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Politics Israel, Palestine, and Stuff

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by wye, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. wye

    wye Getting Tilted

    Sure. It's a broad label that surely overlooks some nuances, but I made that characterization on the basis of the ideologically pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian articles on their homepage as well as the YouTube video that appears in the right-hand sidebar of every page on their site and which claims that the purpose of BDS is to make Israel disappear.

    A search of their website for "Israel" or "Zionism" should give you plenty results, or at least it does for me. Additionally, please excuse my delay in posting this, as I was caught up in the presidential debate.
  2. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    It turned up zero results for me.

    Also, being pro-Israel vis-a-vis the Palestinian situation is not the definition of Zionism. Nor is uncritical social conservatism in regard to Middle East foreign policy a definition of Zionism. Actual Zionism is a rich and nuanced political project that predates the current Palestinian situation by many decades, and has complex roots in the struggle over the past 1800-odd years of the Jewish People to return to their homeland and escape oppression.

    Also, BDS is, indeed, interested in eliminating Israel from the map, and is a movement rife with sickening anti-Semitism. They are at the forefront of a spike in on-campus anti-Semitism that is unprecedented in the last 50 years. One neednot be a conservative to be disgusted at them. Just opposed to bigotry.
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  3. wye

    wye Getting Tilted

    Yes, I understand that Zionism, like other ideological identities, is an identity that really can only be self-proclaimed. However, I feel that it's an appropriate shorthand to describe the agenda of the Gatestone Institute because its philosophies seem to roughly correspond with those of modern American Zionism.

    If it's any help, the American Friends of the Open University of Israel describe the Gatestone founder and president Nina Rosenwald as "an ardent Zionist all her life" (though logically, I do not assume that her views are equivalent with the views of her organization).

    I'll mirror your earlier question: what leads you to characterize this think tank as a purveyor of social conservatism? And what relevance does the age of Zionism have compared with the "current Palestinian situation"?

    I can link you some very wingnutty articles on the Gatestone site that pertain to Israel, such as this one currently on the homepage: Where Does Black Lives Matter's Anti-Semitism Come From?

    Unlike sociopolitical movements such as Zionism and Black Lives Matter, BDS has a single mainstream form, which is represented by the doctrines of the organizational committee that originated the BDS campaign. This group has outlined its goals very clearly, and they don't include dissolving the state of Israel. They're listed on Wikipedia here: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Beware of nutpicking.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  4. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    BDS Cookbook » In Their Own Words

    Zionism is a simple ideology: The indigenous people of the levant, who maintained a constant habitation in the region despite centuries of ethnic cleansing and apartheid rule by foreign colonial powers, have a right to self-determination and self-rule in their native lands which were legally purchased from those preceding foreign colonialists or legally ceded from one colonial power to another.

    BDS is an organization founded on the belief that foreign colonizers who were allied with Nazi germany in WW2, who have repeatedly attempted to commit genocide in multiple wars since WW2, repeatedly demanded total ethnic cleansing, and constantly profess belief in such absurdities as the protocols of the elders of zion and blood libel are the "true" indigenous people of the land and the Jews are nothing more than white europeans.

    It's an inversion, and a perversion, of history. One I'm not surprised to see defended by someone that goes to great lengths of disingenuity to deny a problem recognized by muslims themselves

    It's interesting that something people constantly protest has no connection to religion so clearly falls along religious lines. It's almost as if jew hatred and radical islam go hand in hand, and people who believe in the latter almost universally engage in the former.
  5. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    I see you are still behaving like an asshole.

    Learn some manners.
  6. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    I have no particular love or care for the Gatestone Institute, which seems to espouse a number of positions that I would describe as socially conservative, including tarring the Black Lives Matter movement with a very broad brush.

    It is certainly true that the platform statement released by BLM a couple of months ago included vitriolic and anti-Semitic language in its section regarding the support of the platform for BDS and related movements. Even far-left Jewish groups like T'ruah, which are, unfortunately, often blindly idealistic about the realities of the situation in Israel and the territories, condemned the BLM platform statement as inflammatory and offensive to Jews. Watchdog groups like the ADL (which exists pretty much entirely to combat anti-Semitism and other kinds of bigotry) excoriated the statement.

