punkpurim02.gif
Hello? Anglo-Jewish Hipsters? Malcolm McLaren is on the phone and he wants his graphics back!

Damn. I was just in London and I missed this? The Guardian last week reported on an event that demonstrates clearly that the Lower East Side no longer has a monopoly on Jewish Hipsterism.

The invitation to “the beginning of the Jewish countercultural revolution” reads as follows: “From the 1890s until the first world war a group of renegade Jews were active in the heart of the Yiddish east end.” They “defined themselves against the Jewish establishment, holding Yom Kippur balls, featuring pork, music and dancing … This radical tradition has remained dormant for almost 100 years, as Anglo-Jewry has become increasingly suburban, conservative and dull. Until now …”

This crazy radical event, called Punkpurim, took place in a real-life anarchist artists’ squat in London’s east end, where, in between musical sets of Klezmer music and bawdy Yiddish songs, as well as the reciting of Palestinian Poetry, the DJ played Chumbawumba and the Sex Pistols… sooo cutting edge! Nah, I’m kidding. They played D&B versions of Havah Nagilah. The room was adorned with the requisite irreverent stuff like posters featuring the Lubavitcher Rebbe smoking a spliff and Che Guevara as a Hassidic Jew. There were also joint papers all over the floor.

punks of purim
The hard partying saviors of Anglo-Jewry. Who let the friggin hippies in?
images thiefed from this dude’s Flickr page.

This groundbreaking event, sponsored by Heeb (of course) and Jewdas represented a revolt against traditional Jewish organizations:

“We are trying to create a new, more radical form of Jewish identity,” says Joseph Finlay, of Jewdas. “The main obsessions of British Jews are defending the state of Israel and making Jewish babies. We aim to knock these idols down and reopen the debate on who owns Judaism, who has the right to speak for the Jewish community and who is a Jew – surely anyone committed to justice? “We’re also trying to bring in a new sense of fun,” he continues, “playing with tradition rather than sanctifying it. Once Judaism is sacred, it is already dead.”

So who owns Judaism? According to these guys it’s Jewish anti-Israel activists, shitfaced ravers, drug addled yobs and the moldy, old British Jewish left. It’s kinda funny too. This party was meant as a slap in the face to the Board of Deputies, the leading representative of Anglo Jewry. Yet in 1917 the one Jewish member of Lloyd George’s Cabinet was Sir Edwin Montagu and he virulently opposed the passage of the Balfour Declaration which promised British support for the creation of a Jewish homeland. In that respect he was not alone. Other opponents to the Balfour Declaration were … you guessed it, the Board of Deputies. This opposition only abated once the full horror of the Holocaust came to light.

So stupid British hipsters… what will it take for you to like me, given that I am a Zionist and I live in Israel? Whatever… one participant emailed me about the party and said the following:

I think this may well be the hidden face of Jewish hipsterism in the UK. I’ve never seen anything like it before. I thought I knew and understood what the Jews in this country were about and then suddenly hundreds – I mean literally hundreds – of unknown faces gathered together in an East London squat with virtually no sanitation, and not even any food. There was philosophy, film, political cabaret, hip hop. There was a bonfire, and drugs… and they’re working it now… of course, there were many real live jews there who wouldn’t dream of eating pork on yom kippur but no doubt feel illicit pleasure at the thought. it had the veneer of radicalism but nobody did anything radical

Heh. Maybe they should have invited colorful London Mayor and “low-level anti-semite” Ken Livingstone to recite some Palestinian Poetry whilst revellers danced the Horah around a burning flag of Israel. Now that would have been radical.

So what do we have finally? Some more of that pie-in-the-sky, substanceless crap that a certain type of Jew loves. Except now it has an English accent. Yawn-O-Ramma. Look, give me something I can get my teeth into. Challenge me with something more than derivative, boring graphics and activities and language that have shock-value, but nothing more.

Till then, piss the fuck off.

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About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

71 Comments

  • ck you rock. Those motherfuckers must be … well I’m not going to say it. . Palestinian poetry? Maybe set to March of the Valkyries?

  • If they seek justice, their platform is probably one where they strongly advocate that Palestinians lay down their arms and talk about compromise and conciliation with the Israelis.

    Here, by the way, is some Palestinian poetry. I’m sure there’s other, slightly more hostile, Palestinian poetry out there but I don’t think those are the poems they would be translating into English.

    http://www.barghouti.com/poets/tukan/mawtini.asp

    http://www.barghouti.com/poets/mahmud/shaheed.asp

    http://www.barghouti.com/poets/abusalma/na3ood.asp

    http://www.barghouti.com/poets/darwish/bitaqa.asp

    http://groups.msn.com/PalestinianPoetry/alialkhalili.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=59&LastModified=4675454991613999730

    http://groups.msn.com/PalestinianPoetry/salmanmasalha.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=270&LastModified=4675456963453273987

    http://groups.msn.com/PalestinianPoetry/maysayigh.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=95&LastModified=4675455523314614191

  • Are you serious? Pork on Yom Kippur? That’s just a little too much. Damn hippies. Damn LONDON hippes.

