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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Israel: some thoughts « Previous | |Next »
June 20, 2004

Here are a few ideas gleaned from some articles.

The first by Gideon Levy is about the settlements in the occupied territories. Here the Palestinian people are subjected to military occupation with a de-facto apartheid already existing in the West Bank. Levy says:


"...the settlement enterprise from the start... was established to undermine any and every chance for a peace agreement and to erect a defensive barrier against any just solution...One government after another - left and right - carried on funding their whims and inflating the settlement enterprise to monstrous proportions....Now there is a possibility, for the first time, that a tiny part of this hapless enterprise will come to an end. Shockingly late in the day, we must now hold them to account for the blood they shed in vain. Now is the time to say to them - you extorted enough, you cost us too much, you deserve nothing more."


In the long run the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian lands are unsustainable -- difficult to defend militarily, impossible to defend legally. Jeffrey Goldberg argues that these settlements, as much as Islamic radicalism, threatens Israel. The latter (Islamic radicalism) feeds off the former (settler occupation).

The article by Glenn Frankel is about torture of Palestinians in the Israeli prison system:


"The accounts of physical abuse of Iraqis by American guards at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad sounded achingly familiar to Anan Labadeh. The casual beatings, the humiliations, the trophy photos taken by both male and female guards were experiences he said he underwent as a Palestinian security detainee at an Israeli military camp in March of last year."


There is a difference between the two torture regimes in that the Israel's techniques for breaking down prisoners are far more sophisticated than the Americans. Frankel says:

"In the early days... crude physical and sexual abuse was commonplace...Now the emphasis is on psychological pressure...The latest report by the committee against torture, covering the period from September 2001 to April 2003, alleged that detainees faced a new regime of sleep deprivation, shackling, slapping, hitting and kicking; exposure to extreme cold and heat; threats, curses and insults; and prolonged detention in subhuman conditions."


If you do nothing else do read the Jeffrey Goldberg article about the settler movement. As he says "the hard-core settlers---the Jewish religious nationalists--- and their supporters make up perhaps two per cent of the Israeli populace, but they nevertheless have driven Israeli policy in the occupied territories for much of the past thirty years." The settlers have been the spearhead of the Israeli occuaption of Palestinian lands.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:48 PM | | Comments (24)
Comments

Comments

Gary:

Goldberg's article presents a warped view of West Bank reality because he focuses the lion's share of his piece on a small extremist fringe that is hardly representative of Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, much less the broader Israeli political spectrum.

Yeah, Levinger and most of his fellow inhabitants of the Jewish enclave of Hevron are radical nuts. But, they aren't at all characteristic of the 200,000 Jews who have settled in Judea and Samaria since 1967. With a handful of exceptions, if the Israeli government decides to give up territory to the Palestinians, any Jews who inhabit those areas will pack their bags quietly and leave. Except for a very small lunatic fringe, these Israelis are law abiding citizens who abide by the decisions of their government.

And, as for the nutty fringe? As far as I'm concerned, if they want to stay in Judea and Samaria... fine. But, without IDF protection. Without any security from Israel. We'd see how long they'd last before they skulked back over the border into Israel with their tail between their legs.

But, again, the real issue isn't the settlers, because successive Israeli governments have shown a willingness to withdraw from the WB&Gaza and remove settlements. But, the majority of the Israeli population that supports territorial compromise is not willing to make a deal with a Palestinian side that refuses to make genuine peace with Israel. The Palestinians have yet to show that they have truly reconciled themselves to the existance of Israel as a Jewish state. They continually adhere to demands for a so called "right" of return, which is shorthand for a demand that most Jewish Israelis consider to be national suicide by allowing into its territory millions of angry, hostile Arabs. A recipe for civil strife and conflict that would make what's going on now, or the inter-ethnic war in the 1990s Balkans look like a strawberry social by comparison.

The majority of Israelis accept the principle of two-states as a basis for solution to the Palestinian - Israel conflict. And, being a democracy of law, the Israeli government would have no problem enforcing that decision in the face of opposition from a small minority of settlers.

Alas, there has been countervailing recognition within the Palestinian body politic, a majority of which continues to support suicide bombings against civilian targets inside Israel proper, as well as the right of return that most Israelis regard as tantamount to the destruction of their nation.

