jewin' the fat

Everyone’s a little bit racist
April 27, 2010, 2:24 PM
Filed under: media | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m still not quite sure what the relevance of the joke was, why he had to reference the tale as “true”, or how it “set the stage for [Jones’] remarks” but whatever, everyone’s a little bit racist. And besides, nothing like a little latent anti-Semitism to liven up the party. Am I right? Jim? Am I right? Har-di-har-har cause Jews sell stuff see? Har Har.

Judge the joke for yourselves after the jump.


The Odd Couple of days
February 27, 2010, 5:07 PM
Filed under: Comment, Identity | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I found myself recently on a road trip, heading down the beautiful south coast with a ragtag bunch of friends and acquaintances. Amongst us were 2 Labor hacks, 1 PhD student, an Ethiopian immigrant, a Torres Strait Islander, a couple of Catholics and a range of couples, singles, old flings and potential new ones, as well as a guy who seemed to relish every opportunity to point out that myself and one other in the group were Members of the Tribe – though he didn’t see fit to put it as politely as that.

But I suppose, it was kinda my fault anyway. I did discuss it with my fellow Heeb – that is, our general Heebi-jeebiness. More specifically, after a few months MIA, I was interested to find out about his life, including his non-Jewish girlfriend, and how he was dealing with the clashes in belief and religious practice (she is an atheist). Perfect pre-dinner conversation. It started meekly enough, but before we knew it, it seemed everyone had an opinion on our musings, and were being quite vocal in their appreciation, or in this guy’s case, disgust. Then we entered the twilight zone, and bizarre-0-man provided the ultimate conversation buzz-kill:

My Grandmother warned me about people like you”. (Me? I thought? what, conservative? Opinionated? Pseudo Feminist? Middle Class? Sorry?)“She warned me about Jews. Don’t Trust ’em.”

The next day was shite. More rain, rain and rain. Good thing there was take-away fish and chip shop, Rugby Union on TV and a stack of board games, including Monopoly. (side note: I am not an avid Monopoly player. I am not interested in investment, and am far more likely to be seen frittering my wealth away on rent and chance cards, landing myself in Debt and in Jail. Now Risk. There’s a game for me!) So we settled in to play. Someone nominated me as the Bank, mostly because I was sitting closest to the board and already mesmerised by the pretty colours. And away we went! Soon it became clear that Jew 2 and I had put  a foot wrong, and not because we both were hemorrhaging money faster than Lehmann Brothers.  Rather because we were so unwilling to give up without a fight for our precious coloured paper.

“Ah, the Jews are out in force today … you guys should be good at this, you know, gouging people for rent … Jews hate to lose money …Yeah you love money … well, it is what they were born to do …”

Now once again, perhaps we had led them down the garden path a bit – you know, played along, laughed it off. Pretended the 7th or 8th jibe didn’t sting far more than the 1st or 2nd. Well eventually I went bankrupt (I told you), and it was with a sigh of relief and a deep sense of gratitude to whomever bought me out and let me escape to check my Gmail. Out of the fry pan and into the fire.

After the Rugby, it was dinner time and the hordes were hungry. We shopped, cooked and feasted, and while we sat around drinking wine, licking our fingers and picking at leftovers, someone brought up the unusual topic of hazing, on university campuses. So I thought ‘hey, I’m amongst friends, a little sharing never hurt’, and offered my experience as an executive member of a Jewish university Campus group, and the spectacle we presented to the first-year group which involved four heads of campus in Sydney, our hands tied behind our back, and an apple that had to be eaten. Again, within an instant, my story about consensual adult public fruit-eating  has turned into a travesty of sexual rights and abuses, and I was being accused of being just as bad Nazis for forcing honest, hard-working Germans to vote for them in 1936.


Now, I could have reminded this human-rights defender about the history of pre-war Germany, and still bristling with the desire to stick my fork in his leg and his fresh t-bone up his nose, my Jew-in-arms came to be defense, but without much effect. Apparently asking consenting adults to engage in harmless, though messy showboating for the amusement of 18 year olds is akin to supporting a dictatorship with genocidal tendencies. Thanks for bring that to my attention. Oh silly me. Isn’t my face red now, hmm?

