while still acknowledging the validity of the person/organization I disagree with.

    Instead of blaming me and other progressives for speaking out about the problems with “the left”, why don’t you tell the left to stop fragmenting itself? If Democrats and other liberals would either 1) uphold to the ideals they supposedly believe in, and/or 2) stop trying to silence people who call them on their hypocrisy then there wouldn’t be anything for me, or other progressives, to criticize.

    Huh? Would a real Liberal ever tell you to be a good little girl and shut up in the face of injustice?

    Why yes, yes liberals would. Haven’t you heard about Kos and the pie fight incident? Or how about Kos telling NARL, a specifically pro-choice organization, to suck it up and support an anti-choice Democrat? The latter is also an example why I don’t support, or want to be associated with, the Democratic Party. They have proven time and time again that they are willing to chuck the rights of minorities out the window in order to get the swing vote. My personal morals will not allow me to support that.

    Or if you prefer me to point out how a liberal wanted me, personally, to shut up and be a good girl… how about your attack on me right here? Your post is not very far off from telling me that, if I want to be a proper liberal, then I can’t ever raise complaint about the way that liberals run things.

    Well, you know what? I’m sick of those tactics. If being a good liberal means never criticizing the decisions of other liberals, then count me out. I’m a feminist progressive because then people like you can’t shame me for “embarrassing” you by being in your camp. Hey, I’m not in your camp! I’m in a camp that believes in sticking to our ideals while not crushing any dissenting opinion.

    I did say that my comments were a digression, right?

    And if I personally attacked you as an aside in my blog that would be perfectly okay too…? I’m not sure how your comments being a digression are a defence for what you said about me personally.

    Also Andrea, in the spirit of the season, please forgive me if I caused you any offense.

    I thank you for the compliment you paid me in the sentence preceding that one, and I am more than happy to forgive you if you can understand why your comments were hurtful and inappropriate. However, from your response I don’t feel that you found anything wrong with engaging in ad hominem attacks instead of stating that you felt the ideologies I espoused were divisive and against to the spirit of cooperation. Like I said, I have no problem with people criticizing my arguments, but it’s no small thing to ask for me to blindly forgive a personal attack when you seem to be reluctant to accept any responsibility for your part in it.

  14. JOBBER

    10/6/2005 at 4:02 pm

    Rastafarians *do* use ganga as part of their religious rituals but this music has nothing to do w. that. And only Bob Marley and Peter Tosh were open to the extrme about weed, in Marley’s case probably led to his cancer, so what is so great about smoking weed day and night, would someone have a clue on that one?

    I can’t see what the upside of this guy’s argument is, it’s better to work together w/ people anyway.

  15. mobius

    10/6/2005 at 5:02 pm

    marley’s cancer was a result of gangrene he got from an infection in his toe he got from playing soccer and refusing to treat it with western medicine.

    marijuana doesn’t cause cancer; it causes cancer to recede.

  16. gimpy

    10/6/2005 at 8:14 pm

    marijuana … it causes cancer to recede.

    Marijuana cures cancer? Just how much receding we talking here?

  17. Jobber

    10/6/2005 at 8:23 pm

    mobius, the smoking of anything creates poisons that the smoker inhales. This includes marijuana. Bob was smoking pounds a day, this can definetly cause lung cancer. I am not to judge Bob Marley, but I am certain that the amounts the he smoked are bad for anyone.
    That is why btw, the AMA has guidlines for med users, they are that smoking is the least preferred method of using this drug. The first one is using a vaporizor, and then by cooking.

  18. chutzpah

    10/6/2005 at 11:40 pm

    Thanks to this blog I have now been introduced to the suicide girls. I found them attractive and creative, but also sad. What is going to happen when they turn 50 and those tatoos look like skin disease? they will have to have them redone or removed. and who is making money from inspiring them to look that way…THE MAN. I don’t know which man, but ultimately, unless they are being compensated for their modeling and have residual rights to their images, someone is getting rich off of their rebellion against “the establishment” and “the man”.

  19. yoseph leib

    10/7/2005 at 8:46 am

    It is an issue in modern Rasta culture, how to relate their “mt zionism” to our modern zionism.
    Most Rastas, tho not all, certainly, that i’ve hung out with felt like the jewish adoption of the “Israel” identity was a co-option of this more universal, cosmic aspiration, and that it was heresy and lies to try to use words like zionism for something as shallow and terrestrial as the return to a particular physical land by any one particular tribe, claiming to be the true Israel.

    Isn’t that cute of them?

  20. judi

    10/7/2005 at 11:29 am

    My favorite description of Matisyahu, lifted from a frum Jewish mothers’ site:

    “I did not understand one single word. Looked like a fairly normal guy and then these strange sounds started coming from his mouth…but I got a kick out of it. Cool”

    Wait- what’s normal? What’s strange? I guess it’s all about perspective.

    BTW, I spent some time in Jamaica and hung out at Reggae Sunsplash back when it was still fun. I’ve had Jamaican apartment-mates (at Brandeis!) and I can’t remember ganja being a part of either of those experiences for me (tho’ maybe the drugs I can’t remember taking have somehow affected my memory- seems plausible). It’s possible, and even desirable, to keep Jamaica/ Jamaican culture and drugs separate. It’ll also save you money on legal representation.

    Mutabaruka, the “poet laureate” of Jamaica, and his band visited our apartment after a gig one night. They didn’t use any drugs or alcohol whatsoever (at least while they were with us- they drank lots of mango and orange juice, as I recall) and managed to remain on an entirely different plane nonetheless. They told us that the “young ruffians” needed “polluting substances” (emphasis on “stances”), but the more talented and mature artists were able to reach the heights naturally. At least that’s what the drummer/interpreter said. I couldn’t understand a single word Mutabaruka said.

