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View Diary: Are Jews white? (343 comments)

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  •  Well no (0+ / 0-)

    That's not what I said. I said find me one, and you did. Now go find me another one.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

    by resa on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 05:12:38 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Karl Marx (0+ / 0-)

      There are many, though not all of them are famous.

      •  This whole "argument" (0+ / 0-)

        reminds me of the people who kept insisting or keep insisting the Obama is "not really black", to which I respond "what's wrong with being black?".

        Maybe the Jewish identity in New York City is stronger because the population is high, I've never met someone of Jewish parentage who didn't consider themselves culturally Jewish. This is also true for "evangelical Jews" and Unitarian Minsters. Not one of them would say "I'm not Jewish", just like neither Obama nor myself would never say "I'm not Black".
        Many people qualify with "I'm biracial" or "I'm a Jew who believes in Jesus". To deny your cultural heritage is to deny yourself.

        "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

        by resa on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:39:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "would ever say" (0+ / 0-)

          "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

          by resa on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:40:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Undoubtedly (0+ / 0-)

          You won't find many Jews in New York--or anywhere else--who deny their heritage. But they do exist.

          My city's biggest paper (to which I am no longer a subscriber) has an African American columnist named Gregory Kane. He's a right-wing nutjob, but he has occasional bursts of insight. Around the time Tiger Woods first told the media he was not black but "Cablinasian," Kane retorted that Woods should be given "the cab test": "Stand him on a street corner in any large American city and have him hail a cab. If he gets one, he's Cablinasian. If he doesn't, he's definitely black."

          In a sense, the Holocaust was a grotesque Jewish version of the cab test, where Jews who had become atheists or Christians were gassed along with their Chasidic brethren. It didn't matter whether they personally identified as Jews, it mattered how the Nazis perceived them.

          Ben Hecht once asked David Selznick to sign a telegram in support of the emerging State of Israel. Selznick refused, insisting, "I'm an American and not a Jew." Hecht then asked Selznick that if he could find three people who identify him as Jewish, would he then sign? Selznick agreed to the dare. The three people they found all unhesitatingly described Selznick as a Jew, and Selznick was forced to concede.

          •  Yeah, that was exactly what (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kylopod

            my original point was. Even those who didn't define themselves as Jewish, or weren't Jewish under religious law (meaning their Mother's were not Jewish) were gassed during the Holocaust.

            Ditto on your Tiger Woods story. Many of us have two different "racial" identities (and I deliberately surround that word with quotes), the one that we define for ourselves and the ones that others define for us. Ultimately, when someone is looking to target a group of people, they don't care how you define yourself.

            My famous story involves going to a segregated summer camp in the 70's and being moved from a "white" cabin to a "black" cabin after a visit from my father that changed the counselors perception of who I was.

            And lastly, I didn't say that there were no people who didn't identify as such.  My point as in "find me one" was that it is unusual and hard to find. You found two who, alas, have passed away. I would love to hear from someone alive today explain why they don't consider themselves to be "Jewish".

            Anyway, thanks very much for the great diary and discussion!

            "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

            by resa on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 02:27:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It bears repeating (0+ / 0-)

              that Homer Plessy voluntarily made himself a test case for segregation by divulging his smidgen of black ancestry.

              I didn't know there were still segregated summer camps in the 1970s. Where was this?

              Also, what do you consider a more valid means of defining a person's racial identity? How that person sees him/herself? Or how that person is seen by others?

              As for Jews who deny their heritage today, I don't think examples like Fischer and Marx and Selznick are all that common, yet there are many Jews (offspring of Jewish parents) who don't think of themselves as particularly Jewish, even though they accept the label begrudgingly as a cultural marker. While they wouldn't be likely to say something like "I'm an American and not a Jew," that's only because they think to push the matter would be to take it more seriously than it merits.

              Of course, those who are only partly of Jewish descent are more likely to deny being Jewish, even if it is through the maternal line. Christopher Hitchens, an atheist, considers himself Jewish; his brother Peter, a devout Christian, does not.

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