In an effort to stop my outrage bubbling into violence, I busied myself with cleaning up, while more wine was poured, and the group wound up covered in chocolate and eating nectarine slices. Happy families indeed. The next day it was home time and I woke early to make it down to the beach for a swim before everyone woke up. As I got dressed upon my return, I noticed a familiar black white and red poking out of my bag. ‘Must’ve been her Nazi voting instruction manual’, I hear you surmise.

Nope. It was my rip-off I Heart Israel T-shirt, bought in Occupied Palestine with a serious dose of Irony and Zionism, no less. I threw it on indifferently and as I rolled up the sleeves, I realised why my anger had suddenly dissipated. I could have called this guy any number of names under the sun, most of them a reference to his lack of understanding, knowledge or appreciation of culture, history and sensitivity. I could have called him out on his disrespectful language, tone and reference, how he, as an Indigenous Australian should understand the danger of antiquated, unsubstantiated prejudice and baseless bigotry.

But it all melted away. I let it go. Because you can wear your heart on your sleeve and your identity with shame, or pride, or joy or irony or contentment. The point is, you get to choose,  no one else. No matter what they call you.

PostScript: We have booked another escape for an upcoming long weekend to that same gorgeous spot of southern coastline, and we have instituted a strictly non-negotiable ‘no bigot’ policy. That’s right. This time, this Jewess gets to choose who comes along for the ride. And I’m calling shotgun.

Ennui-tainment (Part 2)

The stubborn refusal to give tragedy the final say

There seems to be a distinctly anti-Generation-Y movement which undercuts the question of Shoah re-commemoration.

See, for years there has been a very stable, highly enforced method of interacting with the history of Holocaust, and an especially enforced standard of commemoration of that history. It included extreme reverence, highly emotive triggers, and a heaviness of the soul that most Jewish youth associate with any Holocaust-related public conversation.

Then, after upwards of 50 years of silent, sombre and most sincere reflection, young  Jewish people began to do with the Holocaust what young Jewish people have done with Shabbat, Zionism and other sacred cows – they turned it on its head.Cyanide and Happiness 

Which is not to say that young Jews today don’t appreciate the gravity of the Holocaust. Rather, they over-appreciate it. They are saturated in understanding. Like the children of Holocaust survivors who were drowning in the silence of their parents, these third-generation Jews are likewise drowning in the over-exposure their parents are kindly facilitating.  

Is visiting a death camp at 16 an age-appropriate experience? Indeed, can one ask an 11-year-old to comprehend or relate to the number 1 000 000, let alone light a candle to remember 1 000 000 children killed in the Shoah? How do you explain hatred for hatred’s sake, without condescending, or killing for ethnicity’s sake, without terrifying?

Would it surprise you that even our nightmares are Shoah related? I challenge any Jewish person to deny that they have had at least one, if not lifelong Holocaust-themed dreams. Mine involved abbatoir-style slaughter-houses, with loved ones forced like cattle through the turnstiles, awaiting their death, with nothing to be done. And for a long time, there was nothing to be done but tread water in the overwhelming tide that threatened to overpower our connection to our history altogether.

As time separated the generations from the immediacy of the tragedy, and threatened to disconnect them from its meaning, humour became the bridge which allowed Jews to take back the power, and stubbornly refused to submit to the magnitude of victimhood. Suddenly there was a means to process this massive influence in our lives – a method to understand the madness. What started with the Ghetto reinterpretations of Hitler’s masterpiece Mein Krampft (My Cramp) and the naming of dogs and pigs ‘Adolf’, became a critical communal and coping mechanism for those affected by Nazi policies. Survivor and Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl said in Mans Search for Meaning,

“We knew that we had nothing to lose except our ridiculously naked lives. When the showers started to run, we all tried very hard to make fun, both about ourselves and about each other. After all, real water did flow from the sprays!”

Half a century on this tradition continues, to the chagrin and horror of the PC police and inflated egos that cannot understand that Heeb Magazine’s mockery of Holocaust memoirs stems from a moral disgust that the once noble premise of documenting history has become a money-making industry – so why not write your own Holocaust memoir? And if we want to truly destroy the power of Hitler, how better than to belittle his memory and mock his self-righteousness character with a series of YouTube videos here, here and here? And here. And there. And here too.

