Most pathetic post I've read in a while, and that's saying quite a bit.
Is puma the new jew - a people persecuted for their beliefs, and eventually for their failure to fall in line, and follow the chosen one?
Now, I am not saying that PUMAS have been subjected to the horrors of the holocaust, or the years and years of persecution, but I thought it was a snappy intro that might grab your attention.
I started this post with the intent of trying to better understand the current Israel/Hamas conflict, by creating *what if’s*. I thought if I brought the concepts *home* I might be able to better understand the anger and outrage coming from both sides. The process, and research led me to thinking about the hate directed towards one group for holding beliefs different than the majority, which brings me to the comment, *is puma the new jew*.
""You know, I had to work through lunch for the third day in a row. And then when I got home, the takeout place was all out of my favorite cashew chicken AND the hot and sour soup, and my roommate finished all the milk so I couldn't even have mac n cheese, and the grocery store was already closed, and I realized...I now have a bit of understanding what the Irish potato famine was like. I mean, I haven't had any potatoes in WEEKS. Not even a french fry. Now, I'm not saying I've been subjected to the horrors of mass starvation unto the point of genocide, but, well, it's as close as I'm ever going to get, and I can now speculate, based on my feelings of irritation and tummy rumbling, what it -might- be like to starve to death along with my entire family and country, and that led me to more thinky thoughts, isn't that -fascinating?- Damn, I'm getting deep."
And no, Empathy Einstein, Jews have not been solely persecuted for -beliefs-; do you know anything about history whatsoever? The Holocaust? Conversion wasn't an option at that point. To begin with.
I say this as a comfortably assimilated third-to-fourth generation Jewish-American who in no way would appropriate the persecutions of my ancestors and/or distant relatives as my own, nor would attempt to use them as a way of excusing the horror currently going on in Gaza. Commentary on which I have been steadfastly avoiding for a number of reasons. All I will say is that if you truly can't understand why anyone in Palestine, at least, would have a problem with Israel, unless it maybe has to do with garsh Muslims don't tolerate Jewish -beliefs-, that -must- be it, then you are beyond hopeless. At least, -I- can't think of a clue phone that'd ring loud enough. Maybe someone can. Me, I'm just sitting here with the popcorn, as so often.
Oh, I liked this bit too:
To bring Judaism into modern times, the last 2000 years, Jews rejected Jesus as the son of God, which was a major turning point in western history. Jesus was a major game changer in our history. The acceptance of Jesus changed things politically and religiously.
Personally, I see this more so in a political arena, than a religious one, of the Jewish elders reluctance to Jesus as the son of God. I think they saw him as gaining a huge following, and gaining strength as a leader. Perhaps they just didn’t believe him, or what he claimed, or perhaps they were afraid of losing power. But Jesus arrived at a time ripe for change. He had garnered a huge following. Some people chose to believe he was *The Chosen One*, the Savior, the Holy One, and others didn’t. Jesus was a Jew, so he wasn’t some stranger from a strange land. He was one of them. But he divided the *party*. Those who followed him, and those who didn’t, whatever the reasons.
But, whatever the reason, they did not accept that Jesus was the savior. They didn’t believe or accept that he was The Chosen One, or sent down from God, as his son, and they have paid for their beliefs ever since.
-tucks tongue into cheek, hard-
I mean, I'd never be able to tell that the author was at least raised Christian, here. Because this in no way is redolent of all kinds of erm narratives that are only familiar to me from the general culture, decidedly -not- from my family or anyone else who's actually Jewish, at least, that -I've- ever encountered. Yes, it's now divorced from actual theology, -apparently-, but, well. No. Really. No.
"Jews rejected the Savior, and they've been paying for it ever since. Still, they -are- the Chosen People, and Israel plays an important role in eschatology, and the Muslims, well, they're just plain -bad-, so let's appropriate all the most poor-persecuted-us-because-we're-Speshul bits of the Old Testament narrative for ourselves; along with the Holocaust, of course, which is now available to pretty much everyone who feels put-upon anyway; it'll all go nicely with the already-headdesky narrative of 'we're being specially singled out and put up on the cross because we're the only ones who speak TEH TROOF.'"
Certainly none of this has anything to do with tribalism/racism, much less nationalism, or specifically what happens to ethnic groups who don't have a country of their own; and this in turn has nothing to do with why Israel was created in the first place, or why Palestinians might be just a tiny bit tetchy right now. Also, martyrdom is cool. Especially when you don't have to suffer any actual consequences for it beyond "wow, a bunch of people made fun of us for acting like dumbasses, and that doesn't feel very nice."
Yes, there's a lot of seriously hateful crap out there, and I particularly wasn't charmed by that same Wonkette thread. Most if not all of the hatefulness falls into yer classic gross misogyny, along with fat-bashing and a few other familiar categories. Are you really saying you haven't experienced or even -encountered- anything like that ever before? Not even -seen-? Lucky you. Seriously. And yes, it's fucked up. It's just not -new-, even remotely, and people for whom none of this is news aren't particularly charmed by the whole gormless "zomg, I had NO IDEA. Well...sputter...someone ought to -do something- about this!! Why doesn't anyone else think of that, huh?"
Strip all of that away, though, and no, ffs, you aren't being singled out for -persecution- as a political fringe group, of itself: You're being relegated to a running bad joke by more-or-less (relatively speaking, at least) serious politicos and/or bored rubberneckers for basically being the new Lyndon LaRoucheites. One more thing to google, yes.
ETA Oh ffs. From the comments (actually one of the less headdesky ones, but those aren't worth responding to, even rhetorically):
I always wondered about that…. If you are a non practicing Jew, why wouldn’t you say you were Israeli, or Israeli American, or wherever your ancestors are from? Is it a religion, or heritage or both? Saying you are Jewish, I assumed was like saying you are Catholic. And saying you are Israeli is being from Israel, but not necessarily Jewish. (which is one of the reasons I used Jewish for this, and not, for example, an ethnicity, because I was trying to equate it to *beliefs* In my opinion, it is ridiculous to *hate* people for their beliefs, whatever they are…as well as skin color, or sex. But like I said, I was trying to make a point about being hated for your beliefs)
"Wherever my ancestors are from" is, at least within living memory, and quite likely a good few centuries or so, Central to Eastern Europe. There -is- a specific term for ethnic Jews of Eastern European origin: Ashkenazim.
Why I don't generally go around calling myself an Ashkenaz-American:
a) Because most of the time, there's no particular reason to. For demographic purposes within the contemporary U.S., i.e. forms and such, I'm "white."
b) Because "I'm Jewish" is perfectly accurate and sufficient most of the time.
c) Because the blank stares would get kind of old.
If someone asks specifically "where are your ancestors from" (usually the preface is something like "are you Irish," based on my complexion and hair I expect, certainly not my features), assuming it's friendly-like and I want to engage them (usually the case), I might use the term, or just say "Eastern European Jewish."
If the question, however, is, "are you Jewish," the answer is, simply, "yes." I am not a -practicing- or -religious- Jew, that is correct. I also have no particular affinity with or sympathy for Israel the contemporary nation-state (have never been there, don't have any near relatives there, don't know more than your average American about daily life, etc); and I'm not a fan of mystic appeal to ancient legendary homeland blargh, hence would not refer to myself as "Israeli American," ever. Nonethless, I am Jewish, ethnically and culturally.
(No, I don't know who I'm actually addressing at this point, but do with it what you will, ethernets).