Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Short Response to a Religious-Jewish Anti-Zionist

I was looking through Michal Bas Avraham's blog recently, and she was asking for a response to an Anti-Zionist commenter. She had initially cast doubt on the "Jewishness" of those Chassidim who rally against Israel in New York City. This is what the commenter had to say:

"I really have an issue with anyone questioning someone elses Jewishness especially when either one of those ppl is a convert. The issue with Israel is long and complicated. According to your blog they were protesting the "State of Israel". Well from what I've heard and seen I question the "State of Israel" as well. I mean really, when Hashem promised us this land did He really intend that we should have prostitution and such there? Was that really the goal? After years of persecution and rejection of Jews all over the world that some should come to the Jewish homeland and still be rejected and persecuted by your own people? The "State of Israel" and state in which Israel is in is seriously flawed and you have no right to question anyone's Jewishness for speaking out.


And speaking of "handing it over to the Arabs", you do realize that we Jews got kicked out of Israel for disobeying G-d' commandments (baseless hatred and all that). In the meantime a new group of ppl happened on some empty land (pretty prime real estate as the Torah describes it) and made it their home. The Holocaust happens and the agreement is made to send us to Israel, completely disregarding the fact that ppl are already living there.


How would you feel after you moved into your new home and the government said " Now I know u found this place empty, and i know it technically didn't belong to anyone, and I know you've built your roots here and I know you've got no where else to go, but umm get out" Wouldn't you be pissed off? Wouldn't you "fight" for what you worked hard for? Would you hold at least a little grudge against the folks who took your home away?"


Now I'm not saying anyone is right or that anyone is wrong but there are always 3 sides to a story- yours, theirs and the truth."

To him and the others there, my reply:

Well, I agree with the commentators who oppose her saying that those Chassidim lack "Jewishness" due to their Zionist opposition. They're obviously Jewish and keep halacha and all that. Perhaps their opposition isn't quite in the spirit of the Tanach, but the Jewish opposition to Zionism has relatively old roots in Eastern Europe.

The commenter here then questions the legitimacy of the Jewish state on the grounds of it's not having been founded or functioning in the spirit of Judaism. There are different ways to approach that issue, but one approach that definitely isn't correct is "well, it's not perfect in Israel, so let me go back to the exile".

I was just reading today about how the Satmar Rebbe himself, who, admittedly, was a holy man, accepted to let himself be rescued from the Auschwitz labor camp through the interventions of the Zionist organization, and then move to Israel, while back in Romania/Hungary he told his followers never to become involved with Zionists and certainly not to emigrate to the Holy Land. Yet they died and he didn't. Same story with a few other Rebbe's (most notably that of Belz).

Either way, "in exile" isn't always the safest place to be, and it's absurd to say "no, America (or any other Western state) is quite safe now, nothing to worry about". EVERY other country we've been to was "quite safe" when we came but became very unsafe when it was too late to leave. America is going downhill fast economically. Things are very chill now but they have the potential to turn into a "Mad max" situation (if you're aware of the movie). The world is running out of oil. It's essentially the Jewish Israel Lobby that garners all the support for Israel, and it's Israel's fault if gas prices go up like they did in the 70's (especially now, AFTER "peak oil"). Essentially; if anything goes wrong with that, the Americans are going to be at our necks again. Most Americans being "anti-Israel" is just a thin 21st century cover-up for "anti-Jewish". America itself has a long tradition of anti-Semitism that continues to this day (especially in the south).

Again, all I'm saying is, ideology aside, the Holocaust should have kind of taught us the lesson that the diaspora isn't the safest place to be (something even the Satmar Rebbe agreed to when the chips were down). The second point was that the government isn't the best. Well, 1) we've had two commonwealths in the past. In the first, the vast majority of us were hardened Pagans, and we had frequent civil wars. In the second, the Jewish government was oftentimes more merciless towards the Jews than the Roman government, and we rarely ever had our own autonomy.

Yet the real question isn't about today, it's about those Jews in Babylon, who, after the destruction of the Temple decided to return to Israel upon the permission of the Persian emperor. It's easy to look at all the Tanaim and Amoraim who lived in Israel later on and suppose it's all fine and dandy that they lived there, but that original Second Temple community was founded amid great dispute. The last chapter in Kidushin says that it was only the lowest of classes who took the step of returning to Israel, after it was obvious that G-d had abandoned them and destroyed their Temple. There could be no greater audacity; defying G-d to return to Israel! Yet our entire religion is more founded on the Second Commonwealth culture than the first. And the Jews who stayed in exile were forgotten. It was the refugees of the SECOND Temple period who founded Judaism in Babylon, since those who had originally come were not really initiated Jews anymore. I like to say that even on he way to Israel the first time, they weren't sent to Israel by G-d, they WALKED there on the behest of a man (Moses), and the Temple didn't come down whole from the sky, they BUILT it with their own hands. All this supernaturalism of waiting for some Divine sign to return to Israel is founded in falsehood. The Divine imperative speaks through events today just like it did then. Then the Divine imperative said "There is no future for Judaism in Babylon and Persia, return to Israel now!". Today the Divine imperative says "You thought Germany and Poland were the safest places for Jews. The Germans were cultured and open-minded, the Polish were good, hard-working people who allowed us to practice our religion in peace, yet you've come to see that even they could destroy you".

The return to Zion didn't start with the Zionists. Already in the time of the Arizal (fifteen hundreds) there was a very significant Jewish population in many parts of Israel. The more they were persecuted in exile the more they returned to their homeland. It was inevitable that they would eventually establish a government for themselves, especially after all the events leading up to declaration of a new Jewish government in Israel. Should a majority of Jews be governed by Arabs? In their own homeland?!

