Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 10, 2006

Olmert Declares War

When Israel built the "security" barrier in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials claimed it would not be seen as the future border between Israel and a sovereign Palestine.

That spin in finally inoperative. Acting Prime Minister and likely winner of the coming election Ehud Olmert has finally declared Israel's intent:

[He said] that he intended to set the country's permanent borders by 2010 and that they were likely to run near the West Bank separation barrier.

Mr. Olmert also said he planned further development in Israel's largest settlement, Maale Adumim, which would eventually link up with nearby East Jerusalem.

This would rob the most valuable parts of the West Bank. East Jerusalem would be effectively shut off from the West Bank and travel between East Jerusalem and a future Palestine State, if possible at all, would be forever under Israeli control.

For "security reasons" Olmert would also keep the Jordan valley. The rest of the West Bank would thereby be squeezed between an expanded Israel in the west, the occupied Jordan valley in the east and cut in the middle by exclusive roads connecting those regions. The Israel Defense Forces would have freedom of action in the West Bank just like in Gaza.

Declaring this unilateral move a few days before winning the election, Olmert will later claim to have a mandate to put these plans into reality.

This is huge land robbery and an eternal denial of sovereignty for the Palestinians. As this can never ever be a base of a peaceful solution, the Palestinians rightly see this as some kind of declaration of war.

Olmert does not expect any serious resistance to his plans from the "West". Skimming today's papers I sadly have to agree. Despite these plans being in the face of international law, the roadmap and dozens of U.N. resolution, the issue does not even make page one in the main stream papers.

This will intensify conflicts between the "West" and the Islamic world. The immediate casualties here are the Palestinians. But be assured, we all will be made to pay for supporting the creation of a racist, religion based, aggressive apartheid state on colonized land.

How will the Palestinians answer to this? Short term, they do have little options. But medium term they will find ways to inflict serious damage to Israel. Having learned the lectures from the war on Iraq, they will increasingly attack strategic infrastructure like powerplants, water and oil installations within Israel.

Short of genocide, Israel will hardly have any options to retaliate.

That situation then could bring a push to a solution.

Posted by b on March 10, 2006 at 13:32 UTC | Permalink


Another bit of news from Israel.

Even though Israel is about the only country that has to fear something from an (quite unlikely) Iranian agression, it does not want to take action because it would have to carry the blame and the consequences.

Therefore Israel tried to emphazise that it didn´t have any options and pressed the U.S. to take up the issues. The neocons were happy to oblige.

Turns out Israel would very well have the options if needed:

Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon, [..] said at a seminar in Washington that Israel definitely has a military option to counter the Iranian nuclear threat, and that this fact must be taken into consideration.
He said that such a strike would be difficult to carry out from a military perspective as Iran's nuclear facilities are spread out, but he believed that was nonetheless feasible.

Ya'alon said that striking Iran would require more than one attack, as a single assault would not be sufficient, but that Israel could launch an attack on Iran in several different ways, not just from the air.

But that talk was a mistake and he gets whistled back.
A former commander of the Israel Air Force, Major General (Res.) Eitan Ben-Eliyahu, warned Friday that speaking publicly about Israel's capacity to orchestrate a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities could make it easier for other countries to stop pressuring Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions.
"If we emphasize too much, express ourselves too much, it frees the international community [of responsibility]," Ben-Eliyahu told Israel Radio. "Our major achievement, from a military perspective and from a political perspective, is that an international coalition has been created that understands and comprehends that Iran's nuclear development must be stopped."
Always take care that others have to pay the bill...

Posted by: b | Mar 10 2006 14:17 utc | 1

New Statesman/BBC2 Newsnight dish the proverbial on that another approach to nukes in the ME previously adopted by the UK: Britain's dirty little secret. Even Harold Wilson didn't know, apparently.

