Thursday, June 16, 2005


I wrote the following post on the Tzfat Yahoo! group, entitled "Which Half of Me is the Real Ubermensch?":

Within just a few days I was directed by Irish extremists to the first site shown below and by Israeli extremists to the second site shown below. Note that they posit the identical theory and base it on the very same claims. The Jewish site claims that the Celts are descendants of one of the10 lost tribes.The Irish site claims that the Celts are the aboriginal settlers ofnot only Europe, but the Americas as well and are the true Aryans(Eireann)., deary me! I'm really in a quandary now. I don't know which half of me really is the Ubermensch and progenitor of Western Europe and the Americas. Imagine how I feel being told that on the one hand I hold the rightto Western Europe because I am the true Aryan, while on the other Iam told that the Celts (Eireann) are descendants of the Semitic Jews. Anyone else see the irony in this? To someone who is Jewish the claims on the first site might seem perfectly reasonable and natural. To someone who is Irish the claims on the second post might seem perfectly reasonable and natural. To me, being both, I see that the claim asserted by both is beyond ethnocentric and foolish. It is insane.

galilarat from the Tzfat yahoo group posted the following response:

Unless Doreen believes in the kabbalistic concept that she is a reincarnated male soul in a female body, she should really consider herself an "uberfrau" rather than an "ubermensch"! An examination of Yair Davidy's site (he himself is an Australian convert to Orthodox Judaism) shows that it's important to know if Doreen's goy father was an Eire Catholic or an Ulster Protestant*, as the two come from different "yichus" [meaning 'lineage', my insert] (the symbol of the latter is a red Star of David!). Davidy makes some daring claims, but he does seem to have some controversial historical evidence. Needless to say, contemporary sallow-skinned frum Semite Jews of today are none too plussed at the idea that your average uncircumcised, uncouth, none-too bright "Bog Irishman" red-nosed Guinness-downing Murphy is not a white Japhetite, but is from theLost Tribes of Israel!

*This point is utter nonsense. As is well known, the Bells were originally a Scottish clan. Most of those who migrated to ROI became Catholic.

To which I responded:

Decide which is funnier, galilrat's response to me, or that of an Irish parallel of galilrat's in response to a question I posed to him as to whether or not I'd be a welcome repatriate in Ireland if he had his druthers: "Now it is well recorded that the Eire ruled over its subject people all across the world, what is not greatly publicised is that nearly every ancient text that refers to our race records the origin legends of the Sacred Isle (Eire). It was the belief of our people that only those who were of the Noble and pure Celtic stock should ever reside in the motherland of the master race, and as Genetics has proven this was the case up untill the Norman invasions of our country. I would ask you, do you believe that you if you are only 50% or 75% of Celtic stock should you get preference to reside here over the people who are 100% Celtic stock. Would you accept that like the thorough breeding of animals you should set to breed out the bad blood from your genes and restore the virtue of your ancient origin.Would you accept that in a class system, you are below those of absolute purity, and that those above you should be cherished for being the centre of gravity for your nations. Also would you consider that as a Celt who has being tainted genetically (even if only very poorly maybe even 1% or less), that you should be to the forefront of building new Celtic colonies across the world and urging that your motherland be kept free andsacred from foreign migrants. Finally since our country is sadly run by the politics of democracy who would have veto over the supreme ruling and sovereignty of our country. The race mixers or the pure nobles of absolute Celtic stock."

