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Thread: Zionuts

  1. #751
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    You're having the Trump discussion from 2016/2017 again.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  2. #752
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Not too far off the truth.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  3. #753
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Agreed, which is why it's so interesting to see the other side of the discussion hasn't changed much.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  4. #754
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    It's also ironic to see people who've long complained (for legitimate reasons) about Israel being held to a different standard now holding Israel to a different (much lower) standard. I don't really see much of a difference between the intentions of Netanyahu, Orban, Kaczynski, Duterte, and Modi (Putin and Erdogan are a step ahead in the autocracy game). The main difference is the strength of institutions and political opponents. None respect the law. None have clear ideologies. All turned to nationalism when they realized its effectiveness. All know that an independent media and judiciary are the main checks on their power, which is why all try to discredit or dismantle those institutions. It's easy to view someone like Netanyahu through the lens of his earlier political career. But that would be as much a mistake as viewing Orban today through the lens of his earlier politics.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  5. #755
    Loki, as usual lately I don't have time to give you a reply that does the issue justice, but your points are worth discussing so I'll take a brief stab at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I think our disconnect is that I look back at the early politics of, say, Herut vs. Mapai, or the self-defeating culture wars that Shas/UTJ/etc. have been embroiled in for decades, or any number of other fissures in Israeli politics and society - and I don't really see a difference of kind, just perhaps a difference of degree. It's easy to look back and romanticize the past but there were plenty of parliamentary shenanigans in the past, including a flagrant disregard for the rule of law and prioritization of party/tribal affiliation over sound policy. It's how people work. In this historical context, there aren't many norms being broken, just a really bad confluence of political forces that have exacerbated an existing issue. That doesn't mean we should ignore it - I firmly agree that Israeli governance should revolve around policy and not politics - but it means that the specific critique of the current government as being the end of Israeli democracy as we know it is simply ahistorical.

    There are at least two forces in Israeli society that have acted as bulwarks against some of this tribalism. The first is a set of functioning institutions, ones that have grown in power and independence in recent decades (notably the judiciary, press, and NGOs, and a lesser extent the bureaucracy). The second are savvy voters. Voters in Israel (and in Palestinian territories, for that matter) have an extraordinary amount of political awareness compared to your typical democracy (not that Palestine is a democracy, but you get my point). They are well aware of the bullshit posturing that is routine in the Knesset and are fairly savvy voters. The reason Netanyahu has done well in the polls has very little to do with these throw-away culture wars and a whole lot more to do with the utter collapse of the left in Israeli politics following the collapse of the Oslo process in 2000 and the disaster of the disengagement in 2005. Coupled with the perception that Netanyahu is a capable steward of the economy (largely stemming from his time as finance minister), Israelis vote for him not because they particularly like him or his brand of bullshit, but because they think the alternatives are unpalatable. This isn't to say that there isn't a core group that is, say, racist and would support policies that are in sharp contradiction to Israel's founding democratic values. But when Netanyahu is catering to them, he's essentially stealing votes from other right wing parties like Lieberman's or Bennett's. This doesn't increase his share of the pie appreciably (if anything, it probably turns off some moderate voters), but it just increases his clout in coalition negotiations with the perennial kingmakers in the center and center right.

    It's also easy to frame everything here as centered around Netanyahu, when that's explicitly not true. A lot of these bills are the darlings of prominent MKs who are jockeying for position ahead of party primaries - people like Ayelet Shaked or Robert Ilatov who have their eyes on eventual leadership of their respective parties. It's a problem the world over, where the leadership and candidates of a party are generally chosen by the most dedicated (and often polarized) supporters of a party, and Israel is no exception. But I doubt that Netanyahu has much interest in most of these bills other than as a useful political circus. He's almost certainly more interested in, say, the 'police recommendations bill' that would protect him, to a large extent, from prosecution for his corruption investigations (if it ever passes in a form that would actually help him). Or perhaps his (largely failed) attempt to gain political control over the state broadcaster.

    My point is that norms are important, and I deplore the usual circus in the Knesset. But I am not in any way convinced that this is an unusual circus.

