Curiosity, not real interest, but
more than just idle curiosity

a brief, contentious exchange

by G.S.  <george.salzman@umb.edu>

18 May 2006

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/2006-05-18.htm

     Nancy has said to me more than once, in exasperation, "Why don't you leave that old man alone?", meaning by "that old man" my "kid" brother, who will be 76 this June 10th. She thinks I ought to focus more on local struggles here in Mexico, and on Latin America, a vital arena of social ferment with a lot of promise for profound restructuring spearheaded largely by so-called indigenous groups, but really by poor people of whatever bloodlines. It ain't blood, it's money, wealth and power that really divides people — it's the rich against the poor. If you doubt that just read Joe Bageant's dispatches from Winchester, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley.
     Well, Nancy may win this one, not just because persistent nagging can be pretty effective, but because I think I may be about at the end of a 3-plus-year contest with my brother, who's been trying to persuade me that the Jews of Israel are the victims of "the Arabs", in which group he includes non-Christian Palestinian Arabs and the Arab Nation-States. This "final" exchange lasted just 24 and 1/2 hours, concluding with Lawrence saying, "You know, I’m really getting a bit tired of all this. I have little expectation of getting you to be realistic in terms of understanding both history and human nature. Your “arguments” appear so one-sided without any balance, I find it a bit frustrating. Maybe we should just agree that we disagree and leave it at that."
     I am uncertain whether to respond or just give it up. Except for his last note on the morning of Tues 17 May, the correspondence went to my current "small" multiply-addressed list. There have been several responses, which I will post on the weblog, along with others that come my way.
Subject: I’m curious
From: Lawrence Salzman <gardveg@aol.com>
Date: Tue, 16 May 2006 08:19:24 EDT

George: Was wondering if you knew about the Arab conference before I mentioned it to you which took place right after the Six Day War where eight Arab leaders issued what is known as The Khartoum Resolutions of 1967?

This Resolution has been the basis of Arab policy with the exceptions of Egypt and Jordan who have signed peace treaties with Israel. Notice, Israel did trade land for peace with both of these nations.

Please note that after the Six Day War Israel offered to evacuate all the land it overran during this war for total peace and normalization of relations between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations. This was rejected by the Resolution’s statement and specifically the third paragraph of the Resolution which reads,

“3. The Arab Heads of State have agreed to unite their political efforts at the international and diplomatic level to eliminate the effects of the aggression and to ensure the withdrawal of the aggressive Israeli forces from the Arab lands which have been occupied since the aggression of June 5. This will be done within the framework of the main principles by which the Arab States abide, namely, no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it, and insistence on the rights of the Palestinian people in their own country.”

You can read the whole Resolution which is only one page long at:

The Avalon Project : The Khartoum Resolutions; September 1, 1967 http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/mideast/khartoum.htm.

This website and the one I sent to you earlier should be sent to your complete list as it gives background to the Khartoum Resolutions. It also contains the Resolution after a discussion of the general situation prior to and after the Six Day War. It can be found at: Khartoum Resolutions of 1967 http://www.mideastweb.org/khartoum.htm.

George, I wanted to send this note to your complete list, but don’t have a copy of it. Please send it out to those who receive your material.

Thanks. Los


Subject: Re: I’m curious. About the Six Day War and the Khartoum Resolutions of 1967
Date: Tue, 16 May 2006 20:26:16 -0500
CC: to “small“ multiply-addressed list of 41

Oaxaca, Tuesday, 16 May 2006

Hi Lawrence,

      I began this as an answer to your note this morning, but, because it involves so much effort, I decided to send it to the “small” list so that others may, if they wish, know what I’m concerned with, and take part in the discussion. [above e-mail inserted here for the other recipients]

      I had come upon mention of the Khartoum Conference previously somewhere in my reading, but in truth I didn’t remember it and your speaking of it stirred only a vague memory. I think that I read (probably in one of Chomsky’s books, but maybe elsewhere) that it was notable for its having excluded the Palestinian Arabs from participation. In other words, the party that suffered, and stood to suffer, the most was, if I recall correctly (and it’s vague in my mind) not represented. I’ve been looking to try to find the reference, but unsuccessfully so far. I will of course read the two items in your note about the Khartoum Resolution.

