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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Some random political thoughts

I should really know better, but I allowed myself to be drawn into a political 'discussion' with a lefty from the center of the country this week. [face palm]  I've used scare quotes around the term 'discussion' advisedly since there was very little real exchange of ideas... just broadcasting of firmly held views.

It never ceases to amaze me that such people often espouse hypocritical, and even racist views in the context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that they would consider extremely politically incorrect, and even offensive in any other context.

For example, if I were to suggest to this person that Arabs are essentially infants, incapable of controlling their emotions and of reacting to non-violent acts they find objectionable with non-violent responses, they would call me a racist (BTW, I do not hold this view).  Yet, when confronted with endless acts of Arab violence (i.e. terror), they will invariably blame only the settlers or the Israeli government for enabling/sustaining them, while excusing the Arab terror as inevitable. 

Another example that comes to mind is the extreme deference shown to Arab sensibilities and claims made on the basis of their Islamic beliefs (such as the absolute and inalienable right to Jerusalem as their capital), and the lengths to which many will go to avoid giving offense to Muslims (e.g. non-Muslim female journalists wearing head-scarves when meeting with Muslim leaders or visiting Muslim areas).   But claims based on Jewish texts / history are dismissed with the easy slur; 'Messianism' (and much eye-rolling), and requests to cover knees and shoulders when visiting Jewish holy places are considered offensive and antediluvian.

On an unrelated topic, I saw a great quote over at one of my regular reads which perfectly sums up Israeli politics (and likely the political landscape in most places in the world):

If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side.”

Orson Scott Card *

*  It is worth noting that Mr. Card (the source of the quote... not the site-owner of my regular read), and I see eye to eye on very little... yet I heard the ring of truth in this bit of wisdom.

Posted by David Bogner on February 3, 2010 | Permalink

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They can't handle logic.
Obama was elected because he's black, not6 for any other reason. He was type cast as if for a movie role.

About 20 plus years ago, early intifada, a Danish journalist was interviewing me and a neighbor. The journalist:
"The Arabs are throwing rocks at you to get the world's sympathy."
me: "So, if we threw stones, would we get the world's sympathy?"

My neighbor almost crawled under my dining-room table, and the journalist looked at me with horror in her eyes.

Posted by: Batya from Shiloh | Feb 3, 2010 1:51:38 PM

You know after months of reading your blog, and a few others, I feel I am neither left nor right. But where does this leave me?

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Feb 3, 2010 3:25:52 PM

Batya... Your Obama comment left me scratching my head (since I don't see how it relates to this topic), but I loved your comment to the reporter. You hit the nail on the head.

Ilana-Davita ... Everyone considers themselves a centrist... everyone else is either a right wing fascist or a left wing surrender monkey. Didn't you know that? :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 3, 2010 3:32:50 PM

Batya: I loved your response as well. However, if you think that the President does not possess extraordinary political skills, as did his predecessor, then you are kidding yourself. BTW he won my state and believe me his race was not a plus. It suppressed his total.

Ilana Davita: without any first hand knowledge of Israel, it seems that left and right mean something very different in the US and Israel. For instance, there is widespread support for the kupat cholim and affordable education in Israel. In the US such views are now socialist.

Posted by: lrg | Feb 3, 2010 4:27:28 PM

Re today's post,as well as recent comments regarding England -

My wife's aunt, who lives in Tel Aviv, was recently in the States for a visit. On the way, she passed through England, and came across an article in one of the newspapers there. The topic: How Israel's massive aid mission to Haiti is nothing more than a smokescreen to divert the world's attention from Israeli "atrocities" in Gaza.

My aunt is about as liberal as they come, but she was horrified. And I must admit that the inherent hypocrisy and Jew-hatred in that premise even shocked me.

It's getting bad out there.

Posted by: psachya | Feb 3, 2010 10:17:56 PM

Are you sure that you and Orson Scott Card don't agree on much? (Aside from his being a Mormon, that is?) He is, in fact, a prolific author of op-eds (mainly in a local paper in my hometown of Greensboro, NC) in vehement support of the state of Israel. Perhaps you knew this and are thinking about something else he once said or did . . .?

Posted by: David | Feb 4, 2010 6:28:03 AM

Psachya "It's getting bad out there"./quote

Must have been the Guardian/Independent

What i hear from my friends and what i read, it is more than bad!!

Posted by: iva | Feb 4, 2010 7:19:35 PM

Agh, me again, from the UK. Yes, that 'article' in the newspaper about the Israeli aid efforts in Haiti being a smokescreen - that shocked me silly.

Posted by: Rachel | Feb 5, 2010 6:28:00 PM

David: Card's overall political views include stances on global warming and (perhaps best-known)gay rights that are close to the fringe right.

There's quite a bit of wisdom in Card, actually: I enjoy many of his books ("Speaker for the Dead" is probably my favorite), even though I might have significant reservations about his politics (I generally find it a good idea to separate artists' political views from their art; else, I'd have nothing to appreciate).

Posted by: efrex | Feb 5, 2010 10:17:25 PM

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