Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

So Stop With The JAP Nonsense Already

The "greedy Jew" stereotype comes in many guises
It's all there, in this now infamous London wedding video by an antisemitic cameraman and his assistant: the assumption that all Jews are rich, the assumption that all Jews are miserly, the assumption that Jews regard themselves as superior to others (that old "Chosen People" misunderstanding again, huh?), the sexist evaluation of women based on their looks (or lack of them) regardless of the attractiveness (or not) of the men who do the evaluating.

Now that he has been exposed in the antisemitic act, the video cameraman who was caught out, along with his Asian assistant, making derogatory comments about Jews in general and Jewish women in particular, has apologised for what he and his sidekick said, but quite understandably the bride who, along with her wedding party, Anthony Aurelius insulted, is not having a bar of it.

Reports the Jewish Chronicle:
'At one point on the unedited reel, after guests were dancing to Siman Tov UMazel Tov, Mr Aurelius was heard to say: “Mental, Israeli dancing, isn’t it? There’s a real feeling of like, they’re better than everybody else. Jewish.”
"I don’t think I blame Hitler for Holocaust"
His assistant said: “That’s why Holocaust.”
Mr Aurelius replied: “I don’t think I blame Hitler,” as he filmed the bride from only a few feet away.
Earlier, Mr Aurelius had accidentally left the camera running in the back seat of his car as he followed the wedding party from the Central Synagogue to the hotel, 8 Northumberland Avenue.
The lens captured buildings and streetlamps as they made their way through the capital.
But the microphone picked up the conversation between him and his assistant, who said it was his first Jewish ceremony.
Mr Aurelius told his assistant that Jews think “they’re better than everybody else because they’re from Israel.
“Not a lot of niceness about them is there? Very little warmth.” He went on: “They’ve never been respected anyway, these people, and they’ve never respected themselves.”
"Jewish women are beautiful, but cows"
His assistant said: “They are the meanest people in the world, I know very well.”
Mr Aurelius said he was distracted by female guests whilst filming the chuppah.
“Some of the Jewish women are very beautiful to look at, but I can tell you, they’d be right f***ing cows. Very f***ing snooty, they’d be a pain in the arse.
“Not a very attractive bride at all.”'
 But aren't some Jews themselves to blame for the kind of antisemitism which heaps age-old stereotypes of Jews, especially Jews and and money, onto the female of the species? 

I'm referring to the JAP ("Jewish American/Australian Princess") stereotype which began as a not-very-funny joke some thirty years or so ago and is now a commonplace in Jewish journalism, imbibed and spewed out again by male and, sadly, female, journalists who should know better: Jewish women are shallow, ostentatious, materialistic, selfish, and snobbish.  This wretched nonsense feeds the very prejudice that is otherwise deplored.  But it would appear that many Jews are happy with the stereotype, so long as only women are depicted that way.

Can we really be surprised that intermarriage rates in the United States in particular are now at an all-time high that threatens Jewish survival when Jewish men are encouraged by the JAP nonsense to perceive Jewish women in this insulting fashion?  There are of course many reasons for the soaring American intermarriage rate (one is that Jews go away to college, unlike the situation in Australia, where Jews, like other young people, attend university in their home city and live with their parents, thus preserving cultural influences and the bonds of friendships already made).   But is it any wonder that for many American Jewish men, conscious of the JAP image, a non-Jewish bride is seen as  preferable to a supposedly high-maintenance Jewish one?

The call for an end to this damaging antisemitic stereotype is nothing new; the New York Times reported in 1987:
'[A]t the American Jewish Committee's Conference on Current Stereotypes of Jewish Women last week, concerned Jews said it was time to stop laughing.While the jokes may seem innocuous, according to Susan Weidman Schneider and other speakers, they represent a resurgence of sexist and anti-Semitic invective masking what Ms. Schneider called a ''scrim of misogyny.''
''What had started as humor has escalated into attacks,'' said Ms. Schneider, editor of the Jewish feminist magazine Lilith.
''There is nothing funny about a putdown of Jewish women that has become a generic term for materialism, self-indulgence, loudness and so on,'' said Francine Klagsbrun, the author of ''Married People: Staying Together in an Age of Divorce'' (Bantam, 1985). ''We are eating away at our own community.''
The conference in New York was held to address the prevalence of the Jewish-American princess, or JAP, stereotype on college campuses, television commercials and greeting cards, and to consider how it affects society's perspective on Jewish women and their image of themselves.

