Letters to the Editor

(November 6, 2006)


[Ed. As a reminder to Letter writers: If you want your letters to be published, you must include your first and last names and your city and state of residence. Also, please, enter in the subject line of your e-mail "letter to the editor," and specify the article or the subject on which you are commenting. Thank you.]

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Our Kind of Guy: Good ol' Eli Beckerman...solid as a rock!

Dear Friends,

I am very excited to say that I have joined Jill Stein's campaign for Secretary of the Commonwealth. While this is a temporary move for me, it is a significant one -- where I have found a way to get paid doing something that I believe in to my very core.

Jill is an extraordinary woman and a phenomenal candidate, and I don't say this casually, but I think she can actually win.

She is running straight up against a 12-year incumbent Democrat -- Bill Galvin -- who should be ashamed of what has happened to our democracy on his watch as Secretary. Only 25% of the elections in Massachusetts are contested elections, while incumbents have a 98% re-election rate. Galvin even had the gall to thumb his nose at his Democratic challenger, John Bonifaz (an amazing voting rights advocate), who raised countless important questions about Galvin's record. Galvin refused to debate -- somehow thinking that the people of the Commonwealth are not entitled to see the candidates before them on the ballot actually debate the issues they will face in office. It is one thing for our elected officials to show such disdain for their constituents, but it is another thing entirely when that office holder is Secretary of State -- overseeing our election system at a time when it is so broken.

There are even more important questions to raise about Galvin, about the rampant corruption on Beacon Hill, about the electoral system that is failing us, about the decay of our democratic system of government, and the voters of Massachusetts will be left with a clear choice. There will be no Republican to fear and thus no lesser evil to reluctantly support. With Jill, the voters can vote their hopes, for a change.

An important part of Jill's campaign actually addresses this spoiler argument -- and it's called Instant Runoff Voting. Since the Democrats have a supermajority on Beacon Hill, they can take care of the spoiler effect in an instant. But they cherish it because it can scare you out of voting for someone you actually believe in. By ranking your votes, you automatically get to vote for the candidate you want without jeopardizing the end result. Thankfully in this race, there is no spoiler argument.

But there are two things that stand in our way -- money and visibility -- and they are deeply connected. I believe very strongly that grassroots mobilizations can outpower money any day of the week, and I actually encourage you to consider what you could do with your feet, with your hands, and with your heart, to make this upset victory happen. And of course, if you're stuck on that or feel like you don't have the time, then money will help tremendously (and that grassroots effort will have a multiplier effect).

Now, just so you know I'm not getting paid to write this, I want to make a push for you to donate to the gubernatorial Green-Rainbow candidates as well. Grace Ross and Martina Robinson are incredible activists who have put their lives on hold to try to represent the actual people of this state. Their opponents -- Deval Patrick included -- are in that top 0.01% of the people who earn more than 5 million dollars a year. Patrick's true colors will shine through, and I think Grace will stand out from the pack of hypocrites. But I think people will fall prey to the spoiler argument and end up voting their fears. It's still possible to work against that happening -- but I cannot hold my breath.

So, rest assured you will hear more from me on all of this... but for now, please visit www.jillstein.org and www.graceandmartina.org


Eli Beckerman
Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - October 27, 2006

[ed. The Boston Globe has refused to cover the campaign of Jill Stein but on October 31 the MetroWest Daily News, one of the major dailies in Massachusetts, endorsed her. Here's an excerpt of the endorsement:
Endorsement: Jill Stein for Secretary of State

[...] When lobbyists and lawmakers cut deals behind closed doors, Galvin goes along.

Galvin does have an opponent on the Nov. 7 ballot: Jill Stein of the Green-Rainbow Party. Stein, a Lexington physician, is a soft-spoken and articulate critic of state politics and government policy. She makes a convincing case that an aggressive secretary of state could treat the ills that beset the Beacon Hill establishment, and save us from what she calls "the hidden tax of influence-peddling."

Galvin has had some success in protecting consumers from investment fraud. He's made some improvement in voter registration and election procedures, though he is now missing a federal deadline for making voting machines more accessible to voters with disabilities.

