The news constantly asks us to (or hopes we don’t) wreck our brains.
Return of art and artifacts removed from their homes?
I’m not going to talk about what is lawful and unlawful because laws can be arbitrary and unjust. Four cases by way of example:
The British [colonial] Museum holds art from all over the world when colonialism was standard and fine. How could that still be OK in 2019?
In fact, 90% of African art is displayed outside Africa. Now France wants to return it or compensate Africa. But the rest of Europe doesn’t agree.
Museums everywhere hold art stolen from Holocaust victims; sometimes a judge rules for returning and sometimes not. Theft is not always theft?
The Netherlands have a commission deciding if stolen museum art is not too vital for public display to be returned to its owners or their heirs — without reparation! The US should steal all top Dutch museological art and not return any of it because in the US, more museum-goers will see it.
Going through a collection of all art by Van Gogh, I’m stunned that so much of it is not in the two Van Gogh museums in the Netherlands. Legally bought away but meanwhile lacking in their country of origin.
Palestinians have claimed the Dead Sea Scrolls. Found “on Palestinian Land.” Obviously ridiculous as they are as Jewish as anything could be.
My point: laws generally follow public opinion. Once we get a sharper picture of what is true and right, laws will shape up too.
This summer, 10 Million Passengers not to pass through Ben Gurion
Talking about honesty: do you remember I warned you never to trust any figure in a news report?
“10 Million Passengers expected to pass through Tel Aviv’s Airport in the next four months” is patently false. Don’t set up a tourist business yet.
10 million is the number of plane seats of planes arriving or leaving Ben Gurion Airport. However, most tourists will come and go, most Israelis who will go on vacation will return. So, we’re talking about 5 million people really. Maybe 2.5 million Israelis will go abroad so, over 4 months, we’ll have about 2.5 million tourists. Half a million are Jews who’ll come for the High Holidays. Half a million tourists per month in the high season. Hardly more than previously. Your new tourist shop is not yet needed.
Here’s another statistical “miracle” from a report about a survey.
“Counting up all Orthodox Jews, we find 79,000 “grandparents,” nearly 200,000 “parents,” and over 340,000 children. In other words, over two generations, the Orthodox pretty much quadrupled in size [sic].”
The oldest generation seems to have had more than four children each couple (two parents, four kids is doubling the size of the new generation). And this middle generation had three-and-a-half kids per couple. But the population didn’t grow four times as large. The number of kids did.
The reporter compares the children of two generations ago with the three generations alive now. That’s not fair. To compare, you need to also look at the three generations alive then. If there was no growth in population two generations ago, as the writer suggests but doesn’t show, then two generations ago there were then (roughly) 80,000 kids, 80,000 parents and 80,000 grandparents. That makes that the population doubled, not quadrupled (from trice 80,000 to (1+2+3.5=) 6.5 times 80,000). If from the presently alive grandparents generation many have passed away already, the relative growth becomes even less.
Religious Coercion in Israel worse than in Syria?
The best of US pollsters have now concluded that Israel is worse than Syria in terms of religious freedom. Anyone who knows anything about current affairs understands that that can’t be true. Millions have fled Israel and here, strangers try to get in illegally. Where was their mistake?
First of all, they didn’t investigate freedom of religion but freedom from religion. Atheists have it a bit harder in Israel because there is no civil marriage, not a perfect separation between state and religion, etc.
What was not understood by the researchers was that Israel has better freedom of religion than any country I know. Workers get the days off that are holy to their religion: Jews on Shabbat and Jewish Holidays, Christians on their Sundays and Holidays, Muslims for their Feasts, etc. Foreign workers get their national holidays free, all with continued payment.
In the Netherland, I had to spend all my yearly vacation days on taking off for Jewish Holidays. On the other hand, my colleagues loved it that I’d work on their shifts during Christian Holidays for which I would not only get more hours but also 200% salary. Still, no days for taking a vacation left.
Yes, all marriages and funerals, and (optional) family law, are religion-based in Israel, but each according to their religion. No freedom from but surely freedom for religion. On top of that, here no one cares if a person in the street or a civil servant helping you is called Chris, Moish or Achmed, and wears Muslim, Jewish or Christian symbols.
Yes, Shabbat public transportation doesn’t run, stores are closed, hospitals only deal with emergencies, etc. But it’s the only (tiny) country in the world that gives such prominence to the Jewish Tradition, so maybe that’s not so bad. For now, not millions are fleeing Israel.