Alan and I have been good friends for several years. In recent months he has become far more critical of the Zionist state than he was some years ago, as it has become more and more evident that the Israeli government is determined to carry out its genocidal program to obliterate Palestine. Alan’s website is well worth reading with care. It is at http://www.alanhart.net/. . Not quite two-and-a-half months ago he wrote me:
Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 2:40 AM
Alan Hart <firstname.lastname@example.org
My dear George, First things ... I think your piece on The ethics of a just solution is brilliant.  I also love your phrase “pseudo democracy”. That captures in two words what I always say — that democracy exists nowhere in the world and least of all in some important respects in the U. S. of A. We have the framework for democracy but not the substance. There is a condition for democracy to exist. Citizens, the voters, have to be informed enough about issues that really matter in order to participate in debate about choices and call and hold their leaders/governments to account. There’s s no country in the world where citizens are informed enough to do this. When I first joined ITN [Independent Television News, London] as a very, very young reporter very, very many years ago, its then great editor-in-chief, Geoffrey Cox, gave me the mission statement in one short sentence. “Our job is to help keep democracy alive.” Today I say the mainstream media has betrayed democracy.
My overview is pretty much the same as yours. Modern life is a de-humanizing process and the name of the game for each and everyone of us is, ought to be, claiming back our humanity. If only we had the resources necessary to get a real people power global movement going! More power to you and take great care of yourself. Warm regards --Alan
I know, Alan, that for all of us who want a real, humane peaceful world, these are the most trying times. You and I agree on a great deal, but what I think it’s essential to focus on are our areas of disagreement. Perhaps I will be incorrect in my characterization of some of your ideas. If so, please forgive me, don’t be offended, but help me understand your views. I just read your latest post on your blog, titled, Could Arab Palestinian staying power ultimately defeat Zionism? Your response rests, it seems to me, on two assumptions that I see as extremely élitist. You write, (1.)
“The Jews, generally speaking, are the intellectual élite of the Western world.” (2.)
“The Palestinians are by far the intellectual élite of the Arab world.” 
Your wishful projection that if only these two gifted élite peoples could merge their efforts and work in concert, then a true civilization would result, will remain a barren wish. But in fact, even if a “reconciliation did occur” it would be a catastrophe for humanity. It would be yet another instance supposedly showing that violence, conquest, destruction of “enemies” works. Another affirmation of the major lesson of the British Empire: Violence über alles (Violence above all else).
Making a Palestine of happy children
A model for making a world of happy people
The destruction of Palestine should be stopped and the land returned to its indigenous peoples. I presented a fairly brief sketch for doing this without any further bloodshed, torture, theft or suffering of any of the peoples involved, including the would-be Jewish Zionist conquerors. It’s so easy to scoff at the notion of seeking a non-violent, humane resolution, and to declare without further thought, That would be contrary to human nature. So easy and so fatal. One of the things I have learned from the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca is the existence of a “better way” to settle conflicts than British officialdom ever dreamed of.
To people whose life experience has been shaped almost entirely by the contemporary dominant global ideology, the possibility of a different way of living — with a really totally different set of governing values — seems inconceivable to most of the people I know in the U.S. It must seem to them that I’m oblivious to what “human nature” is, that I’m living in a dream world. So they act like the normal people they are: they ignore me and what seem to them to be my “mad ravings”.
No one can be expected to comprehend events and/or possibilities for human interaction that are totally outside his/her life experiences. If you tried to tell a native bushman of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa about snow, you would be thought to be delusional. Most of my American contacts have life experiences limited to the U.S. To them my experiences among indigenous Oaxaqueños who are not “naturally greedy and aggressive” seem incredible. They take me for a deluded romantic, and dismiss my vision of “how the world could be”. They “know” — they believe — what “human nature” is, and that, like an engraving in stone, it is frozen forever. I see their attitude as showing an unrelenting stubborness. And, I should empahsize, this stubborness is by no means limited to my self-labelled “liberal” friends. My American anarchist friends are also addicted to the notion that they are entitled to live at a level of material wealth that is increasingly beyond the reach of former “middle class” Americans. They too enjoy being privileged. Surprise! Surprise!
Just yesterday (the 18th of Aug 2011) I got a letter from an anarchist friend, who wrote in part, “XXXXX and I are safely back from Bread and Puppet in Vermont, and are all fired up, with batteries recharged, and working hard to "change the world." It was raining hard the whole way back. It was a difficult drive, but XXXXX got us through it okay”. The intrepid strugglers battling for a better world by driving several hundred miles to celebrate with other “turned on” radicals. How much gasoline burned? How much ecological damage in the pursuit of fun? No clue. No interest. It’s their right to have fun. And these are committed American anarchists! Do I sound as though I have contempt for principled people who prefer to win an argument and lose the world than to lose an argument? You bet! Preventing the genocide of the Palestinians is my first priority. Here are two papers on saving the Palestinians:
Alan Hart’s website, which features his blog, is at http://www.alanhart.net/
 The ethics of a just solution of the “Palestinian/Israeli” conflict I posted this initially on my website, at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman
_g/t/2010-11-13.htm. Subsequently, through my contact with Jillian C. York, I learned about the Canadian website, Media With Conscience News, and submitted my paper there for consideration. Dr. Shahram Vahdany, the Managing Editor, responded immediately and affirmatively (Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 11:57 AM), Many thanks Professor, Please stay in touch and feel free to send us your work any time, Kind Regards, ShahramVahdany@mwcnews.net, http://www.mwcnews.net, 778-329-8867. The essay was at once posted on that site, with a photograph that they added. It is at http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/10252-palestinian-israel
 An élitist perspective, it seems to me. Alan’s human sympathies are manifestly with the Palestinians, but his paper, titled “Could Arab Palestinian staying power ultimately defeat Zionism? includes his assumption of the intellectual superiority of the Jews and the Palestinians, neither of which I think is justified. The very idea of ranking people according to their supposed intellectual prowess is wholely erroneous. The acclaimed Oh, so brilliant Jewish people -- are, by the crooked manipulations of the wealthiest of them, busy destroying the possibility of life on the Earth continuing much longer. What does that say about their “intellectual superiority”? http://www.alanhart.net/%E2%80%9Ccould-arab-palestinian-staying-power-ultimately-defeat-zionism%E2%80%9D/#more-1569
George Salzman is a former American Jew living in Oaxaca, Mexico, an ex-physics prof, Univ of Massachusetts-Boston.
All comments and criticisms are welcome. <email@example.com>