Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard memberfinnegan
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    05 May '15 20:19
    Originally posted by Seitse
    You [b]do know that I never read your posts, finnegay, right? And I am not
    the only one, grumpy old chum.

    I did twice, I admit, but once it was clear that you're a Jew hater and
    beyond bitter, why bother? It is a well known fact around here what your
    inclinations are.

    My reputation as a buffoon is well earned. So is yours as an antisemite. Funny
    thing is, you keep eating the bait. Again and again. That is the size of your
    bigotry.[/b]
    So you don't have the balls to defend your opinions.
  2. Zugzwang
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    05 May '15 21:05
    Originally posted by finnegan to Seitse
    Shocking to see such blatant racism and hate speech from someone claiming the Jewish faith.

    http://www.nkusa.org/activities/Demonstrations/20100830.cfm

    “We are required by the Almighty, as stated in His Torah, to express our gratitude and reciprocate for good bestowed upon us. Thus we must be forever grateful to the Arab world for hosting ...[text shortened]... do Your will wholeheartedly. Amen."

    For more information visit www.nkusa.org – info@nkusa.org
    The more that Seitse, a fanatical Zionist, rants against Arabs and Muslims, the more
    that Zionism's discredited as racist. Of course, many Americans here apparently share
    Seitse's hatred of Arabs and Muslims. And I doubt that most Americans here, who have
    been completely 'brainwashed' by pro-Israeli propaganda, could ever be open-minded
    enough to take an honest critical look at Israel's oppression of the Palestinians.

    "Shocking to see such blatant racism and hate speech from someone (Seitse) claiming the Jewish faith."
    --Finnegan

    It seems to me that it would be considered 'shocking' only for someone (as many
    Westerners lazily do) who has higher moral expectations of Jews than of non-Jews.
    I don't regard Jews, on average, as morally better or worse than non-Jews.
    And I don't regard Jews, on average, as more or less racist than non-Jews.

    Israeli citizens of Ethiopian Jewish heritage, who have long complained about racism
    in Israel, have recently clashed with Israeli police.

    http://www.theguardian.com/www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/04/ethiopian-israelis-clash-with-police-as-anti-racism-rally-turns-violent

    A video showed Israeli policemen beating up an IDF soldier of Ethiopian Jewish heritage.
    (White) Israeli Jewish politicians have attempted to deny that Israel's black-white racial
    tensions could be as bad as those in the United States.
  3. Standard memberSeitse
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    05 May '15 21:291 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    So you don't have the balls to defend your opinions.
    hahaha... talking about balls on an anonymous web forum! A chess one not
    the least!! HAHAHA 😵

    What? Are you going to punch this big Jew nose of mine now? Will you
    challenge me to a duel??? Will you show everybody how big Aryan balls
    you have compared to my inexistent ones?!?!

    Oh gosh, oh no! The neonazi thug is all over my face! HELP! HELP! :'(
  4. Standard memberfinnegan
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    05 May '15 21:31
    It seems to me that it would be considered 'shocking' only for someone (as many
    Westerners lazily do) who has higher moral expectations of Jews than of non-Jews.

    I am not sure how lazy it is to seek a level of consistency in those who appeal against Anti-Semitism. By what criterion do they seek the protection of world opinion if not a universal rejection of racism? On what grounds do they combine such appeals for the consideration of non Jews with the practice in Israel of racism, apartheid, an evident and well documented hatred of Arabs and of Islam, an evident alliance with American racists (seen in microcosm here in the alliance of Seitse with Fishface)? If Jews are not deeply impressed with the dangers of racism, then it would appear they are seeking a level of empathy from others to which they seem unable even to aspire in their own attitudes and behaviour towards others. So what is this saying to us? Is it that racism is an intrinsic part of human nature, something we cannot escape and must even embrace?

    Moral thinking is not lazy thinking and in this respect I appeal - by all means - to Judaism and the Jewish sources I reference on these forums over the heads of the zionists.
  5. Standard memberfinnegan
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    05 May '15 21:341 edit
    Originally posted by Seitse
    hahaha... talking about balls on an anonymous web forum! A chess one not
    the least!! HAHAHA 😵

    What? Are you going to punch this big Jew nose of mine now? Will you
    challenge me to a duel??? Will you show everybody how big Aryan balls
    you have compared to my inexistent ones?!?!

