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RE: [existlist] Re: A Real Life Application?

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  • Eduard Alf
    james, There was an interesting article in the New York Times web site. The reporter interviewed some kids on the Palestinian side. All of them had one
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 6, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      james,

      There was an interesting article in the New York Times web site. The
      reporter interviewed some kids on the Palestinian side. All of them had one
      objective in mind ... to strap on a bomb or whatever and kill Israelis.
      They did not see it wrong to kill women or even other Arabs in the same
      blast. They only stopped short on the possibility of killing perhaps some
      other school kids.

      The bottom line is that this is the sort of world that is being constructed.
      The present leadership is not presenting the viability of other options.
      There is a certain mentality that is being fostered. You can see it in the
      parades on TV. A society that is focused upon killing. For the moment it
      serves the agenda of those who have no interest in peace, but indicates real
      problems on the long term for that region.

      We are arguing here about small things ... as if to discuss whether we
      should polish the brass handrails whilst the Titanic is sinking.

      eduard



      -----Original Message-----
      From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
      Sent: Sunday, April 07, 2002 12:00 AM
      Subject: [existlist] Re: A Real Life Application?


      From: "swmaerske" <SWMirsky@...>
      Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
      To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: A Real Life Application?
      Date: Sun, 07 Apr 2002 02:56:30 -0000

      Sorry, have been away and so missed some of the discussion here but
      perhaps it's not too late to chime in a bit. No question in my mind
      that Mandela and Arafat are not equivalent individuals. Mandela
      demonstrated that he was a man of very high moral fiber and character
      whereas every action of Arafat seems to demonstrate the reverse. The
      evidence seems pretty clear that he has been dissembling about his
      aims with regard to Israel and his support for terrorism for years.
      It is also fairly clear, at least to me, that he was directly
      culpable in the unleashing of the latest spate of violence in the
      Mideast as I've already noted. That the Palestinians, either directly
      supported by him (as recently retrieved documents seem to show) or as
      merely incited by him, have given the Israelis sufficient and extreme
      provocation to react as they have done is also clear, as I see it. It
      is a messy thing the Israelis are doing (and something we all wish
      they had not done) but one must recognize that they resisted doing it
      right up until the past couple of months although the terroism
      unleashed by the Palestinians started some 18 months ago.

      That said, I also think it is perfectly clear that the Israelis
      cannot continue to occupy or contend with the Palestinians for the
      West Bank territory indefinitely. Whatever else has occured, it is
      certainly the case that the Israelis must give way to a Palestinian
      state in the territories they have occupied and this is long overdue.
      It has demeaned the Israelis' own moral position and culture and
      turned them into occupiers.

      What is unclear is whether the Palestinians will accept a final
      settlement based on this arrangement or will only consider this a
      jumping off point to the next stage of their effort to drive the
      Israelis permanently from the region. That, of course, is what the
      Israelis fear, but I think if that were to happen, while it would
      surely be problematic from a military perspective for them, the
      matter would be morally clearer as it would be a matter of one state
      against another. It should be clear from this that I think the
      Israelis should withdraw completely from the West Bank area and Gaza,
      including shutting down all but a few border area settlements which
      would remain as part of a permanent and officially recognized border
      adjustment (bearing in mind that permanent and accepted borders have
      never been fixed and that the old pre-'67 borders were armistice
      lines only, where the armies halted in place when the cease-fire was
      effected in '48).

      I suspect that this will not be acceptable to many, if not all, the
      Arab countries but unless they are saying that Israel ultimately must
      be driven out, then some sort of adjustment along these lines must be
      made.

      I also support placing the sacred sites in East Jerusalem (Muslim,
      Christian and Jewish) under international supervision and ceding a
      portion of that area to the new state of Palestine for its capital as
      the Palestinians demand. Of course, this is an invitation to future
      problems because of the contiguity of the combatants, but I don't see
      any other rational choice.

