Tuesday, June 29, 2004

T-MINUS 2 DAYS

There's a Midtown record release party tonight at the Delancey. No cover charge and free Vodka if you can fenagle your way in.

My friend Adi grew up in Peoria, IL. After high school he moved to Chicago for a little while and then up and moved to Israel where he's been living for a little over two years. He just recently started the army (a requirement for all Israelis) and has been keeping a blog about his life in Israel and in the services. Now his blog is filled with photos of really hot (male and female) soldiers carrying around semi-automatic assult weapons and gigantic tanks and shit. It's awesome. Check it!

Also kids:

58 comments:

Jeff said...

The Delancey's still open? I thought everyone stopped going when the fedayeen started regulating, like, the opening night?

Anonymous said...

that picture is crazy offensive.

you realize that kid lives somewhere where textiles aren't always publicly available, right?

go back to posting baby animal pics.

- r*

Anonymous said...

If you say you are going to stop blogging than why don't you f'n stick to it. No one cares what you have to say. You are just really annoying and slutacular. The only reason I come to the site is in hopes that you will post nude pics of yourself. So do us a favor and stop talking or get the clothes off.

Joseph

josephshallsave@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

"soldiers carrying around semi-automatic assult weapons and gigantic tanks and shit. It's awesome."

Hmmm... Bored guy from Peoria gets to move to Israel, join the army and wipe out all kinds of "Islamic Terrorist's" all in the name of religion? What fun, ethics be damned. Plus there are all those hot chicks in the army to flirt with. Who cares if it is precipitating another world war...and we just drove a tank over a couple of kids. "We need a new settlement..."

This country is fucked.

Anonymous said...

(to the person who wrote the 4th comment)
Clearly you've never lived in Israel and know nothing about living there... So, instead of saying shit, do something about your ignorance.

Cara said...

To commentator #4:

And who cares if those same Islamic terrorists are dedicating their lives to eradicating an entire people?

What was that you were saying about ethics?

Anonymous said...

but you were drinking the other night!

maggie said...

i just listened to midtown on their website. sounds really generic. what's the buzz on them?

Steve said...

Why are people turning Sarah's blog into a messageboard for over-eager young pundits? There are tons of websites for you people -- take it else where so S can deliver PHC to us in peace!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Yeah, maybe you should get rid of the comments feature, because there are a lot of lame people out there. But I swear there are more that like your blog.

Sara said...

I don't get why people post negative things on this blog. Why, if you don't like it, are you wasting your time coming here? I mean, don't you have something better to do?

Adi's blog is kinda crazy. A friend of mine up at college (who is Israeli) actually spent a year in jail to escape the Army there. I can't help but think it's a little crazy to move and enlist voluntarily. But, I mean, more power to it. He has bigger balls (erm, literally and figurativly) than I.

Sarah said...

post n00dz

missmisery2 said...

I don't get this. Because of something that happened, she said she was going to shut down the blog. So you come back to see if she really did? And since she didn't, that pisses you off and you feel like you have the right to attack her? How unbelievably pathetic.

And let's see--You don't like the pictures she posts, you don't like the dress she wears, you don't like the link to her friend's blog, etc... Why waste you time telling her these things? Does it somehow make you feel better about your sad little live? Jesus. Fuck off.

Anonymous said...

i hate the delancey.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but Michael Allen works there and he is awesome.

Sarah said...

"Hmmm... Bored guy from Peoria gets to move to Israel, join the army and wipe out all kinds of "Islamic Terrorist's" all in the name of religion? What fun, ethics be damned. Plus there are all those hot chicks in the army to flirt with. Who cares if it is precipitating another world war...and we just drove a tank over a couple of kids. "We need a new settlement..." "

Whomever wrote that, you're an idiot. Adi moved to Israel as a Jew to study the Torah. As an Israeli citizen you are REQUIRED to join the army. He's not writing about running over settlements with a tank, he's writing about what it's like to be in army training. Besides, Adi is one of my best friends and if I want to post about his blog, fucking hell, i will!

