Wednesday, March 21, 2007

NogaNote:

I've been reading some British blogs for a few months now. There are some fascinating discussions happening there, on blogs like Harry's Place and Engage. Most contributors are Leftists who strongly support Israel (as a Jewish state, not as a candidate for annihilation via the one "bi-national" state solution). Many discussions revolve around their ideological feuds with fringe "ultraleft" groups that advocate the destruction of Israel with all the seriousness and zealotry of a medieval Savonarolla. It is very difficult to figure out all the nuances that they discuss at times, when they seem to distinguish one extreme group from another based on some difference that I, personally, cannot even see. But they all appear to understand the language and the different political hues with relative ease.

Anyway, I have come to learn about some pretty extraordinary characters through these discussion, one of whom is Gilad Atzmon, an Israeli jazz player who calls himself an "ex-Jew" and is busy proclaiming a belief that antisemitic cabals are justified and possibly even true. I have been interested in these sort of "black sheep" since I made the acquaintance of Pablo Christiani, a notorious medieval apostate. Having studied under two prominent rabbis, he converted in 1230 and joined the Dominicans. He then spent the rest of his life attacking Jews and the rabbinical scriptures.

Such types are known throughout Jewish hirtory. They are as much a logical product of the virulence of anti-Jewish hatred as the gas chambers were.

This is how the Russian writer Alexander Herzen described this kind of "condition" in his great nineteenth-century work on the topic, My Past and Thoughts:

"I do say ... that exile, not undertaken with any definite object, but forced upon men by the triumph of the opposing party, checks development and draws men away from the activities of life into the domain of fantasy... cut off from the living environment to which they have belonged ... [they] grow more and more acclimatized to a closed, fanatic circle consisting of inert memories and hopes that can never be realized."

It can't be a coincidence that the first CD by that jazz player I was referring to was entitled: "Exile".

2 Comments:

At 3:02 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Many discussions revolve around their ideological feuds with fringe "ultraleft" groups that advocate the destruction of Israel with all the seriousness and zealotry of a medieval Savonarolla. It is very difficult to figure out all the nuances that they discuss at times, when they seem to distinguish one extreme group from another based on some difference that I, personally, cannot even see. But they all appear to understand the language and the different political hues with relative ease."


I suggest you get with the plan and learn the diffrences. You should know the differences between the Socialist Workers Party and The Alliance for Workers Liberty.

You should also know the intricate differences between Jews Against Zionism, the Jewish Socialist Group, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Just Peace and the list goes on.

Mikey

 
At 3:51 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Hi Mikey: I did try to follow your explanation about the differences but was half-way lost in the maze of.. nuance. I was as stymied as Brian here...

BRIAN: Are you the Judean People's Front?

REG: Fuck off!

BRIAN: What?

REG: Judean People's Front. We're the People's Front of Judea! Judean People's Front. Cawk.

FRANCIS: Wankers.

BRIAN: Can I... join your group?

REG: No. Piss off.

BRIAN: I didn't want to sell this stuff. It's only a job. I hate the Romans as much as anybody.

PEOPLE'S FRONT OF JUDEA: Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhh. Shh. Shhhh.

REG: Stumm.

JUDITH: Are you sure?

BRIAN: Oh, dead sure. I hate the Romans already.

REG: Listen. If you really wanted to join the P.F.J., you'd have to really hate the Romans.

BRIAN: I do!

REG: Oh, yeah? How much?

BRIAN: A lot!

REG: Right. You're in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People's Front.

P.F.J.: Yeah...

JUDITH: Splitters.

P.F.J.: Splitters...

FRANCIS: And the Judean Popular People's Front.

P.F.J.: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters...

LORETTA: And the People's Front of Judea.

P.F.J.: Yeah. Splitters. Splitters...

REG: What?

LORETTA: The People's Front of Judea. Splitters.

REG: We're the People's Front of Judea!

LORETTA: Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.

REG: People's Front! C-huh.

FRANCIS: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?

REG: He's over there.

P.F.J.: Splitter!

 

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