Tag Archives: daloy tsienizm

women of noise for palestine – a benefit compilation!

Women of Noise for Palestine – a benefit compilation for Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund

i’m track 23 on this! and it’s out today!

here are the full credits and lyrics for the track:

soroke | voron — “mabl un regnboygn – flood and rainbow”

words adapted by rosza daniel lang/levitsky (2023) from aba shteynberg (1942)

melody adapted by psoy korolenko (2018) from yiddish traditional / yossele rosenblatt

performance & production: voice, Landscape Stereo Field, Rucci 16-step, Audacity all by rosza daniel lang/levitsky (2023)

Continue reading women of noise for palestine – a benefit compilation!

genocide warrants

any meaningful long-term jewish response to the current acceleration of the zionist genocidal project in palestine is going to need to reckon with the ways that the central texts of the rabbinic (and priestly, and, yes, priestessly) tradition actively and repeatedly call for and celebrate genocide.

i’m talking about the commandment to exterminate the amalekites and steal their land. i’m talking about the physical destruction of the bnei amram’s political opponents – specifically, the group opposed to hereditary theocratic rule whose spokesperson was korakh. i’m talking about the mass killing of the children of mitsraim. i’m talking about the supposedly pre-emptive massacre of 75,810 people (explicitly including children) in ahashevrosh’s empire.

these are genocidal acts – the extermination in whole or part of an identifiable social group, because they are members of that group. and those are just the quickest four to come to my mind. the quickest four large-scale actions, that is: i’m not even bothering to include the countless incitements to genocide, like the one in psalm 137, which begins with weeping by the rivers of babylon and ends with a blessing on those who systematically murder the infant children of peoples defined as “enemy”.

all of these actions (and more) are presented as inherently good. some are divine actions, so their positive character cannot be disputed within a rabbinic/priestly frame. some are the actions (with or without divine assistance) of moses, whose correctness is only slightly more debatable within the rabbinic/priestly tradition. some are explicitly intended to continue into the present, considered as binding positive commandments rather than mythic accounts. some are the basis of celebratory holidays.

they are what comes immediately before and after practically every mythic story that liberal and progressive religious jews love to tell as examples of heroism in the service of justice. the bravery of nakhson and crossing of the sea follows the mass murder of children and leads into the extermination of the bnei amram dynasty’s political opponents. the esther story ends with the slaughter of tens of thousands – not in self-defense, but after the danger had definitively passed. i could go on.

support for genocide is not extractable from a rabbinic/priestly approach to jewishness. it is not a subject of debate within that tradition, except in the sense that some writers pick and choose which genocides and calls for genocide they actively defend and which ones they remain silent about. it is the heart of the “prophetic tradition”, whose heroes constantly call for purification through mass murder – often the mass murder of specific groups of the people they are supposedly trying to save – and when the genocide they call for does not arrive (as in the story of jonah) they are enraged. it is woven through every prayerbook and many rituals, and through commentaries, analyses, and rulings on subjects of all kinds, generally with directly fascist implications (for example, blaming the “erev rav” – the internal diversity of the jewish people – for resistance to the hereditary theocratic rule of the bnei amram).

and it has direct, bloody consequences in the real world. we are seeing them now, as the full spectrum of zionists call for the genocide of palestinians with rhetoric and specific goals drawn from precisely this tradition. pre-emptive mass murder. the slaughter of children. massacres of those who speak against autocracy. wholesale extermination in pursuit of land theft.

after all, zionism, even when some of its advocates claim secularism, is very specifically part of the rabbinic tradition. its only justification for jewish rule in palestine – its defining political project – is the rabbinic canon: the fantasy of a divine land-grant, the fiction of a powerful ancient israelite kingdom, and the rest of the mythology zionism pretends is history come exclusively from those texts.

so it’s no wonder zionism is a movement that makes constant use of the genocidal tools celebrated in the tanakh and its religious tradition. it is pursuing a goal defined in terms taken from that tradition, through a practice modeled on the genocidal conquests the tradition celebrates as steps towards that goal.

if you want to “embrace tradition” through the rabbinic/priestly path advocated by the ‘progressive’ religious sphere – yes, including Kohenet; yes, including Svara – genocide is a pervasive part of what you’re being asked to embrace.

luckily, the rabbinic/priestly tradition is not the only way to be jewish. at the core of the jewish left for the past 150 years – from marrakesh to madras to montréal to melbourne, from buenos aires to baghdad to brooklyn, from istanbul to indianapolis, from tehran to toledo to tetuan – has been a rejection of that tradition as the defining center of jewishness. that is what has made possible a jewish politics of solidarity, a jewish ethics of liberation, a jewish practice of heterogeneity, a jewish radical diasporism – all imperfect, all evolving, but now possible. one no that leads to many yeses (as the zapatista proverb says).

