Jewish Atheists and Koufax Jews

Sep 27, 2014

By Herb Silverman

Some people avoid labels, but not me. I’m a Jew, a humanist, a secular humanist, an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, a freethinker, a rationalist, an infidel, and much more. Which label(s) I lead with depends on the context and with whom I’m communicating, but they all help define me in some way.

According to all branches of Judaism, I’m Jewish because my mother was a Jew. I accept this criterion. I’ve met quite a few atheists with Jewish mothers who have tried to convince me that I’m not Jewish because they (the atheists, not their mothers) reject the traditional definition and assert that a real Jew must believe in God. These atheists are free to declare themselves not Jewish, but they have no right to tell me that I’m not.

I grew up in an era that saw considerable discrimination against Jews. In the 1950s it was not uncommon for Jews to change their names and try to pass for gentiles, hoping for acceptance into mainstream culture. I found this deplorable. My Jewish juices flowed most deeply and proudly when anti-Semitism was present. Having relatives who died in the Holocaust, I was not about to give Adolf Hitler a posthumous victory by killing off my own Judaism.

But my Judaism is more than anti-anti-Semitism. I’m a cultural Jew in many ways. I like latkes, knishes, and even gefilte fish—which makes me a gastronomic Jew. There are other aspects of Jewish culture and values that have shaped me as well. A disproportionately high percentage of Jews have been engaged in civil rights activism, for example, and it’s also a certain point of pride that while numbering less than 1 percent of the world population they have earned 21 percent of Nobel Prizes. And probably most Jews belong to a branch I call “humoristic Judaism.”


 

Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.

72 comments on “Jewish Atheists and Koufax Jews

  • 1
    Aber ration says:

    I grew up in India and when I see pictures or film from India I get a warm feeling. The scenes and sounds even bring back the smells. My brother was born there. I love curry. But I am not a Hindu I am not even a gastronomic Hindu.



    Report abuse

  • Since Judaism floats between being a religion and a genetic community (and these contradict each other), I think one must recognize that anyone who calls himself a Jew (for whatever reason), IS a Jew. Period. As Herb suggests, it is a religion/mindset that does not require a deity, only a sense of belonging to a community of like minded people. A religion of “us.” Thus, a Japanese, an Ethiopian, a Russian and a New York atheist can all be Jews, though they share neither a genetic unity or a common deity.

    This does add a puzzling complication to Israel’s “right of return” rules, though, doesn’t it? A Jewish atheist presumably can emigrate to Israel, but a gentile atheist cannot.



    Report abuse

  • I am a firm believer in the different merits of different cultures. It is a culture of sharing openness coupled with mutual support that will better access the talents of its individuals. To be aced by a culture that throws in a fetish for knowledge etc. It is cultures that breed languages and ideas and it is cultures that can throttle them at birth.

    When young I so wanted to be Jewish like my best and good friends. Oil paintings on the wall, Vivaldi coming from an upstairs room. Musical instruments, so much serious talk, so many jokes. This was a capacity for living that I loved. It was talents attended to and life loved.

    One thing that I noticed through the years was the ease with which the young lived with, yet felt totally unbound by, their elders. I remember a huge party in the western suburbs of London. The antique, extensive set of great aunts and great uncles grumbling about gay rights and suchlike “unnaturalness” contrasted with their progressive grandnephews and nieces. Such social skill and grace from the young not offending but not accepting the unacceptable. A culture that has great social integrity yet paradoxically huge intellectual dynamism and flexibility, a culture that can turn in a generation when needed. Lean but a survivor.

    (My specific observation was one made some thirty years ago, when attitudes to gay rights were less advanced.)



    Report abuse

  • Interesting: DNA does not carry a jew-gene, or a gene for jewishness or any other religion. It is therefore a more a cultural thing, just as “being” a christian, hindu or muslim. Hitler used community counts, including religion, to identify jews, prior to invading a country by the blitzkrieg and the subsequent rounding up of the jewish population by the SS forces. (See Edwin Black: IBM and the holocaust). Although names are a dead give-away, such as Cohen, Goldstein etc., the lineage is matriarchal, but can become very muddled in second or third generation lineage. I wonder how Isreali immigration determines jewishness of applicants. After all, I can call myself jewish if I wish 🙂



    Report abuse

  • Paul Sep 28, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Interesting: DNA does not carry a jew-gene, or a gene for jewishness or any other religion.

    However, the genetics indicate close relationships of many peoples in the Middle-East.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic_people#Ethnicity_and_race

    Genetic studies indicate that modern Jews (Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Mizrahi specifically), Levantine Arabs, Assyrians, Samaritans, Syriacs-Arameans, Maronites, Druze, Mandaeans, and Mhallami, all have an ancient indigenous common Near Eastern heritage which can be genetically mapped back to the ancient Fertile Crescent, but often also display genetic profiles distinct from one another, indicating the different histories of these peoples.



    Report abuse

  • 6
    Claudia Odile says:

    I’m an atheist in the third generation, though my grandfather, who’s mother was jewish, was brought up “jewish” and went to a jewish school, he left the religion and community and became an atheist. Living in Germany, where there is a church tax for those who belong to any religion, you can call me an “official” non-believer and I don’t have any relation or contact to a jewish community. Several years ago nevertheless I thought about an emigration to Israel, which I haven’t done at the end. I have a letter from the Jewish Agency that proofs my “right of return”. Having jewish ancestors was enough for them to accept my inquiry and it seems their requirements aren’t very strict and the hurdles aren’t high, but I’m not sure this is the same for everyone, it maybe depends on where you come from, for western people like me it’s probably easier then for people from other countries or areas.



    Report abuse

  • Continuing on from Alan4D citation, this is a similar bit of research about the origins of the peoples who live in the Israeli Palestinian area. Basically, they’re one tribe biologically, but differ in culture.

    http://epiphenom.fieldofscience.com/2009/01/shared-genetic-heritage-of-jews-and.html

    The good news is that the genetics of Arabs and Jews have been pretty extensively researched. The classic study dates to 2000, from a team lead by Michael Hammer of University of Arizona. They looked at Y-chromosome haplotypes – this is the genetic material passed from father to son down the generations.

    What they revealed was that Arabs and Jews are essentially a single population, and that Palestinians are slap bang in the middle of the different Jewish populations (as shown in this figure in the link).
    Another team, lead by Almut Nebel at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, took a closer look in 2001. They found that Jewish lineages essentially bracket Muslim Kurds, but they were also very closely related to Palestinians. In fact, what their analysis suggested was that Palestinians were identical to Jews, but with a small mix of Arab genes – what you would expect if they were originally from the same stock, but that Palestinians had mixed a little with Arab immigrants. They conclude:
    We propose that the Y chromosomes in Palestinian Arabs and Bedouin represent, to a large extent, early lineages derived from the Neolithic inhabitants of the area and additional lineages from more-recent population movements. The early lineages are part of the common chromosome pool shared with Jews (Nebel et al. 2000). According to our working model, the more-recent migrations were mostly from the Arabian Peninsula…
    So, as far as male lineage goes, the genetic story is very clear. Palestinians and Jews are virtually indistinguishable.

