James Edward Johnson

my thoughts from right to left

Archive for October 2004

Arafat in Hospital Near Paris for Treatment of Mystery Illness

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This article, The New York Times: Arafat in Hospital Near Paris for Treatment of Mystery Illness, and some others make me think about two things. First, should a Jew refuse to, or be barred from, treating Arafat if he or she had the opportunity. If Arafat dies, G-d willing, a Jewish doctor would surely receive blame from the Arab conspiracy theorists.

Second, as a moral dilemma, imagine you were treating Arafat. Imagine further that you, and you alone, could secretly make a treatment decision that would either end his life immediately, or allow him to live another 5-10 years. Whatever your decision, people would never know. What do you do? On one hand, he presents no imminent threat to you or anyone else. On the other, his death would pave the way for possible peace negotiations. I lean towards letting him die. It would be difficult, because deaths that would result from his living would be primarily as a result of his neglect, as opposed to his direct action. His actual culpability in future killings would probably be substantially less than his culpability for past killings. As a retributive matter the question is simple, but I typically do not see myself as a retributive tool for G-d’s justice. Even so, I could never tell a terror victim’s family that I had such opportunity and balked. That is why I lean towards letting him die.

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Written by JamesEJ

Friday, October 29, 2004 at 4:34 pm

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Arafat in Serious Condition

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According to Reuters, in Arafat in Serious Condition, Foreign Medics Arrive: “The ex-guerrilla, loved by most of his people and reviled by many Israelis, has had stomach pains since last week.” It should have read, “The terrorist, considered corrupt by most of his people and an enemy of Israelis, has had stomach pains since last week.” While the loss of life is always unfortunate, even when it is just, this one will be balanced by the possible mizvah of resuming a real peace process.

Written by JamesEJ

Thursday, October 28, 2004 at 11:32 am

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Shinui, Disengagement and Haaretz

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Since I already mentioned Shinui today, here is an interesting article from Haaretz discussing Shinui’s role in government and some of the politics involved in disengagement.

Written by JamesEJ

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 at 4:32 pm

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Israel’s Knesset approves disengagement from Gaza

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From the Jerusalem Post Israel’s Knesset approves disengagement from Gaza. Of course any libertarian has to struggle with the conflict between the use of eminent domain to strip people of their homes and actions towards peace that are necessary to restore any sense of Palestinian liberty. However, I would suggest that this is a step in the right direction, where taking any direction, except surrender to victimhood, involves support for treading on someone’s liberty. Obviously surrendering to victimhood is not an option. At the very least, I think Shinui should support disengagement if only to maintain and strengthen its role in government.

Written by JamesEJ

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 at 4:16 pm

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A Jewish liberal New Yorker on why she is voting for Bush

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The article noted below was interesting to me. I am sympathitic to the neo-con view, as national defense is one of the few legitimate functions of government. However, even an impassioned argument like this from a NYC liberal Jew will not convice me on Iraq. I believe we are doing good in Iraq, but I think the cost is too high given the benefit to the US. The Command Post – Op-Ed – A Jewish liberal New Yorker on why she is voting for Bush

Written by JamesEJ

Monday, October 25, 2004 at 2:16 pm

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Columbia Abuzz Over Underground Film

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Apparently, Duke is not the only place where campus/Israel issues are getting press … Columbia Abuzz Over Underground Film – – The New York Sun

Written by JamesEJ

Friday, October 22, 2004 at 1:16 pm

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Improved Presbyterian Response to Hizbollah Visit

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The Presbyterian Church has improved its response to the actions and comments of its members. See their statement here.

Written by JamesEJ

Friday, October 22, 2004 at 10:34 am

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