Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Auschwitz Borders

When Chris Lightfoot wrote the original "Melanie Phillips Naziometer", he considered adding to the search strings the names of a few prominent Nuremberg defendants along with the names of the major concentration camps. This was rejected as being too much faff, so the Naziometer only counts instances of the string "Nazi" on Melanie Phillips' Diary.

This means that it can occasionally be misleading, in that if Melanie is calling someone the equivalent of Goebbels, or comparing loft insulation to the Munich agreement or some such, then as long as she doesn't actually say "Nazis", the Naziometer will underestimate the true extent to which her blog wildly overuses Nazi analogies.

And so it is at the moment; the counter is zero, but three of the last four posts have references in them to the pre-1967 borders of Israel as "the Auschwitz borders". This is a quite unusual description; apparently Abba Eban was the first to make the reference, and the actual phrase "Auschwitz borders" was coined by Benjamin[1] Netanyahu. I swear that yesterday when I had a look on google there were fewer than a couple of dozen references to this phrase, but now there are 675; it's still not a common phrase though, and I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that its sudden dash to prominence might be the result of a public relations campaign[2].

The reason that they're called the "Auschwitz borders" is apparently that it's militarily impossible to defend them. Perhaps a strange claim to make, given that the one time they have been attacked, in 1967, they were in fact defended successfully.

[1] I am actually beginning to see the sense behind the BBC geopolitical theory of pronunciation. I know that "Binyamin" is almost certainly phonetically closer to the way the guy himself pronounces his name, but it seems a bit pretentious to me, particularly given that he isn't really in the news much any more.

[2] Oh no! Spooky conspiracy theory guy! Maybe it's Mossad forcing everyone to call them "Auschwitz" borders! LOL! Or possibly not. I do not in fact agree with the Mearsheimer & Walt thesis, but it cannot be seriously disputed that the government of Israel does employ PR agencies, and that the overall effect of these PR agencies on the quality of newspapers is negative. Quite strange really, that this bland assertion of fact has the air of conspiracy theory to it, while the utterly unsupported speculation that Syria is a puppet state of Iran (and of the Ahmadinejad faction within Iranian politics specifically) is the sort of thing that serious people can state without evidence while remaining serious.
15 comments this item posted by the management 11/28/2007 03:07:00 AM

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