But Galvin is a pillar of the Democratic establishment who shows little interest in rocking the boat. What Massachusetts needs in that office is a champion of good government, a referee willing to blow the whistle on the other players, a watchdog who'll protect voters and taxpayers. For these reasons, we endorse JILL STEIN for secretary of state.
For those of us who keep advocating to vote on the issues and select independant candidates in spite of the 2004 Green debacle this is an encouraging development. Keep in mind our voting recommendations.]


Differences Without Differences

To the Editor:

Congratulations on a very strong issue. I'm impressed with the consensus on how to vote, or not to, in the November elections, but I think the conclusion is simplistic.

I agree with Gore Vidal that we have only one political party in the U.S. with two right wings. This is broadly true on foreign policy, where both have supported the neo-liberal agenda on trade and globalization. It is less true on the domestic economy, where Clinton followed balanced budget policies, while Bush is breaking the bank. It is not true on domestic social issues, where one party at least tried to enact a national health plan, while the other created a drug policy that benefited the drug companies. It's not true on environmental issues, it's not true on women's rights, it's not true on the minimum wage, and it's not true on civil rights and the Constitution.

People who say there is no difference between the parties overlook the danger of the plan that Bush is carrying out: domestic wiretapping, imprisonment of US citizens without trial, torture, the building of mass detention centers; the ending of checks and balances; ending of accountability in the executive branch and subversion of the electoral process. These are rightly called harbingers of fascism, and if Michael Chertoff is to be believed, some of us writing in this journal could feel the effects of it.

On the international level, while it's true that both parties have followed the general agenda of economic neo-liberalism, Bush's pursuit of military adventurism, his advocacy of the war on terror, his phobia about an axis of evil and the influence of the Israeli right and the neocons on his policies, are unique cancers that need to be excised immediately.

Rather than saying "don't vote for the Democrats -- it only perpetuates the system," I would say "voting is a minor and symbolic act. Do what you want at the polls, but don't expect anything major to change. Do expect to go right back to work in your critical roles, whoever wins."

Robert Wrubel
Sausalito, California, USA - October 23, 2006

[ed. Of course, there are differences between the two parties. No one denies this. The differences are about the best policies to keep the status quo handy, from globalization to our SUVs and the bipartisan wars around the globe. These differences serve a larger purpose: to keep the American people confused and stuck within the same paradigm. With all due respect, the penultimate paragraph of this letter sums it all up in regard to the confusion of its writer's mind. Perhaps Bob Wrubel has in mind the 20-30 percent of the Democratic Party that are progressive. He forgets, however the 70-80 percent that are either centrists (center right) or scarily reactionary and vote with the Republicans time after time. He should look at the voting patterns of the Democrats, and then reassess his position.]


By Golly, They are Coming, They are Coming! Peter Byrne's Oriana Fallaci, 1929-2006

To Peter Byrne:

I've just come across your obituary of the late Ms. Fallaci published in Swans Commentary, on September 25, 2006. The reason I am cluttering up your inbox was the following passage:
On September 12 in Germany, he [Pope Benedict XVI] developed his thesis that the Christian God was reasonable (rejecting violence), unlike the Muslim God who was arbitrary (indifferent to violence). After the hostile reaction of Muslims to these speculations, Benedict was quickly excused in Italy as a bookish old man, lacking diplomacy, who had been misunderstood. On the contrary, his words in Germany, apart from being patronizing toward 1.3 billion Muslims, simply marked another step in the effort of the Church to keep Europe for its private domain. In fact, as John Hopper points out (London Observer, September 17, 2006) Benedict began dwelling on the links between Islam and violence well before he became Pope.
You are not the only one who takes Pope Benedict XVI severely at task for citing a Byzantine emperor (actually Manuel II Paleologos 1391-1425) for quoting in a lecture the pontiff gave at Regensburg on Sept. 12th. The particular citation that has the faithful in an uproar was: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

For this Benedict XVI had been traduced not just by the adherents of the Religion-of-Peace but by a fair number of their fellow-travelers all across the Main Stream Media as well as tenured useful idiots of Western universities.

Was the accusation of armed conquest concomitant with forced conversation at the point of the sword justified? Well, does the name Constantine XII Palaiologus ring a bell? If not let me refresh your memory. It was on May 23rd, 1453 that the last Byzantine emperor died sword in hand fighting off the hordes of the Ottoman Turks who than proceeded to put Constantinople to the sack sparing neither young nor old save comely maidens who were parceled out to the harems of the faithful.