    Makes their personal claims of tribal purity and the persistence with the ongoing conflict look pretty stupid. Or should that be, their respective religions make them look pretty stupid.



    Report abuse

  • It’s interesting that the terms ‘Semitic’ and ‘Aryan’ have both come from the names of language groups and yet have come to carry so much cultural baggage.



    Report abuse

  • Except the Palestinians are not claiming tribal purity or anything of the sort. They simply want their land back .

    Or, given we can’t roll back time and change what the Colonial powers going right back to the Ottomans have done to this patch of pebbles, a fair division of the land and the restoration of some semblance of a home land. It’s not that difficult. A two state solution. We just need to take the extremist religious on both sides out of the equation and the deal would be done in a week.



    Report abuse

  • No, the deal will never be “done in a week.” Please look at a map of Palestine that shows the changes over the last 50 years. It will make crystal clear the encroachment of Israel over Palestine – irrespective of religious issues. Israel is filled with atheists who still believe they have a right to Palestinian land, and long before the emergence of Hamas (which is Islamic) there were countless efforts at resistance (most notably two intifadas) by the Palestinians. I have been in Palestine and can confirm there is a significant secular middle class, and the PLO is quite secular. The conflict is not about religion, the religious settlers notwithstanding. It’s about land, land and more land. If you think Israel would tolerate a Palestinian state, you have not been following reports of their recent massacre (c. 1500 dead) in Gaza.



    Report abuse

  • David,
    It is never as simple as that. Same with the genetics.

    A similar genetic study has been used to “clone” Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots and found that TCs have more in common with GCs than they have with mainland Turks. Given the array of people that make up Turkey I wonder which Turk they are talking about? Our position division in Cyprus today has been called stupid for the same reasons and I find it very condescending and a result of cherry picking (a term oft used on this forum). I would add the same argument for Jews and Palestinians just by appearances alone. This is not to say I am dismissing the similarities but the few percent makes a big difference when referenced back to the percentage difference with apes. I carry so much baggage with me as a TC that I am confused as to how much I have to offload in order to become the “Cypriot” term that the GCs and the international community are using to suppress my identity. I have offloaded the religious baggage but that is not what makes who I am and feel only a lobotomy will do the rest. I admit a sense of panic comes about when I try to think of what people are asking of me. A two state solution is whats needed in Israel and it is also needed in Cyprus but not just on religious lines but that of culture (admittedly religion plays a part in that) and schisms that exist from pure history. I don’t like idols of any kind but the nearest I come is in Kemal Ataturk for his secularism (as usual, not without fault but thats humans for ya) and the speed in which he reformed and created modern Turkey. The Greeks in general look on him quite differently. Am I to give up having a small statue of him in order not to offend. There are many instances like that for both sides so how can we just remove religion and think it will solve everything. I asked this of a UK MP and she flippantly said “you can make new ones”. Over night????

    This also applies to same religions. I live near an area close to Chigwell that has a large population of European Jews. I have also worked in Stamford Hill that is predominently Orthodox Russian Jews who the European Jews refer to as “Frumers” They don’t like one another. Chigwell is also known to attract the rich criminal element as depicted in the almost comedy series “Birds of a feather” who are mostly shunned by the Muswell HIll European Jews. The Stamford Hill mob are the most insular and there was a docu recently on a Rabi who was born and bread in the UK and his accent was that of someone who had just come over from Israel. It was a nightmare working in that area because of the security they feel they need. The main residential area has even got “No Through” signs in every direction so gentiles cannot enter but they themselves ignore. It makes me realise why the Muslims are asking for Sharia law where they live (Not making excuses. Just pointing out the mess) .

    So differences in religion, culture, habits and expectations etc, let alone colour and appearances is all it needs it seems to me. Even a tolerant country that boast multiculturalism is not being honest with itself when we see vast areas being dominated by a single culture, class or creed………… cantons. Life through a child’s eyes seems to be the only ideal situation. I really can’t see the final scene in “Logans Run” where the couple come out to the view of the earth and the sun in all its glory without noticing the world they left behind them exploding and burning in the background ever coming about.

    Slowly slowly catchy monkey……………..



    Report abuse

  • No, the deal will never be “done in a week.”

    The major impediment to a two state solution is the extremist religious fundamentalists Jewish settlers whose only evidence to support their claim to this land, is a non existent god gave it to them. WTF Meanwhile, back at the ranch, extremist religious fundamentalists Hamas want to kill all the infidels. And all this from two groups who are genetically identical, for the purposes of race differentiation. (You need to read the DNA science)

    Personally, I’m sick of homo sapiens in 2014 following their primitive evolutionary survival drives and wanting to behave like stone age uncivilized tribes. Primitive tribalism is not available as a political imperative. Israel / Palestine. Cypriots. Putin in Russia. Just get over it folks. It’s not that important.

    If I had my way, the lot of you would be sent to the naughty corner in the sand pit and told to stay there until you can play nicely on the playground. Primitive savages.



    Report abuse

  • Well that helped 🙂

    You can’t claim genes in one way and then dismiss it another. We are what we are and yours has just come out in anger. Primitive or evolved?



    Report abuse

  • By Herb Silverman: Some people avoid labels, but not me.

    David R Allen: Everyone needs to do this every morning. Look in the
    mirror, and say 10 times, “What if I am wrong.”

    Phil Rimmer: I am a firm believer in the different merits of different
    cultures.

    justinesarecen: As Herb suggests, it is a religion/mindset that does
    not require a deity,

    Whats a girl to think?

    David,
    You are the second person to claim evolutionary supremacy, the first being implied rather than said, and there seems to be a lot of implied supremacy in other ways. My understanding is that evolution does not work that way and it is clearly the strength needed for the day that WILL survive. If that is stupidity then that is what will take over the world. From reading some of your posts I have made my mind up that you are a good (thinking) person and I can only attribute the outburst to tiredness. I was guilty of that the other night with Sedan. I have come to look up to some here for educating me far beyond just reading books (I won’t embarrass them by naming them) and giving me the chance to put my understanding and viewpoint across. I hope that will continue for the sake of those that read and not contribute to this forum. I am happy that it is vibrant in discussion and not dictating in general and by some posters. So maybe your advice above concerning looking in the mirror will also involve using each other as a mirror to grow and evolve and not think we have already achieved the highest accolade in that respect.

    My best regards!!!



    Report abuse

  • Yep. I let off some steam. I’m sick of people who can’t get along and don’t have the intellect to rise above petty and meaningless tribalism. And yes, it was a cheap shot. I too come to this site for rational discourse. But when people defend either side of the Palestinian / Israeli debate, I find they are both as bad as each other. The point of the DNA is that they are in fact genetically one tribe.

    We have some evolutionary baggage that makes homo sapiens hard to get along with. It had been great survival advantage for the last 2,000,000 million years to be loyal to your tribe, and it is hard wired into our brains, but we need to get over it and get along on our tiny planet, because some far more important disasters are looming in the future. But to do that takes rational people, like most of the people who post in this forum. Sadly, most of the rest of the planet are mostly religiously irrational and succumb to tribal instincts. And yes, when I wrote that rant I was over them.

