What has Jews Tied in Knots: Shrinkwrapped tackles a Problem Posed by TAS commenters

My favorite shrink blogger has just posted a meditation on a question posed by some commenters here at the Augean Stables. It goes to the core of what I’ve called “Masochistic Omnipotence Syndrome” and takes the analysis to new depths of psychological analysis. Shrinkwrapped begins with a discussion of the Ben Dror Yemini article, and comes to his remarkable conclusion:

Ben-Dror Yemini concluded with some questions about the Israeli response, or lack thereof, to the entire affair:

    And where is Israel? It does not exist. It is the Dreyfus in this affair, but a strange Dreyfus. A Dreyfus who has had a libel stuck to it, but who remains nonchalant. Others fight for it. Official Israel has never bothered to thank Karsenty, or others who have fought to dispel the libel. Regarding assistance, there is nothing to even discuss; on the contrary. Unofficial Israel was on Enderlin’s side. Most of the articles, mind you, were against Karsenty and for Enderlin.

    Justice came to light, in France, not in Israel. This is not by chance. If the trial had been held in Israel, there is concern, only concern, that the result would have been different. Freedom of speech is indeed a supreme value but on one condition: That it is found in the hands of very specific people. But that is the subject of a different article.

For those who have not followed the case, Richard Landes has a summary here; also see the discussion of Pallywood, and by all means read the entire article by Ben-Dror Yemini, with special attention to the comments.

Sophia noted [Emphasis mine-SW]:

    There is so much guilt – guilt that Jews should be bearing arms at all – we’re ready to assume the mantle of wanton destroyer because even to pick up a gun is unsettling for so many of us. One principled antizionist position argues that the moral dilemmas confronting the defense of a state, including the conduct of wars and police actions, contradict higher Jewish moral codes – even the basic principles of Torah – THOU SHALT NOT KILL – the voice of Ha Shem resonates through the ages.

    This argument is not so easy to deflect as more spurious antisemitic or racist claims against the Jewish state or even the universalist argument against the existence of a “Jewish people”. The universalist argument works toward one world, one global people; thus any particularism in an affront to that scheme. One can argue rationally against this.

    But how do we argue with G*d?

    I submit, many Jews, including many Israelis, maybe not even consciously religious, assume guilt that isn’t even theirs because the incredible moral conflicts involved in self-defense, let alone in war, can so outrage the soul.

    There’s another possibility … perhaps they are simply so depressed after their endless battle for survival, their war against man, that they no longer wish to live. That is maybe even more disturbing. It means that many Jews would rather die as a people, or would rather kill their own state, than fight for life.

She made a second comment that was even more pointed and trenchant:

    Nevertheless I submit there is a huge moral weight assumed by most idealistic Jews, certainly by Israel; and that’s reflected in the history of the IDF, the idea of restraint in arms.

    It makes failures of this doctrine, even accidental disasters, that much more striking and it’s used again and again in anti-Israel propaganda; ironically, as we all know, if Israel really were like the Nazis or even most Western states, the propaganda wouldn’t be so effective. For example there’s nothing unusual about the US missing a target and the Brits just used “vacuum bombs”, a particularly lethal weapon, against the Taliban, the Soviets disappeared millions; and terrorists strike anybody and everybody who happens to be in range. Peace movements to the contrary notwithstanding, ideological and even religious justifications support even the bloodiest of these deeds.

    Children are killed in war, many deliberately – as in attacks on Israeli children, the masses of Basij. But the idea that Jews would kill a child – even accidentally – instant abomination. There must be atonement. Did this, consciously or otherwise, drive media coverage of al Dura?

    Is it a particularity of Israel that even accidental deaths in the conduct of a war are fodder for the international press as well as self-loathing? It’s a toxic combination: guilt, the need for atonement, a press hungry for sensation, a public perhaps unconsciously seeking the familiar image of a crucified innocent.

This is embodied in the expression so often heard these days among the Israeli left: “so what if Al Durah was a fake, we’ve killed over 800 children in the Intifada.” This quote comes from statistics tendentiously compiled by B’Tselem, an Israeli group (anyone under 18 is a child, and anyone who is [reported] not engaged in military action is a civilian). Gideon Levy took the theme to its climax in his response to the latest developments in Paris: “We’ve killed 800 Muhammad al Durahs!” So accidental becomes, symbolically intentional.

    And – what about the assumption, both on the part of Jews and non-Jews, that Jews should be on a higher plane? Surely this struggle to reach a higher plane is one of the driving motives of civilization. But – isn’t it one thing to try and demand that of ourselves on a spiritual plane, even a communal plane, in the attempt to lead a righteous existence, and something else again though when one isn’t permitted even to try and keep living?

    Maybe we have survivors’ guilt too, for not having died in the Holocaust, in the pogroms preceding it, because our grandparents escaped, because we haven’t been destroyed yet in Israel. Otherwise I don’t understand this willingness to assume responsibility for something we didn’t do.

    How else do you explain so much self-hatred, and lack of tolerance even for Israel’s mistakes in war?

Guilt is a central motivator for Jews and Christians, in marked contrast to Honor-Shame cultures where all behavior is acceptable as long as it is not exposed to a critical observer. Those of us raised in a Judeo-Christian culture would never condone the kinds of “news” creation and manipulation that is normal procedure for Palestinians or the Iraqi insurgents. (Those who cannot imagine that our enemies would manufacture and manipulate the news in such a manner are guilty of the narcisstic crime of imagining that others’ minds are organized the same way theirs is.) It is guilt that supports a too diffident reaction to accusations of child murder (Al-Dura) or war crimes (Haditha). Guilt is the feeling one has when one falls short of one’s ideals. When a child dies or innocents lose their lives during the course of a battle, our immediate impulse is to examine our own behavior and look for the flaws within us that have led to the tragedy. Our enemies do not have such limitations; in fact, the Palestinians and our enemies in Iraq revel in the atrocities they commit.

For a perfect example of this kind of thinking — liberal cognitive egocentrism, outrage at the mere suggestion that Arabs might have different attitudes (Arab bashing!) — see Larry Derfner’s lengthy discussion in the Jerusalem Post, fisked here.

But, this is an insufficient explanation for a complicated set of behaviors and all human behavior is multiply determined.

For the Jew, normal guilt is often exacerbated by the survivor’s guilt felt by those only two or three generations removed from the Holocaust.

As well, many Jews have unconsciously adopted the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic attitudes that are prevalent on the left. These attitudes among Jews arise from a mix of defensive “identification with the aggressor” and conscious and unconscious self-hatred.

