When I was 10 years old and a smiling Dennis Rodman gave me his autograph after the players’ shoot-around before a Pistons game, I certainly never could have imagined he’d end up here, an irate (and possibly ill) man blathering incoherently from Pyongyang in response to questions about an American citizen who has been detained without charge in North Korea:
Defending the behavior of a genocidal regime is the strangest and lowest point in what has been a troubled, troubled life.
Israel is among the world’s least popular nations, according to an annual BBC World Service poll. Germany was found to be the most popular country, while the only nations less popular than Israel were found to be North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran. Read more.
There’s a lot to unpack in that short paragraph. And any way you unpack it, you’re going to make plenty of people angry.
So, here we go:
- Israel’s lack of popularity has a lot to do with its treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as its treatment of (mostly African) migrants;
- Israel’s lack of popularity has a lot to do with people not liking Jews;
- It would be a serious mistake to make any comparisons between the governments of Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran … even based on #1, above, unless you happen to be one of the people mentioned in #2, above.
- It’s absolutely fascinating that Germany is the most popular country in the same poll in which respondents find Israel only slightly less repellant than North Korea.
- Where’s Syria on this list? Must not have been included as an option because it would be tough to imagine that Syria, at this moment, is more popular than Israel. If Syria is somehow more popular, wowza.
I’ve been enjoying the various Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator posts a great deal … but only decided to make one myself after a number of upper-level undergraduate political science majors in my class said, in class on Tuesday, that they’d never heard of him. I couldn’t decide if this was good news or bad news for society as a whole.
Also, I really liked this particular book and think it ought to be written … perhaps by Tyler Cowen, since I think his take on North Korean economic policy and its non-relation to sandcastles would be an entertaining read.