accusations of anti-semitism October 22, 2010 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Some people don't like it when certain things are discussed.

A little derail from the Juan Williams discussion, where someone else was accused of antisemitism, and I was told I was a bad person.
posted by Jimmy Havok to Etiquette/Policy at 4:27 PM (276 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

That Jews are "protected" and "celebrated" in this country was the original comment. Your not recognizing this as a disgusting statement

Anti-semitism! It's EVERYWHERE!

I don't hate you because you're a Jew, rosswald, I hate you because you're an asshole. Get it straight.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 4:28 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I hate you because you're an asshole.
posted by dancestoblue at 4:29 PM on October 22, 2010 [11 favorites]


Have a nice weekend!
posted by Burhanistan at 4:31 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


maybe some links and context?
posted by nadawi at 4:32 PM on October 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


You may not be an antisemite, but your comment in that thread was a) a derail; b) wrong; c) totally assholish.

But by all means paint yourself as the victim here and everybody else as oppressing you.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:38 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know who else . . .
posted by ND¢ at 4:40 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Keerist on a crutch anyways.

You are seriously not winning any points by making a meta post just to call someone an asshole... in fact it kinda has the opposite effect then what you presumably intend.

I not so secretly hope this is buttoned up and closed pdq
posted by edgeways at 4:42 PM on October 22, 2010


[✓] Cryptic, link-less complaint involving anti-semitism
[✓] "Douchebag" tag less than two days after lengthy discussion re: appropriateness of the term "douchebag"
[✓] Gratuitous use of the word "asshole"
[✓] Also, hate
[ ] Fun, relaxing Friday evening for Team Mod

posted by Rhaomi at 4:43 PM on October 22, 2010 [69 favorites]


where someone else was accused of antisemitism, and I was told I was a bad person.

Junior High was so much fun.
posted by Throw away your common sense and get an afro! at 4:47 PM on October 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was hoping this was about therapy
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:47 PM on October 22, 2010 [18 favorites]


It would be better to debate the efficacy of CAPS LOCK and the "beauty" of comic sans. Thin skins are for new potatoes.
posted by Cranberry at 4:48 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jimmy, and I ask this with all due respect:

what
posted by found missing at 4:49 PM on October 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


You did, at the very least, memail rosswald to let him know you had started this thread to slag him off, yes? And put a link in the original post to alert people that the derail you started is now over here?

Tell me you exhibited at least that much courtesy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:50 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


WHATEVER YOU DO, LIE TO THE ASTRO ZOMBIE
posted by carsonb at 4:53 PM on October 22, 2010 [10 favorites]


Link would be helpful.

Don't sweat it, mate. I've been called an anti-semite, an Islamophobe and a big fat meanie. And you know what hurt the most? I'm not even fat! People can be so heartless.
posted by Decani at 4:55 PM on October 22, 2010


No eric cartman tag?
posted by buzzman at 4:57 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


We call you fat like we call bald people Curly!
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:57 PM on October 22, 2010


Email each other. Use your words. This tactic does nothing but tarnish your own reputation.
posted by boo_radley at 4:58 PM on October 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


you know how sometimes in jr high there'd be a day when the teacher was late and for whatever reason a few students would start arguing and getting loud with each other and you'd just sit by the wall, trying to be invisible, darting your eyes at the door, nervously waiting for the teacher to show...

...that's how this thread feels.
posted by nadawi at 5:01 PM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Listen to boo_radley, he speaks truth and has nifty sneakers!
posted by nomadicink at 5:01 PM on October 22, 2010


I'm not totally unsympathetic to the side of the story you've presented here, Jimmy Havok, but this callout is pretty awful.
posted by wierdo at 5:03 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's the thread.

Here is Mr. Havok's comment.

Here's the start of the talk of antisemitism.

I presume this is what got Mr. Havok into a tizzy.

I will note that nobody accused Mr. Havok of being an antisemite. They did, however, point out that his comment about Jews somehow being a protected class in America is a popular talking point among antisemites. Which, sonofagun, it is. Mr. Havok may not have meant it in the way antisemites do, but it's really in poor taste to interject into a thread about hatred a comment that's easily read as "too bad they can't be like the Jews, who have everybody in their pocket."
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:04 PM on October 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


And, as I pointed out, it is very likely Mr. Havok was expressing a much subtler point. The trouble is, when he was confronted on it, he got pretty hostile, and the discussion spiraled downward and far afield from the original subject of the thread.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:06 PM on October 22, 2010


I've seen constant admonitions to "take it to MetaTalk" on situtations of this type, so I thought that was an appropriate venue, rather than running with the derail. I've been the target of accusations of anti-semitism myself, and I consider it a muzzling tactic, which is NOT appropriate to MetaFilter. The further reactions are more muzzling tactics.

AZ, we're usually on the same side of issues, I'm sorry to see you on the other side of the fence this time, but you're with the shut-the-fuck-up brigade right now, and that means you're wrong.

Links:

exhibit a

exhibit b

exhibit c

exhibit d

exhibit e

There are a few other little tidbits that I neglected, but I think that's the bulk of it.

Yes, AZ, I did tell rosswald he's an ass in memail...or did I?
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:07 PM on October 22, 2010


There is a Zionist Cabal. DON'T MUZZLE THE TRUTH!
posted by found missing at 5:09 PM on October 22, 2010


I've been called an anti-semite, an Islamophobe and a big fat meanie.

Oh wow, I've been called a zionist*, a terrorist and a big fat meanie as well. However, the last one is completely accurate in my case. We should hang out and stuff.

on the interwebs. long time ago
posted by Throw away your common sense and get an afro! at 5:10 PM on October 22, 2010


And we just had such a lovable post of hugs not too long ago...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:11 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm with the shut the fuck up brigade because the subject, whatever it's merit, is a derail in the original thread, and quite a hostile one. I flagged every single one of them, including the discussions of antisemitism, but I imagine the mods are enjoying life rather than dealing with your tantrum.

And you still can't back away from the topic, or your hostility. Your derail was off-base, and your callout here is fucking ridiculous, and if you'd walk away from MetaFilter for a while, you'd probably realized it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:11 PM on October 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


The pity of it is, you have great points to make on the actual subject of the thread.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:12 PM on October 22, 2010


Guys, can't you just be nice to each other just ONCE per year? Please? It's Caps Lock Day. Now let me set the timer for the family photo.
posted by NoraReed at 5:19 PM on October 22, 2010 [10 favorites]


Metafilter: And that means you're wrong.
posted by grapesaresour at 5:24 PM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm going to move that we table this discussion until daylight hours -- like, tomorrow at 10 am or so, Pacific time.
posted by russilwvong at 5:26 PM on October 22, 2010


CRY HAVOK! AND LET SLIP THE JIMMY OF WAR
posted by dersins at 5:28 PM on October 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


There are a few other little tidbits that I neglected, but I think that's the bulk of it.

No problem, dude, I put the MeTa link in the thread on the blue. But listen Havok, have heart, when you start a Metatalk post in the future you need to include a link to whatever it is you are on about. It's anarchy otherwise.
posted by mlis at 5:30 PM on October 22, 2010


Sometimes it is the better part of valor to ignore a perceived insult.

Just sayin'.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:31 PM on October 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


Motion seconded.
posted by bilabial at 5:34 PM on October 22, 2010


Someone has alerted me that the first comment I credited to Mr. Havok was not by him at all. I apologize for the mistake. Nonetheless, whether or not Jews are a protected class, and whether it is a silencing tactic to discuss antisemitism, was not the subject of the thread, and so I stand by my complaint that it was a needlessly fighty derail and that I appreciated Mr. Javok's other contributions, and that this callout is off the hizzle.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:35 PM on October 22, 2010


fo' shizzle my nizzle.
posted by gman at 5:38 PM on October 22, 2010


Everyone just step away from your computers.......
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:39 PM on October 22, 2010


Ha ha! I'm typing this from seven feet away with the end of a broom!
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:42 PM on October 22, 2010 [13 favorites]


For the record, you *are* a bad person.
posted by rocketman at 5:50 PM on October 22, 2010


I move to let the record show that I can't tell what either side of the argument that is the topic of this thread are talking about.

Also, I was once called a charlatan by the teacher in a printmaking class. I'm still not sure what that meant, but I'm pretty proud of it.
posted by cmoj at 5:50 PM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


I REST MY CASE
posted by cmoj at 5:52 PM on October 22, 2010


for whatever reason a few students would start arguing and getting loud with each other and you'd just sit by the wall, trying to be invisible

I remember a day like that in 10th grade Algebra. Two dudes started an argument over something and the squabble escalated quickly. Suddenly, one of the dudes (who was BIG) picked up his desk and threw it across the room. Yeah, I wanted to be invisible.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:57 PM on October 22, 2010


Jimmy Havok, listen to Astro Zombie. He is wise as well as undead and astral.
posted by languagehat at 5:57 PM on October 22, 2010 [12 favorites]


i think jimmy has a point. hamida's comment was a pretty rude thing to say ... but rather then start calling him an asshole people needed to flag and move on. if everyone had flagged hamida's comment, there wouldn't be a problem ... but it's a lot harder to flag the following pile on.

so jimmy made a metatalk thread so we can all actually write how much we hate hamida's comment--and to call out those who felt it was okay to start some kind of fight in the original thread.

oh, and astro zombie: i've never seen a broom with a 7 foot handle. nice try.
posted by lester at 5:57 PM on October 22, 2010


After much consideration, I have concluded that it is not very nice to post a MetaTalk call-out on Friday evening. I cannot imagine an internet disagreement that could possibly justify a Friday evening MetaTalk call-out.
posted by The World Famous at 5:58 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


You were told you were a bad person and...?

You want a graham cracker and juice? I'm trying to figure out what you want out of this discussion.
posted by kalessin at 6:04 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


You did, at the very least, memail rosswald to let him know you had started this thread to slag him off, yes?

That doesn't really seem like a great idea. Unless you think the person isn't going to respond to the memail.
posted by smackfu at 6:04 PM on October 22, 2010


Found it.

Look, I apologize for being so fighty.

Still, no-one accused anyone of being an anti-semite until Jimmy pulled out the you're just hiding behind the idea that everyone is a closet anti-semite card, so he could then go on to claim that, what was imho a fairly offensive statement, was being saved with cries of antisemitism.

I just found the whole related vein in that thread to be unexpected and depressing.
posted by rosswald at 6:05 PM on October 22, 2010


Wait, what's a hizzle?
posted by kalessin at 6:05 PM on October 22, 2010


i for one
welcome our new zombie overlord.
posted by clavdivs at 6:08 PM on October 22, 2010


Also: Boy, am I glad I'm a Goy.
posted by kalessin at 6:09 PM on October 22, 2010


I think a me-mail would have been nice, since I guess I am linked to this thread. Whatever. I considered taking this to Meta. but I figured I would let someone besides me or AZ, or JH do it. Not that I fault Jimmy for it (though the framing...), I just felt to invested to have a clear perspective.
posted by rosswald at 6:09 PM on October 22, 2010


er savaged, not saved. Damn.
posted by rosswald at 6:10 PM on October 22, 2010


I cannot imagine an internet disagreement that could possibly justify a Friday evening MetaTalk call-out.

this. 100%.

friday night and saturday morning seem grar-y. at the very least, too grar-y for times when we all know mod presence is a little more scarce.
posted by nadawi at 6:13 PM on October 22, 2010


Correction: He did me-mail, but for some reason it didn't forward to my e-mail. Still, calling me an asshole over me-mail is fine. But waiting one-hour to then do it in Meta. Whatever.
posted by rosswald at 6:18 PM on October 22, 2010


I'm with Havok on this one. He was making legitimate points, and got shouted down by the protesters/drama queens/stfuc.

Also, Arabs are semites too.
posted by gjc at 6:19 PM on October 22, 2010


ULTIMATELY I GUESS WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED HERE TODAY IS THAT MAYBE OTHER PEOPLE AREN'T KEENLY AWARE OF WHATEVER IT IS THAT'S PISSING YOU OFF AND THAT IF YOU BARGE IN AND PRESUME THEY ARE THEN IT'S KINDA LIKE WHOA HEY MAN BIT OF A NARCISSIST YOU KNOW AMIRITE TO JUST KIND OF THINK I'LL BE LIKE OH YEAH BRAH I WAS SO READING THAT VERY THREAD THAT YOU AREN'T LINKING TO AND WAS ALL I AM SO FEELING THIS GUY'S SIDE HELL YES THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS CALLOUT I WOULD HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT YOUR SHIT ALL WEEKEND OTHERWISE

SO ANYWAY I'M GONNA GO WATCH NIGHT OF THE DEMONS RIGHT NOW
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:23 PM on October 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


I think we can all say that mistakes were made.

And the mods are partying.

So let's just all be chill here and say "let's not do this again (on a Friday)"

Then we can party.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:26 PM on October 22, 2010


kittens for breakfast, FTW.
posted by kalessin at 6:27 PM on October 22, 2010


And the mods are partying.

