July 29th, 2006

And what does Ariel Sharon have to say about it all?

No, the title of this post isn’t some sort of joke. And, of course, Ariel Sharon has nothing whatsoever to say–nor (barring some extraordinary miracle) will he ever be saying anything again.

But in one of my many efforts at organizing my papers and tidying up in general, I recently found a stack of unread New Yorkers. I skimmed their “Contents” sections and threw them all out (actually, took them to the dump to recycle, like the environmentally concerned person that I am).

But in one of them, the January 23 and 30, 2006 issue, I found and read “The Samurai of Zionism,” a piece by Ari Shavit based on a series of interviews with Ariel Sharon over the last couple of years. Towards the end, Shavit quotes Sharon as having come to the following conclusions, which I reproduce here as food for thought in this particular crisis:

The conflict isn’t between us and the Palestinians. The conflict is between us and the Arab world. And the problem at the heart of the conflict is that the Arab world does not recognize the Jews’ inherent right to have a Jewish state in the land where the Jewish people began. This is the main problem. This also applies to Egypt, with which we have a cold peace. It also applies to Jordan, with which we have a very close strategic relationship, but this is a relationship between governments, not between peoples. The problem is not 1967. The problem is the profound nonrecognition by the Arab world of Israel’s birthright. The problem will not be solved by an agreement. It will not be solved by a speech. Anyone who promises that it’s possible to end the conflict within a year or two year or three is mistaken. Anyone who promises peace now is blind to the way things are. Even after the disengagement, we will not be able to rest on our laurels. We will not be able to sit under our fig tree and our vine….

The greatest danger is in signing some document and believing that as a result we will have peace. This is not going to happen…Instead, we have to build a process that will enable us to ascertain that indeed a change is taking place in the Arab world. It is necessary to teach all the teachers that Israel is a legitimate entity. And it is necessary to replace all the Palestinian textbooks. And this is beyond the elementary demand for the cessation of terror and the cessation of incitement and the implementation of reforms in the security organizations and the implementation of govermental reforms. It is necessary not to omit a single one of these steps. Under no circumstances should there be concessions. A situation must not develop in which Israel retreats and is chased by terror. Once you accept that, it will never end. Terror will keep chasing us.

Sobering words. I’m not sure he’s correct about everything–I still tend to believe that the population of Jordan, for example, is not set on the elimination of Israel.

But many of his points are spot on. And right now it’s more difficult than ever to see how the vision of the final paragraph could ever be implemented. And the phrase “a situation must not develop in which Israel retreats and is chased by terror” seem remarkably apropos to the current conflict.

I am reminded of an article I read back in my liberal Democrat days, during the early years of the 90s. I’ve searched for this article before, because I’d love to look at it again. I think it appeared in this very same periodical–the New Yorker–but I simply don’t know, and at this point I despair of ever finding it.

But nevertheless I remember the subject matter. The article appeared after Oslo, back when the peace process seemed to be going well and when many people, including myself, were hopeful that things were going in the right direction. The author had visited the areas under the control of the PLO and especially the schools, and what he (she?) found there was chilling beyond belief. The article described the teaching of a hatred so deep and so naked, a hatred involving not just Israelis but Jews in general, that my blood ran cold.

For days afterwards I had trouble shaking the conviction that, whatever we might think about the hope for progress that Oslo represented, when the generation that was being steeped and marinated in such hatred came of age in about ten years or less, something terrible would be happening, no matter what Israel tried to do, no matter how many concessions it made towards peace.

And events have certainly “progressed” that way. And not with just the Palestinians and even the Arab world, but the non-Arab government of Iran. We have in the Iranian leaders and Hezbollah, of course, an enemy that not only hates Israel and Jews, but that isn’t shy about saying so. And that enemy is playing to one of the oldest and deepest hatreds in the world–Jew-hatred–finding a harmonic resonance with all those who profess it, and using them for their own nefarious ends.

67 Responses to “And what does Ariel Sharon have to say about it all?”

  1. nyomythus Says:

    I have a subscription to Historical New York Times database and found this artcile — here is the abstract. Going to see “Monster House”. If this isn’t it I’ll search a little more later.

    Building Peace in Palestinian Schools
    By JOEL GREENBERG

    HASSAN Abu Ghosh, principal of the Abdullah Ibn Hussein High School for Palestinian boys in East Jerusalem, says he has little use for a study booklet on peace that he recently received from the Israeli Ministry of Education. “We leave it here in the office — we don’t use it,” he said, picking up the collection of readings published after the signing of the peace agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. “What peace are they talking about? My son is a prisoner, half paralyzed, and still in jail. We’ve had pupils arrested.”

    January 9, 1994
    New York Times, Education News

  2. nyomythus Says:

    I have the text to the rest of the article — but I doubt that I can paste it all here, because of character limitation per comment, and copyright. The full article is pretty interesting — in a sad way.

  3. Weary_G Says:

    All of the peace accords, all of them, were an illusion to begin with. Even the one with Egypt, which has held, has only do so I believe because of the ongoing US aid.

    Trying to come to a peaceful agreement with someone who is pledged body and soul to your destruction is mindless.

    When the fascist/theological goverments of the Arab states are no more, and when the indoctrination of hatred of their citizenry can stop, then Israel, and the rest of us, can have peace in the Middle East.

    Question is, now much bloodshed and death will come before this.

  4. Rock Says:

    Does anyone see a problem with the fact that Israel, a country which has a 20% non-jewish arab population (within Israel proper, i.e. the 20% arab population in Israel are Israeli citizens), nevertheless has a Jewish religious emblem on its national flag, Jewish religious symbolism in its national anthem, etc?

    Shouldn’t there be a separation between Church and State?

    How can the non-Jewish 20% population in Israel feel themselves a part of the Israeli state, when the state’s symbols are religious symbols and exclude them?

    Suppose your family has been living in Maine for generations and your family a Christian. Then suddenly native Americans who were exiled from Maine hundreds of years ago come back and form a country, allowing you and some other Christians to stay in Maine as a minority. In this new country, the national anthem is a hymn to native american spiritualism, and your new country’s flag has native american spiritual symbols on it. How would you feel as a “citizen” of this new country?

