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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Shouting One Down: Better than Intelligent Questions?

In Judaism, we have a tradition of discussion and pilpul - where we question, analyze and answer - from Talmudic study to public debate. It is the civilized, intelligent way of learning for the purpose of arriving at the truth: discuss, challenge and refute.

Unfortunately, that is not the culture of the people who disrupted Michael Oren's talk at UC at Irvine (hat tip Atlas Shrugs). These "students" - I am assuming that they are students, and it is not certain if they are members of the Muslim Student Union - raucously interrupted his speech 10 times before walking out (escorted by campus security) in protest. By doing so, they accomplished nothing except preventing the Israeli Ambassador from speaking freely about U.S./Israel relations.

You'd think they would have first allowed him to speak and then asked questions? Of course not; that's too civilized (and might expose their false accusations and arguments). Better to shout him down to prove your point (which of course is the mature and intelligent way to do it.).



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2 comments:

Batya said...

First refuah shleimah!

The irony is that by Israeli standards Oren is extreme Left, ok by my standards. they'd probably agree with him more than I do.

Lady-Light said...

Batya: Thank you for the refu'ah shelemah wishes. Oren is left-leaning, for sure; but the hecklers are not really interested in "listening" to anything he or anyone else says, only shouting out their slogans (I wonder if they even think analytically about their beliefs at all ?!)

 
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