Talk:Israel Shahak/Archive 1

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Judging from the name and his presence in a concentration camp, he appears to be ethnically Jewish. Is this true, and was he ever an active practitioner? It seems like the article deliberately avoids answering this, but should. Tokerboy

Israel Shahak was born a Jew. I don't think anyone contests this. RK

Robert, is you keep using the term anti-Semitic, it loses its meaning as a negative of something valid.

http://www.robotwisdom.com/issues/shahak.html

Radio Islam pages:

http://abbc.com/islam/english/jracism/shahak.htm http://abbc.com/shahak/

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/october01/0110071.html http://www.mepc.org/public_asp/journal_shahak/shahakmain.asp http://www.marxists.de/middleast/press/shahak.htm

the top few arent anti-Semitic

the next by Codoh is unknown to me: http://www.codoh.com/zionweb/zionhist.html

Bu the question stands: how anti-Semitic can a person or organization be if that person is Jewish or that org quotes prominent Jewish intellectuals. Granted theres a slippery slope there, but still... -Stevert

CODOH is a Neo-Nazi front group that promotes Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism. RK

I visited our last link: Refuatations of Shahak's claims about the Talmud and Judaism, but could not find where it references Shahak. Which section is it under? DanKeshet 14:32 Feb 15, 2003 (UTC)
That website doesn't usually mention Israel Shahak by name, but rather refutes his interpretation of Jewish law, especially the Talmud. This website gives some links to anti-Semitic websites which prove that Jews are really evil; most of these websites are neo-Nazi sites or Islamist Muslim groups. Most of those wsites use Israel Shakah as their only "authority" on Judaism, as if the ideas of one person actually speak for the beliefs of about 12 million Jews. However, tha wesbite does on occasion refer to Israel Shahak and his claims by names. See this page, which is totally devoted to refuting his claims:
[A truth-based response to: THE TALMUD: JUDAISM'S HOLIEST BOOK DOCUMENTED AND EXPOSED
This page mentions Shahak a few times, but it does not reference any claims of his; it merely states that he is a self-hating Jew and therefore not worth evaluating. I do not think it will be of particular usefulness for people trying to learn about Shahak. DanKeshet
You misread this website. It certainly does rebut Shahak's claims. That is what much of that website was written for. In fact, I just spoke with the author of that website yesterday, and he confirmed it. I don't know how you missed this. Let me try to explain again: The Internet is full of anti-Semitic websites which cite Shahak as their so-called authority on Judaism, and David Maddison's website was set up to refute the claims on those websites. Just because the webmaster doesn't stick the phrase "Israel Shahak says" in front of of each of Shahak's claims doesn't change anything. You are trying to find a way to read the webpage as something other than it actually is. RK
I've read it more closely, and still cannot find any claims that Shahak makes being repeated on that page. What specific claims does Shahak make that are reproduced on that page? DanKeshet 15:55 Feb 15, 2003 (UTC)

Example of anti-Semitic site using Shahak as their authority, linked to from the Talmud Exposed site [http://www3.stormfront.org/jewish/talmud.html Another similar example] Another example, the Radio Islam site


In 1993 he authored Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years (ISBN 0745308198), in which he argued that Judaism was a racist religion that taught its adherents to hate all non-Jews.

This version is considerably less accurate than the original version, which more correctly summarizes the book. The differences: 1) discrimination vs. hatred: Shahak's claims are more that the interpretations of Judaism he describes are Jewish chauvinist, that is, they believe that Jews are inherently better than other people. I don't believe he claims hatred. Maybe we should change it to chauvinist. 2) Judaism vs. Traditional Orthodox Judaism. Shahak says, for example, that there is a very complex relationship including lots of disputes and enmity between segments of Judaism, something that we agree with in our Relationship between segments of Judaism article. To say he characterizes all of Judaism one way, when he clearly (and openly) is only evaluating a very hand-picked portion of it is inaccurate.