It is rejectionism on the part of a majority of Palestinians, and their leaders, that constitutes the true barrier to peace, not the fulminations of a small group of Israelis who would be made by law enforcement agencies to submit to the decision of a democratically elected government that reflects the true will of the Israeli people.

Because of its complexity, I usually stay out of the Israel-Palestine issue.

However, I do think about it. And I ask myself:

- Isn't Arafat a spent force?

- Would the majority of Palestinians agree to the concept of a the Jewish State of Israel even if they would have to finally give up pre 1948 land?

- Is there a Palestinian leader/group who could lead the Palestinian people to some sort of acceptable agreement on both sides?

- Could Arab states help out in the process?

- Would Palestinian/Israel relinquish their claims on Gaza, Golan Heights and West Bank, Jerusalem (east or west, can't remember) or they are non-negotiable?

- Even if some compromise is reached. How to stop extremists continuing to wage a terrorist war?

Being neither Jewish or Palestinian I do not have any emotional link to the issue. However, I was always attracted to the concept to re-create a Jewish state in Palestine. A place where finally the Jewish people could call their own and not being persecuted/discriminated/killed. Also as someone of the left I am attracted by many of the democratic socialist ideals of some of Israel's early creators.

On the other hand I can see that this was founded on territory which did belong to Arab Palestinians. And they do have reason to feel aggrieved.

The situation is stuck in a spiral of retribution and death. A suicide bomber kills Israeli school children in a bus. The Israeli Army bulldozes a house.

It is a beautiful ideal, Israel, but perhaps it was predicated from the Balfour Declaration onwards, on shaky grounds. There must be a way out. I wonder how it is going to happen.

Guido, don't come here posing thoughtful questions unless you've got simplistic answers. You'll confuse us all.

Sorry, Guido, but your premise is factually incorrect. Israel was not "founded on territory that did belong to the Palestinian Arabs." First and foremost, there was no distinct Palestinian Arab nationalist identity until well into the 20th century. Most Arab inhabitants of Mandatory Palestine thought of themselves as Arabs who were part of Suria Al Kubra, Greater Syria.

A specific Palestinian Arab identity only began to emerge in the 1940s or even later. So, how could a country belong to a people that didn't even consider itself a people?

Moreover, you completely ignore the statistics of land ownership in Palestine. At the time of the UN partition resolution only about 20% of the Mandate was privately owned by Arabs. And much of that private Arab land was in the hands of absentee landlords living in Beirut, Cairo, etc...

So, of only 1/5 of Mandatory Palestine was owned by Arabs, how can you plausibly claim that the entirety of the country belonged to them?

dum dum dum DUM dum, dum dum dum DUM dum, da da da DAAA!!

Oh I love the smell of bullshit in the morning. So bracing!

What's wrong, Glenn, cat got yer tongue?

You're raising a lot of suspect interpretations, VOS. Why does it sound so much like the White Tribe of Africa history?

According to that, the blacks didn't get down to the southern part of the continent until about the 17th century. Just about the same time that Dutch settlers were arriving at the Cape. Therefore they had no legitimate land title.

After such a promising start, Israel has been forced to take friends wherever they can be found. But I hope they didn't borrow ideas from Afrikanerdom.

National identity ideas anyway are something which didn't really come into vogue until the late 18th century. So it hardly weakens Palestinian claims. They might've been part of the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and British empires at various times, but they can still be Palestinians, with a legitimate claim on land in their family for centuries.

Look at their settlements that haven't yet, or only recently, been bulldozed down. They go back a lot longer than you're implying, VOS.

None of these Berlin Wall-type divisions would be necessary if these people didn't feel they had some rights.

Don:

Sure the Palestinians "feel they had some rights." But, whether their national narrative is supported by objective history is another matter, entirely.

Moreover, the Berlin-wall was designed to keep freedom-loving people in. The Israeli barrier is designed to keep homicidally inclined suicide bombers out. If you are unable to comprehend that self-evident difference, well...

Moreover, you are incorrect in your assertion that national identity "didn't really come into vogue until the late 18th century." The Brits had a well developed sense of national identity well before then. This was, undoubtedly, cultivated by the island of GB's geographical isolation from the continent. But, there are other examples. The Swedes under Gustavus Adolphus had a well established sense of national identity... and that was in the early-mid 17th century. The same is true of the Spanish. So, your assertion is flawed by a number of contrary historical cases.