If you call having a few beers with librarians in Saskatchewan and then getting a ride home in a Prius partiying, then yes I guess I was. Otherwise yes rosswald maybe should have taken his issues to email and Jimmy Havok should have chilled out much sooner, but I defer to cortex on MeFi comment deletion [or non-] decisions.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:31 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes jessamyn I was saying "is this partying?" until I got to the part with the Prius and then I said yes, yes that is partying.

Mods need party too.

Space to party, you should have it even though you are a mod.

JMO
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:34 PM on October 22, 2010


Dude. I can't think of a better party than having beers with librarians. Librarians are my absolute favorite people. And professors. But especially librarians. Srsly.
posted by kalessin at 6:39 PM on October 22, 2010


One of my best friends is a librarian...
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:41 PM on October 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Beers + Saskatchewan + Librarians = PARTY HARD
posted by Ouisch at 6:43 PM on October 22, 2010 [3 favorites]




After much consideration, I have concluded that it is not very nice to post a MetaTalk call-out on Friday evening. I cannot imagine an internet disagreement that could possibly justify a Friday evening MetaTalk call-out.


MetaTalk: Like MetaFilter, but only during banker's hours.
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:48 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually by Friday NIGHT we're often around unless there's some sort of event happening. Really we're here a lot of the time. It's really the suppertime [in the US] hours. How many weeks now has it been where there has been a crabby friday evening suppertime callout?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:00 PM on October 22, 2010


Wait, Juan Williams was fired? That's got to suck in this economy. Poor man.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:01 PM on October 22, 2010


Don't worry, the Jews have his back.
posted by found missing at 7:03 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jimmy Havok: “I've seen constant admonitions to "take it to MetaTalk" on situtations of this type, so I thought that was an appropriate venue, rather than running with the derail. I've been the target of accusations of anti-semitism myself, and I consider it a muzzling tactic, which is NOT appropriate to MetaFilter.”

Hey, Jimmy – I know where you're coming from. I sort of had the same thing happen to me a few weeks ago in Metatalk. I was discussing the n-word in the context of a discussion about various slurs, and somebody said it wasn't right that I was using it so much – that it was manipulative and caused pain to people to hear it. And I was really, really hurt, and really pissed off. And I said so. I felt like that was completely beside the point, and what's more I felt like they were accusing me of racism – something that it hurts to be accused of. I know I'm no racist, and so it really pissed me off to feel as though people were implying darkly that I was.

The thing is: I was wrong. But it was really hard to see that at the time. I wish I'd been more sensitive to the way people felt when they heard the word, and I wish I'd paid more attention to the reaction people had to it.

Just a little note: you might find you're in the same situation. I'm not accusing you; just saying – I'm right there with you, brother. I know how it feels to hear this stuff. It sucks. And I know you're not a racist, Jimmy; I know you well enough to know that.

However: I also know that what you said was wrong.
posted by koeselitz at 7:03 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I once got called a Reuben Sandwich. Really. You can look it up.
posted by jonmc at 7:07 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


of the ones i linked from the last month it looks like 3 of the 7 were during what might have been suppertime.

you mods are super awesome and are here most of the time. i don't think any of us saying "hey, OP, it's friday night" are saying that you guys aren't doing your jobs, just that maybe it might be nice of the community to take a gander and the calender and clock and decide if they absolutely must get that grar off their chest at that exact moment. in fact, that's probably a good mode to take with metatalk threads in general "lets just type this up and i'll see if i'm still this mad in three hours". lord knows i wish i had employed that strategy a time or two.
posted by nadawi at 7:09 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I should add that I don't mind being called a reuben Sandwich as long as they specify, hold the Russian, mustard instead. I detest Russian Dressing. But I love a good Reuben.
posted by jonmc at 7:15 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Regarding the derail:

I don't think that it's unreasonable to say that most people who have even the smallest amount of social skills can realize that Jews have been historically subject to a lot of prejudice in America, to say nothing of the rest of the world, and that because of that prejudice and persecution, it's pretty well known that when discussing Jews, it's easy to be offensive (whether intentional or otherwise). Because Jews have been unfairly done by, it behooves all to be sensitive. I also don't think it's unreasonable to say that Muslims in many ways would be better off within that context — the awareness that in America, they're subject to some fairly ugly scapegoating and prejudice, and that it would be better if people were able to extend that cultural and social awareness of prejudice and persecution to include Muslims.

But now, I'm off to dinner and don't think it's worth fighting over.
posted by klangklangston at 7:19 PM on October 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Festivus seems to come earlier every year.
posted by Abiezer at 7:22 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


And we just had such a lovable post of hugs not too long ago ...

love + spite, joined at birth.
posted by philip-random at 7:33 PM on October 22, 2010


I should add that I don't mind being called a reuben Sandwich as long as they specify, hold the Russian, mustard instead.

How, in the name of all that's holy, is that a reuben? That's a corned beef sandwich with kraut, that's what that is. Not a reuben, not by any stretch. No sir. Shaka, when the walls fell.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:36 PM on October 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


{sic]"Jonmc, from the bottom of my heart, I think you are a Reuben sandwich. There, I said it. Now it's all been done. ;-)
posted by iamkimiam at 7:01 PM on April 11, 2007 [+] [!]"

-i do not know who to cite as this exceeds all MLA guidelines.
posted by clavdivs at 7:43 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]



Actually by Friday NIGHT we're often around unless there's some sort of event happening. Really we're here a lot of the time. It's really the suppertime [in the US] hours. How many weeks now has it been where there has been a crabby friday evening suppertime callout?


LOW BLOOD SUGAR. EVERYONE EAT A SNACK.
posted by liketitanic at 7:49 PM on October 22, 2010


I'VE HEARD ABOUT ALL THE POTASH IN SASKETCHEWAN I KNOW WHAT YOU WERE DOING
posted by slogger at 7:50 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn: Actually by Friday NIGHT we're often around unless there's some sort of event happening. Really we're here a lot of the time. It's really the suppertime [in the US] hours. How many weeks now has it been where there has been a crabby friday evening suppertime callout?

Heh, I know. Sorry. It just sounded really funny is all, wasn't criticizing the mods for actually being allowed to have dinner. Or a life. (How dare you?!). :-)
posted by 1000monkeys at 7:53 PM on October 22, 2010


hey jimmy, i like your contributions to metafilter and i hope you get all this sorted out, but i think you might be on the wrong end of this one.
posted by Kwine at 8:00 PM on October 22, 2010


AZ: Did you flag Womanword's accusation, or did you just flag my call-out? Did you flag rosswald's comments?
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:01 PM on October 22, 2010


It was like the United Nations. Flags everywhere.
posted by found missing at 8:06 PM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


See, I would posit that a Reuben without the Russian dressing is no Reuben. Maybe a Rubin, or even a Ruby?
posted by BevosAngryGhost at 8:09 PM on October 22, 2010


Everybody, FREAKOUT!
posted by nola at 8:12 PM on October 22, 2010


I did tell rosswald he's an ass in memail...or did I?

TO BE CONTINUED

Next week on General Spittle...
posted by katillathehun at 8:12 PM on October 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have a theory, which is mine, and it is this: many -- not all, mind, but many -- weekend MeTas are composed under the influence of intoxicating substances. I don't think this is one of those. But I do feel like, in general, Friday night MeTas don't make a lot of sense, lack context, and are probably written in the heat of the moment.

This was the first time this theory occurred to me. This was the second time. Both made me go

what

There have been others, but these are the ones that came to mind.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 8:18 PM on October 22, 2010


I flagged them all, and I still can't believe that the whole nasty derail managed to survive.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:29 PM on October 22, 2010


I do still think Womanword's comment was an accusation, although it was couched in passive-aggressive terms. Jews were subject to a lot of discrimination, however, I seriously believe that anti-semitism is so socially stigmatized* that it is a thing of the past now, and now we have a new scapegoat, a scapegoat that is eagerly attacked by the same people who make the most noise about anti-semitism, in fact. I saw Womanword's comment as being a barely disguised example of that sort of attack.

I suspect that hamida has been the target of the new anti-semitism, and could identify with her(?) feeling of frustration at the way the old scapegoat is handled with kid gloves, while the new scapegoat gets kicked around the block daily. No, she didn't express it well, and yes, she misinterpreted the comment that set her off.

But you know what? We're talking here, and I don't like people who try to shut other people up, even if those people aren't expressing themselves perfectly.

*The only example of real anti-semitism I have encountered was a lunatic who lived in my gaijin house in Tokyo. He used to leave anti-semitic newsletters on the bench at the bus stop out front, which we would bring home and read out loud, marveling at their stupidity. It took a while to figure out where they were coming from, but eventually we did...he was universally shunned after that, although it wasn't difficult because he really was teh crazy.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:31 PM on October 22, 2010


Your right Jimmy, things are just 100% peachy for Jews. And of course, only ONE group of people can be picked on at a time.

Didn't you hear, Muslims are the new Jews, so the Jews obviously can't be Jews anymore!!:!
posted by rosswald at 8:42 PM on October 22, 2010


It is a relief to learn that antisemitism is a thing of the past. Thanks for sharing your experience, Jimmy.
posted by found missing at 8:46 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm glad we've stopped trying to respect propriety. I mean it's good to know what the rules are.
posted by kalessin at 8:52 PM on October 22, 2010


Speaking of kid gloves, it is my understanding that Diana Ross needs her baby gloves because they're that SUPREMESly softer than kid leather.
posted by carsonb at 8:56 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did anyone in that thread mention that Juan's comment is my new favourite madlib?

I don't like getting on a plane with [group] people wearing [group identity] clothing because it says they're [group] first and Americans second.

Fun for everyone.
posted by GuyZero at 8:58 PM on October 22, 2010


Wait, no, I meant fun for no one.
posted by GuyZero at 8:58 PM on October 22, 2010


Oh and joy, it's another opportunity for this turd to get on the stump again.
posted by nanojath at 9:00 PM on October 22, 2010


I once got called a Reuben Sandwich. Really. You can look it up.
posted by jonmc


Oh God a Reuben sandwich.... it's been so long.

I'm telling you jonmc, you better not show up at my door this Halloween dressed as a Reuben sandwich or you are going home with some serious toothmarks-- and not just on your costume, either.

Didn't you hear, Muslims are the new Jews, so the Jews obviously can't be Jews anymore!!:!
posted by rosswald


We stand in need of a two state of mind solution, obviously.
posted by jamjam at 9:09 PM on October 22, 2010


anti-semitism is so socially stigmatized* that it is a thing of the past now

The only example of real anti-semitism I have encountered


Are you Jewish? No? Then you don't really get to argue that it's a thing of the past, especially based on your non-Jewish experience.
posted by amro at 9:12 PM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Antisemitism is neither universal nor nonexistent. But you seem to have the idea that anyone who disagrees with you as to its continued existence is saying that it's universal.

Consider that Jews experience antisemitism, but that you don't see it because you're not subjected to it. As with any type of prejudice, your insight is limited when you're not part of the group.
posted by palliser at 9:15 PM on October 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


Yes. You said that far better than I did.
posted by amro at 9:17 PM on October 22, 2010


I'd like to see some examples of mainstream old-fashioned anti-semitism, instead of snarky snarky sarcasm. Examples of the new anti-semitism are easy enough to find, that's what the original discussion was about.

Here's what the Southern Poverty Law Center has.

Here's what ADL has. Some of it is really stretching, such as citing an actor, playing the witch in Hansel and Gretel, saying "Jews go into the oven first." Putting a socially repellent statement into the mouth of a villain isn't exactly advocacy.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:20 PM on October 22, 2010


I'm not going to call you an asshole Jimmy...

Sugar tits!
posted by rosswald at 9:25 PM on October 22, 2010


Would you say that Germans in Nazi Germany would have no awareness of anti-semitism? Do you think that non-Muslims in American and Europe have no awareness of Islamophobia? Do you think that European-Americans have no awareness of Driving While Black?

As a non-Jew, the kind of anti-semitism I would be likely to experience would be people saying things like "the fucking Jews" and such. I don't encounter that. At all. But I do live in a place with a lower-than-average level of racial tension, and Jews here are lumped in with Europeans, for the most part.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:27 PM on October 22, 2010


Jews were subject to a lot of discrimination, however, I seriously believe that anti-semitism is so socially stigmatized* that it is a thing of the past now, and now we have a new scapegoat

Sadly I think people are able to handle more than one scapegoat at a time. That said, you do realize that the FBI's latest statistics on U.S. hate crimes report that, for single-bias anti-religious hate crimes, 66 percent of victims were the target of specifically anti-Jew bias? This is by far the single largest proportion, followed by anti-Islam at 7.5 percent and anti-Catholic at 5.1 percent. Even adjusted for population (according to wikipedia, the best estimates seem to be 6.5 million Jews and 2.5 million Muslims) these figures are striking. I don't even know what you could possibly mean when you say "thing of the past." That is really an ignorant claim.
posted by chinston at 9:31 PM on October 22, 2010 [14 favorites]


I seriously believe that anti-semitism is so socially stigmatized* that it is a thing of the past now

Even if people no longer felt free to express their anti-Semitic opinions in public (which is not the case, in my experience, but whatever) I'm not sure how simmering resentment and behind-the-hand hateful whispering can be equated with "thing of the past." If anything, that sort of social stigma would just further fuel the "Jews run everything! It's a giant media conspiracy out to silence us!" line of thought.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:34 PM on October 22, 2010


Some of it is really stretching

Maybe? What I saw was 1200+ antisemitic activities, some of which were out and out assault which were tied to the Jewish identity of the victims. Now I sometimes think the ADL is a bit more strict than, say, I would be about what constitutes antisemitism, but I think we all agree that stuff like "Kick a Jew Day" in a school setting [wtf, seriously?] are not really debatable. The biggest deal with antisemitism to me personally [someone who can pass for semitic or not depending on who wants to do the identifying, and why] is that there are these vocal watchdog groups who are there loudly saying "this is not at all okay!" So that makes it seem like maybe the problem is under control. You've got the haters and the anti-haters, so maybe it's all sorted out.

