Linux Mint And Israel Update

By Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R.

UPDATE: Time moves quickly in the blogosphere. A few minutes after posting the question about whether Linux Mint accepts support from those who disagree with the developer’s view’s on Israel, I got a response I view as satisfactory. It separates the developer’s personal¬† views on Israel with his professional views on Linux Mint.

As far as I’m concerned, the matter is closed. I encourage Israel sympathizers and everyone else to check out Linux Mint, a great Linux distro. (Of course, I’d like to hear updates from other pro-Israeli folks if that official policy is adhered to or not — just to be sure).

I asked:

“Speaking in your official capacity with Linux Mint, are those who disagree with you on Israel welcome to contribute to Linux Mint?

“Yes or no will suffice.”

The answer:

Bradley: Yes. I know this was confusing because of the wording I used in my initial post and that was a mistake. I have no issue with people disagreeing with me. My real aversion is to see horrible things happening and to think that I can be working in harmony or doing business with people directly involved in them. If you disagree with me that’s fair enough, everybody have their own opinions. Now of course if you’re directly involved in cruel actions and terrorism (either on one side or another), you do what you want but I’m not sure I want to receive your money, your help or anything of the sort. That’s only fair and the difference here is that I don’t only see terrorism on the Palestinian side, I see it used by the Israeli army as well.

Below is my original post, which has been overtaken by the response I just got.

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Clement Lefebvre, the chief developer of Linux, has written on the official Linux Mint blog a semi-sort of retraction.  It says Linux Mint has nothing to do with politics.

That’s progress, because I truly don’t care about Lefebvre’s personal views — if he can keep them separate from his professional work as a Linux developer.

My biggest complaint is that Lefebvre didn’t make his statement at the outset, when he began work on Linux Mint. Had he said, “Supporters of Israel aren’t welcome,” I’d have never used Linux Mint and avoided the trouble of switching to another OS. (I chose Ubuntu, the Linux distro Linux Mint is based on.) Most likely, many others would have shied away as well.

Now Lefebvre claims Linux Mint is not about politics. If he has truly divorced his political from professional views, and accepts the support of pro-Israel users, I’d consider the matter closed. And I would tell others to use Linux Mint, as it is indeed an elegant and extremely functional version of Linux.

However, Lefebvre didn’t explicitly retract his anti-Israel policy. He has avoided giving a direct answer to Linux Mint’s official policy on accepting help from those who back Israel.

Seeking that direct answer, I went to Lefebvre’s personal blog, and left this comment:

“Speaking in your official capacity with Linux Mint, are those who disagree with you on Israel welcome to contribute to Linux Mint?

“Yes or no will suffice.”

That comment is now in moderation. I’ll let you know if it ever gets out of moderation, and Lefebvre’s answer, if any.

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One Response to “Linux Mint And Israel Update”

  1. jeff jones says:

    I do not support those who stand against the jewish state