Saturday, July 13, 2002

"Israeli forces have intercepted no less than 14 would-be suicide bombers in the past three weeks"

At least, according to the New York Post.

The hatred never stops. What changes is Israel's ability to defend itself. Israel will not have good neighbors any time soon, but good fences make for safe houses.

If we assume, under the Barak administration, half of the suicide bombers made it into Israel, and we assume on average each killed five Jews, that would be thirty-five Israelis saved. And when you factor in the wounded, maybe a hundred people were not maimed, because Sharon put the Palestinians under curfew. If the suicide bombers were using advanced explosives in their vests (like the Passover bomber), Israel might have been spared a hundred deaths and two hundred maimings (although I doubt the Palestinians are still using a lot of high-grade explosives).

But this new security isn't going to last. The Palestinians, faced with the prospect of their bombers not succeeding, will put a lot more effort into sneaking them into Israel. That will be their main focus, instead of recruiting or building bombs. And eventually they will suceed. The key is for Israel to keep hunting them, relentlessly, forcing them to make survival a priority, instead of giving them the luxury of being able to plan a new attack. The best defense is a good offense.

Isolationist Feelings in Israel

A very good article about the changes in Israeli attitudes towards the world (via Life After Cal). What they really need is a stridently secular hawk party, so ordinary Israelis wouldn't have to side with the religious extremists just to be safe. That would also get the Euros' attention, they like to pretend the Israelis are misbehaving out of religious impulses, and not defending themselves with good reason.

Yet Another Call from MCI

The slimeballs called me back again later last night. I think they're using telemarketing to harass me because I'm mistreating their callers.

So I told the guy, "put me on your do not call list." He went on about how he could save me money, and I said again, "put me on your do not call list." I don't know what the law is elsewhere, but at least here in California, you can tell telemarketers not to call you. Ever. Again.

I should not have had to ask him twice. If they call again, I'll scream at them and file a complaint with the appropriate government body.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Another Call from MCI

During their first call, I was polite.

But this time, I let the idiot telemarketer have it. When he said he was from MCI, I asked him about WorldCom. He started spewing facts and figures, so I came back by asking him how many employees were laid off. When he said 10%, I asked him if that meant I would get fewer phone calls. He said no. He went on about what a great deal MCI was, and how I was selected for my "credibility" (anyone who says I have credibility has none). I took a cheap shot, asking if his company was credible, and he finally hung up.

I won!

[I really do feel bad for the employees who were laid off. After all, they aren't the ones calling me. [I am almost never this rude in real life, I reserve this vitriol for telemarketers. If there is a telemarketer reading this, I don't actually hate you, I know you're just doing your job. But don't hate me for being a jerk.]

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Time to Get Fisky

This awful screed from al-Independent caught my eye, because it was so full of lies and distortions and pig feces.

Inside the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, the Californian audience had been struck silent. Dennis Bernstein, the Jewish host of KPFA Radio's Flashpoint current affairs programme, was reading some recent e-mails that he had received from Israel's supporters in America. Each one left the people in the church – Muslims, Jews, Christians – in a state of shock. "You mother-fucking-asshole-self-hating Jewish piece of shit. Hitler killed the wrong Jews. He should have killed your parents, so a piece of Jewish shit like you would not have been born. God willing, Arab terrorists will cut you to pieces Daniel Pearl-style, AMEN!!!"

Bernstein's sin was to have covered the story of Israel's invasion of Jenin in April and to have interviewed journalists who investigated the killings that took place there – including Phil Reeves and Justin Huggler of The Independent – for his Flashpoint programme. Bernstein's grandfather was a revered Orthodox Rabbi of international prominence but neither his family history nor his origins spared him. "Read this and weep, you mother-fucker self-hating Jew boy!!!" another e-mail told Bernstein. "God willing a Palestinian will murder you, rape your wife and slash your kids' throats."
Fisk uses interesting language here. "The killings that took place there"–is he suggesting Israel carried out "killings?" Does he really believe there were massacres? It's also interesting that Fisk forgets to mention these allegations turned out to be lies (does he still believe there was a "Jenin massacre" with a death toll in the hundreds?)

