Ming the Mechanic:

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Jews2003-11-03 15:02
by Flemming Funch

A few people responded to my previous post about an EU poll of which country would be the biggest threat to world peace, and hinted that I'm anti-semitic for posting it, and for voicing an agreement with the majority opinion expressed in it. And, well, that's a rather explosive thing to even try to discuss, but I'm trying anyway.

When I grew up in Denmark, the history of the German occupation and extermination of Jews was a big part of our education. And there would be no question about that we of course were on the side of the persecuted Jews and against the Nazis.

But it was also sort of an abstract thing. I didn't really know what a Jew was. Meaning, it would be sort of a puzzle to me why Jewish people were singled out. I couldn't really see any difference between Jewish people and non-jewish people. Did they have more crooked noses, or what's the deal? And why should that be a problem? I really didn't get it. I couldn't understand how it could be a racial thing when the people percecuted didn't look any different from anybody else.

When I moved to the U.S. it became a little more clear. In part because there's a lot of racism in the U.S. Let me clarify. In California I didn't experience much racism in terms of some skin colors being considered less than others. Maybe a little bit of looking down on Mexicans, but I didn't really understand that either, as I don't perceive hispanic people as being of any different race than I am. But the kind of racism I'm talking about is kind of in reverse. There was a lot of attention put on people's races. When I filled out public forms, I'd have to check off that I was "Caucasian", whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. And everybody's very sensitive about stating that somebody's african-american or hispanic or asian-american or something. And very afraid of offending anybody. I really found it rather tasteless to always emphasize races, when I'd really much rather have that we're all just humans, which is pretty much how I see it.

And it was in the U.S. that I first met people who would identify themselves as Jewish. My boss for a number of years, whom I was very fond of, was Jewish. As was a bunch of the managers. And I went to his son's bar-mitzvah. Which was enjoyable. The ceremony in the temple was really lively and down-to-earth. In my lunch break I would frequently go and eat fallafels in an Israeli food place. Every week there was a rabbi speaking to a group of people there, telling stories from the Torah and explaining what they meant. Which I found rather enjoyable too. And all of which only gave me a pleasant feeling about the Jewish culture and religion. And then there's the Kabbalah, which is a great source of wisdom.

Certainly nothing has given me any reason to conclude that Jewish people across the board would somehow be something to be against. I haven't found anything about Jewishness not to like. And the whole idea of being anti- some particular cultural or racial group, that's very foreign to me.

At the same time I do understand that various kinds of people might carry deep-seated grudges against each other. Cultural groups that have very stronly negative opinions about each other, often based on things that happened a very long time ago, but which somehow is part of the cultural heritage. Again, I have a hard time personally identifying with that, as I don't have any personal experience to relate it with. But I realize that it is different for some people.

I still get kind of puzzled and surprised when once in a while I run into Jewish people who have very strong opinions when the subject of the Israel-Palestinian conflict comes up. Or, rather, strong opinions do not surprise me, and would be perfectly understandable. Rather when what a moment ago what was a pleasant, relaxed, well-reasoned person suddenly is somebody apparently filled with hatred and anger and vengeance. Somebody going to great lengths to convince me that I'm an idiot if I don't understand that Palestinians, as well as all Arabs, are violent, lying, criminal sub-humans who aren't to be trusted. And that Palestinians don't deserve any land to live on, because it was never theirs in the first place, and there's really no such things as "Palestinians", and it would be easier to just mow down the whole lot anyway. And if I dare to disagree, that's around the time when I get called anti-semitic, and somebody will question why I've listened so much to Arab propaganda that I can have such an outrageous opinion.

Note, I'm not trying to generalize that all Jewish people see it that way. They most certainly don't. And I'm not trying to generalize that it is a particularly Jewish thing. I'm sure there are plenty of Palestinians or Arabs who'd prefer that all Jews would be wiped off the face of earth. For some reason they just haven't crossed my path much, other than on TV. And I'm sure there are plenty other groups that feel in similar ways about each other. Yugoslavia, Rwanda, etc.

But I can say with some confidence that that attitude certainly doesn't help in creating peace anywhere. Whatever past history of transgressions it is based on.

And I can say that it is my opinion that the Israeli government is going about the matter completely wrong, and probably is guilty of many war crimes.

And, sure, most likely Arafat is a bumbling idiot and has missed several great opportunities for peace laid out in front of him.

And, sure, strapping explosives to your body and blowing up innocent people in buses and shopping centers, that's a very bad idea. As is gunship attacks on people's homes. All of it is just escalating a conflict that didn't have to exist.

I happen to think the Israeli government holds most of the cards, and that it is playing them wrong. And I suppose the people in the Israeli government are Jewish. Does that make me anti-semitic? Not any more than my opinion that George W's government is illegitimate and corrupt makes me anti-caucasian or anti-christian or anti-american.

People and governments are different things. Individual people, such as government leaders, are different things than the country or race or culture they come from.

I usually can't recognize Jewish people unless they identify themselves as such. It doesn't matter to me if you're Jewish or not. Or whether you're Muslim or not. If you are and it is important to you, great. But I don't go around looking for signs that you're in some kind of cultural or religious group that I can then have a bias for or against. If you have a unique perspective or an interesting heritage, I might very well be interested in hearing it. But as far as I'm concerned, I'm a member of humanity, and so are you.

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3 Nov 2003 @ 17:19 by waalstraat : I see...hmmm
I think you clarified things enough and so did I. It's far out that NCN has enabled us to do this and that is a creation of your that you can be proud. I never thought you were a racist or truly anti-Semitic, because I can see and feel you're heart in the things you write on other issues, so I agree to disagree with you, however…
We probably agree more than you think. I think both sides have become terribly polarized and it is very difficult to give peace a chance under those conditions; also vision, creativity, and perception become tunneled under those conditions. I myself, have never agreed with Likud or its approach, but lets face it, it is very difficult to give peace a chance when your negotiating partner not only won't stop the training and the sending of confused teen-age human bombs to blow up other people their age as well as older people, but initiated it as a negotiating tool.
The fact that Israel is more powerful militarily works against them it seems in world opinion, because Arafat is seen as the underdog, and that is just why he is holding out, because he sees he can con intelligent guy like you to write, ridiculous things like you agree that little Israel is the most dangerous threat to world peace. For some weird reason that just doesn't convince me that you are truly even handed in your views about this conflict.
You say that Israel holds all the cards and can end the conflict in a minute. But it is a country that has been harassed economically, and attacked over and over again by its neighbors, since it inception. It has never had a moment peace and is constantly being put through the Eurocorpocracy’s propaganda mill, although it is the only stable democracy in the middle east, that respect woman’s rights and has more social services than any country run by its much richer Arab neighbors.
Israel has irrigated the desert and become an agricultural country, it has mastered desalinization, woman have equal right in Israel even with fundamentalist religious groups having a large say in governing. How many Arab countries is that true of. Perhaps that is why they want to drive Israelis to the sea.
If Israel had been given a minutes peace they would probably have lifted up their neighbors burdens too. It seems to me the Arab nation only want to deal Israel the Aces of Spades, and that would be the cards Israel would be holding.
You say that Israel holds all the cards, and could end the conflict in a minute. Why don’t you lay out the Funch Peace plan for us. If it is really fair and good and will insure Israel’s security may you will change some of us who seem to be disagreeing with you.

