Saturday, March 15, 2014

New Diet, Sexual Attraction May Have Spurred Europeans’ Lighter Skin. By Michael Balter.

New Diet, Sexual Attraction May Have Spurred Europeans’ Lighter Skin. By Michael Balter. Science Now, March 10, 2014.

Direct evidence for positive selection of skin, hair, and eye pigmentation in Europeans during the last 5,000 y. By Sandra Wilde et al. PNAS, Early Edition, March 5, 2014.

How Farming Reshaped Our Genomes. By Michael Balter. Science Now, January 26, 2014.

The Timing of Pigmentation Lightening in Europeans. Sandra Beleza et al. Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol. 30, No. 1 (January 2013).

Ancient Hunter-Gatherers Kept In Touch. By Michael Balter. Science Now, June 28, 2012.

Israelis Don’t Care That We Hate Them. But They’d Like to Know Why. By Brendan O’Neill.

Israelis don’t care that we hate them. But they’d like to know why. By Brendan O’Neill. The Spectator, March 15, 2014.

Love-Hate Relationship. By Liat Collins. Jerusalem Post, March 20, 2014.


Israel is a rogue state for the right-on. It’s the state that it’s super hip to hate. But why? Israel-bashers will say, “Duh, it's because of its crazy military antics,” but that doesn’t add up. Israel’s militarism today is of a far smaller order than it was during the Six-Day War of 1967, and back then most Westerners, including radical leftists, supported the Zionist project.
The most interesting explanation I hear for Israel’s unpopularity among latte-sippers comes from Richard Pater, a political analyst from Radlett who has lived in Israel for the past 15 years. (Israel has loads of Jews from boring bits of Britain who have taken the quite wise decision to act on their right to migrate to this far warmer, more exotic part of the world.) “The lesson many in the West took from the Holocaust is that nationalism is bad; the message Jews took from it is that nationalism is necessary.”
This cuts to the heart of today’s fashionable disdain for little Israel. What many Westerners seem to find most nauseating is that Israel is cocky, confident and committed to preserving its national sovereign rights against all-comers. In short, it’s a lot like we used to be before relativism and anti-modernism. I think that Israel reminds us of our older selves, our pre-EU, pre-green days, when we, too, believed in borders, sovereignty, progress, growth.
Now that it’s de rigueur in the right-thinking sections of western society to be post- nationalist and multicultural, to be fashionably uncertain about one’s national identity, the sight of a border-fortifying state offends and outrages us. In the words of George Gilder, author of The Israel Test, Israel is now hated more for its virtues than for its political or militaristic vices. It’s hated for remaining devoted to “freedom and capitalism” when we’re all supposed to be snooty about such things.
If Israel is unofficially being made into a pariah state, it isn’t because of its foreignness, or even necessarily its Jewishness, but rather because it is too western for our liking. We loathe it because we loathe ourselves.