I read a scary JPost article (do sign up, it's worthwhile).
"How could you report the war in Iraq if you sided with the Americans?"
"How can you say that George Bush is better than Saddam Hussein?"
These are some of the milder questions I received from an audience of some 150 undergraduate students from Tel Aviv University's Political Science Department. The occasion was a guest lecture I gave last month on my experiences as an embedded reporter with the US Army's 3rd Infantry Division during the Iraq war.
Tel Aviv, if you didn't know, is one of Israel's major cities. Yes, that's right, these questions are coming out of Israel.
"Who are you to make moral judgments? What you say is good may well be bad for someone else."
"I am a sane human being capable of distinguishing good from evil, just like every other sane human being," I answered. "As criminal law states, you are criminally insane if you can't distinguish between good and evil. Unless you are crazy, you should be able to tell the difference."
I quoted that in full because Caroline is saying something important very eloquently here, using an argument I hadn't heard before.
"Did you learn that in Russia?" I asked.
"No, here," she said.
"Here at Tel Aviv University?"
"Yes, that is what my professors say," she said.
I don't know what to add yet. It speaks for itself, and I'm pretty speechless both.
The article goes on to mention that Western Universities are known for radical leftism, but she thought in Israel of all places it would be better, as all the students had served in the IDF (it's required by law -- apparently for girls too, though I hadn't known that).
It then complains about the influence of the radical left in the ranks of Professors.
And points out some Israeli Professors have signed petitions to boycott Israel (sheesh!). One Professor wrote a refusal to serve letter for some military people.
Do go read the rest of the article; the whole thing is good.
OK one flaw in the analysis is that it overestimates the ability of teacher's to teach students. Few enough ever learn math, and most of those more in spite of their teachers than because. Why should it be different with politics?
I'm reminded of a southpark episode, where Kyle goes to Jewbilee, a camp for Jews. Rabbis from all the various sects of Judaism are present ... including one from the anti-semitic sect. He proceeds to try to summon a demon or something like that.
Oh well, I suppose all I have to say is that identifying problems is an important step towards solving them, and that I posted this because I want everyone to know about this problem.