Isn't it sort of relevant that the story Bernstein was "investigating" turned out to be a Nazi-type lie? He was criticized as a self-hating Jew and a Nazi because he was spreading Nazi lies. Bernstein is an anti-Semite, because he spreads blood libels about Jews. Not about Sharon, or any other individual, but about all Jews in Israel. I get upset when I hear Nazi Arab lies; apparently a lot of other people do to.

The truth is, Bernstein is a little Nazi shit. He links on his font page to "Bendib's cartoons," which depict Ariel Sharon eating Palestinian children (as well as other Jews doing the same) and Zionist control of the American media and government. The sad thing is, there will always be a market for Jew-hating Jews, for the other haters to hide behind. Anyone hiding behind Bernstein is an anti-Semite in denial.

Yet another: "I hope that you, Barbara Lubin and all other Jewish Marxist Communist traitors anti-American cop haters will die a violent and cruel death just like the victims of suicide bombers in Israel." Lubin is also Jewish, the executive director of the Middle East Children's Alliance, a one-time committed Zionist but now one of Israel's fiercest critics. Her e-mails are even worse.

Indeed, you have to come to America to realise just how brave this small but vocal Jewish community is. Bernstein is the first to acknowledge that a combination of Israeli lobbyists and conservative Christian fundamentalists have in effect censored all free discussion of Israel and the Middle East out of the public domain in the US. "Everyone else is terrified," Bernstein says. "The only ones who begin to open their mouths are the Jews in this country. You know, as a kid, I sent money to plant trees in Israel. But now we are horrified by a government representing a country that we grew up loving and cherishing. Israel's defenders have a special vengeance for Jews who don't fall in line behind Sharon's scorched-earth policy because they give the lie to the charge that Israel's critics are simply anti-Semite."
This dipstick is on the radio claiming he's being censored. He's really just whining that nobody wants to listen to his stupid tripe. There's a difference between being shouted down, and not having an audience. A big difference. And if Fisk describes this woman as one of the "fiercest" critics, you know she's got to be even more full of it than Bernstein. This is the standard left-wing martyr crap Fisk pulls, telling us all how hard it is to be as principled as he, while he sets up straw men he doesn't even need to rebut, just chastise. When will he publish intelligent criticism of himself, rather than just mean emails?

Visiting Lubin's web site, we're treated to Chomsky, the National Lawyers Guild, and a defense of Lynne Steward, the lawyer who was sending messages for a jailed terrorist. Fierce, indeed. Fiercely stupid. As far as it's the "Middle East Children's Alliance," I didn't see anything about Israeli children being deliberately targeted. She was more interested in warning of "The Coming of a Police State in the U.S.?"

Adam Shapiro is among those who have paid a price for their beliefs. He is a Jew engaged to an American-born Palestinian, a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement who was trapped in Yasser Arafat's headquarters in the spring while administering medical aid. After telling CNN that the Sharon government was acting like "terrorists" while receiving $3bn a year in US military aid, Shapiro and his family were savaged in the New York Post. The paper slandered Shapiro as the "Jewish Taliban" and demeaned his family as "traitors". Israeli supporters publicised his family's address and his parents were forced to flee their Brooklyn home and seek police protection. Shapiro's father, a New York public high-school teacher and a part-time Yeshiva (Jewish day school) teacher, was fired from his job. His brother receives regular death threats.
Shapiro was not providing medical treatment, that's total bullshit. That's a damn lie. Shapiro has no medical background. He was merely hiding in an ambulance (just like a suicide bomber) to sneak into the Mukata. And it's not slander if it's true. Fisk also forgets to mention Shapiro refuses to condemn Palestinian terrorism. In other words, he likes Jews being blown up. Other Jews don't like this. If you want to celebrate the Ku Klux Klan, that's your legal right–but don't come crying to me when you're run out of a black neighborhood!

