Friday, February 12, 2016


  1. Here is a thought.

    If the price Americans paid for the slavery of Africans was freedom for Africans, the price of Arab-Muslim oppression of the Jews should be freedom for the Jews, i.e., sovereignty on Jewish land.

    This is a civil rights issue.

    1. Kate,

      "There is no analogy."

      Nonsense. The analogy is hardly perfect, but it is obviously not non-existent.

      Just as for centuries Africans in the Americas were slaves, so for thirteen centuries Christians and Jews were a much persecuted minority under Arab-Muslim imperial rule as dhimmis.

      That's the point.

      "There is no civil rights issue."

      I see.

      You do not believe that Jewish rights to property in Judea represents a civil rights issue. I suspect that Caroline Glick would disagree with you.

      "America practised slavery. Then it abolished slavery. Then there was segregation and discrimination."


      So, let me get this straight. First America practised slavery and then it abolished slavery. Huh. And you are suggesting that afterward there was segregation and discrimination. Gee, I had no idea.

      What happened then?

      "It didn't free "Africans" it freed people whose ancestry was African who were to become "African-Americans."

      Oh, OK, you're right. The US freed Americans of African descent... except for the ones born in Africa.

      What is the point of this hairsplitting?

      "When the Civil Rights Act was passed, it didn't give those people " sovereignty" it gave them civil rights".

      Again, Jewish rights to property in Judea and Samaria represent issues of the civil liberties of the Jewish people on our ancestral homeland.

      And, yes, I have gleaned that African-Americans did not gain sovereignty in the United States after LBJ's passage of the Civil Rights Act.

      What kind of fucking idiot to you think that you are talking to?

      "Jews were not slaves."

      Ya don't say?

      No, we were merely servants and a persecuted minority whose numbers were kept at an absolute minimum by a much larger hostile power over the course of thirteen long centuries who gave us no rights to the courts, who made us ride donkeys rather than horses, who refused to allow us to rebuild synagoues, and who could kill us free-of-charge strictly for the hell of it.

      But enough of this mierda.

      I do not mind disagreements, but I would much prefer them to be around central arguments... not the random picking at nits of off-the-cuff comments.

    2. Mike,
      I'm sorry that what I wrote has caused such antagonism. Perhaps I expressed myself badly.
      I was responding to the idea that there is an analogy between America's history of slavery and the Arab/Muslim countries history of their treatment of Jews and the notion of moral obligation arising from that.
      That is the analogy you suggested.
      The reason I don't think the analogy stands up is this:
      America came to the understanding, culturally, socially, and politically, that part of its history was egregious. That its treatment of people who had been brought over as part of the slave trade, and their descendants was morally unacceptable. America came to that conclusion and felt it had a moral obligation to change. And to, eventually, offer full civil rights to those people. You used the word "price" to describe that.
      The Arab/Muslim countries had no such realization about their treatment of Jews. There was no belief that they had acted egregiously, or that they had to change. They did not offer full civil rights to their Jewish minorities. Most importantly, they did not reach any conclusion that they had a
      moral obligation to Jews, in any way. Let alone that Jews should be given the right to self-determination.
      America wished to give civil rights to people it had treated with discrimination.
      Arab/Muslim countries did not.

      I don't think this is "nitpicking" as it was a response to a particular thought about a particular analogy.
      We were not discussing central arguments, it was a very specific point.
      Israel doesn't exist because of how Arab/Muslim countries perceived their own history.
      They have always opposed its existence.
      America came to its own changed understanding of itself and acted through legislation accordingly.

      One can say that wherever people are persecuted, that there should be some sort of moral obligation to make things right.
      Jews were certainly persecuted and discriminated against in the Arab/Muslim world. Of course. But where I do not see the analogy is that the Arab/Muslim world, unlike America, never felt any responsibility for that.

      That was the point I was trying to make.

      I am not sure whether one part of your comment refers to the case for Israel's existence, or the case for Jews living in property in a particular part of the country. That is the part where you mentioned Caroline Glick.
      When I said it was not a civil rights issue, I meant that civil rights are granted to people living within a particular state or polity. Of course Jews in Israel should have civil rights, but those rights can only be granted them by the state they live under.
      I was addressing a very particular point that you made in drawing an analogy. I did not feel the analogy was useful. I'm sorry if it has caused any confusion.

    3. Kate,

      I apologize for getting sarcastic with you. That was inapropriate, especially toward one of the best friends that this blog has ever had.

      In any case, although we agree that the analogy is far from perfect, my argument is very simple.

      Just as African-Americans lived under circumstances of oppression and, thus, required their freedom, so the Jews lived under circumstances of oppression under Muslim rule and, therefore, likewise required their freedom.

      Of course, African-Americans were never going to receive sovereignty within the United States, but they did not need sovereignty to attain their freedom. What they needed was their civil rights.

      The Jews were never going to gain civil rights under Arab rule and therefore sovereignty was, and is, the only option toward Jewish freedom in the Middle East.

      In any case, sorry for getting pissy. It was absolutely not your fault.

    4. All fine!
      Apologies if I expressed myself badly.

  2. If Pluto has been demoted from ninth planet to a mere asteroid what do we name the new ninth planet which has been detected even further out and consists entirely of gas and wind?

    May I suggest "Mickey Mouse"?

    1. Cute.


      Actually, I was up at Chabot Space Center observatory this evening and looked through those massive scopes at the moon, the Orion Nebulae, and a particular star cluster.

      This stuff is just fascinating, but I am just a beginner's beginner looking at the moon.

  3. "consists entirely of gas and wind?"

    "Chomsky" works for me.