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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Tools for the global village [idiot]

Before I start today's post I need to do something that, here in Israel, is known colloquially as 'swallowing the frog'.

I owe a public apology to both Seth and the Bacon Eating Atheist Jew for the name calling and general unwarranted snarky tone I took with them.  Guys, I still feel you both ignored most (or all) of the issues I tried to raise with my posts over the past few days... and instead seem to have decided to use my comment board as a forum to air your opinions about settlers.  But I responded in a manner of which I'm not particularly proud. 

  • Name calling?  Check.
  • Condescending tone?  Check.
  • Baseless assumptions about someone's life experiences?  Check.
  • Holding someone up for public ridicule?  Check.

Have I missed anything?  Probably, but these four things are among the cardinal sins of commenting that I don't tolerate from anyone... and unless I'm much mistaken, I spent a fair amount of time and energy doing all of them this week.

I don't have to agree with everyone who comments here.  In fact, I prefer to see what my ideas look like alongside the opinions and ideas of others.  But I'm human.  I have my buttons... and the best way to push them is to let your dogma walk around loose in my yard without a leash.

I can't force anyone to accept my apology, but I can make it clear to all that I try very hard to hold myself to the same standards of conduct and intellectual honesty as anyone else who comes here. 

When I cross the line (as I clearly did), an apology is owed... and this is it:

~I'm Sorry~

Anyhoo... This week my Gmail account learned how to do a new trick. 

The folks at Google made a shrewd inductive leap in realizing that people are fed up with having their computers cluttered up with a lot of stand-alone, third party applications and tools.  So, instead of coming out with a bunch of stand-alone products, they've simply created tools to enhance the functionality of the apps that people are already using.

The Google toolbar is a perfect example of this. 

They reasoned that most people leave a browser window open whenever they are on the computer.  Rather than trying to lure surfers to Google's portal or change people's surfing habits, they simply created a powerful (and customizable) palette of tools that enhances the user's experience within the browser window that's already open.

Now Google has come up with a chat function that resides seamlessly within their web-based Gmail app. 

I should begin by saying that I'm not a big fan of chatting, mostly because I hate having all those chat applications on my computers.  First of all, they each come out with an upgrade or fix about every 4 minutes, so I'm constantly getting pop-up windows asking me if I want to download the latest version.  Feh.  Second of all, each has it's own settings and seems predisposed to try to wrest control of my computer's microphone and webcam from all the other chat applications installed on the machine.  This necessitates resetting my preferences each time I want to use a chat program that has recently lost one of these little cyber tugs-o-war.

But my friends and family are scattered among a wide range of incompatable chat platforms (Yahoo, MSN, AIM, ICQ, etc.)... so what can I do?

Google seems to have felt my pain. 

They made an astute observation that a lot of people out there aren't interested in the bells & whistles associated with most chat programs (at least most of the time)... and they don't want to have to remember which program each of their friends and family use.  So they painlessly pushed a bare-bones chat function into their already very clean, intuitive gmail window.

Any time they want to upgrade or change the capabilities of their chat program... they deal with it.  I don't need to do a thing.  That's just fine and dandy with me since I'm friendly with a lot of people out there in the global village... and I loathe being made to feel like the village idiot.

Thanks Google!

[Note:  If you want to find out what other tools are available from Google, go here

If you want to poke around some of the neat Beta-stuff the gnomes at Google labs are currently working on (and maybe give them a test-drive), go here.]


Posted by David Bogner on February 9, 2006 | Permalink


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All in all, this is one of my favorite places to visit on the internet lately. Yesterday, actually, driving to work and taking my kids to their day care, I remember thinking to myself, "I wonder if I have it in me" to be able to put my foot down like Treppenwitz did. Probably not, I would just let people run over me. There has been much provocation recently in comments. Even so, of one thing I am certain, the free exchange of ideas is important, especially if they are intelligent and sincere, and there is a lot of that happening here. I guess if you're going to "swallow the frog", then I should also apologize for enjoying the recent snarkiness. The subjects are, after all, serious and important.

