Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Rant-o-Rama

The ground rules rant was put in place, as nearly the first post, because I felt it was important to have... ground rules. If anything was inspiration it was the about of flaming and inappropriate content floating through Usenet, and other forums. As my site is hosted for free through the graces of an old friend, I would rather not do damage his reputation or that of his domain by hosting slanderous rhetoric.

As for my trite response to the Israeli wall, and more specifically Sharon's comments to French Jews. I was so trite because I was so mad. I was mad because the plight of the Jewish people is near and dear to me and my family, and at least two of my very close friends. Its not a topic which I regularly discuss, because rightly so people's religious choices are there own, and I'm sure many a Jewish person would scoff at the level of observance with in my family, but we are Jewish.

Largely I would say that our family has lost much of its heritage since world war 2, when the patriarch of our family lost his belief in god. He was fortunate enough to fight as a scientist in Canada, and not as a soldier, but the stories he tells are frightening. Not the ones of Nazi death camps and German cruelty, but the ones of global Anti-semitism. Imagine escaping the round up only to find yourself turned away at every boarder, stuffed on a train and sent right back to Germany, and death, even Canada was guilty of that one.

Even after all that death and destruction, lessons in horror, still hate pervades much of North America. The Jewish people represent barely 15 million of the worlds 6 billion people, and yet extremists and regular folk of both Christian and Muslim descent blame them for all their problems, Native American chiefs from Alberta are spewing Hitleresc rhetoric against the Jews.

So Israel the last sovereign out post of the Jewish religion, and probably the most highly contested pile of kitty liter in the world. As an aside I wonder if there is any where in all the history of man that more blood has been spilled for?

So people are fighting and dieing there daily, have they ever known true peace? What are the fighting for, they are fighting to end anti-semitism and to be left alone, for once. That fight isn't restricted to Israel, it is a global battle, happening on many fronts, and what really chapped my ass was when Sharon told the anti-Semites of France, and thus the rest of the world that they were succeeding, he was telling Jews to run, they have lost the fight, regroup in Israel. I realize that part of the purpose of his message was to try and bolster the population of Israel to help maintain the Jewish population and propagate the religion. The idiocy of it is that he is begging for more hate, its like sending a letter to a pack of lion's telling that the herd is filled with weak stragglers for culling. In the end we just lose, but I wonder if we haven't lost already. Even I realize that there is very little hope for Judaism. I was never bar mitzvahed, officially my brother and I can't have Jewish children as we are marrying Christian's, and my sister has professed the unlikeliness of her every having Children. So there is one more branch of Judaism that will be cut off, and I'm sure this pattern is repeating across the world. So be it cultural erosion or suicide bombers, we still lose in the end.

What really sent me reeling on this particular rant, was 1. the attitude that having a friend as part of a minority (or a majority) that one does not belong to, gives one the moral and personal authority to be offended, or make offensive comments on their behalf. Thats the when you for example make a distasteful joke about homosexuality, and the follow it up with the "Its okay I have a friend who is gay" statement. Did you check with your friend that they weren't offended by it, would you make that joke to them? This is mildly hypocritical of me, because I am sure I have done it as well, but it doesn't make it right. The number 2 was the assumption I didn't have an equal or greater moral or personal authority to comment on it. For example, being Jewish, but you not knowing that, I made a comment or joke on Judaism, and you respond with "thats inappropriate I have Jewish friends." How do you know I don't have Jewish friends, or that I'm not Jewish, or that their might be something more to my comment. So when accused belittling the situation from a position of ignorance, and detachment I respond with, I am very attached, and not ignorant. I was trite because I was enraged, because I strongly disagree, and am concerned for the life of my friend who is now moving to Israel for a 16 month internship.
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