Yet what should the nature of that government? A monarchy? A Jewish king? It's difficult to suggest that since they had to go with the opinion of the majority, and the opinion of the majority was a democracy, a democracy in which the majority Jewish opinion in Israel chooses. A great ideal. It just so happens though that the majority of Jews in the world, and in Israel, are not Orthodox. So even though it may not be a theocracy, since that's what the majority wants at the moment, that's what must define the Jewish state. Yet there's also a great return to religion by the populace, they has and will affect government policy in a big way. To me, it's an ideal situation.

"In the meantime a new group of ppl happened on some empty land"- The original Arab (Saudi) conquerors and settlers didn't "happen upon empty land", they 'stole' the land from the Byzantine Christians, who had inherited it from the Romans, who themselves had no place being in Israel.

In regards to our there being contention about our presence there, there has ALWAYS been contention of our being there. Whether by the original seven nations who said we were thieves for stealing their land, to the Philistines, to the Maobites and Ammonites who also waged wars with us throughout the First Temple period over land disputes, to the Samaritans who refused to allow us to build the Second Temple in the first place, to the Babylonians, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks--you name it.

In regards to Israel spitting us out: Like I said, from a Tanach perspective, a lot of it is about Manifest Destiny; the fact that we're back in Israel shows that G-d wants us there. For two thousand years the land was barren; the Arabs tried to grow all sorts of things but couldn't. We were there for just a couple of years and made a garden in the desert. Since we're taking G-d's words through His prophets to heart and returning to Zion.

"Would you hold at least a little grudge against the folks who took your home away?"- Sure, they've got a right to be angry. Not THAT angry, but angry. Long story about the Arab population there, but suffice it to say they're doing better economically than Arabs in most other Arab countries. ..that's why that started flocking to Israel from neighboring lands since the late nineteenth century. Many of them have been there just as long as we have. They came because of us. The media just points out the families who've had an ancient presence there because they needs a place to vent their guilt about murdering all the natives of America then bringing millions of people from Africa to be their slaves, but there's very little comparison really.

This is my basic response to the questions. I'll try to expand on these ideas in the near future...

33 comments:

  1. "but suffice it to say they're doing better economically than Arabs in most other Arab countries. ."

    That is such an absurd argument..
    It's like condoning slavery if the slave is "better off"..
    Your own morality has nothing to do with external factors.

    And for your information.
    Since WW2 there is one place in the world where Jews are consistently getting killed and thats' Israel...to the tune of 20,000 + so before discussing the Jews percarious situation in America I'd be more concerned about the Ayatollahs looking to wipe out the Jewish population in Israel.
    You really can't compare America to say Poland or Spain where there was no democracy..and Jews were the guests of the Poles and Spaniards. Whereas in America it's a country by the people for the people and no ethnic group dominates entirely.

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  2. David: "that is such an absurd argument.. It's like condoning slavery if the slave is "better off".. Your own morality has nothing to do with external factors."- But they're not slaves. They're free men in their own land. Oh, I know what you mean, you mean Gaza is like a ghetto because it's too small. The best thing for us to do would be to make room for them by packing up and going back to Auschwitz. You're absolutely right.

    Essentially though there's a huge amount of complex factors that go into making the Palestinian story seem plausible, although it isn't really. In this particular example, I said the Arabs don't belong in Israel. Most came from Egypt at the turn of the last century for economic gain. ..which many of them got. The Israeli Arabs especially are living it up on Jewish money faaar better than the wealthiest Arab in Cairo (and they still abuse their Jewish neighbors within Israel (like in Haifa and Jaffa for example). So for the most part they got what they cam for, I don't see why you're complaining. (And in Arab countries, where we were until now, they allow no Jewish population!)

    "Since ww2 there is one place in the world where Jews are consistently getting killed and thats' Israel"- ah, but what a glorious death! To die protecting the land of the Jews, the land on which G-d's name is called; it's a reward, not a punishment! For 2,000 years we were killed in alien lands, not being able to protect ourselves (as we will again), how good to give ones all for ones people, for ones land, for ones g-d.

    "You really can't compare America to say Poland or Spain where there was no democracy.."- *sigh* Woe to us from the pragmatism of the Jews! You can be certain they said quite the same things in Poland and Spain. I mean G-d, man; in this very country they murdered countless law abiding black citizens between the civil war aftermath and the civil rights movement aftermath a century later. These savage western European Americans no nothing but lawlessness. The timid democratic minority you may have seen is not the majority here in America. Individuals don't know much about the government, all they know is, like in Germany, in times of prosperity their hearts are light upon them, and they seek out no harm, but when someone is to be blamed, you can be sure it will be the Jews.

    Anyway, either way it's only a smallll minority who die. More Jews die from car crashes. Many more Ashkenazi Jews in America seem to die of disease. If you ask me, I’d rather die in uniform protecting my fellow Jew in my own land than die of disease in an impure land that is not my own.

    Also: there were probably more Jews killed in Palestine in the twenties than in Germany, where Jews had even been an integral part of the Prussian armed forces during the Great War.

    You see David, many historians see every empire and civilization as having a rise and fall. Obviously with the fall comes relative chaos. Usually this process seems to take roughly five centuries. Either way there's no question about it, American civilization is in decline. When civilizations decline and belts tighten and wallets empty, people are less logical than usual. I mean look at the Madoff situation; if you want to tell me that it hadn't occurred to anyone that Madoff was Jewish I would not believe you friend. No matter how many people are 'really' responsible, the blame had to fall on one man, and that man had to be a Jew. The same as the Dreyfus trial. A sign of things to come.

    Either way, the safety of Israel is just a fringe benefit. There are much more pressing reasons to be in Israel that I shall perhaps post about in the future.

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  3. What I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, and what certainly must be discussed is the relationship between pan-Arabism, or pan-Islamism and Arab nationalism. ..lot to say on that..

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  4. As a matter of fact, Jewish citizens from democratic France were packed onto those trains during the holocaust just like the German Jews. Even Jews from islands surrounding democratic England were sent off, so..

