Sunday, August 08, 2010

Miscegenation 101: When Chelsea met Marc...

According to Phil Weiss (himself a miscegenist!), Israel is angry. About Chelsea Clinton, the Shiksa marrying Marc Mezvinsky of the Jewish faith. And the compromise mishmash religious ceremony to celebrate the young couple's love and commitment.

A joyous occasion one would think but not to Ha'aretz' Israel Harel.

Interestingly Harel starts of with a useful reminder of antisemitism in pre-WW II US of A but then rapidly descends into a kvetch that could easily be attributed to a BNPer had it been said about the intermarriage between a 'true Briton' (cough!) and [insert miscegenation choice here].

For many Jews, Mezvinsky's acceptance into the bosom of this high-toned WASP family seems to set the final seal on the sociological process that the Jews, and especially Reform Jews, have undergone in America. From now on, the fantasy goes, we are all Mezvinskys.

What fantasy? What's particularly noteworthy or 'fantastic' about a couple crossing cultural lines in the 21th Century?

On the other side, for those who have been fearfully following the process of assimilation and disappearance that the Jewish people has undergone in America, and on other continents, this "culminating event" poured salt on open wounds. Some 90 percent of young Jews, according to recent polls, do not rule out marriage with a non-Jew. And the results are easy to see: Due to intermarriage, the number of Jews in the United States has fallen by more than a quarter since the 1960s.

So 90 % percent of Jews don't feel racist about whom they might share their lives with? And this is what? Bad news? Only to a blatant racist...

On the other hand, there are a growing number of kippa-wearing Jews on American campuses. And this development evidently does not stem only from the growing strength of the Orthodox movement and its increasing interest in academic studies (a trend also observable in Israel ). Rather, there is a demonstrative element to this behavior, an element of protest. The message is that the Jewish people and Jewish civilization are alive and well, and will continue to exist despite assimilation.

On the other hand... Yes, on the other hand the increasing popularity as "an element of protest" of the antiquated belief system called 'religion' (of whatever kind) appears to be applauded. Welcome to Invert-O-World!

Finally a bit of good old chest beating nationalism:

We do not owe our national identity, and certainly not our religious identity, to America; the Jews have contributed no less, and perhaps even more, to America than America has contributed to the Jews.

Let me be snidy about it: has American Jewry contributed about 107 billion dollars to America, in the same way that America has poured that amount of money into the Jewish state, since its inception in 1948? Now with added bonus of 200 million dollars for 'Iron Dome'?

There's some more, but I won't bore you with it...


At 10:14 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

There are two op-eds critical of the Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding and that means Israel is mad? I doubt most Israelis care beyond basic gossip. It's no coincidence that both Israel Harel and Yisrael Wolman are religious, probably the only section of Israeli society to give a damn about this.

In my own opinion, it's none of my business (or anybody's) who other Jews marry and I wish the happy couple a great life together.


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