The first chapter of Jewish History is infamous for an attack against Judaism, in which it is presented as a religion that effectively teaches its adherents to murder non-Jews.

This is not what Shahak claims. Shahak is very specific in saying that some religious leaders teach their adherents that in some circumstances they should not save the lives of non-Jews. Also, to say that it's an attack on Judaism is again to represent Judaism as a unified whole, as if there were no internal disagreement and no differing interpretations.

At a later date Israek Shahak admitted that the account was fictional. In that book he originally claimed:

I have deleted this and the other reference to his supposed admission until we can find a better source. If he really did admit this, I would expect him to have said so in print. Instead, we have an article written by somebody trying to debunk him which claims that he said so, but does not provide evidence. DanKeshet 15:20 Feb 15, 2003 (UTC)


Jewish law explicitly states that a Jew must save the life of either a gentile or Jew, even if involves violating the laws of the Sabbath

I'm not going to agree or disagree about what Jewish law states, but this is not what the source says. The source, in its summary of the responsa, says that Jews must save the life of either a gentile or Jew, even if it involves violating the laws of the Sabbath if not doing so would mean enflaming Jewish-Gentile relations. Let me quote one passage:

Therefore, anyone who knows how to interpret the Sabbath law properly can avoid all misunderstanding and ill-will. The Talmud counseled Jews to explain: "For those who observe the Sabbath, its violation is sanctioned" (Avodah Zorah 26b); as elaborated above, this lies quite logically in the very nature of the Sabbath and its biblical definitions. But where such an explanation is unacceptable or cannot be appreciated, one is in duty bound to use the permissive ruling of the Chatam Sopher without any hesitation.

DanKeshet 15:38 Feb 15, 2003 (UTC)


and that it should be considered an anti-Semitic fabrication to claim that these views are representative of Judaism in general of of Israelis

I don't think it should be restored until we have a citation of at least one religious leader saying this. I don't assume that nobody has said this, but Shahak himself does not claim that the views of the "fanatics" he describes are the views of mainstream Judaism or of most Israelis, though he does say that both are influenced by the views he describes. DanKeshet 04:03 Feb 17, 2003 (UTC)


I wonder what exactly is the point of this page. It can't be just to provide a biography of this controversial person, because then it would describe the controversies in a neutral fashion and it certainly does not do that. Most of it is purely an attack on him that has little actual information content. His views are in fact barely described at all, so hardly anyone reading this without having read Shahak would even know what opinions are being attacked by the crude sweeping statements on this page. The ADL report is not referring explicitly to Shahak in the quotation given here. The only actual mention of Shahak's views that is given explicitly is the passage about the incident with the telephone. Some people claim it never happened, but if we are to question his opinions then surely the most important thing is whether it could happen, i.e. are there people, more than a tiniest minority, who actually believe in that fashion (as stated more correctly by DanKeshet above than currently in the article). The answer, like it or not, is yes there are. Should this be expounded on in this article? No, because the article is not supposed to be about Jewish laws relating to gentiles but about Israel Shahak. Can someone come up with a cogent argument why this article should not be cut back to a simple biography that merely mentions the controversy without arguing one side of it? -- zero 11:48, 24 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Yes - this topic is the very topic for which Shahak is most famous. This can easily be seen on Google. RK 20:25, Jul 13, 2004 (UTC)

I moved the following talk to talk and added a NPOV dispute disclaimer. Tuf-Kat 03:18, Sep 22, 2003 (UTC)