Israel's supporters have no qualms about their alliance with the Christian right.
And Fisk has no qualms about siding with the Saudis and the Taliban.
Indeed, the fundamentalists can campaign on their own in Israel's favour, as I discovered for myself at Stanford recently when I was about to give a lecture on the media and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, part of a series of talks arranged largely by Jewish Americans. A right-wing Christian "Free Republic" outfit posted my name on its website, and described me as a "PLO butt-kisser" and asked its supporters to "freep" my lecture. A few demonstrators turned up outside the First United Methodist Church in Sacramento where I was to speak, waving American and Israeli flags. "Jew haters!" they screamed at the organisers, a dark irony since these were non-Jews shrieking their abuse at Jews.

They were also handing out crudely printed flyers. "Nothing to worry about, Bob," one of my Jewish hosts remarked. "They can't even spell your name right." True. But also false. "Stop the Lies!" the leaflet read. "There was no massacre in Jenin. Fiske [sic] is paid big bucks to spin [lie] for the Arabs..." But the real lie was in that last sentence. I never take any payment for lectures – so that no one can ever claim that I'm paid to give the views of others. But the truth didn't matter to these people. Nor did the content of my talk – which began, by chance, with the words "There was no massacre" – in which I described Arafat as a "corrupt, vain little despot" and suicide bombings as "a fearful, evil weapon". None of this was relevant. The aim was to shut me up.
Free Republic is not a religious web site. Even naughty disbelieving atheists like me are allowed to post there. There are a lot of Jewish members.

It's gracious of Fisk to finally admit "there was no massacre" (of course, he probably claimed Israel did everything else up to that point), but at the time, his columns were claiming there was a massacre.

Fisk is paid by al-Independent, he gets money from somewhere. He's paid for his views, and he spins for Arabs. Al-Independent likes to spin for Arabs. It is not illogical to assume Fisk is paid to spin for Arabs.

Dennis Bernstein sums it up quite simply: "Any US journalist, columnist, editor, college professor, student-activist, public official or clergy member who dares to speak critically of Israel or accurately report the brutalities of its illegal occupation will be vilified as an anti-Semite." In fact, no sooner had Bernstein made these remarks than pro-Israeli groups initiated an extraordinary campaign against some of the most pro-Israeli newspapers in America, all claiming that The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle were biased in their coverage of the Middle-East conflict.
In other words, if they report the same way Bernstein does (believing every anti-Semitic lie that comes their way), they will be attacked as biased.

Just how The New York Times – which boasts William Safire and Charles Krauthammer, those giants of pro-Israeli bias, among its writers – could be anti-Israeli is difficult to see, although it is just possible that, amid its reports on Israel's destruction in the West Bank and Gaza, some mildly critical comments found their way into print. The New York Times, for example, did report that Israeli soldiers used civilians as human shields – though only in the very last paragraph of a dispatch from Jenin.

None the less, the campaign of boycotts and e-mails got under way. More than 1,000 readers suspended their subscriptions to the Los Angeles Times, while a blizzard of e-mails told pro-Israeli readers to cancel their subscription to The New York Times for a day. On the East Coast, at least one local radio station has lost $1m from a Jewish philanthropist while other stations attempting to cover the Middle East with some degree of fairness are said to have lost even more. When the San Francisco Chronicle published a four-page guide to the conflict, its editors had to meet a 14-member delegation of local Jewish groups to discuss their grievances.

According to Michael Futterman, who chairs the Middle East strategy committee of 80 Bay Area synagogues, Jewish anger hit "boiling point" when the Chronicle failed to cover a pro-Israeli rally in San Francisco. Needless to say, the Chronicle's "Readers' Representative", Dick Rogers, published a grovelling, self-flagellating apology. "The paper didn't have a word on the pro-Israel rally," he wrote. "This wasn't fair and balanced coverage."
Fisk forgets again to put this in context. The SF Chronicle covered a much smaller pro-Palestinian rally, but ignored completely a pro-Israel rally. Their excuse: the Chron actually said they didn't expect any violence at the rally, so it wasn't newsworthy. I don't know whether that's the truth or a lie, but either way, the SF Chronicle is really pathetic. See, when all this is put in context, Fisk is shown to be nothing but a raving loony. But he can get away with distorting the truth when it takes place 5,000 miles away, at least as far as his regular readership is concerned. They have no way of knowing just how much Fisk distorts things.

