The lying, fifth rate academic Juan Cole is at it again, with a spectacularly stupid post called "Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is like saying the US is a White State."
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is adding a fifth demand to his negotiations with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas: That the Palestinians recognize Israel as a "Jewish state."
As I've noted, this is not a new demand, and it was originally created by Olmert and Livni, not Netanyahu. But, hey, Juan Cole is an "expert," right?
Now comes the straw man arguments:
For Netanyahu's demand to make any sense, he first has to define "Jewish." "Jewish" has a number of possible meanings. It can mean "those recognized by Talmudic law as members of the Jewish 'race' via maternal descent." The latter is the legal definition of Jewishness in Israeli law itself, and for this reason we must presume that it is what Netanyahu has in mind. It can also mean "adherents of the Judaic religion," and we can explore those implications, as well.
Of the some 6 million self-identified Jews in Israel, about 300,000 are not recognized as "Jewish" by the Chief Rabbi and there is no prospect of them being recognized as Jewish any time soon. They were allowed to immigrate to Israel because they had at least one Jewish grandparent, but if their mother was not Jewish neither are they.
So if Israel is a "Jewish" state, is it a state for these (largely Russian and Ukrainian) "non-Jewish" Jews? Many of them are Jewish by religion, but not all are. None of them are Jewish by the Talmud.
He then goes on and on with discredited genetic studies and other points to buttress his moronic point that if any Israelis aren't considered Jewish by some definition, then they are being disenfranchised. And, of course, all Israeli Arabs are disenfranchised as well.
Here's a news flash for Cole, that he must not be aware of in his years of scholarly research: Israel has defined itself as a Jewish state for 65 years now, and somehow none of these supposed showstoppers have slowed down the Jewish state one tiny bit!
According to Cole, it is simply impossible - yet here it is. Imagine that.
Here's another news flash for Cole: Judaism is more than a religion. It isn't a race. Jews are a nation/people, and have been a people for over 3000 years.
Don't trust me. The famed 14th century Arab historian and intellectual Ibn Khaldun says explicitly that Jews are a people. Jewish prayers have said the same thing since before Islam existed. The Bible says so (e.g., 1 Kings 8:16.) . Perhaps Cole has heard of that work, it's fairly famous.
It is possible to join a nation, so this isn't a racial or genetic group. It isn't purely a religious group.
Cole's entire thesis is not only invalid, but laughably absurd.
Apparently Cole subscribes to the PLO's "logic" that the Jews aren't a people, because if they are a people, that means they have rights as a people.
Oh, and Cole also seems unaware that Israel defining itself as Jewish is not at all analogous to the US defining itself as white - it is analogous to many nations defining themselves as Arab. And guess who does that?
If he wants to be morally consistent, Cole must condemn every single Arab state that defines itself as "Arab." This disenfranchises all non-Arabs who live in Arab nations. It is discriminatory, according to Cole.
But Juan Cole isn't interested in consistency. He isn't interested in morality. He is certainly not interested in the truth. His major interest appears to be to deny the Jewish people their human rights. The very idea that Jews have such rights is anathema to lying pseudo-academics like Cole who use their pretense of knowledge to deny human rights to the Jewish people.