Thursday, May 30, 2024

The “omnicause”: Intersectionality on steroids

Here’s a quote from an e-mail that I received on May 28, 2024 from The Free Press:

In the months since October 7, you’ve probably seen banners with slogans that don’t make a whole lot of sense. Slogans likeFree Palestine Is a Climate Justice Issue.”   Or “Reproductive Justice Means Free Palestine.”   Or “Queers for Palestine.” All of these are examples of what the writer Alysia Ames dubbed the “omnicause” back in October. 

“It seems like where ‘intersectionality’ went wrong was assuming that anyone with any claim to oppression must be part of one omnicause + global warming for some reason,” she tweeted

In other words, either you back all our causes or you back none of them. 

Those of you who have been seriously involved for years in social-justice causes know what’s going on better than I do as a newcomer to climate-change activism.  I chose to get involved in Jewish climate-activism organizations specifically, in the hope of avoiding anti-Semitism.  But I carefully chose Jewish organizations that focus exclusively on climate action.  I’d been involved previously in a Jewish social-justice organization that claims to be focused on local political issues, yet, somehow, devotes an entire page of their website to the Israel/Palestine issue.  Feeling like an outsider in a social-justice organization simply by virtue of being a Zionist was uncomfortable.  Why can’t social-justice organizations simply focus on the issue at hand rather than insisting on so-called ideological purity regarding every political issue imaginable?  Is this “omnicause” approach authentic, or is it just a classic case of “virtue signaling?”

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

"The corn is as high as an elephant's eye"

"And it looks like it's climbing right up to the sky."

Pardon me for quoting from the musical "Oklahoma," but these are literally the tallest flowers I've ever seen!  Pretty, aren't they?

Ya'alah Ya'alah, by Kedmah: The Rising Song Piyyut Project

Here's another beautiful song from Kedmah, a project to bring Mizrachi Jewish music to the broader Jewish community.

"The Palestinian movement has hijacked the meaning of words"

Here's an excerpt from the SAPIR Journal essay, "The Palestine Propaganda Complex."

" . . . Adi [Schwartz] and I [Einat Wilf] had to spend years of research and write an entire book [The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace] to refute the three-word, poster-sized slogan “Palestine for Palestinians.” To do this, we had to dissect the manner in which the words “refugee” and “return” have been completely abused in the context of the Arab refugees from the War of 1948 (known since the 1960s as “Palestinians”). The words were inverted to keep the war alive, deprive the Jewish state of legitimacy, and maintain a constant question mark over the Jewish state’s very existence. The process of twisting these words has been so effective that, even though almost none of the millions who are still called “Palestinian refugees” are, in fact, refugees by normal international standards, they continue to enjoy the name, status, financial support, and international sympathy of people who have just escaped war and need protection."

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Satmar Chassidim get the last laugh :(

For decades, Zionists considered the anti-Zionist Satmar Chassidim (who believe that Jews should have waited for the Messiah instead of creating a Jewish state on our own) to be traitors to the Jewish People.  Now, the tables have been turned--anti-Zionist Jews now consider Zionist Jews to be beyond the pale (albeit for completely different reasons).  Maybe I'm naive, but I didn't see this coming at all.  😢

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Nightmares, minor and major

I’m such a klutz (clumsy person) that I trip even in my dreams.  Fortunately, I always wake up before I dream that I’ve injured myself.  😊

I wish I could wake up from the nightmare that is this current Israel/Gaza conflict.  As an American, I can’t help seeing echoes of American history in this war.  The U.S. was in Vietnam for years, but the minute we withdrew, the Vietcong took control.  Much more recently, the U.S. was in Afghanistan for years, but the minute we withdrew, the Taliban took control.  What’s the point in risking the lives of all those Israeli soldiers and Gazan civilians if Israel can neither bring the hostages home nor prevent Hamas from lobbing rockets at Sderot (and anywhere else that their missiles can reach)? 

