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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #14761
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Pseudo-democratic hereditary aristocracy founded on slave labor, whose political dysfunction eventually led to its downfall to absolute dictatorship, eventually spending its empire on military adventurism and financing the unsustainable consumption of its rich? I guess.
    Holy ****, this seems key. Especially the part about the slave labor. And how capitalism in America seems (in my mind) to me to be rooted in our history of slavery.

    It's like the Founding Fathers thought they were breaking new ground by experimenting with ideals, but tragically (or hypocritically) were reverting to an earlier, more primitive model, and actually undoing a lot of European progress (in a short-sighted fit against its oppressive aspects in England).

  2. #14762
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    It's like the Founding Fathers thought they were breaking new ground by experimenting with ideals,
    Don’t get too excited.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_Rights_1689

  3. #14763
    lol! who's this foreigner, telling me that America didn't come up with it first (with divine inspiration of course). we call ourselves EXCEPTIONAL for a reason mister

  4. #14764
    I’m inclined to think that the founding fathers saw their revolution as primarily conservative, and restorative (as in looking to the past for a model, and restoring a defunct form of politics and liberty that had been ruined by what had happened in the intervening years) rather than forward looking. I think it’s more characteristic of the revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries for revolutionaries to aspire to an entirely new and unprecedented political and social arrangement. I might be wrong about that.

  5. #14765
    This might be an historical interpretation more than an uncontroversial statement of fact, but I’ve been under the impression that the founding fathers saw themselves as being faithful to British legal traditions, and, in some respects, being even more faithful to them than the British subjects living in England. They saw themselves that way, despite the fact that their view of constitution as a written document rather than as a legal tradition set them at odds with the British legal tradition. In other words, they were novel despite their intentions to derive legitimacy from continuity with the past.

  6. #14766
    I’ve been reading some J.G.A. Pocock and Quentin Skinner recently, so my views might be kind of skewed towards their work, but I do find their work fascinating. The life and legacy of the Italian humanistic tradition well into the modern period is under-appreciated, I think. It’s a helpful way to contextualize certain thinkers. It’s perhaps a more useful as a historical category than “Enlightenment” is. Like, there’s a lot of intellectual work going on in the early modern period that can’t be reduced to Cartesian rationalism, Lockean empiricism, scientific method and naturalism, which as traditions often bore a conception of rationality that precluded an interest in human creativity, history and literature (the humanities, effectively).

  7. #14767
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I’m inclined to think that the founding fathers saw their revolution as primarily conservative, and restorative (as in looking to the past for a model, and restoring a defunct form of politics and liberty that had been ruined by what had happened in the intervening years) rather than forward looking. I think it’s more characteristic of the revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries for revolutionaries to aspire to an entirely new and unprecedented political and social arrangement. I might be wrong about that.
    I don’t know what their true beliefs were, or when the US got all weird with the Rome stuff. What I do know is that judging by the paperwork, what they seemed to want is a House of Commons where they got MPs.

  8. #14768
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    I don’t know what their true beliefs were, or when the US got all weird with the Rome stuff. What I do know is that judging by the paperwork, what they seemed to want is a House of Commons where they got MPs.
    How is that different from what they got?

  9. #14769
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    How is that different from what they got?
    Other than the weird architecture, it isn’t.

  10. #14770
    I like Neoclassical architecture

  11. #14771
    The idea of a separation of powers has a Roman lineage. Well, a classical one. Apparently it goes back to Plato’s dialogue the Laws, where Plato says the best and most stable form of constitution is not a monarchy, a democracy, or an aristocracy, but a mixed constitution, which gives to each class an institutional role and therefore contains the conflict between them. Aristotle also advocated this idea, and Polybius argued that the Romans’ constitution was so enduring and so perfect because it embodied the principles of the mixed constitution.

    When the northern Italian republics arose in the 12th/13th centuries, they also strived to model their forms of government/constitutions on those same principles. As those republic repeatedly transitioned back and forth from Republican rule to the tyrannical rule of a princeps/signori in subsequent centuries, Venice was the most stable, and it was celebrated as a perfect model by most of the Italian political theoreticians of the age because it most perfectly embodied the ideals of the Roman republic. So the northern Italian states were an early modern example of Republican government that showed it was a viable form of politics.