Except it isn't. Most of the Jewish people of my generation have been on the receiving end of antisemitism in their own lifetimes. This is not just "Oh I had family members in the Holocaust so bla bla" this is weird shitty name calling, fearmongering, whatever. Stuff that says "we hate you because you're part of a group, we hate even though we don't know anything about you." Maybe this is because I live in America?

So, I'm not really sure what you're talking about, the new antisemitism and the old antisemitism unless you mean this in which case I'd just say that I'm Jewish and favor a two-state solution and I'm not really buying that that makes me an antisemite.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:35 PM on October 22, 2010 [13 favorites]


Things that have happened to me, personally, since 9/11:

Swastikas painted all over my sidewalk and the front of my dorm.
A young adult asked me, very seriously, if she could touch my horns.
A roommate (white, non-Jewish) could not understand why I took serious issue with him telling Holocaust jokes.
A classmate seriously suggested that Jews orchestrated 9/11 to get back at their ancestral enemies and we should be attacking Israel.

I could go on. I live in a liberal city. It's nice to believe that anti-semitism is gone, but it's just not.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:35 PM on October 22, 2010 [10 favorites]


I'm going to be kind, even though I really don't feel like it. Antisemitism is often subtle, framed in comments and actions that can easily be glossed over by non-Jews. Just because you don't often see people standing in the street screaming that they hate Jews doesn't mean that antisemitism doesn't exist.

But if you want examples, I'll give you some from my own life and those of my friends.

-Having pennies thrown at us with the expectation that we'd have to stop and pick them up
-Being told to our face, with absolute sincerity, that we killed Jesus (this often happens with elderly Catholic women, and I live in a very Catholic state)
-casual comments about buying something on sale being met with "oh you really jewed the price down, huh" and other hurf durf jews are cheap remarks
-people outside of the internet that I know in real life have told me how they believed Jews had something to do with 9/11. I've been told about this in great detail.
-our temples being defaced with swastikas
-"the fucking Jews?" Yeah, we get that a lot.
-I've been told that there must be something fundamentally wrong with Jews because everyone seems to hate us, and antisemitism is clearly something we've brought upon ourselves
posted by Ruki at 9:36 PM on October 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


I do still think Womanword's comment was an accusation, although it was couched in passive-aggressive terms. Jews were subject to a lot of discrimination, however, I seriously believe that anti-semitism is so socially stigmatized* that it is a thing of the past now, and now we have a new scapegoat, a scapegoat that is eagerly attacked by the same people who make the most noise about anti-semitism, in fact. I saw Womanword's comment as being a barely disguised example of that sort of attack.

I personally experienced a hell of lot of antisemitism over the years. I've been spit at, called a 'Christ-Killer,' been beaten up for being Jewish (as a kid) and was asked where my 'horns' were on multiple occasions in PA and TX growing up. My wife and I both failed tests in our respective schools in Texas because we took off for Jewish religious holidays and our teachers deliberately scheduled exams as a punishment for our religious observance

The Jewish-oriented non-profit organization my wife works for has been targeted by not one but two different hate groups for at least the last four years, including Westboro Baptist, who send faxes addressed to her by name, containing awful antisemitic slurs, prayers that she would die because she's Jewish, and other sorts of death threats against her and her family. Such a pleasant fucking experience for us as parents of two kids that aren't out of diapers yet -- especially since we have no way of knowing if the assholes sending them are capable of escalating those threats into a physical attack. The faxes get sent to our local FBI office. For a while they were coming in every fucking day. Thankfully, that frequency has dropped off a little. Not much.

Every year there are antisemitic incidents of vandalism and desecration, at synagogues, and cemeteries.

I'm happy for you that from your position of privilege, you've only rarely personally encountered antisemitism and have the luxury to dismiss it as "a thing of the past." It would be nice if that were so. But perhaps knowing your fucking facts by asking people who have experienced hatred firsthand would be a good idea before speaking out from ignorance about things you haven't personally experienced.
posted by zarq at 9:37 PM on October 22, 2010 [26 favorites]


Would you say that Germans in Nazi Germany would have no awareness of anti-semitism?

blinks...blinks again.
the same could be said of nazi railworkers having no awareness of trains. You are using the same criteria to prove a seperate point.
posted by clavdivs at 9:37 PM on October 22, 2010


Oh, on non-preview, the Holocaust jokes. Oh my, the Holocaust jokes. Yes, that.
posted by Ruki at 9:38 PM on October 22, 2010


At all. But I do live in a place with a lower-than-average level of racial tension, and Jews here are lumped in with Europeans, for the most part.

Do you listen to yourself?
posted by amro at 9:39 PM on October 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh, on non-preview, the Holocaust jokes. Oh my, the Holocaust jokes. Yes, that.

That too. Also having my best friend (non-Jewish) in high school ask me to level with him and tell me the truth: that the Holocaust hadn't really happened and it was all big hoax, right?
posted by zarq at 9:42 PM on October 22, 2010


I'd like to see some examples of mainstream old-fashioned anti-semitism--

On the Internet, Holocaust deniers aren't hard to find. Here's a USENET example from one of the Canadian newsgroups. (Background information: Ken McVay has opposed the Holocaust deniers for years, and tends to attract a lot of their hatred.)
posted by russilwvong at 9:49 PM on October 22, 2010


Ya, growing up in Dallas, TX, I certainly experienced my fair share of hate. Being told randomly you're going to hell is never pleasing.

Personal experience aside, what upsets me most though is metafilter. I'm sure many will disagree, but I felt like if I hadn't made a commotion, the community would have whizzed by. Maybe thats not tacit approval, but thats how I took it.
posted by rosswald at 9:50 PM on October 22, 2010


I'm sure many will disagree, but I felt like if I hadn't made a commotion, the community would have whizzed by.

Me too.
posted by Wordwoman at 9:55 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see some examples of mainstream old-fashioned anti-semitism

i ya
am ah
eh who
posted by clavdivs at 9:55 PM on October 22, 2010


AZ: Did you flag Womanword's accusation, or did you just flag my call-out? Did you flag rosswald's comments?

All of them. Every one.

You want some good old-fashioned antisemitism? I have nearly been beaten three times in my life because I was Jewish. The houses of friends have been spray painted with swastikas. I have repeatedly been told, to my face, that I will not be going to heaven because I am a Jew. Grow up with that and then have the audacity to tell somebody their oppression has ended.

Sure, in the US it's not as bad as it once was, and other have it worse. But how dare you presume to decide when somebody else's oppression ends when you have not experienced it? That's the definition of privilege, and you should know better.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:07 PM on October 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh, and a woman I grew up with was shot to death in an antisemitic attack on a Jewish Federation in Seattle. 2006. Not sure how I forgot that. But perhaps that's not recent enough for you. Perhaps you mean it ended sometimes in the past three years. Please clarify.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:10 PM on October 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


Our kids went to preschool at the local Jewish Community Centre in Vancouver. It's like other community centers--it's got a pool, a weight room, etc., the usual community facilities--but you can tell that people have thought about security, and how to prevent things like car bombings.

I think there's a more defensible argument to be made, though: it's not acceptable to express anti-Semitism in public discourse. It would be unusual and shocking for a public figure to say something anti-Semitic, and when it does happen (Mel Gibson), they become a pariah. That's not the case at all for public figures who express anti-Muslim prejudice. Ann Coulter is a best-selling author. Williams was fired by NPR, but he was immediately hired by Fox.
posted by russilwvong at 10:27 PM on October 22, 2010


Everybody, FREAKOUT!

C'est chic!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:34 PM on October 22, 2010


On another topic, let me say that I'm getting a little sick of people complaining they are somehow being silenced just because people respond to their comments with disapproval, or flag their comments. Free speech is a two-way street.

In this instance, if you behave in a way that seems antisemitic to some, and they tell you so, well, that's what happens in public discourse. Telling Jews that they're just using cries of antisemitism as a silencing tactic is very similar to telling black people that they're just using the race card. It's a way of not responding to the discussion, and dismissing it entirely. But I tell you this -- I have never in my life told somebody that something they said sounded antisemitic because I wanted to shut them up. I have only ever said it when something they said sounded antisemitic.

Jews have to be able to discuss what strikes them as antisemitic. Sometimes they're wrong, and that's a discussion that can be had. And, yes, there are a few Jews out there who are too free with accusations of antisemitism. But the fact of them doesn't give people carte blanch to ignore all discussions of antisemitism, just as the fact of a few crazy black people who toss around racism willy nilly doesn't mean whites get to ignore every charge of racism that every black person ever makes.

Any time somebody on this site says something that could be interpreted as antisemitic -- or is straight-up, undeniably antisemitic -- suddenly you hear these cries of "The Jews think everything is antisemitic." "The Jews try to silence anything they don't like by accusing people of antisemitism!" Hell, Mr. Hacok, the start of this MeFi thread comes dangerously close to making that very accusation. And it's a damned unfair one. Well-meaning people can accidentally engage in behavior that is consistent with historical antisemitism, our of ignorance, or out of having been told something they believe, but is untrue. And it shouldn't just be Jews calling them on it when it happens -- and, on this site, it usually isn't. But non-Jews don't have the experience of Jews, and may not recognize something when it happens. But it's like the only people who don't get to decide what is antisemitism anymore are the people who experience it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:40 PM on October 22, 2010 [26 favorites]


Yeah, Jimmy, you started this looking bad and you're looking worse and worse. I think you should do the following, in order:

1. Apologise.
2. Shut up, for god's sake shut up. Denying anti-semitism?!
3. Think about why you're so aggressive on metafilter and what you can do to further dialogues rather than attacking those who disagree with you so vehemently you alienate and anger them.

I say this as someone who enjoys many of your contributions, and agrees with many of your general opinions, and sometimes gets quite het up in threads myself. But really, this is pretty grim stuff right here, this whole with-me-or-against-me schtick.
posted by smoke at 10:52 PM on October 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Goddamn it, Jimmy, you're just being an ass. I'm sure you're a good person, reasonably intelligent, with a good set of teeth and a fine array of morals, but there are moments in all of our lives when we don't perhaps stop to examine our actions and words as early as we ought to, and you're caught up in one of those in front of the entire Internet.

I'm about as unJewish as a Jewish guy gets. I'm an atheist, I don't go to synagogue, I plan not to raise my kids into any religion, I invoke Jesus Christ's name nonstop. The synagogue my family went to was small and very liberal; we spent Sunday school talking more about the people interpreting the Bible than we talked about the Bible itself. My teacher taught us that there was nothing morally wrong with atheism, and, when I was nervous about being bar mitzvahed, my rabbi took me into her study, listened to my doubts, and told me that nobody would hate me for disbelief in God, that the people of a community mattered more than a system of beliefs.

I don't look "Jewish". I don't write Jewish characters into my fiction. My name isn't stereotypically Jewish. I don't discuss what was once my Judaism with anybody, because it plays no more important role in my life than my grandparents occasionally make me brisket and matzoball soup to share with my roommate.

Somebody stole my journal when I was seventeen and returned it with all the pages covered in swastikas. Phrases something to the effect of DIE JEWISH SCUM etched so deeply in the pages that there were tears in the sheets. I'm willing to bet this was one of my asshole high school friends, possibly even one of my semiJewish ones. I thought so at the time, too, so I walked around with half these pages intact and scribbled in the margins. But when one of my (young, Jewish) teachers saw the vandalism, she was sickened enough and hurt enough that I think it's safe to say she saw more of the antisemitism in school than I did as a student.

That small liberal synagogue had swastikas spraypainted on it. There was a violent incident at one of the other local places. Probably more than one but they've all blended together in my brain. It was enough that, as a teenager sitting in temple with an overactive imagination, I'd stare warily back at the doors once or twice a day and wonder if today was the day some dumb racist prick would come and start shooting. As a kid I heard about enough antisemitism in the community that any locals walking past the place before congregation made me a little bit nervous.

It's part of the liberal art college atmosphere here. I don't really notice individual instances, but I'm sure I get called a "fucking Jew" fairly frequently. There are certain behaviors assumed instantly to be Jewish, and most of them aren't complimentary. I don't feel that quite so many people feel an active loathing of my old religion, but certainly the cultural stereotype people are comfortable is that we're a bunch of privileged tightwads who run the media and give breaks to other Jews. And that's just what I've experienced as somebody who's been out of the culture for seven years, since the moment I read the mourner's kaddish for my bar mitzvah.

