April 16, 2013

Chronicle of Higher Education: Assheuer demonstrates Assmann's anti-Semitism

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Biblical Blame Shift 
Is the Egyptologist Jan Assmann Fueling Anti-Semitism? 
By Richard Wolin 
Jan Assmann has been described as the world's leading Egyptologist—a characterization that few these days would dare to dispute. A 74-year-old emeritus professor at the University of Heidelberg and honorary professor at the University of Konstanz, Assmann has held guest professorships at Yale, the University of Chicago, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, in Paris. 
In addition to his specialized work as an Egyptologist, Assmann has staked a more general claim to distinction as a leading theorist of cultural history as a result of his pathbreaking work on "mnemo­history"—a concept he has developed over the past three decades with his wife, Aleida Assmann, and other researchers. 
In his recent volume, Cultural Memory and Early Civilization: Writing, Remembrance, and Political Imagination (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Assmann recapitulates a number of his most important findings. Building on the work of previous theorists of cultural memory as an approach to historical understanding (such as the French sociologist Maurice Halbwachs), Assmann's notion of mnemohistory suggests that, from a cultural point of view, the way history is remembered is more important than—to quote the German historian Leopold von Ranke—"the way it really was." ...
As Assmann explains his methodology in Cultural Memory and Early Civilization: "Even if sometimes the debate over history, memory, and mnemotechnics may appear abstract and academic, it seems to me to nevertheless lie at the very heart of current discourse. Everything points to the fact that the concept of memory constitutes the basis for a new paradigm of cultural studies that will shed light on all the interconnected fields of art and literature, politics and sociology, religion and law." 
Assmann points out that questions of historical remembrance are frequently the object of contentious cultural negotiations and disputes. Often, such struggles go far toward determining the cultural self-understanding of a given society or social group. To take one example that resurfaces often in Assmann's work: At various points in European cultural history, the memory of ancient Egypt, as the "other" of the West, has assumed a pivotal function. Thus in both the Old Testament and early Christianity, Egypt was hyperbolically constructed as a "negative totem." For the ancient Jews, it became the symbol of worldly corruption ("the fleshpots of Egypt") and soulless idolatry. Among Christians, it became one of the essential sites of paganism—a past from which believers needed to free themselves in order to accede to the promised land of salvation. 
Assmann's approach systematically neglects ancient Judaism's robust moral inclinations toward tolerance and neighborly love. ...

Everybody knows Moses was the good guy and Pharaoh the bad guy. I mean, who are you going to believe: the world's-leading Egyptologist (who, allow me to point out, has a funny name) or Cecil B. de Mille? I rest my case.
What Assmann essentially describes in his writings is an improbable and presumptuous theory of historico-theological "blowback." 
By introducing the "Mosaic distinction," Assmann argues, the Old Testament established the foundations of religious intolerance, as epitomized by the theological watchwords: "No other gods!" "No god but God!" ... In Of God and Gods, Assmann goes so far as to suggest that the "religion of the book" was proto-totalitarian. "The Torah with its commandments and prohibitions ... served as a script for leading one's life, running one's business, performing the rituals, ruling the community, in short regulating every aspect of individual and collective existence," he argues. "This was a new phenomenon in the history of writing as well as that of religion and civilization generally. Never before had writing served such comprehensive functions." 
At the risk of lapsing into what, by his own admission, might be viewed as anti-Jewish stereotypes and polemics, Assmann invokes several chilling, if familiar, instances of mass slaughter from the Old Testament as confirmation of his thesis concerning the inherent relationship between "exclusive monotheism" and predatory violence. ... 
Of course, there is no archaeological evidence to support the claim that any of these alleged divinely mandated bloodlettings actually occurred. Instead, it is commonly acknowledged that they were conceived by the anonymous biblical authors as cautionary tales to illustrate the risks of straying from the basic precepts of the Old Testament's austere ethical injunctions. ... 
A major failing of Assmann's approach is that it systematically neglects ancient Judaism's robust moral inclinations toward tolerance and neighborly love. Numerous prescriptions in the Old Testament, known as the Noachide Laws, stress the importance of providing hospitality and succor to strangers. As we read in Leviticus (19:33-34): "When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as your self, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt." ...  
A number of astute critics have also pointed out that, from a social-evolutionary perspective, biblical monotheism represents a significant ethical breakthrough, providing a normative basis for the idea of universal human brotherhood—a characterization diametrically opposed to the "exclusionary" mentality that Assmann considers predominant. Historically, the Exodus parable, which Assmann judges the ur-text of exclusionary monotheism, has served as a foundational narrative of political emancipation: humanity's deliverance from the injustices of bondage and oppression. 
Assmann censures monotheism's ostensible "world alienation"—its embrace of a transcendent, invisible God who dwells outside of, rather than within, the world. But that divine barrier, in fact, underwrites the ethical distinction between justice and injustice, what is and what should be, mere life versus life led according to principle. This perspective conveys the idea that the moral life is something that must be achieved by a demanding process of existential reorientation and conversion. It "alienates" men and women not from the world as such, but from the world conceived as a locus of oppression and injustice. That was the reality that the Israelites were forced to confront during their 400 years of bondage in ancient Egypt. ... 
Thus as the journalist Thomas Assheuer has pointed out in discussing Assmann's work: "The appeal to a just God was the answer to an experience of violence and suffering that can no longer be compensated by myth."

And, no I'm not making this up. I've never heard of Assheuer before, but Assmann is a big deal in German intellectual life (as is Mrs. Assmann).

Personally, when I was eight, I thought the Book of Joshua, with all that smiting of the wicked Canaanites who had the effrontery to be living on land the Hebrews coveted, was awesome.

80 comments:

FWG said...

Assmann, really?

Anonymous said...

For the last 100 years the Jews have said that Judaism and Judaism alone has a lock up on brotherly love (not like those hateful anti-homosexual white Christians!)

Are you telling me the Jews weren't always like that?

Are you saying that maybe what the Jews are doing to the Palestinians is what they did to...Us (depending on your ancestry) Way Back When?

Anonymous said...

Mr Assman's cinematic work is widely appreciated.

Luke Lea said...

""Even if sometimes the debate over history, memory, and mnemotechnics may appear abstract and academic, it seems to me to nevertheless lie at the very heart of current discourse."

Whenever I hear the word "discourse" I reach for my pistol.

Anonymous said...

"Assman, Jerry... I'm Cosmo Kramer, the Assman!"

Luke Lea said...

"Assmann's approach systematically neglects ancient Judaism's robust moral inclinations toward tolerance and neighborly love."

Except for the word "robust" I agree with that statement: there are "two" Gods contending for the upper hand in the Pentateuch and throughout Jewish history -- well, not two maybe, but just barely one: the God of Abraham and the God of Moses. See here for the details of the conflict:

https://sites.google.com/site/thetorahandthewestbank/



Whiskey said...

The guy seems an idiot for an Egyptologist. ANY religion monotheistic or not those days (circa 1500-600 BC) was rigid, "slay the outsiders" and very rule/command oriented. The Old Testament like the Jews themselves is an amalgamation of various Sumerian stories (Flood = Epic of Gilgamesh) with rigid moral codes. This just in, Hammurabi, Pharoah, and Jehova all demanded rigid obedience.

