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Bloggingheads 08-30-2010 09:26 PM

Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 

chamblee54 08-30-2010 11:18 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
You mention writing poems to each other in your fueding days. Do any of these poems still exist?
chamblee54

Ocean 08-30-2010 11:24 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Eli still doesn't know Wonderment's gender but he likes him.

Hussein isn't just smart and articulate. He is a clone. O-M-G!

Very good diavlog. Let these guys work out the peace agreement please.

JonIrenicus 08-31-2010 02:44 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 177326)
Eli still doesn't know Wonderment's gender but he likes him.

Hussein isn't just smart and articulate. He is a clone. O-M-G!

Very good diavlog. Let these guys work out the peace agreement please.

I heard the reports of wonderment being a guy.. but I don't know. "wonderment" is not the most masculine sounding name one could choose. So until I have proof it's up in the air.


The talk was very good and I enjoyed it. Want to hear the bits on Iraq right now, but oh well. I also sometimes wish there could be another person who could chime in to the conversation, I wonder what Peter would have said when he was mentioned, or what camp and approach he thought Peter took in particular.

Wonderment 08-31-2010 03:05 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Even after the lengthy discussion of all the paths that lead to becoming “pro-Hamas” – a term almost as loaded as Eli’s “JFH” (Jews for Hamas), and even after the affectionate and much appreciated shout-out from Eli, I don’t feel as though my POV on Hamas has been at all represented. It’s worth clarifying because I’m representative of many other peace and human rights activists, who deserve better than Hussein’s caricature of them as “Che Guevara” romantics and enablers/supporters of anti-democratic regimes.

Yes, Hamas is murderous, fanatical, misogynistic and anti-Semitic. But our dislike for them should not deprive them of a seat at the table, especially since Hussein’s roadmap to a peaceful resolution leads nowhere plausible without Hamas, except perhaps to Gazastan and Westbankostan in perpetual turmoil.

Additionally, factions just as bizarre and malevolent abound on the Israeli side, starting with the secularly racist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and continuing to the religiously racist Shas Party with several Knesset seats and cabinet posts, and of course, including the mixed fruits and nuts of the Settler movement.

But why am I even talking about a seat at the table when I don’t even believe there’s a table to sit at? The two-state "peace process" seems preposterous. Its stated goals are unachievable, the obstacles are insurmountable and, as Eli notes in his hardly exhaustive list, there are many ways the talks are likely to implode.

The short answer is that talking is better than shooting. Inclusive talks can do no harm, and as far-fetched as two-state is, it would be crazy to completely slam the door.

I must add that I’ve heard versions of Hussein’s five-minute solution several billion times over the decades. Fat chance. Buying two-state lottery tickets provide the mathematical possibility of getting very rich for a buck or two, but after decades of buying them I’ve decided I’m better off getting a real job for the long haul: helping to build a nonviolent movement for one secular democratic state.

Wonderment 08-31-2010 03:06 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

I heard the reports of wonderment being a guy.
Greatly exaggerated, no doubt.

basman 08-31-2010 03:52 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 177326)
Eli still doesn't know Wonderment's gender but he likes him.

Hussein isn't just smart and articulate. He is a clone. O-M-G!

Very good diavlog. Let these guys work out the peace agreement please.

Very good diavlog: I don't think so.

Superb would be more like it.

Ibish just knocked me out. It's impossible to listen to him w/o being overwhelmingly impressed.

And F.O.H.:what an amazing notion, what a conclave that must be.

Itzik Basman

JonIrenicus 08-31-2010 05:26 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 177330)
...
Yes, Hamas is murderous, fanatical, misogynistic and anti-Semitic. But our dislike for them should not deprive them of a seat at the table, especially since Hussein’s roadmap to a peaceful resolution leads nowhere plausible without Hamas, except perhaps to Gazastan and Westbankostan in perpetual turmoil. ...

This makes me wish I was some photoshop whiz, I'd find some random image of people hashing out differences, and in one "seat at the table" I'd shop this "side" in.

http://suvudu.com/files/mt-files/Cthulhu.jpg


Now am I comparing Hamas to Cthuhlu? Not really. But maybe a little.