      I also believe that the Palestinians must agree that this is the end
      of their claims (a so-called right of return is a non-starter since
      Israel cannot agree to it without signing its own death warrant) and
      that the Palestinians must finally accept the partition of the old
      British mandate of western Palestine (the eastern portion was long
      ago absorbed into the kingdom of Jordan) which gives them their state.

      If they are of good will, I believe over time the wounds can be
      healed and the region can grow into an economically prosperous one
      serving all its people. If not, then the next war will be fought
      between the state of Palestine and the state of Israel and that will
      be a bloody one indeed. But hopefully, it will never come to that.

      I would just note in passing that almost all of this could have been
      had 18 months ago at the negotiations between Barak and Arafat.
      (Barak was not offering as comprehensive a dismantling of all the
      settlements as I think is necessary but Arafat certainly had room to
      bargain for more when he decided, instead, to walk away from the
      table and unleash the intifada.)

      Now how do we get to all this via a moral analysis and application of
      the principles behind this analysis?

      I think that the values here are: 1) recognizing that both claimants
      have rights to the disputed territory (neither of which trumps the
      other); and 2) they have the right to be free from dominance by the
      other. I also think that there is a value to peaceful compromise as a
      means of addressing the rights claims and that the use of violence is
      not only not effective here but only creates longer term grievances
      for both sides. I also think the empirical evidence indicates that
      the Palestinians have so far been the less honest and sincere in
      their contacts with the Israelis though the Israelis are not to be
      absolved here since I think they have secretly (or not-so-secretly)
      nurtured a dream that some day events would work out in their favor
      if they just continued to hold onto the occupied territories and
      continued to plant their settlements.

      But those policies have manifestly been counterproductive as they
      have just proved to the Palestinians that the prolongation of the
      occupation can only result in their continued loss of control over
      their lands. Had Israel followed the original Labor party policy of
      only establishing limited settlements to enhance security there was a
      chance that, over the years, an ethnic and cultural rapprochement
      could have been developed between the two peoples. Not everyone on
      both sides would have embraced this, of course, but I think a core of
      people who saw a benefit in peaceful and perhaps even friendly
      coexistence would have developed. Instead we got an increasingly
      angry and radicalized Palestinian population which only grew their
      hatred and anger into the bloody terrorism we have witnessed in the
      past 18 months. While I do not think the Palestinians can be absolved
      from responsibility for their very bloody actions by excusing this as
      a result of foolish and wrong-headed Israeli policies, I do think
      Israeli policy bares some of the blame for what has occurred.

      Could Israel have gone down a different path? I think there was
      always a large contingent of Israelis who preferred rapprochement
      with the Arab population with whom they shared the land (just witness
      the election of Rabin and, later, Barak). Unfortunately, populations
      do not act like people (concepts of corporate moral obligations
      aside) and, given that Israel was a democracy, the majority feeling
      in Israel shifted in the late seventies/early eighties to a
      preference for land (for religious and expansionist reasons) instead
      of peace. It was the wrong direction and I think reasonable
      individuals would not have pursued this path, but the "corporate"
      that is Israel acted like corporates always do and pursued a path not
      based on reason, per se, but on emotion (in this case religious
      fervor and greed).

      Now events have their own momentum and only exhaustion of the two
      sides seems able to bring them back to a more rational meeting place.
      But I think that will now happen, pretty much as I've sketched out
      above. What comes from this in the future will depend, largely, on
      how sincere the Palestinians will be in meeting the Israelis in this
      new place. But I think, to do that, they will have to jettison Arafat
      and his ilk since these men have a clear agenda to wipe Israel off
      the face of the earth. That the Israelis will never accept and is
      thus a ticket to continued bloodshed and, ultimately, all-out war.

      My moral analysis here is based on the values I stated above which I
      think are fair and can be embraced by all of us here, as well as the
      facts as they have developed on the ground. Now, if one has a
      different perspective, that Allah has ordained the land for Muslims
      only or that God has ordained the West Bank for Jews only, for
      isntance, then this doesn't work, obviously. The value of enforcing a
      god's will in a society that makes THAT paramount would trump
      questions of competing rights on both sides.