If that isn't funny enough I read today that there is a book that is called WHIRLWIND that claims that the Iranians are the true Aryans. The contenders for True Aryan seem to be legion. Good thing I'm not part Iranian or I'd be totally confounded by now not knowing whichpart of me is the ultimately superior.I think my point has been amply demonstrated and with this I closethis rather stomach-upsetting topic on this board, thought thepresence of atitudes like this is cultural and spiritual rot nomatter where it is found, including Tzfat.

galilarat from the Tzfat Yahoo group again:

In comparing Judaic nationalism to Celtic supremacists, Doreen is hopefully not equating the two. Is she disavowing the Torah's message that "Hashem has chosen and elevated us from among the nations", something that not even the Irish claim?!"And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising...and the sons of strangers shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you...the sons of them that afflictedyou shall bending to you...and all they that despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet" (Isaiah 60). We cannot be more "elitist" or "supremacist" than the Creator Himself! Many misguided Jews searching for universalism abandon the Jewishpeople completely. But True Universalism can only be found throughTorah.

metzuda from the Yahoo! group Tzfat:

And even Doreen's Irish father may have some Israelitish Simeonite (asopposed to Jewish ie from the tribe of Judah) blood in him!

I wrote on the Tzfat Yahoo! site:

It's a blessing to have a Gentile father. Not only do I have all of the rights and privileges of being a Jew, I am not subject to the misunderstandings about Gentiles and our relations to them that so many Jews who have two Jewish parents have. My children and I also have Irish citizenship, which allows us to live and work anywhere in EU if we wish too. That's a lot of haven if Israel falls apart and the US starts to draft people for their wars. Where will you go? And your kids? My father, BTW, was a post doc in theoretical math, complex analysis specifically. And your father?

xonter46 from the Yahoo! Tzfat group:

If it ever gets to the stage of Israel falling apart, no one gets out: not Jew or Gentile! In the Yom Kippur war, tourists were trapped in Israel for the 5 week duration of the hostilities.How many people a day could escape through Ben Gurion airport? As forgetting a yacht to sail the 200 miles to Cyprus: dream on. The Irish are unlikely to send one of their minesweepers to pick up Irish expats! Some say that the EU is "the 10 horned anti-Israeli beast" of Daniel's prophecy. Ireland was probably better off not being a member of the EU: "unity for the wicked is bad for them and bad for the world" (Talmud Kiddushin 72). More important than the "rights and privileges" of being a Jew, are the duties and obligations of being a Jew. Although she may not be aware of it, has Doreen a a bit of a chip on her shoulder, no doubt from one of her miscegenated ancestors?

Joseph Cleary wrote:

Dear Friend:
I know that this wasn't addressed to me but being as it's an Irish man talking about Jews and other Irishmen, I once defended a fellow I'd never met, a few years back a Mayor of Dublin was elected, he was said to have been one of the best that they'd ever had. He was born in Ireland, and he was a Jew. I realize that the girls father isn't. I too have a Irish last name, and yes I'm Jewish, and very proud of it too.
Friend if you're living there now be glad, know that I've plans to be there too, you're just there a few days before me that's all.
Shalom, Shalom, Yosef

I wrote the following on June 17th, 2005:

To All of the Members of the Yahoo! Group Tzfat:

I wrote the Owner/Moderator and told her that this group contains bigoted and defamatory content.

I gave her time to delete the posts and issue and apology.

She chose to ignore those two messages.

I told her that if my demand that the offending and illegal posts are not deleted and an apology from her for allowing those posts to go up is not met that I will issue a Complaint against this group because it is in violation of Yahoo! Terms of Service.

I interpret the fact that the Owner/Moderator allowed this to be posted as an agreement to bigotry and defamation because this is a moderated group and she moderates that which she finds offensive. Evidently she does not consider bigotry and defamation of Gentiles within the purview of slander. Yahoo. com and the law does. I will hold her personally responsible for the posts having gone up.

I intend to do so and will report this group to a number of both Jewish and non-Jewish bodies who are concerned about prejudice and bigotry in the world.

This is ugly.

I do not see any protest statements here except for the one from Joseph Cleary.

You should be ashamed of yourselves, and if you are not I will bring public attention to you.

