Hey, I’m MaNishtana, and as I sign into my Facebook newsfeed I discover that Israel has pulled their whole “Dont marry those evil American Jews” campaign.
For those not in the know, last week the Israeli government launched an ad campaign, sponsored by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that “warn” Israelis that they will lose their national identities if they marry American Jews.
One video shows the horrified faces of Israeli grandparents as their granddaughter identifies a menorah as being representative of Christmas. A second shows a clueless American boyfriend thinking that the music and candles in the apartment he shares with his Israeli girlfriend are for a romantic evening, not in remembrance of Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s day of mourning. A third shows a young child addressing his father as “Daddy” instead of the Hebrew “Aba”. You can find two of the videos below (presuming, of course, that they haven’t been removed by the time you read this.)
Now, I find these videos, and the outrage that has arisen from them on the U.S. side, quite amusing.
Firstly, I really don’t get the political mindset of the majority of American Jews. For those who don’t realize it yet, us American Jews? We don’t live in Israel. So why American Jews constantly base their electoral choice of president of the country that they DO live in based on his policies of the foreign country they DONT live in has always baffled me. The only concern really, should be if a presidential candidate intends to maltreat the Jews in the country that HE IS ACTUALLY BEING ELECTED TO BE PRESIDENT OF.
Do Hispanics vote on presidents based on their policies on Mexico or the Dominican Republic? Do African-Americans base their votes on the contingent that a president provide constant aid to Rwanda? So why, Jews, is it a mitigating factor that to the detriment of the country that, again, YOU ACTUALLY LIVE IN [i.e., two terms of Bush, Jr.], that you choose a president based on his involvement in a country that YOU DO NOT??
Ah, what’s that? Because they’re our brethren, you say? Well I suppose that’s because we’re all Jews, no?
So then, if we’re all Jews, what is this amorphous “Israeli identity” that children will seem to be losing? For me it doesn’t really seem to be anything beyond the ability to speak Hebrew. Religion isn’t really a factor. There’s plenty of Israelis who are completely secular and have never even looked at America on a map. Chanukah isn’t any more of a religious holiday to the average Israeli than Xmas is to the average American, so it’s clearly not religious outrage that the grandparents in that one video are showing. Hell, as everyone keeps spouting at the top of their lungs, the State of Israel is a SECULAR country. For all intents and purposes, Israeli culture is pretty much just American culture in Hebrew, plus missiles and a lot more hummus. Non-kosher food? Porn industry? Club life? Large secular population? Religious fanatics? Vehement anti-religionists? Warfare culture? Emphasis on Holocaust remembrance? Islamophobia? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, and check.
So what exactly are Israelis “losing” here in America that marrying American Jews is such a huge factor of? Nothing that I can really see. Then again, I’m American. Which means I’m prone to mistake Yizkor candles for romantic tealights. More importantly, why are American Jews surprised? If you don’t particularly have any sort of respect/allegiance to the country you live in, do you really expect other people to have respect for YOU? [See: the concept of an enemy army welcoming a defector/traitor into their ranks].
Also, like you keep harping on, Israel is a SECULAR country, remember? Secular countries are known for two things:
2-Telling Jews to bend over and grab their ankles.
So color me surprised.
I think the most humorous part of all of this is the severe feeling of “BURN!” that American Jews are feeling, that after all the rallies outside of the UN, and Jewish-American politicians who chide American foreign policy vis a vis Israel, and aid organizations, and tons and tons of military aid and warfare involvement, and presidential voting choices, that Israel essentially just said:
“Hey thanks for all the money and support and outrage at the leaders of the country that you live in and the influence that you exert on your foreign policy where Israel is concerned even though it essentially has no bearing on your life in America, and please make sure to keep it coming. Just don’t marry our daughters you filthy Jews.”