June 9, 2010

Some things never change

Former New Republic editor Peter Beinart has gotten a lot of publicity for "The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment," which claims that young American Jews are less obsessed with Israel than old American Jews, and that that marks a profound generational shift which will have far reaching consequence.

Perhaps. 

But, first, having a Republican-allied government in power in Israel has recurrently been off-putting for American Jews, most of whom are Democrats.

Seond, and more importantly: I'm older than Beinart, and in my recollection, what he's noticing now has been observable for a long time. It seems as if Jews tend to get more obsessed with Israel the older they get. 

Jack Shafer writes in Slate:
For a more rigorous critique of Beinart's views on young American Jews, see a recent piece in Tablet in which academics Theodore Sasson and Leonard Saxe accuse him of misreading the data. They write:
Moreover, as we pointed out in our published response to the original Cohen-Kelman report, younger Jews have reported lower levels of attachment to Israel in most surveys going back as far as there are data to analyze. Younger Jews were less attached to Israel in the National Jewish Population Surveys of 2000 and 1990. They were less attached in the AJC surveys going back to the mid-1980s. If, in fact, young Jews are always less attached than older Jews, then the differences in age groups are likely related to lifecycle rather than generation. As Jews age, they become more attached to Israel. In other words, the younger Jews who reported a middling level of attachment to Israel in the mid-1980s grew up to become today's over 60 group, which reports a high level of attachment.

This tendency toward increased ethnocentrism among Jews as they age is an old one. For example, Paul Johnson wrote in A History of the Jews about the great early 19th Century German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine, "Like thousands of brilliant Jews before, and since, he came to associate the Hellenic spirit of intellectual adventure with health and strength, while age and pain turned him to the simplicities of faith." 

But there's something else going on, as well. When you are young and want to make your mark on the world, you want to break free from the shackles of tradition. In contrast, when you are old, ethnocentrism becomes a favored strategy for preserving your mark on the world after your death.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

"This tendency toward increased ethnocentrism among Jews as they age is an old one. "

Ayn Rand and Albert Einstein being two notable examples.

agnostic said...

It's not just breaking with tradition but a more general desire to sow your wild oats before settling down where you belong.

I notice I'm less fascinated by exotic girls than as a teenager. Michael Blowhard wrote about that change too -- chasing after dusky Jews and Italians as a youth and then marrying a blonde like the people he grew up around.

Paul Mendez said...

There seems to be an awful lot of this predicting-the-future-based-on young-people's-opinions stuff going around lately.

"The GOP is doomed because young people don't like Republicans."

"Racism will vanish because young people love diversity."

"Gay marriage is a done deal because young people don't think homosexuality is wrong."

Using this line of logic, and considering that nation's biggest, loudest, most influential generation of young people are now in control, you would assume that by now:

*Pot and LSD were legal

*War was outlawed

*Money was abolished

*Corporations had withered away

*All you needed was love

Harry Baldwin said...

As the non-Jewish husband of a Jewish wife, with three children not raised Jewish, it should also be noted that younger Jews are often marrying outside the religion which will also lead to a decline in interest in Israel as these mixed couples grow older. For example, a couple in which only one partner is Jewish is less likely to agree to donate or bequeath money to the Jewish state.

Harold said...

We see a related phenomenon among adoptees who aren't particularly interested in who their biological parents are until they reach a certain age. There was also that recent story in the NYT (I think) about Korean adoptees in the US becoming interested in visiting Korea and learning its language and culture as they got older.

Dutch Boy said...

There's no fool like an old fool!

liberalbiorealism said...

Why focus on the issue of whether or not Jews happen to develop more commitment to Jewish issues, including Israel, as they age?

The big numbers here are the demographic numbers of intermarriage and fertility. At least according to a number of sources, the intermarriage rate for secular Jews is now at 50%, and the fertility rate at barely above 1. That's a reduction of close to 75% from one generation to the next of Jews who are "full-blooded".

It takes no great insight to realize that the children of Jews who intermarry are far less likely to think of themselves as Jewish, or devote themselves to Jewish causes.

Indeed, I saw a reference to a survey from Hillel indicating that this falling away from Jewish interests was a very real phenomenon college students who self-identified Jews but who had only one Jewish parent, as compared to those who had two Jewish parents. Remarkably too, even back in 2000 when the survey was conducted, essentially half of all those college students who even identified themselves at all as Jewish had only one Jewish parent. This would certainly seem to confirm that intermarriage is a very large issue for Jews.

Indeed, I simply don't know of any other case where the demographics of a group seem so unfavorably disposed to their continued power as a group. 75% reduction from one generation to the next? What other group matches numbers like that? (Orthodox Jews do seem to have a positive fertility rate, but they are quite small in number -- about 15% of Jews, I think -- and have nothing like the clout of more secular Jews.) Many of those who worry about white Americans or Europeans wail and gnash their teeth over fertility rates just below 2, and intermarriage rates close to zero.

This is what astounds me about the obsession among many of those who embrace HBD over the purported baleful influence of Jews. If they are going to concern themselves with the demographic futures of various groups, and attend to issues like fertility rates, etc., how can they look at the demographic destiny of American Jews, and not see that, whatever kind of issue they may raise (or not), they most certainly won't be raising it half (or even a quarter) so much in the future?