    I read a saying on my desk calender once and I’ve never been able to source an author, but it has stuck with me.

    It is the privilege of the extremist never to doubt.”

    We need to constantly doubt. Hence the mirror analogy. Another saying that I like is,

    If you’ve got ten problems, look in the mirror and you will solve nine, and the tenth will have disappeared.”

    So Peace. Shalom. Promote rational evidence based decision making wherever and whenever you can.



    Report abuse

  • Olgun,

    Are you conflating genetic and cultural (non genetic) evolution here? I think behaviours and therefore cultures are not being tied to genes by anyone here. I think working through some super family inheritance issue based on genes is an entirely separate issue. There is some legal aspect to genes and rights in inheritance. Whether it can apply to the phantom father of 30 million people though is stretching it.

    David’s outburst sure made me feel better, though…



    Report abuse

  • 19
    inquisador says:

    Or, we could look at it as: how did all those Islamic states in the middle east come about?

    By conquest.

    How did the Israeli rule over the occupied territories/(Judea/Samaria) come about?

    By defensively defeating the combined Arab Muslim armies’ attempt to conquer Israel, gaining more land in the process.

    Result: Islamic states- 57; Jewish states- 1.

    Could anything illustrate more clearly the Islamic urge to rule everywhere as well as the hatred of Jews. Still as virulent today as expressed in the Hamas Charter and reiterated by those Palestinians indoctrinated by poison. See the demands of Hamas and (slightly less so) Fatah. These are the local branches of Isis or Al Qaeda. Same ideology, same blood-lust against the non Muslims.

    And the Hamas leader has said that not a single Jew will be allowed entry to the new Palestinian state. Certainly the next thing that would happen there would be that preparations would begin for the next war. If the two-state solution is applied, Israel will surely be less defensible. Until the day comes when the score becomes:

    Islamic states- 58; Jewish states- 0.

    And the sights are then set on the ‘right to return’ to Sicily, Greek Cyprus, Rome?

    I got a better idea. Why don’t we support Israel?



    Report abuse

  • 20
    EmptyDee says:

    This reminds me of working in Northern Ireland. After 30 minutes conversation with anyone, they would invariably want to know what religion you were. I always replied that I was atheist – and more than once I got the rejoinder – ‘but are you a catholic atheist, or a protestant atheist?’
    Labels are important to others, not just to you!
    On a more serious note, I fail to see how you can be a Jewish atheist, except in some sense of cultural baggage. On that basis I could claim to be a catholic atheist, but also an Irish atheist, as more than half my grandparents were from that country. Going back further, perhaps I am a celtic or a viking atheist.
    We have recently had a referendum in the UK on Scottish independence. The campaign became divisive, with the Scottish First Minister leading this situation by claiming to lead ‘Team Scotland’ against ‘Team Westminster’, when in fact less than half of the electorate supported his position. We are lucky in the OK in that such events very rarely lead to anything too destructive – but the same issues apply – what does the label ‘Scottish’ mean after 400 years? If the Scots can go back 400 years and claim that they have always really been a separate label, what does that mean for Germany and Italy, which have only been unified countries for about 150 years? And what about the kingdom of Northumbria, only 1,000 years extant?
    I can recognise the allegiances, much as I would support the Irish football team, but I think in general terms, such labels are not helpful.



    Report abuse

  • I hoped it was that easy when I started to get involved in the politics of Cyprus. I naively thought that all it would take was for someone (me) to point out all the factual, moral and legal misunderstandings and everything would be fine. But the ingredients grew and grew and I soon found out that little old Cyprus was not just two sides but the whole world, and subdivisions there of, that all had interests to feed. Evidence soon became subjective and all you could do was to pick a side.



    Report abuse

  • I suppose I am Phil but only as far as my understanding allows. I am not offering any real evidence because I have not studied it to that extent. I can offer a muddled belief that they have to be linked in some way with genes and the way it throws up different ways to think in different realities in a Darwinian way. As I say…Muddled!!



    Report abuse

  • 10 Muslim states recognise Israel. A most important eleventh Iran who broke off after the ’79 revolution are making increasing numbers of overtures to the Israelis who are reciprocating in kind. They want to get on.

    If Kurdistan existed this would be a twelfth. Jews have always been safe amongst the pluralistic Kurds. Even sleazeball Netanyahu likes the Kurds.

    This whole thing could flip with a little luck. Iran could become a powerful technology led economy with their high investment in education. A commercial/technology axis between Israel and Iran could start to make stable economic progress in the region, making the tainted oil money less attractive.

    This is my route. Not some-us-or them hole-up on the edge of the Mediterranean.



    Report abuse

  • If I were Obama I would put money into the Iranian nuclear industry by some means. Large sums to develop thorium and maybe even a little from Israel. India’s biggest fans are the Iranians (70% approval rating). They used to buy much of their oil from Iran until told to stop. Let them buy it again if they share thorium development. India has a long running thorium program and a quarter of the planet’s supplies of thorium. The two, trading fuels, could literally become a powerhouse for thorium’s development flogging the technology and the power to the world and the region respectively.

    This is the kind of solution that may genuinely achieve change, if only for the “Look! Squirrels!” aspect of it. However in this case I think there are squirrels….

    Maybe the money route is via India itself.



    Report abuse

  • He is slimy and duplicitous, and not good for Israel. His extreme aggressiveness has caused public opinion, even among American Jews to change from unconditional support to more nuanced support with misgivings, and there is now a real division in the generations. I guess it was all those pictures online of dead and mutilated Palestinian babies.



    Report abuse

  • All you are doing here inquisador is parroting Netanyahu’s myth, that poor tiny Israel is holding its own against a sea of terrorist Islamic nations. That is simply not so. If there were ever an occasion for that sea of Islamic terrorism to rise up against Israel, it would have been during the recent massacre in Gaza. But there was thunderous silence from the Arab world. Egypt even assisted Israel by helping to seal off the tunnels, and no one else uttered a peep. Syria and Iraq are having their own agonies with murderous extremists, and have no interest in Israel. Considering the various Middle Eastern countries to be uniform in their desire to wipe out Jews is a cartoon version of a political dynamic that is much more complicated.



    Report abuse

  • I have to admit that the various turmoils in many of the Middle Eastern countries (in conflicts that do not necessarily have to do with one another) has really left me burnt out. As soon as I begin to grasp the players, they go and morph into something else, and somehow always end up with US weapons. I wish I could run away to a quiet place but there isn’t one any more. The news is everywhere.



    Report abuse

  • 31
    Katy Cordeth says:

    @JustineSaracen

    I guess it was all those pictures online of dead and mutilated Palestinian babies.

    It puzzled me for a while how so many Israelis, particularly religious ones, could remain unaffected by the high death toll of innocent children during recent events in Gaza.

    Then it occurred to me that one of the most important holy days in the Jewish calendar is Passover, an event commemorating the occasion on which God, in order to secure the release of the Israelites from bondage, killed thousands of blameless Egyptian children.

    I’m not sure if this was before Jehovah hardened Pharaoh’s heart thus ensuring he wouldn’t set them free, or after.

