Jew/Jews

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Gustav, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps but its not the structure ofr power that concerns us here. Or if it does, it still holds to the same criteria. Does Tzipi Livni view Jews as a demographic threat the way she does "Palestinian residents of Israel" whose "national aspirations lie elsewhere"? Is she speaking as an Israeli or a Jew [or rather is there a difference between the two]?
     
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  3. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    I refuse to let Sam wander off from this one. How is Hamas unislamic for having been elected? Or, is Sam expressing a desire for the separation of religion from politics?

    (I'm sure Tiassa will be by any second now to label me dishonest. Good on him! Dangerous characters like me need to be controlled.)
     
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  5. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know her degree of dupeness. There are people in government posts who, despite nearness to the 'goings on' fail to notice. They are used also. I don't really care what this person thinks or pretends to think in the public eye.

    I can see why you may want to carry on with the pretense that the government of Israel represents Jews, but I see this as part of the problem. A problematic view you share with many Israeli Jews, and of course Palestinians and others.

    I don't think it makes sense to think of Bush as a Christian, or Obama. Or that they represent Americans. It is especially important for Americans to notice this is true ABOUT BOTH OF THEM. But also important for people elsewhere to notice this. The same goes for Israels' gov. And I can't say I have more faith in Hamas or the Saudi government or Castro, though maybe if they'd left the last alone.

    And maybe other maybes would make something different. But so what.

    You are reinforcing the notion that Jews are represented. I doubt they will pay attention to this, but if they do, it is a bad thing.

    This illusion, in relation to countries in general, is one of the main ones killing us.

    An overlapping one is the illusion that nation states exist.
     
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    In the beginning when Israel openly funded madrassas and released Ahmed Yassin [whom they later assassinated] to create an Islamist group, I think much of Hamas came from groups energised by the mosque communities and did refer to themselves as Islamic. Nowadays when much of Hamas constitutes post graduates from American/European/Chinese universities they don't.
     
  8. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    I took her to mean something like it would be strange to refer to the Republicans as a Christian group. Or the democrats, for that matter. I mean, I agree with you. But I also agree with her.

    I'm afraid I am not up to speed on all the dynamics.
     
  9. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Their aspirations are similar. I wouldn't say that their university training necessarily dictates their internal memes.
     
  10. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    I don't follow the 'logic' of that last part, but for all I know it is their 'logic'. You could certainly be Muslim and have gone to those universities. You could certainly have a Muslim group with leaders from those places - I somehow doubt this is a large % of their demographic or they were hardly democratically elected.

    but this is a tangent.

    What would you lose if you stopped pretending governments represent people and that nation states still exist?
     
  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Why? because its a stretch to think that the occupied would support the fighters rather than the collaborators? Or that people might change their minds with education and exposure to other political and social systems?

    Not sure where you're coming from here, but I still believe in the power of people to effect change in their society.
     
  12. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Are you thinking that corporate entities matter more? Hmm. I can see your point here. But they're still kinda small, aren't they? They strike me as the hundred or so little feudalities of Germany up to the mid 1800s, with their varied abilities, positioning and power. Yet, for the little guy, they're almost worse than some bloody mega-entity. Anyone stop to make a comparison of corporate net income and that of nation-states? I'd like to see that, if I could be permitted to live for viewing it.
     
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    * * * * NOTE FROM THE MODERATOR * * * *

    Geeze, I take a day off from the internet and my board has been taken over by politics!

    I don't mind discussions rambling a little bit off topic, into science, humor, history or personal issues. But please take the politics to the Politics board. I'm not going to spend half an hour editing and deleting posts because you all have miraculously managed to keep the discourse civil. But from this point forward please stay on topic, and the topic is the use and connotations of various words for Jewish people and their culture. Obviously history plays a legitimate role in this topic, but current events generally do not.
    Speaking as a man with many Jewish ancestors and even more in-laws, I can assure you that the word "Jew" is virtually devoid of any stigma in the 21st-century USA, notwithstanding the quaint but somewhat out-of-date opinion cited in the O.P. There are many ways a person can qualify as "Jewish" depending on the focus of the conversation. "Jew" is a perfectly acceptable shorthand term to mean all of them inclusively or any of them vaguely.
    • People who practice the Jewish religion are Jewish. That includes Sammy Davis Jr., an African-American convert.
    • People who are born and raised in the Jewish community, identify with it and adhere to a few key Jewish cultural traditions such as Passover are Jewish. That includes a lot of atheists, as well as many people who outmarry and whose children are raised in a different religion by their spouse.
    • People who have matrilineal Jewish ancestry are Jewish and qualify for automatic Israeli citizenship. That includes some people who were raised outside the community and have no religious heritage.
    • People who have one-fourth Jewish "blood" were Jewish under the rules of Nazi Germany and were sent to death camps. That included a lot of people who did not qualify under the first three definitions.
    That said, in response to the specific wording of the O.P., "Jews" is a satisfactory name for the Jewish people of the Diaspora, as well as those who migrated to Israel. But as others have pointed out in this thread, it's not such a good name for the people of Israel, since many Israeli citizens are not Jewish by ancestry, religion or culture. If you really want to distinguish the Jewish people of Israel from the others, Israeli Jews is the way to say it. Otherwise Israelis means all citizens of the modern state, and Jews means all people on this planet who qualify as Jewish under one or more of the definitions (depending on context) that I noted earlier.

