Ukraine War Day #151: Wither Russian-Israel Relations?

Dear Readers:

No, that’s not a typo in the headline, I deliberately spelled “whither” as “wither,” it’s a clever joke, you’ll see..

Okay, another casualty of the war in Ukraine is the “drying up” or “withering” of Russo-Israeli relations. In earlier times, Russia actually had very good relations with the Jewish State; it was said that Putin and Netanyahu got along quite well. Many Russophiles, and not just those of the anti-Semitic persuasion, found this state of affairs completely confounding, given Israel’s role as the catspaw of American/British imperialism in the Middle East. But recently things have turned a bit, and a more normal state of hostility is setting in, between these two nations with completely divergent geopolitical interests.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid

There are many root causes for the withering of this Russo-Israeli friendship, just as there were many root causes for its former flowering. (Too many to get into here, but I’ll just mention the fact that a huge portion of Israeli Jews are Russian speakers; plus, Putin’s basically Liberal Pro-Western ideology, up until recently.)

One immediate cause of the fading of relations is the militant pro-Ukrainian stance of the new Israeli Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, who assumed office on July 1. If Putin and Netanyahu were besties, Lapid and Putin do not get along at all. Things got especially heated a couple of days ago when Russia threatened to become the first country in the world to ban Israel’s vaunted “Sokhnut” agency on Russian soil. This organization operates in every country in the world that has Jews, and tries to convince said Jews to emigrate to Israel.

More Than A Travel Agency, It’s Also A Brain Drain

When I first read this article and saw the name Sokhnut, I was, like, You’re kidding, right? Because that is a perfectly fine Russian word, it means, “They will dry up.” (Third person plural, future tense.) The Russian verb сохнуть descends from the Proto-Slavic verb *sъxnǫti (pronounced something like sukh-nanti, “to dry, wither”). Whose root, in turn, descends from the Proto-Indo-European root *h₂sews- with cognates in other Indo-European languages including Lithuanian saũsinti (“to dry – transitive); Old Prussian sausā (“dry”, fem. acc. sg.), Sanskrit शोषयति (śoṣáyati, “to let dry”); Homeric Ancient Greek αὖος (aûos, “dry”), Old English sēar (“dry”), Modern English sere.

Another form of this root, in Russian (applying Ablaut) is the adjective sukh-oi, which means dry. And no, that’s not where those famous jet aircraft get their name, they are named after the founder of the company Pavel Sukhoi. Who was said to have a dry sense of humor, however,

I hasten to add, the name of this Israeli agency has nothing to do with that ancient etymology from a different language group. It’s just a coincidence. Nonetheless, it’s fun to play with this bi-lingual pun.

In Hebrew the word is הסוכנות (pronounced Ha-Sokhenut) which just translates as “The Agency”). The complete expression is:  הַסּוֹכְנוּת הַיּהוּדִית לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵלHa-Sokhenut ha-Yehudit le-Ereẓ Israel, “The Jewish Agency for Israel“. It would have been awesome if I could have found the Proto-Semitic etymology (if any) for this Hebrew word Sokhenut, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that, as my expertise in ancient Semitic languages is a tad rusty. I did find this interesting list of Proto-Semitic stems, but nothing there like the one I was looking for. Paging Jean-François Champollion!

But enough of this word play, let’s get back to the politics. So, the Russian Ministry of Justice lodged a compaint against Sokhnut in the Basmanny Court in Moscow. Demanding that the Agency be liquidated. The first hearing will take place next week, on July 28. Israeli leaders are quite alarmed and are dispatching a team to Moscow to challenge the the lawsuit. Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has remarked laconically that the Agency has violated Russian laws.

Some Ukrainians fleeing the war, have found a new home in Israel.

Insiders say that Russian attorneys will pretend to find some flaws in Sokhnut’s paperwork; but that the real reason is that the Russian government has simply become hostile to the organization and wants to expel it from the country. The Russian government is sick and tired of spending all this money raising and educating Jewish children (with mostly free education) into valued specialists, only to see them fly away to Israel, taking their precious knowledge and skills with them.