And, that's not even mentioning the fact that the Jewish people have had a distinct sense of ethnic-nationhood for 3 millennia.

So, this has nothing to do with "interpretations," suspect or other. It has to do with the cold hard facts of history.

The fact is that there was no sense of distinct Palestinian nationhood until the mid-20th century. Before that time, the regnant identifications amongst the majority Muslim inhabitants of the region were clan/tribal, pan-Arab and Islamic.

The fact is a substantial element of the current Palestinian population is decended from 19th and early 20th century immigrants from the surrounding regions of Egypt, Syria, Trans-jordan and Lebanon. These Arab immigrants arrived in Palestine to partake in the employment opportunities that resulted from economic growth driven by Jewish immigration. British population records clearly show this.

So, why is an Arab economic immigrant from Egypt more deserving of a claim to Palestine than a Jewish refugee from Nazism? The Jews were willing to compromise and accepted the partition of Palestine into abutting Jewish and Arab states. But, the Arabs, in their infinite folly, rejected compromise and embarked on a war that sowed the seeds of their national destruction.

The Arabs rebuffed partition and went to war proclaiming their intention of wiping out every last Jewish man woman and child in a "massacre that will rival the Mogol massacres." They lost the war and were unable to carry out their genocidal ambition against the Jews.

The Palestinians have their own stupidity to blame for their current connundrum.

Yeah, Yeah, you can pick pieces out of the history of this shameful conflict which reflect badly on Palestinians and other neighbouring nations.

Uri Avnery has done the same with Israel. But does that mean you can just bulldoze down their houses now, and them too if they get in the way?

I get it. They're the un-derserving poor! They don't deserve human rights like civilised people.

And if American leftists complain, you can always point out it's no worse than what happened to the American Indians.

Put through a wall and deny them access to their fields; take away their water. Trying to protect the security of a few settlers who shouldn't be there, you've got ask, at what cost.

Trying to reach an agreement makes much more sense. And needlessly seeking to discredit humane voices on the other side such as Said and Ashrawi doesn't achieve anything.

If those houses are being used for military purposes - weapons smuggling tunnel exits - sniper posts - then yeah, the Israelis can demolish them. The moment the first round is fired; the moment the first smuggled AK47 comes through the tunnel exit in the kids' bedroom, then loses the civilian immunity afforded it by international law and it becomes a legitimate military target.

Said was hardly a humane voice. He savagely criticized Arafat for signing on to the Oslo Accords. And, Ashrawi is an apologist for terrorism who also steadfastly supports the so called "right of return" for the Palestinians. The right of return demand gives lie to the claim of Palestinian moderation because it is essentially a call for the dismantling of Israel. National suicide is something to which Israelis will never agree.

Only about 13% of the Palestinian population of the West Bank will be separated from their bretheren by the security barrier. The barrier is not intended as a de facto border, but it follows along military lines for tactical reasons, its purpose being to most effectively prevent suicide bombers and other terrorists from infiltrating into Israel.

It is sad that that 13% of Palestinians might be inconvenienced by the security barrier (farmers will be able to cultivate their fields). But, when that inconvenience is weighed against the saving the lives of countless innocent Israelis, the moral equation seems pretty clear to me.

Finally, had Arafat abided by the terms of Oslo and been willing to negotiate a real peace, then there would have been no barrier. This is Arafat's fence because it would never have been built without Palestinian bloodyminded terrorism to motivate its construction.

Don

take it from me - there's no point.

Actually, Glenn, the point is that you have no point to make other than to indulge in childish personal invective.

You're probably right, Glenn, but I press on.

VOS, I assume you're not much of a scholarly reader, or you'd never have made those remarks about Said and Ashrawi. Both have been outstanding scholars in addition to being articulate speakers.

You criticise Said for slamming Arafat. Both of these scholars have objected to Arafat's corruption -something I thought you'd feel some sympathy for.

I note your comment on the bulldozing of houses being entirely to destroy tunnels. Was that the case in the ones destroyed when Rachel Corrie was killed?

Let's leave them for the moment. How do you explain Avnery's arguments. Is he an apologist for terrorists too?