And shortly afterwards present day Albania / Bosnia-Herzegovina / Bulgaria / Crete / Cyprus / Greece / Hungary / Macedonia / Montenegro / Romania / Serbia were brought under the suzerainty of the Crescent, the inhabitants being given the choice of submission to Allah (the merciful and compassionate) or accept the status of dhimmitude. The dhimmies had to pay a special tax payable in boys. These children were shipped off, forcibly converted to Islam including being circumcised (without anesthetics) and turned into janissaries and a magnificent body of infantry they turned out to be.

And let's not forget Vienna. Islam tried twice, 1588 and 1683 to conquer that city and each time they were turned back -- just.

At last report, His Holiness has invited a number of Muslim luminaries to meet with him so that he can clarify his attitude towards the Religion-of-Peace. This is par for the course. Historically, the Vatican has always been more at ease dealing with Islam than with schismatics like the Greek & Russian Orthodox Churches to say nothing like heretics such as the Lutherans, the Calvinists, the Anglicans and numerous others. Jews, of course, are beyond the pale.

As a sort of postscript, apart from the two attempts on Vienna, that Religion-of-Peace tried to conquer Western Europe at Poitiers in 712 AD. What would have happened had Islam won the battle of Poitiers (and it was a dammed close thing)? Let Edward Gibbons (1737-1794) author of The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire tell it in his own inimitable way:
A victorious line of march had been prolonged above a thousand miles from the rock of Gibraltar to the banks of the Loire; the repetition of an equal space would have carried the Saracens to the confines of Poland and the Highlands of Scotland: the Rhine is not more impassable than the Nile or Euphrates, and the Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet.
Well Mr. Byrne, it is only a matter of time before the green flag of the Prophet (peace be upon him) flies over St. Peter's in Rome, Notre Dame in Paris, and St. Paul in London.

E. David Litvak
San Francisco, California - October 31, 2006

Peter Byrne responds:

Dear Mr. Litvak,

It must be like playing a video game to sit in San Francisco among your history books (rather too heavy on the 8th to the 18th centuries) and fantasize about a Muslim takeover of Europe. This continent has many immigrants of that faith because our economies can't function without them. Native Europeans don't reproduce sufficiently, despite fetus worship by bachelors in the Vatican. The generally serious and hardworking Muslim immigrants and their children born here are put in real danger by any Western suggestion of a religious war. Racism still smolders in Europe, and Fascist-type abuse of the "other" is a daily occurrence from the North of England, through Germany, to the tip of Italy. That's why the shift in Vatican policy toward Islam from accommodation (Woitija) to confrontation (Ratzinger) is to be decried.

I well understand that Christians from the cultural frontiers, such as the Balkans, have forged their identity on an anti-Islam stance and would feel personally diminished without it. But the time has come for 21st century history books and realities. Let's forget the spilt blood of the 15th century and think about that shed now and that which will flow tomorrow in any concocted "war of civilizations."

During my years in Bulgaria I used to marvel at the amount of time students were encouraged to spend writing essays about the Turkish occupation of yore. The same students knew nothing of modern Turkey and were discouraged from crossing the border to find out. Later, living in Turkey, I found the Ottoman Empire pretty well forgotten, students knowledgeable about the West, and grievances against Europe, religious or other, strictly the province of the usual cranks.


Peter Byrne
Lecce, Italy - November 2, 2006


Interview with Col. Andrew Bacevich (Ret.)

Dear Editor,

I think it's important to keep making the connection between Iraq and Vietnam, so to talk about this who better than a Vietnam Vet with a Ph.D. from Princeton who teaches at Boston University? What's interesting here is how idealistic Andrew Bacevich still is -- and I wonder whether by the time the Iraq debacle is finished and done with he'll have become more cynical. More realistic, perhaps I should say, which would be a good thing. We do have a number of different views and did scrimmage a bit, but I enjoyed this conversation and found Andrew quite likeable indeed. One area we did agree, almost completely, is the nature and importance of civil-military relations: Andrew's thoughtful contributions to that subject are welcome indeed.

If you find time to listen I hope you enjoy the show.

The podcast entry is here:


Best Regards,

George Kenney
Electric Politics
Bethesda, Maryland, USA - October 27, 2006
[Ed. George Kenney is a principled US citizen who resigned from the State Department in the early 1990s in opposition to the US policies in the former Yugoslavia.]