Ocean 08-31-2010 09:19 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JonIrenicus (Post 177328)
I heard the reports of wonderment being a guy.. but I don't know. "wonderment" is not the most masculine sounding name one could choose. So until I have proof it's up in the air.

Why does a guy have to have a masculine sounding name? He has revealed his gender more than once. Perhaps you were not paying attention. Of course, he could be lying... but I wouldn't say that Wonderment lies. Not fair.

Ocean 08-31-2010 09:21 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 177331)
Greatly exaggerated, no doubt.

Send Shanti to testify. :)

Ocean 08-31-2010 09:31 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by basman (Post 177332)
Very good diavlog: I don't think so.

Superb would be more like it.

I got tired of saying "great diavlog!" when I like one. Besides, I enjoyed the discussion but I don't know enough about the intricacies of the conflict to evaluate whether their conclusions were appropriate. I'm glad you liked it.

I thought that Ibish has mastered Hitchens' quirks, twists and debating pirouettes without the extreme cynicism. Nice combo.

DenvilleSteve 08-31-2010 09:41 AM

Drudge reporting 19 soldiers killed in last 72 hours
 
At what point do democrats admit they don't know what they are doing? The economy is a complete mess and the debt is going to crush us. Once the first state drops out of the union the interest rate the treasury has to pay will skyrocket.

What is Obama trying to accomplish in Afg? Why are our soldiers being slaughtered over there? 19 killed in 3 days. What is the point of the Obama surge?

Regarding Israel/Palestine - America has to distance itself from that conflict, not get involved. The Muslim and Jewish tribes are going to fight each other for eternity. That is what tribes do. Esp in the setting of the ME where there are scarce resources and a rapidly growing population. Best for America to limit immigration and wall itself off from what is developing into a very turbulent world.

DenvilleSteve 08-31-2010 09:55 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 177339)
I got tired of saying "great diavlog!" when I like one. Besides, I enjoyed the discussion but I don't know enough about the intricacies of the conflict to evaluate whether their conclusions were appropriate. I'm glad you liked it.

the 15 minutes I listened to had no connection to the facts on the ground. Israel is not going to give up the WB. If they were so inclined, they would have done so by now. They fully understand that the occupation blocks the emergence of moderate leaders amoung the Palestinians. I think they are waiting for Jordan and Egypt to destabilize on their own accord. At that point they can justify moving all the muslims out of 1948 Palestine and into the neighboring lands. Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon will not be strong enough centrally to resist. And Israel will be able to say unless we move the Palestinians out, the unrest of the region will spread to Israel.

Sullen Raconteur 08-31-2010 01:26 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Another point that Hussein Ibish might have made regarding the two historians he discusses, Avi Shlaim and Benny Morris, is that they in fact substantially agree on the history of the conflict regardless of their political affiliations. Yet another work that Ibish might have brought up is Ze’ev Mao’z’s Defending the Holy Land. This is an invaluable book because all Ma’oz does is go through the published primary and secondary materials published in Hebrew and English and he comes to some conclusions that put Israel’s security history in a less than flattering light. And yes, Ma’oz too gives substantially the same history of the conflict as do Shlaim and Morris. And, if it matters to you, Ma’oz used to head the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies from 1994 to 1997, so he can hardly be called a leftist or anti-Israel.
But of course these simple facts stand directly in contradiction to Eli Lake’s unsubstantiated assertion that there is a substantial bias in the historiography of the conflict. Can he give an example? Can he give an example of a single work which substantial numbers of historians point to and say, well yes, that book gives a history of the conflict which makes Israel look a lot better than the general historical consensus, but we have to admit he knows his sources and he makes convincing counterarguments to the prevailing historiography. Who might this historian be, Eli?
Simply asserting bias and ideological polarization without recourse to facts simply will not do. Are the university disciplines of biology and geology and paleontology ‘biased’ against young earth creationism? Well, yes, I suppose they are. But I don’t think anyone would seriously argue that this is due to biologists and geologists being blinded by ideology. Why then do we allow this sort of nonsense when it comes Middle East studies and Middle East history? Similarly, we don’t usually hear such talk of ideological bias when it comes to the historiography of the Second World War or 19th century European Imperialism. And on occasions when we do, we usually ask for some examples.
Let’s hear some concrete examples of this bias Eli is talking about.