  5. senescentwasp Says:

    Rock,
    I’d ask if my family was safe, had enough to eat, good shelter, educational opportunity and opportunity in general. I’d try not to get exercised over symbols.

  6. John B Says:

    Rock,
    I’m sure you’re equally offended by the Muslim sybolism on the flags of countries like Algeria and Malaysia. Why not try to lecture the Muslim world on your precious “separation of church and state” instead of singling out Israel?

  7. Rock Says:

    senescentwasp: Then why did we fight the British during the War of Independence? We could have remained under the Union Jack, no? And continued to sing “God Save the Queen”?

    After all, Canadians too are “safe, have enough to eat, good shelter, educational opportunity and opportunity in general”, in spite of living under British symbols. Why did we have to fight that dang War of Independence? Why couldn’t we have been like the Candians?

    Silly George Washington, silly Thomas Jefferson, just getting exercised over mere symbols!

    Do you see the problem?

  8. Rock Says:

    John B: Sure, religious symbolism in any country that has a significant minority people belonging to another religion would be offensive. But the countries you mentioned, Malaysia and Algeria, are not being supported and subsidised heavily with my tax dollars, whereas Israel is.

  9. Sally Says:

    Rock: Does anyone see a problem with the fact that Israel, a country which has a 20% non-jewish arab population (within Israel proper, i.e. the 20% arab population in Israel are Israeli citizens), nevertheless has a Jewish religious emblem on its national flag, Jewish religious symbolism in its national anthem, etc?

    I dunno — anyone see a problem with the fact that Israel’s Arab neighbors don’t do much to include their Jewish citizens? Oh, that’s right — they don’t have many Jewish citizens any more, do they? So, you see, another way for Israel to handle the problem of its Arab citizens would simply be to expel that 20% — sort of the way Arab nations managed to expel virtually every one of the Jews who had lived within their boundaries for generations. (Not that Israel is likely to do that.)

    Another fact is that Jews constitute a culture as well as a religion, and Israel was specifically established as a Jewish state — the one and only homeland in the world in the world in which Jewish people, having endured centuries of persecution in almost all other lands and states, at last constitute a majority. I’d say give them a few centuries of peace before talking about separating “Church and State” in Israel.

  10. Razim Says:

    The 20% non-jews in Israel have much more freedoms where they are than they might have in neighboring countries. Homosexuals for example are murdered with impunity in all countries that neighbor Israel.

    Arab muslims and islamist-fanatic muslims of non-arab extraction, are full of hatred toward jews, hindus, christians, buddhists, atheists and non-fanatic muslims.

    Why should anybody give a f*que what they think?

  11. nyomythus Says:

    I’m sure you’re equally offended by the Muslim sybolism on the flags of countries like Algeria and Malaysia. Why not try to lecture the Muslim world on your precious “separation of church and state” instead of singling out Israel?

    John B — you effectively ended that question — great comment.

  12. Sally Says:

    Rock: But the countries you mentioned, Malaysia and Algeria, are not being supported and subsidised heavily with my tax dollars, whereas Israel is.

    Funny how you never mentioned your tax dollars first time round, isn’t it? Little shifting of goal posts going on, there, Rock?

    Nevermind. I wonder where’s your anguish over the roughly US$2 billion annually in your tax dollars that goes to the “Arab Republic of Egypt” (among others)? Hmm?

    Do you see the problem?

  13. John B Says:

    Rock,
    So now church/state separation is OK as long as the country in question doesn’t get aid from the U.S. Well, Israel is not the only country to get money from Uncle Sam. Please read this article:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D01E5D91E39F930A15757C0A964948260

    Then look at Tunisia’s flag. I eagerly await your denunciation of Tunisia.

  14. stumbley Says:

    Rock:

    I wouldn’t mind in the least. I’m secure in my faith, and as long as I was not persecuted for it, I couldn’t care less what the symbol on the flag was or what the words to the national anthem were. There’s an old Russian proverb: “As long as a man’s boots are warm, he cares nothing for the struggles of the gods.”

    I’m sure Israeli Arabs have warm boots. Palestinian Jews (if there are any) have the coldest feet in the world.

    Quit whining for people who’ve spent all their lives hell-bent on the destruction of their neighbors to the detriment of everything else in their society.

  15. senescentwasp Says:

    Rock,
    Don’t be too much of an asshole than you have to be. That’s a stupid non response and shallow.

  16. Cappy Says:

    Hey, how about cancerous Muslim Bosnia, carved out of Yugoslavia at the cost of American fortune and lives? And what about the phony Muslim statelet of Kosovo propped up by taxpayers, including me? I want the struts kicked out from under these two rotten entities!

  17. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “Why not try to lecture the Muslim world on your precious “separation of church and state” instead of singling out Israel?”

    Because they would kill him, and the Jews (and, in Britain and Australia, Christians) won’t.

  18. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “You won’t do [to me what I just did to you], because I’d kill you.” – Ice Cube, School Daze

  19. Trimegistus Says:

    I’m not a religious man; I usually describe myself as an atheist. But every now and then I wonder: why is it that the most evil people in the world all want to destroy the Chosen People of God? It’s like the Evil Frat initiation. Nazis? Killed Jews. Soviets? Killed/imprisoned/expelled Jews. Islamists? Check.

    Welcome to the club, “Rock.”

  20. Charlemagne Says:

    Trimegistus wrote: I’m not a religious man; I usually describe myself as an atheist. But every now and then I wonder: why is it that the most evil people in the world all want to destroy the Chosen People of God? It’s like the Evil Frat initiation. Nazis? Killed Jews. Soviets? Killed/imprisoned/expelled Jews. Islamists? Check.

    But it was not only Nazis and Soviets who persecuted Jews — mainstream Christians horribly persecuted Jews for centuries. Who do you think were carrying out the horrific pogroms against Jews for centuries? Christians. And pretty mainstream ones at that. Christianity has a terrible track record when it comes to persecuting Jews.

    Why were the Jews singled out? That’s a good question. For the Christians, it was the “they killed Jesus” cry which was easy to raise, in order to mobilise people to persecute the Jews. Whenever it became necessary to distract the people from real issues, an artificial “enemy” had to be found by the rulers and the clergy. The Jews came in handy as a convenient enemy, in this regard.

