The hypocrisy is getting old.
My friend suggested I watch the film Everything is Illuminated. I knew nothing about the movie, but trusted his taste. Into it a couple of minutes, I could see that it was a quirky movie about honoring your family. That's a theme I'm interested in, and I was really enjoying the story of a young Jewish man traveling to Ukraine to find relatives left behind during World World II.
That was until the story turned tribalistic. It was revealed that his tour guide--an elderly, anti-Semitic Ukrainian man--had actually grown up Jewish but turned his back on his people after narrowly escaping death at the hands of Nazis in the same area where the young man's relatives were from. Returning to the place where he had survived the shooting squad brought back all the events he had tried to forget. Guilt over abandoning his Jewishness drove the old man to kill himself. His grandson, who came along on the tour as translator, learned of his Jewish ancestry, embraced it, and had his grandfather buried in a Jewish grave.
There wasn't the slightest indication that the young man or his relatives or the old man had any religious sentiment. The message was one of tribalism, not religious belief.
Applying the film's message to yourself, a gentile will learn that it is imperative that you be loyal to your people; to sever ties from your people is an act worse than death. (A hero in the story was shot by Nazis for refusing to spit on the Torah).
In reality, any gentile who does take the message of this movie to heart and loves his people will be called a racist, a bigot, and a hater. For everyone in the world except Jews, it seems, loving your people is a crime. For Jews, it's a crime not to.
Some will contend that Jews are small and persecuted, so they have earned the double standard. I say that is completely unacceptable. To be considered legitimate, principles must apply the same to everyone. As I have argued before, you are racist if you argue for one set of rules for your group, and another set for everyone else.
And it can't be argued that, while tribalism is immoral, religious loyalty is still considered legitimate. The characters in this film were not the least bit religious; this was a blood thing, as it is for many Jews. How ironic it is that the champions of anti-tribalism are some of the most tribal people in the world. It has got to stop.
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