Re: Guest Post - Israel

1

As a Jewish-ish person, I assume that everyone is interested in my thoughts here.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 4:04 PM
horizontal rule
2

As a guy who sometimes gets asked if he's a Jewish person by Jewish persons who wish Jewish-ish persons would fall into better compliance with various rules, I don't have many thoughts on this issue. Mostly, my biggest issue with the diaspora has to do with some of its constituent members parking like assholes or yelling at me when I park in a not-asshole way that is somehow inconvenient for them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 4:09 PM
horizontal rule
3

As a Jewish-ish person who gets assumed to be goy due to circumstances of location, employment institution, and ridiculous country first name, I too have few thoughts on the matter.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 4:12 PM
horizontal rule
4

My first name is more Jewish than yours, I think.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 4:14 PM
horizontal rule
5

I am actually not devoid of thoughts regarding the stuff Alyssa wrote about (and even about Alyssa's piece), but probably no one does care about them. (Basically, I hardly identify with Israel at all; I don't associate the modern country of Israel with Jewishness (or maybe I should say with Jewish-ishness), and the Israelis I know, in addiction to being totally secular and less "culturally Jewish", to speak nothing of religiously Jewish, even than deracinated I, aren't exactly down with Israel's actions themselves so the whole question of "identifying with Israel" strikes me as weird or not to the point.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 4:19 PM
horizontal rule
6

This was a depressing response to the Klein piece.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
7

some of its constituent members parking like assholes

OMG I'm reporting you to the ADL.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
8

I'm trying to develop a complete novel set of ethnic stereotypes about driving.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 4:30 PM
horizontal rule
9

4: It's hard not to be.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 4:33 PM
horizontal rule
10

My first name is more Jewish than yours, I think.

Has someone written a "How Jewish is this first name?" app yet? If not, there's a market niche waiting to be filled.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 4:38 PM
horizontal rule
11

Take our "What ethnicity did your parents name you?" quiz!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 4:43 PM
horizontal rule
12

My first name is pretty darn Jewish! As such, I too have few thoughts on the matter. Zardoz's day care class is full of Israelis, who are mostly pretty nice. I find myself wondering if they go through their days recently thinking to themselves "man, don't freakin' ask me about that."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 5:03 PM
horizontal rule
13

Er, the attributed thoughts in 12 are properly attributed to the parents of kids in Zardoz's class. I imagine very few one-year-olds are sick of getting questions about Israel's actions in Gaza.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 5:07 PM
horizontal rule
14

I read the Klein piece as a relatively honest but still chickenshit "I try to avoid thinking about all the evil Israel does, and that's been a bit harder lately".

With all the caveats - there are plenty of individual Israelis who are fine people, the US pulls plenty of shit too, etc. - overall I see the project of Israel as one transforming Jews from an interesting and distinctive people into yet another dreary outpost of ethnic nationalism. There are of course historical reasons it made more sense at the time, but plenty of Jews, like my family, weren't persuaded - although that's hard to unbundle from their having in reach the social and economic advantages of assimilation both in Europe and, after some adjustment, in the US.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 5:08 PM
horizontal rule
15

Someone asked me the other day if I was Jewish on the basis of my first name, which I never thought was particularly Jewish.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 5:09 PM
horizontal rule
16

[Tension-breaking joke abut Jewish names à la Homer Simpson's "Mel Brooks is Jewish?!"]

Lately I have been reminded of the not-especially-well-sourced remark by Richard Nixon that he didn't expect Israel to last longer than the Crusader kingdoms did, but the nuclear arsenal affects that projection.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 5:15 PM
horizontal rule
17

I liked this piece or rather I liked the German version published in FAZ. I assume this version is good too.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
18

16: Does that count Cyprus?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 5:25 PM
horizontal rule
19

but the nuclear arsenal affects that projection

South Africa had the bomb, and the Soviet Union had thousands.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 5:28 PM
horizontal rule
20

Heavy. (warning: uncomfortable strobing effect near the end)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 5:35 PM
horizontal rule
21

The guy who wrote the depressing response to the Klein piece has a more Jewish first name than probably anybody here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 6:16 PM
horizontal rule
22

21 is true as far as I know. I have a more Jewish name than heebie, certainly, and in fact the professor I catsat for in college had given her girl cat my name because the cats' last name was Katz. (Mara has the black Christian version of a name that would be really emotionally awkward for me if she had the Jewish version, but I'm sure I'd have gotten used to it by now.)