Big bill said...

I would have to agree on the increase in Jewish race- and Israel-loyalty as Jews grow up. When they are young they are interested in taking down the power structure and (not surprisingly) shtupping all the college shiksas they can find. As they get older, however, their loyalty to the tribe gets quite strong. There are dudes I know who would never have done the Birthright Israel thing in their teens, but now worry that their own kids don't want to Birthright.

A bigger issue is the increaing power of the Jewish Taliban in Israel. Women being beaten for sitting at the front seats of biases, modesty patrols, anti-miscegenation vigilantes, Taliban rabbis "deconverting" Jews, riots at Intel factories to get them to shut down on the Sabbath, synagogue arson to keep Reform and Conservative Jews out of town, and now fundamentalist Jews trolling grade schools when school lets out trying to catch and convert secular Jews' kids by leading them away, feeding them candy and getting them to recite scripture and wear tefillin, and perhaps scariest of all from a gentile perspective, the growing number of fundamentalist Jewish military leaders and Jewish chaplains teaching soldiers that it is ok under Jewish law to kill the enemy--man, woman, and child-- before they actually DO anything, as long as they are INCLINED to do something and as long as the Bull Rabbi issues a Jewish fatwa. This last item, of course, is in perfect accordance with Jewish law and was even ratified by a Minneapolis rabbi a few months ago.

To me, the strange thing is the American Jewish tolerance for fundamentalist wackos running Israel at the same time they get on their high horse and try to eliminate any vestige of Christianity in American culture. When you look at Israel, you see all sorts of wonderful tools used to maintain Jewish Supremacy: racially restrictive covenants, urban renewal (aka bulldozing) of minority neighborhoods, giant walls around minority neighborhoods, an internal pass system for minorities, anti-miscegenation laws, rounding up and jailing all illegals, hell, the possibilities are endless!

Look to the Israelis as your moral leaders, copy them, and you can take your country back! What you really must do, however, is stop listening to all the hypocritical moralizing from your whiny two-faced domestic American Jews. Bottom line: domestic Jews LOVE what the Israeli Jews are doing to keep their Jewish hidey-hole safe, they just don't want you to get any similar ideas in your OWN country, America.

So repeat after me, "God bless Israel!"

But don't get me wrong. I like Israeli Jews. They are so honest about their commitment to Jewish Supremacy in Israel it is impossible NOT to like them. We have to do to Jews (and Muslims, and ...) in America what Jews do to their minorities in Israel. They should be an ever-present example to us in our own country.

Dahlia said...

"As the non-Jewish husband of a Jewish wife, with three children not raised Jewish, it should also be noted that younger Jews are often marrying outside the religion which will also lead to a decline in interest in Israel as these mixed couples grow older."

A very good friend of mine, a Jewish Manhattan-born-and-raised woman, stole her husband from a Catholic seminary (she ended up converting). Her mother, a secular very typical NYC Jew who had never been observant, was fit to be tied.

Whiskey said...

Liberalbiorealism is spot on. You can see the demographic dissolution in Jews, which itself is sad (like Clouded Leopards no longer existing). Jews in America have given us, basically comic books and Golden Age Hollywood, it is sad to see them passing.

Secular Jews in Israel are not very happy about the influence of the Orthodox, who don't do much, do not serve in the IDF, pay little taxes, and consume a lot.

Like a lot of nations crunched for money, Israel is now confronting a massive problem -- those who produce tax revenue and productivity don't reproduce, those who do reproduce don't do anything else.

The Financial Times has had a series on Israeli secular Jews struggling to deal with the political influence of the Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox, their demographic growth rate against Secular demographic decline, in their parliamentary system which amplifies minor parties.

Proportional representation is a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

When I was young the greatest concern of my elders was "mixed marriage". This was spoken of as the worst possible outcome to come from mixing with people too different from us.

They meant non-Catholics. It sounds quaint today, sort of like the social worries of the heroine in some Jane Austen novel.

But of course Jews are truly different. They are one of the few surviving genetic religions. So when a Baptist marries a Catholic they can have some child raising discussions with their clergymen and find a solution. Whatever they decide upon won't much effect the frequency of some allele pair. But Ashkenazi Jews do have certain genetic differences. Differences that make them smart, subject to a lot of specifically Jewish diseases, and possibly effect their political opinions. A non-Jewish spouse will likely result in a child who is not quite as bright as you had hoped but doesn't have Tay-Sachs and registers Republican.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

The younger generation of jews, the ones in high school right now, worship Drake (jewish mom, non jewish dad) and Asher Roth (jewish dad, non jewish mom)

There are no full blooded jews that are even in the same universe in terms of popularity.

Judaism in America is ending.

Anony2 said...

Re: declining birth rates

Does this tend to concentrate more wealth into a single heir (somewhat like cousin marriage)?

Or are single children's lack of siblings and cousins an impediment to social networking, personal growth and wealth creation?

anony-mouse said...