Florian 08-31-2010 02:04 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Da capo, bis, encore! I should probably listen to this informative diavlog a second time. By all means, let us hear more from Hussein and Eli on Iran and other topics. The voluble Eli needs a friendly enemy, as knowledgeable as Hussein, to prevent him from ranting and raving.

basman 08-31-2010 02:18 PM

Re: The Sexuality of Onederment
 
I am agnostic on, and indifferent to, his/her gender.

He/she is either a luftmensch or a luftfroy.

Either way, he/she's just as silly and is best refuted in the long interview of Ibish by Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic, which I posted here once some time ago.

That's all: now back to making a few dollars.

Itzik Basman

Wonderment 08-31-2010 03:14 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Why does a guy have to have a masculine sounding name?
You are pretty suspicious yourself, Ocean. El mar, la mere. Who can really say?

You might consider adopting a more fem screen name like Preppy McPreperson or BadHatHarry. Or there's always this commenter, or this one, but let's not go there.

Don Zeko 08-31-2010 03:19 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Thanks to the internet, I think we should come up with a new set of gender indeterminate pronouns. Any suggestions for a new word to mean he/she?

Ocean 08-31-2010 03:27 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 177370)
You are pretty suspicious yourself, Ocean. El mar, la mere. Who can really say?

You might consider adopting a more fem screen name like Preppy McPreperson or BadHatHarry. Or there's always this commenter, or this one, but let's not go there.


Isn't my avatar enough to disambiguate?

Ocean 08-31-2010 03:28 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 177371)
Thanks to the internet, I think we should come up with a new set of gender indeterminate pronouns. Any suggestions for a new word to mean he/she?

Minimal common denominator? "E"?

Example: E says es name is Wonderment.

Wonderment 08-31-2010 03:40 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Another point that Hussein Ibish might have made regarding the two historians he discusses, Avi Shlaim and Benny Morris, is that they in fact substantially agree on the history of the conflict regardless of their political affiliations. Yet another work that Ibish might have brought up is Ze’ev Mao’z’s Defending the Holy Land. This is an invaluable book because all Ma’oz does is go through the published primary and secondary materials published in Hebrew and English and he comes to some conclusions that put Israel’s security history in a less than flattering light.
The problem is that Israeli propaganda promulgated an "official story" (a myth) of the conflict that took several decades and a new generation of scholars to fully debunk.

It gets murky in public discourse because the Israelis are never going to admit to ethnic cleansing, nor is the popular imagination going to give up on other issues of the conflict that challenge the purity of the Zionist national heroes and their ideals.

How much does it all matter today? I think the more we can get away from revisiting old grievances (including the Holocaust and the Nakhba), the more likely the younger generations can learn to get along.

Have you seen the movie "Ajami?" It was nominated for a 2009 Oscar and is co-directed by an Israeli Arab and an Israeli Jew. Quite remarkable. A cast of non-professional actors reveals a very complex society of Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, Bedouins, secular Jews, IDF Jews, religious Jews caught up in the conflict but living it very much outside the box of academic theory and the usual cliches of Good Guys vs. Bad Guys. Two thumbs up!

Wonderment 08-31-2010 04:00 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Isn't my avatar enough to disambiguate?
I never knew you had an avatar here. Pero, ¡muy buena idea! I added mine.

Ocean 08-31-2010 04:01 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 177378)
I never knew you had an avatar here. Pero, ¡muy buena idea! I added mine.

Perfect!

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee 08-31-2010 05:29 PM

The reality of the Fayyad "institution building"
 
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...,3774703.story

basman 08-31-2010 05:33 PM

Re: he/she
 
S/he?

Itzik Basman: admittedly not original with me.

CHUD 08-31-2010 06:43 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Wow, so being a friend of Christopher Hitchens is such a big deal in elite circles that "FoH" is a necessary and widely understood acronym?