Posted by: Seattle | Feb 9, 2006 12:37:33 PM

theres a guy in my yeshiva, whose brother just became the head sysadmin at gmail. he might have had something to do with it...

Posted by: Tonny | Feb 9, 2006 1:40:44 PM

Hi David,

So after reading this, I went back and read recent posts and tried to figure out what the "issues" were that people were failing to respond to. Because to me it looked like you were doing quite a lot of impassioned venting, which is cool -- it's your blog -- but then you can't get all bent out of shape when your commenters do the same.

So were the issues:

1. Should there be an inquiry into Amona?

2. Did Olmert build a careful plan ahead of time to crack heads in Amona so he would look tough? (you pretty much state that, it didn't look like you were looking for discussion.)

It's good of you to apologize to hostile commenters if you feel you sank to their level, not many bloggers do that.

If you want to know where I stand, read Sarah's hypocrisy post -- I absolutely agree with her.

Posted by: Allison | Feb 9, 2006 1:51:49 PM

"But my friends and family are scattered among a wide range of incompatable chat platforms (Yahoo, MSN, AIM, ICQ, etc.)... so what can I do?"

You can download trillian! One application that enables you to use all the above mentioned instant messengers in one application! I've been using it for years!

Posted by: Harry | Feb 9, 2006 2:56:48 PM

"But my friends and family are scattered among a wide range of incompatable chat platforms (Yahoo, MSN, AIM, ICQ, etc.)... so what can I do?"

If you want to keep it within a web page, like GMail is now starting to do, you can try Meebo.
Personally, I've been a little hesitant to enter my gmail password into their website (though I haven't heard any stories of anyone having their password stolen by this site), but I use it for AIM, and it works quite well.

Posted by: Reuven | Feb 9, 2006 3:02:26 PM

Seattle... I don't know many people that don't enjoy participating in , or witnessing a flame war once in a while... myself included. But my experience has been that few ideas or minds are changed in the aftermath of such exchanges, so it's probably best to avoid them. :-)

Tonny... Neat, that one guy rolled out an entire application for Google? Wow! ;-)

Allison... Yes, the two ideas you mentioned were the main issues I brought up in the two posts I wrote about Amona. What frustrated me was that instead of dealing even peripherally with these issues, these two commenters offered unhelpful anti-setter irrelevancies.

If someone disagrees with what I wrote and thinks the police acted within legal limits and in a manner appropriate to the situation, they can say so and tell me on what they are basing their opinion. If someone thinks that the government had a compelling reason to choose a confrontation instead of achieving the same result via the offered peaceful compromise, that too is something I would have been interested in hearing in response to my post. But to simply ignore these central issues and make statements like:

"I find it... annoying to read about how the poor settlers aren't being included and treated fairly.

"...when the settlers start behaving like the Arabs (demanding more than what they deserve, claiming that Israel is mistreating them, etc) the Israeli public just gets fed up."

"This strategy of pretending to be the undervalued under dog while simultaneously living virtually tax free in Israel is not a good way of getting the Israeli public to side with you. Try acting like the responsible, patriotic Zionists who care about the greater good of the state of Israel rather than the selfish settler focusing on these small losses and claiming foul play at every chance."

"I'm not anti-settler. I'm anti-settlers who are more obsessed with the settler movement than for the well-being of Israel."

"...settlers need to become part of the greater Israeli society, and not remain a priveleged subset."

I mean really... none of these statements relates even tangentially to the legal issue of excessive police violence or the government's decision to foment a confrontation where one wasn't necessary.

There was also bizarre speculation that the real reason the settlers of Amona were violently resisting the police was because of purely monetary reasons (i.e. they had big mortgages on the houses there). Has this guy seen the prefab huts we're talking about?


Yes, I stated my position in strong terms, but I wouldn't call it venting (what I did in the comments section, on the other hand... that was venting).