Assuming that post-Sharon Israel has some plans for peace with Palestinians (after all, eventually the defence cost will become unaffordable as Apartheid did in South Africa), wouldn't it make some sense to set up dialogue with some Palestinians with a commitment to justice and humanity?

Seeing you take some interest in these things VOS. Can you remember a news story a few weeks ago about a party of Israelis and Palestinians reaching the South Pole together?

The object of the exercise was to prove that both groups could work together. To me it makes more sense and shows a lot more humanity than anything you or Sharon have come up with.

the immediately preceeding, of course, was posted by yours truly

Actually, Don, I graduated with a first class honours bachelors degree, which required a reasonable capacity for critical thought and analysis.

As for your query in re Rachel Corrie, yes, she was trying to prevent the destruction homes used as weapons smuggling tunnel terminii. She was a pretty radical type, as evidenced by a rather notorious picture showing her howling to the skies while she burns an American flag.

She wasn't deliberately killed, but those bulldozers are pretty heavily armoured to protect against Palestinian gunfire, and the view from the cockpits is rather limited.

She naively thought that her American passport somehow afforded her immunity as she interjected herself into a live battlefield situation. If you don't want to be run over by a bulldozer, don't stand in front of the blade where the driver can't see you.

You talk as though there has never been an attempt by Israel to promote moderation amongst the Palestinians. It would be great if moderate Palestinians were in their community's drivers seat. But, the levers of power in the WB&Gaza are either under the control of the terrorism-sponsoring Arafat, or the terrorism-committing Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aktza Brigades. Independent polling conducted by Palestinian media outfits show that most Palestinians do not truly support real coexistence with Israel. This is sad, but true.

Exercises like the antarctic expedition are quaint, but ultimately irrelevant.

Yes but it doesn't solve the long term problem.

Good to see you have a scholarly trait. In Doctorrow's "Billy Bathgate" the main brains behind Dutch Schultz mentions to him (concerning possible mutiny among Dutch's ranks) "even the most humble are capable of being concerned about their own security and future."

Do you think that your dismissal of their case to be negotiated with, lessens their perceptions.

And if you think that they are not seeing reason, then gunships, tanks and bulldozers are unlikely to do the job.

Sorry you see so little empathy for people trying to work together. I hope this doesn't mean you favour genocide.

Actress Miriam Karlin, who lost most of her family in the Holocaust was a supporter of Israel from the beginning. But in a recent visit, she changed her position. After what we have been through, she said, how can we justify being the oppressors?

There's more I could say, but I was interested in your response an Rachel Corrie. When her family contacted politicians about the events, three agreed to mention it. Not one did. Not lobbying censorhip I hope?

Eh, I take it from the wording of your post that Miriam Karlin resides in the diaspora. Thus, given that she is not a resident of Israel, and only visits there, who the hell is she to talk about "we." Surely as a Jew she has an interest in the Jewish state. But, as a disapora Jew that interest falls far short of passing judgement on the policies the Israeli government adopts to prevent its citizens from being blown up on commuter busses.

Moreover, I've never really seen the connection between thespian success and political savvy. Merely because she has a nice voice and has been a modest success on the silver screen doesn't mean that we should necessarily listen to Barbra Streisand's political views. So, quite frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn what Miriam Karlin has to say.

Finally, you misapprehend the mainstream Israeli position. The majority of Israelis are far past caring what might or might not promote Palestinian moderation because they have seen all their overtures, all their flexibility and willingness to compromise thrown back in their face with the Palestinian resort to violence. The average Israeli has lost all faith in the opportunity for peace with the current generation of Palestinians.

So, the IDF will build Israel's security barrier that will exponentially reduce the ability of Palestinian terrorists to penentrate Israeli territory. And the Israelis will go about their lives, continuing to build their modern, hi tech Western democratic society.

Once again the Palestinians proved unwilling to make the hard choices necessary for a compromise peace. Let them live with the consequences of their folly.

'She was a pretty radical type, as evidenced by a rather notorious picture showing her howling to the skies while she burns an American flag.'

Oh well that settles it, she deserved to be murdered.

'She naively thought that her American passport somehow afforded her immunity '

that's right - only an Israeli passport might have done the trick.. and even then...

'Independent polling conducted by Palestinian media outfits show that most Palestinians do not truly support real coexistence with Israel.'

Who can blame them? I wouldn't want to live within coo-ee of it.