    Hitler’s hatred of Jews was pathological (he was clearly psychopathic), but it was sustained by the centuries-old anti-semitism perpetuated by the Christian churches.

    And don’t forget that the Pope looked the other way for much of the Holocaust and the Catholic Church, through its anti-semitic preachings, also prepared the way for the Nazis in more ways than one.

  21. stumbley Says:

    Most of the rotten things in the world have been done in the name of religion at one point or another. This does not excuse today’s Islam.

  22. Charlemagne Says:

    neo-neocon wrote:

    The article appeared after Oslo, back when the peace process seemed to be going well and when many people, including myself, were hopeful that things were going in the right direction.

    Incidentally, Edward Said (from whom I’m guessing you are miles apart in political views) said things that are quite similar, actually, to what you write in this article, about the prospects for the future.

    Here is what Edward Said said:

    From:
    http://fromoccupiedpalestine.org/node.php?id=1027

    In his January 1999 article, “Truth and Reconciliation,” written for the Egyptian weekly Al Ahram, January 14-20, Said wrote, referring to Oslo, that it was time again to question the so-called peace process that had brought no peace. “It is my view that the peace process has in fact put off the real reconciliation that must occur if the 100 year war between Zionism and the Palestinian people is to end. Oslo set the stage for separation, but real peace can come only with a binational Israeli-Palestinian state.” This, he continued, was scarcely imaginable. At present, both Zionist-Israeli and Palestine “narratives” he insisted, were “irreconcilable.” Reviewing Zionist history in the recent work of Israeli historian Zeev Sternhell, Said pointed out that the founders of the Zionist movement had not been blind to the presence of Palestinians, or to the “insurmountable contradictions between the basic objectives of the two sides,” referring to the Zionist movement and Palestinian national movement. At present, he explained, “the conflict appears intractable because it is a contest over the same land by two peoples who believed they had valid title to it and who hoped that the other side would in time give up or go away. One side won the war, the other lost, but the contest is as alive as ever.”

    Deeply familiar with internal Israeli politics, and with the courageous struggle of Israeli dissidents, Said argued, “I see no other way than to begin now to speak about sharing the land that has thrust us together, sharing it in a truly democratic way, with equal rights for each citizen. There can be no reconciliation unless both peoples, two communities of suffering, resolve that their existence is a secular fact, and that it has to be dealt with as such.”

    In that frame of mind, he questioned: “What can separation mean?” in November 1999 (Al Ahram, 11-17 November), making it clear that he believed separation to be unworkable. The dream of a Palestinian state, he wrote, was no longer realizable under current conditions. Neither were Israeli efforts at separation. “Neither Palestinians nor Israelis can be made distant from the other. In the area between Ramallah in the north and Bethlehem in the south, 800,000 Israelis and Palestinians live on top of each other, and cannot be separated.”

    In a series of interviews with the Israeli journalist, Ari Shavit, recorded in August 2000, Said explained his current position. As Shav

  23. Charlemagne Says:

    [continued]

    In a series of interviews with the Israeli journalist, Ari Shavit, recorded in August 2000, Said explained his current position. As Shavit observed: “It seems you’ve come full circle — from espousing a one secular-democratic state solution in the 70s, to accepting the two-state solution in the 80s, back to the secular-democratic idea.”[7] Said replied that partition and separation were no longer workable. In its place, he turned to bi-nationalism. Replying to Shavit, he answered:

    “I would not necessarily call it secular-democratic. I would call it a bi-national state. I want to preserve for the Palestinians and the Israeli Jews a mechanism or structure that would allow them to express their national identity. I understand that in the case of Palestine-Israel, a bi-national solution would have to address the difference between the two collectives.”

    http://fromoccupiedpalestine.org/node.php?id=1027

  24. Ymarsakar Says:

    Sharon-dono perhaps was operating at a rather proscribed disadvantage. The Israeli people are disillusioned with conflict, they want it to end. They won’t vote for hardline guys like those who wish to destroy Hizbollah, after all. So they vote for Likud, but it seems the end result is more or less the same. War.

    Why the Israelis seem to have little stomach for total war is an interesting phenomenon. Israelis are clever and can do good military operations, but they are not on the same level as the US. It would be interesting to compare and contrast Israeli ground units with Iraqi ground units at the moment.

    People say America doesn’t have the stomach for total war, but I think that’s just due to the fact that America feels safe because of the lack of attacks and also because America has not felt the emotional viscerallness of women and children being torn apart before their eyes. Israel has seen terror up front and have been constantly attacked, they do not have the excuse to say that their population lacks motivation to become warlike and ruthless. Something else is going on, and that something else also constrained Sharon-dono’s actions.

  25. ilana Says:

    The concept of the bi-national “democratic” state sounds very nice in theory, but consider:
    (1) Bi-national states have not worked anywhere, particularly when there is a long legacy of rivalry and/or hatred between the 2 nations.
    (2) ASSUMING it could be made to work fairly, the outcome is that Jews get half a country ONLY, while the Arabs/ Moslems get another half country to add to the roughly 30 they already have.
    I have never seen a satisfactory explanation as to why the Palestinians never sought independence from Egypt or Jordan in the period 1948-67.

  26. Vivek Says:

    Present-day South Africa can be thought of as one example of a binational state.

    India is another example (a multinational state actually).

  27. Viper1 Says:

    Rock, its pretty bold of you to assume that Israels Constitution has provisions for the seperation of Church and State, actually its not bold its ignorant.

  28. andrew Says:

    “Then suddenly native Americans who were exiled from Maine hundreds of years ago come back and form a country, allowing you and some other Christians to stay in Maine as a minority.”

    Rock, I don’t know if you’ve been misled or just wish it were true so you could feel morally superior to others but the Palestinians are in now way analagous to the native Americans.

  29. Brad2 Says:

    Uhm, the beloved scandanvian states all have a religious symbol on their flags and a state-funded religion. Why is it nobody ever picks on them? All the whiners I know always say things like “we should be more like Finland.” Well, news for you: no separation of church and state there, and guess what? No problema!!