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  5. David: "that is such an absurd argument.. It's like condoning slavery if the slave is "better off".. Your own morality has nothing to do with external factors."- But they're not slaves. They're free men in their own land. Oh, I know what you mean, you mean Gaza is like a ghetto because it's too small. The best thing for us to do would be to make room for them by packing up and going back to Auschwitz. You're absolutely right.

    You missed my point entirely.
    I was using that as an analogy.
    During the slavery years in the mid 19th century southerners always used the excuse that slaves are much better off in their care then being on their own as a reason for continuing slavery.
    Not saying this has anything to do with slavery just pointing out the same fallacy in the argument that it's better for me to be doing something wrong because they're better off anyway....

    Are you saying that the Jews that were killed in pogroms and resisting efforts to convert them is a less glorious death than an Israeli soldier??
    I cannot imagine a more glorious death than Auschwitz...

    Bernie Madoof is the perfect example of what I'm saying.
    If Bernie Madoff wold happen in any other historical era..and in most other countries..you would see rampant anti-semitism and pogroms..
    Here?
    Nothing.
    It's almost like people are looking for signs..like an abused spouse thriving and looking for more abuse when it simply isnt there..

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  6. "Not saying this has anything to do with slavery just pointing out the same fallacy in the argument that it's better for me to be doing something wrong because they're better off anyway"- What are we doing wrong? Living in Israel? We're not even in Gaza anymore. You mean they need a state of their own? I'm not 1,000% sure that's really gonna' solve all the problems. In the Palestinian viewpoint it's not so much about having a state, as much as it is about taking revenge on the Jews and driving them out of the holy lands.

    For example there's a cool Nasheed (religious song) over at my main blog that describes the Palestinian frustrations. One of the main lines translates as "We'll never leave out a bit of our land for them to humiliate us with". As far as they're concerned it's either us or them in the end. It's kind of like chess; there is no "both sides are right" sort of thing; either you see it from the Jewish perspective or the Arab, from one side of the chessboard or the other. And I'll tell you one thing; their opinions about us are far more logic-defying as mine about them.

    "Are you saying that the Jews that were killed in pogroms and resisting efforts to convert them is a less glorious death than an Israeli soldier?"- Hell yeah man. being forced out of G-d's land only to die at the hands of the 'uncircumcized' Pagans without being able to take to take the 'revenge of G-d'. Sucks. In the biblical point of view friend, the physical, geographical and even martial success of the descendants of the Israelites is a way for us to manifest in reality the glory of G-d. If, in the physical world, all one can see is that the servants of G-d are being downtrodden and killed, that says something bad about G-d himself (ch"v). It's all over Tehelim for example.

    So why then do so many Jews not see this as important? Because they read Tehilim without even knowing what it means. They make it into some mindless Russian-Orthodox vigil or something. The same reason these Jews don't even want to understand Hebrew or read the writings of the prophets; ...well, G-d knows why. Some long-developed sociological reasons I guess, but either way it's clear that they're closing themselves from true, biblical/talmudic Judaism, and would rather stick with some absurd form of religion they created somewhere in Eastern Europe. THAT is why they REALLY prefer to live in America, because in general it's an extension of their misguided form of "exile-Judaism'. If you try to tell them otherwise it's like trying to convert a Mormon to Chabad Judaism. It depends how they're raised.

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  7. "I cannot imagine a more glorious death than Auschwitz"- Again, what ON EARTH could be glorious about that? A greater desecration of G-d's name there cannot be. Forget about mysticism; when those who hate G-d prosper and love who love Him suffer something is wrong. ..I mean, if one dies "al kiddush Hashem' even outside of Israel they're promised a reward for their sufferings, but I fail to see anything "glorious" about it. "Glorious" is when the enemies of G-d physically suffer for having denied Him, at the hands of His servants. That's BIBLICAL glory.

    "It's almost like people are looking for signs..like an abused spouse thriving and looking for more abuse when it simply isnt there.."- Ahh, but there were so many others who did the same thing as he did, and weren't covered by the media AT ALL. Trust me, there is a disposition towards Jews that's growing in America. Again, in sixteenth century Poland or nineteenth century Germany nothing seemed wrong either, but when the Jews here increase, become more powerful than the natives, become a thorn in everyones side, and when the general economy takes a turn for the much worse, things probably won't always be quite so hunky-dory as they are now. (And I don't know what you're talking about, there are attacks on Jews every day throughout the Western World. It's only getting worse...safest thing to do is take G-d's lifesaver. See this sign of G-d. that he enabled us one again, as He promised us with His own mouth, that He would return to us (whether religious or not) autonomy over the Land. A clearer sign I cannot imagine. But light to a blind man is just an unfathomable concept.

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  8. How do you explain that they(Zionism) wanted a state for the Jewish people and yet from the very inception of the state they tried to eradicate every form of Judaism?

    Religious zionist

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  9. Btw, you got yourself a new fan :)

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  10. First of all thanks for following. In regards to your question: Listen, I admit that much of the time our government acts as our enemies and not as our friends. They systematically secularized the ancient Jewry of Yemen, and more recently they've acted far too violently in their crusade against the Jewish residents in Samaria (I try to stay away from pejorative terms like "settlers", but that's for another time), among other evils. Still,

    1) it's essentially faaar from as bad as it was during our previous commonwealths in the Holy Land. Yet still, I would personally prefer a Jewish Herod who kills his own people (though it's questionable if he was actually Jewish) to a Roman governing our land. It goes without saying that I'd prefer living under a Herod to living comfortably in Rome (America).

    2) Like I keep saying, to have a Jewish government means it's being established by the majority of Jews and the most powerful Jews. Both of those groups at the time of the founding were thoroughly anti-religious. Yet they were hated for being "Jews". Not believers in the Jewish 'faith', but racially Jewish. And that, my friend, is the best way to establish a government today; one that the people vote for. If the majority of Jews are antagonistic towards Judaism, then there can can be no more "Jewish" a government than that, since it represents their wishes.