People like Rosanne Barr hit the nail on the head – Sure it’s sick and twisted to don a moustache and bake Burnt Jew Cookies in an oven, but what are we so blinded by our pride and self-importance that we cannot see the irony and power of the inversion? When someone like Barr suggests such a photo shoot, a woman whose life has been dedicated to offending as many people as possible with her brand of take-no-prisoners humour, everything is fair game. As she herself told Heeb:

“He killed my whole family, it is true, but he is also dead, and I, a Jewish woman am still alive to make fun of him, and I will continue to make fun of the little runt for the rest of my life! He, and his ideas need to be laughed at even more these days, picked apart and analyzed up and down, as there are more and more people denying his crimes, and more and more despots trying to copy them.”

This peculiar cultural revenge is replicated again and again, in the infamous character actor Sascha Baron Cohen playing an anti-Semitic Kazakh in Borat, or in the faux-terror of Seinfeld‘s dreaded ‘Soup Nazi’ – turning the stereotype on its head, and in doing, fulfilling the hopes of the millions of victims encapsulated in the Talmudic verse: “The best revenge is to live”.

Call it revenge porn, but Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds could be regarded as the best antidote to the evils of the Nazi regime since Chaplin’s The Dictator. Tellingly, after the screening of Tarantino’s film, I bumped into a Jewish couple in their mid-sixties who could not fathom how such a film was even produced, let alone enjoyed – such was their disgust for the film’s subversion of the traditional power-relationship of the Shoah.

Where younger viewers whooped and heckled as Nazi’s were gunned down, and the image of a young Jewish woman laughed, rising in flames as the harbinger of death and destruction upon a Nazi crowd, wreaking her luscious revenge … it was a sweet moment for this generation.


Still from Inglorious Basterds

This tale of Jews taking back their honour and their lives from the Nazi regime which had tried and failed to destroy them was a “once upon a time” fable that reverberated in cinemas across the world, re-forming those Shoah nightmares into Shoah fantasies, littered with scalps and bullets and relief. Far from offensive, Inglorious Basterds gave young Jews the chance to divert the course of their people’s tragic history, even if it was only for a couple of hours, in a recliner seat in a theatre in Sydney or Toronto or London. And sure it’s just a movie – but in telling this story, Tarantino validated this generation’s fantasy, and went some way to understanding the foundations of the cultural architecture of 70 years of suffering.

So rather than mis-reading young Jewish attempts to re-imagine, re-define and re-tell the story of the Holocaust as out-of-touch, inappropriate, disrespectful or ignorant – perhaps it is time to step out of the stranglehold of ‘traditional’ Holocaust commemoration, and recognise that the light of satire does not diminish any of the truth of history. Rather, it can light the way to a better understanding, and clearer picture of what the Holocaust means for Jews today.

Ennui-tainment (part 1)
September 21, 2009, 9:59 AM
Filed under: Comment, Jewish Community | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

My earliest memory of ‘Holocaust’ occurred at the age of 11, when I was asked to create a living history project with the help of a kindly 70 year old Polish woman, who told us her life story, and we dutifully recorded it onto cassettes (yep! cassette tapes) and transcribed it all. The childhood sweetheart lost in the deportations, the persecution, the daring escape from the horrors of death camps, and being starved, and the –

Oh wait. Wrong story. No, Olga*’s story was about immigration, and having children, and moving to Australia, and learning English … In the 1920s. In fact, all but one of the ‘Holocaust Survivors’ we were introduced to did not even live in Nazi Occupied Europe during the war. I felt … in a word … cheated.

Here I was, 11 years old, and ready to be shocked and inspired and awestruck at the veracity and vividness of the Holocaust – my people’s legacy. Except that it wasn’t quite like the black and white Spielberg movie we watched before the projects began – at least not the story we recorded.

And so began my Holocaust education. I came to understand that every experience of the Shoah was different. Some daring, some devastating, but all decidedly unique – in language, plot lines, backdrops, scores – because at that age, It was all a sweeping movie set of history. I really couldn’t tell you what the ‘real’ Holocaust was like, because all I had was Anne Frank’s journal, Spielberg’s vision, Escape from Sobibor, Eli Weisel, Number the Stars, Exodus, Mila 18 – my bookshelf was full, but I was still no closer to the truth.