Another objection came from a Jewish reader who objected to the word "terror" being placed within inverted commas in a Chronicle headline that read "Sharon says 'terror' justifies assault". The reader's point? The Chronicle's reporting "harmonises well with Palestinian propaganda, which tries to divert attention from the terrorist campaign against Israel (which enjoys almost unanimous support among Palestinians, all the way from Yasser Arafat to the 10-year-old who dreams of blowing himself up one day) and instead describes Israel's military moves as groundless, evil bullying tactics."
The Chronicle is also one of those papers that withholds the word "terror" for describing Palestinians who murder Israeli civilians indiscriminately in public places, in order to terrorize them so they would give in to Palestinian demands. This is what the complaint is predicated on, not just one instance of the Chronicle's word choice in headlines. But Fisk gets to pick and choose the letters he quotes from, and then pick portions of those letters he likes. He's just setting up straw men to knock down.

And so it goes on. On a radio show with me in Berkeley, the Chronicle's foreign editor, Andrew Ross, tried to laugh off the influence of the pro-Israeli lobby – "the famous lobby", he called it with that deference that is half way between acknowledgement and fear – but the Israeli Consul General Yossi Amrani had no hesitation in campaigning against the Chronicle, describing a paper largely docile in its reporting of the Middle East as "a professionally and politically biased, pro-Palestinian newspaper".
The Chron was only "docile" in reporting suicide bombings.

The Chronicle's four-page pull-out on the Middle East was, in fact, a soft sell. Its headline – "The Current Strife Between The Israelis And The Palestinians Is A Battle For Control Of Land" – missed the obvious point: that one of the two groups that were "battling for control of the land" – the Palestinians – had been occupied by Israel for 35 years.
Fisk wants the word "occupation" in the headline. If the word "terror" had appeared in the headline, he would have had an aneurism (even though Zionists have been fighting off terrorists since before they had a state, long before the "occupation." But he wants the paper to phrase everything in terms of the Palestinian viewpoint. Anything less, you see, would be biased.

[skipping three paragraphs of stuff that makes me happy]

But, of course, a fundamental problem – fundamental in every sense of the word – lies behind this strange partnership. As Uri Avnery, the leader of Gush Shalom, the most courageous Israeli peace group, pointed out in a typically ferocious essay last month, there is a darker side to the alliance. "According to its [Christian Zionist] theological beliefs, the Jews must congregate in Palestine and establish a Jewish state on all its territory" – an idea that would obviously appeal to Ariel Sharon – "so as to make the Second Coming of Jesus Christ possible." But here comes the bad bit. As Avnery says, "the evangelists don't like to dwell openly on what comes next: before the coming [of the Messiah], the Jews must convert to Christianity. Those who don't will perish in a gigantic holocaust in the battle of Armageddon. This is basically an anti-Semitic teaching, but who cares, so long as they support Israel?"
That is not an anti-Semitic teaching! If the Christians are right, they we should all convert! If they are wrong, there will be no Messiah coming, so there's no need to worry about an apocalyptic battle. It's not "anti-Semitic" to think your religion is the right one. And Gush Shalom isn't so much brave as it is dishonest. It's not a "peace" organization, it's a terrorist-loving organization (the slogan on their page used to be "it all started when Achmed hit back"). And as I showed earlier, it's not really interested in seeking the truth honestly so much as bashing Israel.