But by the time of Jesus, the Jews changed DRAMATICALLY as did the Egyptians (note, Jesus hid in Egypt to escape wicked Herod). About three centuries of Greek humanism had led the Jews to become practically aliens to their own old traditions, and the Egyptians to be ruled by fair-skinned Greeks (out of Alexander's generals).

Indeed if you take ancient sources of comments about Jews: Egyptians, Phoenicians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Hittites, Assyrians, Carthiginians, etc. the Jews were rigidly stubborn but undistinguished intellectually. If you believe Harpending and Cochran, huge selective pressure occurred over a thousand years in the Diaspora to select for intelligence, against a backdrop of genetic bottlenecks due to disease and massive pogroms.

Whiskey said...

Besides, Plato and Machiavelli between them settled the whole thing about history anyway. Plato held that the "inner Party" had to know the truth in order to lie more effectively, while Machiavelli held that knowing the truth allowed history's actual lessons to be learned and applied practically to ruling.

Assman seems master of the obvious.

Anonymous said...

Have no idea what Assmann means by "cultural memory" but Carl Jung believed in collective racial memories. These collective racial memories might not be specific but were more general, a type of collective subconscious of a race.

BTW, I'm more of a T-Man man than an A-Man, if you catch my drift. What about you, Steve?

Auntie Analogue said...


Pity, isn't it, that Herr Assmann's intellectual foe is not named Herr Titmann?

el supremo said...

That article is just shameless special pleading and shoddy work at that. Why they asked a scholar of 1960's intellectuals to write about the Bronze Age is itself dubious.

Old Hebrew texts are very different from the Epic of Gilgamesh or the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and Wolin's banal statements about "robust moral inclinations" obscure those important differences. (Although scholars are increasingly seeing the oldest Jewish texts as being heavily borrowed from common Mesopotamian / Levantine myths)

Even if you conveniently assume away the massacres in the Old Testament as allegorical, comparative texts from other religions in the period don't even raise the idea of massacring rival ethnic groups or spending many pages setting demanding and exacting standard of personal behavior and hygiene.

Also, the ancient egyptians would be surprised to hear that Moses somehow invented the idea of a moral order guiding society, given that the code of "Maat" set moral principles for egyptian life and dates back to the Old Kingdom pyramid age.

Anonymous said...

I'm not Jewish, and only recently, out of idle curiosity, did I bother to learn anything about the "commandments and prohibitions" of traditional Judaism. I have to say that, having done a little reading on Wikipedia, the term that comes to mind is not "proto-totalitarian" but "OCD!"

Also, when I was in elementary school I knew a Jewish kid named "Lardas". Oh, how he suffered...

Jason said...

This is a weird post, Mr. Sailer - I honestly don't know what you're trying to get at. For some reason it is a revelation to you that religious history is complicated, that there can be a curious combination of moral advance and ethical backwardness in the same religious tradition - for example Judaism. Well, life is complicated, is it not, and thoughtful Jews - not to mention Christians and Muslims, to just pick out the two other great monetheisms -recognize that doctrine evolves, that historical memories may not be entirely accurate and need to be adapted to more reasonable ethical, religious, and academic standards. The fact that many Jews, Christians, and Muslims do not do enough to recognize modern such advances and understandings doesn't change the fact that many others do. Really, I can't believe that you really don't perceive this.

sunbeam said...

The Middle East was lousy with busybodies even in antiquity.

The Code of Hammurabi was... pretty complete. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a law in that somewhere about taking a dump.

Still that place was a LOT more fun in the really olden days. Temple Prostitutes, a real gosh darn Temple of Sin, an immoral Egypt.

Egypt. Chock full of cats and weird, wonderful religions before that stupid Islam (and Christianity AND Judeism too come to think of it) ruined the place.

Wine, beer, and immorality. Makes me cry to see what it is today.

Not all in the same country, but Tiamat, Marduk, Mitra, Osiris, Ra, Isis, Ahriman, Zoroaster all dead and gone.

Just look at it now. Just look at it.

All that's left of all that funky coolness is a bunch of people who face Mecca five times a day.

If boredom was a religion it would be Islam.

Anonymous said...

"foundational narrative of political emancipation"

Are you sure that this text hasn't been generated by some sort of humanities paper generator program?

Anonymous said...

"Chronicle of Higher Education"

Must. keep. straight. face. The really funny thing is how serious they always are. Somehow captures everything wrong with modern higher-education.

Anonymous said...

Kramer the assman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tujqM2u-BVo

Anonymous said...

El Supremo,

While not Levantines, the ancient Hindus also codified a "demanding and exacting standard of personal behavior and hygiene."

The Jews have historically exhibited an obsession with ritual purity and a proclivity for hair-splitting distinctions between categories, but they are not alone in this.

The massacre of rival ethnic groups is pretty much a human universal, especially in the ancient middle east. The main Jewish innovation consisted of introducing the idea of massacring one's own ethnic kinsmen over religious infractions.

In this regard, stories such as Jehu's purge of Baal worshipers are more uniquely Jewish than any tale involving the smiting of Canaanites.

I've no desire to stifle criticism of the Jews, ancient or modern, but tire of claims that Jews are uniquely pernicious, or that the Jews are the source of universal human evils.

Such claims may seem attractive in light of our era's hagiographic philosemitism, but they are still factually wrong.

-The Judean People's Front

Thursday said...

Robert Alter's new translation of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings has just been published. He's really good. If you want to go back and take a look at good old Joshua, this might be worth your time.

Svigor said...

Leviticus 19

33And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.

And if a stranger sojourn with you in your land,.... Ben Gersom, and others, understand this of a proselyte of righteousness, who was circumcised, and in all things conformed to the Jewish religion; but it may be interpreted of a proselyte of the gate, who was not an idolater, since he is described as one sojourning with them, and indeed of any stranger, who for a time was providentially cast among them:

ye shall not vex him: with hard and grievous words, upbraiding him with his former ignorance and idolatry, and saying unto him, as Jarchi observes, yesterday thou wast a worshipper of idols, and now thou comest to learn the law; nor distress him by any means in business, or with law suits; See Gill on Exodus 22:21.


In other words, we're not talking about heathens here, but converts and the Jewish equivalent of dhimmis, or even foreign Jews.

Tolerance of the other? Not so much:

Deuteronomy 12

Cruelty and Violence in the Old Testament

Leviticus:

25:44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
25:45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
25:46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

Psalms:

2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

Psalm 59

Psalms: Intolerance

Svigor said...

That article is just shameless special pleading

What's sad is how much special pleading Christians do on behalf of the Hebrews, their OT, and their G-d. Pretty much the entirety of that apologia consists of special pleading, leading a critically-thinking observer to conclude that G-d was racist to the core.

Same thing goes for modern Israel, really.

razzle in my pocket said...

...