    3) For a government that separates Church and state, it's probably far "too" religious. There is little one can do on Shabbat for example, even if they're not religious. It's ancient Aramaic texts and clergymen who decide marriage and divorce. The government hands out huge wads of money for people to learn in yeshiva when they do nothing for their country in return. It can support entire cities of full-time scholars (like Kiryat Sefer). Seems pretty religious to me... (Ben Gurion originally agreed to let 400 people learn Torah and not have to serve in the army. When it got to 18,000 it was seen as a scandal. Now it's almost 100,000!)

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  11. 1)"I would personally prefer..." , yes many of us would prefer that, but what is the right way from a religious perspective? from a spiritual point of view the Jewish people have grown alot more when they were persecuted.
    2)thats exactly what i don't understand!! how can they want to eradicate every form of religion and yet want to have a jewish state?is that not a contradiction??
    3)you are absolutely right! who said being religious means being charedi and not doing anything productive , the government lets them do whatever they want and then hate them more, why let them do all they want? treat them like any other group that doesn't want to acknowledge the state of israel.

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  12. 1) "yes many of us would prefer that, but what is the right way from a religious perspective?"- At the time, there were rabbinic pacifists and rabbinic zealots. Hillel, for example, seems to have been a pacifist towards the whole Herod issue, but there were religious leaders who made it clear that war should be waged against Herod, and certainly against Roman rule in the Holy Land.

    From a religious perceptive it's a disgrace for the people of Israel to reside on impure soil, and it's a disgrace for heathens to govern them.

    2) The same contradiction seems to exist in many other countries, in America and Iran for example. Both suffer from the "theocracy vs democracy" issue on their own level. Gay marriage and teaching evolution in America are two prime examples of the paradox that exists in countries like these.

    In Israel, I'd say it's not as much the fault of those who distrust religious people as it is the fault of the religious themselves. The Hardeim in Israel have a very specific form of Judaism, yet pass themselves on as if they're the only form of Judaism. And since their form of Judaism doesn't find favor in the eyes of all, the ignorant interpret that as their not finding favor with religion itself, since they think Secularism and Harediism are the only two roads.

    3) Since the government isn't quite anti-religious. IF one wishes to remain in yeshiva, there's a framework for that. The loophole is that every member of this ever growing community "decides" to remain in yeshiva. It's kind of absurd, but it must remain this way until some religious and secular reforms are decided upon in these issues.

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  13. By the way man; you a dude or a chick? I thought the former but now I'm thinking the latter. (I can't link in my main blog unless I know!)

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  14. "The same contradiction seems to exist in many other countries..."
    True, but those countries are not religious nor do they claim to belong to a religion, Israel as a state was established BECAUSE of religion , how can its leaders be in denial?

    "...as it is the fault of the religious themselves"
    "..."decides" to remain in yeshiva"
    One cannot blame the religious ,because their behavior is a result of many social factors
    (not the time nor the place to discuss that)
    Is a kleptomaniac to be "blamed" for stealing?no, they have a disorder and should treat it.

    Most Charedi people have NO choice and they cannot decide whether to stay in yeshiva or not.


    What makes you think im a dude? or a chick?

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  15. "True, but those countries are not religious nor do they claim to belong to a religion, Israel as a state was established BECAUSE of religion , how can its leaders be in denial?"- Israel was not founded for believers in the Jewish faith, rather for members of the Jewish race, notwithstanding religious conviction.

    On the other hand, America in not a Christian nation, but is far more Christian than European nations that claimed to have been Christian nations. America is a democracy, and many Americans want to see Christian-oriented legislature. Iran on the other hand, has been founded as an Islamic Republic, but they are struggling with the very same legislative issues we and the Americans are.

    "One cannot blame the religious ,because their behavior is a result of many social factors"- That's a paradoxical answer; no one can be blamed for anything in that case, since their actions are just in their own eyes and they were forced into action by unstoppable sociological forces, etc...

    "Most Charedi people have NO choice and they cannot decide whether to stay in yeshiva or not"- Haredi leadership does play at least some part in the decision-making in their communities. To that extent it is their fault.

    "What makes you think im a dude? or a chick?"- Dudes are into politics, but whet the hell kind of dude writes poetry?! Still, it's not entirely obvious.

    Without the first question mark that question would look very funny...

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  16. Judaism is a race solely because it is a religion
    one cannot be jewish without being part of the jewish race AND religion (they may not practice the religion, but they ARE jewish).By admitting that judasim is a race on inevitably agrees that it is a religion.It is paradoxical to establish a state based on the jewish race but not based on the religion.

    When I said "one cannot blame.." I meant that on an individual basis.
    There is no individualism in Haredi society , it is all about the social "whole", if haredism would promote individualism they would become extinct.Therefore, one cannot blame the individual for not serving in the army, working etc, one can lay blame on the system but not the individual.
    (Haredism is quite a long topic)


    "but what the hell kind of dude writes poetry?!"
    :D,some frustrating things in life cannot be expressed any other way.
    but like you said "what the hell kinda guy.."!!

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  17. >Most Americans being "anti-Israel" is just a thin 21st century cover-up for "anti-Jewish".

    Are you saying that most Americans are anti-Israel and therefore are anti-Semites? Or are you saying that most anti-Israel Americans, are in fact anti-Semites? If the former, I'm pretty sure polling indicates the opposite.

    >America itself has a long tradition of anti-Semitism that continues to this day (especially in the south).