My mother seems to be trolling a gay, liberal mutual fb friend of ours by being pro-Israeli and talking about how no one could support Hamas. I'm choosing to ignore this to be able to get through Selah's birthday party tomorrow without getting into any arguments or losing my mind.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 6:26 PM
horizontal rule
23

I read the Klein piece as a relatively honest but still chickenshit "I try to avoid thinking about all the evil Israel does, and that's been a bit harder lately".

True, but I would also imagine that if he's saying that in public he has harsher words in private.

Which makes me think that for both of the linked articles it feels a little bit like they're addressing the subject because they feel obligated to do so.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 6:39 PM
horizontal rule
24

The guy who wrote the depressing response to the Klein piece has a more Jewish first name than probably anybody here.

More than "heebie"?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
25

21: I don't know, man.

Anyway, I wonder why Ezra Klein thinks anyone, other than his close friends and family, should care at all about his thoughts on Israel. I didn't read his post so maybe I'm missing something -- serially, this is possible -- but it's my understanding that he made himself an indispensable part of the political landscape by learning an incredible amount about healthcare reform (also: by being kind of cute) and then refashioning himself into a wonk-of-all-trades for American politics. Does he actually know anything about Israel? Or has he just read Peter Beinert's blog posts and is Jewishish? I wonder if this is what neb meant up above. If so, I love him more now than ever before.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
26

I guess his last name is spelled Beinart. So I'm an antisemite. Sue me.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 6:54 PM
horizontal rule
27

Aww, VW, you're kinda cute. And I'm sure you could learn about healthcare if you absolutely had to.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:00 PM
horizontal rule
28

I sort of disagree with 21!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:08 PM
horizontal rule
29

In high school, he was known as Ezra Kleinda Cute.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
30

29: Meaning, your first name is more Jewish than Shmuel?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
31

28 is obvious trolling.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:10 PM
horizontal rule
32

Sifu is only sort of disagreeable.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:13 PM
horizontal rule
33

Some people guess by one of my names that I may have some Jewish ancestry. It's actually possible that I do, but I'm probably never going to research the central European side of the family far back enough to find out.

I have no Israeli ancestry and doubt anyone in my family has ever been to Israel, though someone may have visited the area pre-Zionism.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:15 PM
horizontal rule
34

I've got a really authentic claim on assimilationism and internalized anti-semitism.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:21 PM
horizontal rule
35

why Ezra Klein thinks anyone, other than his close friends and family, should care at all about his thoughts on Israel

Precisely my reaction. Who cares what you think, bro? And that goes for pretty much every damn thing I've read about the issue lately. This is not really a topic where generalist pundits can shed any light. This Atrios post is relevant and correct.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:21 PM
horizontal rule
36

Well, I mean, are Hebrew versions of Old Testament names just per se more... huh. Typing it out that way, maybe I was trolling. Oh well! Urple: -- -- -- --


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
37

I'm not Jewish, but most of my neighbors are.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
38

Some of my best friends are neighbors.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
39

I bet none of my neighbors are Jewish.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
40

But I don't really know, because they're not my besties either.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:32 PM
horizontal rule
41

It's mezuzahs up the wazuzah.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:34 PM
horizontal rule
42

Wrong entrance.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:40 PM
horizontal rule
43

So you think the wazoo is an entrance. Tell us more.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:48 PM
horizontal rule
44

Neighbor please.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:58 PM
horizontal rule
45

I have lots of thoughts on Israel, but neb and Minivet have already articulated most of them in this thread so I don't feel the need to say any more.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 7:59 PM
horizontal rule
46

I went to look up info about Jim Nabors and ended up finding a lot of hate directed at him for marrying his partner.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
47

46 is a departure.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 8:08 PM
horizontal rule
48

Oh, I'd forgotten about that, fa. It seems like Lee and Nia watch The Andy Griffith Show together most nights. I'll have to mention it sometime.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 8:09 PM
horizontal rule
49

Oh. Neighbors.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 8:12 PM
horizontal rule
50

It's unlike you to not recognize a pun, Moby.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 8:12 PM
horizontal rule
51

I was thinking of wazoo.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 8:17 PM
horizontal rule
52

The Wazoo are the people ISIS has trapped on that mountain, right?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 8:30 PM
horizontal rule
53

I once ran into a sticky wicket in a security clearance interview when I blanked on the name of an Israeli former lover. By this point the interviewer was clearly thinking "does she have some sort of policy against USians?" and i was experiencing duress (mild, mild) from being trapped by his aftershave for like 3 hours straight. It was all kind of a drag.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 8:40 PM
horizontal rule
54

21: I don't know, man.

Aw, don't worry, VW, your name sounds plenty Jewish.

