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1 sffilk  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 9:39:33am

As a Jew myself, as of right now, I'm unwilling to vote for any candidate on either side of the fence. I must be in the minority, then, because while I will look at whom I think is best for America, I also look at whom I think is best for Israel, and right now, none of them are. I'll do as I did in 2008 - vote "none of the above." While you may think that is a waste of my vote, I put into the record that I was dissatisfied with all of the candidates.

2 shutdown  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 10:15:43am

Thanks and Congrats on your first page, Lawrence. I suggest that, if you are going to use tags, that you be somewhat more descriptive. IOW, your tags here could read "American Jews and Obama, 2012 Jewish Vote, Jews and Democrats".

This helps LGF searches to come up with the most accurate results.

3 S'latch  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 10:17:19am

I agree with you. At this point, I will not vote for any of the potential Republican candidates, but I am not comfortable voting for Obama either. It is quite likely I will vote "none of the above."

But, as the article notes, most American Jews don't look at who is best for Israel. Most of us vote for our American interests. And I am with the majority of American Jews who do not trust these Fundamentalist Christian Republicans.

They happen not to be safe for Israel either. As the article points out:

American Jews are savvy enough to realize that evangelical support for Israel does not necessarily imply concern with Jewish safety. After all, the dispensationalist scenario culminates in a third world war in the Middle East and the consignment of unconverted Jews to hell before the messiah returns. For those who truly see Israeli politics in terms of evangelical prophesy, an apocalyptic battle on Israeli soil is not something to be avoided at all costs. Instead, it’s the portal to paradise.

4 S'latch  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 10:20:25am

re: #2 imp_62

Thanks. By the way, I was responding to "sffilk" and I did not expect anyone to get in between our comments before I posted it. But, your comment is a welcome surprise.

It is my first page. I will see if I can change the tag. If not, I will figure out how to use tags properly before I post another page.

5 S'latch  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 10:22:26am

Re-tagged: "American Jews and Obama, 2012 Jewish Vote, Jews and Democrats"

6 shutdown  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 10:23:06am

re: #4 Lawrence Schmerel

Thanks. By the way, I was responding to "sffilk" and I did not expect anyone to get in between our comments before I posted it. But, your comment is a welcome surprise.

It is my first page. I will see if I can change the tag. If not, I will figure out how to use tags properly before I post another page.

When you go to your page post, you can click on the little pencil icon in the bottom right. That opens the post to editing and you can edit any aspect of the page you posted, including tags.

7 Buck  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 10:59:52am

I just want to mention that there has been a shift here in Canada. Where Jews traditionally voted for the Liberal Party (and some the NDP) in the past, there has been a noticeable shift to voting for the Conservative party.

8 S'latch  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 11:28:36am

re: #7 Buck

Do know if that shift is significant or why it might be happening?

9 Shirrush  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 12:39:32pm

Well, it is always good to read yet another sweet article attempting to explain the American Jews' tenacious loyalty to the increasingly anti-Israeli Democratic Party with convincing and articulate arguments, but I think it is also time to cut the crap and to start addressing the truth, which may not be too, er, PC.

Here in Israel, most of the (Reform) American Jews are not even recognized as Jews by the State, and with increasingly good reasons. It takes a major effort for an Israeli Jew to detect anything remindful of Judaism-as-we-know-it in he ritual practiced in their synagogues, and some of the more religious-minded among us do indeed take offense at what they see as a caricature of a millennial tradition. A large section of American Jewry seems to have drifted away from both Jewish ethnicity and culture, and have developed their own religion and identity, which we cannot identify with. These people, while certainly our kinsmen owing to their (diluted) origins, are no longer part of the Jewish Nation, and as such they owe us nothing.

While most Israelis are either ignorant of, or indifferent to the American Jewish reality, there still subsists a strong basis of affection for Americans, which has nothing to do with military aid packages and owes everything to kinship and cultural perceptions, from which most of the major concerns of American Jewish liberalism are entirely excluded. Nobody here cares a damn about gay rights (Where's the problem?) or abortion laws in the days of the OTC next-day pill, and no-one is wary of Sara Palin and her high-powered deer rifle.

American Jews justifiably resent their exclusion by the Israeli Rabbinate, and the truth is that they despise the pushy and uncouth Israelis who remind them too much of their less-educated, red-state compatriots. Their legendary aversion for the Christian fundies is also easily explained by the simple fact that, if given the chance, these people would like nothing more than to buy their Jews a one-way ticket to Israel in order to fulfill this or that apocalyptic prophecy.