      Similarly, a perspective that only one side is at fault (either
      Israelis or Palestinians, depending on your viewpoint) would also
      lead to a different outcome. If Palestinians persist in claiming that
      Israelis are nazis (and that zionism equals nazism), for instance,
      and if this were factually true, than that would also alter this
      equation. But I think that a dispassionate assessment will show that
      however aggressive the Israelis are now, or wrongheaded in terms of
      past policies, they have not acted like nazis, that is they have not
      followed a policy of expulsion or genocidal extermination of the
      Palestinians. (Discrimination based on security concerns and land
      expropriation, while wrong, at least this is clear in the second
      case, do not rise to the level of nazi atrocities no matter how much
      one makes the claim to the contrary!)

      Are they imperialists and/or colonists, then? Insofar as one could
      say they have come from another part of the world, I guess you could
      make that claim. But all people at one time came from somewhere else.
      Americans came initially from Europe to overrun native aboriginal
      peoples. The English came from Germanic Europe to overrun, terrorize
      and, ultimately absorb, the native Celts who had previously been
      overrun and conquered by the Romans out of what is today Italy (and
      who had previously come out of Europe to overrun the more aboriginal
      tribes who preceded THEM in the British Isles).

      The Arabs, of course, came from Arabia to overrun the old
      Roman/Byzantine province of Palestine (which became that when the
      ancient Romans overran and conquered the Judean state of John
      Hyrcanus, the Maccabean ruler of the revived Jewish successor state
      to ancient Israel, and, finally, drove out the Jews from that region).

      Of course, the ancient Israelites, according to the Bible, themselves
      overran and drove out and/or exterminated and/or absorbed the native
      Canaanite peoples who were allegedly there before them (though modern
      archaeology now suggests there was less a conquest by invading
      Israelites than a development of certain local groups into the group
      that became the Israelites).

      My point, of course, is that this is how nations, all nations, got
      formed so it is a bit unfair to liken the Israeli presence in the old
      Turkish province of Palestine to the recent history of European
      imperialism which was a manifestly different phenomenon or even to
      the Crusades of the Middle Ages which were also different. The
      Israelis are a transplanted people who are contesting territory with
      an indigenous people and are, by now, firmly rooted in that region.
      Kicking them out would not only be unacceptable to them, but morally
      untenable, given the provenance of other national claims.

      Therefore, again, the right solution is for the two groups to
      recognize one another's rights and claims and arrive at a rational
      accommodation.

      And that's my two cents for what they're worth (or perhaps, given how
      long this statement has been, somewhat more than that).

      SWM



      --- In WisdomForum@y..., Tommy Beavitt <tommy@s...> wrote:
      > >At 2:23 pm -0800 6/4/02, Christopher Bobo wrote:
      > >The ANC was negotiating with the white majority government
      > >peacefully. The ANC was not fire-bombing restaurants or killing
      > >civilians, as far as I recall.
      >
      > That is right. What we call the ANC today was not, prior to the
      fall
      > of the apartheid system run by white supremacists, fire-bombing
      > restaurants or killing 'civilians'. But others were.
      >
      > The Palestinian Authority is not doing these things either. There
      is
      > some question of whether it is using its influence over the other
      > groups sufficiently proactively. But that is completely a moot
      point
      > since its ability and will to use this influence diminishes daily
      due
      > to the emasculation it has been receiving from Sharon's Israel.
      >
      > If the western world were to grant the PA the moral authority it
      > granted the ANC it may very well be that we would say of it in
      > retrospect (once the vision of a Palestinian state has been
      > achieved), "it negotiated with the Jewish majority government
      > peacefully".
      >
      > The only legitimate question, it seems to me, is whether Mandela is
      a
      > man of integrity similar in inherent moral stature to a Gandhi or a
      > Luther King while Arafat is fatally flawed.
      >
      > There my objection breaks down and so does yours I suppose since we
      > cannot, as Sartreans, ever say of somebody that they are inherently
      > this or that. It is the choices they make from moment to moment
      > within the contingency of their situation and how these choices are
      > viewed from without.
      >
      > It seems to me also that your argument tends in the direction of
      > regarding there to be some kind of inherent racial element here,
      eg.
      > Arabs are inherently unstable whereas blacks are inherently
      > peace-loving. I don't think that is the case. While I am no
      > determinist, I do believe that behaviour such as suicide bombing or
      > necklacing (the treatment given by blacks to other blacks who
      > collaborated with the apartheid oppressors) is elicited by the
      > situation within which choices such as "shall I get married or go
      > straight to heaven?" are made.
      >
      > Your point about the Palestinians having TVs and Disney toys rather
      > than wearing rags and starving is, I am afraid, not worthy of you.
      > There is a fundamental point about occupation in terms of how
      humans
      > see themselves and behave which is not a simple sliding scale of
      > personal involvement in consumerist technological advances.
      >
      > Anyway, I have written far too much here. A few words would have
      > sufficed. I am off to bed.
      >
      > Good night!
      >
      > Tommy