    As a Jewish person of faith it’s understandable you might want to celebrate the time the Almighty did you a solid by ending the enslavement of most of your race. But there were nine other plagues before the killing of the firstborn one you could focus on, none of which involved mass infanticide .

    Little wonder there was so little outcry condemning this present-day wholesale slaughter: Israeli soldiers were only doing what their god would have done.

    And some people say Bonfire Night in the UK is sick.



    Report abuse

  • 33
    Katy Cordeth says:

    @Phil Rimmer

    I think Passover celebrates the non slaughter of your own children whilst Yaweh does his brutal thing outside.

    According to Wikipedia:

    “The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation over 3,300 years ago by God from slavery in ancient Egypt that was ruled by the Pharaohs, and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses.”

    I don’t see a way around this being anything other than giving a big thumbs up for the Almighty’s efforts liberating the Israelites from slavery.

    There is a Hebrew prayer Jewish males can… I’m not sure if recite is the correct word… there’s a prayer they can pray in which they give thanks for not being born female; perhaps there’s a Passover one whereby Jews express their gratitude to God for sparing their antecedents’ first-born from the Angel of Death’s SIG Sauer.

    That would be part of a larger thank-you though. If some ne’er-do-wells broke into Cordeth Manor and held my family hostage, which led to a swat team’s ‘taking the intruders out’, which I believe is the parlance, I don’t know if it would occur to me afterwards to say to the police snipers, “Oh, and thanks for not killing my children, by the way. ‘Preciate it.”



    Report abuse

  • My point (not pointed up enough) was the very term Pass Over.

    The spirit of God, licensed to kill by plague, passes over your house without entering.

    These old fairy stories were always a bit clunky about psychology.

    The ending should run. Thank you for noticing the little lamby badges we put on our kids so you wouldn’t top them too.



    Report abuse

  • I am glad that I am not the only one having trouble navigating this forum. So, not sure if you have seen the post above or thought it not worth replying to Phil ?



    Report abuse

  • 36
    Katy Cordeth says:

    You forgot to mention the little lamby patches were worn by Israelite children because God told Moses this was how the Angel of Death would identify them as non-targets.

    It’s not like God was intent on arbitrarily killing all first-born kids. He wasn’t being indiscriminate here; the sparing of non-Egyptian children was part of his game plan.

    Why thank the Almighty for sparing the young of his own chosen people? What reason would he have had to kill them anyway?

    This was all about “Let My People Gooooo.”



    Report abuse

  • Sorry rather juggling things at the mo and there is a lot to say about dual inheritance theory. Quickly….. I’m very keen on how cultural evolution works. (We have very animated discussions here about it.) I don’t believe their are any great behavioural inventions made by genetic evolution in the last ten thousand years or so (on their own or co-opted by cultural changes.) I think cultural evolution on its own is the biggy we need be concerned about. But there may be some plasticity available within gene expression playing a part.



    Report abuse

  • I hoped it was that easy when I started to get involved in the politics of Cyprus

    Ah. Politics. The necessary evil. Sadly, it’s the politics in politics, that ruins politics. I’d prefer the adults in the room to be the ones who made decisions based on;

    factual, moral and legal misunderstandings



    Report abuse

  • No problem! I will have to do more reading anyway but it will take a lot for me to separate them. As it has been discussed here before I might need to go find it in the archives. I am sure you will not want to repeat it all again. I am now thinking after reading your response about there not being any great behavioural inventions made by genetic evolution in the last ten thousand years, that I will have to look into memes as the answer of a gradual evolution and a constant one. But as I said, will try to find archive. Thanks.



    Report abuse

  • I’ve appreciate the atmosphere of revival of this article. But…

    As Herb Silverman, I give myself many labels. My favorite label is antitheist atheist.

    I’m born in an Italian Catholic family with the classic: religious mother and anti-clergy father (though believer in some minimal ways).
    I’ve rejected the religion before I was ten.
    I’ve rejected also its cultural aspects, because: from falseness can come out only falseness. And there’s no aspect of the Catholic culture and of the Catholic history that does not pour blood or falsehood or – at least – stupidity. In the same manner it happens in all theistic religions.
    So, diversely from Herb Silverman, I don’t have any problem in defining me as a non-Catholic. In so doing I don’t have the feeling that I’m betraying my ancestors, because: I deny of being Catholic but I do not deny that my ancestors were Catholics. Instead I’m proud to have had the force and the conditions to liberate me from the mental chains of the religions, force and conditions that my ancestors have not had.

    On this issue I look to Herb Silverman with amazement.

    In fact, I do not deny or hide my Catholic origins (of my parental family, indeed), but not for this I call myself a Catholic atheist!
    I can understand the necessity of Herb Silverman of not to appear as those who tried to hide their Jewish origins (even changing their names), but I think that atheist (of Jewish origins, if required from the context) is a better definition than Jewish atheist that for me sounds quite as Catholic atheist, and this seems quite an oxymoron.
    So I go directly for antitheist atheist (adding, of Catholic origins, only if this is absolutely required from the context).
    When I have had my military test in Italy, I have written atheist as religion.
    In the 1970s I have worked in Libya and other so-called Moslem countries, and I have always declared to be an atheist in all documents, and nobody bothered me for that.
    I have never denied my atheism and I have never denied the Catholic origins of my parental family, but I would find ridiculous the fact of define me Catholic atheist.

    I have the tendency toward cosmopolitanism so when I have read

    “but those of us who label ourselves Jewish atheists accept the ethical and humanistic parts of Judaism without the God parts”

    I have thought: those of us who label ourselves atheists accept the ethical and humanistic parts of cosmopolitan “–isms” without the gods parts, is a more general case that contains the Jewish case without to insert particularisms.

    The episode on Sandy Koufax is interesting, but there is no need to underline your origins in every context. Only when you can be accused to try to hide your origins it is worthy to underline them. Otherwise I would see it as an attempt of “promoting the origins”.

    About “Koufax Jew” I think that it seems a little bit redundant and misleading as if I would call myself “Giordano Bruno Catholic” or “Galieo Galilei Catholic”.

    Thanks to Herb Silverman for the funny jokes.
    Sorry for my home-made American language.



    Report abuse

  • 43
    inquisador says:

    Justine,

    This Yemeni Houthi boy Seems to speak for his tribe, one of three or more most powerful in that nation.

    Naturally the Al-Islah, Al-Qaeda and the Houthi all hate one another; but they all have one thing in common:

    “Allahu Akbar, Death to America, Death to Israel”
    In a word – Islam

    (Sorry, three things.)



    Report abuse

  • 44
    inquisador says:

    Justine,

    Egypt even assisted Israel by helping to seal off the tunnels, and no one else uttered a peep.

    Surely one of the most heartening developments was the popular rising against Morsi of the Al-Qaeda linked Muslim Brotherhood, which rescued Egypt from the theocrats and put the secularists back in charge.

    the recent massacre in Gaza.

    Yes it was atrocious. The deliberate sacrifice of children to ‘martyrdom’ by the human shields policy I mean.

    Considering the various Middle Eastern countries to be uniform in their desire to wipe out Jews is a cartoon version of a political dynamic that is much more complicated.

    Yes but where have I considered that?
    I would consider it inaccurate but not entirely untrue.