Re: the "How Jewish is this first name?" app, there might be some interesting subsets of Jewish first names that would be difficult to capture? In the 20th-century US, e.g., there are some first names for males that sound Jewish in certain American contexts, but in other contexts they might sound English/British (e.g.: Harry; Philip; Maurice/Morris). And then there are the biblical (Old Testament/Hebrew Bible) names that might say "Jewish," or they might indicate a solidly New England Protestant heritage that can trace its ancestry back to the Mayflower (e.g., Sarah; Rebecca; Benjamin; Nathaniel).


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
55

And then there are the biblical (Old Testament/Hebrew Bible) names that might say "Jewish," or they might indicate a solidly New England Protestant heritage that can trace its ancestry back to the Mayflower (e.g., Sarah; Rebecca; Benjamin; Nathaniel).

And then there's the Biblical names that primarily indicate the latter and not the former, like mine. I guess they wouldn't be as big a problem for the app, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 9:21 PM
horizontal rule
56

I wouldn't have thought of most of those names as coding Jewish. Maybe Ben, but not the others.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 9:22 PM
horizontal rule
57

Well, they're certainly popular among Jews while not necessarily coding Jewish.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 9:23 PM
horizontal rule
58

Harry? I never met a Jewish Harry. (I'm too tired to make an Esau joke.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 9:28 PM
horizontal rule
59

Jewish names like Harry are more a thing from two or three generations ago (recent immigrants changing their names and naming their children to sound more American). Both my grandfather and my great-grandfather had brothers named Harry.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 9:33 PM
horizontal rule
60

But, alas, not a brother Harry and another brother Harry. (And so to bed.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 9:35 PM
horizontal rule
61

Heh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
62

And then there are the biblical (Old Testament/Hebrew Bible) names that might say "Jewish," or they might indicate a solidly New England Protestant heritage that can trace its ancestry back to the Mayflower (e.g., Sarah; Rebecca; Benjamin; Nathaniel)

Which made naming our children easy; the or became an and.

So their Hebrew names and everyday names are the same, but should they google their names, first and last together, they'll get a bunch of 17th and 18th century relatives listed on geneological websites.

Even though I had a great uncle Harry, most Harrys I have met in the last 50 years have been Jewish. Also Bernards, which I pronounced stressing the first syllable but Americans stress the 2nd. And Milton, an old-guy name but I know one younger than I am, who never uses it of course.

And all of the "Irv" family of names; my father, not Jewish had one of those, but by the time he had grown up it was firmly typed as Jewish, despite the comically non-Jewish English last name. But what did that prove, in a world where many people changed their names?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 9:44 PM
horizontal rule
63

Jewish names like Harry are more a thing from two or three generations ago

But those names do get passed on. My son has a friend named Harry who is maybe 13 years old. He is certainly a Jewish Harry.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 9:45 PM
horizontal rule
64

63: Huh, I've never encountered that phenomenon myself. Passing on names in general is not traditionally characteristic of (Ashkenazi) Jews.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 9:49 PM
horizontal rule
65

Or, to be more specific, passing on names is done to some extent, but subject to stringent restrictions based ultimately on superstition.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 9:51 PM
horizontal rule
66

The main restriction is not naming someone after a living relative. But honoring a dead one is a mitzvah, and both of our children's names do that.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 9:59 PM
horizontal rule
67

Right, that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 10:00 PM
horizontal rule
68

I guess we're now reaching the point where enough of the Harry/Irving generation has died that kids are starting to be named after them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 10:01 PM
horizontal rule
69

Passing on names in general is not traditionally characteristic of (Ashkenazi) Jews.

Interesting. This I did not know. I guess I just assumed that 13-year old Jewish Harry had been named after a grandfather or a great-great-uncle or something; but perhaps not, after all?

I was named after my paternal grandmother, whose name would not be included in the "How Jewish is this first name?" app.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 10:03 PM
horizontal rule
70

69: No, he probably was, but per 66 it would probably have been a dead relative rather than a living one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 10:04 PM
horizontal rule
71

The traditional way to name someone after a living relative is to use a different name that starts with the same letter. This is also often done for dead relatives, although it's not required by the superstition. I'm named after my great-grandfather, who died long before I was born, but only by the first-letter method.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 10:08 PM
horizontal rule
72

On another topic, it was asked last week when you would say "I am a Canadian citizen and a British subject"

I didn't reply last week but the answer is "When talking to an American." As a teenage immigrant in the mid-sixties, I was constantly queried by people for whom the very idea of Canada, as an independent country, with a similar culture but a different society, was and is dissonant. Also the citizen/subject thing, which many quite sophisticated people still don't get.