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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • james tan
      eduard, yes, and what u mentioned is disturbing, i mean the mentality of these young palestinians kids. james. From: Eduard Alf
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 7, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        eduard,

        yes, and what u mentioned is disturbing, i mean the mentality of these young
        palestinians kids.

        james.


        From: "Eduard Alf" <yeoman@...>
        Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: A Real Life Application?
        Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 00:54:34 -0500

        james,

        There was an interesting article in the New York Times web site. The
        reporter interviewed some kids on the Palestinian side. All of them had one
        objective in mind ... to strap on a bomb or whatever and kill Israelis.
        They did not see it wrong to kill women or even other Arabs in the same
        blast. They only stopped short on the possibility of killing perhaps some
        other school kids.

        The bottom line is that this is the sort of world that is being constructed.
        The present leadership is not presenting the viability of other options.
        There is a certain mentality that is being fostered. You can see it in the
        parades on TV. A society that is focused upon killing. For the moment it
        serves the agenda of those who have no interest in peace, but indicates real
        problems on the long term for that region.

        We are arguing here about small things ... as if to discuss whether we
        should polish the brass handrails whilst the Titanic is sinking.

        eduard



        -----Original Message-----
        From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
        Sent: Sunday, April 07, 2002 12:00 AM
        Subject: [existlist] Re: A Real Life Application?


        From: "swmaerske" <SWMirsky@...>
        Reply-To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
        To: WisdomForum@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [WisdomForum] Re: A Real Life Application?
        Date: Sun, 07 Apr 2002 02:56:30 -0000

        Sorry, have been away and so missed some of the discussion here but
        perhaps it's not too late to chime in a bit. No question in my mind
        that Mandela and Arafat are not equivalent individuals. Mandela
        demonstrated that he was a man of very high moral fiber and character
        whereas every action of Arafat seems to demonstrate the reverse. The
        evidence seems pretty clear that he has been dissembling about his
        aims with regard to Israel and his support for terrorism for years.
        It is also fairly clear, at least to me, that he was directly
        culpable in the unleashing of the latest spate of violence in the
        Mideast as I've already noted. That the Palestinians, either directly
        supported by him (as recently retrieved documents seem to show) or as
        merely incited by him, have given the Israelis sufficient and extreme
        provocation to react as they have done is also clear, as I see it. It
        is a messy thing the Israelis are doing (and something we all wish
        they had not done) but one must recognize that they resisted doing it
        right up until the past couple of months although the terroism
        unleashed by the Palestinians started some 18 months ago.

        That said, I also think it is perfectly clear that the Israelis
        cannot continue to occupy or contend with the Palestinians for the
        West Bank territory indefinitely. Whatever else has occured, it is
        certainly the case that the Israelis must give way to a Palestinian
        state in the territories they have occupied and this is long overdue.
        It has demeaned the Israelis' own moral position and culture and
        turned them into occupiers.

