1 May 2012
In a post I just uploaded on Yossi Klein-Halevi's commentary on Jabotinsky, Benzion & Bibi Netanyahu, I had occasion to quite this:
"...Our rivals call this "militarism". We should not be afraid, however, of a Latin word. There was a time when the first Zionists too were threatened with Latinism: nationalism..... But those first Zionists too were undaunted and answered: There are two sorts of nationalism: If a nation dwells in its country but also desires to annex the land of its neighbors - that is bad nationalism. On the other hand, when a nation is entirely homeless and demands for itself a portion of G-d's earth, it is a good nationalism about with there is nothing to be ashamed of. The same applies to "Militarism". If a power, unharmed by anybody, begins to arm in order to attack its peaceful neighbors, it is a bad militarism. In, however, the case of Jews, who are being beaten everywhere, and even in Palestine are being threatened with destruction - it is certainly proof of good nationalism to arm for the defense of our lives, property and future."
2 May 2012
Nationalism in the modern sense developed from the end of the eighteenth century to the present. Judaism was primarily known to be a community, a group sharing many similar ways of living. Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, z"l, called Judaism the evolving religious civilization of the Jewish people. A person does not "convert" to Judaism by going through a conversion process similar to Christianity where baptism may be the key feature along with a prayer by the converting clergyman. While the framework is religious because it is a process under the guidance of rabbis, it is adapting a new way of life, even of food choices and eating, with songs, music, discussions, schools, etc., that are uniquely Jewish. In stating this I do not believe it infers a uniformity among Jewish communities, which have been recognized since the time of the Talmud when separate versions of the Talmud were created in the Land of Israel and in Babylonia. There isn't even a word in Hebrew that corresponds exactly to religion. The word that approximates it is the Hebrew word "dat," but most serious literature in Hebrew uses the Latin root of religious when it refers exactly to religion and not to "dat."
A recent book by Leora Batnitzky "How Judaism Became a Religion" tells of the rather recent redefining of Judaism as a religion. I personally recall a discussion in print among professionals on the virtues in the American context of defining Judaism basically as a religion, indicating that even as late as the mid-20th century, Jews really were looking for a category to define their community, their unique civilization. Jews instinctively know what they are, but they have to explain to their neighbors in America what they are in simple terms, thus Judaism became a religion.
23 May 2012
I am not a Jew. I was born into old Irish Catholicism, and I am third generation born American, born during Eisenhowers 2nd year of his first term as POTUS. I personally have never met a bad Jew.
As a child, the movies I saw involving primative peoples, Native Americans, or black Africans, from recent past centuries, were always a tribe of one people who had two main men, the Chief and the Shaman. The Chief dealt with what we today call the secular, the Shaman with what we call today the spiritual, which in the traditionalists view would be religion.
For the last millineum in Europe, lending money for profit was taboo for Christians. As far as I know, the only Christian organization to successfully negotiate this process was the Knights Templar, who became quite wealthy but who also met up with a certain destiny one Friday the 13th in the early 13 hundreds, death and extinction. This primarily because the King of France chose not to pay his debt to them, and rather decided to exterminate them instead.
By the 1700s, the Jews of Europe, in particular, the Rothschilds, took up banking and became quite successful at money lending for profit. At that time such an endeavor was still taboo for Christians. This helped the Rothschilds because it limited compition. The Rothechilds became wealthy and some chose to begrudge the Jews for their success. Among some other realities, it is here, IMHO, that the stage was set for the Holocaust.
As I see it, the Jews have always been a small in number people, who believe in their one God, the laws of Moses and one reality others do not seem to see, Jews, IMHO, pursue their prosperity, at their own expense, not necessarily, as many would insist, at other peoples expense. Small in number and profitable in a fair manor is tantamount to opening a door and hanging a sign, trouble welcome.
Though this is unfair to the Jews, it is what I see to be the reality.
In my lifetime, here in America, I have noticed that white people devide along the liberal, the immature, and the conservative, the mature line close to 50/50. However American Jews in my estimation split closer to 80/20. This anomily, in my mind should not exist and I think that 30% of the Jews in the liberal camp would be in the conservative camp except for a fear that is larger for the Jews than their non Jew, fellow Americans.
Being small in number and prosperous, the Jews, inadvertantly draw the ire of hate from hugh in numbers, lowbrow, insane, inferiority complexed groups, in particular Islam. The monster that elicits fear for all is not only bigger for Jews but headhunts them as well.
In the latter half of the 19th century, Nationalism filled the air of Europe and became the ambience for non Nationalist countries, in particular, Italy and Germany. Nationalism offered greater power and that power offers greater protection, itself effectively lowering the fear factor.
In the 1890s a Captain Dryfus of the French army, was falsely accused of a crime, was railroaded through a kangaroo court and wrongly imprisoned. A news reporter of the day, a certain Mr. Herzl wittnessed this atrocity, breathed deep the ambience of Nationalism, and became the driving force of the Jews to return to their ancient homeland.
Richard Nixon was heard on tape to say he did not like the Jews, he was referring to American Jews. This is clear because he continued on however, stating that for the Jews of Isreal, " now those Jews, I have respect for those Jews ".
The modern day liberals, the secular immature, and the Islamics, the religious immature appear to be rendevouzing to a global entity whereby liberalism becomes the chief and Islam becomes the Shaman. Though they both end in tyranny, poverty and misery for the great unwashed masses, with themselves the few at the top, the " good sheppards " of said masses achieving their supriority of power, fame and fortune, I`m not so sure their marridge, born of a good bed fellows relationship, will long endure.
Today, IMHO, Isreal, and to a lesser extent America, are facing this two headed, fire breathing dragon of liberalism and Islam. To allow Isreal to be wrongly murdered off into obilvion, is to sign our own death warrents. For the liberals and their cowardice I would point out that after the ruthless Islamics do Isreal, you and I are next.
What does it mean for humanity, if we the matured and the sane of the world allow the good and decent people, the Jews of Isreal, to be exterminated?
Lastly, Nationalism for individual peoples and a one world global governance, seem to be squaring off into conflict mode. The two are at odds, caught in an unrealized power struggle for the way future humans will live their lives.
The secular and religious independent nationalists of liberty, wealth and happiness, on one side, versus the secular liberals, their socialism, and the religious Islamics both for one world governance of tyranny, poverty and misery, on the other side.
Perhaps this is our modern day Armageddon. How shall we, the matured and the sane, the purviewors of liberty, wealth and happiness respond? Stand with our true allies, here, help defend Isreal. That is my position, what is yours?.Thank you.