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Will Obama “Change” U.S. Foreign Policy?

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The national sham, better known as the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election, is behind us. 24 months and more than $2 billion later, Barack Obama is our new leader. He ran on a platform of “change”. To be precise his campaign theme was “Change We Can Believe In”. Clearly, after eight years of the Bush Administration this mantra appealed to many Americans and with good reason. But before we get too excited, like many Americans have, about the “change” he will bring to America, let’s look at his first two presidential appointments. They should certainly put a damper on the idea that things will be different in terms of foreign policy from the new administration.

In his first presidential act, over the summer, Obama chose Senator Joe Biden to be his vice-presidential running mate. This is the same Joe Biden who had to withdraw from the 1988 presidential race after it was revealed he plagiarized a speech from British Labor party leader Neil Kinnock. That was a long time ago and everyone is entitled to redemption for past sins. However, Biden’s most recent positions on foreign policy issues are what is really concerning and perhaps an indication that Obama did not mean change in terms of current U.S. foreign policy.

A quick review of Biden’s foreign policy record in the last ten years reveals that he is as hawkish as some well known Republicans. In 1999, he joined forces with one such Republican, John McCain (funny how politics does make for strange bedfellows), in the Senate to sponsor the resolution authorizing NATO aggression against Yugoslavia. This aggression included an 11 week bombardment of Serbia and Montenegro.

Then in 2003, Biden not only voted to give the president authorization to invade Iraq, but he vigorously supported the president’s false claims about WMDs and Saddam’s ties to Osama bin Laden. As Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, he suppressed testimony contradictory to the war agenda to the committee leading up to the attack.

Last year, Biden was a cosponsor (with Senators McCain and Lieberman) of a Senate resolution that called for U.S. support for the independence of the autonomous Serbian region of Kosovo. He showed his hypocrisy a short time later by lambasting Russia for its liberation of South Ossetia after Georgian troops invaded the autonomous region of Georgia and attacked Russian peacekeepers. His sharp rebuke of Russia was reminiscent of Cold War days. In terms of foreign policy, it is ironic that Biden found himself on Obama’s ticket and not McCain’s. Or perhaps it is a sign that Obama will continue with the failed foreign policy of the Bush Administration.

Obama’s second presidential appointment came just a day after his election victory, with his appointment of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff. Rahmbo, as he is known, is also a hawk when it comes to war issues. Out of nine Democratic members of Congress from Illinois, he was the only one to vote to give the president authorization to invade Iraq. He has voted for unconditional funding of the war and voted against efforts to set a timetable for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. His record on the Iraq War is comparable to John McCain’s.

Beyond Iraq, Rahmbo would also like to see action taken against Iran. He has voted against measures to prevent Bush from attacking that country and even joined the administration in launching inflammatory remarks about Iran’s nuclear threat.

His strong positions in favor of attacking Arab countries clearly come from his love of Israel. After all, his father, Benjamin, was a member of the terrorist/freedom fighter (depending on your perspective) group Irgun which launched attacks against Palestinian and British civilians in Palestine in the 1940s. Rahm himself has been critical of the Bush Administration for criticizing Israel’s assassination policies and human rights abuses. He was a leading supporter of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 2006 and questioned Amnesty International’s motives in reporting Israeli violations of international humanitarian law.

Now, many will say that these appointments by President-elect Obama are political and do not necessarily indicate a direction that his administration will take in foreign affairs. But, the old axiom is true, “you judge a man by the company he keeps”. Modern vice presidents do play a large role as confidants and advisors to the president. As Dick Cheney has proven, they are very influential partners to presidents who lack the foreign policy experience they possess. And let’s not forget that vice presidents are one heartbeat away from the top job.

As the chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel will be President Obama’s gatekeeper. He will in large part determine who has the president’s ear. He will also have more influence on the president than others in the administration by virtue of his position and close friendship with Obama.

There is no question that president-elect Obama’s first two appointments call into question his commitment to change as far as U.S. foreign policy is concerned. By choosing two Democratic neocons as vice president and chief of staff, he not only validated the belief that there was not a quarter’s (adjusted for inflation) worth of difference between him and McCain, he has alarmed many of his progressive supporters on the left. At some point in the near future, perhaps with his selection of defense secretary, it will be clearer whether Obama will change U.S. foreign policy or continue the failed policies of the Bush Administration. My hunch is that those Americans, who are paying attention, will have their excitement zapped from them as they realize that they have replaced one belligerent administration with another.

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About Kenn Jacobine

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Kenn, while I think there are certainly reasons to be concerned about Obama’s foreign policy choices and especially about Emanuel, I don’t see any evidence that they fit under the blanket of being neocons, which is a much over and miss used term. Biden is bellicose and a blowhard and Emanuel is clearly pro-Israel, but I don’t see them as supporting the kind of broad expansionist foreign policy advocated by the neocons – back when there actually were neocons.

    The Iraq war is pretty much resolved and it is certainly NOT the whole of our foreign policy. Nor is the middle east in general. It looks more like Obama’s first foreign policy challenge is going to come from Russia. Any prognostication on what these early appointments say about how he’ll deal with the bear (ooh, multilingual pun).

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Kenn,

    I haven’t had the time to sort out the trash from the chaff in what passes for American foreign policy. But I do live in this neighborhood and have some idea what the “support” of American politicians for Israel amounts to. This is especially true of Jewish politicians in the States.

    The truth of the matter is that it does not amount to all that much. What it amounts to is pressuring the United States for crumbs, and then pretending that these crumbs are a huge meal. There is a price to be paid for this “aid” – for these crumbs – almost always second rate American equipment that Israelis need to modify.

    The price is honor.

    I remember mid-westerners back when I was a Burger King manager in St. Paul, and their first reaction at the mention of the word “Israel” was to reach for their wallet to make sure nobody had emptied it, and to make sure nobody would. So, I kept the discussion to Whopper sandwiches and fries.

    Beggars have no honor, and we Israelis have been reduced to beggars by American Jewish politicians who think that by grovelling to the American government, they do a mitzvá – a good deed. Rahm Emanuel is, unfortunately, such an individual. If one chooses to see him as anti-thetical to many of the goals of the new administration, Obama has shown the classic political wisdom by hugging his enemies closer to himself than his friends. If one chooses him to be a fool who does not understand what is good for the country, my own view, then Obama has appointted the perfect fellow for the job. He will appear to be the “pro-Israel” gatekeeper of the Obama administration while Obama keeps his contacts with Arabs at the personal level – outside of the formal structure of the administration.

    That is what I expect to see in the coming months.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Surely Obama’s biggest foreign policy project will be Afghanistan?

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    “But, the old axiom is true, ‘you judge a man by the company he keeps’.

    And that’s exactly what worries me about Obama, considering his friendships with the likes of Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    The old axiom that you know a man by the company he keeps is a load of drivel, glib and lazy words that are superficially attractive but have no grounding in reality.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Here is a link to a letter written by a blogger down in Venezuela, giving his wish list for U.S. foreign policy. Lots of it makes sense.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I doubt it will be Afghanistan. More likely Pakistan.

    Dave

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dave – I agree. It SHOULD be Pakistan. It’s not good to have a nuclear-armed country with a dangerously unstable government. IMO, we should be grateful for India’s nuclear arms, and for the life of me I can’t understand why it’s SO hard for the world to see past Shi’a Iran’s “destroy Israel” rhetoric to the REAL purpose – to defend against their next-door neighbor – nuclear-armed Sunni Pakistan.

    It’s the same thing as in Iraq – the Sunni and Shi’a see each other as the REAL enemy…and America is just an excuse, a tool to be manipulated. Anyone who doubts this should read what al Qaeda #2 Zarqawi said in an open letter.

    (RUVY PLEASE NOTE THAT ISRAEL WASN’T EVEN A CONCERN OF HIS)

    In Iran, Pakistan (and al Qaeda) is the REAL enemy – Israel’s just an excuse, a tool to be manipulated.

    Fortunately, I think Obama understands all this.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Kenn,

    You and some of the others are just pissing your pants in hopes that Obama falls on his face. He is still more than 70 days from taking the oath and you believe that you’ve got the whole direction of his administration figured out.

    Obama and the Dems kicked ass! The Republican agenda is bankrupt. They can do little more than lick their wounds and hope, like you that Obama fucks up. You really shouldn’t count on it. He is easily smarter than all of us.

    B

  • Clavos

    Baritone,

    You sound like a little boy whistlin’ his way past the graveyard…

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    What? In what way? I’m near delerious. I’m so happy I could shit!

    B

  • Les Slater

    It seems that Obama got his supporters to start jumping up and down in his support of policies that the Bush administration has already been following. Glenn’s #8 is a good example of this.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    That the author of this article would refer to Biden and Emanuel as ‘Democratic neocons’ says plenty about his own lack of knowledge, but not much about the Obama administration-under-construction.

    No doubt Mr. O is not actually perfect, despite the very convincing encomiums from seemingly every living historian/author of presidential biographies – they all seemed to be on teevee this weekend assuring us that we are watching Momentous History in the Making. [Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jon Meacham, Robert Caro, Walter Isaacson, etc]

    I’m a big Obama fan, but wouldn’t it make more sense to wait until he actually does something before definitively proclaiming it right or wrong?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Very good point, Les. I relish the irony that Obama is likely to end up doing a lot of the same things Bush did and proposed and be treated like a hero while Bush was portrayed as a villain.

    And Glenn, the truth is that Iran is a natural ally for the US, even with their idiotic current government. And the closer we work with them the more likely they’ll start to revert to the secularism which many of them still have a fondness for.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Simply by being elected, Obama has dramatically changed the attitudes of both the leaders and citizens of many [most? all?] other countries toward the US. This is not a minor matter. But it’s what we do with the more open, cooperative feelings that counts.

    I assume that Guantanamo, as well as the way we treat future terrorist-suspect detainees, will be strikingly different under the new administration.

    Les’s and Dave’s ‘same as Bush’ statements are far too glib to be accurate. Especially since all such policies are future-tense and speculative at this point.

  • Les Slater

    handyguy,

    “Les’s and Dave’s ‘same as Bush’ statements are far too glib to be accurate. Especially since all such policies are future-tense and speculative at this point.”

