The Cholent Pot: Between Melting Pot and Salad Bowl

I've taken bits and pieces of old blog posts from here and tried to distill 6 years worth of lessons about being an American immigrant to Israel into a single blog post.For now it's over at TOI. I'll probably post it here in full over the next few days.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"Fortunately, like most exercises in social engineering, the experiment failed."

Your article is a picture-perfect example of the hubris of young, 21st century Americans. You claim that it was wrong to encourage integration, that it failed, and that its better off trying to be a cholent pot, and not a salad bowl. Oy, what a mess . . .

First, in point of fact, the policy did not fail. To the contrary, it was the basis for the entire infrastructure of the state. Within the state, the military, which was always seen as THE prime force in such integration, is the perfect model of what the success of integration. So far from failing, integration was exactly what the country needed. Which leads one to . . .

Not onloy would moving away from integration be a move away from a proven sucess. But more so, it would be a move to a prove failure. We have seen what "multi-culturalisim" brings, and it never works. More than a years ago already, Teddy Roosevelt observed that hyphenated Americans [he meant people like "italian-Americans", who try to preserve their prior nationalities] tend to raise the flag undermost. In Europe today, where Sharia is on the rise, multicilturalsim is leading quickly to the demise of nomrative culture. It has not fostered a loving society where one's race or background doenst matter, it has caused just the opposite. More polarized nations than ever before. This is not a policy to encourage.

Finally, your use of the cholent bowl, and not salad bowl, is more revealing than you know. You say a "salad bowl" is not the right metaphor to ascribe to. yet when I was in college, that was exactly the metaphor they were using. The idea was supposed to be, also, a bowl in which each vegetable retains its identiy, yet remains part of a greater whole. Yet here a scant 15 years later, that too, has proven to be an impossibility.

The asnwer is not to search for a new metaphor. The answer is to go back to what's proven to work.