False Dichotomies

Archive for May 4th, 2011

Counting the Dead

I really hope that this is a sick joke, or that it’s April 1st and I haven’t been paying attention, because this story is utterly ridiculous. According to today’s Yediot Ahranot, Israel is on the verge of issuing its citizens with ‘smart’ ID cards, which will now contain biometric information, and apparently the numbering will start from…6,000,000. Yes, indeed, the estimated number of Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.

Dimi Reider lays out some of the arguments against this symbolic gesture here. They are largely sound, but I’m more disturbed by the naffness of the gesture, as if there’s something cute about taking millions of dead people into account when planning a twenty-first century ID card. It’s all the more frustrating because the news was announced two days after Yom HaShoah, when the country fell silent to remember the murdered.  

I really hope that I’ve fallen for a hoax.

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