The ignorance and chauvinism of those conversations must have made an impression on us, because none of us took US citizenship for 30 years, even though none ever seriously considered going back.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 10:08 PM
horizontal rule
73

68: I was ready to go hard for Isadore for a boy's name, but Mrs. K-sky was having none of it. Although he's my great-grandafther, and he's been dead for about fifty years, so that's more twee revivalism than generational return. Also I proposed Ysidro, because Ysidro k-[hmm]-sky scans the same as Claude Hooper Bukowski (finds that it's groovy to hide in a movie, pretends he's Fellini or even his countryman Roman Polanski all rolled into one ">Claude Hooper Bukowski.)

Israel? I have thoughts, sure, but they're more accurately described as emotions.


Posted by:
k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 11:40 PM
horizontal rule
74

+or Antonioni


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 11:41 PM
horizontal rule
75

Ysidro k-sky would be an awesome name, but you might get accused of cultural appropriation.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 11:44 PM
horizontal rule
76

I wouldn't have thought of most of those names as coding Jewish. Maybe Ben, but not the others.

Really, neither Sarah nor Rebecca? Huh.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 11:50 PM
horizontal rule
77

+link, GOOD NIGHT


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 9-14 11:52 PM
horizontal rule
78

If I met an Ysidro, I'd always be trying to read it backwards.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 5:23 AM
horizontal rule
79

We've got Jewish Harrys from 2-3 generations ago, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 5:24 AM
horizontal rule
80

My nephew is a super Jewish Harry and is doing a tour of Israel this summer. His mom posts a lot on FB about the situation there given that fact and her heritage- my family is rather Jewishish but my brother married into a pretty observant family.
My last name is intentionally not Jewish. My great great grandfather changed it to not sound Jewish to escape Czarist Russia. I think it's also unique in that anyone with that name is descended from him. If you google it I'm the fourth unique person that comes up (four higher results for the most famous of us.)


Posted by: Too identifying | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 5:40 AM
horizontal rule
81

80.last is us, too, except I think they changed it to sound more palatable stateside.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 5:44 AM
horizontal rule
82

See, Nick S, this topic didn't end up being very controversial at all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 6:11 AM
horizontal rule
83

I'm sort of embarrassed to mention this, but my editor requested that I do so, and I said I would (though I refused to do it on my so-called blog or facebook, so maybe I'm not really complying with her wishes -- whatever). Anyway, supposedly Amazon reviews are an important part of the sales algorithm over there. Is this true? I don't know! Nor do I have the recipe for CocaCola! Regardless, if the people here (heebie-geebie, LB, thorn, others) who have read a certain book that has well known cholera-curing properties would be willing to post even a very short review at Amazon, that would be nice. Okay, I'm now ashamed enough that I'm going to slink away and throw rocks at Israeli soldiers.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 6:20 AM
horizontal rule
84

No problem.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 6:32 AM
horizontal rule
85

I'd be less embarrassed about asking and more embarrassed about describing the book as constipating.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 6:41 AM
horizontal rule
86

Thanks. Also, because I feel bad about this whole thing, I actually do have the recipe for CocaCola (Classic) and will share it with anyone who writes a review.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 6:42 AM
horizontal rule
87

"The book is shit."


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 6:43 AM
horizontal rule
88

"The book is the shit."


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 6:44 AM
horizontal rule
89

I would, but I'm totally intimidated by Tedra's essay!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 6:44 AM
horizontal rule
90

This book is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 6:47 AM
horizontal rule
91

89: please don't let that stop you. Really, that was overkill. Just a sentence -- "The book is one of the ten or twenty best that I've read today. -- is supposedly good enough. Honestly, I don't know. But my editor insists that Amazon gives books that have lots of reviews more exposure in some important way.

Does this really matter? Most assuredly not! So maybe don't worry about it at all.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 6:49 AM
horizontal rule
92

Anyway, some people here have already written things about the book, and I was thinking specifically of those people when I wrote my embarrassing request, because it seemed to me they could just cut and paste what they had already written. But enough about me! Let's talk about heebie's sabbatical! You should try to cure yellow fever, heebie!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 6:51 AM
horizontal rule
93

It's a deal. I'll talk about your book if you talk about my sabbatical.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 6:53 AM
horizontal rule
94

76: Maybe Rebecca.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 7:11 AM
horizontal rule
95

Rivka, moreso.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 7:14 AM
horizontal rule
96

Neither Sarah nor Rebecca this side of the pond (nor Rachel, though Leah more so.) Sarah codes for middle aged upper middle class women who were loud obnoxious bread throwing Sloan Rangers in their youth (e.g. the lamentable Duchess of York), and Rebecca for the daughter of aging hippies with a hopeless arts degree. They may or may not be Jewishish, but it isn't encoded.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 7:29 AM
horizontal rule
97

"Sarah" is the name my grandmother picked for herself after being informed her name was too hard for the teachers to day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 7:33 AM
horizontal rule
98

S/b "say"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 7:40 AM
horizontal rule
99

So, uh... is everybody just really nervous about talking about the political articles linked in the OP, or just really sick of the subject? Bit of column A, bit of column B, maybe?