    I don’t think I need to go into a ton more detail now, but that political ideal, first articulated in northern Italy, continued to be influential, by means of the Northern European renaissance, where the Italian ideas were adapted to the differing national contexts of France, Germany, Spain and England. The British political tradition often had a Republican bent in the 17th century; Montesquieu was also particularly important. But yeah, that tradition was in the background when the founding fathers discussed the virtues of a separation of powers in the US constitution.
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-03-2019 at 05:53 PM.

  12. #14772
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    This might be an historical interpretation more than an uncontroversial statement of fact, but I’ve been under the impression that the founding fathers saw themselves as being faithful to British legal traditions, and, in some respects, being even more faithful to them than the British subjects living in England. They saw themselves that way, despite the fact that their view of constitution as a written document rather than as a legal tradition set them at odds with the British legal tradition. In other words, they were novel despite their intentions to derive legitimacy from continuity with the past.
    Those enlightenment guys gave a hell of a lot more thought to government than the vast majority of people do today. They were gaming out the ideas that we sort of just take for granted today. Certainly they drew on successful models from history, but they weren't just falling back to mindless, "democracy == best" that tends to be the default today.

  13. #14773
    what about mike gravel's idea. We can into democracy if we all just vote on erything directly

  14. #14774
    Child's Play CharitySon of Krokodile XVI
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    Direct democracy is problematic because people don't care to look too deeply into whatever they're voting on.

  15. #14775
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    lol! who's this foreigner, telling me that America didn't come up with it first (with divine inspiration of course). we call ourselves EXCEPTIONAL for a reason mister
    It's no secret that our legal system had a grounding in English principals and common law. It was almost certainly taught to you in high school if not middle school.

    The difference between the US Bill of Right and the English Bill of Right of 1689 is significant. The English Bill of rights was a reaction to specific abuses of the monarch, and designed to limit monarchical power in specific ways. It also was far less egalitarian.

    The Bill of Rights was part of a charter document that was intended, and very much seceded in having a far broader relevance. In fact, after San Marino, the US has the oldest Constitution in the world. Later Constitutions might be better in some ways, but the US Constitution brought a lot of things together in a way that hadn't really been done before, and it laid out a model in the process.

  16. #14776

  17. #14777
    Pretty glad these memes have all become less common:
    Whataboutism
    Normalize
    Bad faith

    That was fun though, those few months when you could take down anyone’s argument by saying “whataboutism!”

  18. #14778
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Pretty glad these memes have all become less common:
    Whataboutism
    Normalize
    Bad faith

    That was fun though, those few months when you could take down anyone’s argument by saying “whataboutism!”
    If you found that people were saying these terms to you regularly, I propose that there might have been a root cause that you overlooked.

  19. #14779
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Pretty glad these memes have all become less common:
    Whataboutism
    Normalize
    Bad faith

    That was fun though, those few months when you could take down anyone’s argument by saying “whataboutism!”
    What about Russia? They're still whataboutisming all the time, dude!

  20. #14780
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    If you found that people were saying these terms to you regularly, I propose that there might have been a root cause that you overlooked.
    I’m the bad faith monster. Grooowwlll

  21. #14781
    I haven’t been accused of those things very often.

    They’re all very loaded terms and I think the fact that they’re being used less is indicative of how we’re moving out of the hysteria of the early Trump years. (And to another form of hysteria?)

  22. #14782
    Like, as I think Reid was pointing out, the whataboutism meme was tied to Russiagate hysteria.

  23. #14783
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    Maybe people just realized that the fact that other countries do evil things isn’t a convincing argument for your country to do evil things too.

  24. #14784
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    (which judging by the recently adopted definition of antisemitism by the canadian government, might be news to those politicians accepting Israeli government lobbying dollars)

  25. #14785
    The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance‘s definition of antisemitism? You think something’s wrong with Canada adopting it?

  26. #14786
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance‘s definition of antisemitism? You think something’s wrong with Canada adopting it?
    Only the parts that have been written for the sole purpose of inextricably associating the Jewish ethnicity with the state of Israel.

  27. #14787
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Only the parts that have been written for the sole purpose of inextricably associating the Jewish ethnicity with the state of Israel.
    Heh. Leftist critiques on this often amount to accusing Jews of doing the exact thing that they are doing when they make that accusation. That conflation exists only (or at least mostly) in critics’ minds.