    Most progressive Jews have had to carefully separate out their commitment to the cause of Black Lives Matter from their unwillingness to affiliate with the Black Lives Movement organization. Right-wingers like the Gatestone Institute seem perfectly willing to dismiss cause and movement in one stroke, and that kind of blindness to the real need for everyone to support radical social change to excise racism from our social and governmental structures (especially law enforcement) says to me that they are conservatives, since these days social conservatism tends to go hand in hand with racism (either passive or active).

    But the connection of BDS to anti-Semitism is neither a conservative viewpoint nor a nutty viewpoint. It is fairly well known. The ADL, in fact, has an entire section of its website devoted to BDS issues. Last year, the government of France outlawed BDS anti-Semitism-- and France is hardly a Judaeophilic country. The Amcha Initiative, which is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that watchdogs anti-Semitism on college campuses, released a report recently about the surge in on-campus anti-Semitism in the US, and directly connected anti-Semitism to BDS. The US Commission on Civil Rights was linking anti-Semitism and on-campus anti-Zionist groups as far back as 2006. Various other accounts of Jews interacting with anti-Semitism on college campuses also link the anti-Semitism to the prevalence of BDS and its ally, SJP, such as here, or here.

    I personally ceased to attend most major progressive political protests and demonstrations around 2005 or 2006, because there was such a pervasive presence of BDS activists, who were consistently spouting anti-Semitic rhetoric, in absolutely appalling language (speaking about "Zionist conspiracies," "Zionist control of world banks," "Jews are Nazis," and so forth). I have had innumerable students and young relations go to college and come home shaken and horrified because of the anti-Semitism being brought forth by BDS and SJP. It is, actually, more than a bit troubling how little media coverage this has gotten outside the Jewish press.

    But there can be little doubt about the ultimate dedication of BDS to eliminating Israel. In this clip, for example, BDS founder Omar Barghouti can be heard advocating the end of Israel. Or here, in this piece (a critique of far-left Israel critic Norman Finkelstein as being insufficiently anti-Israel), prominent BDS member and self-described anti-Zionist As'ad AbuKhalil says:
    SJP co-founder and prominent BDS movement member Hatem Bazian recently sponsored at UC Berkeley the creation of a whole university course in the elimination of Israel, which was first suspended in the wake of protests by Jewish groups, and was then reinstated. In the wake of the reinstatement, anti-Semitic posters popped up on campus.

    Cloaking anti-Semitism in the guise of humanitarian concerns is the new evolution of what used to be called "drawing room anti-Semitism." It makes it no less anti-Semitic, and BDS is part and parcel of it. Its founders, such as Omar Barghouti, have advocated violence against Israelis on numerous occasions (the Barghouti family goes back to prominence in the old PLO during the first Intifadah), and have drawn on classic anti-Semitic conspiracy tropes-- often straight out of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion-- to bolster their aggressions.
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  7. wye

    wye Getting Tilted

    Shadowex3, my previous post does not defend BDS. It defends the intellectual imperative to accurately represent a subject of debate with respect to the academic consensus.
    Your account of Israel's past runs contrary to the understanding held by the majority of scholars who have studied this subject, a detailed account of which is readily accessible on Wikipedia.

    Sure, but their BLM article I linked is specifically a criticism of BLM intersectionalists for alleged anti-Semitism. I find that focus to be notably different from that of the more common conservative criticism of BLM as a cop-killing hate group on the basis of its advocacy for racial equality. Rejecting intersectionality is definitely socially conservative, but it seems to me that Gatestone isn't well described as just socially conservative in a general sense. They don't espouse social conservatism's hallmark homophobia and anti-abortion policies but seem to rather specialize in Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment.