    Oh gosh, oh no! The neonazi thug is all over my face! HELP! HELP! :'(
    Not really. My proposal is to argue my case and await your response. Your inability to respond reflects on you and not on me.

    I note though that you apparently do read my posts after all. Or you did read that one.

    The idea that racism and hate speech are victimless and harmless is simply false. In so far as this is a public space, it is not one that you and your racist pals will be able to abuse without being answered.
  6. Zugzwang
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    05 May '15 21:541 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    It seems to me that it would be considered 'shocking' only for someone (as many
    Westerners lazily do) who has higher moral expectations of Jews than of non-Jews.

    I am not sure how lazy it is to seek a level of consistency in those who appeal against Anti-Semitism. By what criterion do they seek the protection of world opinion if not a uni ...[text shortened]... - to Judaism and the Jewish sources I reference on these forums over the heads of the zionists.
    I suppose that I should explain my parenthetical comment, which seems to have led
    you (Finnegan) into directions far from what I had intended.

    It seems to me that many Westerners like to act as though the Holocaust (effortlessly)
    morally ennobled all Jews (including those born afterward). I have heard Westerners
    say that it's impossible for any Jew to be racist because (other) Jews were victims of
    the Holocaust. I have Westerners claim that Jews, by default, must be morally superior
    to non-Jews, at least to non-Westerners who are neither Jewish nor Christian.

    I reject the lazy presumption that the Holocaust morally ennobled all Jews, including
    all Jews (the overwhelming majority today) who had no personal experience of it.
    Israel Shahak, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (and a Holocaust survivor)
    said in a lecture (I was there) that, out of the hundreds of Holocaust survivors he had
    personally known, the Holocaust experience did not make them any morally better or worse.
    In his view, the Holocaust experience did not make (perhaps with rare exceptions) a
    survivor any morally better or worse afterward. So Israel Shahak also rejected the
    thoughtless presumption that the Holocaust somehow morally ennobled all Jews.

    While the Jews were victims, usually of European Christian anti-Semitism, the
    Palestinians are 'the victims of victims'. to quote (as I recall) Edward Said.
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    05 May '15 22:08
    Originally posted by Seitse
    You [b]do know that I never read your posts, finnegay, right? And I am not
    the only one, grumpy old chum.

    I did twice, I admit, but once it was clear that you're a Jew hater and
    beyond bitter, why bother? It is a well known fact around here what your
    inclinations are.

    My reputation as a buffoon is well earned. So is yours as an antisemite. Funny
    thing is, you keep eating the bait. Again and again. That is the size of your
    bigotry.[/b]
    So is yours as an antisemite.

    I do not believe that Finnegan is an anti-Semite.

    Most of the members of the shul that I attend support the existence of the State of Israel (as do I); most of them (so far as I can tell thus far) have little regard for Netanyahu or Likud (as do I); and most of them (so far as I can tell) support the establishment of a sustainable Palestinian state (again, as do I). One of the women that I am privileged to be studying Talmud with is a black woman who is as deeply troubled over the racism experienced by Ethiopian (and other mizrahi) Jews in Israel as she is over racism in the U.S. She is as troubled as a Jew as she is as a black woman. She is not anti-Israel, she is not anti-Muslim, and she sure as hell is not an anti-semite.

    This is a debate forum. Often, in debate on a site like this, people make generalized statements that perhaps they should not—but this not an academic conference. I believe that people of good faith can have conflicting views—and it appears (based on my reading) there is plenty of room for people of good faith to draw their conclusions from various historical, sociological, philosophical, and even religious sources. For example, there appear to be historians of good faith (both “old” and “new” ) who disagree vehemently on various Israel/Palestine issues (as well as, apparently, historical/historiographical methodology). That does not make them dishonest—or bigoted.

    As the Duchess once said (from memory, not a quote), she and I likely disagree on various questions concerning Israel. That does not mean that I hold any personal animus for her—or for Finnegan. Or that we cannot say to one another (as the Duchess did to me): “Go in peace”.