More of the Same, Old Same... Jewish Prominence, all 15 million of 'em!

To the Editor:

Gilles d'Aymery requested that I demonstrate my claim that the Zionists had brought the U.S. into WWI.

Here it is:
Background to Balfour

In a memorandum marked in his own handwriting "Private & Confidential" to Lord Peel and other members of the Royal Commission on Palestine in 1936, James Malcolm wrote: I have always been convinced that until the Jewish question was more or less satisfactorily settled there could be no real or permanent peace in the world, and that the solution lay in Palestine. This was one of the two main considerations which impelled me, in the autumn of 1916, to initiate the negotiations which led eventually to the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate for Palestine. The other, of course, was to bring America into the War. For generations Jews and Gentiles alike have assumed in error that the cause of Anti-Semitism was in the main religious. Indeed, the Jews in the hope of obtaining relief from intolerance, engaged in the intensive and subversive propagation of materialistic doctrines productive of "Liberalism," Socialism, and Irreligion, resulting in de-Christianisation. On the other hand, the more materialistic the Gentiles became, the more aware they were subconsciously made of the cause of Anti-Semitism, which at bottom was, and remains to this day, primarily an economic one. A French writer -- Vicomte de Poncins -- has remarked that in some respects Anti-Semitism is largely a form of self-defence against Jewish economic aggression. In my opinion, however. neither the Jews nor the Gentiles bear the sole responsibility for this.

As I have already said, I had a part in initiating the negotiations in the early autumn of 1916 between the British and French Governments and the Zionist leaders, which led to the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate for Palestine. The first object, of course, was to enlist the very considerable and necessary influence of the Jews, and especially of the Zionist or Nationalist Jews, to help us bring America into the War at the most critical period of the hostilities. This was publicly acknowledged by Mr. Lloyd George during a recent debate in the House of Commons.

Our second object was to enable and induce Jews all the world over to envisage constructive work as their proper field, and to take their minds off destructive and subversive schemes which, owing to their general Sense of insecurity and homelessness, even in the periods preceding the French Revolution, had provoked so much trouble and unrest in various countries, until their ever-increasing violence culminated in the Third International and the Russian Communist Revolution. But to achieve this end it was necessary to promise them Palestine in consideration of their help, as already explained, and not as a mere humanitarian experiment or enterprise, as represented in certain quarters.

It is no wonder that Weizmann did not refer to Malcolm in his autobiography, and Sokolow privately resented Malcolm "as a stranger in the center of our work," who was "endowed with an esprit of a goyish kind." [187]

It is also worth noting that on page seven of his memorandum Malcolm quoted General Ludendorff, former Quartermaster General of the German Army, and perhaps at least remembered for heading an unsuccessful coup in Munich in 1923, as saying that the Balfour Declaration was "the cleverest thing done by the Allies in the way of propaganda and that he wished Germany had thought of it first."

On the other hand, might it not have provided some cold comfort for Ludendorff to believe that the Zionist Jews were a major factor in the outcome of the war -- if that is what he is implying? Malcolm's belief in the Balfour Declaration as a means of bringing the United States into the war was confirmed by Samuel Landman, secretary to the Zionist leaders Weizmann and Sokolow, and later secretary of the World Zionist Organization. As the only way (which proved so to be) to induce the American President to come into the war was to secure the cooperation of Zionist Jews by promising them Palestine, and thus enlist and mobilize the hitherto unsuspectedly powerful forces of Zionist Jews in America and elsewhere in favour of the Allies on a quid pro quo contract basis. Thus, as will be seen, the Zionists having carried out their part, and greatly helped to bring America in, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 was but the public confirmation of the necessarily secret "gentlemens' " agreement of 1916, made with the previous knowledge, acquiescence, and or approval of the Arabs, and of the British, and of the French and other Allied governments, and not merely a voluntary, altruistic and romantic gesture on the part of Great Britain as certain people either through pardonable ignorance assume or unpardonable ill-will would represent or rather misrepresent ... [188]

Speaking in the House of Commons on 4 July 1922, Winston Churchill asked rhetorically, Are we to keep our pledge to the Zionists made in 1917...? Pledges and promises were made during the war, and they were made, not only on the merits, though I think the merits are considerable. They were made because it was considered they would be of value to us in our struggle to win the war. It was considered that the support which the Jews could give us all over the world, and particularly in the United States, and also in Russia, would be a definite palpable advantage. I was not responsible at that time for the giving of those pledges, nor for the conduct of the war of which they were, when given, an integral part. But like other members I supported the policy of the War Cabinet. Like other members, I accepted and was proud to accept a share in those great transactions, which left us with terrible losses, with formidable obligations, but nevertheless with unchallengable victory. However, Hansard notes, one member, Mr. Gwynne, plaintively complained that "the House has not yet had an opportunity of discussing it."

