Monday, October 25, 2010

Intolerant liberals

A piece in The Economist about the settlement of Ariel magnificently illustrates the way some liberals are, in fact, the least liberal people out there when it comes to 'tolerating' the Other.

The piece explains that the city's founder and mayor, Ron Nachman, originally envisaged it as a home for economic, secular settlers. Now that the city is no longer attracting the 'right' kind of people,
Mr Nachman continues to spurn the ultra-orthodox Jews who have peopled much larger settlements. But seemingly holding his nose, he has welcomed religious “Anglos”, or English-speaking Jewish immigrants, including a South African rabbi. He has also made room for some of the religious settlers Israel moved from Gaza when it pulled out in 2005. But if it is to survive, Ariel will have to swallow its pride and admit less tolerant and flexible folk.
Less tolerant than who? Than people who "hold their nose" at religious people?

To be fair, this is probably more a comment on the anonymous author of the Economist piece than on Mr Nachman - since the last line is not a direct quote, I have no way of knowing whether he characterised the difference between the parties in this way or whether it reflects the perceptions of the writer. But clearly someone out there can't see the contradiction.


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