Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Isn't Israel already a Jewish Nation-State?

I thought that Israel would have already had some sort of language in its founding documents making clear the Jewish nature of the state of Israel.  And according to Dr. Mohammed Wattad, yes it does.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Experimenter Bias and Shocking Videos

A couple of posts ago I linked to a couple of videos of a reporter waving an ISIS flag at Berkeley campus.  I thought it was, and still think it is, an interesting experiment.  But what strikes me as perhaps the biggest flaw in the experiment is possible bias on the part of the experimenter. He is a reporter who probably is trying to make a name for himself. The best way to do this is by filming very interesting videos. And one way to do this is to film what appear to be results opposite of what we would normally expect. Thus, showing video of people not reacting to his waving an ISIS flag would be the result he would want to attain. And this could be easily achieved. Even if 95% of the people who walked by stopped to express negative comments about his actions, all he has to do is edit them out and show only the 5% who did not react. I'm not saying that this is what he actually did. It could be exactly what he claims happened - no negative reactions whatsoever. The problem is, since he would have a motive to make an interesting video, unless we know him to be a person of high ethical character, we should be careful about the conclusions he wants us to draw about his experiment.

What we do know is that some people at Berkeley tweeted negative reactions to the ISIS flag-waving.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Negative Reaction to Pro-Palestinian Demonstration on Campus

A friend of mine suggested that people didn't react negatively to the pro-ISIS demonstrator, because they figured he was joking.  Meanwhile, he suggested that there are negative reactions to pro-Palestinian demonstrations on campuses.  I found one that seems to prove his second point.  There is at least one negative reaction to this Pro-Palestinian Demonstration at the U. of Michigan.

Reaction to ISIS Flag vs. Reaction to Israel's Flag

Interesting Experiment.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Difficulty in Arresting Jesus

Jesus arrives in Jerusalem for the Passover, but he has come early, the first day of the week, and Passover won't begin until Thursday or Friday evening. As it gets closer to Passover, the crowds of Jewish people coming to celebrate will grow. And the danger that Jesus could cause a major uproar or rebellion by publicly claiming to be the Messiah will grow, also. So if one wants to get rid of Jesus, the sooner the better. 
But there is a problem. Just as with modern cities, where the closer to town vacationers want to stay the more expensive the lodgings, so was it also the case in Jerusalem. So most visitors would stay in the outlying towns at night and come to the city during the day. Jesus and his disciples, along with the crowd of Galilean Jews, did likewise, with many of them staying in Bethany, about two miles away. 
Thus, from morning to evening Jesus will be surrounded by a large group of Galilean Jews with whom he is very popular. And the more he teaches and heals people, the more his popularity will grow with Judean Jews and even native Jerusalemites. To try to arrest him during the day is just asking for trouble. And at night, he is staying two miles from the city, much too risky for the Temple guards to pull off a secret night arrest successfully. 
Another opiton would just be to inform the Romans that Jesus is a dangerous insurgent who must be done away with. But this might bring the same result - a large, bloody riot. 
At this point the ruling class in Jerusalem, the priests, have to hope that somehow they will find a way to isolate Jesus from the crowd.