'Judaism in America is ending'

Google 'Kiryas Joel'

(Median age, 15. The lowest of any municipality in the US)

Google 'Yitta Schwartz', too. Two thousand descendants.

Dennis Dale said...

The life-cycle effect must be routinely unaccounted for whenever we hear of such young/old schisms; immigration comes to mind.

Sam said...

This is what astounds me about the obsession among many of those who embrace HBD over the purported baleful influence of Jews. If they are going to concern themselves with the demographic futures of various groups, and attend to issues like fertility rates, etc., how can they look at the demographic destiny of American Jews, and not see that, whatever kind of issue they may raise (or not), they most certainly won't be raising it half (or even a quarter) so much in the future?

"The purported baleful influence of Jews" wasn't/isn't about numbers. Individuals and the population groups they're part of aren't fungible. Two different groups can be the same percentage of the overall population yet have drastically different effects or "influence" on the greater society.

piotr said...

Like a lot of nations crunched for money, Israel is now confronting a massive problem -- those who produce tax revenue and productivity don't reproduce, those who do reproduce don't do anything else.

Don't worry about it Whiskey. American taxpayers will continue to send billions over to Israel every year, as they have been for the past 60 years, in order to give thanks for the "comic books and Golden Age Hollywood."

Anonymous said...

The younger generation of jews, the ones in high school right now, worship Drake (jewish mom, non jewish dad) and Asher Roth (jewish dad, non jewish mom)

There are no full blooded jews that are even in the same universe in terms of popularity.

Judaism in America is ending.


I just graduated from a college in the Northeast with a large Jewish student population. The most hardcore Jewish kids were half-Jews who seemed to think they had something to prove and had to "out-Jew" the full Jewish kids. The half-Jewish kids were the ones who would always wear "IDF" t-shirts, study Krav Maga, dominate the pro-Israel rallies on campus, etc.

Anonymous said...

anony-mouse wrote:
"Google 'Kiryas Joel'"

From experience, not all secular Jews view ultra-Orthodox expansion as continuity. If faced with the choice of a non-Jewish or ultra-Orthodox son-in-law, I know of a few secular Jewish families that would begrudgingly prefer the former.

Anonymous said...

piotr wrote: "American taxpayers will continue to send billions over to Israel every year, as they have been for the past 60 years"

Continuous U.S. monetary aid to Israel (and Egypt) began only after the 1979 Camp David accords.

globalist said...

hmm. So half-Jewish people have to prove themselves and act super-Jewish. So when the half-Jews start intermarrying among themselves (inevitable, I'd say), their kids will be 50% Jewish biologically, and 150% Jewish culturally. I see the Tribe continuing. No reason to let go of a 5000 year tradition that gives today's blogs so much to discuss.

AmericanGoy said...

"Former New Republic editor Peter Beinart has gotten a lot of publicity for "The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment," which claims that young American Jews are less obsessed with Israel than old American Jews"


American Jews being more interested in the affairs of the United States than Israel?

Oy vey!

Traitors!

Next they will not marry Jewish girls but beautiful Polish and Russian girls, oh my!
(note - one can call scotch-irish girls many things, but beautiful is not a word anyone not totally drunk would use).

Anonymous said...

Besides having the lowest median age (14.4) of any municipality in the US, Kiryas Joel:

• has the highest poverty rate (68%)

• has the highest food stamp usage (41%)

• has the highest marriage rate of women ages 15-50 (80%)

• tops the list of municipalities that lobby the Federal Government

Reg C├Žsar said...

...that marks a profound generational shift...

These "profound generational shifts" remind me of the "migration" of herring. Herring don't migrate north-and-south with the seasons, as was once presumed. They stay put, but migrate up-and-down as the water temperature changes.

They just look like they're changing latitude. But it's merely altitude.

liberalbiorealism said...

The most hardcore Jewish kids were half-Jews who seemed to think they had something to prove and had to "out-Jew" the full Jewish kids. The half-Jewish kids were the ones who would always wear "IDF" t-shirts, study Krav Maga, dominate the pro-Israel rallies on campus, etc.

Look, you can go by anecdote, or you can go by some data:

"The NJPS data reveal that the college-age Jewish population is almost evenly split between those who have two Jewish parents (48 percent) and those who have only one Jewish parent (45 percent). Students with two Jewish parents tend to be more religiously observant and Jewishly connected than those with only one Jewish parent. For example, 80 percent of those with two Jewish parents felt very positive about being Jewish compared to 65 percent among those with one Jewish parent. Both groups demonstrated an interest in Jewish studies, with 43 percent of those with two Jewish parents and 24 percent of those with one Jewish parent taking at least one Jewish studies course during their time in college."

Look, it's pretty inconceivable that MOST of those who self-identify as Jews who have only one Jewish parent are going to be as adamant and identified as those with two Jewish parents. And what happens when those who are half-Jewish themselves marry a non-Jew (and how could their parents insist that they don't, given they themselves married outside the group)? Do you really imagine their children, who would be only a quarter Jewish, are going to have the same devotion to Jewish causes? It's just not going to happen.

