October 8, 2007

My 500th Post: Dawkins anti-semitic remark, Pat Condell, and Bye Jake

I can't believe this is my 500th post. This blog has been alive for just around 2 years and 9 months. Quick calculation: I make a blog post once every 2.24 days. Most posts take me around half an hour to compose, though some take 5 to 10 minutes (especially when they are about a certain Youtube video). I've had a few take over an hour to do. Those are the ones that require extra research. I try to cover as many angles and fill as many holes as I can before I post. I learn a lot when I'm doing research. Lots of trivial stuff. I probably could hold my own "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader" by now.

I figure I might as well do some odds and ends since I'm posting today.

First, I wanted to comment on Richard Dawkins recent quote in The Guardian:
"When you think about how fantastically successful the Jewish lobby has been, though, in fact, they are less numerous I am told - religious Jews anyway - than atheists and [yet they] more or less monopolise American foreign policy as far as many people can see. So if atheists could achieve a small fraction of that influence, the world would be a better place."

I have lots of thoughts on this issue, and I have posted most on RichardDawkins.net.
It would be denying reality if one ignored that Dawkins has become the equivalent of a Jerry Falwell for atheists, though not too many atheists including me believe that we need a spokesperson who speaks for all of us, because we all differ so much when it comes to our opinions on crime, state, politics, etc.
But when Dawkins talks, he gets attention. Unfortunately, he is not perfect, as seen by the above quote. He has swallowed the Arab and anti-semitic propaganda about the Jewish lobby. I think it is a cultural thing in Britain, and Dan Johnson agrees with me in this article, "Suppressed Scholarship."
Dawkins apologists on the Dawkins Forum point out that he meant the comment as a compliment. That a small amount Jews are organized enough to monopolize US foreign policy. The thing is that is not a fact, and comments like this have led to dead Jews in the past. That is why it is a bit disturbing that he even thinks it.

From Wikipedia:

Jewish lobby is a term referring to allegations that Jews exercise undue influence in a number of areas, including politics, government, business, the media, academia, popular culture, public policy, international relations, and international finance. [1][2][3] It is used most commonly by the far right, far left, and Islamists.[4]

The expression is commonly associated with antisemitic aspersions.[5] Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates, an American research group that tracks right-wing extremists, writes that it combines the classic elements of anti-Semitic stereotyping and scapegoating, and is part of the discourse of conspiracism.[2]

Sometimes the term "Jewish lobby" is being used to refer to Israel lobby,[6][7][8] but according to Mitchell Bard, director of the non-profit American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), such usage "is both vague and inadequate."[9]


For centuries, a key element of antisemitic thought were conspiracy theories that the Jews, as a group, were plotting to control or otherwise influence the world. Vijay Prasad described The myth of the "Jewish lobby" in India's magazine Frontline:

The idea of the "Jewish lobby" is attractive because it draws upon at least a few hundred years of anti-Semitic worry about an international conspiracy operated by Jewish financiers to defraud the European and American working poor of their livelihood. The "Jew," without a country, but with a bank, had no loyalty to the nation, no solidarity with fellow citizens. The anti-Semitic document, "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," is a good illustration of this idea. The Nazis stigmatized the "Jew" as the reason for poverty and exploitation, and obscured the role played by capitalism in the reproduction of grief. The six million Jews in the U.S. do not determine U.S. foreign policy; nor are they united. Jews in America, like other communities, are rent with division, not united behind one agenda.[3]

I am not saying Dawkins is anti-semitic (he is not known for any other anti-semitic slurs), but what he said was anti-semitic, though I blame it on him being a victim of the British culture.
About the Jewish lobby: There are plenty of lobbies in the US that have as much if not more influence on foreign policy than Aipac does. The oil lobby for instance. US foreign policy takes Saudi Arabia and China into consideration way ahead of Israel in my opinion.
What Dawkins said about the Jewish lobby is similar to what Christians say about the Atheist lobby. Think about it. Courts are ruling for gay marriages, against pro-lifers, taking the 10 commandments out of government buildings and prayer and creation out of school. But all these things are happening not because of the Atheist lobby (Dawkins said we need a lobby in the article), but because it makes sense to separate church and state in order to have freedom and freedom of religion too. Common sense makes the laws, not atheists. In fact, common sense makes atheists.
The US supports Israel and does things that appear to help Israel so much because Israel pretty much the same ethical values and goals as the US. Of course, it is a little more complicated than that. The US also supports Israel to keep Israel in check. They try to make sure Israel doesn't respond as the US would respond if the US were in Israel's shoes. This keeps the Saudi lobby content.