  21. mobius

    10/7/2005 at 1:10 pm

    scientists in israel have used cannabinoids to kill cancer in lab mice

  22. Jobber

    10/9/2005 at 12:08 am

    mobius, can you provide a link that supports what you just stated, and corroborated by the AMA.

  23. daysofthegun

    10/10/2005 at 3:41 pm

    The issue isn’t so much that Sean is a Zionist, but that he’s a hard right Zionist who openly argues for genocide against the Palestinians. I’m opposed to Zionism, but when I was on the site, I used to argue with him all the time, and one of the other members who regularly argued against him as well was a Zionist who lived in Israel, who was appalled by Sean’s callous racism.

    But then we were kicked off, and weren’t allowed to argue with him anymore.

  24. Anonymous

    10/12/2005 at 5:35 am

    Maybe this clears anything up for you as to why people associate Sean’s support for Zionism with racism: “Yes i just said that all the Palestinians dieing of smallpox is
    hopeful thinking for me. sue me. its a death cult not a civilization
    and them finally being wiped out by their buddy saddam sounds like
    such a fitting end.” – Sean Suhl

    You should do a follow up and point out that Sean isn’t exactly the kind of fellow Zionists want to be associated with.

  25. ck

    10/12/2005 at 10:12 am

    It ought to go without saying that anyone hoping for the death of millions of Palestinians as a result of the injudicious use of Iraqui weapons of mass destruction is a dick. Anyone who knows anything about Zionism knows that we do not wish for the death of millions of innocent non-combatants. I also very clearly said that I had no interest in defending Sean. His being a Zionist should not be an issue – only his being an idiot is relevant.

  26. catholic n jewish culture lover

    10/14/2005 at 5:28 pm

    what is this stupid commie sayin? i mean he doesn’t know anything about judaism and rastafarian culture, first of all rastas are not left wingers, leftwing hates religions and rastas are a religion, rastas are against abortion so don’t come and tell me you support any choice(babymurder)shit….
    otherwise there’s alot of reaggae artist who are not rastas like ub40

    this guy’s jealous and antisemintic, mixin politics with music blablabla

    he dos not respect, you can like it or not but u have to respect because this great jewish rapper makes good music without swearin
    matisyahu rules

  27. UGH

    10/19/2005 at 11:04 am

    “Matisyahu” is a fucking joke. His name is Matthew Miller and he was raised in the suburbia of White Plains, NY. He was a stoner dropout craving attention from his rich mommy and daddy who funded his travels across the coutry to “find himself”. Real musician? PLEASE — do you know how many people “Matisyahu” has in his camp writing and composing music? ITS A FARCE.

  28. moongal

    10/19/2005 at 4:15 pm

    In defence of the criticism levelled at Matisyahu… the original Chassidic Reggae Superstar, I must point out that he is not the only Reggae Artist who does not smoke ganga. There are several Reggae artists including Rastafarians, who do not smoke it. The Mighty Diamonds.. for example and Jonah Dan. As for the assumption that all Jews are Zionists.. including Matistyahu … I feel very much that you have resorted to the stereotype. In fact.. Chassidic Jews, like Matisyahu do not subscribe to the formation of a “Jewish State”.. until the time when our Righteous Redeemer, Melech HaMoshiach has been fully revealed and will build the 3rd Temple in our Holy City.. Jerusalem (City of Peace.)

  29. Moonbat_One

    10/30/2005 at 2:31 am

    Sean Suhl didn’t call for genocide in anything he’s written. He once said his ideal job was being a sniper for the IDF, and once posted something saying “Are we allowed to say Arab culture is fucked up?” in regards to the way women are treated in Arab countries.

    Apparently, we are not allowed to say Arab culture is fucked up because of the way women are treated in places like Saudi Arabia. What makes this so ironic is that Suhl was attacked for being a misogynist while he criticized misogyny in Saudi Arabia. I suppose the lesson is, make sure you’re an Arab Muslim so the cult of multiculturalism shields you from criticism.

    I dont know where the nonsense he gives 10% of Suicidegirls profits to the Israeli military comes from.

  30. Dia

    11/23/2005 at 6:25 am

    Sean Suhl did publically on the Suicide Girls boards say that he wished death on the Palestinans via smallpox. I have the link. The topic was deleted many months after it was up. You can find cut and pastes of this all over early sgirls forums AND a number of members were kicked out because of it, many of whom talk about it freely there.

    If anyone has serious questions about this, contact me and I will try to connect you to the people involved in the conversation, though, as a former model, I did watch it and felt repulsed by it.

  31. Dia

    11/23/2005 at 6:31 am

    Also, I do have a screencapture of him stating that he would give free membership to anyone serving in active duty in the IDF at that time. This made it to the front page of the site for a day or to to state he would give 10% of his profit to those who served in the IDF.
    That is where that rumour came from.
    I have about 10 screencaptures of him making racist statements.
    And a dead-link that condemns the Swedish for the holocaust.
    Lastly, I have a screencapture that shows where he advocates genocide very SPECIFICALLY, and it’s in this link, you may have to weed through up to 4 pages, but the screencapture of that is in there (all of the racist screencaptures or not). I consider racism to be a serious issue and take much note of Suicide Girls racism. You cannot cover up the testimony of dozens or even hundreds of people and screencaps from Sean Suhl himself.

    Check into my blog, thanks, to see where Sean asked for the wholesale slaughter of a nation, in his own words:
    myspace.com/di...

  32. krystal

    1/22/2006 at 5:19 pm

    hey what’s up , i’m thinkin you look like the guy that every parent tells there kids to stay away from.

  33. Dan in Berkeley

    1/24/2006 at 10:51 pm

    People have been hating on Jews and beautiful women since before time was invented.

