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View Diary: How do I say this without seeming anti-Semitic? (267 comments)

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  •  This is a tough one (34+ / 0-)

    For me, antisemitism is like pornography, I recognize it when I see it. My mother, who is Jewish, used some language to describe the voters of NY-9  that could have been construed as antisemitic had they been written here, but which were really intended to express her fear of the consequences of religious fanaticism. I guess to me, anything which lumps all Jewish people together under a common stereotype is heading in the direction of antisemitism (and this applies to descriptions of other ethnic groups as well).

    In discussions, I prefer to use more specific terms such as "ultra-right wing" Jews or "fundamentalist" Christians, because it is insulting to insist that every member of a large group thinks with one mind.

    By the way, back in 2004 Ed Koch was heckled at my grandmother's temple for his support of Bush and the Iraq war with the comment "Hey, Ed, how much are they paying you?" Was the 80 year old Jewish man who heckled him an antisemite? I'll leave that to others to decide, but I'm sure the old man would have had choice words for anyone who called him one.

    If the fall of the house of Murdoch is a tragedy, it is the feel-good tragedy of the century-James Wolcot

    by beltane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:19:10 PM PDT

    •  One problem with "I recognize it when I see it" (22+ / 0-)

      is that I don't think it translates well into a plebiscite -- especially one where we assert that the standard is the offense taken by someone else.  It is extremely tough -- and I hope that we treat it accordingly.

      I don't think the Ed Koch needs to be paid.  He believes in what he's doing.

      In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

      by Seneca Doane on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 07:26:48 PM PDT

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    •  Having no technical dawg in this hunt (8+ / 0-)

      as I'm not Jewish either by culture, religion, or nationality, nor am I Arab by culture or nationality, or Muslim by religion...(or Christian, for that matter so I really do have no dawg in the hunt), my best discussion on the "Jewish political mindset" came from a good friend and former coworker who was half-Jewish (religion and nationality) and half Cherokee/Chickasaw (born on the Rez and still a member of the Nation as well). He said clearly that his big problem with approaching politics from a "Jewish" perspective is that a lot of people forget that "Jew" is culture, it is religion, and it is nationality, but it is unique in that those three elements intersect in so many points.

      The convo was ten years ago now, and it's still clear in my mind. And based on my observations of treatment by most people of subjects that are of Jewish Interest (and this is broad, not just in politics), it's not readily apparent whether or not the particular subject is cultural, religious, or nation-based.

      As an outsider, it does seem that anything dealing with Israel needs to be treated with kid-gloves in a way that no other foreign policy dealing with another sovereign country is handled. I don't know if that's truth or perception, but I don't see us collectively worrying that we'll bring down the wrath of France upon us. OTOH, certain behaviors of Saudi Arabia are carefully side-stepped in Middle East foreign policy. It makes me curious as to why our foreign policy must so carefully tiptoe around another country. Is it that we already have all those tiptoes in place and well-assumed for countries like Great Britain or Germany or Japan or Brazil?

      As for the religion, the OP's comment that a handful of rabbis handed down a religious edict that forbade their congregants from voting for a candidate bothers me because this is expressly forbidden if they want to hold onto their tax-exempt status. But I couldn't tell if a.) they are tax-exempt in the first place or that b.) anyone had noticed this would be a violation of the tax code and more obliquely, the separation of church and state.

      Culturally, I'm less inclined to butt into other people's cultures, but I also figure if you're going to be "-american" then be american. The reason why this country works (when it works) is that people's tribal connections don't override the civic connections we've all agreed to live under.

      I think that Jewish things need to be discussed because not enough people know how to talk about the cultural, the national, or the religious, without conflating them all.

      Having zero dawg in this hunt, I don't think SD's diary is anti-semitic. It's not asked disrespectfully, and it's not combative. We need to be able to talk about difficult conundra in order to understand them better.

      How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

      by athenap on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:30:42 AM PDT

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