    I haven't seen this before, and I thank you for sharing it. From what I've read just now of the platform's Invest/Divest section, the diverse, progressive points it argues seem well reasoned and magnanimous. In its relatively brief discussion of US military aid to Israel, the most objectionable wording apparent to me is use of the term "genocide" where "oppression" or "abuse" would be more appropriate, but I don't see this as vitriolic or anti-Semetic.
    BDS is mentioned in one bullet of the reallocating US military funding section's "State Action" subsection:
    As far as I can tell, no related movements are mentioned.

    Ah, it's clear from this article that the "genocide" word choice is the primary offender. It should definitely be changed if Movement for Black Lives wishes to reduce the offense that this policy point can cause.

    I completely agree with your second sentence here, and it's that same denialism over ongoing injustice that leads them to dismiss BDS, whose three stated goals likewise advocate radical social change to excise racism from governmental structures. Both movements have an extremist fringe, but it seems to me that the similarity of their mainstream missions is what lead BLM to adopt rhetoric from BDS. Granted, a progressive social justice activist might support one and not the other due to insufficient effectiveness or undesirable side-effects of their strategies, but that doesn't enter the conversation until you support the underlying goals.
    The first sentence isn't meaningful to me because it responds to a sweeping, unsubstantiated claim by making another sweeping, unsubstantiated claim.

    I haven't claimed that no supporters of BDS can be appropriately referred to as anti-Semitic, but please remember that no supporter's actions speak for the doctrines set by a centralized campaign, just as Bernie Bros don't speak for Sen. Sanders' policies, and even the most prominent anti-Semitic supporters of the 2016 Republican presidential candidate do not speak for either him or the Republican Party, which happens to have drafted a very pro-Israel platform for this election cycle.

    The first clip of Omar Barghouti in that YouTube video is short enough that it set off my contextomy alarm. I've located the full video here, and in it, Mr. Barghouti argues that ending the occupation would not be sufficient for BDS because Palestinians are discriminated against in ways beyond occupation. This argument is consistent with the three goals of BDS, the first of which being to end the occupation, the second to protect the civil rights of Israel's Palestinian citizens, and the third to secure the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

    For what it's worth, he also says at 4:44 "In the BDS movement, we're not calling for any specific political solution" and goes on to explain why this is the case.

    The second clip benefits from including wider context, which makes it clear that he's discussing his personal views and not the goals of BDS. Yes, it appears that he personally prefers a one-state solution, but citing the views of a BDS co-founder is not a logically sound basis to demonstrate the views of BDS (as a coalition of 170+ NGOs) for the same reason that I made the disclaimer that Nina Rosenwald's views do not necessarily align with the views of the Gatestone Institute (as a think tank directed and advised by a consortium of policy leaders).

    You're really nutpicking now. No supporter's radical views of what the goals of BDS should be are logically representative of what they are.

    The relevance of this seems tenuous to me, especially since the university ruled that this course did not advocate "the elimination of Israel" and the connection to BDS is third-hand at best.

    If they're humanitarian concerns, they're not hate speech. Hate speech against Jews can indeed invoke Israel's treatment of Palestinians, but I hope you also recognize that criticizing Israel for its human rights record is not inherently anti-Semitic hate speech. The USCCR briefing report you linked acknowledges both these distinctions thusly:
    I haven't watched or read any of Omar Barghouti's interviews or writings until now, but judging from what little I've seen so far, he appears to speak very intellectually and consistently advocates non-violence. Could you please cite these comments by Mr. Barghouti which appear to incite violence and promote conspiracy theories?
  8. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    A consensus among "academics" like Joy Karega, who thinks the Rothschilds are engaging in a Jewish plot to use AIDS to depopulate the world, perhaps. But not among anyone who knows anything about history beyond what's written on Electronic Intifada or Daesh's facebook pages, especially anyone old enough to remember life before "palestinians" were invented and when the PLO had to put out two different "founding" charters because the first one claimed Gaza as well as Judea and Samaria belonged to Egypt and Jordan respectively.

    Bernie Bros, like Obama Boys before it, is nothing more than a slur invented by the Clinton campaign to demonize everyone who supported her political competition and spread by the campaign's million dollar army of internet trolls.
  9. wye

    wye Getting Tilted

    This notion that the Palestinian people "were invented" is about as factual as the Rothschild conspiracy theory that you reference, and it's perhaps just as offensive too.

