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12 June 2009


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The Maccabees, eh? Well, sure -- why not? In my book though, the Sicarii are a better example. Rejected by their fellows in Jerusalem, they made their great stand on land they seized, in fortifications built by others. Before the end, they survived by pillaging their gentile (OK, Roman) neighbors.
In the end, of course, they followed the orders of Elazar ben Ya'ir and died in their mountain top bunker (how's that for a mixed metaphor?) like good little ideologues. Today, of course, they've got the bomb as well as the Book. Sleep well.

Mad Dogs

Richard delivers an excellent synopsis of the both history and state of play with regard to Israel/Palestine.

Readers of SST might also want to read the latest news about Bibi's Condidtions at the Foreign Policy blog (and the originating article here.)

It seems that little has changed from that original Balfour Declaration in almost 100 years.

R Whitman

Here we go again, wallowing in the past instead of trying to think in terms of solutions.

This narrative has been told many times from the point of view of Jews, British and Arabs. Enough already.

William R. Cumming

Okay here is the solution! US guarantees the 1948 borders orginally recognized as STATE Of ISRAEL! Then issues citizenship to any Israeli of whatever ethnicity and religion on an expedited basis who wants US citizenship and does not have it but only if they permanently emigrate from Israel to US and renounce Israeli citizenship. And announce any attacks launced with the 1948 borders by either terrorist non-state actors or nation-states will immediate cause US to become involved. Previously I had been in favor of using International forces to guard 1948 borders but that is probably unrealistic. What I think has really happended is that Israel wanted to become the Jewish nation-state and now history with a few obvious exceptions has moved on. Nation-states were a result of the Treaty of Westphalia and an attempt to limit religious wars and other use of organized violence except to nation-states. That era ended once modern technology left with the individual or small groups of individuals the ability to threaten even large demographic and geographic units like the US. Well the Israeli/Zionist vision has fallen to history--dialectic? Anyhow my concern as a former WMD targeter is how nicely the scarily few remainders tragically of the very successful Hitlerian Holocaust have pretended like those who died at MASAD that they have won. War has NO winners. That is the problem. Survival of the nation-state system into the next century very unlikely. Looking more and more like economic blocks as in the game of RISK. What the Israeli's don't seem to get is that the US will be acting rationally in not committing suicide like those at MASADA. Will Israel act rationally? That is the question? Again there are no winners in the threats posed by misuse of modern technology or biology.

Dave of Maryland

Slanted. Will Mr. Sale tell us what, exactly, happened in 1936, to make it a memorable year?


Excellent column. The ironies are amazing. Since the desire for ethnic cleansing in Palestine is so deeply encoded in Israeli political DNA, it is hard to imagine that even a disruption of relations with the USA will affect it.

My prediction: Bibi will resist and if really pushed, he will just bring down his own government....a standard Israeli tactic to wait out an American president.

Ironically, Bibi's bad faith may well help fold the "moderates" on his borders who claim they have a partner for peace in Tel Aviv.


1936? Gee, let me see... Berlin Olympics highlights the rise of racial authoritarianism? Nah, not relevant.
Germany reoccupies the Rheinland? Nope, doesn't fit the Zionist model.
Arab Revolt led by Amin Al-Husseini to protest British rule and Zionist expansionism? Well, could be. Over 5,000 Arabs killed by the Brits and a couple of hundred Jews (mostly Zionists?) killed by Arabs certainly could have stoked the "us or them" mentality. Should also have ended the "land without a people for a people without a land" rhetoric, but words often lag realities.


William R. Cumming,
Actually war can have winners, if one includes the non-belligerents. For example, The Korean war jump started Japan's post second world war economic recovery.


What's the use of a Palestinian state that has no access to clean water, no proper schools 'cept 'em madrassas (that nurture future freedom fighters/terrorists) and no good infrastructure (providin' jobs & structured economy. Another nestin' ground for trouble, it's all there is.

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