Blessings my friend I believe you think yours is the moral position

Bernard Dov—Aum-pa..  

3 Nov 2003 @ 17:44 by ming : Israel
I really have no doubt that Israel by itself is a very nice place. Well organized, social equality, high standard of living.

And as to the peace plan, no, I'm not going to be so silly to say I in particular know how to resolve it. Because it is of course necessary to resolve it with and through the actual people who are involved in it. One of course can't just say what they "should" do, and that is a plan, if they don't want to do it. So, a real plan would have to include how the parties can get to feel like doing the things that will work.

I will just make the observation that it is the continuing revenge - counter-revenge cycle that makes it much worse than it needs to be. The Israel government can stop it from their side, because it is directly ordering it. Arafat probably can't, because he isn't.

And then there's the missing realization that Israelis and Palestinians live in two totally different worlds. Different kinds of needs, different kinds of motivation. But there are certain things they share. Palestinians will not "go away" before they can also feel safe and comfortable and proud, having clean water and electricity, not being shot at, not having their doors kicked in, not having their houses bulldozed down.  

3 Nov 2003 @ 19:04 by dang @ : thoughts on separatism
the more a group of people tries to isolate and define itself by various labels, the more it must struggle and divide itself from others. has this *ever* resulted in anything good?

you can't promote us-ness without also promoting them-ness. a fat person cannot get thin by dieting. this only reinforces the idea that they "normally" eat a lot-- it strengthens the behavior which they are trying to get rid of, creating a polarity or psychological arms race which can never be won.

racial identity is just one of those things which will have to die out in its own time. in 1000 years people will wonder what the heck "jewish" and "arab" and "black" and "white" meant, anyway. more bullshit for people to fight over, preventing any real progress. what if all the time and money spent bombing each other was invested in creative liberation? israelistine could instead be the world's most exciting and heady place to live.

nostalgia is a very, very dangerous thing. and racial nostalgia is the worst.

as hypnotherapist Jack True put it:

"A return to a better time." Anywhere you see this, it's mind control. On a psychic level, it's an attempt to suggest the impossible. To trigger and isolate a small square of prior happiness and get people to yearn for it. The symbols used to do this are infinite. You see it in ads, you see it in political messages. You can't go back to the past and re-instate it.

[It's] one of the great graveyards. Some of these landscapes that pop up under hypnosis, they are full of nostalgia. The hanging vines and the old Southern mansions and cadavers and young beautiful people walking around real slow... old songs and stuff like that. Yearning for times past. If you just take the idea of a Constitutional republic. There are a lot of people around who want that back, but they don’t want to make it happen in a creative way... they don’t really want to do it now... they want to wallow in it. That’s the landscape effect, the firewall that keeps you from creating it now... and when you crack one of these landscapes wide open, over a period of some hours, in the way I’ve described— you get a different kind of person.

3 Nov 2003 @ 19:14 by vibrani : Excuse Me????
Arafat is NOT ordering revenge attacks? Ming - sorry, but you're very wrong on this one. VERY WRONG. Arafat goes on tv regularly telling people to murder Israelis, FOR REVENGE's sake and to push all Jews into the sea so Israel will be theirs. He tells them to march en masses into Jerusalem and take it over by force...and they've tried that several times. These things are also echoed in the classrooms and music videos, faces of martyrs plastered on walls all over their cities and homes to promote more martyrs. It's ALL Arafat's creation and it reflects a certain consciousness, does it not? I also refer you to this: {http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1294}
I think that humans are humans, however I don't think all the Arabs/Muslims/Palestinians feel the same way, and they certainly don't act like they are human beings with the way they slaughter people and teach that Jews are apes and pigs.

Yes - Arafat - who was born and raised in Egypt, not Israel. There are different factions of extremists, but Arafat is still the head honcho, make no mistake about it. Arafat who has brainwashed generations of children, which is the MAIN PROBLEM in solving this serious war...it still comes back to education, Flemming. Teaching peace and love and not murder, not lies about going to Allah with virgins.

You say Israel holds the main cards? Wrong again. The Palestinians could have had nearly all they wanted, but their hatred blew it. Their leadership blew it. Their greed blew it. And what do they have now, and still blame Israel? Some day people have to take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, Flemming. The deal does not and should not fall on Israel's head. Where were all those 21 Arab nations with billions of acres of land that they could have given to their brethren to solve the war? NOWHERE, because they do NOT want Israel to exist and they don't really want these so-called Palestinians - yeah, who NEVER had a country of their own named Palestine. Sorry you don't like the facts, Flemming, but they are facts. Some countries are learning that they have to accept Israel, Israel isn't going to go away. Others still refuse to accept Israel. And there is no reason why one nation has to be sacrificed for another today. Israel has never wanted war. Realistically, it is now up to the Palestinians to live peace, no more b.s. talk as they have for twenty years, or since Israel officially became a modern country. Yes, responsibility lies on all sides, Flemming, and Israel has up-held most of theirs, but in fact, the Palestinians have broken EVERY promise thus far, so what do you have to say about that?

Here are some key points of the Oslo Peace Treaty. Clear up some misconceptions for you?


1. LETTER FROM YASSER ARAFAT TO PRIME MINISTER RABIN: September 9, 1993 Yitzhak Rabin Prime Minister of Israel Mr. Prime Minister, The signing of the Declaration of Principles marks a new era in the history of the Middle East. In firm conviction thereof, I would like to confirm the following PLO commitments:
The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security. The PLO accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations. The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence, free from violence and all other acts which endanger peace and stability. Accordingly, the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators.

In view of the pormise of a new era and the signing of the Declaration of Principles and based on Palestinian acceptance of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel's right to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid. Consequently, the PLO undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant. Sincerely, Yasser Arafat Chairman The Palestine Liberation Organization.

2. LETTER FROM YASSER ARAFAT TO NORWEGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: September 9, 1993 His Excellency Johan Jorgen Holst Foreign Minister of Norway Dear Minister Holst, I would like top confirm to you that, upon the signing of the Declaration of Principles, the PLO encourages and calls upon the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to take part in the steps leading to the normalization of life, rejecting violence and terrorism, contributing to peace and stability and participating actively in shaping reconstruction, economic develoment and cooperation. Sincerely, Yasser Arafat Chairman The Palestine Liberation Organization.

