Jew!

My friends, the charade is over. For years I have been furitively poisoning easter wells, using the blood of gentile children for matzo balls, and of course smuggling aphrodisiac chewing gum to Egyptian teenagers. I have been able to do this because your foolish governments have not required me to wear a yellow star, thus allowing me to deceive good Muslims and Christians into believing I am not a Jew. I know my actions are evil and wrong, but they are the ways of my ancestors, the pigs and the dogs.

What is disturbing about LNM’s comment, I also find it particularly disturbing for someone who is Jewish, and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim, to falsify his identity in order to defame others., is not that it is (apparently) Islamic hate-speech. I’ve been threatened with harm and condemned to Hell by Muslims on this blog before. Rather, it is that the comment combines serious criticism with paranoid ravings. Education and westernization no more detracts from Arab anti-Semitism than it detracted from German anti-Semitism.

When we face fanatics and anti-Semites, we are not dealing with back-water hicks. Rather, we struggle against modern ideologues who hold modern ideologies. This has implications for the long war against terrorism. Appeasing our enemies, avoiding outrages and allowing them to modernize on a steady tract, may not be a wise thing. The problem with the Arab world (and those it influences) is not that it is modernizing too slowly, it is it is modernizing in the wrong way.

10 thoughts on “Jew!”

  1. I would say that one of the problems in the way the Muslim world is modernizing is that by and large it hasn't learned to ignore its religion, like much of the Christian world has.

    It's pretty fascinating to me how the same individual can study twenty-first century physics, engineering, or medicine, while retaining ideas hundreds if not thousands of years old on the role of women, religion, politics, etc.

  2. a517dogg,

    I disagree, and I am less hopeful that you. anti-Semitism isn't something that Christianity learned to ignore — it's something that appeared in the nineteenth century. Mideval Chrisian antagonism towards Jews came from their denial of the Savior, instead of their blood. Racism is a modern sin.

    Curtis,

    ๐Ÿ™ Will you post what you wrote over at Phatic Communion? (If it makes you feel any better, in one of their messages blogspirit said that your comments, in particular, have a high frequency of spam-typical phrases. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  3. Dan –

    I was more talking about the anti-Semitism in the Bible and Koran – most Christians ignore the bit where Jesus says “you Jews are the spawn of Satan” (probably because of the Holocaust) but apparently the bits of the Koran that tell Muslims to kill infidels are read regularly.

  4. John 8:44-8:45 [1]

    “Ye [Jews] are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

    45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.”

    Just proves my point that Christians have learned to ignore the sillier parts of the Bible. รƒยดร‚ยฟรƒยด

    [1] http://www.christiananswers.net/bible/john8.html

  5. Don't add what's not there. By “Ye” he is referring to the scribes and Pharisees he meets in the beginning of Chapter 8 who want to stone a women for violating the law. Remember, Jesus and his followers were Jews.

  6. To me it's fairly clear that the first half of that chapter talks about the Pharisees (themselves a sect of Jews, according to Wikipedia) and the second half (31 onwards) talks about the Jews. I suppose I should have chosen a different example.

    Even supposing that you're right as to it's true interpretation (I'm no Biblical scholar, perhaps in the Greek it's meaning is clearer) the fact is that that verse has in the past been interpreted to mean that Jews were born of the devil. The fact that it is no longer interpreted that way (whether due to ignoring it or reinterpreting it) shows that Western Christians can either ignore or reinterpret their texts to suit modern values. The Muslim world as a whole is as of yet unable to do that. That was my general point.

  7. a517dogg & Catholicgauze,

    Great conversation!

    The Gospel of John is often antijudaic. John seems to have dispaired of the dream of Jesus “automatically” being regarded as a Jewish Messiah in the manner that Samuel, say, was “automatically” regarded as a Jewish prophet.

    (This also means that John the Baptist as the last prophet, the Return of Moses, the Return of Elijah, would also not be recognized. As Christianity was for all people, this meant that the distinctly “Jewish” aspects of Christ would be marginalized for thousands of years — a depressing thought for an early Jewish Christian!)

    However, the Gospel of John is not at all antisemetic. St. John was antagonistic to judaism as a religion, but not the Jews as a race. Indeed, an antisemitic interpretation is nonsensical, as Jesus and all of the Disciples are Jewish!