    No, it really doesn't. Sure, the history of anti-Semitism in America is longer than say, the history of the hula-hoop in America, but the history of anti-Semitism in America is fundamentally different than anti-Semitism in any other country where Jews ever maintained a strong presence. From the time that the Jews first got here in the 17th century, they have experienced never-ending progress and advancement in American society. There were no pogroms, and there were no massacres. Sure, it wasn't always all sweetness and light, and there certainly does exist anti-Semitism in this country, and there have surely been persons in power in this country throughout the years that have held bigoted beliefs, but it would be very wrong to compare it to any other country in Europe and come away with any other conclusion than America is truly exceptional. The level of integration and achievement is unprecedented.

    The insistence by some Zionists that really America is just a step away from Nazi Germany continues to baffle me. I just don't get it. Like history is filled with the remains of countries that became Nazi Germany. Like the world is a set on a zombie film where everyone eventually turns into flesh-eating anti-Semites. Like where the election of a black man with an Islamic name (while there is currently only one real Muslim serving in elected office in all of the federal government) heralds the coming of the next Adolf Hitler.

    The logic is inevitable. Jews thought they were safe in Germany. But Germany later became Nazi Germany. Jews think they are safe in America. So America must become... But this is so simplistic as to prove everything. I thought tricycles were safe. Therefore they must become Nazi tricycles?

    Yes, I'm being a little simplistic, but hear me out: First, Nazi Germany is an exceedingly rare occurrence. A whole continent of anti-Semitism scarred European Jews - many of whom actually experienced pogroms and lynchings and blood libels could. not. anticipate. it. It's not because they were stupider than us, or thought that gentiles or Germans or Poles were deep-down fantastic people. They didn't think that racism was gone. They just couldn't imagine it. With all that they had witnessed - all the horrors, tragedies and murders - all the bigotry and prejudice that accumulated throughout the ages - they still couldn't imagine that a people could become so fundamentally insane. And that's exactly what it was. A country became temporarily insane. To conclude from this that Jewish genocide is as natural as the turning of the seasons is ridiculous. To conclude from this that it should be obvious that b'davka the country where the Jews are most secure and most accepted is b'davka the country that will turn on them is similarly wrongheaded.

    And people search for omens of the coming armageddon in tea leaves and ouija boards. Bernie Madoff? Are you serious? The man stole $65 billion. There are over a 100 countries with GDPs less than that amount. And what happened? Nothing. And now you want to argue that because some people must have known or became aware that he was Jewish, there is really a strong undercurrent of anti-Semitism around, which though it declined to act, still must exist because Bernie Madoff is a bad guy and is Jewish? So anti-Semitism must come to America because Americans know there are Jews there? The Democratic Party wins an election and all of a sudden America is now pro-Palestinian, and thus, anti-Semitic?

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  18. Second, there's another basic difference between Nazi Germany and the United States. There was a Nazi Legislature and a Nazi fuhrer, both of which passed Nazi laws. This was going on for a while before the final solution. The Holocaust didn't happen overnight. It wasn't just one day somebody scribbled graffiti on a synagogue wall, and the next day there was Kristallnacht and the day after that was the inauguration of Auschwitz.

    I'm just not sure what similarities people are seeing here. Has the American Nazi Party really achieved a majority in both houses of Congress (a super-majority now in the Senate that any piece of legislation needs to survive a filibuster) and started passing the Nuremburg laws? Did I miss this?

    Of course, I can be accused of being an ostrich. I'm just like all those Jews in Germany, I suppose, who said "It can't happen here."

    Sure, it could happen here. Anything could happen here. But why should we assume it? Calling "impending Holocaust!" at every backfiring car does not make us savvy or world-wise or more astute or any safer. Being endlessly cynical does not make us preternaturally wise.

    I'm not saying it can't happen again. But I'm saying that before we go around announcing that it must happen, and it must happen here, and soon, how about a little restrain and common sense? How about before we push our political agenda of massive panic-indiuced emigration we actually take a cool-headed look at our surroundings and examine the evidence. The Holocaust didn't happen overnight. It leaves a trail. And we know what to look for.

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  19. Thanks for checking out this blog, ..."Vox". I have a lot more I want to post on this blog I just don't have a lot of time in the meantime...

    "Are you saying that most Americans are anti-Israel and therefore are anti-Semites? Or are you saying that most anti-Israel Americans, are in fact anti-Semites? If the former, I'm pretty sure polling indicates the opposite."- No, the latter actually. But anyway, הלכה: עישו שונא את יעקוב!

    "The level of integration and achievement is unprecedented"- I don't know about "unprecedented". Poland, Spain and Germany were also "unprecedented".

    "And that's exactly what it was. A country became temporarily insane."- Although that's the majority opinion, there is contention on that idea. The other opinion, which I side with (to an extent) is that the Nazi ideas about things were just slight extensions of previous ideas: one simplistic example (that I mentioned in my other blog) is: well, if the Americans were commended for redeeming the West of it's savages, then there will come a time when we too will have been commended for ridding the East of it's despicable Slavs and Jews, and making way for civilization.

    "To conclude from this that it should be obvious that b'davka the country where the Jews are most secure and most accepted is b'davka the country that will turn on them is similarly wrongheaded"- To suggest that there will come a time in the near future where America will construct extermination and labor camps for it's lesser races, I agree, is unlikely. That doesn't mean that the social fabric in America won't slowly deteriorate, and it doesn't mean that Jews will live safe in this land for a thousand years. I mean, there've already been shootings into Synagogues by Fanatic Muslims, stabbings of Jews in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway, many Americans are 100% convinced that the Jews are responsible for 9/11 and...frankly, I wouldn't put all my trust in some of those "White trash" fellows...

    "And what happened? Nothing"- There was no direct result of the Dryfus trial either, but in the long run the French acquiesced to let the Germans deport it's Jews. Anyway, there were non-Jews on Wall Street whose crimes were more heinous than those of Madoff.

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  20. "Has the American Nazi Party really achieved a majority in both houses of Congress...and started passing the Nuremburg laws?"- As I said, it's absurd to suppose the same policies that existed in Germany in the 40's will happen in America today, just saying that won't always be the safest place.