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 7:45 AM
horizontal rule
100

Sick, mostly. Its hard to find an angle on it that hasn't been beaten to a pulp in internet discussions riddled with bad-faith arguments, in which either side has made any headway against the other.

On the other hand, one interesting development from this most recent round is that two of the most Jewish people on my FB feed have been posting things sympathetic to the Palestinians, which I never would have expected coming from either of them. One seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis about the whole thing.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 7:55 AM
horizontal rule
101

99. Also ignorant. I thought Klein's piece was weak and Rosenberg's was interesting, but I'm neither a Jew nor an American, so WTF do I know? I regard Netanyahu as a war criminal, and the leadership of Hamas too, but to the very limited extent that it means anything Netanyahu certainly appears to be the worse war criminal. I have no idea who the core Likud electorate are or how they got that way or why there are so many of them, so I need a lot of education rather than sloganeering.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:05 AM
horizontal rule
102

96 -- bread throwing?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
103

99: Sick as in disgusted or repulsed? No.

Exhausted and despairing are more accurate, possibly shared by the more major players in this nightmare.

Back in my youth of Carlos the Jackal etc...there was both disgust and hope.

And just as the PFLP was one of manyand diverse, and a sign of its times to the extent such exist, I am watching or thinking about the current situation for what it could tell me about more global trends.

Fascism is on the rise. Resistance appears futile.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
104

102: I imagine Drones Club boorishness.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
105

102. It was custom and practice in late 80s/early 90s London for the children of the rentier class to engage in bread fights in restaurants when drunk (which was most of the time.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
106

Pwned elegantly.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:18 AM
horizontal rule
107

99 - my guess also is that there's basically consensus here, and not much to argue about.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:26 AM
horizontal rule
108

So they took the Drones Club and were like, sweet, let's do this. Kind of admirable in its way.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
109

Obviously "drones" probably has a different valence in the context of this thread.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 9:03 AM
horizontal rule
110

"I asked the author about a something that was referenced in the first 8 pages of the book and he didn't know what I was talking about. Clearly he didn't write this book."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
111

So, uh... is everybody just really nervous about talking about the political articles linked in the OP, or just really sick of the subject?

Okay, serious question, since I haven't been following Israeli politics. I remember 15 years ago hearing people that that the US didn't have much leverage with Israel but that there was a strong anti-occupation Left opposition in Israel, and there was some reason to hope that they would be able to influence politics.

In the intervening period, I have the sense that the left has lost a lot of power and visibility, and I'm curious why that is. If there was, in fact, a active political debate, why has that tailed off at the same time that the situation in Gaza has come to seem increasing unacceptable to the international community.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 10:29 AM
horizontal rule
112

The Israeli left, which isn't monolithic by any means, has lost power because: a) Likkud is better at politics than Labor (this advantages hinges at least in part on millions and millions of American dollars that have been flowing into Likkud's coffers); b) the Russian aliyah completely changed the dynamics of Israel's political culture, bringing in more than 1 million people who distrust the state and have no time at all for the utopian (read: socialist) elements of Zionism; c) Likkud and other players have empowered the Orthodox community, which for demographic as well as political reasons, is growing in size and power; d) there is a deepening sense, among even centrists and lefties, that a two-state solution isn't viable in this lifetime; e) there is deepening distrust, among even centrists and lefties, that there is no partner for peace within the Palestinian community; f) structural changes in the economy, abetted by Likkud and more than tolerated by an increasingly weak/irrelevant Labor, have hobbled the kibbutz movement, robbing the Israeli left of its most visible source of once-moral-high-ground-having power; g) other things.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 10:45 AM
horizontal rule
113

On your book, which one of us is Bill E.?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
114

113: ich bin ein Bill Emblom.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
115

Societies become more conservative when they feel under siege.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 10:56 AM
horizontal rule
116

Israel was far more besieged and yet far less conservative in the past.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
117

