Let's meet the Jews or as they are sometimes affectionately known, The Tribe. Stuttering John once ambushed a celeb with this query, "Do you blame the Jews?" "Blame them for what," came the reply. Then the punchline: "For everything."
As with all effective comedy there's a grain of truth there. Some people do tend to blame Jews for all the world's myriad woes. There's tons of diseased minds out there, churning out crazed conspiracy theories that hold Jews responsible for running the world, Sept 11, greed and just about everything else. You can read all about it in The Protocols of Zion.
From Egypt to Morocco to Libya to Syria newspapers routinely spew blatantly anti-Semitic rants. But the confusing part comes when you consider that a Semite is simply an Arab. Most of these people are Arabs. Yet they are anti-Semitic. Go figure.
When America and all its allies except Israel attacked Iraq in 91, what did it do? Why, rained Scub missiles on Israel, what else? It's even stranger when you consider that Israel is the one military ally we could actually make more than symbolic use of. These guys rock when it comes to hand-to-hand combat.
Yet Jews are hardly the most hardy or athletic sorts. The book Great Jewish Athletes would be a thin book indeed. Israel just won its first gold medal for like, wind-surfing or something.
Some Jews are underhanded, devious, miserly double-dealers, just like their reputation. Some of them are very shrewd at business. Just as some Gentiles are underhanded, devious, shrewd and miserly. So what?
But they are defintely battle-proven warriors. 3-4 times Israel's neighbors have banded together and plotted to erase it from the face of the Earth. 3-4 times the combined Arab armies have been soundly defeated by Israel, humiliated in a matter of days and sent packing with their uncircumcised tails between their legs. Fact is, Israel is strong whilst Arab armies are weak. Arabs haven't won a war since staving off the marrauding Christian crusaders thousands of years ago. When Iraq and Iran fought throughout the 80s it ended in a standoff. The closest thing they have to a victory is Afghanistan repelling the Soviets and that was with CIA assistance and support. If they ever attacked Israel again, the result would be the same and they know it.
When you look at the ongoing dispute about Israel and its so-called "occupied territories," it's important to keep that historical perspective in mind. With the exception of one ill-fated excursion into Lebanon i.e Syria, they aren't the aggressor, they are the finisher. They were attacked by multiple nations time and again. And time and again they vanquished their foes on the battlefield and won the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and West Bank fair and square. Thus those areas shall belong to them forevermore.
Most modern borders were drawn as a result of armed conflict. Just look at the US, for example. The Indian nations had it but they weren't strong enough to hold it, so we snatched it away from them and sent them away to "reservations" i.e hellholes to rot and die in. This is simply a stark reality. To the victor goes the spoils. If you want to hold onto your territory then fight harder.
Why then do we hear all this hoo-ha about the "occupied territories" or the fence Israel is building in its own land as any government might fence in a potentially virulent nuclear reactor. Why is there a double standard when it comes to them? Because they are Jews?
Yes. Sniveling, hand-wringing types blame them for all the problems they've created for themselves. But why? What's it about them? And should they be allowed to keep their battlefield spoils?
regarding 'great jewish athletes"...
I just got suckered in to joining a Fantasy Football League. I know nothing abot football, and don't much care, but it seemed like a good excuse for beers and barbeques. So, I decided I wanted my team to be made up of all cute Jewish guys. Thinking there were enough Jews in the NFL for me to pick the cute ones from among them. Wrong. There were seven or eight, but most of them were defensive or something, anyways I was told they would not score me any points. So I went with a new strategy, which was Names. I have a Boo, a Bubba, a Plaxico, Ike, Rex, Donovan, three Dantes, two Deuces. And the Cowboys defense. I like Cowboys, almost as much as I like Jews.
by rebekah b. at September 9, 2004 1:52 AM
I agree with you that the Jews definitely get a more grief than they deserve, but, being a sniveling, hand-wringing type, I have a hard time looking past all the dumb shit that Israel does. I think that, up until the late sevenites/early eighties or so, Israel had a slight moral upper hand (like you said, the Arab countries were on their case pretty routinely), but, after that, they started using some pretty dodgy tactics to settle the territories they wanted and remove others from the territories they already held. This is a pretty equivocal statement, but I think both sides are run by gigantic assholes. For instance, Sharon -- the current prime minister of Israel -- was the one who engineered the ill-fated invasion of Lebanon in '82 while he was minister of defense. There are fairly substantial charges that he massacred a bunch of people. Not a nice man. I don't think I need to convince you that many of the heads of neighboring Arab states are assholes too.
