I do not usually write about podcasts I found a waste of time listening to. The Israeli deputy minister of foreign Affairs Dani Ayalon was invited to the London School of Economics to present Israel's view on the Israeli-Arab conflict and most of this resulted in a tedious repetition of the atmosphere and rhetoric that inevitably hangs around this issue. Not only did Ayalon's speech hold much that had not been said many times before, also the restless audience did not bring much news to make life really difficult for this spokesperson.
It seems, the more the atmosphere is heated, the fewer discourse there is. Especially on this podcast, one is presented with a lot of shouting - it takes the event about 15 minutes to actually manage to begin. The prickly retorts Ayalon has for the disruptive elements in the audience boil down to: when your argument is weak, you voice will go up. However, also his own talk was, in my ears, not particularly strong. I would rather have real powerful speakers really engage with each other in argument, not in a shouting match.
The reason I write is in the end that as a sample from the LSE lecture series, this was a very exceptional case. Contrary to the usual quiet academic hearings, this one was full of action and from that point of view, it was fascinating to witness how the action developed. Fascinating not only how Ayalon, but also how the mediator, the majority of the audience and the protesters dealt with the raucous affair.
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