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Re: Saima Alvi's Contribution to Understanding
by Caygill, Matthew [CES]
01 October 2002 16:51 UTC
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Oddly the quote given doesn't contain anything like the anti-semitism that
is alleged, whereas the comments about the 'whole world' and nothing needing
to be said about it seemed to me like a version of the generalisation that
the proposed rule 13a would prohibit - even if cast in the negative. And
this sort of discourse is really a very familiar attempt to prevent
criticism or opposition to Israel.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: lr [SMTP:luca269_up2000@hotmail.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 10:23 AM
> To:   wsn@csf.colorado.edu
> Subject:      Re: Saima Alvi's Contribution to Understanding
> I have to thank you because I missed that article. It seems that you need
> a second read, because it is just a collection of others' quotations. Many
> of them quite factual and/or authoritative. Did you check its sources? 
> Regards.
> l.
>       ----- Original Message ----- 
>       From: Kessler Adam <mailto:adkes@pipeline.com> 
>       To: wsn@csf.colorado.edu <mailto:wsn@csf.colorado.edu> 
>       Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 5:10 AM
>       Subject: Saima Alvi's Contribution to Understanding
>                   In the 19th century it was deemed perfectly acceptable
> for educated, well-meaning people to make generalizations about ethnic,
> religious or national groups along the lines of: "the Irish are
> drunkards," or "the Negroes are happy-go-lucky," or "the X are a
> commercial race." Then around 60-70 years ago with the rapid rise of
> modern racism this began to change. Expressions of this type slowly
> disappeared from civilized discourse. It is unimaginable for example, for
> someone on this list to utter a sentence like "the blacks are criminals,''
> even though prisons throughout America are filled with black people. 
>                   The piece by Mark Weber which Alvi is disseminating
> demonstrates that there is one people about whom such sentences can still
> (or again?) be spoken: "the" Jews. The article itself consists of  layers
> and layers of lies, non sequiturs, and paranoia: in other words the most
> standard kind of old-fashioned anti-Semitism, which is apparently
> acceptable nowadays in some circles, especially on what might be called
> "the stupid left." It is useless to try to disentangle such stuff. One
> comment will suffice: Kofi Annan is quoted as saying that "the whole world
> is demanding that Israel withdraw [etc., etc.]. I don't think the whole
> world...can be wrong." The "whole world" presumably consists of the 191
> members of the U.N. Among these are countries such as Libya, Sudan and
> Syria which are regarded as perfectly respectable, eligible to serve on
> the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, etc. Nothing more needs to be said
> about "the world." 
>                   But I wish to make a more general contribution to
> current discourse on this list and elsewhere. And that is to formulate a
> set of modern debating rules. Rule 13a goes like this: 
>               Rule 13a: 
>                           If in the course of a debate participant P
> states: the X are Y (where for X substitute a religious, ethnic national
> or "racial" group and for Y substitute some attribute, positive or
> negative) then P is a jerk. 

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