The power of the Israeli lobby in the United States is debated far more freely in the Israeli press than in American newspapers or on US tele- vision. There is, of course, a fine and dangerous line between justified investigation – and condemnation – of the lobby's power, and the racist Arab claim that a small cabal of Zionists run the world. Those in America who share the latter view include a deeply unpleasant organisation just along the coast from San Francisco at Newport Beach known as the "Institute for Historical Research". These are the Holocaust deniers whose annual conference last month included a lecture on "death sentences imposed by German authorities against German soldiers... for killing or even mistreating Jews". Too much of this and you'd have to join the American Israel Public Affairs Committee – AIPAC – to restore your sanity. But the Israeli lobby is powerful. In fact, its influence over the US Congress and Senate calls into question the degree to which the American legislature has been corrupted by lobby groups. It is to an Israeli voice – Avnery again – that Americans have to turn to hear just how mighty the lobby has become. "Its electoral and financial power casts a long shadow over both houses of the Congress," Avnery writes. "Hundreds of Senators and Congressmen were elected with the help of Jewish contributions. Resistance to the directives of the Jewish lobby is political suicide. If the AIPAC were to table a resolution abolishing the Ten Commandments, 80 Senators and 300 Congressmen would sign it at once. This lobby frightens the media, too, and assures their adherence to Israel."
Again, Avnery is with Gush Shalom, he is a terrorist-lover, and he's disheartened by American support for Israeli self-defense. So he claims a cabal of Zionists, while not actually running the government of America, just have de facto control over everything that takes place on any issue they want to influence. Fisk is just hiding behind a Jew to make this anti-Semitic claim.

Avnery could have looked no further than the Democratic primary in Alabama last month for proof of his assertion. Earl Hilliard, the five-term incumbent, had committed the one mortal sin of any American politician: he had expressed sympathy for the cause of the Palestinians. He had also visited Libya several years ago. Hilliard's opponent, Artur Davis, turned into an outspoken supporter of Israel and raised large amounts of money from the Jewish community, both in Alabama and nationwide. The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz noted that among the names of the first list of contributors to Davis's campaign funds were "10 Cohens from New York and New Jersey, but before one gets to the Cohens, there were Abrams, Ackerman, Adler, Amir, Asher, Baruch, Basok, Berger, Berman, Bergman, Bernstein and Blumenthal. All from the East Coast, Chicago and Los Angeles. It's highly unlikely any of them have ever visited Alabama..." The Jewish newspaper Forward – essential reading for any serious understanding of the American Jewish community – quoted a Jewish political activist following the race: "Hilliard has been a problem in his votes and with guys like that, when there's any conceivable primary challenge, you take your shot." Hilliard, of course, lost to Davis, whose campaign funds reached $781,000.
It would be nice if Fisk would remember to mention Hilliard was getting a huge amount of funding from out of state as well, from radical Muslims. This election was turned into an Israel/Arabs issue, with full support of Hilliard. If he had refused the Arab money, he might have won, and so many Jews certainly would not have written checks for Davis.

The AIPAC concentrates on Congress while the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations (CPMAJO), made up of the heads of 51 Jewish organisations, concentrates on the executive branch of the US government. Every congressman knows the names of those critics of Israel who have been undone by the lobby. Take Senator J William Fulbright, whose 1963 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee detailed how five million tax-deductable dollars from philanthropic Americans had been sent to Israel and then recycled back to the US for distribution to organisations seeking to influence public opinion in favour of Israel; this cost him the chance of being Secretary of State. He was defeated in the 1974 Democratic primary after pro-Israeli money poured into the campaign funds of his rival, Governor Dale Bumpers, following a statement by the AIPAC that Fulbright was "consistently unkind to Israel and our supporters in this country". Paul Findley, who spent 22 years as a Republican congressman from Illinois, found his political career destroyed after he had campaigned against the Israeli lobby – although, ironically, his book on the subject, They Dare to Speak Out was nine weeks on The Washington Post bestseller list, suggesting that quite a number of Americans want to know why their congressmen are so pro-Israeli.
And what was the number one bestselling book in France a few months ago? The Frightening Fraud, by Thierry Meyssan (sp?), suggesting that quite a number of Frenchmen want to know why the Americans blew up the World Trade Center.