Israelis see nothing wrong with stimulating such emigration. I mean, this is the whole basis of the Zionist ideology. The writer of the first piece I linked above, Gevorg Mirzayan, gets into a discussion of Israeli fertility and why they need to keep recruiting people from other countries. Even though the Hassidics keep pumping out a lot of babies. After which we will discuss the Russia-Ukraine war, and why the Israeli government is rooting for the Ukrainians, even though the latter are Nazis.

[to be continued]

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38 Responses to Ukraine War Day #151: Wither Russian-Israel Relations?

  1. buratino says:

    On an other board I remarked, that I have this pain between my ears, that is caused by the constant citation of “neocons, warmongers, international bankers, finance capitalism, the hollywood elite, main stream media, the City, 5th. and 6th. columns, some russian glitterati parting towards jewish strongholds, the makeup of the ukie “leadership” and their co-religionists home or abroad engineering project novo-khazaria, Soros Gyorgy and his merry(gay) friends, with their intolerance of tolerance and on and on and on…resulting in the ongoing abortion of Russians the world over…

    …And based upon the above – the need for denazification of ukraine.

    Now where did I put that trusty oxy manufactured by Sackler Inc…🥺

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Haha, I get you! I have a switch in my brain that shuts it off every time I read the word “Khazar” in a youtube or blog comment. The userperson usually has a sneering frog avatar. I heard of dog whistles, but these are “frog whistles”, I reckon.

      Like

      • Yeah, seeing “Khazar” is a “tell” that the commenter is going to be anti-Semetic. Along with “Soros,” “Rothschild,” “banker” and a few other words. Which is too bad, because bankmaggots are warping the world in bad ways, but it’s not because they’re Jewish. It’s because they’re rich bastards who should get some tender Lenin care (sic). Sadly, that mindset infests a lot of the motormouths (motorfingers?) who comment on the pro-Russian blogs such as the one where I’ve seen your nym, Buratino. (Saker, IIRC) Pretty twisted that people who I consider to be Nazis, or at least Nazi-adjacent in their thinking, are cheering for the side that’s trying to stomp out Banaziderism.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Yup. These keyboard warriors also build a combination of Khazars = Rothschild = LGBT. They used to put their comments in (((()))) parentheses as a code word, but I think the AI algorithms caught on to that, so now they use different code words like “little hats” (I think that stand for yarmulkas.)
          I never understood that whole Khazar conspiracy theory, and too lazy to research it. I reckon they believe that Askhenazi Jews are not really original Jews from the Canaan area? Who cares? Nobody is who they started out being any more, and that goes for Russians as well.
          Anyhow, whenever I get confused I just pick up my Lenin. That guy had the answers for everything. For starters, he knew the difference between a Jewish banker versus a Jewish baker; and he knew that the former was an enemy, and the latter a friend! (Because, among other things, bakes delicious bagels, whereas a banker only counts other people’s money!)
          🙂

          Like

          • Montmorency says:

            “he knew the difference between a Jewish banker versus a Jewish baker”

            True, there’s a difference. Unfortunately it’s more complicated than that; something like: “it takes a thousand (Jewish) bakers to produce a (Jewish) banker.

            Like

  2. John Jennings says:

    yalensis, I find it amusing that Sokhenut in Hebrew means simply ‘the Agency.’
    Since at least the ’70s or so, ‘The Agency’ has been DC-swamp-dwelling pseudo-sophisticate slang for CIA. I think there’s even a book about CIA by that title.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      From encyclopedia.com, so they have been around as early as 1922:

      JEWISH AGENCY (Heb. הַסּוֹכְנוּת הַיּהוּדִית לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, Ha-Sokhenut ha-Yehudit le-Ereẓ Israel), international, nongovernment body, centered in Jerusalem, which is the executive and representative of the World *Zionist Organization, whose aims are to assist and encourage Jews throughout the world to help in the development and settlement of Ereẓ Israel. The term “Jewish Agency” first appeared in Article Four of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which stipulated that “an appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognized as a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the administration of Palestine in such economic, social, and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish National Home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine.” The article went on to recognize the Zionist Organization as such an agency “so long as its organization and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate.” Indeed the two were coterminous from the time that the Mandate was ratified by the League Council in July 1922 until the enlarged Jewish Agency came into being in August 1929.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. James lake says:

    Recently Israel had to condemn the former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany ( Mr Melnyk) for his dismissal of the crimes of Bandera and the OUN. Poland also condemned this disgraceful person.