      Before turning to the 1967 War, let me reiterate that your mode of argument is to focus on specific actions (which is fine) that purport to show unequivocally that Israel has been the victim, forced to “defend” itself against the “aggressive Arabs”. What you seem unwilling to deal with is the question of the intentions (and what I see as the calculated duplicity) of the Israeli politicians who (with the press) controlled to a great extent the policy of the government. I wrote you several explicit questions regarding David Ben-Gurion’s statements, and I asked for any information you had that would show the statements were falsely attributed to him. Your response so far has been silence on that score. To me it is a crucial question, because I think it points to the intended conquest of Palestine from the very beginning, a program that has been ongoing and, thus far, quite successful. Now to the Six-Day War.

      Here is an excerpt from the updated edition (1999) of Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, pp.100-103. Following the text are the reference notes, Nos. 31 through 46, which are on pp.171-172 of the book.


      The 1967 war also involves complexities often ignored by supporters of Israel here. It is, in fact, intriguing to see how the facts are presented. An interesting example is Michael Walzer’s investigation of “just  wars.” Surveying a record of 2500 years, he finds only one example of “legitimate anticipation,” that is, legitimate resort to a preemptive military strike in violation of the standard doctrine on this matter as embodied in the United Nations charter (see note 31): namely, Israel’s attack in June 1967. This is, furthermore, a “clear case” of resistance to aggression. “It is worth setting down some of the cases about which we have, I think, no doubts: the German attack on Belgium in 1914, the Italian conquest of Ethiopia, the Japanese attack on China, the German and Italian interventions in Spain, the Russian invasion of Finland, the Nazi conquests of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Belgium, and Holland, the Russian invasions of Hungry and Czechoslovakia, the Egyptian challenge to Israel in 1967.”32

      Walzer offers no argument or evidence to show that the “Egyptian challenge” to Israel stands on a par with the “clear cases” of aggression cited. He simply states that Israel had a “just fear” of destruction — which, even if true, would hardly substantiate his claim. Israeli generals take a rather different view. The former Commander of the Air Force, General Ezer Weizmann, regarded as a hawk, stated that there was “no threat of destruction” but that the attack on Egypt, Jordan and Syria was nevertheless justified so that Israel could “exist according to the scale, spirit and quality she now embodies.”33 Citing corroboratory statements by Chief of Staff Chaim Bar-Lev and General Mattityahu Peled, Amnon Kapeliouk wrote that “no serious argument has been advanced to refute the thesis of the three generals.” See p. 28. [If you want to see the material on p. 28 of Fateful Triangle I can copy it out for you, along with three more reference citations.] American intelligence held a similar view.34 Furthermore, the interactions leading up to the war included provocative and destructive Israeli actions and threats, which Walzer ignores,35 alongside of Egyptian and other Arab actions such as the closing of the Straits of Tiran, which Egypt claimed to be an internal waterway.

      Among others who, unlike Walzer, have doubts about the Egyptian “challenge” as a “clear case” of aggression is Menachem Begin, who had the following remarks to make:

In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.
Begin of course regards the Israeli attack as justified; “This was a war of self-defense in the noblest sense of the term.”36 But then, it may be recalled that the term “self-defense” has acquired a technical sense in modern political discoure, referring to any military action carried out by a state that one directs, serves or “supports.” What is, perhaps, of some interest is that an American democratic socialist dove goes well beyond Menachem Begin in portraying Israel’s actions as defense against aggression. However one evaluates these complex circumstances, it is plainly impossible to regard the “Egyptian challenge” as a “clear case” of aggression, on a par with the Nazi conquests, etc. Rather, this a a “clear case” of the style of apologetics adopted by many supporters of Israel.37