In fact, I think the survey itself hints at this point. The survey includes, I gather, only those college students who at least self-identify as Jews. But if 48% of them have two Jewish parents, and 45% have one Jewish parent, where are the students who have only, say, a quarter Jewish ancestry? Presumably, they fit into the remaining 7%. But is it in any way plausible that the number is that low? Almost certainly not: far more probable is that the likely quite large numbers of such students (wouldn't one expect they might at least roughly match in numbers those who are half-Jewish?) simply don't identify as Jewish (and I wouldn't be surprised if that isn't likewise true for a good number of students who are half-Jewish).

Sometimes I think people's paranoia just trashes their ability to think when it comes to these matters. On any rational account, intermarriage is tremendous blow to group solidarity -- likely the worst possible blow.

liberalbiorealism said...

"Two different groups can be the same percentage of the overall population yet have drastically different effects or "influence" on the greater society."

Today, Jews enjoy a certain level of influence on society. My claim is simply that if Jews reduce in number (or in the number of those committed to Jewish causes) by a dramatic factor, that level of influence will itself reduce by a sizable factor.

Paranoia aside, why might this not be so?

Anonymous said...

Look, you can go by anecdote, or you can go by some data:

You can also recognize that it's social "science" data consisting of surveys. Steve showed in the post why it's a good idea to be skeptical of such "data" and the claims made based on them.

Look, it's pretty inconceivable that MOST of those who self-identify as Jews who have only one Jewish parent are going to be as adamant and identified as those with two Jewish parents. And what happens when those who are half-Jewish themselves marry a non-Jew (and how could their parents insist that they don't, given they themselves married outside the group)? Do you really imagine their children, who would be only a quarter Jewish, are going to have the same devotion to Jewish causes? It's just not going to happen.

Even if they're not as adamant or devoted to Jewish causes, naturally they're going to have a greater connection and attachment to them than gentiles.

Today, Jews enjoy a certain level of influence on society. My claim is simply that if Jews reduce in number (or in the number of those committed to Jewish causes) by a dramatic factor, that level of influence will itself reduce by a sizable factor.

Jews could reduce in number by a dramatic factor, but if they continue to be overrepresented in and dominate certain institutions and positions, then their level of influence will be maintained. Jews comprised just 1% of the population of Weimar Germany, a much smaller proportion than in the US today, and they had a large influence upon and dominated much of society.

When you say "Jews reduce in number," you mean the number of full Jews will be reduced. And the process by which you posit this reduction will occur is not emigration or infertility, but intermarriage with non-Jews. That is, the loss in full Jews will be accompanied by the production of those with partial Jewish ancestry, who even if they're not as adamant or devoted to Jewish causes, are going to have a greater connection and attachment to them than gentiles.

You have to factor intensity into account as well. Part-Jews may not be as devoted as full-Jews, but a large population of part-Jews with mild devotion may have a greater influence than a smaller population of more intensely devoted full-Jews. Furthermore, it's entirely conceivable that a larger population of part-Jews may advance Jewish influence/interests more successfully as a result of fitting in better with and having greater connections to the wider gentile society.

Not all part-Jews are going to be like Bobby Fischer.

Speaking of Bobby Fischer, why do you accuse people of "paranoia" simply because they disagree with you?

Anonymous said...

"A non-Jewish spouse will likely result in a child who is not quite as bright as you had hoped but doesn't have Tay-Sachs and registers Republican.

To put some numbers to this:

Assuming a regression to the mean equation and low sense heritibilities of 0.5 (and assuming that what isn't heritible isn't just made up by peer group that can be replicated in half-Jews or anything), then assuming a Jewish and non-Jewish spouse and Jewish and non-Jewish IQs of 111 and 100 respectively (I think this is the high estimate of Jewish IQ), you're looking at something like a 2.5 IQ point loss, more or less across the board without much change due to parental IQ.

Assuming a regression to the mean equation and high sense heritibilities of 0.75 (which are I think a reasonably orthodox number), then assuming a Jewish and non-Jewish spouse and Jewish and non-Jewish IQs of 111 and 100 respectively (I think this is the high estimate of Jewish IQ), you get about a 2 IQ point loss for 2 parents at IQ 150, and a 1 IQ point loss at around the Jewish average.

This is all assuming there is no benefit of heterosis from such marriages, (in which case any loss could be nullified at least over the short term) and assuming that Jewish folks are going to marry non-Jews more or less as smart as them (a likely assumption?).

Dahinda said...

"When you are young and want to make your mark on the world, you want to break free from the shackles of tradition. In contrast, when you are old, ethnocentrism becomes a favored strategy for preserving your mark on the world after your death."

In the 20's H.L. Mencken wrote:
"The campus Nietzsche, at thirty, begins to feel the suction of Rotary; at forty-five he is a sound Mellon man."

josh said...

"I just graduated from a college in the Northeast with a large Jewish student population. The most hardcore Jewish kids were half-Jews who seemed to think they had something to prove and had to "out-Jew" the full Jewish kids. The half-Jewish kids were the ones who would always wear "IDF" t-shirts, study Krav Maga, dominate the pro-Israel rallies on campus, etc."

This has certainly not been my experience. How do you know who were the half-jews anyway? To be perfectly honest, it sounds like you just made this up.

