Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In Reply: Did Dr Gottheil's motivations taint his methodology?

In reply to: Trees For Lunch: A Form of Bigotry You Seldom Hear of

As far as Israel, I think Froggie's correct about it's age having something to do with folks taking issue with it. While it's founding is in many ways not all that different from other countries--very few nations are populated now by the same people who've always populated them, and many stories of conquest and political maneuver include sad stories about the side that lost "their" land--it's different when there are people still alive who can personally recall when they lived there. Wars have consequences, and Israel is a fact--and has as much right to remain a fact as America, Australia, Mexico or any other country--but if you're one of those people who feels a little sympathy for or sense of injustice about the people who lost their land as a result of war or politics in the first place, the story of Israel, being so relatively recent that there are folks still alive today who used to live on that land, seems a little more sad and unjust. And yeah... That it's founding is at least in part based on a Bible story doesn't help, especially if the Bible doesn't happen to be your Sacred Text.

As far as Dr. Gottheil, I have some serious questions about both his methodology and his motivations (and whether his motivations tainted his methodology, and thus his results.) Had he really wanted to gather signatures opposing human rights abuses in the Middle East--rather than "proving" the rhetorical point he came in with--he could've and would've done a far better job trying to get those signatures than to send out a single "cold call" e-mail to a bunch of strangers and not even do any follow-up to make sure they received and read what he sent them. It seems to me that he wanted these academics to fail his little test, and wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, they did. Anyone interested can further explore my thinkin' on the subject here.

I did like Dr. Gottheil's Statement of Concern, however, and that's the real reason I dropped by. I posted it at PetitionOnline.com, and I'm trying to do a better job collecting signatures on it than Dr Gottheil managed to do. To that end, I'm hoping that you folks here (and anyone who comes along and reads this comment later) will follow the link, read it over, and consider adding your name.: Support Regarding Discrimination in the Middle East against Women, Gays, and Lesbians Petition. It may not do much good, in the overall scheme of things, but it may get people thinking and talking about the issue, and something worthwhile ought to come out of this story.

Posted September 28, 2010 5:36 AM (Trees for Lunch blog time)

To read the rest of my commentary on this subject, previous and since, please click the GOTTHEIL label, below.

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