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when the enemy of my enemy is my enemy

as usual when the israeli state accelerates its ongoing attempted genocide against palestinians, Neturei Karta is getting attention (this time, from what i’ve seen, almost entirely under their publicity label “Torah Jews” as opposed to the usual name of their sect).

which means it’s time to remind people that they are a part of the religious far right, and should not be considered allies to any liberation work. their anti-zionism is not based on any anticolonial vision; it is theological, and even so a matter of disagreeing with the zionist movement about the timing and conditions of the conquest of palestine. NK believes that it should only happen under the auspices of the messiah, whose coming they hope and pray for. when he cleanses the holy land, it’ll be just fine by them.

[edited] they also directly tie their antizionism to their virulent and violent anti-queer politics, as in the NK statement from 2006, below. it is about the jerusalem Pride march scheduled for the next day, but is in response to that summer’s (rather small) pinkwashing World Pride march in jerusalem and the (quite large) queer palestine solidarity march that countered it. both are “perversion”, “desecration”, “evil” in their eyes, and responsible in part for the existence of zionism.

[edited to add] to be clear: this statement is their endorsement of – and promise to follow through on – threats of physical attacks against queer and trans people at Pride, which the previous year had involved the stabbing of three participants, and would escalate to murder during another stabbing spree in 2015. because of those threats, the mainstream (i.e. zionist) march was cancelled in 2006 – which meant that only the pink-and-black bloc of queer and trans radicals (mostly involved in militant palestine solidarity work) took the streets the day after this statement came out. where NK and their friends attacked them, with the support of the israeli police.

the far right has no place in our solidarity work. NK should not be welcomed or celebrated by anyone committed to liberation.

When the fear of the Almighty is Absent All Becomes Permitted

A Neturei Karta Statement on the Parade and Demonstration in Favor of Moral Abominations in Jerusalem

Continue reading when the enemy of my enemy is my enemy

from Yidishistn Mit Palestine / Yiddishists With Palestine:

כּדי אָפּצוגעבן כּבֿוד דעם אָנדענק פֿון די אַלע פֿאַרשניטענע, מוזן מיר אָפּהאַלטן דעם איצטיקן חורבן – النكبة, און שטיצן דעם פּאַלעסטינישן געראַנגל צו באַקומען זײער פֿרײַהײט און צו מאַכן אַ סוף צו דער אַפּאַרטהייט. מיר שרײַבן אױף ייִדיש װײַל מיר גלײבן אין אַ צעבליִענדיקן ייִדישן גלות, פֿרײַ פֿון דעם ציוניזם און אַלע אַנדערע מלוכה-נאַציאָנאַליזמען. מיט דערמעגלעכן דאָס חרובֿ מאַכן פֿון עזה – غزه – קען מען נישט באַװײנען די אומגעקומענע. מיר מוזן פאַרהיטן דעם גענאָציד. פֿאַראײניקט זיך מיט אונדז.

kedey optsugebn koved dem ondenk fun di ale farshnitene, muzn mir ophaltn dem itstikn  khurbn – nakba, un shtitsn dem palestinishn gerangl tsu bakumen zeyer frayheyt un tsu makhn a sof tsu der apartheyt. mir shraybn oyf yidish vayl mir gleybn in a tsebliendikn yiddishn goles, fray fun dem tsionizm un ale andere melukhe-natsionalizmen. mit dermeglekhn dos khorev makhn fun aze – gaza – ken men nisht baveynen di umgekumene.  mir muzn farhitn dem genotsid. fareynikt zikh mit undz.

To honor all the dead, we must stop this next catastrophe. We must struggle alongside Palestinians for their liberation and to end apartheid. We write in Yiddish because we believe in the thriving of a Jewish diaspora free from zionism and all other state nationalisms. Enabling the destruction of Gaza is not a way to grieve. We must interrupt genocide. We must do this together.

Pour honorer tous les morts, nous devons empêcher cette nouvelle catastrophe. Nous devons lutter aux côtés des Palestiniens pour leur libération et pour mettre fin à l’apartheid. Nous écrivons en yiddish parce que nous croyons en l’épanouissement d’une diaspora juive libérée du sionisme et de tous les autres nationalismes d’État. Permettre la destruction de Gaza n’est pas une façon de vivre son deuil. Nous devons interrompre le génocide. Nous devons le faire ensemble.