  30. Jack Rich Says:

    You wrote, “the population of Jordan, for example, is not set on the elimination of Israel.”

    Perhaps, but I sugest it isn’t because they don’t wish it were so. It may be that they know they lack the military means to do so.

    King Abdullah II may be a progressive in the Arab context, but never forget that the Jordanian “street” is some 50-60% Palestinian…and anti-Semitism is fed along with mother’s milk as a regular diet in Jordan.

    There is no room in the Arab imagination for a Jewish state in the Middle East. Such a state, if you asked Arabs, might be possible in Europe, South America, sub-Saharan Africa, even. Just not in what Muslims and Arabs have counted as their back yard, the Fertile Crescent.

    In different words: what Torah promises to us, in quite clear terms, the Arabs will never accept.

  31. nomdenet Says:

    Brad2 while you have a technical point, the reality is most Scandinavians are atheist; they don’t step inside a Kirk unless it’s a funeral or wedding. Also the Prime Ministers aren’t Priests. No need to separate something that isn’t joined.

    Do you think the Danish Cartoons advocated a theocracy?

  32. jgr Says:

    Jack, you write: ‘In different words: what Torah promises to us, in quite clear terms, the Arabs will never accept.’

    Israelis and Arabs have never lived together peacefully, then? (Even within the state of Israel itself?)

    Those two backgrounds can coexist, I think, in the US. So what makes them inherent enemies?

  33. Yhamir Says:

    “For Israel to proclaim that it has a right to defend itself when it occupies another people’s land illegally, when it continues to construct more than 60 new settlements on confiscated land since March of 2001, when it demolishes more than 4,170 Palestinian homes, when it defies more than 65 UN Resolutions calling for return of stolen land and a return to human rights, when it denies the right of return to those forced from their homes against international law, when it imprisons 9,599 Palestinians including women and children without charge or due rights, when it kills 734 Palestinian children since September 2000, when it ignores the rulings of the International Court of Justice regarding the illegality of the Wall of Lamentation, when it has amassed a military force that has in excess of two million four hundred thousand fit for military service, when it alone of all the nations in the mid-east possesses nuclear weapons, when it utilizes illegal chemical weapons of war on civilians as it does in Lebanon, when it presents itself to the international community as a victim of terrorists when in fact it is the perpetrator of terrorism, then it has no right to defend the indefensible, its criminal acts against the people of the mid-east. This is the Israeli state of demonocracy, a state in which evil rules.”

  34. Rock Says:

    Brad2 wrote: Uhm, the beloved scandanvian states all have a religious symbol on their flags and a state-funded religion.

    Do they also have a national anthem like the Israeli national anthem, “Hatikva”:

    “In the Jewish heart
    A Jewish spirit still sings,
    And the eyes look east
    Toward Zion” ?

    Do you realize how ridiculous it if for a country which has a 20% non-Jewish minority population (who are Israeli citizens, i.e. I’m not counting the Arab population of the Occupied Territories) to have a national anthem like this?

  35. Dave the Rabbit Says:

    Jack Rich wrote: In different words: what Torah promises to us, in quite clear terms, the Arabs will never accept.

    Doesn’t the Tora promise the Jewish state only after the coming of the Messiah? I don’t think the state promised in the Tora is anything like the present state of Israel, because the Messiah hasn’t come yet.

    In any case, why should the Arabs accept something promised in the Tora? If someone shows up tomorrow saying that he will take over my house and land because the holy book of the religion he subscribes to, “promises” it to him, somehow I don’t think I’ll accept it….

  36. Sally Says:

    Yahmir: This is the Israeli state of demonocracy, a state in which evil rules.

    This tissue of distortions, smears and lies, which attempts to portray the very act of defense against a vicious and deranged enemy as pointless hostility, isn’t merely a rant — it is itself a vivid instance of modern evil.

  37. douglas Says:

    Neo:“I still tend to believe that the population of Jordan, for example, is not set on the elimination of Israel.”

    Neo, it’s only true in the sense they are not ‘set on it’. They still believe it inevitable, and would be happy to see it, but no rush, and please, no inconvenience to them, personally. The difference between moderate muslims and extremists is that extremists think the time for Islam to dominate the world is now, moderates think it’s ‘someday’.

    Rock: “Shouldn’t there be a separation between Church and State?”

    There isn’t any such thing as “separation of church and state” under our constitution. Regardless, Israel isn’t the U.S.

    “How can the non-Jewish 20% population in Israel feel themselves a part of the Israeli state, when the state’s symbols are religious symbols and exclude them?”

    Perhaps you should ask the Druze of Israel. From Wiki: “Israeli Druze also serve in the Israeli army, voluntarily since 1948, and—at the community’s request—compulsorily since 1956. Their privileges and responsibilites are the same as Israeli Jews; thus, all Druze are drafted, but exemptions are given for religious students and for various other reasons.”
    Can’t imagine they’re as bothered as you are by the nature of the state of Israel if they asked to have compulsory service in the IDF.

  38. Rafferty Says:

    senescent wasp wrote (in the ” A surprise but not a surprise: shooting in Seattle” thread): They are like animals.

    I’m not sure who all senescent wasp meant by “They” — only palestinians? Or all arabs?

    Only very twisted people compare humans to animals. Those who are having thoughts like this, should consider getting help.

  39. Sally Says:

    Rock, you’re still here? Still thinking about that US$2 billion per annum in aid to a country that explicitly labels itself an “Arab Republic”? That’s your tax dollars, Rock — I thought you were upset about your tax dollars supporting countries that favor a particular culture or religion? It couldn’t be you’re just upset about Jews, could it?

    The simple fact is that Israel is a Jewish state, founded for the very purpose of providing the long-persected Jewish people with a homeland at last. So it’s not surprising, and certainly not ridiculous (to anyone but those accustomed to doing the persecuting), that its national anthem should reflect its origins. Its title means “The Hope”, and here are the lyrics translated in full:
    As long as deep in the heart,
    The soul of a Jew yearns,
    And forward to the East
    To Zion, an eye looks
    Our hope will not be lost,
    The hope of two thousand years,
    To be a free nation in our land,
    The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

  40. Sally Says:

    Rafferty: Only very twisted people compare humans to animals. Those who are having thoughts like this, should consider getting help.

