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July 23, 2006


Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the only country today founded specifically for people of one religion: Israel? We know the hugely compelling historical reason for this. Still, sometimes it is hard nowadays, with the benefit of hindsight, (as my friend Dan Lazare argues) not to think that this sort of thing is a bad idea.

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at July 23, 2006 3:41 PM


Thank you for having the courage to say that publicly. Can't have been easy to do.

Cf a story in the NYT today about young Lebanese, various religious/ethnic backgrounds ... it gave me pause, and a qualified flicker of hope, that there's a generation coming of age unwilling to place all of its future in religion and the repetitive violence done in its name: "I am part of a generation that does not think along the lines of Christians or Muslims," said a 23-yr-old journalist whose 'prominent anti-Syrian campaigner' and newspaper-publisher father was assassinated last December...


Posted by: JM at July 23, 2006 6:37 PM

Perhaps you haven't heard of Christian Jews...?

Posted by: Prof Dave at July 24, 2006 2:04 PM

'Christian Jews' notwithstanding, it's all moot, apparently: Paula Zahn 'reported' tonight as a 'developing story' (!) how we could be entering 'the end time' and quoted the 'Rapture' website's 'index' as a source in addition to having a panel discussion and a report by CNN's 'faith and values' correspondent. Geez, Mitch, you either better stop your bloggin' and finish this book fast so your readers won't be left behind, or be prepared for you and your publisher to be subject to god only knows what kind of abuse. Or maybe both.

Un-f***ing-believable. Gosh, I miss Joe Strummer.

Posted by: JM at July 24, 2006 8:59 PM

Israel was founded for the remnant of a group of people persecuted thru history, all over the world. It is populated by and large with secular 'Jews', (religiosity was not a prerequisite of persecution, just heredity), and also has a number of non-Jewish citizens. Self determination is as much a cause for its founding as freedom from religious persecution.

Posted by: Mike at July 27, 2006 1:23 PM

well said Mike. Thaks

Posted by: tom at July 31, 2006 4:07 PM

Yes, very much like Gypsies, what you say is true. BUT, it was the Germans and their allies that perpetrated the holocaust. And it was the democracies in Europe and the USA that looked away until it was too late. The moral injustice was only compounded by the creation of Israel in Palestine. The Jewish people should have first been given back everything that was stolen from them and then part of Germany as their state.

The injustice done to them was only rolled down the hill onto the least able to protect themselves.

Now Israel has created pogroms in Gaza and the West Bank. In a very real and terrible sense they have become to the Palestinians what the Germans were to them.

Let us not forget they have nuclear weapons and the biggest, strongest military in the Middle East. Would their use of such weapons be morally superior to their neighbors'?

Now the Bush Co. believes we should keep the killing going until a permanent solution is reached. Which, of course, means no solution ever. Humans are terrible animals.

I'm sure someone will tell me now why I am full of shit.


Posted by: Jay Saul at July 31, 2006 5:16 PM

Let's not forget that the western allies created the state of Israel after WW 2 not only out of some sense of covering their own complicity with the forces in Germany and elsewhere in Europe that contributed to everything that goes under the name of 'The Holocaust' -- Germany is hardly alone in its history of anti-semitism and it was western philosophy that provided the foundations for fascism and racial theories leading to that particular genocide. The economic and military interests of the West were no small factors in the creation of Israel, either, were they ?

Posted by: JM at July 31, 2006 10:11 PM

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