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Old 09 Aug 2011, 04:13 PM   #246745 / #1
columbus
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Default The Case For Israel

A few weeks ago, Charles (cnorman18) suggested a book to read concerning the situation in Palestine/Israel. I was quite impressed with it. He and I are proposing an informal discussion about the book and the issues raised. The book is "The Case For Israel", by Alan Dershowitz. There will also be a peanut gallery anyone is free to post in.

I've never done this sort of discussion, but I think I've covered what needs be here in the proposal.

Tom
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 04:20 PM   #246748 / #2
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You might want to toss up a link to where others can view this in the 'peanut gallery'.
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 04:43 PM   #246765 / #3
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You might want to toss up a link to where others can view this in the 'peanut gallery'.
We first need to set up the parameters of this debate. This forum is intended for that purpose. See the Procedures and FAQ. When the parameters are agreed to, a debate thread gets set up in this forum.

cnorman18 and Columbus, would you prefer a more structured debate or something more informal?
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 04:50 PM   #246768 / #4
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You might want to toss up a link to where others can view this in the 'peanut gallery'.
We first need to set up the parameters of this debate. This forum is intended for that purpose. See the Procedures and FAQ. When the parameters are agreed to, a debate thread gets set up in this forum.

cnorman18 and Columbus, would you prefer a more structured debate or something more informal?
I believe we're agreed on the most informal possible discussion here in the exclusive section. I could start the peanut gallery, although I'm not sure how to do links. I'm pretty net stupid

Tom
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 05:29 PM   #246783 / #5
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I believe we're agreed on the most informal possible discussion here in the exclusive section. I could start the peanut gallery, although I'm not sure how to do links. I'm pretty net stupid

Tom
Don't worry, I'll set up the gallery.

Here are some proposed guidelines for a more flexible informal discussion format:

(1) Topic: "The case for Israel"
(2) Participants: Columbus and cnorman18
(3) Criteria: The discussion will revolve around an assessment of the arguments presented in the book "The Case For Israel", by Alan Dershowitz.

Do you both agree to these parameters? Please confirm and I'll be happy to set up the discussion thread and peanut gallery.

Last edited by Redshirt; 09 Aug 2011 at 10:17 PM. Reason: Changed "debate" to "discussion" and rephrased (2)
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 05:50 PM   #246789 / #6
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IIRC it is normal in formal debates for participants to not participate in the peanut gallery at all until the debate is over.

This is slightly different, though I would still prefer the discussion to be for the participants and the peanut gallery to be for non participants, I think Redshirt's views on this should be adopted, whatever they may be.

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Old 09 Aug 2011, 11:54 PM   #246948 / #7
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I believe we're agreed on the most informal possible discussion here in the exclusive section. I could start the peanut gallery, although I'm not sure how to do links. I'm pretty net stupid

Tom
Don't worry, I'll set up the gallery.

Here are some proposed guidelines for a more flexible informal discussion format:

(1) Topic: "The case for Israel"
(2) Participants: Columbus and cnorman18
(3) Criteria: The discussion will revolve around an assessment of the arguments presented in the book "The Case For Israel", by Alan Dershowitz.

Do you both agree to these parameters? Please confirm and I'll be happy to set up the discussion thread and peanut gallery.
I do.

The one thing I would like to see different is the need to have each of our posts approved before it is visible. I understand that is how this usually works and is built into the system. Maybe nothing can be done. What I would like is for posts from Charles and me to be immediately visible. I haven't known Charles long, but we didn't just meet.

If that isn't possible, I would prefer it if we didn't have to wait for one particular mod to approve posts. If all mods knew that a post from either of us was good to approve we could save time. This book is difficult to discuss unless you have it in front of you and I must return it to the library in a couple of weeks.

Other than that one niggly detail I'm ready to go.

Thanks again for everybody's help.