  • This raises the same subject that I’ve been obsessed with for the past week, the nature of connection. When it comes to Jewish experience, what resonates, why, and for how long? Because I think what all Jewish organizations and pimp daddies want to achieve is a more lasting connection to Judaism than attendance at a Purim party. But no matter how cool or rad or hipsterish a party is, there’s got to be something deeper to the face of Judaism you’re presenting for people to come away with any desire to do more. And that desire has to be there, too, you can’t force people to have deeper experiences.

  • I’m going to sound like my Uncle Hushie for saying this, but Judaism has been around for one reason, tradition. These guys can run around saying that they want to put a new face on Judaism, but what is so wrong with the old face? The laws and traditions are important, however antiquated some of them may be. Not eating pork, for example, reminds you everytime someone offers you a slice of pizza with pepperoni that G-d is in your everyday life. It isn’t that you don’t eat the pork, but that you don’t eat it because you are commanded to by G-d. I don’t think any of these guys were thinking about HaShem all tripped out on acid and who knows what else.

  • Well well well. It seems that we’ve got under some people’s skins. How satisfying. Now as for assuming we have no content, you’re sadly mistaken. We’re interested in far more than just partying. We’ve got barrels of content-PunkPurim is the just the first event of many. Where we disagree is on the assertion that content/committed judaism must equal conservatism-that is an idea with which radical jews throughout history would profoundly disagree.

  • “Maybe they should have invited colorful London Mayor and “low-level anti-semite” Ken Livingstone to recite some Palestinian Poetry whilst revellers danced the Horah around a burning flag of Israel. Now that would have been radical” – what a great idea. Have you been cribbing our top-secret plans for the next Jewdas event? Stay in your safe staid box, my friend. You keep your selective conservative interpretation of Jewishness. We’ll stride on, continuing to terrify people like yourself, and demonstrating to the world a bridge-building proud young face of Judaism. Mission accomplished and continuing. Don’t wet your bed.

  • hey Jewdas folks –

    it’s fairly clear what you reject, but what exactly is it that you stand for? (do be clear, do you have a definition of who you are, not what you aren’t?)

    I’d love to hear some of these “barrels of content” (kinda like barrels of monkeys?), mind sharing?

    And as far as being terrifying, you’ll have to try much harder than just trying to re-crucify already dead sacred cows. Can’t wait to see if you really CAN be terrifying though, and what that might possibly look like.

    By the way, what do you think of this from Yossi Klein Halevi on Jewish radicals being well, kinda simple:

    Jewish radicalism of left and right is an understandable response to the maddening complexity of our dilemmas. It is also a simplistic response. One can only be a radical of the left or the right by maintaining selective hearing. You can only hear those arguments that confirm your world view and you need to filter out those arguments that conflict with that view.

    Who was terrified again?

  • Jewdas: Who said anything about conservatism? Conservatism and Tradition are not the same thing at all. Compare a traditional and/or Religious Jew from 400 or 500 years ago to his or her equal today and you will see quite a difference. Judaism reveres tradition but part of that tradition includes evolution and development and a multiplicity of sometimes conflicting but equally valid opinions. The only proviso is that it all be based on a basic and fundamental set of rules. That’s hardly what I would call Conservatism.

    As for Radical Jews, my models are folks like Herzl, Rambam and the Chofetz Chaim – not Chomsky or Finkelstein. So I look forward to your barrels of content.

    And Charlie, I would hardly say that you terrify me. I am not often terrified by social events, even those that take place in an authentic anarchist squat. I mean look, you wanna have a party? Awesome! More power to ya! Had I been in London, i would even have attended. But one party does not make a terrifying new social movement. I don’t mind being challenged, I like having thought provoking concepts thrown at me. However, all y’all have managed to do so far is to bore me with pretentious bravado annd bluster – to quote the Bard: ” …full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    Yawn.

  • What do we stand for? We’ll stand for whatever you want us to, whenever you want, baby.
    Jewdas is a movement of anger and celebration – anger about the mediocrity and siege mentality of both left and right in UK Jewishness, but also a celebration of past and future radicalism. The East End used to teem with artists, communists, anarchists and gangsters of Jewish background. Their politics are irrelevant, but they were proudly Jewish and proudly ‘Other’. We have very few role-models, so we’re going to make our own. But what we’d assert is that this ‘movement’ (if it is that) has come from the grassroots in the UK as a result of social circumstances that we didn’t create – 60 years after israel’s creation and we’re apathetic about it; 50(ish) years since the fleeing to the suburbs started and the embrace of commodities and the middle-class ghetto; the decline of overt anti-semitism in the last 20 years; and yes, a jealousy and respect of the pride the British Muslim community have in who they are and their radical traditions. We came together because we independently felt these factors, and now we’re working together. But it’s just about a matter of chance…

    Yes, we took our lead very much from Heeb magazine in New Yok – the banner-waver and first wave of rejuvenated Jewishness. And also, the centre of radical Jewish identity in Europe is now Berlin – amazing things are happening there. Just amazing. I personally aspire SO MUCH to the crazy punkness going on there.

