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Déjà vu

Roundup




Dr. Judith A. Klinghoffer is a senior research associate in the department of Political Science at Rutgers University, Camden. She is the co-author of International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights and the author of Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences.

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DECEMBER LOOKS GOOD 12-23-03

The end of the semester is always hectic, so I have not written much. I suspect my readers do not mind for they are busy too. In any case, let's pray that the unpleasant alert will not mar the good news we have been getting recenly. It looks as if with the capture of Saddam, the turn around of Kaddafi (note he has committed himself to democratic reforms!), the renewal of accomodating noises made by Musharaf not only towards the West but even towards India, and the rethink that is taking place in"old Europe" we can say that we are approaching a tipping point. We deserve it. If only the democratic party came aboard and stopped hoping for the failure of the American enterprise. It is not only morally abnoxious but also politically suicidal. Sad.

Happy Holidays.

Posted by Judith at 6:00 P.M. EST

IF BRITAIN AND FRANCE NEED NUCLEAR WEAPONS, SO DOES ISRAEL

The Jerusalem Post writes:"Here's a question that must confront every decent Briton this week: If Libya can do it, why not the UK? We are referring, of course, to Libya's recently announced decision to abandon its weapons of mass destruction, including a nuclear program. And we are paraphrasing a headline in The Guardian, which asks, 'If Libya can do it, why not Israel?' In fact, both questions are equally apt, and both merit a similar response. Israel's nuclear option is a function of the failure of the non-proliferation regime, not a source of that failure. Israel is seeking to defend itself, not threaten any other nation. It is the refusal to make a distinction between types of governments, between rogue regimes and those threatened by them, that is the main structural impediment to a successful nuclear non-proliferation regime. Israel, as the country perhaps most threatened by nuclear proliferation, is not just taking a convenient diplomatic position when it says that its preference is a nuclear-free Middle East. In Israel's case, what is needed is to make the region in which we live a less threatening place, in which case we would gladly go the way of those free nations that need no deterrent force, and can invest their limited resources in plowshares, not swords. Until then, if the UK and France need nukes in Europe, we surely need them here."

Posted by Judith at 6:00 P.M. EST

THREE MACROMEDIA FLASH PRESENTATIONS OF MIDDLE EAST HISTORY

These are interesting Flash “shows” of current terrorist acts and Israel's origins. Excellent for class room use -

“The New Anti-Semitism and the Islamic Expansionism”: Click 1 History in a Nutshell”: Click 2 “Nutshell Two”: Click 3

Posted by Judith at 6:00 P.M. EST

ATTA COULD HAVE BEEN IN PRAGUE

I wish I understood the reason the US intelligence agencies are so anxious to prove that Atta could not have met with the Iraqi consul or more widely that there was not connection between Iraq and 9/11.

Here is Edward Jay Epstein's careful summary of the issue:

It is pure invention that the U.S. government has any record or any evidence that Atta was in Virginia Beach on April 8th. 2001

The FBI only has records for April 4, 2001 that show that Atta and his roommate Marwan Al-Shehhi checked out of the Diplomat Inn in Virginia Beach and then cashed a check for $8,000 from al-Shehhi's SunTrust account. The next record of Atta is April 24th, when he is stopped by policeman in Coral Springs, Florida.

Between those 20 days, there was only one eyewitness sighting of Atta : a Czech intelligence (BIS) watcher identified him as meeting with al-Ani in Prague on April 8th.

The FBI claims that a cell phone Atta had used was used to make calls to Florida in April. But of course a cell phone is not unique to a single person and that cell phone could have been used by his roommate. So, as Tenet testified, there is no evidence precluding Atta from going to Prague under an alias on April 4 (with$8,000) and returning April 9th.

Posted by Judith at 6:00 P.M. EST

BARRY RUBIN ON LIBERAL ARABS 12-17-03

I'm now working on a book about liberal Arabs, meaning those who struggle for democracy, human rights, and moderating reforms in the Arab world. When I tell people this the usual response is that it must be a short book.

Actually, there is a lot of material. What is astonishing, though, is how few people are represented, both among these advocates and the number of those supporting them. It is startling--but typical of Middle East studies--that in an era when the U.S. government has made supporting democracy in the Middle East its main priority and key theme in the Iraq war, there has been no comprehensive survey or assessment of this faction.

Equally startling is how weak the liberal forces remain. There is no great liberal theorist or reform advocate who galvanizes people in the Arab world, no major original book which provides a manifesto for moderation, and no powerful political party or movement pushing for democratic change. Outside of Kuwait, there is arguably no organized liberal grouping at all. Though some Western observers--motivated both by wishful thinking and beliefs that a moderate triumph is inevitable--magnify each individual action, there just isn't that much to talk about.

This reality does not detract from the heroism of reform advocates. On the contrary, it makes their courage even more impressive because the odds against them are so stupendous. Yet it seems more realistic to call the liberals an endangered species rather than an ever-growing wave of the future.

Indeed, I would suggest that contrary to what many people are saying the following remarkable fact is true:

Middle East has been more effective at exporting authoritarian and extremist thought to the West than the West has been in exporting democratic thinking to the Middle East.