    I hope you realize that you’re saying some of the most prominent and respected Arab clergy and opinion-makers are “very twisted people”?

    Not that I’d disagree with that.

  41. Sally Says:

    Rafferty: Only very twisted people compare humans to animals. Those who are having thoughts like this, should consider getting help.

    I hope you realize that you’re saying some of the most prominent and respected Arab clergy and opinion-makers are “very twisted people”?

    Not that I’d disagree with that.

  42. Rock Says:

    Sally wrote: Rock, you’re still here? Still thinking about that US$2 billion per annum in aid to a country that explicitly labels itself an “Arab Republic”? That’s your tax dollars, Rock

    From the Christian Science Monitor:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1209/p16s01-wmgn.html

    Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US

    By David R. Francis
    Staff writer
    The Christian Science Monitor
    December 09, 2002

    Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today’s population, that is more than $5,700 per person.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1209/p16s01-wmgn.html

    ———–

    By the way, Sally, I don’t want my taxes going towards propping up the dictatorial government in Egypt, either. However, the aid to Egypt is much less. From the same newspaper, Christian Science Monitor:

    $50 billion later, taking stock of US aid to Egypt
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0412/p07s01-wome.html

    By Charles Levinson
    Contributor to
    The Christian Science Monitor

    The US has provided Egypt with $1.3 billion a year in military aid since 1979, and an average of $815 million a year in economic assistance. All told, Egypt has received over $50 billion in US largesse since 1975.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0412/p07s01-wome.html

    So, Israel has received a total of $1.6 trillion since 1973, while Egypt has received a total of only $50 billion since 1975.

    Egypt’s population is: 70 million
    Israel’s population is: 6.3 million.

    You do the math. There is just no comparison.

  43. Yhamir Says:

    Interim report of the secretary-general on the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, April 30, 2001:

    “Since the resolution was adopted [i.e., since Israel's withdrawal], the situation has remained essentially unchanged, although there were further developments in the dispute over Shab’a farms area. As before, there were frequent minor ground violations of the Blue Line. There were, in addition, almost daily violations of the line by Israeli aircraft which penetrated deeply into Lebanese airspace. I have been in touch with the parties concerned and other interested parties to urge respect for the Blue Line and to avert further escalation.”

    Report of the secretary-general for the period from July 18, 2000, to Jan. 18, 2001:

    “Israeli violations of Lebanese air space, which had resumed after Hizbollah’s attack on 7th October, continued on an almost daily basis.”

    For the period from Jan. 23, 2001, to July 20, 2001:

    “As reported in April, Israeli aircraft violated the line on an almost daily basis, penetrating deep into Lebanese airspace. These incursions, particularly those at low level breaking the sound barrier over populated areas, were especially provocative and caused great anxiety to the civilian population. The air violations are ongoing, despite repeated démarches to the Israeli authorities.”

    For the period from July 21, 2001, to Jan. 16, 2002:

    “Israeli air violations of the Blue Line, however, continued on an almost daily basis, penetrating deep into Lebanese airspace. These incursions are not justified and cause great concerns to the civilian population, particularly low-altitude flights that break the sound barrier over populated areas. The air violations are ongoing, although démarches to the Israeli authorities […] have been made repeatedly by me, other senior United Nations officials and a number of interested Governments.”

    For the period from Jan. 17, 2002, to July 12, 2002:

    “Unjustified Israeli air incursions into sovereign Lebanese airspace continued on an almost daily basis throughout most of the reporting period, often penetrating deep into Lebanon and frequently generating sonic booms. In the latter half of April, a pattern emerged whereby the aircraft would fly out to sea and enter Lebanese airspace north of the UNIFIL area of operation, thus avoiding direct observation and verification by UNIFIL. In January Hezbollah began responding to the overflights with anti-aircraft fire. This activity has continued through the present. On a number of occasions […] shells crossed the Blue Line. Calls on Israel to cease the overflights […]”

    For the period from July 13, 2002, to Jan. 14, 2003:

    “There were sporadic Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace, with periodic lulls in such activity punctuated by abrupt increases over periods of several days. On two occasions in November, Israeli overflights exceeded any recorded number since Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000. Many of these air

  44. Yhamir Says:

    Since Israel withdrew from Lebanon six years ago, then, it hasn’t given its northern neighbor even a single day of quiet. The more the UN reports repeat themselves, the less attention the media pays them. And just as Israelis wonder about the purpose of Hezbollah’s missile arsenal, so could Lebanon, and so should we all, wonder what was the purpose of the thousands of Israeli overflights and sonic booms in Lebanon’s sky: was it to gather some information not available to Israel’s satellites anyway, or, much more likely, just to terrorize Lebanon’s population by showing them that we violate their sovereignty “whenever we deem it necessary”?

    And as for the killing of the observers, we can only speculate what it was that Israel didn’t want them to observe anymore. Cluster munitions? Other crimes? We might never know.

  45. Rafferty Says:

    Sally wrote:

    “Rafferty: Only very twisted people compare humans to animals. Those who are having thoughts like this, should consider getting help.

    I hope you realize that you’re saying some of the most prominent and respected Arab clergy and opinion-makers are “very twisted people”?

    Sally,

    These anti-semitic remarks by Arab clergy and opinion members should be condemned. I condemn these remarks.

    Now, Sally, do you condemn the fact that some Israeli leaders and opinion-makers support virulent anti-Arab sentiments? Witness, for example, the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu includes a link to Joan Peters’ hateful racist propaganda book “From Time Immemorial” on the “Palestinians” page of his website, whose URL is: http://www.netanyahu.org/abpal.html and that quite a large number of Israelis support wholesale “transfer” of Israeli-Arabs — see, for example, http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=140196&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0

    I hope that you condemn these things.

    Rafferty.