      Immediately after the armistace agreements of 1949, Israel began encroachments into the demilitarized zones along with military attacks with many civilian casualties and the expulsion of thousands of Arabs, some of whom later formed terrorist bands that carried out what they presumably regarded as reprisals and what Israel and its supporters regard as unprovoked terrorism; the terms “terrorism” and “reprisal,” as noted earlier, are to a considerable extent terms of propaganda, not description. These actions set the stage for further conflicts with Egypt and Syria. Israeli raids in the Gaza Strip led to fedayeen attacks that served as the pretext for the 1956 invasion, though as is known from captured Egyptian documents and other sources, Egypt was attempting to calm the border region in fear of such an attack.38 The aggressors concocted an elaborate and largely successful propaganda campaign in an effort to show that it was Nasser who was planning an attack, not they, comparing him to Hitler while they effectively mimicked Goebbels.

      Many details are provided by Kennett Love, who was then the Middle East correspondent of the New York Times. He describes, for example, how the Times failed to publish his interview with Nasser in which Nasser offered to demilitarize the frontier: “distorted versions of Nasser’s effort to pacify the frontier were splashed across New York’s front pages under headlines representing him as a warmonger,” including a Times report stating that “Many neutrals say Premier Nasser’s statement [on demilitarizing the frontier] was bellicose and is certain to increase tension.” Two days after the Times killed Nasser’s interview it ran a front-page headline, based on distorted news agency versions of the interview, which read: “Gaza War Threat Voiced by Egypt.”39 The aggressors themselves at the same time were attributing fabricated bellicose statements to Nasser, taking earlier writings of his out of context and grossly changing their sense, etc. The distortions of Western propaganda, which in this case reflect a remarkable degree of moral cowardice quite apart from the falsification of the facts, remained effective even after the outright aggression by Israel, France and England. In particular, it is still widely held that Israel’s aggression was in fact defensive, at worst a “preemptive strike” in response to Nasser’s threats. The incident is an example — one of many — of how facts can be overwhelmed by a powerful propaganda system employing the “free press” as its instrument.

      The Israeli occupying army carried out bloody atrocities in the Gaza Strip, killing “at least 275 Palestinians immediately after capturing the Strip during a brutal house-to-house search for weapons and fedayeen in Khan Yunis” and killing 111 Palestinians in “another massive bloodletting” at the Rafa refugee camp in “disorders” after “Israeli troops stormed through the hovels, rounding up refugees for intelligence screenings.” General E. L. M. Burns, Commander of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), commented that this furnished “very sad proof of the fact that the spirit that inspired the notorious Deir Yassin massacre of 1948 is not dead among some of the Israeli armed forces.” The head of the Gaza observer force, Lt.-Col. R. F. Bayard of the U.S. Army, reported that treatment of civilians was “unwarrantedly rough” and that “a good number of persons have been shot down in cold blood for no apparent reason.” He also reported that many UN relief officials were missing and presumed executed by the Israelis and that there had been extensive looting and wanton destruction of property. Israel claimed that the killings were caused by “refugee resistance,” a claim denied by refugees (there were no Israeli casualties).* Love

* For an eyewitness account from an Israeli source of atrocities committed by the Israeli occupying army until “Ben-Gurion himself gave orders to stop the looting, murder and robbery,” see Mark Gefen, Al Hamishmar, April 27, 1982 — a timely (though ignored) report, considering what was to follow shortly.
cites Moshe Dayan’s diaries confirming the looting, which caused “much shame to ourselves,” and indicating that there had been practically no resistance.40 The aftermath of the 1982 Lebanon war was similar, though in this case the occupying army left it to its local clients to carry out the worst massacre. It is an unfortunate fact that occupying armies often behave in this fashion,41 but then, they usually do not bask in the admiration of American intellectuals for their unique and remarkable commitment to “purity of arms.”