Also, I fully support the Israeli army. I support the insistance of maintaining Israel the way it is and not allowing Palestine to gain more land. They had their opportunity and blew their chance of a settlement with their leaders insisting on absolutely insane requests. Would I Iike to see peace in Israel? Yes, of course! Would I like to see the end of killing innocent Palestinian civilians? Yes, of course! But I'd also like to see an end to the bus bombings, the mall bombings, the restaurant bombings... I'd also like to see the end of the attempt to systematically murder people because they're Jewish. The Palenstinians are taught at a young age (pre-school aged infact) to kill Jews. So fuck you for giving me and Adi guilt for "not agreeing" with that.

I assume you've never been to Israel. Most people assume it's a fucking desert with nothing going on... but picture a bunch of fucking assholes sending their 12 year old kids to a mall in a more scientifically advanced Miami with a bomb strapped to their chest blowing up the place in the name of God and you're almost there.

Call me biased. I could care less.

Anonymous said...

**It's not volunteering...
In Israel 18 year old guys and girls have to serve in the army. A regular service is 3 years for guys. For girls it's 2 years.
If you're a guy, and you come to Israel when you're older (like - in your 20's) your service is shorter, but it's still a duty.

Susan said...

Hey Sarah,

I just checked out your blog for the first time and wanted to say hi. Just read through the other comments and all I can say is.. this is the internet, people will be rude. Heh. Hope to see you around soon especially as we are neighbors and should hang out more often.

xoS

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Nobody has to read this blog. I, for one, enjoy reading you, Sarah. I just can't imagine you being boring ever, drinking or sober. I must admit, it's the "stopped drinking" part that got me here in the first place, because that's what my blog is supposedly about, but — as if you wouldn't do whatever the hell you want to do anyway — I hope you keep blogging away. (And allowing comments.)

Namenlosen Trinker

Anonymous said...

I believe U.S. foreign aid should be based on the English Premier League soccer model, where at the end of the year the bottom 3 clubs are relegated to a lower league. The U.S. should give foreign aid, but say "look if you don't act civilized we are going to relegate you to a lower lending class". Being in a lower lending class means we decrease aid by a certain percentage. Look, our continued aid to Israel gives strong economic incentive to act barbaric. Both "sides" in the conflict are to blame, both sides act barbaric. And the US is to be blamed for funding this. We overhauled our domestic welfare system in the 90's, why shouldn't we overhaul the welfare state of violence we contribute to in Israel and other international places?

Anonymous said...

Israel was stolen from the Palestinians. FACT.

Anonymous said...

I believe U.S. foreign aid should be based on the English Premier League soccer model, where at the end of the year the bottom 3 clubs are relegated to a lower league. The U.S. should give foreign aid, but say "look if you don't act civilized we are going to relegate you to a lower lending class". Being in a lower lending class means we decrease aid by a certain percentage. Look, our continued aid to Israel gives strong economic incentive to act barbaric. Both sides in the conflict are to blame, both sides act barbaric. And the US is to be blamed for funding this. We overhauled our domestic welfare system in the 90's, why shouldn't we overhaul the welfare state of violence we contribute to in Israel and other places?

jbarmann99@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

oh wow.... i started reading this blog several monthes ago and really enjoyed it up until this point. everyone is entitled to their own political opinions, but sarah, almost 2x more palestinians have been killed in the past 10 years than jews. Islamic terrorists? what about the Israeli terrorists?

Yes, this country is fucked. And it will be until it stops funding Israeli terrorists and supporting Zionism.

thats just my opinion, and i know that YOU dont care, and no one else that reads this blog cares. people come here to find good music, not read political rants. but i found the way you presented it sort of insensitive:

"...soldiers carrying around semi-automatic assult weapons and gigantic tanks and shit. It's awesome."

for an American, maybe it seems "awesome". but as a Iranian-American girl living in the US, i feel like its just a matter of time before MY aunts and uncles and grandparents are among the dead in the middle east. detachment must be a wonderful thing, eh?

whatever, i realize that you dont care what another anonymous commentor has to say, but i needed to say something.

