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Ignoring the Smell

boycott-israel

Rarely is a conflict been as morally clear as the current Gaza campaign.

The history is clear and indisputable. Israel left Gaza, painfully uprooting committed settlers.  Thriving greenhouses were left for the Palestinians to have a productive enterprise.  The new owners preferred the destruction of millions of dollars of productive greenhouses to taking even a gift from the Jews.

In no time the Gaza Palestinians through their elected representatives, Hamas, began its attack launching thousands of missiles at civilian populations, and violating every Geneva convention by hiding arms and missiles near schools, hospitals, and civilian centers.

Jimmy Carter certified the election of Hamas and George Soros encouraged us to have relations with them.

The history is clear, yet Europe erupts in violent anti-Israel protests that only demonstrates that their holy rotten core still survived the holocaust.  If there was a shred of dignity left on the continent these attacks would have been crushed by police immediately.

The UN still disproportionately cites Israel for human rights violations. The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to divest themselves of Israel as have several universities.  Biased coverage from much of the media is equally culpable.

It is a tearful comedy to watch the inmates of the liberal asylum side with the most illiberal entity on earth- one with no tolerance for gays or women’s rights or any semblance of religious freedom, free press, due process  or political choice.

To all of you who have boycotted Israel, or created your intellectually empty, morally corrupt and sinister cesspool of moral equivalence, you are as complicit in the current war on the Jews as you were when you ignored the screams from the trains headed to the death camps in Europe, and when you ignored the smell from the smokestacks within your site.

You have lent credibility and credence to those who are attacking synagogues and Jews in Paris and New York. You have no shame or credibility in this conflict.

I hope Netanyahu ignores these critics, completes his mission, with no Hamas weapons remianing , all tunnels destroyed , and Hamas completely destroyed.

There is no compromise or peace with such an evil.

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The New Orthodox

The Orthodox Surge by David Brooks at the New York Times

Excerpt:

Those of us in secular America live in a culture that takes the supremacy of individual autonomy as a given. Life is a journey. You choose your own path. You can live in the city or the suburbs, be a Wiccan or a biker.

For the people who shop at Pomegranate, the collective covenant with God is the primary reality and obedience to the laws is the primary obligation. They go shopping like the rest of us, but their shopping is minutely governed by an external moral order.

The laws, in this view, make for a decent society. They give structure to everyday life. They infuse everyday acts with spiritual significance. They build community. They regulate desires. They moderate religious zeal, making religion an everyday practical reality.

All of us navigate certain tensions, between community and mobility, autonomy and moral order. Mainstream Americans have gravitated toward one set of solutions. The families stuffing their groceries into their Honda Odyssey minivans in the Pomegranate parking lot represent a challenging counterculture. Mostly, I notice how incredibly self-confident they are. Once dismissed as relics, they now feel that they are the future.

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Distribution of World’s Jews

Interesting data on where the Jews in the world are.

World Jewish Population

The worldwide Jewish population is 13.3 million Jews.  Jewish population growth worldwide is close to zero percent. From 2000 to 2001 it rose 0.3%, compared to worldwide population growth of 1.4%.

In 2001, 8.3 million Jews lived in the Diaspora and 4.9 million lived in Israel. Just about half of the world’s Jews reside in the Americas, with about 46 percent in North America.   (top)

Approximately 37% of worldwide Jewry lives in Israel. Israel’s Jewish population rose by 1.6% the past year, while the Diaspora population dropped by 0.5%.

Europe, including the Asian territories of the Russian Republic and Turkey, accounts for about 12 percent of the total. Fewer than 2 percent of the world’s Jews live in Africa and Oceania.

Metropolitan Tel Aviv, with 2.5 million Jews, is the world’s largest Jewish city. It is followed by New York, with 1.9 million, Haifa 655,000, Los Angeles 621,000, Jerusalem 570,000, and southeast Florida 514,000.

In 1939, there were 17 million Jews in the world, and by 1945 only 11 million.  While in the 13 years following the Holocaust the Jewish population grew by one million, it took another 38 years for it to grow another million. These sobering figures reflect how severely Jewish population growth has slowed down over the past 40 years.  Even a fertility increase of 0.4% will add millions of Jews over the next 50 years. But this is not happening right now.

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The New American Jew

Daniel Greenfield writes in his blog Sultan Knish, The Jewish and Post-Jewish Vote, 10/25/12

Excerpts:

In 1892, Jews came to the United States as cheap labor. In 1946 they came with the remnants of communities that they were determined to rebuild. While the second wave fled to the suburbs, they stuck it out in the cities building up integrated communities that remained true to their culture and their religion. These communities were primarily concerned with the education of their children.

This is not true of the entire third wave, just as not everything that I have said is true of the entire second wave. But largely the second wave operated on a progressive impulse, while the third wave operated on a traditionalist impulse. The second wave was concerned with leaving behind the old ways, while the third wave tried to preserve them, reconstructing the ashes of the thriving Jewish communities of Russia, Poland, Syria, Egypt and Iran in the United States.