3. LETTER FROM PRIME MINISTER RABIN TO YASSER ARAFAT: September 9, 1993 Yasser Arafat Chairman The Palestinian Liberation Organization Mr. Chairman, In response to your letter of September 9, 1993, I wish to confirm to you that, in light of the PLO commitments included in your letter, the Government nof Israel has decided to recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and commence negotiations with the PLO within the Middle East peace process. Yitzhak Rabin Prime Minister of Israel.


ARTICLE XII Arrangements for Security and Public Order 1. In order to guarantee public order and internal security for the Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Council shall establish a strong police force as set out in Article XIV below.

Israel shall continue to carry the responsibility for defense against external threats, including the responsibility for protecting the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, and for defense against external threats from the sea and from the air, as well as the responsibility for overall security of Israelis and Settlements, for the purpose of safeguarding their internal security and public order, and will have all the powers to take the steps necessary to meet this responsibility.

ARTICLE XV Prevention of Hostile Acts 1. Both sides shall take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against each other, against individuals falling under the other's authority and against their property, and shall take legal measures against offenders.
After Oslo was signed, and the Palestinians got Israeli land for themselves, the PLO began homicide bus bombings in Israel. That is how they kept their word for peace and dismantling terrorism. That's how they showed their gratitude. Since then, it's only gotten worse. The PLO didn't give money to the Palestinian people nor did they change their education or have fairly elected leaders. So why is the world continually condeming Israel - who is damned no matter what they do? Israel was created by the U.N. through guilt over the Holocaust. And now, the U.N. wants to remove their guilt by removing Israel. Israel should not apologize for its existence, nor be forced into extermination for and by liars and terrorists!  

3 Nov 2003 @ 23:37 by waalstraat : Good brief Vibrani
Every statement you made is accurate and can be confirmed even in the anti-Israeli press and in the records of the UN. I have always been taken back by the fact that Arafat says one thing to the world press that sounds like peace, and love, and let's get down to the work of peace; while in Arabic he states the opposite thereby provoking his people to violence. This has been reported in the world press mainly on the back pages or somewhere hidden in the middle pages. Certainly the major papers have the funds to monitor and translate Arafat's speeces, yet no paper that I know sees fit to point out that blatant hypocrisy and severly condemn it. The implication is clear, Arab oil, and also the wealth generated from it, is able to blinfold justice and weigh down it scales.

One thing I would like to credit Fleming with, and that is his inclusion of a comment section in his programming NCN has made this open and free dialogue possible...and for that I thank you Ming...  

4 Nov 2003 @ 03:28 by scotty : Damn right Dang !
you said it !  

4 Nov 2003 @ 06:04 by vibrani : Two faces
Yes, Bernie, Arafat is famous for his double-speak. In English he kisses ass and pretends he's doing everything to stop terrorism, then in the next breath in Arabic he incites riots and murder! The messages are in the mosques, in the schools, on every street, in all their media. For this you bet I hold them totally responsible for increasing terrorism and murder, and doing everything possible to sabotage peace.  

4 Nov 2003 @ 08:21 by ming : Responsibility
Well, it is that assumption, that Arafat of course controls the suicide bombings and can stop them any time, that is central to your arguments here, as well as apparently to the Israeli strategy. Without it, the strategy would seem rather insane. But to me it is no more logical than bombing Mexican government installations whenever a Mexican carries out a crime in the U.S. What do I know, maybe he does order the bombings, but I've never heard anything other than emotional rhetoric to 'prove' that. That he says different things in Arabic than in English is certainly a problem, but doesn't prove in any way that acts of terrorism are at his orders. Failing to 'prevent acts of terrorism', that's a very fuzzy area. Certainly not something you click a switch to do. The U.S. government is certainly doing very badly at it, as is the Israeli. And the Palestinian Authority.  

4 Nov 2003 @ 09:19 by vibrani : Ming
Can you get real serious for a moment? Arafat supplies the false but effective emotional and verbal support and incitement for terrorist activities. No, he cannot stop an individual who suddenly decides to blow themselves up - Israel is more effective in doing that (just in this past week they thwarted seven attackers on their way to blow up people). HOWEVER, Arafat CAN and SHOULD HAVE BEEN doing everything within his power as leader to condemn such attacks, refuse terrorists a safe haven, not accept martyr money, not go on tv to promote such attacks and the destruction of Israel and Jews, to penalize terrorists who survive attacks, to make them illegal, not teach them the value of being a stupid martyr, and so on. Not demand Israel release terrorists from jail! He is the reason these attacks began! He promised (see above) to stop them. This isn't a fuzzy area at all.  

4 Nov 2003 @ 09:19 by waalstraat : C'mon this is getting Silly Ming
You just wrote a piece on logic...stop playing logical games to support your anti-Israel feeling! Every comment you are making discloses your feelings are emotional and not humanistic, or logical, or rational. You know that your Mexican analogy is not analagous. Shame!
Arafat is not some civilian in the territories, he is the leader of the Palestinians. He has signed a treaty to disarm Hammas and has not followed through on it. He is the de-facto commander and chief of the Palestinian Authority security forces.
When he had the leaders of the Palestinian Authority locked up. Suicide bombmings was minimal and it was clear he couldn't have absolute control of stopping them. But he released them when negotiations broke down. And boy then suicide bombing started cooking. If you don't believe he is provoking violence in the arabic media while saying the opposite in the english media. He has a forked tongue and everybody knows it. Do a little research on the web and there are plenty of responsible sources who will support these statements.
How about reading the New York Times today. There is a story of some poor 16 year old kid who ran at Israeli soldiers and bombed himself to pieces partially wounding one soldier. The boys who will probably get killed for it, said he blamed the brigade that is an arm of the Palestinian Authority seduced his son into become a martyr as constant doing with other young children. Man that is not militant it the most vile type of terrorism.
However that poor kid freaked out and wasted their bombs on soldiers after being trained to attack civilians. Why don't you every mention when a poor Israeli Israeli is killed it represents a significant larger percentage of their population then when some poor Palestinian innocent is killed for there population is about 3 times as large pluse the birth rate is about a great deal larger.
It should be clear to you that no-one is helping peace by being one-sided-and I see and everyone else does I guess and if not I don't know why that you are extremely one sided on this issue. And if you say I am. I will admit that I am defending Israel against an unjust vilification that is being passed down from the top by European and Arab states.
It is the same situation as a woman getting raped and the defense trying to paint her as a trollop who consented to the violence perpetrated on her. Israel has been a victim of attack which has never let up since its inception. Shame, in the Name of Peace you are unfairly condemming a people, and not minding if you destroy a state that is a refuge, for the most historically brutalized people, in the world. Bah....NOW I AM BUGGED AND YOU CAN CALL ME AN EMOTIONAL, Hot Blooded, BUDDHISH BOY ...BUT I still bless you. I never count anyone down. I knew you are biased, but I never thought you would defend Arafat...G-d where are coming from when you say his provocotive statements "are a problem, but it doesn't prove the acts of terrorism are at his orders" that's a word game and its a brutally unfair game.  

