Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

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IpseDixit

Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-15, 16:47

linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:Why not? Whether one likes it or not the religion of your people is part of your identity. I'm not Catholic, but I think that Catholicism will always be somewhat part of my identity and culture, in spite of the fact that there are a few things I do not really like about that religion.

Catholicism is still part of my cultural identity, despite the fact that I've been an atheist for nearly 25 years. You just can't erase the effects of your formative years that easily.

Religion has always been considered an important fact in defining ethnicity. Just look at the South Slavs.


A Jewish friend of mine once told me "gosh, you're really Catholic", just because I apologised three or four times for something, and to me it seemed quite a normal thing to do, for I was really sorry for what I had done. I guess that was one of the first times that I really realised that you can quit the Church, but totally quitting the habits and the mindset, well that's much much more difficult.

To say the truth, the Jews I've met (at least Israeli Jews) are like our polar opposite, they have no idea what "excuse me" and "sorry" mean and when they are supposed to use those.

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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby Set » 2013-07-15, 18:08

IpseDixit wrote:
Set wrote:Apart from your extremely prejudiced generalisations of two rather large culture groups based on absolutely no facts...no.


Well, the fact that most of the Israelis are not particularly religious is a fact that you can verify quite easily in the net. Maybe I shouldn't have said secular because many have their own theistic views, but the proportion of the population which is strictly observant is definitely a minority.

As for Muslims. It's logical that I do not believe all Muslims are the same, my god... but I actually believe many Muslims are indoctrinated. I talked with Arabs living in the Arab world, mainly Palestinians and Lebanese and well, some of them complained about the "excess of zeal" of many people there; but yeah I know you will not count that as a fact and you will keep seeing me as an evil bigoted person. :roll:

You're right, it's not fact.
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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-15, 19:10

Lur wrote:Being Muslim or Jewish is an identity?
Um, what do you think an identity is? It's more than just a geographical place of origin.
I don't know, when your "people" are dying for no reason and people are enforcing dubious morals and indoctrinating children in the name of your "identity", your identity can go fuck itself.
Nice strawman. People die for plenty of reasons, including ethnic nationalism; are you going to tell people to fuck their ethnic identities too? How about you start with the Basques?
But I don't think that's good enough for every other ethnic group. I consider them ethnic groups when they have more than one thing in common, for a start, and one of the main ones is language.
It's not up you to decide who is and isn't an ethnic group. Besides, Jews do have more in common than just language. They have a shared history and culture. (And also a shared language - Hebrew.)
Do the people in power there see it that way?
Yes. The Law of Return states that anyone who is a Jew and can prove they are descended from Jewish grandparents can emigrate there. That's because it was intended to be a homeland for the Jewish people.
What used to unite the "Jewish people", anyway?
The knowledge that they were Jews and not Gentiles and the distinct culture that arose from that.

Sorry, I have a problem with you trying to deny that the Jewish people have a distinct identity. Again, it's a double standard I don't see being applied to Italians or Chinese or Arabs.

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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-15, 19:15

mōdgethanc wrote:The Law of Return states that anyone who is a Jew and can prove they are descended from Jewish grandparents can emigrate there. That's because it was intended to be a homeland for the Jewish people.


For truth's sake I have to say that it is not 100% true. The law of return does not apply to Messianic Jews, although ethnically they're 100% Jewish.

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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-15, 20:03

That's something Israel struggles with internally, whether Jewish religious law (halacha) should be used to define such things or if civil law should be used instead. At the moment it seems to be an uneasy compromise between the two.

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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby Lur » 2013-07-15, 21:00

mōdgethanc wrote:How about you start with the Basques?

I don't see Euskal Herria on TV all day and people talking about a wall built over archaeological remains and never ending deadly conflict between Basque settlers and Romance speakers with international repercussions and shit.

What are the Basques going to do? Sing songs and wave flags? "Eguzkiak urtzen du gohian / gailurretako elurra /uharka da jausten ibarrera /geldigaitza den oldarra..." Nice. More. And no one believes in their folkloric religion (which is interrelated with the land and the language) yet they haven't lost their identity.

But if I suggest the same about Judaism or Christianism or Islam then "OMG loss of identity", as if they weren't perfectly documented religions and all the information would disappear with them tomorrow. Whe they start whining about loss of identity stuff it can but make me chuckle.

Sorry, I have a problem with you trying to deny that the Jewish people have a distinct identity. Again, it's a double standard I don't see being applied to Italians or Chinese or Arabs.

