Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Unbearable Lightness of Jewish Whiteness

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Elder of Zyon and Jews Down Under.}

Attached is a piece by Vic Rosenthal, published at the Elder of Ziyon and his own blog, Abu Yehuda, titled, "Are there 'Arab Jews?'”

He opposes the notion of "Arab Jews" on the basis of historical analysis and an appreciation for the ways that the language we use heavily influences the outcome of the discussion... as he has in the past with terms such as "West Bank", a phrase designed to rob the Jewish people of our heritage within our own historical homeland.

He also references the fact that:

"Some pro-Palestinian writers even suggest that Mizrahi Jews actually have a common interest with Palestinian Arabs, their “brown” brothers, to overthrow the hegemony of “white” Ashkenazi settler-colonialists."

The question of the "whiteness" of Ashkenazi Jews is hot at the moment. It suggests that the Ashkenazim are not ethnically Jewish, but merely Europeans who happen to practice Judaism.

It is an interesting question that I am only really beginning to grapple with.

The truth is that most Ashkenazim have a considerable amount of European blood, but most also have DNA characteristics that primarily go to the Levant and to the Land of Israel.

Arabs often like to call Ashkenazim "white" -- and thus European -- because it implies that we are interlopers in the land of their ancestry... this despite the fact that Arabs are indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula, not Judea and Samaria. This, in turn, justifies violence against our brothers and sisters in Israel.

However, the question of indigeneity does not rest solely upon genetics... although genetics count.

What counts more is if the land of the people represents the source of their culture. That is the defining characteristic of indigeneity. The Ashkenazim, like the Sephardim, are a Jewish colonized people, indigenous to the Land of Israel, who the Romans sent scattering to the winds after the Bar Kochba Rebellion (132 - 136 CE). Naturally, this meant that we took on many of the cultural elements -- such as language and food -- of the generally unfriendly European nations.

The ancestors of Ashkenazi Jews, such as my own, were forced out of Judea and over many centuries found themselves within the Pale of Settlement within eastern Europe where they faced the violent pogroms of those who most certainly did not consider us "white."

But as a people who were kicked out of our native homeland, stripped of our identity and language throughout the many centuries of the diaspora, we are now told by antisemitic anti-Zionists that Israel is no longer really Jewish or, at least. should not be. The Mizrahim may have a place as second-class citizens under Arab rule, but now "Palestine" is decisively Arab or, at least, should be. So go the fantastical midnight dreams of people like Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

As we saw in the news recently Tlaib even suggested that Palestinian-Arabs who attempt to murder Jews in Israel are "activists" while the Jews of Israel, seeking nothing more than to protect their children and their homeland, are dubbed "White Nationalists."

What is particularly troubling, however, are Ashkenazim in the diaspora who refer to themselves as "white." I, too, as an Ashkenazi born outside of New York in 1963 within a Reform community, also was raised to think of myself as "white." But the truth is, we are not. We may have some European ancestry, but we are most definitely not "white."

Furthermore, the word "white," when it comes to people, is not a biological term, but a political term.

In the centuries preceding the second half of the twentieth-century, in Europe and the United States, Jews were never considered on par with the good, actual "white" people. It was only when that word ceased to have positive connotations and, instead, emerged -- in the wake of the New Left -- as an epithet meaning "racist, colonial, oppressor" that -- Ta Da! -- the Jews suddenly became "white" in the eyes of the progressive-left. It is, at least in part for this reason, that all sorts of "progressive" groups, including much of the Democratic Party, consider Jewish-Israelis interlopers onto the land of the alleged "indigenous Arab population."

And it is, for this reason, that much of the western-left actually pays Palestinian-Arabs to murder Jews, including women and children, under Pay-to Slay. Many in the Democratic Party wish to continue this practice wherein US tax-payers pay out many millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority who then use much of those funds to reward the murderers of Jews within the Jewish homeland.

In the meantime, the Jews of the Middle East (i.e., Jewish-Israelis) will defend themselves whether the Arabs or their Western paymasters like it or not.


  1. People who would rather cut off their arm than try and make black, red or yellow people people feel ashamed of their color exalt in making white people feel ashamed. There's an evil name for this kind of stuff. And it should inform us where the evil exists.

