October 20, 2013

On the passing of Norman Geras

I wanted to write a fair bit about some of the ludicrous farewells to Norman Geras over this past 3 days but I wanted to find this old post of his.  In the end it took so long to find the post that I don't have time to sift through some of the silly tweets and blog posts I've seen about the now late Norman Geras.  So here's his post and I'll come back to this post later:

August 05, 2011

To hell with the Jews, no less

Here is a piece, I won't leave you guessing as to where, that looks forward to the end of the state of Israel:
If Israel ends its occupation of the West Bank, and allows it to join with Gaza, the result could be two states - a Palestinian one alongside an Israeli one. But if you accompany that with a civil rights movement inside Israel, the goal could be very different – a secular, democratic state "for all its citizens", where Jew, Christian and Muslim are equal. A one-state solution in which Jewish citizens lose an inbuilt majority. The end of Zionism, no less.
The constraints of ordinary logic will show you that a secular, democratic state for all its citizens will either be acceptable to a majority of Israeli Jews or it won't be. If it is, then that at least - Jewish opinion - won't prove an obstacle to the democratic one-state solution envisaged; but otherwise it will, and there could be no one-state solution compatible with the national self-determination of the Jews. How is it possible to overlook this, by not even mentioning it as a possible issue, in an article about a region of the world where the right of the Palestinians to national self-determination is generally now taken for granted? Well, it's a puzzle, what can I tell you.
 I don't know why the constraints of ordinary logic are so constraining they don't allow for people changing their minds or for people to be conceived of as individuals rather than instances or masses of ethno-religious identity but he was considered a great academic.

Many tweets and posts have mentioned Norm's (he called himself Norm) debating style.  Actually his blog does nothing to encourage or facilitate debate.  It had and has no comments facility, no search facility and no comprehensive archive retrieval.  This means that there could be nothing like real time discussion and no checking for consistency from one post to another dealing with roughly the same subject.

Anyway, I've already made myself late for something else so, as I said, I'll return to this in due course.

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