Anonymous said...

don't pick on sarah for being insensitive. she's OBVIOUSLY just being cheeky. no one thinks war and death is awesome. i enjoy reading this blog because sarah is not filtering herself. if you want boring politically correct writing go read something else.

Anonymous said...

More photos of Mr. Flowers!

Anonymous said...

You people are insane. This is not Christopher Hitchen's blog. Be cool.

Anonymous said...

yeah be cool like fonzie please

Husky G said...

I strongly encourage those of you posting wildly about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to mosey on over to your local library or favorite bookstore and plunge yourself into some serious study sessions. Hell, I studied this topic for three years and I don't think I'm any closer to a completely rational viewpoint of the matter.

When I was 18, I participated in a three-week peace education seminar with about 30 other 18 year olds from around the world, and we were blessed with a participant group that included myself (American Jew), two Israelis, and two Jordanians (one of whom was Palestinian). For nearly the entire three weeks, the five of us worked together to try and plan an activity for the whole group that would shed some light on the conflict. It would be impossible to count the number of tears shed, the number of doors slammed, the number of fingers pointed during our planning meetings, and we're talking about five people who were already volunteers for a peace organization.

Having nearly reached the end of our seminar, we concluded there was only one way to explore this topic with the larger group. On an overhead projector, we listed several crucial dates in Middle Eastern history: May 14-15, 1948; June 5, 1967; October 6, 1973; etc. (if you don't know these dates, try this link for starters). As we went down the list, each of us told the group what we had learned about that day while we were growing up. After a few minutes, the assembled participants were transfixed. They were literally listening to two entirely different histories that centered on the exact same dates.

My point is that there are many truths involved in this topic, not one universal one, and each individual's viewpoint, particularly for those on the "frontlines," is deeply personal. However, it appears that many of the comments here have become fueled by sweeping generalizations about both Israelis and Palestinians. If you didn't notice, since Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, every Israeli election for prime minister has been almost 50/50. Nearly half the country opposes the current administration's policies, but it's a democratic society, and the citizens abide, albeit with protest. In fact, the day Rabin was assassinated, he was attending a rally organized by Shalom Achshav (Peace Now). With the Palestinians, it's also true; there are plenty of people in the territories who also crave a peaceful solution. Attributing generalizations to "Israel" or "the Palestinians" is just as annoying as when people elsewhere in the world make sweeping claims about "Americans."

At any rate, casting a villain and victim in this crisis helps no one. Hiding behind an Anonymous tag and spewing hateful barbs over a "cheeky" comment? Get a life. Or better yet...read a book. Or even better still...share something with some substance.

Until then, I'm gonna check out Adi's site, maybe find more like it, and more unlike it too.

Sara said...

This isn't something I usually get into but...

1. I take offense to hearing the words "Israeli terrorists" because they don't exist. Well, any more than US Terrorists in Iraq do (and that is quite the matter of opinion). Why aren't they terrorists? Because they're an ARMY. Terrorism isn't sanctioned by the State-- an army is.

2. "Israel Carved out of Palestine.. FACT"... errr, kinda? Yes, Palestinian land became Israel in 1948, but the reason that specific land was chosen was because it includes specific seas, beaches, areas, mountains and landmarks that were ORIGINALLY Israeli. And I'm talkin' Israeli as in 3000, 4000 years ago Israeli. Historically, it's assumed that the Arabs took Israel from the Jews sometime in the first millennium. So it's been a while, yeah, but it was ours first. Also, if you remember, Israel was created because after the Holocaust (y'know, that thing where they killed 6 million+ Jews) no country would accept the refugees and survivors, forcing them to beg the UN to create a state where they could LIVE. That INCLUDES the US, who turned away shiploads during and after the Holocaust.

3. If you go through Islamic texts (Koran and others, and remember, Palestinians are laregly Muslim), their main holy sites and holy land is in Saudi Arabia (and that causes conflicts I won't even begin to explore). So the claim that something sacred was taken from the Palestinians etc. etc. is actually nonsense used to further their cause.