There is therefore absolutely no reason to expect the US former Jews to shift their political views in order to suit our strategic needs. Most of them do not care about us a bit, and some would even love to see us go under and stop being a stumbling block on their way to assimilation into the general American population.

We've been around for a long time, and this indeed is one of the least traumatic schismatic losses in our history. We'll get over it. Peace.

10 Buck  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 12:48:17pm

I do know the shift was significant. And I can tell you from my personal experience why it happened.

It happened because of Harper's support for Israel. In the past the Liberal administration seemed to abstain during critical UN votes. Where now Canada votes in support of Israel.

An example of Stephen Harper's strong support for Israel:

"I know, by the way, because I have the bruises to show for it, that whether it is at the United Nations, or any other international forum, the easy thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israeli rhetoric, to pretend it is just being even-handed, and to excuse oneself with the label of 'honest broker.' There are, after all, a lot more votes, a lot more, in being anti-Israeli than in taking a stand. But, as long as I am Prime Minister...Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost. And friends, I say this not just because it is the right thing to do, but because history shows us...that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are a threat to all of us."

I am having trouble finding an acceptable link to statements by Harper regarding 2010 Israel Apartheid Week. However they were inspired. In it he actually criticized the Universities and colleges. This was not fighting for Israel, this was fighting LOCAL antisemitism. The antisemitism that we see, and our children endure.

11 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 1:01:12pm

re: #9 Shirrush

lol fuck off

12 S'latch  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 1:14:25pm

re: #9 Shirrush

In the Jewish community where I live, the degree of love and concern for Israel seems to be directly related to how active the Jew is in his or her congregation, whether it is Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform, or the Jewish community organizations.

But, as you suggest, and I agree, many American Jews are losing their Jewish identity.

13 S'latch  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 1:38:26pm
"Yisrolik, fear nothing but G‑d alone. Love every single Jew, without exception, with the full depth of your heart and with the fire of your soul, no matter who he is or how he behaves."

- The final words of Rabbi Eliezar to his son, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov.

"The three loves: Love of G-d, Love of Torah, and Love of a Fellow Jew, are all one. One cannot divide them, as essentially they are one."

- Statement of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the 10th of Shevat 5711 (1951), upon officially accepting the leadership of the Lubavitch movement.

14 Bob Levin  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 1:39:47pm

re: #9 Shirrush

Wow. Maybe it's because there isn't enough space to write everything you wish to say--that it seemed a bit, er, harsh.

American politics has changed over the last few decades, in that there is no longer a section of the Republican party that is expert on economics. Nor is there a section of the Republican party that is practical, now eschewing compromise rather than seeking it.

It so happens that the economy is the major challenge that history is presenting today, and there are no viable sources of expertise to be found anywhere. The advantage that President Obama now has is that he is a known quantity. In politics, that's frequently enough to get elected.

Regarding our Jewish identity, that problem would be one that developed over several decades, and can be laid at the feet of the teachers and institutions, many of which were considered orthodox.

Do not overlook our very deep will to survive, despite all appearances.

15 Shirrush  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 1:46:59pm

I've seen that pattern in Western Europe too. Most of the congregations there, however, are Orthodox/ Modern Orthodox, and many of them are non-Ashkenazi, with demographics similar to what goes on in Israel.
Paris and London, however, do host a significantly vocal infestation of leftist stinkbugs, a.k.a. Court Jews, but these are never seen at congregational events since their presence therein could cause significant, er, geological instability.

Since I am trying to assess what's lost and what's left, could you please recommend me a link to North American Jewry statistics?
I'd like to find out what goes on with the denominational distribution in relation with political affiliation, and why the non-Ashkenazim in the US are so silent and discreet (The Montreal Moroccans - less so: they're here in numbers and I can easily ask someone about anything I'd like to know). I've heard about the Esfahanis in LA and the 'Adanis in NY, fr'instance, but could never find anything worth reading by or about them.

16 Shirrush  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 2:06:08pm

@Bob Levin;

I hope I am not misunderstood here. I do not wish to bear judgement on anyone, as I am only trying to assess the situation and how it impacts on the next chapter of Jewish history. It also might be unfair to blame "teachers and institutions" for a cultural evolution that was probably too fast and too wide for them to get a grasp and make a difference.

Regarding your comment on American politics, I cannot agree more, but the politics of Democracy may be changing for the better, and a day may come when you and me shall no longer have to vote for idiots to prevent worse idiots from doing harm, and we shall be able to run the show ourselves from our armchairs, online. What remains to be seen is how the facebook revolutions, such as the housing rebellion we're having these days, will translate into a new and improved form of governance.