    Glenn’s #8 was quite presumptive and we do not know how things will actually turn out. However, Obama has got at least some of his supporters cheering for policies that are not much more than a nuanced differentiation from foreign policy that the Bush administration is pursuing.

    Les

  • STM

    Will Obama “Change” US foreign policy?

    That headline should read: Will Obama change “US foreign policy”?

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Les –

    ‘Presumptive’? That’s only in the eyes of those who don’t understand the significance of the Shi’a/Sunni schism. That’s why I posted the link to Zarqawi’s letter so you could see that in the Sunni/Shi’a world, we’re just a sideshow.

    FYI, the Sunni/Shi’a schism is NOT like the Catholic/protestant schism – totally different animal. They HATE each other, and to them, their hate is HOLY.

    Remember that as you put yourself in Iran’s position. Next door is nuclear-armed SUNNI Pakistan…so SHI’A Iran had better get nukes fast. But do you use inflammatory statements against Pakistan? NO – you do NOT want to start a war (they got nukes, you don’t), ’cause the OTHER Sunni countries (like Saudi Arabia) would leap to Pakistan’s aid. So instead you accuse and threaten somebody the Sunnis hate…and the Sunnis are mollified, happy to hear their great enemy Israel threatened by their GREATEST enemy Iran.

    This is PRECISELY what Ahmenijad is doing…and it’s the fastest and safest path he can take towards achieving nuclear parity with Sunni Pakistan.

    And Iraq? The reduction in violence in Iraq is not so much due to Bush’s ‘surge’ as it was to what amounted to ethnic cleansing – because Baghdad has FAR fewer Sunnis than it once did.

    Les, I knew about this stuff long ago…but the conservatives hadn’t a clue. Bush said, “They were Sunni? I thought they were Muslim!” McCain said Iran was supporting al Qaeda (which they would NEVER do)…and even after Lieberman politely corrected him, McCain still said it.

    Obama didn’t convince me of anything I didn’t already know. I DID the objective research. Found some interesting facts…but such don’t belong in a political thread.

    DO the research, Les. When you understand the several Islamic religions and the conflicts between those religions, then you will understand the Middle East…and not before.

  • Les Slater

    Glenn,

    Presumptive? Yes, definitely. I do not dispute your presumptions. I do not know any details of U.S. foreign policy going forward.

    What I do see is an analysis that is in the realm of what the Bush administration is dealing with. The logic of which is the furthering of imperial belligerence.

    It is not the particulars that matter, it is that such an analysis is coming from avowed supporters of Obama. It is a support for the imperial belligerence that WILL follow.

    As we know with the ‘justifications’ for the invasion of Iraq, the truth of the public analysis did not matter for shit. It just justified the logic of what was going to happen anyway.

    Les

  • STM

    That’s a remarkably simplistic view Glenn, and wouldn’t stand up as a thesis anywhere, although some of it’s right. Yes, they do butt heads. And yes, the butting can be deadly.

    But it’s also well known that the Sunni/Shia schism hasn’t affected such notions as, “let’s gang up on America/Israel/Britain”, even if just temporarily, “and blow the sh.t out of them”.

    The Libyans might have blown up that Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, but there’s still a lingering suspicion among western security services (and some evidence) that Iran contracted them to do it.

    Terrorists can be as pragmatic as the rest of us.

    I have lived in Iraq and still have some links and can tell you that both Sunni and Shia were and still are happy enough to work closely together whenever it suited them. The Baathists forged links with a core group of army officers in Baghdad in 1963 that included both Shia and Sunni to orchestrate the coming to power of Abdul Salam Arif. Then they took over themselves in 1968. It’s never a given that they’ll focus on each other, rather than turning on the rest of us.

    In regard to your unbelievably condescending remark to Les, who actally knows a fair bit about a lot of things, I say it’s only possible to understand middle-eastern politics when you have a mind that’s open enough to look beyond the text-book stuff into such things as why saving face is so important, and then read between the lines.

    That’s the point where it really gets interesting.

  • STM

    It’s also quite possible that the US failure to look beyond the obvious is part of the problem right now.

    Looking for reasons as to why things go pear-shaped with great regularity when it comes to US foreign policy? … It’s a lack of any real desire to seriously understand any other culture beyond how it impacts the US. Abu Ghraib’s a classic example.

    “Hey, I know,” says some overpaid genius at the Pentagon, “We’ll give a whole bunch of reservist correctional officers from Doodad County, Nowheresville, USA – most of whom have never left their state and who only turn out once a week and every second Saturday in uniform as MPs – one of the most sensitive tasks of the whole Iraq War”.

    “Then when they completely f.ck it up, we can all wring our hands and wonder why”.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    STM –

    Thank you for the criticism. Criticism is much more effective when it’s made without insult, for only then can one gain from it. That’s why I’m grateful when someone rightfully points out errors that I make. Again, thanks.

    Yes, I can see how you feel my post was simplistic – I won’t deny it. But when it comes to Iran’s motives for nuclear power and rhetoric against Israel, I am right.

    I know that Sunni and Shi’a often work side-by-side…but that’s on the blue-collar and commerce levels. When it comes to the religious and (quite intertwined) political level, I think I can safely say the deep mutual suspicion is very real, that they work together only as a matter of expediency.

    When it comes to the hatred – I know they’re every bit as human as we with all the virtues and foibles thereof. That’s why the rank-and-file won’t feel a greater degree of hatred than we do. What’s more, the religion that has killed the most innocents in the name of God is NOT Islam, but ‘mainstream’ Christianity.

    Be that as it may, their religious leaders do exhort the faithful to hate the apostates…and they do hold each other to be a greater enemy than the Jews or the Americans. If they often tolerate each other, in my opinion it’s more of a matter of preference for the devil they know, rather than the devil they don’t know.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Simply by being elected, Obama has dramatically changed the attitudes of both the leaders and citizens of many [most? all?] other countries toward the US. This is not a minor matter. But it’s what we do with the more open, cooperative feelings that counts.

    If those foreign leaders are turned away from the US as easily as they were and turn back to being our friends just from the election of Obama we shouldn’t trust them one bit and should do what we can to minimize their role in international affairs. They’re fairweather friends and ultimately a liability – they’re a bunch of Frances.

    Dave

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Dave, are you talking about my sister in law or that country that contributed so much without payment to the birth of the USA only to be charged a hefty sum for its own liberation?

  • Les Slater

    Glenn,

    I do not mean to insult you. I do not see ‘liberals’ as the enemy. I do see that liberals, as well as conservatives, that have strong ideas about HOW the U.S. SHOULD intervene in foreign affairs, to be a very small minority. I put you in the very same category as Dave here.

    Fundamentally, I see no difference between you and Dave. Both of you are FOR intervention. And as I pointed out at the very end of my 19, the justifications for intervention don’t really matter. They are just the pretext.

    Not only are these interventions not solving the problems, but they are exasperating the problems. In fact, these interventions are a significant part of THE problem.

    The real problem is that we are saddled with an economic system that is unstable and destructive. This system is not only attacking peoples outside its borders but also those within.

    We must begin to understand the people of the world are not our enemies.

    Our enemy now has a very popular Commander in Chief. It is nothing to cheer about.

    Les

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Les –

    No need to apologize, because I really didn’t see any insult by you. But in return, I DO owe you an apology because I certainly did speak somewhat condescendingly to you in my post. There was no call for that on my part. I’m sorry, and I’ll try to be more considerate next time.

    When it comes to intervention – I’m NOT for ‘intervention’, just sensible diplomacy. A good president must engage in diplomacy with every nation at least to some extent. A wise president with a good understanding of the Shi’a/Sunni schism can use that to our great advantage. A president who does not understand the schism or cares little about it is at a great disadvantage in Middle East diplomacy.

    Also, Obama’s middle name ‘Hussein’ – you’ll only see that name among Sunnis, for that was the name of the leader of those who killed the first 72 Shi’a martyrs (and of course the name of the one who led the Iraqis in the Iran-Iraq war that led to millions of Iranian dead). That’s one reason the Shi’a will be at least initially suspicious of Obama…and the Sunnis will initially be somewhat more receptive to him.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Cute, Les. I think you meant exacerbating. Or, maybe you didn’t!

  • Les Slater

    But Glenn, Obama IS interventionist. For all the accusations he has made about Bush foreign policies, he makes no proposal for any FUNDAMENTAL change. He is just a CONTINUATION of Bush.

    Change continues. It’s the nature of reality. It has been happening during the Bush administration and would continue to happen if he were replaced by McCain instead of Obama. And of course, Bush was just a continuation of Clinton, who was a continuation of the Bush before him. The most radical shift to the right was DURING the Clinton administration.

    Both Bush and Obama are nothing more than Commander in Chief and Chief Executives of something much BIGGER than either of them, that is the capitalist class. They will do the best they can in the interests of that class.

    Thinking that the majority of us have the same interests as that minuscule parasitic band of thugs is just a deception foisted on us by the enormous monopoly this class has on the PRODUCTION of opinion.

    Not only do we not have the same interests, but they are our enemy.

    Les

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I don’t think there is any such thing as the “capitalist class”.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Obama is a CONTINUATION of a-hammer-is-my-only-tool Bush?

    Sorry – I can’t agree…we’ll just have to see over the next four years.

  • Les Slater

    Chris,

    “I don’t think there is any such thing as the ‘capitalist class’.”

    That class may have a great advantage with its monopoly on the production of opinion. Many people still do not believe they do not exist as such. But many more, more than say a year ago, realize that there are a bunch of capitalists out there, at least bankers, that describe themselves as capitalists, that are indeed a pretty small minority. How would you classify them? What class do you suggest they belong to?

    Les

  • Les Slater

    “…we’ll just have to see over the next four years.”

    Yes.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Les, you’re confusing me. Bankers own a monopoly on the production of opinion? So bankers own my blog? The thieving bastards never told me!

    I wouldn’t personally assign people to classes they way you seem to want to.

  • Les Slater

    Chris,

    “Bankers own a monopoly on the production of opinion?”

    I never said bankers own a monopoly of the production of opinion. I just mentioned them as one part, albeit a more conspicuous part of late, of a class that has a virtual monopoly on the manufacture of opinion.