I'm not expecting you to have a firsthand experience with all this, but I certainly don't think it's too much to ask that you react to people telling you you're out of line by double-checking your standards rather than suggesting that you're in the right and the rest of the world's in the wrong. To quote a wise man: "Go offline. You're making an ass of yourself for all eternity."


posted by Rory Marinich at 11:08 PM on October 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


Well, I'm glad I stirred up that hornet's nest. It was an education. I grew up in a place where "Jew" meant essentially nothing, since we were all just part of the white minority. I think there were only two Jewish kids in my grade in elementary school, but I didn't even know that until, I don't know, sometime in middle school? Up until we learned about WWII and the Holocaust, "Jews" were those people in the Bible aka "Hebrews."

The rest of the country is a lot different. I hope that continuing social stigmatism will wipe out the anti-semitism that you've experienced. I also hope that it doesn't get replaced with another scapegoat.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:33 PM on October 22, 2010


Jimmy, you should apologise for marginalising other people's experiences and trauma in that way.
posted by smoke at 11:43 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


quoting some so-called Y/A literature:

crows tearing their faces apart, eating their eyes, blood mixing with rain mixing with mud and everything turning to black, like I'm digging this stupid hole to somewhere but everything’s mud so it keeps caving in, but I just keep digging.
posted by philip-random at 11:50 PM on October 22, 2010


This thread is weird.

I'm Jewish, and I don't see a problem with pointing out the reality that at this point in history and in this country Jews and Muslims are not, in general terms, afforded the same privileges (if we can say that being given full citizenship rights is a privilege) or subject to the same abuses.

Not only do dicks like Juan Williams feel they can go on national TV and talk about their fears of Muslims, but airlines can and do actually kick people off planes because they appear to be Muslim. People can be kept in secret prisons with no trail for years, essentially because they are Muslim. People are tortured by our government, and everyone knows about it yet it goes on and on without end, and these people are almost all Muslim. We appear to be in some sort of holy war against Iraq, Afghanistan, and probably Pakistan and Iran next.

At this moment in history, an equivalent publicly and legally sanctioned oppression of Jews would not be acceptable. Is that fair to say?

Comparing oppressions is a losing proposition that benefits no one. But the comment in the thread that sparked this was one that was responding to another comparison. The comment was in fact pointing out the fallacy of the previous comparison. Muslims are not the new Jews - whatever the hell that means. Was the comment perfectly thought out? No. Was this metatalk thread well articulated or useful? No, not really. But the pile-on here strikes me as useless too.
posted by serazin at 12:17 AM on October 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


up next: the irish.
posted by clavdivs at 12:42 AM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


you should apologise

If you have to ask for it, it isn't going to be sincere. I said what I thought. If you aren't satisfied, then you aren't satisfied.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:43 AM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


serazin, I'm reminded of my Berber French friend. The last time he was here, he went home on 9/10/2001. He had wanted to emigrate, due to the level of discrimination he faces in France, but I don't think that's a practical thing now. His sister visited us during the summer, and when she had to go home early, she was quizzed for 45 minutes about why she was flying into London (she saved E300 on the airfare), why she didn't have a ticket from London to Paris (she saved E300 on the airfare by taking the train), why she wasn't flying into Paris (she saved E300 on the airfare), why she had a one-way ticket home (it wasn't one-way, it was a schedule change) and on and on. But at least they let her on the plane.

Anyway, I found the discussion here useful.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:59 AM on October 23, 2010


I read like half this thread before I gave up in exasperation. If your'e going to fight could you guys at least make sense?
posted by cj_ at 1:00 AM on October 23, 2010


I grew up in a Pakistan where anti-semitism (in the sense of being bigoted about Jews) is pretty much the norm, if Jews are ever mentioned. Most Pakistanis I know have never met anyone who is Jewish; the anti-Jewish sentiment stems entirely from two things, as far as I can tell: 1) the Palestine-Israel conflict, and 2) a version of Islamic history that only talks about Jews in the context of the breaking of a peace treaty by Jewish tribes in Medina, in the time of the Prophet (which is also the context for Quranic verses about Jews which get trotted out as evidence of inherent bigotry in Islam; indeed, many Muslims DO use the verses as justification for their bigotry, but that's a question of interpretation).

I didn't really think about the fact that this was, indeed, bigotry, because there really wasn't any need to, at a practical level. I was, and continue to be, extremely critical of the state of Israel, but I didn't buy into the blanket condemnation of Jews, although I didn't really examine why. Just didn't feel right, I guess.

As a high school student I went to an international debate tournament. There was a real moment of panic when we realized that we might have to debate against the Israeli team. This panic was simply because Pakistan does not recognize Israel as a legitimate state, so the official Pakistani team couldn't very well recognize the official Israeli team. It ended up not being an issue, since the draw didn't bring us up against each other (in later years, the teams have had to occasionally debate each other; they've solved the problem by doing it without making too much of a fuss about it. As long as there's no real press coverage, it's not an issue).

The important thing at the tournament, though, was not our panic. It was the fact that the Israeli and Pakistani teams hit it off to the extent that we were inseparable at all the social activities in connection with the tournament. These friendships were such that we exchanged letters for years afterwards. This was no small feat: letters had to be sent to a relative in another country, from where they would be forwarded. Sometimes Switzerland, sometimes the United States. As you may have gathered, this was pre-email.

In subsequent years, the same pattern was seen at the tournament for several years. You have to think of the context. The Web had not yet made the Palestine-Israel conflict quite so visually vivid for people all over the world. So it was easy to break down the mistrust when two human beings on opposing sides of the issue came into contact with each other in a completely different context. Their political views didn't change, but they came back with a greater sense of each other's humanity.

So that was the extent of my interaction with any Jews until I went to college in the US. There, because I was concerned about eating halal, I joined what was then the Kosher Co-op. That place became my refuge, my home away from home. It actually also served as refuge for a lot of people of different religions at my liberal arts college: Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Buddhist. It was a safe place to be religious. The rabbi knew more about Islam than anyone with whom I had ever discussed my religion. Gradually, the co-op became more overtly Jewish AND Muslim, in my time. It became the regular practice to have a recitation from the Quran at Shabbat dinner. During Ramadhan, my friends would delay their dinner till I could eat with them. Eventually the Co-op got officially renamed to Kosher-Halal Co-op "to formally announce what had always been true in practice."

There were moments of tension: I recall being told by one member that anyone who was anti-Israel was automatically anti-semitic. But these were few and far between. Many more memories are connected to Saturday afternoon study groups, when we sat and read the story of Joseph, comparing the versions in the different scriptures. I might be the only Muslim in the world who calls a rabbi when she is having a minor or major spiritual crisis.

One particularly crystallizing moment came when Kwame Ture aka Stokely Carmichael was due to make a campus visit. The agitation of my Jewish friends was quite painful to see. The things they quoted him as saying were really awful. So they planned a protest. And because it was the only decent thing to do, I joined them. If they were going to be attacked for being Jewish, I was going to stand beside them.

It's in that spirit that I found the original derail so distasteful. Clearly there is a history of persecuting Jews in much of the world. That history is by no means dead. At the same time, it is true that there is a powerful and vocal pro-Israel lobby, and there are a lot of people openly calling foul when anti-Jewish hate crimes are perpetrated. Calling foul on such things is an absolute good, and shouldn't be confused with the pro-Israel lobby just because there is some overlap in the groups.

Bigotry diminishes us all. It behooves us, as human beings, to be allies in the face of bigotry, not to turn each incident into an opportunity to be divided yet again.
posted by bardophile at 1:41 AM on October 23, 2010 [82 favorites]


I'll say it again: if you have to ask someone to apologise you entirely devalue any subsequent apology. An apology has to be unprompted or it is worthless - except maybe to make a certain type of passive-aggressive person feel pleased with themselves for achieving a grudging response to their self-righteous finger-wagging.

up next: the irish.
posted by clavdivs at 8:42 AM on October 23


Nah, too obvious. Let's do the Welsh!
posted by Decani at 2:55 AM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let's do the Welsh!

As Blackadder said: "Baldrick, have you ever been to Wales? You have to have a pint of phlegm in your throat just to speak the language!"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:57 AM on October 23, 2010


What I have learned from this thread is that people of many different races, creeds and colours are still experiencing intolerance from others, right across the world.

Oh wait. I already knew that.

Thread was a good read, anyway.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:00 AM on October 23, 2010


Ya, I personally do not want an apology from Jimmy.

"Kosher-Halal Co-op"

Oberlin?
posted by rosswald at 5:28 AM on October 23, 2010


MetaTalk: beers with librarians.
posted by morganannie at 6:07 AM on October 23, 2010


I read this whole thread and I don't feel like I know any more Greek than I did when I started. Can I have my £12 back?
posted by Eideteker at 6:26 AM on October 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I wish threads like this had the old "Barnaby Jones Wrap-Up" at the end. Then we could all turn off the TV, have a sensible meal and go to bed.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:09 AM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was hoping this was about therapy

If this post was about therapy and you read it, how do you know, based on your feelings and emotions that it was about therapy?
posted by fuq at 7:15 AM on October 23, 2010


An education is more meaningful than an apology.

Anyway, I do think that the more strident pro-Israel lobbies do more harm than good and most certainly do not speak for me.
posted by Ruki at 7:56 AM on October 23, 2010


> Well, I'm glad I stirred up that hornet's nest.

Are you kidding me? That's the best you can do? The benefit of the doubt I was giving you earlier has pretty much entirely shredded away.
posted by languagehat at 8:50 AM on October 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yes jessamyn I was saying "is this partying?" until I got to the part with the Prius and then I said yes, yes that is partying.

Yes, with a Prius it's definitely partying OH MY GOD HOW DO I STOP THIS THING THE BRAKES DON'T WORK IT'S SPEEDING UP AAAAAAGH!!!!
posted by klausness at 9:01 AM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hell, I got nasty antisemitic asides from my grandfather. But in his defense (?), he was probably a pint of vodka into his day by then.
posted by palliser at 9:12 AM on October 23, 2010


Oy vey.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:33 AM on October 23, 2010


rule #1 when comedic necessity is imployed, never, ever us the Welsh. or that is not smart.
posted by clavdivs at 9:36 AM on October 23, 2010


I was told there would be mob violence? Which way is that? Anyone?
posted by everichon at 10:45 AM on October 23, 2010


wales is that way
posted by clavdivs at 11:10 AM on October 23, 2010


I love bardophile's thoughtful and moving comment.
posted by nickyskye at 11:14 AM on October 23, 2010


...Bigotry diminishes us all. It behooves us, as human beings, to be allies in the face of bigotry, not to turn each incident into an opportunity to be divided yet again.

Thank you, bardophile. Sincerely, thank you.
posted by Ahab at 11:20 AM on October 23, 2010


Well, I'm glad I stirred up that hornet's nest. It was an education.

I've had the benefit of living both in a very rural city where as a Jew I was *massively* outnumbered, and in the most urban city in the US, where I was just one Jew among 1.9 million. New York also has the largest Jewish population in the US. The antisemitism I experienced in Texas was nastier, more institutionalized, more aggressive. More of a direct threat. In New York, it's been more casual. Figures of speech, offensive jokes, holocaust denial or misconceptions. That stuff is harder to fight against. It's insidious. Subtle. Ingrained. Part of the overall culture. That can be more difficult to counter. And it's always disheartening to run in to. No matter how far we've come, it's never far enough.

Love what Bardophile wrote above: "Bigotry diminishes us all. It behooves us, as human beings, to be allies in the face of bigotry, not to turn each incident into an opportunity to be divided yet again." Wish I could favourite that a million times.

If you've learned something from this thread about our experiences as Jews in America (and other countries, too) that's a good thing. I like to think that's part of what we're all here for -- to learn, discuss, debate, chat, make new friends and be entertained. To gain new viewpoints or reinforce the old ones. To gain a little familiarity, because that furthers our tolerance and understanding of each other.

I hope that continuing social stigmatism will wipe out the anti-semitism that you've experienced.

Thank you. Me too. I'd like to think my kids won't endure the hell their parents went through growing up. They deserve better.

I also hope that it doesn't get replaced with another scapegoat.

Sadly, I think there are plenty to go around.
posted by zarq at 11:42 AM on October 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Kosher-halal co-op? Im in!

Is there any way to mix meat and milk, in an acceptable manner?
posted by hal_c_on at 11:57 AM on October 23, 2010


Just noticed this:

"Jews were subject to a lot of discrimination, however, I seriously believe that anti-semitism is so socially stigmatized* that it is a thing of the past now, and now we have a new scapegoat, a scapegoat that is eagerly attacked by the same people who make the most noise about anti-semitism, in fact. I saw Womanword's comment as being a barely disguised example of that sort of attack."

posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:31 PM on October 22

So not only does antisemitism not exist, but its those damn Jews who are responsible for Muslims being bullied in this country.
posted by rosswald at 1:25 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you have to ask for it, it isn't going to be sincere.

Yes, this is true. Thank you for not giving an insincere apology.

