"Israel!" "Is Not!"

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Steve Evil
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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby Steve Evil » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:31 am

Well Lori, if I might pop in,

"eugenics" is not necessarly the same thing as "genocide", though it often leads to it. I took a whole course on eugenics back in University (it was more interesting than you might think). Eugenics was the idea that human beings could be improved through genetics, mainly in the form of selective breeding (though not limited to that). Everyone subscribed to it at one point. Right and Left, religous and secular, democratic and totalitarian, everyone toyed with the idea until a certain political party to it to its logical conclusion and it suddenly stopped looking like such a hot idea.

Any time community leaders start worrying about the "purity" of their flock, eugenics is sure to follow. "You are pure, but YOU are not! You are a citizen based on your blood, but YOU are not! You are good enough, but YOU are not!" It's an ugly idea all around.

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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby David Loftus » Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:59 am

> "eugenics" is not necessarly the same thing as "genocide"

Quite so. Forced sterilizations, which were practiced at times in the U.S. upon blacks and the mentally disabled without their consent and even knowledge, are a form of eugenics that is not genocidal.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Lori Koonce
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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby Lori Koonce » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:12 pm

Steve Evil wrote:Well Lori, if I might pop in,

"eugenics" is not necessarly the same thing as "genocide", though it often leads to it. I took a whole course on eugenics back in University (it was more interesting than you might think). Eugenics was the idea that human beings could be improved through genetics, mainly in the form of selective breeding (though not limited to that). Everyone subscribed to it at one point. Right and Left, religous and secular, democratic and totalitarian, everyone toyed with the idea until a certain political party to it to its logical conclusion and it suddenly stopped looking like such a hot idea.


Steve

Whether it's through genetics, or the methods that Hitler used, it seems to me that Eugenics penultimate goal is the removal of certain types of people from the face of the earth.

After finishing the article that Mark posted, I still walked away with the feeling that this isn't quite what is going on. Most every religion on the planet has "guidelines" an rules for what constitute a "real" believer. And if you choose to follow those guidelines, you are a believer.

No one is making people convert to Conservative Judaism just to stay alive. It's the choice you have to make if you want to be an Israeli. And I don't know many people who are flocking to do that.

Anyways, that's just my two cents. We'll have to wait and see how it all pans out!

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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby markabaddon » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:14 pm

Lori, not much really to add that Mssrs. Evil and Loftus have said

To elaborate on Mr. Evil's point, the idea of racial purity is the aspect that bothers me the most in this little drama. I have encountered a number of Jews who feel that they are "more Jewish" than me because they obey the laws of kashrut (kosher) or go regularly to synagogue or follow a particular holiday more strictly than me. This viewpoint is by far in the minority, but if I were to ask a Hasidic Jew if he considered me Jewish the answer would almost certainly be no.

Letting zealots like that control who is or is not considered Jewish may hasten the end of a culture over 5,000 years old (and that end may come in 2 generations, anyway, as synagogues swindle in their membership numbers and fewer people identify themselves as Jews)
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby markabaddon » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:21 pm

Lori, just saw your last posting and allow me to clarify further. Opinions on this differ, and we will certainly need to see how this plays out, but the udnerlying message from the ultra-orthodox sect is not just that you have to be one of them to be an Israeli, but that if you do not follow their belief system (far more stringent than my own) then you would not be considered a Jew.

Now, is that the same as the methods Hitler used? Of course not. However, there are hints of it within the article, especially with the son of a convert who was not allowed to marry in Israel. The idea of having guidelines for being a Jew is not one that is present anywhere within the Talmud, Midrash or Gemara, other than to be born of a Jewish mother or to convert to Judaism (which ain't an easy process even in the Reform tradition).

I do enjoy talking about this stuff, so feel free to ask more questions or disagree with me
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:29 pm

The ivory tower should have no power over anybody. Call it religion, call it cheese. The people who heft the bricks have the power because without them there is no tower, there is no bell and there is no doomsy toll of bell.

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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby markabaddon » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:44 pm

Also, Barber, you and Ez can deal with the troll, I think most of the rest of us have had enough of him. If that leads to some non-sequitor postings, then so be it
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:09 pm

Like white noise. :roll:

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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:05 pm

Hitler's racial "theories" had nothing to do with genetics about which the Nazis knew absolutely nothing. One of the clear findings coming out of the human genome project is that the concept of "race" simply has no biological basis whatsoever. (Racism is still with us unfotunately.)

But there is no reason to suppose that human beings couldn't be consciously modified genetically. After all nature has been doing it to us unconsciously for millions of years (natural selection) and we've been doing it to other animals and plants consciously (artificial selection) for tens of thousands of years.

Of course the nightmare image of "breeding" human beings comes up but if you could genetically modify human beings against propensities for genetic diseases like Alzheimers or Muscular Distrophy or even to prolong life span, wouldn't you want to do it?

The days are fast upon us when our knowledge of human genetics will literally give us the power to control our evolution. Better that thoughtful people, free of hysteria, think through these things than to leave it to the goobers and the nabobs.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:14 pm

Science is morally neutral. There has to be a moral code before any science that changes man's origin can be dealt with. That turns us back to religion, which is unsuitable for this thread.

-------

Amira Hass said that when someone is under occupation moral rules are slightly different. Israel also broke the ceasefire first, so any rocket that fell is a response to the breaking of the deal. A crime is a crime, but context plays the cards as well.

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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby Moderator » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:41 pm

Science is morally neutral, true. The morality comes into play with the way we apply scientific knowledge.
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Lori Koonce
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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby Lori Koonce » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:42 pm

Just one question Mark....

You meant to say dwindle, not swindle right? I didn't think jews swindeled each other like us christians do.

I'm sure I'll come up with more as this plays out.

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Steve Evil
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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby Steve Evil » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:37 am

There is no doubt human beings can be genetically manipulated. We should be very careful however before stepping into that territory. There is some evidence to show that generations of selectively breeding dogs for example has significantly reduced their lifespan.

(We're getting a bit off-topic here, but it's fascinating all the same).

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FrankChurch
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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:35 pm

There's a wonderful article in the Wilson's Quarterly, a center-right journal, very elite journal. In it an Israeli jewish woman lives in an Israeli arab town talks about how the people are treated as second class citizens, even though they supposedly have equal voting rights. She mentions polls where huge amounts of Jewish people refuse to live next to arabs, how they even want Israeli arabs to be expelled. But she is fair and also mentions that forty one percent of Israeli arabs deny the holocaust.

She also mentions that arabs there are soft on honor killings, a really bad sign. Even young arabs are soft on honor killings. Remember, these aren't Palestinians, these are Israeli arab citizens. Most of this stems from the second class status and racism of Israeli Jews--doesn't excuse it, by the way.

Israeli officials have been changing road signs, taking off arabic wording. Israeli arab music artists can't get their cds in Israeli malls. Even the weatherman reported a day of rain, not mentioning the fact that a major Arab/Druse holiday was on that day.

The arabs expect to be expelled soon but refuse to leave, rightly. Obviously this means that internal strife is another ugly component to this whole ugly mess.

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Re: "Israel!" "Is Not!"

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:57 pm

Oh, oh:

http://counterpunch.org/cook08022010.html

Why doesn't Netanyahu kick this guy out of the country? Our media is avoiding this story--obviously. Maybe Bibi agrees with him somewhat.


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