As To Jews-as-a-Race & Those Who Credit the Idea

As to Jews-as-a-Race:

Certainly the idea predates the 1930s and yet one must see that the real victory of Nazism was/is, despite losing the Second War, the embedding in the post-war mind the acceptance of the idea, no matter how ludicrous.

Yet no idea, however preposterously anti-scientific as the Jews-Are-A-Race idea is, can exist, let alone flourish, in a vacuum or without historical antecedents.

Prior to Racial anti-Semitism taking hold under the guidance of the Nazis, there was Political anti-Semitism, the forced removal of Jews from (largely European) regions and nations. This kind of anti-Semitism is about borders, lines on political maps.

Before that, anti-Semitism was largely what can be called Religious anti-Semitism: convert-or-leave. 

In short, Religious anti-Semitism says You May Not Live Here...As A Jew. (There are nations, now, where this is  law.)

               Political anti-Semitism says to Jews... You May Not Live Here. (And there are nations, now, where this is law.)

And w Nazism, these positions built on one another, making explicit the assumption in the prior stages, that Jews are simply and fundamentally unlike others, that Jews are not fully human, that Jews are racially sub-human, as a matter of 'blood'.  

               Racial anti-Semitism is the ideology that says to Jews...You May Not Live.  

That ideology exists today, less in nation-states as policy, though in nation-states as tenor and sanctioned, winked at and officially ignored behavior, and certainly among organized groups in state-sponsored organizations in various countries.

The benighted notion of Jews-As-A-Race is the ironic and far-too-potent enduring triumph of a formally defeated Nazism; it has its historical step-stones, and people who, today, speak of Jews as belonging to a race, whether or not they intend it, hold and further core National Socialist principles. 

Most who entertain the idea, those who speak as if it is a creditable understanding and thus further it...they can do better and bring some needed credit to themselves.

Views: 152

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on August 31, 2016 at 10:40am

Thanks to Kosh's piece and his comment-writers for stimulating this.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on August 31, 2016 at 10:55am

R&L  There are some who might point to traditions in Conservative and Ultra-Orthadox  Judaism that identify matrilinear descent to exclude the other or the lesser as an example of racial identification, but these represent only a small minority of people who identify as Jews.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on August 31, 2016 at 11:01am

jmac   The matrilineal descentrule  is and was never a biological/blood/dna idea. It was a way for a tiny minority religious culture to survive in an ancient Near East where women were routinely stolen and raped and gave (unwanted) birth in a world of near-continual war. 

Comment by JMac1949 Today on August 31, 2016 at 11:33am

King David and King Solomon had multiple marriages and concubines with women who were not born into any of the Hebrew tribes.  Politics trumped belief back in the old days.  ;-)

Comment by koshersalaami on August 31, 2016 at 11:52am

I think Jon's point is that you could always tell who the mother was. 

JMac,
Jon's whole point is that "racial identification" is an invalid concept here. We are tribal, but we don't comprise a race. Also, we are a tribe that can be joined through our religion. 

Jon,
I very much doubt the person who used "race" as a term on my thread meant it in this way. I think if "ethnicity" or "tribe" were substituted, the same point would work. 

In the old days, a lot of people thought tribe might mean race. Today, a lot of people don't think race means race. It's a pretty nebulous concept around the edges.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on August 31, 2016 at 12:07pm

My favorite refutation of Jewish racial identity is found in the Lemba people of Africa.  For millennia they have claimed to be descendant from the lost tribe of Israel and sure enough a DNA study in 2000 found that a substantial number of Lemba men carry a particular haplotype of the Y-chromosome known as the Cohen modal haplotype (CMH), as well as a haplogroup of Y-DNA Haplogroup J found among some Jews, but also in other populations across the Middle East and Arabia.  http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/unlike-many-lost-tribes-zimbabwe...

So much for a homogeneous racial identity of Jews.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on August 31, 2016 at 2:36pm

Kosh   Whatever else race means and however it has been used here/elsewhere, it's centrally abt biology and certain immutable characteristics and no serious person doubts that. If a person, for private or political reasons, wants it mainly to have to do w affinities within cultural or other kinds of groups and suggests that "race" is about biology as an aside, that person is playing so fast/loose w nearly universally accepted language norms to render that person useless to serious conversation.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on August 31, 2016 at 3:05pm

And when you say, Kosh,

"Today, a lot of people don't think race means race. It's a pretty nebulous concept around the edges." all I can say is to ask

Why does their folly have any call on what we know to be true...that at its core Race is fundamentally abt biology? (And that we oughta speak as if that's so)?

"Today, a lot of people think"

. that climate change is a conspiracy among anti-capitalists; (NO, IT ISN'T)

. that talking on cellphones can cause cancer; (NO, IT DOESN'T)

. that we use only 10% of our brains;  (WE USE CLOSER TO 90%...SOME PEOPLE'S BRAIN'S ARE JUST MORE ROBUST WHATEVER % IS ISED...IN ADDITION, WERE WE TO USE JUST 10% OF OUR BRAINS, HOW COULD OUR EVOLUTIONARY DEVELOPMENT BE EXPLAINED?)

. that you will die if a penny dropped from the Empire State Bldg hits your head; (NO, YOUR HEAD WILL STING AND PERHAPS, IF YOU'RE BALD, YOU'LL HAVE A MARK.)

. that lightning never hits the same spot twice; (NO; IN FACT ID DOES, AND A LOT.)

. that hair grows on the dead; (NOPE; AND NEITHER DO NAILS GROW...THE SKIN AROUND THE SKULL AND FINGERS DO RECEDE, SO SOME PEOPLE ASSUME THE HAIR AND FINGERS GROW.)

. that urine relieves jelly-fish stings; (NOPE; IN FACT, IT'LL STING ALL THE MORE.)

. that the Left-brained are more logical than those right-brained; (NO...DESPITE THE BOOK 'DRAWING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN', BOTH SIDES ARE RATHER EQUALLY ACTIVE IN BOTH LOGICAL AND CREATIVE ACTIVITIES.)

People use ideas well and they misuse and abuse them. Using 'Race' in any way that suggests it's not, at its core, abt biology, is misuse if unintentional, or abuse if intentional.

Comment by koshersalaami on August 31, 2016 at 3:34pm

Of course it's misuse. That's my point. I very much doubt the person on my thread gave the term a lot of thought. 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on August 31, 2016 at 3:45pm

Sure, tho I don't understand the idea of "around the edges"  in this case. It's almost like saying I'd like strawberry ice cream were it chocolate, and I want to like strawberry bc my pals do or my gf does and they want me to like it, ever so much they do, so I start saying that around the edges they taste  pretty much the same...and I then expect to be taken seriously abt ice cream flavors.

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