    “So bankers [capitalist class] own my blog?”

    You do perpetuate their myths. This is not through ownership of your blog but a testament to the effectiveness of their opinion production.

    Les

  • bliffle

    For whatever reason, bankers DO seem to have a lot of power as they continue to get favors like direct subsidies, from the administration (while laughing at the idea of reducing executive bonuses). Plus, today the IRS announced, sotto voce, new rules on tax treatment of acquisitions, so that Wells Fargo, for example, gets a $20billion tax break from the $14billion acquisition of Wachovia. Hmmm. Wish I could get breaks like that.

    The beat goes on. Businesses have billions of dollars of benefits showered on them while US citizens suffer without aid and doomed to pay the taxes to support the Frankenstein monsters that US Big Corporate Business has become.

    It’s neo-feudalism. Tribute extracted from hapless citizens by ruthless rulers at swordpoint.

  • bliffle

    Take a look at the SECRET $2trillion scam that the banks and Bernanke/Paulson have run against us:

    Bloomberg

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy


    The beat goes on. Businesses have billions of dollars of benefits showered on them while US citizens suffer without aid and doomed to pay the taxes to support the Frankenstein monsters that US Big Corporate Business has become.

    It’s neo-feudalism. Tribute extracted from hapless citizens by ruthless rulers at swordpoint.

    Bliffle made the point that Les and I understand thoroughly, and which the rest of you seem hesitant to recognize.

    It’s neofeudalism, and you have just “elected” a new overlord. He carries a different shield and banner from the previous one, even walks about in a different shade of skin – but is a feudal overlord nevertheless. This 8 November article was the closest I could find to an article in Hebrew that had for its headline “Obama: I’ll save Ford and GM.”

    So the big shots in America still get the bailouts – just different bigshots. Meanwhile, reality is reflected here and here.

    All this is part and parcel of “foreign policy” because your government is in debt up to its now big floppy ears to foreign nations. What you do repecting your creditors is foreign policy. You all do comprehend that, don’t you?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    In the meantime, having picked one Jew, Rahm Emanuel, as chief of staff to take the brickbats for his public appointment schedule, a man that idiots will call a “Zionist”, Obama is mulling over tapping another one, Paul Volcker, to take the brickbats for a financial policy that will dig you deeper into the hole than you already are. And the response has been coming for over a month.

    Nah, Glenn, this has nothing to do with Israel at all…

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    NO, Ruvy, it has very little to do with Israel. If the two people Obama thinks are best suited for the job happen to be Jewish, then hire them!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    NO, Ruvy, it has very little to do with Israel. If the two people Obama thinks are best suited for the job happen to be Jewish, then hire them!

    BULLSHIT!

    Let’s go back to Rahm Emanuel for just a bit.

    I wrote: “The stupid fools at Ma’ariv don’t really want to talk about how Rahm Emanuel is nothing but an Oslo Criminal. But we in Israel already know – and the bad news gets around fast. Obama has his pet kike in place and already a commenter is throwing brickbats at him for being a Zionist. How sweet.

    Lesson kiddies. Jews get stuck in high places in America so that the beer-swilling idiots and Jew-haters in the States can throw rocks at them – while the goyim – like Obama – sneer and laugh in their sleeves.”

    That is reality, Glenn, whether you like it or not. Sticking Emanuel up as chief of staff is not different than some Polish landlord having a Jew collect his rents from the Ukrainian peasantry he persecutes. The Jew is the target and the landlord is left to enjoy his borsht in peace and go to communion and pray for the souls of the Ukrainians who kill the Jew and rape his daughter.

    Obama is the Polish landlord – Emanuel is the Jew collecting rents. And the idiot thinks he’s been honored yet!! What’s worse, his parents, who should know better, thinks he’s been honored, too!!

    This stuff is centuries old and is the painful reality of Jewish history – my history and Lisa Warren’s both. It is the reason that a State of Israel – a Jewish national home – exists.

    JEW=ISRAEL – ISRAEL=JEW. No mattter how Jews try to run away from that basic reality, no matter how hard they try to assimilate into foreign societies, that fact remains, and they can’t get away from it. Jews who had converted to Christianity couldn’t get away from Hitler, who couned as a Jew anyone who had a Jewish grandparent.

    America will not be the exception to this rule of history, even though it seems to have been up until now. Until 1648, the best place in Europe for a Jew to live was Poland – which is now a graveyard for millions of my people, and for Jews, synonymous with names like Maidanek, Treblinka and Auschwitz (Oszwiecem).

    I’m not preaching religion here. This is reality. When the fire of Jew-hatred gets hot enough under the asses of Jews overseas – whether they are rich or poor – THEY TRY TO COME HOME! That was as true for Maimonides as it was for the Emanuel family – both left Israel after coming home. Maimonides regretted it to his dying day – which is why it is such a cardinal tenet of Judaism now. The Emanuels only prove how little they understand of their own history by their pride in Rahm.

    Your new feudal overlord has a whole bunch of Jews surrounding him. His Arab supporters on the other hand, stay in the background.

    That is the precise scenario I painted in my initial comment #2.

  • zingzing

    “Jews get stuck in high places in America so that the beer-swilling idiots and Jew-haters in the States can throw rocks at them – while the goyim – like Obama – sneer and laugh in their sleeves.”

    mhmm. so that’s our evil plan… we give them positions of power… then… wait, wait, something’s screwed up here. let’s try again. we give them high paying, prestigious jobs… then we… damn it. scratch that. ok, ok, start again. we appoint them to some of the highest offices in our land… see, this is how it starts, ok? then we… dammit! ok, ok, i screwed up. what are we trying to do here? oh yeah, sneer and laugh. sneer and laugh… now how do we do that?

    what would you rather have the u.s. do, ruvy? never appoint a jew to cabinet positions? if the guy does a good job, then he’ll be praised for it. but really, everyone in government, especially that high up, is going to get a lot of criticism. obama included. very few people here are going to be saying, “oh, look at the jew–HE’s the one that fucked up.” no one but you really gives a shit if he’s a jew or not.

  • zingzing

    “you” meaning you and your fellow jews… and most of them seem to like the idea.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Put your bottle down, zing, and read the links in comment #38 – particularly the last one.

  • zingzing

    so now you trust hamas?

    and don’t be so fucking condescending all the time. and grow a sense of humor.

    you big baby.

  • zingzing

    oh. 38. lada dee da da dee dee. let me try again.

  • zingzing

    ok, well anyone who would say something like that (last link in 38) is just a racist idiot. most people know where to put the blame–fat cats on wall street and in the government. and if rahm emanuel is a fat cat in government, and the government continues to fuck shit up, then it doesn’t matter if he’s jewish or not. just because someone criticizes a jew doesn’t mean he hates jewish people. so emanuel should expect criticism, if he deserves it. such is life.

  • Condor

    You didn’t understand this on November 3rd?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    so now you trust hamas?

    Between the PLO and Hamas, I trust and prefer Hamas. Actually I prefer both of them dead – every last stinkin’ one of them, but if I have to have to deal with one over the other, I trust Hamas.

    They are very up-front. They want me and all the rest of us Jews to die and say so every day in every way. They are honest in their intent. They are not like the pigs in the PLO who cut deals with corrupt Jews and murder off innocent Jews while pretending to be for peace.

    Hamas is an honest enemy. Note the term “honest” there. Honesty, even in an enemy is to be respected.

    and don’t be so fucking condescending all the time. and grow a sense of humor.

    Read your comnments before you post them zing – in your case, it would be the equivalent of looking in the mirror. If you’re going to be condescending, at least do it when you can think clearly.

  • Les Slater

    zing,

    “just because someone criticizes a jew doesn’t mean he hates jewish people”

    That’s true, but some will develop a pattern of naming Jews in such a way, with the intent, sometimes subtle, sometimes not, of getting across the idea that most of our problems come from the Jews. There is an aspect to this is some of the harping about neocons.

    The blaming of Jews will increase as the economic crisis worsens.

    Les

  • zingzing

    “Read your comnments before you post them zing – in your case, it would be the equivalent of looking in the mirror.”

    you know, you’re right. i was clearly making fun of you. just don’t present such an easy, paranoid target. either way, i apologize. at least i’m not doing this all the time…

    “If you’re going to be condescending, at least do it when you can think clearly.”

    oh, i am. it’s 4 in the afternoon here… so there are many hours yet to go before i go and fuck my mind up. that said, at least i don’t have religion and hatred and bloodlust clouding my mind 24/7.

    for all your blustering, IF obama’s aids HAVE been in touch with hamas officials, that’s probably a good thing. i, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way. i would hope that when obama takes office, he understands both sides of this argument, and what both sides want. obviously, only taking israel’s perspective into account would be unbalanced and unfair and likely to go nowhere. if this thing is ever going to end, both israel and palestine have to be satisfied with the results.

  • zingzing

    “The blaming of Jews will increase as the economic crisis worsens.”

    no, it will just get louder. those who are foolish enough to blame a race on the greed of wall street will never be convinced otherwise, and will continue to do so. but everyone knows that greed crosses racial lines. anyone who isn’t already a racist would have to be very easily convinced, gullible and stupid to start being a racist because someone yells out “it’s the jews what did it!”

    if so, then they deserve all that comes with being a racist–all the gnawing impotency and grinding hatred that’s in their hearts will dog them all the way to their unhappy deaths.

  • Les Slater

    No, it will broaden as well as get louder. I’ve been seeing this on the left for a few years now. There is a lot of blindness and denial but it’s there.

  • zingzing

    where are you seeing this?

  • zingzing

    and if you’re talking about anti-ISRAELI (or pro-palestinian) statements coming from the left, you should note that disagreeing with israel does not equal anti-semitism. i, for one, think they’re both equally complicit in the horrible things that are going on over there. doesn’t mean i give a shit which race they are… even if they are the same race… so that’s not anti-semitism.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I’m going to try one more time to bring this round to the point I was trying to drive home in comment #37 – though I’ll admit that if I’d been allowed six or seven links per comment, comments #37 and #38 would have been just one comment.

    The unfortunate fact of the matter is that now that America is deep in debt to foreign nations, internal policy is foreign policy and vice versa.