I knew all the partisan songs and weeping stories of ghettoized children with haunting eyes and yellow stars. But it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to go to Poland and walk through the gates of Auschwitz, and Majdanek, and the synagogues of Krakow that I appreciated the magnitude of what I was about to see and experience, even some 60 years later. In fact, I was so appreciative, I decided not to go.

I could not fathom literally walking the path of millions, standing in the place where they died, and observing where thousands slept,and where many did not wake in the morning. Then eating lunch next to a bus outside the gates – even wearing beanies, scarves and jackets, complaining about the weather, the food – it all seemed a cruel but honest reminder that no amount of tears or diary entries could really bring my understanding to a point where I could make sense of it all. So I stayed home, and enjoyed a normal 16-year-old summer, content to stay ignorant for a few more years.
My peers returned, shell-shocked and overwhelmed by the journey and the history, hit over the back of the head with the reality. They never saw it coming, and some never really came back.

* * * * *

Almost ten years later I find myself in a world where suddenly (or so it seems) the connection to this culture-changing event has shifted momentously. There is a distinct sub-culture emerging, and it is well documented. Phrases like Transgenerational Trauma are a fancy way now of describing the emotional trauma suffered by the descendant generations of Holocaust survivors, or any people where an entire generation suffered, like in Pol Pot’s Cambodia. It even extends to those with no familial connection to the trauma – such is the magnitude of its effect.RE-Imagining

Within these families, where honesty and communication have been replaced with repression and silence, the strange, politically incorrect phenomena of ‘Holocaust Humour’ emerges. Stemming from the black, sardonic humour of the ghettos, to the suburbs where survivors live today (Australia is home to the largest Holocaust survivor community, outside of Israel), the jokes take on a melancholy, twisted quality, where the only way to relate to the tragedy is to laugh about it.

Like laughing at a funeral, this easing of tension by the younger generations is just as likely to inspire a giggle as offence, and it is a fine line indeed. Even Shakespeare knew about the power of jest and its careful interrelationship with the truth – but rather than laughing at the expense of the victim, as with all great comedy, this kind of humour was about laughing with the victim, at the expense of the perpetrator.

Poking fun at the ritual, the infrastructure of the tragedy – the tattooed numbers, the ovens, the yellow stars – not because the suffering is funny, but because if we can’t laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at?

Some may argue that this post-Holocaust generation is too far removed from the horrors, to easily mocking of its tragedy, to quick to decontextualise and recontextualise the suffering. That re-imagining the Shoah is destroying its integrity or staining its truth.

But then isn’t the power of re-telling an integral part of the Jewish experience? We have a written law, and an oral interpretation of that law, we have entire festivals dedicated to reminding our children “They tried to kill us, we survived, lets eat” – Chaggim like Purim and Chanuka, if you believe the history to be an accurate reflection of the past, rather than a fable, were probably once sacred events, placed on a pedestal and bequeathed to the younger generations with their own version of “never again”.

Now, Purim is about alcohol, and costume parties, and making a hell of a noise during the reading of Megillat Esther. Chanuka by comparison is also about commemorating God’s miracle, and eating donuts, lighting candles and doing our bit to put the conservationist message out there.

Even Pesach, that great biblical pilgrim festival has been manipulated into post-modernity. Last year I attended a Pesach Seder where instead of the traditional prose, “Tell your children” – Tell your children that we were slaves in Egypt, and the Lord our God took me out of the bond of slavery – the prose read “Tell your children that we were persecuted, tortured, starved and killed in Europe, but now we are free.” And now we are.

So why does this phenomena scare us so much when it comes to Shoah?
*Name changed
Check out Part Two here

Freedom of speech, not falsehoods
August 31, 2009, 12:50 PM
Filed under: Comment, media | Tags: , , , , ,

The libelous claims of author Donald Boström in the Aftonbladet tabloid on August 18 is both a blight on the state of Swedish journalism, and the credibility of the Aftonbladet as a newspaper, who published the article without so much as a fact checker.

The notion that Israel is part of a worldwide conspiracy to harvest organs from Palestinians for money or power is tantamount to the anti-Semitic blood libels of the medieval history, where Jews were accused of killing Christian children to make their Passover Matzah. This link was made by Boström – completely absent of any evidence – to the recent arrest of a New Jersey rabbi who was but one of a group (which included non-Jews) accused of trading organs from live donors on the black market.

