Streams

The Chosen Peoples

Friday, September 24, 2010

Todd Gitlin, professor of journalism and sociology and Columbia University, and Israeli writer Liel Leibovitz discuss their new book, The Chosen Peoples; America, Israel, and the Ordeals of Divine Election which looks at how the relationship between the U.S. and Israel is influenced by each country's sense of divine mission.

Guests:

Todd Gitlin and Liel Leibovitz

Comments [26]

Jeremiah Goldstein from Bayside

Let's face it, all cultures proclaim that they were "chosen." But such proclamation can chart into a dangerous territory -- throughout history, brutal wars and inhumane savagery were inflicted on justification of "chosen" ones.

Besides, I don't see anything sacred about reclaiming the "holy land" at the expense of defenseless Palestinians.

Sep. 25 2010 01:56 AM
yaaawn

mostly silly comments

Sep. 24 2010 08:18 PM
Martin Brod from NYC

Just in case there are any American's who didn't get God's message about Israel's "choseness" we have AIPAC. AIPAC is
especially good at convincing our Congress
of the importance of showing our love for
the chosen in Israel, (e.g. Netanyahu, Lieberman, et, al) by giving them billions of
dollars and all kinds of our weaponry to carry out God's will.

Sep. 24 2010 07:52 PM
gaetano catelli from greenpoint, brooklyn

re: "the idea of chosen-ness isn't about being G_d's favorite... "

it depends upon what the word "isn't" isn't.

Sep. 24 2010 03:13 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I chose a piece of meat today, because it was selling at a good price. It's my chosen meat.

The concept of "Chosen People" (am nivchar, in Hebrew) has NOTHING to do with any kind of superiority in anything! You can choose to find your meal in a garbage dumpster, and that would be your chosen meal.

Sep. 24 2010 11:40 AM
inwoodita from nyc

When I was a kid I always thought it was obvious that the people who designated the Jews as the Chosen People were none other than... the Jews. I'm half-Jewish, so it's always been a source of amusement to me. The one half of me says I'm Chosen, while the Protestant side says, "that's a little presumptuous, isn't it?" And I have to say, the New York side of me kind of just thinks it's a human foible best shed, to want to be Chosen. I'd rather choose than be chosen.

Sep. 24 2010 11:18 AM

If Jews weren't chosen, who would choose to be a Jew?

Sep. 24 2010 11:14 AM

jgarbuz
wouldn't most people choose the best meat they can find/afford?

Sep. 24 2010 11:05 AM

if you hear voices in your head you might be crazy!

Sep. 24 2010 11:02 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I chose a piece of meat today, because it was selling at a good price. It's my chosen meat.

The concept of "Chosen People" (am nivchar, in Hebrew) has NOTHING to do with any kind of superiority in anything! You can choose to find your meal in a garbage dumpster, and that would be your chosen meal.

Sep. 24 2010 11:00 AM
Matt from Manhattan

I disagree strongly with the idea that Israel fulfilled its mission as a Zionist state, especially if you say it did that 60 years ago. I want to thank the guests for trying to be serious and sensitive, but it's as absurd as saying the US is now a post-racial society.

As a refuge for persecuted Jews, it's still relevant. And as for establishing a sense of normalcy about Jews (in a world where "normal" people have states, so that politics is organized around the state and this is taken for granted worldwide), that's still contested.

Sep. 24 2010 10:59 AM
Neil Blonstein from New York

I'm an average Jew and don't feel chosen.

Sep. 24 2010 10:59 AM
J from NYC

This is a low point in your broadcast.

Sep. 24 2010 10:59 AM
Michelle

And all this time I thought everything on Earth was Divine!

Sep. 24 2010 10:58 AM
Nick from Upper West Side

Why anyone (Gitlin) would waste even a minute of his life writing a treatise on the validity of what are fairy stories to begin with shows a primitiveness of mind that cannot be taken seriously. The Bible, The Torah, The Koran...are evidence of nothing except some men chose to write some books. Nobody chose anybody except in someone's imagination. When oh when will human beings move on from this insane nonsense and stop talking about it as if it were fact.

Sep. 24 2010 10:58 AM
ericf

decades ago i was told in hebrew school that the jewish people were "chosen" to receive the ten commandments. mission accomplished. one might infer a special responsibility to observe the laws received, but aside from that it's a moot point.

Sep. 24 2010 10:58 AM
donna from brooklyn

i haven't read the book but when i heard you refer to chosen-ness as an obligation rather than a free pass, the first thing i thought of was the old ideas of "white man's burden" and noblesse oblige...

Sep. 24 2010 10:58 AM
JB

It seems surreal that we have to listen to this in 2010. Good luck to the peacemakers!

Sep. 24 2010 10:57 AM
Robert from NYC

Having a hard time Rabbi? lol. Seems a christian got conjured up with a quote somewhere about something else! You starting a religious war here Brian?
Oh dear, these religious people are such a problem. SIGH!

Sep. 24 2010 10:57 AM
Nick from Upper West Side

Why anyone (Gitlin) would waste even a minute of his life writing a treatise on the validity of what are fairy stories to begin with shows a primitiveness of mind that cannot be taken seriously. The Bible, The Torah, The Koran...are evidence of nothing except some men chose to write some books. Nobody chose anybody except in someone's imagination. When oh when will human beings move on from this insane nonsense and stop talking about it as if it were fact.

Sep. 24 2010 10:57 AM
John from office

I have always respected the Jews and admired their success. With their success comes a feeling of being superior. Which may lead to antisemitism.

But you cannot argue with success as a people in the US.

Sep. 24 2010 10:57 AM
RJ from Brooklyn

There were also considerations of beginning a Jewish homeland in Uganda early in the 20th century because of the need for a safe homeland. So how does that reconcile with the "ancient connection" to parts of the Middle East?

Sep. 24 2010 10:56 AM
Cory from Planet Earth

The Jews were chosen like my father was chosen by Uncle Sam in 1942 to join the Army. It was neither "you've won the lottery", nor here are your responsibilities. In both cases it was shut up and do what I tell you to do. You won't understand any of it.

Sep. 24 2010 10:53 AM
Dorothy from NYC

Well I'm an American and when people say "Israel" all I can think of is the torture and massacre of the Palestinians by the Israelis - there is nothing gleaming or shining about that.

Sep. 24 2010 10:53 AM
susan Buckler from manhattn

I'm a Jew and an American, and to say that "chosen-ness" enters into todays difficult decisions, only muddies the waters. I support Israel as a democracy and a haven for the Jewish people, and love America and cry for its present divisions which hamper our progress. Leave this discussion to the Talmudists.

Sep. 24 2010 10:49 AM
Robert from NYC

There is an element of racism in the idea of "chosen-ness". I see no difference between being "chosen" by god or whomever and those nations throughout history who have claimed to be "superior" racially or culturally if you will. But these are the "things" humans use to make claims of such superiority and chosen-ness and so permit them (us) to do whatever we please in the name of such superiority and chosen-ness by said god or whomever. lol.

Sep. 24 2010 10:48 AM

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