May 26, 2019

Do American Jews Still Believe They’re White?

“Some years ago, Rabbi Michael Lerner invited me to address a gathering of his Tikkun group. I think that it was about the time that an op-ed authored by Henry Louis Gates Jr. cast the black community as the last zone for anti-Semitism in the United States. In a note to Gates, I pointed to statistics that showed a decline in anti-Semitism among blacks. He told me not to worry because there’d be a follow up in The New York Times, where his op-ed appeared, that would address the issue of racism among Jews. How did blacks express their anti-Semitism? Joe Lieberman was their first choice for president in 2004, and when Al Sharpton entered the race, Lieberman was their second choice.

During the Tikkun meeting, an elderly Jewish woman said that Jews are not white. “We’re Semites.” She was ignored.

I was reminded of her remark when The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin responded to the shootings at the Tree of Life in Pittsburgh. Appearing on Joy Reid’s show, the weekend of Oct. 26-28, she said of the alt-right, “And if you can believe it, they do not believe that Jews are white.” Has Rubin been so isolated from the millions of anti-Semites that she’s surprised that whites, some of whom are not considered white in Europe, do not accept Jews as members of their tribe? Now, Rubin has broken with the conservative movement, reminding one of the split between German and Jewish feminists when the German government swerved to the right under Hitler.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"But in 2014, Modi was able to emerge from the crowd and dominate. His Hindu nationalist BJP won an outright majority of seats in parliament by especially appealing to voters in the Hindi-speaking parts of central and northern India..."

"...journalism—unlike, say, medicine, law, or architecture—is a profession that any person can practice. There are no licensing or education requirements, and we journalists generally think that this is a good thing"

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu desperately needs to conclude coalition talks by May 28. His future coalition should serve to protect him from impending indictment."

"Earlier this month, Alabama Public Television decided not to run an episode featuring a same-sex marriage on the PBS animated television series, Arthur."

"How did he amass three houses and a net worth approaching at least $2 million? The surprisingly conventional middle-class climbing of a radical-sounding socialist."

"In this new digital world, she argues, everything is documented, everything is tagged, and anything can surface at any moment. We’re losing the ability to forget, and therefore we’re losing the ability to distance ourselves from our past."

"In championing ‘slowness in human relations’, the Slow Movement appears conservative, while constructively calling for valuing local cultures, whether in food and agriculture, or in preserving slower, more biological rhythms..."

"The dual nature of power and truth results in the curious fact that we humans know many more truths than any other animal, but we also believe in much more nonsense."

"A hefty portion of people who Google for more information on getting married during the workweek seem to be wondering two things: Do people have weekday weddings? And is it okay to have one?"

"“Lox” derives from the Germanic word for salmon: Yiddish (laks), German (Lachs), Swedish (lax). True lox is cured salmon belly and is not smoked, though categories have blurred over the years..."

"A recent United Nations-backed report highlighted the scale of destruction humans are inflicting on the natural world. To reverse these trends, humanity must transform its economic models and food system..."

"Pittsburgh and Poway were an abstract horror for me until last week, when the arson wave hit my own Chicago synagogue. U.S. Jews now join Europe's Jews in facing ongoing anti-Semitic violence against us and our sanctuaries..."