    Israel cannot go along with Ukraine 100%- can they really ignore the crimes committed against Jews in Ukraine? If they do if gives licence to others to ignore and dismiss these terrible crimes.

    Like

  4. Sacha says:

    Netanyahu was wise enough to both acknowledge Putin’s leadership and Russia as a major power. Lapid is on the payroll of organizations paid by groups connected to democrats and Obama (whose goal was to get Netanyahu out – remember his speech in congress that was a personal gauntlet thrown at Obama and neocons). The country is also highly dependent on Washington on three levels 1 diplomatic 2 military (like the supplies of missiles or spare parts) 3 economic (part of the Israeli high tech is its access to investment companies in the US). So it is a country that struggles to remain independent against hostile forces and has given too much leverage to Washington. Europe and America are pushing Israel to join their holy crusade against Russia especially its military high tech that the combined west is unable to even conceive and produce…

    Most people in Israel are sympathetic to Russia’s doctrine of sovereignty and don’t forget about how Ukrainians joined happily nazis to murder jews. And before that, Petliura or Khelmnitsky are historical figure known for their crimes against defenseless jews. The fact putin showed q constant policy fighting against antisemitism is highly appreciated.

    That being said, Israel faces a lack of free press and media are pushing a narrative that tries to make people believe that Russia is an enemy. Besides this, Russia has close ties with Iran whose leader claimed to destroy the Jewish state by 2040.

    Since it’s a complex country due to its immigration you have also pro Ukrainian voices especially among the ones who financially benefit from some Ukrainian oligarchs. Orthodox are also often among the least zionist (since zionism is in its essence secular) they don’t bother supporting another country. Kolomoisky money laundering schemes included financing religious orthodox organizations, hence their silence about the antisemitism of the Ukrainian nationalism or their sudden blindness about zelenski s orthodox faith (his wifey is Christian and their kids baptized – which orthodox jews usually despise). Again, not all religious leaders are corrupt enough to turn a blind eye on Ukrainian traditional jew hatred, some are genuinely just serving their community, some are also dependent on American funding to survive..

    Russians or pro russians usually don’t grasp this complex reality where you have not a single voice nor a single representative of the country or the Jewish nation as a whole. YouTuber Dmitri Vasilets for instance sees rabbis as weapon dealers….

    To conclude with, I’m an avid reader and love each piece you share with style, humor and lots of information that are not accessible to people who don’t read Russian. Thanks !

    Liked by 1 person

    • yalensis says:

      Sacha, thank you very much for your kind words and your interesting comment, I really appreciate your knowledge of these complex matters especially involving Israeli politics. And I am sorry your comment got stuck in the spam filter for an hour or so before I logged on and saw it. I don’t know why wordpress does that sometimes, it’s a mystery. But at least it’s liberated now, so people can read it, yay!

      Like

      • Sacha says:

        I’m used to live partly in Facebook jail or spam folders but usually for the crime of being critical to holy martyr zelenski and his goons 😆 no worries. Actually I didn’t notice the comment was not posted!

        I know some good folks from Novoazovsk but they really and typically don’t talk about politics except sharing their hope that Putin does the job.

        However as you know they are far from being apolitical, they are just cautiously apolitical in their public statements. So when I allude to things you shared, for example, about the new leadership from Russia in DNR or LNR or Zaporozhie oblast, they are speechless and I owe you this very unique ability to look like I’m also into local politics and part of their world.

        So a big thank you! Keep up the great work!

        Like

    • James Lake says:

      It may be complex – but what are Israel’s red lines?

      Surely real mass murder of Jews is a redline ?

      My point is if this is not the case – then they will find that politics being what it’s is people will sight this as a reason to ignore / dismiss these crimes as “ Israel doesn’t care so why should we”

      Look how they use Zelenskys heritage to say “Ukraine cannot have neo Nazi their president is Jewish” ignoring the history of OUN and Ukrainian nationalism before this.