    I withdrew from these lists because, for a number of reasons—well, I’ll just say “health”. If some want to translate that as “weakness”, that’s okay. I have posted some thoughts recently, but hold myself to no obligation to do so in any particular—or sustained—manner.

    But I do from time to time read what’s going on here. And, for me, this post is a mitzvah. I do not believe that Finnegan is an anti-semite.

    From the Pirke Avot—“Y’hoshua ben P’riahyah taught:

    Select a master-teacher for yourself;
    acquire a colleague for study;
    when you assess people, tip the balance in their favor.” (1:6)

    And, from Rabbi Tarfon:
    “You are not obliged to finish the task,
    neither are you free to neglect it.” (2:21)

    —From the version in Siddur Sim Shalom.
  8. Hmmm . . .
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    05 May '15 22:252 edits
    Originally posted by finnegan
    It seems to me that it would be considered 'shocking' only for someone (as many
    Westerners lazily do) who has higher moral expectations of Jews than of non-Jews.

    I am not sure how lazy it is to seek a level of consistency in those who appeal against Anti-Semitism. By what criterion do they seek the protection of world opinion if not a uni ...[text shortened]... - to Judaism and the Jewish sources I reference on these forums over the heads of the zionists.
    Yes, but you did once present the notion that Jews could/should be held to a higher moral standard because of the shoah.

    http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=160133&page=40

    “Among other things, why would we (anti racists, anti fascists, anti Nazis) not set for the Jews a standard higher than for others? As victims of the Holocaust, might we not expect that of all groups on the planet, they would be inoculated against the poison of racism and the temptations of unaccountable war crimes? Do you not understand how people weep with distress to see the Jews of all people descend to this level of inhumanity? Given the opportunity to lead the world towards a higher standard of ethics in public life, why would they throw that away in a selfish grab for land and wealth?

    Oh the shame is astonishing and hard to forgive.

    [My emphasis.]

    I personally just thought that this was an emotional lapse on your part—not that you would hold any group of people to a higher moral standard because of their victimization, nor ”the Jews” to a higher standard than other victims of atrocities. Nor that you are so presumptuous as to think that you stand in a position to hold such victims to a higher moral standard, and to forgive or not forgive on that basis.

    I took it as a cry of anguish. Nothing more.

    The Duchess’s comments (quoted as follows) are, nevertheless, cogent:

    “It seems to me that it would be considered 'shocking' only for someone (as many
    Westerners lazily do) who has higher moral expectations of Jews than of non-Jews.
    I don't regard Jews, on average, as morally better or worse than non-Jews.
    And I don't regard Jews, on average, as more or less racist than non-Jews.”
  9. The Catbird's Seat
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    05 May '15 22:44
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [b]So is yours as an antisemite.

    I do not believe that Finnegan is an anti-Semite.

    Most of the members of the shul that I attend support the existence of the State of Israel (as do I); most of them (so far as I can tell thus far) have little regard for Netanyahu or Likud (as do I); and most of them (so far as I can tell) support the establishment ...[text shortened]...
    neither are you free to neglect it.” (2:21)

    —From the version in Siddur Sim Shalom.[/b]
    This is a debate forum. Often, in debate on a site like this, people make generalized statements that perhaps they should not—but this not an academic conference. I believe that people of good faith can have conflicting views—and it appears (based on my reading) there is plenty of room for people of good faith to draw their conclusions from various historical, sociological, philosophical, and even religious sources. For example, there appear to be historians of good faith (both “old” and “new” ) who disagree vehemently on various Israel/Palestine issues (as well as, apparently, historical/historiographical methodology). That does not make them dishonest—or bigoted.

    Thanks for some needed perspective on this forum, regarding not only this but also almost every thread.
  10. Standard memberfinnegan
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    05 May '15 22:491 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [b]So is yours as an antisemite.

    I do not believe that Finnegan is an anti-Semite.

    Most of the members of the shul that I attend support the existence of the State of Israel (as do I); most of them (so far as I can tell thus far) have little regard for Netanyahu or Likud (as do I); and most of them (so far as I can tell) support the establishment ...[text shortened]...
    neither are you free to neglect it.” (2:21)

    —From the version in Siddur Sim Shalom.[/b]
    Thank you for what you have written and the way it is written. I will not presume to take from it anything more than what you have said, but that is plenty.

