Monday, May 31, 2010

News you may hear on mainstream media but nobody pays any attention to...

Continues from here:

Civilian toll of Iranian raids in northern Iraq enrages Kurds

Outrage is growing in Iraq's northern Kurdish territories over renewed Iranian air and artillery strikes against Kurdish rebels in the remote Qandil Mountains, officials and residents said.

Last week, Iran even sent ground forces about a mile into Iraqi territory, a brief incursion that Kurdish officials said elicited not a word of protest from the Iran-friendly administration of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who like Iran's rulers is a Shiite Muslim. Most Iraqi Kurds are Sunni Muslims. [--]

Kurdish anger boiled over with the death a week ago of 14-year-old Basoz Agha, a schoolgirl who was using her summer vacation to visit relatives in the mountain town of Raniya. An Iranian rocket exploded near her as she was making tea at the family's farm, relatives said. The local press has used her story to illustrate the inaction of the regional and central governments in dealing with Iran. [--]

The refugees come from villages on the slopes of the Qandil Mountains, and they're suffering all sorts of hardships and tragedies," said Jaafar Ali, a member of the Kurdish regional parliament who was part of a delegation to inspect the damage. "They're living in the open with no water, no toilets and no health care."

For years, neighboring Turkey also has conducted sporadic military operations in the area, in pursuit of a related Kurdish militant group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which seeks an autonomous Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey and which the U.S. Treasury also has designated a terrorist organization

Turkish Hypocrisies:

“ On June 4, Sevahir Bayindir, a Kurdish MP, was attacked by the police and hurt in Silopi during a protest against the military operations in the Kurdish regions. A day earlier, Firat Basan, a 14-year-old Kurdish boy, was killed when a tank rolled over him during a similar protest in Sirnak. Also on June 4, Irfan Aktar, a Kurdish journalist, received a prison sentence of one year because of an article he wrote on the Kurdish issue in a magazine. Over 1,400 members of the pro-Kurdish party DTP are in prison since 2009—some of them are elected mayors and prominent members of human rights organizations. More than one million Kurds have been displaced in Turkey in the past decade, and they can not go back to their villages because the state does not clear landmines. Paramilitary forces and military operations are leading even to new cases of displacement.”

Muslims killed by Chinese: dog bites man

The death toll from riots on Sunday, May 2nd 2010, in China's Muslim Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has risen to 140, Xinhua news agency said on Monday.

Just look who is talking:

A Turkish airstrike on Kurdish rebels hideouts in northern Iraq last week killed 19 Kurdish guerrillas and left several others wounded, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

The military would not confirm or deny the report. The figures could not immediately be independently verified.

The agency, citing military officials, said four rebels were killed in a separate clash Wednesday in eastern Tunceli province inside Turkey, bringing the overall rebel death toll to 23 since last week's air assault on rebel camps in northern Iraq's Hakurk, Zap and Qandil Mountain regions...

The rebels have used northern Iraq to stage hit-and-run attacks on Turkish targets for decades...

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the fighting since 1984. "

NATO kills Afghani civilians

Hundreds of angry protesters staged a protest Friday in eastern Afghanistan, accusing NATO forces of killing a dozen civilians during an overnight raid.

What does a Left Wing Activist look like?

A left-wing activist on board the Gaza flotilla holding a knife

A left-wing activist on board the Gaza flotilla holding a knife after Israel Navy commandos boarded their ship on May 31, 2010.

This is the unfolding story.

Peace Activists lovingly beat Israeli soldiers with bats, throw one overboard

"Martyrdom or Gaza" and "Kill the Jews" thus sang the Peace humanitarians

Humanitarian aid


Comment trail:

The Spine

Z-word blog

Field Negro

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Peretz (1919-2010)
"May his soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life". .

We have been expecting the late telephone call for a few months now. My mother-in-law reported that he was fading away, gently, like a candle with a very tiny flame. Friday night they called to say that Peretz had passed away earlier that evening, in a hospital in Petah-Tiqva. He was alone. No one was there in the hospital to bid him a final good bye.