    There's also the fact that Israel has abandoned its historic role of condemning anti-Semitism and provides legitimacy to anti-Semitic rhetoric and policies in Europe, as long as they come from populist wannabe autocrats (like Orban).
    This, while not really in any way connected to whether or not Israel is descending into illiberal democracy, is actually a very good critique. Israel has a long history of compromising its global stance on e.g. antisemitism for short term gain - ever since they accepted reparations payments and weapons from Germany it's been a common thread. Israel was responsible for funneling all sorts of weapons and support to Iran in the 80s, they made some very dubious overtures to the Soviets at various points, and of course in recent years they've been chummy with the Gulf nations that are responsible for sponsoring virulently antisemitic propaganda and indoctrination around the world. The basic commonality among all of these, however, was that Israel was getting something concrete - weapons, money, covert assistance, geopolitical advantage - in exchange for this compromise of their values. I'm far less convinced that making nice to a bunch of small Eastern European nations will yield anywhere near that kind of benefit.

    Lastly, I'm reluctant to take seriously anyone who says that B'Tselem is far left and repeats the canard that people criticize Israel's behavior only because they haven't lived under the same conditions, a strange claim to make when directed at Israeli human rights groups. The whole war against NGOs, especially trying to paint them as foreign entities, is basically a copy of Russia's policy.
    I think in the spectrum of Israeli politics, B'tselem would indeed be considered far left, at least today. Probably most closely aligned with Meretz. And it's hardly new for Israeli governments to clash with NGOs with which they disagree. Some of the vitriol directed at them is sharper nowadays, and I agree it is probably a bad idea. But their essential freedom to operate has not been impeded. If anything, essential organizations like Yesh Din get a lot more traction today than they did, say, 20 years ago. And I think there's a big difference between organizations like Yesh Din and B'tselem which are generally respected even if their recommendations don't get much support, and NGOs like Breaking the Silence which are seen as unaccountable.

    I'm not sure I saw, however, where the article made the claim about people who haven't lived under the same conditions as Israelis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    It's also ironic to see people who've long complained (for legitimate reasons) about Israel being held to a different standard now holding Israel to a different (much lower) standard. I don't really see much of a difference between the intentions of Netanyahu, Orban, Kaczynski, Duterte, and Modi (Putin and Erdogan are a step ahead in the autocracy game). The main difference is the strength of institutions and political opponents. None respect the law. None have clear ideologies. All turned to nationalism when they realized its effectiveness. All know that an independent media and judiciary are the main checks on their power, which is why all try to discredit or dismantle those institutions. It's easy to view someone like Netanyahu through the lens of his earlier political career. But that would be as much a mistake as viewing Orban today through the lens of his earlier politics.
    I'm not really sure what lower standard you think I'm holding Israel to. I think that those laws the Knesset passes that are explicitly problematic (such as the outpost bill, which is likely to be struck down by the Supreme Court), or those issues that are genuine abuses of power by Netanyahu (notably Case 2000 and the attempted takeover of the state broadcaster) are real issues that should be criticized as dangers to Israeli democracy, values, and institutions. But most of the rest that gets people worked up is, well, noise.

    I think that the difference between Netanyahu and at least some of the others you mention (I frankly don't have a good handle on all of their stories to state a general rule) is that he personally couldn't care less about nationalism or illiberal democracy. What he cares about is his own political survival in an increasingly hostile environment. He's the subject of a bunch of different police investigations, and the press coverage in Israel of him and his family specifically (not his party) has been increasingly negative. This is where he has gotten into trouble - meddling in the media for more favorable coverage, enriching himself through political connections, etc. - but he's not trying to conduct a wholesale assault on Israeli democracy because he wants to turn the country into an autocracy. He's conducting a piecemeal assault on specific institutions that he perceives as threats to his continued political career (and, possibly, freedom from jail time). It's ugly, it's corrupt, but it's also pedestrian. I doubt he has any delusions of being able to become an autocrat with a veneer of democracy, nor do I think it's even remotely possible he could succeed.



    I'm well acquainted with Israelis ranging from the far left (we're talking about serving time in jail for refusing to serve in the military) to the far right (religious Zionists living in an illegal outpost in the West Bank). Their opinions can be violently opposed at times, and there's a lot of ill will between different groups in Israeli society. But what's common to all of them is a commitment to democratic institutions (with the exception of the Haredim, who frankly don't factor in this discussion all that much). They're passionate about politics and policy because they are invested in Israel not just as their home but also as a project, an ongoing attempt to build a better state (something I might loosely describe as 'Zionism'). I don't think they're about to let some empty politicking in the Knesset take that away from them.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  6. #756
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Don't worry. Just go to Jared. He'll fix everything. Trump promises. Easy peasy.