N.B. The article that follows is only a bit short of character assassination, done largely by citing Shahak's enemies at length (critics is too weak a word to describe them) and neglecting the many encomiums Shahak received from people on the Left, a few of whose names are below for the reader's further investigation. A fair reading of Shahak's important writings and a review of his estimable translations from the Hebrew press reveal an Enlightenment sensibility and a refusal to sugarcoat unpleasant truths. It bears repeating, too, that Shahak was a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and a death camp and lost family members to the Holocaust, a fact which is disguised below by incomplete information.
This article should discuss the many encomiums Shakak has received. He is cited with enthusiasm and approval on many leftist websites, as well as on many Neo-Nazi, Christian Identity, Ku Klux Klan, Islamist movement, and anti-Israel websites. One would be free to draw their own conclusions as to why his work is so very widely distributed and honored among these particular groups, yet why no serious mainstream historians rely on his claims. RK 22:28, 22 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Congratulations, you just committed the fallacy of guilt by association. -- 213.231.204.211 16:39, 11 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Page protected

I have protected this page due to an editwar between RK and Zero. Gentlemen, please resolve your differences here. -- Viajero 16:32, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Um, this incident is what Israel Shahak is most famous for. if you feel that the presentation should be better described, then please add some material. But stop censoring this article by removing hug amounts of factually correct text that are stated in an NPOV fashion. As your own words make clear, you don't think that there are any factual or NPOV problems with the text. Rather, you admit that your problem is that you consider this material "embarssing". Well, Zero, your personal feelings are irrelevant. Perhaps you are a fan of Shahak, and you wish for his claims against the Jewish community to go uncontested. Perhaps others are critics of Shahak and wish to point out that no one accepts his claims as factually correct, except for ant-Semitic websites, especially those run by Neo-Nazis. The solution is obvious: follow standard Wikipedia NPOV procedure. State Shahak's views, and then state the views of his critics. Let the reader decide for themselves. Your "solution" vandalism and censorship of the entire topic, is not acceptable. RK 20:25, Jul 13, 2004 (UTC)
You say that no one accepts Shahak's claims as factually correct, but as you will note above, the link that we provide that called his writings "modern blood libels" agrees with him on the facts of the rulings, and the ADL itself couldn't be bothered to actually quote his work when smearing it as 'anti-Semitic'. DanKeshet 00:39, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Dan Keshet claims that no one accepts Shahak's claims as factually correct. This is a lie. A great many people do accept his claims; Shahak is a hero in the Nazi, neo-Nazi, and Islamist world, and is widely cited on their websites as one of the only examples of a "good" Jew. Check for yourself. As for Dan's claim that Shahak isn't really anti-Semitic, that is sad. The man was a Jew-hater, and virtually every Jew and Christian recognizes this, except Dan, and the Nazi websites which support Shahak. RK
Are the quotes in RK's version really necessary? They're very long excerpts - couldn't the incident be described without them? Ambivalenthysteria 10:43, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Yes, that would be fine too. We must remember that Israel Shahak is most widely known for this point. But Zero has made it clear that he wants this entire issues removed, which is censorship. We can work with people who want to imporve or change the article, but not with people who admit that they are going to gut it of its most significant points. If Zero keeps up his behaviour on this article (and other articles) he may need to be taken to arbitration. RK