4 Nov 2003 @ 09:25 by vibrani : Wow
Bernie - you used an analogy that I considered using - the rape case. Exactly right. Blame the victim. When one is biased, an Israeli fatality or maimed-for-life-person doesn't count (except in the favor of the Palestinians). See the U.N. for that proof.

Here's an article I just found at the Jerusalem Post.

Oct. 30, 2003
Defeat terrorism
The "vision of a Palestinian state" is something we have already tried. In the 10 years since Oslo, particularly the last three, we have seen what the Palestinians intend to do with the tools of independence and statehood, if they are given them.

They already had a state-in-the-making, and they used it to build a huge terrorist base and a society mobilized and incited to hate Israel.

The Palestinian Authority did nothing to promote its own people's economy and welfare. It used all the tools of government in its hands in order to cultivate the terrorist capabilities of many systems and organizations, and in order to educate masses of people from kindergarten to old age towards war, hatred, and suicide terrorism.

If the PA has been a swamp of terrorism, corruption and incitement, then the Palestinian state will be a whole lake. It will grow a center of international terrorism, and will be totally mobilized towards war over the next phase of "liberating Palestine."

This also has objective reasons: the Palestinian state - the one from the Bush vision or the Beilin dream - is a dwarf country, territorially splintered, and devoid of any economic infrastructures or resources. You cannot squeeze two states into our tiny land, between the Mediterranean and the Jordan. There is hardly room here for one state; you have to be blind not to see that.

Why are there so many blind people among us, some of whom are intelligent and wise in every other area?

Because we are living under terror. Terror is a first rate cause of political blindness and of the phenomenon of hallucinations and illusions. Terror distorts its victims' judgment, it makes them feel as if they share the guilt, develop dependency on the aggressor, and have baseless faith that a simple solution to the situation is hiding around the nearest corner. Every terrorist knows that, and all terrorism is built on that.

THEREFORE, THE first step of any political plan has to be defeating terrorism. It is not a security but a political matter. It is a precondition for the very existence of political judgment. No political plan has any hope unless it is preceded by a decisive defeat of terrorism, not just militarily but conceptually.

No peaceful solution has any chance unless every child in Gaza and every analyst in every news media in the world knows that terrorism has been militarily defeated, and caused the Palestinian people only harm, and that every person and every organization that engaged in terrorism has disappeared from the political map.

And this solution is not hiding around the nearest corner. It is far away, and the path to it is strewn with obstacles, mines, internal divisions and pain. It requires the courage to say: No, my friends - there is no political horizon right now and no negotiating table, because there is terrorism.

The idea that a political solution can appear instead of defeating terrorism is the illusion that keeps the political horizon infinitely distant.

The road cannot be shortened. A political solution will come only after terror is defeated.

That is the first step in a three-phase political plan. The second phase is a long interim period during which Palestinian self-rule will be established under Israeli responsibility; the third phase is a region-wide permanent settlement, in which not only Israel but also Egypt and Jordan will be required to allocate land towards resolving the Palestinian problem.

I am sure that is the solution that will come at the end of the process, but the process might last 50 years. Therefore the question that matters to our own lives, and our main role towards a solution, is the first phase: defeating terrorism - unequivocally, without compromise and without illusions.

The writer, former bureau chief of the Prime Minister's Office, is editor of Nekuda, monthly of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.  

4 Nov 2003 @ 10:35 by ming : Statements
Well, I think the various back-and-forth statements here probably illustrate my points quite well. And they illustrate the difficulty in even discussing this in any constructive manner. So, I'll just let that stand. Most people can make up their own mind about what they think is right or wrong or one-sided, I think. And I hope that something can improve the overall situation in the future.  

4 Nov 2003 @ 10:40 by vibrani : What a colossal cop-out
Thanks, anyway, Ming. You really aren't discussing anything real and can't acknowledge what IS going on with a clear head and facts.  

4 Nov 2003 @ 11:22 by Sellitman @ : Thank you ming!
Point well made. I admire your level-headedness on this thread. Very clever and quite enlightening.

"Serious, honest debates between people who support the Palestinian perspective of the conflict and those who support the Israeli perspective, are a rarity. It is often the case that when the two parties are brought together, a shouting match ensues, with the participants talking past each other, asserting their respective points of view with great vehemence, and then parting ways at the height of disagreement, without even coming to an honest, clear-headed mutual understanding of what is at the heart of the disagreement."

The following site is an attempt to bring the two sides together in a debate aimed at pinpointing precisely where and how the two perspectives clash:

{link:http://www.fairnews.org/pmw/features/pmwatchdebate.asp|The Big Debate}  

4 Nov 2003 @ 13:43 by waalstraat : Thank you Sellitman
I for one will be sure to check it out....and I have little doubt Ming and Vibrani will to...  

4 Nov 2003 @ 17:15 by vibrani : AJC
Yes, I have checked out that link - lots of good stuff there. I especially feel the same way about the writer of the last email message on that page (Jordan is the Palestinian homeland).

Now, Ming, IF you truly feel you are balanced and fair, and not bigoted against Jews or Israel, how about going to AJC.ORG {http://www.ajc.org} and besides doing some reading on this same topic at that site, sending a couple of pre-written letters? The American Jewish Committee has launched a letter writing campaign to protest the vile anti-Semitic speech delivered recently by the prime minister of Malaysia to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the largest gathering of Muslim nation leaders, and the silence of those attending.

(this quote is my own insert)

"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
----attributed to Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984)

"History has taught us the danger of silence," says the AJC.

Protesters are visiting the AJC web site to send letters directly to the Malaysian ambassador to the U.S. in Washington and to the secretary general of the OIC in Saudi Arabia.

The campaign was launched with AJC's ad, entitled "Shame," yesterday on the op-ed page of The New York Times. The full text of the ad, signed by AJC President Harold Tanner and Executive Director David A. Harris, follows:

"Shame. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad delivered a scathing anti-Semitic speech at the recent meeting of the 57-nation organization of the Islamic Conference.

"President Bush and several other heads of state emphatically denounced his comments, but the Muslim leaders assembled for the conference, to their everlasting shame, gave Mahathir a standing ovation.

Bigotry is bigotry. When an entire people or religion is assailed, all people and all religions are threatened. At such moments, people of good will need to be heard. History has taught us the danger of silence.

"Speak out. Click here to send e-mails to Malaysia's ambassador to the United States and to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Let them know you oppose hatred and stand for a world based on mutual respect."
Contact: Kenneth Bandler (212) 891-6771 PR@ajc.org
Lisa Fingeret Roth (212) 891-1385 rothl@ajc.org


4 Nov 2003 @ 23:11 by redjade @ : race in euroland
thanks for the thoughts, as a yank living in ireland for a little while I have noticed the difference in the definition of 'race' from my american idea of it.

the irish like to talk about the 'irish race' as opposed to the brits.

they all look white to me!

Race, ultimately, is a social construction and has nothing to to do with skin colour - although obviously it is an easy way to divide and separate people, especially when you want to hate them.

and the irish love to hate the brits.  

