Identity, Israel

The Rise in Israeli Anti-Semitism

The newest imported delicacy in Israel: anti-Semitism!
YNet reports:

Here is a phenomenon that none of the authorities in Israel want to deal with: Anti-Semitism by people who have come from the Soviet Union, and who use the word ‘Jew’ as a legitimate curse. Number of incidents is on the rise
“I was walking my dog in Tel Aviv. When I went to cross the street there was a drunk- looking man standing next to me. My dog got scared and started to bark at him. I apologized and continued walking. I suddenly felt someone push me and I fell on the floor. The drunken man pushed me to the ground, took the leash and started to choke the dog. He was screaming at me “Stinking Zhidovka! (A derogatory name for a Jew in Russian). You Jews destroyed Russia and disturb all the normal people living here”. (Ella Shapira, a Russian immigrant)
“Everyone sweeps the issue of anti-Semitism in Israel under the rug” says Zalman Glichevsky, the president of the organization. “There is a leading skinhead website, and I discovered that they have a discussion group which includes Russian speakers from Israel”. Glichevsky, who immigrated to Israel in the early nineties, began to investigate the matter. He put an ad in a newspaper for Russian speakers and appealed to anyone who had ever experienced anti-Semitism in Israel.
Russian immigrants beating Jewish immigrants
“To my surprise”, he tells, “I received hundreds of responses and I continue to receive them today….Shapira is angered by the comprehensive disregard of the problem. “This is a subject that no one likes or is afraid to speak of. For the workers in the Jewish Agency, bringing new immigrants to Israel is a good business, many people profit from it. But they are bringing people who have no connection to Judaism, and some who have been brought up to hate it. I often encounter these situations…a few weeks ago I went into a clothing store and the two saleswomen began to talk about me in Russian: ‘Here is a dirty Jew, she is going to touch everything and make it dirty.’ They were shocked when I answered them in Russian and explained to them that it is forbidden to speak that way”.

I fail to understand how any Israeli government agency can live with itself when converts are called for to be excluded from the Law of Return, but this comes in under the auspices of the same law. And even under the proposed changes, it still won’t alleviate this problem but perhaps even exacerbate it, as the new conditions, “alternatively”, call for Israeli citizenship to be offered to “relatives of Jews currently covered by the Law of Return.” (Granted, charedi leaders don’t back the proposed legislation, but still.)
Observant Ethiopian Jews who came to Israel — who by any other standards in Edut ha’Mizrach would be charedi — were told flatly that their lineage was not provably Jewish and that they would have to convert. Yet members of Nazi organizations are allowed to operate with no question in their status as Jews? Officials talk seriously about barring Ethiopian immigrants from even entering one town, but immigrants from Europe are given carte blanche? This can happen?
I can’t help but fault, at least partially, if not by commission then by omission, Tzafon Tel Aviv Ashkenazi elitism and ethnocentricity for allowing this to happen. I’m not generalizing — the majority of the perpetrators of anti-Semitic incidents within Israeli borders are “Russian-speaking youth”, some the “descendents of Jews” — were there an influx of “descendents of Jews” (70% of whom do not qualify as Jews under Jewish Law) from Arabic-speaking countries bringing with them Hamas mindsets, I highly doubt it would be tolerated to this point.
500 incidents in 2001? An increase in 2003? Authentic Jews have to go around gathering signatures of rabbis and re-converting (or re-marrying, or re-divorcing) — and there’s this?
I’m pissed off and this can not be tolerated in any capacity. There has yet to be any serious talk of reducing the unchecked immigration from Eastern Europe — in anywhere near the same capacity as it’s been spoken of for their Ethiopian or Indian counterparts. Other than racism, I fail to see why. I fail to see any more of a detrimental element the Jewish state could possibly contain. Nazi activity? Even if there’s “no chance” of them “gaining any power.”
If there’s any pressing issue that calls for the revamping of the Law of Return, it for damn sure is not some underpaid Thai worker.
It’s ha’Reich ha’Shlishi.

