Friday 19 December 2008

Pig-themed disappointment

I wanted to just post this article from Ynet, the website of Israeli newspaper Yedioth Achronot, because it made me so mad that I had to scrape my spleen off the floor after reading it and so wanted to invite comment. The reason being, the article is about trying to create a secular identity based on, but in part negating, a religious heritage. Among my generation, I hear a lot of “Yeah I suppose I’m Christian...BUT….” and I suppose this about something similar, albeit much more bizarre.

I also wonder how people feel about the fifth paragraph. I found it quite racist, in that it replays Jacky Mason style humour based on nothing more than stereotypes of Jews, as well as throwing in something about terrorism, which is a blatant swipe at Palestinian Arabs.

I can’t belive Ynet published this really, because while they generally carry a broad range of opinion pieces from every quarter of the Israeli political spectrum, I’ve never seen anything like this before. Please comment away!

Jews or pigs?

I refrain from eating pork not due to religious concerns, but because it's an unmistakable anti-Jewish symbol

Assaf Wohl

It was reported this week of a court ruling ordering the Tiv Taam branch in Givatayim to remain closed on Saturdays. At first I was overcome with joy. What a nice judge who's guided by social principles and looks after the workers' right to rest on Shabbat.

But as I was humming the "Internationale" it struck me that this wasn't actually a case of socialism, but rather of surrealism, because pork meat will continue to be sold in public by the chain in the land of the Jews on every other day of the week.

My attitude towards pork isn't influenced by a religious or Godly edict. I don't eat pork, period. Not because God doesn't allow this or out of consideration for religious or vegetarian sensitivities.

My God couldn't care less what I put in my mouth, and I tend to take advantage of this from time to time. But I refrain from eating pork first of all because I'm Jewish. And true Jews have their red lines, even those who don't believe in a divine being that oversees the consumption of non-kosher meat.

Pig's head no different than a swastika

So, what's the story with pork? Well, if you think about it, there are several traits that characterize Jews: Jews find it hard to compliment others; they don't win Olympic medals or blow themselves up in buses. And they also don't eat pork. Why? Because there are some things Jews simply don't do.

Because unlike shrimps, lobsters and other kinds of sea food, pork isn't eaten not because it's non-kosher, but because it's a symbol. It has been an unmistakable anti-Jewish symbol for generations and generations. For a nationally-conscious person, a pig's head isn't very different from a swastika

The Hanukkah holiday is approaching. It commemorates a period in which those forced to give up their nationality and eat pork overcame the soldiers of the evil Seleucid Empire.
And what has changed since? What will those pork-eaters tell their children on the festival of lights? That they are willing to launch a war for the freedom of eating pork meat? That they are ready to fight only to be able to wave this anti-Jewish symbol in no other place but the land of the Jews?

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