    But listen in. We’re not storming the barricades, we’re not eating pork on yom kippur. But here’s the rub – Jewdas is for those who’d want to, as well as those who wouldn’t. It’s even for you, my furry friends. We’re universalists. I don’t know what you believe either, but if you want to come to our parties, and read our words on the website, and comment and come to our events and say your piece, then you’re very welcome. We’ll hug you tightly. Even if we don’t agree. But you know what makes us different? We don’t piss all over your views, like our views have been pissed over and suppressed in the past. I want my right to say I think contemporary Israel is often an embarassment to me as a Jew; I want my right to pick and choose from my heritage and make fun of it; I reject all fundamentals of my roots. It’s the 21st century, identities are up for grabs, we fress at the shabbat meal of complicated culture. We were born into being Jewish but we didn’t have a choice. So that’s our starting point. But who knows where we’ll go with it. But we want to say it. Where else could I say it? Nowhere. So we make our own fun. The counter-revolution begins.

    Jewdas is a collective. I’m just one of the many. You want something not pretentious bravado and bluster? I’ll talk to you for hours of the books I’ve read, the films I’ve made, the ideas I have. But don’t give me fundamentals, rules or bigots as your basis. And most of all, don’t give me cynicism. I don’t see you encouraging open-minded Jewish renewal. I see you imprisoning in ghettos – and THAT is pretentious. We are beyond irony and cynicism. We are creators, not detroyers.

    Heroes…I don’t have many. Most of my heroes are the other members of Jewdas because they’re alive and kicking and active. I am ambivalent about Chomsky and Finkelstein – they’re pretty much as naive and flawed as Rambam, CC and old man Herzl. Anyway, I prefer Rambo, Bambi and Rammstein.

  • What do we stand for? We’ll stand for whatever you want us to, whenever you want, baby.

    Wow, a magnificent non-answer.

    I don’t know, no offense intended, but so far your little venture seems like just Another self declared revolution that isn’t much different than anything else I’ve seen in the past three years of “jewish renewal.”

    Fantastic. Wear it well. But don’t expect us to be excited about it. let alone terrified.

  • Yep, our secret’s out. The very heart of gentile darkness: pork, music and dancing. out. (Just make sure you front-load the pork, folks.)

    The Guardian as your one-stop source for all things Jewish? Who knew?

  • Fair do’s. A civilised answer – that’s all we wanrt. Maybe don’t tell people with similar aims (albeit differing methods and ideas) to “piss the fuck off” in future, eh? It doesn’t endear.

  • Sheesh, CK (and Laya), those are rather gratuitously hard words against some guys just partying and creating an outlet for their smorgasbord of feelings towards Judaism and Israel. Like most ‘movements’, you gotta judge its success and philosophical doctrine not from how it starts out but how it fares over time, etc. Right now it just seems like a lot of youthful energy, but why do y’all feel the need to make fun of it for no reason and demand of it a coherent vision? Piss the fuck off.

    If you guys are worried about Jewish Renewal (which, given that the fundamentals of Judaism are not up for renewing, and they are the troublesome parts anyways), why not let a million flowers bloom and see how many of them eventually grow, rather than shake your head everytime one starts?

    Piss the fuck off!

  • “Challenge me with something more than derivative, boring graphics and activities and language that have shock-value, but nothing more.”

    Hey, that’s what I always say about Jewlicious!

    Hate me now, people…

  • That was a really long comment, and while I do appreciate you sharing your manifesto with us, we’re currently out of stock on I Love Hashem t-shirts.

    That having been said, Heeb and Jew Hipsterism was so 2002. Since then they have hardly ushered in a new era of uh… modern Jewiness. Even the founder of Heeb, Jen Bleyer has stepped away from her creation. Your universalism is admirable and all but you know what? You have to stand for something, you need some kind of substance. I choose the time-tested substance of thousands of years of evolving tradition, and you choose to lionize Jewish gangsters of yore, many of whose offspring run the reviled Board of Deputies, and Jewish communists of yore, many of whom flatly rejected their Jewish heritage and were flag bearers for a movement that victimized many innocents including their coreligionists. Let’s not forget how history has demonstrated the complete failure of communism as well… but I digress.

    I would defend your right to express your embarassment as a Jew with the current state of Israel. But I’m all about free speech and I reserve the right to express my embarassment with anyone whose criticism crosses the line from the well intentioned to the dogmatic and stupid.

    As for Jewish renewal, well… it’s not such an easy thing. You look at the Islamic fundamentalists in your midst and admire them for their radicalness. Yet you mock religious Jews. Renewal doesn’t mean that one must destroy everything that came before prior to rebuilding. Remember that according to your timeline you and most of your Jewdas friends came from a subarbanized and highly secular Judaism, mostly devoid of much meaning. I’d reject that shit too if I had the misfortune of being born into it. For the most part, Judaism-lite got you to where you are now. Rather than continue the trend your elders started, you may want to try something really crazy and re-explore what was left behind in the rush to the suburbs and middle class affluence.