Anonymous said...

note - one can call scotch-irish girls many things, but beautiful is not a word anyone not totally drunk would use

UVA cheerleader

VT cheerleader

UNC cheerleader

NCSU cheerleader

Wake cheerleader

Duke cheerleader

GT cheerleader

GA cheerleader

TN cheerleader

Vandy cheerleader

KY cheerleader

WVU cheerleader

etc etc etc

Mil-Tech Bard said...

Beinart's has gone Andrew Sullivan on this and other issues.

Let us look at the history Beinart recently left out in a JUNE 7, 2010 foreign policy article on Ronald Reagan titled:

>Think Again: Ronald Reagan
>The Gipper wasn't the warhound
>his conservative followers would
>have you think.


http://www.foreignpolicy.com/node/276076?print=yes&hidecomments=yes&page=full

Let us start with the USS Vincennes, the Iranian Air Bus shoot down, Reagan's secret naval war with Iran.

Reagan militarily intervened on the side of Iraq against Iran by escorting Kuwaiti tankers *and* got into an undeclared naval war with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard via using American Special Forces helicopter gunships flying from rented oil barges to systematically kill Iranian mine laying speed boats and Dhows. These actions culminated with the firefight that had USS Vincennes kill that Iranian Air Bus.

It was the Air Bus shoot down, combined with Saddam's Republican Guard victory at the Al Fah peninsula -- using chemical weapons -- that got Khomenie (sp?) to sign a peace treaty with Iraq.

And then there was Reagan's systematic, nuclear armed, SAC bomber probes of Soviet air defenses that had the KGB warning Soviet Leaders circa 1983 that the US was about to engage in a preemptive nuclear first strike.

Ya' know, that might have had a bit more to do with Reagan's ratcheting down of the anti-Soviet rhetoric in 1983, after the CIA found out about it, than Reagan secretly being a 'softie' like Beinart claims in that op-ed.

None of this history made it into Beinart's narrative, mainly because it doesn't support his fantasies about Reagan. Who had to keep large numbers American ground forces unengaged in 3rd world side battles like Lebanon to face the Soviet 8th Guards Tank Army across the Fulda Plain.

Something neither of the Bush's nor Clinton had to worry about when they went galivanting with American troops into Iraq, Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan, East Timor and Haiti.

Like I said, it is Andrew Sullivan time for Beinart.

liberalbiorealism said...

Mr. Anonymous,

I think you are missing the larger picture of the demographics here, and of its ultimate impact on politics.

Now it's certainly going to be true that in a population of Jews with one Jewish parent, there may be a struggle within the individuals over which cultural influence will prevail. Sometimes the Jewish half will; sometimes the Gentile half; most often, I'd expect, it will come out somewhere in between.

But this is just the generation of what I'll call half-Jews. What about their children, who will very likely be only quarter-Jews? I think it takes no great powers of inference to realize that, for them, the battle is lost: they will be regarded, and will regard themselves, as not basically Jewish, but something else.

The notion that intermarriage need not devastate Jewish identity can be plausibly argued only for, at most, the first generation of intermarriage.

Point is, intermarriage is an irrevocable step in group solidarity, particularly as it has been defined by Jews over the centuries: as being part of a people defined almost exclusively by ancestry. This is where the disdain Jews have traditionally held toward conversion of non-Jews to Judaism, and their focus on themselves as a people, comes back to haunt them. Unlike, say, Christians, they can't honestly say that they will accept as full members of their community any individual who happens to embrace certain tenets; ancestry is how Jewishness gets defined. For such a group so defined, intermarriage over a couple of generations is fatal to their continued viability.

And while you assert that a larger pool of partial Jews with a milder attachment to Jewish causes may still exert equal weight in support of those causes, I don't see how that really holds up -- at least in cases of real interest.

I think that the greatest peril in a small but powerful group advocating for certain policies arises when those policies are themselves radical, and far removed from the interests of the larger population.

Yet it is precisely such policies that those who are less devoted to a groups interests are most likely to spurn, precisely because they are so far out of the mainstream of which they take themselves to be members in good standing.

Of course, the case of greatest interest here, I'd think, is Jewish devotion to Israel. As Israel continues down its path of brutality, I think it's harder and harder for Jews in the mainstream to find a way to justify to themselves and their colleagues and friends Israel's ugly behavior. I just don't see how most half-Jews are going to go to the barricades of fanatics who now support Israel's increasingly extreme actions. And this is true in spades for quarter-Jews.

And of course Israel itself is a demographic nightmare of polarization, with everything pointing toward worse and worse behavior on its part. So I see Israel as becoming more of a cause only of fanatics, exactly when American Jews are being pushed inexorably towards greater moderation.

Anonymous said...

This has certainly not been my experience. How do you know who were the half-jews anyway? To be perfectly honest, it sounds like you just made this up.

You befriend them, talk to them, get to know them. And you notice certain patterns.

David said...

>The most hardcore Jewish kids were half-Jews who seemed to think they had something to prove and had to "out-Jew" the full Jewish kids.<

Similar to Obama and other halfros. Obama's obsession is proving himself "black enough." Why not "white enough"? Because of the implicit one-drop rule, perhaps, but most definitely because "black" is where it's at, man.