      Israel will be used in this fashion but on a bigger scale

      Like

      • buratino says:

        https://t.me/ahab88/9404
        That would be what is known as a hint…

        Like

      • Sacha says:

        As a non Jewish and non Israeli (for full disclosure) I think that is exactly where the deficiency of Jewish influential groups appears the most (there is no single thing like a Jewish lobby – even some organizations labeled Jewish work against the Jewish state or the image of jews as a community).

        There is a statue of Roman Shukhevych in Edmonton and obviously the local OUN heirs groups are more able to promote their own agenda among Canadian political circles.

        So yes, the Jewish leadership should have a more coherent reply to anything revisionist or negationist. There is maybe an obvious reason, people are often tired listening to jews struggling against any form of antisemitism. Some people even say that jews “use” this label to blackmail their opponents.

        So at some point they are highly inefficient in defending the memory of their murdered ones. And they rely on what officials do, usually with a lip service. In France where I live, several Jewish elders have been murdered for being jews and justice claimed the killers had mental issues so one should dismiss the possibility of a racist motivation – trial is canceled, there is no jew hatred.

        We see their inefficient methodology with the joke “zelenski is Jewish so the country cannot be full of nazis”. This clown could even use a typically Ukrainian lie such as “Russians have extermination plans against Ukraine” when he addressed the knesset or claimed babi yar monument had been targeted by a missile. Sometimes the Jewish state reacts like when it complained about Andriy Melnyk, ambassador to Germany, who gave public full support to Bandera (I have no idea if his name is common or if he is a relative of the OUN leader of the same name). But the diplomatic or political answer is weak.

        Sociologist Shmuel Trigano developed a theory about the core problem. He says that you have a discrepancy between real jews (in their human diversity like any nation) and jews as a communication or ideological sign, which is given a specific meaning that is not connected to the real Jewish persons. And most jews aren’t even aware of that. I used to mock some Jewish people on social networks who started their sentence with “as a jew for peace, I consider…” with a “as a jew for humus, I consider…” – even not being Jewish myself lol

        You are absolutely right to say that Israel is “used” to whitewash Ukrainian nationalism.

        There is also one other issue IMHO. Why are some Israeli fighting in Ukraine?
        -some are motivated by the idea of fighting for democracy or I should say the illusion of the west as a free and democratic area opposing a barbarian totalitarian regime, their motivation is political
        -some are from Ukraine and they or their parents made the aliyah to Israel so that’s a big issue for Israel if some of its citizen are loyal to another country
        -some are contractors who are hired due to their high level training in units like sayeret matkal or golani and offer their service as mercenary
        -there is a blind spot and I suspect that the Israeli government did share either Intel or provide Ukrainians with special forces training (besides sending anti tanks weapons through a German subsidiary). I suspect that this is precisely what would upset Moscow and cannot remain unanswered .

        Besides this, I also suppose that putting pressure on Israel is also a way to send a message to Washington which claims to be thr guardian of thr Jewish state..

        But still the fact that some jews decide to fight on the side of a country which considers jew killers as heroes shows an obvious lack of collective self consciousness and sense of honor maybe. That is for them something they should worry about, more than the rockets that hamas is producing.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Excellent comment, Sacha. That last paragraph really resonates with me. The “sense of honor” is clearly lacking in some of these people. Also a sense of basic gratitude. In my real life I once got into a (futile) debate with a self-proclaimed Jewish-identity person who hates Russia and does the whole “Slava Ukraina” bit. I had to remind him that the Russian people, among other services, were the ones who defeated the Nazi hordes and liberated the concentration camps. If not for them, his ancestors would have been toast (literally), and he never would have been born, because the only thing that stood between Hitler and the remainder of European Jewry, was the Red Army. So, it wasn’t just Russians of course, it was all the Soviet peoples, but the Great Russians did a lot of the heavy lifting, as even Stalin admitted.
          And yet they are ungrateful and spit on Russia. What kind of person does that? Even a dog would not bite the hand of a person who rescued him.

