Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bu(llshi)do for Peace?

Two items of interest heard on SBS World News tonight:

"Barack Obama has bluntly told Cambodia it won't have a full relationship with the US until it improves human rights and undertakes democratic reforms. Obama's visit is a first by an American president to Cambodia, a country shunned for decades over the Kmer Rouge's genocidal regime. But all is not forgiven. The US remains concerned at the lack of free and fair elections, detention of political prisoners and land seizures. The president told the Cambodian leader Hun Sen these issues remain an impediment to relations."

Let me get this right: the US isn't quite ready to kiss and make up with Cambodia because of a "lack of free and fair elections*, detention of political prisoners and land seizures," but there's no daylight whatever between the US and Israel, which is guilty of all 3 and more. [*The Israelis expelled most of their Palestinian voters in 1948.]

And speaking of kissing and making up, hugs were all the go between the Palestinian and Israeli coaches of a joint Israeli Jewish/Palestinian karate team in an item filmed at the Karate World Championship in Sydney this week. Budo for Peace, as the joint team is known, was described by SBS as "a Middle Eastern martial arts organisation dedicated to peaceful cooperation between Jews and Arabs."

Said one of its members, Dror Zigel: "We all live in Israel. It doesn't matter whether we're Arab, Christian, Jewish. We all live in Israel."

Very good, Dror, but I've got a question: if it doesn't matter whether a team member is Jewish or non-Jewish, because "we all live in Israel," why then must Israel be a Jewish state?

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