I am very sorry you're the way you are, and I hope you're just being defensive. If not, then I'm struggling to put a spin on this in which you're not just a cold-hearted person. When people know they are in the wrong but are too pig-headed to apologize ... well, I find that deeply distasteful. But I'm hoping that's true in your case. At least it's human and understandable.

People here -- HERE IN THIS THREAD -- have really and truly suffered due to antisemitism. They have had friends murdered; they have been beaten; they have been humiliated and treated unfairly. At a company I (a Jew) worked for, I once overheard my boss say, "This financial crisis is all the fault of the Jews."

Apparently, you didn't know such things went on, which is fine. That's not your fault. We can't all know everything. There are plenty of things of which I'm staggeringly ignorant, so I'm not about to chastise you for ignorance.

But to accuse people of making claims of non-existent antisemitism, and then to find out it DOES still exists in a very real way for people you're interacting with -- and to then not feel any need to apologize...

I don't know how to end that sentence. I'm speechless.

A: I'm dying of cancer.
B: No you're not. Cancer doesn't exist any more. It was cured years ago. So stop being a baby.
A: It wasn't cured years ago.
B: Oh, it wasn't. I didn't know that.

Is that REALLY the kind of person you are? Is that REALLY the kind of person you want to be?
posted by grumblebee at 1:34 PM on October 23, 2010 [17 favorites]


A librarian once bit my sister.
posted by Splunge at 2:05 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


LEWIS!
posted by clavdivs at 2:20 PM on October 23, 2010


Jimmy Havok, listen to Astro Zombie. He is wise as well as undead and astral.

I've read Many of AZ's posts and agree with most. He may well be wise but that does not make him immune to overreacting. With all the spittle and harrumphing going down in his posts about this, it's a bit rich for him to accuse Jimmy Havok of having a tantrum.
posted by Neiltupper at 2:28 PM on October 23, 2010


A librarian once bit my sister.
posted by Splunge at 10:05 PM on October 23


One time at school a Welsh kid called me a pansy. I have hated the Welsh ever since. Will there be no end to this futile cycle of hatred and bigotry? Woe, I say.
posted by Decani at 2:29 PM on October 23, 2010


LOLWELSHMEN AMIRITE?
posted by 1000monkeys at 2:47 PM on October 23, 2010


I wouldn't bet on it.
posted by carsonb at 3:23 PM on October 23, 2010


With all the spittle and harrumphing going down in his posts about this, it's a bit rich for him to accuse Jimmy Havok of having a tantrum.

I'm not sure I follow. Because I sometimes overreact -- which I know, and try to address, and apologize for when I find I have been in the wrong -- it is impossible for me to point out when others do it?

The motivations for this thread seem like a tantrum to me. Perhaps I'm wrong. If you have another opinion, I'd love to hear it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:26 PM on October 23, 2010


You guys are still here? It'll soon be 24 hours, so unless anyone has anything new to add, maybe everyone can just step away from your computers......
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 3:54 PM on October 23, 2010


LOLCANADI--oh, wait. Nevermind.
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:16 PM on October 23, 2010


Yeah, how does a Kosher-Halal co-op work? Like, if the Kosher food is blessed by a Rabbi, wouldn't this make it haram from a Muslim point of view? Or do the Muslim customers simply not recognise the legitimacy of the Rabbinical blessing, and therefore consider the food to be just regular Halal food?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:18 PM on October 23, 2010


Okay, please excuse my total ignorance, but I was under the impression that kosher food was not blessed by a rabbi and that that was just a myth believed by people who don't understand what kosher means (i.e. oh, it's just normal food that's been "blessed" by a rabbi, rather than the whole not mixing meat and dairy, etc.). Can someone please enlighten me?
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:24 PM on October 23, 2010


Hey, this is fun. I can give a Kashrut tutorial. :)
posted by bardophile at 4:25 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, I thought it was not mixing meat & dairy, plus a bunch of things you obviously can't eat (pork, and I think shellfish), plus some other rules, with the addition of the blessing - maybe only for the more orthodox, but as a food producer you'd aim for the highest common denominator anyway, to maximise your potential market, no? Or does the blessing mean not necessarily a prayer or ritual, but a certification that the company producing the food doesn't breach any standards - like some kind of ISO certification?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:27 PM on October 23, 2010


DO IT!
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:27 PM on October 23, 2010


(note: I realise that I have mischaracterised ISO; it was just for the purposes of metaphor, and not to be taken as an accurate description of what ISO certification means)
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:29 PM on October 23, 2010


Hmm, I was under the impression that there was no actual "blessing" (and I think I recall learning that rabbi's don't really technically "bless" anything anyways, since they don't have the ability to, but I could be wrong). Where my jews at?
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:29 PM on October 23, 2010


Kosher food does not need to be blessed by a rabbi in order to be kosher, although the facilities in which it is prepared do have to be supervised (in practice that means inspected at regular intervals, and consulted whenever there is a question) by a rabbi.

And even if it were blessed by a rabbi, it would not be haram from a Muslim perspective, because Jews are from among the Ahl-e-Kitaab (Peoples of the Books), and what they eat is perfectly halal. The only kind of blessing that could make food haram would be if it were made in the name of some deity other than God/G_d/Allah/Whatever you want to call the Creator.

Keeping a Co-op kosher entails keeping meat and milk totally separate. So the pantry has two walls of shelves, one with dairy dishes, utensils, etc, and one with meat dishes, utensils, etc. The rules for separation were kept stricter at the co-op than many people do in their homes, even if they keep kosher, because the co-op has to hold itself to the strictest possible interpretations, and also, because you have members who don't keep kosher, didn't grow up keeping kosher, and so, generally are likely to goof if you don't make the rules absolute.
posted by bardophile at 4:32 PM on October 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


Ok, so yes, there are forbidden foods (pork, shellfish, rabbit, catfish, to name a few).

The bread does require a blessing to be said, I can't remember if this is only at the time that bread is broken or during preparation as well. But that blessing does not have to be made by a rabbi, either.

Bread cannot be dairy or meat. So, you can't put butter or milk in your dough, because bread has to be neutral, so that you can eat it with either. This is one of the things that I think the co-op was stricter about, but I'm not sure if people make milchig (dairy) bread when they keep kosher kitchens. Presumably it would just make life more difficult in terms of keeping track.

Wine and grape juice are also special. I don't really know the details on that, never having had any interest in partaking of alcohol. And I don't know if there is a blessing during their preparation.
posted by bardophile at 4:37 PM on October 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


And yes, it is quite a bit like ISO certification. In that there are procedures that are spelled out, and food has to be bought, prepared, stored, etc., according to those procedures, and periodically, the rabbi checks to make sure that this is actually happening. In the case of the college co-op, the rabbi was in and out all the time anyway, and everyone knew his office number by heart, in case someone did something that they thought might be questionable.
posted by bardophile at 4:40 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Caveat: I have not kept Kosher or been in the company of Kosher-keeping Jews (or any Jews for that matter) for an extended period of time for over a decade now. My memory is a bit fuzzy on some of the details. But I think I've pointed that out where it is the case.
posted by bardophile at 4:44 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks, bardophile!
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:47 PM on October 23, 2010


The FAQ.
posted by Splunge at 4:54 PM on October 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


its those damn Jews who are responsible for Muslims being bullied in this country

Every Jew is a rabid Zionist? I didn't know!
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:12 PM on October 23, 2010


>Muslims are the new Jews

No, the problem is that Muslims emphatically aren't treated like Jews.


The two MeFites who wrote these comments would both benefit from reading Primo Levi (or just his Wikipedia entry if that is too tough), or this New Yorker article by Daphne Merkin.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:14 PM on October 23, 2010


A: I'm dying of cancer.
B: No you're not. Cancer doesn't exist any more. It was cured years ago. So stop being a baby.
A: It wasn't cured years ago.
B: Oh, it wasn't. I didn't know that.


A: You gave me cancer!
B: You don't have cancer.
A:I do so!
B: Maybe so, but I didn't give it to you.
A: You're a terrible person!
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:18 PM on October 23, 2010


A: Knock knock
B: Who's there?
A: Cancer
B: I've got to stop answering the fucking door
posted by found missing at 5:23 PM on October 23, 2010 [14 favorites]


A Pakistani giving spot-on advice about kashrut is pretty much the best thing ever to happen on MetaFilter.

Thanks, Juan Williams, for making this happen.
posted by felix betachat at 5:31 PM on October 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I did not know that about the rabbit, thanks bardophile.

Jimmy Havok, please stop digging.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:38 PM on October 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


They've got to have cloven hooves and chew their cuds, Jessamyn. Fun fact: giraffes are kosher.
posted by Wordwoman at 5:40 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Jews were subject to a lot of discrimination, however, I seriously believe that anti-semitism is so socially stigmatized* that it is a thing of the past now, and now we have a new scapegoat, a scapegoat that is eagerly attacked by the same people who make the most noise about anti-semitism, in fact. I saw Womanword's comment as being a barely disguised example of that sort of attack."

posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:31 PM on October 22
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So not only does antisemitism not exist, but its those damn Jews who are responsible for Muslims being bullied in this country.
posted by rosswald at 4:25 PM on October 23
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Every Jew is a rabid Zionist? I didn't know!
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:12 PM on October 23
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Never mind the fact that no one was really talking about Zionism, you're basically saying:

the same people who make the most noise about anti-semitism = "rabid" Zionist(s)

So am I a rabid Zionist?
posted by rosswald at 5:45 PM on October 23, 2010


I am trying to understand how your dialogue fits as an analogy. I didn't accuse you of antisemitism. I accused of of MISTAKENLY saying that a antisemitism, a force that has deeply wounded some people here, doesn't exist. From what I can tell, you have acknowledged that you made this mistake. And yet you feel no need to apologize.

Weren't you brought up to apologize for your mistakes? If you step on someone's foot by accident, what do you do?

Here's a closer analogy then my cancer one:

A: since no one here is a friend of Bill, I think it's okay for me to say he has horrible breath and is really pretty stupid.

B: Um ... Bill is my best friend.

A: Oh. I had no idea. Live and learn...

You don't think A should apologize? You really don't think you should apologize for saying that something that has deeply upset people (deaths, beatings, etc.) doesn't exist? I won't keep posting things like this, because if you say, "Nope. That's nothing to apologize for," then what can I say? Have you been tested for sociopathy? I really can't tell if you're just pissed off and defensive or a person lacking empathy.
posted by grumblebee at 5:46 PM on October 23, 2010


Foreign Policy kindly points out one of those people who is highly sensitive to anti-semitism, and shamelessly guilty of Islamophobia:
Writing in yesterday's New York Times, Nicholas Kristof called attention to a recent blog post by New Republic editor Martin Peretz. Here's what Peretz had to say about American Muslims, in the context of the current debate over the Park 51 project and the rising tide of Islamophobia here in the United States:
But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.
Pajamas Media: Zionist, Islamophobic.
Pajama Media’s alum Pam Geller struck gold when she discovered a Sufi group intended to building a mosque and Muslim community center two blocks from Ground Zero. Now, her cause has been embraced by more powerful rightist pro-Israel forces, Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and his patron, David Horowitz. Even more importantly, Politico has revealed that the source of all of the financial support for Jihad Watch over the past three years comes from L.A. technology magnate, Aubrey Chernick and his wife, Joyce. Aubrey funded Pajamas Media with a few-million of the $750-million he earned from sale of his software company to IBM in 2004.

Several years ago, when I wrote intensively about Chernick and Pajamas Media there was very little money trail from Chernick’s Israel philanthropy. I noted he was the honoree at a Stand With Us dinner, which made clear his ideological proclivities. I also noted he was a trustee of the pro-Israel think-tank, WINEP (originally affiliated with Aipac). But I didn’t feel I had the full picture. Chernick’s $900,000 gift to Horowitz, used to support Spencer and Jihad Watch, now fleshes out the picture of the Chernicks’ far-right political views.
It's a trivial exercise to find these Zionist/Islamophobic characters. The more prominent they are in pro-Zionist political activism, the more likely they are to have been involved in Islamophobic activities.

And then we have the ADL: The Antidefamation league jumps the shark
Outside the Jewish community, I suppose the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) looks like one of our most respected and venerable institutions. Issuing press statements, soliciting apologies from anti-Semites, patrolling our world for outbursts of hatred against Jews (and, occasionally others), the ADL is ubiquitous, powerful, rich, and noble.

So there was a fair amount of surprise when ADL went on record opposing the construction of a progressive, moderate, multifaith dialogue-oriented Islamic center two blocks from Ground Zero in Manhattan.
However, it seems ADL is trying to play both sides of the game: HuffPo: Why I Joined Abe Foxman's Anti-Islamophobia Task Force. I hope they have the good sense to step back from the abyss.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:51 PM on October 23, 2010


I am not a Zionist. I am not pro Isreal. I am not affiliated with the ADL. I am not part of a Jewish community. I think Islamaphobes are, like all bigots, loathsome. Jews who hate Muslims are just as bad as any other bigots. There's NO excuse for bigotry.