    Obviously jealous lame-o’s with no self-identity will continue to attack Jews to grab attention for themselves and their non-reality paradigms until the most high comes down and smotes those liars himself.

  34. Berk in Berkeley?

    5/11/2009 at 5:07 pm

    Amidst a spree of largely absurd posts, Dan’s is the jewel (or paradigm) of retarded bigotry and confused vocabulary that I would expect from an ignorant 10 year old. If you are a pre-teenage adolescent then I apologise; but given the subject manner of this thread, I doubt it.
    All collectives of individuals (ethnic, religious, moral, political, etc) are subjected to group-generic prejudice and discrimination; this is human nature. It is particularly problematic for groups who are vulnerable-due to minority status, self-imposed behavioural constraints etc etc.
    But I become irritated when people find chips to put on their shoulders by browsing through the history of their collective and seizing hold of the inevitable travesties perpetuated against their “people” in order to obnoxiously broadcast their outrage to all and sundry. All people get pleasure from feeling aggrieved, but it should be kept in perspective; having a grumble about this and that is healthy. Persistently raging about past injustices is definitely not.
    Now I appreciate that no-one on this thread has “raged” about the systematic racial oppression and genocide which the Jewish people underwent in Europe for much of the previous two centuries; but there is a definite undercurrent of aggrievance in several posts.
    I also appreciate that anti-Semitism has been fairly prevalent through history, but this is not surprising considering, the pre-eminence of Jews in professional employment-a source of jealousy, and the militancy of the Jewish faith’s roots (before the theological paradigm shift from polytheism to monotheism, Yahweh was a desert God of War).
    What I would really appreciate is that if a Zionist could explain to me why a group of recently persecuted people would indulge in the subjugation of another race; including atrocities-such as the Deir Yassin massacre-which ironically smack of the innumerate travesties committed by SS officers during WW2.

  35. themiddle

    5/11/2009 at 7:19 pm

    Berk, it wasn’t “racial” oppression because we’re not a race.

    The Jewish faith is not militant. In fact, Zionism, a secular nationalistic movement arose as a reaction to the perception by Zionists that the Jewish people were too namby, pamby, passive weaklings. Wherever you’re reading about the Jews’ militancy, these are people who are either ignorant or full of hate and misconceptions in the first place.

    Last, with all due respect to the horror of Deir Yassin, it didn’t happen exactly as described and the conflict between the Arabs and Israelis does not in any way resemble that murderous, genocidal regime of the Nazis. Sorry.

    Now here’s a little history lesson for you:

    jewlicious.com...

    Watch and learn, Berk.

  36. Berk in Berkeley?

    5/12/2009 at 3:56 pm

    Hi themiddle, thanks for that link to the documentary; it was very interesting, although I have seen the first video before.
    Regarding the classification of such a complex-collective as “the Jews”-I feel awkward writing that phrase because it is so often seen in an anti-Semitic context-I would suggest that it isn’t possible to define the group denominators with such narrow terms as faith, race or nation. Given that the determination of Jewish identity is vigorously disputed between the various Jewish denominations, I’d rather not get too into the issue. But suffice to say that, given the traditional determinant laws of matrilineal (or patrilineal) descent, and the research conducted into Jewish ancestry-revealing a remarkable uniformity of DNA amongst dispersed Jewish communities, there is definitely a racial component to the Jewish identity.
    But that is all by-the-by anyway, since the “racial oppression” I was referring to WAS racial, because it was conducted (largely) on a racial basis; i.e. the Nuremberg Laws: which defined Jews (for the purposes of persecution and genocide etc) in a genetic fashion- therefore based upon descent, not faith.
    I did not say the Jewish faith is now militant. I said it had militant roots. The difference seems clear to me. How can you claim that every source which states that there have been militant phases in Jewish history is either ignorant or bigoted? Forgive me if I am wrong, but doesn’t Exodus state that after wandering in the desert, the Jewish people invaded Canaan and destroyed the cities of Jericho and Hazor etc?
    The frequency and severity of the revolts of Jewish Zealots against Roman occupation in Judaea cannot be described as anything but militant, and earned the Jewish people the dubious honour of being considered so unruly that they were dispersed via slavery etc. Just for the record, this is not a criticism, but an expression of admiration.
    If you wish for further examples of historical militancy I will be happy to provide them.
    And as for Deir Yassin, I was well aware of the ridiculous misrepresentation of the events there for Palestinian propaganda, BUT there was still a massacre of captured prisoners who were thrown into a quarry. I didn’t compare this incident to the entire Nazi regime, but alluded to the eerie resemblance between this and some of the many massacres perpetrated by that regime.
    The fact of the matter is that disarmed people being summarily murdered by their captors is an atrocity, and that within all collectives there exist individuals who will perpetrate such atrocities. If you refuse to admit any resemblance at all between Deir Yassin and, let’s say the “execution” of Jewish partisans or refugees (by either the Wehrmacht or the SS) then you are a bigot.
    On a more positive note, there are always examples of good-intentioned, moral individuals in every collective; it’s just a shame that they have a tendency to get shouted down, or killed-in the cases of people like Yitzhak Rabin and Claus von Stauffenberg.

  37. themiddle

    5/12/2009 at 4:48 pm

    No, there is not a racial component to the Jewish people. There have been plenty of converts into and out of Judaism. There are black Jews, caucasian Jews and Asian Jews. You can define the Jews as members of a faith or members of a nation or both.

    That the Nazis made up an “Aryan race” and conveniently created a “Jewish race” doesn’t make either assertion correct. You’d be better off not using Nazi criteria for your arguments.

