Friday, January 12, 2007

Shabbat Ideas - January 12, 2007

So as congress gets started, the war clearly is going longer and Chris Dodd needs a new media advisor, here are my Shabbat thoughts for January 12, 2007.

MD Keeps it all in the Family
Since when is Lieberman Bush's new budy? He has been a Republican in a Blue coat for years.
What is the Jewish Community's deal with loving Moderate Muslims? OH they don't want to kill us.
Dissing the Carter Center (First the Rabbis, Now the Board Members)
Mazel Tov to the RAC and JFSJ on the MinWage

What do President Jimmy Carter, General Wesley Clark and at the end of this post a POLJ have in common? They are called anti-Semites and they are not.

A few weeks ago I wrote about why “they” hate us. It is pretty clear that there is no rational explanation for the hatred of the Jews. “They” tend not to need any rational explanation to hate us…they just do. But there are a few things that do help the cause of those folks that do hate the Jews for “rational reasons.”

There is plenty of real anti-Semitism in the world. Y-Love wrote on the horrific situation taking place in the FSU this week. He exposes that because of fear of the anti-Semitic police, Jews won’t report anti-Semitic attacks. That is bad. That is anti-Semitism.

Making statements like those General Wesley Clark’s this week on the “New York Money People” out to be anti-Semitic plays into the idea that we are trying to fight. When Jews get up in arms about statements such as these, we ONLY embroil the conspiracy theorist. “See look at those Jews, they control the media. People can’t talk about them without being called an anti-Semite. That is why I am out of job.”

Clark’s statement about the New York Money People was not politically astute but also not anti-Semitic. Many of these New York Money People are not Jews and many of these non-Jews are very interested in the continued strength of Israel. Not for the sake of Israel and its Jewish inhabitants but for the sake of the arms sales to the country that fill these money peoples’ bank accounts.

Carter is not an anti-Semite in deed. His book is bad and anti-Israel and pro-Arab and possibly even a bit sexists (the whole part about particular female Israeli prime ministers rude and chain smoking and such). It is one sided and silly. But do we call Alan Dershowitz an Arab hater for his books?

I am sick of this finger pointing. Israel deserves fair criticism and when non-Jews do it along side fair-minded Jews, why is it automatically anti-Semitism and a call for a new Shoa?

Israel, while central to Diaspora Jewish identity, is not and should not be the core of our existence. Clark brought up some great points and if we substitute the idea Iraq and Israel and wars with Brazil and Iowa and ethanol production no one would say anything.

Jews must fight because we are a minority that everyone for a very long time has hated. To quote a great 20th century thinker on the ideas of anti-Semitism:

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics
And the Catholics hate the Protestants
And the Hindus hate the Moslems
And everybody hates the Jews

Tom Lehrer
"National Brotherhood Week"

If Carter doesn’t want to debate the Arab-hating Dershowitz at Brandeis University, that doesn’t make him a Jew-hater. And if Clark wants to point out that Jews support Israel in larger numbers than say the rest of the country, he isn’t an Israel-hater. And if I say this and support the rights of REAL Jew haters to say and think what they want, I am not a self-hating Jew.

We should save our energy to fight the real anti-Semites and not those vilified in the papers in the US. Edicts of the radical Muslim world and violent thugs in the FSU should be fought. Yet if we continue down this road of blaming politicians in this country who slip on there statements and make correlations between money and power (what a concept) we may miss the opportunity to help our people where they really need it.

Shabbat Shalom

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