Just as there's there's no excuse for your boorish behavior. You hurt people here and you don't give a shit. For someone like you to lecture others on their bad behavior is the pot calling the kettle black.
posted by grumblebee at 6:03 PM on October 23, 2010 [8 favorites]


rosswald wrote: "Never mind the fact that no one was really talking about Zionism, you're basically saying:

the same people who make the most noise about anti-semitism = "rabid" Zionist(s)

So am I a rabid Zionist?
"

If I had a dollar for every time I've seen someone called an anti-semite on the Internet for daring to write something critical of Israel and/or Zionists (rather than Jews as a whole), I would never have to work another day in my life.
posted by wierdo at 6:04 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Never mind the fact that no one was really talking about Zionism, you're basically saying:

As I pointed out in the original thread, Jimmy was talking about Zionism. He conflated Jews who get upset over antisemitic remarks and those who support Israel.

As we can see, he continues to do so.
posted by zarq at 6:04 PM on October 23, 2010


If I had a dollar for every time I've seen someone called an anti-semite on the Internet for daring to write something critical of Israel and/or Zionists (rather than Jews as a whole), I would never have to work another day in my life.

Granted.

Has anyone done that in this thread? What about the original Mefi thread?

Many of the people he's speaking with in this thread have specifically said in other MeFi and MeTa threads that criticism of Israel is NOT antisemitism, and some of us, including myself have called out other people for trying to say it was. Many of us have far more nuanced understandings of what antisemitism is, thanks to our own personal experiences at the hands of bigots than he apparently does, too.
posted by zarq at 6:10 PM on October 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


You don't think A should apologize? You really don't think you should apologize for saying that something that has deeply upset people (deaths, beatings, etc.) doesn't exist? I won't keep posting things like this, because if you say, "Nope. That's nothing to apologize for," then what can I say? Have you been tested for sociopathy? I really can't tell if you're just pissed off and defensive or a person lacking empathy.

grumblebee, sincerely... who gives a shit if JH apologises or not? Why does it matter? A forced apology would be as Decani said, meaningless. Worse than meaningless -- it would be a lie.

He doesn't want to apologise. At some point, y'all are going to have to accept that and draw your own conclusions.

With respect, I say let it go.
posted by zarq at 6:22 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude, you should have stopped with "it's been an education."
posted by Ruki at 6:29 PM on October 23, 2010


He doesn't want to apologise. At some point, y'all are going to have to accept that and draw your own conclusions

Agreed. Done.
posted by grumblebee at 6:31 PM on October 23, 2010


If you believe that there is no antisemitism, then you might believe that any accusation of antisemitism is a rhetorical ploy in support of Zionism.
posted by Wordwoman at 6:34 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I sure wish those aliens would hurry up and get here, so all the human beings on the planet can stop fighting each other over petty and non-petty shit, and come together around a common enemy. Because sometimes it seems like that's about the only way people around here are going to start getting along.


*taps foot, looks at sky, then wrist watch impatiently*
posted by anitanita at 6:46 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude, I've been up there. We're alone in the universe.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:49 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Except for the mice, of course.
posted by jonmc at 8:43 PM on October 23, 2010


and venus
oh, venus.
posted by clavdivs at 9:12 PM on October 23, 2010


zarq wrote: "Has anyone done that in this thread? What about the original Mefi thread?"

I was responding to a statement I had read as implying that there is little correlation between people who make a lot of noise about anti-semitism and Zionists. I wasn't claiming to have read any particular instance of it on Metafilter.
posted by wierdo at 10:11 PM on October 23, 2010


They've got to have cloven hooves and chew their cuds, Jessamyn. Fun fact: giraffes are kosher.
posted by Wordwoman at 6:40 PM


I've heard that the big hold out with giraffes is whether their milk would curd up.
Isn't there something about the animals' milk having to curdle?
posted by Balisong at 11:15 PM on October 23, 2010


Jesus. Er... um... boy howdy. I can't even tell for sure if this is over or not. Can someone break down for me what it is that was being argued here? Lots of interesting statements have been thrown around and I'm really interested in knowing what they mean. Something about anti-semitism, but I can't even tell who is who.

I can tell from here that this seems like some kind of meta-snark, but I sincerely do want to know what's going on here.
posted by cmoj at 11:39 PM on October 23, 2010


On the question of giraffe meat, I defer to Kashrut.com. They say Yes, it is kosher, although in practicality they would be difficult to kill properly.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:41 PM on October 23, 2010


I was responding to a statement I had read as implying that there is little correlation between people who make a lot of noise about anti-semitism and Zionists.

Perhaps, unless there is a specific need to bring this up due to behavior in a thread, it's best left unsaid, as it is a contentious statement. I don't disbelieve you, but there is a habit people have of saying "Oh, Jews, any criticism of Israel is antisemitism to them." But I've seen samples that were, in fact, antisemitism, and I've seen examples where people were sure they were called antisemities but hadn't been, and so it's a broader and more complicated discussion than is warranted here.

If you criticize Israel here, and it's a fair and just criticism, and a Mefite calls you an antisemite, then let's have this conversation. Until then it miraculously manages to contribute nothing meaningful to the conversation, while bringing up both the specter of antisemitism and Israel, two notoriously tricky subjects.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:48 PM on October 23, 2010 [7 favorites]


May the record show that I stated quite clearly that I am critical of and continue to be critical of the state of Israel, and no one accused me of being an anti-semite (although I have had that experience before, not on metafilter, though).
posted by bardophile at 12:15 AM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you criticize Israel here, and it's a fair and just criticism, and a Mefite calls you an antisemite, then let's have this conversation.

Exactly. And I don't see this happening a lot on MeFi, honestly.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:38 AM on October 24, 2010


Exactly. And I don't see this happening a lot on MeFi, honestly.

Hm, rereading that it looks as if I were being sarcastic, when I was genuinely agreeing with the Zombie.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:44 AM on October 24, 2010


I said what I thought. If you aren't satisfied, then you aren't satisfied.

Amazing.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:50 AM on October 24, 2010


Amazing.

Yeah, but when someone has ordered you to apologize the apology is bound to seem fake no matter what you say. JH said some pretty stupid shit, but demanding an apology?
posted by Dumsnill at 12:58 AM on October 24, 2010


UbuRoivas asked: Yeah, how does a Kosher-Halal co-op work? Like, if the Kosher food is blessed by a Rabbi, wouldn't this make it haram from a Muslim point of view?

As far as meat goes, my understanding is that some Muslims think kosher meat is A-OK but some don't. The way the economics of kosher meat work, it's cheaper and more efficient to only prepare the forequarters of animals for kosher consumption and to sell the rest to non-kosher customers. So what the abattoirs do (according to my recollection of a conversation I had with a kosher butcher once) is they have figured out a way of slaughtering the animals which satisfies Jewish and Muslim laws simultaneously. The animals are slaughtered facing Mecca (this bit sounded odd to me, but what do I know); they're killed by a Jew (which is acceptable to most or all Muslims) who recites a blessing over the slaughter (thereby invoking G-d which is also apparently a requirement for Muslims). I think there may have been some other stuff too. Anyway, this has been going on for years. The Jews get cheaper kosher meat; the Muslims get cheaper halal meat, particularly things like sirloins and rump steak, and everybody is happy.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:00 AM on October 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh yes, and about giraffes - there are these guys who organise big dinners that try to serve a bit of every kosher animal and bird. The idea is to maintain a practical knowledge of what's kosher and what isn't. Anyway, a friend of mine went to the last one and he was told that they were considering serving giraffe, because they had found a guy who knew a guy who had a private zoo, but they backed out at the last moment. Some percentage of animals are found not to be kosher after having been slaughtered, and what are you going to do with a thousand pounds of treif giraffe steak?
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:08 AM on October 24, 2010


Yeah, but when someone has ordered you to apologize the apology is bound to seem fake no matter what you say. JH said some pretty stupid shit, but demanding an apology?

Woah there, I have to jump in here and defend myself. Both times I mentioned an apology, I explicitly and clearly stated Jimmy "should" apologise. I never said he had to, or ordered him, or anything like that.

I stand by those statements. When I'm wrong, or I think I've hurt someone's feelings, I apologise, because I think it's a courteous and empathetic thing to do. When I'm wronged, or have my feelings hurt, I like getting an apology. It makes me feel better, and I genuinely believe it makes the apologiser feel better too.

But I agree with Jimmy's point that an insincere apology would be pointless. And I'm cool with it, I truly am - I didn't even care that much the first time, and perhaps I would have been better served shutting my mouth rather than responding to what I saw as immature sulking.

But painting me as some kind of apology police is a bit uncharitable, I think.
posted by smoke at 1:25 AM on October 24, 2010


some Muslims think kosher meat is A-OK but some don't.

The closest I've heard a Muslim come to saying that Kosher meat isn't ok is saying that they prefer meat that's coming from a Muslim butcher. The reason that they can't go further than that is that they would get into an awful lot of trouble with other Muslims for "declaring forbidden" things that have been explicitly permitted in Quran and Sunnah. It's been interesting to me to see how this debate has evolved in the US as the number of Muslim butchers has increased. When my parents moved to the US in the 60s, the Muslims who were really worried about exactly how the meat was slaughtered bought Kosher meat, because that was pretty much their only option (in Ohio at the time; dunno about New York or Chicago).

Facing Mecca during slaughtering? I've watched cows and goats being sacrificed for Eid ul Azha a bunch of times, and this is something I've never heard of. Also, I distinctly remember the slaughter being in different parts of the grounds, and therefore oriented in different directions each time. So, perhaps some people do this, but it's not mainstream South Asian Muslim practice, at least.

As far as invoking God's name during slaughter goes, yes, Muslims invoke God's name when they slaughter an animal, but the Quranic injunction is that one cannot eat meat slaughtered in the name of anyone other than God. So invoking God's name is kind of a protective measure against breaking that commandment. Also, Muslims invoke God's name when they start pretty much anything. The day, a meal, the car, a bath, etc., etc., etc. But scholars differ on whether it is necessary for God's name to have been invoked at the time of slaughter in order for the meat to be halal.
posted by bardophile at 1:28 AM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Woah there, I have to jump in here and defend myself. Both times I mentioned an apology, I explicitly and clearly stated Jimmy "should" apologise. I never said he had to, or ordered him, or anything like that.

Oh, come on, when you say that you are for all practical purposes the apology police.
posted by Dumsnill at 1:31 AM on October 24, 2010


The way the economics of kosher meat work, it's cheaper and more efficient to only prepare the forequarters of animals for kosher consumption and to sell the rest to non-kosher customers.

Can anybody hazard a guess as to why this might be? Is there anything about "Jewish" cuisine that's particularly suited to these kinds of cuts?
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:45 AM on October 24, 2010


UbuRoivas asked: Can anybody hazard a guess as to why this might be?

Here's what Wikipedia says.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:18 AM on October 24, 2010


Is there anything about "Jewish" cuisine that's particularly suited to these kinds of cuts?

There really isn't such a thing as "Jewish" cuisine. There are kosher recipes in just about every kind of cuisine. "Jewish cuisine" is about as meaningful a term as "Christian cuisine" because every place that has a Jewish community has developed kosher cooking within their cultural tradition. So, the Jews of India, the Jews of Eastern Europe, the Jews of Yemen, all would have significantly different food.

As the link that Joe in Australia provides tells you, the hindquarters require special preparation in order to be kosher, and outside of Israel, there are very few butchers who have the time (and possibly the skill?) to do so, especially when they can get non-Jewish buyers for them without the special prep.
posted by bardophile at 3:30 AM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let's do the Welsh!

I'm all for doing those Welsh bastards. Just because some people from Liverpool make their living via the light-fingered profession, is that any reason to discriminate against all of us, and insist that we only enter their gift shops one at a time?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:41 AM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's really interesting about the slaughtering. I always wondered why my local halal butcher stocked such an unusual selection of beef cuts. (I'm usually there for the goat - it's the only place where it can reliably be found)
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:18 AM on October 24, 2010


Isn't there something about the animals' milk having to curdle?

Apparently a sample of milk was taken from a giraffe in an Israeli zoo in 2008, and found to clot appropriately, so giraffe milk and meat are kosher - although draining the blood from a giraffe might be complicated by the valves in and the length of its neck. Plus giraffes are an endangered species, so I can't see a huge market there. I hope, anyway.
posted by DNye at 11:56 AM on October 24, 2010


draining the blood from a giraffe might be complicated

huh, try milking one.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:02 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, Arabs are semites too.

This was said way earlier in the thread but I just wanted to point out the stupidity of this statement. When people say the word "antisemite" it means "anti-Jew" in (American) English, regardless of whether any other people are Semitic. Word mean what they are collectively held to mean and no matter how clever you think you are in reinterpreting the word, this does not change. Language games in the service of obfuscating simple ideas drive me to distraction with their absurdity.
posted by Falconetti at 4:58 PM on October 24, 2010 [4 favorites]



I realize you may or may not be talking about me directly, but...

Through this whole thing all I wanted was for people to see at least why I found Jimmy's statements so offensive. Did I accomplish my goal? Hopefully enough that it wasn't in vain.