Writing to The Times on 2 November 1949, Malcolm Thomson, the official biographer of Lloyd George, noted that this was the thirty-second anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and it seemed a suitable occasion for stating briefly certain facts about its origin which have recently been incorrectly recorded. When writing the official biography of Lloyd George, I was able to study the original documents bearing on this question. From these it was clear that although certain members of the Cabinets of 1916 and 1917 sympathized with Zionist aspirations, the efforts of Zionist leaders to win any promise of support from the British Government had proved quite ineffectual, and the secret Sykes-Picot agreement with the French for partition of spheres of interest in the Middle East seemed to doom Zionist aims. A change of attitude was, however, brought about through the initiative of Mr. James A. Malcolm, who pressed on Sir Mark Sykes, then Under-Secretary to the War Cabinet, the thesis that an allied offer to restore Palestine to the Jews would swing over from the German to the allied side the very powerful influence of American Jews, including Judge Brandeis, the friend and adviser of President Wilson. Sykes was interested, and at his request Malcolm introduced him to Dr. Weizmann and the other Zionist leaders, and negotiations were opened which culminated in the Balfour Declaration. These facts have at one time or another been mentioned in various books and articles, and are set out by Dr. Adolf Boehm in his monumental history of Zionism, Die Zionistische Bewegung, Vol. 1, p. 656. It therefore surprised me to find in Dr. Weizmann's autobiography, Trial and Error, that he makes no mention of Mr. Malcolm's crucially important intervention, and even attributes his own introduction to Sir Mark Sykes to the late Dr. Caster. As future historians might not unnaturally suppose Dr. Weizmann's account to be authentic, I have communicated with Mr. Malcolm, who not only confirms the account I have given, but holds a letter written to him by Dr. Weizmann on March 5, 1941, saying: "You will be interested to hear that some time ago I had occasion to write to Mr. Lloyd George about your useful and timely initiative in 1916 to bring about the negotiations between myself and my Zionist colleagues and Sir Mark Sykes and others about Palestine and Zionist support of the allied cause in America and elsewhere."

No doubt a complexity of motives lay behind the Balfour Declaration, including strategic and diplomatic considerations and, on the part of Balfour, Lloyd George, and Smuts, a genuine sympathy with Zionist aims. But the determining factor was the intervention of Mr. Malcolm with his scheme for engaging by some such concession the support of American Zionists for the allied cause in the first world war. Yours, & c., MALCOLM THOMSON (Source: Behind the Balfour Declaration by Robert John.)
I have read elsewhere that tentative peace negotiations between Great Britain and Germany were underway in mid 1916 but did not find any precise references.

I get the feeling that Gilles d'Aymery believes that any insistence on the presence of a powerful Jewish and/or Jewish-Zionist (certainly not the same, especially back at the turn of the century) lobby implies the belief that they are behind everything, or controlling the U.S., i.e., are the only such group lobbying to exert influence. As Robert John argues elsewhere in his book, of course there are many such groups, not to mention differing opinions within the same group. However, to assume that just because one particular group (in this case Zionists around WWI) was NOT in control of everything that therefore it had no part to play is no less extreme. Obviously the negotiations carried out by Zionist power brokers at the turn of the century involved the major powers of the time, presumably because the international network of financiers and others in the widespread Jewish Diaspora, by coming together across national fault lines with a unified approach could exert considerable influence on the outcome of great affairs, including wars during which sources of finance are as vital as fuel and other supplies to the military in the field. So although it is surely quite silly to maintain that one group is controlling the whole world (as he seems to be implying I have been doing), it is no less absurd to deny a long lineage of influence at the highest levels which the historical record clearly shows. Merely the fact that a small population of 15,000,000, with around 5,000,000 in Palestine today can play so prominent a part in world affairs, that Israel receives such a disproportionate amount of aid from the U.S. as she has done since her founding, and so forth, is evidence of the most simple, common-sense type that Israel does indeed wield great influence in US affairs (for whatever reason), as AIPAC -- by far the largest foreign lobbying group in the U.S. -- no less clearly demonstrates. Why anyone would be uncomfortable acknowledging this is beyond me -- unless they feel duty bound to cover up the obvious for some partisan reason, or they are afraid of being associated with the dreadful (and by now over-abused) "anti-Semite" label perhaps.