    Sorry dude, but the Jewish people are not militant. Judaism evolved after the destruction of the Second Temple in a number of ways. One of the things it had to deal with was living as a minority – sometimes a hated minority – among non-Jews, particularly Christians who saw Judaism very negatively. As a result, Jews evolved their faith and traditions into quiescent and fairly mundane and peaceful ones. Judaism is not militant.

    No, what happened at Deir Yassin included, at the very least, a firefight where several of the Jewish attackers were killed. It may or may not be true that prisoners were killed, I trust no sources on this from any side, but even if there was such a massacre, it still does not compare to a Nazi Einsatzgruppen unit lining up Jewish civilians and shooting them in order to eliminate members of a “race.” If it does, then I guess you could say that what happened at Columbine bears an “eerie resemblance” to Nazi massacres. Or that when the US killed civilians in Fallujah, it somehow resembled the Nazis. Maybe the Russian massacres in Chechnya bore resemblance, but Deir Yassin didn’t.

    What happened at Deir Yassin may well have been a war atrocity. Again, it depends on what actually happened and I do not believe anybody’s version of the story. By the way, there were plenty of Arab massacres of Jews around that period as well. You should study them.

    I have a feeling, dude, that of the two of us the bigot is not me.

  38. Berk in Berkeley?

    5/12/2009 at 10:39 pm

    I suspect that we will have to agree to disagree. I think that I have made balanced, rational and reasonable arguments, and fail to see how my points or perceptions could possibly be interpreted as bigoted.

    1. Yes I understand that there have been many converts to the faith, but that does not a priori invalidate the points I raised in my previous post regarding matrilineal descent etc etc. Please visit pnas.org/conte... for an abstract from a paper concerning the genetic similarity within a large proportion of the Jewish collective.

    2. I wasn’t stating that there is a racial component to the Jewish collective because the Nazi’s decided to persecute the Jews upon a racial basis. What I said is that they persecuted Jews upon a racial basis, therefore the Jews suffered “racial” oppression. Is that illogical?

    3. Until you address the examples that I provided, or at least come up with some references or examples to support your opinion, you lack the objective support to uphold your statements regarding militancy.

    4. Why did the Zionist guerrillas attack the village in the first place? (That’s not a rhetorical question, I genuinely want to know) According to the documentary which you directed me to, the village wasn’t regarded by the Haganah as of military significance, so why?
    I would say that there are some similarities between all the atrocities you mentioned there; although Columbine stands out as different due to the motivations of the individuals involved and the fact that they were targeting their own community and institution. Which incident involving the US military killing civilians in Fallujah did you mean? The time they bombed the markets? Or the Second Battle of Fallujah when they WPd everyone? Obviously the genocide committed against Jews on a massive level is different to an isolated war crime, but that wasn’t the comparison I was originally making. I was comparing the mass murder of captured partisan fighters by the Nazis (for example) to the Deir Yassin massacre. The real point I was trying to make, is that (generally) there are no innocent victims, and that all individuals and groups of individuals are both victim and persecutor. I think that this point is made fairly clear in my previous post where I state that all collectives contain both “good” and “bad” people. If I see all people, and all peoples, as essentially the same; which I do, how can I be bigoted?

    5. I understand your reticence about trusting sources on such a controversial incident. Please don’t patronise me, I am well aware of the many atrocities perpetrated by both sides in the ’47-’48 cival war.

  39. themiddle

    5/13/2009 at 12:51 pm

    I suspect that we will have to agree to disagree. I think that I have made balanced, rational and reasonable arguments, and fail to see how my points or perceptions could possibly be interpreted as bigoted.

    Sure, you just called the Jews a race, compared Jews to Nazis, called the Jewish people militant, identified Jews by two violent events that took place 2000 and 3000 years ago, justified anti-Semitism against Jews because of this supposed militancy, limited historic anti-Semitism to merely the past two hundred year, informed us that it made you upset when “people” carried their grievances on their shoulders – as if losing millions of people to genocide is a grievance, brought up Nazi racial laws to justify calling the Jews a race, and again compared Jews in a war to Nazis.

    So it does seem that you’re intent on an agenda that in my experience on the Internet typically involves anti-Jewish bigotry.

    1. Yes I understand that there have been many converts to the faith, but that does not a priori invalidate the points I raised in my previous post regarding matrilineal descent etc etc. Please visit pnas.org/conte… for an abstract from a paper concerning the genetic similarity within a large proportion of the Jewish collective.

    Actually, that article deals with the males. Another article, regarding females disproves the claims you’re making:

    The DNA data suggest a particular version of Jewish history and origins that historians have not yet had time to appraise but that seem to be reconcilable in principle with the historical record, according to experts in Jewish studies.

    The emerging genetic picture is based largely on two studies, one published two years ago and the other this month, that together show that the men and women who founded the Jewish communities had surprisingly different genetic histories.

    The earlier study, led by Dr. Michael Hammer of University of Arizona, showed from an analysis of the male, or Y chromosome, that Jewish men from seven communities were related to one another and to present-day Palestinian and Syrian populations, but not to the men of their host communities.

    The finding suggested that Jewish men who founded the communities traced their lineage back to the ancestral Mideastern population of 4,000 years ago from which Arabs, Jews and other people are descended. It pointed to the genetic unity of widespread Jewish populations and took issue with ideas that most Jewish communities were relatively recent converts like the Khazars, a medieval Turkish tribe that embraced Judaism.

    A new study now shows that the women in nine Jewish communities from Georgia, the former Soviet republic, to Morocco have vastly different genetic histories from the men. In each community, the women carry very few genetic signatures on their mitochondrial DNA, a genetic element inherited only through the female line. This indicates that the community had just a small number of founding mothers and that after the founding event there was little, if any, interchange with the host population. The women’s identities, however, are a mystery, because, unlike the case with the men, their genetic signatures are not related to one another or to those of present-day Middle Eastern populations.