    I agree that some who are too eager to emphasize how antisemitism manifests itself as anti-Israel prejudice and demonization sometimes overlook its other manifestations (Bari Weiss, for example, does that sometimes). But it’s something that the IHRA definition avoids.

  28. #14788
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    For people not familiar, this is the part I’m talking about:

    Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
    Which, of course, it is: they grant citizenship on the basis of distant ancestry of a particular ethnicity while denying the same rights to people of other ethnicities also linked to the region.

    It’s also antisemitic by their own definition of antisemitism, because it implies Jewish people as a whole are responsible for the state of Israel:

    Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group

  29. #14789
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Heh. Leftist critiques on this often amount to accusing Jews of doing the exact thing that they are doing when they make that accusation. That conflation exists only (or at least mostly) in critics’ minds.

    I agree that some who are too eager to emphasize how antisemitism manifests itself as anti-Israel prejudice and demonization sometimes overlook its other manifestations (Bari Weiss, for example, does that sometimes). But it’s something that the IHRA definition avoids.
    Thanks but actually I’m capable of reading, and the meaning and purpose of those portions of the IHRA’s working definition is clear. Despite your wishes otherwise, this concern also isn’t isolated to the left: civil liberties groups have also raised similar concerns about the vague wording and obvious potential for purpose of its use to persecute critics of Israel.

  30. #14790
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    It’s also antisemitic by their own definition of antisemitism, because it implies Jewish people as a whole are responsible for the state of Israel:
    Being “responsible” for a state and exercising the right of self-determination aren’t the same thing. The definition plainly asserts that it is wrong to hold Jews collectively responsible for what the Israeli government does.

    Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
    Many nations have diaspora communities. Descendants of Irish citizens living abroad, for example, who are proud of their heritage can have an emotional attachment to the Ireland that is contributes to their sense of identity. It doesn’t entail having the right to vote in that country, or otherwise being “responsible” for what the Irish government does. That attachment may include (I don’t know if Ireland specifically has these laws or not, but many countries do) laws that allow descendants of receive citizenship.

    Diaspora relations often entail knotty questions about identity. I’m not going to pretend it’s simple. Self-determination is a fuzzy thing to define, but it doesn’t entail “responsibility”. But still, it’s hard for me to imagine that you think the authors of the definition were intentionally trying to be antisemitic.

  31. #14791
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Which, of course, it is: they grant citizenship on the basis of distant ancestry of a particular ethnicity while denying the same rights to people of other ethnicities also linked to the region.
    The Law of Return’s definition isn’t based on “distant ancestry”. Its definition also isn’t based on a definition of who is Jewish under Jewish law. The law states that a person is entitled to Israeli citizenship if they have at least one Jewish grandparent or if they have a Jewish spouse. The law was partially based on laws that Nazis used to define who was Jewish. The idea behind the law was that if you are persecuted abroad for being a Jew, you should be able to have citizenship there. Part of the country’s raison d’etre is to be a safe haven for a persecuted minority which in the years leading up to its establishment couldn’t find a country that was willing to take them. It’s served that function on many occasions since it was created, and at a time like now when antisemitism is on the rise it’s undoubtedly valuable.

    A Palestinian right to return to the Palestinian state will be a feature of a two-state solution. A Palestinian state will also entail a significant transfer of Jewish Israelis from their homes to Israel. I don’t know if you think that’s “racist” too. (I don’t think it is.)

  32. #14792
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Thanks but actually I’m capable of reading, and the meaning and purpose of those portions of the IHRA’s working definition is clear.
    I’m not so sure. You evidently missed these parts, where it clearly distinguishes between diaspora Jews and Israel/Israeli Jews:

    Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

    Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

    Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

  33. #14793
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I’m not so sure. You evidently missed these parts, where it clearly distinguishes between diaspora Jews and Israel/Israeli Jews:
    If you were paying attention, you may have noticed that I’m talking specifically about the incongruity of not “holding Jews collectively responsible for the state of Israel” while also claiming that the existence of Israel is a necessity for Jewish political agency.

    I don’t know whether the authors were being intentionally antisemitic. I also don’t think you need to mention the independent and self-interested democratic nation of Israel in the definition at all, unless you are trying to make a point that has more to do with Israel than with antisemitism.

    And at the risk of violating another perhaps-perhaps-not coincidental pro-Israel-lobbyist part of the definition, I also don’t put it past the state of Israel to exploit antisemitism to advance their national interests. China uses accusations of racism to silence western criticism constantly.

