Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Only in America

Jeffrey Goldberg has launched a Hannuka song by Orrin Hatch, and that's only the beginning of the story.

Follow all the links. It's an incredible story. The whole thing would have been impossible in any moment of Jewish history prior to the United States in the second half of the 20th century - and Jewish history has been on for a long time. It's also impossible even today, 2009, anywhere outside the United States. (Except maybe, at a stretch, Australia?)

Do America's Jews fully appreciate how unlikely their condition is? On a superficial level, I'm sure they do, and love their country for what it gives them. On a deeper level, however, do they understand how truly the rest of the world doesn't resemble their world? it isn't like that anywhere else, never has been, and probably won't be, either.

7 comments:

vildechaye said...

American exceptionalism rears its ugly ignorant head once again. Does the author of this silly, absurd statement really believe that Canadian Jews -- all 300,000 of them -- have such a qualitatively different experience than U.S. Jews. Or is he just forgetting about Canada altogether, or considering it part of the U.S., as far too many Americans are wont to do.

Anonymous said...

Although its true that Canadian Jews probably have a similar experience to American Jews (I'm assuming), I still agree with the original post. The question is, would this happen in Canada? Would a member of their government write a song for a minority religious group. Also, I think one of the reason Canada is the way it is is because of American influence, so some credit must still be given to America

ShrinkWrapped said...

I would go a step further and suggest that without America, the Jews in Canada would be just another marginalized minority, always insecure of the sufferance of their neighbors.

Anonymous said...

It is a great post from Yaacov.

The only problem is maybe its too good here in America. We seem to be under the unfortunate assumption that America will always be like this; as if you can vote for politicians and policy that run contrary to the spirit of the country's founding and expect nothing to change.

AKUS said...

vildechaye - leave your Canadian inferiority complex at the border. Since this never has happened in Canada, its not unreasonable to expect it could only happen in America that a (Mormon, by the way) senator writes a kitschy Chanukah song.

By the way - anti-Semitism in Canada is real, pervasive, and growing, and is about 5 times as prevalent per capita as in the US measured by anti-Semitic attacks.

This Is Hell said...

No it's more general than that. Look to countries in the Anglosphere. Countries either in the commonwealth or subject to intense English education. With the recent exception of South Africa which seems to be turning into a nasty mix of Zimbabwe and Iran, and the UK itself which seems to be fumbling over itself in a desperate attempt to tolerate itself out of existence, Jews are generally better treated in the societies and nations that were colonized and nurtured by John Bull.

vildechaye said...

RE: keep your "canadian inferiority complex" at the border.

inferiority complex? in your dreams. just pointing out some basic truths. anti-semitic attacks? please! canada is a blessed homeland for Jews. Why do Americans always want to take credit for the good life we (not just Jews but all Canadians) have here. Maybe you guys have the complex. I lived in the states for 3 years and couldn't wait to go home, in part because of the American tendency to worship the cornball gesture. Hatch's Jewish songwriting certainly qualifies. Would a Canadian politician do it? I doubt it, much too hokey.