RK has mistaken this page for Bash Shahak by whatever means necessary; he should go to the right page and put his hate language there. Note how RK is not prepared to be honest in debating. He put the word "embarrassing" in my mouth but I never used it as he claims (did I at all?). He also makes a false claim about Dan Keshet's opinion. His attempt to associate Shahak with neo-Nazis (a group whom Shahak despised with a passion) is truly disgusting. Note also how he has failed to answer Dan's observation that the only one of Shahak's claims given explicitly (in the last two sentences of RK's quote) appears to agree with the version in Jacobovits' reply apart from the intemperance of the language. --Zero 16:15, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Zero, your outrageous lies against me do not jsutify your vandalism of this article. The topic you keep deleting is the one topic for which Israel Shahak is most well known. The article in question by him is the one which has had, in reality, the most impact in the real world. It is widely read, cited, and used as a justification for people to form anti-Semitic views against Jews. In accord with our NPOV policy, we say that groups A, B, and C agree with Shahak's views, and explain why; and we say that groups D, E and F (including all mainstream historians and scholars of religion) disagree with Shahak's views, and explain why. Your refusal to follow NPOV policy may eventually end up getting you banned. RK 22:20, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)
As for Zero's odd claim that I am attempting to link Israel Shahak with Neo-Nazis, the Christian Identity movement, and Islamist websites, please be aware that Zero is lying, and we can prove this. Please check this out for yourself on Google.Com. It is an indisputable fact that Israel Shahak's work is cited as true by many, many Neo-Nazis, the Christian Identity movement, and Islamist websites, and that this is the primary use of his work today. Zero has brought forth no data to deny this; he shamefully is merely trying to hide this fact. For waht reason you can only speculate. RK 22:20, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)
By the way, it is very telling that Zero calls the text I added "hate language"; the only hateful language added was by Israel Shahak himself! It seems that Zero wants to protect Shahak's reputation by denying the existence of his most famous words. That's odd, to say the least. RK 22:46, Jul 17, 2004 (UTC)

I just don't know how to proceed with this page. RK is putting words in my mouth that I would never say ("no one accepts Shahak's claims") when I just said the opposite. I have chased down citations in Werner Cohn only to find them deceptively inaccurate. I've read a piece labelled as a "response to Shahak's blood libel" to find out that in fact agreed with the factual claims Shahak makes. I've read all manner of tracts that purport to be about Shahak, but never quote or refute his claims. This has been going on for more than 18 months. RK first started including inaccuracies about Shahak on Edward Said by nearly word-for-word copying of a deceptive Werner Cohn tract (see this diff and Talk:Edward Said), without even giving Cohn credit for his lies. He has never had an honest discussion. Where do we go from here?

Where do we go from here? In accord with our NPOV policy, we say that groups A, B, and C agree with Shahak's views, and explain why; and we say that groups D, E and F (including all mainstream historians and scholars of religion) disagree with Shahak's views, and explain why. Your refusal to do so is ethically troublesome. RK 22:20, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)
What does all this have to do with including a very long quotation from the ADL that does not mention Shahak or discuss his claims? Nothing. What does all this have to do with changing the interpretation of Shahak's work to say that he believes Judaism teaches to hate non-Jews? Nothing. What does all this have to do with lying to say that he has been accused of misinterpreting Jewish law, when 1) he does not interpet Jewish law, he reports other's interpretations, and 2) the link confirms his portrayal of other's interpretations of Jewish law? Nothing. What does all this have to do with claiming he fabricated the story, without any evidence? Nothing. Seriously, please respond to the many specific complaints about your words, not just saying meaningless generalities. DanKeshet 17:56, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Dan, you are confused, please follow the link and read the original article. The quoted ADL article is about Israel Shahak and others who engage in anti-Semitic quote mining from rabbinical literature. I even spoke with the author of that website, and he confirmed it. Yet you are effectively saying that the author is lying about his own (very clear) intentions. You have absolutely no justification for your claims. RK

Dan is protecting Shahak by using the argument that he is not saying racist things; heis only quoting others who say racist things, and approving of them. Sorry, but there is no real difference. How would people here feel if someone rewrote Wikipedia articles on race relations and Negros with the most vile, bigoted, infantile and stupid speech from a handful of black rappers and self-hating blacks? That's possible, but this kind of quote-mining to make an entire racial or ethnic look bad is a violation of intellectual integrity, and is racist. RK 22:52, Jul 17, 2004 (UTC)

Instead of giving blind acceptance to Shahak's quote mining, to make all religious Jews look evil, why not try looking at the article we have on chosen people, and look at the array of Jewish responses to the concept of chosenness. Instead of obsessing on one view by one person, it gives an array of views shown in their historical context. Same facts, without the anti-Jewish hysteria. RK 22:52, Jul 17, 2004 (UTC)