    This claim is easily refuted by Wikipedia as well.
  10. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    At the risk of "stepping in it," I'll say that if we go by the "arbitrary invention" of things, Palestine was invented in 192o and Israel was invented in 1948. However, if we want to treat everything fairly, we'd admit that both have much deeper histories than that.

    (You'll have to forgive me; I was reading Baudrillard earlier today.)
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  11. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    Then why are Jordanians not Palestinians? Why are the arabs within Israel not Palestinians? Why are the Israeli Jews and Christians not Palestinians? Why does the word "Palestinian" contain sounds that don't even exist in Arabic? What were Palestine's borders? Who were its notable leaders? What were its major cultural developments in music or art? What was its language? What were its principle trade goods or exports?

    The answer is nothing. Jesus was not a "Palestinian", he was a Jew. The "Palestinian" post was run and founded by Jews. The "Palestinian" orchestra was comprised of Jewish musicians. The very wikipedia page you cite is an example of the theft of history at the heart of the fabrication of the so called Palestinian people.

    When the Romans ethnically cleansed most of the Jews from the lands of Judea and Samaria they renamed the territory to Syria-Palestinia after the extinct Philistines, a historical enemy of the Jews. There is not nor has there ever been such a thing as a distinct ethnicity as "Palestinians", the term is as meaningful as "continental europe" or "midwest". If there were such a thing as a "Palestinian" then it would surely be the Jews, the original indigenous people of the land.

    Since the ethnic cleansing of the Jews the region has been ruled by Romans, Byzantines, Omayyad arabs, Abbassid arabs, traded back and forth between the Crusaders and Arabs, Mamluks, Ottoman Turks, and the British Mandate. Not once has there been a sovereign nation in that region nor has any one people other than the Jews maintained a historic presence. The British Peel Commission Report documents the emptiness of the region, Mark Twain's first hand account of his travels document the desolation and lack of inhabitants, and even Arab historians such as Muqaddasi and Ibn Khaldun refer to the Jewish majority, permanence of Jewish culture, and emptiness of mosques. Historian James Parker reported on how the majority of the various arab empires' subjects were Christians and Jews. Jerusalem is not so much as mentioned once in the Quran.

    Zuhair Muhsin of the PLO Executive Council admits this:

    The arab historian Prof. Philip Hitti admits this:

    The Syrian Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference admits this:

    Hafez Assad took a different approach:

    an "Ex palestinian" Walid Shoebat:

    The founding charter of the PLO, before it was hastily amended after the failed genocide of 1948, admits this in a roundabout way:


    I'm sure wikipedia backs you on a lot of things. Particularly those things which have been heavily astroturfed or the subject of coordinated college-credit-earning editing campaigns by the social justice crowd.

    The same social justice crowd that engages in near universal rampant and increasing violent anti-semitism, starting with the total denial of Jewish indigeneity and moving on to the denial of Jewish self-determination.
  12. wye

    wye Getting Tilted

    I have no issue with a mod or admin splitting these posts into a new thread.

    The beauty of Wikipedia is that its verifiability policy, along with its prohibition of original research, exclude the potential for fabrication by ensuring that the content of every article is sourced from credible, professional, published works and not derived from the personal views of its editors.

    Wikipedia and its parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation, have established working partnerships with several Israeli institutions including the Israel Museum, the National Library of Israel, and the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Library at the University of Haifa. These kinds of collaborations with galleries, libraries, archives, and museums are often forged primarily to make the contents of their collections more accessible by using them to improve Wikipedia articles. Outreach efforts such as these, including the curation of multimedia donations, have resulted in a wealth of information on the historical roles and significance of Palestinians. Each of the nine questions in the series that you posed rhetorically are addressed in generous detail within one or more Wikipedia articles:

    Why are Jordanians not Palestinians?

    Why are the arabs within Israel not Palestinians?

    Why are the Israeli Jews and Christians not Palestinians?

