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Jew Stuff

Phoebe Maltz is upset to see Kristina Grish, author of Boy Vey! The Shiksa's Guide for Dating Jewish Men, trafficking in outdated stereotypes. I'm more intrigued by the metric system's apparently growing popularity in the United States:

"The truth is, I think there's something to it. I was once interviewed by a Jewish woman journalist, and during the conversation she asked me to introduce her to one of my exes. I agreed. I sent her an e-mail with his details. She replied: 'How tall is he?' When I wrote 1.75 meters, she replied immediately: 'Too short.' About another guy, when I wrote her that he's 31 years old, she replied briefly: 'Too young.' And all that without knowing them at all! Their checklist is very specific. And when you live in New York, Jewish men have a tremendous variety of girls from a wide variety of cultures to choose from."

Can you imagine two New Yorkers actually having that email exchange? I can't. According to my handy Unit Conversion Dashboard Widget, 1.75 meters turns out to be about 5'9" which is slightly below average for a white dude. Black guys, as per stereotype, are taller, and for some reason have a rather different height-age distribution. This advice is amusing:

Be careful, she warns, not to talk about Middle Eastern politics in bed. It's such a sensitive subject, with such a variety of opinions, that there is no chance of a peaceful conclusion. You are liable to say something that will be considered anti-Semitic, she writes, and he will lose the hard-on that you nurtured so diligently.

I dunno. Something about the security fence just turns me on. In all seriousness, though, I think it's usually best to avoid discussions of Middle Eastern politics with all people at all times under all circumstances. Near as I can tell, the odds of such a discussion leading to anything positive are minimal. Operation Shylock is the exception. The article claims that "In Israel, American Jewish men are considered nerds," which seems reasonable. To this Jewish American man, Israelis seem like goyim. The older Ashkenazis, often born abroad, still have some connection to the tradition, but your average Israeli makes a mockery of Jewishness. The idea of a Jewish fireman or a Jewish sailing instructor is ridiculous, and everyone knows it. Of course to many American Jews the very outlandishness of the notion that you could not only have an entire army filled with Jews but that it could actually win wars is much of the appeal of the Zionist enterprise. Still, not the sort of thing real Jews do. One wonders how they find enough non-nearsighted fighter pilots.

August 2, 2005 | Permalink


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"Phoebe Maltz is upset to see..."

I really mourn the loss of the hat. Her site ain't the same without it.

"Can you imagine two New Yorkers actually having that email exchange?"

Strike the metric system, and yes I can. I know NYC folks who actually talk 'n' think that way. Like most fetishes, it's bizarre. But it does exist.

"To this Jewish American man, Israelis seem like goyim. ... The idea of a Jewish fireman or a Jewish sailing instructor is ridiculous, and everyone knows it."

Portnoy's Complaint spends some time mining the humor in this vein quite effectively.

Posted by: Petey | Aug 2, 2005 3:22:46 PM

Right, I just meant about the metric system. The rest of it seemed plausible. And, as you've intuited, I just stole the rest from Philip Roth.

Posted by: Matthew Yglesias | Aug 2, 2005 3:58:49 PM

The metric system is just because the piece is in Haaretz and meant for Israeli readers--conversion (no pun intended) is assumed.

Posted by: Phoebe | Aug 2, 2005 4:24:02 PM

Phoebe: Sure, but they put it inside quotation marks. That's what square brackets were invented for. There's no journalistic standards over there in Israel because, once again, Israelis aren't real Jews. That shit wouldn't fly here in the Jewish-dominated American media.I'm semi-seriously wondering about the pilots thing. I don't know any non-myopic (in the literal sense) Jews. It's enough to make one think the Pentagon is just lying when they say you need perfect eyesight to be a pilot. After all, why can't pilots just wear glasses/contacts like everyone else? Anti-semitism, I tell you. Though you would have thought Paul Wolfowitz or Bill Cohen would have gotten to the bottom of that particular conspiracy.

Posted by: Matthew Yglesias | Aug 2, 2005 4:41:38 PM


the greatest strength of the IAF is the skill of its pilots. Israeli combat pilots are considered the best in the world, and hold a large number of shoot-down records. It is rumored that American pilots receive training from their Israeli counterparts as part of their training curriculum.

The following is a report that reveals some of the skills of the IAF pilots:

"Israeli air force pilots handily beat their German counterparts in "dogfights" in the first ever air force exercise between the two countries, an Israeli military official said Monday.
The Israeli F-15 pilots, aided by special technology that Israel does not share or sell to other countries, beat the Germans by more than 100 "hits," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. In the past, Israel has beaten American air force pilots by similar margins, the officials added.

Israel purchases U.S. warplanes without battle technology, installing its own locally made systems into the aircraft.
The exercise was conducted over the past two weeks in the skies of Sardinia in Italy."