4. I think Palestinians deserve a Palestine. I just don't know where it's going to be yet.

5. Yassar Arafat is the worst thing to happen to Palestinans ever. The Oslo Agreement detailed a plan to give Palestine back all the land it lost in the 1967 war (in which Isreal kicked all of the surrounding Arab nations' butts) as well as some additional land and to share Jerusalem, making it a national city to preserve all religious relics and holy sites there. Arafat not only rejected the agreement, but TORE IT UP and then funded the terrorists who killed Yitzhak Rabin, the last reasonable Isreali Prime Minister (Netanyahu was useless and Sharon is an ass). Way to go, Yassar.

6. Terrorism vs. Military violence is a useless debate. In 1993 (this information from Richard Clarke's book in a chapter in which he discusses early terrorism and counterterrorism measures and defence) Jerusalem experienced 15 suicide bombings in 10 days. That's two or more a day if you want to break it down. Likewise, Israeli tanks have toppled Palestinian settlements. The way it works is that Palestinians suicide bomb, the Israeli military responds with force, which causes more suicide bombings and so on and so on and so on.

How will it end? I don't know. I hope it will. But I can't figure out how yet. Maybe this fence will help a little bit... on BOTH sides.

Sarah said...

While Sara and I have very similar viewpoints on the situation, I think that Husky G has really said all that needs to be said about the topic.

Needless to say, it's all very difficult.

Imran, if you're reading this, dude... Godallah wants us to get married i know it! It's time for us to make our gorgeous multi-ethnic babies!

Anonymous said...

http://web.amnesty.org/pages/isr-180504-action-eng

Like, look at my boyfriend's IDF blog. It's so very mega! They can, you know, ride around in tanks and shit listening to The Killers and kill brown people and whatever. Awesome!

Stay tuned for 9,834 pictures of me drunk and making out with hot band boys!

Seppo said...

This is just ridiculous... angry people calm down!

I just want to know what happens in 2 days. It's like an advent calendar without the little chocolates!

Anonymous said...

You INSENSITIVE fucking jew!

If you agree with the Israeli army so much, why don't you go enlist and give us a fucking break from your stupidity?!!

Oh yeah, you can listen to the killers in your big “awesome” tank!

michael said...

Do you like stuff?

Sara said...

Everyone here is entitled to their own opinion. I expressed mine and I respect all the others expressed, whether or not I agree with them.

But never, EVER use the word "Jew" as an insult or as part of an insult. EVER.

Anonymous said...

to the genius who called sarah an "INSENSITIVE fucking jew!':

Feel better now that you've proved yourself to be an ignorant racist prick?

Thank GodAllah for the internet 'cos people like you wouldn't have too many teeth left if you said that to someone's face.

Joshy G.

Anonymous said...

In reference to the comment, "Hiding behind an Anonymous tag and spewing hateful barbs over a "cheeky" comment? Get a life."

The counterpoint to this is the fact that if you post things on a very public blog, by sheer nature of the internet (and the comment button provided in this context) they are open to interpretation and debate. It doesn't necessarily have to be intelligent and inspired, either. In fact, it often descends into petty low blows, interspersed with random chunks of intelligent commentary.

The statement, "Now his blog is filled with photos of really hot (male and female) soldiers carrying around semi-automatic assult weapons and gigantic tanks and shit. It's awesome," may have been intended as cheek.
However, a contrary statement siding with the palestinians would bring about widespread vitrol from jews, and the standby accusation of antisemitism would fly forth. Guaranteed.

My overall point is: If sarah doesn't like having to account for her statements, however unreasonable the comments may be, stop blogging. however, it seems that as blogs are the virtual crack rock to self promoters, thats not going to happen anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!!

finally some one with some sense.

We couldn't agree with you more.

-Laura & Scott G.

Anonymous said...

you're welcome.

-c

Sarah said...