All of the messages here have been copied and will be forwarded to any and all legitimate concerned parties that I see fit to send them too.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

The fact that the Owner/Moderator of the Yahoo! Group "Tzfat" allowed these messages to go up is all the more ironic given the fact that the Group's description is:

Tzfat/Tsfat/Safed/Zfat/Zsfas/Tsfas/Tzfas/Safas......there are as many ways to pronouce the name of this mystical city in the North of Israel as there are types of people who live here.This forum is for residents of Tzfat and others who are interested in the city, its development, its character, and its future.This forum has been established for people who wish to exchange opinions, ideas, knowledge, and information about Tzfat. No posts will be allowed up which insult any individuals or groups of people. No Lashon Hara (Slander, my translation).

Evidently the Owner/Moderator of the Yahoo! Group "Tzfat" does not consider Gentiles people.

The Owner/Moderator of the Yahoo! Group Tzfat posted:


Several months ago, when I edited a message that I thought was offensive to YOU, you wrote back telling me that you had requested that the poster send the message to you so that you could see what had been deleted, and announced to the whole group that I was guilty of unnecessary censorship because you, in fact, did not find the message offensive. Now you do.

Frankly, I think that the person who wrote it was a jerk, and that the message says more about the writer than it doesabout either you or your father. But censoring messages is tricky, and I'm not prepared to go nuts about it.

Nor, by the way, am I prepared to feel guilty because I didn't have my computer on for several hours and see your earlier letters to me -- I have a life outside this computer, and don't feelparticularly guilty about it.

Feel free to complain to whichever authorities you wish. If they see fit to take down the group, I won't object. However, I will continueto do my best to moderate the group as carefully as I can as long asthe group is up, and as long as the other members wish.

Shabbat Shalom

I wrote:

I recall the incident, but frankly not the content of what I wrote in that particular message, as I typically write for anwhere between 8 - 18 hours a day.

I do recall too that I wrote to you and explained why I wrote what I wrote and justified it.

I have *NEVER* sent a post containing the kind of bigotry and racist description that is contained in the posts that anyone can find on this group simply by searching "Irish" or "goy".

You know there are people who are disturbed on this group and that is why you set this group up as moderated. That is why the Group's description reads as it does.

I'm gratified that you realize that those people are "jerks" (it's more than one), but don't even try to convince me that you found moderating in that case was "tricky". Had someone written something like that about Jews your judgement would have been right on target.

Those posts are in direct contradiction to Yahoo's TOSs and in direct contradiction to your stated description of this group.

They are also against Israeli law. The posters may be anonymous, but you, who allowed them to go through can be found easily enough.

You ignored the messages I sent you offline asking you to delete the posts and issue an apology so that I wouldn't have to take action.

One more time: Delete those posts from the message archives and issue a formal apology here or I take the matter further.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

"רק בצפת" (Only In Tzfat)


On 20.05.05 "Chadash HaGalil's" correspondent, Me'ir Yanko, published an article entitled "רק בצפת" (Only In Tzfat), in which he lists a number of absurdities that can only happen in Tzfat. He then called for the public to add some absurdities of their own. So, here's mine:

Only in Tzfat can a man who is barely literate be fired from his former job for the reasons that were published in the local press and, through a personal favor of a friend, who was a fine journalist in Tzfat, who took pity on him, get a job as a correspondent for the local paper where that man used to work. Only in Tzfat, could the fine journalist be ousted from the journalistic community, precisely because he is an incisive thinker and fine journalist, while Yanko remained in his stead. Only in Tzfat could Yanko have the chutzpah after all that had transpired to write denigration after denigration about every sector of Tzfat society: the residents of the South, in toto, (from whence Yanko himself hails); the "Anglosaxim" who, Yanko claims, have "taken over" the Old City, the Ethiopians; actually, just about any sector you can think of. Finally, only in Tzfat could this same Yanko write an article about the absurdities that transpire in Tzfat in his usual barely literate, um, "style".



Yanko responded to the letter that I sent him. The version that I sent him is in Hebrew and he responded in Hebrew.

I won't post his response here for a few reasons:

1) It's in Hebrew and not everyone will understand it.

2) I do not publish private mail that I receive unless I get express permission to even if "Personal and Confidential" isn't written on it.