Wait! I suppose it's possible that Israelis feel more besieged now (that would be pathological, but it's possible).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 10:59 AM
horizontal rule
118

There are plenty of domestic cases of people with delusional beliefs about being besieged.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
119

Being more liberal in the past is consistent with becoming more conservative.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:03 AM
horizontal rule
120

What would be really nice is if someone could point us to an expert who might explain the ascendance of the Israeli far-right. In the meantime, I'm only semi-informed but I think: 1) just enough Hamas to underwrite the national security...wait for it...ratchet 2) a bunch of Russian immigrants who sure do seem to be racist dickheads and 3) economic stuff driving settlements and supporting ultra-orthodox folks in ways I don't know about at all. There's probably a 4 that's the real reason, but I don't even know where to look.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
121

Mega-double-pwned by Wafer, but I don't blame him, I blame my children, who are the real terrorists.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:06 AM
horizontal rule
122

119: huh? I mean, yeah, sure, but coupled with 115, I don't know what to make of the fact that Israel used to face what most people would acknowledge was an existential threat from its neighbors but at that its citizens were far, far, far less conservative -- socially, economically, culturally, etc. -- than they are now. Again, being as fair as I can be to 115, the best I can come up with is that Israelis might now feel more besieged than than used to, though I think even that's incredibly far-fetched. I do, though, think it's entirely possible that Israelis now find more political power and/or think it's more socially acceptable in pretending that they feel besieged than that they did in the past. And perhaps that contributes to the way the nation has lurched to the right.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
123

What would be really nice is if someone could point us to an expert who might explain the ascendance of the Israeli far-right.
I feel like my uninformed, half-assed speculation is an adequate substitute.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
124

122: Possibly the standard of comparison shifted. In the 1950s and 60s, it didn't take much security for it to feel like a huge improvement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
125

122 -- I don't know anything, and should therefore be quiet, but it seems just plausible to me that subjective feelings of siege have risen as confidence in the ability of the leaders to find an exit have receded.

Once one accepts that there isn't going to be a viable two state solution in the next generation or so, then what? Charlatans promising 'victory' get a new hearing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:25 AM
horizontal rule
126

122: What I'm trying to say is that besiegement-sense pushes a society in a conservative, militaristic direction. That doesn't imply a direct map between b-s and conservatism.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
127

I (deliberately, because I fear knowing too much) know little about Israel, but I have the vague impression that the mainstream Israeli left has gotten pretty right wing on Palestinian issues. That Amos Oz interview that was linked here a few weeks ago was pretty disturbing. And I know that my Israeli friend who runs an NGO supporting freedom of movement from Gaza is pretty much at the extreme extreme shunned end of society. I mean I guess she's technically Israeli ans left but in an off the charts excluded way, not even like the liberal wing of the Democratic Party here. I guess I should shut up since I really do know nothing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
128

I would agree with Eggplant insofar as fear is a necessary seed for conservatism.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
129

124 and 125 sound totally plausible to me.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
130

128: again, sure, but Israelis had, without any real question at all, much more to fear (other than, as Charley points out, fear itself) in the past, but they were, again without any real question at all, much, much, much less conservative. So fear isn't the operative variable, so much as is, assuming Charley is right, angst.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
131

I can't remember ever having any particular feeling of connection to Israel despite some Sunday school indoctrination and stuff like that. (My grandfather gave me a keychain that had a little music box that played Ha Tikvah!) I do have some communal feeling toward other yids* of course. Its geographical locus is 80th and Broadway.

*diminishing in proportion to religious observance.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
132

Maybe you were supposed to go to the school on Saturday?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
133

Israel has a pretty long history of ethnic cleansing, justified or not, and I think that it's easy for things to escalate in a way that favors the more belligerent and increasingly genocidal factions in a country once that kicks off. The longer the Palestinians are under occupation and right wing settlers take more territory the harder it is for the left to argue for what they were arguing for before settlers were moving in at all (or whatever). So the "give them x lands for their own state" vs "give them (x - y) lands for their own state" argument shifts to the "give them (x-y) lands for their own state vs "give them (x - y - z) lands for their own state", and if you repeat that long enough you end up winnowing down the possibilities for a functional two-state solution to the point where everyone ends up granting that, yeah, that's not going to happen and the debate either peters out or wanders over into "apartheid state vs genocide" at which point most of the people on the left just give up entirely. With each step the things needed to get what the leftish side wanted get more and more drastic and hence less and less appealing generally, and so the right wing positions of twenty years ago end up the center-left ones of today.

