Thursday, August 24, 2006

Anti-semiticism

Quick! Let's test your general knowledge.

Question: Three countries in the last month have been featured in the news for issues dealing with anti-semitism. Which one country mentioned displayed the most sensitivity towards Jewish concerns?

Choices: India, Austria, Malaysia.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.... It's Malaysia.


The Jewish community in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) is outraged by a new restaurant named after Adolf Hitler. The restaurant, Hitler's Cross, opened last week in the city's outskirts, initially displaying a giant poster of Hitler at the entrance.
From the BBC

Human rights campaigners in India's Gujarat state have condemned school textbooks which they say praise Hitler.
The books are issued by the Hindu nationalist state government. One includes a chapter on the "internal achievements of Nazism
From the BBC

The Austrian birthplace of Adolf Hitler is fighting to contain an outcry over pictures that apparently show local football fans making a Nazi salute.
From the BBC

Malaysian authorities have published a list of undesirable titles to prevent parents giving their children names such as Hitler, smelly dog or 007.
From the BBC


I am not for a moment suggesting that Malaysia's about to land Israel a big fat one on the lips any time soon, if ever. In fact, "not ever" is closer than "soon".

However, my greater point - and I have one - is this: Don't make assumptions. Examine the facts, and don't bring your pre-conceptions to the table. It's sloppy thinking, it's deterministic - just because it's logical for a country to have behaved in such-and-such a way, doesn't mean that the country did behave in such-and-such a way. If you bring that to the table, you're far more likely to dismiss instances where the country behaved unexpectedly as an aberration. You won't, for instance, acknowledge that it's possible for two things to happen at the same time.

And you'll never see when things begin to change. And what a poor world that would be!

2 Comments:

At 12:10 am, Blogger Stephen Yeo said...

Acclaimed author Jostein Gaarder, best known for the novel Sophie's World, has written a critical opinion piece on Israel in Aftenposten, a Norwegian newspaper. You might want to check out the unofficial translation here: http://arabesquerhabsody.com/blog/?p=313

 
At 10:46 pm, Anonymous last_boy said...

Btw, I think it's "anti-semitism".

 

Post a Comment

<< Home