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1 Buck  Wed, Nov 30, 2011 8:31:38pm

Assimilation is a long held and very deep cultural fear in the Jewish community.

The have been times when the danger was ignored and the results were not good.

It is not well understood, even by Jewish youth.

All I can say is that the the Jewish religion is the largest longest held, continuously practised religion in the world. One that frowns on conversion.

Yes there are other religions that are older, but their numbers are very small in comparison.

The question of Jewish assimilation is a topic of concern. You might try and understand the history before you put it down.

2 Bob Levin  Wed, Nov 30, 2011 8:39:00pm
No, this isn’t political AT ALL

And what exactly would the politics of this article be?

3 bratwurst  Wed, Nov 30, 2011 9:06:12pm

re: #1 Buck

The question of Jewish assimilation is a topic of concern. You might try and understand the history before you put it down.

re: #2 Bob Levin

And what exactly would the politics of this article be?

I am Jewish, visit Israel regularly and understand assimilation. This has nothing to do with assimilation, it has to do with Israeli politics. Newsflash: the average American Jew is politically well to the left of the average Israeli Jew. The only assimilation Bibi fears is POLITICAL, not religious or cultural.

4 Flavia  Wed, Nov 30, 2011 9:48:33pm

Actually, the ads seem to suggest that it is growing up in America that's the problem, not marrying American Jews. Whether this is actually political or religious in nature, it is not (as has been suggested to me by others outside this forum) a warning against marrying Americans, period.

5 Bob Levin  Wed, Nov 30, 2011 10:00:00pm

re: #3 bratwurst

There was a discussion about this very article earlier today. How do you think about left and right, politically? The issues facing the US and Israel are completely different.

I think almost every American Jew knows at least one Israeli Jew. I'm pretty sure that when American Jews reach some political maturity they begin to read the newspapers--the Jerusalem Post, Ynet, Ha'aretz, and some others.

The odd thing about these papers is that if so many nations weren't taking some kind of action to destroy or to delegitimize Israel, the papers would be mostly blank. Not a lot of news. Israelis are trying to live a normal life, and not get killed. I don't see how this fits on any kind of political spectrum in the US.

If you're willing to explain it, I'll listen.

6 Buck  Thu, Dec 1, 2011 9:53:58am

re: #3 bratwurst

This has nothing to do with assimilation,

I just don't know how you can claim that.

7 Buck  Thu, Dec 1, 2011 10:03:56am

re: #3 bratwurst

the average American Jew is politically well to the left of the average Israeli Jew.

Well living in America allows them that privilege doesn't it.

It is not American Jewish streets and homes that are being shelled.

8 bratwurst  Thu, Dec 1, 2011 5:15:25pm

re: #6 Buck

I just don't know how you can claim that.

I am going to do something I have never seen you do, and admit that I misspoke. The article (especially the headline) is somewhat misleading. After watching several of the ads all the way through, it is clear that the appeal is indeed made primarily on the issue of cultural assimilation.

Having said that, I think it is absolutely ridiculous to suggest that it is somehow not possible to be authentically Jewish outside of Israel, and certainly agree with the author that these ads are a major slap in the face of the American community. There would be outrage if the American government produced ads to be shown to US expats in Israel encouraging them to leave. I also strongly believe that the current government of Israel is far from pleased with the political leanings of the vast majority of American Jews and that is at least some motivation for this campaign. Again, I am sure there would be outrage if Obama presented an award to a prominent critic of Netanyahu the way Bibi recently did for Glenn Beck. HOWEVER, I was definitely wrong to suggest that these ads had nothing to do with cultural assimilation.

9 raynevandunem  Thu, Dec 1, 2011 7:07:35pm

I think the commercials reflect the persistence of nationalism as a means of dividing the rootless, "cosmopolitan" exile from the more landed national who knows a welcoming homeland and resident/native relatives.

It's the ultimate result of diaspora nationalism and exile movements. They exist to make themselves obsolete for the greater cause of the homeland, but end up defining the diaspora or exile along the terms of attaining or restoring the desired type of power in the homeland, rather on the terms of the diaspora or exile.

Nationalists are not content to reside in the diaspora, and residency in the diaspora somewhat precludes the diasporan from believable commentary on the homeland's situations (you ran away, so you don't get to talk). And because this meme is so commonplace in homeland-diaspora relations (i.e., Cuban, Tibetan, Zimbabwean, South African), I think it merits further academic evaluation as to the implications of nationalist sentiments toward the diaspora.

The fact that Goldberg finds the commercials disconcerting but can't adequately explain what is "wrong" with such anti-diaspora sentiments attests to how diaspora nationalism both works for (in some respects) and against (in some other respects) its target audience, especially its most active practitioners.

I'm not against diaspora nationalism, since it constitutes and has long constituted a large part of the American experience with other countries, but the logic is so simple and straightforward that it is, at its worst, divisive of diasporas and their solidarity.

10 raynevandunem  Thu, Dec 1, 2011 7:44:17pm

re: #8 bratwurst

Question: I've never encountered similar advertisements by other governments to their diasporas and expat communities abroad, so I don't know how anyone should react to such ads.

The European governments, such as France, tend to not be keen on the Israeli government's encouragement of immigration out of their countries, since the popular imagination there is that "we're tolerant of our minorities. Why does anybody want to leave us?" [Link: news.bbc.co.uk...]

It's more complicated than, say, the reaction to some leader abroad calling for massive immigration to a European country. Of course the Europeans (ethnic and christian as they are) will be more categorical in reacting against such an idea.

(Iran, of course, reacts with the death penalty for the whiff of any attempt to flee for Israel if one is an Iranian Jew, but that's another matter of "freedom of movement".)

I wonder if the European reaction to Israel's message to the diaspora under Sharon is a lot like any country's reaction to one country withdrawing its ambassadors and closing down its diplomatic operations in another country (which is usually "oh shit, something's going down, ya'll. Duck and cover.").

Similarly, I think that the best assessment of the Netanyahu government's message to the diaspora should be "Please don't fear the diaspora/exile. Israel may be our cultural and religious homeland, but we are many, diverse, dispersed and aware of our identity. And our identities, as many and overlapping as they are, do not conflict with each other, and do not at all provide for any sort of internal conflict. We have lived for thousands of years in many parts of the world with that sense intact, and may we, in both Israel and abroad, continue to live and genealogically with that sense of harmoniously-overlapping identities imbued within our common humanity for as long as time itself may afford us."

In the most secular phrasing, of course.

11 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Thu, Dec 1, 2011 9:38:38pm

Kinda reminds me of this:

[Link: www.spiegel.de...]
[Link: www.spiegel.de...]

12 Flavia  Thu, Dec 1, 2011 10:59:39pm

re: #11 000G

Kinda reminds me of this:

[Link: www.spiegel.de...]
[Link: www.spiegel.de...]

Interesting that no one (world in general - not an LGF-directed comment) seems to have given a rat's butt about THOSE articles...

13 Obdicut  Fri, Dec 2, 2011 2:31:23am

re: #1 Buck

All I can say is that the the Jewish religion is the largest longest held, continuously practised religion in the world. One that frowns on conversion.

Jews aren't defined by religion, though. Not in Israel, not elsewhere. There are plenty of secular Jews in Israel.

So why are you talking about the Jewish religion?

14 Flavia  Fri, Dec 2, 2011 8:44:47am

re: #13 Obdicut

Jews aren't defined by religion, though. Not in Israel, not elsewhere. There are plenty of secular Jews in Israel.

So why are you talking about the Jewish religion?

Because Judaism isn't a religion exactly like other religions. You can be a Jew & still be secular.


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