    The new study, by Dr. David Goldstein, Dr. Mark Thomas and Dr. Neil Bradman of University College in London and other colleagues, appears in The American Journal of Human Genetics this month. Dr. Goldstein said it was up to historians to interpret the genetic evidence. His own speculation, he said, is that most Jewish communities were formed by unions between Jewish men and local women, though he notes that the women’s origins cannot be genetically determined.

    ”The men came from the Near East, perhaps as traders,” he said. ”They established local populations, probably with local women. But once the community was founded, the barriers had to go up, because otherwise mitochondrial diversity would be increased.”

    nytimes.com/20...

    Jews are not a race. They are a religion and a nation.

    2. I wasn’t stating that there is a racial component to the Jewish collective because the Nazi’s decided to persecute the Jews upon a racial basis. What I said is that they persecuted Jews upon a racial basis, therefore the Jews suffered “racial” oppression. Is that illogical?

    You were using example of Nazi racial laws this to buttress your point about Jews being a race. They aren’t a race, Nazi laws are not material as to whether Jews are a race and the Jews didn’t suffer “racial oppression,” they suffered oppression and genocide because of their faith and identity. That the Nazis chose to use family connections to determine who was Jewish proves the point because many of the people they killed or harmed for being Jewish didn’t consider themselves Jewish and would not have been considered Jewish by many in the Jewish community.

    3. Until you address the examples that I provided, or at least come up with some references or examples to support your opinion, you lack the objective support to uphold your statements regarding militancy.

    Well, sure. Uh, uh, um, uh, uh, oh wait! I know! How about 1900 difficult years in Europe including about 1500 years when they were treated as christ-killers, had to contend with pogroms and other massacres, were evicted from numerous countries sometimes after centuries of living there and didn’t fight back?

    And your examples mean diddly squat. Those who fought the Romans were militant? So no other nations under Roman rule rebelled? What were the Romans if the Jews under their thumb are considered militant? And if the Romans were several times more militant than the Jews, weren’t Italians persecuted over all these centuries?

    4. Why did the Zionist guerrillas attack the village in the first place? (That’s not a rhetorical question, I genuinely want to know) According to the documentary which you directed me to, the village wasn’t regarded by the Haganah as of military significance, so why?

    The Hagana wasn’t involved in the attack. The group which did attack mentioned the strategic location of the village and the claim that Arab irregular soldiers were hiding there. People who have attacked this attack have said that there were no Arab irregulars stationed there, but the firefight that broke out and the six dead Jewish fighters indicates that there were definitely people there who knew how to shoot guns with some accuracy.

    I would say that there are some similarities between all the atrocities you mentioned there; although Columbine stands out as different due to the motivations of the individuals involved and the fact that they were targeting their own community and institution. Which incident involving the US military killing civilians in Fallujah did you mean? The time they bombed the markets? Or the Second Battle of Fallujah when they WPd everyone? Obviously the genocide committed against Jews on a massive level is different to an isolated war crime, but that wasn’t the comparison I was originally making. I was comparing the mass murder of captured partisan fighters by the Nazis (for example) to the Deir Yassin massacre. The real point I was trying to make, is that (generally) there are no innocent victims, and that all individuals and groups of individuals are both victim and persecutor. I think that this point is made fairly clear in my previous post where I state that all collectives contain both “good” and “bad” people. If I see all people, and all peoples, as essentially the same; which I do, how can I be bigoted?

    This would be fine if the comparison wasn’t with Nazis. The Nazis weren’t fighting in a war of survival and they weren’t fighting enemies who had displayed violence of a type that scared the Jewish community at the time, the pre-state Yishuv into believing that unless they won this war, they would be decimated.

    5. I understand your reticence about trusting sources on such a controversial incident. Please don’t patronise me, I am well aware of the many atrocities perpetrated by both sides in the ‘47-’48 cival war.

    There weren’t “many” atrocities. There were some. And if you’re aware of what happened in that war, then you would refrain from making Nazi comparisons to Jewish fighters. It’s really simple.

  40. themiddle

    5/13/2009 at 12:56 pm

    Are the Amish a race?

  41. Berk in Berkeley?

    5/22/2009 at 10:54 am

    Sorry about the delay, I’ve been rather busy with finals.

    “Sure, you just called the Jews a race, compared Jews to Nazis, called the Jewish people militant, identified Jews by two violent events that took place 2000 and 3000 years ago, justified anti-Semitism against Jews because of this supposed militancy, limited historic anti-Semitism to merely the past two hundred year, informed us that it made you upset when “people” carried their grievances on their shoulders – as if losing millions of people to genocide is a grievance, brought up Nazi racial laws to justify calling the Jews a race, and again compared Jews in a war to Nazis.”

    You obviously haven’t read my posts very well; the bulk of your assertions are based upon either erroneous or wilful misrepresentation, which is very tiresome.

    I did not call the Jews a race; I said that the Jewish identity is complex and that there is a racial component to that identity.

    I did not compare Jews to Nazis; I compared the violent actions of some Zionist gangs with “the innumerate travesties committed by SS officers during WW2”.

    For the second time, I did not call the Jewish people militant; I said that the Jewish faith had militant roots.

    I did not identify Jews by the examples I cited; I used those examples to support my statement that the Jewish faith had militant roots. I also wrote “this is not a criticism, but an expression of admiration”, so I fail to see how you could interpret that as an attack upon the historical Israelites in question, let alone against Jews in general.

    I did not justify anti-Semitism in any way whatsoever; I undertook to provide a very brief explanation as to two of the (probable) reasons or causes of historical anti-Semitism. The reasons I listed were: “the pre-eminence of Jews in professional employment-a source of jealousy” and “the militancy of the Jewish faith’s roots”. The other main reason (or excuse) being the crucifixion of Jesus. One can understand the reasons for misanthropism, racism, murder, rape etc on an intellectual level without condoning either the delinquency or the rationale behind the delinquency.