Posted by: Dismal Science | Mar 10 2006 15:24 utc | 2

Interesting post on the settlements today in the NY Times of all places. Despite the title which as per usual understands this as a tragedy for Israel, its an interesting read - undermining any claim that the status of the West Bank was ambiguous. It was not and the Israeli's knew it.

Israel's Tragedy Foretold

The Israeli government was advised early on - 1967 - that settlements of civilians in the West Bank were illegal under the Geneva Convention.

Mr. Meron (of the Israeli Foreign Ministry) took note of Israel's diplomatic argument that the West Bank was not "normal" occupied territory, because the land's status was uncertain. The prewar border with Jordan had been a mere armistice line, and Jordan had annexed the West Bank unilaterally.

But he rejected that argument for two reasons. The first was diplomatic: the international community would not accept it and would regard settlement as showing "intent to annex the West Bank to Israel." The second was legal, he wrote: "In truth, certain Israeli actions are inconsistent with the claim that the West Bank is not occupied territory." For instance, he noted, a military decree issued on the third day of the war in June said that military courts must apply the Geneva Conventions in the West Bank.

Meron was wrong about the internation community in the end. The US and Israel simply brazened it out for decades and have worn down the opposition. We are now at the point where even the EU suppresses their own studies of Israeli policy. (Sorry but I cannot find the link to Solano's decision to not release an EU study of the I/P situation because it was "unhelpful").

Posted by: tgs | Mar 10 2006 16:19 utc | 3

Former Labour MP Tony Benn on how Britain Secretly Helped Israel Build Its Nuclear Arsenal

We have an extended conversation with Tony Benn, one of Britain’s most distinguished politicians and the longest serving MP in the history of the Labour party. Benn discusses the new revelations the British government helped Israel build the atom bomb. Benn also speaks about U.S. and U.K. relations, extraordinary rendition, Guantanamo Bay, torture, religion, and the state of the media.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 10 2006 16:19 utc | 4


"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up…
The Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him...
There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavor..."

Hamas is the party of war. When the Palestinian people voted for Hamas, they voted for war. That was their right. Now war is what they are going to get.

Posted by: JR | Mar 10 2006 18:50 utc | 5

The Palestinian leadership should find an international forum in which to declare their state and recognize the state of Israel within the 1967 borders. They should have the Arab league convinced to recognize the new country. Why wait until the pieces of a country are handed to them by the US/Israel when international law and standards should support their position? Why should they have any less right to declare a state than the Balkan States or ex-Soviet states? How many states would recognize a Palestinian State if they unilaterally declared and/or assumed that right?

Posted by: ww | Mar 10 2006 19:01 utc | 6


the sad fact is that most of the Arab League is ready to defend Palestine right down to the last Palestinian. They are on their won and must find a way of achieving their goals with their own limited resources.

I can only wish them good luck.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 10 2006 19:25 utc | 7

Lulling the Lobster

Genocide is the ultimate act of hubris: I deserve to live and you deserve to die.

Three conditions are necessary to its undertaking. First, a sense of exceptionalism taken to its pathological limits. There are many reasons for this--ontological, psychological, strategic, etc.--the examination of which are beyond the scope of this post. Second, the simple physical ability of one group to carry out genocide on another group. Note again, a definition of "group" is beyond the scope of this post. Third, the ability to manage the public reaction of non-directly involved parties.

Clearly, the State of Israel meets all three of the above criteria.

Now, there are three temporal approaches to genocide. First, commit it quickly, so it becomes a fait accompli, before public opinion has a chance to mobilize. This is what happened in Rwanda, where, under American direction, an entire ruling class was annihilated in the span of one month. Second, commit it with public support, or at least, the lack of an active opposition, as a necessary part of the greater mobilization for war. This was the Nazi approach to the Jews, and other groups, in WWII.