In addition, there is an increasing strand of narcissistic perfectionism (The Suicidal Pursuit of Perfection) that contains an omnipotent masochistic core within those who grow up in modern societies which raise children protected from the historical vicissitudes of life. Narcissism is inextricably enmeshed with demographics and heightened narcissism is an apparently near inescapable consequence of our culture’s success.

For those who have not yet read it, I strongly recommend Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism, with its increasingly apocalyptic tone in the introduction to the second edition (1991).

The elites in Israel, including those who run the government, share too many of these dynamics, which makes the state susceptible to false accusations of atrocities, impairs their ability to defend themselves appropriately against such accusations, and even leads them to accept the guilty verdicts that are pronounced even before the trial has taken place.

In two posts earlier this week I described how traditional anti-Semitism has slowly merged with anti-Americanism (Anti-Semitism and Anti-Americanism: Part I & Part II.) The parallels between the Al-Dura blood libel and the Haditha slander suggest that the American elites are coming to closely resemble the Israeli elites in their ready acceptance of guilt and their aesthenic reactions to accusations of evil intent and atrocity against those who protect us.

The fear expressed by Sophia should be felt by all who care about our civilization. A culture that cannot defend itself using the most careful and moral of means will inevitably be faced with the choice between defending itself by any and all means or surrendering to those who lack such scruples.

Anger is something we want to control, not to eliminate. There is nothing more powerful than a restrained person, expressing well-considered moral indignation. We need to find that voice.

54 Responses to What has Jews Tied in Knots: Shrinkwrapped tackles a Problem Posed by TAS commenters

  1. Barry Meislin says:

    The Palestinians are rather good at picking their enemies.

    Imagine if they had picked the Serbs (or the Russians, or the French, or the Germans, or the English, or the Egyptians, or the Chinese, or the Japanese, or the Americans, or themselves!.)

    Seriously, though, it really is the perfect match: those who have an absolute need to blame everyone else for their ills have shacked up with those who have an absolute need to take the blame for everyone else’s problems.

    A match made in heaven….

  2. Jeremy says:

    Jews have been the victims of vicious libel campaigns for generations. As a consequence they are unwilling to participate in any campaigns of vilification even – and here’s the rub – if they are entirely based upon the truth. A Jew will not be seen denouncing someone who is perceived by the world to be a victim, especially from a perceived position of power.

    Within Israel, people fall largely into two camps. One camp that believes that the IDF has sinned and so they must stand up and perform collective acts of self-flagellation; the other that believes in the justice of their cause and self-evident righteousness of IDF behavior.

    Neither of these two camps has any motivation for defending themselves against Pallywood propaganda, the one because it believes it (or at least, believes its main thrust, even if individual events are later proven to have been fabricated) and the other because it is irrelevant to them (they know the truth and so could not care less about the lies).

    Israelis do not have a honor/shame world-view and so the views of the world are largely irrelevant to them. Winning the European Basketball championship (pride in achievement) is much more important than debunking Al Dura (removal of shame).

  3. Cynic says:

    I submit, many Jews, including many Israelis, maybe not even consciously religious, assume guilt that isn’t even theirs because the incredible moral conflicts involved in self-defense, let alone in war, can so outrage the soul.

    For some, yes I suppose so, but how many cringe in horror from the expected brickbats and “bad press” when once more the Jew in the street is subjected to collective punishment?
    Similar reactions are experienced by many Jews who are ravaged collectively when the local rags go to town about the crime committed “by a Jew”, the behaviour unbecoming of a decent person personified by etching in the Jewishness involved.
    The millenia of being blamed for every ill under the sun has overcome the thickest of hides over time to cause not so much guilt for what is not even theirs but fear something akin to that which resides in the “old” part of the human brain and which is linked to the survival instinct.

  4. 1 There is no such Commandment as “You shall not kill.” The Commandment is “You shall not murder.”
    These are two different words in Hebrew just as they are in English. Self-defense is not murder.

    2. The statements on Israeli moods and the analyses thereof assume that journalists, intellectuals, academics, and suchlike personify the nation and their views and words represent the nation.
    As one who lives in Israel, I know this is not so. The picture is very different if you talk to people who do not write or lecture for a living, and whose convictions therefore get little notice.
    That is a great part of the reason why Israel is so misunderstood by those who know it only through a small and non-representative fraction of Israelis.

  5. 1. On “You shall not kill” — this is a mistranslation. The commandment is “You shall not murder.” In Hebrew as in English, the two words have very different meanings. Self-defense is not murder.

    2. As one who lives in Israel, a feel strongly that the country and people and society are misunderstood abroad because the writing and talking about it comes from professional writers and talkers who do not represent anyone but themselves.
    The bulk of Israelis are NOT shrinkwrapped, do not feel guilty about existing and continuing to exist, and do not worry over much about what the rest of the world thinks of them.
    These are mostly people who earn honest livings at some kind of real work, and they have to do the work right.
    The “intellectuals” live in a world of their own notions, and whether they produce sense or nonsense makes little difference to their careers. And they are the ones who will be quoted.

  6. Cynic says:

    Jeremy,
    Many Israelis do feel shame and honour but appearances mislead.
    After all the tension and suffering many are only too eager to think of something pleasant.
    With the older crowd, sixty years and more of what has been dished out to them has made them punch drunk in a manner of speaking. Just the almost daily suicide bombings was numbing and scary enough and most carried on as if normal. Riding the bus was an event in itself and when you hear on the bus you are traveling in in, direction A , over the driver’s radio, that a bus going in the opposite direction passing through the very same intersection you has passed through some minutes before was blown up by a jeep full of explosives traveling in the lane next to it you have to admit that debunking Al Dura (removal of shame). was the last thing on anybody’s mind.

    As for the Gideon Levys and their 800 Al Duras they are no different from the Pappes and Finkelsteins who for some reason or another have it in for Jews and/or Israel. They, like South Africa’s Ronnie Kasrils, don’t need facts nor context to apportion blame.
    How they would fare in the American judicial system where the consideration of mitigating circumstances is prima facie when considering sentences is not too hard to guess.

  7. Cynic says:

    The parallels between the Al-Dura blood libel and the Haditha slander suggest that the American elites

    No, don’t agree.
    It was started by a corrupt piece of humanity who is incapable of feeling guilt, and used by others to bash the Administration.