Glad you mentioned Sarah's excellent post because I enjoyed it as well and agreed with much of what she said. For those that haven't read it, go here.

Harry... See, that right there is why I'm pissed that I haven't been able to get you and your lovely wife over to Efrat for a weekend. If I would have had the luxury of picking your brain for an entire shabbat I wouldn't be the Luddite you see in today's post! :-)

Reuven... I'd also be hesitant to start handing out my passwords to a company I know nothing about.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 9, 2006 3:30:47 PM

I don't think you *owed* anyone an apology.

But sometimes we make such apologies because of who WE ourselves are.

So from that perspective I respect you for apologizing.

Posted by: Ben-David | Feb 9, 2006 3:57:49 PM

Thanks Harry. I hate patronizing google. Yahoo too. Companies that are willing to help the Chinese PLA put their citizens in jail kinda tick me off.

Posted by: Scott | Feb 9, 2006 5:05:58 PM

Ugh. I spent half an hour yesterday griping that google always gives you new functionality without the corresponding ability to get rid of it. And then another half hour getting removing/hiding as much of the new chat and contact stuff as possible.

I have trillian if I ever feel the need to chat (which I loathe). Gmail should be mail.

Posted by: Tanya | Feb 9, 2006 5:20:27 PM

I'm very very impressed.
I love google but have an issue with them right now as they have STILL not put up a Mac version of Google Earth.

Posted by: Lisoosh | Feb 9, 2006 5:34:06 PM

I was kind of hoping to see a new version of the strawman graphic.

Posted by: Jack | Feb 9, 2006 5:36:16 PM

I generally don't have much against google (as an engineer, I like their hiring practices and employment philosophy, and admire many of their design decisions), but I have to say that Google Chat bothered me. I personally *like* being able to have chats in a non-browser window (there are other people who have tried the integrated-into-browser thing, though not as slickly), and I certainly never keep my Gmail account open long enough for it to be of utility. (In the business-technology-speak of a friend of mine, Google has aggregated the locations of chatting and emailing, reducing the flexibility of a user in how he/she uses their technology.)

To combine all of the protocols together, there are other programs out there that (while not embedded in browsers) are very good at what they do, and have a whole range of toggleable features and customizations that you'd be able to use to make the best chatting experience possible.

Trillian has already been mentioned, though I'm personally not a fan. Less evil (and with more functionality, IMHO) would be the popular Gaim (open source, gaim.sf.net), or for real geeks, Miranda (still in extremely slow development). There are others out there, of course, but those are the big ones. For indifferent users, I'd suggest Gaim. It includes pretty much any protocol you can imagine, and it's pretty clean and nice. And not-evil, that one's a big plus.

Then again, maybe I'm just crazy. You know how there are joint PDA/cellphone/mp3/movie/camera/ultrasounds? (Well, maybe not ultrasounds.) I actually *like* having separate little electronic bits for each, because then each can be chosen and customized for a specific task (and upgraded!), rather than all lumped into one ungaily thing. Same idea.

Posted by: matlabfreak | Feb 9, 2006 5:55:46 PM

Dave are you sure you don't own any google stock? I'm waiting for a chat forum on your blog that would be the deal man! Anyhoo...how r things? I mean you are at 219 and I haven't seen much fluctuation....

Posted by: Jewish Blogmeister | Feb 9, 2006 6:39:41 PM

My chat functionality is still "coming soon" - I can't wait. I don't chat much either but sometimes I shoot e-mails back and forth if the other person is right there.

Also, this reminded me that I originally got gmail through an invitation from you - thanks again!

Posted by: Tara | Feb 9, 2006 7:05:06 PM

BTW, I'm still impressed by what I wrote.

You may know how to win readers back, but you have yet to learn how to benefit the greater good of Israel. ;)

Posted by: Seth | Feb 9, 2006 7:51:40 PM

It was a good idea... but not very helpful for those, whose microphones seem to be going evil on them and transmitting only one side of the conversation properly. *Sigh*.