Italians from where, Chinese from where and Arabs from where?
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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-16, 1:49

Lur wrote:I don't see Euskal Herria on TV all day and people talking about a wall built over archaeological remains and never ending deadly conflict between Basque settlers and Romance speakers with international repercussions and shit.
That's because the media is obsessed with Israel and the Middle East. Blame them, not me.
And no one believes in their folkloric religion (which is interrelated with the land and the language) yet they haven't lost their identity.
Lots of Jews are secular, including Israelis. It's a source of conflict between the religious and secular much like the "culture wars" in America. There is more to it than just Judaism vs. Islam, as you were implying.
But if I suggest the same about Judaism or Christianism or Islam then "OMG loss of identity", as if they weren't perfectly documented religions and all the information would disappear with them tomorrow. Whe they start whining about loss of identity stuff it can but make me chuckle.
The point is a) this conflict isn't just about religion, it's about land foremost and religion second, and b) you're not being helpful or contributing at all to the discussion by saying they should just give up their religions, because that's not going to happen and doesn't need to anyway. You wouldn't ask them to give up their ethnicity as if that would solve all their problems.
Italians from where, Chinese from where and Arabs from where?
Generally Italians are from Italy, Chinese are from China and Arabs are from Arab countries.

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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-16, 7:45

mōdgethanc wrote:That's because the media is obsessed with Israel and the Middle East. Blame them, not me.


Is it really the case in other countries? I hardly hear any news whatsoever from Israel and the occupied territories.

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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby Car » 2013-07-16, 11:40

IpseDixit wrote:
mōdgethanc wrote:That's because the media is obsessed with Israel and the Middle East. Blame them, not me.


Is it really the case in other countries? I hardly hear any news whatsoever from Israel and the occupied territories.


While it has become less, there's still a lot about it in the German media.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby Lur » 2013-07-16, 14:06

mōdgethanc wrote:
Italians from where, Chinese from where and Arabs from where?
Generally Italians are from Italy, Chinese are from China and Arabs are from Arab countries.

Maybe you missed the point. Do a Moroccan and a Palestine "belong" in the same ethnicity?

One of my points simply was, that during the period where nobody spoke Hebrew as a native language, Jews in Spain and in Germany might as well have been like Christians in Spain and in Germany.

I know it's about land and shit, but that makes it look like colonialism (is it?) and I don't like it and makes sympathizing with Israel (as a thing, not as normal people) even harder. As for the Palestines, I'm indifferent, they just were there, and to say the truth I'm probably more familiar with the Hebrew cultural stuff than with their stuff, even if it's stuff from the Iron Age and might not have a lot to do with current Hebrew people.
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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby linguoboy » 2013-07-16, 15:50

Lur wrote:One of my points simply was, that during the period where nobody spoke Hebrew as a native language, Jews in Spain and in Germany might as well have been like Christians in Spain and in Germany.

I have trouble parsing this. Copts no longer speak Coptic, but it's still their sacred language, so they all have some knowledge of it even if they haven't actually studied it. What Egyptian Muslims have any knowledge of Coptic?

Until the Renaissance, Christians simply didn't learn Hebrew, and even then it was pursuit of a small coterie of Biblical scholars--which is basically what it's remained until this day. But the average Jew was well-enough acquainted with Hebrew that every pre-modern Jewish community developed its own distinct spoken variety enriched with Hebrew borrowings. (And not just for religious items and concepts, but basic words like "thief", "family", "agreement", "maybe", "building", "moon", "pig", and even the names of countries.)

Hebrew-speaking or not, Jews were linguistically distinct from their neighbours--and still are in many places.
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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby Lur » 2013-07-16, 21:51

The Sefardi songs I know basically sound like antiquated late medieval Romance, mostly Castilian at that. Maybe that isn't a good example and I would need to hear the language spoken at the time in the street or something for more Hebrew to come out.
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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-16, 22:10

Lur wrote:Maybe you missed the point. Do a Moroccan and a Palestine "belong" in the same ethnicity?
Why not? If they think they are, and they speak the same language, and have a shared history, that's all they need.
One of my points simply was, that during the period where nobody spoke Hebrew as a native language, Jews in Spain and in Germany might as well have been like Christians in Spain and in Germany.
There were (and are) differences between the various Jewish communities, of course, but also many commonalities. I'm sure medieval Spaniards and Germans thought of each other as different nationalities, but compared to the Moors or Turks, there was no question they were both part of "Christendom".
I know it's about land and shit, but that makes it look like colonialism (is it?) and I don't like it and makes sympathizing with Israel (as a thing, not as normal people) even harder. As for the Palestines, I'm indifferent, they just were there, and to say the truth I'm probably more familiar with the Hebrew cultural stuff than with their stuff, even if it's stuff from the Iron Age and might not have a lot to do with current Hebrew people.
A colony of which country? It was a British colony, and the British agreed to let the Jews settle there. There's no point in getting into the rights or wrongs of it now, because it's a done deed. Those people aren't going anywhere.

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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby Babelfish » 2013-07-19, 19:46

About the Cold War thing: IIRC the USA and the USSR were, if not roughly equal, at least comparable in terms of territory and population. Israel is about 20,000 square km in size and 8 million in population, while the Arab World is more than 13 million square km and about 400 million in population, and this without counting non-Arab Muslim nations... So the Cold War is sort of already here, Israel with (alleged) nuclear weapons vs. a giant Arab World without them. And it sucks as-is, thanks.
(And if one takes into account all Islamic countries, well then Pakistan already has nuclear weapons as well, it's just more busy with its neighboring India than with Israel).