  8. oao says:

    much of the commenting here is valid, but i doubt that understanding the phenomenon will save western civilization. for all the reasons mentioned and the match made in heaven, I don’t see it has a future.

  9. Claurila says:

    It is not true that the truth did not originate in Israel: it emerged from the factual investigations made in situ and propagated by an Israeli news agency.

    What is true is that the Israeli authorities did not understand the war of images which was being waged against them.

  10. Mundus says:

    While the translation of the Commandment,”Thou shall not murder” is accurate to my knowledge, what does not seem to be known, or understood, is one of the first values in Judaism is to save a life, and this includes one’s own. While the law delves into various situations, in the main, one cannot save another until one saves one’s own.
    Levy and Amira Haas, and other such self-hating Jews on Haaretz’s staff, have been let go according to a Jerusalem Post report, last week.Levy’s lies and fabricated scenarios are now part of an historical record. HonestReporting.com diligently tracks and corrects the record of this disinformation as does CAMERA.org. They will pay the price in perpetuity.These Haaretz reporters, those socalled professors of hate and propaganda, these politicians, and power-hungry former heads of state and dignitaries,
    the UN, the Arab/Muslim anti-Semites, anti-Zionists, and anti-Israeli haters
    are cast for all time for what they are and for much of what they have done.In today’s world they are more broadly known than in previous times.
    We will not forget.
    If one follows Caroline Glick’s columns in The Jerusalem Post and at [email protected], one can gain a significant understanding of Israel, its government,the politicians’ decisions, of Israel, itself, and how
    these seemingly incomprehensible situations evolved, are considered, and determined. No, it does not lift one’s spirits, necessarily, but she does provide unusually astute analyses, and, thus, ‘enlightenment.’

  11. oao says:

    No, it does not lift one’s spirits, necessarily, but she does provide unusually astute analyses, and, thus, ‘enlightenment.’

    the circumstances have reached a level at which no astuteness is required to figure things out.

  12. Dimitry says:

    Israeli Supreme Court just refused to take away Enderlin’s credentials on the grounds that even if the story was a fake, he is only guilty of negligence in his work.

  13. E.G. says:

    Israel court rejects ban on French TV crew

    “Such a measure can only occur in extreme cases that threaten state security,” Supreme Court president Dorit Beinish said in her ruling. She added that the ruling did not imply any judgement about the TV report’s accuracy.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080701/wl_mideast_afp/mideastconflictmediacourtfrance_080701133542

  14. Cato says:

    France 2 lied – people died

  15. E.G. says:

    I’m sure some will argue that it’s the Holier-than-thou syndrome, but I agree with the Israeli High Court’s ruling.
    <a href=http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3562706,00.html Court allows al-Durrah affair reporter to keep press pass

  16. justanotherindian says:

    I’ve been reading some pages here with interest.

    As an Indian with a history of continuous colonial rulers who self defined their “rights” to our homes, I have three questions:

    1. Does the UN have the jurisdiction to give a state to immigrants against the wishes of the inhabitants of a land? I ask because the Portuguese king gave away a city in my country to his English son-in-law.

    2. If Jews after 2000 years have a “right” to Israel, what rights do Palestinians have, since genetics show that they share a unique haplotype that shows them to be continuous inhabitants without the 2000 year vacation?

    3. If any victims of genocide moved into some unrelated state that had not conducted the genocide on them, would they be entitled to a state on the land, purely on the basis of ethnicity or religion?

    The questions are general, but I would appreciate a response.

  17. oao says:

    I’m sure some will argue that it’s the Holier-than-thou syndrome, but I agree with the Israeli High Court’s ruling.

    Let me get this straight: a journalist is so utterly incompetent/negligent in his duties that he publishes a manufactured fake without verification, which contributes if not initiates years of bloodshed and it did NOT threaten state security? and then lies in court to cover it up?

    what would it take to take credentials? a personal attempt to blow up dimona?

  18. Richard Landes says:

    response to justanotherindian — rl

    [note: I've decided to make this another post. here are my provisional and unlinked answers. i welcome suggestions on how to frame a formal response and any relevant links.]

    Thank you for coming to the site and asking your questions. I look forward to your responses to my answers.

    I’ve been reading some pages here with interest.

    As an Indian with a history of continuous colonial rulers who self defined their “rights” to our homes, I have three questions:

    1. Does the UN have the jurisdiction to give a state to immigrants against the wishes of the inhabitants of a land? I ask because the Portuguese king gave away a city in my country to his English son-in-law.

    I’m not an expert in the UN’s rights, although I believe they were trying to by-pass warfare as the alternative way to create states, i.e., to establish states with international legitimacy in such a way as to reduce conflicts in the future. Counter-question: Do the Arab nations (all 22 of them) have a right to remain in the UN while rejecting so fundamental a decision as the creation of the State of Israel? Do they have a right to refuse the UN’s offer of a state for the Arabs in Israel — Palestine — on behalf of people who might very well — had they been consulted rather than spoken for — accepted the situation happily. (Your assumption that it was “against the wishes of the inhabitants of the land” is based primarily on the statements made by a corrupt leadership that had no interest in the “wishes” of “its people.”)

    If the UN doesn’t have the right to create states, then where do they come from? War? That’s where the Arab presence in the Middle East comes from. And that’s what the Arab states forced Israel to do in 1948, 1967, 1973.

    As for the Portuguese king who gave away a city in your country to his son-in-law, that kind of European arrogance has a parallel only in, say, the British granting of a kingdom to the Bedouin Hashemite family because they claimed to be descended from the prophet Muhammad, when the vast majority of the population were not Bedouin, thereby creating the totally fictitious nation of Jordan.

    2. If Jews after 2000 years have a “right” to Israel, what rights do Palestinians have, since genetics show that they share a unique haplotype that shows them to be continuous inhabitants without the 2000 year vacation?

    I would imagine that the Palestinians had a “right” to a Palestinian state. They were offered it in 1947, and multiple times since (e.g., at the time of the Camp David Accords in 1979, and again in 2000). Now, I’m not so sure. They have a toxic political culture that shows not just contempt for their own people’s lives, but even a desire to inflict suffering on their own people as part of a failed politics of “honor-killing” in which they need to eliminate Israel for the sake of their own pride. As a result, any Palestinian state created today promises to be a toxic entity that will destabilize the entire region. I think 22 Arab Muslim nations — none of them “successful” by any reasonable standards — is more than enough for the time being. After responsible Palestinians have detoxified a generation of youth brainwashed to hate and to wipe out their Jewish neighbors, to prize death as a suicide bomber over their own independence, then we can talk about a Palestinian state.