    1. The American Left has betrayed Martin Luther King, Jr.'s admonition to not judge people according to immutable qualities, such as ethnicity, but according to character... and, yet, nobody told me! I had to figure it out all on my lonesome! LOL.

  2. Replies
    1. Cannot forget the Mizrahi, however, in the indigenous game.

      Where and when did these Middle Easterners come from?

  3. By original definition, only English, Dutch, and Saxon Germans are "White". The word choice is unfortunate, because it creates a misconception that it has anything to do with skin tone. It's not how blonde you are, it's how far are you from the original group, and swarthiest native Brit is always "whiter" than the blondest Slav. By that definition Jews are decidedly not "white". But neither are most Europeans. If you use "white" to denote race, and there are 3 major genetic groupings we are familiar with: Sub Saharan Africans, Mongoloid(Oriental), and Caucasoid (West Asian and European), than Jews fall within the last one, and are "white".
    So are Arabs.
    Modern white nationalists in the US still can't decide which European ancestries are "white", skewing towards blonder Northern Europe.
    But "White" civilization, to which they lay claim, was born in the Mediterranean. Greece and Roman Empire were Mediterranean cultures.
    Europe itself is named after Phoenician princess (Erev: evening, west). The very alphabet they use is a variation of Northwest Semitic, and their religion is an evolution of a Judean sect. As Jews are currently the closest living group to the founders of this civilization, we are the "whitest" :)

    1. "Sub Saharan Africans, Mongoloid(Oriental), and Caucasoid (West Asian and European), than Jews fall within the last one, and are "white".
      So are Arabs."
      True. And this is what it said on my government employment for a few years back. White - native to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

    2. Jacob, that is a very sophisticated response. I mean that sincerely, but when someone like Rashida Tlaib suggests that Jews are "white" what she means is "Go back to where you came from," by which she means Europe.

      Nonetheless, in regular pedestrian terms to be "white" is generally understood to be a person of European stock.

    3. I'm not interested in what little antisemitic racists say about who is or isn't a Jew and what rights to grant them on the basis of their genes. Neither are the scientists. The politicizing of the issue turns it into pseudo-science.
      Arabs come neither from Israel nor North America. Tell Rashida to get tested immediately so we'll know where to send her and how much will be the shipping and handling.

    4. Jeff, I like to say that Arabs are indigenous to Israel like the English are indigenous to North Dakota.

    5. Mike,
      I was once walking down a street in Berkeley when I saw a graffiti in the sidewalk saying how all Latinos have been resisting Anglo Imperialism for 500 years. I found this to be hilariously funny, but two of my friends didn't get the joke. Somehow they had come to think of Spanish,...well, do I need to explain?

    6. Helen Thomas once said, in the heyday of the Great Obama, Israeli Jews should all go back to Poland, but she didn't really mean it. She meant Auschwitz. And at a shindig thrown by Obama honoring Jews, she felt completely comfortable saying it straight into the face of a Jew on camera. That's how brazen Jew haters are. And Jews apparently have a long well-deserved reputation for effectively emboldening such reprehensible behaviors. That's what I see with these possibly well-meaning shtetl mentality idiots of the Jewish left. "Let me tell you how nice I am, and then I am sure you'll like me." Jew haters will not like you, they will crush you. There is nothing wrong with being nice to people, and we should never forget that, but survival needs a two-pronged strategy. Sometimes you need to punch back and I mean hard. Israel punches back. Diaspora Jews once looked at that proudly, until they started getting some guff about it.
      I know an Israeli guy here in FL, who was in the IDF with Yonatan Netanyahu. He wasn't picked for the Entebbe mission. This is one of the biggest regrets of his life. He so wanted to go on that mission with not a single reservation about the danger. And still he seems to me a person embracing life to its fullest. I wish I had this guy's balls.
      Many Jewish leaders here, it seems, are afraid to say no to a bunch of lying left wing pip-squeaks, and find ways to justify such bad behavior.

    7. Jacob, I knew that Gandhi was an anti-Zionist, but:

      ...offer themselves to be shot or thrown into the Dead Sea without raising a little finger...