      Encroachments in the demilitarized zones in the north for water diversion projects and agricultural development+ led ultimately to the shelling of Israel from the Golan Heights by

+ Israeli encroachments and attacks in this area were in part motivated by a desire to take control of the waters of the Jordan and prevent diversion within Arab territories. This led to conflict between Israel and both the UN and the U.S. The American-planned Johnston project designed to arrange for sharing of the Jordan waters was undermined by Israeli opposition, and “the Israeli raid on Syria in December 1955 annihilated the very wreckage of his work” (Love, Suez, p. 277). The occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1967 settled this issue.
those described here as “Syrian-killers-for-the-fun-of-it” in a typical misrepresentation of the facts.42 Swedish UNTSO Commander General Carl von Horn wrote that “it [was] unlikely that these [Syrian guns] would ever [have] come into action had it not been for Israeli provocation,” including armed encroachments into areas farmed by Palestinians.43 General (Res.) Mattityahu Peled points out that after the Israeli conquest of the Golan Heights in 1967, the Syrian artillery was barely moved. There was no subsequent shelling because the cease-fire arrangements were clarified. Prior to 1967, Israel followed a “planned strategy” designed to impose its interpretation of the 1949 Armistice Agreements, including settlement in the demilitarized zones which infringed on the rights of the local inhabitants, leading to shelling in reprisal. The conquest of the Heights did not change the military situation, but showed that negotiated settlement is possible, as had been true before too, he argues. If Israel were truly to accept UN Resolution 242, returning the Golan Heights to Syria, demilitarization of the Heights would cause no security problem, he argues further, as the facts he reviews suggest.44

      It is also generally overlooked that Arabs too have reason to fear shelling from the Golan Heights. By 1970, there were already nearly 100 casualties in the Jordanian city of Irbid resulting from Israeli air attacks and shelling from the Golan Heights.45

      Syrian shelling served as the pretext for the conquest of the Golan in 1967 in violation of the cease-fire, and for subsequent actions leading to its virtual annexation by the Begin government in December-January 1981-82,46