The second wave adapted, and lost their identity. The third wave adapted and kept their identity. The second wave had few children and even fewer Jewish children. The third wave had a great many children and viewed having children as a cultural and religious duty. And through the force of simple demographics, theirs is the future. 74 percent of Jewish children in New York are Orthodox. Ten years from now, the New York Jewish vote will be as reliably Republican as it was once Democrat.

The third wave is innately conservative. Orthodox Jews from Eastern Europe and Syria are as reliably conservative, as second wave Jewish college educated suburbanites were liberal, and Russian refugees from Communism are as conservative as Cubans refugees from Communism. All three groups have an instinctive distaste and distrust for the rhetoric of progressivism. They have lost too much not to be traditionalists. Their identity is all that they have.

Second wave liberal Jews is what most people think of when they think of American Jews, but the relevance and demographic sway of that group is dimming. The new American Jew can be found in the working class sections of New York and he is an Orthodox small businessman poring over boxes of t-shirts or toasters in a hole in the wall in Brooklyn, he is a Syrian Jew clearing land on a new lot and an Israeli getting another moving company off the ground and a Russian immigrant driving a cab.

This is the new face of the American Jew and it will be the definitive one for some time to come. The Post-Jewish vote of the Liberal Post-American Post-Jew is on the way out and the Jewish vote is already coming into play in Brooklyn where Republicans are beginning to win Jewish districts.

The new American Jew is not overly committed to political parties, but to values. He believes that small business should be able to operate without government interference, he believes that families raise children, not governments, and he distrusts government in general. The messianic impulse of progressivism holds little appeal for him. He does not feel guilt over race relations and is not moved by appeals to abortion. He has no use for gay marriage and while, like a lot of working class people, he feels some sympathy for unions, he does not like public sector unions who seem to have it made.

Unlike his liberal second wave predecessors, he believes in G-d, not as some abstract inspiration, but as an actual reality. Values to him are objective, right and wrong is black and white, and family is all that matters. Government to him exists to crack down on criminals and on foreign invaders, he does believe that the country can kill its way to a solution and dismisses politicians who think it can’t.

He is a man or woman of common sense and what his common sense tells him is to distrust glibness and to trust results. He doesn’t want to lower the oceans or worship at the feet of a political messiah. He isn’t looking for a religion to replace his religion, he doesn’t want a savior, he wants a future for his family. He is the new American Jew and his vote, the vote of the third wave is the vote of the Jewish future.

HKO

While Greenfield has distinct bias it is an illuminating analysis.  Perhaps the reason that the second wave of Jewish immigrants became so much more liberal than the current third wave is simply the time period in which it occurred.  The second wave left a Europe struggling with classically liberal values to come to a country which embraced them.  The new immigrants are leaving countries where social liberals (as distinct from classical liberals) have gone amuck.  They are more likely to associate progressive policies with the oppression they experienced.

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The Second Wave of Jewish Immigrants

Daniel Greenfield writes in his blog Sultan Knish, The Jewish and Post-Jewish Vote, 10/25/12

Excerpts:

American Jews can be broken down roughly into the products of three periods of immigration.

This second wave turned rigidly Democratic under the rough tutelage of the urban political machine and the gentler tutelage of an educational system meant to turn Jewish, Irish and Italian immigrants into proper Americans– and to the people running the melting pot machine, Americanism meant Liberalism. They didn’t always succeed, but they succeeded well enough to build an immigrant electorate for the Democratic Party.

The Liberal Jew was a product of that melting pot which stripped him of his cultural identity and his religion, leaving behind a hole that he filled with the messianism of liberal politics. The graduates of the melting pot were economically successful and well educated, but they had lost their sense of self. Looking for that sense of self, they became devout attendees of progressive politics, filling the hole with bitter greenie humor that poked fun at everything, especially themselves.

American Jewish identity became liberal identity, and the massive cultural hole was filled with humor which has found its natural end in the degraded vaudeville of Woody Allen and Larry David or the bitter frustrations of a Philip Roth. The trinity of FDR, JFK and Obama became their faith and their identity became a series of in-jokes about eating Chinese food on Christmas. Like the Spanish Jewish Conversos, they had a secret identity but they no longer knew what the secret was.

This second wave of immigration would define American Jewish identity. It is the invariable focus of American Jewish literature and the PBS specials on the American Jewish journey that run before major Jewish holidays. It is also on the way out for the simple reason that such an identity is in no shape to be passed on to the next generation. The copying errors of cultural DNA in such bad shape mean that each generation ends up knowing less about who it is than the last one. And that means each generation is also less likely to be Jewish and more likely to be liberal.

The second wave’s DNA copying errors has produced a lot of abortion and gay rights activists, it hasn’t produced a lot of children. Like all cultural mistakes, Liberal Judaism is wiping itself out. It leaves behind a lot of jokes, some inventive pop products that defined 20th Century Americana and some Unitarians with Jewish roots who fast for Gaza and denounce Israel.

HKO

Many of my non Jewish friends are puzzled about the strong liberal tendency of Jews to support liberal candidates.  Greenfield offers this perspective,  though it is written from a strong conservative view.  The third wave which are the more current refugees from communist oppressive states tend to be more conservative and far more fertile.  For demographic reasons alone we may be witnessing a major transition in the Jewish voting patterns.