Bigotry, counter-bigotry, and civility

Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I stirred up a nest of hornets with the last two posts, the first being an attempt at unbiased observations concerning everything I’ve understood through observation during my lifetime, as well as extensive reading on Jewish, Christian, western civilization, Moslem, and ancient history.  The post wasn’t intended as an attack against the state of Israel, an indictment of Jews, anything of the sort.  Even in the re-reading of it I can find nothing to support such a claim.

Nevertheless, wossname, leanpower,  a man with strong Israeli ties who, himself, is in the business of designing, manufacturing and selling war weaponry, accused me of something considerably stronger than simple anti-Semitism.  I responded in anger, and for that I apologize.   That second post.

The issue of whether or not I’m an anti-Semite is of no importance.  The larger question of whether the viewpoints I expressed in the first post are an indictment of anti-Semitism against the holder of those views, however, is indeed an important question in the modern world.  Though not to me, personally.  I have no investment in modern Israel and my views are of zero importance to anyone.

But I’d offer the suggestion that the responses to what was said in the first post contained evidence that, if I don’t fully understand the issues [and provided my views are the result of a lack of information, as opposed to being a result of a bias against Jews in general] I’m in good company among a lot of other people within the US and elsewhere.

The problem is further complicated by the fact that only a tiny piece of the western world has ever read Biblical texts, know nothing of the times surrounding the Jewish Revolt, know nothing of the times preceding WWII when the discussions began concerning a Jewish state in the Middle East.  Know nothing about the floods of Jews fleeing Germany and its neighbors during the 1930s into Spain, Portugal, the Middle East, anywhere willing to accept them.  Know nothing of the starving hoards of Jews begging all the great powers to give them refuge, and the trickle of acceptance.

The miniscule dribble of acceptance by the powers for thousands of Jews without homes, many without money, food and clothing, asking for help.  And a response amounting to refusal by default.

Seems to me the post-war context for the formation of the Israeli state is trapped within that pre-war reality, and the post-war general recognition of what had come to pass in Germany, Poland and other Axis-occupied areas  for those who didn’t flee.

Given the ignorance and horror of all that within the general non-Jewish population, the acute awareness, on-the-other-hand, by Jews, it’s not difficult to understand why discussion of the issues become heated.  If modern Israel and its behavior as a nation weren’t so crucially involved in US foreign policy, the entire matter would be better left alone.  Better left to be settled by Israel and the surrounding countries.

From my perspective, that is not the case today.  Even with the care I take to isolate myself from world news I frequently see Israel threatening to bomb, say, Iran.  Bomb it whether the US approves, or disapproves.  Which would almost certainly expand to US involvement, and quite possibly a lot of other countries.

Which is to say, evidently modern Israel is willing without the consent of the US to lead the US by the nose into conflicts the US mightn’t find to be within its own best interests.  Or to allow Israel to be destroyed without the support of the US, which Israel is acutely aware won’t happen.

In that context is it acceptable for a US citizen to have viewpoints differing from those manifested in the behavior of the modern Israeli state?  Is it possible to examine and criticize, even wrongly, the policies of Israel if that examination leads to a conclusion that Israel has other alternatives than constant war?

Is it possible to examine and express these views, even if the views are developed partly out of ignorance, without being a Jew hater?  An anti-Semite?  A follower of the beliefs of the ELDERS OF ZION lunatics?

What I believe is of no consequence to anyone.  Israel and Washington DC don’t call me for advice on these matters.  So the post, whatever I might have said in it, was of zero value except to arouse an Israeli militarist to play the race card to stifle any expression of perspectives other than the Israeli one.

I withdraw from the whole affair.

Old Jules

31 responses to “Bigotry, counter-bigotry, and civility

  1. Old Jules – I have been reading your posts on and off – and I feel the people that is responding to you are not having love in their heart otherwise they wouldn’t react on your (obviously) thoughts about things you have been thinking – Why did they come here and read in first place? What place do they have to act like this toward you? – I could go on but know there is many out there who has similar things on their mind. – Thanks for your brave posts!!!

    • Mariane: Thank you for your comment. To be honest, I’m disgusted by the entire affair, while surprised. Jack

      • I hear you 🙂 – But life goes on in spite of all this … Take care now, will you? Try to make something that makes you happy 😀

        • Thanks Mariane: Happy comes easy for me. The fact we human beings are what we are ain’t my problem, as I see it. All I have to concern myself is is making sure what I am. But I took your advice and cooked up some hashbrowns a little while ago, anyway. Made me happy. Gracias, J

  2. You restored my respect to your writings. It has been over forty five years since I was an active part of the Israeli defense forces but that does not stop me from being intellectually involved. Meanwhile the impression you have of Israel’s ability to affect US foreign and strategic policy is baseless even when appearances may lead you there. End of this discussion, unfortunately I can not withdraw!

