man, we need to go food shopping. our fridge consists of mustard, maple syrup, and dried apricots. i'm not sure how many meals you can make out of that, but i'm pretty sure it's in the single digits.
i am getting so bored with my brit lit class... i don't know why. i like the professor and i like some of what we read, but i suppose i am getting into this contemporary faze and not into reading classics. no, that can't be right, because i am still loving my world lit class. i don't know.
i wanted to write about something that i find fairly interesting and that is the perception of jews today. before i say anything, however, i want to preface it with a little bit of modesty topos. unfortunately, i only really began keeping up with the news a couple of years ago. before then, i didn't know very much about world issues. what i knew was what i heard, and although it can be argued that media is biased, opinions of regular people in your life are usually even more so. hence, i do not know very much about the history of israeli-palestinian conflict, and consequently, i don't favor one side over the other. it would be presumptuous of me to have an opinion or to take a side when i don't know all the facts.
as i said before, i always went on what i heard, and being in a predominantly christian circle for most of my life, i always heard pro-israel. the arguments i heard were that arabs/muslims had plenty of countries - hell, they had the whole middle east - and israel should have a place of their own. this was not fair simply because of ratio. everyone sided with israel because they are "god's chosen people" and that's why they have so many problems. everyone picks on them for this reason. they don't do anything wrong.
so anyway, we are reading the old testament in class - 1 and 2 samuel. we are looking at saul, but mostly david, as a hero figure. what does heroism mean? is there a code of conduct? stuff like that. we have determined that, more so than in other texts, in the old testament, obedience to god is the primary thing. nothing comes before it. even if you have good intentions, if you don't do what god tells you to do, you screwed up. big time. it was also hard to ignore god telling them to kill surrounding tribes, "both man and woman, child and infant," like, every five minutes.
anyway, while discussing the story, we obviously discuss the culture and history that surrounds it. there is a muslim man in my class who is extremely smart. he's so smart, it frightens me. he is interested in religion, but he is not just informed about islam. he knows about judaism, christianity, eastern religions - everything. it is so interesting to listen to him talk. he's great, man.
the thing that bothered me a little was the fact that he made several ... i won't call them anti-semitic, but perhaps anti-israel? ... comments during the class discussions. he said that the jews have always had this offensive idea about being god's chosen ones. he said that israel has always been like a hermit crab, going around and living on other people's land, and that they are learning what the u.s. is now learning: that when you take over other people's land, they try to kill you. and several other comments to this effect. our professor told him that he was making judgments and he laughed and said, "i'm not the teacher. i don't have to be politically correct."
these comments bothered me, but the issue of why they bothered me is the interesting part. did they bother me because they were wrong? no. i am not saying that they were right, but as i stated before, i don't have enough knowledge of the history to say, definitively, that he was wrong. that is not what upset me.
i was upset mainly because he didn't know if anyone in the room was jewish. i may not be jewish, but my great grandmother was. it really isn't considerate to make such strong remarks against a group of people in mixed company. if we had talked about islam and i had made strong remarks against muslims, i bet he would have flipped. i know people think we go too far with political correctness, and perhaps we do, but i see a great necessity for it on some level. maybe we wouldn't need it in a perfect world, but in a world full of hatred, it doesn't hurt.
the fact that my great grandmother was jewish contributes to my defensiveness of them, but that is not all. i am a product of the judeo-christian tradition. i cannot separate the judeo from the christian. when i read those bible stories, i didn't think of the israelites as the other. i thought of it as my history. the history of god's people was my history. it didn't matter that i wasn't jewish, the new testament took care of that, and so adam and eve, abraham, moses, ruth, david, esther, job, deborah... they were all my forbears.
and i don't like jews to the expense of liking muslims; i like both. one of boyfriend's friends, whom i like and get along with well, is muslim. he came over for a couple of minutes the other day and saw the bible on the table. he said, "what are you reading, the bible?" and then we talked for a bit about it. he said that stories about jesus are in the koran too. i was surprised; i hadn't known that. but it was not a hostile conversation at all. he didn't say, "ew, why are you reading this?"
i guess i was just wondering whether i was upset for the right reasons. i wasn't upset because i was on the opposing side of the israeli-palestinian conflict; i'm not on a side. i wasn't really upset for professional/scholarly/whatever reasons. i was upset for emotional reasons. and did i really have a right to be, seeing as i'm not jewish?