Wednesday, October 31, 2012

note taking/posted (by me) elsewhere.  old wine in new bottles.

The Monkey Cage: "Do Israel and the United States Share Values?"

Short answer: No
Peter Beinart: "I'm not asking Israel to be Utopian... I'm not even asking it to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state. I'm actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel's security and for its status as a Jewish state."

Beinart's not talking about what Israel became, but about what it's always been; discrimination is at the foundation of the state.   So how can ethnic nationalism ever be liberal? If it's liberal for Jews, why not for blacks? Why not for Germans?   The Palestinians' situation isn't new. Why these earnest questions now and not in 1973? Compare the NY Times in 1947 to what it became.

There is no text without subtext. The rhetoric of value free science elides subtext it doesn't eliminate it.

There are no lines separating the beliefs of the American people, politicians, and college professors. We're all the products of our culture.  If you want to talk about the relation of American and Israeli values you have to talk about the history of immigration to this country (and specifically of Jews in the late 19th century) and about mythology, even your own.

The Palestinians exist now more fully -more three dimensionally- in the American imagination than they ever have. They're no longer just ideas or subject to a blind spot. The shift is similar to the shift in the public presence of Jews, blacks, other minorities, women, and homosexuals.  People who were talked about now speak.

Change happens. Ideas are the product of events, not as you would have it the other way around.
Pressman's response and mine; and another by me to someone else.
--Seth I have a lot of reactions but for the sake of brevity, let me just offer one: I see the place of Palestinian issues in the American imagination as a very different place than that of, for example, LGBT issues today in that same American imagination.

--Who led the the fight for LGBT rights? Who led the fight for the rights of blacks and women? Who led the fight for the Jews? Who led the struggles against colonialism? And who leads the fight for Palestinians? The answer is the same in all cases: themselves.
"From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia."
Who were they? And why would it seem more likely that the author would be named “Pankaj Mishra” and not “John Smith”?

Liberal Zionism is an oxymoron. There really isn’t an argument otherwise, at least logically, and yet the phrase has never gone out of use.
Any argument beyond that point I’ll leave for elsewhere.

--That Israeli Jews are now willing to accept the cultural model of Apartheid is a function of the past unwillingness of self-described liberals (Israeli and Zionist) to admit that they followed already the cultural model of Jim Crow. That blindness has led to other irrational assumptions and actions. A new awareness is being forced upon the Zionist consciousness by outside forces: the Palestinians themselves. Globalization is expanding, Israeli society is blending, and the blending itself is causing the crisis. This is how change works its way, always. As one state or one of two, the state now defined to give preference to Jews will become a multi-ethnic democracy. The only question is how long that will take and how messy it will be.

Exceptionalism as an intellectual model, American, Israeli or academic (economic, philosophical, or political “science”) is based on a fallacious understanding of language and history.
The professionalization of intellectual life.
Cognitive dissonance, two posts by Brian Leiter
"as philosophy migrated closer to the sciences in the Anglophone world over the last fifty years…"

"Why the New York Review of Each Other's Books Asked Freeman Dyson to review a popular work on philosophy is far from obvious"

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