Sunday, September 11, 2011

Far leftists in denial of Jewish identity

It did not take long for a thread about the product of an Arab-Jewish marriage on the leftist anti-Zionist blog +972 to turn into a discussion of 'Ashkenazi racism' towards Sephardim. Several commenters try to make out that Mizrahi Jews are in denial about their Arabness. Here's one of the better rebuttals, by Y:

"There’s something illiberal and perverse about trying to force people to define themselves as Arab when:
A) They don’t want to define themselves as such, and historically, most of them did not.
B) The Arabs don’t and never did want to define them as Arabs (which is one of the reasons they were driven out in the first place).
C) They share actually rather little with the Arabs (including the vast majority not-speaking Arabic. And since when did belonging was decided by language alone? Are we all English?).
I think the key is the perception by some that to be “authentic” one must be Arab/European/anything other than Jew/ combined with far-Left politics which would say about everything just to avoid a Jewish identity (that would imply national demands, and so would be bad for the narrative). So we have people like Shlomo Sand and Chipper on the ‘European’ side, and like Giladi on the ‘Mizrachi’ side. What’s so bad with having the cultural heritage of Jews and of your Edah without baggage? There’s no need for validation from any others – this is particularly ridiculous for ME Jews which lived there before Arabs even existed…
** One might for example consider all these Jews in the Maghreb which took French names, got French citizenship, and so on. Or Aramic-speaking northern Iraqi Jews, or Egyptian Jews were 70% did not have Egyptian citizenship and were typically referred to as “khawaga” (foreigner) etc. etc. Oh, wait, that’s not convenient for the radical Left narrative.
P.S. I have to wonder whether Philos lives in Israel. First, “Medieval Shtetl” dress is actually widely ridiculed. And people like Yishai adopted Ashkenazi customs from before Israel even existed:

Second, the “Great Revolt” was always taught as a time of disunity. We can start from the Talmudic story of Kamza and Bar-Kamza… I don’t recall if my schooling mention that, but it was pretty heavy on the division between the ‘Kanaim’ and the more moderate leadership."

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Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

I wonder how the comrades at 972 would explain the fact that the most blatant detractors of Sephardim and Mizrahim in Israel are journalists at HaArets. Consider Gidon Levy, for one. But some of his teammates at HaArets are just as bad.
Read the op ed columns in HaArets over the years. Read Amos Elon's sneering attack on Mizrahi immigrants in HaArets back about 1950.

By the way, my view is that "leftists," insofar as they come out of the Kantian-Hegelian tradition, like Marx himself, must look down first of all, on Judaism, which is defined by Kant & Hegel as not only Oriental but the lowest form of Oriental culture/religion. Secondly, they must look down on Oriental Jews who must be the most Oriental by definition and therefore unsuitable for civilization.
What we have with 972 is an opportunistic rejection of the historic reality of Judaism and Jews, as if they had never existed. Shlomo Sand comes close to that. In Europe Jews [Ashkenazim too of course] were seen as essentially alien and therefore not authentic people in the various European countries where they lived [Germany, Poland, Russia, etc]. Kant called the German Jews: "the Palestinians who live among us."
Now the "left" transfers the alien and inauthentic nature of Jews from Europe to the Middle East, where the Jews of course began. Since real history does not fit the narrative it must be denied.

halal pork said...

Dhimmis - To Be a Jew in a Muslim Land - Part 2

Nice work this Greyshark09 guy is doing. He uploaded a lot of interesting videos about Jewish life in "Palestine", about the Farhud (already posted here) and about Dhimmitude.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I hear that kind of talk, what I hear is "let's you and him fight."