I’ve recently gone through a weird and remarkable shift in perspective. One way to put it would be that I’ve given up all hope for the future of the world – and it was the best thing that could happen to me.
The radical attitude of “ignore electoral politics until they lose power over us” has been a resounding failure — and a boon for forces of capital and reaction alike. But neither has far-left parliamentarism proven much use. I propose we instead focus on organizing outside of parliamentary politics — while actively engaging with it.
Despite some streams’ progressive leanings, Zionism as a whole is a right-wing position, and must be rejected by Jewish people in favor of a Leftist vision of equality
It is only by ignoring the information collected and disseminated by antifascists that liberals and conservatives can so readily dismiss Antifa’s confrontational tactics and activities.
Neoliberalism has had no greater victory, I suspect, than in the trend of highly selective consumption among leftists.
People often seem to conceptualize politics as akin to video games in which you can just make a click and decide how things will be done. Reality is, of course, much more complicated.
In a post in German, I recount my story of alienation and dissent in Israel, and my migration to Germany, where I am confronted with a left in which many consider unconditional and unquestioning support of Israel to be the central praxis of resisting antisemitism. I explain how this approach is itself functionally antisemitic, by excluding Jewish Leftist perspectives, which are and always have been critical of the (nationalist, essentially right-wing) Zionist movement. To the full post, in German >> In a followup post, I respond to the question of whether the so-called “Zionist left” in Israel doesn’t resolve the contradiction between Leftism and Zionism — supposedly meaning some of the Jewish Left would not be excluded by these forces in the German Left. I explain that while there is indeed a left wing within Zionism, it has little in common with Leftism (Socialism in the broadest sense), and the parts of it which seek to actually unite Leftist and Zionist ideology are politically marginal today. To this followup post (in German) >>
I just encountered the Nonbinary Hebrew Project, and I have mixed feelings about it. It’s a project by US Jews to add a third grammatical gender to Hebrew – and I think it’s pretty good at that! It fits the morphology pretty well and doesn’t sound too off. But it also seems to ignore the fact that there is actually already a very lively Hebrew-speaking nonbinary community in, you know, Israel, that country where Hebrew is the dominant language? And that Israeli nonbinary folx have not, as a whole, tried to add a third gender to our native language’s very binary system, and have instead developed what I would argue is possibly an even more radical linguistic praxis: using mixed grammatical gender as a third option. Like adding a third gender, it takes some getting used to. But unlike adding a third gender, it makes use exclusively of existing words (unless you include the multi-gender plurals -imot/-otim, which also just use existing morphemes in a new way.) This is arguably more radical because it doesn’t require learning any new info, making it more accessible, and also paves the way for more inclusive ungendered language in Hebrew, a famously “gender-maniacal” language. I.e. the mixed forms (talmidim tovot) serve simultaneously as a third grammatical gender for nonbinary folx and a neutral form for addressing mixed, Queer, or unspecified groups. As Tzor points out, Hebrew is also different from European languages in that speaking in the first person requires gendering oneself, so adding a third grammatical gender means one might have to misgender oneself in certain spaces to stay under the radar – a problem English-speaking NBs are less likely to face. Israeli NB “mixed speech” avoids this problem, and I feel it generally loosens up the very binary gender feelings Hebrew grammar always gave me. Still, as a Hebrew-native NB person trained in linguistics I can’t help but admire the Nonbinary Hebrew project – it’s delightful! I even hope it sees wider adoption and makes inroads in Israel – there’s always room for more forms of gender expression. I just feel uncomfortable with the way a diasporic community, in some ways privileged over Israeli nonbinary folx, has seen fit to re-engineer our native language to fit the (linguistically) European approach to nonbinary language of adding new pronouns while ignoring the existing, Hebrew-native NB community and the brilliant solution it has already been putting into daily practice for years. (P.S. Tzor also noted that really, the NB Hebrew project’s -eh endings sound very diasporic and Yiddic, and don’t fit quite naturally with Israeli Hebrew. Moreover, many Israeli native speakers, possibly Mizrachim in particular, have a less rigid approach to vowels than natives of European languages would, and -eh and -ah often flow into one another rather than being entirely distinct phonemes.) This post was originally located at https://write.as/meemsaf/the-nonbinary-hebrew-project-and-nonbinary-israeli-hebrew