    And forgive us for being a little jaded. We’ve seen all this before. Plus que ca change, plus que c’est la meme chose. Know what I’m sayin?

  • Ah, a journey to the very heart of gentile darkness: pork, music and dancing.

    (Just make sure you frontload the pork, folks. Dancing, music and pork’ll earn you a triple bypass.)

    As a general rule, people who jump and down and proclaim how cool they are, aren’t.

  • another Jewdas person here. I have one small and simple point. You may think ‘Heeb and Jew Hipsterism was so 2002’. Fair enough. In America it would be nothing new. But Jewdas is operating in london. You may not realise, but the amount of intersting, free thinking and creative jewish culture is not very high. I’d call it a sea of conservatism. So when we claim to be doing something new, its not merely grandiose rhetoric. Its actually true.

  • muff, like i told em – wear it well. It’s not the youthful energy, the partying, or the creating of outlets I have any issue with it all, its the self proclaimed radical rebellion of it all.

    Despite how seriously they seem to take themselves, I find what they are doing to be neither radical, nor revolutionary, nor very rebellious at all.

    Nonetheless kids, party on, or piss the fuck off, whichever you prefer.

  • EV! We did challenge you! We challenged you to drink like a man and in that respect, you pretty much failed. But I do have to give you props for a good effort.

    Muffti: Look at professor potty mouth here! I only told them to piss the fuck off once, whereas you felt the need to repeat that twice. Gratuitously hard? I don’t think so. If you wanna have a kick ass party, why the hell not? But then to couch it as the begining of a new radical Jewish movement invites investigation, and upon investigation, I felt the need to be a tad critical. Nothing gratuitous there.

    And you know all this better than I do. The first Heeb party was spectacularly fun and full of promise, whereas recent Heeb parties? Would you have called them a bit JDate-esque? I recall one dude who picked up a nice woman there called Christina or something, no? Heh.

    Now piss off wanker.

    😉

    jewdas: Hey it’s all good. Just, you know, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, ok?

  • Eh, no, you guys are just being dicks. What would you find to be rebelious and revolutionary?

    Most radical movments don’t begin with coherent philosophical doctrine; they begin with energy being expended and anger at a status quo. The american revolution, the communist revolution are rare exceptions and there is plenty of evidence that the philoosphical basis of both was at best still being worked out…In any case, CK, your point is telling: you’re judging Heeb by its history of parties, not merely by its first one. So perhpas you owe these Judas people the same courtesy. And Laya, why do you feel threatened by someone proclaiming themselves radical and rebellious? In fact, why do any of you care enough to write a critique about a bunch of partiers trying to forge a group identity?!?

    Muffti remembers that dude too at the Jdate-esque Heeb party…he was cool. In fairness, he didn’t actually know Christina’s name ’til most of the picking up was done and finished…

  • And CK, stop being a dick. Muffti saw EV take down over 15 shots of vodka while sipping beers at a rate quick enough to get an elephant drunk. Lez see you do that on your next birthday…start training now because October comes quick…

  • You want something not pretentious bravado and bluster? I’ll talk to you for hours of the books I’ve read, the films I’ve made, the ideas I have.

    Yikes, that’s your idea of being *not* pretentious?!?

    The whole thing sounds absolutely awful. The only excruciating hipster pose missing is burlesque.

  • It’s not threatened muff, it’s disappointed. I really would like to see something somewhat unique and revolutionary, but this doesn’t seem to be it. It’s them trying to convince me it is indeed a revolution that puts me off. Again, this is not to say they shouldn’t keep on partying and having a good ole time. but don’t try to tell me it’s so radical when it’s the same shit, different country.

  • Hey EV, how did you know I was going to recommend these Jewdas guys visit Jewschool where they can interact with Israel-bashing pseudo-anarchists all day long. 😆

    And Muffti, while I agree that ck was unduly harsh and perhaps even rude to our young British friends here, he does have a bit of a point. I mean, I hope their true goal is to get laid or something to that effect, because this manifesto of theirs makes no sense whatsoever other than “We’re bored with those stodgy types and we’re just like everyone else and Israel sucks while Palestinians are cool.” This flower has wilted already, I’m afraid.

  • The imporant thing is that when assesing a Jewish community’s country (England) which has had a consistent decline in its Jews, we should make sure to critically judge every and all youthful CULTURAL (read NOT political) activities with the most critical eye possible for any and all insufficient enthusaism for Zionism.

  • Well, Laya, what woudl count as a revolution for you? and why are you guys, who didn’t even go, being so judgemental? that’s the really surprising part to the Muffti…

  • Jesus. How unbefuckinglievably boring.