Tangentially related: I understand, from a historical perspective, where anti-semitism -- here in the US and much of Europe, anyway -- comes from. I don't understand why it lingers, though. Maybe it's because I'm from the west coast. My high school had one jewish kid in it. I went to college with maybe fifty jews. I don't think I've run into even that many in grad school. In short, I don't really interact with jewish folk, so I don't really have much of an opinion about them one way or the other.
How is the anit-semitism scene on the east coast where there are more jews? More? Less?
by Mike Sheffler at September 9, 2004 3:46 PM
This may be because I live in the Midwest, but how do you spot a Jew? Do they always wear that little round hat? I wouldn’t know that Grace on “Will & Grace” was Jewish without the Jew jokes. Then I read stuff like this: http://www.dyske.com/default.asp?view_id=829 and my little brain is so confused. What is the big deal about being Jewish?
by MrBlank at September 9, 2004 4:41 PM
Rebekah that is one funny story. I don't get the whole fantasy football thing myself and I am huge NFL fan. But the idea of picking cute Jews from a league with maybe a dozen just kills me.
Mike I don't see much evidence of anti-Jew sentiment here except among my parents and their generation. Lots of animosity there.
Blank, of course there is the stereotypical "Jew look" i.e. prominent nose, swarthy skin, wavy hair etc. But that is no more valid than the so-called "gay look" or "gaydar." I've read that a whole lot of the supposedly "beautiful people" of Hollywood are, in fact, Jews who changed their names. Or gays.
You know we might have had the makings of a long-forgotten comment thread here. What say ye, Gentiles n' Jews out there?
by anna at September 9, 2004 7:00 PM
I dig Jews. Every Jewish person I have met have been good upstanding people. Hell, the owner of the company I work for is Jewish. He treats us very well and hands out bonus' like they're tic-tacs. Sweeeeeeeet!!
Rebekah, that is some very funny shit. I played fantasy football for two years but haven't for the last two. Twenty people, in my company, each put in $100 each and the winner takes the pot. There are also twenty dollar payoffs for the high score each week. It's fun but takes a lot of time. You have to pay attention to injuries, roster order, the defense of all the teams your guys are playing against to match up running backs and receivers et. al. Very time consuming.
by Ezy at September 10, 2004 10:36 AM
Blank, I read the Dyske page, or as much of it as I could stand, and I don't know what is going on there, either. Like, what the heck.
Jewish people are just people. I know a lot who aren't even sure what's going on in Israel. Like many other red-blooded Americans, they don't bother to pay attention to world politics at all. They haven't been to temple in years and don't know when the holidays are. Of course, I know others who are pro-Israel to the point where I want to shake them and ask them if they're blind. It's sad that all Jewish people, no matter what their politics or personal lifestyles, continue to be a big target for people and groups with axes to grind.
And Mike, there are actually a lot of Jewish people living in Southern California. Like you, I only knew one Jewish kid in high school, but then my neighborhood is 50% Asian and 50% Hispanic. At UCLA... I met more Jewish people than you can shake a stick at. Granted, I did work for a Jewish student publication. Ah, those were good times. (Oops Anna... it looks like I've just revealed yet another totally random gig I've worked in the past! I should just post my resume, so people can keep track!)
by jean at September 13, 2004 5:44 AM
Anna, your a gem. If only the rest of the world asked the same questions that you do, we all would be one step closer to a mutual understanding of what the hell is really going on over there.
by Bepo at September 13, 2004 3:56 PM
Someone has to ask the tough questions. We have Anna, thank God.
by Ezy at September 13, 2004 5:42 PM
Why thanks guys. In all seriousness though, the one thing I've tried to drill into my son's head is that there isn't necessarily a right answer but you will never even come close to finding it if you don't at least be honest and call a spade a spade.
by anna at September 13, 2004 6:04 PM
I dont know if this is the case in the US, but an interesting discussion came up with my friend and I over the weekend. In inner city areas which were originally settled by jewish immigrants (and are still heavily populated by jewish families), particularly post WW2, are now also heavily populated gay areas. This is the case in major cities in Australia (where I am from) and in London (where I now live) and in Paris (where I was this weekend)... this is a little off topic from the posts above, but I am now really intrigued by this.
Strangely enough I stumbled across this site trying to invesitigate this topic on the web. You may be able to give me some insight.
by Megan at March 1, 2005 11:33 AM
Maybe it has something to do with being persecuted?
by dominathan at March 1, 2005 3:20 PM