Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Revisiting Conventional Wisdom—Everyone Wins

These pearls of wisdom from the New York Times best seller Freakonomics, by famed economist Steven D. Levitt, and Stephen J. Dubner.

1. Journalists need experts as badly as experts need journalists. Every day newspaper pages and television newscasts must be filled, and so, an expert who can deliver a jarring piece of wisdom is always welcome. Working together, journalists and experts are the architects of much conventional wisdom.

2. Conventional wisdom must be simple, convenient, comfortable, and comforting—though not necessarily true. Noticing where the conventional wisdom may be false—noticing, perhaps, the contrails of sloppy or self-interested thinking—is a nice place to start to ask questions.

3. The conventional wisdom, however created, can be hard to budge.


If you believe millions of Jews who live in Israel and millions of Palestinians who live in the territories should be free to govern themselves and exercise rights of self-determination, you are probably a candidate for believing in the conventional wisdom. The conventional wisdom calls for a two-state solution. The two-state solution is simple (if only the two sides would smarten up and get along), it is convenient, it is comfortable and it is comforting.

Folks who believe in the idea of a two-state solution within the confines of Israel and the territories undoubtedly believe that this will bring stability or peace.

They are wrong. It will bring more misery. But conventional wisdom, being what it is, is hard to budge.

If you have visited www.alargerisrael.com, but have not read the book, please take the time to do so. It will give you a fresh perspective on conventional wisdom, and why it is wrong.

Write to your country’s leaders about it. While they are busy searching out answers to the explosive Middle-East issues, they need to hear from you.

Revisiting conventional wisdom is good for Israel, it is good for Palestinians, it is good for the region, it is good humanity, and it is good for the world.

--David Naggar

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