  7. #757
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    I think it's a mistake to assume autocracy & the demise of healthy democracy don't arise from seemingly pedestrian developments.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  8. #758
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    Considering the source it's probably best to take this with a pinch of kosher salt but, at the same time, how else are you going to deprive religious Austrian Muslims of access to meat?

    https://m.jpost.com/Diaspora/Austria...ews-562786/amp
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  9. #759
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    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.pre...onal-1.6291906

    The fruits of a #rambunctious democracy.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  10. #760
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Hope is the denial of reality

  11. #761
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    Thread: https://twitter.com/rezaaslan/status...64814257115136

    Trumpists are taking notes.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  12. #762
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    Turns out border control is stressful and incompetent in every place for every one.

    But we will focus on this one because Jewish nationalism is offensive.

  13. #763
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    Turns out border control is stressful and incompetent in every place for every one.

    But we will focus on this one because Jewish nationalism is offensive.
    This is a truly detestable expression of nationalism. Stress is no justification for such threats.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  14. #764
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    Turns out border control is stressful and incompetent in every place for every one.
    No, no it's not.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  15. #765
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    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/...sing-1.6411522

    Beginning to think all these stories are about the same two Roald Dahl characters.


    Shin Bet Holds German Citizen at Israeli Border: Your Blood Isn't German, It's Palestinian

    Nadim Sarrouh, a 34-year-old German citizen, says he's accustomed to short detentions and questioning. But this time was different

    “Your blood isn’t German, right? Your blood is Palestinian.” That was the fourth question that a Shin Bet security service interrogator asked Nadim Sarrouh, a 34-year-old German citizen. The first question was whether his wife is pregnant. When he said she wasn’t, the interrogator said with a little smile: “Okay, so she is fine, waiting in the heat.” That was around noon, with the temperature about 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit), at the Rabin border crossing in the Arava.

    Sarrouh, his wife, Venus Ayoub, her parents, two brothers and sister had returned to Israel from a short trip to Jordan. Ayoub and her family, all of them Israeli citizens and residents of the Galilee village of Jish, had already gone through border control. Only Sarrrouh’s passport wasn’t returned. After waiting for 45 minutes under the awning, a woman in civilian clothing – who would be one of the two female Shin Bet agents who interrogated him – asked him to enter one of the booths at the border crossing.

    Sarrouh and Ayoub decided to tell Haaretz what happened to them at the border crossing for two reasons: because of the wave of reports about brief detentions and questioning of a political nature at the crossings, and because Sarrouh has visited Israel many times since he first entered in 2000, and is accustomed to short detentions and questioning. In December 2014 he was even detained at the airport for seven hours, although he was questioned for only 10 minutes. But he said he has never been treated and interrogated as he was on August 11, 2018.

    In the room, behind a computer, sat the border inspector, wearing a uniform. In the presence of the Shin Bet investigator, who sat next to Sarrouh, she politely asked him the questions he is always asked: Where are you from (Berlin), what’s your father’s name, where and when was he born (in Haifa, 1940, and was expelled with his family to Lebanon in 1948, and in 1968 went to study in Berlin and settled there), who are the people you’re with (Ayoub and her family), what do you plan to do in Israel, when will you be leaving, and so on.

    After 10 minutes the Shin Bet interrogator – who didn’t identify herself, didn’t give her name and looked about 30 years old – got up and started questioning him. “She started by asking where I am from. I said I am from Germany. She asked me where I am really from. I said, I was born in Berlin, Germany, have a German passport and no other and am thus a German citizen.”


    And then came her questions about his blood, Palestinian or German. He replied: “I don’t know about that, but if my blood is anything, it’s probably also Polish.” His mother is a Polish woman who was born in Germany.

    The Shin Bet investigator continued with her unexpected questions: “‘Do you know, that you are a refugee?’ He replied that he isn’t a refugee. “But yes, you’re a refugee,” she insisted. “Don’t you know that the UN considers you, like any other descendant of Arabs from this area as Palestinian refugees? No other people in the world keep their refugee status, after becoming citizens of another country, but the Palestinians, yes.’”