    Report abuse

  • The problem/misunderstanding I have is that you have 3 (mostly) different things with the same label:

    Are you a genetic Jew? (Judaism as an ancestory, a measurable genetic heritage.)

    Are you a cultural Jew? (Judaism as a history of art, food, music, etc.)

    Are you a religious Jew? (Judaism as belief in Yahweh, reading the Torah, going to Synagogue, etc)

    Having 3 things with the same name just confuses people on the “outside”. It’s the same for other reigions too.

    You can apply any label you like to yourself; it’s when you say it to some-one else (who may have pre-conceived notions associated with that label) that the problems begin (“moderate” Islam, for example).



    Report abuse

  • 46
    Promethean Entity says:

    inquisador said:

    Yes it was atrocious. The deliberate sacrifice of children to ‘martyrdom’ by the human shields policy I mean.

    What’s atrocious is your mindless regurgitation of the racist ”human shields” claim as a means to facilitate and whitewash Israel’s crimes. Israel’s innocence is, for people like you, axiomatic. By definition, anything at all that Israel does is ”defensive”, which means that, ”therefore”, anything done TO Israel is aggression. You acknowledge the right of Israelis to defend themselves from Hamas rockets, but you don’t acknowledge the right of Palestinians to defend themselves from crushing Israeli air strikes. Consistent with this, I suppose that you think that when Israel used a precision guided bomb to destroy Gaza’s only power plant and cut off power to hospitals with babies in incubators, it was because the power plant was wearing a suicide belt. Let us know. Then you can also tell us why it’s Israel that’s been accused by UN agencies of using human shields, why it was Israel that uncontroversially destroyed tens of thousands of homes in Gaza, and why it was Israel that repeatedly bombed facilities that the UN pleaded with them not to. Even the US State Department issued a note of disgust at one of Israel’s raids. But I suppose that, consistent with your axiom, they were doing so out of ”anti-Semitism”, and couldn’t possibly be because the action was a war crime. Also, please explain to us why 200 Holocaust survivors recently issued a joint open letter denouncing Israel’s actions, and why, over the years, hundreds of Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the Occupied Territories. Please also explain the recent explosion of racism and xenophobia within Israel, with people chanting and celebrating in the streets that ”there is no school in Gaza tomorrow”. I’m sure it’s much more comforting to persist in delusions about Israel being a poor little lamb being targeted by Muslims ”for no reason” other than religious hatred, but reality has to eventually intervene. Surely.

    Your apologetics for this terrorist, racist colonial settler state are, frankly, disgusting.



    Report abuse

  • According to Wikipedia:
    “The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation over 3,300 years ago by God from slavery in ancient Egypt that was ruled by the Pharaohs, and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses.”

    @Katy Cordeth

    Interesting that there is no evidence that the Jews were ever in Egypt. A small note about some Jewish mercenaries that had funny religious rituals, but that is the only reference to the Jews in the land of the scribes. No archeology. Nothing in the Sinai. The best speculation I’ve read is that the escape from slavery was from Babylon, where they were in fact enslaved, and they changed the names to Egypt, because the Babylonians wouldn’t like the references to them. Still. Never let a little fact get in the way of a good religious ceremony.

    @Promethean Entity and @Inquisador

    I spat the dummy big time way up above about this kind of tit for tat rubbish posted all over the web. You’re bad guys are worse than my bad guys. Chest Beat now. Stick out Chin now. You’re the one tribe genetically. Get over it. Sideline the fanatic Israeli settlers. Sideline the fanatic religious Hamas. Make some borders and let the world exhale.



    Report abuse

  • I am an atheist jew, however not by my mother, she is catholic and my father was a jew. Although my mother converted later in life to judaism, she reverted back to catholicism in the last 7 years. I think from the lack of motivation. I wondered why she waited until after it did not matter anymore. I am convinced she did it for the status but I will never understand. I was living in Israel at the time of her conversion and had no idea until it was done. She once said it was to be closer to me. I told her she would need to become an atheist in that case…
    Then she said not so say that , that one day the holy spirit would appear to me and I would see. I asked her if he had appeared to her, considering she had tried reaching the spirit via catholicism and judaism so somethings has to appear. But she could not say it had.

    My father was a jew from Russian and English immigrants and changed his name to seem less jewish in a catholic country. Always felt people disliked the jews, I told him even the jews dislike the jews in many ways…
    Many jews are atheists. They carry the jewish part as part of the tribe but not the dogma.

    I was more of a militant atheist and feel that celebrating new years when the date is wrong, is a joke. That goes for the gregorian calendar too. If we know the age of the earth and the Universe, why continue pretending it is the year 5757 or whatever when it is wrong?

    Why keep shabbos when it’s reason is obsolete? Why kosher plates sets when we have good ways of washing and disinfecting foodware ? Seems to me that following some rituals without a real purpose other than just because thats what you do if you are supposed to be jewish, is unreasonable.

    Many people I have come across who do business with jewish people and these people happen to be well off and successful business people, believe that they are stingy and are always looking to spend less money and get the best deal. I have to ask them if anyone else does it any more differently. Just ask Walmart.

    We can’t be sure about much of the history considering it is intertwined with religious folklore in the books. But one can look at cartography and historical atlases which clearly show where was who and when. That is enough for me to see what happened and where people belong today.

    http://www.chronoatlas.com/MapViewer.aspx



    Report abuse

  • Sideline the lot. You’ll all going to get time out in the naughty corner until you can play nicely in the sandpit. Primitive stone age tribal fights backed by imaginary gods in 2014. Give me a break.



    Report abuse

  • There is no evidence in the Sini because they crossed the Suez not the Red Sea. At least that is the going theory. However these people were not necessarily jewish they worshiped many gods and idols just like the Egyptians.
    The story of Moses is similar to that of Jesus and others.

    The most in common thing they have is the creation of a new religion on the back of another. A patriarch who has a direct line to god and can tell you what to do and not to do. Most of these people who left egypt could not read or write.
    This has always bothered me…
    Why go through the trouble of carving the ten commandments in stone tablets, when more than half could not read what they said ? lol



    Report abuse

  • Primitive stone age tribal fights backed by imaginary gods in 2014. Give me a break.

    I think the Palestinians want to get out of the enclosures the Israelis have put them into and, if possible, get their country back — or some of it. You don’t have to go back to the stone age or invoke the gods. It’s perfectly contemporary and entirely reasonable.



    Report abuse

  • 53
    inquisador says:

    Human shields and their use by Hamas appear to be an established fact.

    Although of course some people disagree

    There are video clips appearing to show compelling evidence of confirmation and perhaps most of all there are spoken and written testimonies from Gazans themselves, collected by the Jordanian Palestinian Mudar Zahran.

    My view is that Hamas have committed war crimes, based on this and much more evidence. Also that they are at least as culpable for the war and probably more so, than Israel. But whether you blame one side or the other; tell me: where do you get this idea that :

    What’s atrocious is your mindless regurgitation of the racist ”human shields” claim

    How on earth is this racist? What are the racial distinctions here? I don’t see any.

    As for the rest of your rant. Life’s too short to go through it all. Save to say that it’s wrong.