    The division was always artificial in the first place.

    Wheat and soybean farmers (agriculture) have always been sensitive to the price of their crops overseas, and have often demanded protection against the prices of foreign commodities (economic policy), which has turned into fights over tariffs (foreign policy).

    And, just to make the point, WCCO, one of the first radio stations in Minnesota, was originally devoted to reporting crop prices. The link is a natural one, and attempts to separate the three have led to increasing ignorance rather than spreading enlightenment.

    En fin, what I’m suggesting is that we, in writing about all this, recognize basic reality – that there is no real difference between foreign policy and internal economics – and internalize this in our thinking, as well as how we categorize reporting on events.

    That way, we can all see how one string pulled in Gaza or Lebanon, can stretch all the way to Michigan or South Australia.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Oh, and zing,

    Les knows what he is talking about regarding the spread of Jew-hatred as a vector of a failing economy. Your economy WILL fail as a result of policies that your new overlord is now pursuing. And the hatred of my people WILL increase as a result. All this WILL impact on what you all erroneously call “foreign policy”.

    And now, I have other tasks to pursue and must leave you all for a while.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Ruvy’s beginning to sound like I did when I was a kid blaming everything that happened to on being gay

  • zingzing

    from your perspective, i’m not surprised you don’t see an end to a cycle of hatred.

    i do. america is a much different place than it was in the past. of course, there are fools out there. so we shall see.

    our “new overlord” isn’t even in office yet, so i don’t see what he’s doing. our economy might fail. so might everybody’s. but hopefully, he’s surrounding himself with better economists than you are. since when did you become an economist anyway?

    i voted for the man, so i hope he gets the best and the brightest of every background. and i hope he listens to them, and i hope they argue it out and a solid conclusion is brought forth. when that comes, i hope he follows it, even if it goes against something he said while trying to get elected.

  • zingzing

    my last comment was for ruvy. i hope that’s obvious… don’t want jet to think it’s directed at him…

  • Les Slater

    zing,

    “…you should note that disagreeing with israel does not equal anti-semitism.”

    I know that very well.

    The problem with the ‘left’ is either they are unconscious of their own use of such terms, or more often don’t notice when it comes up as sort of a small part of someone else’s speech, or if noticed, don’t confront it. It sets a very bad precedent. Before you know it, they’re, or some one who looks to them, repeats it.

    I see it as quite serious.

    Les

  • zingzing

    “The problem with the ‘left’ is either they are unconscious of their own use of such terms…”

    what terms?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Ruvy’s beginning to sound like I did when I was a kid blaming everything that happened to on being gay

    Jet, Christians, pagans and others savages have been bragging for centuries how they’ve stuck it to Jews. Woodcuts of the auto da fé, the arch in Rome erected to honor the destruction of Jerusalem, and looting of the Temple, the numerous quotas imposed on Jews, loads of sculptures, plays like “The Merchant of Venice”, the yellow patch used first to humiliate Jews by Mohammed, and on and on and on and on and on.

    The stink of Jew-hatred runs throughout the history of “civilized” man like the odor of a skunk, and you have to be inured to the stink not to notice it. Only the Chinese and the Indians did not seem to need to murder us off for sport, pleasure or religious rapture.

    In such a world, even though Jews may not be at the center of events, a healthy dose of paranoia is a survival instinct.

    I intend to survive, Jet. I may not survive the Redemption, but till then, I intend to be around, annoying the hell out of the rest of you while I pursue my agenda of separating my own people from your fates.

  • zingzing

    “plays like “The Merchant of Venice”…”

    merchant is a complex play that can be read or interpreted in many different ways. it depends upon the director, the actor and the audience. sure, shylock has some nasty traits, but so does every other character, yet no one claims that this play is anti-christian.

    the true fact of the matter is that it’s misanthropic. nearly everyone is awful, and equal in that awfulness. yes, it plays to anti-semitic stereotypes. but you have to believe that shakespeare–who was not anti-semitic–had all of that in mind. he’s showing the universality of so-called “jewish” stereotypes.

    it is because of the beating that shylock takes at the hands of the christians around him that he finally breaks, unable to stop his set-upon course of revenge. he’s had it up to here with christian bullshit.

    shylock is certainly written as a one-dimensional jewish villain at the beginning of the play, but as the slights and the spitting and the revenge plots unfold, his character becomes more and more complex, until by the end, he is as sympathetic a villain as shakespeare had written since the grand turnabout at the end of titus andronicus, when tamora unknowingly eats her sons, and titus reigns supreme in his villainy.

    “Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.”

    this passage makes it obvious that shakespeare set up the audience from the start. shylock plays to their expectations (there were many other elizabethan plays with jewish villains), but then dashes them. shylock is just a human like the rest of us, but he is also oppressed by the christians around him and he lashes out.

    what better way to explore elizabethan stereotypes of jews than to play to them, and then slowly dismantle them? in the end, shylock is just a man pushed too far.

    certainly, the forced conversion at the end can also be read two ways. is shakespeare making a political statement about the forced conversion of the jews, or is he saying that the “christian” virtue of forgiveness is something shylock cannot understand? in light of what came before it, i’d have to say that, again, shakespeare sticks to the reality that he has built.
    it’s hard to say one way or another just how he wants it to be read, but remember that this play was listed as a comedy in the folios. it’s obvious from that listing that this play is not to be read literally.

    now ruvy… you lash out at those who would try to oppress you because you are jewish, don’t you? so what makes you think that shakespeare isn’t trying to show the complexity of the problem?

    in the end, however, i think that shakespeare is sincere in his wish that everyone, including shylock, learns how to forgive. it’s the only way the violence ends.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    The only thing I agree with here is that a healthy dose of paranoia is a survival instinct. In any and everyone.

    No one has ever needed an excuse to hate the Jews: they’ve made up excuses for years. And having a couple of Jews at the helm of the Obama admininstration (or any administration) is not going to change that.

    When Bush was president I had a (former) friend tell me that The Jews caused the Iraq war and ran the banking system. I thought she was kidding at first, but when I saw she wasn’t, and that there was nothing I could do to disabuse her of this notion, I ended our fledgling friendship (I was living in France at the time; she was Brazilian).

    Hitler made up his own reasons. People who hate make up their own. If one needs a scapegoat, one finds one.

    Ruvy’s paranoia and hysteria is extreme to the max which is why it so weirds me out, and also he places me and other Jews who don’t think like him in the (self) hating Jew category, but I can’t disabuse him of that, either.

    So, on it goes.

    People who believe what they believe do so with no possibility of rationalizing them out of it.

    Oh: and the other true thing Ruvy said is that he will be “annoying the hell out of the rest of” us…. which is absof–ing the truest thing he has ever said.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    zing,

    You can write all you want in defense of Shakespeare, but you must acknowledge that he was, before all else, a writer and an entertainer.

    He wrote to please his crowd and Shylock the Jew who demands his pound of flesh, as well as the passionate daughter who is brought to “see the true light of Jesus” were all ideas well inbred into the audience who paid to see his work. You might wish to well consider that phrase, “paid to see his work”.

    Shakespeare was not writing texts to bore high school children with, he was a playwright who made his bread and cheese on the silver pennies and shillings people paid to see the plays he wrote. So can the bullshit.

    That play, along with “jewing down prices”, “jewish pianos (cash registers), “rag-sheenies” and a lot more, are all part and parcel of the culture of England and the United States. They remain so. And no matter how much politcal correctness liberals puke onto these virtual pages, they will not disappear from the culture either.

    That’s another point you might well wish to remember.

  • Clavos

    zing,

    lit major? haven’t heard that good an explication of Merchant since I sat in Dr. Z’s class back in college a loooong time ago.

    props

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Lisa,

    Ruvy’s paranoia and hysteria is extreme to the max which is why it so weirds me out, and also he places me and other Jews who don’t think like him in the (self) hating Jew category, but I can’t disabuse him of that, either.

    So, on it goes.

    A Hungarian friend of mine who is involved heavily in memorializing the work of people like Raoul Wallenberg and other rescuers of Jews in Hitler’s holocaust, a fellow who lived through the Nazi years in Europe as a young child, tells me of Jews in Szeged who were praying minHá – the afternoon prayer – one day when a fellow Jew rushed in.

    “The Nazis are coming in a half hour! That is how long you have to excape!” he said. And then he fled.

    The vast majority of the Jews in the synagogue fell to arguing and only one or two actually paid attention to their fellow Jew who had warned them. The Nazis indeed arrived as foretold, and rounded the arguing Jews up, sent them off to detention camps, and they were never seen again.

    You, and the vast majority of Jews like you in America, including my own family that I love, are very much like those Jews in the Szeged who fell to arguing. Warned of disaster, you plug up your ears and condemn the paranoia of those who warn you.

    Your blood is on your own head, my dear, as is the blood of all my family members on their own heads. I have little to say to you. You think I’m crazy. Your loss. But I must still talk to my family. I cannot turn my back on them.

    And so it goes.

    And you are not the only one who remembers Linda Ellerbee and NBC Overnight.

  • zingzing

    ruvy: “You can write all you want in defense of Shakespeare, but you must acknowledge that he was, before all else, a writer and an entertainer.”

    true. but he was more than that.

    “He wrote to please his crowd and Shylock the Jew who demands his pound of flesh, as well as the passionate daughter who is brought to “see the true light of Jesus” were all ideas well inbred into the audience who paid to see his work.”

    i see it as a challenge to his audience. he wrote a lot of things that would entertain the bores while presenting a more profound message. the very fact that there were “ideas well inbred into the audience” is why he wrote the play the way he did. it’s what great artists do.

    give him some credit. what do you think lear is about? a lazy king and his wicked daughters? well, yeah, it is, on one level, but look below. it’s got a political message. richard iii? it’s not just about richard iii.

    clavos–you guessed it. every now and again, i get to use it.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy –

    Of all the peoples on earth, one cannot blame the Jews for their paranoia. From the Catholic ‘fathers’ who began it, to the blood libel begun in England by the protestants (and continues to this day thanks to a Syrian film a decade or so ago), to the multiple offenses in our language that you pointed out…no one can blame you.