    Until then, there’s much that can be done to offer the Palestinian Arabs choice: choice to leave the “refugee” camps into which they were herded in 1948 and kept there by various forms of coercion and pressure by an Arab elite that exploited the suffering they created; choice to live as first class citizens in other Arab countries with a Muslim majority and Arab as the official language (that’s a trick point: there are no commoners in the Arab world who are “first class citizens”); and free to live in Israel (which the vast majority of Israeli Arabs want to do rather than live in some new Palestinian state).

    Could you give a reference for this genetic point. I’ve read the article on it here, and I don’t find anything like your claim. On the contrary, the idea that the current Arab population is related to the Canaanites is one of the sillier claims made by the Palestinians, admitted even by Palestinian nationalists themselves. The only link that I know of between modern Palestinians and ancient Canaanites is the practice of child-sacrifice… hardly something one would want to trumpet before the global “human rights” community.

    As for your expression “vacation” to refer to the 2000-year long diaspora of the Jews, subject to the violence, humiliation, and oppression of Christians and Muslims, how would you like to have the Indian experience in America described in such terms, say the “Trail of Tears” referred to as a “hiking expedition” and the reservations as “summer camps.” I don’t understand why you identify with the Palestinians (the failed rump of an imperialist culture) in this conflict rather than the Jews (an example of an oppressed and displaced people who have successfully restored their ancient language and ancient sovereignty). Is it because you identify with the loser no matter how corrupt his culture? What does that do for you?

    3. If any victims of genocide moved into some unrelated state that had not conducted the genocide on them, would they be entitled to a state on the land, purely on the basis of ethnicity or religion?

    Again, your version of events seems strangely skewed. You seem to be asking a “general” question of principle, but in order to so do, you have misrepresented the situation critically. Those Palestinian leaders who refused the division in 1948 (hence refusing a Palestinian state unless it was all theirs) were allies of the Nazis and fully in support of the genocidal policies of their allies (there were Muslim troops raised by al Husseini putting down the Warsaw Ghetto uprising). Had the Germans won in North Africa, there were plans for death camps in Palestine to complete Hitler’s job (a desire still commonly expressed in Palestinian circles today). So if you’re asking, were the Jews fleeing genocidal Europe (not just Nazi Germany) justified in not wanting to have their fate in the hands of a state in which the Palestinian leadership of Haj Amin al Husseini had power, then I don’t imagine you’d be so cruel as to say, “yes, they should not have the right and ability to defend themselves.”

    Let’s put it this way. If a group of native American tribes were to demand independence from a US government that openly declared its desire to commit genocide against them (say in the 1880s), and fought for a homeland in North Dakota which displaced a small fraction of the white population (or offered them the right to live with full rights in their newly declared Indian nation), would you ask the same question?

    The questions are general, but I would appreciate a response.

    In concluding, let me ask you a question. The analogy between the native American problem with the European colonial settlers and the Arab-Israeli conflict is not a clean fit (comparisons and contrasts), and it can cut both ways. The one you seem to favor: American native populations (I gather you don’t have a problem with being called an “Indian”) are equivalent of the Palestinians and the Israelis the equivalent of the colonial Europeans coming to America, may make sense on one level. The Israelis have mastered the style (democracy) and techniques (modern technology) of the Europeans; the Palestinians appear to be poor (and therefore innocent) victims of this civilizational onslaught. But that’s a flawed analogy: If anything, the Arab invasion of the Middle East (coming on the heals of the Christian/Roman conquest) represents the invading colonial (and religiously messianic) forces that destroyed any indigenous culture they encountered (no surviving languages from the time of their conquest in the 7th CE), and the Jews, who were conquered, dispersed, driven out, deprived of their sovereignty, humiliated and oppressed by these Arabs, are much closer an analogy to the native Americans.

    Unlike the American Indians, who represented a living and vital tribal culture which was constantly deceived and brutalized by the Europeans, the Arab inhabitants of “Palestine” represented a deeply depressed and oppressed peasant population, the bottom of the barrel of a failed hierarchical and imperial culture whose latest incarnation was the Turkish Sultanate. The Jews came not as conquerers but as productive inhabitants who added immensely to the vitality of the land (in 1900, there were fewer than a million people in a space that now holds almost 10 million). Nor was this at the expense of the indigenous population. Far from having their numbers drop and their quality of life deteriorate dramatically (as did the Indians at the advent of the Europeans), Palestinian Arabs became, in the course of the 20th century, the best educated Arabs with the lowest infant mortality and highest longevity rates, and highest income per capita in the (non-oil rich) Middle East.

    My counter question to you is, why do you, as an American Indian, not identify with the Jews returning to Zion, a tiny remnant surviving against all odds, determined to restore their sovereignty and create their own identity? Don’t you think you might find inspiration in the Jews’ restoration of their language after it was seemingly lost?

  19. oao says:

    rl,

    was that a return of the questions to the asker, or a posting error?

    as you can see, it took me a while to respond. finished on the train to the studio, only uplinked now. glad someone’s minding the store. :-)

  20. [...] Shrinkwrapped tackles a Problem Posed… Posted in June 30th, 2008 by in Uncategorized What has Jews Tied in Knots: Shrinkwrapped tackles a Problem Posed… …value but on one condition: That it is found in the … conflicts involved in [...]

  21. E.G. says:

    oao,

    I argue that a journalist’s press card/accreditation is not a matter of court judgment in a democratic country. His colleagues (press “guild”) and/or his employers should assess his professionalism in terms of the adequacy or conformity of his behavior relative to their ethics code.
    BTW, Scoopy is not the only journalist who misreports from Israel. And Israel should not control information (or mis/disinfo) published/broadcast from there, whith the exception of “sensitive, security issues”.

  22. E.G. says:

    Here’s an Israeli psychoanalyst and philosopher’s analysis:

    <a href=http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/998047.html Israeli Guilt

  23. oao says:

    e.g.,

    I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    press credentials are at the discretion of the government of the country in which a journalist operates, period.

    now, we may agree on the need for the state to operate fairly and liberally in this matter, but to leave this to the discretion of guilds and colleagues — give me a break.

    if you ask me to choose between enderlin’s credentials and an intifada and bloodshed, there’s no contest.

  24. oao says:

    Here’s an Israeli psychoanalyst and philosopher’s analysis

    I wouldnt’s say SOME in Israel feel that way, but to claim that this is the root problem of Israel is neither psychology, nor philosophy, but armchair bullshit. Despite his profession, he succumbs to projecting himself on the society and the tendency, as a psy man, to find psy roots everywhere.