  46. Sally Says:

    Oh, Rock, Rock — have you no regard for principal? First, you complain about the fact that Israel is a Jewish state, but raise not a whisper about the dozens of Arab or Islamic states that surround it. Then, after these states are pointed out to you by others, you tell us that your real complaint is that Israel receives US aid, i.e., your tax dollars — but you don’t say a word about the other states in the region that also receive your tax dollars. Now, after those other states have again been pointed out to you, your story shifts once more — now you imply that $2 billion per annum is too small for you to worry about … or maybe that what upsets you isn’t the absolute amount but somehow, for some reason, the per capita expenditure, and that only if it’s over some threshold only you know about…. Or maybe, fundamentally, it’s just that the Israelis are (mostly) Jews, and the Egyptians are (mostly) not.

    By the way, I’m not sure if you actually read the CS Monitor article you quote from, but if you did you’d see that it includes in the amount you say Israel has “received” since 1973 the costs of history itself. Here’s where it gets $1 trillion in “aid” alone:

    One huge cost is not secret. It is the higher cost of oil and other economic damage to the US after Israel-Arab wars.

    In 1973, for instance, Arab nations attacked Israel in an attempt to win back territories Israel had conquered in the 1967 war. President Nixon resupplied Israel with US arms, triggering the Arab oil embargo against the US.

    That shortfall in oil deliveries kicked off a deep recession. The US lost $420 billion (in 2001 dollars) of output as a result, Stauffer calculates. And a boost in oil prices cost another $450 billion.

    Afraid that Arab nations might use their oil clout again, the US set up a Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That has since cost, conservatively, $134 billion, Stauffer reckons.

    This Stauffer character doesn’t stop with that — he adds in individual donations as well — “Though private in origin, the money is ‘a net drain’ on the United States economy, says Stauffer”. So I think we’re looking at what’s classically known as a “hit piece”, designed to give the most slanted, biased, exaggerated and distorted picture possible — a picture whose final figure you’re happy to relay, obviously, without giving the slightest hint of the biased and ridiculous basis for that figure, in the hope, no doubt, that few will bother to actually read it for themselves.

    It’s apparent that what neo calls “one of the oldest and deepest hatreds in the world–Jew-hatred” is alive and well even in America.

  47. grackle Says:

     
    Since Israel withdrew from Lebanon six years ago, then, it hasn’t given its northern neighbor even a single day of quiet. “ … what was the purpose of the thousands of Israeli overflights and sonic booms in Lebanon’s sky: was it to gather some information not available to Israel’s satellites anyway, or, much more likely, just to terrorize Lebanon’s population … “

    We in the US simply must stop the terrible Israeli “sonic booms” weapon. The sound generated by the clever, diabolical Israelis disrupted the thought processes of the terrorists and caused them to perform military operations among civilians and UN personnel and to launch rockets into Israel. And the UN observers were observing crimes committed by the Israelis(possibly by their terrible “sonic booms” weapon) and that’s why the Israelis killed them, to prevent the UN observers from telling everyone about Israeli crimes.

    Now we know.
     

  48. Yhamir Says:

    Grackle – did you not pass the second grade?

    Unable to read properly?

    Tsk tsk…..

  49. Yhamir Says:

    The crimes include using phosporus in bombs(which doctor’s in Lebanon know from observing burns on victims), the use of cluster bombs, etc.

    Interesting to note that two days ago a cease fire proposal included Israel providing maps to the thousands of land mines littering Southern Lebanon(which it planted during the 18 occupation of S.Lebanon) which it refused to provide after it’s 2000 withdrawal from Lebanon.

    Crimes, crimes and more crimes.

    This must be killing you inside to know you are supporting a completely immoral, evil and disgusting regime in Israel.

    Probably not. You are probably proud little Nazis.

    Oh well….

  50. Yhamir Says:

    No other Arab state even brushes the amount of U.S dollars provided to Israel by the U.S. Not even close.

    And the one’s that do – Egypt, Turkey, etc are those who need the military expenditure to oppress their own populaces – the one’s would fall at the drop of a dime if there were free and fair elections(you know, Bush’s ‘democracy’).

    There in nothing anti-semetic about observing facts. And thats what it is. Israel recieves more aid than any other country by far.

    But nothing will stop bad people from lying any chance they get to support Israel’s killing machine.

    Be proud, people.

  51. Sally Says:

    Hey, Yammer — any qualms about Hez’s use of ball-bearing laced rockets fired indiscriminantly into Israeli towns and cities? No? Not even a cheap “I condemn it”? Then I think you’re not really too concerned about “innocents” being harmed — you just don’t like it when the Joos fight back, do you?

    (Yammer’s giving a good imitation of a Hezbollah propaganda hack, but the tone suggests that obsessed old troll, Conned/Elvis/Spanky. Just can’t keep away from the flame, can you?)

  52. Don Says:

    In any case, why should the Arabs accept something promised in the Tora? If someone shows up tomorrow saying that he will take over my house and land because the holy book of the religion he subscribes to, “promises” it to him, somehow I don’t think I’ll accept it….
    Dave the Rabbit

    So you want to drive Israel into the sea . . .

    I’m not religios, and I don’t care about Israeli’s origins, or who was right or wrong in 1948. I care about NOW, and the fact that Israel is a democratic outpost of Western civilization, and Islam spreads mayham and murder wherever it goes.

  53. Don Says:

    So, Israel has received a total of $1.6 trillion since 1973, while Egypt has received a total of only $50 billion since 1975.

    Egypt’s population is: 70 million
    Israel’s population is: 6.3 million.

    The ROI in Israel is much better; for example, thos IDF F-16s and smartbombs that took out Saddam’s nuke development cabability early ’80s. Priceless.

  54. Dave the Rabbit Says:

    Don, no — I was talking about how the Arabs must have felt in 1948.

    I agree that things are in the NOW today and there has to be a solution that will work today. Brent Scrowcroft has just made a good suggestion:

    Beyond Lebanon
    This Is the Time for a U.S.-Led Comprehensive Settlement

    By Brent Scowcroft
    Washington Post
    Sunday, July 30, 2006; B07

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has stated that a simple cease-fire in
    Lebanon is not the solution to the current violence. She says it is
    necessary to deal with the roots of the problem. She is right on both
    counts. But Hezbollah is not the source of the problem; it is a derivative
    of the cause, which is the tragic conflict over Palestine that began in
    1948.

