AboutLindsey is Reform and Ashkenazi and lives in New York, which probably makes her the most likely ever to make this sort of a blog. She does comics and is best, Jewwise, at 20th century history and Israeli snack food.
One hears the refrain thrown out repeatedly, even casually — the great mass of Jews (or perhaps most Americans, but mainly Jews) who are “uncritical supporters of Israel.” Often times it comes from Jews who claim to have been blind before they learned to see. Here’s Antony Lowenstein:Although support for the Jewish state has been an unofficial second religion for Jews for decades – in my own family it was simply expected that Israel would be uncritically backed in times of war and peace, with Palestinians demonised as unreasonable and violent – times are changing.And here’sBonnie Honig: “Too many of us are too committed to being uncritical of Israel.”
It comes in academic tomes — Laurence Silberstein’s chapter on “American Jewry’s Identification with Israel” uses variations on the word “uncritical” (or synonyms) four times in its first page. It comes in pleas that I might generally support, such as in this letter from Israelis for a Sustainable Future: “The belief that being “pro-Israel” means uncritically supporting the actions of the Israeli government and military does not help the Israeli people.”
And so it is that Gil Troy, responding to (natch) Joseph Palermo calling him “an uncritical booster of Israel”, writes the following:He’s right of course. But there’s something deeply pathetic about this laundry list of times he’s criticized Israel — as if this will at all alter the refrain; as if proof that Jews (and not just the Naomi Klein fans of the bunch) criticize Israel on a regular basis is even relevant to the belief in question.Calling me “an uncritical booster” suggests I am more propagandist than analyst, more cheerleader than thinker. It plays into stereotypes of pro-Israel types as monolithic and blind to any Israeli faults – an absurdity considering the many passionate debates constantly roiling the Zionist community. It legitimizes the delegitimization of Israel through a perverse reverse projection. While escalating every Israeli imperfection into proof that Israel should not exist, delegitimizers project their absolutist all-or-nothing attitudes onto Israel’s supporters. Underlying this is an unfair singling out of Israel as a country on probation, acceptable only if it behaves well. The charge also reflects an anti-Zionist prejudice assuming that thinking people can only support Israel by bypassing logic.
Contrary to Palermo’s caricature, I have publicly criticized Prime Minister Bibi Netanhyau for failing to lead boldly, charging him with acting like a Chicago ward heeler rather than a statesman. I have said that Israeli leaders should be driving the peace train rather than Barack Obama or John Kerry, tapping Israel’s world-famous creativity to find solutions. I criticized anti-Arab violence long before the horrific revenge killing last month. I have criticized the chief rabbinate for being too rigid.
In short, just like a patriotic American criticizes the United States – while still loving it; just like a devoted wife criticizes her husband while still loving him; I criticize Israel – without questioning Israel’s right to exist. To support Israel one need not mortgage one’s soul or override one’s critical faculties. In fact, democratic Israel invites thoughtful supporters, loving critics, ardent advocates for different solutions to the country’s various problems.
Because on face, the idea that there is any significant subset of Jews who are “uncritical supporters of Israel” is not just untrue; it’s transparently ludicrous. Anybody who’s had an opinion on Israel is critical of it, at least some of the time — the odds that multi-million person sovereign nation would always in all cases map on precisely to anyone’s idiosyncratic policy preferences (much less somehow managing to unite the entire Jewish community writ large in “uncritical” support) is obviously absurd.When they say “uncritical of Israel”, they mean “not criticizing the things I want criticized, in the manner I want to see them criticized.” But that Jews reject particular forms of criticism does not make them “uncritical”, that’s an exercise of critical faculties."Israel critic" is an incredibly broad term that probably encompasses every single person who has ever had an opinion on the subject — including Israel’s defenders. I am a defender of Israel, I am also a critic of Israel. Caring about something means having opinions about it, it would be a remarkable coincidence if my opinions about Israel (or any other country, or institution, or person) perfectly tracked Israel’s actions. ZOA is a critic of Israel, as it has every right to be. The point being, first and foremost, that those who adopt the mantle “critic of Israel” are in reality a narrow and provincial subset of the class, who should not be allowed to insist that the vast majority of Jews are mindless zombies “incapable of criticism of Israel.”
