Many people, especially scholars, tend to assume that increasing knowledge leads to improved judgement. This is of course very often true. But not always: there are cases in which knowing less is what improves the judgement (though admittedly that may be because it involves knowing more at a deeper level). I have a friend who is well to the left of me, whose political judgement I value. He isn’t Jewish, not even remotely. When asked for his opinion on the current Arab-Israel moves towards detente, he said that he didn’t really have any view worth recounting on the Israel-Arab détente: “Being non-anti-semitic, I don’t follow Israel that closely.”
There’s a lot of political nous packed into a small space there; I now value my friend’s political judgement even more than I used to.
This is a guest post by Eve Garrard