In the original article, Boström provides no proof of his accusations, nor any real investigation. His combination of speculation, assumption and unconfirmed testimonies are little more than the re-hashing of a libelous conspiracy theory, with the Israel Defence Forces as the target.

Firstly, the main story of Bilal Ghanan is 17 years old – which calls into question the newsworthiness of the story, as well as the ability to confirm the allegations. However, as Boström makes no attempt to do so the story remains unsubstantiated throughout, except for the “unnamed” sources, quoted throughout. Boström did not contact the Israeli Ministry of Defence or the Israeli Forensic Pathology Centre.

Indeed, Boström did not even contact a medical professional to validate the pathology of the story. Had he done so, he would have discovered that had soldiers intended to steal organs from their victims, they would not have shot them in the chest or stomach. Why? Because it is common knowledge that organs cannot be harvested from bodies with serious upper body wounds.

As for the sources that were quoted? The only Israeli interviewed is an unnamed soldier, without a rank, position or context provided – all necessary journalistic measures of credibility of the source – and all, mysteriously absent. The same applies to the UN staff Boström claims to have spoken to.

I write ‘claims’, because without a name, rank or position on the record, the resulting information is hearsay, and no trustworthy Australian newspaper would be caught publishing it as fact – which is why no Australian papers have repeated Boström’s allegations. Even the family members, identified only as “aunt” or “uncle”, whose evidence is the only ‘source’ quoted directly are now distancing themselves from Boström’s report, and are claiming they never said that organs were stolen.

The Aftonbladet editor-in-chief, Jan Helin admits his paper has no evidence of Boström’s claims, and the reporter himself was quoted by Ynet news services denying the implication that IDF soldiers were stealing organs. He admitted he personally had no evidence of such crimes, as the bodies had never been examined. “Even the Palestinians don’t say that,” he said.

There is no course of action to take regarding the insinuations of Boström’s article, except to question the credibility of the kind of reporter, and publishing newspaper which are prepared to publish a story that neither believe to be true, based on the headlines it will garner, rather than the facts it presents.

Freedom of speech is not a justification to present lies and falsehoods as fact.

New Matilda needs a New Perspective
July 8, 2009, 12:27 PM
Filed under: Comment, media | Tags: , , , ,

In recent weeks, the debate has raged between traditional, print-based journalists, and new media reporters on websites like TMZ, as to just what constitutes journalism. People like Hartigan would sooner see news online crash and burn, rather than admit to the insufficiency of traditional media to combat online’s immediacy and mobility.

But he does have a point in one particular point – Who is a journalist these days? Can you compare the skill, talent and knowledge of a print-trained journalist Vs. a blogger? Do we even need a journalism degree, or is a cadet-ship sufficient to ensure practical, professional and ethical standards for those who write in for our nation’s fourth estate?

No where is this more apparent than in the independent media sources we find online these days. Web-based, opinion heavy news sources that attempt to provide an ‘alternative’ viewpoint, for the discerning news consumer. However, this ‘alternative’ position, though generally purporting to maintain balance and professional ethics in this new format, also provides something that print media has not.

Real-time reader comments.

Now, this is no letter-to-the-editor. This is purely and simply, a chance for the readers to vent their spleen at the content on the website. Sometimes insipid, sometimes controversial, sometimes blindingly ignorant – these comments are what makes new media work. Doing away with the censorship and filtering of the editorial department of the newspapers, new media gives the ordinary layperson, the chance to air their misspelt, grammatically incorrect diatribe – even if it completely off topic. POWER TO THE PEOPLE.

Of course, when the people are racist, prejudiced, hate-mongering or inciteful, the comments are disallowed. The comments aren’t actually posted are they? There IS someone monitoring the comments, isn’t there? It’s not just a free-for-all, is it? And if some should fall through the cracks, They ARE deleted … Right?

newmatilda  is a self-described news, analysis and satire media outlet, with a strong independent, left-leaning, “fighting-for-the-underdog” slant to their articles – be they soft/hard news or comment pieces/analysis. So straight off the bat, while promoting themselves as non-partisan (with “no association with any political party or media organisation”) they are subcribing to a small ‘l’ liberal outlook, with a penchant for misleading their readers with undefined analysis-as-news. Someone should get these kids a dictionary*.