    The eastern shore of the Mediterranean is in turmoil from end to end, a
    repetition of continuing conflicts in one part or another since the abortive
    attempts of the United Nations to create separate Israeli and Palestinian
    states in 1948. The current conflagration has energized the world. Now,
    perhaps more than ever, we have an opportunity to harness that concern and
    energy to achieve a comprehensive resolution of the entire 58-year-old
    tragedy. Only the United States can lead the effort required to seize this
    opportunity.

    The outlines of a comprehensive settlement have been apparent since
    President Bill Clinton’s efforts collapsed in 2000. The major elements would
    include:

    · A Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with minor rectifications
    agreed upon between Palestine and Israel.

    · Palestinians giving up the right of return and Israel reciprocating by
    removing its settlements in the West Bank, again with rectifications as
    mutually agreed. Those displaced on both sides would receive compensation
    from the international community.

    · King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia unambiguously reconfirming his 2002 pledge
    that the Arab world is prepared to enter into full normal relations with
    Israel upon its withdrawal from the lands occupied in 1967.

    · Egypt and Saudi Arabia working with the Palestinian Authority to put
    together a government along the lines of the 18-point agreement reached
    between Hamas and Fatah prisoners in Israeli jails in June. This government
    would negotiate for the Authority.

    · Deployment, as part of a cease-fire, of a robust international force in
    southern Lebanon.

    · Deployment of another international force to facilitate and supervise
    traffic to and from Gaza and the West Bank.

    · Designation of Jerusalem as the shared capital of Israel and Palestine,
    with appropriate international guarantees of freedom of movement and civic
    life in the city.

    These elements are well-known to people who live in the region and to those
    outside who have labored over the decades seeking to shape a lasting peace.
    What seems breathtakingly complicated, however, is how one mobilizes the
    necessary political will, in the region and beyond, to transform these
    principles into an agree

  55. Don Says:

    Shouldn’t there be a separation between Church and State? -Rock

    Oh my.

    One thing that strikes me about the current crop of liberals is that they don’t see the elephant in the room–they have a major hissy fit over some cross that’s been sitting on a hill for the past 40 odd years, but worldwide muslim violence and rioting is transparent, or blamed on Israel, the US, or Dutch newspapers. Perhaps they don’t want to aknowledge anything that might help W, or perhaps they can’t aknowldege any threat that isn’t the fault of a white guy of European extraction.

  56. Dave the Rabbit Says:

    [cont. from prev]

    These elements are well-known to people who live in the region and to those
    outside who have labored over the decades seeking to shape a lasting peace.
    What seems breathtakingly complicated, however, is how one mobilizes the
    necessary political will, in the region and beyond, to transform these
    principles into an agreement on a lasting accord.

    The current crisis in Lebanon provides a historic opportunity to achieve
    what has seemed impossible. That said, it is too much to expect those most
    directly implicated — Israeli and Palestinian leaders — to lead the way.
    That responsibility falls to others, principally the United States, which
    alone can mobilize the international community and Israel and the Arab
    states for the task that has defeated so many previous efforts.

    How would such a process be organized? The obvious vehicle to direct the
    process would be the Quartet (the United States, the European Union, Russia
    and the United Nations), established in 2001 for just such a purpose. The
    Quartet, beginning at the foreign-minister level, would first organize the
    necessary international force for southern Lebanon and Gaza and then call
    for a cease-fire. The security force would have to have the mandate and
    capability to deal firmly with acts of violence. Ideally, this would be a
    NATO, or at least NATO-led, contingent. Recognizing the political obstacles,
    the fact is that direct U.S. participation in such a force would be highly
    desirable — and perhaps even essential — for persuading our friends and
    allies to contribute the capabilities required.

    With a cease-fire and international security force in place, the Quartet
    would then construct a framework for negotiating the specific elements of a
    comprehensive settlement, after which Israel, the Palestinian Authority and
    appropriate Arab state representatives (e.g. Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt,
    Lebanon) would be added to the process to complete the detailed
    negotiations.

    The benefits of reaching a comprehensive settlement of the root cause of
    today’s turmoil would likely ripple well beyond the Israelis and the
    Palestinians. A comprehensive peace settlement would not only defang the
    radicals in Lebanon and Palestine (and their supporters in other countries),
    it would also reduce the influence of Iran — the country that, under its
    current ideology, poses the greatest potential threat to stability in Saudi
    Arabia, Iraq, Egypt and Jordan.

    A comprehensive settlement also would allow Arab leaders to focus on what
    most say is a primary concern: modernizing their countries to provide jobs
    and productive lives for their rapidly growing populations.

    Removing the argument that nothing can be done because domestic
    constituencies are fixated on the “plight of the Palestinians” would allow
    creative energy, talent and money to be rechanneled into education, health,
    housing, etc. This would have the added benefit of addressing conditions

  57. Dave the Rabbit Says:

    [contd from prev]

    Removing the argument that nothing can be done because domestic
    constituencies are fixated on the “plight of the Palestinians” would allow
    creative energy, talent and money to be rechanneled into education, health,
    housing, etc. This would have the added benefit of addressing conditions
    that encourage far too many young Arabs to glorify terrorism as a legitimate
    means for dealing with the challenges of the modern world.

    It is even possible that a comprehensive settlement might help stabilize
    Iraq. A chastened Iran, bereft of the “Israeli card,” might be more willing
    to reach a modus vivendi with the Sunnis and Kurds in Iraq, and with the
    United States as well. All countries in the region — not to mention Iraq
    itself — need a stable, prosperous and peaceful Iraq. The road to achieving
    this may well lead eastward from a Jerusalem shared peacefully by Israelis
    and Palestinians.

    This latest in a seemingly endless series of conflagrations in the region
    just may present a unique opportunity to change the situation in the Middle
    East for the better for all time. Let us not shrink from the task.

    The writer was national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and
    George H.W. Bush. He is now president of the Forum for International Policy.

  58. Don Says:

    But Hezbollah is not the source of the problem; it is a derivative
    of the cause, which is the tragic conflict over Palestine that began in
    1948.

    Is it? It seems to be, basically, a tool of Iran.

    Perhaps if Israel never existed Iran would have created some other tool elsewhere, and Hezbollah would have never seen the light of day. Who knows.