'Exercises like the antarctic expedition are quaint, but ultimately irrelevant.'

Peace initiatives are 'quaint' and 'irrelevant' to our brave part time armchair warrior and full time racist.

' I've never really seen the connection between thespian success and political savvy'

Or indeed between 'political savvy' and common decency. I'll bet you think you're pretty savvy don't you?

'Merely because she has a nice voice and has been a modest success on the silver screen doesn't mean that we should necessarily listen to Barbra Streisand's political views'

So we can all safely ignore Schwarzengroper? (He'd be soulmate of yours wouldn't he?)

'And the Israelis will go about their lives, continuing to build their modern, hi tech Western democratic society'

Hi tech man! Modern too! And a 'shitty little country' to boot! You got it all over there... why don't you join them building this dream? Then you can be there when it bites the dust as it inevitably will.

'Let them live with the consequences of their folly'

My sentiments exactly.

If the Palestinians "blow up commuter buses" and the Israelis only "bulldoze houses" how come 3 times as many Palestinians have been killed in the fighting over the past 5 years?

Easy. Every Israeli killed is an "innocent". Every Palestinian killed is a "militant".

Everywhere else the militants are angry young men. Only in Palestine are they old people, women and children too.

'Eh, I take it from the wording of your post that Miriam Karlin resides in the diaspora. Thus, given that she is not a resident of Israel, and only visits there, who the hell is she to talk about "we." Surely as a Jew she has an interest in the Jewish state.'

Oh.That settles it, does it? Unless she'a resident, she's not free to identify with them. Giving time and money to support its successful establishment doesn't count in your linguistic world. Where does this leave you,VOS? Are you a 'we' or a 'them'?

OK. Seeing now only Israeli citizens can freely criticise, what's your take on Uri Avnery?

I could go on responding to these petty sneers of yours, VOS. But I'll have to conclude that Glenn is right - you're no more interested in an equitable solution than that humbug warmonger Sharon.

Yeah, Don:

Only those who live with the threat of being blown up on their daily commute to work; only those who have to do a month's worth of reserve duty each year; only those who are directly effected by the decisions of the Israeli government have any moral right to kvetch. And, nota bene, I'm talking about propriety, not free speech rights. She, of course, has the democratic right to mouth off if she wishes, regardless of how presumptuously hutzpadik her sentiments are.

As for Uri Aveneri, he represents the far left "Pilgerite wing" of Israeli politics. It is miniscule, and tries to compensate for its liliputian dimensions through the stidency of its rhetoric. Aveneri is an anti-zionist who has this utopian pipe dream of a pacific bi-national Arab-Jewish state that will peacefully replace the state of Israel.

I would suggest that Aveneri look to the Balkans as a cautionary tale about the fate of multi-ethnic nations. Given the demonstrable dearth of democratic values in Arab political culture, only a fool would believe that a bi-national state in Israel's stead with a majority of Arabs wouldn't result in the horrific repression of the Jewish minority.

And, for that precise reason, an overwhelming majority of Israel's population rejects the Palestinian so-called "right of return" and other schemes designed to bring about the demise of the Jewish state and its substitution by a bi-national entity.

OK, VOS, I'll make a final try for you to see reason.

Agreed being an actor or an artist doesn't make anyone more especially qualified to comment than anyone else (and Reagan doesn't help my case). Neither are they less qualified, as Havel has shown.

But having their origins or family connections in the oppressing side can give them more poignancy. The most articulate speakers against the British in Ireland over the centuries were the Anglo-Irish artists from Swift right through to Yeats.

It took the Irish over 900 years to win - so the idea of certain national rights and dignity is not easily buried.

The context in which I cited Karlin was similar to that.

And it is arrogant nonsense to claim that unless she has been subjected to the daily threat of terrorist attacks she cannot speak for them. She can still speak for what is just, especially when she considers herself part of the people involved on the oppressing side.

Look at it through the other side of glass. After a suicide bombing killing many civilians a Palestinian American public condemns the attack.

A Hamas spokesman dismisses this criticism, "unless you have lived through helicopter gunship rockets killing families in a neighbourhood, unless you've had your house bulldozed, or unless you've had your stone-throwing kids gunned down, you can't speak for us."

By your reasoning, the Hamas spokesman would be right, unless you expect higher standards of the Palestinians than you do of Israel.