Look, for example, at the global wave of anti-Semitism; the wacky views of the region held by so many in Europe and America; the intellectuals who apologize for terrorism; media coverage which becomes increasingly bizarre; radical Islamist activities in Europe; and the way that Middle East studies are taught in university classrooms.

Who is having more impact on whom?

But back to liberal Arab intellectuals. I don't want to list here all the Arab world's political, economic, and social disasters of the Arab world in the last half-century. One should not have to be a genius to see how the existing systems and dominant ideologies--both radical Arab nationalism and revolutionary Islamism--have failed. Equally, the region's poor performance of the region compared to others and its falling behind in almost every index for measuring progress have been amply documented.

And what is the alternative response? A few hundred, at most, Arab intellectuals writing columns and op ed pieces with devastating critiques of these problems and a much larger degree of private muttering about how rotten the situation is for the Arabs today. Yet this compares to powerful regimes with giant armies and massive Islamist movements with many tens of thousands of followers.

Why is this so? Some of the reasons are apparent: for example, the strength of repression and relative lack of democratic experience in the Arab world (though a half-century ago there were many elected parliaments there). Nationalism and religion were often forces pressing for democracy in the West while in the Middle East they are aligned against it.

But if you want to know the secret of why this situation persists it is due to the real WMD (Weapon of Mass Deception) in the Middle East: xenophobic demagoguery. That's a fancy phrase meaning teaching people that everything is the foreigners' fault. It is the systematically exploited hatred of the West in general and of Israel and the United States in particular that is the most effective tool of the Arab regimes and their Islamist opponents.

The problem is not that the Arab-Israeli conflict should be solved (though that would be a wonderful thing) but that those in power--and that goes for the Palestinian leadership as well--will not let it be resolved. Such an outcome would be too politically dangerous for them.

As for the liberal Arab critique of all this, it is as fascinating to read as it is frustrating to write. As the liberal columnist Ridha Hilal put it in March 2001,"The calls for democracy and economic prosperity disappeared in favor of the slogan: 'No voice should rise above the voice of battle,' a slogan that returns to our life as if we are forever doomed to wallow in the mud of violence, dictatorship and poverty." (Translation by MEMRI)

Or to sum it up even more dramatically, there is a popular song written by an Egyptian entitled,"Better Saddam's Hell than America's Paradise." Nationalism and religion trumps democracy and higher living standards. And even in Iraq, where the dictator is overthrown, the old mental and structural system does not disappear so easily or quickly.

Although I do talk periodically about how regional problems, including the Israel-Palestinian conflict, can be solved, readers frequently ask what politicians should do based on the assessments I give in this column. Answering those questions has a place. But the most important point to make repeatedly is this: a lot more harm has been done in the last quarter-century by leaders thinking these issues were too easy rather than too hard to resolve.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 P.M. EST P>

STILL, THIS TOO IS PUBLISHED IN THE ARAB WORLD

Just when we begin to despair, ARAB NEWS publishes this article. Here are some snipets:

The jubilation in Baghdad put the Arab media to shame. America, for this brief moment at least if not for longer, is a liberator and not an occupier. I can’t help being smug, since what I saw gave me back some confidence in the possibility of justice in this world. I had almost lost hope. It took George Bush to give me that back. I don’t agree with him on many things, and while many Americans share my stand, I’ll give the man his due. He will go down in Arab history as the liberator of Baghdad, even if the whole mission in Iraq comes to nothing more than this.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 P.M. EST

SADDAM CAPTURED 12-14-03

Thank G-d. It is a day to rejoice. We deserved it and so do coalition forces, Iraqis of good will and our resolute President. He did not have an easy time recently but he bore it with great dignity. I think we can and will trust him with our lives another four years.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 P.M. EST

NOW WE KNOW WHY SADDAM HAD ABU NIDAL KILLED 12-13-03

On August 19, 2002, Iraq announced the death of arch-terrorist Abu Nidal. No one mourned him and his death was perceived as a concilliatory gesture by Saddam. If the new document unearthed by the Iraqi governmental coucil is to be believed, and I think it is, NOW WE KNOW. Lori Milroy and the Chechs were right. Saddam was behind 9/11 just as he was behind the first bombing of the trade center and the bombing in Oklahoma City.

Poor NYT, only today it tried to put that"bogus" connection to rest.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 P.M. EST

THE END OF"UNIPOLAR" FRANCO-GERMAN EUROPE?

Only the 68 generation could have been stupid enough to believe that Europe has not only forgiven but also forgotten. How could Villepin and Ficsher not realize that nothing could frighten Europeans (especially Eastern Europeans) more than a Franco-German-Russian entnete. They like to talk about American hubris, but only super-hubris could have made Schroder forget that it is American presence that makes Germany paltable to the rest of Europe.

This is not a total defeat. But a United Europe needs the US support. Germany and France jumped the gun and paid the price. Germany should have learned from Japan.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 P.M. EST

FIRST JAPAN DECIDES TO HELP US IN IRAQ AND THEN MOVES TO COURT SOUTHEAST ASIA

Japan may not have atoned publicly for its W.W.II transgressions, but it understands just how nervous she still makes her Asian neigbors feel. So, first she demonstrate what a good and trustworthy American ally she is and then embarks on quest to enhance her influence in Southeast Asia. The 1000 her 'cool' prime minister is sending to Iraq, are an excellent investment in Japan's future. Bravo.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 P.M. EST

NAZI GUERRILLAS

I urge you to try to catch the new History Channel documentary on Nazi Guerrillas. The brutality with which the remnants of Hitler supporters were supressed by Russians, French, British and Americans (the order is deliberate) is unimaginable today. Yet, the looting, attacks on collaborators, supply lines, occcupation soldiers and judges continued for three years. We should have studied the matter before we went into Iraq.

