Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Pure de Jure

Two (related) worrying developments in the sometimes-civilised Israel:

  • First, a loyalty oath was approved by Netanyahu's cabinet for non-Hebrew citizens of Israel, requiring that they swear allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish, Democratic State". This has been floating as an idea in Israeli politics for some time, but the current hawkish government is schmuckish enough to have managed it.
  • Second, Israel has offered a "partial freeze" on settlement building if Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
What's the problem? The issue is - what does it mean to be a Jewish state? As westerners, we should reject the notion of states that strive to be ethnic homelands as civilised. We have enlightenment ideals - while states should be culturally engaged and may take some positions, preference should never be based on long bloodlines or faith - the notion of Israel as being "for the jews" is as disturbing as imagining an America "for the white christians". They show Netanyahu is not serious about peace except in the context of ugly chauvenism - "accept that this nation is for us, and maybe we'll stop spitting in your face with more land grabs". "Accept that this is our country, or you lose your citizenship and we conveniently make our democracy represent even fewer of the people".

We should not treat Israel as a fully civilised nation unless it acts like one. The Law of Return must end. The settlements must be up for consideration in a final agreement with the Palestinians. Israel itself must commit to not being an ethnic homeland. Until it does these things, the stench of racism should keep us uneasy.

Having a regular coffee. This is weird for me. Complexity: very high!

A few days ago, a moment of ill-judgement led me to drop my Android, and it has consequently developed some "character". Sigh. The screen is replacable for about $100, but I'm not sure I'd be happy going without my phone for very long - it's presently "ugly but usable".

There was recently a fascinating question on Ask A Biologist - 「Do Plants get Cancer」.

Some time ago, I managed to miss seeing 「Sita Sings the Blues」. Recently I discovered it to be free on Youtube, courtesy the author's anti-IP stances. Hooray! Check it out - it has won many awards and is worth your time (don't spoil me until I've seen it)!

Today I had to be at work early for a meeting with a campus housing administrator (for one of our projects). One of the things he mentioned was that starting this year, students don't seem to be bringing televisions into the dorms in any great numbers anymore. It must be interesting watching firsthand how these trends shift.

Tags: israel

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