    I mean, the Exile not being the most ideal or safest place to be is not the ONLY reason to be interested in going to Israel. It's just a thought. A fringe benefit. The proximity of an event like the Holocaust to the founding of the state should be enough to inspire us to realize the revulsion in Jewish passivity.

    "Being endlessly cynical does not make us preternaturally wise"- The point is not cynicism, the point is not turning our heads from G-d's gift to us; His precious and coveted land.

    "How about before we push our political agenda of massive panic-indiuced emigration we actually take a cool-headed look at our surroundings and examine the evidence"- Like I said, being safe and comfortable is not the one and only concern of all Jews, ...but to stay in exile after 2,000 years of endless torment by our neighbors when the door to our own land is wide open is a bit absurd.

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  21. >I don't know about "unprecedented". Poland, Spain and Germany were also "unprecedented".

    Okay, I think we have to make a basic differentiation here between "relative" integration and actual integration. There was a time when Poland was very tolerant to Jews. There was even a brief period when the Jews elected members to the Polish Sejm, and Poland paid lip service to equal rights. Unquestionably, there was a time when living in Poland was the best of all alternatives for Jews. The best of all alternatives, I say, because everywhere else was worse. And Poland was never paradise, even though they called it that. You want to say that living in Poland in 1752 for a Jew was like living in the US for a Jew today? Okay. But the simile only goes so far. The US is muuuch better than Poland ever was. Than Spain ever was. Than Germany ever was. Than Hungary ever was. It just is. Fundamentally. Jews have had equal rights in the US since at least 1789. And unlike other countries post-emancipation, this was both de jure and de facto. There were no pogroms, and there were no massacres. Can Poland say that? Can Germany say that? You seem stuck on this subjective standard: Jews felt secure in Poland. Jews had more rights in Poland than they did in Russia. But they never had equal rights. That's a fundamental point.

    >well, if the Americans were commended for redeeming the West of it's savages, then there will come a time when we too will have been commended for ridding the East of it's despicable Slavs and Jews, and making way for civilization.

    You're giving the Nazis way too much credit. That's like rationalizing the acts of a guy who kills his family with an axe because he thought they were invading aliens. Sure, we could say that his thinking is just the extension of long recognized theories of jus belli in an ever more globalized world. But at a certain point, you have to say the guy was insane. It's nice that the Nazis came up with rationalizations (if you can call them that - I'm not even going to dispute the numerous and extreme stupidities wrapped up in that statement), but at a certain point, you have to recognize they were crazy for even asking the question. For even needing the rationalization.

    >That doesn't mean that the social fabric in America won't slowly deteriorate, and it doesn't mean that Jews will live safe in this land for a thousand years.

    OK, but you're doing it again. I guess all things must end - but why would it end now? When can I stop moving? And how do we know Israel is immune to this? I'm asking, because it seems to the layman that Israel, which controls an area of land, half of whose populace seems to be devoted to its destruction, and is also surrounded by states not favorable to its continued existence, would seem to be in more danger of collapsing than the military and economic hyperpower surrounded by weak and friendly countries. Not to mention the fact that the Jewish population of Israel, as currently constituted, does not fill me with confidence in its "social fabric". And, Jews have already been kicked out of Israel, at least twice. Should we return to Germany? Arguably, we've lived there longer for a more continuous period of time.

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  22. >I mean, there've already been shootings into Synagogues by Fanatic Muslims, stabbings of Jews in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway,

    When have there never been? How many shootings and stabbings against Jews because they were Jews have been recorded? In the entire history of the USA? Do you think it would compare to any ten year period anywhere else at any other time in history? And there are literally millions of Jews in the tri-state area. How many of them have been the victims of hate crimes? You're searching for bad omens. You're seeking them out. You're boxing at shadows. Compare it to Israel - how many hundreds, how many thousands of Jews have dies in the last ten years in Israel, because they were Jewish Israelis? How can you tell me that my country is the one descending into anti-Jewish violence?

    >many Americans are 100% convinced that the Jews are responsible for 9/11

    Oh, please. Like how many? Say that value is N. N+260,000,000 (at least) firmly believe that it was in fact Muslims who did it. And yet, we haven't started any pogroms against Muslims. I haven't heard Muslims say it's time to pack up and move to Iraq.

    >frankly, I wouldn't put all my trust in some of those "White trash" fellows...

    Your digs at poor people aside, I feel a lot more comfortable in their company than I do with Hamas.

    >There was no direct result of the Dryfus trial either, but in the long run the French acquiesced to let the Germans deport it's Jews.

    That's factually untrue. There were the mobs shouting "Death to the Jews!", which famously got Herzl going. There were riots. There were explicitly anti-Semitic articles published in the papers during the whole time. Nothing comparable happened at all during the Madoff trial. Once again, you're taking the absence of evidence as proof of evidence. Madoff is your proof of the imminent explosion of anti-Semitism in the US. No antisemitism, no problem! It's just secret antisemitism! As we suspected all along! Im kein, ein l'davar sof.

    >Anyway, there were non-Jews on Wall Street whose crimes were more heinous than those of Madoff.

    Really? Who? $65 billion! The largest Ponzi scheme in history! Over 100 countries can't even be mortgaged for that much money. Trust me, a world where Madoff was not prosecuted, and in which the media did not take interest would not just be crazy philosemitic. It would be super crazy retarded land.

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  23. Regarding your second response:

    I don't know what G-d wants. There are plenty of Jews frummer than me who think G-d doesn't want us there at all. From where I'm sitting, it seems perfectly legitimate to think that staying where I am is the smarter option.

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  24. A. Democratic Germany had a grand history of all of 15 years.
    There was never a history of tolerance in Germany on the ground level.