    He describes the problem corectly, but draws the wrong conclusion. israel has the common problems of every normal capitalist society: elite corruption, inequality, collapse of education. these problems cannot be tackled under 60 year murderous siege while the world funds its destruction. hell, the US cannot solve its own, and it’s the richest country and not under siege. that israel managed even what it has is a miracle–the US wouldn’t have been able to in its circumstances.

    strenger should read the article by spengler about the happiness index of israel. we don’t need lefties to tell us what the problems are, they are always wrong.

    Israel’s problems are real, not psychological. they sure create psychological problems, but that’s a consequence, not a cause.

  25. oao says:

    Whoops, 1st sentence should read: I wouldnt’s say SOME in Israel DON’T feel that way

  26. Zeph says:

    This is in response to the questions posed by justanotherindian and the answers given by Richard Landes,who,from what it seems, has erroneously assumed that the questioner happened to be an American Indian.

    The questioner was in fact referring to the city of Bombay-now known as Mumbai- in his first question.

    a) To answer the first question, as to the rights of the UN to “give a state to immigrants against the wishes of the inhabitants of the land, I would say YES, in the context of the given case, where the land you are referring to had become a UN Protectorate-under Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant, and thereafter a UN trusteeship under Chapter 11, Article73 of the UN Charter, which had stated the duration of the mandate as ““until such time as they are able to stand alone.“. The League and then the UN, for reasons which are beyond the scope of this discussion, had given the British the mandate over the land, that had devolved to them after the dissolution of the Turkish Empire which had been ruling the territory since the 16th century, in the same way Syria and Lebanon had been given over to French mandate. The pertinent section of Article 73 in the UN Chapter states the purpose of such trusteeship as follows:

    …. to develop self-government, to take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples, and to assist them in the progressive development of their free political institutions, according to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and their varying stages of advancement;…..

    So given that the UN and other state actors which exercised their dé juré powers, the same can only be treated valid under International Law.

    2) To answer your second question,the “vacation” of 2000 years that you are referring to was an imposed one which the Jews refer to as exile.It had been imposed on them by the Roman invaders who later renamed the territory Palestine, to spite the Jews by renaming their land with that of their mortal enemies.

    With respect to the genetic evidence you are referring to: having worked in the biotechnology industry for almost 20 years, I am yet to come across a haplotype which would identify the origin of a race to a particular geographic location. Although ancestry may be traced by means of Haplogroups, that is never a conclusive proof of geographical origins.The Sephardi Jews who constitute half of the population of Israel belong to the Haplogroup J2 which can traces its origin to a common ancestor more than 37,000 years ago, whereas the Palestinians belonging to the Haplogroup J1 are attributed to the spread of Muslims from Arabia to a more recent 6th century CE.

    Maybe this accounts for the Palestinian identification as Arabs-who arrived in the land you are referring to as invaders,inspired by the sermons of their prophet and spread the message of Islam- rather than as descendants of Canaanites-the inhabitants of the region before the arrival of the Jews.

    3) The Holocaust was the last and not the only act of genocide perpetrated on the Jews, if you are to discount Arab genocidal Wars that have followed the creation of the state of Israel.The only thing that has prevented the Palestinians from executing a large scale genocide against the Jews, is their lack of sufficient resources.From the war of 1948, when a majority of the so-called refugees fled from their homes,in response to calls by the invading Arab armies, so as to facilitate the full-scale slaughter of the Jews to the recent bulldozer terror attack in Jerusalem yesterday, the Palestinians have tried with all their might to massacre Jews.Given such a background, and the fact that there is something known as right of conquest, which was a principle of international law,until fairly recently, till the UN saw it fit to replace it with a guarantee in it’s charter to “territorial integrity”.Given that the UN,unless explicitly given the right to do so, by both parties of a conflict, has no right to determine the territorial limits of a nation, the only reasonable alternative is to accept the right of conquest that Israel exercises over the Palestinians.So to summarise, the victims of a genocide who happen to move to an unrelated “state”(which the British mandate of Palestine clearly was not) whose population had tried at every turn to commit genocide on them have every right to carve out a state from that territory both on the grounds of ethnicity as well as on the grounds of sound international law.

  27. E.G. says:

    oao,

    1. I’d give you half my kingdom, not just a break, but according to your reasoning, a certain Amira H., and another gideon L., as well as a few CNN (grand) reporters, for instance, should also have their credentials withdrawn. The Haaretz articles are translated into many languages, published regularly in pro-Palestinian media, and extensively cited by pro-Palestinian propagandists as ultimate sources (even Israelis say it’s bad etc.). At any rate, as far as I know, the governmental agency accredits any journalist belonging to an official media (in possession of an Intl. press-card – issued by the employer and/or the journalist’ syndicate).
    It’s not that I don’t share your feeling/appreciation about them. But Israel can’t behave like the P.A., can she? Already her status as a democracy is challenged by “Appartheid” accusations.

    2. Which brings us to the issue of guilt. I found Strenger’s article shallow and hardly fit for an academic. Apparently he forgot psych-101 notion of internal/external Locus of Control, or ignores its relevance. Moral issues are frequently raised and discussed by Israelis, often questioning the neccessity to restrain military force so as not to harm civilians “known” to be either used as more or less willing human shields or actually collaborating with terrorists. Or about providing shelter to African refugees, so as to avoid reproducing the World’s indifference to the Jews fleeing the Nazis… The high audibility of guilt-ridden Israelis should not be confused with the fact that most Israelis are guilt-free.

  28. oao says:

    a certain Amira H., and another gideon L., as well as a few CNN (grand) reporters, for instance, should also have their credentials withdrawn.

    i have the distinct impression that you think I would be against that. that would be incorrect. for the kind of unprofessional negligence, coverup which leasd to mass murder, and using the courts to stifle criticism the credentials should be withdrawn from ANY journalist. period.

    But Israel can’t behave like the P.A., can she? Already her status as a democracy is challenged by “Appartheid” accusations.

    So withdrawing credentials from Enderlin would be, in your opinion, tantamount to what the PA is doing?
    As to the accusations, she is accused no matter what she does; so if already accused, she might as well help herself.

    I found Strenger’s article shallow and hardly fit for an academic.

    That’s quite the rule, not the exception. It’s part and parcel of the collapse of education.

