"The Jews of Southeast Asia"
November 19, 2012 8:11 AM   Subscribe

BREAKING: Singapore is Not Cause of Arab-Israeli Conflict, Also Not Social Experiment
A Singapore student replies to a HuffPo article by Yale lecturer Jim Sleeper suggesting that the current conflict in the Middle East should be blamed on Singapore.

The undercurrent, as exposed in the rebuttal, revolves around the new Yale-NUS liberal arts college being set up in Singapore. Some faculty have criticized this move, citing Singapore's unsavoury human and civil rights record. Jim Sleeper has commented on Yale-NUS several times before.

A related issue is also discussed in a follow-up post:
Most of all, independent of this particular article/issue/whatever, I wrote that first blogpost — and it is a personal blogpost, not an article! — because I am very, very tired of condescending neocolonialist sentiment masquerading as progressive, liberal discourse. I am tired of being described as living in a “dictatorship,” I am tired of being talked about like an anomaly to be dealt with. I am tired of HuffPo contributors deciding for me what my problems are. I am tired of my identity and experience being erased for the sake of your elitist ideologues.
posted by destrius (7 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: I feel like if there's some substantial and interesting non-flamebait content in here it'd be better to make a post that just presented that without the cheeky framing above the fold. -- cortex

I thought every knew it was the fault of the Bhutanese, those rotten yak-worrying toxophilites.
posted by Abiezer at 8:33 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

How long had Jim Sleeper been holding that piece waiting for I/P to flare up? To be able give it such a titilating headline with such click baiting potential? He must think Christmas has come early.

Damn jackass.
posted by Talez at 8:37 AM on November 19, 2012

The headline of the Sleeper piece does not seem particularly related to its thesis. That is, no one, Sleeper included, appears to be arguing that Singapore is to blame for either this latest round of hostilities or the Israeli/Palestinian conflict generally. In fact, the causality all seems to head the other way--to suggest that Singapore has modeled itself consciously and explicitly on Israel in numerous ways.
posted by yoink at 8:50 AM on November 19, 2012

Sleeper's article is badly written and , on a quick read , I couldn't see the connection with the current crisis he's dramatically teasing in the headline.
But I found the highlighting of the historical Singapore-Israel connections fascinating
posted by Bwithh at 8:55 AM on November 19, 2012

The headline of the Sleeper piece does not seem particularly related to its thesis.

I was wondering if the title was actually set by somebody from HuffPo hoping to stir up more controversy and get more hits. It seems a bit unlikely for a professor to ask a question in the title and not answer it at all in his article; that's a sure way to fail an exam.
posted by destrius at 8:56 AM on November 19, 2012

Sorry bro yr dictatorship still sucks.

Of course, we suck for thinking a similar regime is awesome, and that your regime is kind of awesome.
posted by mobunited at 8:57 AM on November 19, 2012

Not trying to be a troll, but I have to ask: how shall we define dictatorship, and after having done so, does Singapore fit into that definition? I ask not because I have a strong opinion as it stands, but because a Singaporean friend merrily referred to her home country as being a benevolent dictatorship.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:57 AM on November 19, 2012

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