Respectful Insolence is a must read if you are still interested in this topic.

I'll also note that one commenter (Tim) was banned because a moderator didn't like the inference that Dawkins might be anti-semitic. Even though it was clear to me that all Tim was saying that what Dawkins said was obviously anti-semitic. What is with moderators? See previous post.
Tim left a comment on my previous post saying that Dawkins did email him back when he inquired about the ban. Dawkins stated that he was misquoted, but there was nothing to back it up according to Tim.

OK, now for some levity. Pat Condell's latest video on the Christian love he has been receiving for his previous videos. Great points about the "historical Jesus" too:

And finally, on a sad note. My "other" dog Jake had to be put down on Saturday.

Jake is the dog on the couch in the above picture.
We took him in almost exactly a year ago. He had very bad back legs. And my brother, who took him in two years previously (because his former owner moved to an Old Folks home), move from a farm to a place with lots of stairs. Jake could barely make 3 steps tops because of his infirmaries. So he was sort of pawned off on us. We have a very good sized main floor with a couple of three step accesses to a very large backyard. He never did see the upstairs of our house.
I never really bonded with Jake, but he loved my wife. He would walk around the house looking for her all the time. Why not? She fed him and took care of him like a king, cooking him and Daisy chicken almost every morning.
He was probably 11ish based on the information I have. On Saturday, he fell right after drinking water in the kitchen. My wife called me, I saw his eyes moving up and down and he wouldn't get up. He couldn't get up. His back legs finally gave out.
My sister in law came over with her friend (who is very knowledgeable about dogs). The friend was pretty sure it wasn't a stroke or a heart attack. We called vets. But in a small town just after noon, it was impossible to get immediate help.
We waited a couple of hours. Jake refused food for the first time ever. He was always like a disposable garbage can when it came to scraps. Instead he threw up a couple of times.
He wasn't improving at all. And he tried to get up but couldn't.
We made the decision to euthanize him. We found an SPCA that was still open though 20 minutes away and lifter him into my brother's truck (he weighed about 90 pounds), in the front seat.
My wife and I were to attend a wedding at 3:00. I told my wife to go without me, I'd make it for the reception. My wife tearfully said goodbye, to Jake and I went with my sister in law and her friend on his final road trip.
They wouldn't let anyone in with him at the SPCA after they took on a stretcher to the death room, which was fine with me (though I wouldn't have minded the option). I don't like watching an animal die. From the front desk at the SPCA I heard Jake bark a few last times. Then I didn't hear anything.
The vet told us that he most likely suffered a blood clot in the hind and that it caused his main functions to shut down. We did the right thing. And remember, this is a long weekend. If we waited, we would have probably had to wait until Tuesday morning.
We took Jakes body back to my house. My wife was back from the wedding and we had a couple of hours to kill before the reception. We spent it digging Jake's grave and then burying him wrapped in one of his favorite blankets.
Bye Jake.


  1. Hooray, I'm first! (At least as far as I can tell).

    Sorry to hear about Jake. Dogs are great pets because they genuinely seem to care about you, unlike cats, which are mostly indifferent.

    As for Dawkins, as I noted in the comments section of another blog, between his latest remark, and something he said last year about the spectre of Nazism preventing meaningful discussion about eugenics, he certainly has a way of giving his opponents ammunition to use against him.

    As an American, I believe I can say with accuracy that the Jewish/Israeli lobby does have a strong influence on our foreign policy, as well as even domestic policy. It has even become obligatory for any mayor of New York City to visit Israel just to burnish his credentials with the Jewish voters of the city.

    I don't believe it is anti-semitic to say this. I would disagree with those who think that Israel is the tail wagging the dog of American foreign policy. Nor would I espouse or support throwing Israel "under the bus" to try to appease the Arab world.

    Israel and America have foreign policy goals that are sometimes overlapping and sometimes differing. We are close to each other for a number of reasons, a politically active and influential Jewish-American community (just as the Cuban emigre community in Florida has a strong influence on America's policy towards Castro), the belief among many American Christians that Israel is the "promised land" and that it is part of god's plan that we help Israel, and that both America and Israel are democracies.