Who on earth wants to identify as a gentile these days, when he could easily identify with The Chosen? This is even more where it's at than black is. Pass up the opportunity to identify with the morally superior super-race, the genetically radiant unterhund, the uber-intelligent macher - pass up all that, I say, including the lifetime advantage afforded by attaching to the Jewish family/professional networks of the Chosen parent, all in order to be...just another deracinated white doof, an atomized third-class citizen - a goy? Does not compute.

>The half-Jewish kids were the ones who would always wear "IDF" t-shirts, study Krav Maga, dominate the pro-Israel rallies on campus, etc.<

That strikes me as psychologically very perceptive.

Remember: Jews are eternal heroes, man. Whites are merely dying racists.

Anonymous said...

But this is just the generation of what I'll call half-Jews. What about their children, who will very likely be only quarter-Jews? I think it takes no great powers of inference to realize that, for them, the battle is lost: they will be regarded, and will regard themselves, as not basically Jewish, but something else.

The notion that intermarriage need not devastate Jewish identity can be plausibly argued only for, at most, the first generation of intermarriage.


Even if these full-Jews and part-Jews are no longer endogamous within their Jewish group, they tend to be endogamous within their class which is characterized by Jewish overrepresentation. A non-trivial degree of Jewish admixture within this class is likely to be maintained.

And while you assert that a larger pool of partial Jews with a milder attachment to Jewish causes may still exert equal weight in support of those causes, I don't see how that really holds up -- at least in cases of real interest.

I never said that it will necessarily "exert equal weight." That depends on intensity of attachment, number of admixed, degree of admixture, etc. We don't have a precise formula or something relating these variables together.

My claim is simply that, contrary to your assertion, the decline in the number of full-Jews does not necessarily mean a proportional decline in Jewish influence because:

1) Jews may still be overrepresented in certain institutions/positions.

2) The decline in full-Jews is not a result of emigration or infertility but intermarriage with gentiles. The decline is tempered by the production of those with partial Jewish ancestry who, even if they're not as devoted as full-Jews, are likely to have a greater attachment than gentiles.

MQ said...

Who on earth wants to identify as a gentile these days, when he could easily identify with The Chosen? This is even more where it's at than black is. Pass up the opportunity to identify with the morally superior super-race, the genetically radiant unterhund, the uber-intelligent macher - pass up all that, I say, including the lifetime advantage afforded by attaching to the Jewish family/professional networks of the Chosen parent, all in order to be...just another deracinated white doof, an atomized third-class citizen - a goy? Does not compute.

This is a good example of how anti-semitism tends to be driven by an unspoken envy of Jews (more specifically, envy of a fantasy of what the Jews are like) and weird forms of projection.

ProudWhiteMan said...

I sense a provincialism in this discussion.

This is an American blog, with an American viewpoint. This is not representative of the rest of the world; specifically as it relates to Jews.

There is virtually no advantage to being identified as Jewish in most countries of the world today. Jews' higher intelligence will translate to greater earning power; true. But the antisemitism of most European countries (never mind the third/turd world) makes self-identifying as a Jew not a very wise choice for those interested in long-term survival. Half-Jews in most circumstances will not identify as Jews, simply because it will be too unpleasant to do so. Do you really think, for example, that an Asian female adopted by a Jewish couple (the usual story- too much "Sex and the City", not enough "leave it to Beaver"-) would choose to claim Judaism as their religion/race, as opposed to Han Chinese? In a world of rising Han influence and rising global antisemitism, how on earth does that make sense?

I have known European Half-Jews who hid their Judaism due to antisemitism in Holland- and this was 20 years ago, before the glorious multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-religious paradise that Holland is becoming and is continuing to morph into is fully realized. Do you think things are better now?

There will soon (within 50 years)- be no people identifying as Jews in any significant number outside of the U.S. and Israel. Whether they are 100%, 50%, 25%, or any percent Jewish.

Anonymous said...

I graduated from a UC in 2004, and my impression of the many Jewish students there was that they were far from unconcerned about Israel.

Anonymous said...

The big numbers here are the demographic numbers of intermarriage and fertility. At least according to a number of sources, the intermarriage rate for secular Jews is now at 50%, and the fertility rate at barely above 1. That's a reduction of close to 75% from one generation to the next of Jews who are "full-blooded".

No, because the full-blooded Jews have more children than the secular Jews who intermarry. And the intermarriage rate is probably overstated - remember that the only real stats we have on this come from Jewish organizations who have an incentive to lie, and who are essentially immune to criticism.

Anonymous said...

When the Jewish lobby disappears in the U.S.A , we Asian Indians will take their place very soon. Indeed we already are. Yes, Asian Indians in the U.S.A also tend to have low fertility levels like American Jews, but we have a nearly endless source in India. And yes only a small percentage of those in India have the high IQ found in East Indians in the U.S.A they are still quite large in absolute numbers.

dsadfasfasdf said...

Beinart's trying to pull the same shit as Chabon. He pushes TNR's bullshit 'liberal Zionism'.

