Elena Kagan thought experiment

Elena Kagan at her confirmation hearings:

"As you know, I don’t think it’s a secret I am Jewish," she added. "The state of Israel has meant a lot to me and my family."

How would Kagan have been received by the Senate, by the media, and by the lobby if she had said instead:

"As you know, I don’t think it’s a secret I am Palestinian [or Muslim]," she added. "Palestine has meant a lot to me and my family."
 

About Boulos

i'm a perpetual student.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Nakba, US Politics

{ 38 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Chu says:

    Muslims can barely make it into the house of reps. Recently in Staten Island, thewas great opposition of building a mosque in their neighborhood. Many protesters came out and said we don’t want terrorists in our backyard. And this was on NBC evening news a few weeks ago. so much for freedom of religion.
    link to nytimes.com

    • Avi says:

      According to the 2008 presidential election results, Staten Island was the only borough in NYC to have overwhelmingly voted republican.

  2. annie says:

    she wouldn’t have been sitting there is she was palestinian so the question is moot.

  3. Avi says:

    As you know, I don’t think it’s a secret I am Jewish

    She’s setting up the stage……wait for it……..

    The state of Israel has meant a lot to me and my family.

    That’s code for: “You had better confirm my appointment or else you’re a bunch of Israel hating anti-Semites who will suffer the wrath of AIPAC”.

  4. Mooser says:

    What has Palestine done for Elanor Kagan, lately? Of course, the US, home of anti-Semitism lite, according to Wondering Witty, did nothing but keep her down.

    • Avi says:

      Which is why it’s a great idea that she finally decided to join the Israeli High Court of Justice as one of the sitting justices..err….no, wait. …This is in the US, right? She was appointed to the US Supreme Court, right? Hummm…yeah….umm no, I don’t see why she brought up Israel then.

    • Citizen says:

      Wondering Witty has the same view as Kagan on US Army recruiters–they are deemed unworthy of much respect. OTH, those IDF recruiters, what mensch!”

      • AlecS says:

        Kagan’s opposition to US Army recruiters on campus was based on their discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The IDF has had openly gay soldiers for nearly two decades now, so that position would be entirely consistent.

        • Avi says:

          The IDF has had openly gay soldiers for nearly two decades now, so that position would be entirely consistent.

          There is no official policy within the IOF that states that gays enjoy any form of equal treatment or protection. In fact, there have been many cases in which the harassment and the taunting of gays in the Israeli army pushed the victims to commit suicide.

          Have you served in the IOF? Or do you regurgitate whatever you hear on NPR?

        • AlecS says:

          No, I do not regurgitate whatever I hear on NPR, I haven’t served in the IDF (or the American military for that matter) and I’m aware of the mistreatment of gay soldiers within the IDF that has been reported elsewhere. My point was solely that Kagan’s opposition to US military recruiters was based on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and, contra Citizen’s suggestion, it had nothing to do with deeming “US military recruiters unworthy of respect” as opposed to the IDF recruiters.

        • hophmi says:

          “There is no official policy within the IOF that states that gays enjoy any form of equal treatment or protection. ”

          Right . . . and . . . why would there be, exactly?

          I’ve spoken with openly gay members of the IDF. They spoke mostly of the support they received from their colleagues when they came out. The point is that gay soldiers can serve openly in Israel, and they cannot in the US.

  5. That a Jew, Jews, could overcome the hostility of the American convention towards Jews, should be a sign of HOPE for Muslims, rather than an invocation of resentment towards Jews.

    Do you really mean this approach Phil?

    • Citizen says:

      What “American convention towards Jews” are you talking about, Witty?
      I’ve never seen it in operation since I was born, and I am older than you, and I’ve lived around the USA. I have seen extra protection & benefits for Jews in operation here in the USA. I am not alone, hence Boulos’s thought experiment is well taken by me and many others here. Why does the SCOTUS candidate feel it necessary to mention her adoration of a foreign state when she is applying for a US Supreme Court slot?

      • Mooser says:

        ” I have seen extra protection & benefits for Jews in operation here in the USA.”

        Simply to be exempted from the racial hostility and race-based crimes the US is quite capable of is a benefit and a protection.