    "Israelite" refers to the members of the tribes of Israel during the biblical era, i.e., the Jews of antiquity. "Hebrew" is sometimes used by Christians to identify a person who is of Jewish ancestry but does not practice the religion, or especially one who is a Christian. It's also used by anthropologists and linguists to identify the ancestors of the Jewish ethnic group before the Jewish religion was founded. Since, due to lack of evidence one way or the other, it is possible that the founding of the religion was the catalyst that divided the Canaanite people into the two populations who became the ancestors of the Jews and the ancestors of the Palestinians, I prefer to just call them all Canaanites and limit "Hebrew" to the ancient and modern versions of the language.
    Yes, and even though you clearly had no "malicious racist intent" when you wrote that sentence, I assure you that it will cause every anglophone who reads it to gasp. Even in jest, even on the Linguistics board.
    Of course I defer to anyone else's experience, but in more than 60 years I have never encountered a situation in which a Jewish person (by any definition) objected to the use of the word by anybody.
    I've lost track of your context, but for the record, in those quaint places like the halls of government where people are tracked according to the color of their skin, Jews are counted as "white." All the Semitic peoples--Jews, Arabs, Palestinians, Lebanese, Assyrians, Ethiopians--are "Caucasian" in the old paradigm. (I am impatient for the dawn of the era Haile Selassie described, when "the color of a man's skin is no more important than the color of his eyes.")

    During America's shameful past, some Jewish Americans owned African slaves.
     
  14. mike47 Banned Banned

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    There are Muslims, Christinians and Jews living in Palestine .
    Are we supposed to add the atheists, the homosexuals.....etc too??!!.
     
  15. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Er...well, why not?
     
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I don't understand why you listed homosexuals since that's not a religion. This is the Linguistics board so I enforce parallel construction.

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    But the point she's making is that there is a significant Christian enclave within the Palestinian community. When you say "Palestinians" you are perforce including them so you can't make sweeping generalizations that only apply to the majority Palestinian Muslims. The same is true of the word "Israeli." The Israeli citizenry includes a large population of Arabs and Palestinians that is primarily Muslim but also includes Christians.

    Unfortunately the editors of the news media are not as rigorous as I am. They allow "Israeli" to be used to mean only Israeli Jews. I'm not sure I can level the same criticism at their tolerance of the word "Palestinian," since these days the issues that concern the Palestinians seem to apply equally to the Christians and Muslims among them.
     
  17. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    Fraggle is correct about my point.

    SAM,

    I had a long response, but FR correctly deleted it since it is offtopic, but I will say this and hopefull he'll let this piece slide.

    You say A entails B (period).
    I say not necessarily.
    You come back and say Oh, so you don't think B can follow A.
    That was slimy arguing.
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I call it "disingenuous." Pretending to be just dumb enough that you can mislead people but not so dumb that they doubt you. That's not really a perfect definition of the word but I see it used that way often and I can't find a better one. Perhaps there isn't one, and that's why other people use it this way too.
     
  19. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Isn't that frustrating? I've been coming up against concepts sometimes that I want to describe in a succinct phrase but which elude easy description. I'm sure the Germans have something for them.
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Perhaps, but "succinct" is not a word to describe anything German. You'd do better in Chinese.
     
  21. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    But the concepts are succinct, IMHO. What other sort of madmen would create a word like schadenfreude?

    Chinese? Possibly so; I couldn't honestly say.
     
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Chinese for "movie" is dian ying, "electric shadows," a relic of celluloid technology. "Locomotive" is huo che, "smoky vehicle," a relic of steam technology.
     
  23. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm. Interesting. But how about Weltanschung or doppelganger?
     

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