[Note by Tom Gross]
I attach two articles of a slightly different nature from those usually sent on this list.
The first is by Victor Davis Hanson, one of the most prolific "neo-Conservative" commentators at work today.
His article, "When should we stop supporting Israel?" should be read in full, particularly in Europe and the Middle East, where there is a widespread anti-Semitic myth that some all-powerful Jewish influence is the prime or only reason most Americans support the state of Israel, rather than fundamental shared values.
Hanson writes at the end of his piece: "Palestinian leaders shouldn't be too surprised that Americans increasingly find very little in their society that has much appeal to either our values or sympathy... they should at least pause, reflect, and ask themselves why an overwhelming number of Americans - not Jewish, not residents of New York, not influenced by the media - are growing far more furious with them."
(In addition to writing, Hanson works as a farmer at his family farm in Selma, California, and is a professor of Greek and Latin at California State University. He is said to be one of President Bush's favorite political writers. Hanson is not Jewish.)
The second article, "The CNN-BBC-LA Times-Washington Post Handbook for How to be an Activist," is a satirical piece by Prof. Steven Plaut, of Haifa University in Israel. (Plaut is a member of this email list.)
-- Tom Gross
WHEN SHOULD WE STOP SUPPORTING ISRAEL?
When should we stop supporting Israel?
By Victor Davis Hanson
(From his website)
March 28, 2004
The recent assassination of Sheik Saruman raises among some Americans the question-at what point should we reconsider our rather blanket support for the Israelis and show a more even-handed attitude toward the Palestinians? The answer, it seems to me, should be assessed in cultural, economic, political, and social terms.
Well, we should no longer support Israel, when.
Mr. Sharon suspends all elections and plans a decade of unquestioned rule.
Mr. Sharon suspends all investigation about fiscal impropriety as his family members spend millions of Israeli aid money in Paris.
All Israeli television and newspapers are censored by the Likud party. Israeli hit teams enter the West Bank with the precise intention of targeting and blowing up Arab women and children.
Preteen Israeli children are apprehended with bombs under their shirts on their way to the West Bank to murder Palestinian families.
Israeli crowds rush into the street to dip their hands into the blood of their dead and march en masse chanting mass murder to the Palestinians.
Rabbis give public sermons in which they characterize Palestinians as the children of pigs and monkeys.
Israeli school textbooks state that Arabs engage in blood sacrifice and ritual murders.
Mainstream Israeli politicians, without public rebuke, call for the destruction of Palestinians on the West Bank and the end to Arab society there.
Likud party members routinely lynch and execute their opponents without trial.
Jewish fundamentalists execute with impunity women found guilty of adultery on grounds that they are impugning the "honor" of the family.
Israeli mobs with impunity tear apart Palestinian policemen held in detention.
Israeli television broadcasts-to the tune of patriotic music-the last taped messages of Jewish suicide bombers who have slaughtered dozens of Arabs.
Jewish marchers parade in the streets with their children dressed up as suicide bombers, replete with plastic suicide-bombing vests.
New Yorkers post $25,000 bounties for every Palestinian blown up by Israeli murderers.
Israeli militants murder a Jew by accident and then apologize on grounds that they though he was an Arab-to the silence of Israeli society.
Jews enter Arab villages in Israel to machine gun women and children.
Israeli public figures routinely threaten the United States with terror attacks.
Bin Laden is a folk hero in Tel Aviv.
Jewish assassins murder American diplomats and are given de facto sanctuary by Israeli society.
Israeli citizens celebrate on news that 3,000 Americans have been murdered.
Israeli citizens express support for Saddam Hussein's supporters in Iraq in their efforts to kill Americans.
So until then, I think most Americans can see the moral differences in the present struggle.
If the Palestinians wish to hold periodic and open elections, establish an independent judiciary, create a free press, arrest murderers, subject their treasury to public scrutiny, eschew suicide murdering, censure religious leaders who call for mass murder, embrace non-violent dissidents, extend equal rights to women, end honor killings, raise funds in the Arab world earmarked only to build water, sewer, transportation, and education infrastructure, and pledge that any Jews who choose to live in the West Bank will enjoy the same rights as Arabs in Israel, then they might find Americans equally divided over questions of land and peace.
But all that is a lot of ifs. And so for the present, Palestinian leaders shouldn't be too surprised that Americans increasingly find very little in their society that has much appeal to either our values or sympathy. If they continually assure us publicly that they are furious at Americans, then they should at least pause, reflect, and ask themselves why an overwhelming number of Americans-not Jewish, not residents of New York, not influenced by the media-are growing far more furious with them.
THE CNN-BBC-LA TIMES-WASHINGTON POST HANDBOOK FOR HOW TO BE AN ACTIVIST
The CNN-BBC-LA Times-Washington Post Handbook for How to be an Activist
By Steven Plaut
March 30, 2004
1. Murdering people makes you a killer or a terrorist. But if those murdered are Jews then you are an activist. You might also be a militant.
2. Crashing jet planes into buildings makes you a terrorist. But attempting to shoot down civilian planes landing in Israel makes you an activist.
3. Placing large bombs on trains in Madrid makes you a terrorist, but placing bombs on Israeli buses full of children makes you an activist.
4. Blowing up a nightclub in Indonesia full of Australians makes you a terrorist. But mass murdering Israeli children makes you an activist.
5. Snipers shooting innocent people in Virginia are terrorists. Snipers shooting Jews in the West Bank are activists.
6. People trying to ram soldiers with trucks and cars are generally terrorists unless the soldiers in question are Jews.
7. Throwing rocks at civilians makes you a criminal and maybe even a terrorist, and if you do so off a California overpass you will get jailed. But throwing the same rocks at Jews in Israel makes you an activist and maybe even a professor at Columbia University.
8. Denying the Holocaust makes you a racist and a fascist bigot, unless you are an Arab, in which case it makes you a moderate, at least if you deny the Holocaust in grammatically correct English.
9. Hiding behind children when you shoot weapons at soldiers makes you a coward and a villain, unless you are a Palestinian or an Iraqi Baathist.
10. Murdering children makes you a fiend and maybe a nazi unless the children are Jews, in which case you are an activist with legitimate grievances.
11. 9-11 and 3-11 terrorism has no underlying causes or root grievances, but Middle East activism in which Israelis get mass murdered does - because of Israeli insensitivity and because Palestinians feel occupied.
12. When Bosnians or Albanians in Kosova get mass murdered, that is a war crime. When Jews get mass murdered, this is their comeuppance for their insensitivity, and of course it is reactive activism.
13. When Americans assassinate al-Qaida or Taliban leaders anywhere they find them, this is part of the war against global terrorism. When Israel shoots terrorist leaders, it is an obstacle to peace and is unjustifiably deactivating activism.
14. When the US jails hundreds of terrorists in Guantanamo Bay without trial, this is because the jailed are terrorists. When Israel jails people who have mass murdered Jews, this is undermining the peace process and antagonizing activists.
15. Firing mortars and rockets into civilian areas in the Balkans makes you a war criminal. Firing them from Gaza into Jewish homes makes you a militant.