    I did not limit historic anti-Semitism to the previous two centuries; I referenced the anti-Semitism of the previous two centuries because I understood it to have been the most extreme era of Jewish persecution in history.

    Grievance:
    1.
    a. An actual or supposed circumstance regarded as just cause for complaint.
    b. A complaint or protestation based on such a circumstance.
    2. Indignation or resentment stemming from a feeling of having been wronged.
    3. (Obsolete.)
    a. The act of inflicting hardship or harm.
    b. The cause of hardship or harm.
    [Middle English grevaunce, from Old French grevance, from grever, to harm.]

    That seems like an accurate summary of the Holocaust to be honest. I’m sure I will be lambasted and called an anti-Semite for “belittling” the Holocaust by referring to it as a grievance, but I would go so far as to say that it is the ultimate grievance. And before you patronise me yet again; I am not ignorant regarding the Holocaust. I studied it at school for several years, including a trip to Poland for the horrors of Auschwitz, and have studied it since out of personal interest; I only finished “If This Is A Man” by Primo Levi the other day.

    Also for the second time, I did not use the Nuremberg laws to justify calling the Jews a race; I used the Nuremberg laws to justify my assertion that the Jews suffered racial oppression.

    In my second post, I referenced the virtues of former Israeli general, Defence Minister and Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin; one of my personal heroes. And still I’m an anti-Semite…

    “Actually, that article deals with the males. Another article, regarding females disproves the claims you’re making:”

    I was completely unaware of this research, and it is very interesting, but your assertion is incorrect:

    This article does not “disprove” my claim that there is a racial component to the Jewish identity because it does not refute the research regarding males; however it does mitigate the degree of significance it would be reasonable to attach to a racial component to the Jewish identity. The situation is not as cut and dried as you seem to believe: ““The men came from the Near East, perhaps as traders,” he said. “They established local populations, probably with local women. But once the community was founded, the barriers had to go up, because otherwise mitochondrial diversity would be increased.”” So in a number of geographically removed Jewish communities there is a degree of common genetic heritage which can be traced back to ancient Israel, and in each community there is also an genetic component derived from “a small number of founding mothers” of local origin, resulting in genetic differentiation between the different Jewish communities. But crucially “after the founding event there was little, if any, interchange with the host population.” This form of genetic isolation leads to speciation via genetic drift, and over a sufficient time period (a few millions of years) populations diverge into reproductively isolated species. Over several hundred thousand years genetic drift results in distinct races or sub-species, and over a couple of thousand years, genetically distinct populations will arise-particularly in cases like these; which follow the Founder effect.

    Now obviously whilst the Jewish communities are differentiating from their local populations they will also be differentiating from each other; unless there is significant interbreeding between the isolated Jewish communities (which I doubt), leading to a less distinct overall genetic identity. I am happy to concede that the degree of genetic unity amongst modern Jews is miniscule, but not that it is entirely absent.

    “You were using example of Nazi racial laws this to buttress your point about Jews being a race. They aren’t a race, Nazi laws are not material as to whether Jews are a race and the Jews didn’t suffer “racial oppression,” they suffered oppression and genocide because of their faith and identity. That the Nazis chose to use family connections to determine who was Jewish proves the point because many of the people they killed or harmed for being Jewish didn’t consider themselves Jewish and would not have been considered Jewish by many in the Jewish community.

    No. I was using Nazi racial laws to buttress my point about the Jews suffering racial discrimination. Whether the Jews are a race, a faith, a nation, a club or a sports team, it would still be irrelevant to this point of dispute, (i.e. whether the Jews suffered racial oppression at the hands of the Third Reich) because what specifies abuse, prejudice and oppression, are the perceptions of the perpetrator and the reasoning behind their behaviour. The self-identity of the victim is irrelevant to the determination of why they were victimized if it contradicts the pejorative perceptions of the perpetrator. For example I have a friend who is Caucasian but very tanned, and he was attacked and verbally abused by some white skin-heads; using derogatory words for black people. That was a racially-motivated assault and the police treated it as such, although the perpetrators were mistaken regarding my friends ethnic background.

    No, the Nazi’s didn’t care about the Jewish faith; aside from their general dislike of faith for anything but the Third Reich, they cared about “racial purity” and finding convenient scapegoats for the economic situation of the thirties. The Jews were convenient because they were a successful, vulnerable, significant minority group who were widely persecuted already. The Jews did not suffer oppression and genocide because of their faith; people with four Jewish grand-parents were considered Jews and oppressed even if they had renounced their faith or were raised as Christians. Whether they or the Jewish community regarded themselves as Jewish was irrelevant to the decision making processes of the Nazis and is therefore irrelevant to the determination of the form of oppression they suffered. And if you doubt my assessment of the priorities of the Nazi Regime you should read or re-read the Nuremberg laws for yourself.

    “Well, sure. Uh, uh, um, uh, uh, oh wait! I know! How about 1900 difficult years in Europe including about 1500 years when they were treated as christ-killers, had to contend with pogroms and other massacres, were evicted from numerous countries sometimes after centuries of living there and didn’t fight back?”

    This is interesting and supports your assertion that the Jews are generally peaceful-which I do not dispute-but not relevant to the point of whether the Jewish faith has militant roots.

    “And your examples mean diddly squat. Those who fought the Romans were militant? So no other nations under Roman rule rebelled? What were the Romans if the Jews under their thumb are considered militant? And if the Romans were several times more militant than the Jews, weren’t Italians persecuted over all these centuries?”