I saw him last August. We were sitting outside in the garden that he loved so much but was too frail and damaged to work it anymore. Some of his grandchildren were running about. Someone made coffee. He could not speak because his vocal chords had been removed some twenty years ago, due to cancer. His neck was badly twisted, causing him great pain. I think he would have preferred to stay in his bed, where it was probably the most comfortable for him but it was our last night in Israel and he wanted to be sociable. When we got up to leave he tapped two fingers on his cheek, indicating that he wanted me to kiss him good bye. He held my hand and whispered in his voiceless voice that he thought it would be the last time he ever saw me. He then struggled to get up, a very thin, shrunken old man and in shuffling, small steps walked to the gate to see us into our car.

I wrote about my father-in-law's story here.

He loved Greek music and some of his favourite songs were performed by Stelios Kazantzidis, about whom Wikipadia says:

In Israel, he was a musical icon. Many of his songs were translated into Hebrew and performed by the country's leading singers. Yaron Enosh, an Israel Radio broadcaster who often plays Greek music on his programs, described the singer's ability to combine joy with sorrow: "This is the task of music: to touch the entire range of feelings...Kazantzidis could do this; he played on all the strings." [3] To the Greek Jews who immigrated to Israel, Kazantzidis was "the voice of the world they left behind, for good or for bad." According to the operator of Radio Agapi, a station that plays Greek music 24 hours a day, "Kazantzidis was the voice of the people, of the weary, the exploited, the betrayed. And the voice of the refugee and the emigre, too."

Here are two of Peretz's old favourites. I think you can hear in the music "
the voice of ..the weary, the exploited, the betrayed... the refugee and the emigre..." of my late father-in-law. But also the courage and stubborn will of a man who simply refused to be defeated:



It's for you, Peretz, who knows, as you keep company with the Master of the Universe, sipping Turkish coffee and enjoying a small glass of Ouzo..

Friday, May 28, 2010

Information you'll never hear on mainstream media
Part 2 (Part 1 was here)

Out of Africa

Security forces and police in Africa killed hundreds of people in 2009 but were rarely investigated due to a culture of impunity, Amnesty International said in an annual report released Thursday.

Amnesty highlighted a massacre at a stadium in Guinea's capital Conakry last September in which more than 150 people taking part in a demonstration were killed and women were publicly raped.

"No credible investigations were initiated by the authorities so the UN set up an international commission of inquiry," the group said.

"It concluded that crimes against humanity had been committed and recommended referral to the ICC (International Criminal Court)," it said. (Source)

Residents of three predominantly Christian settlements near Jos said Muslim herders from surrounding hills had launched what appeared to be reprisal attacks following sectarian clashes which killed hundreds in January. Some witnesses told the BBC that villagers were caught in fishing nets and animal traps as they tried to flee and were then hacked to death. Mud huts were also set on fire. (Source)

In simple terms, it is in the triumvirate of white farmers, farm worker communities, and aspirations around the land question that the dynamics of the relationship in the country's hinterland should be understood. To the white farming community as well as other groups lobbying for self-determination for Afrikaners - of which Eugene Terre Blanche was racially and symbolically a part - the tragic murder vindicated deeply held suspicions of an onslaught on Afrikaner culture, including their livelihoods, which, as alleged in some extreme right-wing quarters, borders on "ethnic cleansing".

A local website run by "Crime Busters of South Africa" lists the names of more than 1500 people killed in farm attacks between February 1987 and December 2003. The list of victims is largely made up of white farmers, but it also contains a sprinkling of black victims, notably farm workers. Statistics in the South African Institute of Race Relations Survey 1008/9 place the number of murders at 1650 and farm attacks at 10412 in its review of the phenomenon, covering the years 1991 to 2007.

During Eid Al-Nourouz, a large holiday celebrated by Kurds, Syrian police officers gunned down a Kurdish crowd in Raqa, killing two and sending 40 to the hospital where they were detained and kept away from the public. This did not make news in Syria or the West, but on the same day Israel had killed two infiltrators from Gaza, making international headlines. What surprised me the most was how appallingly the Syrian government treated the Kurds - with what I would consider murder, torture and ethnic cleansing. One example of their oppression is the prohibition against instructing and writing the Kurdish language and promoting Kurdish culture. In many parts of Kurdish Syria, Arabs are forcibly moved into Kurdish towns and the towns are then given an Arabic name. One girl who was 1/4 Turkish, 1/4 Kurdish and 1/2 Arab loved listening to Israeli heavy metal music because it was the only music she could find that blended eastern and western tonalities successfully.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I. Can you find the difference between the following quotes? Bottom-line, is there a difference?