      It's almost hard to believe that he might say that, although it does seem consistent with his pacifist philosophy.

  4. Thane Rosenbaum [author of many
    books and a Distinguished Fellow at
    the NYU School of Law] said:

    “In this universe of automatic virtue
    bestowed upon anyone with a history
    of oppression, Jews are, bizarrely, kicked
    off the team, their privileges suspended,
    all because of their ostensible White privilege.”

    SOURCE: ‘Fiddler on the Roof’
    reminds us of age-old Jewish truths

    by Thane Rosenbaum, 2019 August 7

  5. It's time to play Jeopardy!

    While depicting themselves as independent, feminist, women of color holding ground-breaking "smash the patriarchy" new ideas, these three freshman congresswomen have embraced some of the most toxic and bankrupt ideas on offer from dead white males.
    Who are Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)?

  6. Jeff, the title is the best part! ;O)

  7. Does anyone know how many people visit this web site, per day, per week, per month, or per year?

  8. Mr. Cohen, last month we received about 35,000 pageviews.

    This number is probably down from last year due to my lack of participation and, thus, a decrease in content.

  9. Mike: Thank you for your quick and accurate answer.

  10. Jonathan S. Tobin [Editor in Chief of
    JNS dot org, Jewish News Syndicate] said:

    “... [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortes, [Ilhan] Omar,
    [Rashida] Tlaib, and others making egregious
    comparisons of Israel with Nazi Germany are
    still being treated as the
    “future of the Democratic party”
    — in the words of the Democratic
    National Committee chairman Tom Perez...”

    A blow to BDS in the House
    by Jonathan S. Tobin, 2019/7/24


    Rabbi Harry Maryles said:

    “These four freshmen congresswomen
    have been granted far more attention,
    influence, and power than any other
    first-term congressmen in US history!”

    SOURCE: A Word to My Readers
    by Harry Maryles, 2019 July 17


    Melanie Phillips said:

    “Yet the Democratic Party, which still
    attracts unquestioning support from
    some three-quarters of Jewish voters,
    has failed to discipline these women
    [Ilhan Omar (Democrat-Minnesota),
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat-New York),
    Rashida Tlaib (Democrat-Michigan)
    and Ayanna Pressley (Democrat-Massachusetts)]
    — not just for their Jew-baiting,
    but also for their deep-dyed
    anti-Americanism and anti-White racism.”

    SOURCE: In Trump vs. 'the Squad,'
    American Jews have picked the wrong target

    by Melanie Phillips, 2019/7/18


    The most senior Democrat in the USA government,
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has also condemned

    “[Ilhan] Omar’s use of anti-Semitic
    tropes and prejudicial accusations about
    Israel’s supporters” as “deeply offensive.”

    SOURCE: Ilhan Omar’s Pro-BDS Resolution
    Isn’t About Free Speech — It’s About Hating
    Israel and Jews
    by Adelle Nazarian, 2019/7/19


    Ilhan Omar’s Contempt for the Law:
    trespassing, multiple traffic violations,
    – and she “married” her brother:

  11. Sarah Idan [Former Miss Iraq] said:

    “[Ilhan] Omar does not represent me as a Muslim,
    (she) does not represent millions of Muslims in
    the Middle East. You know like in Arab countries
    we call her the Muslim Brotherhood...”

    Former Miss Iraq Blasts ‘AntiSemitic’ Ilhan Omar,
    Says ‘She Does Not Represent Me as a Muslim’

    by Shiryn Ghermezian, 2019 August 11


    Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan said:

    “The issue between Arabs and Israelis goes
    beyond policy disagreements. It’s deeply
    rooted in the belief systems taught in
    Muslim countries, which are anti-Semitic.”

    SOURCE: In UNHRC Speech
    Ex-Miss Iraq Sarah Idan Blasts
    Anti-Semitism Biased Media
    Coverage Against Israel

    by Shiryn Ghermezian 2019 July 3


    Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan said:

    “When I watched the news last month,
    why did they never report that the
    Hamas terrorist organization fired
    nearly 700 rockets at Israeli civilians
    in one weekend or that Hamas used
    Palestinians in Gaza as human shields?

    Why do they never condemn Hamas
    for initiating the attacks?