1) Please don't tell me I'm confused. 2) You failed to respond to many of my points. You didn't respond regarding your misrepresentation of the Jacobovitz article; your conversion of "chauvinism" to "hate"; nor the continual, evidenceless insistence that Shahak fabricated his story.
Dan, you are making false statements. I responded to your points. Rabbi Jakobovitz accused Israel Shahak of a blood libel and of outright anti-Semitism; the ADL flat-out called his writings anti-Semitic. Your repeated claims to the contrary are mind-boggling. In any case, you miss the point: This article does not concern itself with your beliefs. Your beliefs are irrelevant. All that is revelant are Shahak's teachings, and how these teachings have been received. We are obligated to report these in NPOV fashion. RK
As for the veracity of Shahak's incredible story, if he can't prove it, then we must' assume that it didn't happen. If you don't accept this as policy, then what about the recent story circulating on the Internet that Shahak's story was true...except that it wasn't "the Jews" who did this thing, but rather it was Dan's family! Should we now believe this about you and your family, just because someone made an outrageous claim, with no evidence? (no.) Dan, you have an unfair double-standard. When people make claims about you and your family, you demand that we do not accept such claims without proof. But when people make the exact same claims about Jews...you accept it? That's unfair. RK 03:01, Jul 18, 2004 (UTC)
You, again, misrepresent me. I did not say that Shahak is quoting others' racism and approving it. I would not say that, because that would not be true. Shahak does not seem to approve of the racism he quotes in his works. You did bring up 2 points, and I will address them:
Dan, you totally misunderstood me. I never said or implied anything of the sort. In fact, I said the opposite. Of course Shahak disapproves of the vile racism towards gentiles he writes about. I never claimed otherwise. Rather, the problem is that he quotes others who present all Jews in a bad light, and then presents these claims as factually true. RK 03:01, Jul 18, 2004 (UTC)
You say the ADL article is about Shahak. The author may very well have had Shahak in mind when he wrote it, but it does not quote him, repeat any claims he makes (it might caricature some of them), repeat any evidence he cites, or refute them. It barely mentions him. Neither the article, nor the quote you cite from it, give the reader an understanding of Shahak or his ideas. They do not attempt to. They merely hold him out for ridicule, then call him an anti-Semite.
I spoke to the author. Nothing gets any clearer than this. I don't know how to clear up your confusion. Further, you now make it clear that you hate the ADL, as you libel them with your hateful claims. All the ADL did was say that it is anti-Semitic to mine a vast 2,000 year old literature to create a selective quoting to make Jews look bad. This, obviously, is true for all groups. Yet once again you have an anti-Jewish bias. In any case, you still miss the point: This article does not concern itself with your beliefs. Your beliefs are irrelevant. All that is revelant are Shahak's teachings, and how these teachings have been received. We are obligated to report these in NPOV fashion. The ADL represents a mainstream Jewish view on this issue, and we are obliagted to present it even if you don't agree. RK 03:10, Jul 18, 2004 (UTC)
You say it would be inappropriate to rewrite all of Wikipedia's sections on "race relations and Negros" with infantile writing, and suggest that I read the Wikipedia's article on the concept of Chosen people. But this article is not here to discuss theology. It should give a summary of Israel Shahak's life and writings. A long quote from the ADL that does not even discuss either (at least openly) is just not relevant. Finally, in your analogy, you speak of "self-hating blacks". I believe the point of this analogy was to imply that Israel Shahak was a self-hating Jew. I have no evidence that Shahak had a low self-esteem.
Huh? Who is talking about low-self esteem? We are talking about the fact that despite the fact that Shahak had Jewish relatives, he was an anti-Semite whose works are still sued today by the Nazis. In any case, the ADL quote is about precisely this topic. Your claims to the contrary hav been proven false. Talk to the author of the ADL article. RK
I do not feel like this conversation is productive. I am going to request mediation. DanKeshet 23:58, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Note how RK writes "Shahak had Jewish relatives" when he knows full well that Shahak himself was Jewish. What better proof that RK is mainly here because of the venom he feels towards Shahak? Why should we allow this article to become the dumping ground for someone's personal emotions? --Zero 04:13, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I am here because I believe that the purpose of an encyclopedia is to educate, and not to hide facts. If these facts about Shahak and his critics make you uncomfortable, then go elsewhere. But I shall not let you censor important historical facts. RK 04:21, Jul 18, 2004 (UTC)