        What is unclear is whether the Palestinians will accept a final
        settlement based on this arrangement or will only consider this a
        jumping off point to the next stage of their effort to drive the
        Israelis permanently from the region. That, of course, is what the
        Israelis fear, but I think if that were to happen, while it would
        surely be problematic from a military perspective for them, the
        matter would be morally clearer as it would be a matter of one state
        against another. It should be clear from this that I think the
        Israelis should withdraw completely from the West Bank area and Gaza,
        including shutting down all but a few border area settlements which
        would remain as part of a permanent and officially recognized border
        adjustment (bearing in mind that permanent and accepted borders have
        never been fixed and that the old pre-'67 borders were armistice
        lines only, where the armies halted in place when the cease-fire was
        effected in '48).

        I suspect that this will not be acceptable to many, if not all, the
        Arab countries but unless they are saying that Israel ultimately must
        be driven out, then some sort of adjustment along these lines must be
        made.

        I also support placing the sacred sites in East Jerusalem (Muslim,
        Christian and Jewish) under international supervision and ceding a
        portion of that area to the new state of Palestine for its capital as
        the Palestinians demand. Of course, this is an invitation to future
        problems because of the contiguity of the combatants, but I don't see
        any other rational choice.

        I also believe that the Palestinians must agree that this is the end
        of their claims (a so-called right of return is a non-starter since
        Israel cannot agree to it without signing its own death warrant) and
        that the Palestinians must finally accept the partition of the old
        British mandate of western Palestine (the eastern portion was long
        ago absorbed into the kingdom of Jordan) which gives them their state.

        If they are of good will, I believe over time the wounds can be
        healed and the region can grow into an economically prosperous one
        serving all its people. If not, then the next war will be fought
        between the state of Palestine and the state of Israel and that will
        be a bloody one indeed. But hopefully, it will never come to that.

        I would just note in passing that almost all of this could have been
        had 18 months ago at the negotiations between Barak and Arafat.
        (Barak was not offering as comprehensive a dismantling of all the
        settlements as I think is necessary but Arafat certainly had room to
        bargain for more when he decided, instead, to walk away from the
        table and unleash the intifada.)

        Now how do we get to all this via a moral analysis and application of
        the principles behind this analysis?

        I think that the values here are: 1) recognizing that both claimants
        have rights to the disputed territory (neither of which trumps the
        other); and 2) they have the right to be free from dominance by the
        other. I also think that there is a value to peaceful compromise as a
        means of addressing the rights claims and that the use of violence is
        not only not effective here but only creates longer term grievances
        for both sides. I also think the empirical evidence indicates that
        the Palestinians have so far been the less honest and sincere in
        their contacts with the Israelis though the Israelis are not to be
        absolved here since I think they have secretly (or not-so-secretly)
        nurtured a dream that some day events would work out in their favor
        if they just continued to hold onto the occupied territories and
        continued to plant their settlements.

        But those policies have manifestly been counterproductive as they
        have just proved to the Palestinians that the prolongation of the
        occupation can only result in their continued loss of control over
        their lands. Had Israel followed the original Labor party policy of
        only establishing limited settlements to enhance security there was a
        chance that, over the years, an ethnic and cultural rapprochement
        could have been developed between the two peoples. Not everyone on
        both sides would have embraced this, of course, but I think a core of
        people who saw a benefit in peaceful and perhaps even friendly
        coexistence would have developed. Instead we got an increasingly
        angry and radicalized Palestinian population which only grew their
        hatred and anger into the bloody terrorism we have witnessed in the
        past 18 months. While I do not think the Palestinians can be absolved
        from responsibility for their very bloody actions by excusing this as
        a result of foolish and wrong-headed Israeli policies, I do think
        Israeli policy bares some of the blame for what has occurred.

        Could Israel have gone down a different path? I think there was
        always a large contingent of Israelis who preferred rapprochement
        with the Arab population with whom they shared the land (just witness
        the election of Rabin and, later, Barak). Unfortunately, populations
        do not act like people (concepts of corporate moral obligations
        aside) and, given that Israel was a democracy, the majority feeling
        in Israel shifted in the late seventies/early eighties to a
        preference for land (for religious and expansionist reasons) instead
        of peace. It was the wrong direction and I think reasonable
        individuals would not have pursued this path, but the "corporate"
        that is Israel acted like corporates always do and pursued a path not
        based on reason, per se, but on emotion (in this case religious
        fervor and greed).

