Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Limmud Oz 2008

I've been up to various mischief so far down here in the antipodes. One of the things I did was to participate in Limmud Oz 2008, Melbourne. I gave four lectures there, as you can see by following that link and wandering around a bit. I initially thought I might write them, and post each of them as I gave them, but since I never write the lectures I give, it seemed rather late to start now. As a compromise, I wrote outlines, which I more or less adhered to sort of to a certain extent, at least some of the time, and I've now posted them, over here.

The four theses were:
1. Jews have the oldest living culture in the world, so they have a longer communal memory than anyone else; however, having a long memory is not the result of being so old, rather the insistence on not forgetting has enhanced the longevity.

2. The attempt to create a rich database with biographical information on as many of the murdered six million Jews as possible is an unprecedented undertaking (connected to memory, by the way), undertaken at least initially in adverse circumstances, and now slowly advancing towards completion. How, Why, What.

3. Was the creation of the State of Israel enabled by the guilty conscience of the world after the Holocaust? Answer,not at all, and actually, almost on the contrary. In 1947 the international community set up the Jews in Mandatory Palestine for a second genocide of the Jews in less than a decade. (And all of the hot air about the Palestinians paying the price for the crimes of the Europeans is hogwash).

4. Training soldiers to be moral while waging war is a daunting task, but Israel does it better than anyone else. Here's how.

Tomorrow I'm off to other arenas to do other mischief. Not certain I'll have access to cyberspace, so if you want a laugh you can spend some time here.


Anonymous said...


Yup. Jews have survived. So, I credit this to the Master of the Universe. He saw something perverse in letting the "big one's fold," and we remain.

The Holocaust didn't "create" the State of Israel, because anti-Semitism was picking up speed. Or you wouldn't have Hertzl's story. You wouldn't have Balfour.

And, as I said, Truman coming out within minutes to accept the birth of Israel, could have been a POLITICAL MOVE. A sound policy. Because Truman was up for his own election in November 1948. This makes May 1948 critical!

And, Jews had a good reputation, too. They were in hollywood. And, it was hollywood's golden age. They were on Broadway. And, Jews set the tunes. From Irving Berlin. To Hammerstein. You could practically hum SUCCESS.

And, Truman was no fool! (Yes, he was a democrat. The party that had the Jewish votes.) But there was more than that! (Eisenhower never got it! Truman did, though.)

And, that's why the nod went out from Truman's White House in May of 1948.

By the way, the "collective wisdom" was that the arabs were gonna win "that" war. But they didn't.

Heck, on paper, hitler should have won. But he didn't, either.

The "Man Upstairs" does not use a wrist watch. To notice a pattern? You'd have to go back in time, and trace things along a time line, with your finger.

Good and bad always happens.

But if you don't have faith? You could learn to be an optimist.

America, is also learning how to train its military for the fights, ahead, with terrorists, who imbed themselves among civilians. (And, raw sewage.)

So, while you notice the infestations in gazoo and Beirut; I notice the drug trade. And, the lack of sanitation.

And, ya know what? I don't want to get involved!

Besides, America and Israel remain on the same page, here! Both countries have civilians who don't want to "halp" arabs. Just in case you thought Bush ever accomplished "his mission."

Most people, here, can't wait for him to go home. I also shrug at Obama.

But if it wasn't for Obama, there'd be nothing in the race worth discussing. McCain's old.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

If you assert that Israel trains its soldiers to be moral better than any other country, then you can't complain when morality is asked from the Israelis and not from the Chinese who occupy the Tibet or the Sudanese who occupy Darfur. After all, neither the Chinese nor the Sudanese have claimed to have the most moral army in the world.

In other words, you can't claim that we critics of Israel are using double standards to judge the country. We're just judging it by the standards that YOU claim it meets.