PEOPLE! What i was pointing out as being awesome is that my friend has a blog and he lives a different life than me and my other friends. My goodness! At no point did i say "hey! check it out! he's running over villages!" cause he's not! He's riding in trains and eating israeli food and taking photos of cats and paying an arm and a leg for a drivers license... I just thought I'd share. Geez! Take a chill pill dudes.

Anonymous said...

"Israel was stolen from the Palestinians. FACT." Um, okay. Where do you live, pal? Because if you're worried about land being stolen from people, well, you might want to research your genealogy and figure out which boat you ought to get on to go back where you came from, because chances are the land you're sitting on was stolen from someone, too. Go find you friendly neighborhood Native American and give him your keys.

Israel isn't going anywhere, whether it was "stolen" from someone or not. The Americas aren't being given back to Native Americans, nor Africa to native Africans, nor Australia to the Aboriginal peoples. You can moan and point fingers about someone "stealing" land or you can accept their presence and move on and work towards coexisting peacefully. Obviously one of those is *slightly* more productive than the other...

David said...

Gawker officially sucks.

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to those idiots - there's a big difference between stating your opinion and just being a jackass. Keep blogging! I need something to read when I'm bored at work! I'm jewish, but don't mind being called a jew because I never realized it was an insult. I always looked at it like an endearing nickname, like 'honky' or 'cracker'. Hee. I also stopped caring about stupid people a long time ago, and hope you do the same.

Cara said...

I think some of the anonymous posters are missing a bit of neccesary perspective.

1) There is no easy solution. If there was, someone would have found it by now.
2) Not all Jews and Muslims agree on this issue. Some want peace. Some want to strap bombs to their children, hoping to take out as many of their "enemy's" children as possible. Some want peace only on certain terms. This brings us back to point #1.
3) The distinction between Military action and Terrorism is crucial. There's is a reason why it is called a 'cycle' of violence. But if you honestly think that the Israeli army would be bulldozing homes even after the terrorists stopped their rocket-launchings, shootings, and bombings, then you've missed something.

And to the nice chap who called sarah a 'fucking jew': It's not about loving the Israeli army so much that she should run off and join them. It's about not being willing to roll over and die because someone else wants you gone. It's about not letting your entire people get wiped out. If you think the whole conflict is just about land, you've also missed something. Let me refresh your memory: genocide is a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

"not being willing to roll over and die because someone else wants you gone. It's about not letting your entire people get wiped out..."

sounds heroic, but how does being a drunk, blogging rubbish dj staging elaborate fake proms have anything to do with what youve mentioned?

Cara said...

Simple. But supporting the State of Israel's right to exist and defend itself.


The polite 'Anonymous' fellow (and I do not know if you're the same person or not) said to Sarah: "If you agree with the Israeli army so much, why don't you go enlist and give us a fucking break from your stupidity?!!"
And so my answer remains. Agreeing with the Israeli army doesn't mean Sarah has to run off an enlist. It simply means she recognizes the right of the Jews to not let themselves get blown up just to oblige those who hate them. Even a "a drunk, blogging rubbish dj" who stages fake proms can recognize Israel's right to exist and defends its citizens from terrorism.

The comments to this post that make sweeping generalizations about Israel and the IDF being 'terrorists' and blaming them for everything that is wrong in the Middle East imply (wittingly or unwittingly, I do not know) that Israel, and the Israelis (i.e. Jews), do not have this right.

Anonymous said...

>>Historically, it's assumed that the Arabs took Israel from the Jews sometime in the first millennium. So it's been a while, yeah, but it was ours first>>

"Ours first"? I'm assuming this implies "jewish people'
s first" and further assuming that the writer is implying that Jewishness is a race. I'd be interested in learning of any legitimate academic scholar who would be willing to say Jewery -- or, indeed any religion -- is a race.

Crude music analogy: saying religion is a race is like saying the genre of music a band plays makes up a race. The indie-rocker race, the electronica race, etc. But we know bands pick and chose their music. Often they change their genres or their sounds or their styles. Just like humans w/r/t religion. Like how Walter Sobcheck started out a Polish Catholic, then he married Synthia and became a Jew.