Me thinks Beinart is trying to say this:

1. Jews are not a close-knit tribe; there's much rancor/apathy in the ranks, esp the young. Beinart tries to pacify goyim who suspect Jews function as a close-knit group. He's saying, "look, these young Jews don't care about Israel, so all this stuff about Jewish power is so much bosh.' In other words, Walt is a wart, and Mearsheimer is a smear-shiner.
Beinart is saying, "if Americans suspect Jews steer US foreign policy, let it be known most Jews have no say or stake in this, esp among the young Jews who shall define the Jewish future."

adsfafasdfasdf said...

2. Beinart attributes the change in the Jewish community to two reasons.
APATHY, implying that Jews are like us: into TV, celebrity culture, etc.
The other is shock/disgust at Israel's hardline/inhumane treatment of Palestinians, implying Jews are conscientious & troubled by the actions of their ethnic brethren.

So, Beinart's weasely attempt to defend & salvage Zionism goes something like this: "Original and mainstream Zionism had been humane, universal, democratic, & compassionate... BUT an ugly form of tribal, aggressive, & nasty right-wing Zionism took its place; and no people are as upset over this as most American Jews, who are decent, liberal, humane, blah, blah."

Sorry, but this sounds so much like old Trotskyitism: 'Soviet communism was noble but evil Stalin destroyed the movement.'

Of course, most sensible people know communism was fated to be inhumane by its very nature, but the world is full of people who wanna have the cake & eat it too. They want both communism & the moral highground. And TNR wants both Zionism & the moral highground. According to TNR, of which Beinart is just a mouthpiece, the core of Zionism is good, good, good. Aint nothing wrong with it. Rather, the problems of Israel are entirely those of vile Arabs/Muslims(& nations like Russia/China that support them) &, to a lesser extent, the tendency of SOME Jews to act like rightwing whites than ever-so-decent Jews(and indeed, TNR conveniently attributes the rise of rightwing Zionism not to the Jewish community but to Christian fundies who give 100% support to a cabal of Neocons. Never mind TNR has been very cozy with Neocons on matters of foreign policy. Funny that Jews who complain about 'Jewish conspiracy theories' have cooked up their own little mini-me conspiracy theory to explain Jewish evil. The problem is not all Jews but BAD Jews. I suppose the 'cabal' is okay as long as it's run by humane liberals like Axelrod & Emanuel than by wicked renegade Jews who somehow took over OYPAC.)

Now, I'm not here to say Zionism = Nazism. I don't believe Zionism is inherently evil like Nazism.
It's also true that good number of Zionists had leftist credentials.
HOWEVER, in the context of postwar West, Zionism was still a form of hardline nationalism based on borders & blood, and as such, it is necessarily a rightwing ideology, even with the support of many secular liberal Jews. Alan Dershowitz may be a liberal professor but he is a rightwing Jewish nationalist. It is impossible to argue for a LIBERAL or UNIVERSAL Zionism.

For one thing, a Zionism practicing the virtues of modern liberalism could NOT have established the nation of Israel IN THE FIRST PLACE. It involved too much nationalist passions, too much violence/repression. If Beinart thinks Zionism had been liberal, universalist, & humane back in 1948, he should go ask some Palestinians with memories of those times. Jews were no different than others in using violence to get what they wanted. But it is fallacious for Jews to assume that Zionism was/is liberal or universalist simply because most Jews around the world tend to be politically that way.

For honesty's sake, even liberal Jews have to accept that the core of Zionism has been rightwing--if not evil--from day one. In this sense, Jews are very much like the German & French socialists on the eve of WWI. Though ideologically Left, they too supported the war in the name of national pride/ glory. Humans are complex, thus they can be leftist-in-this-way and rightist-in-that-way. One can be both ways but one cannot have it both ways.

dfasdfasfsaf said...

"Gay marriage is a done deal because young people don't think homosexuality is wrong."

But why do young people think homosexuality is soooo wonderful. Because young people know better? No, because they are more gullible to pop culture and education, and who controls those? Liberal Jews.

So, whenever liberals say, "young people, young people", they are really saying, "how we controlled young people's minds."

But fools think that young people, by the nature of their youth, have generated their own brand new ideas. Since the young are so fresh and idealistic, how grumpy for us to stand in their way, oh the times they are a-changing blah blah.

Of course, this is mostly all bull.
Boomers take much pride in the changes in the 60s, and indeed it's true enough that at no other time in recorded history was youth in so much vogue.

But, go down the list of people who actually led and changed the culture, politics, and tastes in the 50s/60s, and they were NOT highschoolers or college kidders.
Only in pop music was there genuine younger talent but even the majority of them were born between the GG--greatest generation--and BG--boomer generation.

Truman, Eisenhower, MLK, Kennedy, Johnson, etc who were so instrumental to social changes were not of BG. Truman and Eisenhower were even pre-GG. Kennedy was GG. Johnson may have been pre-GG.