    Being “radical” for the sake of radicalism? Because the other shit is, like, so last century?Celebrating gangsters just because thet were, you know, like “Jewish” and “Other”, and that is, by definition, cool, because at least they’re not, like, our parents? Admiring fascistic, racist, misogynist, “death-to-the-kufr-queers” reactionary Muslims because, like, they have so much pride in their culture and, like, our culture embarrasses us and, like, sucks and we reject all the fundamentals, but “Other” fundamentalists are cool, because, pride and committment are cool, right? Quick, where can I get me some of that? I know! from anything that isn’t Jewish or Israeli, because that’s, like soooooooooo uncool.

    How the fuck old are you people? 15?

    “Let’s poke a stick in Daddy’s eye and call it radical”. How original. And are you so mindnumbingly self-absorbed that you actually think this scares anyone?

    Oh.

    My.

    G-d.

    It is a great shame that Jews want to be cool by aping and worshipping everything that isn’t Jewish, even Islamic fundamentalists who would gut them like a fish if they had half a chance, but it makes me want to weep that these same people could turn around and somehow think this is Jewish just because it is supposedly “transgressive”.

    This is why anyone who has any sense whatsoever holds what passes for “radicalism” in this day and age in such total contempt.

    But, whatever, I give it a couple more raves. When the bong runs out, it’s over.

    Just so you know, Torah and mitzvot are the real radical shit. It was true 3,000 years ago and it’s still true today.

    They say youth is wasted on the young. How true it is.

  • what’s everyone so worked up about? as if self-loathing Jews and internalized hatred are a new phenomenon.

  • True. Some of them might grow up and get some sense.

    For the rest, they’re just going to turn into fat, bald, aging hipsters with ponytails, hanging out at the local esspreso joint trying to recapture past glory or fool naive young chicks with tales of La Revolucion, or, more likely, just staring into their lattes wondering how the hell they wound up like this with nothing to show for their efforts.

  • “Let’s poke a stick in Daddy’s eye and call it radical”. How original. And are you so mindnumbingly self-absorbed that you actually think this scares anyone?

    This about says it. The weird thing is, London is full of amazing people, many of them Jews — how is it possible for this sort of precious poserism to manage to believe in itself despite all the examples to the contrary?

    I mean, do these people really so self-absorbed — or focussed on showing the world that they’re not Jewy Jews, or whatever — that they actually think that the only alternative to their strawmen is to act like a dick? I know there are some pretty insulated people out there, but this is a bit hard to believe. Wouldn’t be the first time the Guardian had, well, exaggerated a little bit…

  • Your assumptions are bizarre – we don’t praise gangsters, we don’t mock the religious any more than the secular, we don’t think we’re starting the french revolution, we’re not all communists, we’re not pretentious although we may be intelligent, we’re all in our mid twenties, and in any case as full-bred yankies, you have no idea of where we’re coming from culturally. It’s hard for us to tell you what we believe in when you chuck false accusations at us repeatedly.
    And hey, WE’RE NOT YOUR ENEMIES! Stop being so aggressive to us – save it for the real bad people. Or it just easier to attack the straw men of your fellow (albeit left-wing-ish) Jews?

  • Oh Charlie – you’re the one that first mentioned the gangsters and commies and their admirable Jewish identities. And I have nothing against the left either – I myself am in pretty much every respect a (literally) card carrying Liberal.

    I am however concerned about what I see as the fetishization of Islam and the Palestinian movement. It seems that our politics have become so polarized that many are willing to take positions based on the inverse of their opponents’. This often results in the abandonment of classical liberal values at the expense of political gamesmanship.

    I mean one can be opposed to say… the war in Iraq and western Imperial hegemony and still be critical of Islamic human rights abuses and xenophobia. One need not be a knee jerk anti-Israeli/anti-Zionist just because the right also supports Israel. I just sense much intellectual dishonesty and kowtowing to political considerations being done at the expense of truth and nuance and I suppose the hyperbolic bluster that accompanied the promotion for Punkpurim set me off.

    But really Charlie, and I mean this sincerely, I don’t consider you and your friends my enemies. I have often taken the piss out of our North American versions of your Board of Deputies. I also recognize the fact that they do a lot of impportant work – after all, who else is going to care for the elderly and poor of our community? I’ll be the first to admit that parties are fun and Emunah rocks but who is going to feed the children? That having been said, despite the fact that in many respects we don’t see eye to eye, I appreciate the pride you feel in your Jewish identity and the efforts your are making to express said identity. If you or any of your gang are ever in Jerusalem, PLEASE make it a point to look us up (use the contact form) and you can come over for a sabbath meal or a whole mess of beer. We’ll show ya a good time.

    Sorry if you feel I gave you a hard time – it’s only cuz I fucking care.

    🙂

  • Glad to see a little calm descending. I think you’ll find you have more in common than you have apart. Don’t underestimate the depth of the Jewdas collective’s Jewish knowledge or the sincerity of their beliefs. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised by what they have planned next- they maybe many things, but they certainly aren’t mindless ravers.