    The high audibility of guilt-ridden Israelis should not be confused with the fact that most Israelis are guilt-free.

    Exactly my point. As I said, Strenger has internalized the guilt propagated by the arab propaganda channeled through the western media and its elite and is projecting it on everybody else. Some psychologist.

  29. E.G. says:

    oao,

    you’ll end up sending masses of journalists to reeducation camps.

    So withdrawing credentials from Enderlin would be, in your opinion, tantamount to what the PA is doing?

    Not in my opinion but this false analogy is a typical shortcut made by uneducated people. At any rate, in my opinion it’s not a democratic state institution’s role to judge the journalistic quality of the reporters it hosts. A state can assess and contradict the accuracy of reports and, in Israel’s case, should do it better and more loudly. Then let the news outlets care for their credibility (see: Reuters/Lebanon fauxtography).

  30. Cynic says:

    in Israel’s case, should do it better and more loudly. Then let the news outlets care for their credibility (see: Reuters/Lebanon fauxtography).

    You’ve gotta be kiddin! And let the fox guard the hen house?
    AP is now using its lawyers to hound bloggers for quoting them, to shut them up. So who will be around to expose whatever credibility they may have?

    Democracy does not mean letting news personnel lie in the interests of the enemy, and this is a war, for the sake of Democracy.
    By the way by which standard do we judge Democracy?
    French, British (take a peek at their laws and compare them to Israel’s) or the US? Just as Nazism, Holocaust have been abused and watered down to cater as an expletive so too has Democracy been denuded of its character to apply it to any State one wishes to praise instead of malign.

  31. Cynic says:

    I meant to include another question to the above:

    Who is going to guarantee that Israel’s voice is heard however loud it may be? The BBC?

  32. Cynic says:

    … so too has Democracy been denuded of its character to apply it to any State one wishes to praise instead of malign.

    Should I have said: “Damn with faint praise” instead?

  33. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Distorted reporting is a problem everywhere, not only in/about Israel. And Israel should not, in my opinion, be the country that starts selecting its journalists (both local and Intl.) according to the contents of their reports.

    Israel should realize it’s a war and devote resources to winning it – not merely count on good Zionist souls in the Diaspora to do the job for her, on a more or less voluntary basis. And yes, a loud, clear and firm voice will be heard and seen on the BBC and Al Jazeera and France 2 etc. Selecting reporters a la Pravda/P.A. is neither the most appropriate nor the most effective way for Israel to fight this kind of warfare.

  34. Cynic says:

    And yes, a loud, clear and firm voice will be heard and seen

    especially if on discovering “Pallywood” France2 had its credentials withdrawn. Now that would be a loud voice, loud enough for the BBC “to have to” pay attention to and discuss on the airwaves especially if the video and forensics was displayed in the argument for kicking Enderlin out of the media circuit.

  35. oao says:

    it’s not a democratic state institution’s role to judge the journalistic quality of the reporters it hosts.

    we’re not talking about quality. we’re talking about faking news, covering it up and suing those who prove it was a fake. and the consequence was bloodshed.

    Democracy does not mean letting news personnel lie in the interests of the enemy, and this is a war, for the sake of Democracy.

    i wonder what e.g. would think if he lived in israel with the consequences of such acts. it’s easy to talk about democracy when you don’t suffer the consequences.

    Distorted reporting is a problem everywhere, not only in/about Israel. And Israel should not, in my opinion, be the country that starts selecting its journalists (both local and Intl.) according to the contents of their reports.

    bullshit.

    we’re not talking selecting journalists. we’re talking getting rid of those who are not. and israel is not “everywhere” and does not bear the same consequences– name another country who is in its situation. and we’re not talking distortion. see above

    Israel should realize it’s a war and devote resources to winning it – not merely count on good Zionist souls in the Diaspora to do the job for her, on a more or less voluntary basis.

    agreed. but we’re not talking relying on those. we’re talking about the incompetent, biased and negligent, who lie and use the courts to stifle their exposers.

    Now that would be a loud voice, loud enough for the BBC “to have to” pay attention to

    particularly since most foreign correspondents sit comfortably in israel and cannot be bothered to live/do their business in arab countries. let them cover from ramallah or damascus or cairo and see if they like it. their number would shrink fast.

  36. E.G. says:

    oao & Cynic,

    i wonder what e.g. would think if he lived in israel

    Enderlin lives in Israel, with his family. Good enough for you?

    And yes, we’re talking about quality – veracity IS a qualitative feature.

    we’re not talking selecting journalists. we’re talking getting rid of those who are not.

    Keeping some, getting rif of others – that’s selection.

    I stick to my opinion. As much as I’d like to see the Israeli or French Journalists’ union/syndicate condemn Enderlin and his likes and withdraw their press-card, it won’t happen. And, in Israel, it’s not only because of the guild instinct. The expression “I don’t agree with you but I’ll fight for your right to express your opinion” attributed to Voltaire is a lot more true for Israelis than for many Europeans. In Israel there is genuine freedom of speech. Change this – and Israel is changed. It’s like succumbing to terror – which is the worst thing that can happen to Israel.

    What I argue is that Israeli officialdom should (learn to) counter lies and falsifications effectively, and constraining journalists to an “official” line is hardly the most effective way of doing it.

  37. Cynic says:

    The expression “I don’t agree with you but I’ll fight for your right to express your opinion” attributed to Voltaire is a lot more true for Israelis than for many Europeans. In Israel there is genuine freedom of speech.

    That’s why I asked you, in an earlier post, to compare “Democracies”!
    As for Enderlin living in Israel so did Ilan Pappe, and like Enderlin appears to have done, approached the situation from a bitter vindictive approach. Pappe we know had academic problems amongst other things. As for Enderlin, he certainly didn’t apply honest and sincere appraisal to his broadcasting.

    Freedom to express oneself doesn’t imply the right to lie, twist, distort the facts. Interpretation of facts is one thing but when one acts in using it to aid in the lies and disinformation of the enemy then one is an accomplice and should pay the price. Let him go and sit in Ramallah and transmit from there.
    oao is correct in insisting on that interpreting “Democracy” to mean total anarchy is just plain stupid.
    We need to wake up to the fact that however much we have stretched evolution to evercome the survival instinct in our philosophical sophistry we are still basically animals and we can observe, if we open our eyes that is, that a greater number of bipedal animals on this planet still exist at the tribal/clan level and behave at that level which does not consider how nice we are but how weak or strong we are in the quest to exert their prominence.
    Just see what has happened with a Muslim Ahmadiya sect in Pakistan this last week. And while the Alawite sect rules in Syria see what they experience in Pakistan.
    Democracy is slung around like Nazi, Holocaust etc., and has become degraded in current discourse.

