IPNOT QUOTE OF THE DAY January 9th 2017: THE ONLY ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry touched on it when he said that if the status quo continues, Israel will be either Jewish or democratic, but not both.
 
That wasn’t an original thought; former Israeli prime ministers Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert have all said more or less the same thing. Olmert and Barak both invoked apartheid South Africa.
 
Israeli intellectuals, including authors David Grossman and Avi Shlaim and Yaron Ezrahi of the Israel Democracy Institute, regard this question as existential to Israeli democracy.
 
But Israel’s fervent supporters in the U.S. or Canada will no doubt be fine with whatever course the Jewish state chooses. They may have to modify their rhetoric and start calling Israel the “only Athenian democracy in the Middle East” or some such thing.
 
Or, this being a post-Trump world, just resort to name calling, like the Jew-hating-anti-Semite slur. That’s always much easier.
 
 
At the height of the Athens in the Classical Era of Greece in the 4th century BCE, slaves formed between a third and a half of the population of the city and the surrounding countryside; metics who were free but lacked citizenship rights formed up to fifth of the population. The adult men who had citizenship rights, some 50 000 people at most, formed perhaps ten to fifteen percent of the population.
 
Still a book published as late as last year carries a title The Rise of Athens: The Story of the World’s Greatest Civilization.
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