Mega Mishegaas

I’ve got a lot of blogging to make up for, so here’s a treasure trove of must-reads from the past month… It’d be interesting to know how many of them you’ve seen before.

Filed under Mishegaas

6 Responses to “Mega Mishegaas”

  1. I think the saddest part of Klein’s speech is that some of the congregants took him seriously, believed all of those points (about Muslims and Jerusalem, Palestine, etc). I’ve only been back in town since yesterday, and I’m already trying to convince some of them that there wasn’t, oh, what’s the word…? truth to what Klein said.


    feygele · July 3rd, 2007 at 8:44 am
  2. Make all Chuck Norris facts come true (well, not quite all of them – I’m a happily, married man!)

    Only if all the WorldNet stuff was funny…


    POLJ · July 3rd, 2007 at 11:24 am
  3. feygele -

    how do you respond (other than ad hominems against the author) to Daniel Pipes’ well-researched article on the (non-)centrality of Jerusalem to Islam?

    www.danielpipes.org/article/84

    I’m not picking a fight; I seriously want to hear some responses to the idea that Jerusalem’s importance to Muslims has pretty much been directly proportional (and responsive) to its importance to Jews and Chrstians over the centuries.

    (And yes I DO think it’s a relevant debate; just because the “facts on the ground” today are such that Jerusalem IS important to Muslims does not diminish the importance of asking “why?” from a historical perspective.)


    rootlesscosmo · July 3rd, 2007 at 3:02 pm
  4. I’m not picking a fight; I seriously want to hear some responses to the idea that Jerusalem’s importance to Muslims has pretty much been directly proportional (and responsive) to its importance to Jews and Chrstians over the centuries.

    (And yes I DO think it’s a relevant debate; just because the “facts on the ground” today are such that Jerusalem IS important to Muslims does not diminish the importance of asking “why?” from a historical perspective.)

    I believe that Jerusalem’s importance to Muslims probably was originally responsive to the city’s importance to Jews and Christians. It simply makes sense that “Al Aqsa” (a placename mentioned in the Koran but–to my understanding–not previously associated with Jerusalem) would later be assigned to Jerusalem because it was already known as a spiritually and strategically powerful city to various peoples.

    But I also believe that Jerusalem probably became important to us because it was important (spiritually, strategically, etc.) to somebody else before us (Canaanites? Jebusites?). And some of them may have been ancestors of today’s Palestinians.

    The fact is that to my knowledge, “Jerusalem” (“Yerushalayim” or “Al Quds”) isn’t mentioned in the Koran or the Torah. In both religions it was chosen to be a holy city well into the game. And in both religions it is undoubtedly a holy city today.

    While ‘asking “why?” from a historical perspective’ is a perfectly valid academic exercise, it isn’t relevant to today’s Jewish/Arab conflict. Nobody will ever win that conflict with the “we were here first” argument. And nobody will ever win that conflict with the “our-religion-as-we-believe-it-today is better than your-religion-as-you-believe-it-today” argument, either. Going around trying to discredit another people’s religion or nationhood is simply poor form–especially when similar arguments can be made about our own religion and nationhood.

    The “facts on the ground” are indeed that Jerusalem today is a holy city to both Jews and Muslims (and Christians). And both the Israelis and the Palestinians view themselves as nations. The conflict will be solved either by us learning to live together, or by one group absolutely triumphing over the other(s). Personally, I’d prefer the former solution, no matter how far-fetched it may seem.

    I don’t have a problem with people using theories about the origins of “Al Aqsa” and “Palestine” to help construct a historical narrative, but if it’s not coupled with honest theories about our own history, then it becomes propaganda, not relevant debate.


    themicah · July 3rd, 2007 at 5:42 pm
  5. themicah wrote,

    “Nobody will ever win that conflict with the ‘we were here first’ argument.”

    Well, it’s kind of relevant when many on the Islamic side claim we weren’t there at all, and also since the temple mount in Jerusalem was chosen for building of its mosque because of a desire to state Islamic supercessionism towards Judaism.

    It may not be useful in terms of debate with Muslims, but it may be important in other discussions (say, with believing Christians), and certainly internally within the Jewish community.

    Which isn’t to say that means we get the Temple Mount. Maybe they get the Temple Mount. But it still may be relevant indeed.


    DK · July 4th, 2007 at 1:13 pm
  6. Some of the same people who say that there’s no such thing as Palestinians will speak of the suffering of the Kurds under Saddam. Excuse me, but there has never been a country called Kurdistan either, so they aren’t a real people. While I fervently support a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, I don’t believe we our served well by putting forth weak arguments such as that.


    Adam · July 4th, 2007 at 10:32 pm

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik