Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rules of Engagement

Bradley Burston, who writes for, posted the following parameters for commentary and discussion on his blog. Although Annie and I will not indulge in such censorship, I think it would do us all some good to ponder why Burston thought these rules were necessary.

Burston writes,

"The guiding principles of the talkback forum for this article will be mutual respect and an openness to dialogue. Participants, even if they rule out, dismiss or oppose coexistence, must, within the confines of this forum, practice it.

Censorship will be unapologetic.

Political orientation will have absolutely no bearing on whether a comment is posted or rejected.

The following will be grounds for deletion:
1. Racist remarks, as well as slurs on the basis of religion, ethnicity and gender.
2. Use of the terms Nazi, Hitler, genocide, ethnic cleansing, to describe the actions and policies of Israelis, Palestinians or other parties to the Israel-Arab conflict.
3. Disparaging remarks, personal attacks, vulgarities and profanities directed at other participants in the forum.
4. Advocacy of violence against individuals or religious, ethnic or racial groups, including statements which may be construed as urging attacks on leaders, officials, security forces or civilians.
5.Use of the phrase: "There are no Palestinians" or derivatives thereof."

Speaking of rules of engagement, never ask me why I am not engaged. It is an unacceptable question and makes me think impolite thoughts about your upbringing.

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