Just two months ago, the US House of Representatives voted 352 to 21 to express its unqualified support for Israel. The Senate voted 94 to two for the same motion.
This is not true, they were not the same version. The house version was much more bloodthirsty. It was only because Bush asked that the House version did not call for Palestinians to be run out of the West Bank.
Even as they voted, Ariel Sharon's army was continuing its destructive invasion of the West Bank. "I do not recall any member of Congress asking me if I was in favour of patting Israel on the back..." James Abu Rizk, an Arab-American of Lebanese origin, told the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee afterwards. "No one else, no average American, has been asked either. But that is the state of American politics today... The votes and bows have nothing to do with the legislators' love for Israel. They have everything to do with the money that is fed into their campaigns by members of the Israeli lobby. My estimate is that $6bn flows from the American Treasury to Israel each year." Within days, 42 US governors turned up in Sacramento to sign declarations supporting Israel. California governor Gray Davis and New York governor George Pataki – California has the largest Jewish population of any state except New York – arranged the meeting.
Of course, the AAADC would have no problem with the American Congress issuing declartions of support for Hizzbullah and Hamas, so his words ring a little hollow.

Sometimes the support of Israel's loyalists in Congress turns into farce. Tom Delay – reacting to CNN founder Ted Turner's criticism of Israel – went so far out of his way to justify Israeli occupation of the West Bank that he blurted out on MSNBC television that the Palestinians "should become citizens" of Israel, an idea unlikely to commend itself to his friend Ariel Sharon. Texas Republican Richard Armey went the other way. "I'm content to have Israel grab the entire West Bank. I happen to believe the Palestinians should leave... to have those people who have been aggressors against Israel retired to some other area." Do the people of Texas know that their representative is supporting "ethnic cleansing" in the Middle East? Or are they silent because they prefer not to speak out?
If they watch the news, they know he supports it. And they voted for him. (they would be among the fundamentalist Christians Fisk decries in the paragraphs above; has he already forgotten them?)

Censorship takes many forms. When Ishai Sagi and Ram Rahat-Goodman, two Israeli reserve soldiers who refused to serve in the West Bank or Gaza, were scheduled to debate their decision at Sacramento's Congregation B'nai Israel in May, their appearance was cancelled. Steve Meinrath, who is chairman of the Israel Affairs Committee at B'nai Israel, remarked bleakly that "intimidation on the part of certain sectors of the community has deprived the entire community of hearing a point of view that is being widely debated in Israel. Some people feel it's too dangerous..."
Waaah. They can meet somewhere else. If the congregation finds Jewish nonresitance to terror to be as offensive as Jewish nonresistance to Naziism (both of which are designed to slaughter Jews), they won't want the cowards to speak at their place of worship, just like they would have censored Ghandi, for telling the Jews to go willingly to their deaths to preserve their moral high ground.

I don't think this column ever ends, Fisk is something of a gasbag.

Email: Barbara Lubin Dennis Bernstein

Does Anyone Else Find this Headline to be Strange?

Bloodshed in Middle East After Talks Lift Hopes

Hopes of what exactly, that there might be another suicide bombing, casting doubt on Israel's ability to halt the terror? Hope that the intifada might continue, in all its violent fury? Remember, these headlines are written by the editors of the Times, not by Reuters, and not by normal journalists. If you want to know what the editors are thinking, look at the headlines.

Israeli-Palestinian Peace is Impossible Now

Peace between Israel and the Arabs isn't going to happen any time soon. Not only is a Palestinian state not inevitable, but peace is almost inevitably doomed to failure.

The only "peace" that exists today is the peace of purely rational short-term interests. Jordan needs trade with Israel to stay afloat, because it's one of the weaker Arab countries, and it's afraid Israel will push all of the Palestinians into Jordan, which was cause the Hashemite Dynasty to fall from power. Egypt wants money from the US, and knows it would be soundly defeated in a war with Israel, and the Aswan High Dam could be blown, killing 60,000,000 Arabs (yes, sixty million, ninety percent of the population of Egypt, which is clustered mostly around the Nile). There is no real Arab love for Israel.

The Palestinians will be happy with nothing short of Israel's destruction. The issue of "right of return" for the Palestinians who fled or were kicked out in the 1948 war of independence will not go away, unless Israel lets them all return, destroying itself as a Jewish state. The Palestinians will never cease to use this grievance as an excuse to hate Israel. Nothing Israel does will be able to appease them, short of allowing itself to be destroyed Zimbabwe-style.