More interesting was the allied decision to downplay the terrorism to avoid creating martyrs. I wonder if we could ask the papers not to publicize every bombing.

Ultimately, the allies won because the Germans had enough war.

If the following article be believed, so do the Iraqis.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 P.M. EST

IRAQIS, LIKE GERMANS, ARE TIRED OF WAR

The last thing most Iraqis want is to continue to fight for Saddam. Indeed they resent those urging them to do so. The most pertinent part in this report from Bagdad is

"We did not bring the Americans and the British here," a member of the Iraqi Governing Council told me."It is not us who did so. We did not want them. Saddam brought them here. Many Arab and other countries tried to prevent the war but they all failed to stop the United States. Saddam's forces, which he used to oppress the Iraqis, failed to prevent the occupation... We find it odd that some people, for their own reasons, want the Iraqis to live in a state of constant war for Saddam -- to go to war against Iran, then against Kuwait, then against the United States. Everyone who has accounts to settle with the United States wants the Iraqis to settle these accounts. Where were all these people when Saddam and his henchmen were burying the Iraqis alive? Who is to avenge the Iraqi people, who is to avenge the crimes the ousted regime committed against millions of innocent people? We do not want Iraqi society to be militarised again. We will not allow the henchmen of Saddam, who are regrouping, to tyrannise Iraqis once more."

"Those who carry out the sabotage operations are not Iraqis. They are foreigners who come from outside Iraq," a taxi driver told me. It is a common assumption among Baghdad residents that the attacks are mounted by Iranians and by Arabs from beyond Iraq."They come from across the borders to sabotage Iraq. It is not in the culture of Iraqis to blow themselves up. It is not in our culture to kill our compatriots. The man who did such things was Saddam Hussein, and the people who do this now are his accomplices and supporters."

15,000 marched agaist the sabateurs. More need to do so and often.

Posted by Judith at 11:00 P.M. EST

BAKER GETS HELP - CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS 12-12-03

It took a while but the Bush administration seems to be learning China's method of securing allies - using foreign business partners as lobbyists. Anytime the American administration hints at taking any steps to play hard ball with China, American businessmen descend on Washington pleading China's case.

The Bush administration sent Powell begging to Europe and got nada. This time, it gave Baker some serious ammunition. Don't be fooled by the good cup bad cop game, the argument reported bellow in Canada - is taking place all over Europe. French and German businessmen are on the phone telling their governments,"I told you so." Unfortunately, in the Middle East, countries like Egypt still get a pass (despite leading the anti-American band wagon in the Arab world) but, then, can their contractors be serious candidates for primary contracts?

'I told you so,' Klein tells Ottawa Lack of support for Iraq war costing Canada now, premier saysThat was the title of Edmonton Journal story -

Prime Minister Jean Chretien, whom Martin replaces this Friday, downplayed the impact on businesses, saying not many Canadians want to go to Iraq today because it is too dangerous. Firms from all countries are able to become subcontractors. Klein said he warned of the economic risks, earlier this year, if Canada did not support the Americans. The position of the U.S., he said, should figure into Ottawa's decisions about international affairs."I can say it right now, I told you so, that was one of the risks," Klein said."From a political perspective, I can understand the U.S. being miffed ... . I'm speaking for Canadian companies -- I would say to the U.S., 'I can understand your hard feelings.'" Washington appeared Wednesday to soften its position as President George W. Bush phoned the leaders of France, Germany and Russia and promised to"keep lines of communication open" to discuss which countries would be allowed to bid, a White House official said.

Posted by Judith at

MAKE SUICIDE BOMBING A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY

Join The Simon Wiesenthal Center's Worldwide Campaign To Make Suicide Bombings WHAT IT REALLY IS -- A Crime Against Humanity.

Read More and Sign the Petition

Posted by Judith at 1:00 P.M. EST

IRAQIS VOTE WITH THEIR FEET 12-09-03

Unable to speak out freely, they vote with their feet. The number of Afghanis and Iraqis seeking political asylum in Europe has dropped 20%. The present may leave much to be desired. But now they have HOPE. If we trust them enough to empower them with the vote, and do not listen to their callous elite, they will change the Middle East.

Today's NYT descirbes that the obligatory carping aside, businessmen are delighted with the new business environment,"no import taxes or bribes, and no fear of government officials suspicious of his foreign dealings." The Christian Science Monitor describes the flood of Iraqi professors returning home. The decade long Iraqi brain drain is over.

Nothing will stop the criticism which is the by product of free speech than a new target in the form of an ELECTED government.

Posted by Judith at 1:00 P.M. EST

IRANIAN VOTERS FORCE MODERATION ON THEIR MULLAHS

Even the minimal power they possess in Iran apparently sufficed for Iran to chose the path of reluctant accommodation instead of the path of confrontation. Note the following:

Meanwhile, Iran is pursuing an effective presence in a number of multilateral venues on popular issues such as the environment and the dialogue of civilisations.