Which once again proves my theory that 'The Big Lebowski' is the most significant artistic achievement of the past twenty five years

Adi said...

ok...this got way out of hand. i think sarah's main point in linking to my blog was something along the lines of "no matter what you think politically, you may find this to be an interesting perspective that you havent yet heard." sarah is a good friend of mine, and i think that if i was your friend you would just look at my blog and see whats going on in my life regardless of how you feel about the politics of israel. my blog only exists because i wanted to keep my friends in the loop about whats going on with me. maybe there's a blog written by some palestinian guy that you can check out, too. anyhow, just because someone says the word "israel" doesnt mean you have to discuss politics instantly. sit back and take a look at the context first, kids.

Cara said...

Well said, Adi, m'dear.

On the subject of race: Being Jewish actually is more than a religion. I say this from a professional standpoint, as my job involves genetics and genetic disorders.

Being Jewish (whether its Ashkenazi or Sephardi) is not just a matter of whether you observe Shabbat or eat pork. It's literally in your DNA. The music group analogy, while clever, is not applicable. A band can remake itself, and can switch genres. You can't change your DNA.

The Jews are a people. A nation. A distinct ethnic group. The religion and culture is part of this, but only a part.

Anonymous said...

Cara,

Could you point me toward literature that shows religion is genetic, an ethnicitiy, part of human DNA, et al. Of course I am only interested in legitimate scholarly literature here, not pro- or anti-religious propaganda. I have online access to JSTOR, and immediate acces to a major university library, so I will be able to locate any article if you simply give me that name of an article, book, etc and its author. Thanks much.

Adi said...

ok, i didnt want to way in on this debate, but ill offer a few tidbits of info that may shed some light. lemme start with the "jewish genetic issue." while judaism is a religion, it is also more than that and very different from any of other major religions. being jewish is more like membership of a tribe or nation. what makes you jewish (according to jewish law) is having a parent who is jewish (according to the orthodox, only a mother), or going through a rather legnthy conversion process. kinda like being an american, but with God in there. the thing about being jewish is, once you are jewish, it can never be undone. you cant "renounce" your jewishness. you are forever linked to a people. so this means that you can be both 100% jewish and 100% atheist at the same time(and i know many people who are). for about 2000 years, pretty much nobody wanted to convert (and why would they?), so jews were pretty much the descendants of the people that lived in the kingdom of israel under king davids rule. this is also because (unlike the other religions) jews dont seek to convert anyone who isnt jewish. so, excluding the converts of modern times, the jews are a genetically unique group. jews are also at MUCH higher risk for certain genetic diseases (tay sachs, for one). if you would like to be better informed about jewish history, historian Paul Johnson wrote a very thorough (and acclaimed) book aptly titled "A History Of The Jews."

As far as jewish claims in what is now Israel and the territories goes, check out this link:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf1.html

it is filled with many facts that may interest those that think the jews stole israel from the palestinians.

Anonymous said...

whoever referenced walter sobcheck you are my hero.

shomer shabbas dude.

Anonymous said...

Adi,

I will check out the book you mention, I appreciate the citation. I will read with an open mind, although I think this claim (not specifically made by you) that Judaism is some kind of genetic condition is not only dubious, but is the type of pseudo-science that Nazi Germany used to exterminate many many Jews (saying Jews are an ethnicity, and an inferior ethnicity). If you can chose to be Jewish, then Jewishness, on the whole, cannot be genetic. About Ethnicity: I concur on your point that there is a subsection of Jews who are considered "ethnic Jews". And all "ethnic Jews" are Jews, but it would be a logically fallacy to say "all Jews are ethnic Jews" [because of the aforementioned converts], this is my problem with calling Judaism, on the whole, an ethnicity. However, I will read the book you mention. [Full disclosure: the reason I am posting is that I have been recently trying to learn more about the "Israel issue", and am currently reading "The Origins and Evolution of the Arab-Zionist Conflict" by Michael J. Cohen. I have started with this book, because it is the history of the issue up until 1948. I feel that without a property grasp of the history before that date, nothing going on today can possibly make sense to me.]