Tom
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 04:22 PM   #246750 / #8
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Does the book exist online anywhere, for those of us too broke to buy it?
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 04:40 PM   #246763 / #9
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Does the book exist online anywhere, for those of us too broke to buy it?
Cheapskate that I am, I rarely buy books. I had no trouble getting it from my local library.

Tom
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 04:37 PM   #246760 / #10
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Does the book exist online anywhere, for those of us too broke to buy it?
Unfortunately, no. It is available as an ebook from several services. It should also be widely available in libraries and used-book shops; it's been around for a while.

The object of this discussion is to talk about the past, present and future of this conflict without, it is to be hoped, the usual partisan namecalling and rancor. Columbus and I will be posting moderated remarks, and I think that he'd agree that neither of us will be responsible for, nor obligated to either respond to nor defend, any remarks from others in the PG. For myself, I regard participation in that PG thread -- presumably this one -- as entirely optional and irrelevant to the main conversation.

Looking forward to the discussion.
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 04:44 PM   #246767 / #11
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Well, hopefully my pitiful small-town excuse for a library system will have it somewhere within its network. Rather doubtful. But I'll try.
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 04:52 PM   #246771 / #12
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As an aside, there is one nagging, legitimate concern I have about Dershowitz writing on The Case for Israel - that of impartiality - he being an American vocally pro-Israel Jew - kinda like expecting a Pol Pot-penned case for 'Year Zero' to be impartial. If you've already read any of Dershowitz's other works, e.g. Why Terrorism Works, you'll know what I mean.

Just saying...
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Old 10 Aug 2011, 12:02 AM   #246954 / #13
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Quote:
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As an aside, there is one nagging, legitimate concern I have about Dershowitz writing on The Case for Israel - that of impartiality - he being an American vocally pro-Israel Jew - kinda like expecting a Pol Pot-penned case for 'Year Zero' to be impartial. If you've already read any of Dershowitz's other works, e.g. Why Terrorism Works, you'll know what I mean.

Just saying...
Oh, trust me.

My OP will address this point. D makes no pretence of being even-handed.

Tom
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 04:52 PM   #246772 / #14
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And I really must leave for work now, I'm already pretty late. Look forward to this evening!

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Old 09 Aug 2011, 06:20 PM   #246794 / #15
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Quote:
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As an aside, there is one nagging, legitimate concern I have about Dershowitz writing on The Case for Israel - that of impartiality - he being an American vocally pro-Israel Jew - kinda like expecting a Pol Pot-penned case for 'Year Zero' to be impartial. If you've already read any of Dershowitz's other works, e.g. Why Terrorism Works, you'll know what I mean.

Just saying...
Of course he's biased; he doesn't pretend otherwise, and neither do I. But:

(1) Bias does not automatically indicate either dishonesty or poor logic; one may be biased and still be truthful and correct.

Therefore, (2) Discounting an argument on the basis of bias alone is not logical. Let's look at his arguments and see if they hold water, regardless of any perceived bias.

(3) By that standard, the opinions of interested parties may not be considered. If we are only to consider arguments from the "impartial," then neither Jews nor Palestinians may participate in the discussion.

(4) Being Jewish does not automatically entail a pro-Israel bias, anyway. Noam Chomsky is Jewish, and he's as anti-Israel as it gets.

I know this isn't your belief, and that an awareness of where everyone is coming from is necessary in any debate or discussion; but for Jews who are sensitive about the issue, it's easy to infer the all-too-common subtext of "Jews lie" when that objection is raised. Let's be aware of that possible bias on the part of some as we enter this discussion, too.

I'd like to stress that this discussion -- not debate -- ought not affect the positive and, let us hope, fruitful discussion that the "borders" thread has become.
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 09:26 PM   #246863 / #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Tilt Boogie View Post
As an aside, there is one nagging, legitimate concern I have about Dershowitz writing on The Case for Israel - that of impartiality - he being an American vocally pro-Israel Jew - kinda like expecting a Pol Pot-penned case for 'Year Zero' to be impartial. If you've already read any of Dershowitz's other works, e.g. Why Terrorism Works, you'll know what I mean.

