Thursday, March 20, 2008

Decent consistency watch

Norman Geras, who doesn't support an Olympic boycott, explaining why one wouldn't be a case of "singling out":

It's also not a case of 'singling out' China for unfavourable treatment amongst other regimes with bad human rights records. On the contrary, the argument for a boycott is implicitly based, I assume, on the thought that, by being chosen to host the 2008 event, China has in fact been singled out (from amongst other countries with much better human rights records) - but singled out for specially favourable treatment, since the Olympics bring with them a form of prestige and this can be used by the regime for internal and external political advantage.

Right, so the next time someone proposes a boycott of some prestigious event in Israel, Geras won't employ the "singling out" move. Of course.


Blogger Matthew said...

I agree with his argument about it being unfair on the athletes, however. I think I said in these comment boxes that it seems wrong-headed to demand that athletes miss out on the greatest moment of their lives (or careers etc) whilst no-one else is prepared to accept even an tiny reduction in living standards in their dealings with China.

3/20/2008 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

Yes, me too, Matthew.

3/20/2008 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And of course, Israel itself has been singled out for many forms of favourable treatment (e.g. the subsidies it receives from the US) which it certainly uses for internal and external political advantage.

3/20/2008 01:37:00 PM  

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