    The Romans were one of the most barbaric, aggressive, expansionistic, grasping peoples to ever exist; perhaps only exceeded in abhorrence by the British Empire. The Romans were also accustomed to revolts in disaffected colonies and had a lot of practice at it, but they rarely forcibly evicted and/or enslaved such a large proportion of a local population so they must have felt fairly threatened by the ancient Israelites-hence my admiration. My original point concerning the militancy of the Jewish faith’s roots was that it led to historical persecution in that era- i.e. mass enslavement and dispersal by the Romans, and that subsequently, the Diaspora made the Jews vulnerable to persecution as minorities in other countries.

    You have failed to address the biblical conquest of Canaan which cannot be described as anything other than militant, divinely mandated or not.

    “The Hagana wasn’t involved in the attack. The group which did attack mentioned the strategic location of the village and the claim that Arab irregular soldiers were hiding there. People who have attacked this attack have said that there were no Arab irregulars stationed there, but the firefight that broke out and the six dead Jewish fighters indicates that there were definitely people there who knew how to shoot guns with some accuracy.”

    I know that the Haganah weren’t involved, couldn’t command the irregulars not to attack and repudiated it afterwards, but the fact that they didn’t consider it to be a significant target seems to weaken the assessment that it was necessary or justified. Yes there obviously must have been some armed people there, but given the climate of fear it is conceivable that the villagers had armed themselves for self-defence, although the presence of Arab irregulars is more likely. Either way, 6 dead fighters, versus over 100 dead Arab civilians (possibly including some Arab guerrillas), is an absolute massacre.

    “This would be fine if the comparison wasn’t with Nazis. The Nazis weren’t fighting in a war of survival and they weren’t fighting enemies who had displayed violence of a type that scared the Jewish community at the time, the pre-state Yishuv into believing that unless they won this war, they would be decimated.”

    That’s a fair point about the disparity between the meta-situations, but being afraid or desperate is still never an excuse for abhorrence. And regarding the brutal violence against civilians which so terrorised the Jewish community; the Jewish Lehi guerrillas were the first perpetrators of a well-recorded attack on civilians by throwing bombs at a crowd of workers on December 30th which led to a bloody, escalated reprisal by an Arab mob and really kicked it all off.

    “There weren’t “many” atrocities. There were some. And if you’re aware of what happened in that war, then you would refrain from making Nazi comparisons to Jewish fighters. It’s really simple.”

    I disagree, in numerous incidents of unprovoked violence, 0.1% of the country’s population was killed in four months of civil war and 0.2% injured; that’s a lot of civilian casualties. If you want a list of what I would call atrocities I’d be happy to give you one. No it’s not simple; nothing is simple, and me having a different opinion to you does not invalidate my knowledge of the civil war and vis versa.

  42. themiddle

    5/22/2009 at 1:11 pm

    I don’t have the patience to refute your points yet again. I reject entirely the “racial” premise of your comments, have provided ample evidence to this end and don’t believe that you would bring up race if the subject was, say, the Irish. If you wouldn’t call the Irish a race, you also shouldn’t call the Jews a race. And fyi, the Nazis considered a person Jewish if ONE of the grandparents was a Jew.

    We haven’t discussed the birth of Israel too much but I wouldn’t call what happened in 1947 a “civil war” since there was no state at the time and “Palestine” was a mandatory protectorate of the British. But the suggestion that violence was “unprovoked” is egregious. On the day that UNGAR 181 passed (Nov. 29, 1947), a string of Arab attacks was launched that resulted in the deaths of dozens of Jews. These attacks continued unabated well into May of the 1948 when Israel declared independence and the Arab armies attacked.

    Just as one example, on Nov. 30, there was Arab sniper fire into buses that resulted in 7 Jewish deaths.

    You could call that an “atrocity.” But the fact is that this was part of the war, as was the truck bombing on Ben Yehuda in Feb of 1948. That killed over 60 people, mostly Jews and is the first known truck bombing. Is that an atrocity? Does that compare to Deir Yassin where there was fighting involved?

    In either case, Arab or Jew, there is no resemblance to what the Nazis did or why they did it. Unless you would like us to believe that every conflict in the world is similar to what the Nazis did.

  43. Berk in Berkeley?

    5/23/2009 at 9:32 am

    “I don’t have the patience to refute your points yet again.”

    The only thing you have managed to refute so far is your ability to respond articulately and objectively to what I have actually written. You have either ignored or misinterpreted everything inconvenient I have written and seem incapable of admitting fault or conceding ground on anything.

    “I reject entirely the “racial” premise of your comments, have provided ample evidence to this end and don’t believe that you would bring up race if the subject was, say, the Irish. If you wouldn’t call the Irish a race, you also shouldn’t call the Jews a race.”

    Reject away my friend, your evidence is not ample for this end, but that is irrelevant to you because you are arguing from a position of irrational conviction, which can never be shifted even slightly by reason. Regarding the Irish, I would say that there is probably a significant degree of shared genetic heritage amongst those descended from the Celtic natives, which would probably include regional differentiation. However, overall there would be very few if any ubiquitous genetic markers, since over 10% of current Irish residents were born overseas. There has been no-where near that level of influx into Jewish populations (as the study which you cited, stated), so your comparison is flawed. And as to your previous question regarding the Amish, if over a sufficient period of time, Amish communities were reproductively isolated then they would gain common, race-specific, biological characteristics which would distinguish them from surrounding non-Amish populations.

    “And fyi, the Nazis considered a person Jewish if ONE of the grandparents was a Jew.”

    No, individuals with one Jewish grandparent were considered “Mischlings” (“crossbreeds”). Individuals with two Jewish grandparents were also “Mischlings” unless they had a Jewish parent, practiced the Jewish religion or were married to a Jew; in which case they were considered “Geltungsjude” (“Jewish by legal validity”).