    Anyway no matter how much more democratic Israel is it makes no difference to the Europeans or your State Department (which has been Arabophile since the 1st World War) for that matter, so for Israel to get its message out, with the current MSM as it is, it is going to have to kick a little butt.

  38. E.G. says:

    Thanks Cynic,

    I didn’t exactly get your “compare democracies”.

    Anyway no matter how much more democratic Israel is it makes no difference to the Europeans or your State Department

    I didn’t and do not argue for Israel’s democratic appearance in the eyes of others. It’s the freedom of speech feature, first and foremost in the eyes of Israelis. Thant’s why I made the analogy with resistance to terror, since it’s an essential part of their backbone.

    Of course freedom of speech does not mean the right to lie. That’s why I place the responsibility on Enderlin’s corporation (like Pappe’s academic instances): it’s to their ethics code he’s bound to, and he breached it. Unfortunately he’s not alone, and his corporation acts as though there is a right say anything, including lies. “Exiling” him to Ramalla won’t change a thing (see: Amira Hass, Ilan Pappe).

    a greater number of bipedal animals on this planet still exist at the tribal/clan level and behave at that level which does not consider how nice we are but how weak or strong we are in the quest to exert their prominence.

    Sad smile. Indeed, I wish the Israeli authorities act strongly and intelligently – proactively when possible, and retroactively when necessary -to prevent or refute the distortions.
    I’m sure that if it were possible, Enderlin would have been sued. And we agree that Enderlin is not the only case. Therefore I suggest a broader strategy, not just a single butt-kick, that both suits Israel’s character and will achieve her aims more effectively.

  39. Cynic says:

    E.G.

    I got this from Pajamas Media comment:
    I live in Paris (I’m an American expat) and was recently amazed to see a television ‘documentary’ purporting to present the history of Zionism. The more I watched, the more the subtext of this little gem became clear: Zionism and the Jews are the root of the problems in the Middle East.

    The author? Yep, none other than the same Charles Enderlin who brought you the al-Dura affair.

    Maybe you have come across the documentary and can comment on it?

  40. Cynic says:

    That’s why I place the responsibility on Enderlin’s corporation (like Pappe’s academic instances): it’s to their ethics code he’s bound to, and he breached it.

    Then one has hit France2, so by kicking them into Ramallah they don’t stop free speech but make it clear that breach of ethics doesn’t result in a bloody nose for the other.

  41. Cynic says:

    I didn’t exactly get your “compare democracies”.

    If you lived in Britain you will have discovered, at least I did in the 70s, that an aspect of democracy only existed at Speaker’s corner in Hyde Park. Their defamation laws and others aren’t nearly as liberal as those of Israel or the US. And while their politicians (should be on at the Palladium instead of Westminster) can give voice to all sorts of rediculous thoughts the man in the street is cowed under the “laws of the Land”!
    As for France, well just having Chirac influence a court’s decision is enough to downgrade their model.
    Their Judiciary and media jump to the commands of the Govt. The media especially to the demands of the Elysee Palace (Spelling).
    Of course in many people’s minds democracy goes no further than one man, one vote.

  42. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    I don’t think I watched the documentary the PJM commentator mentions. But French media are full of such “gems”. It’s been going on for years, poisoning hearts and minds daily, varying only in degree, not in substance. Like the Guardian and the BBC, the IHT etc.

    France2 (as all “civil service” TV) is being restructured by the man at the Elysee and they’re aching and whining. There’s already a Martyr – a private chain’s star news presenter is out (a D. Rather who – among many other “glories” – ended up confessing he faked an interiew with Fidel Castro, and kept both his job and prestige).

    Yes, I’m aware of the superficial nature of many European democracies. And wouldn’t like the Israeli one to model them. I so often experience Speakers’ Corner with my Israeli friends.

  43. oao says:

    Enderlin lives in Israel, with his family. Good enough for you?

    nope. he was never a real israeli. he remains french to the bone.

    Keeping some, getting rif of others – that’s selection.

    if they are not journalists then by all means deselect them.

    I stick to my opinion.

    you have the right to be wrong.

    Pappe we know had academic problems amongst other things.

    I got my BA and MA at the University of Haifa, where pappe was teaching. UoH was constituted originally from some “educ” dept of Haifa municipality and most of the faculty at that time where not academics, but politicians who did not cut it in politics. pappe was one of them and they were all sad jokes. it took years until they retired, as having gotten tenure they could not be fired.

    I didn’t and do not argue for Israel’s democratic appearance in the eyes of others. It’s the freedom of speech feature, first and foremost in the eyes of Israelis.

    i don’t think you understood what I and cynic are saying. what freedom of speech will you have under sharia? or if you’re exterminated? in general there is conflict between high principles and unless you choose the optimal tradeoff, all of them can disappear. optimal tradeoff is a tough thing, yes, but disregard its necessity at your own peril.

    I wish the Israeli authorities act strongly and intelligently – proactively when possible, and retroactively when necessary -to prevent or refute the distortions.

    you still don’t get it. israel should, perhaps, do a better job at this, but if the world has decided it has no right to exist and the leadership has collapsed, it would not achieve anything.

    there is NO absolute, real democracy anywhere. in ancient times where it started it very quickly collapsed into tyranny or a weaker, but more pragmatic version of the concept. thus, despite the illusion to the contrary, history is a process away from democracy, not towards it, if you assess it from its start and thoroughly.

    america was far from a real democracy, it was just better in certain aspects than others. it is now severely tested and if i had to guess, it won’t get better but worse.

  44. oao says:

    hey, e.g.,

    http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2008/07/swedush-film-crew-instigating-violence-o/index.shtml

    see, there is free speech on the WB, the enderlins of the world can and should take their credentials there.

  45. E.G. says:

    oao,

    I hope the guys at Haifa U taught you a few more things than just express yourself aggressively. What authority do you have to judge one’s Israeliness? And since when is Israeliness a criterion for getting maimed or killed in a terror attack?

    No contemporary democracy is perfect (see: Churchill) but one important criterion is separation of institutions. With all the criticism vis-a-vis the Israeli High Court of Justice, it is independent. And you’d like it to rule on a matter that is clearly none of its competence? That would be very bad for Israeli democracy. Again, I stress it’s a matter of self-image (i.e. in the eyes of Israelis) rather than the image of Israel for the rest of the world.