  • Well, this is nice. We’re all in harmony. I totally agree with you about the errors in fetishising Islam. If it seems we’re doing that, that’s a mistake. I admire the strength of the composite cultural identity of British-Bengali kids that hang around East London where I live. I respect their devotion to the Palestinaian cause, if they denounce terror and seek a peaceful solution. But that doesn’t mean I agree with their political convictions, even if I respect them. I’m more interested in their cultural passion than their politics, anyway. But, I’ll tell you what I find more repulsive, and this may surprise you – non-Muslim members of the left who blindly support any underdog, and it’s THEM that fetishise the Palestinian cause, not us. I feel little in common with most on the left, but I certainly am a leftie in most repects. And I’m not “anti-zionist” as such, but I certainly am at present anti- the- current- state- of- Israeli- leadership- and- hence- depiction- of- Jewishness- to- the- rest- of- the- world. But as I also said further up this thread, I’m just bored with Israel. I’ve never been, and it means little to me. I’d like to go, but not as much as I want to go to Vilnius again.

    See, we’re a rainbow coalition. Contradictory, maybe – but aren’t all humans, and indeed, human groups?

    I meant ganstas, not gangsters, anyway. And yes, we care a very very lot too, and that is what we most have in common.

  • 1. Stay in your safe staid box, my friend. You keep your selective conservative interpretation of Jewishness. We’ll stride on, continuing to terrify people like yourself

    2. WE’RE NOT YOUR ENEMIES! Stop being so aggressive to us – save it for the real bad people.

    Erm, choose.

    Or to say it more seriously and slowly, I am personally offended when you start taking the traditional antisemitic stereotypes, parroting them to the world, and announcing brightly that, unlike all those other

  • that, unlike all those other Jews, you’re not really lke that.

    See, those other Jews aren’t really like that either. There are a whole bunch of them. In all shapes and sizes. And even those in the heart of darkness, the ones that you’re most afraid people will link you with, the ones who most clearly correspond to what you’re frightened to death of being tainted by the uncoolness of — the suburban types who are concnerned with things you think you absolutely despite — well, they’re human beings too, and you clearly don’t understand what motivates or drives them. Instead, you make fun.

    WE’RE NOT YOUR ENEMIES! Then stop fucking acting like it, you idiot. Stop screaming to anyone who will hear that most Jews are ugly fatty hate-filled bla bla bla. I think you’ll find that when your Web site is all about sarcastic name-calling and bitter stick-poking at everyone you think you disagree with … that that tone will be reflected right back at you, Jewdas.

  • I’m just bored with Israel. I’ve never been, and it means little to me.

    Uh huh. Way to establish your Jewish cred, man. We can dig it. “I’m Jewish, Fuck Israel!” Yeah, that works. Got a kind of je ne sais quoi quality to it, wouldn’t you say?

    I mean, how the fuck can you be bored with a place to which you’ve never been? Are you really that childish? Anyone with any sense at all would normally try to avoid soiling themselves in public like this. “Ew! Hamburgers! Gross! “Have you ever tried one?” “No, but they’re gross! Ew!!”

    I certainly am at present anti- the- current- state- of- Israeli- leadership- and- hence- depiction- of- Jewishness- to- the- rest- of- the- world.

    You mean the Israel which defends the lives of Jews from genocidal terrorists and doesn’t apologize for it? That Israel makes you ashamed? Yeah, it’s true that the rest of the world really hates that depiction of Jewishness, and, after all, what is more important than showing the gentiles that we really don’t want to do anything that will inconvenience them? How can you breathe with your head so far up in that gentile ass?

    I’d like to go, but not as much as I want to go to Vilnius again.

    Just can’t wait to go back to Anatevka, huh? Man, all those ghosts of dead Jews are just so much cooler than the living, breathing ones that are cluttering up the place now, huh?

  • Ephraim, he’s, like, in his ’20s. He’s going through a bit of a rebellious stage. Why not try some, uh, honey, to make him see things your way?

    Charlie, Ephraim here does have a point. You’re not that far away from Israel. Why not fly over there for a week or two and look around before telling others about problems with its leadership, etc., etc. Just go there. You’ll have a good time.

  • Well, Middle, somebody’s got to be the crotchety alter kocker threatening the gruber yungen with an ass full of birdshot if they don’t get the hell off his lawn.

    Might as well be me.

    Hey, I’ve got an idea: you be the Good Cop and I’ll be the Bad Cop! That would be new, right?

  • Rebellious? You obviously set your barrier low for that. I don’t think I’m at all rebellious. Merely acting instinctively. I think you’re still sterotyping me.
    And go to Israel? Nah, too expensive, mate. I prefer the Kent coast.

  • Oh Charlie… the Kent coast? Sheeit. You really are kinda clueless (and i mean that in the nicest way, really i do). Listen, there are many options for you wherein you could visit our shitty little country and not spend too much hard earned cash. For instance, given your involvement with Jewdas, I would most strongly urge you to take a look at http://www.roi120.com – it’s a conference taking place in Jerusalem from the 3rd to the 6th of July. They’ll fly you into Israel for free and put you in a hotel for free and allow you to Network with similarly minded young jews and maybe even get some funding for whatever jew-related projects you’re involved in. How’s thaat sound charlie? unless of course you are unwilling to see what Israel is really like and quite possibly have some of your assumptions be challenged.