So if peace is impossible, Israel needs to forget it. No amount of appeasement will work. So Israel should go to the opposite extreme.

Right now, the situation is fine, there is peace because Israel is strong. If violence starts up, Israel must take action against it. If the violence comes from a specific region of the Palestinian area, that region must be shut down and put under siege. A few days of that would clear everything up. If violence comes from East Jerusalem into the Jewish area, Israel needs to seize East Jerusalem and expel the Arabs.

And if violence comes from Israeli Arabs, they need to be expelled. Not all at once, but if a village is being particularly bothersome, it should be excised, and the villagers sent into the Palestinian area.

If Katyushas are fired from Palestinian areas into Israel, Israel might have to seize and occupy them outright. But only by strangling any violence by responding quickly and to the local area will Israel be able to achieve a state of non-violence. It won't be "peace," but it will be like an endless ceasefire, sporadically broken. (which is better than the so-called "Peace Process," which looked a lot bloodier than Sharon's war process).

That would be much more favorable to Israel, and would promote feelings of "let's not attack the Israelis becase we'll get our heads handed to us" in the Palestinian areas, which is also conducive to uneasy but uneventful coexistence. That's as close to peace as the region is going to come in the near future.

Who knows, maybe if that is achieved the Palestinians would look to Israel for greater peace. But Israel should not be pounding on Palestine's door begging the Arabs for peace. When it does that, the Palestinians think peace would benefit Israel more than the Arabs. Israel should make the Arabs come to it, and say, "hey, I've got a great idea, how about we work something out and live together happily ever after?" Until the Arabs are willing to ask Israel for peace, instead of making one demand after another for it, there will be no peace.

Until the Arabs want peace, there will be no peace. Maybe that is possible, maybe they will give up their grievances stemming from 1948 and 1967. Maybe they won't wage endless war on Israel. But only when they want peace will that happen. They don't want peace now, which is why it's impossible. So there will be no peace. So Sharon will continue to bulldoze them.

Instead of trying to convince all of the Palestinians at once that peace is a good idea, which would be incredibly difficult—and incredibly easy for terrorists to sabotage—Israel should work on trying to convince one Arab village at a time. Israel should shatter the Palestinian area and remove all Arab control on the "national" level. Then it could work for peace with individual villages, and when they come around, it could reopen traffic from that village into Israel, to allow them to work and become prosperous. When enough Arab villages and cities wanted peace, Israel could give them a demilitarized state, and let other Arab villages and cities join in on either good behavior on their part, or on the promise of the Palestinian government to control them. When Palestinians want peace, it will be possible, Israel has to convince them peace is a good idea, by taking it from them and not constantly trying to sell them on the idea. Let them come to the idea themselves.

Democracy on the national level would be a nicer way of doing things than creating "Bantustine," but it's just not going to happen. For democracy to work, it has to be fair everywhere. If you think Bush stole the election, you probably think he stole it in one specific place (if you think Gore was trying to steal the election, the same thing basically applies). Can you imagine all of Palestine being democratic enough to hold meaningful national elections? Not at this point in time, when Arafat's lackeys are threatening to kill anyone who runs against him. So small pieces are the only level at which Israel can have—and has had—success at making peace with Arabs.

Anti-Semitism in America

A very good article in Slate today (isn't there always one or two of those?) about how the ADL's methodology in determining anti-Semitism is terribly flawed. I think Jews need to get over their Christophobia and realize most Christians don't hate Jews. Most don't even especially dislike us.

On the other hand, some left-wing Jewish doves want to ignore Arab anti-Semitism (or at least pretend it will all disappear when the Palestinian issue is settled, which they think is possible). The real anti-Semitism to be afraid of comes not from whites, hispanics, blacks, or Asians, it comes from Arab Muslims and non-Arab Muslims.

It infuriates me when the ADL or any other organization overstates its case. It diminishes our ability to say "hey, look at those crazy, Jew-hating Arabs!" Which is what we need to be saying. Peace will be impossible so long as the Arab states promote anti-Semitism.