          Like

        • buratino says:

          There is an excellent documentary called “defamation”, with ukranian references. Well worth Your time:

          Just one concept for thought: Without jews – there is no “need” for nazis – and without nazis – hard to sell jewishness…

          Like

          • yalensis says:

            If there were no Jews in the world, I think there would still be Nazis. They would find themselves superior to other groups of people while loyally serving as muscle for the capitalist class.

            Like

      • yalensis says:

        I could be wrong, but I think I read somewhere that Zelensky is only Jewish on his father’s side, not his mom’s. Which would make him non-Jewish according to Jewish law? Because they only take it from the matrilineal line. Which I always thought was rather odd in such a patriarchal culture. Anyhow, if I am right about this, then Zel does not have automatic Israeli citizenship, according to the Zionist law of return.

        Like

    • moon says:

      Orthodox are also often among the least zionist (since zionism is in its essence secular)
      There you go, and I thought if I am born into a Reform family I am not really Jewish according to Israeli standards. 😉

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        I have told this joke before, so I apologize in advance to those who have already heard it:

        A Jewish man is the sole survivor of a shipwreck and is washed up on an island, where he has to await rescue. Fortunately, he is an engineer and very resourceful, so he is able to build everything he needs. (out of coconuts?)

        A couple of years pass, then the rescue ship arrives. Before taking his departure, the Jew takes the ship’s captain on a quick tour of his tiny island, pointing out the various objects that he built: “That’s my main house, there is my summer home, there is the Temple I go to…”

        The captain points to another structure a little further down: “What’s that structure?”
        “That’s the Temple I don’t go to.” The Jew spits on the ground. “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that Temple.”

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Sacha says:

    You have two colliding standards. One issued by the state of Israel as stated in the law of return (at least one Jewish grandparent no matter if on paternal or maternal side for jews coming from former Soviet republics) and one issued by religious ruling (called halakha) which implies that an individual is Jewish only from direct maternal lineage (mother, maternal grandmother and so on) or by formal conversion mainly through orthodox synagogues in Europe and reform synagogues in America

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Aha! Thanks for explaining, I did not know there was a double-standard.
      Well, I should have known, there is always a double-standard where Russia is concerned!
      🙂

      Like

      • Sacha says:

        In this case, this double standard is considered more favorable to Russian / Soviet Jews than any other Jew because the requirement are stricter if you are from Italy or France or wherever. The Halakha is universal, applying in theory to anyone, but it’s not what exactly determines the policy of the state of Israel regarding immigration.

        Historically interesting is that America used the massive immigration wave to Israel after the collapse of the Soviet Union (and the dire need of funding to provide these people with housing, jobs, social benefits etc) to blackmail the Israeli leadership and push them to accept the Madrid – Oslo process / surrender, through which they had to accept to give up land not to a local Palestinian leadership but to its archenemy the PLO. Thank you America !

        There are other countries which offer a law of return such as Greece for example, I guess because of diaspora.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          I think even Russia has a kind of “law of return” now, trying to accrue more ethnic Russians with the “correct” mentality. I think Putin even used that technique, in order to bring some communities of Old Believers back to the homeland, from South America, where they had beend dwelling ever since the Schism.
          Who are actually very valuable to have, because (a) they still speak Russian, (b) they are very hard-working, and (c) they pump out a lot of babies.

          Like

          • Sacha says:

            You are right I watched on YouTube a russian documentary (with automatically generated subs in English- sometimes puzzling) about these old believers who settle or I should say re settle in the far east. But they aren’t really a lot of them.

            My friends from Donbass said that they could get a Russian passport for two reasons 1 they were born at the time of thr soviet union and anyone even non ethnic Russian can apply for citizenship
            2 children of ethnic Russians who were born after 1991.
            And indeed they did go to Taganrog to get their passport.
            But as such i may not qualify it as law of return because there is no resettlement policy. People must have the guts to do all by themselves

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              Yes, that’s a very good point. People can “return” to Russia by ethnicity, but then have to find a job and housing by themselves, so only the very confident or resourceful would attempt. With Donbass refugees, they might actually have it a bit easier (I hope), because the Russian government has to help them find housing and support them, so there is a kind of “resettlement” plan in place for them. The Israeli government has something to teach others in that regard, because they seem to provide a lot more help to potential emigrants: counseling, training, free airfare, resettlement support, etc.