Ashley Howes
Cape Breton, Canada - October 23, 2006

[ed. Here we go again, a "group" of 15,000,000 people down to a few banking families are controlling the world.... One short excerpt from one book becomes an evidence of wrong-doing and world manipulation by the said "group...." What else to say? Ashley Howes may wish to read The Politics Of Anti-Semitism, Part II: Stereotypes And Other Canards - Gilles d'Aymery - May 2004.]


Debunking a Few Canards as well as Interjecting the Usual PR

To the Editor:

Ashley Howes writes: "I remind you that it is a matter of public record that the U.S. was dragged into WWI by Zionist power brokers." You can find this nonsense in several anti-Semitic Web sites. They even accuse the Zionists (meaning the Jews) as being responsible for WWII, because they were behind the harsh treatment of Germany at Versailles, by the Jewish (Zionist) bankers...

As for his statement that, "[T]his was true with the very creation of the state of Israel that was determined against the expressed wishes of all the Arab League states at the U.N.," which means that the U.N. should not pass any decisions opposed by the Arab League states. It does not matter to Howes that both the U.S. and the Soviet Union voted for the decision. (I am sure he thinks that the Zionists also had a huge influence even on the USSR...) It does not matter to him that the "mess," as he calls it, developed ONLY because the Arabs refused to accept the legitimacy of the Jewish state in Palestine, regardless of its size, and tried to destroy that state numerous times by military means. And for his information, there is no such thing as a "Jewish race." The Jews are a people just like the Bulgarians or the French. Just as there is no Italian "race," there is no Jewish "race." And Israel is run by a secular parliament, not by religious law. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are all recognized. In fact the state pays the salaries of the rabbis, the imams, and the pastors. And Israel is not "ethnically cleansing" the indigenous population. It has 1.3 million non-Jewish citizens. Some ethnic cleansing....

And, the Jews living in Eastern Europe or in any other places for that matter, have a very strong historical and emotional connection to their place of origin, what they call Eretz Israel (the Land of Israel), which later became known as Palestine. Contrary to many peoples of antiquity, the Jews did not disappear from the stage. They were able to preserve their historical memory and to eventually reestablish their independent state in the place of their origin. This has nothing to do with religion or "Talmudism" and everything to do with peoplehood. After all, the founders of Zionism were all secular Jews motivated by history, not by religion.

The Palestinian Jewish community, led by the Zionist movement, accepted the 1947 UN partition plan, thus giving up more than 80 percent of Mandatory Palestine, precisely because another people lived there. They understood that the territorial compromise was a must.

The idea that Israel wants to "conquer most of the well-over-a-billion Islamic region" is as bizarre as it is ludicrous. Israel is already a part of the Middle East, now recognized by the largest Arab state. In the end, the "mess" will end up with the implementation of the two states solution, with the border following the green line with minor modifications and land swaps.

Yours truly,

Jacob Amir
Jerusalem, Israel - October 25, 2006

[ed. Some valid points amidst the usual PR. Now, if only Dr. Amir could take care of the cancer in his own society -- namely, Avigdor Lieberman, the successor to Meir Kahane and Rehavam Ze'evi, and his growing racist followers. Avigdor Lieberman, deputy prime minister in charge of security issues! If only he could spend his time writing to his government to push for a negotiated solution to the conflict, to even accept the offer made by Ahmed Yousef, a senior adviser to the Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniya, in a New York Times Op-Ed, "Pause for Peace" (November 1, 2006): "Hamas proposes a long-term truce during which the Israeli and Palestinian peoples can try to negotiate a lasting peace." And if a 10-year Hudna is not long enough, ask for 20 or 25 years, a full generation. This would be time better spent than writing lengthy letters to the editor to debunk what needs just a few lines.]


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Published November 6, 2006
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