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(Note to literalists: the Watched column presently contains only a smattering of 'warblogs' because the facilitator of the template-change--Dr. Menlo--is not very familiar with them, and will be adding more as they are sent to him. Also, this blog may contain areas of allusion, satire, subtext, context and possibly even a dash of the surreal: wannabe lit-crits beware.)


[Watch this space for: Pentagon and Petroleum, The Media is only as Liberal as the Corporations Who Own Them, Wash Down With, and Recalcify]


Friday, June 21, 2002


Despite yesterday's promise to limit my warblogger-watching, I am moved to offer the following, much like someone downing a large quantity of ipecacuanha is moved to vomit all over the fucking place.

I have caught this blissful idiot dispensing some ill-informed opinion. Employing that most shopworn of rhetorical devices, he asks himself several questions. Allow me to answer here them in sequence:

1) How will a Palestinian state come about?

Answer: Likely through international fiat, much like Israel did. Amazing that Israel, which owes its existence to the affirmation of international opinion, operates in complete indifference to the same.

2) Will the Palestinians get everything they want in their state?

Answer: Of course not. A demilitarization of the PA is not just likely, it is already largely achieved, what with Sharon's longstanding efforts to undermine and destabilize the Palestinians by targeting their security forces. You are again correct re: the right of return. The Palestinians will of course be told, "no, you can't go back to the house in Jaffa which you fled over 50 years ago." Such rights are reserved for wealthy former inhabitants of the Baltic republics of the Soviet Union and their even wealthier offspring. Your point about the larger settlements standing is again largely correct.

Incorrect, however, are your conclusions from the recent Palestinian Jerusalem Media and Communication Center poll that, as has been parroted everywhere by everybody, purports to show that the "Majority [of] Palestinians See Israel's Elimination as Goal." A quibble that handily shows that the poll, if it is to demonstrate a majority falling this way or the other, is wildly inconclusive is evident in the very text so often linked to by the warbloggers: "Fifty-one percent of people surveyed said the end result of the uprising should be 'liberating all of historic Palestine,' referring to British-mandate Palestine, part of which was recognized as Israel in 1948." The piece also noted "The poll had a three percent margin of error." A quibble, true, but the poll cannot be said to demonstrate a majority.

Interestingly enough, the previous poll gauging the same attitudes (conducted March 2002) asked the question with greater precision and in a manner that did not corral respondents into endorsing the "pushing of the Jews into the sea" as the worn saw puts it. In that poll, a full 41.6 per cent favored a "Two state solution: an Israeli and a Palestinian." A further 31.6 per cent reported wanting a "Bi-national state on all of historic Palestine." The possible response that demanded the Jews be pushed into the sea, a "Palestinian state on all of historic Palestine and return of refugees," was selected by a meager 12.5 per cent of those polled. I have no doubts that the Palestinians have been further radicalized by the intervening three-odd months, though the methodological poverty of the most recent JMCC poll undermines the results to the such an extent that they cannot be regarded seriously.

3) How will the Palestinians rationalize the fact that their state does not match their expectations (fantasies)?

How touching that you parenthetically and snidely deride them as "fantasies." Your question can be answered in tandem with the one that follows:

4) What will be the result of that rationalization?

Answer: Probably a general acceptance of their lot, much like they have generally accepted their current wretched lot. B'Tselem shows that 354 Israeli civilians and security personnel were killed by Palestinians in the 15 years ending January 2002. The intensification of the violence since then is, of course, noted, though the historically minded will of course recognize it as an aberration. This works out to an annualized 24 Israelis killed by Palestinians. Nearly 4,300 people were murdered in New York City in 1990-1991.

5) What will be the near-term result of creating a Palestinian state under anything resembling current conditions?

Answer: Again, I do not know, but I see no basis whatsoever for your assertion that "The creation of a Palestinian state under current conditions will lead to increased terrorism - certainly against Israel and quite probably against America." This seems only an odd expectation (fantasy) on your part that justifies the continued immiseration of the Palestinians.

• • • • •

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