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Anna T: recent blog posts


YPestis

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Anna T appears to be blogging pretty regularly again and I enjoyed a few of her recent posts about frugal living. She is a Jewish fundie but, unlike the Duggars, is much more environmentally conscious. Having gone to college and grown up in a secular household, I always thought of Anna T as one of the more thoughtful fundies out there. Anyway, she's hinted at some right-wing political views (and I've suspected she holds some bigoted views on Muslims and Arabs in general). However, it surprised me to see in one of her most recent posts this item:

Currently, Israel is suffering the consequences of a feeble-handed government which let in a flow of so-called refugees (but for the most part really immigrants seeking a better fate) from Sudan and Erithrea. Why is this a bad thing? Because we are over-populated? No; because these people are an anti-social element which drains, rather than replenishes, our country's resources, at the same time increasing levels of crime. If we had less people of our own, our situation would have been even far worse, because we'd have less hands to cope with this unsavory lot of illegal immigrants.

I found this hypocritical coming from a former USSR immigrant. I bet her mother immigrated to Israel in part due to better opportunities and higher quality of life available to them. In that post, Anna T was arguing against the concept of an overpopulated earth and the importance of replenishing the (ahem, Jewish) population. However, I wonder if her attitude regarding refugees fleeing the fighting in Sudan and Erithrea were motivated by racism? How can an immigrant look down on other immigrants like that? Even in the US, where anti-immigrant sentiments can border on the xenophobic and carry a racist tint, I've rarely heard of this sentiment on political refugees. Perhaps this is because the US is a nation of immigrants and has a history of offering asylum to refugees? Is Anna T's attitude common in Israel? Or is this another right-wing diatribe? I don't know. It just lowers her in my estimation (such as it is). Perhaps someone from Israel could shed some light on it.

Anna T's other posts were far less controversial. It appears she's focused a lot on frugal living. Her recent complaints about having a poorly insulated house reminds me of some of our other beloved fundies. It's making me less comfortable to hear her talk about the recent winter freeze:

.....we were able to take off in time on Friday, and spend the worst of the storm and cold in the much better insulated home of my in-laws. Still, it was so cold that we all climbed into one bed for our Shabbat midday nap and slept there bunched up together. When we came home, I felt no difference in the temperature between outside and inside, which just shows you how great our insulation is.

Today we are facing a new trial: our water heater had stopped working, so until our landlord can fix it we only rely on our solar panels for hot water. I can only hope today was sunshiny enough, because otherwise there will be no showers.

She's also complained (in past posts) about multiple fixes around the house, a leaky roof and electricity outages. It just seems an uncomfortable way to live. In order to save on money, Anna T's spoken of cutting back on washing one's hair, going to bed earlier, no air conditioning in the (very) hot summers in Israel. I don't think her ideas are unreasonable, but this is a woman who champions staying at home, early marriages and high fecundity (if possible). I don't think she's doing a good job proving selling her lifestyle here. It's one thing if you had to live hand to mouth, quite another when it's by choice. Why doesn't she get a job? Even a part time job could alleviate the family's finances and improve their quality of life (especially since she has a college degree and they are living on the income of her non-college degreed husband). But alas, it's more important that she is home than that the family has a well insulated house.....

One other post caught my eye (link here):

I guess I should say as a preamble (although I think it's obvious) that I believe there is nothing wrong in enjoying nice things, new clothes, a spacious house, eating out, going on trips, etc, etc - if it is affordable. Now, of course I'm not in a position to tell anyone what they can or can't afford, but I'll say what I believe to be the wise medium. If a family is out of debt, and the house is paid for, and they enjoy a good income, and are able to put something into a savings fund (for the children, for emergencies, etc) each month, why, then, they are lucky, and in the right position to treat themselves. But for many, many people this isn't the case, and don't get me wrong, but many times men see clearer than women about these things. I believe this is because women, generally speaking, have a more developed aesthetic sense, and therefore place more value in things like a big, handsomely fitted up house, new furniture, new appliances, nice clothes, jewelry, etc.

I found it interesting (and mildly misogynist) that Anna T would claim that men are better at caring for finances than women and that women are into the shallow things like having a nice house etc. Isn't this attitude more commonly seen in MRA blogs? Maybe all that trolling on MRA boards have turned Anna T into the Jewish Sunshine Mary. Very sad if that's the case.

I've always liked Anna T's blog posts because she writes so beautifully and comes off an introspective woman. I thought that motherhood would temper her fundie tendencies but it seems to have cemented her right-wing views. I'm afraid she'll become like those crazy evangelical fundies we see here. What happens if her family suffers another financial setback? Will she force her family to live without indoor plumbing and heat? Will she become one of those self-hating women like Sunshine Mary? I'm hoping that her secular upbringing and education will temper her fundie tendencies but it doesn't look to be that way.

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I don't know - I always found her to be sanctimonious, judgmental, and lazy.

She's such a delicate flower that even working part-time before kids was too exhausting for her.

And IIRC, despite strongly disagreeing with her mom's lifestyle, she certainly had no problem living with her instead of living on her own.

Although I may just be cranky today. :)

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You know who's pretty anti-social in Israel? The ultra-orthodox. They sponge off the country, don't serve in the military and try to impose their values on everyone else. You could argue settlers are pretty anti-social as well, with their extremism, bigotry and way they compromise the peace process (now I know there are settlers and settlers with different ideas and motives).

