Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting Lost

There has been quite a kerfuffle this week around an ad screened on Israeli TV about Jewish youth being lost to the Jewish people. You can see the ad here, and if you understand Hebrew you may agree that it doesn't say much of what its detractors say it says. But that, of course, is standard: most reportage about Israel is non-factual, so why should this be any different?

There's an old Yiddish saying about how folks who protest their innocence too loudly often have something to hide; on that level, the uproar about the film is very indicative of what different people feel they need to be apologetic about.

I don't have the time today for a full expose, alas, as it would have been fun. I will however make one serious comment.

Until the late 18th century there wasn't any problem of telling who was or wasn't a Jew. The Jews were the ones living as Jews. Since then things have gotten a bit more complicated, and there can be many parameters for identifying Jews. Yet no matter what parameters one uses, I don't see how to get around the fact that large numbers of descendants of Jews outside of Israel no longer are Jews.

Read that sentence carefully before you bark at me. Like the ad everyone got so mad about, it's carefully calibrated, and your responses may tell more about you than about me.


marek said...

As a diaspora/expat Jew I can't see anything offensive in this ad. Sorry to say that I do agree with the sentiment of the ad.

As they say denial is not only a river in Egypt...

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Barking is not a good practice. Most of the time.

Calling on Jews to inform on other Jews that date non-Jews is bad, very bad practice. Stupid, too.

As for the clip, I wouldn't argue. But you must remember that it appeared after the ad that called for informants.

Empress Trudy said...

Actually many many rabid antisemites call themselves "Jews" but are in fact merely people with Jewish ancestors.

Anonymous said...

I am a Jew who dates non Jews. I also care about Jewish continuity.

Got any problems with that?

Unknown said...

normblog has a terrific post on assimilation.