Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Gabriel Schivone Affair

Update: 8/15. I'm removing this post, and I will replace it in the next few days with another, hopefully, better one. In the meantime, I want to apologize publicly for writing a post about a person without making the minimal effort to contact him for a response, and instead, relying on responses he had made in other venues. This was doubly insensitive when discussing sensitive matters like ethnic identity.

9 comments:

60b2d66e-bf56-11e0-a04f-000bcdcb2996 said...

I'm more irritated at the implication that he thought that being Jewish would help his 'cred' among the pro-Palestinian/pro-peace/whatever camp, or deflect charges that what they say couldn't -possibly- sound and/or be considered bigoted. It may be rare like you've, but I've found fairly noxious comments from Weiss on his blog, as well as other bigotry it contains. I'm not calling him an antisemite or a 'self-hating Jew', but if he allows for such comments on his anti-Zionist blog (which he partially maintains 'because our Jewish background'), I think it's fair to call him out on that.

60b2d66e-bf56-11e0-a04f-000bcdcb2996 said...

I'm more irritated at the implication that he thought that being Jewish would help his 'cred' among the pro-Palestinian/pro-peace/whatever camp, or deflect charges that what they say couldn't -possibly- sound and/or be considered bigoted. It may be rare like you've, but I've found fairly noxious comments from Weiss on his blog, as well as other bigotry it contains. I'm not calling him an antisemite or a 'self-hating Jew', but if he allows for such comments on his anti-Zionist blog (which he partially maintains 'because our Jewish background'), I think it's fair to call him out on that.

Levi9909 said...

This calls up the whole "who is a Jew" question. It is very rare to see Jewishness defined in these discussions. The Law of Return refers to anyone with a Jewish grandparent and it might define Jewish as having a Jewish mother but it doesn't define Jewish as in Jewish mother.

Similarly, this post doesn't define Jewish. It says that there is one definition of Jews that includes anyone in a household with a Jew. But how does it define the one Jew in the household in such a way to exclude the others in the house until it is decided that their on-going proximity to a Jew makes them Jewish?

As it happens it is almost impossible to define Jewish objectively but we could accept self-identification. That would not simply render Israel's professed Jewishness wrong, it would render it almost meaningless.

Jerry Haber said...

Levi, very good point. People do debate what is Jewish, but never in the contexts of group membership. We may indeed be moving to the situation you describe where Jewishness becomes more interesting an issue than being a Jew.

We live in a time where identities are assumed and discarded depending on our feelings at the moment. And who doesn't have multiple identities?

I have a confession to make. I have been an incurable Anglophile since I was young. I became a G and S addict at age 8, then went to on to British literature, culture, etc.

I am a Brit wannabe. My kids used to say, "What's with the accent?"I often feel British, even more British than many Brits (Don't you dare diss the royal family). It hurts me to see what is happening to our people during the riots.

So why can't I be British? I mean, is there some law that says I can't have a British identity, that I have to go through some formal process? Even if I am not recognized the bureaucrats, I am a faithful son of Albion.

Which reminds me -- must we accept all those immigrants in our green and pleasant land? Really!

Cheers
Jerry

Jerry Haber said...

60b, etc.

Wow, how does your family pronounce your name?

We all have a problem regulating the comments. If there is a comment you think crosses the line, you can call him out on that.

Unfortunately, what constitutes anti-Semitism is also debatable. And sometimes people are unintended anti-Semites because they are lazy anti-Zionists. But you can call them out on that one. I did yesterday on Phil's blog.

And a word about Phil. He is not just a Jew, he is a very Jewish Jew, and a very important and influential Jew. God bless him, Adam, and the Mondoweiss blog, which is accepting donations.

Benjamin said...

I'm not quite sure why my name comes up as a incomphrehensible string of letters and numbers; I apologize for whatever headaches I've caused. On a ironic note, many people mispronounce several of my names; it appears that the practice has followed me to the internet.

I've become somewhat disillusioned about 'calling people out' in regards to their statements or beliefs on Israel. In real life and on the internet, I've attempted to point out rather noxious statements to people; I generally receive no response on the matter. Still, I suppose I can try regarding Weiss.

I'm not going to pretend to have a very good knowledge base for determining who is a good Jew or not; I'm fairly positive you have more experience and knowledge on the matter then I. However, I think there are legitimate questions regarding Weiss. He seems to support bombarding Israel via rockets [1], and his occasional Jew-counting [2] isn't something I particularly feel comfortable with. I also find his viewpoints on the phrase 'Get the hell out of Palestine' to be rather... odd as well [3].

As an addendum, I should perhaps point out the specific contributors, and those whose articles he and his contributors cite that I have problems with. Alan Sabrosky, who believes that most American Jews are traitors [4], Ben White, who 'understands why people are anti-semitic' [5], and Counterpunch, which has run articles by Israel Shamir, whose views I find loathsome and odious, and have problems not using profanity to describe [6].

PS I apologize for my verbose and overly long post; I understand if you don't run it.

[1] http://mondoweiss.net/2011/04/lawyer-at-counterpunch-validates-palestinian-right-of-armed-resistance-to-occupation.html

[2] http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/content/where-jewish-money-democratic-politics

[3] http://mondoweiss.net/2010/06/in-helen-thomas-case-the-world-sees-a-taboo-being-enforced.html

[4] http://mondoweiss.net/2009/07/not-quite-an-odyssey-phil-asked-me-to-consider-writing-something-about-how-i-came-to-the-middle-east-conundrum-we-face.html

[5] http://www.counterpunch.org/white0617.html

[6] http://www.counterpunch.org/shamir02012011.html

Benjamin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rwitty said...

When you say Phil Weiss is "not just a Jew, he is a very Jewish Jew, and a very important and influential Jew. God bless him, Adam, and the Mondoweiss blog, which is accepting donations."

what exactly are you referring to?

His religious study, his prayer, his ethical concerns, his relationship with family?

Which of those?

LeaNder said...

I wish, I knew what this article was about. Hmmm? I have an idea, how I can find out.

But as far as the comment section goes, may I alert readers to Richard Witty's very important contribution to the Mondo Award clarifying once and for all Who is a Jew. Who is not a Jew racially:

I will and do “teach my children”, both racially through mother’s genes and culturally through pragmatic compassion, prayer and good deeds.

***********************************

"(Don't you dare diss the royal family)."

I'll keep that in mind, although I wish for you, your case isn't as severe as my English grocer's. The lady cried for almost an hour with some of the people slowly filling the shop joining into her deep mourning.

She apparently was unable to do anything else. The reason? Princess Ann's horse had to be shot after having broken it's leg. It took me quite to discover the SUN headline on the counter, or whatever paper it was, to realize that not a close friend or relative had died but in fact Princess' Ann's horse. ;)