  34. #14794
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Despite your wishes otherwise, this concern also isn’t isolated to the left: civil liberties groups have also raised similar concerns about the vague wording and obvious potential for purpose of its use to persecute critics of Israel.
    Antisemitism is a serious issue. Canada is similar to the US and other countries, in that Jews make up an overwhelmingly large proportion of hate crime victims despite making up only a small portion of the general population. It’s a good thing for governments to define what they mean by it, since especially if individuals are to be prosecuted for committing hate crimes.

    Antisemitism often involves demonizing Jews for what Israel does. Do you think aspects of anti-semitism related to Israel shouldn’t have been included in the definition, even though it’s undoubtedly a feature of antisemitism? The definition makes a distinction between criticizing the policies of the Israeli government (which it says are not antisemitic) and irrational prejudice/demonization of the state.

  35. #14795
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    If you were paying attention, you may have noticed that I’m talking specifically about the incongruity of not “holding Jews collectively responsible for the state of Israel” while also claiming that the existence of Israel is a necessity for Jewish political agency.
    Well it’s rich that you’re accusing me of not paying attention, because that’s not what it says. It doesn’t say holding “holding Jews collectively responsible for the state of Israel.” It says “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.” That’s to say: Diaspora Jews do not vote in Israel’s elections, and they aren’t responsible for what the Israeli government does. Antisemitism is frequently motivated by, among other things, a belief that Jews in the Diaspora are responsible for the actions of the state of Israel.

    As I said before, that’s not necessarily incongruous with the idea of Jewish self-determination being realized in the state of Israel.
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-06-2019 at 06:37 PM.

  36. #14796
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    I don’t know whether the authors were being intentionally antisemitic. I also don’t think you need to mention the independent and self-interested democratic nation of Israel in the definition at all, unless you are trying to make a point that has more to do with Israel than with antisemitism.
    From the NYT:

    Researchers have observed a strong correlation between surges in anti-Semitic acts in France and flare-ups in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians in the Mideast.

    Since 2000, when the second intifada, or uprising, began, there has been an “explosion” of anti-Semitic acts in France, rising to 744 at the onset in 2000 from 82 in 1999, according to Mr. Fourquet and Mr. Manternach. In 2004, a synagogue was burned in Trappes, a Paris suburb with a large Muslim population, as tensions over the intifada remained.

    Similarly, during the 2008-2009 war between Israel and Gaza, reports of anti-Semitic incidents rose nearly tenfold in a single month.

    The number of anti-Semitic acts have fluctuated over the years since the first sharp increase, dipping to 49 in 2013 and rising as high as 108 in 2014, when a pro-Palestinian demonstration in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles turned violent, with several kosher groceries burned and Molotov cocktails thrown at a synagogue.

    By comparison, between 2016 and 2017, reported attacks against French Muslims, who outnumber Jews 12 to 1, rose from 67 to 72.

    As anti-Semitic episodes accumulated, many Jews began to move out of neighborhoods in the greater Paris region that have large Muslim populations.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/27/w...-semitism.html

    The illicit association of Jews in the diaspora with the Israeli government’s actions has a tangible effect on peoples’ lives.
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-06-2019 at 06:34 PM.

  37. #14797
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Antisemitism is a serious issue.
    Agreed

    Canada is similar to the US and other countries, in that Jews make up an overwhelmingly large proportion of hate crime victims despite making up only a small portion of the general population.
    This is also my understanding of the statistics. The rate is also increasing. It is very concerning.

    It’s a good thing for governments to define what they mean by it, since especially if individuals are to be prosecuted for committing hate crimes.
    I agree.

    Antisemitism often involves demonizing Jews for what Israel does.
    I agree.

    Do you think aspects of anti-semitism related to Israel shouldn’t have been included in the definition, even though it’s undoubtedly a feature of antisemitism?
    The foundation of Israel as a political project for the self-determination of a single race (as the definition itself suggests) is inconsistent with Canadian values as a multicultural nation, and any Canadian of good conscience should and will criticize it on that basis. It is not reasonable to blame all Jewish people for the crimes of the nation of Israel, but it is also not reasonable to require us to agree that Israel is necessary because its citizens need more self-determination than the rest of us living in liberal democracies enjoy.

    The definition makes a distinction between criticizing the policies of the Israeli government (which it says are not antisemitic) and irrational prejudice/demonization of the state.
    partly.