    Report abuse

  • I think the Palestinians want to get out of the enclosures the Israelis have put them into and, if possible, get their country back

    Then they need to become civilized. The palestinians claimed Jordan was their country too. They were booted and denied citizenship due to their uprising nature.
    When I lived in Israel palestinians were israeli citizens with all that entails. That was in 1976-78 when they were asking for autonomy. Once they were given autonomy , they wanted more , they were given more. However that will never be enough because they want it all. This has been repeated many times through history by the palestinians. The governments they allow to manipulate them do not have their interest in mind. That is the real tragedy.

    I saw a picture today, a meme of sorts which showed muslims praying in Meca and the meme was, “If praying worked, there would be no more jews in the world.” That sums up their entire problem. If you remove religion and gods from the equation, you are left with people who have no reason to not get along in peace.



    Report abuse

  • If you remove religion and gods from the equation, you are left with people who have no reason to not get along in peace.

    That’s not a statement by anyone who has the faintest knowledge of history. In the two great European wars, to take an enormous example, Germans and British worshipped the same god and the motive for the conflicts between them was not differences of religion. If you’re focussing on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, it’s very true that the difference of religion between the two ethnic groups is a key element in the conflict but the arrival of large numbers of immigrants who dispossess the native inhabitants is a cause of conflict everywhere. Your model there is the settlement of the Americas (and elsewhere) by Europeans.



    Report abuse

  • Like. I agree with your post and go back to Abba Eban’s famous quote, which I’ve used before in these kind of discussions because it never fails to be pertinent:

    “(The Palestinians)… never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” (i.e., for peace),
    – Abba Eban

    They had a chance during the establishment of the state of Israel to gain half of the land by decree. They refused. They wanted it all. Now the smart plan would have been to accept what they could get even if they still planned on war to gain the rest. Of course they ended up with nothing and went to war immediately anyway to try to gain land they gave up from the beginning. Not the best plan methinks. Of course you’re correct, regardless of what they gain they’ll want more and more, ad infinitum.



    Report abuse

  • I also have the “You are Jewish” argument many times. This is caused by equivocation of the term “Jewish”.

    Jewish has two distinct meanings:

    Descendancy from the Jewish ancestry
    Belief or practice of the Jewish religion

    I dislike the approach where the term is used as a measure (real/semi/fake/whatever-jew), because those are two completely different dimensions which are only associated because the same term is used to express them. I AM Jewish if you mean to ask if I was born to a Jewish family, however I am NOT a Jewish person if you mean to ask if I practice the religion or believe in Yahweh.

    To say that ALL descendants of the Jewish ancestry must always also be believers of the Jewish religion is fallacious, and by that hidden false premise, the equivocation of the term confuses people: “how can you be Jewish but not Jewish at the same time? You either are Jewish or you aren’t.”



    Report abuse

  • Ben Oct 2, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    I also have the “You are Jewish” argument many times. This is caused by equivocation of the term “Jewish”.

    Jewish has two distinct meanings:

    Descendancy from the Jewish ancestry
    Belief or practice of the Jewish religion

    Fundamentalists and propagandists, love shuffling shifting meanings of words as they assemble or defend their misleading and fallacious arguments!

    In that context, you could add the third usage of ” Zionist fundamentalist” to label a subgroup from those fitting those 2 other definitions.



    Report abuse

  • It’s perfectly contemporary and entirely reasonable.

    Agree. We need a just Palestinian state. I just object to the “Stone Age” thinking and methods employed by extreme religious fundamentalist on BOTH sides to achieve what is an honourable aim.



    Report abuse

  • phil rimmer Sep 29, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Two states is the current favourite in Israel but perhaps not sufficiently so.

    It seems to be gaining support elsewhere!

    http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1611545/Sweden+to+recognise+state+of+Palestine

    Sweden is to recognise the state of Palestine, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has said, the first long-term EU member country to do so.

    “The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution,” he said during his inaugural address in parliament.

    It should be “negotiated in accordance with international law”, he said.



    Report abuse

  • In that context, you could add the third usage of ” Zionist fundamentalist” to label a subgroup from those fitting those 2 other definitions.

    I agree the described phenomenon where people also attribute Zionism along with the Jewish labeling, however this is mostly not an issue with the term itself, rather the way that people use it or interpret it — Much like people’s tendency to add an assumption of positive belief in god’s absence to a person who claims to be an Atheist, or that a person follows the extreme activists views of “Veganism” if they claim to eat a vegan diet (I have been accused of not being a “real vegan”, or not pass people’s qualifications for the vegan label many times). Those terms become too wide that they can no longer be used to describe an attribute for a person at all unless they make an actual religious effort to maintain the adherence of the rules or assumptions that were associated to them by society.

    Like the above examples, when you label yourself as Jewish there is sometimes an assumption that you are also a Zionist to a certain degree. This isn’t a formal problem with the term, though, it’s rather an informal destruction of the term by society 🙂



    Report abuse

  • 62
    Promethean Entity says:

    ”There are video clips appearing to show compelling evidence of confirmation and perhaps most of all there are spoken and written testimonies from Gazans themselves, collected by the Jordanian Palestinian Mudar Zahran.”

    This ”Palestinian leader”, as he’s often called, in fact appears to be a hired clown who has lived half his life abroad and is now an employee of the US embassy in Amman. It’s no wonder that he’s lovingly embraced by websites with names like ”isrealiscool.com”. He’s welcomed by people like Glenn Beck and The Washington Institute because he tells the white man what he want to hear: ‘Its not your fault that the Palestinians are suffering; Palestinian suffering is self-administered, and besides, Hamas uses human shields.’’ In other words, he’s a ”sensible” voice among the Palestinians: one that regurgitates Western cliches back to Western ears, and facilitates Western aid to their client. This clown even asks, in one of his other articles, ”Will a settlements freeze really bring peace?” Only a paid-for puppet looking to make himself useful to his white masters would phrase the settlements issue in this way. All of the ”quotes” made in his article have to be taken with a massive grain of salt (one ”quote” pathetically equivocates Hamas to ISIS and ”North Korea”. Is this guy talking to Gazans or to CIA? We’ll never know, because all his ”sources” are anonymous, owing to the ‘’terror regime’’ that controls Gaza).

    Then there’s the journal itself. This whiney hack-job, whose job it is simply to praise Israel and undermine Washington’s targets in the region, cries crocodile tears for the victims of Iranian repression, when it murmurs that ”While the West is focusing on ISIS, Iran continues to violate human rights.” Apparently, Iran’s sending tanks into Iraq to confront ISIS doesn’t count as ”focusing on ISIS”, while Washington’s potentates in the region apparently don’t ”violate human rights”. Saudi Arabia, Qatar , the UAE and other secular feminist democracies don’t torture people or arrest journalists. The journal utters not a peep about a Yemeni journalist who remained in prison at the behest of Obama. This journal, which cries about Obama ”not being among Israel’s friends” (in spite of the actual record) because he has occasionally made inconsequential noises of disapproval now and then, chooses to say absolutely nothing about , who has been kept under arrest by the Yemeni dictatorship after he was about to be pardoned. In other words, Americans and Israelis are free to do whatever they like to Arabs, and the ”seriousness” of Arabs in turn is judged on how well they serve or acquiesce to the American and Israeli narratives. Sorry, but I’m working under the assumption that whatever this journal says has to be treated as a filthy lie, and that all who work for it are despicable charlatans.