But a very good diavlog. I hadn't heard of Ibish before, but he was really great. Eli was excellent as usual.

bkjazfan 08-31-2010 07:44 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Hussein Ibish is a sharp guy and hope to see him on here again. However, I am quite skeptical that the powers in Israel would allow a 2 state solution. I just don't see that happening anytime soon.

John

alexanderf 08-31-2010 09:15 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Excellent. Just wanted to say i enjoyed it and i hope both parties are back soon.

AemJeff 08-31-2010 09:19 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bkjazfan (Post 177395)
Hussein Ibish is a sharp guy and hope to see him on here again. However, I am quite skeptical that the powers in Israel would allow a 2 state solution. I just don't see that happening anytime soon.

John

I'm not certain that many of the "powers" in the Palestinian territories would be any more accepting of that solution. Abbas may be an exception to that, but he represents an awfully weak "power."

Always Cynical 09-01-2010 02:44 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
As per the Jerusalem Post:

Shas Party Rabbi Yosef Calls for Palestinian Genocide

"Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this world," Rabbi Ovadia Yosef reportedly said during his weekly Saturday night sermon at a Jerusalem synagogue. "God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians."

Rabbi Yosef's order for Palestinian Genocide is all over the J Post, YNet, and Haaretz.

Eli Lake's comment on the issue: (crickets chirping)

bkjazfan 09-01-2010 08:41 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 177401)
I'm not certain that many of the "powers" in the Palestinian territories would be any more accepting of that solution. Abbas may be an exception to that, but he represents an awfully weak "power."

Agree.

John

Ocean 09-01-2010 10:34 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Always Cynical (Post 177421)
"Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this world," Rabbi Ovadia Yosef reportedly said during his weekly Saturday night sermon at a Jerusalem synagogue. "God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians."

Another sad example of the decay of religion. Organized religions continue to become radicalized, politicized, and filled with hatred and blood thirst. Intolerance is winning over any other precept. It's not surprising that secularism is badly needed if we want to survive the wrath of fundamentalism.

How many of the current wars are justified or rooted on some religious conflict?

rfrobison 09-01-2010 11:24 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 177438)
Another sad example of the decay of religion. Organized religions continue to become radicalized, politicized, and filled with hatred and blood thirst. Intolerance is winning over any other precept. It's not surprising that secularism is badly needed if we want to survive the wrath of fundamentalism.

How many of the current wars are justified or rooted on some religious conflict?

Ocean:

At the risk of stirring up a hornet's nest, I'm going to take issue with that. First, let me add a caveat. If you are speaking of forms of government, then I'm with you 100 percent. Secularism is the way to go because not only does it protect the rights of nonbelievers and religious minorities in a pluralistic society, it protects the right of believers to live out their beliefs without state interference. It is the nexus of Caesar and the Church, if you will, that is pernicious.

But to talk of religious belief wholly in terms of wars and man's inhumanity to man is to look at one side of the ledger only. Yes, wars are sometimes cloaked in religious garb. Yes, unspeakable barbarisms have been committed in the name of God and the gods.

But religious faith has also inspired countless works of art, music, literature, and though certain militant atheists would have people believe otherwise, science.

"How many wars are rooted in religion?" You ask. A valid question. Another is: How many acts of courage and compassion--care for the poor, the orphaned, the sick, the uneducated, the friendless--are inspired by it? How many of those persecuted by overweening states that seek to usurp God's authority have survived imprisonment, torture, maltreatment of every variety, sustained by nothing more than the power of their faith?

All of this leaves aside the possibility that one or more religions might actually be True in some metaphysical sense, or at the very least have truths to offer.

My point is simply this: People are sinners. Or, for nonbelievers, fallible. Religious faith, like any other tool, can be used for good or ill. A hammer can build or smash--but smashing isn't its purpose.

It is a primary task for believers to make sure the tool of faith is used to build up, and not to tear down. Perhaps it is the work of nonbelievers to keep us honest. But Hitchens and members of the "God Is Not Great" faction are missing something vital in the human spirit, I think.