Posted by: Irina | Feb 9, 2006 7:54:13 PM

I'm almost (but not quite) jealous, since my computer's hard drive is out of commission, and the replacement hasn't arrived yet. Life without one's personal computer is incredibly difficult...

Posted by: tnspr569 | Feb 9, 2006 8:20:11 PM

Lisoosh -
Haven't they?

Posted by: Reuven | Feb 10, 2006 12:00:13 AM

Oooh, I love gmail chat, much more user-friendly than that horrid MSN!

Also, we say the exact same thing in portuguese, only we call it "a" frog, i.e., any one frog will do. Now I'll have to look up both frog and swallow, which do not belong to my Hebrew vocabulary for some bizarre reason. but hey, I can say cartilage w the best of them. That is something. Yes.

[And Treppman, you're ab fab!]

Posted by: Lioness | Feb 10, 2006 12:03:55 AM

Trep, I don't feel you owed me an apology. I came to voice my opinion, an opinion I knew was not close to yours. I don't think you were out of line on most issues and when I said I thought you were wrong about me on a few assumptions I just wanted you to realize what I thought.

I replied to the points I felt strongest about, not necessarily the ones you wanted me to attack.

On my blog, I would like posters to address certain things I bring up, but they usually don't.

Posted by: Bacon Eating Atheist Jew | Feb 10, 2006 4:13:48 AM

Reuven - Whoever you are. I Love You.

Posted by: Lisoosh | Feb 10, 2006 5:00:51 AM

Not one person congratulated you on your blog award winS. I do.

Posted by: Scott | Feb 10, 2006 5:33:37 AM

Google local (formerly known as Google maps) is the greatest tool for driving directions, local searches, and seeing your friends pool from low earth orbit. Tanya turned me on to it, and to Treppenwitz. So I owe her double, and she is permanently on my list of hoopy froods.

Now, does Google have a tool that get's me Photo Friday before I go to bed Thursday? Oh, well. G'night.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 10, 2006 8:59:36 AM

Ben-David... I owed the apology because I won't allow anyone else to comment the way I did. Fair is fair.

Scott... In today's global marketplace it's hard to find a big company that isn't screwing someone somewhere. More often than not, a company that isn't killing anyone or suppressing freedom somewhere simply hasn't been offered the opportunity yet. Cynical, huh?

Tanya... I guess we're very different kind of users, and Gmail probably views me as much more typical. I also hate to chat, but sometimes when I get an email from someone that has something ambiguous in it, it helps to sign on and have a 30 second chat to clarify things than spend hours exchanging emails.

Lisoosh... So, you can learn a thing of two here at treppenwitz. :-)

Jack... No such luck. :-)

Matlabfreak... I think you can have gmail chats in a browser window or a pop-out, whichever you choose. Also, I keep my gmail window open most of the time so it would seems (as I mentioned to Tanya) that I am the typical user they had in mind. I appreciate all the info, though... I'll have to check some of those out.

Jewish Blogmiester... I saw that feature on a couple of blogs and without exception it became a magnet for flames, insults and off-topic rants. I'd rather people communicated with me and with each other via the comments section.

Tara... If you sign off and sign back on a few times it should kick in. Most everyone I know has already gotten the functionality. I'm glad to see you still stop by once in a while. I was afraid I'd insulted you a ways back with something of a religious or political nature. I have a habit of doing that. :-)

Seth... "BTW, I'm still impressed by what I wrote." It's statements like yours that make apologies like mine a rarity in the blogosphere. A simple, 'I accept' would have been fine. Please don't mistake my apology for an endorsement of anything you said. You were off-topic, rude and deliberately misquoted/misused information from another source to build your case against settlers. My intention in offering an apology wasn't so much to win back any readers but simply to do the right thing. You should try it some time... it feels good. Maybe when you're older.