Just saying...
Of course he's biased; he doesn't pretend otherwise, and neither do I...
As long as that's clear and understood from the outset.
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 08:53 PM   #246855 / #17
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cnorman & Columbus,

Do you agree with the parameters I outlined above? (except replace "debate" with the word "discussion")
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 09:31 PM   #246866 / #18
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Well, yes; except I won't be opposing...

From my previous correspondence with Columbus, I think we'll be agreeing on some things and not on others, all related to Dershowitz's book. What those specific aspects are, I don't think we know; that's rather the object of the discussion.

Otherwise -- onward!
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 10:14 PM   #246884 / #19
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Well, yes; except I won't be opposing...

From my previous correspondence with Columbus, I think we'll be agreeing on some things and not on others, all related to Dershowitz's book. What those specific aspects are, I don't think we know; that's rather the object of the discussion.

Otherwise -- onward!
Thanks, I'll re-word that then. We just need Columbus to affirm the parameters above and then we'll be ready to start.
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 09:37 PM   #246867 / #20
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As an aside, there is one nagging, legitimate concern I have about Dershowitz writing on The Case for Israel - that of impartiality - he being an American vocally pro-Israel Jew - kinda like expecting a Pol Pot-penned case for 'Year Zero' to be impartial. If you've already read any of Dershowitz's other works, e.g. Why Terrorism Works, you'll know what I mean.

Just saying...
Of course he's biased; he doesn't pretend otherwise, and neither do I...
As long as that's clear and understood from the outset.
Of course; but as I said, bias alone is irrelevant. Anyone who has an opinion on this subject could be said to be "biased," and that could be said about any subject at all. Atheists are biased against creationism; that doesn't make them wrong.
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 10:18 PM   #246886 / #21
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Originally Posted by Full Tilt Boogie View Post
As an aside, there is one nagging, legitimate concern I have about Dershowitz writing on The Case for Israel - that of impartiality - he being an American vocally pro-Israel Jew - kinda like expecting a Pol Pot-penned case for 'Year Zero' to be impartial. If you've already read any of Dershowitz's other works, e.g. Why Terrorism Works, you'll know what I mean.

Just saying...
Of course he's biased; he doesn't pretend otherwise, and neither do I...
As long as that's clear and understood from the outset.
Of course; but as I said, bias alone is irrelevant. Anyone who has an opinion on this subject could be said to be "biased," and that could be said about any subject at all. Atheists are biased against creationism; that doesn't make them wrong.
I'm happy to see how your wee tête-à-tête rolls out mate, is just that if you're entering a discussion in the knowledge that the subject matter is partial and biased towards, "The Case for Israel", then it rather risks being like reading a treatise written by a turkey on why Christmas and Thanksgiving should be abolished - unless you're prepared, during the course of the exchange, to acknowledge that bias.

Have at it.
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 10:04 PM   #246876 / #22
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From my understanding, this isn't to be an argument with opposing positions, but a more structured and exclusive discussion between columbus and cnorman18.

The possibility of more participants than just those two has been raised, but AFAIC that's entirely up to them.
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 10:30 PM   #246893 / #23
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As an aside, there is one nagging, legitimate concern I have about Dershowitz writing on The Case for Israel - that of impartiality - he being an American vocally pro-Israel Jew - kinda like expecting a Pol Pot-penned case for 'Year Zero' to be impartial. If you've already read any of Dershowitz's other works, e.g. Why Terrorism Works, you'll know what I mean.