Ocean 09-01-2010 11:59 AM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rfrobison (Post 177443)
Ocean:

At the risk of stirring up a hornet's nest, I'm going to take issue with that. First, let me add a caveat. If you are speaking of forms of government, then I'm with you 100 percent. Secularism is the way to go because not only does it protect the rights of nonbelievers and religious minorities in a pluralistic society, it protects the right of believers to live out their beliefs without state interference. It is the nexus of Caesar and the Church, if you will, that is pernicious.

Yes, I agree with that. Not stirring a hornet's nest yet.

Quote:

But to talk of religious belief wholly in terms of wars and man's inhumanity to man is to look at one side of the ledger only. Yes, wars are sometimes cloaked in religious garb. Yes, unspeakable barbarisms have been committed in the name of God and the gods.
Yes.

Quote:

But religious faith has also inspired countless works of art, music, literature, and though certain militant atheists would have people believe otherwise, science.
Agree, and in the past I have made that argument myself.


Quote:

"How many wars are rooted in religion?" You ask. A valid question. Another is: How many acts of courage and compassion--care for the poor, the orphaned, the sick, the uneducated, the friendless--are inspired by it? How many of those persecuted by overweening states that seek to usurp God's authority have survived imprisonment, torture, maltreatment of every variety, sustained by nothing more than the power of their faith?
The answer to my question isn't the answer to your question. Religiously inspired good deeds don't nullify the damage done in the name of religion.

Quote:

All of this leaves aside the possibility that one or more religions might actually be True in some metaphysical sense, or at the very least have truths to offer.
Let's leave that aside. That will stir the hornets.

Quote:

My point is simply this: People are sinners. Or, for nonbelievers, fallible. Religious faith, like any other tool, can be used for good or ill. A hammer can build or smash--but smashing isn't its purpose.
I agree with the general idea. And for the non-believer, the good and bad, ultimately always comes from us. It's driven by our primitive emotions, fear, greed and violence on the negative, and solidarity, altruism and compassion on the positive side. Religion is a powerful motivator. It's the ultimate goal. What can be more powerful than such which lies beyond life itself?

Quote:

It is a primary task for believers to make sure the tool of faith is used to build up, and not to tear down. Perhaps it is the work of nonbelievers to keep us honest.
Yes, that's a nice idea, in theory. The problem is, from my perspective, that religions keep relapsing in periods of corruption and decay when they become a tool for destruction and intolerance. Again, assuming that it's all coming from our own human fallibility, it seems that when those violent impulses which originate in a large number of grievances (territory, oppression, survival, hunger, tribalism) get channeled through religion it gets energized in a very destructive fashion. It may be that there is a central irrationality in faith itself which allows this fervor to arise. Religious morality and its mandates are prescribed in an authoritarian fashion. What "God" says can not be disobeyed. Those who become God's translators have the power to mobilize masses who will follow blindly.

Secularism, on the other hand, is based on rational discourse, not on faith. Its morality is revised and challenged as needed. It's a more mature form of morality. We own it and we have to take responsibility for it and its consequences.

The role of religion should be limited to one's own personal practice without any incursion whatsoever into political life (no wars in the name of religion, no legal precepts for religious beliefs, no exclusions, no crimes for religious reasons). But how do you do that?


Quote:

But Hitchens and members of the "God Is Not Great" faction are missing something vital in the human spirit, I think.
Perhaps such which is vital can exist without religion. There are wonderful aspects about human nature which can be cultivated without invoking divine intervention/inspiration. When I look at a piece of art like La Pietà I don't see a religious icon, but the beauty that humankind is capable of producing.

popcorn_karate 09-01-2010 01:06 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 177449)
When I look at a piece of art like La Pietà I don't see a religious icon, but the beauty that humankind is capable of producing.

you enjoy the fruit of religion while disdaining the tree that produces it.

you get no yin without some yang.

Whatfur 09-01-2010 03:07 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 177330)
Even after the lengthy discussion of all the paths that lead to becoming “pro-Hamas” – a term almost as loaded as Eli’s “JFH” (Jews for Hamas), and even after the affectionate and much appreciated shout-out from Eli, I don’t feel as though my POV on Hamas has been at all represented. It’s worth clarifying because I’m representative of many other peace and human rights activists, who deserve better than Hussein’s caricature of them as “Che Guevara” romantics and enablers/supporters of anti-democratic regimes.
...
.