Irina... The risk involved in opening the comments function on a blog or journal is that you have to listen to people that aren't necessarily interested in listening back. I've been mostly lucky in this regard, but lately...

tnspr569... I'll assume you sent this comment using your brain implant? :-)

Reuven... Thanks for sharing. I love when people share helpful information here. Just makes my day!

Lioness... Speaking of gmail chat, I'm sorry I missed you. I need to turn on my 'away' message now that this chat thing is enabled. :-)

BEAJ... "I came to voice my opinion, an opinion I knew was not close to yours." I see this as the root of our problem. I would respect you more if you came to exchange ideas. "I replied to the points I felt strongest about, not necessarily the ones you wanted me to attack." This is fine by me, but while doing so you ignored all of the points I made in order to voice your opinion about religious settlers. The fact that you admit being frustrated by people doing on your blog exactly what you did on mine speaks volumes about you. As I said to Seth, my apology was not intended as a nod to anything you may have said, but rather as an admission that what I said was out of line.

Scott... Thank you. I appreciate it.

Doctor Bean... as you know, Tanya is one of my favorite people in the 'sphere (and I imagine she would be IRL too if I ever got the opportunity to meet her), but you'll have to explain what exactly you mean by "hoopy frood". :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 11, 2006 10:30:27 PM

What are you talking about?? I only said that because you brought up what I said again in a comment AFTER what was supposed to be your apology.
Kind of defeats the purpose of an apology.
What also defeats the purpose is you being a condescending 40 something year old. Also, when I said you knew how to win back readers, I meant it as a compliment, because you won me back... it was never intended to be rude.

Posted by: Seth | Feb 12, 2006 1:29:11 AM

There are other computers available for me to use...(not just at home; but there are about 3 or 4 computers used in the house at this point). The hard drive has been replaced, but the system restore discs that came with the computer aren't exactly doing their job(s)...oh well. I would think that you of all people would have realized the obvious answer(s) to this situation! I know, I know, you understood. I couldn't resist, though.

Posted by: tnspr569 | Feb 12, 2006 3:21:17 AM

Seth, I was going to call Trep condescending, but you beat me to it.

Trep, I think I touched on all the questions you asked me at least briefly. Maybe I didn't make myself clear. I tried to address as much as I could, but I focused on what is most important as I see it. I didn't ignore ALL your points when it came to the religious settlers. Maybe you should read my posts again before making such a widesweeping comment. And I realize that you aren't agreeing with me because you apologized. You apologized because you felt you were out of line in the way you responded to me. I don't. I came here expecting an argument. I didn't come for that reason, I came to voice my opinion.

Posted by: The Atheist Jew | Feb 12, 2006 4:58:30 AM

Actually, Seth, BTW, I'm still impressed by what I wrote. ...but you have yet to learn how to benefit the greater good of Israel. THAT'S CONDESCENDING.

Posted by: zahava | Feb 12, 2006 9:50:05 AM

Seth... Zahava has already offered the most obvious and satisfying response to your extremely dignified 'I know you are but what am I' comment, so I won't go there. However, I'd like to go on record as saying that I should have listened to your mom when she asked me to "remember how sure you were about your view of the world at that age (and how little you had to base that view on)". Smart lady, your mom. I do remember myself at that age, and I was all full of piss and vinegar without really having a clue what I was talking about. However, where I part ways with your mom is my responsibility to educate you. I'm still educating myself, with all the daily readjustments of worldview that come with the absorption of new information. You'll notice that all of my political posts come with the actual or implied disclaimer that I may be completely full of sh*t. There's a reason for this: The first and most important part of any education should be to realize that you'll never have access to all the relevant information... and that as a result, everything you think you know may be 100% wrong. This requires a bit of humility and I can't give you that... only experience can. Once you've mastered the concept of personal fallibility you will be able to begin your real education.

tnspr569... Glad to hear your computer issues are at least partially cured. :-)