Just saying...
Of course he's biased; he doesn't pretend otherwise, and neither do I...
As long as that's clear and understood from the outset.
Of course; but as I said, bias alone is irrelevant. Anyone who has an opinion on this subject could be said to be "biased," and that could be said about any subject at all. Atheists are biased against creationism; that doesn't make them wrong.
I'm happy to see how your wee tête-à-tête rolls out mate, is just that if you're entering a discussion in the knowledge that the subject matter is partial and biased towards, "The Case for Israel", then it rather risks being like reading a treatise written by a turkey on why Christmas and Thanksgiving should be abolished - unless you're prepared, during the course of the exchange, to acknowledge that bias.

Have at it.
You seem to keep implying that there's something inherently suspect about having an opinion about Israel -- or, more properly, a positive one. Tell me honestly -- would you be this concerned if the title of the book were "The Case Against Israel"?
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 10:54 PM   #246916 / #24
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As an aside, there is one nagging, legitimate concern I have about Dershowitz writing on The Case for Israel - that of impartiality - he being an American vocally pro-Israel Jew - kinda like expecting a Pol Pot-penned case for 'Year Zero' to be impartial. If you've already read any of Dershowitz's other works, e.g. Why Terrorism Works, you'll know what I mean.

Just saying...
Of course he's biased; he doesn't pretend otherwise, and neither do I...
As long as that's clear and understood from the outset.
Of course; but as I said, bias alone is irrelevant. Anyone who has an opinion on this subject could be said to be "biased," and that could be said about any subject at all. Atheists are biased against creationism; that doesn't make them wrong.
I'm happy to see how your wee tête-à-tête rolls out mate, is just that if you're entering a discussion in the knowledge that the subject matter is partial and biased towards, "The Case for Israel", then it rather risks being like reading a treatise written by a turkey on why Christmas and Thanksgiving should be abolished - unless you're prepared, during the course of the exchange, to acknowledge that bias.

Have at it.
You seem to keep implying that there's something inherently suspect about having an opinion about Israel -- or, more properly, a positive one. Tell me honestly -- would you be this concerned if the title of the book were "The Case Against Israel"?
Honestly mate, after three replies on this now, I find it kinda worrying that you keep trying to pull this into that territory. My concern has nothing to do with what you're suggesting. If you can't understand the imperative or need for impartiality in a discussion about Israel, then, with respect, you've already lost.

There is a certain aspect of intellectual honesty here which concerns me (perhaps because you've not yet explained the content or positions both sides will take in the debate) - you've said that you're going to talk about a book which is written by, on your own admission, an out-on-a-porch pro-Israel author - and given that (as Red Shirt said) in these situations, both sides usually take up opposing positions (for a debate to have any intellectual value) - and if you and Tom are merely going to vigorously agree, then I question the value of it. If that's not the case, then perhaps you need to be clearer as to who's taking what position - as neither have yet said they will be "opposing" the proposition (not that any proposition has been made clear yet).
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Old 10 Aug 2011, 12:11 AM   #246958 / #25
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Honestly mate, after three replies on this now, I find it kinda worrying that you keep trying to pull this into that territory. My concern has nothing to do with what you're suggesting. If you can't understand the imperative or need for impartiality in a discussion about Israel, then, with respect, you've already lost.

There is a certain aspect of intellectual honesty here which concerns me (perhaps because you've not yet explained the content or positions both sides will take in the debate) - you've said that you're going to talk about a book which is written by, on your own admission, an out-on-a-porch pro-Israel author - and given that (as Red Shirt said) in these situations, both sides usually take up opposing positions (for a debate to have any intellectual value) - and if you and Tom are merely going to vigorously agree, then I question the value of it. If that's not the case, then perhaps you need to be clearer as to who's taking what position - as neither have yet said they will be "opposing" the proposition (not that any proposition has been made clear yet).
I find it odd that you have brought this issue up three times, myself, and now a fourth.... I thought it was dealt with adequately in my first reply.

I have no doubt that you will see some substantial disagreement between Columbus and myself in the discussion to come -- and I note that he has now dealt with your question about the bias of the author, as well. I suspect that the discussion will speak for itself.

A bit of patience might be in order, as opposed to anticipating problems that have not yet appeared.
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