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    « Now why would the BBC report it that way? | Main | Who's counting the days? »



    Your punchline is perfect. As they say in America, "You go, Girl! Tell it like it is!"


    Thanks, and happy birthday, Lisa. Should you be spending it reading blogs?

    Fisking Central

    "And something else Tim Butcher doesn't point out is that Israel is like any other democracy in being unable to eliminate the risk of suicide terrorism."

    The key point for me. Indeed, nowadays it isn't just democracies, but any kind of state at all...


    the use of "zionist project" says it all, doesn't it?

    Doubtless, Mr. Butcher is quite unaware that up until the Soviet Union allowed Jews to leave en masse in the early 1990s, more than half of Israel's Jewish population came from Muslim countries, not the European Diaspora.


    and where today a fully Jewish life can be lived in either a secular or religious way.

    I find this concept very interesting - the notion that one can still give a religious name to a secular life seems an oxymorn at first glance, but clearly has a meaning. I meet many self procalimed "non-practicing muslims" who nevertheless ignore all Five Pillars, for example.

    To what extent have our moral compasses been forged int he white heat of religion? It would be interesting to develop this idea further. Or is that not what you mean?


    Judy: very good post. And thanks for the hat tip in Harry's Place.


    "It built a fence to separate Israel from Palestinian areas, setting up checkpoints and one of the most intrusive regimes of interrogation and searching in the world."

    Which has worked very well; it's stopped the vast majority of attacks. Even though there have been a few horrible ones lately, it's still much fewer than before the fance was built.


    Robert-- The moral and cultural underpinning of every modern society I know of is religious. Very few British or American atheists and agnostics would regard themselves as secular Christians, but they do live by a Christian calendar and a huge part of their core moral values derives directly from Christianity. Eg the secular celebrations of Christmas, assumption of Sunday as a different day from the rest of the week, values of forgiveness and redemption of wrongdoing etc. It's Christianity that holds that the defining element of being religious is whether you "believe in" Jesus, God etc. The Jewish tradition regards practice as the defining element. Secular Jews don't observe the Sabbath as religious Jews do, but they do regard it and live it as a special day, different from the rest of the week. They regard festivals like Passover as theirs to have as a secular holiday. And their moral values derive from the Jewish prophets as well as those of the Enlightenment.

    Yehudit-- according to the Israeli press, the recent terrorist attack in Tel Aviv succeeded because the terrorists were able to get through an uncompleted part of the fence.

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