    Interesting you should mention China – the Sassoons have an interesting tale, from banking in Baghdad to fleeing for their lives to Hong Kong.

    But correct me if I’m wrong – Jews have by and large been much safer (if relegated to second-class citizenship) in Muslim countries than in Catholic or protestant countries.

    For all the things in which you and I disagree, I am still intensely interested to hear your side, to gain from your knowledge.

  • Les Slater

    zing 61,

    “what terms?”

    Or expressions. One example. I was in Tijuana at a conference. One of the scheduled talks was by a Hispanic labor leader from L.A.. He described a demonstration he organized and led in L.A.. His speech was, in general, demagogic. The audience was appreciative and applauding, including with shouts and foot stomping. When he described leading the march ‘through Hollywood, the center of Jewish influence in the world’, there was not a skip in the beat of the applause, shouting, foot stomping and all.

    I was horrified at what had just happened. I usually find that such ‘sophisticated’ audiences fall to an awkward silence when such reactionary utterances come out. Not this time. Not that I had any political confidence in most of those that were in the audience, generally leadership of the left, but hadn’t realized the depth to which they had sunk.

    During the discussion I had my hand up to denounce such phraseology and point to its roots. I didn’t get called on but an older Jewish radical set everything straight. I accepted his contribution as sufficient for the time being.

    This is just one example. One of my earlier experiences with such blatant ant-Semitism. It hasn’t been the last.

    Les

  • zingzing

    well, i’m not going to try to explain that away.

    but it’s isolated. and in mexico. neither of which makes it any better, but it is what it is.

    there would be no anti-semitism in the left i believe in, nor does there seem to be in the white house (or the coming white house). the u.s. is pretty much pro-israel and anti-anti-semitism. sure, there are pockets of stupidity, but those are everywhere–on the right and the left. no one is denying that.

    racism is something that is slowly dying, and although i don’t think you’ll ever see it dead, any such racism will be met with a rebuttal in time.

    if you have an example from the u.s., that would be helpful. i’m not saying mexicans are anti-semitic, but i’m more interested in what happens in the united states. and i’d bet that there were plenty of people at the conference in mexico who thought poorly of that guy for that statement.

    and hollywood isn’t the real world anyway. if it was, i’d be fucking emily browning. ai yai yai.

  • Clavos

    zing,

    from the way Les described it, I assumed a different event than you did. my assumption was that the audience was american leaders of the left, not mexicans. it sounded like an american conference being held in mexico; a common occurence.

    But I might be wrong.

  • Les Slater

    zing,

    “but it’s isolated. and in mexico.”

    It was held in Tijuana, right across the border. Most of the participants were from the U.S. They were from widespread areas of the U.S.. I was from Boston at the time. Those in attendance included leaders from a broad range of the left in the U.S.. This was not isolated in any sense.

    It was a U.S. meeting. The reason for it being out of the country is because we could not have some guests in attendance because the U.S. government would not give them visas.

    Les

  • zingzing

    still. i already said there are pockets of stupidity. anyone who calls hollywood their enemy is not exactly mainstream american left wing. as silly as it is, hollywood is one of our most… hrm, what’s the word i’m looking for?… vocal… somethings. hollywood is generally on our side, so if someone is claiming it’s not… it’s not a mainstream view they’re espousing.

    certainly, jewish people have a large amount of influence in hollywood, and in new york’s broadway, and everywhere. it’s not a good or bad thing. they’re americans like the rest of us.

    but decrying jewish influence in hollywood is not a mainstream left wing view.

    and what do hispanic labor unions really have to do with hollywood? i’m sure they are employed there, like they are everywhere. but calling out hollywood is kind of ridiculous.

    still, what that guy said is reprehensible. and he should have been called out on it. and from what you said, he was. was the guy who called him out shouted down?

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, I’ve been English all my life and have never heard, in conversation or in the media, the phrases “jewing down prices”, “jewish pianos (cash registers), “rag-sheenies”.

    Please try and break the habits of a lifetime and find out what the fuck you’re talking about before writing such total fucking crap.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Chris,

    Stop being a provincial Englishman and learn something for a change! These terms are all from the United States of America. Maybe you English just use Sheenie instead, but this is all part of the English language – even if it is not spoken in the English provinces in Spain or the Island of Wight.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, your exact words about those phrases were “all part and parcel of the culture of England and the United States”. I can’t speak for the USA, but none of those phrases are in common or even relatively uncommon use in the UK, so your statement is still total and utter bullshit.

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    Ruvy, you’re *way* out of line. As a factual matter, I’ve lived in the U.S. all my life, and have only ever encountered the first term, and only in (old) print.

    In any case, even if you weren’t completely wrong as a factual matter, your broad characterizations and overgeneralizations are out of control. Rein it in, dude.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    My friend owns his own whiskey still. And let me tell you: Hebrew some good malt liquor.

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    Sheenie Easton used to be big back in the 80’s. now, not so much.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Alvy Singer: You know, I was having lunch with some guys from NBC, so I said … uh, “Did you eat yet or what?” and Tom Christie said, “No, didchoo?” Not, did you, didchoo eat? Jew? No, not did you eat, but Jew eat? Jew. You get it? Jew eat?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    I like orange juice but sometimes when I have strep throat I can’t have it because it’s too Hassidic.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Dear God

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Time to take up for Ruvy –

    I have heard at least the first two terms you mentioned…and in the days when I was a racist teenager, I used them, too.

    And quite a few times I’ve seen or heard complaints about Jewish influence in Hollywood or in Congress…the latter particularly in forums.

    And when it comes to Hollywood, anti-Semitism is exactly why I no longer watch Mel Gibson movies – not just what he said when he was drunk, but what he had his actors say in Aramaic in the movie. He’s a hard-line Catholic and his drunken tirade was a plain indication of what he tries to keep quiet.

    And then there was the black actor on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ who was fired for making anti-Semitic remarks.

    So the rest of you haven’t heard these specific terms used much – absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Such prejudice doesn’t go away in one generation or even in ten generations. It’s there, and the best we can do is expose it whenever it – like any other racism – raises its evil head.

    So though I will oppose Ruvy on many of his political viewpoints, I will NEVER castigate him for a paranoiac outlook…because Israel’s national paranoia is what kept them alive in 1967 and 1973.

  • Clavos

    Those three expressions were in wide use in NYC at least as recently as the sixties. I knew people (mostly Irish, ironically) who used them routinely in that area.

    Haven’t visited much lately, but I’ll bet that they’re still common in some neighborhoods.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Ruvy, I’ve been English for 42 years, have been an expat in the United States for one-sixth of that time and like Chris, have never heard any of the expressions you listed.

    Doubtless there are still a few knuckledraggers who use them, but they’ve been obsolete in civilized circles for decades – which hardly makes them part and parcel of the culture, as you claim.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Maybe he’s trying to re-introduce them Doc? after all a persecution complex is a persecution complex!

  • STM

    Ruve … we do throw peanuts at our jewish mate when we go to the rugby. But only because he insists on turning his back on his adopted land and supporting the philistine country of his birth, South Africa, whenever they play Australia.

    His wife rang me up and asked if we could make sure they’re kosher.

    In OZ, kosher has fallen into common use as a term to describe an honest thing or action.

    As in, “Is this kosher?”, or “He’s not kosher”.

    So there you go Ruve … it’s not the same everywhere. We’re not all piling sh.t on you 24/7

  • zingzing

    i’ve heard the first, but not the other two. and i grew up in the south. i lived in seattle for a while, but now i live in ruvy’s old borough of brooklyn.

    so, ruvy… where in brooklyn did you used to live? i’m in williamsburg, right next to the j/m/z. it’s on s 4th or so and broadway. go further south, i believe, and you’re in a heavy hasidic neighborhood.

    my direction is heavily puerto rican/cheapster hipster, and it’s… awful and awesome all at once. the jewish section looks very, very, very nice. very safe and brownstone fuckin’ sweet. i’m quite envious. i took a wrong turn one night and wandered around there one night and wished and wished and wished.

    so where did you live?

  • Clavos

    they’ve been obsolete in civilized circles for decades

    That explains their continued use in NYC…

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Indeed

  • zingzing

    hey fuck you’s.

    nyc bites your little miami and ohio asses and spits them out on the pavement and stomps them until they grow tired of the fun!

  • zingzing

    i miss seattle

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    that’s nice dear, wear a sweater…

  • Clavos

    hey zing,

    Nyc kicks seattle’s ass a thousand miles out into thew pacific and then moves down to do the same to portland.

    miami comes up, pisses all over all of them, mugs them all, and comes back to strut her stuff on SoBe

    coño chico no jodes

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Clavos, we’re going to have to have a talk about those fantasies of yours…

  • zingzing

    seriously, clavos, jet… y’all just wanna live in the big shitty, don’t ya?

    …ok…

    really, seriously.

    miami… sounds nice. probably not all it’s cracked up to be. i actually mistyped “cracked” as “cracker…” really. no joke. really.

    ahem. columbus. ohio. dude. it’s in ohio. you don’t know what water is. or gay people. you’re in ohio and you’re gay. i’m only saying. (and i’m drunk, or else i wouldn’t say it.) come to new york city. you can be anything you want to be. greatest place on earth. get the fuck out of middle america. they’re assholes.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Columbus is the capital of ohio and I live in the middle of the business district. Ohio State has one of the largest Campuses (if not the largest) of higher learning in the world.

    I’m not exactly in the boonies here.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I go away for 40 winks and a bit of beauty sleep and this happens. Phil, you came on big and strong – and then your own merry Krewe came to prove you wrong and me right. Bless their hearts. They’re a great bunch of guys.

    kol hakovód – all honor – to Glenn – who was intelligent enough to cotton on to what I said, to back me up, and use painful self-revelatory statements to prove me right. Ya didn hafta – thanks!

    My goal – aside from annoying the hell out of you all – is to enlighten, and NOT to spread anger and hate. But often, truth, when spoken, rouses anger and resentment in those who find that truth inconvenient.

    Now let’s clarify all this for you all, so you understand it clearly.

