Day: November 14, 2009

From an interview

Mikhail Sokolov: Have you noticed that they’re still trying to work out some kind of [national] ideology? There’s this “Shoigu Law”, which really threatens anyone engaged in research relating to the Second World War that doesn’t fit in with their view of it – that’s a form of ideological activity.

Yuri Felshtinsky: Yes. Though I don’t think it’s dangerous, because I think it’s all rather absurd. For example, I never believed – and this goes back to the discussions there have always been among the émigré community, at least since the years when I first came over here in 1978, that there would be fascism in the Soviet Union or Russia. I didn’t believe it then, and I don’t believe it now. I never believed that there would be nationalism in the Soviet Union, or now in Russia. Because Russia really is a multi-ethnic state. And the numbers of Russians, who have never been counted, and especially of pure ethnic Russians, whom it is absolutely certain that no one has ever counted, are not critical enough for Russia to have a hard-line national government.

And Russians themselves probably see one another more as people who are soft rather than hard-line, more disorganized than organized, more slovenly than focused on certain ideas and rules.

Russia is an enormous state. For all the attempts to remake it and build a centralized “vertical of power”, you and I know that the power ends at the Ring Road. And in fact there are many who would seriously assert that it ends at the walls of the Kremlin. Beyond the walls of the Kremlin, none of that centralization and “vertical of power” works any more.

http://felshtinsky.livejournal.com/4745.html

Second thoughts

The board of directors of Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet (NTNU) in Trondheim have unanimously decided to reject the proposal for an academic boycott of Israel, Haaretz reports:

The vote resulted in total victory,” said Professor Bjorn Alsberg, a member of the board of the Trondheim-based Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Alsberg, a chemistry professor, led a campaign at the Norwegian city against the boycott.
He said that the vote to boycott Israel – which drew condemnations from Jewish organizations in Israel and elsewhere – was rejected after none of the 11 board members objected when NTNU Dean Torbjorn Digernes suggested scrapping the motion from the board meeting’s agenda.

Meanwhile the Jerusalem Post writes that Swedish journalist Donald Boström has “reevaluated his position” on the matter of claims that the IDF harvested organs from dead Palestinians:

According to the report, Bostrom recently canceled his participation in a Beirut conference, the goal of which was to slander Israel.
Sources close to the journalist related that Bostrom’s recent visit to Israel and the fair dialogue he held at a Dimona conference caused him to think twice about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.