    Why does the word "Palestinian" contain sounds that don't even exist in Arabic?

    What were Palestine's borders?

    Who were its notable leaders?

    What were its major cultural developments in music or art?

    What was its language?

    What were its principle trade goods or exports?

    While his religion is very clear, the ethnicity of Jesus is not.

    These entities were founded before the State of Israel was established. The yet older newspaper Falastin was founded and operated by Palestinian Christians and the Palestine Arab Party by Palestinian Muslims in 1935.

    Shadowex3, you're trafficking in conspiracy theories. No amount of quote mining will disprove that for which there is hard evidence.

    Finally, The views expressed by the Bernie Bros editorials that you link are represented in the Criticism section of the Bernie Bro Wikipedia article and are empirically refuted by a statistical analysis of Tweet mentions which is referenced in a subsection thereof, titled Questions about allegations' validity.
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  13. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    Wikipedia's "verifiability" policy is not only an absolute joke, it's actively corrupted and used to selectively recognize or exclude sources based on ideological purity. One need only look at the hypocrisy of accepting blog posts and tweets when it comes from darlings of the social justice crowd like Zoe Quinn but of completely excluding hard reporting backed up by primary sources, even if it's from a website already accepted as a source on other pages, when it becomes politically inconvenient.

    The only thing you've done is link to a bunch of utterly irrelevant web pages which not only utterly fail to substantively address any point I've made but which are also nothing more than the personal soapboxes of electronic intifada's best editors and some of the most virulently anti-semitic members of the regressive left.

    The fact you're continuing to push this absurd historical revisionism to even the level of claiming Yehoshua Ben Miryam was not a Jew really says it all. You're cannibalizing history for a fabrication of the mid 1900s.
  14. wye

    wye Getting Tilted

    Wikipedia requires independent, third-party secondary and tertiary sources to form the basis of every article. Questionable and self-published sources such as Tweets and blog posts are only acceptable under select conditions.

    The reliability of a source such as an online news article is evaluated on the basis of the article and not just on the basis of its publisher. If a news article makes an extraordinary claim that is not substantiated with robust evidence, a Wikipedian will deem it a questionable source. It is entirely reasonable that any one news article from a given publisher be rejected while others from that publisher are not.

    The absolute joke of Wikipedia's verifiability policy has made Wikipedia 99.7% accurate on the subject of pharmacology, equivalently accurate on the subject of cancer to a professionally-edited database maintained by the National Cancer Institute, of a quality comparable to or exceeding that of other sources on the subject of mental health, and a highly accurate source on subjects related to political science.

    As for your view of Wikipedia's Palestine-related articles, if they are indeed personal soapboxes, then they are in violation of Wikipedia's core content policies, which, as I wrote in my previous post, prohibit the authorship of any articles that are based on the personal views of their editors.

    And I can assure you that these policies are stringently enforced for articles related to Israel and Palestine. All articles pertaining to the Arab-Israeli conflict have been under constant scrutiny since 2008, when their active arbitration measures went into effect and they were placed under discretionary sanctions, which broaden the powers of Wikipedia administrators not previously involved with these articles to enforce Wikipedia's policies within them.

    So if you're going to claim that Wikipedia's Palestine-related articles are under the sway of a partisan ideology, you'll have to argue that Wikipedia's several hundred active administrators are complicit in this policy violation, as well as its userbase as a whole. At present, 49 Wikipedia users have been actively monitoring a watchlist of the changes made to the Palestinians article, 52 have been monitoring the Palestine (region) article, 60 the Israeli-Palestinian conflict article, 81 the State of Palestine article, and 165 the Israel article.

    You may assert, in order to discredit me, that I claimed Jesus wasn't a Jew, but the obvious reality is that I did not. Jesus was a Jew in that his religion was Judaism. His race is a subject of academic uncertainty and ongoing debate.
  15. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    Wikipedia's policy in practice is that a source is reliable if it passes an ideological purity test and unreliable if it does not, as I said one need look no further than the blatant double standards for any social justice related topic.