''Imagine for a moment that you are an 18-year-old female Jewish student at a college football game,'' said Ms. Schneider. ''And when you get up to get a soda you hear someone yell, 'JAP! JAP! JAP!' Then the cry is picked up by everybody sitting in the stadium.'' ....

 ....Sherry M. Merfish, a lawyer who is co-chairwoman of the women's issues committee of the American Jewish Committee's chapter in Houston, said greeting cards provide ''a graphic illustration of the pervasiveness of the Jewish-American princess stereotype, as well as how it has been popularized for public consumption.''
Ms. Merfish displayed a greeting card in which five Olympic Games rings are represented by five diamond rings, and a girl wearing a Star of David jumps over a hurdle in high heels toward a clearance sale, while filing her nails. The text of the card is about ''cross-country kvetching,'' a ''chutzpah-thon'' and defines kvetching as ''an irritating whine made by a spoiled 3-year-old, or a Jewish-American princess at any age.''....
 Although such characterizations may be intended in fun, said Ms. Schneider, the consequences must be taken seriously. ''Jewish women's self-esteem is being critically damaged by the stereotypes,'' she said. To escape these labels, Ms. Schneider said, young women especially often try to distance themselves from their Jewish identity.
In addition, Ms. Klagsbrun said, the jokes interfere with romantic relationships between Jewish women and Jewish men, and inhibit coalition-building between Jewish and non-Jewish women. ''Why do we women label other women JAPS?'' asked Ms. Klagsbrun. ''It reflects our insecurities and self-doubts. We are setting ourselves apart from the others and that is a form of self-hatred.''
The term, Ms. Merfish said, connotes idleness and dependency, and is not only derogatory but old-fashioned, undermining women's recent ambition and achievements. ''It flies in the face of Jewish women who have contributed so much,'' she said.  [Emphasis added]'
 Admittedly, there are shallow, ostentatious, materialistic, selfish and snobbish Jewish women.

But there are also shallow, ostentatious, materialistic, selfish and snobbish Jewish men.

A young friend of mine, a gung-ho supporter of Israel, encountered the type at local United Jewish Appeal functions he attended as a student, when he was cold-shouldered by much of the gathering because his parents were not among the wealthy machers in the community.  Now a small businessman, well-integrated into his retail community in a largely Jewish neighbourhood, he encountered that attitude again, after he was approached by a friend who's a UIA representative to sponsor an event.  He was delighted to add his name (and his financial contribution, of course) to the list of sponsors, only to be told by his embarrassed and apologetic friend a few days later that his sponsorship was not wanted by the UIA as (according to the higher-ups in that body) he's not well-known enough (whatever that means!).  Imagine that!  Is it any wonder that the small businessman concerned, perplexed and offended, has vowed that if he ever becomes a big businessman he will pointedly line the coffers of any organisation but the UIA?

2 comments:

  1. Interestingly I attended that AJC conference and when I stood up and spoke saying that the issue is not anti-Jewish women as much as we are not teaching our children to be proud of their Jewish heritage and its antisemitism in general. I was insultingly dismissed by the panel. (Yes I remember it all these years later because it was done in a terribly degrading manner.) Later another conference attendee came up to me and said I should actually speak about the JAP phenomenon on campuses because I come across very intelligent and actually look stereotypically JAPPY. So I countermand the nasty stereotype of the JAP.

    I still to this day think the panel dismissed me because of how I looked. They did not bother to find out that I had a law degree from a prestigious university and that I was an active in the organized Jewish community since childhood. (I have since abandoned my activism on behalf of the US Jewish community for any number of reasons. this being one of them.)

    By the way, so-called feminists have not changed in all these decades. They still denigrate anyone who doesn't fit their idea of what an intelligent woman looks like and they with their blatant antisemitism is more of a problem than any ignorant member of the public.

    http://usa2mom.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/celebrating-sexy-jewish-women-beyond-being-a-woman-of-valor/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so interesting, Elise, and thanks for the link.
      I can relate to what's said about Hollywood there. When I was doing temporary teaching at a uni I had a patronising (male) head of department who obviously got his stereotypes of Jewish women from what he'd seen on TV. He couldn't get over the fact that in personality I'm nothing like Bette Midler or Rhea Perlman!

      Delete