Really wanted to read through that, considering the rare archaeology subject (at my college I saw they'd established back in the 20s an Egyptology dept., it was the style at the time apparently). Aw well, that's too bad. Now I can't stop thinking of a scene from an early "Curb Your Enthusiasm" where Wanda Sykes accuses him of "grubbin' in the bleachers." As to my own fetishes I'm not a WSJ op-ed writer/TV host; more of a leg man like most respectable gents.

Anonymous said...

Assmann is a big deal in German intellectual life

Since it is a series of pornographic films, that doesn't surprise me.

Simon in London said...

"By introducing the "Mosaic distinction," Assmann argues, the Old Testament established the foundations of religious intolerance"

I had thought until just now that this was so obvious as to 'go without saying'.
This article appears to be trying to reverse the Enlightenment assumption that you can examine a religion empirically, from an external aspect. It reminds me of the recent successful effort by Muslims in the West to prevent such critique of Islam, in their case by threatening violence against anyone who criticises their religion. This article is the same sort of thing, only the threat is to be branded with the Mark of Shame and excluded from 'good' society.

Anonymous said...

I am thinking it is pronounced more like Us-maan.
and wasn't monotheism the legacy of Akhenaten?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/06/photogalleries/tut-pictures/

Anonymous said...

x-files ankhenaten:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Akhenaten_%281351-1334%29_-_Walters_2288.jpg

anony-mouse said...

How many people are worshiping Amon-Ra today?

Aren't people here Darwinists?

elvisd said...




Well, there was/is a ritual for that in a related tradition .

Hunsdon said...

Jason said: Really, I can't believe that you really don't perceive this.

Hunsdon said: Really?

Hunsdon said...

Judean People's Front said: I've no desire to stifle criticism of the Jews, ancient or modern, but tire of claims that Jews are uniquely pernicious, or that the Jews are the source of universal human evils.

Hunsdon said: They punch above their weight in other fields, too.

el supremo said...

@Anonymous 10:07 PM -

Good points - If the Egyptian holy books don't have much in the way of massacres of rival groups, their monuments do, with endless huge reliefs of Nubians or Hittites being smote by giant size Pharaohs.

In a way, Wolin's insistence on the virtue and decency of the ancient Israelites is the flip side of those who try to attribute all sorts of evil to them - the ancient Israelite way of life and ethos were profoundly different from Judaism as it existed by the time of the Roman empire, and even more so today, and looking at the bad parts of ancient Israel really is no criticism of contemporary Judaism.

vandelay said...

The "Assman" Billy Gunn also had a pretty good run in the WWF during the Attitude Era with the New Age Outlaws.
How prolific!

Daybreaker said...

The attempts to say all ancient religious were really the same in every way that is needed to make Judaism not ever be different in a negative way are pathetic, and show ignorance of the real character of ancient religions, especially ancient Egyptian religion, on which Jan Assmann is truly great. (Read him! It's not hard. He's a great scholar and a good writer.)

These religions were truly different, and you just have to take your lumps when it comes to the differences. Anything else is dishonest.

There is nothing like the the rules of Jewish holy war in ancient Egyptian religion. There is nothing like Egypt's glorification of the world-saving role of beer or the rites of the great god Min in Jewish religion.

That is how it is. They were not equal in ethnocentricity, obsession with rules, violence, totalitarian potential, or anything else. They were different things, radically "other" to each other.

Egyptians never, simply never, argued over how many gods there were. (And no, not even Akhenaten's cult was really an exception to that - it's differences with the traditional religion were elsewhere - read and learn.) That was a non-question from their point of view. The Abrahamic religions were arguing about that from the start, and have never really stopped, with Judaism and Islam not accepting the Trinity. The differences are as deep as they could imaginably be.

And what Assmann says makes sense. It should. He's great. He's the top expert. He knows the context of what he's saying, and in context it is correct, or let's say very, very defensible speculation.

David said...

>for you were aliens in the land of Egypt<

Even the counterexample lends weight to Assmann's thesis.

David said...

I'm no Egyptologist and neither is Whiskey, but I think Whiskey is on to something. What's funny about Assmann is that his thesis is so pro-Egyptian nationalism: evil came into the world thru the scapegoating of holy Egypt! It's like he's trying to mirror Israeli nationalists: evil originated in people's scapegoating of Jews!

When people talk about the destructiveness of religion, they are generally referring to the Semitic creeds (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) that sprouted in that part of the world. Hard to find a comparable record of horror and hatred in native European religions, such as Druidism.

Daybreaker said...

I don't know how to emphasize adequately how un-scholarly this is.

It's like scolding Assmann for not conforming his theories to creation science. You're not supposed to do that.

Dutch Boy said...

The operative term for the Canaanites is "wicked." Slaying their own sons to worship Moloch and prostituting their daughters to worship Astarte. Not hard to see why the Hebrews might want to eliminate such people.

Anonymous said...

Any religion that requires severing part of a man's dick as part of an initiation ritual is barbaric. How did Freud put it? Surrogate castration? No wonder so many Jewish guys are Momma's boys, they came within in an inch of losing their balls. It's as though their culture says, "Let that be a lesson to you, toe the line or else....next time we won't miss."

Anonymous said...

The Book of Esther is basically a Mossad manual.

jgress said...

Seems to me less thoughtless anti-Semitic tropes than thoughtless atheist tropes. Christians have realized that the Old Testament was cruel since the New Testament was written. E.g. Christ saying to his male followers that they couldn't divorce their wives just whenever they felt like, as the Mosaic law allowed, but they had to have a good reason, i.e. if she slept with another man.

But it is interesting that somehow traditionalist Christians are held accountable for the alleged ethical failings in the Old Testament, but not the Jews! The Jews get to keep everything "tolerant" in the OT, and somehow the intolerant stuff only belongs to Christians.

Anonymous said...

Ok but here's the thing when your operating mantra is who/whom and you constantly whine about how misgoverned the west is and how exploitative its elites are you kind of need to then top your hats to the Israelites. Life for a common Jew was infinitely better than it was for a common Egyptian in a much less economically abundant part of the world. That's what happens when built into your culture are things like Samuel's discourse on the evils of kingship and the legacy of the judges. Life is Israel was analogous to the 1950's utopia whose loss generates so much resentment on this site. The 50s were built on the ruins of German and Japan omlettes need egg and all thats. All this argument does is leave your jaw open to a "what about the Indians" counter jab while at same time pissing off most Christians who get tired of the Bronze Age sky god routine. And to be perfect honest those that would counter accusation of Israelite blood lust with the legacy of the American Indians have a point. Read My Life on the Plains sometime. Manifest Destint had as its template the Israelites in the Promised Land.

Here's a hint the trail of tears is going to pack more emotional wallop than ten passages from Joshua.

Geoff Matthews said...

David,

Druids sacrificed people.
Greeks and Romans liked death matches.
Communities . . . well, I'm sure that you know what they did.
Vikings were killers and looters. They weren't above killing 'the other' for sport.

You aren't going to find much genteelness amongst the ancient pagans. Being on the verge of famine will make anyone callous and cruel, and the ancients were often on the edge of famine.

Anonymous said...

Simon in London said...
"By introducing the "Mosaic distinction," Assmann argues, the Old Testament established the foundations of religious intolerance"

I had thought until just now that this was so obvious as to 'go without saying'."