    What Seitse mocks - he can see it very clearly - is that I actually mean what I say and I think it is worth saying. I am truly shocked to encounter such levels of racism from Jews. Duchess is quite right to point out the fallacies in this way of thinking. I do not think that Jews are ennobled by their history of oppression. I certainly do not imagine that the zionists in Israel were ennobled by the suffering of the European Jews: history says otherwise. What I do think is that they are under some obligation to assist in the struggle against racism - as are we all - and they are not entitled to seek concessions, such as a lower moral standard perhaps than the rest of us mortals. And on a bright day, I do indeed wonder why we cannot ask for even more and better from them. Why would Jews aspire to less when you have such a remarkable moral platform on which to take your stand?

    If a student of the Talmud finds support there for racist thinking, then I would be disappointed, but we know that has happened quite a lot in recent years. I think of reports about the religious advice given to IDF soldiers entering Gaza last year. We non Jews can take the line Seitse takes regarding the Qu'ran and argue that the Talmud is indeed inherently violent and racist. Or we can consider what JK Rowling suggested as a reasonable alternative view: "Books are like mirrors; if a fool looks in, one should not expect a genius to look out."
  11. Standard memberfinnegan
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    05 May '15 23:032 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Yes, but you did once present the notion that Jews could/should be held to a higher moral standard [b]because of the shoah.

    http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=160133&page=40

    “Among other things, why would we (anti racists, anti fascists, anti Nazis) not set for the Jews a standard higher than for others? As victim ...[text shortened]... rse than non-Jews.
    And I don't regard Jews, on average, as more or less racist than non-Jews.”[/b]
    I answered your first post and covered similar ground. Thanks here for the reference to an old post of mine. I am pleased that I see nothing there to be embarrassed by. I have no wish to alter what I wrote.

    In some contexts it is obviously wrong to set different moral standards for different groups. In the context of that post, where we were debating the invasion of Gaza which had such disgraceful consequences, as a riposte to the special pleading of zionists, it was entirely appropriate to say that they are not entitled to a lower moral standard, or to be exempt from moral judgement; if anything - and if their self proclaimed special status is to be considered - they should consider finding a higher one.

    Let's be more brutal. Zionists make shameless use of the Shoa to justify their expropriation of land and resources under conditions of extreme violence and oppression against Palestinians. I am entitled to throw that back in their faces.

    As always, notice that I attack Zionists, not Jews. Context matters - in this case the invasion of Gaza. Without context my arguments cannot be properly represented.
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    05 May '15 23:19
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Thank you for what you have written and the way it is written. I will not presume to take from it anything more than what you have said, but that is plenty.

    What Seitse mocks - he can see it very clearly - is that I actually mean what I say and I think it is worth saying. I am truly shocked to encounter such levels of racism from Jews. Duchess is qui ...[text shortened]... view: "Books are like mirrors; if a fool looks in, one should not expect a genius to look out."
    I am glad that you took what I wrote in the way that I intended it.

    There are bigots in virtually every religion. I am just a student, and I am no more than a beginning student at Talmud (even at age 64!)—but I am for now following the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas in his view that the very structure of Talmud (and the continuing, unfinished Oral Torah that springs from it), being essentially a record of disagreements among the Rabbis, stands against “totalizing” philosophical or ideological systems—that, in Levinas view, lead ultimately to totalitarian systems of one sort or another.

    It is really wrong to say “The Talmud says ____________”, as if that’s some Jewish doctrine or dogma. (Although it is easy to get careless in that regard, and even scholars sometimes seem to.) Better to say something like: “It is said in the Talmud . . . .” Best to say: “Rabbi So-and-so said . . . but, Rabbi such-and-such disagrees, saying . . . .” So, there are statements by some rabbis in the Talmud that I likely find offensive—I am under no obligation to agree with them.

    Or we can consider what JK Rowling suggested as a reasonable alternative view: "Books are like mirrors; if a fool looks in, one should not expect a genius to look out."