"In short, Iran is trying to appear as a new country that combines its Islamic style with modern state practices and values," said one observer."So far it has succeeded and time will tell whether or not it will take further steps in this direction."

According to Vice President Abtahi, Iran will have no alternative but to keep walking this path, not only because confrontation would be unwise but because"this is the way the Iranian people want to walk and there is no going back".

Posted by Judith at 1:00 P.M. EST

IBRAHIM ASKS FOR MORE PRESSURE ON EGYPT

In the meantime, lets listen to the advice of liberals like the prominent Egyptian sociologist Saadeddin Ibrahim who has been calling on the US to make its aid to Arab countries, particularly Egypt, conditional on the national adoption of democratization measures. At the minimum, the US which sends 2 billion dollars a year to Egypt should deduct from that sum the money government appointed editors spend on the printing of anti-American and anti-Semitic diatribes.

Posted by Judith at 1:00 P.M. EST

TELL IRAQIS THEY DO NOT WISH TO BE AL QAEDA'S BATTLEFRONT

Finally, we must not forget that the best students of these ideologues are alienated Muslim students living in Europe. They are the ones making their way to Iraq, ready and willing to blow up themselves, coalition members and Iraqi"strangers." After all, their families or friends are unlikely to be amongst the victims. The American commander may be right, their may be only 300 of them, but they are the ones most difficult to deter. So, please, do not ignore them. Advertising the relationship between the"foreignness" of the terrorists will unite the Iraqis against them and make their capture easier. This may disappoint their intelligentsia, but I am sure that the last thing the Iraqi people want, is to become the central battle ground in the war of civilizations.

Its time to speak truth to the Iraqi people.

Posted by Judith at 1:00 P.M. EST

"CALLOUS IDEOLOGUES"

For decades Arab intellectuals pilloried American foreign policy for putting its need for oil ahead of its democratic ideals in the Middle East. But when America takes up their challenge, their response is best summarized by this cartoon. It it Asharq Al-Awsat depicts a bald Middle East as having no use for the" comb of democracy" being offered by the United States.

America is learning what post Oslo Israelis have learned. Arab intellectuals are too attached to their anti-American and anti Semitic hatreds to take"yes" for an answer. They care nothing for their people whom they readily make into the hostages of terrorists and tyrants for the sake of holding on to their"Dream Palace."

Posted by Judith at 2:00 P.M. EST

INDIA AND TURKEY PROVE THAT DEMOCRACY WORKS 12-05-03

"Hindu Nationalist Party Makes Unexpected Gains in India Vote" is a headline in today's NYT. What was the reason for the"unexpected" victory? The answer according to the editor of The Indian Express is that this was India's first"quality of life election." For apparently, to get reelected the Indian Nationalist Party"seriously avoided Hindutva (Hinduness) as an issue". In a democracy, the leaders depend on the people and the people are pragmatic and push to the center. Moreover, it should be noted that this pragmatism was reflected in the Party's foreign relations. For just as it was Nixon who went to China, it was Nationalist Vajpayee who not only went to China but also sought to improve his relations with Pakistan while attempting to solve the terrorist issue in Kashmir by building a fence (sounds familiar?) along the line of control.

The behavior of Erdogan's Islamic party parallels that of Vajpayee. Erdogan, too, wants to be reelected. So, his rejection of terrorism is fierce and his push to become an EU member unrelenting. Indeed, the recent terrorist attacks may be the help he needed to achieve his goal. At least that seems to be the message of Josca Ficsher's solidarity visit.

"Illiberal democracy" is not the problem. The bureaucracy's distrust of the people is. The US should trust the Iraqi people but stay in Iraq to insure that it will not replicate the Palestinian (and Nazi Germany's) experience of one election, one time. The Iraqi wish for peace and prosperity will do the rest. Sorry, if I begin to sound like a broken record but leaders must be made dependent on the people because they are less ideologically motivated than their elites.

Posted by Judith at 1:00 P.M. EST

KYOTO AND EU STABILIZATION PACT 12-04-03

Is it possible that the ease with which Germany and France ignored the EU stabilization pact convinced Putin that he has nothing to lose by making the environmentalists happy? After all, not living up to signed commitments is an acceptable behavior in Europe. It is a small wonder that the Europeans do not get excited when Saddam, the Ayatollas or the North Koreans fail to abide by their international commitment. These leader merely follow the European example.

If Europeans remain hostile to American efforts to democratize the Middle East, it is because they are doing their best to bureaucratize Europe. As I heard Anatol Lieven argue at a Carnegie instititue discussion. Modernization does not mean democracy, human rights or private property. It means bureaucracy and infra-structure. That is the reason that as Delcan Galney argues in a recent FPRI.org paper, EUROPE'S CONSTITUTIONAL TREATY is A THREAT TO DEMOCRACY. Why? Because

The draft constitution represents the political bureaucracy's attempt to consolidate its hold over the decision-making process in the EU, which affects Europeans' daily lives in fundamental ways. Should it come to pass, the constitution would call for a presidential head of Europe, in the role of the president of the European Council, who will have global recognition as president of the Union, in whose election the people will have no say. Their vote and opinion are neither required nor desired.