5 Nov 2003 @ 08:50 by jstarrs : Bejésus!!!

5 Nov 2003 @ 09:15 by Sellitman @ : The Big Question
Vibrani: You do not seem to like Ming very much, do you? I have read his blog for quite sometimes and I see there a man who doesn't stike me at all as a bigot, I actually find Ming tolerant to the extreme. I mean, isn't tolerance one of the hallmarks on which this network was founded in the first place. Are you sure you are not letting your prejudices against Ming, past resentment/ political differences/ antagonism (I don't know) blind you?

You missed the point (and the spirit) of the {link:http://www.fairnews.org/pmw/features/pmwatchdebate.asp|site} to which I was referring you in my earlier comment and you missed Ming's points:

- Being critical of Bush and his administration's policies doesn't make one anti-patriotic or treasonous. Unless of course one chooses to look at it from the {link:http://www.freerepublic.com/|radical viewpoint} of a fanatic of a demagogue.

- Being critical of Sharon and his administration's policies doesn't make one anti-Israel, anti-Semitic or treasonous. Unless, again, one chooses to look at it from the {link:http://masada2000.com/index.html|radical viewpoint} of a fanatic or a demagogue.

Come on, let's be serious. I don't think there is anyone here who can seriously argue that Ming is an anti-Semit or a bigot. This is ridiculous!

Labeling people who disagree with them as "anti-patriotic" or "anti-Semitic", has, for many years, been a tactic of fanatics and demagogues who seek to silence open debate and discussion. I think emphasis should be put upon the extreme damage to the Jewish community of abusively branding people as anti-Semitic in such a way out of mere political expediency. It does not only threaten free speech but also threatens to trivialize anti-Semitism itself.  

5 Nov 2003 @ 09:43 by jstarrs : Good post, Sellitman...
...thank you.  

5 Nov 2003 @ 11:44 by mre : pulling together
I wish I had the reference. Back in the days before social experiments became unethical, the 1950's, I think, or the early '60's. Some academic took a bunch of kids -- young men, maybe 12-16 years old as I recall -- out into the desert - maybe Nevada -- for a 4 week camp out / experiment. He divided the group into two teams and pitted them against each other in bitter games. Soon the two groups hated each other. Then he redivided them into two new groups, each made of half and half from the previous setup, and put them into situations where they had to pull together and depend on each other to accomplish various goals. It wasn't long before opinion changed and they learned that the hated other could be a trusted ally.

Of course there is a big difference between a hundred years of terrible history with much killing and a couple weeks of kids war games, but change the conditions so the Israelis and Palestinians pull together and the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians will be friends.

Just at the beginning of the latest Intifada, I had a chance to try an {link:http://blog.voiceofhumanity.net/newslog2.php/_v252/__show_article/_a000252-000007.htm|experiment} of my own in this area. It fell victim to the larger dynamic, but not before showing some promise.  

5 Nov 2003 @ 12:47 by waalstraat : Come on Selliman and Jstaars
You totally ingnore the very legitimate critique I have made about the points and the misinformation Ming has posted like Israel has nuclear tipped war missles on their submarines that are surrounding and threatening Iran. His source for that is a totally weird, sensationalistic, irresponsible web mag which never substantiated their innuendo not a statement of fact, based on their conjectures and which published an article suggesting Israel was involved in the 911 attack on the world trade center. I could find no other sources for that information other than the link Ming provided or other in which that was the source. Those are very serious charges. If you post something like I think you should cross check it unless you have an agenda which it supports, otherwise you are just passing on false proganda, which is the type of behavior NCN and Ming's stated vision opposes. That doesn't mean one can't act in opposition to ones values--tell me you guys never have. I coudn't do that and I haven't met any who can do that.
Ming never produced any other source for that information. Ming never answered that charge. It doesn't take any genius to understand if you poison the well or slander an individual or country by passing on unsubstantiated information that is meant to taint them in public opinion, you are aiding and abetting their enemies. Some of those enemies art extremely anti-Isreal for ideological reasons, or many are against the state of Israel because they are anti-Semitic. You don't have to be an anti-semite to aid and abet the enemies of the State of Israel or the enemies of the Jewish people which are not always totally conflateable.
That is not to say one shouldn't criticize injustices or unwise policies of the Isreali government. But do if based on real face and sound logic.
I asked a numbe of legitimate question of Ming in my comment and he sidestepped almost all of them. A number times Ming wrote that the Israeli government who have "all the card stacked in their favor" could stop the violence and establish peace in one week if they had the will. When I asked how they could that; after making that statement over and over again Ming answered, he couldn't presume to come up with a peace plan, but suggested the answer might be Israel should stop defending their people, and then the Suicide Bombings would stop. Cmon you can't see that all Ming has said in his comments are unbalanced, biased against Israel. In Every land that Arafat has been in he attempted to overthrow the government of that land and had to be expelled, or had to be expelled because he was using their land for acts of terrorism, and placing the government in the position of facing rightful and legal retribution.
Yet Ming defended Arafat towards the end of our discussion
I personally don't think Ming is a conscious Anti-Semite, but it is clear he has an ideological agenda that calls for him to oppose Israel in an unbalanced, irrational and unjust manner, and if you look at all our sets of comments above and don't come to that conclusion it is because your own "politically correct" ideology is blinding you.
No one has called Ming a Anti-Semite in the comments, above but you accuse Vibrani of that. I have discussed this with her and as far as I can discern she doesn't think he is an anti-Semite but he is ideologically vehemently against the state of Isreal regardles of their policies, or whom their leadership is And it seems like that to me too--so far.
You my friend, have picked up Mings Straw Horse, when he said the feedback from Jewish friend he was getting suggested he was an anti-semite. And what does it have to do with the price of beans that someone calls them a Jew. I call myself Buddhish. I have news for you man no one except a Catholic calls a Protestant a Protestant, but many people point out to each other that a Jewish person is a Jew. That's why Jews do that. They might as well clear the air. You picked up Ming's straw horse and rode it yourself instead disputing mine or Vibrani's observations. You chose instead to attack the person as Ming does when he suggests Jewish people are over sensitive.
I don't have to be oversensitive to note that when Ming titled this article "Jews" that was highly insensitive. I have seen a title like that used except by fascist in the 1920'to 40's. Besides being insensitive, it was vulger and unbefitting his humanism, or perhaps it was passive aggressive who knows. However that title subtley invites generalization and over generalization about members of a group--which by definition is predjudice. I personally discriminate between Anti-semitism from predjudice because in my book an anti-Semite goes a step further. They want harm to come to the members of that group, or that they be sanctioned, or be treated as second class citizens or sub-humans. I know that is not true about Ming. But predjudice plays into the hand of Anti-Semites.
By the way I have always been both again Sharon, and Likkud so my stand is one of balance objectivity not ideology or religion. But it is like comparing a Rotten Egg and a Sour Apple to compare Arafat to Sharon, or the Palestinian leadership with the Israeli government.  