31. The attack was in response to a PLO terrorist operation that left 34 Israelis dead in an interchange of fire on a coastal road after a bus had been seized. Putting aside the question of proportionality or of the merits of the principle of international law (binding on members of the United Nations) that the use of force is permissible only in the case of self-defense against armed attack, the Israeli retaliation was irrelivant to the terrorist incident that provoked it since the terrorist operation by seaborne commandos was launched from a point north of the area invaded by Israel. The border had previously been relatively quiet, apart from Israeli-provoked military interchanges. See the next chapter.
32. Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars (Basic Books, New York, 1977, p. 292), my emphasis.
33. Ha’aretz, March 29, 1972; for a more extensive quote, see Cooley,Green March, Black September, pl 162.
34. Le Monde hebdomadaire, June 8-14, 1972; Kimche, There Could Have Been Peace, p. 258.
35. See Cooley, Green March, Black September; Charles Yost, Foreign Affairs, January 1968; and many other sources.
36. Menachem Begin, August 8 speech at the National Defense College, excerpts in the New York Times, Aug. 21, 1982, reprinted from the Jerusalem Post.
37. For a number of other examples from the same pen, see TNCW. [The acronym TNCW stands for Noam Chomsky’s Towards a New Cold War, Pantheon, New York, 1982.]
38. See TNCW, pp.331, 463, and sources cited, particularly, Ehud Yaari,  Egypt and the Fedayeen (Hebrew; Givat Haviva, 1975), based on captured Egyptian documents; Kennett Love, Suez: The Twice-fought War (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1969, pp.92f., 408f); Donald Neff, Warriors at Suez (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1981). See Rokach, Israel’s Sacred Terrorism, for information from Prime Minister Moshe Sharett’s diaries. There is also important material in the memoirs of the commanders of the UN forces on the borders, who characteristically took up this post sympathetic toIsrael but ended their tours quite citical of its encroachments and resort to unprovoked violence.
39. Such reconstruction of unwanted facts is not unusual. For another example of skillful re-editing, by which the Times succeeded in converting a London Times report with an unwanted message into its precise opposite (to be picked up in the Times version by Newsweek with some additional fillips and to enter official history), see N. Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, The Political Economy of Human Rights (South End, Boston, 1979, vol 1, pp. 135f.). The same section gives numerous other examples of successful news management, of particular interest in this case because of their efficacy in enabling the Human Rights Administration to participate actively in one of the major acts of mass murder in recent years. These two volumes give many other examples of behavior which is, in fact, fairly systematic, though not exeptionless, as explained and illustrated there. See also TNCW, chapters 3,4 and elsewhere, and references cited. Foir more on this subject, and particularly discussion of the mechanisms, see Edward S. Herman, The Real Terror Network (South End, Boston, 1982).
40. Neff,  Warriors at Suez, pp. 420-1; Love, Suez, pp. 551f.
41. To cite one case that has not exactly become common knowledge in the U.S., the American occupying army in Japan engaged in rape, pillage and murder, according to Japanese sources (see Saburo Ienaga, The Pacific Wr, Pantheon, New York, 1978, pp. 236f.). For discussion of other examples of the treatment of prisoners, collaborators, and other victims of liberation by the U.S. and its allies, also largely unknown here, see Chomsky and Herman, The Political Economy of Human Rights, vol II, pp. 32-48.
42. Alfred Friendly, “Israel: Paradise Lost,” Manchester Guardian weekly, July 11, 1982.
43.
Carl Van Horn, Soldiering for Peace, cited along with other evidence from UN and Israeli sources by Fred J. Khouri, Arab Perspectives, January 1982. See also Hirst, The Gun and the Olive Branch.
44. Mattityahu Peled, “A burden rather than an asset,” Ha’aretz, Oct. 30, 1980.
45. John K. Cooley, Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 30, 1970,
46. See p.21, and section 5.2 below. [On p. 21 of Fateful Triangle Chomsky writes of “Israel’s smashing victory in 1967, when Israel quickly conquered the Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights, the last, after violating the cease-fire in an operation ordered by Defense Minister Moshe Dayan without notifying the Prime Minister or Chief of Staff.39 Section 5.2  The Golan Heights is on pp. 132-134 of Fateful Triangle.]

      In one of your notes of 13 May you wrote, “Do you think after the Six Day War when Israel attempted to approach the Muslims in general and the Palestinians in particular to come to a peace agreement and all they got were the “three nos” that I mentioned to you previously?  Frankly, there is NO balance to your thinking.“ If that is correct, then I misremembered, and the Palestinians were indeed represented, i.e. present at Khartoum. Is that the case?

      In one of your notes of 14 May you wrote, ‘as I’ve said before, I’ve been following the day-by-day developments in that area of the world since about the end of WWII.  I believe that gives me a perspective that “just” sitting down in the past few years and trying to catch up by reading, reading, reading doesn’t give you. Things have to be put in the context of the time and without learning about these events during the time they actually take place leaves one without the same “understanding” of the event.’

      Of course it’s true that one’s perspective on events (like e.g. in the Middle East) depends on everything one knows about them, but your conclusion that ‘without learning about these events during the time they actually take place leaves one without the same “understanding”. . .’ (my emphasis) is by no means conclusive. You, after all, were born in 1930, and on May 7, 1945 when Germany surrendered, you were not quite 15. If you were in disagreement with a then-adult German who lived through the period of the Holocaust, you would not necessarily be ‘without the same “understanding” of the’ holocaust — and presumably at a disadvantage in arriving at the truth — simply because your information about what happened during that period came later and was second-hand. Obviously, knowing history is not a simple task, and if one comes to it later it is more difficult, but that’s not necessarily a handicap that is insurmountable.