Found on Facebook:

"Much of the injustice that takes place in our world stems from ignorance. We reject being emotionally blackmailed by Hollywood tales and holocaust museums which legitimize the war crimes and crimes against humanity of the extremist Atheist regime of Tel-Aviv."

In a comment in The New Republic

I support Israel. But honestly. Not in exchange for a nutty U.S. Israel-first U.S.-second Americans like Dyer they shamelessly seek and accept the support of those who advocate for a fundamentalist theocracy (like the so-called "christian right", who as an aside are decidedly un-christian); or a tawdry right winger who advocates pure evil in foreign affairs like Eliot Abrams.


II. Christopher Hitchens compares and contrasts:

Via: Mick

Look here upon this picture, and on this …” In the left frame, a privileged young Swiss-Egyptian academic, whose father and grandfather were pillars of the Muslim Brotherhood and who has expressed strong sympathy for the jihadist preachings—and social and moral precepts—of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, purveyor of fatwas and self-described “Mufti of martyrdom operations.” In the right frame, a young woman from Somalia who has endured genital mutilation and forced marriage, made her escape to Europe, spoken out for the rights of women, seen a colleague of hers murdered for the same advocacy, abandoned religion for the values of the European enlightenment, and now conducts her life under permanent police protection.

Which of these two individuals garners the most respectful attention from our liberal intellectuals? [...]


III. And another irony that caught my eye:

Timothy Garton Ash, a British historian from Oxford University:

It's no disrespect to Ms. Ali to suggest that if she had been short, squat, and squinting, her story and views might not be so closely attended to

And this description:

"There he sits, all slight, toned physical perfection, all fastidious grooming, all glowing with non-drinking, non-smoking, body-is-a-temple spiritual health. He's passionate about applying Islamic standards at a personal level. It all sounds improbably high-minded and exacting, so it's a surprise to discover that Ramadan is a good companion - playful, warm, quick to laugh, and occasionally flirting on the outer fringes of self-deprecation (he contends that his religious devotion is largely about sublimating the ego, in something like the manner of a western 12-step programme)." Deborah Orr @ The Independent

Monday, May 17, 2010

Information you'll never hear on mainstream media:
building a wall and demolishing houses

Building a wall

Hezbollah and Syria are building a massive fortified wall, running from Rashaya Al-Wadi on the western, Lebanese slopes of Mt. Hermon (85 kilometers southeast of Beirut) in the south, to the Lebanese Beqaa Valley town of Aita el-Foukhar, in the north, debkafile’s military sources reveal.

The structure, 22 kilometers long in parallel to the Lebanese-Syrian border promises to be one of the biggest fortified structures in the Middle East. It is designed as an obstacle against any Israeli tank forces heading through Lebanon toward the Syrian capital, Damascus. When it is finished, the barrier will isolate a key Lebanese border region – 14 kilometers wide and 22 kilometers long – from the rest of the country and place it under Hezbollah-Syrian military control. This region is inhabited most by Druzes and Christians.

Destroying houses in Gaza

Hamas, the Palestinian movement which controls the Gaza Strip, has forced residents of a southern town from their homes and demolished their houses.

The radical Islamist group says people living at the edge of the town of Rafah had built their homes illegally on government land.

Witnesses said dozens of people were pushed out of their homes but Hamas says the number has been exaggerated.

Palestinians in Gaza have been angered by the demolitions.

Palestinians are more used to seeing homes destroyed in areas occupied by Israeli military or police for being built without the correct permits, correspondents say.

Club-wielding Hamas policemen - and some female police officers wearing face-covering veils - forced people from their homes and then brought in bulldozers.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Worth reading:

@ Sign and Sight: The origins of left- wing antisemitism

Stefan Frank interviews the writer and politician Fiamma Nirenstein (homepage) about left-wing anti-Semitism which, she believes, started during the 7 Day War. "The people saw that the Jews were no longer the Jews as they imagined them: a poor minority despised by society who hid themselves away in their houses and synagogues, praying, and who needed permission from non-Jews to do everything. Suddenly the Jews were strong enough to defend themselves against Egypt, Syria and Jordan and even to conquer territory – in a war which should have sealed their fate."