Posted by Judith at 9:30 P.M. EST

THE LIES OF GENEVA by Shlomo Avineri

Shlomo Avineri is a loyal laborite political scientist who spent years working as senor diplomatic advisor to labor governments. He supported Oslo. He obviously does not support Geneva. Here is the reason why His most convincing argument is

A careful reading of the document shows that in the matter of the refugee problem and certain other matters Israel will in effect be placed under the supervision of an"implementation" group and a commission comprising not only the U.N., the U.S., Russia and the European Union, but also the Arab states. In effect, Israel will cease to be a sovereign country regarding substantive matters and will turn into a kind of international mandated territory. It is clear why this is not being told to the public.

Not only the Arab refugees will be entitled to compensation, but also some Arab countries - for the expenses they incurred in"hosting" the refugees since 1948. The Israelis public has not been told this. It also has not been told that the agreement speaks of developing"appropriate ways of memorializing the [Arab] villages and communities that existed before 1949."

Who would by a used car from these people? Not I.

Posted by Judith at 9:30 P.M. EST

POOR UN AND POOR FRENCH- THE ISLAMISTS REFUSE TO SEE IT AS IMPARTIAL

"The UN is just as oppressive to Muslims as the US and UK" insist the Islamists. Here is the nub of their argument:

It is also flawed, as some of the left have argued, that we need a greater role for the UN in Iraq. In addition to the US and the UK, the other veto carrying members of the Security Council all have chequered histories when it comes to dealing with the Islamic world. At the same time that the US and the UK lose hearts, minds and other body parts through the use of F16s, laser guided missiles and oppressive checkpoints, the Russian President carries on his unprecedented butchery in Chechnya. The French who opposed the war, not only oppress Muslim women for wearing the headscarf, but their colonialism and the use of repression in North Africa still lives fresh in recent memory. All the permanent members of the Security Council share the same philosophy to foreign policy that the US and the UK have - the achievement of their national interests and those of their respective corporations. The UN is no honest broker; its credibility is in tatters following the Iraq war, and its sanctions in the 1990s killed more than half a million Iraqis, most of them young children. There are certainly no white knights on the UN Security Council!

Posted by Judith at 9:30 P.M. EST

SYRIA IS FERMENTING TROUBLE IN IRAQ

The US refuses to admit that its Iraqi troubles originate in Syria for fear that the American people demand action. But the editor of Kuwaiti Daily argues that Syria's Secret Service is Behind the 'Iraqi Resistance.'

Why is Assad willing to risk all? Because argues on reporter

The [current] Syrian regime has no place in a changing [reality]... Anyone who desires power... and regional status at the international level must [first] possess power at the domestic level. Is the Syrian regime strong in its own country? Tyranny and repression by police and the secret service are not considered signs of power. If Syria imagines that brutality and ruling by apparatuses and domestic terror qualify it to take on a regional role, [it is mistaken]. In this era of liberty... these are no longer recognized as qualifications for [legitimate rule]. Is the Syrian regime economically strong? Has it built a common denominator - even with a single Syrian citizen - such as creating employment opportunities or safeguarding human dignity...?

Posted by Judith at 9:30 P.M. EST

MOHAMMAD ATTA’S DECISIVE MEETING

Their is a wierd parallel between the intelligence community denial of a connection between an Iraqi connection to Oklahoma City and the first and second WTC bombings. The person the Checks insist Atta met is in America hands. Is it possible he was a double agent and hence the CIA insistant denial? After all, the fear that admitting a connection may force the President to overthrow Saddam no longer exists.

Posted by Judith at 9:30 P.M. EST

LESSONS FROM SAMARRA 12-03-03

The good news from Samara is that the US army stopped being exclusively reactive. It has never cleared Samara and in the past, it has not only tried to complete its mission but has also be known to retreat. This time it made the enemy pay a price.

That's good but that is ALL. Samara is still an unliberated enemy ground. Why? because reporter found all over town graffit


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Jonathan Dresner - 12/22/2003

I noticed the comment that the only organized moderate Arabs were in Kuwait (http://hnn.us/articles/1366.html#12170301), and I wonder if Israeli Arabs qualify as "liberal" in the democratic, modernizing, rights-oriented sense? Perhaps they're not inclined to be emissaries of modernism to the rest of the Arab world, but it seems kind of short-sighted not to consider them.


Radical Equivocator - 11/26/2003

In your reference to the Palestinians, you make the statement:

"She must believe that all people in this democracy ought to have equal citizenship rights."

What you're missing is that Yasir Arafat doesn't agree. His tactic of holding them in perpetual statelessness and inciting terror attacks with the hope of Israeli *re*-occupation serves his political philosophy: To avoid any final settlement that doesn't threaten Israel's existence.