5 Nov 2003 @ 13:01 by vibrani : Sellitman
Why not ask Ming what you've asked me? I know Ming doesn't like me or what I have to say. It doesn't matter if he does like me - that's not what this discussion is supposedly about. I haven't labeled Ming as anything - which log are YOU reading? I accused him of copping out and of posting misinformation and not willing to discuss the real facts. And having been an NCN member since 1995, and have posted numerous articles and documents on history and current events in the Middle East (which were largely ignored), that included all sides of the issues - and there were too numerous and lengthy to go into all of them again - I opened up this area for lots of discussion. These articles also included recommended readings - yet the facts were ignored in favor of biases by several NCN members, not just Ming. Even if I posted articles on both Palestinians and Israelis, the comments made by these members who are biased were only to condemn Israel and never talk about the horrific things the Palestinians have done and continue to do to Israelis, and their own people (and others).

I have seen Ming comment from time to time on the Middle East only in favor of the Palestinians and supporting their agenda, never having said one positive thing about Israel, nor lamenting one loss of Israeli/Jewish life as he has the Palestinians. Where was his outrage at the Dolphinarium attack or the Palestinian educational system, for instance, if he believes in peace and to do away with terrorism? And, as Bernie said, what about solutions? And somewhat related to this, is Ming's refusal to even talk about 9/11 and the Saudis behind that, and he wouldn't even visit ground zero when he was in New York. Is there something Ming doesn't want to acknowledge? I think so (IMHO). To me that says a lot and does lead me toward certain ideas about where Ming is coming from. It is from this history and his current comments that I responded. Clearly, Ming and I do not see eye-to-eye on this situation. And that's it.  

5 Nov 2003 @ 13:43 by ming : Dialogue
Again, I think a lot of things are out in the open here, for anybody to see who cares. And I don't think a "you're wrong!", "no, YOU'RE WRONG!!" discussion is very useful. So, I'm not going to bother trying to explain that I'm not a fascist, an anti-semite, that I'm not passive aggressive, insensitive, vulgar, irresponsible, irrational, silly, etc. Or whether I'm providing slander, false propaganda, lies and mis-information. Or whether I'm against the state of Israel, not having one positive thing to say about the country, etc. You can check most of that for yourself and make up your own mind.

However, I still has hope that serious and productive dialogue can take place. And that I know that it is and has taken place. Witness, as others mentioned, {link:http://www.fairnews.org/pmw/features/pmwatchdebate.asp|The Big Debate}, Roger's {link:http://blog.voiceofhumanity.net/newslog2.php/_v252/__show_article/_a000252-000007.htm|experiment}, or the Trubman's {link:http://traubman.igc.org/dg-prog.htm|Jewish-Palestinian Dialogues}, and many other good efforts.  

5 Nov 2003 @ 14:13 by waalstraat : Again
You refuse to have a factual debate instead you choose to poison the well and create straw horses...I never called you a fascist...I clearly said I did not think you are an anti-semite...but to title an article in a classic fascist manner of a past dark genocidal period is darn well insensitive,and possibly passive aggressive in that it has to be provocative to many Jews. It certainly is vulgar to title anything Catholics! Jews! Blacks! Hindus...what about passing on a rumour about Israel definitely having nuclear tipped missles on their submarines which you obviously never checked out, that's not mis-information? And I never said you never had said one positive thing about Israel...you said a few nice moderate things about it followed by a huge "But"...If any body doubts my veracity...let them re-read the comments...Do you have any definitive proof that Israel has Nuclear warhead on missles on their submarines--if so from where other than the link you gave...you never answer how you can say Arafat is helpless to stop the so called militants that I call terrorist, when he was able to arrest the individuals who attacked the American convoy within four hours and hasn't arrested anyone from the Jihad, Fatah brigade, or Hamas in this whole bloody period after they even claimed responsability for sending out suicide bombers, and attacking innocent civillian not soldiers in Israel proper not the Palestinian territory. Is that balanced.
Just stop talking the senstivity of your Jewish friends, and their irrationality when comes to talking about the Israel Arab conflict, and present your facts. Let the facts talk and you will get an honest debate back with not reference to misinformation. I am not attacking you but I am revaling what I think is you lack of a balanced view and your seeming blindness to the immoral crimes of the Palestians who are seducing kids 12 years old and older to be suicide bombers and by you implying the blame lies with Israel....  

5 Nov 2003 @ 14:50 by ming : Weblog
Generally speaking, no, I don't have incontestable proof of most things I write in my weblog. Some of it is my experiences and my thoughts and feelings and ideas, which you'll have to take my word on. Sometimes I post news items from other sources. Sometimes I look around to find other sources of the same thing, or to try to gauge the veracity of the item. The nuclear warhead item is from a somewhat questionable source, the people who did the former Spotlight magazine. Which often contained conspiracy type of news you wouldn't find in any mainstream sources, like detailed accounts of the Bilderberger meetings. But they're also right-wing patriot types, and I certainly wouldn't agree with all their viewpoints. Or necessarily accept their information as fact. When I'm in doubt about the veracity of something, I'll usually include a comment to that effect, like I did with that item.

And, since that seems to be unclear for some reason, I have never made a vow to be balanced about everything in the world. I'm a libra, so I'm often trying, but don't count on it. I have strong opinions about many things, and generally speaking, I don't plan on trying to also state the opposite of each opinion I happen to express. Just like I don't feel obligated to search out news items that say the opposite of news items I have chosen to post.

If you have other standards for your own weblogs, all the best to you. And, Bernard and Vibrani, I'd expect to hear a lot more about the conditions for Palestinians in the occupied territories from you, including the personal tragedies for those who have lost loved ones, or lost their homes.

I suspect we maybe are using different definitions of the word "balanced"? To me it would imply looking deep in the different "sides" for what makes them tick and what they are trying to do and what goodness is in their heart. I have a slight suspicion, and correct me if I'm wrong, that some of you consider it balanced to say that Israel is trying to protect itself and the Palestinians are trying to destroy Israel. Or that Israel is doing its best to be secure and work for peace, while the Palestinians just want more terror, and won't bother to make their area work. If so, it might explain a little bit why we can't communicate very constructively about it.  