Then again...and again...again. (Unwillingness to confront evil)

Always Cynical 09-01-2010 04:07 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
The question remains, Why did Eli Lake fail to comment on Shas Party Rabbi Yosef's call for Palestinian genocide?

And why have the bosses at Bloggingheads moved this thread off the front page of Lake's debate?

Bobby? Mickey?

Anybody care to offer an explanation?

Wonderment 09-01-2010 04:14 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

At the risk of stirring up a hornet's nest, I'm going to take issue with that. First, let me add a caveat. If you are speaking of forms of government, then I'm with you 100 percent. Secularism is the way to go because not only does it protect the rights of nonbelievers and religious minorities in a pluralistic society, it protects the right of believers to live out their beliefs without state interference. It is the nexus of Caesar and the Church, if you will, that is pernicious.
I don't disagree with many of your observations about religion; however, the problem in Israel is more complicated:

1) Racist religious parties like Shas (the one whose bloodthirsty leader Always Cynical referred to above) have enormous power within the government. They control large voting blocs and are widely represented in the Knesset and the Cabinet. However, since they don't get to become Prime Minister (so far), Israel can still ca point the finger at Hamas as theocrats while claiming to be secular themselves.

2) The Settler movement is also largely run by councils of racist, fundamentalist, armed-to-the-teeth rabbis, but again they are viewed as a minority within the "secular" government.

3) The Zionist movement itself is quasi-religious and originally had many of the aspects we ordinarily associate with cults, like a mystical belief in The Land, a belief in Destiny, a willingness to die and commit acts of terror for the cause, and the claim of a new "reborn" identity for members (almost all prominent Zionists changed their surnames from Scheinermann to Sharon, Grun to Ben Gurion, Mileikowsky to Netanyahu, etc. Indeed, Netanyahu's father, an openly racist scholar who's still alive, took on the name "Son of Zion" Netanyahu).

4) The entire enterprise of a "Jewish state," no matter how secular it claims to be, is suspect (as are Muslim states). If you're so secular, why call yourself Jewish?

5) Israel is the only "secular democracy" in the world that does not have civil marriage (thus forbidding intermarriage), that has religiously segregated public schools, that runs an Apartheid regime based on ethnicity in its occupied territories, that has a virtual Jews-only immigration policy, that has compulsory military service for Jews only and that has never permitted a non-Jew into the higher echelons of government or the military (despite non-Jews comprising 20% of the Israeli citizenry).

6) Finally (and I hope you're reading this far because this is probably the most relevant point to your post), in times of crisis, it's hard to draw the line between so-called secular and religious regimes in general. When secular governments go crazy, as I believe the USA did in its war on Iraq, they can easily shift into a religious-fervor mode that's ordinarily characteristic of religious zealots. Thus, the Bushies began to base their actions on a fanatical American Exceptionalism, and they alluded to a mission, the need to democratize the world by force, an Axis of Evil, etc.

Ocean 09-01-2010 06:47 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by popcorn_karate (Post 177457)
you enjoy the fruit of religion while disdaining the tree that produces it.

No, not a at all. The tree is humankind.

Quote:

you get no yin without some yang.
Yes, that's inevitable as long as you're in a dualistic framework. However, it can be applied to almost anything, so it loses specificity.

popcorn_karate 09-01-2010 07:18 PM

Re: Poetaster Edition (Hussein Ibish & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 177488)
No, not a at all. The tree is humankind.

humans inspired by religion produce things you like (art) and things you dislike (war). If you want to get rid of religion you will lose both kinds of fruit.

art and war will still exist of course, they just won't be inspired by religion. I find a lot of religiously inspired art to be truly amazing.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 177488)
Yes, that's inevitable as long as you're in a dualistic framework. However, it can be applied to almost anything, so it loses specificity.

i think the applicability and lack of specificity is the point : )

regarding dualism, it is a curious dualism in that it assumes that each side of a duality contains the seed of the other side of that duality, unlike the western versions of duality that are more exclusionary. I don't think it limits thought in quite the same way. But you know, its just one way of thinking about things that i find useful - i don't have any desire to proselytize about it or defend it.


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