Absolutely. Thats were I was going with my Jehu reference.

"Hunsdon said: They punch above their weight in other fields, too."

I didn't say anything to the contrary. I agree that Jews have had and continue to have a disproportionate influence on the course of human history, for both good and ill.

What bothers me is the whole "everything was awesome before il yahood showed up" mentality. We can legitimately take the blame for creating the idea that ideological/religious differences can confer outlaw status upon you own kin.

The idea that you can slaughter alien peoples for fun and profit is a little older.

The tendency of the elites of large specialized civilizations to exploit their own people is another ill that has frequently been aided and abbeted by the Jewish community, but the idea that elite predation is largely a function of Jewish influence is bunk.

Does the current hybrid Elite exploit the common gentile(and Jew) for elite interests? Yes. Did the Old WASP elite exploit their non-elite countrymen. Yes.

Look at the first world war.

The ruling class taught mid-western and northeastern Germans hate their own, then sent them to destroy the greatest civilization known to man. All in order to bail out the elite's coethnics
abroad.

Replace ruling class with Neocon, and replace greatest civilization with resource rich craphole that threatens some of the elites' coethnics, and the story sounds pretty current. Sh*t don't ever change.

Daybreaker

I am not attacking Assman's work, nor am I claiming that all ancient theologies are the same. I stating that nasty was the baseline for group behavior back then, and that we didn't invent nasty.

El Supremo @ 6:08

Yup. Wolin is indeed engaging in reactively hagiographic apologetics. Sad and unscholarly.

I wonder if the Jewish tendency to resist facing unpleasant truths about ourselves stems from our long history of relegating ideologically/theologically problematic kin to out group status and rewarding mastery and acceptance of the reigning theology with wives, money, and power.

A bad Italian is still, at the end of the day, an Italian.

Membership in the tribe has always had an ideological component as well as the standard linguistic and genetic requirements.

-The Judean People's Front


Daybreaker said...

Simon in London: "This article appears to be trying to reverse the Enlightenment assumption that you can examine a religion empirically, from an external aspect. It reminds me of the recent successful effort by Muslims in the West to prevent such critique of Islam, in their case by threatening violence against anyone who criticises their religion. This article is the same sort of thing, only the threat is to be branded with the Mark of Shame and excluded from 'good' society."

That's it, exactly.

Rohan Swee said...

That article and the comments were sure weirdly interesting. I generally don't pay attention to this sort of thing, but it seems that some of the participants' views can be summarized as "...Anybody who asserts that the Jews are not morally superior to other groups is an anti-Semite."

Steve - agree with you about the Book of Joshua. That awesome smiting stuff was the only thing that would get me near a Bible when I was a kid.

Anonymous said...

Jgress,

It is indeed laughable when my coethnics try to take credit for ethical monotheism but blanch at the human cost of establishing or maintaining it.

We should grow up and manfully accept our own history for ALL that it is.

Trying try to pass the buck to traditionalist Christians is undignified and unworthy of a people that claims historical greatness.

-The Judean People's Front

Svigor said...

Sure, circumcision's barbaric. But it makes for nice, bright line. No taking that one back.

The Book of Esther is basically a Mossad manual.

LOL!

But it is interesting that somehow traditionalist Christians are held accountable for the alleged ethical failings in the Old Testament, but not the Jews! The Jews get to keep everything "tolerant" in the OT, and somehow the intolerant stuff only belongs to Christians.

This grotesque, totally backwards situation is a big part of why I give Jews no mercy on their religion.

4/17/13, 1:56 PM

LOL whut?

JPF Leader, hey, if it matters, you seem like a stand-up guy. Prolly wouldn't even roll you out of my foxhole and use you for cover. No, really, I mean it. Hey, where you goin?

A bad Italian is still, at the end of the day, an Italian.

Membership in the tribe has always had an ideological component as well as the standard linguistic and genetic requirements.


It paves the way for the "no true Scotsman" defense.

That article and the comments were sure weirdly interesting. I generally don't pay attention to this sort of thing, but it seems that some of the participants' views can be summarized as "...Anybody who asserts that the Jews are not morally superior to other groups is an anti-Semite."

This, this, a thousand times this. I was really slapping someone in the face with that recently. Repeatedly telling Jewish water-carriers that YES, I had the nerve, the temerity, the audacity to suggest that Jews were no better than anyone else, that they were human like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Svigor,

Glad to hear you wouldn't use me as a human shield.

In the spirit of reciprocity, I've decided not to use you as gladius fodder in our glorious struggle against the Romans and their insufficiently hirsute collaborators.

-The Judean People's Front

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be so sure that ancient Egyptian religions have no sway today. There's a lot of astrology in the papers, someone must read that stuff. I used to walk by a place in California that was a house of worship for Hermetics or maybe Hermeticism (is there are difference?). Stuff on the wall about Hermes Trismegistus.

Rediscovery of Hermetics (sometimes aka the Greek Mysteries?) or whatever these writings were had an effect, probably a significant effect, on the Enlightenment (rediscovery of old Egyptian chemistry "magic", that is, alchemy). Also on folks like the Rosicrucians... (I recall seeing somewhere that most of these writings were probably done by Greeks, not Egyptians, but maybe right before the Romans stamped out Egyptian religious practices.)

One day I have to go to the big Rosicrucian museum thing in San Jose, I hear it's one of silicon valley's more interesting places (anyone been? Is that true?):

"Welcome to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium.

Architecturally inspired by the Temple of Amon at Karnak, it houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in western North America -- including objects from pre-dynastic times through Egypt's early Islamic era"


This stuff seemed to morph into New Age, at least in California. There's a lot of New Age stuff floating around the modern world. I don't think it's really taken off, though I knew some people that lost their life savings and their home to it. A light form of New Age seems tangled up in a lot of modern attitudes.

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn has received credit (perhaps erroneously) for being one of the forces setting the stage for 60's thought. Drugs, Sex, Rock-and-Roll!

Anonymous said...

The Jews hated Assman so much for daring to write about ancient Egypt's influence on ancient Judaism and Judaism's comparative intolerance they awarded him an honorary PhD at their most famous University, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. They simply cannot take criticism. How dare Assman even suggest these things - the antisemite. He shall get an honorary PhD as shall all of Israel's enemies.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:16 pm

Israelis are a good deal less prone to politically correct hyper ventilation than their diaspora cousins in academia.

Partially because they are secure members of a sovereign people, and partially because they live outside of the incentive structure that rewards such behavior.

Screaming "racism" is a useful strategy against easily embarrassed academic rivals. Screaming "racism" is less effective when dealing with people who might actually kill you.

-The Judean People's Front

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Everybody knows Moses was the good guy and Pharaoh the bad guy. I mean, who are you going to believe: the world's-leading Egyptologist (who, allow me to point out, has a funny name) or Cecil B. de Mille? I rest my case."

Cute but no half serious individual considers Cecil B Demille to be actual history or even a faithful rendition of the Biblical account. It is based on Prince of Egypt a fictionalize novel based on Exodus.