    • leanpower: Feel free to do whatever you feel you must. Your ad hominem attack provided nothing toward better understanding or explanation, but it did serve to isolate where the problem lies in any attempt to discuss the matter in a civil context. You are important in that regard. Thanks for identifying yourself and where you belong in any attempts to understand and discuss the matter. Resorting as you did to personal attacks instead of any sort of explanation or putting forward any rationale for your statements provided a complete measure of the value of anything you might say further. Thank you. Jack

  3. Well, I must stand on the words of the American Comic Ron White when he states that he, “had the right to remain silent; but he did not have the ability.”

    Just for the sake of clarity; it has forever been my position that both Israel and the Palestinian Arabs have the right to a homeland.
    Israel’s actions over the past 60 or so years and especially their refusal to compromise or even discuss peace leave me with no choice but to decide they have no in tension other than the continued extermination of the Palestinian people. It’s like the entire Jewish people went insane in those camps and are suffering with some sort of twisted Stockholm Syndrome or something. From the point of view of a disappointed world; I would like to say,
    “Israel; If we knew you were going to be such Dicks with the power we gave you to defend yourself; we would never have helped you settle in Palestine to begin with.”
    “It is an unreasonable shame that all of the people of Palestine can not live as one nation. I do know the History of the State of Israel and I know that when the Jews first began to resettle Palestine; the local Arabs were helpful to them and often were friends with the Jews. Only the fanatical political ambitions of Israel’s leaders made that friendship die and the Arabs turn away from the Jews. When it became clear that the leaders of Israel were set on the elimination of the entire Arab population of Palestine.”
    As for Jack; I must say that he has zero credibility with me. His profession is reprehensible. Anyone who could wake up everyday and continue to market weapons to the worlds military; knowing what they will do with it; Jew or non-Jew; is not a human but a Right-Wing bit of excrement left over from the last good cleansing the Universe had.

    Thank You for allowing me to express my humble thoughts and opinions.

  4. Hi Jules.. I can’t help but notice that the nit pickers of the word seem to have too much free time on their hands these days and are capable of being offended by nearly anything that is written or said. Sadly it seems that the right to free speech is limited only to the offended party.
    Keep the posts comming.

    • Hi Tim. I’m of the opinion we each choose what’s going to offend us. As it happens a lot of people like to do their being offended by tribe, or formulized kneejerk. Guess it’s what they use to tell themselves they have things all figured out and that any further thinking would be a waste of time. Gracias, J

  5. One man offers civility, the other doubles down on his bigotry, righteous war-mongering and “Chosen Ones” entitlement and exceptionalism. We’ve been watching the same rerun for 5600+ years with nary a script change. Hopefully the problems will be resolved in the near future when G-d’s “Light Warriors” (Israelites) deliver His judgement and we’ll see whether Rabbi Weiss and the Hasidim views prevail over those of Herzl and the Zionists.
    Til then we are left to wonder why the seemingly clairvoyant, utterly loving and peaceful Essenes left the “Holy Land” 2000 years ago like a scalded dog, may it be the place ain’t so Holy after all anymore?
    That all said, it is a historical fact that Hitler, Germany and the SS were instrumental in the establishment and successful growth of the earliest Zionist settlements in today’s Israel, there was (and is) not much in the way of love lost between the Zionists and the Observant Orthodox Jewish peoples.
    Then there is this fairly mundane example of the Holy Land’s typical daily life, which I’m sure the bigoted ones will have no problem being apologists for and offering ample justifications…………
    Christianity has it’s Westboro Baptist Churches, Islam has it’s Taliban, and Jewry has it’s Zionists. 3 different strains of the same virulent terminal cancer infecting Earth.
    Y’all have a nice day smiting each other,, while Jack, other rational folks and I share the popcorn……….

    • Hi Rich. I haven’t kept track of the decypherings of the Dead Sea Scrolls and whatever the scholars are saying these days about the Essenes. Last I’d heard the Essenes were still a near-complete mystery, not much better understood than they were when Pliny made a few observations about them. I can’t even swear it was Pliny, I’m so out-of-touch.

      In any case, it’s probably not safe to assume they left for any reason you and I might guess at this late date. Not in a strong enough voice to suggest it supports suppositions about then and now.

      Thanks for the post. Jack

  6. Hey, at least you got a rise out of these age old topics. It seems like us humans are programmed to both feel victimized and to victimize others. These tendencies generally fade away after a person decides to grow up and accept responsibility for one’s lot in life.

