Sunday, 12 August 2018

In a world of psychic epidemics, a stolen kiss is a capital crime.

“Jewish continuity” in the US means perpetuating Jewish identity from generation to generation.
The leading academic proponent of this continuity is the prominent Jewish sociologist, Steven M. Cohen.

Some Jews on the extreme-left in the US object to Jewish continuity.
Elianna Yolkut is a New York-based freelance rabbi, a gay "rabbi without borders". 
In Haaretz she wrote that the "Jewish community is obsessed with statistics, and continuously talks of the relationship between numbers and Jewish continuity." 
According to her, this was wrong.
Instead, she argued, the community should concentrate on the "powerful messages Judaism can bring to the world, and to Jewish community; message of love and responsibility, of hope and possibility, of compassion and commitment."

Eliana Yolkut is not worried about the size of the Jewish community, for her Judaism is only an aesthetic collection of beliefs. She calls this "Jewish wisdom". 
Therefore, anybody can be a "Jew", if they are liberal and feminist and agree with her platitude-ridden interpretation of Judaism. 

Stephen M. Cohen has been professionally assassinated by MeToo. 

The New York Jewish Week found eight women who complained of sexual misconduct by him over a period of three decades.
They accused him of inappropriately making passes at the wrong women.

Cohen's downfall differs from other MeToo downfalls because some of the women who accused him also oppose his work. 
They are now taking the opportunity to intellectually stone him by trashing his professional achievements.

There was a political struggle between Cohen and a colleague, Keren Mcginity. 
Cohen wrote about the importance of in-marriage, Jews marrying Jews, for "Jewish continuity".
McGinity is a proponent of intermarriage. She objects to "descent" being the determining factor for deciding who is a Jew.

After Cohen's shaming, she commented that "Cohen’s departure from the field will create space for more people to do the same work, opening the door to different perspectives and methods."
However, McGinity was also his most vocal accuser of sexual misconduct. 
That is an amazing coincidence.

Some women on the extreme-left go farther. These ultra-universalists and postmodernist fanatics maintain that in-marriage and the whole idea of Jewish continuity is racist, sexist, patriarchal and misogynist.

Kate Rosenblatt, Ronit Stahl, and Lila Corwin Berman wrote the following in The Forward: 
"Most troubling about the data-driven mode of Jewish continuity conversations are its patriarchal, misogynistic, and anachronist assumptions about what is good for the Jews."

Rokhl Kafrissen writing in The Forward (where else?) maintains that the "sexism" of the alleged abuse cannot be separated from "the patriarchal agenda Cohen spent decades pushing.” 
How “surprised can we be,” she wondered, “that a man whose entire worldview hinged on women having more babies turned out to have no respect for women when it came to personal sexual boundaries?”

Cohen and McGinity were on a date. She said he, "wrapped his arms around me, pressed his body against mine, and forcefully kissed my neck...".
McGinity and her ultra-universalist and postmodernist supporters vilified him for that. 
Now they are trying to vilify the idea of Jewish continuity.

And Cohen then, what about his future?
It is goodbye Mr. Cohen. In a world of psychic epidemics, a stolen kiss is a capital crime.

Friday, 3 August 2018

The new anti-Semitism

When does criticism of Zionism and Israel morph into anti-Semitism?
Actually it is quite simple.
Zionism is the belief that Jews are a people and have a right to self-determination in the land they originally came from.
It is part of the identity of the overwhelming majority of Jews.
When you vilify or demonize this right to self-determination, you are an anti-Semite.

A few concrete examples to illustrate this "new" antisemitism in practice.

First example.
British forces liberated the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen in April, 1945. There is a well-known BBC radio report from Richard Dimbelby on the immediate aftermath of the liberation. 

There is also a lesser-known radio report from Patrick Gordon Walker.
He reported that 5 days after the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, a Jewish chaplain held an eve of the Sabbath service.
Amidst the thousands of corpses that were still lying in the open and the walking dead, those who could, started to sing. 

They sang “Hatikvah” (The Hope).
The theme of this song reflects the Jews' 2,000-year-old hope of returning to the Land of Israel, restoring it, and reclaiming it as a sovereign nation.
“Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

If you call this hope of the Bergen-Belsen survivors colonial, imperialist, fascist or racist, you are an anti-Semite.
If you compare this hope of the Bergen-Belsen survivors to Nazism, you are an anti-Semite.

Second example.
“If Not Now, When?” is the title of a book written by Primo Levi, an Italian survivor of Auschwitz.
In his book, Levi tells the story of a group of Jewish partisans behind German lines during the Holocaust. They seek to survive and continue their fight against the Nazis.

They have a dream that motivates them; the dream of reaching Palestine and taking part in the development of a Jewish national home.
The novel won both the Premio Campiello and the Premio Viareggio.

If you call this dream of the Jewish partisans colonial, imperialist, fascist or racist, you are an anti-Semite.
If you compare this dream of the Jewish partisans to Nazism, you are an anti-Semite.