    ”My view is that Hamas have committed war crimes, based on this and much more evidence.”

    Well, true enough. But that doesn’t distinguish Hamas from any of the other armed players in the conflict or the region. ”Hamas committed war crimes” is saying very little indeed for a region dominated by US client states and Israel.

    ”Also that they are at least as culpable for the war and probably more so, than Israel.”

    A pathetic and thoroughly debunked conceit, as known by anyone even remotely aware of the record. Israel rampaged through the West Bank after the murder of the three Israeli teens (falsely attributed to Hamas). It was only after this rampage that Hamas fired rockets, which Israel then used another excuse to crack down on the Palestinians.

    ”But whether you blame one side or the other; tell me: where do you get this idea that :

    What’s atrocious is your mindless regurgitation of the racist ”human shields” claim

    ”How on earth is this racist? What are the racial distinctions here?

    Because the logic of ”Hamas human shields” and ”Israel had no choice” lets you rest easy that the fault lies not with the European colony known as Israel, or with its Western backers, but with brown people. It lets you sleep at night with a clear conscience, ”knowing” that whatever civilian casualties result from Israel’s raids (which are underwritten by the West and with your tax dollars), they are in fact the result of the actions of ”savages” who lack the human perspective. It soothes the conscience of white people and lets them believe that they aren’t underwriting war crimes, ethnic cleansing and the killing of babies in incubators.

    ”I don’t see any.”

    Of course you don’t. My point is precisely that you’re blithely ignorant of the racist assumptions underpinning your worldview. These assumptions are thereby all the more effective and insidious. This is a point that generalizes to all those who arrogantly and ignorantly dismiss the complaints of nonwhite indigenous peoples and treat them as ‘’rantings’’ by ‘’leftists’’ and ‘’Islamists’’.

    Here, try these on:

    You support the racist colonialist terrorist state of Israel, whose record of theft and state violence, not only in the Middle East but abroad (its training and arming of Latin American death squad regimes would no doubt be chalked up by you as an instance of its devotion to ‘’democracy’’, as would its close ties with apartheid South Africa) is well known to everyone in the region even if you insist on playing dumb and pretending that Israel only ever ‘’reacts’’ to the actions of ‘’those who would harm it’’. Your sugar-coated view of Israel isn’t taken seriously even within Israel, is par for the course of people who don’t want to be burdened with any acknowledgement of the crimes carried out by ”their” side.

    You discount the daily experiences of Palestinians under Israel occupation and rule and chalk up their suffering to what those within their ranks have done. Israel becomes merely a bystander, even when it intervenes directly, since the victims of its violence can always, axiomatically, be blamed on ‘’they made us do it’’ – the typical excuse used by all racist colonial states, an excuse facilitated by the racist assumptions, whether explicit or tacit, shared by their enthusiasts.

    You assume that it’s perfectly legitimate to penalize Gazans for voting the wrong way – that is, for voting for Hamas when they became tired of Fatah corruption and ineffectiveness. However, you most certainly DON’T think that it’s perfectly legitimate for the people of Israel to be brought to heel for voting the wrong way. In other words, Israelis are to be afforded full human rights and not only given a wink but actively facilitated in their use of violence and state terrorism, while Palestinians are to be treated like animals, subject to scraps of dignity only when they keep their heads down and do as they’re told (i.e. when they’re ‘’acting responsibly’’ and ‘’in their own best interests’’).

    You assume that Israelis have the right to ‘’defend themselves’’ by bombing a power plant but you recognize no such right for the Palestinians, even when Gaza is being pummeled with artillery, missiles and smart bombs, when tens of thousands of houses are destroyed, and when parts of Gaza are reduced to a moonscape (there’s also a lesson in there about ‘’wiping nations off the map’’ Please see if you can find it).

    You point me to an article by a ”Palestinian journalist” who is not only irrelevant to anyone in Palestine, but who worked for an American embassy, who has spent half his life living abroad, and whose job it is to soothe and reassure the white man. He thereby becomes a ”serious” journalist and a ‘’good’’ Palestinian to you as opposed to an ‘’extremist’’ or a ‘’kook’’ and his article is counted by you as ‘’evidence’’ that Hamas is to blame and that we should…support Israel.

    You subscribe to the notion that Arab suffering is entirely self-inflicted, while completely ignoring the decades-long machinations of the United States and Israel is fomenting war, violence, division, fragmentation, dictatorship and economic injustice in the region. All suffering by Arabs can be collapsed to ‘’Islam’’, while the role of other factors is to be airbrushed and the collective memory of Arabs is to be belittled and treated like an optical illusion.

    Let me know if I got any of that wrong. Needless to say, if the above points provide a good description of your views, then your outlook is indeed utterly racist.

    As for the rest of your rant. Life’s too short to go through it all.
    Save to say that it’s wrong.

    Certainly, whether life is too short for you (an irrelevant aside), life isn’t too short for anyone who cares about eliminating racism and injustice in the world (the relevant point). This despicable paragraph perfectly encapsulates the mindset of those who subscribe to the ethos of ”supporting Israel”: you don’t have to argue for your claims, you merely have to state them because you’re correct by default. Other peoples, on the other hand, are to be denied their collective memory and experiences; even their anguish is to be airbrushed. Your motto might as well be: ”if they say we did, it didn’t happen.” If that isn’t racism, I don’t know what is.



    Report abuse

  • “how can you be Jewish but not Jewish at the same time? You either are Jewish or you aren’t.”

    Do people actually ask that? Geez, how confused can people be?



    Report abuse

  • 65
    Katy Cordeth says:

    In reply to GFZ and Steven007

    You boys do know that one of the hallmarks of racism is characterizing an entire ethnic group by the actions of some of them, don’t you? So far we’ve had

    “they need to become civilized,”

    as though an underdeveloped culture were reason enough to subjugate and ghettoize a race of people. Apartheid in South Africa and the genocide of Native Americans and Australasian indigenes were all justifiable if this is the criteria being applied. Perhaps you’d care to explain what is so civilized about bombing hospitals and schools. It’s hard to attain the high standards of civilization being demanded if what used to be your schoolhouse is now a smoking pile of rubble and access to basic medicinal necessities such as penicillin is non-existent…

    We’ve had

    “They were booted and denied citizenship due to their uprising nature.”

    Uprising as in uppity? Oppressed peoples are allowed to be uppity. Hopefully it’s in everyone’s nature. And it hardly needs stating that one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.

    Let’s talk about nature though if you like. Those Jews sure like their money, you know. Nothing to do with religion, it’s just in their nature. That’s why so many of them historically have been involved in the financial professions: money lending, jewelry, insurance and so on. Nothing at all to do with their having for centuries been denied access to the medical, teaching or legal professions. Nope, they’re just avaricious by disposition.

    And we’ve had

    “However that will never be enough because they want it all. This has been repeated many times through history by the palestinians. The governments they allow to manipulate them do not have their interest in mind. That is the real tragedy.”