33 thoughts on “The Rise in Israeli Anti-Semitism

  1. “Only those immigrants from Eastern Europe of Jewish mother born shall be considered Jews for the purpose of this law.”? Should there be a moratorium on FSU immigration?
    I don’t know what the solution is, or even what a band-aid would be, but one thing is for sure — anti-convert legislation should be placed squarely into the circular file for now.

  2. Damn it Y-Love, why you have to twist the facts to win an arguement. Is it that important to you, that you sacrifice your character to get people to believe in your point of view?
    Converts are NOT excluded from immigrating to Israel. I know a family that converted and moved to Israel 2 weeks ago.
    You have to convert through the Israeli Rabbinate… and hundreds of people do it every year.
    The Israeli government made it that was INTENTIONALLY TO COMBAT THE ISSUE YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT like Israelis who hate Jews.
    You just bitch about the problem and the solution without proposing anything better.
    You’re acting like a child. Grow up.

  3. Wow, Y-Love. We fiiiinally agree on something 😉
    Just a cute little personal anecdote about Russian anti-semitism: I used to work for a small Russian “Jewish” family-run business where the “company officers” (as though it was Xerox or something…) spoke Russian to one another. When they spoke in English, I was a superhero. In Russian, who knows.
    One day, I was having it out with one of the “officers” and he gestured to me and called me a Zhidovka- which I didn’t understand. So I asked. Oh, they said, it’s a term of endearment!
    I got in a few of my own “endearments” on the day I packed my stuff and walked out before lunchtime…

  4. Is there no mechanism by which anti-Semites in Israel can be deported on the basis of their bigotry alone? Are there no hate-crime laws?

  5. Dude, WHAT?
    First of all, I do believe it is explicitly stated that one particular rabbi:

    …proposed in November changing the country’s immigration law so that converts to Judaism would no longer qualify for automatic citizenship.
    Under its “Law of Return,” the government grants automatic citizenship to anyone it deems Jewish…

    See also here, here, and here. Converts are being excluded from being defined as “Jews” for the Law of Return. This, in effect, equals being “excluded from the Law of Return”, because they are not “Jews” to “be returning.”
    I’m being juvenile? “Twist the facts”? The rav HIMSELF stated IN 2006:

    “This draft legislation proposes… that conversions…will no longer give the convert an automatic right to citizenship. Rather, the convert will be allowed to naturalize in accordance with objective criteria of citizenship.”

    i.e., the automatic right of citizenship guaranteed under the Law of Return. i.e., exclusion from the Law of Return.
    I would suggest putting your logic skills to use in a forum better suited for them. Like Battleship™.

  6. Excuse me – did the rav not say that “This draft legislation proposes… that conversions…will no longer give the convert an automatic right to citizenship. Rather, the convert will be allowed to naturalize in accordance with objective criteria of citizenship.” — in November 2006?

  7. You say is “converts are called for to be excluded”.
    Converts will not be excluded. Converts can make aliyah, after approval from the Israeli Rabinate.
    Its the same for everyone, whether they converted or not. I’m from South Africa… so the Israeli rabbinate would look at my mothers marriage certificate and they’d have the final say about approving me.
    I think its much better than the government, which will take anyone that pays taxes including; non-Jewish russians, asian workers, arabs and neo-nazis.

  8. Please. The problem is so minor, it doesn’t even deserve treatment. There are anti-hate laws in Israel and petty crimes are taken care of.
    Also, its a little hard to be an antisemite in a country where the majority culture is Jewish. Something like anti-christianity in the US. I just don’t see it happening.

  9. 2 years ago on the way to Beit HaKnesset on Erev Yom Kippur, some similar slime drive by, music blasting, honk at us, flip us off…
    Then there were the Jehovah’s Witnesses who came calling with their Russian and Hebrew versions of Watchtower.
    And their pork. And public drunkeness.
    Your tax shekels at work….Just so every Yom HaAtzmaut the census bureau can keep telling us that “Jews” are 80% of the population.