Third, commit it slowly and stealthily, under the radar, so that the public either doesn't notice, or becomes inured to it, accepting it as inevitable and unstoppable. This is the approach that the Israelis are employing against the Palestinians. The American public has heard that the "conflict" is unresolvable their whole life. Complicit corporate media has painted the Palestinians as being "unreasonable." By this logic, anything the Israelis do to resolve the conflict, as long as it isn't so overly heinous as to arouse revulsion (which these days is pretty hard to do), is welcomed by the American public.

The lobster has been lulled, and is being boiled before our eyes. Somebody better hurry and get out the butter.

Posted by: Malooga | Mar 10 2006 19:39 utc | 8

@JR - citing old documents?

Within Israel the distinction between the areas of '67 and the territories beyond them, those of '48, has always been meaningless for Arabs and nowadays no longer has any significance for us. The problem should be seen in its entirety without any divisions as of '67. It should be clear, under any future political situation or military constellation, that the solution of the problem of the indigenous Arabs will come only when they recognize the existence of Israel in secure borders up to the Jordan river and beyond it, as our existential need in this difficult epoch, the nuclear epoch which we shall soon enter. It is no longer possible to live with three fourths of the Jewish population on the dense shoreline which is so dangerous in a nuclear epoch.

Dispersal of the population is therefore a domestic strategic aim of the highest order; otherwise, we shall cease to exist within any borders. Judea, Samaria and the Galilee are our sole guarantee for national existence, and if we do not become the majority in the mountain areas, we shall not rule in the country and we shall be like the Crusaders, who lost this country which was not theirs anyhow, and in which they were foreigners to begin with. Rebalancing the country demographically, strategically and economically is the highest and most central aim today. Taking hold of the mountain watershed from Beersheba to the Upper Galilee is the national aim generated by the major strategic consideration which is settling the mountainous part of the country that is empty of Jews today.

Posted by: b | Mar 10 2006 20:07 utc | 9

To quote Israel Shahak is to show what an ignorant, true anti-semite you are:
A review of Jewish History, Jewish Religion. The Weight of Three Thousand Years. by Israel Shahak, Foreword by Gore Vidal. Pluto Press, London and Boulder, Colorado. 1994

Israel Horizons, vol. 42, no. 3 of 4 (sic), Autumn 1994, pp. 28-9. copyright 1994 by Werner Cohn

Israel Shahak is a retired Israeli teacher of chemistry who travels the world to lecture on the evils of Zionism and the Jewish religion. His claims and opinions are so bizarre that, by themselves, they could not justify paying any attention to this book. But the work comes to us with an urgent recommendation from Noam Chomsky on its cover and with an essay by Gore Vidal as a foreword. Bearing this double cachet, the book will undoubtedly find its way to the shelves of bookstores and, at least in some limited way, to the attention of people on the Left.

Dr. Shahak says that he wants Jews to change their ways and to stop the atrocities associated with Zionism and Orthodox Jewish religion. As a first step, he wants us to face the terrible crimes that were committed by of our ancestors. One way of doing this, he says (pp. 72-3), is to develop a positive attitude toward "popular [his emphasis] anti-Jewish manifestations of the past." His prime example are the Chmielnicki massacres of 17th century Ukraine, which he wants us to celebrate as a progressive uprising:

Do decent English historians, even when noting the massacres of Englishmen by rebellious Irish peasant rising against their enslavement, condemn the latter as 'anti-English racists' ? What is the attitude of progressive French historians towards the great slave revolution in Santo Domingo, where many French women and children were butchered ? To ask the question is to answer it.

It is indeed.

Dr. Shahak is full of startling revelations, if that is the word, about Jewish history and the Jewish religion. None of those I was able to check had any foundation.

Some are just funny. He says (pp. 23-4) that "Jewish children are actually taught" to utter a ritual curse when passing a non-Jewish cemetery. He also tells us (p. 34) that "both before and after a meal, a pious Jew ritually washes his hands....On one of these two occasions he is worshiping God... but on the other he is worshiping Satan..."