From what I write you'll be able to get the gist of what he wrote to me.

For years I suffered this man's humiliations silently. I've had it with him!

Here's the English version of my response to him:

Let's go point-by-point, Yanko:

It is simply impossible that you and the journalist to whom I refer were of equal stature. You never had the respect as a journalist that he had in this town. I, for one, considered him a true intellectual and a person who genuinely cared about people as individuals and residents of Tzfat. In fact, if he wasn't the person he is, he'd still be here working in Tzfat

So, you're still in touch with said journalist? Am I to believe that that makes you equals? Your powers of reasoning are weak. Mine are not. You'll have to do better with me.

You use the term "democracy". I see you applied yourself with the same assiduousness when learning the principles of democracy that you did when learning the rudiments of spelling, grammar and syntax. Your understanding of democracy is shallow and primitive indeed if you think that democracy means denigrating people and misrepresenting them just because you can without being thrown in jail for it.

How *dare* you represent everyone in the South of Tzfat as unemployed, uneducated, unwashed miskeinim just because we don't have a lot of money?

Just in my building alone, there is my husband who is an expert in the Hebrew language, world history, machshevet Yisra'el, a published author, translator and librarian.

I accomplished an MA in Jewish Philosophy at age 20 and my field of expertise is mathematical linguistics. I have been published in every English-speaking country in the world, most recently two comedy pieces that I wrote were published in "The Journal of Irreproducible Results", a prestigious journal that is distributed to academics all over the world. (You might consider writing comedy too, Yanko. You're missing your true calling.)

Some of the other residents in the 214 building of Ofer, wherein we reside, include: a composer/conductor; a published poet; at least two specialist physicians that I know of (They are a couple. Their son, a neurologist, used to live in the building too.); an engineer whose husband practices alternative medicine; a sofer Sta"m; and a certified English teacher from the former SSSR - that I know of. I am not acquainted with everyone in the building.

You can't hold a candle to many of the residents of Ofer intellectually or experientially. How dare you denigrate us? How dare you make us all out to be of one (threadbare) cloth?

How *dare* you cast aspersions upon us - in Hebrew that a grade school child should be ashamed of no less?! My husband has stopped reading your articles altogether. He couldn't stand the level of Hebrew and got tired of getting annoyed. If I try to read some of your "stuff" to him for a laugh he tells me to spare him.

Thoroughly disgusted by the level of Hebrew of the paper, my husband once offered his services to "Chadash B'Galil" as an editor and proofreader some years ago. They were more than willing to accept him - on a volunteer basis. Chadash B'Galil wasn't willing to pay for a part-time proofreader? The paper isn't embarrassed to appear as it does? The level of Hebrew in "Chadash B'Galil" has deteriorated since the time my husband called to offer his help. We would not have believed that possible. Doesn't anyone proofread there? Doesn't anyone who works at the paper know Hebrew above grade school level?

The "Anglo-Saxim" have not "taken over" the Old City. First of all, the English-speakers in this town are effectively powerless. Second, what do you care if most of the English-speakers who come to this town resonate with the vibration of the Old City?

Your critique of City Hall is the same old same old. You merely parrot that which you've heard your intellectual betters say about the City and regurgitate it onto paper, looking like a wannanbe, pseudo-intellectual in the process.

You have the audacity to take personal credit for the Mamlakhti Gimmel grade school not being closed? Any journalist who would be working in your stead would have covered the story. It was the hottest item in Tzfat. How could that story not have been covered? What did you do that was above the minimum expected of a local journalist? Not only would any journalist have covered the story, any journalist covering the story would have written exactly what you wrote. What you wrote was the expected thing to write.

There are some very interesting, intelligent and productive people in the Southern neighborhoods of Tzfat, Yanko. Find them, first for your own edification. You might consider doing and expose on the topic of interesting people in the South as a public service to the city and to make amends for the hurt you've caused to our image.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Ofer Neighborhood, Tzfat