  10. Two points:
    First, I applaud Y-Love for calling Israeli leaders on their racism, but I sense an implicit reverse-racism (or ethnic bias) toward Russian and Eastern European Jews in his argument. And sadly, he didn’t mention the strong and very explicit anti-Russian bigotry that absolutely pervades Israeli culture. Then there is the flawed logical leap: Just because the majority of anti-Semitic incidents in Israel are perpetrated by “Russian-speaking youth,” as Y-Love points out (not sure if this is true, but I’ll accept it is for now), doesn’t mean that there is necessarily a particularly large number of “Russian-speaking youth” who are anti-Semitic, which is what he implies. The question isn’t how many anti-Semitic incidents were perpetrated by Russians, but how many Russians are involved in anti-Semitic incidents. If the latter number reflects a large percentage of the Russian emigre population, then yes, we have something statistically significant to talk about.
    The anti-Russian attitude that seems to be the unspoken assumption of Y-Love’s argument gets outright open and nasty in these comments above by Abu Daoud. “Similar slime “? References to “their pork …and public drunkeness”? Did anyone else find these comments disturbing? Y-Love: If you had any doubt that your argument contained an implicit anti-Russian attitude, even indirectly, I think Abu Daoud found it for you.
    Second, just because a prominent rabbi makes a proposal to change the rules on converts under the Law of Return doesn’t mean it will happen, or that there is widespread support for the proposal.

  11. And I just noticed yoseph leib’s comment, above: “it might be rough, when the government runs on money, which the russians have more of.” Imagine if someone had said precisely that about Jews in relation to American government policy. Think about it. The ease with with otherwise open-minded people bash Russians astounds me. Does Russia have a serious problem with anti-Semitism? Absolutely. Do Russian immigrants in Israel sometimes bring that cultural baggage with them? No doubt. But there is still no excuse for talking about an entire ethnic group this way.

  12. I gotta go with Gregg on this one, and say that it doesn’t just apply to Israel.
    In the aftermath of advocating for their liberation from the Soviet Union and welcoming Russian Jews to our country, I have witnessed what seems to be an almost pervasive prejudice against Russian Jews in America. Generalizing, stereotyping, criticizing differences without any understanding or respect for cultural context or the difficulty of adjusting to a new country, even after many years, and then resenting the material success that has been enjoyed by some Russian Jews after settling here.
    I think comedian Eugene Mirman really summed it up perfectly when he joked about his experience coming to America as a young Russian Jew. While he was referring to the larger context of being a Russian in American during the Cold War, his line really applies to how Russian Jews were frequently treated in our communities:
    “It’s so good to have you…….you Russian fuck.”
    It’s really sad, if you ask me. No doubt the issue of Anti-Semitism in Israel needs to be explored in such a way, but surely in the larger context of all racism in Israel.

  13. Examining this thread critically, Gregg brings up a very relevant point: exhibiting prejudice. However, I didn’t intend this in the piece. (And of course, I apologize to any Russian people who were offended. And I also couldn’t hold back a “damn!” when reading Abu Da’oud’s post.) In fact, this was more the angst of watching this happen while I and other converts step aside so “native born” “Jews” can do this.
    (And, “you can just convert under the Rabbanut” is also a slap in the face. And if we really have divorced “naturalization” from “returning based on Jewishness” totally, then this has ceased to be the “Law of Return”.)
    And BD, while yes, this is by no means taking place in a vacuum, let’s examine: most of the power in Israel is held by an Ashkenazi elite which stems from Eastern Europe. The children of these immigrants will quite often have a far easier time than their Mizrachi counterparts. (Big exception: wealthy Sephardim, bigger exception: Eastern European sex workers)
    And let’s not forget advocacy. Before there was Sha”s as we know it (and even this is not the best solution), various Mizrachi communities were struggling (most notably Temanim) — long into Yisra’el B’Aliya’s heyday. Ethiopians are right there now. Maximum need with minimum advocacy.