    Racism and Jew-hatred are endemic to western “civilized” culture. I’ve cited my proofs from your history and three terms which I now discover are American in origin and usage. When two Englishmen say the same thing about them, it’s time to pay attention. So, logic dictates to me, since American culture is an offshoot of English culture, that Englishmen have their own equivalents – equivalents that I am privileged not to have had to hear.

    The Geordie who lives in this village and helped found it is probably not eager to discuss these nasties that he got away from by coming here. My neighbor from Johannesburg is probably not eager to discuss their equivalents in Afrikaans. My other neighbor who hails originally from Dublin probably would exhibit similar relutance regarding the Emerald Isle, and my friends from Oz are the same, I expect. So, for the time being, my ignorance of them shall remain.

    The bottom line – and even Lisa Warren agrees with this – is that a healthy dose of paranoia is a survival skill for Jews, particularly Jews overseas, like Lisa.

    As to zing’s learned analysis of “The Merchant From Venice”: it’s a pleasure to read something from you written that has the ring of real knowledge rather than the clamor of mere opinion. But I also took English Lit, and in the predominantly Jewish public schools I attended, the anti-Jewish themes in this play were gone over in detail. The greatest writer in the English language was not going to go undefended in the halls of academe. I learned all that you wrote.

    From the point of view of literary analysis, it is all true. But the bottom line was that while Shakespeare evidently had a more catholic education than much of his audience, he was writing to please the prejudices and biases of that audience. Jews had been expelled from England in 1290 and were still very rare there in the late 1500’s and early 1600’s. They were hated in England, and he very likely shared in that hatred.

    From the point of view of the 21st century, that may seem like condemnation, but from the point of view of the 16th century, it is a mere statement that Shakespeare was able to reflect his audience’s pleasure because he was like that audience.

    And, again, it must be emphasised that this is how he made his living. Plays that were dogs cost him the silver pence and shillings he needed to go to the greengrocer, chemist, butcher, shoemaker, and to pay his taxes, not to mention paying the actors who were in his plays.

    Now, gentlemen, when you have awakened, would you care to consider my observations in comment #37, observations relevant to this article?

  • Clavos

    zing,

    miami misn’t even american anymore. we latinos ran the crackers off years ago. all the power AND all the bread speaks spanish these days.

    talk about doing anything you want to.. down here we don’t have laws, we have suggestions.

    seriously

    miami is the ny of the 21st century…

  • STM

    Middle America voted for Obama

  • zingzing

    jet: “I’m not exactly in the boonies here.”

    nah, you aren’t. that’s true. but you ain’t in new york city, either.

    seriously, i don’t care. if you’re happy there, i applaud you. be happy where you are happy, i say.

    but… if that’s where what took place took place… then i’m… i’m not saying run away… i’m saying new york is a place where you can walk down the street doing anything damn thing you want to do and NOBODY GIVES ONE GOD DAMN WHAT IT IS. you can walk with your ass hanging out of your pants–no one gives a shit. you can break the law like you’ve never believed–i’ve smoked joints on the street, i’ve done keys in the subways, no one gives a shit. the cops jaywalk with you. you can park on islands in the middle of divided highways. this is heaven.

    ohio is inland. (but it did go blue, so i’m happy for that.) (but it’s not the free-for-all that nyc is.)

  • zingzing

    clavos: “miami is the ny of the 21st century…”

    bring it on, bitch! battle! and all the east coast in the middle, pushin an shovin…

    we got you by millions!

  • Clavos

    yeah, but we went for the quality, not the quantity

  • zingzing

    seriously, you guys started it.

    new york is actually more friendly than seattle. it’s got nothing on the south for friendliness, of course, but i have met a great many nice people here.

    it’s not the city it used to be, i tell you that. i was here 10 years ago and it was not that nice. my mother tells me of coming here many years before that and fearing for her life. and she’s a 5’10 finnish lady. don’t fuck with her. i tell you that. unless you’re my dad. and you create me. that’s the only time. once! and then you’re done! and we never speak of this again!

  • zingzing

    oh, clavos. i’d eat you before i’d eat me. wait, quantity?

  • Clavos

    both my parents were born in mnhattan, zing. scared everybody in the family so bad, no one else has even been born in the us since…

  • zingzing

    MANHATTAN IS A SHITHOLE!

    you got that?

    BROOKLYN! that’s where it’s at. and has been. for many years. manhattan is where you go to work. brooklyn is where the fun is at.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I doubt if anyone read past the first paragraph Ruby, give us the Reader’s Digest condensed version

  • zingzing

    and stm, no, middle america did not vote for obama. look at the map. it’s like a big pump in the middle of america voting for mccain. ew.

    what do you call middle america? i call it everything off the coasts and away from the north… eastern… portions…

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Zing I’ll never figure how you lost your job at tne NYC tourist bureau?

  • Clavos

    ok, that’s it zing.

    it’s 4am, and as the bard would say:

    good night, sweet prince…

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    zing,

    so, ruvy… where in brooklyn did you used to live? i’m in williamsburg, right next to the j/m/z.

    When I was a little boy over a half century ago I lived in Willimsburg on Bedford between S. 8th and S. 9th. At the time, the neighborhood was about 40% Puerto Rican, 45% Satmar Hassid, and the rest, everybody else. I was in the “everybody else” category. As a kid, I very rarely went north of Broadway.

    For those of you who are not aware of this, there are at least two “Broadways” in the City of New York. The one most of you are familiar with is in Manhattan. The street zing and I refer to had (perhaps still has) an elevated train running over it and across the Brooklyn Bridge (or was it the Manhattan Bridge?) to Manhattan. From where I used to live, you could see the golden dome of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank near Broadway in Brooklyn. You could smell the hops and yeast from a huge brewery that was on Cherry Street and was on the waters edge.

    Williamsburg was a dangerous place to grow up. While I resented it immensely at the time, my parents moved to a safer neighborhood, Midwood, where the same landlord owned a building. When they moved there in 1958, they paid $100 rent.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    “it’s not the city it used to be, i tell you that. i was here 10 years ago” probably had something to do with Giuliani leaving office.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    MANHATTAN IS A SHITHOLE!

    you got that?

    BROOKLYN! that’s where it’s at. and has been. for many years. manhattan is where you go to work. brooklyn is where the fun is at.

    Quoted for truth.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Not after the Dodgers wandered off…

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    “Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom s. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.”

    Nelson Algren

    ———————–
    “The good people sleep much better at night than the bad people. Of course, the bad people enjoy the waking hours much more.”

    Woody Allen

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Boy will Kenn be surprised tomorrow at the volume of messages in his inbox!!

  • zingzing

    ruvy, on shakespeare’s “merchant”: “Jews had been expelled from England in 1290 and were still very rare there in the late 1500’s and early 1600’s. They were hated in England, and he very likely shared in that hatred. ”

    yes, that is true. so if the jews were expelled from england and hated by the public, what reason did they have to hate them? huh? where would the learned man pick up this hate? where would he discard it?

    if you look into english history you see that a monarch around that time, i can’t remember his/her name, was treated by a jewish doctor. he was accused of trying to poison her and was brutally murdered/executed and this set off a big anti-jewish bunch of bullshit a few decades before shakespeare wrote merchant.

    he remembered that shit and wrote a play to make anti-semites feel stupid. that’s what merchant of venice is. it’s not anti-semitic. it’s DESIGNED to pick up on that bullshit then throw that shit away.

    it’s a play that takes on racism head-on and destroys it. it doesn’t have a hollywood ending. but it is one of the greatest plays ever, and if it was used against your people, that is not shakespeare’s fault.

    the play has been performed many times over the years, and being one of shakespeare’s longer plays, it has had lines taken out. i would bet my life that most of the lines taken out are shylock’s. his are the most extensive in their exposition and their complexity. and his are the ones that would change the meaning the most.

    if you and your teachers got anti-semitism out of that play, you were not giving shakespeare enough credit. he is not an anti-semite. that should be fucking obvious.

    how could an anti-semite write shylock’s monologue?

    have you ever read the play?

    if you have, you misunderstood it. how does it feel?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    There is more to life than baseball, Jet. There is even (Phil forgive me!) more to life than Blogcritics….

  • zingzing

    ok, and now for the ruvy is cool side!

    ruvy: “When I was a little boy over a half century ago I lived in Willimsburg on Bedford between S. 8th and S. 9th”

    bedford is the coolest area in brooklyn now! on the n 7th side… but whatever… you can’t get an apartment there for less than $1500 for a 1-bedroom!

    the south 8th side is rather cool as well. lots of parties and underground activities… like speakesasies and warehouse parties. it’s quite crazy.

    “As a kid, I very rarely went north of Broadway.”

    and so it remains. that’s bushwick over there. don’t wanna go there.

  • zingzing

    and just to make my point my point more clear:

    merchant of venice is a play ABOUT anti-semitism, it’s not an anti-semitic play.

    shakespeare is one of the most sympathetic men to ever walk the earth. he seemed to understand everything, that’s what makes him one of the most universally celebrated writers of the last 1,000 years. the man was a genius, and a friend of man, woman, christian, jew, lover, villain, prince, common man, king and beggar.

    he wrote for them all, and he wrote them all well.

  • zingzing

    “The street zing and I refer to had (perhaps still has) an elevated train running over it and across the Brooklyn Bridge (or was it the Manhattan Bridge?) to Manhattan.”

    it’s the williamsburg bridge.

    “From where I used to live, you could see the golden dome of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank near Broadway in Brooklyn.”

    that’s still there. that’s where i get off the train coming into brooklyn. it’s great. let’s me know i’m home. that and the bend in the train, when it rounds that corner.

    “You could smell the hops and yeast from a huge brewery that was on Cherry Street and was on the waters edge.”

    that’s not. brookyn brewery is down in red hook now, although they still have a crappy museum down on bedford. but maybe it was another brewery. that’s not there. sigh.

  • zingzing

    sigh…

    ruvy, if you’re ever in new york, as much as we disagree, and as much as i think you’re a rank asshole, i would be really glad to host you at a few bars in your old neighborhood. if you ever make it this way, let me know.

    tomorrow, or the next day, we’ll get in an argument where you or i will swear you off as the greatest idiot to ever walk the planet, but for tonight, brooklyn is our home, one way or another, and to that i’ll toast anyone, including you, you paranoid person of jewish descent.

    damn, that’s a lot of clauses. anyway, should you find yourself in the our land of sin, i will show you the way to our sinful places.