"Citizenship," no citizenship, rights in the Western sense are simply beside the point in his mind and in the acquiescence of his apologists. Surely you're not one of them?


jon lacey - 11/9/2003

judith
first finding these web site is a blessing, and give my best to walter williams, now as a construction worker in 1969,in kisamaayo somalia, living along with 14 other americans workers and being held hostage, it amazas me to see liberals in responsiable positions and after seeing the brutality of the war lords, in all these middle east countries, yet liberalism continues to blame the president, but the worst thing is thinking we as conservatives are such idiots to believe the unbelievable, watching levin on fox today was a good example.
why do liberals think we are dumb, by the way both meet the press, and abc program did not have any thing of any consequences to say on there programs, like the memo to dems
thanks for your time
jon lacey ex seabee


Steve Vinson - 10/22/2003

There's one thing I just don't get. Well lots of things but let's concentrate on just this one. If Judith Klinghoffer doesn't think that the West Bank and Gaza are occupied (which I gather she does not, since she habitually puts the words "occupation" in quotation marks), then she must regard it as all part of Israel. And naturally, she considers Israel a democracy. Therefore, it must trouble her that millions of her fellow Israelis are denied citizenship rights because of their ethnicity. She must believe that all people in this democracy ought to have equal citizenship rights. Right? Or am I missing something?


Jonathan Eric Lewis - 9/12/2003

This is a great weblog. As a former graduate student in history who ditched academia because of all the idiotic, far-left, anti-American garbage, I am very proud to see this website.


Daniel E. Teodoru - 8/24/2003

I can only weep at Ms. Klinghoffer's "Jewish geograhy"-- a term used by young Brooklyn NY Jews in the 50s (yes, Jews once upon a time did live in Brooklyn!!) to indicate a parochial inside-the- ghetto mentality where everyone knew everyone else and was so absorbed in the localitis intricacies as to be blind to the outside world-- as she makes herself look like a Likud Ghetto Homecoming Queen who knows not how to talk to outsiders. Instead of arguing her case, she simply assumes that if it come from a Likudnik it must be prophesy and if challenged by any goy it is anti-semitism. As one questioning her one can only feel like Gallileo before the Pope-- I hope my deodorant holds up to the fearful stress.

Fact is that waving social science PhDs at people to validate hasbara only proves how meaningless are social science PhDs because they decive those who have them into thinking that, in the minds of us plebians, "PhD" means: knows everything. But those of us who know well the freak show university from where her degree was aquired can only demand that something more akin to her book-- so well argued and such good analysis-- be the standard for what she writes here. I have seen Klinghoffer hold her own with the PhDs at conferences and admired the way she kept proving that a PhD in history is no substitute for brains. Pretty soon, the professorial echo could be heard from the reverberating sound of their voices inside their empty heads as they insisted "this is it!" Peppy Ms. Klinghoffer would then shine a ligth into one of their ears to prove how it exited via the other without distortion. I could only cheer on her Socratic devastation of academic sophistry. Then came Sharon and somehow she decided that it would be bad form to show any higher IQ than the killers, crooks and liars in his Cabinet. So she gives us a jamais vu that she misnames deja vu.

Come on, Judy, we may not all agree with you, but that does not mean that we are stalking the ovens. We want peace for a smaller but integrated Israel, not another Holocaust-- as do most Arabs and Israelis. Can we expect you to get back to your usual level of intellect after Sharon goes to jail for embezelment and personal corruption?


Daniel E. Teodoru - 8/23/2003

Israel was made of some Europeans who didn't like how their fellow Europeans treated them (rightly so) and so they decided to invoke a tale of 3000 years ago to provide in depth historical continuity to their idea that they could begin anew, making their religion a secular nationality and together create a Jewish nation. The problem is that for a very long time people had been living on that land, so they had to be removed, for it is a law of Newtonian physics that no two bodies can occupy the same space. AS a rabbinical investigation commission sent from Vienna to examine Palestine concluded: "The bride is beautiful but she is already married to someone else." This the father of Zionism, Herzl, himself, had to recognize. Despite his view that the non-Jews of Europe laugh at Zionism, Herzl, Weitzmann and the Ziomist leaders that followed, sought to align with the European imperialists in the hope that by being useful to the colonial powers, according to historian Tom Segev, they might be granted land at the expense of the indigenous locals. Hence, to this day, despite the global shame over European imperialism, only Israel justifies its existance on the basis of a promise made by the imperialists, the Balfour Declaration. It is this Jewish identity with European imperialism that has made the "Jew" a hated individual in the Arab world. It would seem that had the Zionists joined the Arabs as fellow Semites seeking independence from the Europeans, they might well now be leaders of the Middle East instead of a regional parriah. Unfortunately, a narrow self interest made that impossible, for the Zionists were always a small minority of the Jewish population, most of which wanted assimilation in the West instead of a desert nation on the Middle East. Concequently, the Zionists had to deceive Europeans into believing that they spoke for the Jews of the continent and deceive the Jews that the Europeans accepted them as the leaders of the Jews and had accepted their "Jewish solution" for all Jews. This endless march from one subtrifuge to another left the Zionists in an endless sea of myths, deceptions and lies. Despite the world's sympathy after the Holocaust and universal horror over how much Jews suffered, the Zionist leaders continued to resort to deception and subtrefuge because what was offered them was always far less than they deemed absolutely necessary. At the same time, Israel, a parriah in its own region, never achieved economic self-sufficency. It remained, therefore, totally dependent on massive European and American support, whether to exist in its own territory or to expand even further. And always, the problem was what to do with the people who were there before these European Zionists came to take the land?

