Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Worth a Read 5.04.11

  • Historian Victor Davis Hanson in a post called "Kingdom of Lies" bemoans western double standards. And oh yes, he bashes Goldstone in there too:
The Goldstone Report, I thought when I first scanned it, was worse than most undergraduate research papers I have graded — and therefore I expected it to be praised by the international community. And it was until even the author, like the rare guilty undergraduate who confesses to plagiarism, wants his signature off the report. But then long ago I got used to Israel being damned by reporters, NGOs, and the UN and EU types as apartheidists, racists, imperialists, and Nazis in direct proportion to the fact that visitors to the Middle East usually prefer to go Israeli cafes, hotels, and hospitals. Reporting on the West Bank is a 10 AM-2 PM day job, with a commute back across the green line. Half a million Jews ethnically cleansed in the 1960s from Baghdad, Cairo, and Damascus were opportunists; half a million who fled to the West Bank twenty years earlier are still recently arrived refugees. But then I don’t know why Jerusalem is a divided city and Nicosia is not; or why the Kuril Islands or East Prussia are not similarly said to be “occupied”; or why the fence in Israel is worse than the fence in Saudi Arabia.
  • In another Goldstone post, Jessica Montell (B'teslem) makes a new point (but only in passing)  -
The Goldstone Report’s shortcomings contributed to a polarization that left little room to address the complexity of the issues involved. The Israeli army was either a gang of criminals or the most moral army in the world. Operation Cast Lead was either flawlessly executed or a crime against humanity. Goldstone’s op-ed presents an opportunity to break down these false dichotomies and generate a more nuanced understanding of the operation, both in the domestic Israeli discourse and among the international community.
  • Wolfish Musings asks if our torah is exactly the same as Moshes's. Quick answer, probably not. However some people need convincing. 
  • Can Women answer a Zimmun with men? An article in Hakdamot claims they can. Harav Gigi (Rosh Yeshiva in Gush) agrees, Harav Melamed (Rosh Yeshiva Har-Beracha) doesn't and Harav Meidan (Another Gush Rosh Yeshivah) is sitting on the fence. I've read the original article, and I recommend it as being thoughtful, and asking the right questions. 
  • When will there be a religious majority in Israel? 2030 according to Professor Sofer. (Who views this as a disaster)
  • Rav Shlomo Amar states that all psychic powers are false. This is in connection to the ever more popular Nir Ben Artzi. 
  • David Thomson on "Ignorant Teachers, a New Socialist Ideal": "Knowledge, competence and the ability to explain – none of these things will be needed in our socialist utopia. Children will simply inhale education or absorb it through osmosis. On reflection, a couple of the teachers at my old comprehensive were particularly unskilled at explaining their thinking and struggled to remember facts. At the time I had no idea this would soon be regarded as a cutting-edge educational strategy."

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