    To me the level of tolerance of Americans to Jews is astounding sometimes. I have been witness to occurrences where I'd have been livid if it were the other way around..
    I would venture to say that there is more discrimination coming out of our camp toward others (blacks, mexicans) then coming our came in the form of anti semitism.

    Esav Sonei L'Yakov is not a Halacha in Sulchan Oreich..nor is it a cardinal belief of our faith.

    I believe that people can be tolerant and as the Messianic age approaches we see people begin to tolerate one another where we never saw possible (just look at Europe, Ireland..etc..).


    B. America is not comprised of one Ethnic group like Germany, Poland etc..
    There is no feeling of ethnic based nationalism here.

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  25. "Vox":

    "Okay. But the simile only goes so far. The US is muuuch better than Poland ever was. Than Spain ever was. Than Germany ever was. Than Hungary ever was."- It's all relative. Man is in a constant state of ascent. Poland was better than German Jews could ever dream, Spain was better than Polish Jews.., pre-war Austrio-Hungary and Prussia/Germany were better than anyone imagined possible, America is better than it was in Germany, etc. etc...

    "It's nice that the Nazis came up with rationalizations (if you can call them that - I'm not even going to dispute the numerous and extreme stupidities wrapped up in that statement), but at a certain point, you have to recognize they were crazy for even asking the question."- First of all, I wanted to recommend to you "Vox", two film documentaries that you may find enlightening. The first is Nietzsche and the Nazis, by Stephen Hicks, in which he proves that what was going on in Germany between 1939 and 1945 was far more than mass hysteria. The other is Constantine's Sword, by Oren Jacoby and James Caroll, in which the build up of hatred towards the Jews in America is evident. It seems to me that in general a lot of what you say is based head--deep in this bourgeois nonsense that some people are inherently good if you give them the chance. I feel that people are good if they have no reason to be evil. If the situation fores itself upon them, the masses were, and will be, my friend, evil.

    I guess all things must end - but why would it end now?"- It won't.

    When can I stop moving?"- When you're in Israel!

    I'm asking, because it seems to the layman that Israel, which controls an area of land, half of whose populace seems to be devoted to its destruction, and is also surrounded by states not favorable to its continued existence"- Again, you're view of things is far too naturalistic. Like I said previously in this comment thread, safety is not our "only" concern as Jews. Our 'concern', should be to be where we belong as G-d's people, where we can die as a people protecting it's own land and not horded off in cattle cars to fake showers. I guess a lot of my stance has to do with that; death for the Jew by the hand of the heathen in an impure land is a waste and a shame to G-d, death upon his own land protecting his loved ones is worthwhile and a glory to G-d. That's far from naturalistic, but I'm a religious Zionist. Secular Zionism doesn't make as much sense to people anymore. And this is the view that the bible paints for us.

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  26. You're searching for bad omens. You're seeking them out. You're boxing at shadows"- Sign of things to come, man. Ain't no-one "love" the Jews around here. And ain't no-one gonna' hesitate to do what needs to be done should the time come! The Jews of the tri-state area are absolutely despised by the people living here. The American and Haitian 'blacks', the native people from Oaxaca and other parts of Latin America, heck even the Asian peoples here, all feel mistreated by Orthodox Jews, probably because the Jews treat them like they used to treat the Poles back in the East, as "Shabbos Goy"s.

    "how many hundreds, how many thousands of Jews have dies in the last ten years in Israel, because they were Jewish Israelis?"- I've addressed that. ...anyway, more people die in car accidents in Israel than in the army. If they do die, it's protecting our G-d-given pasture from the same type of forces that seek our destruction elsewhere, only in Israel we're able to fight back.

    "Your digs at poor people aside, I feel a lot more comfortable in their company than I do with Hamas"- Nobody is living next door to Hamas. And those "poor people" make up a significant part of the American population, and are generally ill-disposed to Jews (those're the same folks that would lynch countless 'blacks' for no reason).

    There were explicitly anti-Semitic articles published in the papers during the whole time. Nothing comparable happened at all during the Madoff trial."- ...all relative...

    "There are plenty of Jews frummer than me who think G-d doesn't want us there at all."- Those Jews have pre-conceived notions based on centuries of sociologically-based prejudices. You and I have no such influences, so we can understand the Torah for what it says.

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  27. David (Hey again):

    "Democratic Germany had a grand history of all of 15 years. There was never a history of tolerance in Germany on the ground level."- From what I understand things for Jews in Germany were quite alright. For the records of the late 19th early 20th centuries, it seems that there was full equality for Jews. Even the OstJuden weren't persecuted.

    "Esav Sonei L'Yakov is not a Halacha in Sulchan Oreich"- "Aruch" or "Oruch". Yes, but it's something the Talmud feels strongly about. Not to mention I don't think there's anything too logical or natural about the way the nations feel about Israel or Jews in general. There's something strangely supernatural about the way people feel about us.

    "America is not comprised of one Ethnic group like Germany, Poland etc..There is no feeling of ethnic based nationalism here"- One would imagine that to be true, but in the parts of the United States where 'whites' are the only others, they hate the Jews, and in parts where Jews are among other ethnic minorities...they hate the Jews.

    I admit that global-brotherhood is the ideal, but that dream shouldn't serve as an "excuse" to be delinquent in our presence in the Holy Land.

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  28. Round and round and round we go.

    >It's all relative. Man is in a constant state of ascent. Poland was better than German Jews could ever dream, Spain was better than Polish Jews.., pre-war Austrio-Hungary and Prussia/Germany were better than anyone imagined possible, America is better than it was in Germany, etc. etc...

    First of all, there was no such linear progression. Poland was, for a time, better than Germany. Germany, for a time, was better than Poland. These things fluctuated pretty frequently.

    Second, stop with the relative! The difference between America and Poland at its apex is really the difference between night and day. If anything can be said to be objectively different, that would be it. Sure, I suppose you could argue that the difference between night and day is all relative too, but your inability to recognize meaningful distinctions would quickly drive you insane.