It is said that when you put six Jew in a room you get seven opinions. This is meant as a compliment, indicating that Jews are in the habit of tireless intellectual analysis. But one has trouble running a nation on such a characteristic. Concequently, unity of mind has to be faked. This is particularly difficult given the tremendous debate amongst Jews, Zionists and Israelis. Always pleaguing the varigated Jewish mind is the question of what to do with the people living there whenever Israel expands. There are indeed all sorts of "Jewish" views on this issue, the Zionists' being only a few of many. And among the Israelis there are also many views. Still, the more militant the view, the more the semblance of unity of mind is deemed necessary. For example, Jabotinsky represented a very small minority amongst the Zionists. His "iron wall" thesis argued that the Palestinians are as nationalist as the Zionists. Therefore, it might be necessary to elimiante brutally half the Palestinians in order to freighten the other half to accept whatever the Zionists offer them. While Jabotinskyism has been rejected by most Israelis, the popular Israeli reaction to Palestinian suicide bombing has brought to power in Israel a Jabotinskyite, Ariel Sharon; one that even went to South Africa to study apartheid techniques as a solution to dealing with the Palestinians. He sees no other solution, because the Israel he deems essential is one three times its present size, needed to settle the world's Jewsih population (most of which he wants to move to Israel by 2020). However, it seems that more Israelis are moving out of Israel than Diaspora Jews moving in, making for a reverse aliyah. And, absent the Palestinian terror by means of suicide boming, most Israelis, it seems, would prefer a small Israel next to a Palestinian state if that means peaceful integration of both into the Middle East. In truth, no matter what they say, most Israelis see themselves as a part of the Middle East more than of Europe. But Sharon has chosen to use the same methods to corale Israelis and Zionists into his right-wing Jabotinskyism that Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League (an organization supposedly dedicated to fight all prejudicial isolation in American society) to fight against Jewish "assimilation" in the Diaspora. Both tell Jews that we non-Jews hate them. To stop Jews from becoming a part of American society and Israelis from seeking integration in the Mideast, both also invoke the Holocaust, warning that only through self-isolation in a Greater Israel can they survive. Only by coming up with evidence for this threat to survival atmosphere can they scare Jews and Israelis from looking for a way to integration and acceptance. Yet, given America's incredible generocity towards Israel, it is hard to get Jews and Israelis to choose Sharon's Jabotinsyist solution over the Bush roadmap, particularly since most Jews and most Israelis support the Bush roadmap. So, in practical terms, this is their approach: Firstly, they claim that THEY are the Zionism, that THEY are the only ones who have the right way for the future of Israel and the Jews. Any Jew who criticisez them as frauds and violent violators of Jewish tradition, they defamme as "self-hating Jews"; any non-Jew who criticizes them, they call an anti-semite. All in all, desperate not to be exposed as merely beneficiators of a sad and terrible temporary circumstance, global terrorism, they ink the waters of debate with insults and lies. But insults and lies so transparent and stupid as to shout at you that they must think us all: "dumb goyim"!

A typical example of such deceptions that one sent to me recently, is a supposed quote from Martin Luther King: "You declare, my friend, that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist.' And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God's green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews- this is God's own truth." Well, is the converse true? Pat Robertson seems to be very anti-Jewish, as many Fundamentalist Christians seem to be, and yet, they are die-hard Zionists. What does that say?

Why quote King, anyway? If you insist that I am an anti-Jew if I am an anti-Zionist-- something which even old "anti-assimilationist" Abe Foxman refuses to accept-- why not put it to the test of debate? Why quote a man so many Jews used to call "anti-semite" because he didn't enthusiastically get entanged in the Soviet Jewry Inc. Project?

To put such "evidence" before me, says less about me and more about the sender...for that sender, I must be a "dumb goy," otherwise such transparent sophistry would not be foisted on me in the hope that it would persuade.

It is said that Americans have no sense of history. It is said that for them the horrors of the past are only jounalistic reports because their nation was blessed by abundant fortune, and not troubled by self-deception leading to devastation as was perenially the case for Europe. While this may be only partially correct since the Civil War, Americans nevertheless have aquired a desire to learn from history since the end of WWII. They are therefore not stupid and naive. Therefore, dismissing their critical judgement on the basis that they are "dumb goyim" is a dangerous thing to do by those who claim to speak for a nation so dependent on the US. Many Americans go through college and all are exposed to American and World history and therefore look for analogous lessons from history. For some of us for whom Facism and Communism are recent experiences, the power of propaganda as an easy know-nothing way to polarize people is a strong memory. We remember that for those totalitarians we were those "dumb Americans" that know nothing and can be easily manipulated. When the Jabotinskyites ply us with similar slir propaganda that is so odious as to shout out, "dumb goyim!"-- even though the words were never uttered-- we cannot help but recall the most recent historical lessons about propaganda we learned from combating Fascism and Communism. We will turn off to those who so desparage us. And it would be a terrible shame if brave Israel were the victim of the turning off of our American generocity in an angry reaction to these attempts at manipulating us.