    Instead, they only show those
    killed by the response, in
    self-defense, and blame Israel.”

    SOURCE: In UNHRC Speech
    Ex-Miss Iraq Sarah Idan Blasts
    Anti-Semitism Biased Media
    Coverage Against Israel

    by Shiryn Ghermezian 2019 July 3

  12. Woo hoo. Israel has barred antisemitic congresswomen from visiting Israel after reported pressure from Trump administration. Thank you Pres. Trump.

    Now, naturally this will give a boost to those women and cause a backlash against Israel but really, who cares? That probably would have happened anyway so this way, Israel has a backbone and shows the Donald some respect; both good things.

    1. Yup. There are few good reasons for allowing people who wish to harm Israel -- and thus harm the Jewish people -- into the state of Israel. Omar and Tlaib will try to make some anti-Zionist hay out of this but virtually no one in the US is actually going to give a damn.

  13. Bernie says this is a sign of "enormous disrespect to these elected leaders, to the United States Congress, and to the principles of democracy."

    No, Bernie. It's a sign of Israeli backbone in denying the right to visit to 2 Israel hating, BDS backing jerks. Time for you to retire you old Commie.

    1. Bernie wouldn't know the "principles of democracy" if it crawled up his leg and bit him in the ass. The guy is a socialist, for fuck's sake. Socialism, if it means anything, means that the workers own the means of production... which actually means that the government owns the companies allegedly on behalf of the workers. By what democratic means does he intend to steal those corporations?

    2. Tlaib makes an impassioned argument for boycotts, but for some reason doesn't understand that such a right cuts both ways. The Nazis boycotted the Jews and so have the Arabs for 100 years, both for racist antisemitic and only too obvious supremacist reasons. Using Ms. Tlaib's logic, we are compelled to boycott the PLO, the PA, Hamas, and all like minded organizations and those who support them including BDS (using their own model of secondary boycotts), not to mention a boycott of Tlaib and Omar.
      The US doesn't let certain political figures enter the country. The UK won't let in any prominent speaker who might make a peep that there could be a problem with radical Islam.
      These two dark skin & vagina wearing Jew haters put on their itinerary that they were traveling to "Palestine." Enough.

      Re: Bernie
      Bernie lived his life ranting and raving about rich people, (apparently, they have all of his money). He was a Socialist and couldn't get more than 10% of the vote. Then he became an Independent. Then he runs for President, not as a Socialist or as an Independent, but as a Democrat, taking advantage of the perks and largesse that could afford him and his campaign. In doing so, he was simply following the lead of the hard left over the last several decades in infiltrating with the intention of taking over through subversive means. I don't need him lecturing me or Israel about "the principles of democracy."

  14. RE: Tlaib, Omar, et al

    According to the TOI, Rashida Tlaib referred to her "Palestinian roots" in an impassioned bid for free speech.
    People who live under the PA and/or Hamas have no free speech rights. Those are her "roots." In the Arab/Muslim "world" "free speech" allows one to say anything negative about Israel and Jews, but if one says anything positive about Israel, the death threats follow. Just ask the former Miss Iraq. This brave young woman has called out Jew hater Ilhan Omar for her antisemitism and her support for the Muslim Brotherhood. This is to a great extent, maybe even mainly, who she represents in Congress. Tlaib wrapped herself in the Palestinian flag.
    Tlaib, born in the USA, and her children, and children' children, are "Palestinian refugees." There was never a state of Palestine or nationality.
    The Palestinian cause is an extortion racket. Let's all stop paying.

  15. Those upset with banning Tlaib and Omar:

    PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, Jew haters everywhere, Israel haters everywhere, almost all Democrats.

    Great company Dems. This is why we can't have nice things.

    1. Over at Politico is much the same, but at least there is some pushback. So filled with hate are these people, not just for Israel and Jews either.

    2. Many of these American Jewish organizations should think a little more deeply about this before posturing. Perhaps it's time for them to remember that Israel is an independent democratic state, not their vassal.
      "Israel did such and such, but I'm a "good" Democrat and I don't agree."
      STFU already.

    3. They act like there is a human right to enter a country, but that is reserved to one's own country. ICCPR Article 12.