I did take the trouble to question my orthodox rabbi nephew to find what might be behind such tall tales. He had no clue. If orthodox Jews were actually taught such hateful things, surely someone would have heard. Whom is Dr. Shahak kidding ?

Orthodox Jews, according to Shahak, frequently kill those whose views they do not like. "For example, in the late 1830's a 'Holy Rabbi' (Tzadik) in a small Jewish town in the Ukraine ordered the murder of a heretic by throwing him into the boiling water of the town baths..." Shahak gives neither the name of the town nor the year of this alleged killing. We are asked to take this tale on his say-so alone (p. 17).

In another story he gives enough detail to find a reference to the incident in the Encyclopaedia Judaica. It seems that a liberal rabbi and his family were poisoned in Lemberg (now Lvov) in 1848. According to the EJ, some orthodox fanatics were suspected of the crime. Where the EJ reports an unsolved case, which may indeed have been due to food poisoning, Shahak knows precisely who the murderers were: "the leaders of the Jewish community." How does he know this ? He won't say. This is the very stuff of the paranoid approach to historiography. (P. 17)

One of Shahak's charges has been taken very seriously. Some thirty years ago Shahak reported to the press that he had personally witnessed the following incident: an orthodox Jew saw an injured non-Jew on the Sabbath. To save the man's life, it was necessary to call an ambulance. The Jew had the phone handy but would not allow a violation of the sabbath, i.e. use of the phone, because the injured was a non-Jew. In Shahak's version, with which he begins this book, the Jew here followed the ruling the of orthodox rabbinate. The story was taken up by Ha-Arets in Israel, then by the Jewish Chronicle in London and other publications, all joining in a clamor against the barbaric orthodox. (Dr. Shahak does not seem to notice that this clamor, which he duly notes, is in itself a refutation of his charge that current Jewish life is dominated by orthodox inhumanity).

Dr. Shahak, whose nose is longer than Pinocchio's in any case, does not tell us the whole story of the incident. In the Summer 1966 issue of Tradition, an orthodox Jewish journal, we have the much more credible account by Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits (later the Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth). First of all, according to Rabbi Jakobovits, and contrary to Shahak's allegation, the rabbinate had ruled clearly that not only can the Sabbath be violated under such circumstances, but such violation would be a religious duty, to save a non-Jewish life no less than a Jewish life. Moreover, we also learn that Dr. Shahak, when challenged to produce his "orthodox Jew," was forced to admit that this Jew did not exist.


For the text of Lord Jakobovits's paper, please click on


Much of Shahak's book, and all of his Chapter 5, are given to the allegation that the Talmud requires or permits Jews to commit crimes, including murder, against non-Jews. Here Shahak follows an old anti-Semitic tradition that began with the 1700 work Entdecktes Judenthum (Judaism Revealed) by Johann Eisenmenger.

There are gravely offensive passages in the Talmud. (And there are, as we know from our most recent history, some Jewish fringe groups who interpret traditional Jewish writings in a hateful, xenophobic manner.) Eisenmenger did not distort the Talmud, but he interpreted it maliciously. There are many mutually contradictory passages in the Talmud, and a great deal depends on methods of interpretation. The rabbis have never allowed the immoral Talmudic interpretations which Eisenmenger and his followers attribute to Judaism. Moreover, the Talmud is not unique in containing offensive material. As many scholars have pointed out, a hostile commentator could easily produce a Christianity Revealed to provide a basis for a (similarly unjustified) anti-Christian campaign. The problem of hostile Talmud interpretation is very thoroughly discussed in the first chapter of the scholarly work by Jacob Katz, From Prejudice to Destruction. Anti-Semitism, 1700-1933. Those sufficiently interested in this area to read Shahak should also take a look at Katz.

