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Sunday, November 27, 2011

What Gershon Gorenberg says

Terrific piece by Gershon Gorenberg in the American Prospect, here. He examines a question, I've tried to answer in some form or another. Why are they so angry?

Gorenberg lays the scene:
"He's lying! He's lying!" the man at the back of the hall shouted, in a tone as desperate as it was angry. "He hasn't read the Geneva Conventions. You haven't read them, so you don't know he's lying."
The primary object of his rage was me. The secondary object, it seemed, was his fellow congregants, who'd allowed me to lecture at his New York-area synagogue. I'd spoken about threats to Israel's democracy, including those posed by ongoing expansion of West Bank settlements. This was the first time, I'd been told, that the congregation had hosted a speaker on Israel from outside a spectrum running from right-wing to very right-wing. During the question-and-answer period, I was asked about my statement that the legal counsel of Israel's Foreign Ministry had warned before the first West Bank settlement was established that it would violate the agreement of the Fourth Geneva Convention. That's when the man in the back came unstuck. The congregation's rabbi, who was moderating the Q&A session with the trained calm of a psychologist running group therapy for fractured families, slipped to the back of the room and talked him down.
Read the rest here.

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