Brilliant judges rule that administrative detention is copacetic

on 8 Comments

First, Ha’aretz reports from the frontier of junk science about how genetically intelligent Jews are (saying “clever” would make one an anti-Semite):

Many liberal Jews maintain, at least in public, that the plethora of Jewish lawyers, doctors and comedians is the product of our cultural heritage, but the science tells a more complex story. Jewish success is a product of Jewish genes as much as of Jewish moms.

Then, Ha’aretz reports how Israeli’s very intelligent Jewish judges have determined – by the most rigorous judicial thinking – that “administrative detention” is still kosher. Check out the 15-points-above-average-IQ reasoning:

“Administrative detention is an aberration in the judicial field, and thus, no one can deny, must be used as little as possible, even if we don’t remember that it’s used in the world at large, and mainly because we do not forget that Israel regularly fights terror and those who seek to harm it from many directions,” they added, saying: “The state should not have to apologize for securing its own safety.” 

But if you dear reader consider this ruling rather treif [not Kosher] from a legal rights perspective, these very same intelligent Supreme Court judges do suggest some reforms to the Israeli government:

“It’s possible that there’s room to revisit – and this is said with much caution and with no ‘bottom line’ – notions that have come up in the past, [referring to] the possibility of giving access to the material to a jurist acceptable to the detainees, and who could be a former top civil jurist or judge,” the justices added.

The justices added that such a step could “bring the discussion closer to the detainees’ rights, without harming security,” saying: “However, we’re aware that the broader consequences aren’t in our full awareness and are not setting anything in stone.”

So, if you are one of those prisoners under “administrative detention” that may be the result of a too zealous application of the law by the Israeli government, you remain without a legal remedy, as only the government itself has sufficient information to determine whether it has been too zealous. And that’s the news from Israel’s only liberal newspaper.

About Bruce Wolman

Bruce Wolman is a citizen journalist who has lived in Norway and the Washington area.

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8 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    May 7, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Are you saying these judges are — like — comedians? No, trouble is, they are precisely like — judges. They are judges to decide cases, which is what judges everywhere do, according to their best lights — and the law, if any — in context. In the USA our dear, clever, S/C sees its way by the light shed by excessive capitalism, as this is their “best lights”. And what officials in the USA do not support excessive capitalism? Hmmm?

    And what judge in Israel is not overwhelmingly, culturally, and by his/her best lights deciding cases inside a cocoon of impending doom (new Auschwitzes by the dozen, terrorists behind every bush)?

    So, all in all, the pressure of international raised eyebrows regarding admin detention made these judges suggest — just suggest, mind — that there might be a way to avoid admin det by holding more (more or less fair) trials. Excellent.

    And these judges are way ahead of the USA, proud bastion of self-congratulation as to rule of law and human rights (it is to laugh) which has just passed an indefinite detention law and also (also! mark) has a presidnt who gives himself (and his successors) the right to murder anyone anywhere so long as he or an underling (no mater how “under” or how “ling”) breathes the word “terrorist” before pulling the drone’s trigger.

  2. Don
    May 7, 2012, 2:07 pm

    “the 15-points-above-average-IQ reasoning”…

    No doubt about it, Bruce…you are today’s lucky winner of the “Mooser Mondoweiss Humor Award”.

    • Bruce
      May 7, 2012, 5:19 pm


      Any day I can even approach Mooser’s insights is a good day for me. Unfortunately his sense of humor is beyond my reach.

  3. justicewillprevail
    May 7, 2012, 3:37 pm

    They’re so intelligent that it gives them the right to trample over people who are unfortunately born from the wrong mothers? Didn’t that used to be called eugenics?

  4. Rusty Pipes
    May 7, 2012, 5:41 pm

    Not only junk science, but science reporting with a decidedly Zionist bias. Here’s Ha’aretz’s blurb:

    To his credit, Ostrer also addresses the third rail of discussions about Jewishness and race: the issue of intelligence. Jews were latecomers to the age of freethinking. While the Enlightenment swept through Christian Europe in the 17th century, the Haskalah did not gather strength until the early 19th century. By the beginning of the new millennium, however, Jews were thought of as among the smartest people on earth. The trend is most prominent in America, which has the largest concentration of Jews outside Israel and a history of tolerance.

    Although Jews make up less than 3% of the population, they have won more than 25% of the Nobel Prizes awarded to American scientists since 1950. Jews also account for 20% of this country’s chief executives and make up 22% of Ivy League students. Psychologists and educational researchers have pegged their average IQ at 107.5 to 115, with their verbal IQ at more than 120, a stunning standard deviation above the average of 100 found in those of European ancestry. Like it or not, the IQ debate will become an increasingly important issue going forward, as medical geneticists focus on unlocking the mysteries of the brain.

    Many liberal Jews maintain, at least in public, that the plethora of Jewish lawyers, doctors and comedians is the product of our cultural heritage, but the science tells a more complex story. Jewish success is a product of Jewish genes as much as of Jewish moms.

    Jon Entine is the founder and director of the Genetic Literacy Project at George Mason University, where he is senior research fellow at the Center for Health and Risk Communication.

    The Chronicle of Higher Education had an entirely different interpretation of Ostrer’s findings on “Jewish Genius:”

    In the early 20th century, a folklorist and statistician named Joseph Jacobs wrote that “there is about twice as much chance of finding a distinguished person among Jews as among Englishmen.” Jacobs’s true specialty was fairy tales, but the notion of Jewish intellectual superiority has been taken as fact by several scholars, including Charles Murray in the controversial 1994 book The Bell Curve. He and his co-author wrote that European Jews score higher on IQ tests than any other ethnic group, and Murray followed that with a 2007 Commentary article arguing that smarts were in Jewish genes.

    After studying actual Jewish genes, Harry Ostrer is dubious of a strong DNA connection. Jews have been linked to many negative traits—greed, mental illness—as well as positive ones, so Ostrer in his new book, Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People, explores whether genes are really involved.

    In regard to intelligence, Ostrer argues (as have others) that a better explanation is that Jews were in the right place at the right time. Many studies have shown that IQ tends to rise as education systems improve over time. When the measurements trumpeted by Murray and others were done, Jews had been living at times and in places in which schools were getting better. “There still could be a genetic component,” Ostrer says. “But it’s not likely one that affects the whole population.” He cites one genome-wide study of identical twins (who share all their genetic material) of various religions that looked for DNA that might be linked to varying intelligence. It accounted for just 0.4 percent of the effect.

    The Chronicle does mention a higher incidence of bi-polar swings from grandiosity to depression among Jews than non-Jews. The Ha’aretz author likes to cite Jewish mothers for credit for distinctions on genius. I’ll leave other analogies to Mooser.

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 8, 2012, 12:06 am

      Yeah, but how are the Jews at playing ice hockey???

      These stories are interesting. I have not seen definitive evidence that these results are testing innate intelligence in the Ashkenazi as opposed to the results demonstrating a skill at taking these types of tests. (Of course, I haven’t really looked, either…) But if so, great. To them I say, “Good for you. You didn’t do anything to earn it, so put it to good use.”

    • Bruce
      May 8, 2012, 5:48 am

      @Rusty Pipes

      Thanks for bringing The Chronicle of Higher Education review to our attention.

      I was distressed that Haaretz even ran Jon Entine’s review. More so, knowing he might very well have misrepresented Ostrer’s views.

  5. RoHa
    May 8, 2012, 1:17 am

    Aren’t there any drugs that can cure copacetsy?
    Or is it anti-copacetic to try?

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