As for identity, I'll just refer everyone to The right of nations to self-determination.
(and it is tempting to also challenge them to explain how Palestinian nationality differs from that of any Arabs in surrounding countries, whose borders were practically all determined by colonialists and without regard for ethnic and religious differences).

IpseDixit wrote:So if I were Israel, I wouldn't see any compelling reason to withdraw from the West Bank, and I wouldn't define the occupation a fiasco. Ever since they built the wall and the check-points, terrorist attacks have plummeted, their borders are safer, and they have more land and natural resources at their disposal.

I guess you're right :? Though hardly any Israeli politician would say that; when talking to the wide public they need to sell us peace and security, and they know that, and we won't feel we have them until we have reached an agreement with the Palestinians and other Arab countries (and probably for quite a while afterwards). Then again, having unilaterally retreated from southern Lebanon and later from the Gaza Strip only to have extremist terrorist organizations bent on Israel's destruction take over, even with the best of goodwill we're not too keen about getting out of Judea & Samaria now... Yet leaving the situation as-is isn't good either, even in times of relative quiet Israel is facing international pressures and it's like sitting on a volcano and waiting for it to erupt.
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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby linguoboy » 2013-07-19, 20:28

Babelfish wrote:As for identity, I'll just refer everyone to The right of nations to self-determination.
(and it is tempting to also challenge them to explain how Palestinian nationality differs from that of any Arabs in surrounding countries, whose borders were practically all determined by colonialists and without regard for ethnic and religious differences).

If there's one thing that sets off the Palestinians from other people (either as a "nation" or an "ethnic group" or whatever) it's the common experience of al-Nakbah.
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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-19, 22:32

Babelfish wrote:About the Cold War thing: IIRC the USA and the USSR were, if not roughly equal, at least comparable in terms of territory and population. Israel is about 20,000 square km in size and 8 million in population, while the Arab World is more than 13 million square km and about 400 million in population, and this without counting non-Arab Muslim nations... So the Cold War is sort of already here, Israel with (alleged) nuclear weapons vs. a giant Arab World without them. And it sucks as-is, thanks.
(And if one takes into account all Islamic countries, well then Pakistan already has nuclear weapons as well, it's just more busy with its neighboring India than with Israel).
Well, at the outset it was Israel vs. the Arab World. But now you get along fine with Egypt and Jordan, at the very least. Even Lebanon and Syria aren't really your enemies but the terrorist groups that are based in those countries. I don't think there's going to be another Six-Day War.
As for identity, I'll just refer everyone to The right of nations to self-determination.
(and it is tempting to also challenge them to explain how Palestinian nationality differs from that of any Arabs in surrounding countries, whose borders were practically all determined by colonialists and without regard for ethnic and religious differences).
Why is it that the Palestinians always have their identity challenged when you Israelis never do? Your country's borders are the result of colonialism too, you know. Until 60 years ago, there was no such thing as an Israeli. So at the very least, the Palestinians are at least as old of a nation as you are, and therefore have as much of a right to self-determination as you do. I support Israel's right to exist, but I can't get around what a glaring double standard there is here.

Edit since I was ninja'd by linguoboy: The creation of Israel is what created, or at least solidified, the identity of the Palestinians as a nation. All nationalities are created, mind you. Until about 150 years ago, there was no such thing as "Italy" or "Germany".

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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby Set » 2013-07-20, 8:44

mōdgethanc wrote: All nationalities are created, mind you. Until about 150 years ago, there was no such thing as "Italy" or "Germany".

All states are created. Nationalities aren't all created.
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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby Lur » 2013-07-20, 10:27

mōdgethanc wrote:Until about 150 years ago, there was no such thing as "Italy" or "Germany".

The name of Italy has been there for more than 2000 years. The name of Germany was over there, but it's meaning was more nebulous for a while.
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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby linguoboy » 2013-07-20, 12:51

Set wrote:
mōdgethanc wrote: All nationalities are created, mind you. Until about 150 years ago, there was no such thing as "Italy" or "Germany".

All states are created. Nationalities aren't all created.

Where do they come from then? Has there been a Kosovar nationality from the beginning of time just waiting and waiting for a state to come into existence to house it?
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Re: Ethnocentrism in foreign news coverage

Postby linguoboy » 2013-07-20, 12:58

Lur wrote:The name of Italy has been there for more than 2000 years. The name of Germany was over there, but it's meaning was more nebulous for a while.

The "German nation" included the Dutch, the Flemish, the Austrians, the Luxembourgeois, the South Tyrolese, and the German-speaking Swiss. But nowadays they belong to seven different "nationalities".
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