    Oh, and btw, I finally joined the Atheist Blogroll!

  2. Congratulations on your 500th post. That's quite an achievement.

    I read about Dawkin's comment today elsewhere and must say I was quite startled. His particular use of the term 'Jewish Lobby' hit the warning bells. I hope this is just a misunderstanding by the press or an innocent brain fart on Dawkin's part as I admire his fiery rhetoric in defence of atheism.

    Sorry to hear about Jake.

  3. Analysing the ethnic background of influential groups seems a waste of time to me. You can come up with all sorts of claims about the English or Irish, French, Italians etc having undue influence. When it comes to Jewish folk such claims are usually preludes to dark mutterings about conspiracies to take over the world. Anti-capitalism seems to be at the core of Jewish conspiracy claims as if capitalism is an evil thing - it's amazing how prevalent this sort of attitude is in the world today and it can be found in learning institutions all over the world. Folks should remember that it is capitalism that keeps us in the life of luxury that we enjoy today.

  4. Sounds like Jake was blessed (or "lucky") to have been taken in by you, with the little steps for him and all. Good bye Jake.

  5. Sorry to hear about Jake. Get a puppy who looks like Jake and name him Jake - that's what my aunt did.
    Dawkins is not only giving in to popular culture he is also giving in to the historicaly European mistrust of Jews.

    I think that when people say Jewish lobby they mean the pro- Israel lobby, as 99.9% of Jews are for Israel. People probably say that because it's surprising why the US should support Israel when the rest of the world hates it - the lobby must just be too strong.
    When people say that, they tacitly imply that there's something wrong with Jews having a strong lobby. What distinguishes the Jewish lobby from a regular American lobby of, say, farmers? Jews have been living in Europe along with Christians. Jews are assimilated to the national Judeo-Christian values and culture. Jews are of the same skin color as white Christians. So it's not that Jews are somehow different but that there is something wrong with them having a strong lobby.
    I think Dawkins is saying that Zionism is/was somehow theistic, which is an arguable point, and that thanks to Zionist lobby, theism is responsible for Israel related political problems.

  6. I think we miss the point on Richard Dawkins' comment if we worry about the term 'Jewish Lobby.' The term is historically anti-semitic, and it is vague and imprecise.
    However, his point is valid if we change it to 'Israel Lobby', which is not only mind-bogglingly powerful in America, but so blatantly contrary to foreign policy wisdom post cold-war that it's shocking we still buy it.

  7. Tommy, again I don't know how the Israeli Lobby actually has done that much when it comes to major decisions made by the US. The aid is strategic, it keeps Israel in check and actually stabilizes the region. If the US went there to be a policeman, it would be a lot more costly. And again, I do think that American values and ethics overlap strongly with those of Israel.

    Beaman, Darwin is not perfect, and he has no history of anti-semitism.
    It was a brain fart.

    AA, Jews are capitalists but are also communists according to haters. Jews assimilate too much or they practice segregation too much according to haters.

    Orde, Jake had a great 7 dog years with us ( one human year).

    Ari, yes Israel and America have a lot more in common than most people want to give Israel credit for.

    Anthony, can you give examples? You are making very rhetorical statements about the Israeli lobby and it's supposed power.

  8. You are right. The common bull crap about the Jews running everything is about as bigoted as one can get. Imagine the firestorm if one made such generalization s about black folk?

    I'm so sorry about your dog. That is very sad.

  9. The Israeli Lobby is strong, but not so strong that it dictates to the US. I'm not a supporter of Zionism, but still find that comment disturbing.

  10. Hey BEAJ, I put up a post about this too, with a link to yours, if you'd like to check it out.

  11. Pjays:

    You really are a bit of a joke sometimes, aren't you?

    That Dawkins made a fool of himself with that statement is a real shame. That someone like you has to try and add some fuel to the fire is however equally shameful. US Ultra Conservatives, Xtian-Zionists and assorted nincompoops will now forever associate a spokes person for American Atheism with anti-Semitism and you're just adding to it.

    So he's an AS, he's not, we don't really know, blahdiblahdiblah, ad infinitum.... In the mean time the damage is done. Jews should really be much more careful with that term: it's lost almost all meaning through overuse.

    "[...]though I blame it on him being a victim of the British culture."

    What you know about "British culture" would fit on the back of a small stamp.

    "The thing is that is not a fact, and comments like this have led to dead Jews in the past."

