Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rashid Khalidi Note also where it was published.
Dennis Ross has finally left the building. Since the Carter administration, Ross has played a crucial role in crafting Middle East policies that have prolonged and exacerbated the more than six-decade conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. His efforts contributed significantly to the growth in the number of Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories from well under 200,000 in the 1980s to nearly 600,000 today. It is in no small measure due to him that the two-state solution is all but dead.
Greenwald Why the Washington Post won’t fire Jennifer Rubin
That’s all fine as far as it goes, but what about the question posed by the reader: wouldn’t Rubin have been fired for promoting this hate-mongering had it been directed at Jews and Israelis rather than Palestinians? Pexton’s email response, published by the reader who emailed him, was this:
Off the record, I think it’s quite possible. But the ombudsman does not hire or fire people here. I only comment.
...What’s particularly remarkable is that Pexton is admitting (albeit wanting it kept secret) what any honest observer knows to be true: that there is a very high likelihood — I’d say absolute certainty — that Rubin would have been fired had she promoted a post like this about Jews and Israelis rather than Arabs and Palestinians.

But this is the insidious, pervasive bias that has long been obvious in a profession that relentlessly touts its own “objectivity.”
As always: there is no objectivity. There can never be a science that frees us from perception; we live by perceiving/perception necessitates politics. Any science of experience can only undermine experience as function and therefore is anti-political, but scientists are people and people are political. There can be no freestanding philosophy that does not respond to this conflict.

Democracy, or representative and divided government, freedom of speech and the press, adversarialism: all are founded on a realistic and general assessment of the requirements of a thriving political life; they are not the result nor are they chosen to fit the requirements of a mythological "value free" science. Science as a tool of scientists is political, but there can be no political science.

The dream of a science of history died a long time ago; political science and academic philosophy are the last of the academic and modernist ideologies of synchrony. Israel is the last modernist utopia.

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