About Kesher Talk

  • "Kesher" means "connection" in Hebrew. The banner image is the mosaic floor of a 6th c. synagogue in Jericho, showing a menorah flanked by a shofar and lulav; the inscription reads "Shalom Al Yisrael." (This synagogue was destroyed by Arab vandals a few years ago. The condition of the mosaic floor is unknown.)
  • Contributors:
  • Judith Weiss
  • Van Wallach

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December 22, 2004

I know you're a racist aparthied state, but what am I? Revisited.

Would-be-outraged-to-be-called-a-self-hating-Jew Tony Judt is back in the news with another attempt to delegitimize Israel. (The rebuttals are beginning.)

Last fall Judt tried this and got serious egg on his face. Kesher Talk followed (and helped fan) the controversy here, here and here. Judt responded to several of his critics here. (Another rebuttal I just discovered here.)

The Judt essay inspired "Judt and Judtism," an extended meditation on the tension between universalism and particularism, by one E. A. Remler, which I expanded on with links to related essays. I think this tension is at the root of challenges to Israel's nationhood. This challenge could be issued to any nation-state founded on an ethnic particularity, but - as is usual in the "international community" - Israel is made the test case so none of the critics have to confront the issue.

The legitimacy of tribalism, ethnic loyalty, and multiculturalism are hotly disputed in the blogosphere, since most now associate them with excusing Islamofascism, and believe that the antidote is a bland universalism. These critics assume that ethnic particularism necessarily leads to ethnic strife, ignoring all the groups which co-exist peacefully with each other. Ethnicity doesn't lead to conflict. The particular teachings and attitudes of certain ethnicities lead to conflict. Other ethnicities don't share those attitudes. We have a responsibility to examine each group on its own merits. The Tibetans and the Palestinians have two very different approaches to being displaced. Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: More rebuttals and discussion from the keen commenters at Roger Simon.

Judith | 12/22/04 at 11:36 AM | Categories: - Antisemitism watch

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Dear Judith-

Visiting Kesher Talk tonight, I was suprised and happy to see you refer yet again to my essay 'Judt and Juditism'. But you always introduce me with a phrase such as ' don't know who this guy is, but..', or 'one'. So let me introduce myself. Until my recent retirement, I was Prof. of Physics at the College of William and Mary, and I have been contributing to IsraPundit for about two years (although not in recent months, for purely personal reasons). The essay concerning Judt may no longer be available at its listed URL because Israpundit recently lost its archives, but for any one interested, it can be found via my website at edremler.net, along with a selection of other non-professional papers of general interest.
Best Wishes
ed remler

Anonymous | December 22, 2004 06:47 PM

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