'only a fool would believe that a bi-national state in Israel's stead with a majority of Arabs wouldn't result in the horrific repression of the Jewish minority.'

Which would simply reverse the current equation, but while repression of Arabs is AOK, commendable even, repression of a Jewish minority is unthinkable. Your prejudice is woven into the fibre of your being.

'It is miniscule, and tries to compensate for its liliputian dimensions through the stidency of its rhetoric. '

Size is important for you isn't it?

'I would suggest that Aveneri look to the Balkans as a cautionary tale about the fate of multi-ethnic nations.'

Thank God for the Balkans! What a handy symbol for your impoverished worldview, that man is ultimately a savage creature, engaged in a battle to the death with those of his fellow men who don't sing his songs and pray to the same God. The fact that Muslims, Croats and Serbs lived since the tenth century in generally peaceful co-existence doesn't register, only the flash of violence caused by the exploitation of a unique juxtaposition of social, economic and political factors. You ignore a world full of places where people of all sorts manage to bump along pretty well, Sydney for example. And if Sydney gets worse it will have more to do with attitudes like yours, well represented in the media spectrum by the Joneses, and tacitly supported by likeminded politicians on the make, such as our awful PM, than it will to the individual perpetrators of violent acts. Like the Balkans, it would take the whipping up of latent xenophobia (with major media onside), in conjunction with favourable economic and security conditions for real problems to emerge.

In other words, problems arising among groups divided along ethnic or religious lines owe far more to the dramatisation and exaggeration of those divisions by extremists on both sides, than they do to any inherent qualities of either, or both. Unless you count the human capacity for gullibility that results from ignorance and fear, and that quality isn't confined to any particular race.

The Balkans rather than say, the relatively strife-free history of your beloved America, the world's melting pot. Apocalypse over peaceful prosperity. So how do we explain the difference? No doubt your explanation centres on America's happy (relative)absence off trouble-making races like Arabs. Me, I prefer to think that until very recently, US leadership over centuries recognised the importance of a responsible political rhetoric, a conscious attempt to evolve from the race, class, religious and national divisions which had shaped the history of the Europe they escaped from.

You're still in that pre-Enlightened midset VOS, possessed of a sad echo of old Europe's inability to rise above local distinctions of birth or creed.

If and when you grow up in an ethical sense, you will be able to consider Don's elegant 'shoe on the other foot' scenario seriously and understand it's true import. You don't have to be Christian to agree that 'do unto others' is the basis of alll human morality.

Sadly (a word you and your mates use all the time when speaking of Palestinians) and ironically, the man who coined 'the shoe on the other foot test', Alan Dershowitz, can't himself apply it to the Palestinian situation, proving just how deep this particular malaise can run.

Glenn, as a matter of fact, Israel's Arabs are not oppressed, but rather they are the only Arab inhabitants of the Middle East who enjoy democratic rights. The Arabs of the occupied territory are a different matter. Israel has repeatedly offered to withdraw from almost all the WB and all of Gaza to allow the creation of a Palestinian state. And all the Israelis received in return was the suicide bombings of restaurants and buses. That sort of stuff rather dampens the willingness of the average Israeli to believe that he has a partner for peace on the other side of the table.

Secondly, your comprehension of American history is rather flawed. You portray the US as having been an idyllic place of inter-ethnic comity before that was all ruined by the evil Dubya.

I guess you never heard of the Know Nothings, the anti-Irish movement in the 1850s, not to mention Jim Crow, the system of legalized segregation that was only abolished with the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. And, I guess the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that prohibited Chinese immigration sort of slipped your mind, eh?

The fact of the matter is that race relations in of America of 2004 are better than ever before. And, this comports with with the general trajectory of American history in which society has become more and more reflective of the trancendent ideals expressed in the Declaration.

Perhaps you might want to audit an American history class or two at that institution where you work, Glenn. Do you good.

Moreover, it's not just the Balkans that constitute a cautionary tale for those who preach a two state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Sri Lanka is another example, where fighting between Sinhalese and Tamils has raged for decades. And similar examples abound.

What is really interesting about your position is your absolute detestation of Jewish nationalism, while the achievement of national self-determination by other ethnic groups leaves you unmoved.

So, why is it that the Jews arouse your particular ire, eh?