              In other words, every country that wanted to beef itself up with “the right kind of” immigrants, should probably establish its own version of Sokhnut in other countries!

              Like

    • To reinforce what Sacha said, the canny old Hebrews knew that you ALWAYS know who a child’s mother is. But the REAL father, who can be sure, nu? That’s why the exception to the patriarchal principle. And it doesn’t matter HOW Jewish the mom is.

      Technically, even though I’m a goy, my only child is considered Jewish. That’s because her mom was born to two parents who were “high holy days Jews — i.e. they only did the religious thing at Yom Kippur, etc) who came from the Pinsk region in White Russia (Belarus now.) That was the ex-wife in Florida who was wild ‘n crazy enough to go on the courthouse steps and con the Klansman’s megaphone away for him for a speechifying moment. The X was only culturally Jewish — she had long before renounced the religion as a patriarchal, male-dominated system of oppression. She felt that way about a lot of masculine things, including me eventually. Fortunately, my now-grown daughter is as atheist as me, and not QUITE as dogmatic as her mom. But it would not matter if Nazis were able to take over America — it would still be into the Zyklon showers with both of them.

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        Interesting! Your ex-wife sounds like a corker, as does your daughter. But yeah, the Nazis considered that even one-quarter Jewish was enough to get one into that shower. I think if one were an octaroon, one would be okay.

        Like

  6. Sacha says:

    I think it stems directly from the brainwashing and ungratefulness of the west in general. At school I was taught about Stalingrad battle but two issues are skipped (the human price paid by the soviet union and the amount of destruction throughout the territory at a level unknown by most of western countries on one hand and the rehabilitation of former war criminals and nazis into western societies ( also some Arab countries linked with the west) on the other hand. Without a full picture, one doesn’t feel ungrateful because the only thing you learned is the Molotov Ribbentrop agreement. Do you know many people in the west who know about the support of America to nazi Germany in the 1930s?

    Through the lenses of history, I guess a Jewish point of view would remind of the pale of settlement, the elders of zion protocols (written by tsarist police from a French pamphlet) the pogroms of the late 19 early 20, the doctors plot.. so a history with both sad and bright pages.

    But in general I believe there is a clear lack of collective self consciousness among jews as a consequence of decades if not centuries of assimilation. This is a very interesting issue, for example because many early bolshevik leaders were of Jewish background. How much “Jewish” were there actually? Their background was clearly instrumental for far right attacks against communism in general. And even today, western leaders don’t mind ukr politicians who still talk about Judeo moscovite mafia…

    There is a lot of Vergangenheitsbwältigung needed in the west, if I can say using this German concept.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      From wiki:
      Vergangenheitsbewältigung ist ein veralteter und umstrittener Schlüsselbegriff in der öffentlichen Diskussion des Umgangs mit der Vergangenheit im Deutschland des 20. Jahrhunderts, insbesondere für die Auseinandersetzung mit dem Nationalsozialismus.

      There is a weird synchronicity in my own life, because just today (at work) we were having our monthly Team DEI brainwashing session (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion). And one of my teammates started a discussion about how so many ordinary, everyday American idioms have racist roots. For example, “Honest Injun” or “Thanks to the peanut gallery.”

      And people actually started discussing ways to ban these expressions from conversation.

      I should have kept my trap shut, but I couldn’t help countering: “Well, you could drive yourself crazy…” All I got in return was blank looks.