    If you are comfortable with your beliefs and are willing to restoon your laurels than well, have fun on the Kent coast and vaja con dios as they say. If however, you’re up to the challenge, then apply for roi120. Send me an email – jewlicious [at] gmail dot com and I can help make sure your application gets the attention it merits. Nearly half the Jewish people in the world that you have an interest in live in this country. Come see it – I will make it as easy as possible for you to do so.

    Come on… I dare ya.

  • nah, it’s just not top of my list for future plans. one day, maybe.

    Why don’t you go to the Romney Marsh for a weekend? I can’t offer you freebies, but I think you’ll have some amazing walks and clear air. Come on, I dare YOU

  • But just what exactly IS your “conviction”, Charlie? All we can see is that you’re jumping up and down and screaming “We’re not that stodgy lot over there”. This is meaningless.

    Oh, yeah, I forgot: if you’re a Jew, it’s “Vilna”, not “Vilnius”.

  • Your conviction? What conviction is that? That you have trouble with some established Jewish groups?

    You have no trouble criticizing a country you have never visited and know nothing about, but take offense that people stereotype you as someone who is going through a stage in life where they are rebellious against the establishment. Great conviction.

    We’ve all been to England. It’s nice there (as long as you ignore their colonialist past). If somebody offered me a free trip there, I’d take it. Heck, I’d even pay to go once every few years as long as I get to visit France and Spain for longer. What does that have to do with a Jewish person not even having the curiosity to visit a state created by Jews for the Jewish nation? I can’t imagine why you’re so afraid to visit Israel when it’s a free trip with potential funding for your group. Hint: it isn’t as depicted in your fine British media.

  • shame you can’t respect mine. Most folks get exactly the amount of respect they show.

    Duh.

    And, grin: I don’t think I’m at all rebellious. Merely acting instinctively. I think you’re still sterotyping me. Uh huh: stop criticizing what I say! That’s just stereotyping! Mmm, kettle? Meet … oh, never mind.

  • Oh Charlie… I was in London just last week, annd a few years back I found myself in the lovely village of Hythe for a couple of very memorable days. i drove around, visited the area, it’s very pretty – the sheep, the countryside, the freaky churches – very nice. But it just didn’t resonate for me as much as Israel does. So thanks for the challenge and all but I’ve already been there, done that. So now it’s your turn…

    I can understand it if you can’t take time off in July or something, but to dismiss it out of hand so cavalierly? I find that strange… how can one claim to have an interest in Judaism and yet remain completely uninterested in visiting the one shtetl that contains half the world’s Jewish population – especially when it’s being handed to you on a silver platter?

    At the very least pass the word on to your other uh… mates at Jewdas and tell them to check out
    http://www.roi120.com
    Sheesh …
    ענים להם ןלא יראון
    just sayin is all …

  • themiddle, your comment about England’s colonial past is just silly. The United States are just fab to live in too, as long as you ignore its colonial past and present.

  • ” to visit a state created by Jews for Jews” ???
    After the Second World War Europe “created” Israel for the Jews. Surely “The Middle” should know this. You diss England but forget that they helped the Jews in the creation of Israel. Without them Jews would still have been Gypsies. Don’t get me wrong, Israel MUST excist and I have a lot of respect for the Jewish nation.

  • Ah yes, those generous and kind Europeans created Israel. All it took was a few million murdered Jews after many centuries of ill treatment, and suddenly the generous Europeans allowed the Jews to stop being “Gypsies.”

    Beautiful.

    You know what made Israel happen? It was sheer tenacity, life-risking courage, hand-bleeding hard work, overcoming of obstacles created by the British, money donated by other Jews, the establishment of strong community infrastructure including a shadow government, the establishment of militias to protect vulnerable Jewish citizens, experience gained by Jewish soldiers in two world wars, a strong ideological foundation…and eventually a Holocaust that brought additional refugees. Israel was created in a war that was won by Jews against Arab nations WHO WERE NOT IN ANY WAY STOPPED OR CONTROLLED BY THOSE MUNIFICENT EUROPEANS WHO SO LOVE THE JEWISH PEOPLE, DESPITE THESE ARAB GOVERNMENTS’ STATED ILL INTENTIONS AGAINST THE JEWS, that established the state. Nobody thought the Jews would win that fight, so one has to wonder what the Europeans were thinking would happen. After all, they didn’t want the Jews to be “Gypsies.”

    Israel is a Jewish state created by Jews to allow for Jewish self-determination. If the Europeans taught the Jews anything, by 1948 it was that the original Zionist vision of escaping Europe to live in a country where Jews would determine their own fate and could avoid the harsh reality of their lives and deaths in Europe, was valid. This was what made Israel happen.