        Now events have their own momentum and only exhaustion of the two
        sides seems able to bring them back to a more rational meeting place.
        But I think that will now happen, pretty much as I've sketched out
        above. What comes from this in the future will depend, largely, on
        how sincere the Palestinians will be in meeting the Israelis in this
        new place. But I think, to do that, they will have to jettison Arafat
        and his ilk since these men have a clear agenda to wipe Israel off
        the face of the earth. That the Israelis will never accept and is
        thus a ticket to continued bloodshed and, ultimately, all-out war.

        My moral analysis here is based on the values I stated above which I
        think are fair and can be embraced by all of us here, as well as the
        facts as they have developed on the ground. Now, if one has a
        different perspective, that Allah has ordained the land for Muslims
        only or that God has ordained the West Bank for Jews only, for
        isntance, then this doesn't work, obviously. The value of enforcing a
        god's will in a society that makes THAT paramount would trump
        questions of competing rights on both sides.

        Similarly, a perspective that only one side is at fault (either
        Israelis or Palestinians, depending on your viewpoint) would also
        lead to a different outcome. If Palestinians persist in claiming that
        Israelis are nazis (and that zionism equals nazism), for instance,
        and if this were factually true, than that would also alter this
        equation. But I think that a dispassionate assessment will show that
        however aggressive the Israelis are now, or wrongheaded in terms of
        past policies, they have not acted like nazis, that is they have not
        followed a policy of expulsion or genocidal extermination of the
        Palestinians. (Discrimination based on security concerns and land
        expropriation, while wrong, at least this is clear in the second
        case, do not rise to the level of nazi atrocities no matter how much
        one makes the claim to the contrary!)

        Are they imperialists and/or colonists, then? Insofar as one could
        say they have come from another part of the world, I guess you could
        make that claim. But all people at one time came from somewhere else.
        Americans came initially from Europe to overrun native aboriginal
        peoples. The English came from Germanic Europe to overrun, terrorize
        and, ultimately absorb, the native Celts who had previously been
        overrun and conquered by the Romans out of what is today Italy (and
        who had previously come out of Europe to overrun the more aboriginal
        tribes who preceded THEM in the British Isles).

        The Arabs, of course, came from Arabia to overrun the old
        Roman/Byzantine province of Palestine (which became that when the
        ancient Romans overran and conquered the Judean state of John
        Hyrcanus, the Maccabean ruler of the revived Jewish successor state
        to ancient Israel, and, finally, drove out the Jews from that region).

        Of course, the ancient Israelites, according to the Bible, themselves
        overran and drove out and/or exterminated and/or absorbed the native
        Canaanite peoples who were allegedly there before them (though modern
        archaeology now suggests there was less a conquest by invading
        Israelites than a development of certain local groups into the group
        that became the Israelites).

        My point, of course, is that this is how nations, all nations, got
        formed so it is a bit unfair to liken the Israeli presence in the old
        Turkish province of Palestine to the recent history of European
        imperialism which was a manifestly different phenomenon or even to
        the Crusades of the Middle Ages which were also different. The
        Israelis are a transplanted people who are contesting territory with
        an indigenous people and are, by now, firmly rooted in that region.
        Kicking them out would not only be unacceptable to them, but morally
        untenable, given the provenance of other national claims.

        Therefore, again, the right solution is for the two groups to
        recognize one another's rights and claims and arrive at a rational
        accommodation.

        And that's my two cents for what they're worth (or perhaps, given how
        long this statement has been, somewhat more than that).