  14. Y-Love, this is the most interesting and good post I’ve read on Jewschool in a long time. Thanks for putting it on. I do NOT understand the kind of negative reaction I’m seeing. Unless hearing uncomfortable points about Ashkenazi racism (that being the main point of the article, not badmouthing Russian people) bothers anyone…? Hmmmm.

  15. gregg, yeah, thanks for calling me out on the anti-russian/anti-semetic stereotyping. I have been guilty of using stereotypes to describe social situations and problems, accusing communities of crimes communally, as if everyone was involved, and certainly crossing lines to denigrate perfectly righteous people, as has been done unto us.
    I’ve noticed myself, and the way I have used and continue to relate to stereotypes as if they are accurate descriptions of cultural priorities, somewhat carefully, and it’s a big issue: how does one talk about communities and their languages of engagement with the rest o the world without being racist? (or communalist, whatever– I’m not convinced that bigotry is as usually about contempt or fear of races as much as it is of/for tribes and cultures, fear of their unknown, misunderstood, or correctly understood priorities.)
    I find myself resorting back to, or forging, stereotypes about cultures whenever faced with patterns of behavior that I keep noticing, and certainly am open to the idea that I might just be projecting qualities unto peoples for the sake of verifying other assumptions in my life, sure. But still, Ethiopeans seem, genrally, culturally, across MY perceptual board, to be really sweet, humble, and friendly. I have had a bunch of Russian friends over the years who’s dad’s wer really mean/strict/demandin/forceful with them, and really have tended to assume that that was a Russian” cultural adaptation, one that has not as of yet been healed out of the culture nessesarily. I don’t think that I am wrong or stupid for noticing this way, I’d onll be an asshole if i’d insist on holding this against every Russian I ever dealt with, rather than carrying it as an alarm of “how do I eal with this person?”
    Because cultural wounds and traumas are part and parcel of the language of people, and denying what is clear to you about how any given community relates, thrives and/or fucks you over personally doesn’t heal nothing.
    I am really excited when people act unlike the stereotypes I would have of them, have picked up about people “like them” for the better, and kinda saddened when they act less than the positive stereotype I have of “their kind.” I’ have different stereotypes for all different kinds of Jews, usually very cynically related to the simple shabbos question of: will he/she want me over at their house to eat, even though they don’t know me yet? That’s pretty much my standard of Jewish Stereotyping. People who won’t, I consider worse people, even as much as I might not hold it too much against them, what with their fucked up cultural conditioning and all.
    But yeah, Israel, as one of it’s cynical virtue/faults, totally acknowledges race/tribal affiliation as a usefull way of Knowing How To Deal With You. If Israel was a righteous country, it would od thios with love and desire for good for all it’s people, but let’s be really honest with ourselves: why was it SO much easier fore a million Russian/Baltic imigrants to come here than a few hundred thousand Africans? Maybe because the movements, the cultural associations, familiarity—
    none of which tend to have much social impact in Israeli politics nessesarily. Only money and connections move those wheels. So I would have to assume that that was a big factor in the Russian Aliya one a big heap gentile Russians into Israel, recieved with welcome arms, and alot more accomodation than the unwealthy Niggers tend to get.
    But, I could be worng. There is a fair amount of social organizational help that Third world Yidden get, yeah? It really is easy to come to Israel poor? I remember reading stories in Yaated Neeman when I was little that describe Old Grandfathers of European families in Europe or in America after the war who weren’t given visa’s to come to Isrel because it as feared that they’d be a drain on the economy. How has it worked historically, and how does it work now?
    My main point was that wealthy people have an easier time with arranging what they want, usually, esp. in Israel, and if a population is getting more leeway, it implies that they’re wealthier.
    which could well be true about the Jews sometimes, in some places. Alot of those anti-semites could very well be, so to speak, right on the money. untrue?