More on the same subject, by Nick Cohen reviewing Pascal Bruckner:

The hatred of Israel in Europe is the best example Bruckner produces. Hardly anyone mentions that the Arab and Iranian dictatorships find anti-Semitism as useful a method for distracting their subject people from examining their worthless regimes as the tsars and the Nazis did.

For Europeans, criticism of sagging Arab nationalist states and resurgent theocracy would mean accepting the existence of alternative sources of sin outside the West and confronting the racial prejudices in Europe's Muslim minorities. Better to blame Israel as a source of danger to Europe for its failure to behave as true penitent.

Bewildered outsiders look on a continent where Holocaust commemoration is a civic religion and wonder how guilt for an anti-Semitic past can coexist with rising anti-Semitism and the singling out for perpetual attack of the world's only Jewish state. Bruckner's convincing answer is that because Israel stands up to its enemies it is in European eyes the root cause of the rage against it. Europe copes with the guilt of the Holocaust by transferring it to Israel, which involves the recycling of the revolting trope that Jews are now Nazis.


@ Michael Totten's: A skinhead in a headscarf:

"I am a Jew," he said. "The head of Hezbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. For or against it?"

"For it," she said.

More, here in the comments


@ CIF Watch: Some facts about Palestinian "Right of Return"

The article goes on to highlight the “extraordinary surplus of the Government and the immense increase in the Customs revenue”, which are attributed to “the increasing immigration”. Quoting an “authoritative estimate”, the number of Jewish immigrants for 1934 is given as 50,000; compared to 38,000 in 1933, and 15,600 in 1932.

But the report also notes:

“The immigration, however, is not restricted to Jews. There has been a steady infiltration into Palestine of Arabs from Syria (the Hauran) and from Trans-Jordan. And it is notable that the illicit immigration of the non-Jews recorded in the report of the Government is more than double that recorded for the Jews.”

Obviously, this means that if some 100 000 Jews immigrated to Palestine between 1932-1934, more than 200 000 Arabs immigrated illegally in the same period – and, interestingly enough, some of these illegal Arab immigrants came from the very part of Palestine that the British had decided to cut off from the Mandate area to create an exclusively Arab state from which Jews would be barred.

Of course, even back then, it was fashionable to claim that Jewish immigration caused terrible hardship for the “natives” of Palestine – but, as one contemporary British official dryly noted:

“This illegal [Arab] immigration was not only going on from the Sinai, but also from Transjordan and Syria, and it is very difficult to make a case out for the misery of the Arabs if at the same time their compatriots from adjoining states could not be kept from going in to share that misery.”

Friday, May 14, 2010

Israel's early years, in color

... amazing COLOR footage of Israel right before and right after independence...

@ The Iconoclast

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jane Austen's latest fan

How quick come the reasons for approving what we like!
Jane Austen

My favourite author was just elevated to some political eminence when it was revealed that President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, is an Austen aficionada. She reads "Pride & Prejudice" yearly!

This piece of very important information became public knowledge in a thread on Marty Peretz's Spine blog, here. This sensational bit of news, was discreetly inserted between discussions of Shylock, Derrida, TS Eliot, and suchlike, you know, the usual high-brow topics quarreled over on The New Republic, and immediately provoked waves of protestations and dire prognostications. The informer was poster K2K, a citizen of the Republic of Pemberley, who appeared to derive much relish from the shock waves of disbelief she unleashed. Here is what she said, somewhere on p. 2 of the blog post:

05/11/2010 - 1:15am EDT |

NYT reports that, Elena Kagan is also "the literature lover who reread Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” every year. "

"But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she hardly had a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes."

As is my wont, I wanted to verify this information since things too good to be true have to be double checked for authenticity. And indeed, another source reported the same:

She was the razor-sharp newspaper editor and history major at Princeton who examined American socialism, and the Supreme Court clerk for a legal giant, Thurgood Marshall, who nicknamed her “Shorty.” She was the reformed teenage smoker who confessed to the occasional cigar as she fought Big Tobacco for the Clinton administration, and the literature lover who reread Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” every year.