    Except for Moslem courts, there’s no Sharia in Israel, so I don’t see why you bring it up (but thanks for worrying about my pre-exterminated status, I assure you I’ll live and die defending my rights). Freedom of speech is and has always been extremely important for Israelis. For them it’s vital. I adopt their position. If you think differently – it’s your right, but they – not you – bear the consequences, even if they’re not Israeli or educated enough to your taste.

    That Enderlin and his likes should be held accountable for their deeds is obvious in my mind. It may happen, either in Israel or in France, but the probability is very low. Israel should learn the lesson and apply the knowledge asap, according to her norms and habits.

    Like in this case:
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215330878035&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  46. oao says:

    What authority do you have to judge one’s Israeliness?

    At least I lived there and in two other systems (for comparative purposes) and I am a social scientist by background. What is yours?

    Look, I don’t think you’re getting the points, so let’s just agree to disagree.

  47. Eliyahu says:

    Indian is grossly ignorant of Israel’s and the Jews’ history of course. But even what he says is self-contradictory. If the Jews were exiled from their land 2000 years ago, why can’t they go back?? The Arab usurpers claim the “right to return” after 60 years. So if “2000 years ago” were correct [which it is not], then we have an Arab right established by length of time, even if the Arabs were conquerors/usurpers, etc. in the first place. So how long did it take for the Arab usurpers’ time in the land to establish a right of ownership superior to that of the exiled Jews??

    In fact, Jews have been in the land all along. The Arabs invaded in 634-640. Jews were a sizable part of the population then and up to the Crusades which massacred many or most of the Jews in the country. Jews were exploited and persecuted under Muslim/Arab rule from the beginning.

    According to Eusebios, the Christian historian and Church father, the Jews were only expelled from the Jerusalem polis which was made by Emperor Hadrian into the colonia of Aelia Capitolina. This occurred in 135 CE, which was 1762 years before the First Zionist Congress in 1897, not 2000 years. Jews were already a majority in Jerusalem by 1853, before Herzl’s birth, 44 years before the Congress. Now, as said, the expulsion was only from the Jerusalem polis, not the whole country; Arabs/Muslims always oppressed Jews in the country, starting with their conquest. Nevertheless, Jews always saw the Land as Jewish, as their possession, and made pilgrimage or even came to live in the Land when conditions allowed, etc.

    Indian ought to know that in India millions of people were displaced [made refugees] when Britain divided India and set up Pakistan to suit the Muslims. A researcher at a Pakistani international relations institute complained not long ago that Britain had cheated the Muslims. When the British came to India, he said, it was all controlled by Muslims. The British, when they left, should have restored it all to the Muslims, he concluded.

    Now I ask Indian, was it fair of Britain to set up a Hindu dominated state called India instead of giving it all to Muslims???? The same can apply to an international organization like the UN or the League of Nations.

    As to genetics, DNA research has shown that the Jews in general [Sefardim, Ashkenazim, Mizrahim] are close to Arabs genetically [haplotypes, etc], much as we might want to see a vast difference. But it is the Arabs who deny kinship with the Jews and Jewish rights in the land.

    What rights to the land do the Arabs deserve after having oppressed Jews since the 7th century and also having fought for the Romans in the wars which led to Jewish defeat, including the war [Bar Kokhba revolt] which led to the exile from the Jerusalem polis in 135 CE?? Again I ask, how many years had to pass before the Arab conquerors/usurpers of the Land became rightful owners?? Did they ever have the right to exclude Jews from coming to live in the Land??

    Does Indian grant the Armenians a right of return to parts of Armenia now in the Turkish republic [which are without any Armenians]?? The Armenian genocide took place from 1914 up to 1922. Have the Turks ruled those areas lost by Armenians long enough to deny any Armenian return?? What about the Greek areas around Smyrna [Izmir] and around Trebizond?? Do they still belong to Greeks [gone since 1922] or to the Turkish conquerors?? It is time for Indian to learn Jewish and Land of Israel history, as well as other peoples’ histories in the Middle East.

  48. E.G. says:

    oao,

    I don’t think your very respectable credentials are appropriate or authoritative enough to judge individuals’ Israeliness or Frenchness/Americaness etc.. I avoid making such assessments though, by your criteria, I shouldn’t.

    let’s just agree to disagree.
    Sure. I hope we also agree that debates can be held in a polite tone.

  49. oao says:

    depends on what you mean by polite. if you mean devoid of insults, agreed. but if you mean that I should not express my observations that somebody fails to understand, or is not sufficiently knowledgeable to take certain positions then i don’t. stating those things, particularly after attempts to back them up with logic and evidence, is statement of fact, not insult.

    I don’t think your very respectable credentials are appropriate or authoritative enough to judge individuals’ Israeliness or Frenchness/Americaness etc.. I avoid making such assessments though, by your criteria, I shouldn’t.

    thinking is free and every person’s prerogative. i think differently. which is why we agree to disagree.

  50. oao says:

    btw, i did not judge anybody’s “israeliness”. i only said that whether one lives in israel or not affects one’s certain positions. not the same thing.

  51. E.G. says:

    oao,
    re- your comment #50. See your comment #43.

    Polite (adjective): having or showing behavior that is respectful and considerate of other people.

  52. oao says:

    re- your comment #50. See your comment #43.

    i thought you were referring to my comments on you, not enderlin. with respect to the latter anybody who has a clue about the israeli and the french can opine.

    Polite (adjective): having or showing behavior that is respectful and considerate of other people.

    well, respect of opinions and ideas must be earned, it’s not automatic. i can respect you as a person, but in a debate i am not obligated to respect any opinion or idea you put forward.

  53. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Perhaps you didn’t stay long enough in Israel to recall some notions of “Sayings of the Fathers” (Pirke Avot). Talmudic debates were harsh and courteous. I invite you to meditate on one eminent Rabbi’s thoughts (chap.3):

    R. Eleazar, the son of Azariah, said, “Where there is no Torah, there are no manners (Derech Eretz); where there are no manners, there is no Torah: where there is no wisdom, there is no fear of God; where there is no fear of God, there is no wisdom: where there is no knowledge, there no understanding; where there is no understanding, there is no knowledge: where there is no meal, there is no Torah; where there is no Torah, there is no meal.”

  54. [...] think they delude themselves, and that they need to ask themselves what they love more: their own moral purity or an Israel which, for all its imperfections, towers over the depraved cultures that surround it [...]

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