I have many misgivings about what Europe and the Zionists did in the Middle East. But I am as much a Zionist as I am a Palestinianist. BOTH must grow viable and secure together, for the peoples of BOTH lands know no other home. The Zionists of yesterday who invaded the land of Palestine are now burried under it along with the Palestinians of their time. Both today's Israelis and Palestinians are people born on that soil. Both must work together for the next generation that will also be born on that soil. To say this, does not make me an "anti-semite" nor an "anti-Zionist" nor an anti-Arab. It makes me a PRO-SEMITE who wants to help turn history around byprofiting from all its lessons. I am, therefore, NOT a "dumb goy" who can be deceived by propaganda because I am a caring goy who wants to see peace and prosperity and studies the history of the region with passion towards that end.

Daniel E. Teodoru




Hayabusa - 8/20/2003

Pipes is an Arab and Islam hater, and an apologist and enthusiastic supporter of Israeli state terrorism and crimes against humanity. He is also the originator of on-campus Nazism in the service of Israeli interests. Not one cent should go to this bigot or any organization that he is a member of.


Alex Bensky - 7/30/2003

Oh, yes, the attacks and foiled attacks are solely the work of renegades who reject the peaceful policies of the PA, and over which the PA can exercise no control.

Dream sequence:

(Scene: airliner cabin)
Wild-eyed, gun-toting Israeli: This is the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of the Land of Goshen! Take us to Tel Aviv!

(Scene: press conference in Jerusalem)
Ariel Sharon: My government is totally against such acts of terrorism and piracy. But as for these uncontrollable renegades (shrugs), when people feel frustrated and helpless, what else can they do except hijack airplanes and murder civilians? If the Palestinians weren't so intransigent...

(Cut to: any Western newspaper editorial):
Although of course this newspaper condemns the acts of terrorism by Israeli renegades, these acts only show why the Palestinians must make more concessions to satisfy the Israeli street.

(Cut to: the UN Security Council)
Council chairman: By unanimous vote, the Security Council calls on the Palestinians to cease responding to Israeli acts of terrorism, which only feed the tragic cycle of violence.

That's this week's dream sequence. Come back in a week for the next fantasy, on roughly the same order of likelihood, wherein Lucy Lawless shows up on my doorstep and asks if she can come in and get out of these wet clothes.


R. Piper - 6/21/2003


Klinghoffer's peddling of pro-Israeli propaganda without any consideration of either the other side or historical facts is laughable.


Jeremy Freedman - 5/9/2003

Hey Bassoon,
An Islamicist is someone who wants to kill or force you to adopt his religion of piece. Are you mentally retarded or living in the middle of the Gobi Desert?, because your ignorance is overwhelming.


bausson - 4/15/2003

Good afternoon Mme Klinghoffer,

If I quote you (from "dangerous generalization"), islamist are "those who seek tu use the faith to accomplish extreme political goals", I am surprised. Is this a dictionary definition ?
As far as I know, an islamist is a muslim who want to share the knowledge of his religion to foreigners, as would do a catholic for instance.
I did only met pacific islamist during my life shared between France, Portugal and Maroc.
So, unless you would be kind enough to give us the sources for your definition of islamist, I shall keep the idea that associating islam and fury is a dangerous generalization.

Sincerely yours,
Sebastien Bausson


ephraim schulman - 4/15/2003

April 15, 2003
I have made it a point to stay out of the affairs of Israel because it is such an embarrassment especially to American Jews ( this is an understatement ). Ms Kinghofer continuously refers to the "butcher of Bagdahd" but she totally ignores the butcher in Israel. Although Israel proclaims loudly to anyone gullible enough to listen that it is a democracy the fact is, that it is not a democracy. Throughout the history of the Jewish people they have been discriminated against in what ever society they found themselves. And now ,having achieved a government it discriminates against the Palestinians. Such hypocrisy.
Ephraim Schulman


Judith Klinghoffer - 4/10/2003

When you use "Islamist fury", are you refering extremist actions ? Absolutely. I distinguish between Moslems (vast majority of the people belonging to the faith) and Islamist (those who seek tu use the faith to accomplish extreme political goals)

If it is the case, do you imply that France and Germany are looking forward to sacrifice the US in order to defend themselves ? Not looking forward, just looking out for themsleves in not a particularly attractive or effective manner.

By the way, the sentence as it is seems to associate islam and fury, which is a dangerous generalization.
Perhaps so, but the evidence for it surrounds us.


bausson - 4/9/2003

Good afternoon

Just one question from one of your sentences:
"Paris and Berlin may hope to deflect Islamist fury towards the US" (from RUSSIAN NAVY DEMONSTRATES PRESENCE 04-05-03).

When you use "Islamist fury", are you refering extremist actions ? If it is the case, do you imply that France and Germany are looking forward to sacrifice the US in order to defend themselves ?
By the way, the sentence as it is seems to associate islam and fury, which is a dangerous generalization.

Thank you for your atention,
sebastien bausson


Judith Klinghoffer - 4/7/2003

Much appreciated. I will do my best not to disappoint.


Ken Heineman - 4/6/2003

Glad to see you on board. HNN needs your informed, reasoned voice. You'll get the hang of hotlinks soon enough. Keep on blogging!


BG - 4/5/2003

1
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the first line of my last post didn't show up.


BG - 4/5/2003

"No, it purports to replace a dictatorial regime with a democratic one."

Like the one in Afghanistan?

http://mwowatchwatchwatchwatch.blogspot.com/