I am away next week, and going to post some "from Bob's archive stuff" while I'm away. Looking through, I found two pieces by Jogo kind of relevant to one of the conversational threads in the great circumcision debate of last week: this one on Israeli antisemites, and this one on Gilad Atzmon. Note: link on Israeli antisemites fixed.


"the great circumcision debate"?

Those of us disinclined to while away our days rummaging about in the undergarments of the Interwebs could do with a brief snippet.
George S said…
A proposal re secular Jews. You are a Jew if those who hate Jews say you are, and then you should be proud of it.
Anonymous said…
Nonsense. One can only be proud of one's hard gotten achievements, not of his or her ethnic affiliation, into which he/she came by being born and without any merit. And it seems wrong and irresponsible to give anybody else, especially a hater, the power to decide who/what you are and what makes you who you are. Seems more like a formula for being an ashamed Jew.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgensztern of Kotzk, (1787 - 1859) more commonly referred to as the Kotzker Rebbe, was a Hasidic leader, well known for his incisive and down-to-earth philosophies, and sharp-witted sayings. He appears to have had little patience for false piety or stupidity.He said:

If I am I, because you are you, and you are you, because I am I, then I am not I, and you are not you. But if I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you, then I am I and you are you, and we can talk.

As quoted in Let Us Reason Together (1970) by William Berkowitz and William Leonard Laurence

I think he was right.
Anonymous said…
Sorry. The above is from Noga. I'm posting from an Israelic omputer that behaves oddly about comments.
kellie said…
"Proud" might not be quite right, but I have a memory that Charlie Chaplin made a similar argument, saying he wasn't sure if he had Jewish ancestry, but that if a hater called him a Jew he felt that he should refuse to deny it rather than allow the suggestion that there could be anything shameful in the word.

I can't find the exact quote, I'm afraid.
When Chaplin was "accused" of being a Jew by some highly placed government official he said something like: "Alas, Sir, I cannot claim this honour". Chaplim himself was not Jewish but his half-brother was.


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