Atheist Jew... It warms my heart to see how much you and Seth seem to have in common, and I see a beautiful friendship blossoming between you two. Why don't you guys go somewhere for a cup of coffee and reassure each other of what an arrogant, condescending asshole I am. I'm sure you'll feel much better if you do. In fact, I'll bet you could probably get a few pithy blog posts apiece out of your self-righteous anger at a smug know-it-all 'obstacle to peace' like myself. People love reading about stuff like that. But what am I saying... judging by your site traffic numbers and inbound links you both seem to already have a pretty good handle on what people want to read.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 12, 2006 11:10:00 AM

It's only condescending if you leave out the middle part and the smiley face. Which is what you did.

On the other hand, there is David who relies on ad hominem and the age factor in order to win his points.

Posted by: Seth | Feb 12, 2006 11:10:13 AM

Seth... We seem to have cross-posted. See my earlier comment. But since you bring up the accusation of 'ad hominem', I'll point out once again that I took you to task over using blatantly false 'facts' (the whole 'tax free' accusation) that are frequently leveled at settlers by people like yourself who are not interested in considering the logic or truth of such a statement. You have yet to address how you managed to take a statement in Haaretz about tax breaks and incentives and turn it into an accusation that all us settlers are living tax free. My comments to you were perfectly appropriate given that as a student you bear no tax burden and haven't the slightest idea what a substantial portion of a typical Israeli salary goes directly to taxes. If you did you could never have made such an outlandish accusation. I also pointed out to you that tax incentives are given by the government both inside and outside the green line in order to encourage people to live in certain areas. Doesn't it seem odd to you that the government would provide financial incentives to encourage something counter to its wishes or even the law?

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 12, 2006 11:30:59 AM

Just because the government set a standard in the past does not mean it reflects the direction or desires of the current government and people. Another example of this is the antiquated decision to allow people to immigrate to Israel if only one grandparent is Jewish. We all know this decision made sense at the time. But now, when we are reaching a demographic crisis, we realize it is a bad decision. The same applies to the settlements like Amona. It creates a demographic problem, and it is the result of an antiquated, and currently undesirable policy.

Posted by: Seth | Feb 12, 2006 12:08:33 PM


I am curious, what is the demographic problem to which you are relating?

Also, why do you believe the decision to allow people to immigrate to Israel is antiquated? Do you feel that Israel is over-populated with Jews?

I have another question for you. Part of the rational in creating Israel to begin with was to create a haven for Jews if they were persecuted in other places in the world. Do you believe that this purpose should be stopped, that is, if Jews are persecuted in a foreign country, they should be denied Israeli citizenship if the Israeli government should be believe it to be inconvenient to take in such refugees?

Which leads me to a fourth question. Please understand that before I ask this, I am not trying to prove anything, I am, truthfully, merely curious and mean you no disrespect or harm.

If you believe that Israel should no longer take in Jews from all over the world, then what exactly is the basis, in your opinion, for Israel to exist at all, given the tremendous conflicts that it's existence in the region causes?


Posted by: ron | Feb 12, 2006 1:06:07 PM

Seth... "Just because the government set a standard in the past does not mean it reflects the direction or desires of the current government and people"

Absolutely true, which is why if you had bothered to check your facts you would have found that the tax breaks and financial incentives the government once offered to settlers are a thing of the past. We now bear exactly the same tax burden as anyone else. This makes your statements about settlers "living virtually tax free " doubly offensive, not to mention just plain wrong. I have no idea why you are now introducing Israeli immigration criteria and equating them to Amona. The reason the laws were drafted the way they were was to allow Israel to function as a refuge for anyone who might be attacked or oppressed because of Jewish ancestry. Are you seriously saying that anti-Semitism is such a distant memory that such considerations no longer apply? Amona wasn't stormed by combat troops because it presented a clear and present demographic problem for the country or its government. Even if this were the case, one week would not have tipped the demographic balance if the government had accepted the offered peaceful compromise offered by the settlers. You keep coming up with flawed tangents rather than addressing the basic points of my original posts.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 12, 2006 1:07:22 PM

To the both of you:

The point about immigration was not that Jews should not be able to move to Israel. It was that non-Jews should not be able to move to Israel. Get it?? It is an antiquated policy because it was a policy made to encourage as many people with any kind of Jewish connection to move to Israel and populate the land. However, when more people who do not consider themselves Jewish are moving to Israel because they legally can than those who do consider themselves Jewish, the policy over who should be coming to Israel should be revised.