  16. I spent many years growing up in a neighborhood that was 80 per cent Russian (and by that we can include Ukrainians, Georgians, Bukharis and all the rest of those Russian speakers.)
    Is there room for admitting that some stereotypes are based on reality?
    I’ll never forget the time a group of my neighbors beat my cat to death with sticks. They were all Russian and all drunk, and it wasn’t the first pet to meet its fate that way on my block. Fuckers.
    I wish that Israel had merely ‘allowed’ Russians to make aliya rather than encourage it, and use precious resources to promote social justice between groups that were standing in line, waiting for their turn: mizrachim and Arabs.

  17. JG, just so you know. Russian JEWS oftentimes use the deragory word “zhid” or “zhidovka” as a term of endearement between themselves, much like in the African American community the n-word is used. So dont freak out everytime u hear that word.
    Yoseph, as much as I love you man, I’m taken aback by some things you’re writng here: “I am really excited when people act unlike the stereotypes I would have of them” – that sounds like a polite version of something i was once told back in the old country: “You’re such a normal person, so not like other Jews.” How would u like hearing something like that? There’s NO TRUTH in stereotypes whatsoever. Stereotype is a collection of all the narrowest, worst derogatory facts joined and projected unto each single person of the stereotyped group. Not only that, stereotyping kills the most marginal elements, blurrs their precious existence to the eyes of the outsiders. And kills is the right word for it. I strongly believe each individual must be taken for his/her own worth. Fck the assumptions.

  18. You know, Jake is totally right. I ran into him at Starbucks the other day and I was like, “zhigga wha”? I thought he was confused because the russian specialty food store is right next to the starbucks and you know, perhaps he had been hitting the “wodka” a little early and he needed help getting where he needed to go to stock up on kvas and matjes herring. but when he told me, no, he was just getting his latte like every other hip kid in the neighborhood BOY WAS I RELIEVED because, as my heart soared at the realization, as dangerous as he might appear at first, he was *just like me*. tenks got. now if only they could all be like that…

  19. darn, i feel like i shouldn’t comment again, but i had a serious, non-facetious thought. talking about issues of race and class and ethnicity in israel is incredibly difficult because unlike in the US, where the ‘melting pot’ model at least gives lip service to the fact that everyone being integrated into the larger whole is in fact quite different, in Israel, there is the underlying idea that we have more in common, the eternal covenant?, than that which separates us. the whole damn state is premised on the idea that there is something powerful which we all hold in common. in that way, it’s kinda like france, where differences in race are almost never officially acknowledged, because those differences don’t exist, as everyone is french, period. course, the problems are real, it’s just so much harder to talk about when you’re bumping up against all that powerful mythology…

  20. Yoseph leib – I loved your post. I disagreed with some of it, but I respect people being open about their own prejudices, uncertainties and struggles. I know I certainly don’t I have all the answers on how to navigate stereotypes, so I’m working on this too. Jake’s comments, though, make it all sound too easy. Of course we’d all like to judge and interact with every person we meet as an individual, but that’s really tough to do in practice. And in any case, I’m not sure I believe that stereotypes are always entirely false.
    But all of this is getting away a bit from the main points of Y-Love’s post, which are:
    1) Is there a serious problem with anti-Semitic violence in Israel?
    2) Are non-white immigrants in Israel held to a different standard?
    3) What should the Israeli government do about all this?
    In response to all three, I’d say that the challenges Russians face in Israel are made much worse by anti-Russian bias, but yes, anti-Russian bias pales in comparison to anti-Ethiopian bias or anti-Asian bias. Tomer Heymann’s incredible film Paper Dolls sheds a lot of light on the latter. For young Russian immigrants, taking on anti-Semitic and even Nazi language or symbols is an extreme way of acting out in a hostile environment (they know damn well it will get a response!). That doesn’t justify it, but I think it helps to focus on what’s really going on rather than to start talking supportively about an anti-immigrant backlash. Just think how destructive anti-immigrant rhetoric has been in the U.S., France, Holland, etc. Do we really want to encourage that kind of talk in Israel about any group of people? I’d much rather try to work with Russian community organizations, immigrant aid NGOs, schools, etc. and combat the conditions that are driving the nihilist and anti-social tendencies that ultimately lead to violence. If we’re going to champion justice for immigrants in Israel it has to be for all immigrants: Russian, Ethiopian, Thai, Sephardic, etc.

