Then when G-d asks [Cain], ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ he arrogantly responds, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’
In essence, the entire Bible is written as an affirmative response to this question.
— Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Jewish Literacy (via mermaideleh)

(via thejewsareinspace)


If you believe that your “pro-Palestinian activism” and being a “good ally to the Palestinians” requires you to ignore Jews, hijack their conversations, deny them a discourse on their identity in the diaspora, and tell them that having and educating others on their religious and ethnic identity is detrimental to your cause, then you are doing the pro-Palestinian movement the worst possible disservice.  

Antisemitism in pro-Palestinian circles makes Jewish allies feel rightfully unsafe and unwelcome.  It tells left-wing Jews that they need to disassociate with their ethnicity, culture, religion, upbringing, history, and identity in order for you to accept them as worth listening to.  Political Zionism has its deepest roots in places where Jews were and are marginalized, excluded, and hated, and creating that environment in activist circles does nothing but alienate true allies and hurt your cause.  It also perpetuates the really harmful idea that pro-Palestinian circles are automatically antisemitic, or that anti-Zionism itself is antisemitic by default, and push curious and open Jews further to the right.  

"Allies" and "activists" who do this are the reason why most of my leftist Jewish friends didn’t go to rallies for Gaza or campus meetings for anti-Zionist groups.  The cause of Palestinian freedom and statehood is righteous and worthy, and the last thing that the Palestinians need are vocal bigots and oppressors who claim to support them. 

(via frightened)

While kinship identity can be negotiated between homeland and diaspora, the structure of modern international relations gives the prerogative of constituting, elaborating, and implementing the national interest to the state. Indeed, states may consider their diasporic kin as part of their national security under the premise of mutual responsibility. Israel, for example, declares itself, by law, responsible for the well-being of all Jews around the world. It also regards the Jewish diaspora, and especially Jewish-Americans, as “one of Israel’s strategic assets.” The new state of Armenia has made similar claims. Such attitudes in the homeland, however, can create resentment, engender the fear of dual loyalty, and even strengthen calls for greater participation on part of the diaspora in homeland politics. Armenian-American scholar, Kachig Tololyan, for example, complained that, in Armenia, “they want service and money for diasporans, not thoughts or opinions.” All and all, governments may construct the national interest with the explicit intent of protecting the whole kin community, both diaspora and homeland. Yet in practice, struggles often erupt between homeland and diaspora groups over the definition of the nation, and therefore over the proper balance between the interests of the homeland and those of “the people.” — Yossi Shain, The Role of Diasporas in Conflict Perpetuation or Resolution 


If you feel the need to qualify “but not all Jews are zionist” like so many of you do

what you’re saying to me is “Sure, we should beat zionists in the street. We should kill zionists. We should boycott zionist businesses and zionist celebrities.”

But you never see someone wearing a crucifix and say, “I bet you’re one of those zionists” even though the most influential Israel lobbies and supporters are Christian-run.

You reserve this for people dressed in all black except for their tallits and chai necklaces. You reserve this for people with magen davids around their necks and wrists.

You’re using zionist to refer exclusively to Jews. And on one hand, I don’t really like the idea of Christians appropriating a concept from my religion because Jews in Israel somehow helps their rapture prophecies. But on the other, you have appropriated this concept, a concept which refers to the survival of the Jewish people, and have turned it into a snarl word aimed exclusively at Jews.

Do you see the problem?

(via thejewsareinspace)

The establishment of Theresienstadt as a ghetto for privileged categories [groups of German Jews such as veterans and the famous who were temporarily spared certain indignities and horrors during the early years of the Holocaust] was prompted by the great number of such interventions [to save ‘prominent’ German Jews] from all sides. Theresienstadt later became a showplace for visitors from abroad and served to deceive the outside world, but this was not its original raison d’etre. The horrible thinning-out process that regularly occurred in this ‘paradise’… was necessary because there was never enough room to provide for all who were privileged, and we know… that ‘special care was was taken not to deport Jews with connections and important acquaintances in the outside world.’ In other words, the less ‘prominent’ Jews were constantly sacrificed to those who disappearance in the East would create unpleasant inquiries. The ‘acquaintances’ in the outside world’ did not necessarily live outside Germany; according to Himmler, there were ‘eighty million good Germans, each of whom has his decent Jew. It is clear, the others are pigs, but this particular Jew is first rate’ (Himmler). Hitler himself is said to have known three hundred and forty ‘first rate Jews,’ whom he had either altogether assimilated to the status of Germans or granted the privileges of half-Jews…

In Germany today, this notion of ‘prominent’ Jews has not yet been forgotten. While the veterans and other privileged groups are no longer mentioned, the fate of ‘famous’ Jews is still deplored at the expense of all others. There are more than a few people, especially among the cultural elite, who still publicly regret the fact that Germany sent Einstein packing, without realizing that it was a much greater crime to kill little Hans Cohn from around the corner, even though he was no genius.
— Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, 1960. Emphasis mine.

Anonymous asked: Not trying to be rude. You say white people a lot. Do you consider Jews to be not white?


OK so for one, JPOC are obviously not white. So I’m going to answer the question as if you asked if “white-skinned” Jews are white.

Jews are at a weird intersection of occasionally getting white privilege and being considered interlopers, at least in the U.S.