    Antisemitism as we know it — an antagonistic attitude toward biological Jews — is a very modern phenomenon. I'm not aware of it existing before the 19th century.

    a517dogg's point that texts can be reinterpreted is a valuable one. We saw among the German antisemites a dangerous “modernization” that included antisemitism. The same development is occuring in the Arab world.

  8. Well, Dan, Blogspirit needs to clean up its act! (Not that it's relevant, but I can see censorship being implemented in “The War on Spam” if the guidelines for blocking comments, emails, and so forth are made too broad in some linguistic 'domains' / subjects!) It's also too bad that Blogspirit will not allow you to designate 'trusted' commenters like Movable Type will…

    In any case, I just commented again by paraphrasing some points and trying to copy in sections from my last comment, with the same result. So I'll keep it to myself, thank-you very much!

  9. Curtis,

    I agree with you, 100%, on everything you said. Blogspirit has before said that they have more important things to do than allowing comments to work correctly. I hope they change their mind soon.

    But now I'm more curious on your comment than ever… How about posting it over at Phatic Communion? L-D

  10. Dan,

    The comment was a little snarky, hardly worth posting as a new post on Phatic Communion.

    However, I decided to break it down into bullets and reword the entire thing, for this comment — but, alas, same damned result.

    Maybe someday I'll pull all these comments together and make a post out of them. (I've been saving them as notes to myself. Might as well get some use out of this otherwise useless process!)

  11. In regard to keeping old superstitions, I've had European friends who were post-Christian, would talk to me about America's religiosity and then display superstitions and belief in 'natural remedies' that hark back to Europes pagan ages!

    Here in Chicago there is a even a great old German Apothocary, Mertz's.

    Dan,
    Anti-semitism against biological Jews far precedes the 19th century obsession with race. The blood libel started at-least in the 16th century. Even if it were rooted in the denial of the Christ, the Jews were often considered beings apart. (I think there self-segragation also lead to some of this feeling from their contemporaries). Jews were burned with dogs during the plague. It is a uniquely European Christian malady that was transferred to the Arabs/Muslims, whose obsession with the Jews is quite late-coming.

    How odd, then that the greatest champions of the Jews now are fundamentalist Christians like my grandmother who was an Assembly of God preacher and taught me growing up that Jews were the chosen people and made two trips to Israel. I haven't even yet told her that my girlfriend's mother's family are Jews who converted to Christianity in Russia and snuck bibles around under communism (probably sent by my grandmother), it would make her estatic.

    The world is an interesting place.

  12. ElamBend,
    The blood libel was against Jews based on religion and not their race. If a Jew converted then the libel against them was dropped. The Nazis were against the Jewish race. There are examples where openly practicing Jews were saved from the Holocaust because the were not considered of the Jewish race while some practicing Christians, including a saint, were murdered because the Nazis thought them as Jews.
    Anti-Judaism is not a “uniquely European Christian malady.” The Koran teaches Jews are the kin of pigs and monkeys (unclean animals). In practice one just has to point to the fact all Jews were killed after the Battle of the Trench by Mohamed.

  13. CG,
    Those are all examples of which I am aware, what I was refering to and perhaps I oversold it, was that past Muhammed initial conquest of the Arabian peninsula, the Jews were not singled out as the objects of malicious intent or pogroms, any more than the Christians under the 2nd-class citizen status in which they lived. I think they were given particular vile during Mohammed's time because they were a fellow semetic race who refused to submit. It certainly made muslims subseptible to anti-Jewish thought that would come down from Europe.

    As for Dan's point about race v. religion as the motivating factor, absent better examples; I might have to concede, but with the caveat that the idea of 'race' as we know it was a mostly 19th century phenomena.

  14. ElamBend,

    “with the caveat that the idea of 'race' as we know it was a mostly 19th century phenomena.”

    I agree. Tribalism and religious bigotry have been with us for a long time — but not racism. Humans are built to be in-group/out-group focused, but the idea that “race” matters seems to be largely a result of 19th and 20th century welfare economics (from Southern exploitation of black labor to contemporary affirmative action). In other words, race's usefulness as a proxy for exploited/exploited was largely unknown to the ancient, classical, and medieval worlds.

    By the way, I have a new series on race-as-a-biological-reality [1] up. Check it out ๐Ÿ™‚

    Catholicgauze, thanks for your input!

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2007/01/13/evolutionary-cognitivism-introduction-race-of-man-races-of-m.html

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