    Sarrouh’s family is Christian. Unlike Muslim Palestinians, Christian Palestinians who found themselves in Lebanon in 1948 because of the war, or who were expelled, became Lebanese citizens, so they didn’t receive refugee status. The Sarrouh family is from the Maronite village of Kafr Bir’im, as is his wife’s family. In November 1948, after the occupation of the village, its residents, including the Sarrouh family, were expelled to the other side of the border.


    Others remained near the village, hiding in the caves. Israel promised them that they would be allowed to return after two weeks, and that meanwhile they should go to Jish. The Ayoub family was among them. But they weren’t allowed to return, and in 1953 Israel blew up their houses. Young Venus and Nadim married about a year and a half ago, among the ruins of the village. He has a doctorate in computer sciences and works as director of operations in a computer games company, but he also plays the oud and is a martial arts instructor. She is a graduate of the faculty of architecture at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and is now working on her master’s degree in urban planning in Berlin.

    The investigator asked him his opinion regarding Gaza. “I told her that I don’t think that they should ask me about my political opinions in order to decide whether or not I’m allowed to enter,” he told Haaretz. Her reply was that “We can actually do anything. We are not Germany! We are not letting in refugees just like that, like your Merkel is doing! We check who we let in!” At that point, he said, she pointed to a large Israeli flag and said: “You see that? That means that you’re in Israel. It isn’t your country. You don’t belong here. We can detain you for a few days, decide whether or not to let you enter, and if you don’t like it - you can take your passport and return to Jordan.”

    Because she insisted, he explained to her that Gaza is under an occupation and a blockade, in which a powerful occupier has been oppressing a defenseless population for decades. The interrogator replied: “We aren’t oppressing anyone. Hamas is oppressing your people.” He said that he disagreed, and she replied: “You can disagree with me, because we’re a free and democratic country.”


    After the Shin Bet interrogator asked him in what way he’s active and how he supports the Palestinians and what his opinion is of Hamas and violence, the border control inspector took his phone and examined it, while writing names, numbers and comments in Hebrew on a piece of paper. Then the interrogator left.

    After that, the border control inspector again asked him questions such as what he does in his free time in Berlin, what his profession is, and to which groups or organizations he is connected. He was then permitted to go outside without his passport, and his wife, who was waiting at the exit, says that he was petrified from shock and unable to speak. When he calmed down a bit, he told her only that it was “an entirely different level of interrogation” from what he was used to in the past.

    About 20 minutes later he was called back into the room. The same border inspector was there, but there was a different Shin Bet interrogator, about 35-40 years old, a redhead with fair skin. She shouted a lot, he said, and told him that she’s called in “when something bad has happened. We know that you did something bad and you know it too, so the sooner you comply, the sooner this can be over. Don’t lie to us, because we already know everything anyway, and we can see when you lie too. We have a lot of video footage from you, we know where you went and what you did. We can also arrest your wife and your wife’s family and interrogate them,” he recalls her telling him.

    Sarrouh told Haaretz that he was stunned by these words, and even almost burst out laughing when he heard the claim that he “did something bad.” Interrogator No. 2 asked the same questions as her predecessor, “but in a louder voice and more aggressively,” he said. She fired the questions one after another, and when he tried to answer, she repeatedly interrupted him without expecting an answer. She repeatedly said, “Don’t lie,” and “Don’t lie if you want to see your wife again.” When he said again that he wasn’t lying she said, “But let’s say we proved that you lied, you know what will happen to you?”

    After she insisted that he answer, he replied that “you’ll probably ban my entry.” She asked him “For how long?” He preferred not to guess, she complained that he wasn’t cooperating, and he guessed, “Probably forever.” To which she replied: “No. Don’t exaggerate. For 15 years. After all, we’re a civilized country.”

    When she heard that he plays the oud, she said, “Ah, that’s a unique instrument. That shows that you’re connected to your culture. And you still want to tell me that you’re not an activist?” When he told her that he’s a martial arts teacher and owner of a martial arts gym, she asked if he had taught Palestinians in the West Bank. He told her he hadn’t and she continued: “You’re a smart and successful person. You have a good job. How do you give back to your community?”

    He didn’t understand, and she explained: “How do you give back socially, do you donate, do you do benefit concerts with your band, do you teach children in martial arts for free?” He replied that he didn’t except for some benefit concerts. “So you don’t give money to Gaza?” she asked, and when he said he doesn’t, she told him that he was lying and that she could see it in his body language.