I don't feel bad for defending myself, and the only demands I made of Jimmy were that he expand on what he was saying. I do apologize for my rough tone and contribution to the original derail.

After all this I certainly don't feel victorious, just tired really.

Ross
posted by rosswald at 7:22 PM on October 24, 2010


My comment was directed at sort of whole situation in general. I didn't mean to imply that anyone is an asshole; just offering some food for thought.
posted by skwt at 8:42 PM on October 24, 2010


Not just anyone's an asshole, everyone is an asshole.
posted by WalterMitty at 3:27 AM on October 25, 2010


Is there anything about "Jewish" cuisine that's particularly suited to these kinds of cuts?

Jewish cuisine in America (i.e. matzo ball soup, brisket, kugel, etc.) is really more Eastern European/Russian peasant cuisine, since that's where the majority of American Jews came from.
posted by electroboy at 7:25 AM on October 25, 2010


If we're mythbusting lies about the jews, perhaps someone can explain the origins of the story that they have sex through a hole in the sheet? Presumably, it's got something to do with the whole mikveh bath business?

I was really disappointed when I found out that it wasn't true. The idea that jews set up their own portable glory hole in their bedroom sounded kinda exciting and imaginative to me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:49 AM on October 25, 2010


If we're mythbusting lies about the jews, perhaps someone can explain the origins of the story that they have sex through a hole in the sheet? Presumably, it's got something to do with the whole mikveh bath business?

Snopes.
posted by zarq at 8:59 AM on October 25, 2010


Can I just say how it warms my heart that this thread derailed into a discussion about kosher and halal foodstuffs, including the revelation (to me at least) that giraffe is kosher?

Thanks bardophile.

I've been noticing a trend on MeTa where longish threads full of heat and noise coalesce into more light than heat by the end. I think it has something to do with the time it takes to fire off an angry missive and the time it takes to craft an lengthy insightful and thoughtful comment.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 12:30 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


My comment was directed at sort of whole situation in general. I didn't mean to imply that anyone is an asshole; just offering some food for thought.

Good food for thought in my case!
posted by grumblebee at 12:38 PM on October 25, 2010


zarq: "If we're mythbusting lies about the jews, perhaps someone can explain the origins of the story that they have sex through a hole in the sheet? Presumably, it's got something to do with the whole mikveh bath business?

Snopes.
"

I did not know I was a sailor. I am confused.
posted by Splunge at 1:26 PM on October 25, 2010


Jewish cuisine in America (i.e. matzo ball soup, brisket, kugel, etc.) is really more Eastern European/Russian peasant cuisine, since that's where the majority of American Jews came from.

Whereas Israelis I've encountered tend to favour basically the same food as arabs - hummus, falafel, shakshuka etc. I haven't noticed any great propensity towards tasty marinated & grilled meat, but who can resist the smell of a kebab grilling over open charcoal? (Except a vegetarian, of course)
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:08 PM on October 25, 2010


Israelis I've encountered tend to favour basically the same food as arabs

This probably has something to do with the Sephardic/Ashkenazic/Mizrachi distinction in Jewish history. Apparently there is a large Persian Jewish community in your area. I have one grandparent from the Sephardic and Ashkenazic tradition who were married to each other and didn't even really know about this sort of thing until I was out of college.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:16 PM on October 25, 2010


Wikipedia article on Israeli cuisine.
posted by Wordwoman at 2:53 PM on October 25, 2010


And matzah is reportedly popular amongst Arabs in Israel, so the culinary influences go both ways.
posted by Wordwoman at 3:03 PM on October 25, 2010


Damn, I know where the Christian, Islamic & Zoroastrian Persians generally live, but not the Jewish ones. Just need to google their synagogue & endless culinary delights await!
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:48 PM on October 25, 2010


Israeli cuisine is basically a mishmash of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Even given the Arab/Israeli conflict, there's really not a huge difference in the cuisine between the average Israeli and their counterparts in Lebanon or Jordan, and certainly not between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews.
posted by electroboy at 7:30 AM on October 26, 2010


There, because I was concerned about eating halal, I joined what was then the Kosher Co-op

In Israel, the kosher rules made it super easy for me to eat outside, given that I'm a life long vegetarian. I only had to look for food with dairy products and I knew that it didn't have meat etc.
posted by dhruva at 8:26 AM on October 26, 2010


In Israel, the kosher rules made it super easy for me to eat outside, given that I'm a life long vegetarian. I only had to look for food with dairy products and I knew that it didn't have meat etc.

The easiest way for a person to keep kosher is to become a vegetarian. AFAIK, all fruits and vegetables are kosher. No meat, no shellfish, no conflicts.

In America, the Orthodox Union has suggested that broccoli and asparagus (and probably some other vegetables) be inspected and cleaned very carefully to avoid contamination by insects.
posted by zarq at 8:44 AM on October 26, 2010


I love that this is where this thread ended up. It turns out that it's not just me for whom everything comes back to food, it's Metafilter too!
posted by greenish at 9:05 AM on October 26, 2010


bardophile, I love you.

Intro to kashrus 101, written by a semi-Orthodox girl (my relationship status with Judaism is a big ol' "it's complicated")

1. Keep meat and dairy separate. This includes the flavour of meat and milk, which can be passed through (a) literal heat (b) 'heat' as in hot, spicy foods (including things like onions) (b) the pressure of a knife. There is no real problem with eating cold, dry meat on dairy plates, but most Orthodox Jews will avoid it because what if the food heats up or whatever. Re: food storage, there is very little problem with keeping your brisket on the same shelf as your cheese in your fridge, so long as there isn't any leakage. Even then, in most circumstances you can just cut off a certain amount of the surface of the affected foods (the measurement in millimetres differs based on the exact situation). Why? The bible repeats "do not boil a kid in its mother's milk" 3 times, which is interpreted as being 3 prohibitions: cooking, eating, profiting.
2. Any animal that isn't fish has to be schected (cut across the neck). There cannot be any internal defects/injuries; the lungs have to be in good shape; plenty of internal organs have to be removed; blood has to be drained completely from the creature. The 'hindquarters' thing is about the gid (sciatic nerve), yup. A decent percentage of Orthodox people do not even hold that the gid can be removed in a kosher fashion, although this is a hugely variable thing.
3. Most bugs are a no-go, so you have to caaaarefully check all produce. (The only bugs listed as kosher in the Bible may not even still exist). Here's an article on mesorah dinners! Yay!
4. There's a lot of weird animals that we have the 'mesorah' (tradition) are kosher, so every once in a while there will be a big, fancy 'mesorah dinner' to try to keep that mesorah alive. Why? If we lose the mesorah, we lose the right to eat that.
5. Kosher animals: for land animals, chews it's cud (a true ruminant, unlike the hare) and has fully split hooves. Fish: scales and fins (and if it has scales, it will always have fins, woo!). Birds: the Torah just gives a list of birds, which made the kashrus of turkey--something completely new!--reaaally controversial when, y'know, Jews came to North America.
6. Grape products: really complicated, just trust me, you need to buy special wines and grape juices.
7. Fish: you can buy regular fish from a regular fishmonger so long as you wash it thoroughly (because of the knife thing, remember, from the meat and dairy thing above? knives can carry the taste of non-kosher fish, and in Jewish law, the taste [tam] is the same as the substance) and have proof it used to have scales, in that the skin is still attached.
8. Bread (and meals 'cooked' by a non-Jew): technically bread made by a Jew is preferred, but most people rely on a heter (leniency) that says pas palter (bread baked by a professional) is cool, too. The exception is on Shabbat, when your bread should be pas yisroel (bread baked by a Jew). Similarly, food should be 'cooked' by a Jew. This is, no lie, to try to prevent intermarriage and is not a 'kashrus' problem, strictly speaking. All that is required to have the food be 'cooked' by a Jew is (a) if you're Ashkenaz, turn on the heat or (b) if you're Sephardic, put the food in the oven
9. Milk: same as bread, except the problem in this case is that the problem with 'chalav stam' (regular milk) is that pig's milk might get put in it (which did used to happen), so you should drink chalav yisroel (milk whose entire 'lifespan' from milking to bottlnig is overseen by a Jew). Almost no one holds by chalav yisroel in North America because Moshe Feinstein ruled, "dude, the government is just as good at preventing milk mixing as we are, so let them."
10. Cheese: cheese has rennet in it, which comes from a cow's stomach. It is therefore milk/meat mixing. So kosher cheeses all use vegetarian friendly alternatives to rennet.
11. Random body parts: other than the stuff that is outright removed, stuff like the heart, the liver, and the udder are difficult because either they (a) have a blood of blood (b) have meat/milk mixing.
12. Dishes have to be specifically kosher. There are lots of way to 'treyf up' (de-kosher) a plate/utensil/whatever, and it can only be 'fixed' if it's made of certain materials (because the 'fixing' involves either making it red-hot or boiling it).

Last but not least: the blessing thing. Kosher food is not blessed by a Rabbi, but all "religious" Jews bless the food they eat. (I'm being loosey-goosey on my terminology, since the blessings thing is pretty widely observed). What does this mean?

Immediately before eating a Jew says one of a number of blessings.

This is also the order you would say the blessings if you have multiple pieces of food (except for mezonot, which is complicated: it is both 2nd in line and last in line).
1. Over bread (hamotzi). You wash your hands before saying this one; the reason Jews generally stay silent after handwashing until you've eaten is that you say a blessing on the handwashing, and that blessing is for the purpose of eating the bread. Since you're supposed to immediately do whatever you need to do to fulfill a blessing, talking is prohibited since it delays the fulfilling of the blessing. This one is always said first, and will cover an entire meal (except for wine). It is always said on the Sabbath/holidays as eating bread for 2 meals is a requirement.
2. Over wine (there is a special version of this blessing for Sabbath/holidays, and for joyous events).
3. On cakes/snacks (mezonot). The 'is pizza hamotzi or mezonot' thing is a popular discussion, and the answer is 'it depends.'
4. On the fruit of the tree (haetz).
5. Veggies/"fruits from the ground" (haadamah).
6. Everything else (shehakol).

Then, after the meal, you say a loooong blessing if you had bread ('bentching' or 'saying birkat hamazon'; 4 long blessings, and a lot of other related stuff), or a short blessing (of many variations) if you didn't eat bread.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:07 AM on October 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ok, more on the handwashing thing, since I realized my explanation sucks.

1. Pour water into a 'nagel wasser' or handwashing cup. (They're the two-handled 'Jewish cups'). Pour the water from this cup onto one hand, then the other, for a certain number of times.
2. Say the blessing 'al netilas yadayim,' which is only said when you wash hands in a ritual manner. Why did you wash your hands? For cleanliness before eating bread (along with a vague memory of priestly functions). So you can't speak until you eat bread, unless you're the one saying the blessing over the bread, or you need something to say the blessing on the bread (like, say, you need to find the dang the bread).
3. Say 'hamotzi' (translation: Blessed are you, Lord out God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth).
4. Eat! Swallow, then speak.

YAAAY.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:13 AM on October 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


flibbertigibbet, that's an awesome summary!
posted by zarq at 10:19 AM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love that this is where this thread ended up. It turns out that it's not just me for whom everything comes back to food, it's Metafilter too!

Very old joke:

Jewish holidays can be divided into feasts and fasts.

The High Holidays Begin with the Dawning of a New Year:
* Rosh Hashanah: Feast
* Tzom Gedalia: Fast
* Yom Kippur: Serious fasting
* Sukkot: Feast
* Hashanah Rabbah: More feasting
* Simchat Torah: Keep feasting
* Month of Heshvan: No feasts / fasts for one month. Get a grip on yourself.
* Hanukkah: Eat potato pancakes
* Tenth of Tevet: Do not eat potato pancakes
* Tu B'Shevat: Feast
* Fast of Esther: Fast
* Purim: Eat pastry (JELLY DONUTS AHOY)
* Passover: Do not eat pastry
* Shavuot: Dairy feast (cheesecake, blintzes, etc.)
* 17th of Tammuz: Fast (definitely no cheesecake or blintzes)
* Tish B'Av: Strict fast, don't even think of cheesecake or blintzes.
* Month of Elul: End of cycle. Enroll in Center for Eating Disorders before High Holidays arrive again.

---------------------------

Also, most Jewish holidays can be summarized as "They tried to kill us. We survived. Let's eat."

Now if you'll excuse me, there's a bagel with a schmear and slice of lox calling my name. :D
posted by zarq at 10:26 AM on October 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


Purim is clearly the best of holidays, because it's one of the few where you're obligated to get completely loaded on wine.
The drinking of wine features prominently in keeping with the jovial nature of the feast. This is based on the fact that the salvation of the Jews occurred through wine and the Sages of the Talmud stated that one should drink on Purim until he can no longer distinguish between the phrases arur Haman ("Cursed is Haman") and baruch Mordecai ("Blessed is Mordecai"). Alcoholic consumption was later codified by the early authorities, and while some advocated total intoxication, the prevalent view, consistent with the opinion of many early and later rabbis, is that that one should only drink a little more than usual and then fall asleep, whereupon one will certainly not be able to tell the difference between arur Haman and baruch Mordecai. Other authorities, including the Magen Avraham, have written that one should drink until one is unable to calculate the numerical values of both phrases.
posted by electroboy at 1:43 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh! One thing about the wines: if you're not Jewish and you want to bring a gift to the house of someone who you think might care about keeping kosher and keeping shabbat,

(1) bring kosher wine....
(2) ...that is mevushal (מבושל) if you want to share it that night. How do you know if it's mevushal? It should say, in either Hebrew or English, on the label. Which is why I wrote it in Hebrew and in English.


or (3) be careful about what you bring on a yom tov/shabbat if you think they care... cut flowers are not so good. Electronics? Not so good. Money, gift certificates? Also not great. Wine is generally the safe bet, but as I said: mevushal.