Our unbiased Egyptologist fails to note that Pharoah were not above scrubbing unflattering accounts from the historical narrative. Thus they tried to do away with Hatshepsut and Akhenatons existence.
The battle against the Hittites at Kadesh was a spectacular victory for Ramses despite all evidence to the contrary( hey if the Egyptians were such gentle peace loving sorts exploited by them evil Semites..I mean "Near Eastern people" what were they doing in Syria and Canaan in the first place?"

Egyptologists are about as objective in their assesment of Pharoanic history as Orthodox Jews are regarding the Torah.

Neither lets facts get in the way of a good agenda.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


This, this, a thousand times this. I was really slapping someone in the face with that recently. Repeatedly telling Jewish water-carriers that YES, I had the nerve, the temerity, the audacity to suggest that Jews were no better than anyone else, that they were human like everyone else."

According to most Orthodox rabbis, Jews (or rather Israelites) werent chosen because they were the best but because they were the lowliest.
Indeed the entire Old Testament often reads like little more than an anthology of all the times Israelies fucked up due to the avarice,greed,lack of honor,squabbling,vengefulness,materialism and lack of piety.
If it had a different author-it would be considered anti semitic!

If the Tanakh is supposed to be a PR coup for the Israelites then it fails miserably on that account.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


I'm no Egyptologist and neither is Whiskey, but I think Whiskey is on to something. What's funny about Assmann is that his thesis is so pro-Egyptian nationalism: evil came into the world thru the scapegoating of holy Egypt! It's like he's trying to mirror Israeli nationalists: evil originated in people's scapegoating of Jews!"

Good point. Egyptologists tend to go native as I explained in another post.
I disagree with you on assertion that Jews beleive that "evil originated in people's scapegoating of Jews!" , this has no basis in traditional Judaism but in some fringe Jewish supremacist rendition of the Tanakh post Holocaust.

When people talk about the destructiveness of religion, they are generally referring to the Semitic creeds (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) that sprouted in that part of the world. Hard to find a comparable record of horror and hatred in native European religions, such as Druidism."

LOL David. You sound like a Hindu nationalist!But you (like Hindu nationalists) are mistaken.
While certainly polytheist pagan religions were not known for the intolerance associated with religions with universal aspirations such as Christianity and Islam (please note Judaism's territorial ambitions have always been modest and well defined), they were no strangers to violence and genocide.

The Persians,Babylonians and Assyrians in particular were not exactly shrinking violets when it came to slaughter and genocide.
And neither were the Taoist Chinese whose culture of genocide to the tune of millions begins from the Chin dynasty all the way nationalist and communist slaugthers of our era.
Also note that pretty much every Buddhist majority country such as Sri Lanka,Burma and Thailand are a military dictatorship of some sort of the other..and we all know what Japan got upto.

And those are just the Asian "pacifist" religions.

Internecine Greek warfare was far more brutal than the Levantine equivalent. Case in point David and Goliath vs say the Peloponnesian wars.
Alexanders and Caesars romps thru Persia and Northern Europe were not exactly a picnic for those who endured it.
Egyptians used to collect the penises and hands of the defeated of rival nations as trophies..numbering in the hundreds of thousands in their wars against the blonde(!) Libyans and black Sudanese.
No need to go on I think..

Dr Van Nostrand said...

The Book of Esther is basically a Mossad manual."

I was always confused by the Book of Esther, just a little earlier the Jews were wild about Persian emperor Cyrus whom they proclaimed a Messiah(the only non Hebrew to merit this honor) as the philo semitic Persians restored their autonomy.
But all of sudden this Haman fellow wants to kill them..what gives.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

For the last 100 years the Jews have said that Judaism and Judaism alone has a lock up on brotherly love (not like those hateful anti-homosexual white Christians!)"

I think much of this resentment for Jew from white "christians" especially the HBD types is because they are more christian than white and their cultural heritage demands they kowtow to an unrelated ethnic group which was disproportionately influenced in creating that heritage.Thank god for you the New Testament was in Greek(an "aryan" language) otherwise the self loathing would reach very disturbing proportions.OTOH if it werent in Greek ,St Paul wouldve been less succesful in promoting Christianity as a universal religion and you would be spared this "Semitic claptrap" I suppose.
Pick your poison

Are you telling me the Jews weren't always like that? "

No we are telling you that every one was "like that" ,no need to single the Jews.

Are you saying that maybe what the Jews are doing to the Palestinians is what they did to...Us (depending on your ancestry) Way Back When?"

How exactly what Jews are doing to the Palestinians any worse than what your ancestors did to entire continents in which you dont see any problem?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Van Nostrand,
If I recall correctly from previous posts, your an Indian academic right?

I was wondering if you have any thoughts on potential similarities between Jewish and Hindu cultures?

Their respective theologies are quiet different, but the mentalities have always struck me as similar in ways such as
-emphasis on ritual purity
- A religiously inspired metahistory/teleology
-strict delineation of human categories
- A tendency to regulate behavioral minutia
-The explicit blending of ethnicity and religion
-Tension between pluralism and extreme xenophobia
-High paternal investment
- Charismatic, verbally adept old men as spiritual leaders

I'm not intimately familiar with Hindu culture so I could be totally off base.

-The Judean People's Front

Svigor said...

Glad to hear you wouldn't use me as a human shield.

In the spirit of reciprocity, I've decided not to use you as gladius fodder in our glorious struggle against the Romans and their insufficiently hirsute collaborators.


We keep this up, and pretty soon we'll be cutting deals to help each other out with our respective affinity scams.

Svigor said...

How exactly what Jews are doing to the Palestinians any worse than what your ancestors did to entire continents in which you dont see any problem?

1. Jewish academics in America are even more on the side of the Amerinds than the white academics are.

2. At the time, as you say, that's how things were done. At the time, as you say, the way Israel's treating the Palestinians is the opposite of how things are done.

Don't forget to eat dark, leafy, green vegetables.

Svigor said...

According to most Orthodox rabbis, Jews (or rather Israelites) werent chosen because they were the best but because they were the lowliest.

I know. And what they were chosen to be, is put-upon. Poor fellows! Dovetails perfectly with the fact that Jews have resisted assimilation more than any other people in history, for 3,000 years now. It all makes perfect sense when you think about it.

Well, except for the "all the world's your slave for the asking" bit, but I'm working on the Hasbara for that, so don't worry.

Anonymous said...

Svigor,

Transfer Agreement FTW!!!

As a good faith gesture to get talks rolling, I would ask that you mule mail me a case of Old Charter, which is unfortunately unavailable here in the hills of Judea. Failing that, I would gladly accept a case of Pappy Van Winkle 15. You needn't waste your hard scammed money on the 23 year old to roll with the front.

Seriously though, I would prefer the company of an honorable southern AS to insufferable communion with the bloodless local twits. It's hard to find someone down here with something better to talk about than the latest mobile Guatemalan Bulgogi emporium.

-The Judean People's Front

Anonymous said...

"I've no desire to stifle criticism of the Jews, ancient or modern, but tire of claims that Jews are uniquely pernicious, or that the Jews are the source of universal human evils."

Hypocritical double-talk.