  • zingzing

    5 am.

    i’m all that’s around.

    i, then, shall go to bed.

    i am listening to the cure for the first time since i was in college.

    something is right.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    how could an anti-semite write shylock’s monologue?

    You can’t have it both ways, zing. You can’t praise Shakespeare to the skies and still reduce him to an unimaginative hack. A good writer can use his imagination and come up with credible lines even for a person he himself might despise. That is part of a writer’s craft. Shakespeare was more than merely a good writer. He was an outstanding writer. That is why his stuff still entertains 500 years after being penned.

    When I was in the Jewish Students Union in college, an Ali Mustafa was the featured speaker one week. He denounced Israel and railed against the imperialist Zionist pigs who made the Palestinian people suffer. He had the JDL kids in the audience boiling with anger. The Egyptian kids who attended were agreeing with every single point Ali Mustafa made. I was in charge of security at the meeting and had to make sure the JDL people and the Egyptian kids did not break into a fight. It was a near thing.

    That’s when the vice-president of the Jewish Students Union took off his keffiyeh and consigned Ali Mustafa to the dustbin. The Egyptian kids there were as mad as all hell when they realized they’d been had.

    Shakespeare was a better writer than the vice-president of the Jewish Students Union was an actor.

    if you and your teachers got anti-semitism out of that play, you were not giving shakespeare enough credit. he is not an anti-semite. that should be fucking obvious.

    Sober up and re-read what I wrote. Shakespeare was defended by the teachers who taught the play and the subject was given such close scrutiny because Jewish kids don’t like being insulted.

    if you look into english history you see that a monarch around that time, i can’t remember his/her name, was treated by a jewish doctor. he was accused of trying to poison her and was brutally murdered/executed and this set off a big anti-jewish bunch of bullshit a few decades before shakespeare wrote merchant.

    he remembered that shit and wrote a play to make anti-semites feel stupid. that’s what merchant of venice is. it’s not anti-semitic. it’s DESIGNED to pick up on that bullshit then throw that shit away.

    But the bottom line was that except for that doctor and his friends and family, England was pretty much judenrein – Jew-free. It had been since 1290. Yet Englishmen still hated Jews. That hatred might have been exacerbated by the doctor’s actions; but it was still there, nourished by parish priests every Easter and Christmas, along with a slew of constant preaching against Jews in the Catholic/Anglican Church every single Sunday.

    En fin western “civilization” is sluiced with Jew-hatred. “The Merchant of Venice” was a popular play in Shakespeare’s day. However we analyze today, whatever his motives were for writing it, the audience lapped up the Jew-hatred in it and its themes.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    tomorrow, or the next day, we’ll get in an argument where you or i will swear you off as the greatest idiot to ever walk the planet, but for tonight, brooklyn is our home, one way or another, and to that i’ll toast anyone, including you, you paranoid person of jewish descent.

    I doubt that I’ll ever make it back to my childhood home, zing, as much as might like to, and as much as I might like to take you up on the invite to go out drinking. But when you’re tempted to tear into my views again, do remember that you can take the boy out of Brooklyn, but you can never take Brooklyn out of the boy. That’s as true for me as it is for Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota.

    For me, there is something about the dappled sunlight coming through the trees as you walk to school, something about the sunlight lighting up the dust into beams as it flowed into my bedroom from the east in the morning that just does not go away.

    Israel is the home of my ancestors, where Isaac and Jacob walked, where David wrote poetry, where a bitter old king wrote Ecclesiastes. Israel is likely the place I will die.

    But Brooklyn is the place I was born, and my memories of it water the roots of my soul like water strengthens the roots of an elm tree.

  • Jordan “Boss” Richardson

    Aaaaaaaaaand scene.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Philip, Dread, Zing, Matt, etc.

    I hesitate to defend Ruvy, as he has been so awful to me, and he and i really disagree about everything EXCEPT this one basic fact: antisemitism.

    Here is the truth. It exists. Like racism. It exists. Here is these United States.

    Haven’t run into it? Good for you. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. See my story above. I have other tales. From my youth. From a couple of years ago when I was asked to give a talk at a church by my dental hygienist, who after knowing me for 15 years, finally got up the courage to ask me about Passover, and what kind of sacrifices I made (I bit my tongue from saying “You mean like living in the South without a Bloomingdale’s?” because I know the irony would be lost on her)… I found at the talk that I was the first and only Jew some of the people, who were pushing 80, had ever met.

    Here is the thing. Live in small town South and realize that prejudice dies hard. It exists. I live with it. It is just something that is. I dn’t let it inform my every day life. I just know it exists.

    When I first moved to a small (College town, yet) in Virginia, in the mid 80s the first question I was asked at a university party I went to was “What church do you go to?” When I said none, and synagogue, I got a blank stare. I was (as the Jewish wife of of a new professor) only the second practicing Jew, I believe, to come to the U. Years before in the 50s, they had had a small Jewish fraternity but it had not made it. FOR YEARS, the President of the U used to corner me at cocktail parties and ask me how we could get more Jewish students at the U “for diversity.” Finally I got fed up and said, “Look, what Jewish student in his right mind would come to a school like this. when he/she could go anywhere. Give it up,” I said.

    Anyway, my point is, that unless you are what the thing being prejudiced against is, ie., black, Jewish, Muslim, you won’t get it, hear it, feel it.

    NO one, is going to call a white person a nigger. Just because black people do it amongst themselves does not make it fine. Studies show that blacks when competing with whites for the same jobs with the same qualifications don’t get the job.

    Is racism getting better? Yes. Is antisemitism much better? Sure. Is it all gone? Nope. Will it ever be? Doubtful. People have prejudices.

    And the Jews have been, for reasons too numerous to mention, scapegoats, for more than 5000 years. I don’t expect it to change, whether we live here, in France, or in Israel. I just go on about my life, correct people when I can, and keep on trucking.

    But don’t, Philip, et al, think those phrases and others do not exist. Do not be naive. Just because you have not heard them, does not mean that they are not out there. I heard Jew me down just the other day.

  • Zedd

    Regardless of how you may view the candidates of this past election, calling the process a sham is irresponsible. The world watched with awe and delight as we chose our new leader without violence, to have it all culminate with McCain’s beautiful speech. This is a good thing and something for us to be proud of. Lets celebrate our successes and yes, criticize the things that need fixing. However, your assessment of this election diminishes your credibility and ability to assess matters in a meaningful way.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Who called it a sham, Zedd? It would help if you would attribute. There are too many posts to keep up…..:)

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Ahh, Kenn, the original article writer.
    Yes, I quite agree. Not a sham, at all.

  • STM

    Zing asks: “what do you call middle america?”

    Ordinary Americans is what I call middle America. It’s not a place.

  • bliffle

    It’s hard to believe that Ruvy has diverted this whole thread into the personal service of his own private paranoid hell.

    It’s amazing that so many readers took the bait.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Lisa, I don’t believe anybody said anti-semitism doesn’t exist, so your point is moot.

    bliffle – we just like to reject his increasingly deranged religobabble.

  • bliffle

    BC readers would better spend their time reading about the latest Bush $2trillion scam for banks:

    Bloomberg

  • Mark Eden

    Nah – BCers would rather ‘jerk each other off’ as ‘Moonraven’ used to say and imagine that they are part of some kind of 5th estate.

    Mark

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Mark, I’d certainly rather jerk you off than hang out with Ruvy. lol, gag.

    So if the press are the 4th estate and bloggers aren’t part of that, what are we, 4.5?

  • Mark Eden

    Chris – I’m working up an opinion piece on the topic. Based on my prior output, it should only take a couple of years.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy – Maraming salamat po (‘thank you very much’ (with increased respect))

    Lisa – Will prejudice ever go away? Not so long as there are physical and cultural differences.

    To all – Greetings on a gray, rainy morning in the most beautiful place east of Hawaii: Puget Sound. Frankly, Miami’s nice and NYC is comprised of any place north of the Mason-Dixon and east of the Mississippi River, but nothing in the continental forty-eight compares to here. (now, if we could only beat the Yankees….)

  • Clavos

    Thanks, Chris!

    shakespeare is one of the most sympathetic men to ever walk the earth. he seemed to understand everything, that’s what makes him one of the most universally celebrated writers of the last 1,000 years. the man was a genius, and a friend of man, woman, christian, jew, lover, villain, prince, common man, king and beggar.

    Quoted for Truth.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Actually, Christopher, I was responding to Philip (and others) who posted very dismissively about antisemitic language that, because they had never heard it, they said didn’t exist. So, Christopher, the issue is NOT moot. And your post is also dismissive.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I was one of those people, Lisa.

    I believe the conversation was about Ruvy’s claim in #65 that three specific phrases were in common use in the USA and here in the UK. I know for a fact that it is untrue with regard to my country and the majority of people seem to think they are practically unheard of in the USA too.

    I’m coming to believe that Ruvy really just wants to keep the focus of conversation on his own pet interests. Apart from his contributions here, I must say that the subject of Israel or his extremely difficult to take seriously perspective never come up. It seems increasingly like a very bad case of egomania.

    Sure, anti-semitism exists, along with a whole bunch of other prejudices, but so what? The West is never going to allow the destruction of Israel and hopefully our generally benign and civilising influence will eventually produce a resolution of the Palestinian homeland problem.

  • Les Slater

    “Sure, anti-semitism exists, along with a whole bunch of other prejudices, but so what?”

    It will increase DRAMATICALLY as the world economy sinks into a 30’s style depression.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    I agree with you on Ruvy. But, Christopher, really, there are lots of very derogatory phrases in quite common use right here in the old US of A (I don’t know about England; I only lived for one year in very civilized Oxford), and some also not-quite-so-subtle undercurrents,to.

    The PROBLEM with Ruvy is that he yells fire ALL the time so that no one can take anything he says seriously.

    Which is a shame. Because there is still real ugliness in the United States that might well affect policy, just not in the horrific end of days way he says it will.