    But to state that Hezbollah is a result of the Palistinian issue seems wrong to me, as it is an Iranian invention, and its goals are, presumably, pushing Iranian Islamic fundamentalism outside of Iran.

  59. Don Says:

    A comprehensive settlement also would allow Arab leaders to focus on what
    most say is a primary concern: modernizing their countries to provide jobs
    and productive lives for their rapidly growing populations.

    Is what they say the truth?

    From my viewpoint, the primary concearn is maintaining power and keeping the ‘street’ preoccupied with hate for Israel so they don’t have time to focus on the domestic government. Without Israel, that rage is flowing elsewhere . . .

    Further, “modernizing . . . jobs
    . . . productive lives . . .” is a fuction of the culture, not something elites or leaders conjur up. The best leaders can do is support rule of law, but if the ‘street’ wants Islamic law that falls out the window.

  60. Edgar Davidson Says:

    Just found your blog (I’m in the UK and like you I have moved from the ‘political left’ to become what you would call a neo-con). I was actually surprised that you felt that the population of Jordan is not set on the elimination of Israel. Most surveys consistently return the figure of Jordanians opposed to any peace with Israel at around the 85% mark (even higher than Egypt).

    Edgar (my blog is http://edgar1981.blogspot.com/)

  61. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “Further, “modernizing . . . jobs
    . . . productive lives . . .” is a fuction of the culture, not something elites or leaders conjur up.”

    That is a perfect summary of what is wrong with the left today. They have traded their rational and scientific understanding of the world for a mystical belief in the abilities of their leaders.

    Jobs are no longer contracts offered to exchange work for a share of a profit, but rather magical gold that socialists conjure up, huzzah! out of thin air, but only when they are elected to leadership positions. Goods are no longer created in factories, but from the metaphorical life’s blood sacrificed by our union leaders, who must be obeyed lest we bleed them dry and lose our ability to produce. Peace is not maintained by the enforcement of law using targeted violence, but rather is the natural state of humanity, and any use of violence, no matter how just, causes criminals and/or terrorists to magically arise out of the soil itself to cause even more violence.

    The left has abandoned all but the pretense of rational thought, trading it in for the comfort of a magical universe that will love and protect them, no matter the evidence to the contrary.

    Only the neocons, classical liberals now regarded as apostates of the Holy Church of Multiculturalism, still seek to understand the world as it truly is, instead of how we wish it to be.

  62. Anonymous Says:

    I beg to differ, Don. Modernization, creating jobs, and offering productive lives are something only leaders can do. Just because conservative leaders like B*sh either don’t know how, or refuse to do so (think Ch*n*y), doesn’t mean there aren’t any that can (Clinton).

    But I suppose the creation of jobs has to take a back seat to the self-perpetuating creation of violence. Carry on, neocons.

  63. Anonymous Says:

    FUCK YOU TATER

    YOU THINK YOUR FUCKING CLEVER BUT YOUR NOT

    FUCK ALL YOU NEOSHITS

  64. Don Says:

    I beg to differ, Don. Modernization, creating jobs, and offering productive lives are something only leaders can do. Just because conservative leaders like B*sh either don’t know how, or refuse to do so (think Ch*n*y), doesn’t mean there aren’t any that can (Clinton).

    So, how did Clinton create jobs?

    Note that all jobs created by the government are based upon taxes, which would have gone elsewhere absent the government. In other words, the government doesn’t create, it simply redirects resources.

    This redirection of resources is bad, due to the economic calculation problem:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_calculation_problem

    This is why the USSR could not compete with the US, something Reagan understood.

    The real reason for job creation and modernization is individual entrepreneurs, businessmen, and investors, but they require a society that protects private property and individual rights.

    The protection of property rights is an area where government does help (when it doesn’t hurt, and only up to a point), but in most respects Clinton was negative or neutral with respect to property rights. He confiscated large tracts of Western lands from productive use, and so on (he did sign the Republican welfare reform act and NAFTA, two of the few good things he did).

    Mostly, Clinton didn’t do much, because the awful Hillery healthcare effort went down, then he spent the next 6 years signing Republican legislation like welfare reform. He signed lots of awful EOs, and of course persued horrid forign policy, but couldn’t do more damage than that. Thank goodness.

    The other side of this is that, for property rights to exist, you need a culture that’s friendly to property rights. If you have that, government will protect those rights, and the entrepreneurs and businessmen will do their thing. And you will have a prosperous society.

  65. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Wow. Somebody’s awfully fragile, for a troll.

  66. BoydontdiscussmatterswithRockh Says:

    I have to laugh knowing it is unlikely I will get the pleasure to read any responses here. The dates suggest you’ve chewed up and spit out “Rock” quite well. You never did read his full comments on separation of church and state, nor the proportion of US dollars given to little Israel vs the rest of the world. Common knowledge. And by the way, Israel should change its constitution to be more inclusive if it wants peace to begin. Or as one suggested could occur but doesn’t: exile those “dirty Arab” (your true thoughts about these human beings) Isreali citizens as there is no peace in your mind or the world you fight in.

    The aggression, the in-grained insecurity, the pre-occupation with anti-jewry, anti-semitism is laughable. So many of us, including this non-jew (as if that is the proper orientation to have) have been persecuted across this planet by all various groups. It is the lovely Jewish people who whine forever in the WWII movies to date. Who controls much of the hollywood content? Yet, even when a Jew points out Israeli war crimes in the most recent round of insanity that particular Jew is absolutely ridiculed in any press controlled by pro-Israeli interest. No open, calm discourse. And a war that was as unjustifed as the Iraq war: Using a few kidnapped soldiers as justifiable cause to create a nice, southern boundry ‘a buffer’ at Lebanon’s expense. The Lebanese people were about to have a record summer season. They took care of that economic growth, now didn’t “israel”? Your Israel is no better, no worse than your enemies. And you have a ton of enemies. Many don’t want America given it’s over weighted alignment to Israel be in the proverbial “gutter” with Israel. And too many American Jews are not Americans first and foremost…but always pro-Israeli. The sooner some American Jews with some communication power, common sense, American priorities come forward with a “What’s good for Israel may be absolutely BAD, EVIL, WRONG for America” the BETTER.

  67. Shipes Says:

    Thanks for the share

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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