  21. Well, “immigration” and “returning” are two different things — which some of the rabbinate would like to equate.
    “Immigration” is something that non-Jews do to Israel, “returning” is what Jews do. To say that religious Ethiopian Jews (practicing Judaism, beta Israel) and chutz la’aretz converts are “immigrating” (what was the word “objective standards of naturalization”) and that these Nazis “returned” just feels like a patch in punim.

  22. matjes herring? that’s CLEARLY the herring of an inferior race! (kidding!)
    are all stereotypes negative? Remember the Chris Rock on SNL weekend update years ago, where he bemoans the way Blacks have worse stereotypes about them than other people, notably jews? “man, I wish there was a stereotype that blacks were really good at making money! If I was Jewish, and people assumed I was good at handling money, i’d say “great! that’s wonderful!” But that’s not the first thing people think when they see a black man! they think: oh no— I’m gonna get robbed!” (I’m paraphrasing.)
    No disrespect Jake, no one makes me wish i was Russian more than you, and maybe dostoyevsky… and maybe all the supercool Russian trance parties in brighton beach that I keep missing. But are all stereotypes bad? My afformentioned stereotype of Ethiopeans is downright utopian! Anyway, If a culture has certain values and priorities, why wouldn’t you expect someone who grew up in it to at least be dealing with those values, and at worst totally oblivious to how enmired in them they are?
    It’s stupid to assume that for sure, this Irish man will lie and try to cheat me no matter what because he’s Irish, but to suspect that he might be more prone too after the last four guys that talked me out of me last shiny nickel were all Irishmen, then I might get a little cautious about THOSE PEOPLE.
    And this totally applies to Jews. I don’t think it’s righteous of Jews to get offended by Jewish stereotypes, it might be more righteous to ask the person they meet stereotyping where they got that idea from, and then they might hear something interesting. I hear alot of positive Jewish stereotypes in the dominican and Mexican ghettoes along with the negative ones, and y’know what? they’re not stereotypes based on literary or mythic villainizations, they’re based on simple, working people’s experiences of both awe and hurt from this pretty, as far they keep experiencing (and, if I’m going to be honest, as I keep experiencing ) wealthy and self concerned community of sweet, funny, familial and communally selfish people. You can talk for hours to any of them about how racist and wrong it is to have such panoramic assumptions or conceptions, and all that will do is make them wonder why you’re trying to make them not notice the simple, not nessesarily all that threatening, information that just kinda struck them as true.
    Which might be a bigger problem. Stereotyping is a very traditional folkish way of getting a sense of what another group of people is like. Smarter folk recognize the exceptions to the rule, and the fluid nature of the rule, but all the folk in the village have been using it for a long time, and it’s not just born out of lies: different communities really do have different communal priorities. And the less trustable communities are the ones trying to keep what they’re really about secret, from others, and often even from themselves. know what I mean?
    Ideally, a community will take responsibility for it’s own sickness, and the Russians can work out internally, “hey, why do alot of our fathers scream at us so cruelly to do well in school?” But, when the problem leaks out, and the local thugs start beating/raping/robbing other people’s sisters, there’s only so much that any given population, unless totally surrendered to healing the poor bastards in a Christic/Buddhist kind of love situation, will tolerate before some kinda, if not pogrom, at least bad reputation and cautious hostility starts to form in response. And I am not inclined to hold it against a mob to want to defend itself.

