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THE MIDDLE EAST: The Future?



Americans were shocked when the US, in secret votes, was not reelected to the UN Human Rights Commission and the International Narcotics Control Board. Callers on American TV talk shows made crude remarks about the UN, while politicians spoke of a European plot (presumably referring to France). There were justified criticisms of countries such as Libya and Iraq. However, it would be wise to find out what reasonable people around the world think about the US. There is resentment that the US is always boasting about its democracy, when several countries, including Canada, have a better record. While Libya, Iraq and Iran are denounced as "rogue states", Israel, which defies UN agreements and world opinion, is treated quite differently. Europe has a much more balanced view of the Castro regime in Cuba than does the United States. US politicians and the press generally have been afraid to criticize Israel for fear of being denounced as anti-Semitic. When Pope John Paul visited Syria, Israel attacked him for implied criticism of Israel. The Pope's spokesman coldly relied that the Pope is not anti-Semitiic.

There are signs that the taboo on criticizing Israel i being lifted. Armando Romero sends me a long article by nationally-syndicated columnist Joseph Sobran entitled "Conquering Israel". It begins : "'No one in this world has the right to put Israel on trial. No one. On the contrary, Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the state of Israel on trial.' Thus spoke Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, in response to a U.S. commission investigating the causes of violence in his country. One is almost grateful for so blunt a statement of the double standard: Israel has rights others don't have. I was starting to get that impression anyway. But it s nice to have an authoritative confirmation. Most press accounts of Sharon s statement quoted only the first sentence, omitting the revealing and potentially embarrassing sentence that followed. It implies that Israel is not subject to the same legal and moral standards as other nations". Thus spoke Sobran.

Here are possible scenarios for the Middle East problem: The two sides will live together in peace (highly unlikely). The fighting will go on indefinitely, a running sore on the world community. The state of Israel will disappear as did the Christian state set up by the Crusaders. The conflict will trigger the Third World War, probably nuclear. The State Department and the Foreign Officce warned Truman when he was preparing to rccognize the state of Israel. He went ahead regardless. The Jews, then viewed as the victims of the worst crime in history, are now widely seen as backing a ruthless Sharon, with US complicity American Jews are beginning to realize this. It looks as though they lost the gift of prophecy. I make no claim to having it.

Ronald Hilton - 5/9/01


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