    As regards the Israel lobby, of course that exists, as there is a tobacco lobby, an anti-tobacco lobby, a pro-Muslim lobby etc etc etc. Why on earth would saying so lead to "dead Jews"?

    "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader": I doubt that very much sometimes. You've guessed, you've really pissed me off big style here.

    Sorry about your dog.

  12. Gert, do I add to the fuel when give my opinion about Amona settlers or the Modesty Bus?
    I don't want to be hypocritical and give an atheist a free pass, just as I don't give Jews a free pass.
    When I see something wrong with something that I'm identified with, I usually post about it on MY blog.
    Nobody is calling Dawkins an anti-semite to my knowledge, only that his comment was anti-semitic. This post illustrates two things, Dawkins is in a position where he needs to watch what he says and that there could be a cultural influence that may negatively impact his point of view on world politics.
    If you read the Wikipedia entry you'll see what I mean about the correlation between buying into Jewish world control and dead Jews.
    As far as British culture, I am going by what I read mostly by Brits who understand the brainwashing they have rejected.
    You should also read this article I linked if you haven't already.
    And why haven't you returned my last two gmails?

  13. Sorry to hear about Jake, they never live long enough.

    Congratulations on your 500th post.

  14. gert, I'm pretty much a "US Ultra Conservative-Zionist," and don't find this post adds fuel to the fire, because most notable to me about Dawkins is his bitter virulence, *how* not what he says, to the point his manner just shouts Satanic inspiration. So I expect him to hate the priorities of God, such as the chosen people of God, the biblical apple of God's eye or life--tommy mentioned euthanasia, which also added no fuel fire, for same reason: lowest expectations.

    Instead, what I marvel at is not the remarks of Dawkins', but the responses to them by those who cling to him.

    Beaj is giving out apologies on another thread, and if you want join in this spirit of reconciliation by apologizing to me for by implication calling me a "nincompoop," that'd be a beautiful thing.

  15. My msn.com account is blocked (can't access, dunno why).

    My primary is back up again: g*m*e*y*e*r*s@g*m*e*y*e*r*s@p*l*u*s.c*o*m

    Eliminate the *'s.

    I'll respond to your other points later.

  16. orde,

    I have a question for you, why would someone like you, you know, one of, 'the chosen people of God', give a crap about what those of us who, 'hate the priorities of God', think?

  17. atheologist,
    For clarification, I'm not Jewish (just in case that's what you meant by "chosen people"), but reasons I care what atheists think b/c (1) society functions better when those w/differing viewpoints actually understand where each other's coming from before proposing (much less imposing )policy to accomodate the different views and protect the rights of those who hold them, and (2) I've got good news of eternal life and fellowship with a personal God who makes daily living meaningful, and wish that others could have it too. It's called love, wanting the best for others. (speaking of which, I'm pretty sure gert's reaching out here to apologize for the namecalling, thanks gert)

  18. He meant what he said. I recall about a year ago he signed a British university union petition to boycott Israel.

    I also recall him saying something like "you are better of being raped by your parents than having them teach you religion".

  19. BEAJ:

    "Nobody is calling Dawkins an anti-semite to my knowledge, only that his comment was anti-semitic."

    Only anti-Semites make anti-Semitic comments, to say his comment was anti-Semitic is to say he's an anti-Semite. Dawkins's comment was very foolish and factually incorrect. The right way to tackle that is to point that out, firmly and clearly. There is no need to go for the AS thingy. If it turns out that Dawkins really is an anti-Semite, that will then become clear enough, soon enough. You are being deliberately disingenuous here because you know very well that dropping the AS word brings attention.

    "If you read the Wikipedia entry you'll see what I mean about the correlation between buying into Jewish world control and dead Jews."

    I don't need a lesson from you, thanks. The connection between the fact that there is indeed such a thing as the Israel lobby and the Protocols of Zion is a terribly clumsy way of trying to silence people by associating them with an anti-Semitic hoax.

    Lemmesee, when Bernard Lewis claims rightly so that the Jewish American lobby is nothing more than a legitimate and successful attempt of American Jews to politically organise themselves, I accept that fully and see few people protest. but when someone says that this interest group has influence, the chorus goes: "Cabal! Protocols!" And of course... "anti-Seeeemiiiites!"

    As regards The New York Sun, what to say but that the dumbest rags the whole world around have the word "Sun" in them...


