Saturday, 7 June 2008

Zionism - the gloves are off

Now some might say that picking on a teenage girl because of her beliefs (specifically the belief that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah) is in some roundabout way, I don't know, discriminatory...

From Forward, the Jewish Daily newspaper. If it weren't so nasty, what these rabbis are saying would be funny. The remarkable inconsistency in how they define who is a Jew is bursting out from between almost every line of their texts. Buddhists with a Jewish mother - fine. Atheists with a Jewish mother - fine. Someone who dares to interpret the Torah in a different way from the rabbis, even if they have two Jewish parents and were born in Israel - sorry. You're not a 'Jew', certainly not for the purposes of participating in public life and supposedly shared cultural activities. How patriotic an Israeli citizen are you? - who cares?

How these people are not deeply ashamed of themselves is beyond me. Were the followers of Bar-Kochba considered not-Jewish because of their erroneous belief that he was the Messiah? Oh, they're all dead. How convenient. What about the followers of Sabbati Zevi? Were they 'Jews', or what?

Here are some of my embryonic thoughts on the religious definition of Jewishness.

It seems that the Zionist rabbis are very happy to play with a 'blood' definition of Jewishness, a 'cultural' definition and a 'religious' definition and are quite happy to play them off against each other when a young girl offends them by knowing a lot about the Bible and daring to appear in public.