5 Nov 2003 @ 15:54 by waalstraat : Okay Ming, I am ready to stop this Round
and Round we go....I respect your answer. By the way in reading your imput and our private exchanges, my Lady Erica said I bet he is a libra--I guess it takes one to know one...You know in my own weird way I have solicited a friendship with you because I felt we had a lot to exchange, could stimulate each other. I still feel that way. I would still value your friendship and I certainly wouldn't value the friendship of an anti-semite or a racist or a fascist.
I have put a notice on my site to watch for my answer to Flemming Funch. I have decided not to do that. My answer is right here in the comment section. Actually I think this in a strange way has been a constructive dialogue and people really have been able to hear two sides of an issue that was presented pretty respectfully although at times it felt you didn't think I was respecting you. I hope by now you realize Israel and Israel apart from the Palestinian Authority is not the greatest threat to world peace. There are many more worthy candidates.
Anyway I will write a little something tomorrow explaining why I am not going to write my answer and link it to this dialogue. As far as your last point I will in the next couple of weeks write something about the suffering of the Palestinian people and the Israeli people...I have a innate need for balance being a Taurus...
Sweet Dreams my Friend for Erica and I are turning in...
you too Vibrani and everybody else...Aum-pa  

5 Nov 2003 @ 16:28 by ming : Peace
Thank you for the peaceful response, Bernard. And, yes, we can still be friends.  

5 Nov 2003 @ 18:01 by vibrani : Obviously
You missed the articles and comments I posted (even above) about the horrors Palestinians have perpetrated on themselves, Christains, Catholics, Lebanese, Jews, Druze, etc. And the conditions of the Palestinians - yes - which is largely their own fault, and I have also criticized some moves by the Israeli military and government. I have also left positive articles and comments about the Arabs and Muslims who were making great strides in bridging understanding between their world view and the West, to erase misinformation and stereotypes. You also missed the articles and comments I posted about my sadness at all of the loss of life in that region, no matter which side. I don't think you really read what I post.

No, you never said you had to be balanced, (but you seem to give people the impression that you try to be), and neither does anyone else, Ming. So why are you demanding it of me? I have more than done my share in showing a balanced view, however, something you have never managed to do in this area, AND I DO provide legitimate sources and authentic historical documents in my posts. I can't make a blind man see, or someone who is apathetic care. You made a pretense to open a discussion and copped out. Be assurred, no more talk with me and you on this topic, Ming. (P.S. I have a lot of Libra in my chart, too, and on the test I rate ENFP - so what?) Thanks, Bernie for your wishes - which I return to you.  

6 Nov 2003 @ 11:21 by Sellitman @ : Who killed Yitzhak Rabin?
"Bigotry is bigotry. When an entire people or religion is assailed, all people and all religions are threatened. At such moments, people of good will need to be heard." [Uri Elitzur]

I couldn't agree more. Words kill!

{link:http://web.israelinsider.com/bin/en.jsp?enPage=ArticlePage&enDisplay=view&enDispWhat=object&enDispWho=Article^l1536&enZone=Politics&enVersion=0&|What would Israel be like if Rabin were alive today?}

The initiation of the Oslo process raised high hopes on BOTH SIDES. It boosted Israel's peace camp, and it prompted 80,000 members of Al-Fatah to demonstrate in favour of it in the major Palestinian cities. On the other hand, the very prospect of a peace settlement, involving territorial compromise, provoked the rejectionists on BOTH SIDES, who refused to accept anything less than 'Greater Palestine' and 'Greater Israel' respectively. On the Palestinian side, Hamas immediately launched a new series of terror attacks against Israel. On the Israeli side, Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians praying in a Hebron mosque, and Yigal Amir assassinated Yitzhak Rabin.

Words kill! How do you use YOUR words? Please, don't answer that. Especially not with another one of those kinds of unending comment of spewed political rhetoric that this topic has been attracting. Enough of those inconsiderate lengthy copy-and-paste articles too (this is so rude - can't people just simply give a link anymore?) How do you use your words? I am not trying to poison the well here. It is a question I am asking of EVERYONE. A question I shouldn't need to ask. But a question everyone should be asking of themselves and for themselves alone. Quietly so, and without posturing. Enough posturing! Enough demagoguery! Are your words serving peace or are they promoting racial stereotyping. I have mentioned the {link:http://masada2000.com/index.html|Masada} site because SHOCKINGLY I have seen many of the racists arguments presented on that site repeated by some here on this network. It doesn't matter whom, it doesn't matter where. Enough finger pointing!

Just ask yourself, and yourself alone, this simple question, "How do I use my words?"  

6 Nov 2003 @ 11:38 by vibrani : An angry person
killed Rabin and he is paying the price for that, too. Each year Rabin is remembered in Israel, as is the sadness over the lost peace process. Peace marches are common in Israel. Are they common among Palestinians? How many Arab nations mourn the loss of Rabin and peace in the Middle East? Remember Anwar Sadat? Remember who killed him? A group calling itself the Independent Organisation for the Liberation of Egypt says it carried out the attack. What are you after, i.e., trying to prove with your comment about Rabin's murder? Rabin is not here. But others are.

I'm an author, I choose my words VERY carefully knowing fully well their power and meaning. I think you could do with following your own advice and seeing what you put out there and how it's been received by me and Bernie, for instance.  

6 Nov 2003 @ 12:04 by waalstraat : shhhh!
s hhh  

6 Nov 2003 @ 12:17 by Sellitman @ : I rest my case

6 Nov 2003 @ 12:24 by vibrani : Who are you shhhsing ?

6 Nov 2003 @ 14:02 by waalstraat : Vibrani
I thought it was obvious I was addressing shhhhh to Sellitman, look what he said about no words and the use of our words, I couldn't think of anything else to say to that I found it so innappropiate to what went down and the outcome...I am not playing games, and I am not trying to hurt you, nor did I ever try......blessings to you and Sellitman  

6 Nov 2003 @ 14:34 by vibrani : Thanks Bernie
It wasn't clear to me...but now it is! I do understand and think it's a great response in this light. I removed my brief comment from my last post since this has been cleared up.  

6 Nov 2003 @ 14:56 by ming : Confirmed news item
OK, I think this thread is done, but, in the interest of truth, I will have to mention this validation of the news item that was part of the argument here.
Read it yourself in {link:http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1061399,00.html|The Guardian}:

"Israeli and American officials have admitted collaborating to deploy US-supplied Harpoon cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads in Israel's fleet of Dolphin-class submarines, giving the Middle East's only nuclear power the ability to strike at any of its Arab neighbours."

Sounds pretty solid, and pretty damned scary to me.  

6 Nov 2003 @ 15:02 by vibrani : I think the opposite
I trust Israel will not use this unless absolutely left with no choice to defend the planet against an actual attack. I think it can put some nations in check just having these missles in the area, and can work FOR keeping peace. Many nations have nuclear weapons, but how often do they use them? (P.S. The Guardian is a known for taking an anti-Israeli stance - however, thank you for posting a link.)  

6 Nov 2003 @ 15:08 by vibrani : Rabin (From the Jerusalm Post)
Nov. 6, 2003
Israel remembers Rabin
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared Thursday afternoon at a memorial service for Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that peace and brotherhood must come "first and foremost amongst ourselves" and that the country will not be "atoned of blood" until the chasm left by Rabin's assassination has been healed.

Sharon spoke to hundreds of government officials, foreign dignitaries, and uniformed soldiers gathered at Rabin's grave on Mount Herzl to commemorate the slain leader's death eight years ago by the Jewish calendar.