And the same thing can happen when every conflict is presented as increasing the threat to Israel but ending it (in a cease-fire or whatever) isn't presented as decreasing it. Israel probably improved its security every time it won a war or other conflict with its neighbors, but that isn't how it tends to feel (naturally, to everyone). Instead each one just confirms worries about the chances of getting invaded or driven out.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
134

The Gaza situation seems pretty intractable to me- the tunnels are really something that no country would tolerate, but the bombing response is probably not commensurate (although I don't know, maybe the only way to handle them is to go through every house that might hide an entrance.) At the same time, there are things that Israel is doing that remain objectively bullshit like adding tens of thousands of more settlers every year and criticism of those issues is obscured by the Gaza situation. You can be sure Bibi is taking advantage of the distraction to keep pushing the rest of his agenda.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
135

Israelis had, without any real question at all, much more to fear

I don't know what if anything this explains, but the nature of the threats faced by Israelis have also gone from being states and allied actors gathering outside their borders to suicide bombers and other guerrilla attacks within them.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
136

Here is a nice reminder of why I really don't want Hillary to be President

JG: What do you think causes this reaction?
HRC: There are a number of factors going into it. You can't ever discount anti-Semitism, especially with what's going on in Europe today. There are more demonstrations against Israel by an exponential amount than there are against Russia seizing part of Ukraine and shooting down a civilian airliner. So there's something else at work here than what you see on TV.

Yes, Hillary, why should people protest against an injustice that their own governments are deeply complicit in, as opposed to the actions of actions of a Russian leader who everyone agrees is evil but everyone also agrees dosn't really give a shit about what people protesting on the streets of Western capitals have to say? Must be anti-semitism.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
137

I think your choice is likely to be between somebody who blames demonstrations against Israel on antisemitism and somebody who is assuming, and with great relish, that the current conflict will turn into the Apocalypse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
138

I mean, unless you vote in the primary also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
139

The problem is that, regardless of their motivations, their actions are indistinguishable.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
140

That depends on whether or not your are trying to breed the perfect red heifer or not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 12:29 PM
horizontal rule
141

-r. Anyway, the dad of a some kids I went to school with was trying that for a bit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
142

Seems like a questionable use of resources.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
143

At the time, he was having financial difficulties related to his primary business, breeding cows for non-Apocalyptic purposes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 12:42 PM
horizontal rule
144

136: Richard Seymour (Jacobin, leftist, pro-Palestinian) examines very recent anti-semitism in France

Russia seizing part of Ukraine and shooting down a civilian airliner. ...HRC

Anti-US Steingart Editorial in Handelsblatt ...via Shedlock, ugh, but couldn't find a more reputable source, but they are out there. Handelsblatt is the equivalent in Germany of the Wall Street Journal and Steingart something like Michael Bloomberg or Bernanke.

Finally...uselessly

New Straits Times on MH 17, August 7. Yes, it uses Robert Parry but also other sources and in any case this is an interpretation that is being read in Kuala Lumpur

Steingart also hints strongly that he doesn't believe DC on MH17.

Silbey was very bad on this.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
145

144

.2: I don't believe that's the position of any Western government. Their position is that Russia is responsible in that they are giving modern weapons to what are basically Nazi motorcycle gangs led by their own Spetznaz. HRC can say what she wants, but she's no longer in government.

.last-1: I'm /shocked /shocked.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
146

Credible-seeming reports of Israeli troops using Palestinian civilians, including children, as human shields, horrifying example of how relentless self-justifying rhetoric accusing the other of atrocious acts leads a people to adopt a horrific variant.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 1:13 PM
horizontal rule
147

Oh hey, neb, As/saf Sh/aron actually came from a religious family, so I would think that in some senses he is more religious than you. (And also, I found him a bit unpleasant. YMMV)

Von Wafer seems pretty accurate to me here, though I do feel that the current situation in Israel is a very great deal the direct personal fault of Bibi. I'm possibly just trying to pin it on someone specific because, dunno, that narrative helps focus my anger and general depression about the situation, but it feels like he was the first to really bring in the really shitty parts of the States - excessive PR, a general dumbing-down and sloganizing of public discourse, etc. Also, I'd say he went farther than anyone before in demonizing the left, but again, this might be just a rosier view of the past. More, while we've had our share of murderous bastards, corrupt politicians, and the combination of the two, I still feel that even someone as hideous as Ariel Sharon did in some way feel responsible for the population in Israel, while with Bibi I get the feeling that he would burn us all without batting an eyelash if he felt would stand to gain from it.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 3:29 PM
horizontal rule
148

147: -religious (2) +culturally Jewish.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 3:30 PM
horizontal rule
149

Oh, I guess it's true that I didn't actually know that about As/saf (I am confident regarding the other people I was thinking of, but w/e). He was in my program at Steinford & we weren't exactly close friends or anything but I found him a good guy. (And very smart.) God knows it doesn't take much to be more religious than me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 4:16 PM
horizontal rule
150

neb is one of the few atheists to believe that God is omniscient.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 4:22 PM
horizontal rule
151

I do feel that the current situation in Israel is a very great deal the direct personal fault of Bibi

I was saying this just yesterday to an interlocutor! I mean, Bibi and his wicked advisors and puppeteers, but same thing.