Note how RK has still not addressed the fact that Jakobovitz's description of the supposed rules actually agrees with Shahak's. --Zero 04:07, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Zero is flat-out lying. Rabbi Jakobovitz's article states that Shahak is wrong, and that he was engaged in an intellectually dishonest process called quote mining. This is an infamous way of promoting hate about a racial, religious or national group. In quote-mining, the offender mines hundreds (or in the case, thousands) of years of writings by an entire people. The offender then selects a tiny number of the seemingly worst quotes, presents them out of their historical context, refuses to note the existence of many counter quotes, and refuses to note the actual people's views on said quotes. The offender then weaves these out of context quotes into hatespeech used to libel an entire people. While the text of these out-of-context quotes may be accurate, everything else is a travesty of intellectual integrity. Zero's claims to the contrary are pure anti-Semitic drivel. RK 04:19, Jul 18, 2004 (UTC)

On linking Shahak and Neo-Nazis

If person P makes a criticism of group X, then group Y (who are sworn enemies of X) are likely to quote P. If P is actually a member of group X, then group Y will quote P even more gleefully. Does this prove that P belongs to group Y, or has sympathies with group Y, or is at all similar to group Y? Of course not, yet this is the full extent of RK's attempt to link Shahak with the neo-Nazis. Now if Shahak was favorably quoting the neo-Nazis, that would be something to write about, but we know that isn't true. So let's stop this ridiculous and illogical smear attempt. --Zero 09:06, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Again, Zero is making ad homenim attacks on me, a violation of Wikipedia norms. The fact is this: I, RK, had nothing to do with linking Shahak to Neo-Nazis and many other anti-Semitic groups. Zero's claim is astonishing and silly. This link existed years before I even knew that Shakah existed; it also can easilly be seen by anyone doing a Google search on the subject. Even if I had never been born, this link would still exist, and many Jewish groups would still consider Shahak to have written terrible things. Contrary to Zero's misleading statements, many Jews (of all religious denominations, as well as secular Jews) feel this way about Shahak. Zero's multiple attempts to ignore this fact, and to focus on me as a person, is bad faith on his part. RK 22:52, Jul 17, 2004 (UTC)
Note the total absence of any response to my logical dissection of the issue. We should take this as confirmation that RK has no response. The rest of RK's paragraph boils down to "other people have made the same logical error and therefore I am allowed to". Right. --Zero 04:01, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Dispute Resolution/Requests for comment

I have placed this page on Wikipedia:Requests for comment in the hopes that it can break the logjam. DanKeshet 22:57, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I have requested mediation between RK and myself and/or Zero. See Wikipedia:Requests for mediation. DanKeshet 08:11, 18 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I will engage in mediation. RK 15:08, Jul 20, 2004 (UTC)

How come mediation never occured? RK 16:18, Aug 5, 2004 (UTC)

I have been making e-mail inquiries into the same question. DanKeshet 18:44, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Apparently our mediator disappeared and the committee is looking for a replacement or maybe two. --Zero 03:27, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Where does this stand now? Jayjg 16:32, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)

External links

This article has been listed as containing an incorrect external links section. This could not be fixed because the article is protected. It would be appreciated if either the fix was made to the protected article, or if someone would take a moment to do so when it is no longer protected. Thanks, Kate | Talk 02:40, 2004 Aug 5 (UTC)

Done. --Zero 08:29, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)