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Happy Fake Israeli Independence Day!

Israel is one of few countries on earth with two independence days: sure, you could celebrate the Jewish state’s independence on May 14th (or on the 5th of Iyar, if you prefer), in recognition of David Ben Gurion’s declaration of the state of Israel after the termination of the British mandate. But if one independence day just isn’t enough, you could also celebrate on November 29th, the anniversary of the UN’s 1947 approval of the Partition Plan–effectively, the international community’s official recognition of a Jewish state in Palestine.

And celebrate they did at JTS, where a lunchtime reenactment of the pivotal vote helped distract cafeteria patrons from their usual stale tofu and last-minute Talmud translations. Instead, the seminarians put on their best accents as the vote was called from a podium in the center of the cafeteria: “Australia votes in favor of partition. Crikey!,” one shouted. “Costa Rica votes si!” “Luxembourg votes yes for particion.”

Boos went up when His Majesty’s government offered a demure abstention, but the cafeteria erupted in cheers moments later when the Soviets registered a historic vote of support. Excitement built as South American and former British commonwealth nations carried the Zionists to a 33-13 victory–with Cuba being, as the moderator noted, “the only nation the Arabs were able to convince by force of argument.”

Of course the partition vote is one of the most controversial and commented upon events in modern history. No matter–that, (as well as the fact that this was, afer all, a reenactment) didn’t take away from the post-vote singing of Hatikva, in recognition of “the hope that was realized 60 years ago.” Agonizing over socio-historical complexities is what the other 364 days of the years are for: in that vein, it was announced that this weekend marks the beginning of Conservative Judaism’s year-long effort to explore and discuss the implications of Jewish statehood in, recognition of the country’s 60th anniversary. Cake now, grueling self-examination later! 

Speaking of which, Bwog suspects there wasn’t an Israeli flag cake at the real U.N. vote, but we’ll let it slide.


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  • is anybody says:

    @is anybody else kind of grossed out by this?

    1. invisible_hand says:

      @invisible_hand the implications for partition have been complex and have resulted in some very troubling geopolitical circumstances, yes.

      however, to be grossed out by a people celebrating their (problematic though it may be) national self-determination is just snide and unfair.

      1. so says says:

        @so says a GS/JTS student. bias, much?

        1. invisible_hand says:

          @invisible_hand and also, #9, that is just rude and quite intolerant. i began my comment with acknowledging the delicate situation.
          there is a multiplicity of views in the jewish community. for you to generalize and reduce everything to your easy markers is just sloppy and bigoted.
          as i wrote above, someone calling filasteen eating a palestinian flag cake gross is also something i would not tolerate. so, where’s the bias?
          especially when i took the pains to note the complicated and polythetic nature of this situation.
          you made me quite upset. embrace complexity, buddy. not everything is as simple as you want it to be.

        2. ???? says:

          @???? Of course it’s biased! It’s an opinion! What’s the matter with you? People believe in things about issues that are personal to them. Shock!

  • Wag says:

    @Wag All hail the biggest foreign policy blunder of the 20th century.

  • what says:

    @what what is there to be grossed out by? (that’s actually not a sarcastic or rhetorical question, I don’t get it)

  • huh says:

    @huh why is this worthy of a bwog posting?

  • agree says:

    @agree i agree to 1,2, and 4


  • says: wow.

  • Aww says:

    @Aww Sounds pretty fun (though kitschy)!

    Honestly, how can you all be hating on CAKE?

  • DHI says:

    @DHI Hatikvah is better known as the tune of the hook in Troublesome ’96.

  • typical says:

    @typical I think it’s a problem when I can tell Armin wrote those by the end of the first paragraph.

    Josh Matthews is a superior bwog political commentator.

  • The Cake says:

    @The Cake is a lie

  • moral complexity says:

    @moral complexity Oh God. I must plan carefully now, since I have months of grueling self-examination ahead. How terrible it is that the Jews, like every other nation, have a state. What an intrinsic, intransigent moral complexity! It is a crime for which I must personally repent, as a Jew and, god forbid, as an Israeli.

    1. The Hakka says:

      @The Hakka people do not have a state. :-(

    2. And neither says:

      @And neither do the Tibetans. Or the Kurds. :-(.

    3. Palestine says:

      @Palestine votes no!

      Actually, it is morally problematic that the “Jews” should have a state, just as it is problematic that there should be an “Islamic” state. A state where members of one religious group receives preferential treatment over another (don’t kid yourselves if you think Israel isn’t one of them) is morally problematic and backward.