The actual point was exactly the opposite - Jews claiming to be uniquely good i.e.

"A major failing of Assmann's approach is that it systematically neglects ancient Judaism's robust moral inclinations toward tolerance and neighborly love."

Apart from all the stuff in the bible about killing the first-born, genocide, Amalek and destroying all the nations etc - which i agree isn't uniquely evil at all but also quite plainly isn't uniquely tolerant - there's the little point that Jews dominated the slave trade for more than 3000 years years - including the Atlantic slave trade.

Anonymous said...

Anon@ 2:10

What hypocritical double-talk? I explicitly condemned claims of Jewish moral superiority. See "hagiographic philosemitism."

A yes, the universal human institution of slavery. Along with war, greed, lust, hierarchical social organization, hypocrisy, poor conversation skills and bad breath, it's got grimy little yiddish fingerprints all over it. On behalf of my bloodline, apologies for not manning up and taking proper responsibility.

We are also behind your inability to come up with a handle.

-The Judean People's Front

Svigor said...

As a good faith gesture to get talks rolling, I would ask that you mule mail me a case of Old Charter, which is unfortunately unavailable here in the hills of Judea. Failing that, I would gladly accept a case of Pappy Van Winkle 15. You needn't waste your hard scammed money on the 23 year old to roll with the front.

The only Bourbon bottle I have around is Jack, and it's empty. Will half a bottle of Courvoisier do?

Seriously though, I would prefer the company of an honorable southern AS to insufferable communion with the bloodless local twits. It's hard to find someone down here with something better to talk about than the latest mobile Guatemalan Bulgogi emporium.

I know what you mean. I was neck-deep in hipsters today, felt like strangling some of them with the earphone cords of their own iPods. I'd much rather be hip-deep in 'necks.

Apart from all the stuff in the bible about killing the first-born, genocide, Amalek

Hey, you shut your face. The Jews were Chosen by G-d for their inferiority, and to suffer, poor souls. Amalek and the Caananites, on the other hand, were mercifully chosen for the sweet release of ausrottung; presumably owing to their superiority.

Anonymous said...

Svigor said: Will half a bottle of Courvoisier do?

Afraid not. If I down half a bottle of Courvoisier, I may resist arrest and and find myself starring in a videotaped police beatdown that inflames my community to ransack Korean grocery stores. I know some very decent Korean storeowners' children and have no wish to unleash my communities justifiable rage against them.

-The Judean People's Front

James Kabala said...

Has anyone in this thread (except maybe Dr. Van Nostrand) actually read the Bible? Svigor in particular shows very little sign of having done so outside his handful of quotes cherry-picked by an atheist.

Anonymous said...

Svigor said: ...Neck-Deep...Hip-Deep...

Very clever. Didn't catch it on the first reading. That's one turbocharged goyishe kopf you've got there Sviggy. Witty banter is kryptonite for us, and for a certain subset of WASPs too, incidentally. I must now begin training my men to think more like taciturn Swedes.

-The Judean People's Front

Anonymous said...

James Kabala,

I went through a period when I read copious amounts of Jewish biblical exegesis and bit of Catholic exegesis. I do own an occasionally skimmed King James Bible, but most of my biblical knowledge is of the predigested variety if not exactly second hand.

-The Judean People's Front

Svigor said...

Good G-d man, you have to keep it down to 1/4 bottle at a time, sans yayo.

Very clever. Didn't catch it on the first reading.

Only reason I even wrote it was because I typed "hip deep in hipsters" before I caught myself. A lesser man would've gone with it.

Has anyone in this thread (except maybe Dr. Van Nostrand) actually read the Bible? Svigor in particular shows very little sign of having done so outside his handful of quotes cherry-picked by an atheist.

Not the whole thing, no. Name ur beef.

Very clever. Didn't catch it on the first reading. That's one turbocharged goyishe kopf you've got there Sviggy. Witty banter is kryptonite for us, and for a certain subset of WASPs too, incidentally. I must now begin training my men to think more like taciturn Swedes.

I know. Hipsters are the biggest suckers for it, ironically. 'Specially around here, what with the vast hipness deserts. I'm caught between two worlds - hipster by nature, anarcho-fascist by will. Well, that's my alienation theme du jour anyway. Funny thing is, I look like a taciturn Swede.

Anonymous said...

As far as chosen-ness goes, the traditional orthodox view states that the Jews were the only nation to accept the covenant, which had been offered to others beforehand.

Both traditional Catholic and orthodox Jewish exegetes liken the status of the elect to that of being God's bride. No more, no less.

That does not imply that the Jews (or the church) were chosen in order to redeem their particular wickedness or to exalt their particular goodness. It merely implies that the Jewish people were the first to accept God as their "suitor", and that God is a loving but frequently exasperated "Husband".

There is a major difference between the idea that God's "bride" sometimes acts like a crazed ungrateful b*tch and saying that he married her because of her tendency to get drunk, max out the credit cards, and piss off the neighbors.


-The Judean People's Front

Dr Van Nostrand said...


If I recall correctly from previous posts, your an Indian academic right?"

Indian yes ,academic no LOL JPF ,you flatter me(if inadvertently)

I was wondering if you have any thoughts on potential similarities between Jewish and Hindu cultures?

Their respective theologies are quiet different, but the mentalities have always struck me as similar in ways such as
-emphasis on ritual purity

I would say yes there is great deal of emphasis on bathing,scrubbing ,wearing clean unstiched clothing.Lets not go into the regulations women have to endure when they have their monthly visitor!
This applies less today and is obvious when you see the average Indian who tends to be scruffy and slovenly compared with better dressed and groomed Pakistanis-as hard as it for me to admit.

- A religiously inspired metahistory/teleology

Religion in Hinduism actually has very political and earthy origins.
Hinduism as envisioned by the ancients was not the peace and love Gandhian type that people have today.
The Vedas and Upanishads ironically dont have much political history.But they do have a history of dieties and how they came about.As well the verses,meter and exact specifications for building fire altars(in the later Vedas, the geometry for constructing these was borrowed from the Greeks). Animal sacrifices (including cow) were a must.

Religion and dieties came about with philosophical discussions in courts at these events.
for eg, let us take the diety of Shiva ,now we see Shiva portrayed as a yogi with the moon as his crown ,holding a trident .sitting on a tiger skin,covered in cobras with a mountain princess Parvathi as a wife. Now this just acknowledging the philosophy of yogis has been accepted in mainstream society, and that the studies of scholars of the moon and its effect of the planet and human body compatible with the diety of yogis. The followers of Shiva have defeated in debate the follower of tribes who use snake and tiger as totems.And by having a royal consort ,the worship of Shiva has acquired political patronage.
Now when represent ideas and dieties ,you can do all sorts of things. A diety can marry another diety(merging of schools of thought) and have "children" ( a new idea resulting from the union) and again sexual union with the offspring(another idea by fusing with the parent idea)-this is obviously not an endorsement of incest as many knuckleheads such as Wendy O Flaherty believe.
Indeed there are many sexual imagery and metaphors which prudish westerners(or prudish Indians) for that matter find uncomfortable,especially if you dont put them in the right context.