    This seems muddled. Is it the Palestinian people who always want more, or their leaders? If the people are manipulated by power-mad politicos, that’s no reason to punish the populace as a whole. The four preteens killed on a Gazan beach only wanted to finish their soccer game. If these boys were uncivilized, though, with belligerence encoded into their very DNA, perhaps their killing should be considered a justifiable preemptive strike. That’s a view you’ll hear quite a lot on pro-Israel websites.



    Report abuse

  • 66
    bonnie says:

    genocide of Native Americans

    Good news of recent – Navajos, and other first nations, will receive monetary reparations.

    Actually, it is more like thanking a robber for giving your stolen goods back.

    Anyone remember this song, can apply to any group of folks.



    Report abuse

  • 67
    inquisador says:

    Promethean Entity,

    Racism is oppression or discrimination against people on account of their race.

    You are talking about political conflict between people of similar race, which I would call motivated by differences of religion and culture as well as by historical enmity.

    And, yes I support Israel. At least you got that right. The reason is simply that Israel has a decent, inclusive, human rights-based constitution, which deserves support and is rare in the region.

    Such hypocrisy to cry racism only against the Jews. Not against the Muslims who drove out the Jews from the many other parts of the ‘Islamic world’ that they previously inhabited. Not a peep against the Jordanians when they occupied the West Bank for how many years? No, only after they failed to destroy the Jews (again) and the right of conquest as well as that of a valid historical claim to the land, could be asserted. That same right of conquest which underlies the virtual eclipse of every non-Islamic culture that once existed in what is now Islamic land. Double standards apply.

    mindless regurgitation

    You seem to be the one here unloading your bile saved up for the occasion; all those assumptions, accusations and lies about my position are, let’s be polite; twaddle.

    What would be your solution to this endless conflict?



    Report abuse

  • Written a few years ago but still fun to read:

    Larry Miller With Thoughts on the Middle East’s Israel and a Palestine –

    The Palestinians want their own country. There’s just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians . It’s a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like ‘Wiccan,’ ‘Palestinian’ sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war, Gaza was Owned by Egypt , the West Bank was owned by Jordan , and there were no Palestinians.’ As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the ‘Palestinians,’ weeping for their deep bond with their lost ‘land’ and ‘nation.

    So for the sake of honesty, let’s not use the word ‘Palestinian’ any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone Points out they’re being taped. Instead, let’s call them what they are: ‘Other Arabs Who Can’t Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death. ‘ I know that’s a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: ‘Adjacent Jew-Haters .’ Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing: No, they don’t . They could’ve had their own country. Anytime in the last thirty years, especially several years ago at Camp David . But If you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks. And Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living.

    That’s no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel . They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course that’s where the Real fun is — but mostly they want Israel. Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel – or ‘The Zionist Entity’ as their Textbooks call it — for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab Countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they’re the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God’s Earth, and if you’ve ever been around God’s Earth, you know that’s really saying something.

    It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about the great history and culture of the Muslim Mid east. Unless I’m missing something, the Arabs haven’t given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.

    Chew this around and spit it out: Five hundred million Arabs; five Million Jews. Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals..
    Really? Wow, what neat news.

    Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive very Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding. My friend, Kevin Rooney, made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the Numbers. Imagine five hundred million Jews and five million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not. Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of Innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting.

    No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

    However, in any big-picture strategy, there’s always a danger of losing moral weight. We’ve already lost some. After September 11th our president told us and the world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them. Beautiful. Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day) start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint. If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean and east of the Jordan.



    Report abuse

  • Steven007 Oct 7, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Written a few years ago but still fun to read:

    Larry Miller With Thoughts on the Middle East’s Israel and a Palestine –

    The Palestinians want their own country. There’s just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians . It’s a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war, Gaza was Owned by Egypt , the West Bank was owned by Jordan , and there were no Palestinians.’

    Larry seems to be wearing his short-sight cherry-pickers blinkers, and spouting propagandist drivel!

    Before the victors in the second world war decided to dump Jewish refugees into Palestine (That’s the bit he conveniently forgot to mention) There were lots of Arab Palestinians and Jewish Palestinians, – until Zionist terrorists took over the country from the colonial British, and demoted the Arab Palestinians to second class citizens! – exiling quite a lot of them to the West Bank and Gaza after these were seized from neighbouring Arab states in the 1967 war.



    Report abuse

  • Indeed, he (Miller) glossed over the entire Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine itself. I was just offering a bit of rebut to Promethean Entities black and white viewpoint. Miller’s is also black and white. The entire issue is of course composed of shades of gray.



    Report abuse

  • 71
    Promethean Entity says:

    ”And, yes I support Israel. At least you got that right. The reason is simply that Israel has a decent, inclusive, human rights-based constitution, which deserves support and is rare in the region.”

    A lousy pretext. Firstly, the United States and Israel have worked to systematically BLOCK democracy in the region. This isn’t an accident, but a conscious policy, at times explicitly spelled out in internal documents. The United States and Israel are programmatically dedicated to upholding dictatorship in the Middle East. This goes back decades, whether or not the only thing you can murmur is ”Islam”. Both the US and Israel have democratic constitutions. Do you therefore ”support” what both of these countries did in Latin America? If not, why would you support it in the Middle East? Give me a break. Why not also support French torture and rape in Algeria using the same logic?

    ”Such hypocrisy to cry racism only against the Jews. Not against the Muslims who drove out the Jews from the many other parts of the ‘Islamic world’ that they previously inhabited. Not a peep against the Jordanians when they occupied the West Bank for how many years? No, only after they failed to destroy the Jews (again) and the right of conquest as well as that of a valid historical claim to the land, could be asserted. That same right of conquest which underlies the virtual eclipse of every non-Islamic culture that once existed in what is now Islamic land. Double standards apply.”

    If the topic was the expulsion of Jews from Muslim-majority countries, then I’d be talking about that. But it isn’t, so I haven’t. I’m personally for the overthrow of ALL the regimes in the region, from Iran to Egypt to Saudi Arabia, just as I’m against anti-Semitism wherever it rears its head.

    ”You seem to be the one here unloading your bile saved up for the occasion; all those assumptions, accusations and lies about my position are, let’s be polite; twaddle.”

    Pompous garbage. I really can’t help it if you choose to argue by bluster and proclamation.

    ”What would be your solution to this endless conflict?”

    Impose harsh sanctions on Israel for its systematic violations and illegalities in Gaza and the West Bank. End all subsidies and arms transfers to Israel. Systematically dismantle the Israeli state and allow this European colony to die a natural death. Work out an agreement whereby Jews who arrived in what’s called Israel can stay, but on a basis of equal rights, not a master and slave relationship. Those Jews who have profited and benefited from the occupation must be given a chance to leave, and a resettlement plan in a country of their choice must be established. Allow for the right of return to all Palestinians expelled from their historic homeland. Establish a single state known as ”Palestine” based upon secular democracy and equal rights for all its inhabitants regardless of race and religion. End all support for dictatorships in the region. The Pentagon is to pack up and leave, permanently. Massive reparations to be paid to the peoples of Iraq, Iran, Palestine and Egypt.



    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.