As for Anna, I had the impression she'd gotten less strident recently, with posts focussing mainly on daily life, and I appreciated the fact she realized she wouldn't be able to raise one billion kids and ought better stop at 2 (something I think way more fundies should realize).

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I really can't stand Anna T, partially because of the reasons you seem to like her. She does seem smarter and more capable than other fundies but she wastes it and instead uses her intelligence to promote garbage.

Anyway,

I found it interesting (and mildly misogynist) that Anna T would claim that men are better at caring for finances than women and that women are into the shallow things like having a nice house etc. Isn't this attitude more commonly seen in MRA blogs?

:lol: "Mildly misogynist" is one way to put it, I guess, in the same way fundies in general might be slightly misguided. That kind of BS is the stuff of life for MRAs.

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Unless I missed something, when she worked part-time, she had a baby and was in the early stages of pregnancy with the 2nd, so I feel a little softer towards her because of that. Plus, I get the impression she's one of those "fussy" housekeepers, with a high standard for order and getting things just so. So, it probably was exhausting during that time. I was a student and worked part time while pregnant with my first and I remember blowing off school work all the time because I was too tired. I would sleep or lie in bed until I absolutely *had* to get up. Once the 2nd trimester hit, it was much better.

Her stance on refugees/immigrants is likely (IMO) a result of the Orthodox Jews believing that this is their inherited-by-God holy land and that they alone are to occupy it. That piece of land has been contested so long that the conflict is just a way of life. I'm being charitable towards her because I generally like her, but I could see that if this were your mindset, adding others into the mix would complicate things - and we know how she craves simplicity and peace.

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Re poor insulation - not totally uncommon in Israel. Houses are designed to stay cool, not warm. The last time I was there in December, I was freezing while visiting relatives, and the current snowstorm is much worse than what they typically get.

Sudanese refugees - The conflict/genocide in Darfur is producing genuine refugees. They flee to Israel because the government is less likely to send them back or kill them (which the Egyptian border control will do). I've seen a bit of a split between diaspora and Israeli Jews on the Darfur issue, because diaspora Jews are more likely to want to focus world attention on the genocide, while Israelis know that the practical tasks of absorbing the refugees will fall to them.

Yes, absorbing refugees takes work, but coming from someone from the former Soviet Union, it's totally hypocritical. Guess what my husband's family was saying about the Russian influx 20 years ago? The numbers were far larger, the infrastructure was completely overwhelmed, many of those who came weren't actually Jewish, those who had come earlier resented the benefits that the newcomers were getting, and there was a big spike in organized crime. [in the not-so-PC words of my husband's late grandmother: "All we had were tents when we came, and now they get money and houses! You hear Russian in the street, the Russian mafia is taking over, it's not fair......Oh, you say your cousin Sasha is coming by to pick you up?" That's what it sounds like when one side of the family decides to trash talk the other.]

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The Sudanese and Eritrean immigrants are Jewish, aren't they? Just not the 'right kind' of Jewish, hence the secret Depo Provera campaign.

Newsflash: discrimination has been responsible for many atrocities in this world, especially government sponsored ones. Need I elaborate?

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The Sudanese and Eritrean immigrants are Jewish, aren't they? Just not the 'right kind' of Jewish, hence the secret Depo Provera campaign.

Newsflash: discrimination has been responsible for many atrocities in this world, especially government sponsored ones. Need I elaborate?

Ethiopian Jews are a separate group, who immigrate legally.

The Sudanese are refugees, mostly from Darfur. Neither the Sudanese nor Eritrean migrant groups are Jewish. Theoretically, they can claim refugee status, and if they are found to be legitimate refugees, they cannot be deported. In practice, Israel initially turned a blind eye when the migrants first started to come, but more recently put in tougher border security along the border with Egypt. If a migrant cannot show that they are a refugee within the UN definition, they can be deported - but being deported to Sudan from Israel can expose a failed claimant to extreme danger (Sudan is ruled by an Arab regime which has committed genocide against its own Black citizens, and it does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, so they do not react well to discovering that a Black citizen has tried to claim asylum in Israel).

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The Sudanese and Eritrean immigrants are Jewish, aren't they? Just not the 'right kind' of Jewish, hence the secret Depo Provera campaign.

Newsflash: discrimination has been responsible for many atrocities in this world, especially government sponsored ones. Need I elaborate?

No, they're not Jewish at all - Eritrean Jews only need to say they're Jewish and they will get an automatic ticket in. Most of the refugees are non-Jewish, and the refugee issue need to be addressed by the world as Israel can't be expected to bear the consequences of conflict in another country on its own.

There has been plenty of overt and covert discrimination against Ethiopian Jews who were brought to Israel in the 90's and 2000's, which is deplorable but has nothing to do with the influx of refugees who require resources Israel doesn't have.

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No, they're not Jewish at all - Eritrean Jews only need to say they're Jewish and they will get an automatic ticket in. Most of the refugees are non-Jewish, and the refugee issue need to be addressed by the world as Israel can't be expected to bear the consequences of conflict in another country on its own.

There has been plenty of overt and covert discrimination against Ethiopian Jews who were brought to Israel in the 90's and 2000's, which is deplorable but has nothing to do with the influx of refugees who require resources Israel doesn't have.

Do any countries bordering a war zone have the ability to absorb refugees all on their own? Are Lebanon and Jordan dealing well with the Syrians they're getting at the moment? That still doesn't excuse racism.

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