According to the IAF website:

687 enemy airplanes have been shot down in dogfights since Israel`s birth. Only 23 Israeli planes have been shot down by enemy planes since 1948 - a statistic which puts the dogfight victory ratio between Israel and its Arab neighbors at a whopping 30:1.

The IAF is holding world records at the amounts of enemy's warplanes shoot-downs, air combats, special operations, and air to ground operations at the jet era.

Posted by: mark | Aug 2, 2005 4:44:50 PM

Hmm. I have perfect vision.

Posted by: Phoebe | Aug 2, 2005 4:49:06 PM

Really? You should join the IAF! Or be in a museum. Or something. Have you had your eyes checked recently? Are you sure about this? It's totallly unprecedented.

Posted by: Matthew Yglesias | Aug 2, 2005 5:00:00 PM

IAF, I just might.

Posted by: Phoebe | Aug 2, 2005 5:09:13 PM

This post reminds me of the episode of Northern Exposure where Joel needs to find ten Alaskan jews to say Kaddish for his Uncle. There was the lumberjack jew, the nigerian jew, then british jew, etc..

Posted by: Chuchundra | Aug 2, 2005 5:09:57 PM

"IAF, I just might."

The quality of the cheese rations in the IAF completely sucks. If you're enlisting, pack a picnic.

Posted by: Petey | Aug 2, 2005 5:19:19 PM

Well, I'm a shiksa, and I'd never heard of this book before, although, based on the interview and Phoebe's write-up I agree I find it creepy, creepy.

But what should one really expect from the author of "Dress Codes for Dumping Your Man"?

Speaking of which, what kind of woman would ever consider talking about Middle Eastern politics in bed? Something would have to not be going well if that was what you were thinking about.

Posted by: shiksaharlot | Aug 2, 2005 5:34:42 PM

I wonder if there's some correlation between nearsightedness and the age at which you learn to read. Myopia was pretty much absent in Inuit adults before white people showed up and the kids started going to school. This would explain so many stereotypes -- why races like the Jews and Asians who put so much emphasis on book-learnin' often need glasses, and why people with glasses are smarter.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Aug 2, 2005 8:24:31 PM

The article sucked. She sucked. I pity the poor shiksas who will go out and spend $10.36 on this drek. Nothing wrong with stereotypes per se, but it was just too painful reading it. She is neither funny, nor informative. Save your dollars shiksas! Do check out the cover: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0689878893/103-7512364-8237458?v=glance
So goyish. Maybe they should have added little hearts around the menorahs to make it even more goyish. All the (free) advice that shiksas need is that there are more than enough dysfunctional Jewish men to go around for all of us. I am beginning to think that some Jewish woman put Grish up to writing the book in order to spread bad advice to the enemy shiksa camp competing for the same merchandise.

Posted by: Nonna | Aug 2, 2005 8:36:01 PM

I'm only a half-Jew, but I have perfect vision as well. On the other hand, all my wholly Jewish relatives seem to be near-sighted.

Posted by: John | Aug 3, 2005 3:05:43 PM

Just watched Late Marriage, a pretty good flick about dating in Israel.

Posted by: Jeff | Aug 4, 2005 1:23:05 AM

Of course to many American Jews the very outlandishness of the notion that you could not only have an entire army filled with Jews but that it could actually win wars is much of the appeal of the Zionist enterprise.

Jackie Mason has a bit about the difference between New York Jews and Italians: pick a fight with a Jew, oy! But put a bunch of Jews in an army...

Posted by: ahem | Aug 5, 2005 6:47:14 PM

This fine goy says that Jews talk about Jews too much. It's Jewing up the dialogue.


Yeah, that's right.

Posted by: Yentz | Aug 6, 2005 5:53:32 PM

Jew, perfect vision last I checked, my father didn't need glasses until his mid-30's. I have no idea if, or to what degree, when eyesight goes bad is genetically determined, so that last may be totally irrelevant.

Posted by: washerdreyer | Aug 6, 2005 7:01:45 PM

Seriously though, I find unsubstantiated statements like "Jewish girls like X" to be completely unreasonable unless backed by a poll. I mean, come on -- we demand science out of the study of nature, how about demanding a bit of it when we study societies? Have some standards, people.

Posted by: Yentz | Aug 6, 2005 9:01:19 PM

Jew, near-sighted, two brothers both with 20/20 vision.

Posted by: JR | Aug 6, 2005 9:06:53 PM

While in Iceland (Island) do NOT miss the Blue Lagoon! Trust me on this one.


Posted by: DD | Aug 8, 2005 9:26:28 PM

ye why cant u just wear contacts if you become a pilot? why do u need 20/20 vision!!! its my dream to be a pilot and my eyesight sucks!

Posted by: KB | Oct 8, 2005 4:01:56 PM

Arabs are too stupid in general to use airplanes. I think there was some sort of statistical experiment conducted which showed they have far too slow reactions, and are too slow witted to be of any use in airfights. Thier flight records/military history bears this out.

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