Simply put, I’m sick of hearing about this mythical sector of uncritical Israel supporters. It doesn’t exist. But the people who partake in the refrain are people who seemingly can’t make the, dare I say critical, distinction between disagreeing with a specific criticism and being incapable of criticism.
via The Debate Link http://ift.tt/1smVx6Q
Especially annoying considering that I’ve been going to Jewish-organized anti-Israel protests every week.
people who think that governments taking action against “zionism” is completely acceptable and in no way antisemitic need to read the history of jews in egypt, iraq, syria, morocco, and pretty much every other middle eastern and north african country. the criminalization of zionism in all of these countries resulted in genocide and ethnic cleansing of millenia-old jewish populations, and the survivors, destitute after having all of their assets seized by these wonderful progressive anti-zionist governments, had nowhere to go. except to israel, that is. they went to israel.
violent antizionism does not help palestinians. but it sure as hell does strengthen jewish migration to the jewish state.
don’t forget the USSR
Anonymous said: hi, i'm sorry if this has been asked but in your powerpoint you said that the tumblr sj community is guilty of antisemitism. what kind of things has it done? also, i love your blog!
I’ll take this one since I’m the blog’s resident Jew. Oy vey, where do I start…
- SJ community loves to police Jewish identity and silence actual Jews when they talk about their own identities. This usually happens in context of either “Are Jews White?” or “Jewishness is just a religion” conversations. In reality, Jews are an ethnoreligious group that ethnically originated in the middle east, and while some ethnic Jews have light skin, it’s actually due to centuries of forced assimilation in European and Slavic countries through rape, which is a big reason why Jewishness is matrilineal. Furthermore, there exist Jews who do not look white at all. There are black, brown, and asian Jews who are all ethnically Jewish, and these conversations erase them.
- "Jewish privilege". Fact: It’s not a thing. It’s actually a very common anti-semitic trope that says that Jews run everything so they are not oppressed. Jews are oppressed, and face anti-semitic violence.
- "Anti-semitism is not just about Jews, there are other semitic people." While yea, there are other semitic people, the term "anti-semitism" was created by Germans in the 19th century to refer specifically to the hatred of Jews because it sounded more scientific.
- Blaming anti-semitic violence in Europe on the actions of Israel. I see this literally every single day on this site, and it’s very upsetting. Jews that live in the diaspora are not responsible for Israel’s actions, and especially should not be suffering at the hands of white people in Europe under the guise of anti-zionism.
- Finally, and this is a big pet peeve of mine. The only people I ever see reblogging posts about anti-semitism are other Jews. Even a lot of my non-Jewish followers will reblog posts about racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. but ignore posts about anti-semitism, and that as a Jew makes me feel unsafe.
That’s enough for now. If you’re interested in learning more about Jewish identity and anti-semitism, you are welcome to check out my personal blog: yochevedke. I discuss that stuff a lot.
Another Jew reblogging about anti-semitism. I’ve seen some increase in concern about this from goyim, but it’s been slow going. Hopefully we’ll pick up a big head of steam soon.
There were then about 200,000 Jews still in the kingdom. It is an indication of the demoralized state of the Jewish community, and also of the attachment Jews nevertheless felt for Spain, the country where they had enjoyed most comfort and security in the past, that very large numbers, including the senior rabbi and most of the leading families, chose to be baptized. About 100,000 trudged across the frontier into Portugal, from which in turn they were expelled four years later. About 50,000 went across the straits into North Africa, or by ship to Turkey. By the end of July 1492 the expulsion was an accomplished fact.
The destruction of Spanish Jewry was the most momentous event in Jewish history since the mid-second century AD. There had been Jews in Spain from early classical times, perhaps even since Solomon’s day, and the community had developed marked characteristics. In the Dark and early Middle Ages, dispersed Jews tended to fall into two main groups: those in touch with the Babylonian academies and those linked to Palestine. There were two such communities, each with its synagogue, in Maimonides’ Fustat (and a third synagogue for the Karaites). From the fourteenth century, however, it is more accurate to speak of Spanish or Sephardi Jews—the term is a corruption of an old name for Spain—and Ashkenazi or German Jews radiating from the Rhineland.The Sephardis created their own JudaeoSpanish language, Ladino or Judezmo, once written in rabbinic cursive script, as opposed to the modern (originally Ashkenazi) Hebrew cursive. They were learned, literary, rich, immensely proud of their lineage, worldly-wise, often pleasure-loving and not over-strict, following the liberal codification of Joseph Caro. They were a bridgehead of the Latin world in Arab culture and vice versa, and transmitters of classical science and philosophy… Now this large and gifted community was dispersed all over the Mediterranean and Moslem world and, from Portugal, in a second Sephardi diaspora, to France and north-west Europe. Many embraced Christianity and made their mark therein.