  7. I think your choice of the words “elders of Zion” was probably most unfortunate. It speaks to a document created by the Russian Tsarist regime to justify antisemitism – “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
    That phrase will raise the hackles of many Jews. My ancestors fled pogroms in Odessa in the late 19th century to find refuge in North America. My wife’s family’s ancestors didn’t make it to North America. They were trapped between the Nazis, Ukrainian and Polish Jew haters and were either shot, gassed or worked to death. The only European survivors from my family escaped east where they were the victims of Soviet discrimination and placed in work camps in Siberia (suspicion that they had been tainted by the West in fleeing Nazi persecution). Neither Canada or the United States in the late 30s allowed Jews in unless they were notables. And it is still disconcerting to me to see on passports that my in-laws left as a legacy a stamp with the word “Jew.” As I previously stated Zionism with its colonial roots came about to provide a Jewish-controlled safe haven from European hate. It is an artifact of European “civilization.” Is it right for the 21st century? I don’t think so but I fully understand why it came into existence. My ancestors’ stories put it into perspective.

    • Lenrosen: The reference to the Elders of Zion wasn’t mine, it was leanpower’s. I agree it was unfortunate. I’m completely familiar with the Protocols etc.

      “Old Jules,
      “Your knowledge and understanding of history, Jews, Muslims and bible is not very impressive. Your just one step behind the composer of the infamous Elders of Zion and his ilk!”

  8. My next tattoo: “I withdraw from the whole affair!”

    As someone who has been “non-discriminated”against from being told on the phone that my son was not eligible for pre-kindergarten because I didn’t “sound like I qualified” to being beat with a 2×4 for looking gay at night alone on a dark street (my mistake)… I can tell you that, in my humble opinion, it all feels the same!

    Much love to you my old buddy!

  9. Surely it takes two to make peace?As long as most of the Arab nations say Israel cannot be allowed to exist then fighting will continue
    I just saw in our News here that Syria will bomb Israel if Obama bombs or attacks Damascus.
    I confess I’d be afraid if I lived in Jerusalem.
    I also confess I was raised a Catholic and anti-Semitism was written into our liturgy until the previous Pope removed it a few years back.That kept wounds open
    I think people here think Jesus was white and English…. in fact a neighbor asked me what color he was!
    I know you have a more blunt style of writing than we do and you may know a lot but not everything…
    Cooperation is the only way to peace

    • Kathryn: Israel currently occupies the half of Jerusalem that doesn’t belong to it, along with a lot of other territory it doesn’t own. A good place to start might be for Israel to withdraw inside the borders created by the UN. Clearly you sympathize with Israel. I don’t. I do sympathize with the entire region, including Israel, for being submerged in religious fanaticism, bronze-age barbarism and Chosen Peopleism, and 6th Century religious insanity. Thanks for coming by. J

  10. I sympathize with both as well.Ironically it began after WW1 when the UK and France carved up the Ottoman Empire between them.I am sad that we’ll be” celebrating” in 2014 what was a hellish disaster that threw up Hitler for one thing…and the troubles in the Middle East
    It’s tough to know enough about it all to make fine judgments but the Arabs have been treated badly by almost everyone since then,
    I have taught students from many countries including one from Egypt..20 years ago.. so I know how he felt then…

    • Kathryn: Evidently Israel and its neighbors all would be happiest settling the questions by gunfire. The rest of the world can’t keep them from doing it, if that’s what they want to do. That real estate had people on it when European Jews began flooding into the area, and someone had to move out to allow them to take possession of it. Which caused and is causing a lot of problems today. You and I can argue whether all that was ‘right’ or ‘just’ or ‘wrong’. But you and I can’t influence things there now. Nor can anyone else outside the area. That’s up to the people who live there. Israel, the Palestinians, and the neigbors. If other powers want to help settle it and get bogged down there in endless battle, it’s theirs to do. But the US ought to get the hell out of Dodge and quit taking sides. It ain’t our problem. Gracias, J

  11. It was in the USA’s interest during the Cold War,si they said.I am unsure now and am more concerned with Syria and with Egypt too.The world seems to get worse and we were so hopeful when the Iron Curtain came down and the Cold War ended.
    If we here used less oil.would it make any difference,I wonder?We allowed these dictators to do what they liked as long as we got their oil.
    Now it seems as if it’s getting terribly dangerous for the entire region and thus the world
    It’s a topic I rarely would comment on but my attention is on it right now
    If only humor would help.I am guessing you have a good sense of humor from your style of writing.I used to know someone on another website like that and got good writing ideas from him.I have enough now!
    What a world when it could be sweet

    • Kathryn: It’s always sweet Kathryn. But only if we allow human beings to be whatever it is they are and accept it without any illusions. Gracias, J

      • Are vocations still options today?
        Do you get one if you never pray?
        I wanted my own
        But I should not moan
        I find it takes me all day being gay

        • Kathryn: It used to take me all day being straight, but I don’t have to spend so much time at it anymore. Probably it would be equally true if I were gay. There’s hope. Gracias, J

  12. I’m old already!! I think my husband prefers me to stay straight but I am wondering as I notice some women go gay after bereavement… not sure if I want to!!

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