  38. #14798
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Well it’s rich that you’re accusing me of not paying attention, because that’s not what it says. It doesn’t say holding “holding Jews collectively responsible for the state of Israel.” It says “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.” That’s to say: Diaspora Jews do not vote in Israel’s elections, and they aren’t responsible for what the Israeli government does. Antisemitism is frequently motivated by, among other things, a belief that Jews in the Diaspora are responsible for the actions of the state of Israel.
    You knew this is what I meant. Don’t pretend you didn’t. I am posting on my phone and dropped one clause that is obviously understood in colloquial English. Bad faith AF.

    As I said before, that’s not necessarily incongruous with the idea of Jewish self-determination being realized in the state of Israel.
    The working definition says as an example that calling Israel a racist project is antisemitic. Why then? Jewish people as a whole are not responsible for the actions of the Jewish people who founded it and who currently live there.

    This isn’t even about Arabs/Islam. Ask Ethiopian Jews what they think about Israel’s contribution to Jewish self determination.

  39. #14799
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I haven’t been accused of those things very often.

    They’re all very loaded terms and I think the fact that they’re being used less is indicative of how we’re moving out of the hysteria of the early Trump years. (And to another form of hysteria?)
    I think people might be slowly accepting that America has deeper structural problems than just who's sitting in the presidential seat. Like the issue isn't just Trump, it's Mitch McConnell, Republicans generally, the billionaires who back Republicans, and the obvious cluelessness or unwillingness of Democrats to respond to it.

    One of the few good things about the Trump hysteria is people are now learning quite a bit more about politics on every level in this country. I can't recall in 2012 or 2016 people paying so much attention to local politics or issues like how immigrants are treated in custody.

    Reminds me of how, someone recently shared a photo circa 2014/2015 of the conditions of immigrants in ICE custody as a criticism of Trump, and Trump supporters were all hot and bothered because Obama was to blame. Unfortunately everyone's finger pointing misses the central issue of mistreatment, but at least now people recognize it's there.

    In any case, country's ****ed so maybe it doesn't matter what people's hysterias are. All I know is that Gallup polls show Americans are at all-time high levels of stress and worry.

  40. #14800
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    The foundation of Israel as a political project for the self-determination of a single race (as the definition itself suggests) is inconsistent with Canadian values as a multicultural nation, and any Canadian of good conscience should and will criticize it on that basis. It is not reasonable to blame all Jewish people for the crimes of the nation of Israel, but it is also not reasonable to require us to agree that Israel is necessary because its citizens need more self-determination than the rest of us living in liberal democracies enjoy.
    Canada is a multicultural, pluralistic country, but it’s also a country whose constitution acknowledges the special collective rights of anglophones, francophones and First Nations peoples. Canada remains a liberal and democratic country despite recognizing the collective rights of those peoples, and despite the fact that it is home to many who do not belong to those groups. Israel too is a country that recognizes the specific right of the Jewish people to national self-determination, and which is nonetheless a liberal country that guarantees rights and protections to its non-Jewish citizens.

    Israel is, like Canada, a nation of immigrants and a diverse multicultural nation with citizens who are from or whose descendants are from all over the world. I don’t know what you mean when you say that Israelis have “more self-determination” than Canadians, but if you have a problem with Canada’s diversity and don’t feel like you have enough self-determination, then... move? I don’t know what to tell you. Something tells me though that it doesn’t actually bother you that much. But whatever you mean by Israel having “more self-determination” when you say the definition “require[s] us to agree that Israel is necessary because its citizens need more self-determination than the rest of us” is not what adopting the definition does.

    Jewishness is not a racial identity; it’s a religious and national identity, or a religious and ethnic identity, depending on the context. (For example, in the USSR, all citizens had to carry ID cards that noted an individuals nationality. Under nationality, it said Jew. In a North American context, we use ethnicity as a category in part because we have different assumptions about the relation between individual and collective identity than the Soviets did.) Many Jews are Jews by birth but many are also Jews by choice, who converted to the religion. Racial identity doesn’t work like that, and Israel doesn’t define Jewish identity as a racial one (it doesn’t define who a Jew is at all; the Law or Return only defines who is entitled to immigrate into the country as a Jew, which was partially a political compromise made so as not to upset the ultra-Orthodox when the Law was drafted). The people who insist that Jewishness is a racial identity are generally racists.

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