    You're an imbecile.

  20. Gert, Dawkins said, "more or less monopolise American foreign policy as far as many people can see". That's not the same as having influence. Monopoly is something illegal. To monopolise government or policy is to do something evil and immoral. I don't thing the jewish lobby is evil and immoral. The jewish lobby doesn't cross the lines of morality or do anything unfailry anymore than any other lobby.

  21. Congrats on #500

    I disagree with Dawkins comment only because as has been pointed out it should have been the Israeli Lobby not the Jewish Lobby, and more importantly the "monopoly on foreign policy."

    There is no question in my mind that do to some very effective organizing this tiny minority (1.3% of US) has been able to have considerably more influence that their numbers alone would account for. There is no antisemitism in my comment, just a simple statement and I believe it is in line with what Dawkins meant.

    Of course the other reason why the Israeli Lobby is so effective is because as soon as anyone disagrees with them they are immediately labeled as antisemetic, a label no one wants. It makes it nearly impossible to disagree with them. And this point has been made perfectly evident in this little discussion.

    And Ari I'm highly dubious of the 99.99% of Jews that support Israel, my closest friend is Jewish, his family has several high ranking Rabi's in Israel, and he does not support Israel's policies and neither do many of his family members here and in Israel.

    Sorry about Jake.

  22. Shlemazl, Dawkins withdrew his name from a petition in 2003.

    Gert, Orde is not an imbecile IMHO.
    Also, I believe that most of us are prejudiced to some degree. People can say racist or anti-semitic things, but in order to be an anti-semite, you need to repeat things like Dawkins did a few times, or just plain admit that you dislike Jews. Anti-semitism can be measured in degrees as far as I'm concerned.

    Kilgore, a very high percentage of Jews support Israel. You don't have to agree with all their policies to support a country. Just like most Americans support America, yet many are against the Iraq war, abortion, the death penalty, etc.
    I find people who condemn Israel but don't condemn the situations in Darfur or Saudi Arabia questionable as to their real intentions and the degree they don't like Jews. So if someone goes on a limb to criticize only Israel I have no problem labelling them as an anti-semite to a larger degree, or perhaps they are Muslims and many are prejudiced against Israel and Jews to begin with.
    Remember, to be prejudiced is to prejudge. Many people assume anything Israel does is a bad thing regardless of the real intentions of the act.

  23. So if someone goes on a limb to criticize only Israel I have no problem labelling them as an anti-semite to a larger degree

    Not necessarily. Why do you need to do that?

    They might be prejudiced against Israel for other reasons, such as being part of the left "we hhhhhate Israel" campaign". They may not have anything against someone who is Jewish but not Israeli. It's just like an anti-American person may not hate Anglo-Saxons (or may in fact be an Anglo-Saxon; just like anti-Israeli could be Jewish).

    The fact they are not necessarily anti-Semitic does not make them any better. They are still racists, as is anyone prejudiced against any nation.

  24. Shlemazl, someone other than a Muslim who focuses on Israel's policies over Saudi Arabia's policies is almost certainly an anti-semite to a large degree, whether they admit it or not.

    If they were just looking out for human rights, why not focus their spewing on Darfur or Saudi Arabia? Why Israel?

  25. BEAJ:

    "If they were just looking out for human rights, why not focus their spewing on Darfur or Saudi Arabia? Why Israel?"

    ... is another one of those ridiculous old chestnuts designed really to try and deflect attention away from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Bad Lefties for looking at Israel. Tut tut tut... bigger problems in the world, off to Darfur with you, nothing to see here... move along...

    People the world over take an interest in that conflict for a multitude of reasons. No wishing on a star on your part will change that.

    Q: How do you call someone who writes: "[...] *how* not what he says, to the point his manner just shouts Satanic inspiration. So I expect him to hate the priorities of God, such as the chosen people of God, the biblical apple of God's eye or life--tommy mentioned euthanasia, which also added no fuel fire, for same reason: lowest expectations."

    A: An imbecile... Only an imbecile of unprecedented proportions would believe that atheists must be anti-Semites. It's a good thing this is Tinkerwebs because in real life I'd have put his nose out of joint, trust me on that...

  26. Hey, hey, hey, characterizing something I actually say as imbecilic is one thing, but putting words in my mouth is another. Look closer to what I said shouts Satanic inspiration: Dawkins' manner. I, a bacon abstaining, theistic Gentile visited this site because I met beaj, an atheist, on another philo-semitic website and was impressed by his rationality combined with support for Jews, something not limited to believers.