    Further wikipedia's policy is inherently broken as it relies not on actual verifiable facts but on groupthink. Which leads to a serious problem when major newswires such as The Associated Press and Reuters are obscenely and explicitly prejudicial in their coverage, to the point of writing headlines like "Israeli police kill man in east jerusalem" when a terrorist who rammed a bus stop full of civilians and got out with a weapon to kill more people was shot. And that's not even getting close to the photoshop fiascos or major media outlets getting caught claiming an armed assailant was an unarmed civilian when their own footage disproves their claims.

    Which would be why you, and Wikipedia, continue to claim that Jesus was not a Jew while hiding behind the patently absurd nonsense of attempting to pretend his race is "uncertain". The Jews are a 4000 year old tribal people no different from the australian aborigine, first peoples of canada, and american indians. Judaism is the religion practiced by the race of people called Jews who are indigenous to a region called Judea.
  16. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    And when did anyone on this board claim that Jesus was not a Jew?
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  17. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member


    "Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a Jewish preacher and religious leader who has become the central figure of Christianity."​

    "Jesus was Jewish, born by Mary, husband of Joseph (Matthew 1, Luke 2). Matthew and Luke each offer a genealogy of Jesus. Matthew traces Jesus' ancestry to Abraham through David. Luke traces Jesus' ancestry through Adam to God."​


    "Justin Martyr argued for the genealogy of Jesus in the biological Davidic line from Mary, as well as from his non-biological father Joseph. But this only implies a general Jewish ancestry, acknowledged generally by authors."​

    "By the 19th century theories that Jesus was of the Aryan race, and in particular of Nordic appearance, were developed and later appealed to advocates of the new racial antisemitism, who wanted nothing Jewish about Jesus. Houston Stewart Chamberlain posited Jesus was of Amorite-Germanic extraction. The Amorites were actually a Semitic people. Madison Grant claimed Jesus for the Nordic race. This found its most extreme form in the Nazi theology of Positive Christianity. Scholars supporting the radical Aryan view also argued that being a Jew by religion was distinguishable from being a Jew by race or ethnicity. These theories usually also include the reasoning that Jesus was Aryan because Galilee was supposedly a non-Jewish region speaking an unknown Indo-European language, but this has not gained scholarly acceptance (in fact, Galilee had a significant non-Jewish minority, but these spoke various local Semitic languages)."​

    "In academic studies, beyond generally agreeing that 'Jesus was Jewish,' there are no contemporary depictions of Jesus that can be used to determine his appearance."​

  18. wye

    wye Getting Tilted

    Shadowex3, please link your evidence of "blatant double standards" in SJ-related articles.

    Wikipedia's NPOV policy should settle your concerns over bias being carried over from news media. The headlines on stories about minor terror attacks are rather inconsequential to Wikipedia's ends, though it seems to me that you are exaggerating the circumstances of the two stories highlighted by the second website you linked (I didn't see any mention of similar accounts in the first one). Furthermore, since both websites have clear pro-Israel biases, I would naturally be skeptical of their allegations of other news websites having anti-Israel biases. Could you also link one or more examples of "photoshop fiascos" please?

    The Jews were not the first ethnic group to occupy the Southern Levant. The first religiously Jewish peoples, the Israelites, emerged from the pagan Canaanite culture about 3300 years ago. The ethnic group known as the Jews emerged from the southern Israelites after the Israelite Kingdom of Judah fell 2500 years ago, about 130 years after the Samaritans emerged from the northern Kingdom of Israel. By the first century BCE, practitioners of Judaism in Roman Palestine were as ethnically diverse as to include Hellenistic Jews, Babylonian Jews, and Persian Jews as well as Jewish Edomites, Ammonites, and Moabites. It's conceivable that Jesus was at least in part descended from any number of these groups, because the only conclusive historical evidence of his origins indicates merely that he was born in Galilee.
  19. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    I can't believe we've reached the topic of the Canaanite genocide already. #neverforget
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  20. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    Actually, the Samaritans did not "emerge from" the Northern Kingdom of Israel. They were foreigners brought in by conquering powers to repopulate the area after the majority of the Israelite population of the Northern Kingdom was deported and exiled throughout the Assyrian Empire. They did not cohere as anything approaching a "Samaritan" community until well after the Babylonian Exile, when they created their own form of religious practice based around a pastiche scripture they created out of a redaction of the Torah and the Septuagint.