      1. I agree says:

        @I agree And when Mecca and Medina allow churches and synagogues… Israel will lose any and all moral standing. Until then…

        1. yup says:

          @yup israel, no worse than saudi arabia. there’s some moral high ground right there!

          1. seriously says:

            @seriously I hold the Saudis in contempt too. Does that free me from charges of Anti-Semitism now?


  • seriously says:

    @seriously bwog needs a better editorial policy. You cannot have Armin writing anything about the Middle East.

  • lame says:

    @lame It is a far worse of a ‘bias incident’ when a reputable campus new source can publish a story like this without presenting alternate opinions than when a coked-out idiot gets kicked out for obviously inappropriate vandalism.

    1. Bwog says:

      @Bwog is not a news source! It’s a blog where people can say whatever they want! Stop demanding that they have a certain opinion or even a balanced opinion, and take it for what it is.

      1. lame says:

        @lame if several hundred arabs got together and ate a cake of the palestinian flag and the bwog reported on it in such bromidic terms, chances are someone would call it a hate crime.

        and unless i know exactly who “ARR” is, and i don’t (despite the postings), it is his/her responsibility to at least try to present this issue fairly. if it’s an editorial, put your name on it and own up to your opinions.

  • gee, i wonder says:

    @gee, i wonder who wrote this.

    what a freaking surprise, ARR

  • invisible_hand says:

    @invisible_hand as a jew, apparently “outed” here on the bwog, i would totally understand filasteen eating their cake. seeing as i have done work with them on campus and fully support palestinian sovereignty… i’m cool with it.
    so why not an israeli flag cake?
    Lord knows i am not the most enthusiastic zionist in the world, and indeed i do see the formation of israel and the origins of zionism as very much situated in the nationalistic passions of the 19th century. but this event, though kitschy, was not the most political thing ever. it was a cultural celebration.
    now, re: the post by mr/ms Palestine, i think that the categories you are imposing on the situation are woefully inadequate. the discourse of “religion” is not a self-evident category. it is quite easy to label christianity as a “religion,” because it constructed itself in that way, as pure “religio” purged of all “ethnos” in the Roman Empire around the 4th century. However, this sort of labeling simply doesn’t work with “Judaism.” Historically speaking, the Jews have been treated as and indeed ARE a people, not mere members of a faith. In this broken world of ours, a people, to get along in the world, seems to need a state (though nationalism sucks, it’s the way it is). In terms of religion, there is full religious freedom in Israel (as well as gay inclusion and equal rights for women). there is, of course, the horrendous treatment of the Palestinians. but, as i mentioned above, the situation as it is is wrong and it must be rectified.
    so, to wrap up, in terms of “religions,” Jews have the exact same treatment as any other people in Israel. However, in terms of political citizenry of an ethnic group, we run into some very troubling circumstances.

    1. filasteen says:

      @filasteen So now you have to use the word “filasteen?” “Palestinian” isn’t enough of a contrivance?

      1. confused says:

        @confused contrivance? what are you talking about?

        filasteen is the same of the palestinian cultural club at columbia.

      2. invisible_hand says:

        @invisible_hand #29 is correct, and you need to calm down.

    2. i'm not says:

      @i'm not the one who made the comment you’re responding to, but it’s actually an interesting problem, because yes, jews are not simply believers in a religion. i’m still an anti-zionist, though.

      there’s some analogy to pre-founding of israel debates among jews about forming a nation-state and the same debate among Blacks in the U.S. particularly in the 20s and 30s there were significant currents of Black nationalists as well as the Communist Party which advocated independence & sovereignty for the “Black Belt” stretch of Black-majority areas in the South. in the real world, this was a poor strategic choice by people with some seriously genuine grievances. suppose hypothetically that, say, the USSR had gotten nukes first, brought the US to its knees, split it up by states, and forcibly imposed & funded & armed a Black-ruled apartheid state in the South, with a clear Black majority established by the forcible removal of white Southerners.

      this would be a bad thing. it would remain a bad thing even despite the history of slavery, and even though white Americans would quite likely react by reviving the KKK & turning to all the ugliest ideologies of US history. the issue in this bizarro universe is forced removal & apartheid governance – but a mistaken analysis of Black people as an oppressed “nation”, given a total reversal of the power balance, is part of the problem.

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