When asked what she thought about the nominee, Jane Austen decorously said:

“Everything united in her; good understanding, correct opinions, knowledge of the world and a warm heart”

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Comment Trail:

@ The Tablet: Judge Goldstone's record

More on the same, here

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Comment trail:

@ Bob's: More Thoughts about Gnome Chomsky

(who has recently been knighted as a "Righteous Jew" by Prof. Mearsheimer).

I may yet work it into a full-fledged post but for now I'm just reposting my comments on that thread:

It would be quite silly and frankly, irrational, for any Jew to consider his/her "Jewishness as an objective or "racial" condition"(as if being Jewish is some sort of a disease, or a genetic deformity). But only a Jewish hyper-sensitive mega-narcissist would make such a fuss about it. Like Atzmon trying to cure himself or Levi, by imagining he is so morally superior to all others, for allowing Atzmon his personal choices.

Poor Levi cannot tolerate to live in the real world where no one, not even one, gives a muck about him or his "progressive" idiosyncrasies.


"Your defence of CC's sheer dishonesty regarding Atzmon is ludicrous given that s/he didn't offer the excuse that you're offering. It was a clear attempt at accusing critics of Israel of antisemitism. "

I don't understand where levi sees dishonesty. Atzmon is an antisemite, not because he denies he is a Jew, (that would be a matter for psychologists to decide) but because he hates Jews and cooperates with anyone who is dedicated to the demise of Israel, which is 85% Jewish. It is not through sheer coincidence that he chooses Israel and Jews as the object of his hatred and activism. They matter most to him, precisely because he still feels a Jew.

Gilad atzmon reminds me of the man who hated his father in Heidrich's story, as recounted in "Conspiracy" through the actor Kenneth Branagh. When the father dies, the son who hated him grieved the most for him. Why? Because that hatred had shaped his life and given meaning to his existence. The fictional Heidrich was telling the story as a cautionary tale about why it is important not to hate the Jews even as he was orchestrating their destruction. It's not about hatred. It's about utopia and efficiency. In an ironic, twisted sort of way, it is Atzmon's very hatred that humanizes him and inspires pity for him. He is Quasimodo gazing in the mirror and horrified at the misshapen image his eyes perceive. He is like the anorexic teenager who, having starved herself to skin and bone, looks in the mirror and sees an obese body. Gilad is a man in search of his humanity and antisemitism is his means

of finding it.


Bob: I'm not sure I agree with the conflation you make between Mearsheimer's "Righteous Jews" and Arendt's "Exceptiopnal Jews". I'll try to think of a good way of explaining my intuitive rejection of this analogy.

In the meantime, I just want to say this:

"Righteous Jews", to my ear, is a precise echo of "Righteous Gentiles" which carries a deeply symbolic meaning in modern Jewish history. It's not condescension, unless you think that any recognition of an act of heroism is condescension. It is homage paid to otherwise unsung heroes and also a reminder that antisemitism is not an irresistible impulse or a force of nature. That all other things being equal, some people could act in ways that re-affirmed common humanity.

By choosing the term "Righteous Jews" Mearsheimer aimed at precisely this ironic mirroring of a deeply revered Jewish tradition of gratitude and acknowledgment of goodness. It was a malevolent attempt to create a balance between saviours of Jews and some of the ugliest advocates of Palestinians (who act against the survival and well-being of Jews). The most cursory comparison will reveal the inadequacy and contempt encapsulated in this formulation, another over-stretching of the rhetorical fallacy Amis called "The fetishization of balance".

"I didn't say... "

I was not responding to you or anything specific you were saying. Your kinds of thoughts and arguments require too many mental contortions and ethical acrobatics, with very little returns.

Gilad Atzmon is an interesting case and every once in a while when his name is mentioned I take one more shot at understanding what he represents.

You, Levi, are not interesting. You are nothing but a stereotype and a boring one, as all stereotypes are. One way of recognizing a stereotype is its predictability. And predictability is discerned through the resort to cliches, ad homs, Reductio ad Hitlerum, to name but a few features.

Please don't take that as an insult.


"You were addressing me or at least what I said, you ridiculous liar. You misrepresented what I said and you got caught and previously you had dishonestly tried to place Atzmon and his antisemitism in the same camp as serious Jewish critics of the State of Israel."

Serious? You mean like you?

From where I'm standing, I cannot see much difference between you and Atzmon. I understand a little better now since YOU believe the difference is he is no longer Jewish while you are. Any other difference I should be aware of?

