Na'ama Carmi was born at Kibbutz Ma'agan Michael, Israel. She received her BA, MA and PhD in philosophy from Tel Aviv University, and holds a BA in literature from the same university. She teaches at the Law School of the University of Haifa and is interested mainly in human rights, immigration and liberalism. Her book The Law of Return: Immigration rights and their limits was published by Tel Aviv University Press in 2003. Na'ama is a former chairperson of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, a strict vegetarian and a lover of animals (especially her cat and dog). She blogs at Read and Write.
Why do you blog? > Because it gives me total freedom to do the thing I like most: writing.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Getting responses from people whom what I wrote touched deeply.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Encountering nasty, ad hominem comments (and anonymous, of course).
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Be faithful to yourself, but do not turn yourself into the topic of your writing.
What are your favourite blogs? > Friends of George (Hebrew) and normblog.
What are you reading at the moment? > How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson; and A Problem from Hell by Samantha Power.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > It's a hard one, but History by Elsa Morante will definitely be one of the titles.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I used to think that society is not entitled at all to intervene in self-regarding decisions of individuals. Nowadays I tend to think that the entitlement and sometimes duty of the society (the paradigmatic case is of suicide) is wider.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Fallibilism.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Essentialism.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Trauma and Recovery by Judith Lewis Herman - because its insights helped me find some peace of mind.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.' (Edmund Burke)
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Withdrawing from the occupied territories.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Terrorism and global warming.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > The one which I fail to follow myself: 'Take it easy.'
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > I doubt it.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Honesty.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Lack of integrity.
What is your favourite proverb? > Think global, act local.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Everything which is done just in order to 'pass the time'.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > The future of Israel. Both the kind of society it becomes, and the tendency to undermine the right of the Jewish people to exercise its right of national self-determination.
What would you call your autobiography? > I Can Do No Other.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Ireland.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading, practising yoga, surfing the Internet, blogging.
What is your most treasured possession? > A certificate of naturalization of my grandparents, dated 1927, issued by the 'Government of Palestine' according to the Palestine Citizenship Order of 1925 and signed by the (British) High Commissioner.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Some field of design.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Woody Allen.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > Not to die (but staying healthy and capable).
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > Stop working in a regular job.
What animal would you most like to be? > A cat (which belongs to me).
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]