      In one of your notes of 13 May you referred to an e-mail of mine to Ed Kent in which I asked him not to continue sending me ‘further “news” items from the corporate media’, and you commented,

George: Is this an example of your “open mind”?  You send me what you believe and seem to think is “anointed” with the wand of truth.  Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.  But, to reject out of hand using essentially a pejorative when you refer to the “corporate media” is not impressive.

The fact is, you reject that which doesn’t meet your emotional, as well as what you consider your intellectual needs.

My approach to trying to learn about the reality of history and current affairs is quite simple and straightforward. I’m very limited in how much I can read, remember, absorb, and analyze, and so I try to find sources that I can trust — trust not in the sense that I think they are invariably correct, but in their attempt to be truthful. You sent me a 9 May New York Times article by Steven Erlanger, “Israel Seizes Boat Carrying Explosives to Gaza”, to which I “responded” with a 8 May Times article by him, “Funds Cut, Gaza Faces a Plague of Health Woes”. You then wrote me a letter (10 May 2006 08:55:03 EDT) and I wrote back (10 May 2006 09:51:41 -0500). Both those letters are in my last posting, “The “Jewish” Problem, microcosm of the Human Problem”, at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/2006-05-13.htm.

      Your comments, quoted above, challenging my “open mind” because I speak of the “corporate media” pejoratively, ignores entirely my letter from three days earlier, which I include here:


Date: Wed, 10 May 2006 09:51:41 -0500.

Hi Lawrence,

      I read the article by Steven Erlanger that you sent, and of course the one I sent you. I don’t know whether you believe them partly or entirely?

      This kind of back and forth on what can be deliberately falsified reports (like by the Israeli military) is unlikely to be fruitful. You want to believe what The New York Times prints, and I am extremely skeptical. Thus you interpret what is written in as favorable a light for Israel as is possible, ignoring any question of credibility. The New York Times, you no doubt recall, was a major propaganda force for justifying the “pre-emptive” attack on Iraq, a savage and despicable act by the U.S. Later, when it became incontrovertably clear that there had been no weapons of mass destruction, The Times did a mea culpa, letting itself off lightly and firing the chosen culprit, Judith Miller. This is not some new phenomenon. The Times has been lying on behalf of the ruling class ‘forever’. It is part of the ruling class. You’re happy when the interests of that group coincide with what you (mistakenly) believe are the interests of the State of Israel and world Jewry. I would not be at all surprised to learn that you were pleased that the U.S. was going to attack Iraq, and that now you’re in favor (though probably not openly) of an attack on Iran by the U.S. or Israel. Avid support for both attacks was nowhere as great as in Israel and in the so-called mainstream Jewish groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). It’s clear that you would even would like to believe the statement in the article,

“Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, said there had been no special restrictions on transferring medical supplies since Hamas took over. ‘Israel wants to do all it can to avoid suffering among Palestinians,’ he said. ‘But we have legitimate security concerns with an administration run by Hamas, which espouses terrorism against Israel.’”

      Are you equally ready to believe the blatant lies regularly pronounced by the White House mouthpiece for Bush? I tend to doubt you are. In any case, this kind of exchange, which you seem to prefer instead of dealing with more fundamental issues, isn’t going to resolve our differences.

      I’m waiting for a substantive response from you on the questions of the intentions of the Zionist program, as exemplified by the statements attributed to David Ben-Gurion in the excerpts from the Mearsheimer-Walt working paper I sent you. If you can provide evidence that they are false that will go a long way in destroying my belief that the Zionist leadership was conniving and dishonest from the very early stages of the project. It would not convince me that the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine was at all justified, but that is a separate question.