    Oy vey (as my old Bubbe would have said)

  • Cindy D

    Bites tongue to avoid getting into a major wing-ding…

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    that may be true, Les. I hope not. But the worse things get, the more people need scapegoats. And we’ve been convenient, haven’t we? Let’s hope things have changed enough so that that won’t happen.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Les – HEY! You and I agree on something! Yes, if the world sinks into a depression (thanks to conservative economic policy (and B. Clinton shares the blame)), there WILL be an increase in tyranny and prejudice of all types.

    I must admit, though, there’s this urge to tell you I’m part of a vast conspiracy to take away all your guns, just to spin you up….

  • Les Slater

    “Yes, if the world sinks into a depression…”

    If?

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Les –

    We’re not there yet. Frankly, I don’t think we will wind up in a depression. But I could be wrong. We’ll see.

  • Les Slater

    Glenn,

    “I must admit, though, there’s this urge to tell you I’m part of a vast conspiracy to take away all your guns, just to spin you up….”

    I don’t have any guns, nor do I advise anyone to go out and get some.

    On another thread, bliffle points out, ‘The trouble is, they don’t know which direction to shoot.’

    Les

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    Lisa (#129) I never said anti-semitism didn’t exist; I don’t think anyone did. What I suggested was that Ruvy’s accusations were way off-base and over-the-top, and they were.

    Ruvy said, and I quote:

    [The Merchant of Venice], along with “jewing down prices”, “jewish pianos (cash registers), “rag-sheenies” and a lot more, are all part and parcel of the culture of England and the United States. They remain so. And no matter how much politcal correctness liberals puke onto these virtual pages, they will not disappear from the culture either.

    For something “part and parcel of the culture” of two nations, we can’t seem to find supporting evidence of that here at BC. Anti-semitism? Sure, I’ve seen evidence of it. I understand prejudice and how insidious it is. But Ruvy’s blanket accusations against two countries weren’t simple statements of the existence of anti-semitism, but claims of prevalance that are not borne out by the facts.

    Speaking only for myself, I found Ruvy’s statements deeply insulting, but not yours. The difference is that you suggested anti-semitism is real and bad and unlikely to ever disappear, while Ruvy suggested it is “part and parcel of the culture” of the U.S. and England, which further suggests that all of us Americans and English folks participate. Some have suggested Ruvy’s has a persecution complex. I don’t know about that, but I do think there’s a difference between always keeping something in mind and constantly bringing it up in public.

    I’m perfectly aware of certain prejudices that exist even here at BC among some commenters against me. I’m not allowed to forget. (And no, I’m not suggesting equivlance, but then I’ve been singled out and insulted specifically by other BC commenters for this cause, while I don’t know whether Ruvy has ever been singled out just for being Jewish vs his rhetoric about the same) But how one responds to such things can make the difference between a reputation as a hysterical paranoid and as a sensible person.

    Anti-semitism is real, but is it part and parcel of the culture of BC? Online, one can barely tell if you’re a dog, let alone Jewish or black or whatever else. One only knows about you what you say about yourself, and only then to the degree and in the way in which you say it.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Bliffle at comment #134:

    It’s hard to believe that Ruvy has diverted this whole thread into the personal service of his own private paranoid hell. It’s amazing that so many readers took the bait.

    I guess nobody on this list bothered to read comment #99 (except Glenn Contrarian) – particularly the last line or so of it. I suggested that you all take a look at comment #37. None of you did. None of you have. Had you, you would not be discussing this at all. Instead you would be arguing over the $2 billion Bliffle suggested as the latest piece of cake for banks.

    Phil, I never called any writer on this list a Jew-hater in this comment thread, nor have I attempted to imply that such Jew-hatred exists at BC. What are you screaming about? That I accused BC of being a nest of Jew-hatred? It would be a damned hard case to prove, what with Dawn Olsen, Mark Schannon, Eric Berlin and others around here who would slap down any Jew-hater with no hesitation. Now, if your beef is that I attacked the magazine, cite what I have written here to prove it. But before you lock and load, read carefully the paragraphs below – from comment #99 – the one you obviously did not read at all.

    Now let’s clarify all this for you all, so you understand it clearly.

    Racism and Jew-hatred are endemic to western “civilized” culture. I’ve cited my proofs from your history and three terms which I now discover are American in origin and usage. When two Englishmen say the same thing about them, it’s time to pay attention. So, logic dictates to me, since American culture is an offshoot of English culture, that Englishmen have their own equivalents – equivalents that I am privileged not to have had to hear.

    The Geordie who lives in this village and helped found it is probably not eager to discuss these nasties that he got away from by coming here. My neighbor from Johannesburg is probably not eager to discuss their equivalents in Afrikaans. My other neighbor who hails originally from Dublin probably would exhibit similar relutance regarding the Emerald Isle, and my friends from Oz are the same, I expect. So, for the time being, my ignorance of them shall remain.

    The bottom line – and even Lisa Warren agrees with this – is that a healthy dose of paranoia is a survival skill for Jews, particularly Jews overseas, like Lisa.

    That I should have to repeat this over 50 comments later for you, Phil, indicates that you do not read what is in the comment thread – but rather that you hold on to what you dislike and refuse to look further. I really have little else to say on the matter.

  • zingzing

    “You can’t have it both ways, zing. You can’t praise Shakespeare to the skies and still reduce him to an unimaginative hack.”

    i’m not!

    “A good writer can use his imagination and come up with credible lines even for a person he himself might despise. That is part of a writer’s craft. Shakespeare was more than merely a good writer. He was an outstanding writer. That is why his stuff still entertains 500 years after being penned.”

    so are you saying shylock’s monologue is merely the work of a hack, an entertainer, the craft? no. it’s the work of a man trying to make a damn point. period. and that’s not all he wrote leading up to that. that shit was well called for. EVERYONE, by that point, is on his side. his patience has been tried so much, and he’s shit upon so many times, and he’s tried to come to terms, but he can’t, and he’s so angry, that this is what comes out, whether he can help it or not. 000

    it’s a powerful, impassioned speech. it’s one of the most famous speeches in literature, and certainly the most famous speech on being jewish in a non-jewish society during the past 500 years. this man was on your side! he represented all that was good about a multi-cultural society at the time. he was a christian, that much can be gathered easily, but he wasn’t an awful christian.

    “The Egyptian kids there were as mad as all hell when they realized they’d been had.”

    that’s not the point though. a lot of people in shakespeare’s time weren’t jew-hating assholes. and a lot of people could see his point. racism isn’t natural. it’s not something you feel, it’s something you learn. and it’s easy to un-learn, or to forget. i’ve never been a racist, but i’d bet that a lot of people alive today have learned to forget their racism. it’s nothing but a feeble crutch you hold yourself up on, but that gets you nowhere.

    “Jewish kids don’t like being insulted”

    get over it. it’s history. and it’s a story that, ultimately, was meant to help. shakespeare was too subtle. but he wasn’t a politician, and he was too popular.

    “…except for that doctor and his friends and family, England was pretty much judenrein – Jew-free. It had been since 1290. Yet Englishmen still hated Jews.”

    exactly. that’s what i said. they had not seen a jew in several hundred years… that’s why the play is set in venice. so why would the englishman hate the jew? because he had known one? for fun? no. he hated him because of stories and stereotypes. so what did shakespeare do? he wrote a story that toyed with those stereotypes, then broke them down.

    “That hatred might have been exacerbated by the doctor’s actions; but it was still there, nourished by parish priests every Easter and Christmas, along with a slew of constant preaching against Jews in the Catholic/Anglican Church every single Sunday.”

    and what do you think shakespeare was fighting against? ignorance? yeah, he was. and where did that ignorance come from? yep, the church. you know what the church also decried? that’s right, the playhouses. shakespeare was the enemy of the church. their teachings were not in his world, no matter how much of a christian he was.

    “However we analyze today, whatever his motives were for writing it, the audience lapped up the Jew-hatred in it and its themes.”

    true. but those who couldn’t learn or didn’t need to needed to be entertained as well. as crass as that sounds, it ends up that they were made the fool of. if you can’t see that merchant is a pro-semite (if that’s a term these days) play, then you’re just being made fun of. and you deserve it.

    shylock is the villain that turns good, because the society around him is more villainous. he wasn’t the bad guy in the beginning, but the audience doesn’t know that.

    it’s a damn complex play. it’s one of the best shakespeares, top 10 at least.

    ruvy, you should read it again. and give shakespeare the benefit of the doubt. i guarantee that he’s on your side.

    “For me, there is something about the dappled sunlight coming through the trees as you walk to school, something about the sunlight lighting up the dust into beams as it flowed into my bedroom from the east in the morning that just does not go away.

Israel is the home of my ancestors, where Isaac and Jacob walked, where David wrote poetry, where a bitter old king wrote Ecclesiastes. Israel is likely the place I will die.

 But Brooklyn is the place I was born, and my memories of it water the roots of my soul like water strengthens the roots of an elm tree.”

    oh, shut up. i’m getting all teary-eyed for brooklyn. the mornings are nice, aren’t they? sigh…

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Les, bliffle –

    ‘they don’t know which direction to shoot.’

    AMEN!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Zing,

    Awright already! You made your point. Are you sure you’re not one of those naggy guys who sells magazines? You’re more of a nag than I am. That’s an accomplishment that can stand.

  • zingzing

    ha! you think you’re getting last word? NEVER!

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Philip

    Ruvy’s comments are almost always over the top. In that case, however, I still think he was talking about language and culture in general and I think, for once, he explains himself well in #153. He wasn’t talking about BC. He was talking about culture itself. And on that, I am afraid (wish I didn’t) I have to agree. And unless one is the thing that is prejudiced again, one doesn’t run up against it.

    Honest. Just a couple of months ago, while I was trying to sell a house, someone suggested I use “Jewish lightning.” Anyone else know what that is? Arson. Yup. I knew right off what she meant and I was shocked. Yup. Things like that can still shock me, little Pollyanna that I am.

    Anyway, I think we can rest this now. I hope we can anyway.

    I CERTAINLY don’t find BC antisemitic or racist, except for a couple of people who are just generally off the wall… and a couple of people who refuse to acknowledge that America (and the world) just hasn’t come as far as we all wish it had, despit our electing our first half-black President:)