As for Hamas: buncha lying, sellout politicians just like Sinn Fein. What we need is an alternative Ashdod.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 5:18 PM
horizontal rule
152

I suspect the Likud are perfectly happy having Hamas around, and vice versa.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 5:27 PM
horizontal rule
153

re: 152, I recall being of the opinion that Sharon seemed to be intent on destroying, physically and politically, the Palestinian Authority, while leaving Hamas, in the same terms, relatively intact. What I can't remember is the evidence on which I based this, but the gist of Israeli policy over the past twenty years or so seems to be reaction against the possibility of successful peace talks. Which, of course, appears to suit Hamas just fine. How much this is an Israeli rather than Likudnik goal, I couldn't even speculate.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 7:17 PM
horizontal rule
154

I blame my children, who are the real terrorists.

How many of ogged's kids could you take in a fight, if they had some rockets and a tunnel network under your house?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 7:44 PM
horizontal rule
155

If you so much as scratched one of my kids, they'd start such an offensive of whining and crying that you'd fall to the ground and wait for death to overtake you. Trust me on this one.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:29 PM
horizontal rule
156

What kind of blow, then, is required for ogged's kids?
A decisive one.

How should the decisive blow be distributed to his kids?
It should be dealt them.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:33 PM
horizontal rule
157

Back on topic with 21st century Jews and their final solutions.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:37 PM
horizontal rule
158

So in The Tunnel, Kohler alludes to a distinction between the apparently distinct concepts of an Endlösung and a Gesamtlösung, but doesn't actually indicate what the distinction is. Is there one, really, or was Gass just making it up? If so what is it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:41 PM
horizontal rule
159

I know how the terms would be translated differently so don't think you can fob me off that easily.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:44 PM
horizontal rule
160

You can come up with one based just on the difference between "end" and "total," no? If there's an accepted distinction, I don't know it. I can ask the wife tomorrow, or perhaps Blume knows.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:54 PM
horizontal rule
161

I dunno, I think in the realm of solutions, "final" and "total" are pretty similar. But also while I'm sure I could contrive a distinction, the question is about an accepted one.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
162

I don't know. I would guess that the only real difference is social: you can use gesamtlösung about things other than the holocaust.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 9:03 PM
horizontal rule
163

Right, to be clear, this was purportedly a distinction within Nazi discourse.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 9:08 PM
horizontal rule
164

Or maybe not; here's the bit I was thinking of in particular:

Yes, those were the good old obscene days. I taught Mule the difference between Gesamtlösung and Endlösung so well she would propose a total solution to the cockroach or Kleenex question as readily as I might suggest a suitable final solution for the dogs and children of our neighbors, and she has never forgiven me for that contamination.

So who knows.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 9:12 PM
horizontal rule
165

The term Gesamtlösung was AFAIK used in a letter from Goering to Heydrich in prior to the Wannsee conference. It means a complete, total or overall solution, like in an overall solution to out IT-problems.
But it obviously didn't endure in Nazi discourse and is still used copiously in contemporary German. I have no idea what Glass is talking about, though.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq. | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 9:29 PM
horizontal rule
166

There is a superfluous "in" in there and "out" should be "our".


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq. | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 9:36 PM
horizontal rule
167

Also it's "Gass".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 10:06 PM
horizontal rule
168

Classical


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 10:15 PM
horizontal rule
169

Mason


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 10:16 PM
horizontal rule
170

I once had to read the interstitials at a chorus concert and I replaced "our final selection for this evening" with "our final solution..."

My friend Matt's dad drove us home and kept talking about the time Herbert Hoover was introduced at a convention as Hebert Hobart.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:21 PM
horizontal rule
171

Sorry, Hoobert Heever, and it was on the radio.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-10-14 11:23 PM
horizontal rule
172

I blame my bad spelling totally on nosflow and this Gass guy.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq. | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 2:48 AM
horizontal rule
173

Yay, I killed the thread!


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq. | Link to this comment | 08-11-14 11:21 AM
horizontal rule