      Your resort to what amount to ad hominem criticisms of my judgement are, I think, indicative of your unwillingness to deal with facts that you claim trouble you, e.g. you wrote, “I assume you will dismiss this paragraph [the one quoting Mark Regev above] as you appear to dismiss anything that doesn’t fit your totally biased view of the general tragedy.” I believe you are unwilling to acknowledge that (as Ben-Gurion acknowledged) the Zionist project envisioned the conquest of Palestine, and part of that plan required maintaining a substantial Jewish majority, and hence ethnic “cleansing”, which has been and is continuing to be applied with, as Ben-Gurion stated, “brutal compulsion”. Your frequent use of the term “general tragedy” is a resort to unreason, making it seem you are compassionate and wish (which I believe you do) the human suffering could end, but avoiding its genesis. It’s an empty wish. I believe you are content that “the Jews are ‘winning’“, uncomfortable only with the fact that the “brutal compulsion” is becoming more and more widely recognized and condemned, and you wish “the Arab problem” could be resolved in a less offensive, more humanitarian way. I believe you are in a logical and moral impasse. Clearly, we can’t both be right.

      I ask again for Samantha’s e-mail address. By the way, you don’t need to inform me about the Nazi’s intentions and what they did. I will at some point list for you the books I have read that deal explicitly with that horror. Yes, I am a latecomer to what you term a “general tragedy”, but that does not mean I cannot try to learn as much as I am able and come to informed views. I am indeed tortured by the state of humanity.

Best wishes in the worst of times,
George


      Returning to the final part of your e-mail from this morning, you wrote, about the Khartoum Resolutions:
--------------------
George, I wanted to send this note to your complete list, but don’t have a copy of it.  Please send it out to those who receive your material. Thanks. Los
--------------------
      For the moment, the information you wanted to send out will go to those on my current “small” list, and you will have all their e-mail addresses. When I again write to the entire e-mail distribution list I will either put your note in with the links to the Khartoum information or, if it’s posted on either my website or the weblog before then, I’ll mention where it is. Mail to that list goes BlindCC, so you will not have the “large” list of addresses. Incidentally, you, and anyone else, can post articles and/or comments to the weblog. There’s more to write, but it’ll have to wait. This is already a day’s effort.

All the best,
George


Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 08:47:07 EDT
To: george.salzman@umb.edu

In a message dated 5/16/2006 9:27:27 PM Eastern Standard Time, george.salzman@umb.edu writes:

> Walzer offers no argument or evidence to show that the “Egyptian challenge” to Israel stands on a par with the “clear cases” of aggression cited.

George, Nassar (Egypt) declared a blockade of the Straits of Tiran prior to June 5, 1967 which is Israel’s only water route to its southern port of Eliat. George, that’s an act of war according to international definition. Israel responded with its attack on the Egyptian airforce on June 5, 1967. Israel responded to Egypt’s act of war. George, get real. If the US blocked a waterway to a Central American country, both you and I would assume this is an act of war.

As far as what Ben Gurion may or may not have said, frankly, I don’t think it’s that relevant. What’s relevant is actions, and anyway, Ben Gurion may have made those remarks (or not, I don’t know) for political reasons to encompass support from the political right. To hook into a comment and negate physical actions on the ground, seems to me, rather a weak position.

You don’t like Abba Eban’s phrase that the Arabs have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. I’m sorry you don’t like it, but it’s the truth. Even now, Hamas refuses to recognize the right of Israel to exist. George, do you expect Israel to be politically influenced to bow to Hamas with such an implied threat that Hamas wants in time to destroy the State of Israel? How stupid can Hamas be? This position puts the Palestinian people in an even more difficult economic position, one that is reaching crisis proportions. You call this intelligent on the part of Hamas? Please, it’s another example of stabbing yourself in the back.

You know, I’m really getting a bit tired of all this. I have little expectation of getting you to be realistic in terms of understanding both history and human nature. Your “arguments” appear so one-sided without any balance, I find it a bit frustrating. Maybe we should just agree that we disagree and leave it at that. Los


All comments and criticisms are welcome.    <george.salzman@umb.edu>

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