Don't you get it that the ideological nuances that seem so important to you are really lost on anyone who has not adopted your rabid leftist dogmas? You make a career of demonizing Israel and her supporters (as is very nicely illustrated in this little discussion right here in this thread) and you complain that the demonized does not make an effort to figure out the quantum nuance that separates your thinking from Atzmon's?

You are both quite loathsome. But in Atzmon's case I can find some mitigation in the fact that he is slightly less hypocritical about his motivations. And he is a gifted artist. What's your excuse?


The only one here who has been obsessing over ethno-religious supremacies and such is levi0000. He is the living proof that the myth of Jewish genius is, alas, exactly that, a myth.

But I've always maintained that Jews have every right to be as stupid, petty, bigoted, pompous, sanctimonious and hypocritical, as anybody else, without being subject to special ridicule over it. So I'll try to abide by my own principle in this matter.


"...but at the same time I've always been a little uncomfortable with it."

Don't think that I don't understand, Bob. It can be the subject of a whole dissertation, in fact. I have a few thoughts:

There is a very lavish program produced by CNN which is called "CNN Heroes". Here is the description from wiki:

"CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute is an annual television special created by CNN to honor individuals who make extraordinary contributions to help others. It is hosted by Anderson Cooper. It started in 2007 and continues now, with the awards show aired at the end of the year.

Over the course of the year, viewers can nominate and vote for the heroes they want to nominate for recognition and honoring."

I watch a few minutes before I turn away from it. It is done in a very glitzy fashion, with film stars presenting the awards, almost like an Oscars night. It makes me squirm in discomfort. I'm not exactly sure about the message it conveys. It's like rewarding what should the standard, expected behaviour. Why is there a need for it? Why is it necessary to keep reminding people that helping others may come with a piece of candy at the end of it?

On the other hand, how do we teach people learn to appreciate such goodness if not by public acknowledgment and reward?

Reward is just the obverse side of punishment. If a famous person is caught doing something immoral, even if not illegal, he/she gets publicly humiliated in the media's attention and no one cares a fig. Yet when an unknown person is recognized for doing something good, we feel uncomfortable when he/she is publicly thanked for it. There is a lack of balance here that tips towards the celebration of the negative and dismissal of the positive.

Perhaps we feel uncomfortable exactly because we are taught that we need to behave ethically and charitably as a rule and not for a reward. In Maimonedes' Eight Degrees of Charity, the second highest level of charity is the one who gives tzedaka to the poor, but does not know to whom he gives, nor does the recipient know his benefactor. Thus assistance is rendered without recognition or expectation of a reward or gratitude. This principle affirms the discomfort that we feel with such customs as the regulation of appreciation for "Righteous Gentiles" (carried out in a much more dignified and low-key ceremony in Yad Vashem than CNN's heroes celebration).

Jane Austen had something to say about it, in "Sense & Sensibility":

"Colonel Brandon's character," said Elinor, "as an excellent man, is well established."
"I know it is," replied her mother … “his coming for me as he did, with such active, such ready friendship, is enough to prove him one of the worthiest of men."
"His character, however," answered Elinor, "does not rest on one act of kindness, to which his affection for Marianne, were humanity out of the case, would have prompted him. To Mrs. Jennings, to the Middletons, he has been long and intimately known; they equally love and respect him; and even my own knowledge of him, though lately acquired, is very considerable; and so highly do I value and esteem him…”

Elinor's view corresponds to the higher principle that decency and goodness ought to be the norm, not the exception that requires special recognition. But it is her mother who exemplifies the more prevalent and instinctive inclination to confer special significance on an act of kindness.

So I have to wonder which is the greater condescension, the actual acknowledgment of righteousness as a somewhat unusual human achievement, or the dismissal of those who will consider it worthy of a special notice?

Elinor does not pour scorn on her mother for the special gratitude she expresses towards Brandon, just as Maimonedes does not degrade the lowest level of charity giving, when assistance is openly given and openly acknowledged.


By the way, here is another unexpected wrinkle on the subject. The quote is from a comment on an article in "The Tablet":

"By the way, Lithuanians escaped lots of Jews from Vilnius ghetto… Did Jews escaped any people from Soviet prisons?"