How did Israel end up in this impossible situation?

While we’re on the subject of Gaza, here’s a true story from the “People plan and G-d laughs” department—little did we know, when we planned our trip to Israel to see my now-deceased parents, that we’d be there during the Hitnatkut, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.  I remember riding a bus on which the driver was playing a radio nice and loud so that all the passengers could hear the news.  My Hebrew is dreadful, so I understood almost nothing, but I did hear what sounded like a list of names of communities being evacuated.  Since I’m a “Shabbat-morning ‘regular,’” attending synagogue almost every Saturday and hearing the Torah reading, I guess it’s not surprising that the only name I still remember to this day is Shirat HaYam.

Israel withdrew from Gaza at great expense:  military, financial, and emotional.  Thousands went overnight from living in nice homes and having good jobs to living in trailers and being unemployed.  Some got stuck for years paying off mortgages on houses that they would never see again.  And all of this was to give the Palestinians of Gaza a place to start a Palestinian state, however small, and put an end to the conflict once and for all.

But the Gazans elected Hamas, and, in the long run, Hamas turned Gaza into a weapons depot and rocket-launching site, digging a network of underground tunnels for troops and armament so extensive that it’s said to rival the London Underground in length.  Since there hasn’t been an election in Gaza for years, it’s hard to say whether or not this is the will of the people.  But Hamas doesn’t care anyway—they’ve long adopted the strategy of using the deaths of civilians as a public-relations weapon to make Israel look bad, which is why there are plenty of tunnels, but no bomb shelters, in Gaza.

Maybe I’m just too much of an American to understand this—why didn’t the Palestinians just take the gift of Gaza and make a state out of it?

On the other side of the border, there’s Netanyahu and his right-wing allies.  I’ve heard it said that Netanyahu deliberately played off Hamas against the Palestinian Authority to ensure that Israel would have no peace partner.  If that’s true, maybe I’m too much of an American to understand that, either.  Do Netanyahu and company really want power more than peace?

I read somewhere recently that Israel intends to continue this war until 2026.  I certainly hope that’s not true.  Israel is a small country.  It doesn’t have enough room for all those graves.  😢

Saturday, May 04, 2024

Regarding the current protests on campus

I didn't mind the tent encampments, but when they started blocking Jewish students and faculty from entering the campus, that wasn't free speech, that was segregation. 😡

May be an image of 10 people and text that says 'Vienna SA troops blocking Jewish students from attending University of Vienna, 1938. Look familiar? Could be bea a College Campus in the USA, 2024.'

Thursday, May 02, 2024

The South will rise again . . . on women's backs 😡

Pharoah didn't spare the baby girls out of the goodness of his heart--he spared them to become sex slaves and breeding stock. And that's what's happening across a good chunk of the South (and too many other states), as legislatures taking away women's reproductive freedom. They're punishing women for wanting to have sex without consequences, which men have been doing for thousands of years.  😡 When Judah's wife died, he sought comfort in the arms of a prostitute, and the Torah has absolutely nothing to say about that. But when his daughter-in-law Tamar appeared to have done the same thing--after all, her spouse had also died--Judah nearly had her executed for adultery. So maybe Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida is just reading the Bible. 😡

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Right number, wrong strength :(

Sometimes, even having a minyan is not enough. Yesterday, we had a minyan, but we still had to read the Torah from a chumash because there was no one present who was strong enough to take a Torah scroll out of the Aron Kodesh/Ark.  😥  That's going to happen when the majority of folks attending a service are over seventy.

"Crumb bum" for a week 🙂

Once upon a time, I was a "crumb bum" because I used to scrape the crumbs off the bottoms of boxes of cake. Yum!

Then I developed a moderate case of gluten intolerance, and that was the end of that.
But I get to be a crumb bum again for 8 1/2 days every year, when I stock up on gluten-free (aka non-gebrochts) cake for Pesach. 😀
We now return you to your favorite gluten-free chametz cookies.
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