Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Three unrelated items

1. The Guardian: Nazi-descended Jews in Israel (via Jogo, who says "Isn't this one of the strangest wrinkles in the Jewish quilt?"

2. Debate on non-violence advocate Gene Sharp and the Albert Einstein Institution and their involvement in Venezuela (h/t: Arieh) This is extraordinary: the rabid politics of the Idiot Left, the Marxist-Leninist pro-Chavistas, so locked in conspiracy theory that they see gentle leftist Gene Sharp as a CIA stooge. (I'm ambivalent about the politics of non-violence. See Sultan Knish's sharp attack on it here.)

3. Causes for hope: Palestinian and Israeli trade unions reach historic agreement (h/t: Arieh)


The Contentious Centrist said...

The story about the Nazi descended Jewish converts is so weird it's creepy. I don't feel like I would like to know these people. I'm usually very curious about multi layered identities but in this particular case I want to not know about it.

There was the Israeli movie "Walk on water"

Which I have seen a few times. It involves characters who could have been interviewed for this article. But the story is told from an Israeli point of view, which is very compassionate, trusting, embracing, towards the German characters. Maybe that's why I found real Germans living as Israelis so shockingly cold and resentful.

I remember a conversation I once had with an American professor who lived in Germany for many years. He liked Germany and the German people but found it incomprehensible that the younger generations, imbued by guilt and "never again" mentality should embrace so enthusiastically the Palestinian cause at its most hostile zenith against the Jewish state, by way of making up for their country's Nazi crimes against the Jews... Truly a perversion of proper thinking.

That woman who became Jewish by way of penitence only to be disgusted by Jews, all over again. What the hell did she expect?

This is a good example why I distrust the philosemite more than I mind the antisemite. They get to feel totally virtuous about their eventual about-face: I was willing to like them, thinking they were superior beings and then I realized they are just as petty and garrulous and vulgar as all other people; I gave them a chance but they really blew it... So now I can resent them with impunity. It's not because I'm a racist. It's because THEY are so awful...

As if Jews owe it to everybody and anybody to fit the latters' fantasies of what a Jew should be.

As the same time, I'm wondering how reliable the author's characterization of these people is. Her tone seems too intense in its ironic descriptions and literary- psychological profiling. It's too interfering.

Perhaps I would have liked to meet these people after all, judge for myself.

bob said...

I agree that I don't trust the author - the tone is both too hectoring and too psychobabbly.

I am not sure that the woman who is leaving Israel is exactly "disgusted by Jews" now - that seems too strong - but I know what you mean.

On philosemitism: the literary scholar Bryan Cheyette has a concept "semitic discourse": antisemitism and philosemitism are equally part of it; they go together like twins. (Just as currently circulating images of blacks as glamourous super-humans are no less racist than older images of blacks as infra-human.)