One reason for the decline of Hinduism since the atleast the 5th century ad (prior the arrival of Islam) is that for various reasons these debates stopped and all sorts of degenerative ideas crept in such as child marriage,infanticide,sati, blind uncritical devotion, untouchability, hardening and coarsening of caste relations etc.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

-strict delineation of human categories

To be sure, India was a never a paradise of egalitarianism but feudal like most places. Yes there was always the caste system, but it wasnt as rigid and cruel as it later became. Even this plain vanilla four tier categorisation of humanity was observed more in the breach. Thus most of the kings were of the fallen shepherd caste (yadav) or agrarian (kurmi) all across India.
Not unlike Yalie Bush playing cowboy at his ranch, most kings would occasionally hit the plough or tend sheep to get in touch with their roots.
In the south especially ,it was a different case. There was only Brahmin and non Brahmin, thus the great mass of people were free to create their own caste system which never adhered to the laws of Manu(below)


- A tendency to regulate behavioral minutia
LOL, I am reminded of the Simpsons episode where Marge is aghast when Rev Lovejoy advocates that she divorce Homer. When Marge enquires if its a sin, Lovejoy holds the Bible and says "marge ,have you read this? Technically you are not allowed to go to the bathroom!"
Heck the Laws of Manu are so severe that you are not even allowed to think of the bathroom during certain times of the day.
Honestly I am not sure people could adhere to the incredibly severe codes of Leviticus and Manu even in that era except for religious minded and fastidious Brahmans and Levite priests who didnt need to do any real work.

-The explicit blending of ethnicity and religion

Yes,this is one of the reasons why neither Judaism nor Hinduism encourage converts. I look upon with horror as Julia Roberts converts to Hinduism and no one bats an eyelid. Who the heck authorized this?! Anyway the blend of ethnicity and religion is tough on religious minorities. Indian Muslims and Christians are feel that they will never be as Indian as Hindus as the latters religion is intrinsically tied up with the land.Practically every other square mile has some sacred shrine or other.This compels them to vote for secular parties such as the current ruling Congress rather than the Hindu nationlist ones which are more popular with the Hindus.
Of course nationalist parties are inevitable in such societies but one consolation is that their territorial ambitions are usually modest and well defined.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


-Tension between pluralism and extreme xenophobia

Hindu society traditionally was very open to other faiths.Jews in particular had a pleasant stay in India since the Babylonian diaspora as neither believed in conversion and let others lived their life.
I wouldnt call Indians xenophobic but profoundly uninterested and arrogant with respect to outsiders.I used to mock Americans for their lack of knowledge of other countries when it occurred to me that Indians knowledge of other countries outside the subcontinent was very poor and riddled with conspiracies about others(CIA is a favorite antagonist) out to get them.As for the arrogance, I think for the most part this is a symptom of ignorance but coupled with a very severe masked inferiority complex.


-High paternal investment

And how.It borders on the tyrannical, in case of daughters in some quarters-life and death.Honor killing is not just restricted to Arab Muslims. parents fussing over every minutae of their childrens lives, the children living with the parents until they get married(and even after)..I remember how stressful my high school years were as your results determined what college you got into. In the end it was all for nought as I got high SAT score and transferred(admittedly with a B average) to a public ivy university.

- Charismatic, verbally adept old men as spiritual leaders

genuine Spiritual leaders in Hinduism these days are hard to come by. I as a reasonably knowledgable layman can demolish most of the current guru's arguments-one reason why they dont wish to debate but only preach.
Like the diaspora Talmud era Judaism, debate was very important in proving others you had what it took.But the current lot is pretty sad and relies of blind devotion and mindless ritual( not even knowing what rituals are supposed to do) in order to milk followers of their cash.
There is no Pope or chief rabbi today in Hinduism today because Hinduism as an organized religion collapsed around the 5th century.What you have now are mostly charlatans and frauds.


I'm not intimately familiar with Hindu culture so I could be totally off base"


Not entirely as you can see. There is a great deal of good will between Jews and Hindus these days. The reasons for that are very simple
Neither believes in conversions-both were harrased by Christians and continue to be harrased by Muslims.
Indians like Jews were considered a timid,bookish people. Indians (particularly men)viewed with excitement the macho Israelis and their successes in war,counter terror and intelligence coups and wish to emulate it and mould themselves in the Israeli image.

But now things are getting interested-as Hindus increasingly muscle in on the Jewish turf ( media,finance,trade etc) the honeymoon and salad days may be over. Already there are tensions between Gujarati and Jewish diamond traders in Antwerp where the former have displaced the latter where they were esconced for 100s of years.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


DVN:How exactly what Jews are doing to the Palestinians any worse than what your ancestors did to entire continents in which you dont see any problem?

Svigor:1. Jewish academics in America are even more on the side of the Amerinds than the white academics are.

DVN: They maybe now. I doubt they were in the past which we are talking about.And if they lie about their less than flattering history of participation of dispossesion o native American lands-they should be called out on it-no argument from me there. But lets not pretend this is a Jewish diseases alone. Ward Churchill,Elizabeth whatsher face are not Jews for instance.


Svigor:2. At the time, as you say, that's how things were done. At the time, as you say, the way Israel's treating the Palestinians is the opposite of how things are done.

DVN: Very well but Israel was creating at "that time" ie aftermath of WWII ,where massive population transfers and slaughters occurred orders of magnitude larger than Palestinians.We are talking of millions of Germans,Russians,Chinese,Czechs,Sikhs,Hindus,Indian Muslims all of whom were accomadated and assimilated in their respective new homelands. The exception were Palestinians as they were used a pawn by Arab states to use against Israel. I am not saying Israelis are angels, but the reason they are stuck in WWII mould is not entirely their fault

Svigor:Don't forget to eat dark, leafy, green vegetables.

DVN: I have no choice, I was raised vegetarian but later in life switch to a more balanced omnivorous diet.



DVN:According to most Orthodox rabbis, Jews (or rather Israelites) werent chosen because they were the best but because they were the lowliest.

Svigor:I know. And what they were chosen to be, is put-upon. Poor fellows! Dovetails perfectly with the fact that Jews have resisted assimilation more than any other people in history, for 3,000 years now. It all makes perfect sense when you think about it.

DVN:Thats their interpretation not mine. But think about it for a 2nd.
Israelies were chronic underachievers compared to the Egyptians,Babylonians,Phoenicians,Greeks and Romans. Its not as JPL leader in Life of Brian asks what have the Romans ever done for us- what people should be asking-what have the Israelites ever done for themselves?

As for assimilation, I dont see why Israel as a nation should placate its conquerors customs and beliefs, its their right not to.
As for the diaspora, you do realize there were restrictions placed on what they could and couldnt do. You place them and ghettos and complain that they wont assimilate LOL

Svigor:Well, except for the "all the world's your slave for the asking" bit, but I'm working on the Hasbara for that, so don't worry.

DVN: I would like to know the context of that quote. In Hinduism whose followers never had imperial ambitions, you find similar promises made to the righteous. Really all these types of hyperbole are but variations of the "meek shall inherit the earth". No one in his right mind claims this means that the meek are a vengeful ,subversive with grand ambitions on whom we should keep a close eye.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Hypocritical double-talk.