      • Colin Murray says:

        Why does the SCOTUS candidate feel it necessary to mention her adoration of a foreign state when she is applying for a US Supreme Court slot?

        You nailed it, and so did Boulos.

    • Mooser says:

      “That a Jew, Jews, could overcome the hostility of the American convention towards Jews, “

      My God, what a hideous man you are, Witty! What a piece of work! Has the Goldenah Medina done so badly by you, Witty? Or was it the years of enslavements in the South, and then 150 years of the Chaim Crowstein laws? Oh, what a relief Brownstein vs. Board of Ed. must have been for you.
      Witty, just a tiny bit of advice for you: it’s not considered too cookl to complain about being slowed in your race to the top when so many people can’t even get in at the bottom.

    • eljay says:

      The Jew, Jews, were once but a tiny blue dot dog-paddling in a…ummm…puce (fuchsia?) sea of non-Jewishness in America, progressive victims of a forward-facing narrative firmly rooted in the Holocaust and a mythological long-term exile actually suffered by no-one.

      But then they overcame the hostility of the American convention towards Jew, Jews, and the world was a better place…until, to their horror, they discovered that all of Judaism was now but a tiny blue dot in a green see of non-Jewishness in the Middle East.

      And, so, the Jew, Jews of America dusted off their “progressive victims” cloaks, eased the weight of mythological long-term exile back onto their shoulders, remembered the Holocaust…and told the Palestinians to stop whining about the past and to just get on with life, because healing old wounds helps no-one and it’s all just “working for vengeance”.

      The End. (But not really, not yet. They haven’t bombed Iran.)

  6. Donald says:

    It’s a little of both, Richard, though it’s been a long time since it would have been a big deal in having a Jew on the Supreme Court. A Muslim, otoh, would drive a great many people into hysterics and a Palestinian Muslim American would cause heads to explode with a force of several hundred megatons.

    So Phil’s questions are valid. (I leave aside the whole business others have raised about whether she’s qualified–from what little I know, I think she is, setting aside what I might think of her opinions.)

    • hayate says:

      donald

      “(I leave aside the whole business others have raised about whether she’s qualified–from what little I know, I think she is, setting aside what I might think of her opinions.)”

      With those parameters, george bush would be qualified.

      :D

      • Donald says:

        Well, he’d have to have a brain, but otherwise, maybe. Actually, I just meant she’s presumably smart and competent and all that–as is Roberts and Scalia and other people I wish weren’t on the court. And the way Obama thinks, she might not disagree with them on civil rights issues.

  7. annie says:

    That a Jew, Jews, could overcome the hostility of the American convention towards Jews

    iow ‘i’m jewish i love israel’ should be a sign of hope for us all. ok, i got it.

  8. hayate says:

    Good point, Boulos.

  9. Howard says:

    Kagan has publicly stated her fondness and respect for Aharon Barak, chief judge of Israel’s High Court of Justice as well as for Israel. What I would be very curious to know is what her opinion of Justice Richard Goldstone and his report on Gaza. As a Jew, is he someone she would admire or vilify. Was she asked this and I missed it?

  10. Potshots.

    Listen to the actual woman. Is she an addition to the Supreme Court.

    She also expressed an admiration for Thurgood Marshall, who also didn’t have judicial experience before his contribution to the Supreme Court.

    Get back on the field guys.

    You, including Phil, are expressing literally knee-jerk, Pavlovian, reaction.

  11. Keith says:

    How would a Palestinian Muslim have been received at the confirmation hearings? The same way that the Palestinian MK was received in the Knesset after her return from the freedom flotilla. But that is a moot point isn’t it? There would have been no hearings. She wouldn’t be Obama’s solicitor general, nor have been an aide in the Clinton administration, nor dean of Harvard law school, etc. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? The good old boy network admits a few women, but excludes anyone who does not look with favor on Israel and Zionism. Qualifications? Her ideological fealty is impeccable. She will deliver the goods for the people who count.

  12. hayate says:

    “Her ideological fealty is impeccable. She will deliver the goods for the people who count.”

    Yup

  13. hophmi says:

    I think a Palestinian or a Muslim would have been received just fine had one been nominated.

    I would be happy to support such a nomination if it came up and I agreed with the legal outlook of the candidate.