    Furthermore, the "Jewish Edomites, Amonites, and Moabites" were largely the result of the one shameful attempt in Jewish history at forced conversion, which took place during the Hasmonean Kingdom of 165-64 BCE. By the time that Jesus was born, most of these forced converts and their descendants had abandoned the beliefs and practices that had been wrongly forced on them, much as the Herodians began to assimilate to Roman practices, even to intermarrying with them and sending them tributes to their gods and whatnot.

    Babylonian, Persian, or other geographic designators are largely irrelevant in considering Jewish identity and society of that time. The main divisions were not in geographic location, but in philosophy and practice. And in regard to the Land of Israel, those divisions were between assimilated Hellenic Jews, the corrupt Tzedoki (Sadducee) priesthood and their dependants and followers of their literalist school of thought, the various apocalyptic ascetic sects (often lumped together under the label "Essenes," though the actual Isim were only one of many such sects), the Kana'im ("Zealots")-- political fanatics whose beliefs and practices centered on revolution against Rome, and the Perushim ("Pharisees," also known as Sofrim or "Scribes," who were more or less the founders of Rabbinic Judaism, which is to say all Judaism since about the third or fourth century CE).

    Whatever Jesus' "ethnic descent," he was clearly not a Samaritan-- nothing he seems to have taught, regardless of which sources one wishes to consider, remotely follows Samaritan teaching. Nor was he Hellenic, since not only do his teachings primarily concern belief and observance defined in a construction of interpretations of Torah, he does not appear to draw heavily upon any Hellenic influences save for the most superficial (such as the use of "wisdom" or sophia as a euphemism for Torah, which dates back to the redaction of the Book of Proverbs). He was certainly not a Tzedoki (Sadducee), since corruption in the Temple is one of the causes for which Christian scripture celebrates him, and since he is consistently an interpreter of Torah, not a literalist. Some of his asceticism seems to indicate an Issi influence, but he was not an Issi, because they were obsessed with ritual purity and impurity in all matters, and Jesus apparently was not. While he was not, even by the loose indicators of that era, an orthodox Perushi, he seems to be most in conversation with them, his interest is often with law and practice (as was theirs), and he frames his parables and teachings in the precise style of midrash and interpretation that the Rabbis of his time used.

    The Talmud actually has several stories in it that date from the early Rabbinic era (first two centuries CE) that describe Jesus as a renegade student from the rabbinic academy of Rabbi Joshua. While I wouldn't wish to claim that account as entirely factual, it does seem likely to at least support the idea from that era that Jesus was a former Perushi disciple who went his own way after a certain point. What all that goes to say is that whatever the ethnicity of his descent may have been, and wherever he was actually born, he seems to have been raised as a Perushi, and thus must be accounted a Jew, either by the standards of his time or of ours.

    As for the comment that the Jews merely displaced the Canaanites, that is a red herring in common use by anti-Zionist factions. Unless someone can locate a community of Canaanites who still speak Canaanitish, still worship Baal and Asherah and Molech and the other gods Canaanites of ancient times worshipped, and who have been struggling to reclaim their homeland for the past 3000 years, the attempt to bring in Canaanites as some sort of argument to diminish the Jewish claim to a homeland in the Land of Israel is spurious and-- though I am sure that was not the intent in this post-- an anti-Semitic canard. It is also a gross oversimplification at best to say that Israelites "emerged from" the Canaanites. It is more likely that they emerged from a confluence of Canaanites, various bedouin-type desert tribes, Egyptians, and others who broke away from their original cultures to shape a new one together. There are things in Torah that seem to reflect some Canaanite influence, and there are things that do not do so at all-- much depends, of course, on the stratum of text being examined. But even early J-text, which would have been rooted in awfully early Israelite times, reflect a profound difference with Canaanitish theologies and narratives.
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