    England may have put the Balfour Declaration out there, but as of 1920 and subsequently, they caused far more harm than good to the Yishuv (the Jewish community in mandatory Palestine) and to their shame, continued to disrespect the mandate they were given by the international community to ensure that a Jewish homeland would be established.

    And Ofri,
    It’s not silly at all to mention British colonialism. We’re still less than a century removed from its conclusion and the world is still feeling the impact. Bringing it up in this context is a worthwhile reminder that A) Britain is very much at fault for many of the problems in the modern Middle East; B) when some guy prances around criticizing the present government and entity of Israel, he should remember how his country treated millions of people whom they subjugated over hundreds of years, including the Jewish community of Mandatory Palestine who were supposedly in their care; and, C) They are partially responsible for the present mess in Iraq.

    Uh oh, there goes that Bad Jewish Guy again pissing all over those nice Europeans. They do so love peace and harmony, unlike those nasty Israeli Jews who are just such nasty meanies. 🙄

  • If history taught us anything it would be that great ideas on paper never deliver on the ground. The Jews were left to their own devises in a hostile area that to this day will never rest untill Israel is pushed into the sea. You passion for the cause is obvious.

    It is that passion that kept Israel alive up to now. But pick your fights. You do not bite the hand that feeds. Ask Hamas.

  • Templar, I am not a politician or diplomat. I am just a dude who works like everybody else, takes care of my family, pays taxes and has to decide which cereal to eat for breakfast. As such, it is my joy and pleasure to piss on the Europeans if I feel like it. When and if I go into politics, I promise to be more circumspect.

    I mean, what is this business with biting the hand that feeds? what will the Europeans do, exactly? Will they claim that Israel is a shitty little country? Will they organize boycotts and have foreign ministers from Scandinavian countries extoll the benefits of such boycotts? Will they create media outlets with a significant anti-Israeli bias? Will they engender politicians such as the mayor of a certain town, or an asshole who tells a Jewish politician to go count shekels? Will they provide funds that they know go, in part, to terror activities but turn a blind eye? Or perhaps they will simply vote against Israel at the UN every chance they get?

    Europe does not feed Israel. The trade imbalance between Europe and Israel is in Europe’s favor, actually. Other than Germany, which has become a solid supporter of Israel over the past decades, Europe acts towards Israel in a manner that is self-serving, just like any region or country. If anti-Israel Islamic voters in a European country have an impact on a political race, the politicians may respond to their interests. If the sense that oil supply or avoiding terror attacks can be ensured by dissing Israel, then that is what European nations do. Nobody is being charitable or kind to Israel. It is all about self-serving needs. In fact, considering that Israel is a true Western democracy and has been embattled by this war for 60 years, it is an amazing truth to behold that the Europeans mostly tend to prefer siding with dictatorial regimes with values very different from theirs.

    Oh, and please, until the EU actually cuts funds to the Palestinians, don’t talk to me about Hamas. So far, over the last two months since the Palestinian election, PA expenses have been covered by the EU, Switzerland appears to have accepted Hamas as a political partner and we already know that Russia has. The jury is still out on how the Europeans will treat Hamas.

  • Good argument. The only true and meaningfull conversations take place within your family around the breakfast table, while deciding on cereal. As long as “they” run and manipulate the world you can only do one thing and is to look after your own family. Keep well.

    PS: I also just heard the f#ckers release the hostage Jill Carol.

  • So, seeing with your own eyes is the only way to believe in it as a political reality? Interesting philosophy. I’ll button my lip next time a member of the Iranian government threatens to kill us all. After all, I haven’t been there, so how can I comment? Have you been there?

    And yup, the British have a horrid legacy, Europeans have a horrid legacy, Americans have a horrid legacy, everyone does (even, shock horror, Israel). Our leaders give us a torrid present too. Hence, I have no faith in the decisions they take, and they do not act in my name. So don’t taint me with their legacy. Our acts in the present and future, on the ground, are what defines us.

    I’m signing off here on this debate. Not because this isn’t fascinating, but because we’re talking across each other and that can;t go on forever. I hope I’ll meet you all some day, and perhaps you’ll give more credence to the surety of my feelings having spent 5 minutes with me eye to eye.

    So long….

  • Oh Charlie, of course you’re right… opinions need not be based on first hand knowledge. I mean you can tell me how lovely Romney Marsh and the Kent Coast are, but having been there has allowed me to have a more nuanced perspective. I was simply offering you the same with respect to Israel. But whatever, it’s your call and you just made it. I’m sure it was a principled decision although some will just view it as a resistance to having your ideas challenged. In any case, I’ve already invited you to spend 5 minutes with me eye to eye. I would have even thrown in a couple of beers, but whatever …

  • […] You may remember our chums from Jewdas – that’s cute London slang for “Heeb Magazine” – from our little spat with them sometime around last Purim. If you’re not familiar with Jewdas’ oeuvre, read my last post about New York Jewish radical hipsters, substituting “London” for “New York” and throwing in the word “bollocks” as you see fit, and we’ll be about on the same page. […]

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