Tag: occupy wall street


Deconstructing Self Hatred

There is a new “occupy” movement in town. It’s called “Occupy Birthright Israel” —a group of Jews who have decided Israel is “occupying,” well, Israel, and that the state of Israel should be abandoned as a “military state that oppresses Muslims” (I would say Palestinians here, but the Christian population of Palestine is being drive out by someone —must be Israel, according to the world media). They even have a video up on YouTube.

What I find most interesting about this group is the incoherence and self-hatred in their written manifesto.

We embrace diaspora, even when it causes us a great deal of pain. We are the rubble of tangled fear, the deliverance of values. We are human. We are born perfect. We assimilate, or we do not.

We remember the labor movement. We remember the camps. We remember when we aged too quickly. We remember that we are still young, and powerful.

We will not quietly witness the violation of human rights in Palestine. We refuse to become the mother who did not scream when wise King Solomon resolved to split her baby in two.

We demand daylight for our stories, for all stories. We seek breathing room and dignity for all people. We are committed to the struggle. We are the struggle. We will become mentors, elders, and radical listeners for the next generation. It is our sacred obligation. We will not stop. We exist. We are young Jews, and we get to decide what that means.

This is all supposed to be radically profound, I guess, but in the end, it’s just a mishmash of anti-Semitic nonsense.

Humans are not “born perfect,” not even the humans who made this video. If they were, there would be nothing to atone for. How can you decide not to assimilate into a the “collective identity?” If all identities are collective, what does it mean not to assimilate? There were camps in the labor movement? Of course not —these two statements pushed right up against one another are supposed to suggest the National Socialists (NAZI) labor camps were the same thing as the “oppression of labor” communists and socialists are fighting against. The National Socialists built their entire program on collective identity, as well, by the way.

Solomon offered to split the baby in half to find out who the real mother is. Clearly these “young Jews,” need a new Rabbi who teaches something about what the actual Scriptures say, rather than the pablum they’ve been fed. Being a “radical listener” simply means to take whatever I say, and twist it into a meaning you desire. This is supposed to be a good thing?

They give away the real game in the last sentence. “We get to decide what being Jewish means.” In other words, “We don’t like being Jewish, because it’s not hip, it’s not cool, and it’s not acceptable in the circles we like to frequent. So we’re going to redefine Jewishness so we can hang out with the people we like, and appear really compassionate and caring to the world.”

Sorry, you don’t get to decide what it means to be Jewish. God already did that.


Don't Covet

You can’t read the smaller text unless you click on the picture, but there are small “thoughts” coming out of the world saying things like, “stick it to the capitalist,” “tax the rich,” and other popular “99% Occupy-Whatever”/leftist slogans. And while I’m not one of those who believes the Ten Commandments apply to Christians today, the point is well taken.

Coveting is defined as a bad thing by God.

Those who want “the rich” to pay for their college, or for their homes, or whatever else, are coveting.

Now we could say that “the rich” stole this money in the first place –and there’s actually a strong case to be made in this direction. But have we forgotten a fundamental ethical reality? Two wrongs don’t make a right. If someone steals something from you, the right answer is not to steal it back.

The right answer is to go back to basics. To enforce equality before the law. To accuse those who have stolen of the theft, and to prove it in a court of law.

Not to stand in the street and ask the government to use it’s power to “steal back” what you think was stolen from you. If the first theft makes the first man immoral and wrong, what does the second theft make the second man? And if it’s okay for you to covet what “the rich” have, and take it from them, then why wasn’t it right for them to covet what you have, and take it from you?

Or are we so embroiled in situational ethics now that it’s all about power rather than truth? If it’s all about power, then how does the individual man –the perpetual minority of one– ever have hope of obtaining justice?


The Higher Education Bubble Illustrated

One thing the “Occupy Wall Street” folks are protesting over is the amount of debt they must go in to for a college education. Has anyone ever thought about asking the colleges why this problem exists, rather than the folks on Wall Street? Or what about asking the folks in the Government, who have built an educational system that can effectively charge whatever it wants?

Could it be that for-profit colleges would do a better job of educating people for a lower price? Oh, isn’t that what our current government leaders are trying to shut down –for profit private colleges, and all schools other than public schools?

Why aren’t they protesting in Washington, I wonder? Because they’re counting on the government to solve their problems? Fat chance.

Graphic from NAS

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