The first big stars of rock n roll were pre-boomer: Presley, Berry, Lewis, Holly, etc.
The filmmakers who defined the 60s--Kubrick, Penn, Peckinpah, Nichols, etc--were pre-BG. Even the famously 'youthful' French New Wave guy ranged from 30 to 45 in 1959. Fellini, Antonioni, and Bergman, so adored by 60s 'film generation' were well into their middle ages in the 60s.

Norman Mailer, Sontag, Roth, and others who dominated the literary scene in the 60s were pre-BG. Mailer fought in WWII, which makes him GG.

All that stuff down in Selma and other civil rights stuff were mostly organized, led, and achieved by GG or pre-GG people.
The young hotheads in the 60s only knew how to make noise and hog all the credit for themselves when in fact, all the basic goals had been achieved by 1964, before the 60s craziness really began. (If the first boomers were born in 1946, it means the oldest boomers were only 20 in 1966. How much could they have done during the crucial 50s and early 60s?)

So, the BB were essentially inheritors of the changes wrought by older people.
But they believed in the myth that they themselves were at the vanguard of history when in fact their minds had been steered and guided by older people. Even the folk movement was largely guided by oldies like Pete Seeger(who wasn't too tolerant when Dylan got out of line.)
Even so, it could well be that the older progressives wanted the younger people of the 60s to believe in their 'own' power and ideas. Older progressives had been attacked as 'commies' and wanted to convince America that the radical ideas of the 60s were cooked up spontaneously by young people than fed to them by old 'commies'.

Similarly today, liberal boomers in control of the media and education and all else are pulling the same shit. They fill today's young kids with all the PC ideas and then act as though they are ONLY responding to the demands of pure, idealitic, and fresh young hearts & minds.

Well, it's effective.
It just looks worse for the Right to say NO to a young 'idealistic' person than to an old leftist even if both are pushing the same dumb policy.

asdfafasdf said...

"Why focus on the issue of whether or not Jews happen to develop more commitment to Jewish issues, including Israel, as they age?
Indeed, I saw a reference to a survey from Hillel indicating that this falling away from Jewish interests was a very real phenomenon college students who self-identified Jews but who had only one Jewish parent, as compared to those who had two Jewish parents."

This will change as the kids grow older. Why?

Because most Jews marry whites, and today, whites have no identity whatsoever. When a kid's young, he's into fun, music, and dance. As he or she grows older, he or she seeks an identity and a place in the world.

There is still a JEWISH identity that is approved of in society. It is associated with noble victimhood, survival, pride, heritage, solidarity, etc.
Whiteness is associated with blandness, slavery, Nazism, killing Injuns, racism, sexism, Christian fundies, etc.
When a Jew marries a white, the Jew has the right to be proud of his/her Jewishness, but the white guy or girl has no such moral right in the West. Just as a person born to black father and white mother almost always chooses to be 'black' in the long run, a kid who's half-Jewish will eventually end up feeling more Jewish than goy, if only because it's morally advantageous. He may feel less Jewish than a Jewish kid from two Jewish parents, but the fact is whiteness is culturally recessive in this sorts of marriages.

Also, keep in mind that smart Jewish guys marry less intelligent(but good-looking)white women. White women, out of deference to the smart successful Jewish husbands, will in many cases choose to let the kids grow up with a good deal of Jewish awareness. Also, given that the White West is so slavish and supportive of everything Jewish--Israel, Holocaust Memorial, Hug-a-Jew rituals, etc--, I'll bet many half-Jewish kids grow up feeling pretty Jewish.

Cross-ethnic marriages may be common for Jews, but it tends to be far more selective than other kinds of inter-ethnic or interracial marriages. A dumb Mexican may marry a dumb Texican because they got the hots for one another. Dumb white trash may marry dumb black trash.
They just go with their feelings.

Jews have had a more Talmudic approach to marriage, and this survives in a secular form among non-religious Jews. Since Jews tend to be successful, they carefully look for the best mates--Jewish or non-Jewish--in terms of brains or looks. Jews prefer to marry other Jews for brains but some Jews got the hots for fabulous looking white goyim. (They don't want the fat ugly ones on the Jerry Springer Show who are left alone to have kids with white trash males or black trash males.)

Since Jews got money, they tend to marry some hot good looking goyim than some ugly fatass ho.
But, many Jews also marry smart goyim. Suppose a top tier university is 30% Jewish and 30% white goyim. Jews will not be marrying the run-of-the-mill whites but the creme-of-the-crop whites. The smartest whites, instead of retaining their WHITE IDENTITY, will go off with some Jew, gain an ersatz Jewish mentality, have Jewishy kids, and live an entire life as a sidekick of the Jew. When a Jew marries a white, the Jew has the moral advantage over the white. The Jew is more animated, aggressive, witty, and colorful.
So, a kid who's biologically half-Jewish is still mentally and culturally bound to be 85% Jewish.

ben tillman said...

The notion that intermarriage need not devastate Jewish identity can be plausibly argued only for, at most, the first generation of intermarriage.

Your numbers are way off. The intermarriage is probably less than half of your number, and the fertility rate is much higher than one per woman. Even so, it hardly matters.

The next 10-15 years will determine everything, and the trends you cite will have little effect on the Jewish population within this time frame.

David said...

asdfafasdf, I said all that two days before you did.