This was just an analogy of an antiquated policy that should be changed because either its goals have been met or no longer apply.

Fine, David, you don't live tax free, it was just an exaggeration, just like when you say you are full of total bull sh*t you are just exaggerating, because you are making a point. Usually you aren't completely full of it, but to make your point, you say you are.

My point originally was that the settlers have become a priveleged subset based on the subsidies they get (yes, they do get subsidies, as written in that Haaretz article, that is factual even if it is guided by an opinion) at the cost of everyday citizens. Please do not compare the subsidies that settlers get to the subsidies that people who live in Kiryat Gat get. The standard of living in Efrat, the standard of living that Gush Katif had, is nothing compared to those of the residents in the Negev. One of the reasons for this is the style of government Israel has and the ability a small party (whether it is religious or secular) has to have enormous influence over a government budget just to fulfill the major talking point of their party platform. In this case it is religious and settler subsidies.

If you ask me, the money spent on outposts like Amona or what were spent on Gush Katif, could have been much better spent on the elderly living under the poverty line, education for Israeli schools and universities, and even the military.

Posted by: Seth | Feb 12, 2006 6:03:13 PM


First, I don't think you have to worry about the settlers being a privileged class anymore.

No my friend, rightly or wrongly, they have been the subject of a massive dehumanizing campaign. When you have a situation like that, coupled with a police force and army that is already used to using excessive violence against another dehumanized segment of society (Arabs), then it is clear what is coming next. If they manage to only get thrown off their lands without major fatalities/rapes among their youth, elderly, etc. I will be quite amazed.

Secondly, when you say "Non-Jews" and "Jewish Connection", it seems that you do not regard many of the people who invoke the Law of Return to be Jewish.

I suspect, that you are saying that you prefer immigrants to do so in the normal fashion of other countries. That is, a long naturalization process, then citizenship, etc. I also suspect, that you are proposing that his religious affiliation should be scrutinized at that point as well, is this correct?

But if so, I have to ask, why then would you not wish the Law of Return to simply be made available to Jews who fit your particular criteria of Judaism?

Now, I have to ask a very interesting question. You mention that the money spent on the former settlers, would be better spent, among other things, on the military.

Would you continue to believe in revoking the Law of Return, if you knew that American Jews would go out of their way to revoke all financial aid to Israel under such circumstances?

Again, I am asking to clarify your position and ideas, not to cause you trouble or distress.


Posted by: ron | Feb 12, 2006 6:39:57 PM

listen, there is a difference between revoking the law of return and just altering it.

I don't want people moving to Israel who out-rightly deny that they are Jewish and see an opportunity in moving to Israel because they happen to have one Jewish grandparent.

I am not advocating a Halachic law of return either.

I just think the connection to Judaism should be stronger, or at least exist.

Posted by: Seth | Feb 12, 2006 7:44:58 PM

For what it is worth, I happen to think you are right on that. I will also admit that I misunderstood your use of the word "antiquated".

Posted by: ron | Feb 12, 2006 10:28:29 PM

david, here is another article and from a different source on preferential treatment of settlers


Posted by: Seth | Feb 12, 2006 10:57:52 PM

"Hoopy frood" is from Douglas Adams Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'm positive there's a Wikipedia entry on it but I'm on ny Treo now waiting for my littlest one to go to sleep, so I can't find it for you. It means roughly "dude who's got his stuff together ". I bet Tanya knows that.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 13, 2006 6:29:12 AM

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