16 thoughts on “Open thread: PR, pride and patents

  1. Did you know that the possessive form of “it” is “its”? Wait, not the kind of responses you were looking for?
    I don’t find this sort of “Sure, we abuse human rights, but we invited IMing!” argument at all useful or interesting, but groups like BlueStar PR and The David Project keep pushing it anyway. I suppose it might appeal a bit in the same way that I can occasionally enjoy watching old musicals despite being appalled at the use of blackface. I mean, I know Bing Crosby beat his kids and danced in blackface but I still admire him as a performer. Doesn’t mean I look past the abuse. But I do think of him as a performer first, abusive dad second, possible racist third.

  2. If you compare and contrast where the two cultures put their energy and attention, you can see what their values are and decide who to believe. If there are claims and counterclaims about who did what to whom when, I would rather believe people who make medical devices which cure diseases, send aid teams to natural disasters all around the world, and take care in their hospitals of children of people who are trying to blow them up, and has a multi-party representative government, than people who send their children to blow up civilians, call for genocide, make fake atrocity videos, perpetuate bigotry, commit honor killings, and put up with strongman dictators and gangs.
    But the left likes to reason backwards to get a narrative that fits the predetermined result they want, like the medievalists who believed the sun revolves around the earth. And like them the Left has to ignore evidence they dont like and develop tortured rationales to get the result they want. Occam’s razor doesnt slice that ball of twine. Thus you get a graduate thesis from a few years back (true story) asserting that Israeli soldiers are racist because they DONT rape Palestinian women. So no matter what Israel does it’s bad.
    You people cant even say: wow, look at all these great things Israel does, however it’s not perfect and we have to solve some problems. All while you make full use of the science and technology Israel has a hand in.

  3. The following anecdote is true in at least the Coen brothers sense of that word.
    Many years ago, by now probably several decades, Prof. Ernst Simon, the great humanist and educator was visiting a kibbutz that belonged to the Hashomer Hatzair movement. The kibbutz educators took him on a tour of the school and in each class the students showed off their knowledge—all within a socialist, secular and atheist perspective. Finally in one class, Prof. Simon asked the students: “Who created the world?”
    Immediately hands flew up and one student called out: “The workers created the world.”

  4. A bunch of very smart people once developed an atomic bomb for the US government, which dropped it on two civilian cities. Technical sophistication and moral wosdom have nothing to do with each other.

  5. Sorry, I read the words “blind” and “support Israel” together and mistook it for the sentiment of the poster. Oh wait – was it a mistake?

  6. On an additional note, I believe Yehudit has combined the “We rock”, “they suck”, “you suck”, and “everyone sucks” tropes of blind support into one post.

  7. It just makes me think of Israel 21C, the “softcore advocacy” effort as I call it, which aims to educate everyone how neat Israel is. And the commentor above repeated this trope that somehow a country’s commercial patents sector would alter someone’s foreign policy values.
    It’s so common in Israel advocacy to pump Israel’s “neato” factor and I want to know why they think it works. Does it work? Not on me! It never did, even before I took a turn for lefty politics. I suspect one can find pride in these accomplishments after you already have some attachment, but if we’re trying to build attachment among disinterested, disengaged younger people…this approach is just dumb.

  8. I believe this form of advocacy is not “overlook the faults of the country,” but “be aware that this country is not all conflict-zone.” And dlevy, I imagine that people consistently overlook human rights violations throughout the world for various excuses, and while you won’t see me changing my facebook status, and I don’t think the statement is quite so out of place.

  9. Arie, I think what you say is what the organizers intend, but I don’t believe that’s how it works in the world.
    But let’s drill down a bit: why inventions? Why specifically inventions?

  10. Because Israeli music is stuck in a twenty-year time lag?
    Seriously though, inventions are something that people all over the world are familiar with and benefit from, so it’s more personal than “Israel uses a lot of solar energy” (which was the message I got over and over again in Hebrew school).

  11. I just got an email forward yesterday purporting to share 10 amazing new Israeli innovations in the world. (Nine are actually about innovations. The tenth is about how Israeli imports to Norway increased after the Norwegian Socialist Left Party started a boycott.)
    The message at the bottom of the email:
    In contrast to the efforts of tiny Israel to make contributions to the world so as to better mankind, one has to ask what have those who have strived to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth done other than to create hate and bloodshed?
    Clearly it’s ok to create hate and bloodshed if you also contribute technology to the world that will incorporate some kind of lie detector onto Skype. Sigh.

  12. Most of Israel’s technological prowess is directed at killing people. All the other things are byproducts, however cool they might be. (Teva is perhaps an exception). (Before anyone yells that the US military develops technology too, please tell me how many Google engineers worked for said military).

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