I was recently curious to learn how Talmudic teachings concerning non-Jews are actually transmitted to our generation of Jews. The Encyclopedia Talmudica, founded by Rabbi Meyer Berlin (Bar-Ilan), has a full discussion (volume 1, pp. 274-5). This source teaches that non-Jews are to be loved in the same manner as Jews; in particular, robbing a non-Jew is the same as robbing a Jew; the non-Jewish sick are to be visited just as the Jewish sick; and so forth. All this is in very direct contradiction to the assertions by Dr. Shahak, who tells us, over and over, that all religious Jews teach hatred (and worse) of non-Jews.

With very little trouble, anyone can learn for himself that the wild accusations by Israel Shahak have no foundations whatever. And this brings us back to Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal. Chomsky's contribution to this work is confined to two sentences, which are worth citing: "Shahak is an outstanding scholar, with remarkable insight and depth of knowledge. His work is informed and penetrating, a contribution of great value."

For his part, Gore Vidal tells us that an (unnamed) "American Zionist" brought Harry Truman two million dollars in cash in 1948 and that as a result US recognition of Israel went through very fast. Nevertheless, says Vidal, he himself is not an anti-Semite. Somewhat later, he finds that Shahak is particularly "...a joy to read on the great Gentile-hating Dr. Maimonides."

The association of these men with this little booklet was meant to lend credence to Dr. Shahak. I think that, on the contrary, it brings dishonor -- further dishonor -- to Chomsky and Vidal.

N.B. The French edition of Shahak's book is published by the neo-Nazi publishing house La Vieille Taupe of Paris. This edition, like the English, carries Gore Vidal's introduction. But while it lacks the endorsement of Noam Chomsky, it features a particularly egregious "avant propos" by Edward Said of Columbia University. For details, see my webpage "What Edward Said Knows."

PS (June 2001): It appears that there is an English edition of the Shahak book that also contains the Said introduction. The edition of Shahak's book advertised by says, on its cover, that it has a foreword by Said. WC

Addendum (July 2005): For additional reading, please see "The Interpretational Errors of Israel Shahak" by Professor Andrew E. Mathis.


Posted by: joe | Mar 10 2006 20:55 utc | 10

Carter at the CFR Peace versus Democracy in Palestine

Posted by: b | Mar 10 2006 20:57 utc | 11

To quote Werner Cohn is to show what an ignorant, true troll you are

Posted by: b real | Mar 10 2006 21:17 utc | 12


I read "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", so I know the whole truth...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 10 2006 21:17 utc | 13

An idea is not responsible for it's source. Shahak's ideas are ignorant, reprehensible and anti-semitic. Cohn's views, as expressed in this article, are sane, logical, responsible and supported.

Oh, and by the way, there is something Israel can do if Hamas continues its homicidal ways. Shut off the electricity and water. Hope it doesn't come to that.


Posted by: joe | Mar 10 2006 21:24 utc | 14

The Bush "road map" to peace in the middle east is probably the sickest joke in history.

Why???Why??? is God's Land so God forsaken?

Why don't the people of Israel just keep the beach area as a home office and do like God says,,,disperse....Again?

Posted by: pb | Mar 10 2006 21:25 utc | 15

@joe -

What is your problem? I did NOT quote Shahak. I did quote this:

A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties by Oded Yinon

This essay originally appeared in Hebrew in KIVUNIM (Directions), A Journal for Judaism and Zionism; Issue No, 14--Winter, 5742, February 1982, Editor: Yoram Beck. Editorial Committee: Eli Eyal, Yoram Beck, Amnon Hadari, Yohanan Manor, Elieser Schweid. Published by the Department of Publicity/The World Zionist Organization, Jerusalem.

It was translated and edited by Israel Shahak though.

If you have hints that the translation is wrong or that Shahak's editing did change something please let us know. Otherwise you just wasted a bunch of electrons.

Posted by: b | Mar 10 2006 21:35 utc | 16

To clarify my earlier post, the new Palestinian leadership is being pressured to recognize the State of Israel. They should do so, loudly and clearly, defining the borders as 1967 borders and at the same time declaring and defining their own State.