[And please, nobody write in the comments section that "Arabs are Semites too," because it only shows your ignorance. The term "anti-Semitism" was coined by a Jew-hater to mean "Jew-hatred." We didn't pick the word, we don't care that it isn't perfect, that's the word that's been in use for more than a few decades. If you must use an alternate term, just refer to it as "Jew-hatred."]

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

"You will only be safe when we are oppressed"

That's the general message the Israelis get from the Palestinians. When the occupation was in force, there was very little terror. The first intifada was much less damaging to Israel than the Oslo War (this latest intifada, which might be over). When Rabin gave Arafat control of the PA, the terror bombings began to pick up speed. When Netanyahu took control of the Israeli government, the terrorism almost ceased entirely. Under Barak, Arafat started the second intifada. And now under Sharon, the intifada has been ended by taking progressively stronger measures.

The Palestinians have been holding themselves hostage, hoping the world would intervene against Israel when they suffered. It was true up to a point, but the Israelis snapped for the second time and elected Sharon (the first time, they elected Netanyahu). The Palestinians told the Israelis "you will only be safe when we are oppressed," and the Israelis replied that "that can be arranged."

Why the Eurinals have Shut Up about Israel

The left-wing hypothesis was that oppression leads to terror. This was their marching song, "end the oppression, and the terror will end." When Sharon invaded with Operation Defensive Shield, and ended the terror, the leftists told him to retreat. He did, and in response the terror returned. So Sharon went back in, and the terror has stopped again. The left-wing intellectuals don't want to confront the fact they were proven wrong, and they unfairly villified Sharon, so they're ignoring the issue.

But the Arabs will never let go of this issue, because they don't make any pretensions to always being right like the hard Left, they don't care if they're a bunch of liars.

Of course, this means in a few months, when the Eurinals forget about being wrong (which they are apt to do), they will return to criticizing Israel.

Oh well.

Forget Moderate Muslims

I'm sick and tired about hearing how important it is to find moderate Muslims. You can find them anywhere there are Muslims. The problem is, they're worthless. They won't stand up to the mad Mullahs, they just quietly acquiesce and let some of their children be recruited. They're willing to let the extremists take over their faith.

What we need is not more moderate Muslims, we already have plenty of those. We need passionate, extremist Muslims. We need Muslim liberals.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Human Rights Worker Denied Human Rights

A B'Tselem flunky was arrested by the PA. B'Tselem is a left-wing organization that is sharply critical of Israel. So this is a pretty funny story. And I just wrote over at LGF that "As long as leftists are going to beat each other up, I don't care how they do it." Friendly fire is fun to watch, when it's not your side getting hit.

Brian Linse attacks Glenn Reynolds, claiming the Unabomber wasn't left-wing, and Palestinian "nationalists" could be right-wingers, too.

As proof for the first claim, Linse reaches into the Unabomber Manifesto, and pulls out a small criticism of the left. But if you read the manifesto, Kaczynski also criticizes conservatives.

Kaczynski wanted to create a utopian society by instituting revolutionary change (by doing away with technology). That sounds to me more like "left" than "right." The radical environmentalist movement can also only be described as "left," and he was acting in their name.

As far as Kaczynski being "authoritarian," he demanded no technology be created or used. His ideal society would resemble the anarcho-syndicalists' (in which anyone claiming ownership private property was committing a crime against humanity and could be killed), except technology would be the enemy of the people instead of private property. He demanded society follow his rules, he was not a laid-back individualist, like libertarians.

The idea that the anti-Israel protesters at SFSU could have been right-wing is equally strange. True, there might have been one or two old-right conservatives who still hate Jews. But even that is doubtful. The crowd was made up of the extreme left-wingers and Muslims. To drown out the Jewish speakers at the pro-Israel rally, they banged on tribal drums. Those are left-wing musical instruments! They shouted all sorts of left-wing slogans. They were lefties, for Linse to claim otherwise is downright weird.

But trying to catch Glenn Reynolds in an error seems to be the national sport of the left-wing blogsphere.

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