    “We haven’t discussed the birth of Israel too much but I wouldn’t call what happened in 1947 a “civil war” since there was no state at the time and “Palestine” was a mandatory protectorate of the British.”

    Fair enough, but although there wasn’t really a state until May of ’48, the violence which occurred before then can reasonably considered to be a prelude to the civil war and considered on a similar basis to the violence after the Declaration of Independence. Associate Professor Monica Toft from Harvard University disagrees with you, and considers the “Israel/Palest Unrest/War of Indep 1945 1949” to be a civil war.

    “But the suggestion that violence was “unprovoked” is egregious. On the day that UNGAR 181 passed (Nov. 29, 1947), a string of Arab attacks was launched that resulted in the deaths of dozens of Jews. These attacks continued unabated well into May of the 1948 when Israel declared independence and the Arab armies attacked. “

    This is what I wrote: “in numerous incidents of unprovoked violence, 0.1% of the country’s population was killed in four months of civil war and 0.2% injured.”
    In this instance, my use of the word unprovoked refers to the fact that there were many attacks from either side on unarmed civilians. That the perpetrators probably saw themselves as “retaliating” against legitimate enemies , does not alter the fact that their victims were unlikely to have played an active role in previous altercations and were therefore non-combatants.

    “Just as one example, on Nov. 30, there was Arab sniper fire into buses that resulted in 7 Jewish deaths.”

    Yes, if Arab snipers shot unarmed civilians, then that was an atrocity.

    “But the fact is that this was part of the war, as was the truck bombing on Ben Yehuda in Feb of 1948. That killed over 60 people, mostly Jews and is the first known truck bombing. Is that an atrocity?”

    In a word, yes.

    “Does that compare to Deir Yassin where there was fighting involved?”

    That’s a good point, and I feel the same level of disgust for truck bombing as I do for the events at Deir Yassin, but it is the nature of the massacre at Deir Yassin which-for me-is reminiscent of Nazi atrocities: lining up, and then machine-gunning a group of unarmed prisoners and throwing their bodies into a ditch. That is what happened, and all your protestations of Zionist desperation and Arabic brutality cannot change it.

    “In either case, Arab or Jew, there is no resemblance to what the Nazis did or why they did it. Unless you would like us to believe that every conflict in the world is similar to what the Nazis did.”

    No, only conflicts in which groups of unarmed captives and civilians are butchered and thrown into mass graves i.e. Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda and this isolated incident (Deir Yassin) in a brutal but non-genocidal conflict.

  44. froylein

    5/23/2009 at 9:56 am

    Berk, as someone who lives in Germany and has read the Nazi race laws in their original language, I can assure you that Nazis considered people racially impure and inferior if one single ancestors within six generations back was not “Aryan”. They could not purchase or inherit ground, real estate or legally get married to an “Aryan”. Many “Mischlinge” got killed during the Euthanasia already if they could not afford to leave the country. To liken the targeted killing of a renowned terrorism operative to Nazi arbitrariness in killing people more than less on the spot for simply just disagreeing with official politics is absurd.

  45. themiddle

    5/23/2009 at 3:48 pm

    Berk, of course I articulately countered your comments. The fact that you’re intent on continuing to call Jews a race while denying that the Irish or the Amish are a race is all we need for evidence to understand your intentions.

    I provided you with a study that shows a significant mix of females who do not share the identical marker, far more than the 10% you cite. Even so, your first study also goes beyond 10% because it doesn’t account for Sephardic men who don’t share similar markers. The study you cite focuses on Ashkenazi men.

    And even so, if you went to Israel today you’d see Jews of all races…because Jews are not a race.

    Froylein educated you about the Nazis, so there’s no need to go there. The fact that you consider a “crossbreed” to be other than what I posited is laughable.

    As for Deir Yassin, there is no resemblance to the Nazis and not every atrocity resembles the Nazis. Sorry. Now, why don’t you try to focus your energies on Sudan for a while. I hear they have soldiers and militia men who kill unarmed civilians at random in brutal ways, almost always without sustaining any injuries or even encountering fights before they kill. Maybe they’re like Nazis.

  46. Rkl

    3/22/2011 at 6:54 am

    Fuk u chomsky has more intelect in his little finger than u do in ur whole body either stop blindly defending sexist jews or take ur ass back to temple and leave the forward thinking world alone

    • themiddle

      3/22/2011 at 10:15 am

      Apparently, reading Chomsky doesn’t alleviate the need for anger management therapy.

      • tf

        3/22/2011 at 2:26 pm

        @themiddle

        For what it is worth I usually agree with you but I think you are way to sensitive on the Jewish race issue.

        I have also noticed this a lot from many elderly Ashkenazi Jews who became equally over sensitive having suffered from European racism. They overcompensated, a very common refrain has been ‘I am a German (substitute nation) of Jewish faith’. This is a disingenuous effort that seems to only fool the person saying it.

        I agree a 1000% Jews are not a race. I am not even sure to be frank what constitutes a race or if there really is such a thing. Having said that, genetic evidence makes it very clear we as a community do share a common Canaanite origin. There is nothing wrong with that. The fact that other peoples were absorbed by our community doesn’t negate that. It is why the Yishuv was chosen and Uganda rejected.

        People who think Jews are a race and persecute them accordingly are racist and Jews who suffer that persecution are indeed victims of racism. I can even turn it around I had an Italian friend who was beaten up in Hamburg by Turks who thought he was Jewish. He was no less a victim of antisemitism for not being Jewish.

    • tf

      3/22/2011 at 1:49 pm

      @rkl fu$% you Chomsky is a pompous and narcissistic antisemite. He is all the more noxious an as antisemite because he trades on his own Jewish roots to reap profit from his antisemitism. The only thing that Chomsky does forward is sit on a toilet.

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