If Malooga is correct, and I believe he is, that the lobster has been cooked as we watched, their position is not weakened further by declaring a state.

It is amazing how few people in the US understand the moving, creeping borders of Israel now and Israel 1948. Not that I expect the US media to clarify this, but if the Palestinians choose the correct forum for their announcement, and the expected reactions occur, perhaps some information will sneak into the US via the back door, much like planted DOD propaganda does, and some people will ask questions.

Yeah, I am a dreamer, but things can't get much worse.

Love the "Hamas homicidal ways", Joe. The idea is to rid the area of all homicidal ways...simplistic, I know.

Posted by: ww | Mar 10 2006 21:37 utc | 17

I just wonder how the bombing raids of Iran will succeed?

The King Maker in Iraq, Sadr, has allied himself and FUCK the UNSC as Blair and Bush did in March 2003.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Mar 10 2006 21:39 utc | 18

Oh, and by the way, there is something Israel can do if Hamas continues its homicidal ways. Shut off the electricity and water. Hope it doesn't come to that.

Interesting concept. Lets assume someone is homocidal. Your solution would then be to kill that person through hunger and thurst?

Do the zionists have to reenact the Warshaw Ghetto?

Posted by: b | Mar 10 2006 21:40 utc | 19

@ww - I like your idea. The effect would hang on the media bang that can be achieved. Delicate job.

Posted by: b | Mar 10 2006 22:21 utc | 20


Yes, that is the obvious solution.

Nevertheless, they should maintain the option of supporting a democratic, single-state solution, with equal rights for all, as a fall-back position in the case of Israel's continued intransigence.

Posted by: Malooga | Mar 10 2006 23:15 utc | 21

ralphieboy, your comment
at Mar 10, 2006 4:24:47 PM made me spit green tea all over my
Now where's my towel...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 10 2006 23:50 utc | 22

The frog ... and the stew pot.
And if you don't know that one,
there's no sense wasting words.

Posted by: PingPing | Mar 10 2006 23:55 utc | 23

And here we are, five years of carefully-crafted psy-ops later, at each other's throats, while Bushmudists & Muwahhiduns hold hands, eat dates, plan port grabs, and plot death to the Persians.
Who leased the World Trade Center in the months
before the attack, and had 24/7 security access?
And how did a civilian with a few hours practice in a cockpit simulator, fly a 250,000-pound 757
at 500 mph and tree-top level into the Pentagon?
This Cabal of Connecticut Bankers stinks on ice.
It's war all right. A war by Them on all of US.

Posted by: Vac Darron | Mar 11 2006 3:38 utc | 24

Permanent boundaries following the concrete barriers was, of course, expected. Nobody builds elaborate fortifications with the intention of giving them up.

The admission IS new.

Hard to see how the myth of peace, that Israel is not waging war and genocide, can be maintained.

Thanks for keeping us posted.

Posted by: Gaianne | Mar 11 2006 5:08 utc | 25

The Zionists Plan for the Middle east

Posted by: pb | Mar 11 2006 6:01 utc | 26


Posted by: pb | Mar 11 2006 6:06 utc | 27

ww-- I thought there were several UN resolutions already filling the conditions you suggest.

Posted by: j | Mar 11 2006 15:07 utc | 28

PS -- not to mention the fact that Palestinian leadership recognized the state of Israel long ago at Camp David and Oslo, and their borders have been well-defined by both UN resolutions and the negotiations, which were also agreed to by Israel. Israel also agreed long ago to stop building settlements, which are called illegal for real reasons. It's just that Israel finds a way to claim the Palestinians don't comply, so Israel doesn't have to - like every time Hamas or someone else sent over a suicide bomber they blamed all the Palestinian population collectively or Arafat personally. Hey presto, more occupation, more home demolitions, countless bombings, massive destruction of infrastructure, whimsical checkpoint strategies, roads for Israelis only, and massive settlement building and now a gigantic monolithic fence going right through Palestinian territory, etc etc etc

Posted by: j | Mar 11 2006 15:12 utc | 29


I agree that the resolutions are out there and that the former Palestinian leadership has recognized Israels right to exist. To my knowledge, the Palestinians have not declared their own state with defined borders (1967) or forced the issue of defining Israel within these defined borders also. They have always bowed to "international pressure", not to formalize it.