    Yes. True of Torah as well. Stories, myth, poetry, drama, philosophical essays, ethical discourse—and even some history. Many literary genres. In some ways, perhaps it’s like a family album, recording the families stories (some of which may actually be history), poetry, victories and failures (etc.): I am under no obligation to affirm Uncle Henry’s exploits or opinions—and I may well condemned them (even if Uncle Henry is sometimes G-d in the stories); but they are recorded. I take very little of it historically/factually. Hopefully, I am not a fool.

    Shalom.
  13. Hmmm . . .
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    05 May '15 23:341 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I answered your first post and covered similar ground. Thanks here for the reference to an old post of mine. I am pleased that I see nothing there to be embarrassed by. I have no wish to alter what I wrote.

    In some contexts it is obviously wrong to set different moral standards for different groups. In the context of that post, where we were debating th ...[text shortened]... in this case the invasion of Gaza. Without context my arguments cannot be properly represented.
    Without context my arguments cannot be properly represented.

    Of course—and that often gets lost here.

    I am simply ethically uncomfortable with holding someone else to as higher moral standard than myself based on their greater victimhood (in whatever way). If they claim a higher moral standard on that basis, then of course you can hold them to that claim—“throw it back in their face”, as you put it. But, even then, I am uncomfortable—for myself.

    As always, notice that I attack Zionists, not Jews.

    I realize that. But that is why I was struck by your use of the phrase (which I bolded) ”the Jews”. Someone who has not followed you on here over the years might easily and innocently misconstrue that. (I once had a certain poster use that phrase in precisely the way that I think you did not intend it: i.e., as a bigoted generalization.) But I have been as guilty of such lapses myself, more than once. Maybe I should have said something when I first read it it—if so, my bad. But, as I say, I did not take it as the kind of “dog-whistle” rhetoric one sometimes confronts.

    Again, shalom.

    ______________________________________

    EDIT: I repeat, "Maybe I should have said something when I first read it--if so, my bad."
  14. Standard memberfinnegan
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    06 May '15 00:162 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [b]Without context my arguments cannot be properly represented.

    Of course—and that often gets lost here.

    I am simply ethically uncomfortable with holding someone else to as higher moral standard than myself based on their greater victimhood (in whatever way). If they claim a higher moral standard on that basis, then of course you can hold them to ...[text shortened]... __

    EDIT: I repeat, "Maybe I should have said something when I first read it--if so, my bad."[/b]
    “Among other things, why would we (anti racists, anti fascists, anti Nazis) not set for the Jews a standard higher than for others?"

    You will notice that I said we (anti racists, anti fascists, anti Nazis), not we armchair theorists, and from what I posted - some of which you did not copy and paste from the original - you should notice that I have a history as an activist and made material sacrifices to confront racism. I am not aware of setting for others a standard higher than I have set for myself. What we each manage to attain is quite another matter of course and we each face quite different challenges. I would hate to live in Israel today and have the moral responsibilities that would entail.

    And yes, my reference to "the Jews" in that specific context was an exhortation, a challenge, and maybe that would either annoy you, upset you, or otherwise perplex you. The fact is that without explicitly Jewish support, the fight against racism is vastly more difficult and fraught. Happily, there are many activist Jews out there taking on zionist ideology and confronting the racism. I try to quote them where I can.

    Getting the language right in such difficult territory is always a challenge, quite apart from the inclination at times to spit out the proverbial dummy.
  15. Hmmm . . .
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    06 May '15 00:361 edit
    Originally posted by finnegan
    “Among other things, why would we (anti racists, anti fascists, anti Nazis) not set for [b]the Jews a standard higher than for others?"

    You will notice that I said we (anti racists, anti fascists, anti Nazis), not we armchair theorists, and from what I posted - some of which you did not copy and paste from the original - you should notice that I h ...[text shortened]... always a challenge, quite apart from the inclination at times to spit out the proverbial dummy.[/b]
    Getting the language right in such difficult territory is always a challenge, quite apart from the inclination at times to spit out the proverbial dummy.

    Man—understood. You’re right: I did not acknowledge your statement about risks taken in the context of the trade union movement. Apologies for that. My background as well (for 20+ years)—and offered many times substantial financial rewards (2x or more the pay) to “cross over”. Never did. Stood the picket lines, watched as good and dear friends of mine lost everything.

    With that said (and I want to reiterate my apology), I am humbled by that experience—as I am sure that you are.

    Be well.
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