17 Bob Levin  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 3:37:06pm

re: #16 Shirrush

Judging from the negative total for your comment, there's a chance you need to clarify and slow down when you have something to say. I'll disagree with your assessment of the speed of the cultural changes--I think they came about very slowly. They were well underway during my parents' generation, and I'm an old guy.

Regarding politics, over the years I've changed my opinion over the how relevant the process is to real life. I now feel that scientific innovation is the strongest agent for historical change, the politicians follow along.

I'm waiting for significant developments in energy, engines, food and water. For my kids, I'll add medicine. After all, Reaganomics was actually Steve Wozniak going to Radio Shack every day.

18 S'latch  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 3:38:02pm

re: #15 Shirrush

I am sorry. I don't have a link regarding the statistics of North American Jewry to recommend right now. If I find anything, I will try to send it your way.

19 Obdicut  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 3:38:26pm

re: #12 Lawrence Schmerel

Why do you get to define Jewish identity?

20 Obdicut  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 3:39:25pm

re: #15 Shirrush

21 S'latch  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 3:39:58pm

re: #19 Obdicut

Did you hear me define Jewish identity? I don't believe you did.

22 Obdicut  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 3:40:09pm

re: #15 Shirrush

Days after a fascist asshole executes 'leftist' children, you decide talking about a leftist stinkbug infestation is a good idea?

How goddamn pathetic.

23 Bob Levin  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 3:40:35pm

re: #15 Shirrush

Statistics won't help as much as your ability to bring three-dimensional (four-dimensional?) meaning to them. They have to tell a story, and the story has to make sense. If the story starts to sound harsh, then begin again, trying another hypothesis.

24 Obdicut  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 3:40:56pm

re: #21 Lawrence Schmerel

Did you hear me define Jewish identity? I don't believe you did.

You said this:

But, as you suggest, and I agree, many American Jews are losing their Jewish identity.

Which means you think that Jews are losing an identity, which s something that you can define.

So let's hear it. What's your definition of Jewish identity, please, that's being lost?

25 S'latch  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 3:42:28pm

re: #24 Obdicut

I do not define Jewish identity. But when you hear Jews, as I have, tell you that they don't care about being Jewish or taking part in any Jewish traditions, you can safely conclude that they are losing their Jewish identity.

26 Obdicut  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 3:50:22pm

re: #23 Bob Levin

Why are you guys tolerating-- and updinging-- an asshole who says this?

Paris and London, however, do host a significantly vocal infestation of leftist stinkbugs, a.k.a. Court Jews,

27 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 4:03:29pm

He also wrote:


RIP for the dead and a quick and complete recovery to the wounded, but hey, no sympathy from here...

Fascist asshole.

28 Obdicut  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 4:06:27pm

re: #27 Sergey Romanov

Give the 'vermin' rhetoric he's using, I wouldn't expect him to have sympathy.

29 Bob Levin  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 4:47:01pm

re: #26 Obdicut

It sounded as if he was trying to change his tone. I don't upding just because I agree. Sometimes I upding and then state why I disagree. He's trying to make sense out of Jewish behavior in the US, and it seemed sincere. In terms of the tone of writing, I comment by trying to set a good example--or by saying that you might want to rephrase or rethink a few things, which I did in comment 23. I upding for many different reasons, and I try to be generous.

Too much information, right?

30 Obdicut  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 4:52:36pm

re: #29 Bob Levin

But he's calling leftist Jews vermin. Which is what Anders did.

31 Bob Levin  Tue, Jul 26, 2011 5:51:29pm

re: #30 Obdicut

Okay, let me see if I can retrace my steps.

Comment 9: Problematic. But I didn't downding, instead I responded with a different tone than his writing (comment 14). He responded with a more civility to me in comment 16, and even apologized. Meaning that he thought about it and tried to change. So, I updinged any comment with a different tone. If he doubled down and called me some names I probably wouldn't have updinged.

I'm trying to stay out of Anders' head--I'm pretty sure it's leading back to some severe child abuse. This is one of the satellite issues of child abuse, that people use it as a justification, or extenuating circumstances, for evil behavior. I'm not going to do that--his actions are what they are, and he should be treated accordingly.

The abuse is what leads to the Anders, or the McVeighs, or Jihadists, or any number of the billions of heinous acts in the history of civilization. I'm not ready to say that the acts are the result of the use of language.

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