    >It seems to me that in general a lot of what you say is based head--deep in this bourgeois nonsense that some people are inherently good if you give them the chance.

    What? That's not what I said at all. I said that it's silly to extrapolate from the fact that the Germans tried to kill all the Jews between 1939-1945 that really genocide of Jews is a natural and inevitable phenomenon that resides ever-ready in the hearts of all gentiles, anytime, anywhere, but especially where gentiles appear most tolerant. It's a non sequitur. I'm not saying anything about the goodness of man. You're just assuming every gentile is a Hitler in disguise, while I'm saying real Hitlers are actually pretty rare. We've only seen one. It's like seeing the license plate A1H 6Y5 and then assuming that all license plates are really A1H 6Y5 (and especially those that do not appear to have that marker). To dispute that assumption says nothing about what those license plates must really be, just that your deduction is ludicrous.

    >When you're in Israel!

    Or, when I'm in America! Why not?

    >I guess a lot of my stance has to do with that; death for the Jew by the hand of the heathen in an impure land is a waste and a shame to G-d, death upon his own land protecting his loved ones is worthwhile and a glory to G-d.

    Okay, this might be an argument if Israel was roughly as safe for Jews as America. But it's not. It's much more dangerous, as I've already argued. It's not like we're being felled by the wayside by the heathens here in our impure land, while Israeli Jews are all falling in glorious battle with Joe Trumpledor. Jews are being blown up in discos and pizza shops, and being shot at while driving their cars to the beach. They're under the threat of vaporization by nuclear weapons.

    I would agree with you if the decision was between cowering in the gas chambers in Poland or laughing at danger on Tel Hai - but that's really not reality. You keep saying that security is not the only factor, but you have yet to say what the other ones are. By your own admission, security seems to be the biggy - but it's just not there.

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  29. >Sign of things to come, man.

    First, find some signs, at least! Using your logic, as soon as I receive my paycheck from my boss, I could really interpret it, despite all appearances being to the contrary, that my boss really wants to kill me. Why not? Sign of things to come, man!

    To recap: You have not provided any evidence of antisemitism in America, or an increase in recent years. The example you did cite, Madoff, didn't even exist - there was no outbreak of antisemitism, nor any noticeable uptick in antisemitic thought or comments in the United States. You can't argue that, well, there should have been, because Madoff was Jewish and everybody knew it, and that therefore even though there was no uptick in antisemitism, there really was one, and it's a sign of things to come. Come on!

    >Ain't no-one "love" the Jews around here. And ain't no-one gonna' hesitate to do what needs to be done should the time come! The Jews of the tri-state area are absolutely despised by the people living here.

    I'm a Jew in the tri-state area and I have no idea what you're talking about. I think you're failing to distinguish between an absence of philosemitism and the presence of antisemitism. I don't think Haitians or whoever love Jews, but I don't love Haitians, either. Doesn't mean I'm waiting for the day I can ship them off to a concentration camp in the Everglades.

    >"how many hundreds, how many thousands of Jews have dies in the last ten years in Israel, because they were Jewish Israelis?"- I've addressed that.

    No you haven't. All you've said is that it's better for thousands of Jews to die in Israel than a few to die in the diaspora, which I still think is absurd.

    >anyway, more people die in car accidents in Israel than in the army.

    Even more absurd. First of all, who said anything about the army? The people getting blown up in pizza shops aren't just soldiers. Second - Who cares? They're also really crappy drivers too! Oh joy! Now I really want to move there. Are you really arguing that the amount of Jews that die in terror attacks in Israel is of such piddling significance? I'm sure even more Jews in Israel die of old age, or cancer. To demonstrate the absurdity: If 2/3 of a society die of old age, but 1/3 dies of violence - then even though most of the society dies of old age, it's a really dangerous place to live!

    >If they do die, it's protecting our G-d-given pasture from the same type of forces that seek our destruction elsewhere, only in Israel we're able to fight back.

    A. Even if the die in a disco? Or on the highway?
    B. Do you really think that there is a certain amount of attacks that must be levied at Jews yearly, and they all happen in Israel, where we just happen to have tons of weapons?

    >Nobody is living next door to Hamas.

    By an order of magnitude, there are many more Jews that currently live within striking distance of Hamas (either by rockets or otherwise) than live within striking distance of the Dukes of Hazzard. Not a lot of Jews in the Middle-of-no-Where, MS. Heck of a lot in Israel, though. Not to mention, of course, that Hamas has currently vowed to wipe the Jews off the face of the Earth while the "white trash" of America you are so quick to impugn have yet to make this declaration.

    >...all relative...

    Again with the relative. See above. Look, at some point, you're going to have to learn that some distinctions are indeed relevant. There is a fundamental difference, outside of imaginary land, between the Dreyfus Affair, and Bernie Madoff's sentencing.

    >Those Jews have pre-conceived notions based on centuries of sociologically-based prejudices.

    No, not like you. Your prejudices only many fewer centuries old. How do you know you've got the right perspective?

    Also, what's with the "Vox"? I know it's not my real name.

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  30. The main threat to Israel is not non-Jews, it is the left wing Israeli media and journalists whose anti-Israel defamatory reports are published in newspapers throughout the world thus forming world opinion.

    pc :-)

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  31. pc: Word. Which is why my theory is that the fact that most of them want to leave Israel is an idea G-d planted in their minds to get them out of Israel, since it's a country that "vomits out" those it doesn't approve of. Hopefully, in time, with enough migration and immigration, the Israeli government will be majority right-wing. But that's only if those who love G-d and His land make the sacrifice to come to Israel from America, Australia and every other Western nation and influence Israeli politics from the inside.

    Man, I should start writing here again. ..I never even responded to Vox Populi here...

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