He told the crowd, which included Labor Party Chairman Shimon Peres, Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin, and Secretary of Defense Shaul Mofaz, "the lesson must be denunciation of any political violence, disobedience from any side, of bypassing the political framework and democratic process, and of taking the
law into one's own hands."

In an event marked primarily by bugle calls, readings, and flowers than the political rhetoric of other events commemorating the executor of the Oslo Accords, Sharon gave only a passing nod to political differences. He
described "my commander and companion" Rabin as "a statesman who desired peace in his own way, albeit a way not shared by all."

Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, the IDF chief of Staff under Rabin, followed Sharon and was more explicit. "Oslo didn't die. Oslo was murdered," he said. "The process was the best chance, a courageous effort to reach ... two states for
two peoples." It was a process choked by both sides, he said.

And President Moshe Katsav, who delivered the event's first speech, declared that "all of us need to do tikun [repentance] following the murder." Before the speeches, Rabin's son Yuval recited the mourner's kaddish. The ceremony concluded with representatives of the government and Israeli public lying wreathes and bouquets by the headstone and flickering flame of the
statesman's grave. Hundreds of people paused to pay their respects to the Rabin family.

The Mount Herzl ceremony lasted less than an hour, but in the center of town, "dialogue tent" organizers devoted an entire day to the legacy of Rabin's murder in an effort to prevent further inter-Israeli violence.

Gesher, a group that attempts to bridge the secular-religious divide, and graduates of the Israeli Academy for Social Leadership sponsored the sixth-annual day of dialogue, which brings together hundreds of religious and non-religious people to discuss the issues that separate them.

The tent, set up across from Jerusalem's Central Bus Station, held lectures, study sessions, and round-table conversations attended mainly by students.

Gesher founder and president Dr. Danny Tropper explained, "What we're trying to do in this day of dialogue is to confront society with an alternative content, one that says rather than wallow in the pain, the anger, the mutual
resentment which that horrible day has left with us, let's try to find a way to work together and to build a Zionist future, because this can only be done together."


9 Nov 2003 @ 01:09 by vibrani : couldn't resist posting this news item
Nov. 9, 2003
Flemming, maybe this will finally convince you that Arafat has always held the cards, and STILL DOES when it comes to security and terrorism.

Arafat wins control of PA security forces

After weeks of wrangling, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei on Saturday reached a deal giving Arafat exclusive control over all PA security forces and paving the way for the formation of a broad-based cabinet.

Qurei backtracked from his earlier demand to appoint Gen. Nasser Youssef as interior minister and agreed to place control over the security forces under the National Security Council, which is headed by Arafat. Over the past few weeks, Qurei threatened to quit more than once after Arafat balked at his decision to appoint Youssef.

Meanwhile, Arafat's retention of his hold on the PA security forces has not lessened Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's willingness to meet with Qurei, senior government sources said Saturday night.

Qurei said that, "The interior minister will most likely be Hakam Balawi, with responsibility for administrative affairs, while security issues will be conducted by the National Security Council headed by Arafat."

Balawi, a longtime associate of Arafat and former PLO ambassador to Tunis, would be entrusted with managing civilian affairs in the ministry.

Some legislators and senior Fatah leaders in Ramallah scoffed at the appointment of Balawi. "It seems he will be in charge of supplying toilet paper and food to the security personnel," quipped one legislator. "Arafat will continue to hold the security card."

The National Security Council, which is dominated by staunch Arafat loyalists, will have the final say on security issues, including whether the PA should crack down on Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and unruly Fatah militiamen in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The 12-member National Security Council was established in September to oversee the work of the PA security services. In addition to Arafat and Qurei, the council includes three ministers, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, Arafat's adviser on national security Jibril Rajoub, and the heads of some of the police and security forces.  

9 Nov 2003 @ 05:16 by Christopher @ : Where's Palestinian's Gandhi
Boy ole boy, if only Palestinian's had a Gandhi or L. King! Certainly there are those in Palestine that know these men's history? Or perhaps they do? or did?...and others saw to it that he didn't have his chance on the streets? God, where is the lack of wisdom in Palestine? Isreal is just plain lost for answers (let's give her a break)...what would we do if Canada sat by while some crazy's were sending people into NY..and blowing up our citizens every other week...can you imagine? I think you would agree we would have a 51 state...period! I honestly don't know how Israel restrains herself...think about it???

As far as survey's go...I think we all would agree to, read into, a yes to a question's opposite (the problem with survey's like this one) is "If we didn't have the issue with Israel's right to exist, would we have world peace?" and in this vain... if America wasn't willing to fight for what's right (prevention of mass graves, chemical shelling of the kerdish people, etc...) we would have world peace?........yet in a similar way the world has treated this problem - "like the denial that a family member is sick with addition, enabling them to just continue killing themselves (and perhaps others) is in the end not a good thing." Was not Iraq's goverment sick with the addition of controlling and thus willing to kill innocense people? No 'buts...if...or maybe' (remember 'enabling' means you part of the problem) - then does not this same question need applied everywhere where people are just being killed - or do we just say it's not anyone business?

Palestine...Where is your Ganhi?  

10 Nov 2003 @ 05:06 by vibrani : Good question
What they do have is this, from ICEJ news:
The Palestinian Authority is paying members of a Palestinian militant
organization responsible for killing several Israelis in terror attacks, a
BBC investigation has found.

The Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, an offshoot of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's
Fatah party, receives up to $50,000 a month. A former minister in the
government led by former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) says that
the money is an attempt to wean the gunmen off of suicide bombings. He said
the policy of paying the money is carried out with Arafat's knowledge and

Despite the payments, the al-Aqsa group has not declared a formal ceasefire
and Arafat has not asked the group to stop the suicide bombings, according
to an al-Aqsa leader interviewed by the program.

"When Arafat calls for a ceasefire, we will respect his decision and stop,"
said Zakaria Zubaydi, al-Aqsa leader.

Abdel Fattah Hamayel, the minister for sports and youth until Abu Mazen
resigned in September, implemented the policy of paying "living expenses"
to the gunmen.

"Originally, some people in these groups had been chosen to work for the
security services, so they were getting salaries and still are doing so,"
he said. "The amount sent to them is very small. At most, it's not more
than $250 per person. How can anyone buy weapons with this amount of money?"

One local Fatah leader in Jenin said that the al-Aqsa group is the military
wing of his organization and that Arafat is the overall leader of both the
political and military arms.

"Fatah has two sections: a military wing, led by the military and a
political wing, led by politicians. But there is no difference between
Fatah and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades," a Fatah leader in Jenin said.  

17 Nov 2003 @ 18:30 by vibrani : To stem fanaticism...
"To stem fanaticism, we must first fight indifference to evil...We fight indifference through education; we diminish it through compassion." --- Elie Wiesel  

20 Nov 2003 @ 22:32 by vaxen : ######
"All warfare is based on deception."--Sun Tzu  

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2002-06-26 19:50: Product Secrets
2002-01-16 21:50: The Man Who Bought the Internet

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