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December 30, 2003


I haven't been reading as much as I would like. My schedule's a little cramped. But I did find a few things pretty interesting. This piece on Intellectual Bondage stokes my fires of contempt for Israel again. I have discovered that the oases of Egypt may be distressed. Mannish grumbles about non-white roles in Hollywood. And here I found a hilarious fish story about civil liberties.

Posted by mbowen at December 30, 2003 08:10 AM

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"Contempt for Israel?" How can one have contempt for an entire country? For certain individuals in it maybe, or for certain policies, or political parties. But to express contempt for the entire country, and by inference for all of its people, has to indicate some form of underlying bigotry or prejudice. Pretty obviously.

Posted by: Mike at December 30, 2003 11:58 AM

I have a problem with nations which pretend to be democracies in which their presidents get assassinated, when the overwhelming majority of prime ministers have military backgrounds and significant majorities desire a theocracy.

I understand you wanting me to mince words on it, but I find the whole place overrated. It's not worth it to me to be correct or particularly thoughtful on the matter. I vote no confidence in their government.

As for the people. They all fall under the banner of Christian charity. I have no reason to feel more or less for them than I have for natives of Timbuctoo, Greenland or Paupau.

Posted by: Cobb at December 30, 2003 02:52 PM

I'm not sure why it's anti-democratic for a country with universal conscription to elect prime ministers with military backgrounds, or why an occasional political assassination (the United States has had them too, with about the same frequency) disqualifies it as a democracy. It's also news to me that a "majority" of Israelis want a theocracy - the religious parties other than Shas usually get about 10 percent of the vote, and Shas gets more votes from Mizrahi identity politics than from religion. I'm the last one to say that Israeli democracy is flawless, but those aren't the flaws.

The link you cite has nothing to do with any of these things anyway - it's about Israeli academic idiots, which we have a plentiful supply of here as well.

Posted by: Jonathan Edelstein at December 31, 2003 10:40 AM