        SWM



        --- In WisdomForum@y..., Tommy Beavitt <tommy@s...> wrote:
        > >At 2:23 pm -0800 6/4/02, Christopher Bobo wrote:
        > >The ANC was negotiating with the white majority government
        > >peacefully. The ANC was not fire-bombing restaurants or killing
        > >civilians, as far as I recall.
        >
        > That is right. What we call the ANC today was not, prior to the
        fall
        > of the apartheid system run by white supremacists, fire-bombing
        > restaurants or killing 'civilians'. But others were.
        >
        > The Palestinian Authority is not doing these things either. There
        is
        > some question of whether it is using its influence over the other
        > groups sufficiently proactively. But that is completely a moot
        point
        > since its ability and will to use this influence diminishes daily
        due
        > to the emasculation it has been receiving from Sharon's Israel.
        >
        > If the western world were to grant the PA the moral authority it
        > granted the ANC it may very well be that we would say of it in
        > retrospect (once the vision of a Palestinian state has been
        > achieved), "it negotiated with the Jewish majority government
        > peacefully".
        >
        > The only legitimate question, it seems to me, is whether Mandela is
        a
        > man of integrity similar in inherent moral stature to a Gandhi or a
        > Luther King while Arafat is fatally flawed.
        >
        > There my objection breaks down and so does yours I suppose since we
        > cannot, as Sartreans, ever say of somebody that they are inherently
        > this or that. It is the choices they make from moment to moment
        > within the contingency of their situation and how these choices are
        > viewed from without.
        >
        > It seems to me also that your argument tends in the direction of
        > regarding there to be some kind of inherent racial element here,
        eg.
        > Arabs are inherently unstable whereas blacks are inherently
        > peace-loving. I don't think that is the case. While I am no
        > determinist, I do believe that behaviour such as suicide bombing or
        > necklacing (the treatment given by blacks to other blacks who
        > collaborated with the apartheid oppressors) is elicited by the
        > situation within which choices such as "shall I get married or go
        > straight to heaven?" are made.
        >
        > Your point about the Palestinians having TVs and Disney toys rather
        > than wearing rags and starving is, I am afraid, not worthy of you.
        > There is a fundamental point about occupation in terms of how
        humans
        > see themselves and behave which is not a simple sliding scale of
        > personal involvement in consumerist technological advances.
        >
        > Anyway, I have written far too much here. A few words would have
        > sufficed. I am off to bed.
        >
        > Good night!
        >
        > Tommy









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      • Eduard Alf
        james, I am watching Meet the Press which has Colin Powell as a guest. He is speaking of both sides needing to pull back, but primarily Arafat needs to act
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 7, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          james,

          I am watching Meet the Press which has Colin Powell as a guest. He is
          speaking of "both" sides needing to pull back, but primarily Arafat needs to
          act in some fashion to stop the terrorism on his side. I find it
          interesting that there is mention of some $80 million of US funding to the
          Palestinian Authority, so it is not true that money is only going to Israel.

          I spoke before about the concept of "memes" which are mind viruses which
          once started can be self propagating. Look at what is now happening in the
          Islamic world. Iraq has offered an award of $25,000 to any family which
          loses a son or daughter to some suicide bombing. All this is being done to
          reemphasize and ensure continuation of the meme. A whole generation of
          youth are being indoctrinated. I recall a picture of what seemed like
          kindergarten kids holding machine guns and standing on Israeli and US flags.
          This is the work of adults, but the impact is upon the youth. The only real
          solution is to provide an anti-meme which is the creation of a Palestinian
          State. But that requires more than just a vague statement of resulting
          "normalization" of relations with Israel. Just as the Palestinians want to
          enjoy security with their own boundaries, so to does Israel. Somehow the
          Arab League has to make a clear statement of intent and that is the problem.
          Everyone is hedging their bets. They don't want to make the statement
          because they may have to live up to it.

          People are losing perspective. The focus is entirely upon Israel and
          Palestine without looking at the larger picture. The combined
          Israel/Palestine region is about 300 miles long, 85 miles in width at the
          largest point and only 40 miles at the narrowest. The whole area could
          easily fit between Toronto and Ottawa.

          eduard


          -----Original Message-----
          From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
          Sent: Sunday, April 07, 2002 6:31 AM
          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: A Real Life Application?



          eduard,

          yes, and what u mentioned is disturbing, i mean the mentality of these
          young
          palestinians kids.

          james.


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