  23. Jake, p.s., For sure, for sure, all individuals have to loved and appreciated on their own for who they are, independant of their parents or tribe— buuuut, it’s hard to speak with someone at all, to understand or be understood, unless you and them are speaking a common language. If Oscar the Grouch comes from Grouchville, then I won’t take it as personally when he’s a grouch to me, I won’t be worrie that he’ll turn violent or suicidal or something, because That’s Just The Way They Talk in Grouchville.
    The way Sesame Street related to stereotyping and tribalism was very interesting to me: everyone’s weird trip was a little understood in the context of where they were all coming from.
    Judaism, in practice, is very aware of stereotyping, and halacha just does it’s best to try to get us to be stereotyped Good as opposed to Evil. I remember whenever our Day School would take us on trips to Gentile cities to sports museums or whatever, how much they’d emphasise the conduct of behavior we were to conform to, including asurd things like tucked in shirts and no headphones, because “these people have never seen jews before!” and apparently it’s really bad to be considered an unkempt, slovenly people.

  24. What an interesting and important argument, and how lovely that it is being conducted respectfully, even if it may have strayed from the original concern.
    What strikes me the most about Yoseph’s initial comment is this: we ALL have prejudices, stereotypes, etc….embedded within us about ourselves and others, whether we are willing to deal with them or admit to them. How they affect they way we perceive people runs along a spectrum, of course, and being able to deal with them critically, objectively and intellectually, is really important. For example, I have been known, among my friends, to make certain criticisms of Orthodox Judaism/Orthodoxy in terms of the community/culture that will be phrased as both stereotype/generaliztion. Such statements have usually been based on my own experiences within such communities, and I will usually make the effort to phrase it as such, in terms of discrete anecdotal what have you. But it may not be stated that I have also had positive loving experiences and feelings towards such expressions of Judaism that will not emerge from my thinking at that time, even though this is the case, as well as the fact that I am completely self-aware about the fact that the generalizations I am making OBVIOUSLY do not apply to people across the board.
    I know I’m rambling, but it goes without saying that no community is monolithic, and neither are the behaviors and values of its members. But what is most important to me is to address the notion of cultural baggage, and the same values and behaviors that may arise out of certain circumstumstances for a group of people who exist in a certain context, and how such behaviors are viewed and interpreted when such groups must move to an entirely new context en masse. Obviously, everyone will not behave the same way, but the very nature of culture tells us that there will be things in common. And people in the new context will have their own responses to this cultural baggage that will generally result in generaliztions and potentially prejudices.
    When I think about it this way (since I think what I’ve written only makes sense to me), it seems to be that this is one of the issues with Israel, a country of perpetual immigration, culture shock, and impossible adaptations, generalizations and again, prejudices.
    I guess what I meant to say was that I appreciated Yoseph’s candor in seeking to understand his own practice of stereotyping. What struck me most about it was the fact that more than anything, it seemed motivated by a desire to understand people. The problem with stereotyping is not in the way Yoseph was talking about it, but when people mix such thinking with fear and hatred.
    Sorry about this. Y-Love brought a important issue to the forefront, and I think that it really does warrant serious and continued discussion. I honestly have no idea if anything I’ve just written is relevant to that issue, but some ideas just came out of my head, and I felt that I had to write them somewhere, since my Hello Kitty Dear Diary is sitting under my bed at home.

  25. PS: I don’t just criticize and generalize Orthodoxy. I pretty much do it to the entire Jewish community.
    Also, it’s critical to acknowledge, as they say in Avenue Q:
    “Everyone’s a little bit racist.”

  26. “The problem with stereotyping is not in the way Yoseph was talking about it, but when people mix such thinking with fear and hatred.”
    Say word. or, when they rely on stereotypes long past their expiration date, or in order to justify some crime on their own part against someone, usually having to do with the superioir suitability of Their race or group for some work that I don’t want to have to do. that’s bad too, and historically a popular use of SteeTyping.

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