*( defines ‘non-partisan’ as ‘objective’ and, ‘objective’ as ‘not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased’. Ain’t that a kick in the head.)

Propagandising or Pitiful?

Propagandising or Pitiful?

Those people who follow newmatilda for a laugh, a head scratch or simply to get themselves fired up before hitting the gym would be well aware of their track record on Middle East reporting. If not, let me fill you in with this, and this, and this, and oh, this. And that’s not even getting into their recent coverage of the recent war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza. Point is, they are known for their pro-Palestinian coverage, for their categorization of Israeli sources or sympathisers as ‘propaganda’, and their refusal to balance the Loewnstein/Brull double acts with another perspective. But the Anti Defamation League took issue with their refusal to address issues of bias, and they came up with this report, as covered by Israeli English language daily The Jerusalem Post.

newmatilda  contributers Anthony Loewenstein and Michael Brull hit back the same day with ‘If You Don’t Agree With Us You’re Antisemitic’, underneath which the comment section was thankfully disabled. Such a ‘headline’ would have sent the comments into an MJ-is-dead-on-Twitter meltdown.

Michael Danby MP dared to take on NewMatilda

Michael Danby MP dared to take on NewMatilda

Finally, the editors of newmatilda decided to act, as mentioned by shutting down the comments capabilities on any/all Israel/Palestine articles, and issuing this unapologetic editorial.

So here we stand. A source that refuses to stop fuelling the fires of racial villification, hate-speech and Holocaust Denial by addressing the bias within its editorial department, but insists on “reluctantly” removing the ability of readers to show their distaste?

For a site to insist on the high standards of its professional journalistic integrity, it needs to admit that something is not right. And we need to call newmatilda to account. As Thomas Friedman said:

“Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction – out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East – is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest.”

Jew… Ish
June 23, 2009, 2:38 PM
Filed under: Identity, Jewish Community, Zionism | Tags: , , ,

When I was younger, I had this little niggle in the back of my mind. Whenever the subject of ethnicity, religious or self-classification came up, the strangest little word would somehow tack itself onto my identity. It didn’t change the meaning, but there was a little


that somehow weaseled itself in every time. “I’m Jewish”, I would say, and wonder why it sounded so strange in comparison to suffix my friends with the same little syllable. Muslimish. Christianish. Hinduish. Jewish. Jew-ish. And I slowly realised that the little “ish” was actually distorting my identity. It was a little seed of doubt within me.  A tiny spec of white lint on an expensive black suit, and no matter how I tried to pick it off, it didn’t budge.

At some point in History, being a Jew became shameful. Maybe it was Shylock, maybe it was the Blood Libel, the Spanish Inquisition or even Nazi Germany – at one point or any other, someone was asked to define themselves, and out came “I am …Jew …ish.”

It stuck. Just a little sound, that changed forever the way I define my identity. But just as the dreaded “Nigger” or “Negro” is being reclaimed in the US, so too, I have decided to reclaim my Jew status.

And I’ll be the first to admit it – so many years of “Don’t Jew me”, and “Bloody Jew”, using the word leaves a strange feeling in my mouth. In fact, seeing it in print, or simply saying it aloud make me want to run back to the shtetl, less the rampaging pogrom returns. I know it’s a crazy thing to feel, especially considering  that neither I nor my family have ever been directly influenced or affected by anti-Semitism or racism.

But maybe that is thewhere the little seed of doubt begins to bear fruit. The idea of intergenerational trauma with regards to Holocaust trauma was discussed by JJ Sigal and M Weinfeld in their text “Trauma and Rebirth: Intergenerational Trauma and the Holocaust”. The idea that one suffers the consequences of a past trauma, even if one is remove geographically or generationally, is something that is very much a part of Jewish culture. The Exodus from Egypt, the Story of Purim – the running joke is that every holiday is based around the same theme:

“They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat!”

It’s a sad reality, but even our ability to define ourselves has been manipulated by this sense of trauma. And not by anyone else – but by ourselves.

So in the interests of cultural preservation, and the preservation of my sanity, I will no longer be known as Jewish. I am a Jew – loud, sometimes offensively so, but always proud of my heritage and empowered to pronounce it publicly.

(Post Script: Even spellcheck disagrees with the word “Jewish” … a sign perhaps …?)