The actual point was exactly the opposite - Jews claiming to be uniquely good i.e."

Isnt this really a more recent trend. This more due to leftism than Judaism and it owes its origin to the Holocaust. Jews were victims and victims are good,therefore Jews are good.
The left gradually soured on Israel and Jews after the six day war ,rise of the Israeli right wing and their ditching their stalinist economy to embrace free market reforms.

"A major failing of Assmann's approach is that it systematically neglects ancient Judaism's robust moral inclinations toward tolerance and neighborly love."

Apart from all the stuff in the bible about killing the first-born, genocide, Amalek and destroying all the nations etc

The bible clearly doesnt gloss over the failings of the Israelites but then it doesnt portray them as angels either. THe Middle East then as now was a cruel and tyrannical place. And that was the only language that despots would understand and respect.


- which i agree isn't uniquely evil at all but also quite plainly isn't uniquely tolerant - there's the little point that Jews dominated the slave trade for more than 3000 years years - including the Atlantic slave trade."

LOL, the past 350 years yes. But 3000?! LOL where do you get this info,there is little evidence that they participated in the slave trade from since 1000 BC much less dominate!
Well atleast the white HBDers consider slavery to be a bad thing...baby steps I suppose

Svigor said...

As for the diaspora, you do realize there were restrictions placed on what they could and couldnt do. You place them and ghettos and complain that they wont assimilate LOL

They placed themselves in ghettos. The idea that the "gentile" is the prime mover behind Jewish separation is risible, on its face. It's like the asshole drunk who's been thrown out of every bar in town and blaming his pariah status on all the bars in town.

I would like to know the context of that quote. In Hinduism whose followers never had imperial ambitions, you find similar promises made to the righteous. Really all these types of hyperbole are but variations of the "meek shall inherit the earth". No one in his right mind claims this means that the meek are a vengeful ,subversive with grand ambitions on whom we should keep a close eye.

There's really never been anything meek about Jews or Judaism, except in their relationship to themselves/G-d. There's no "inheriting" here, either. It's a license to steal.

"Apart from all the stuff in the bible about killing the first-born, genocide, Amalek and destroying all the nations etc"

The bible clearly doesnt gloss over the failings of the Israelites but then it doesnt portray them as angels either. THe Middle East then as now was a cruel and tyrannical place. And that was the only language that despots would understand and respect.


You must be high on something. Just gotta be. Those weren't failings, they were mitzvahs, orders from G-d.

Well atleast the white HBDers consider slavery to be a bad thing

The OT doesn't.

Svigor said...

All the Hebrews' failings in the OT basically go back to Steve's old point about Jewish guilt being about not being racist enough.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


DVN:As for the diaspora, you do realize there were restrictions placed on what they could and couldnt do. You place them and ghettos and complain that they wont assimilate LOL

Svigor:They placed themselves in ghettos. The idea that the "gentile" is the prime mover behind Jewish separation is risible, on its face. It's like the asshole drunk who's been thrown out of every bar in town and blaming his pariah status on all the bars in town.

DVN: Its actually more the incompetent and corrupt authorities who unable to fix problems of their doings ,find a scapegoat(heh) and throw them in jail and later claim hey they put themselves in jail and were free to leave any time.
If the Jews were free to leave the ghettoes and participate wholeheartedly in gentile society, why was there need for a "Jewish empancipation"?

DVN:I would like to know the context of that quote. In Hinduism whose followers never had imperial ambitions, you find similar promises made to the righteous. Really all these types of hyperbole are but variations of the "meek shall inherit the earth". No one in his right mind claims this means that the meek are a vengeful ,subversive with grand ambitions on whom we should keep a close eye.

Svigor:There's really never been anything meek about Jews or Judaism, except in their relationship to themselves/G-d. There's no "inheriting" here, either. It's a license to steal.

DVN: I never claimed that jews or anyone else was meek. My point was that all religions make some sort of other wordly consolation prize for the meek.
What license to steal? And from whom exactly? Jews in India had lots of opportunities to steal and for the most did not. Of course the exception being the newcomer Baghdadi Jews who were heavily involved in the opium trade via the British and no they didnt a gun to the heads of the British and force them into it LOL

"Apart from all the stuff in the bible about killing the first-born, genocide, Amalek and destroying all the nations etc"

The bible clearly doesnt gloss over the failings of the Israelites but then it doesnt portray them as angels either. THe Middle East then as now was a cruel and tyrannical place. And that was the only language that despots would understand and respect.

Svigor:You must be high on something. Just gotta be. Those weren't failings, they were mitzvahs, orders from G-d.

DVN: And you must retarded due to something. I just said those have to be placed in context of their immediate sorroundings. Please note the Babylonian and Egyptian gods for instance werent exactly shrinking violets when it come to exhorting their devotees to violence.

DVN:Well atleast the white HBDers consider slavery to be a bad thing

Svigor:The OT doesn't.

DVN: Of course but which religious law code of the era did? Your beloved Greeks,Romans,Germans ,Celts? Egyptians,Phoenicians..certainly not Assyrians LOL

The OT has very strict rules against and penalties for mistreating a slave which are not found in another law books.The justification for it not so out of ethical abstraction but solipsistic "for you were once slaves in Egypt" but hey you are dealing with semi civilized,recently liberated bronze age riff raff,they prefer abstraction in small doses.

4/19/13, 9:39 AM
Svigor said...
All the Hebrews' failings in the OT basically go back to Steve's old point about Jewish guilt being about not being racist enough.

DVN: That is if you translate keeping their mitzvah as racist.The only country that never persecuted Jews -India couldnt really care less if they had to hyper obsessive "racists" in their midst.Coincidence?

David said...

This is late but -

Dr Van Nostrand said

>LOL David. You sound like a Hindu nationalist!<

I referred to "native European religions." I was unaware that the examples you cited (Hindus, Persians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Taoist Chinese, Buddhists, Alexander the Great, and the Romans) were in fact followers of native European religions. I am surprised you didn't accuse me of atheism and bring in Stalin and Mao. (People who do that never play their ace, which is Hitler: he not only is plausibly an atheist, but he also is arguably a follower of European pagan religious trappings. The latter argument is incorrect, but it would have been a nice shot for you to use it.)

Dr Van Nostrand said...


>LOL David. You sound like a Hindu nationalist!<

I referred to "native European religions." I was unaware that the examples you cited (Hindus, Persians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Taoist Chinese, Buddhists, Alexander the Great, and the Romans) were in fact followers of native European religions. "

Emphasis on "sound like".... what I meant was Hindu nationalists like European neo Pagans take to task the Biblical religions for pretty much the same thing ie introducing religious intolerance....
There is a great deal of synergy these days between Hindus and European pagans(of the non Nazi sort)

Regards



I am surprised you didn't accuse me of atheism and bring in Stalin and Mao. (People who do that never play their ace, which is Hitler: he not only is plausibly an atheist, but he also is arguably a follower of European pagan religious trappings. The latter argument is incorrect, but it would have been a nice shot for you to use it.)