Posted by: ww | Mar 11 2006 16:28 utc | 30

Malooga says, "commit it [genocide] slowly and stealthily, under the radar, so that the public either doesn't notice, or becomes inured to it, accepting it as inevitable and unstoppable."

Yes, Israel's genocide against the Palestinians is slow and stealthy. To see just how slow and stealthy, let's look at the most recently available statistics from the Ministry of Health of the Government of Palestine:

"The crude death rate (CDR) in Palestine declined from 4.8 deaths per 1000 population in 1997 to 2.8 in 2004."

"According to the MOH data, the population natural increase rate was 2.6% in Palestine in 2004."

"Life expectancy in 2004 is 72.6 (71.1 years for males and 74.1 years for females)."

What a stealthy genocide- when Israel decides to wipe out an entire people, the population goes up!!

Palestinian death rates are down (well below those in the US), birth rates are higher than those in the US, population increase is greater than that in the US, and life expectancy, although lower than that in the US, is higher than that in Egypt and Syria, and the same as Lebanon.

How devilishly clever those Israelis are- to commit genocide against the Palestinians so stealthily that death rates go down and the population grows!

Posted by: | Mar 11 2006 22:49 utc | 31

I can't help but wonder if the anon post above
was a covert pretentious gottcha. Nevertheless, I also wonder how different the minority population statistics of America or other societies would look like compared say to other occupations past and present. e.g. Native American say in the 1800's.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 11 2006 23:18 utc | 33

Even Wolfensohn gives up over the non-policy the "West" has:

Lacking Mandate on Hamas Policy, Mideast Envoy May Quit

In another indication of international confusion over how to deal with a new Palestinian government led by the radical Islamic group Hamas, the Middle East envoy of the main Western nations involved in the dormant peace process, James. D. Wolfensohn, told his staff on Saturday that without a clear mandate on a policy toward Hamas, he would leave his job at the end of April, a staff member said.
"You can't deal with development and trade when it's unclear what funding mechanism will be acceptable to the donors," another staff member said. "Every country has its own ideas, but there's little leadership and nothing will work without an agreed decision that gives a clear political envelope within which to work."

Mr. Wolfensohn invested thousands of dollars of his own money to persuade other American philanthropists to help the Palestinians buy greenhouses from the Israelis who were abandoning them in Gaza. But he has been frustrated by the Bush administration's inability to ensure that Israel would keep its promises of improved access in and out of Gaza for people and goods, said an official close to him.

The Israelis, citing security concerns, scrapped their agreement for a regular bus convoy for Gazans to travel to the West Bank and have also shut down the main terminal for goods traffic between Israel and Gaza.

Posted by: b | Mar 12 2006 7:15 utc | 34

As we find out now, Olmerts plan to rob a huge chunk of the West Bank has "enthusiastic U.S. support".
Olmert briefed U.S. on plan for future withdrawal

Before presenting to the Israeli public his "convergence initiative" to pull out of most West Bank territory, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert briefed the Americans last week on the main thrust of the plan.
Senior Kadima candidate MK Haim Ramon said Sunday that Washington would ultimately come to support Olmert?s plan as the only means of dealing with a coming Palestinian Authority government led by Hamas.

"At first, the disengagement plan was most unacceptable to the United States," Ramon said. Only after Israeli officials "presented the matter, the United States became an enthusiastic supporter of the disengagement," he told Army Radio.

Posted by: b | Mar 12 2006 14:40 utc | 35

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