      Like

      • Yalensis — saying “crazy is not PC! (Psychiatrically correct) /snark/ I use it in casual conversation, and in writing sometimes, but I’d never deploy the word at work in the mental health system. It would result in stinkeye from my co-workers and official opprobrium from above. Especially because I’m an Anglo-background male. The female nurses and other staffers can get away with saying a lot more pointed stuff than I can. One of the burdens of being the dominance demographic, sigh…

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Ouch! When I blurted that out, I wasn’t even thinking that “crazy” could be a trigger word. Especially in a mental health setting.
          But in this case, the focus was on words and idioms that had a racist background. Although our DEI sessions have started to evolve and become broader, ever new ways to make us self-conscious every time we open our pie holes. The initial impetus, of course, was the American race riots, I think that was the summer before covid. So then everybody became very self-conscious about the black/white issue. But recently I noticed they started including lots more categories of oppressed people, we even had to listen to a lecture by this very successful Chinese businessman (a millionaire and also a politician) who claimed that he had been discriminated against growing up. In the post-lecture discussion, once again I couldn’t just zip it, the other people in our group were acting so pious, “Oh, those poor Chinese people, I never knew they felt that way…” and I blurted out, “You realize, of course, that they suffer from the stereotype of being way too smart and successful. If only I should have such a stereotype…”
          I really need to learn to keep my mouth shut, but it’s just way too funny to endure…
          🙂

          Like

          • This is a subversive suggestion, and maybe it’s not worth you while to do it, because I don’t know how much you have mentally invested in the rigamarole at your job. But what if you proposed “Let’s make a written list of all the words that no one is allowed to use, so we’re all clear on it? It can have explanations of why each of these words is racist/sexist/otherwise offensive. We can forward it to all current employees, have it on file as a reference, and give it to all new hires or contractors as part of their orientation. That way, no one will inadvertently use a forbidden word.” While it would LOOK like you were trying to stomp out Badspeak, you’d actually be propagating it by having all the naughty words replicated in a database and spread to every employee. Looking like an enthusiastic team player in the censorship game, while actually “white-anting” it. (Aussie term for secretly chewing things up from the inside. Desert termites, which build big mounds in the Outback, are called “white ants.”) When I can, I try to look the fool while secretly being the fox. A trick I used in my newspaper reporter days, when I’d have a good idea about something that was happening, but I’d come across as dumb when I’d be talking to some official in the hopes that they’d spill more information or confirm something I suspected. People let their guard down around others who they think are naive, but they’re cagey with smarties. If the bosses with power over such things were keen, you might even get yourself appointed as the supervisor or the list — on company-paid time, of course. I reckon it would require at least two hours’ salary a fortnight for such an important task, maybe more if you grift it to the max.

            Like

            • yalensis says:

              That sounds like a supremely subversive idea – heh heh!
              Reminds me of that old George Carlin shtick about the “7 words you can’t say…”
              Or even better, the Monty Python gag (in “Life of Brian”) where the villagers have to stone a guy for saying a tabu word. But in order to know what the tabu words are, the Rabbis have to spell them out, in which case they also have to be stoned.
              It’s like one of those Gödel “metadata” paradoxes, where a thing has to refer to itself, thus creating recursions…

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      • Sacha says:

        Yup this concept is considered a bit outdated by some scholars but at least Germans had the guts to put words on what they did throughout the war what Western countries didn’t dare to do regarding their past (When did the US call their policy towards Indigenous communities a genocide?)

        At the same time, the Soviet Union in its last days, if I remember correctly, qualified the deportation of the 8 nations, which were collectively punished, Kalmyks, Chechens… a génocide. Even Putin in a recent speech talked about the injustice they had to suffer.

        Any historical process related to trauma / violence requires at some point recognition (and not this shitty equity inclusion stuff which is simply tokenization (i don’t say it’s good to use slurs towards natives of course but it’s just about markting as always, not changing anything for real).

        Today we see that among the strongest allies of Russia, we have… Chechens! I don’t think it’s due to the Kadyrov / Putin connection because when you need men who fight, you need to find guys who are motivated enough to fight but moreover to risk their life. It cannot happen when they are forced to do so (like ukr territorial defense units).

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        • yalensis says:

          Yes, these issues go very deep. True reconciliation between peoples requires, if not grovelling, at least an honest discussion of what actually happened. In the U.S. people still dance around the whole issue of Native genocide and African slavery. DEI is not the answer, it’s just tokenization and window-dressing, like you say. To make things right, would require a lot more than that. For starters, a government that is fair to everybody.

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