Also, be prepared to think that kosher wine is fouuul. Which is why Passover and Purim are the worst of the holidays.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 2:03 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, kosher wine =/= mevushal, unless you're pretty Ortho. Mevushal wine is foul, but unless you're worried about idolators having handled your wine, it's not strictly necessary.
posted by electroboy at 2:24 PM on October 26, 2010


I think it's safer to bring flowers.

UbuRoivas: I was in Nepal and in the backpacker area I saw many cafes (seriously - lots) offering "Israeli cuisine". Israeli cuisine is, apparently, Wiener schnitzel and French fries served with Israeli salad: chopped-up cucumber and tomatoes.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:27 PM on October 26, 2010


Oh, and Jessamyn: I didn't know about the Persian Jewish community in Sydney, even though I once had a neighbour who was a Persian Jew. He told me that when he was a boy he came home with his mother to find their neighbour sitting on the front steps of their apartment building, looking disconsolate. They asked him what was wrong and he said, pointing to one of the apartments: "She kicked me out ..." - pointing to another - "and she kicked me out ..." - and to a third apartment - "and she kicked me out." The joys of polygamy.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:33 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


My wife's mother and grandmother hail from Calcutta originally, and the family came from Baghdad a few decades before that. As a result, her nana's cooking is a craaazy delicious combination of Iraqi, Indian, Persian, and I don't even know what else cuisines (well, fresh lemons from the lemon tree in her backyard; she lives in LA now). Often it's not even clear what language the name of a dish is in. After you've tasted that, it's pretty hard to go back to gefilte fish, sad to say.
posted by chinston at 3:56 PM on October 26, 2010


Israeli cuisine is, apparently, Wiener schnitzel and French fries served with Israeli salad: chopped-up cucumber and tomatoes.

How handy that this coincides exactly with Melbourne pub food! (although I guess you'd have to "hold the cheese" on the Parma).

But on that topic: "do not boil a kid in its mother's milk" - is that really the only source for the rule against mixing meat & dairy? Because you could apply either a strictly literal interpretation to it, or a metaphorical one, but neither of those - to me, at least - would mean not being able to eat, say, a tandoori chicken gourmet pizza.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:37 PM on October 26, 2010


Okay, I have officially gone from tired and angry to hungry.
posted by rosswald at 4:42 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's a commentary I found on boiling kids in their mothers' milk:

Thou shalt not seethe a kid. The true sense of this passage seems to be that assigned by Dr. Cudworth, from a MS. comment of a Karaite Jew. It was a custom with the ancient heathens, when they had gathered in all their fruits, to take a kid, and boil it in the dam's milk; and then in a magical way, to go about and sprinkle all their trees, and fields, and gardens, and orchards with it, thinking by these means, that they should make them fruitful, and bring forth more abundantly in the following year. Wherefore, God forbad his people, the Jews, at the time of their in-gathering, to use any such superstitious or idolatrous rite.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:56 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joe in Australia/electroboy: I won't go into details, but for "pretty Ortho" families, flowers are also a difficulty on Shabbos/yom tov. If you do bring flowers, make sure they're not in a planter or in dirt, and it'll make things better and will give the family some room to work. And re: mevushal wine, if they're Ortho it's "lo plug," which means "no distinguishing" between "idolatrous" and "non-idolatrous" non-Jews, so mevushal is preferred.

I was only talking about families where you may think they're Ortho but you don't know either way.

Ubu Roivas: Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Kinda. some of the prohibitions--like no mixing chicken and milk--are rabbinic prohibitions (d'rabbanan) instead of Torah prohibitions (d'oraisa), but they were enacted to prevent people from making a mistake that would result in transgressing a Torah prohibition. This is, again, because of the belief that "kid in its mother's milk..." prohibited the three activities mentioned: cooking, eating, profiting/benefiting from. The Talmud discusses how the Rabbis 'strengthened' their prohibitions about milk/meat, as normally breaking a Rabbinical prohibition isn't as bad as breaking a Troah prohibition. In this case, because of the prohibition on "profiting from" milk/meat is really easy to transgress, the Rabbinic prohibitions are pretty strict and are "almost as strong" as a Torah prohibition and are, in the emic viewpoint, nearly d'oraisa in their effect.

Interesting note: all of this only applies to meat that is potentially kosher. So eating a pork-and-cheese sandwich is just... eating pork, it's not milk/meat mixing. For the same reason, breastmilk--and I am not kidding here--is technically 'parev,' neither milk nor meat, and is one of two substances I can think of that come from a non-kosher source (humans) but is itself kosher (the milk; the other substance I can think of is honey). You will never see someone putting this into practice.

Re: commentary on the passage: That's one of the big disputes among Rabbinic commentators and academic types. Some claim it's ethical--there's a similar commandment to wave off a mother bird before taking her eggs to eat, and that's widely interpreted as being entirely ethical--some claim it's about idolatrous practices. There are very few ancient sources we can rely on concerning the possible origins of that verse.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 11:49 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


My drinking buddies i.e. those of my buddies who drink alcohol, tell me it's a crying shame my only taste of alcohol was a sip of wine at a Passover seder. There had been grape juice bought especially for me, but in the getting up and sitting back down, chairs got switched... so I can vouch for the fact that kosher wine tastes fouuuul. Whether it tastes better or worse than others, I have no basis for judging.
posted by bardophile at 6:38 AM on October 27, 2010


I can't find the clip online, but there was a great episode of Frasier in which the family pretends to be Jewish on Christmas so that Frasier can have a shot at dating Amy Brenneman. In a scene where he offers her wine, he suddenly realizes she might be expecting the kosher variety.

So, in the kitchen and out of her sight, he and Niles add a few tablespoons of sugar to a glass of red wine. Then taste:

"It's dreadful!"
"Perfect!"
posted by zarq at 7:01 AM on October 27, 2010


bardophile wrote: "My drinking buddies i.e. those of my buddies who drink alcohol, tell me it's a crying shame my only taste of alcohol was a sip of wine at a Passover seder. There had been grape juice bought especially for me, but in the getting up and sitting back down, chairs got switched... so I can vouch for the fact that kosher wine tastes fouuuul. Whether it tastes better or worse than others, I have no basis for judging."

I strongly dislike most wine, but there are indeed a few good wines out there. What I think is good radically differs from connoisseurs, but it's not my fault their palate is stupid. ;)
posted by wierdo at 4:08 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd like people to remember that I started this in response to what I saw as a pile-on on hamida2242. While hamida2242 isn't a high-frequency poster, I'd like to note that she/he hasn't posted since then.

I hope that hamida2242 hasn't been chased off.

All you folks need a hug.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:59 PM on October 27, 2010


hamida2242 makes her/his comment at 1:14pm.

60-odd comments and 7 1/4 hours later, comes Wordwoman's objection,

A few comments after that, yiftach clarifies for hamida2242, in a comment that is responding to hers/his, but without being at all confrontational.

Another five comments and an hour later, rosswald voices his disgust with hamida2422's comment.

(So at this point, 2 out of 75 comments are critical of hamida2242's, 1 is neither critical nor approving, and 70 or more have nothing to say about that comment at all.)

Another 45 or so comments and 9 hours later, we hear about it again, from the OP of this thread.

And then it just goes on and on.

As I see it, there was no pile-on to begin with. Two people objected in-thread. I'm sure a bunch of people flagged the comment that started it all. I didn't, because I thought it was badly worded, but could see some of where she was coming from.

Then OP decided to escalate the whole thing, and people responded to him. And it just went downhill from there.

Where was this pile-on? I was actually waiting for it, because I thought hamida2242's comment was objectionable in many ways, but I didn't see it, and was breathing sighs of relief until the Jimmy Havok vs a bunch of other people debacle erupted.

Please give it a rest, Jimmy Havok.
posted by bardophile at 12:48 AM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


As I see it, there was no pile-on to begin with.

As you see it. I saw it differently, mainly in the number of favorites that Womanword was collecting for her attack.

Please give it a rest

Well, if I gave it a rest, we never would have learned about your halal-kosher collective, would we? I got a little bit of LOLJEWSnMUSLIMS from it, but mostly it was quite inspiring, especially since it was about cultural customs meant to separate people that actually brought them together. Too bad you think it was a debacle.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:15 AM on October 28, 2010


Actually, I think my experience with the co-op would have come up sooner or later, regardless of whether this thread had ever existed. That experience is too integral to my world-view for it not to.

As to whether or not it was a pile-on, we obviously disagree. Fair enough.
posted by bardophile at 3:16 AM on October 28, 2010


"I'd like people to remember that I started this in response to what I saw as a pile-on on hamida2242. While hamida2242 isn't a high-frequency poster, I'd like to note that she/he hasn't posted since then."
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:59 AM on October 28

The fact that you feel that making this comment:

"Please clarify. It sounds from here like you're heavily invested in the idea that everyone hates Jews, and anyone who doesn't agree is anti-semitic."
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:29 PM on October 21

is somehow the response to a perceived pile-on (which I disagree with but...), shows that you learned nothing from this thread. It also reinforces my belief that you are bad at metafilter.

If you and Hamida want to hold hands, and talk about how "rabid" Zionists are responsible for anti-Muslim sentiment in America and the problems of the Middle East thats fine, just do it somewhere else. Your un-nuanced views and zealous tone don't belong here.

I'm gonna get back to work, and enjoy all the awesome "protection" and "celebration" that I feel everyday.
posted by rosswald at 7:25 AM on October 28, 2010


I'd also like to point out, that I was reading the original Juan Williams thread and agreeing with the overall sentiment that Juan William's comment(s) were offensive.

Bringing Jews into was a tangent at best. Someone could maybe have made a reasonable comment contrasting Helen Thomas/Rick Sanchez and Juan Williams or the states of the Muslim and Jewish communities in the US, but Hamida's comment wasn't it.
posted by rosswald at 7:29 AM on October 28, 2010


I was about to chime in, but instead I'll favorite something already here, so as to avoid a pile-on.
posted by palliser at 9:15 AM on October 28, 2010


As you see it. I saw it differently, mainly in the number of favorites that Womanword was collecting for her attack.

I don't have time to dig up a citation, but I'm pretty sure the mods have expressed their opinion of this kind of thing as "don't do this. People use favorites in widely varying ways, which may or may not indicate approval or agreement, but it is not useful and not helpful to try to use the number of favorites a comment has to support your argument (regardless of what you're arguing)."
posted by Lexica at 10:00 AM on October 28, 2010


I don't have time to dig up a citation, but I'm pretty sure the mods have expressed their opinion of this kind of thing as "don't do this. People use favorites in widely varying ways, which may or may not indicate approval or agreement, but it is not useful and not helpful to try to use the number of favorites a comment has to support your argument (regardless of what you're arguing)."

To expand on this excellent point.... many of us use favorites in different ways. Often, I use them as a sort of memory marker to flag something that I'd like to devote my attention to later, like a video I can't watch at work, or a comment I want to address when I have more time on my hands.

I've favorited a lot of comments that pissed me off and I completely disagreed with, just because I wanted to rebut them later. Please don't assume that people are saying "I AGREE!" or offering approval when they favorite something. After all, I don't think we're all sociopaths. ;)

Although having never yet been to a meetup, I can't say for sure. :D
posted by zarq at 12:05 PM on October 28, 2010


I'm gonna get back to work, and enjoy all the awesome "protection" and "celebration" that I feel everyday.

Arbeit macht frei.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 7:48 PM on October 28, 2010


> Arbeit macht frei.

Do you really want to be that guy?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:49 PM on October 28, 2010


Arbeit macht frei.

Jimmy Havok, you've got a week off. Do not be that guy when you come back.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:55 PM on October 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Arbeit macht frei.

Yeah, that was disgusting. In no way funny.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:18 PM on October 28, 2010


Beyond disgusting. I am shocked.
posted by Wordwoman at 9:09 PM on October 28, 2010


Jimmy, man -- I don't think you ever could've wanted this. Y'know what you're doing? You're the punk rock kid in 1977 who thinks he's incredibly edgy for wearing a swastika badge just to piss off his parents. And I know -- you were pissed off. But get past it, man. You're better than this.
posted by koeselitz at 9:22 PM on October 28, 2010


I'm going to close this up. We got a non-apology from Jimmy Havok and he's not welcome back at MetaFilter. I'm sorry this went this way, but I'm going to close this up. We can open another MeTa thread if there are still issues that need to be discussed.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:59 PM on October 28, 2010


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