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The future of the Middle East (& Israel)

Tom Grey says: "Here is a great quote: Mr. Thomas Friedman asks: What was Israel to be? ''A nation of Jews living in all the land of Israel, but not democratic? A democratic nation living in all the land of Israel, but not Jewish? Or a Jewish and democratic nation, but not in all the land of Israel?'' He correctly concludes that instead of choosing among the three options, Israel's two major political parties, Labor and the conservative Likud, have struggled mightily to avoid making a choice. ( - from a NYT review of the 1989 book, Devoured by the Past, by Thomas Friedman. I think, today, Sharon wants a fourth choice: Jewish, democratic nation in (almost) all the land of Israel -- after ethnic cleansing. I challenge any and all "Israel supporters" to answer Mr. Friedman's question about Israel's future. Mr. Friedman still writes fine NYT editorials.

The US position should be: Jewish, democratic, land before 1968 war. Israeli security will never be based on "defensive borders", but on its own nuclear shield and high tech forces. It needs peace with a functioning Palestinian government. This has been a huge problem. There is not, and has not been, a real "nation" to create a Palestinian nation state-- as many Jewish writers have noted, there has been no such nation in the past. I think the suicide bombers are "necessary" Palestinian martyrs, for them to create a Palestinian Nation. Israel/ US should be helping in this creation by supporting more local governance efforts, like town councils, homeowner's associations, local mayors with real budget allocation decision making powers".

My comment: This morning, Ambassador Yahya Mahmassani. the League of Arab States representative to the UN, spoke on C-Span. He made an excellent impression. I felt sorry for him. He represents 22 countries and must keep their governments happy. He complained that the US does not mention that Israel has nuclear and biological weapons and disregards US resolutions. Most of the people who called in had a limited knowledge of the problems. One, obviously Jewish, insulted him in the grossest terms and said the Arabs should be blown out of existence. He simply blanched. He must be used to it.

Ronald Hilton - 9/8/02