Among the more attractive points made by Hillary Cllnton in the second debate was her celebration of the diversity apparent in the American population.

Letting people think, look, and behave as they wish has numerous advantages, but there are also costs.
I learned my lesson as a kid in Fall River, when my fat little legs could not outrun a cop chasing me for an infraction whose details are lost to my old memory. He let me go with a scolding, and the point that my rights end where someone else's begin.
So with diversity.
We can start with freedom of speech. 
Long ago, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes ruled that "you can't yell 'fire' in a crowded theater."
Also useful is that line about people living in glass houses, who shouldn't throw stones.
Should Donald Trump be pilloried for overt and ugly sexism? 
Maybe not by politicians whose party icons include world class sexual predators like the Kennedys (father and sons) and Bill Clinton, with Hillary Clinton said to have harassed women who accused her husband.
One of the latest polls shows Hillary with a four percent lead, which is a long way from a slam dunk. However, another poll shows here ahead by eight percent, Nat Silver's prediction for Hillary has gone up to 86 percent.
And what about the knotty problem of religious freedom?
American courts have ruled against Christian Scientists who refuse medical treatment for their children, as well as snake handlers who endanger themselves and others, and Wisconsin Amish who rejected state regulation of their children's education.
Those appear to be simple issues compared to Islam. 
While the doctrines of Judaism and Christianity include much that is currently viewed to be ugly, there are few who practice the stuff widely thought to be bad and outdated. It is the religion of Islam as practiced by many of the faithful, and as tolerated by a great many others, that has been threatening themselves and the rest of us in recent years.
Should Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and all others who support diversity refuse to weigh in with greater condemnation and actual action, the costs of accepting religious diversity will include occasional events like San Bernardino, Orlando, Twin Towers, similar catastrophes in Europe, and the ghastly procedures at airports meant to minimize the danger.
Among the diversities in the US population that are less than desirable, at least in polite company, are the animosities toward racial and ethnic groups that have become apparent in the Trump campaign, as well as in what seems like an increase in racial incidents involving police. Commentators ponder the coincidence or the impact on these features associated with an Obama presidency, and what Obama has said or done (or not said and done) with respect to racial, ethnic, and religious diversity.
Some of the costs or benefits of diversity are no more profound than aesthetics, however that may be defined. The presence of old and young, well dressed and not, attractive and others, shapely and obese Americans displayed on the stage for the second debate suggest the organizers' feeling that all vote, and all should be represented.
We can enjoy the tastes at McDonald's and similar places, or add them to the sins of tobacco that should be taxed heavily in order to dissuade use, and help pay the medical costs that rebound onto all taxpayers. 

Moderator Martha Raddatz was as interesting or as bizarre as any of the others on stage, with her abundance of blond hair that may have been attractive on a 20- or 30-year old, but didn't fit her 60 year old face.
Her hair is in the league with Donald Trump's, but perhaps less likely to attract comment due to the correctness associated with her gender.
Israelis are not free of having to choose how to think, speak, or ignore issues of high or low visibility.
The annual fast of Yom Kippur comes with tensions between certain traditionalists and animal rights activists over the practice of swinging a live chicken around one's head in order to get rid of sin.
The cartoonist for Ha'aretz portrayed government ministers of Jewish Home, Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett, who have campaigned for increasing the Judaic nature of Israel, to the point where some accuse them of risking its democratic character. They are shown looking at what is a typical Yom Kippur scene in a secular neighborhood, where the streets are free of cars, but crowded with kids and some oldsters riding bicycles with an abandon not possible when Israelis are driving. 
Minister of Justice Shaked is holding a chicken in preparation for the ritual of Kaparot, and saying "Too much democracy-- not enough Judaism." Bennett is in Yom Kippur garb and holding a knife, presumably to deal with the chicken when Shaked finishes with it.

Most Israeli Jews practice the ritual of infant circumcision. Opposition exists. A few parents avoid the practice, while others endure it reluctantly in order to protect their boys from embarrassment in school lavatories, gyms, and army service.
Jews are fortunate in having the rite limited to males below the age when pain sensors are fully developed. More problematic is the practice of Muslims who do it to boys at the age of puberty, and those Muslims who also apply it to females.
Among our squabbles are some concerned with academic freedom. 
Rightists oppose the Hebrew University giving credit for students who participate in human rights organizations, including some that advocate boycotts or worse against Israel.
Leftists oppose some of Hebrew University's facilities constructed over what they view as the sacred lines of 1967, or any support of Ariel University, entirely over those lines.
Israelis, Americans, and others may be best served by a large dose of Hillary's advocacy of diversity. Live and let live has a lot to say for itself, as long as we don't mind an occasional bother to our aesthetic sense, and hopefully an even rarer interruption in our peace and quiet when violent Muslims practice what they see as their religious obligations close by.
The trick in those cases is not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It's now Succot. Huts are sprouting on the sidewalks, streets, and yards of Israel like mushrooms after a rain. 

Whether or not you are sleeping and/or eating in a hut, or just visiting one, or ignoring the idea altogether, חג שמח.
And comments welcome. 

Ira Sharkansky (Emeritus)
Department of Political Science
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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