I’ve been told that I’m white and also that I’m not white because I’m Jewish, it really depends on who I’m with and how Jewish I act. If I speak in Yiddish or Hebrew, wear a Magen David, or otherwise reference my Jewishness then I open myself to potential antisemitic violence, aggression, isolation, etc.

I would say that Jews have more ability to assimilate than some groups, but I’m hesitant to call it a privilege. It’s more of an expectation, and from what I’ve seen it exists towards both white Jews and JPOC.

For intra-Jewish discussions, I’m definitely white.

For larger discussions of white supremacy, it depends on who I’m with. In contexts of POC, I’m pretty fucking white. In context of white people, not if I act Jewish. I have the ability to assimilate, but I’m expected to do this. It’s not just a, “Well it’s convenient for me to be Jewish” because if I participate in Jewish culture, I am Jewish. I really don’t have any other frame of reference, so usually when I pretend to be a “standard” deist or atheist I end up giving it away. (Because believe it or not these people are still influenced by Christianity, go figure. Could just be because I’m a shitty liar.)

Antisemitism operates on multiple axises though. All Jews are affected by antisemitism, and the discussion of whether or not Jews can be white doesn’t really help discussions of antisemitism. For shorthand, it’s easier to label Jews as non-white. Some Jews may consider themselves white due to their appearance, their experiences or lackthereof, or sometimes because they consider antisemitism to be separate from discussions of white supremacy. But gentiles should not be the ones who bring this discussion on, because it involves invalidating the experiences of Jewish people.

Some forms of antisemitism are racism, plain and simple. “You don’t look Jewish” or “You can’t be Jewish because you look like you’re X/Y/Z” are raciallization. Blood Libel, Judensau, and other antisemitic characterizations exist near globally at this point, and they are all forms of raciallization. Jews suffer racialized violence because of these characterizations, even in the U.S.

Accusations of Jewish people being puppetmasters, controlling media, exaggerating our suffering or complaining too much about it are similar, but it doesn’t really exist in other racial groups - and when it does it is not as prevalent. This is unique to antisemitism. It is a tactic that only serves white supremacists, because it isolates Jews from larger discussions and places us as “true enemies” of both whites AND gentile POC.

When Jews are viewed as inherently oppressive, we are targeted instead of white supremacy.

It is possible for Jewish people to play into white supremacy, but this is an intra-discussion. Goyim should not be commenting on the ability of Jewish people in particular to assimilate, regardless of their race. There are JPOC on this site who are better qualified than they are to speak on those issues.

This doesn’t mean that Jewish people are immune to criticism, just that criticism of Jewish people by virtue of their Jewishness is antisemitic.

Short answer: This entire thing is an intra-discussion, it’s complicated, it depends on whether or not a Jewish person even looks white enough to pass, how Jewish they act, their last name, their mother’s maiden name, their first name, and a bunch of other factors.

Based on my own personal experience I’ve mostly been coded as non-white once I reveal myself as Jewish, both by white people and by non-white people. Even though I have light skin and blue eyes. (EX: I’ve had friends’ parents switch from referring to be as “white girl” to “Jewish girl” and in some cases “Jewess” which is usually translated from a slur.)

I try to walk the road of Judaism. Embedded in that road there are many jewels. One is marked ‘Sabbath’ and one ‘Civil Rights’ and one ‘Kashruth’ and one ‘Honor Your Parents’ and one ‘You Shall Be Holy.’ There are at least 613 of them and they are different shapes and sizes and weights. Some are light and easy for me to pick up, and I pick them up. Some are too deeply embedded for me, so far at least, though I get a little stronger by trying to extricate the jewels as I walk the street. Some, perhaps, I shall never be able to pick up. I believe that God expects me to keep on walking Judaism Street and to carry away whatever I can of its commandments. I do not believe that God expects me to lift what I cannot, nor may I condemn my fellow Jew who may not be able to pick up even as much as I can.

Rav Arnold Jacob Wolf


(via mermaideleh)

YES this is SO important to me

(via fegeleh)

(via thejewsareinspace)




because a lot of people dont seem to get this:

  • golems are from jewish folklore. dont treat them like a generic fantasy creature, thats appropriative
  • kabbalah is a specifically jewish religious tradition. dont practice it if youre not jewish and dont use kabbalah symbolism as generic occult stuff, thats appropriative
  • for the record if it has hebrew on it and it doesnt have anything to do with judaism its probably appropriative
  • dont wear a magen david if youre not jewish, its used as a symbol for judaism so wearing it if youre a gentile is appropriative
  • while im at it heres a rundown of some terms you should know
  • goy: hebrew and yiddish for non-jewish person, it literally translates as “nation.” the plural form is goyim. goy is not a slur.
  • gentile: english for non-jewish person
  • anti-semitism: you probably know what this means but i just want to point out that the word anti-semitism was NOT coined by jews but by a german anti-semite who wanted a more scientific-sounding alternative to “judenhass,” which literally translates to “jew-hatred” so please shut up about how arabs are also semites. we know.
  • if you’re not jewish you should also avoid using the word “jew” since many jewish people are uncomfortable with it (though i personally am fine with it). use “jewish person” instead if youre a gentile

please reblog this if you’re not jewish, i almost never see gentiles acknowledging cultural appropriation of judaism and anti-semitism on tumblr, even among people who otherwise pay close attention to such issues

People REALLY need to remember the second one on this list.

Goyim amongst my followers: READ AND BE EDUCATED.

(via ameliarating)