    “Why are you nervous?” she asked. And he replied, “Because you’re applying pressure. Because you’re in a position of power now, and if you were in my situation you’d be nervous too.” She also had an answer for that: “Maybe you’re nervous because you’re a criminal.”

    In reply to her question, he told her that his family is Christian but he doesn’t consider himself a Christian. “That makes no difference,” she decided for him. “You’re a Christian.” She said a word in Arabic – he doesn’t speak Arabic – and he told her he didn’t understand. She started shouting at him, he said. She asked whether he knows that many Christians were expelled from Bethlehem in 2000.

    “You don’t know? You post your articles on Facebook and call us the oppressor but you do not know about this? You are a Ph.D., right? You must be much cleverer than me. Your memory should be perfect, right? You cannot remember this? Don’t you have to know all the facts, before making an opinion?” recalled Sarrouh.

    She also spoke about his “blood.” She didn’t believe him when he said that he doesn’t feel any special connection to Jerusalem, certainly not a religious one, and she told him that if he isn’t allowed to enter, it will be because of his actions and not his opinions. What actions, he asked. And she said: “Did you go to fight in Syria? Did your friends fight in Syria?” He said no, and she asked again about Gaza and his attitude towards Gaza. “Okay, you’re a smart guy with a Ph.D. What’s the solution for Gaza?” she asked. And they started a dead-end argument. When he fell silent, she asked him: “When did you last throw a stone at an Israeli,” and he burst out laughing.

    At about 5:20 P.M. he received his passport and joined his family.

    The Shin Bet spokesman’s office said that they “reject out of hand the claims of the above-mentioned about his treatment during his investigation at the border crossing, explaining that the interrogation is required in order for the Shin Bet to fulfill its role in safeguarding state security, and was conducted in a practical and professional manner, as required. It should be noted that the above-mentioned, a resident of Germany of Palestinian origin, refrained from cooperating throughout his investigation, behaving rudely and aggressively towards the security personnel. During his interrogation various findings aroused suspicion that he is involved in hostile activity and is connected to hostile organizations. At the conclusion of the security investigation he was allowed to enter Israel.”

    Population, Immigration and Border Authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told Haaretz that the border control inspector saw fit to transfer Sarrouh for questioning by the security services. “We must mention that the Israeli traveler herself (his wife) and her family began to behave in a disorderly manner and accused the border inspector of being a ‘Nazi,’ until the manager of the crossing said he would summon police assistance.”

    Ayoub told Haaretz that only after four hours of waiting and uncertainty, a verbal confrontation erupted between her father, age 59, and the border inspectors, who refused to answer his questions about his son-in-law. Ayoub said: “My father said, ‘You and the Nazis, where’s the difference?’ but that was said in a moment of fury and frustration. As a member of the Polish resistance, my husband’s grandfather was imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps, including Dachau, and we’re certainly aware of the horrors of the Holocaust.”

    Sarrouh told Haaretz that in complete contradiction to the Shin Bet claims, he was polite, friendly and smiling throughout the interrogation, in order to communicate with the interrogators as human beings. “I ask myself why I didn’t protest immediately about their racist discourse and practice,” he said. “But they made it clear that they had the power, and I probably couldn’t really [protest] without taking a risk that I wouldn’t be allowed to join my family.”
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  16. #766
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    When did Lewk manage to clone himself?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  17. #767
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    When did Lewk manage to clone himself?
    "WHEN DID YOU MANAGE TO CLONE YOURSELF! HAVE YOU EVER CLONED A HAMAS!!"
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  18. #768
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Seriously, those are all default talking points of a pro-Israeli troll.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  19. #769
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    This may all just be a clever ad campaign for Sabra hummus:

    https://apnews.com/amp/59cb3c23483f436ea91fefd4b8ed54c0
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  20. #770
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    A snowflake immigration policy.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  21. #771
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    I mean, I can sort of understand how someone who regards the BDS movement as an effort by antisemitic groups to destroy the legitimacy of Israel as a nation would want to bar prominent BDS activists from entering Israel. Other countries sometimes bar extreme white supremacists from entry for example. There can be legitimate disagreement on reasons for barring someone from entry, even in societies that otherwise uphold freedom of speech. But detaining them for over a week after they arrive? If you must bar people from entry, do so before they arrive.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  22. #772
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    If your national security is undermined by a bunch of college kids, you're in really trouble.
    Hope is the denial of reality

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