Anonymous said...

Adi,

I will check out the book you mention, I appreciate the citation. I will read with an open mind, although I think this claim (not specifically made by you) that Judaism is some kind of genetic condition is not only dubious, but is the type of pseudo-science that Nazi Germany used to exterminate many many Jews (saying Jewishness is genetic, and inferior genes). If you can chose to be Jewish, then Jewishness cannot be genetic. About Ethnicity: I concur on your point that there is a subsection of Jews who are considered "ethnic Jews". And all "ethnic Jews" are Jews, but it would be a logically fallacy to say "all Jews are ethnic Jews" [because of the aforementioned converts], this is my problem with calling Judaism on the whole an ethnicity. However, I will read the book you mention. [Full disclosure: the reason I am posting is that I have been recently trying to learn more about the "Israel issue", and am currently reading "The Origins and Evolution of the Arab-Zionist Conflict" by Michael J. Cohen. I have started with this book, because it is the history of the issue up until 1948. I feel that without a proper grasp of the history before that date, nothing going on today can possibly make sense to me.]

Anonymous said...

Adi,

I will check out the book you mention, I appreciate the citation. I will read with an open mind, although I think this claim (not specifically made by you) that Judaism is some kind of genetic condition is not only dubious, but is the type of pseudo-science that Nazi Germany used to exterminate many many Jews (saying Jewishness is genetic, and inferior genes). If you can chose to be Jewish, then Jewishness cannot be genetic. About Ethnicity: I concur on your point that there is a subsection of Jews who are considered "ethnic Jews". And all "ethnic Jews" are Jews, but it would be a logically fallacy to say "all Jews are ethnic Jews" [because of the aforementioned converts], this is my problem with calling Judaism on the whole an ethnicity. However, I will read the book you mention. [Full disclosure: the reason I am posting is that I have been recently trying to learn more about the "Israel issue", and am currently reading "The Origins and Evolution of the Arab-Zionist Conflict" by Michael J. Cohen. I have started with this book, because it is the history of the issue up until 1948. I feel that without a proper grasp of the history before that date, nothing going on today can possibly make sense to me.]

Cara said...

Sigh! Annonymous, nowehere did I say that "religion is genetic." I said that Judaism is more than just a religion. It is a unique, distinctive ethnicity. The cultural aspects of this ethnicity contain a large religious component, but one can (as Adi mentioned) be an atheist and still be a Jew. This does not mean that "Judaism is some kind of genetic condition". It simply means that Jews are genetically distinct from other ethnic groups.

Adi mentions Tay-Sachs. I work for a center that works with Jewish genetic disorders. Technology now enables us to screen for the genetic mutations that cause certain disorders. Some disorders are more common in certain ethnic groups than in others. This is what being 'genetically distinct' means. Ashkenazi Jews and Sephardi Jews are ethnically distinct. This is what I meant by saying that being Jewish is in your DNA. If you want to know the explanation for this, I suggest you research two well-documented and published theories called "Founder Effect" and "Genetic Drift". Or go talk to a geneticist.

Judaism is not an 'either/or' situation. It is both a religion and an ethnicity. Those who convert, convert to the religion. Obviously this does not change their genes. But those who are, as you say, 'ethnic Jews' cannot erase their genetic heritage by renouncing the religion of their forefathers. You can never step foot in a synagogue, and you still could be a carrier for Tay-Sachs. Hence my comment, which was obviously misunderstood: Being Jewish actually is more than a religion. It is in your DNA.

If you want literature, I suggest you research the writings of geneticists like Standford University's Neil Risch. An interesting article might be "Categorization of humans in biomedical research: genes, race and disease". You'll find that Ashkenazi Jews are referred to numerous times as an 'ethnic cluster'. If you want more articles, I'll pass them along.