  27. Shlemazl:

    "They are still racists, as is anyone prejudiced against any nation."

    I take it then that if you were to criticize, say Britain, you'd be a racist?

    Criticism doesn't equal prejudice at all. It's very common to criticise something in a rational, underpinned way, without being prejudiced.

  28. I think these guys will love you. LOL

  29. @BEAJ:

    If they were just looking out for human rights, why not focus their spewing on Darfur or Saudi Arabia? Why Israel?

    They might have another agenda. For example they might be driven by anti-Americanism and Israel is an ally. Or they might have never forgiven Israel for being on the winning side in the Cold war...


    Criticism doesn't equal prejudice at all. It's very common to criticise something in a rational, underpinned way, without being prejudiced.

    Quite. I should have been clearer. I didn't mean "criticism". I meant viscious unreasonable and libelous lies singling out Israel and denying Israelis the right to defend themselves against mass murderous suicidal acts and other little hobbies of Israel's neibours.

  30. Orde:

    "Look closer to what I said shouts Satanic inspiration"

    How much closer do you want me to look, huh? What I quoted were YOUR WORDS. You say Dawkins doesn't believe in God (how can he hate what he doesn't believe in, though?), ergo must also hate the Apple of God's eye (Israel) ergo must be an anti-Semite.

    This cannot be misinterpreted. Undoubtedly, like all hypocrites, you'll now start to back-pedal.

  31. gert,
    Back-pedaling is when you retract or modify something, but I stand by my comments 100%, and am giving you the opportunity to 'fess up to your false characterization of them, for your own sake.

    In defending your imbecile aspersion, you said, and I quote: "Only an imbecile of unprecedented proportions would believe that atheists must be anti-Semites." No where do I say anything of that sort, nor would I since I don't believe that.

    It also helps to notice the subject verb object structure of what I said in this clause, which has nothing to do with atheists in general nor even the content of what Dawkins, much less atheists in general believe, and I quote myself:
    "...don't find this post adds fuel to the fire, because most notable to me about Dawkins is his bitter virulence, *how* not what he says, to the point his manner just shouts Satanic inspiration."

    I see, Gert, you have added yet another insult to the nincompoop, imbecile ad hominems with your last post by now calling me a "hypocrite." While it is true, that from time to time I behave hypocritically, you wouldn't know this from anything I've said here. Anyway, I'll leave you be, think what you want, I tried to have open, honest discussion, but sometimes it just breaks down. Best regards. - Orde

  32. Yes there is a powerful Israel lobby, and it's not helpful to pretend otherwise. However, it's completely wrong to associate this lobby solely with Jews or Judaism. In the US, powerful monetary and political support for Israel comes from fundamentalist Christians, and any government ignores them at their peril.

    Those who attempt to slander Judaism by claiming undue influence on government, are indeed anti-Semitic.

    The fact that many prominent high achievers in the US are Jewish is a tribute to their endurance of things past, not least the horrors of the 20th century.


  33. May I ask you a question? How can you be an atheist and Jewish. I.e. it requires critical mind to understand the pathology of religion and vaguesness of the god concept. What about nationality context? Have you ever thought about the origin of the modern so called Jewish nation? Who is a Jew? Ashkenazi or Sephardic? Ashkenazi - is it really Jewish? Have you heard about the Khazars?

    You seem to be a thinking person, please do some research on this as well...


  34. I've written many pieces which illustrate how an atheist can be a Jew. In fact, the definition is in the heading.
    Even Richard Dawkins considers himself to be cultural Christian.
    Research? I know this stuff like the back of my hand. Including the Khazar stuff, and I've addressed it here as well.
    In a nutshell, I am not the only one who defines me. My family, my friends, my neighbours, the entire world, my culture all contribute to how I am perceived.
    If you don't want to acknowledge me as an atheist Jew, that is your business, but the overwhelming majority does consider me to be a Jew, so I'll go with it.

  35. I don't see the anti-semetic slant by Dawkins that you claim. It is obvious to me that he is trying to rally the atheist troops, as it were, with an analogy. The Jews have a powerful lobby and if we organize then we will have a powerful lobby. It is as simple as that. You seem to have an agenda and are seeing things that aren't really there.