SHALOM LAPPIN: A kindred spirit and a true friend

Shalom Lappin

Norm Geras was a kindred spirit and a true friend. He embodied the liberal values and commitments of the social democratic left that have always given me my political bearings. His courage in defending these values against apologists for extremism and bigotry, posing as prophets of an “anti-imperialism” of fools, was an inspiration to all of us. The patience and rigour with which he systematically dismantled unsound arguments for misconceived views offered a model of civilized discourse. He effortlessly cut through the noise of partisan rhetoric and polemical hyperbole to penetrate to the core of the most complex issues of the day. He combined a deep loyalty to his Jewish roots with a strongly universalist view of moral obligation and cultural engagement. He was above all a person of decency and moderation, who embraced friends with affection, while sustaining respectful dialogue with adversaries. The world is a better place for his having been in it. I will miss him deeply.