12.07.2002

Friends,


The following letter is from the website of my friend Joanna Macy, a fine Buddhist scholar and activist; see , a wonderful, thoughtful resource.


This letter, concerning the devastating erosion of our constitutional rights since the Enron regime seized power, includes valuable websites with information about what is happening to our remaining rights, and how to protect them.
Peace,
Taigen



October 29, 2002

Dear People,

It's like living in two different countries, two parallel universes. In the one created by presidential rhetoric and Congressional votes, we are openly moving to war--with debates about it restricted to timing and conditions, as if unilateral aggression were our moral right, and a virtual inevitability. The other country includes just about everyone I meet face to face. There I hear shock, outrage, shame. And though many still proceed with "life as usual" and many still say "What after all can I do?," resistance is growing. In gatherings, workshops, and rallies, an allegiance to life is erupting, like seeds bursting open in the fire--bringing a determination to stop the war on Iraq, and, even if we can't do that, to build a society where such insanity is unnecessary and inconceivable. Between these two universes the cognitive dissonance is extreme.

Systems thinker Paul Krapfel helps me understand this dissonance. He says, "The great challenge of life is posed by the gap between the way the world really is and the way the world really is."

Both worlds are real: the one manifested by fear and greed, and the one made possible by the spiritual power at the core of life. I guess the trick is to stay alert to one, while feeding the other. So I've been glad in recent weeks for ways that help me become more present to both these worlds.

Harnessing up with like minds, with shared intentions, seems more necessary than ever. In this Orwellian moment of apparent mono-think, simply to meet in groups, to speak the truth of our perceptions and experience, is invigorating--like oxygen. Practices from the Work That Reconnects--such as the Truth Mandala, Open Sentences, and Widening Circles--help us do this, fast and strong; and we don't need a workshop to do them. As people speak plainly of what they see happening to our democracy, as they express anger and grief over the suffering inflicted on our fellow-beings, I know what I'm hearing. I am hearing their love for this precious world and their passion for justice. Each time I am awed by the immensity of the human heart. Each time I am struck by how quickly our pain for the world, once it is accepted and understood, can bond us in resilient community, move us to creative action.


To stay alert to the darker political realities, and wise up to the dangers overtaking our democracy, I have been taking a fresh look at our constitutional rights, and briefing myself on what has been happening to them since the passage, one year ago, of the USA Patriot Act. Thanks to a number of fine, vigilant organizations, excellent resources are available on the internet. Doug and I made a pocket pamphlet of Know Your Rights by the National Lawyers Guild (www.nlg.org). We studied it together at the last meeting of our Bay Area Collective, and then practiced role-plays of being stopped, questioned, searched or harassed by police and airport security personnel. We find these enactments help us feel less vulnerable to intimidation and more confident in those rights we still have. This kind of informed preparation is a key component in building the "rough weather networks," which will sustain us through the coming times.

For more resources on our rights, see the following:

http://www.ccr-ny.org/whatsnew/usa_patriot_act.asp

http://www.pluralism.org/resources/links/civil_liberties.php

http://www.cato.org/current/civil-liberties/

http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=10898&c=207

http://www.aclu.org/PolicePractices/PolicePractices.cfm?ID=10626&c=118


Another practice I particularly appreciate right now is "Bowing to Our Adversaries." Created by Caitriona Reed (and on this website under Engaged Buddhism), it steadies us in relating to those who serve the military industrial system. Helping to move us beyond fear and loathing, it opens us to compassion for the suffering and alienation of these people--and even gratitude for the ways their actions have awakened our own love for life and our passion to serve it. Take and use.



In glad solidarity,



Joanna
WHEN I LAY DYING...of cancer

Philip Berrigan




I die in a community including my family, my beloved wife Elizabeth, three great Dominican nuns - Ardeth Platte, Carol Gilbert, and Jackie Hudson (emeritus) jailed in Western Colorado - Susan Crane, friends local, national and even international. They have always been a life-line to me. I die with the conviction, held since 1968 and Catonsville, that nuclear weapons are the scourge of the earth; to mine for them, manufacture them, deploy them, use them, is a curse against God, the human family, and the earth itself. We have already exploded such weapons in Japan in 1945 and the equivalent of them in Iraq in 1991, in Yugoslavia in 1999, and in Afghanistan in 2001. We left a legacy for other people of deadly radioactive isotopes - a prime counterinsurgency measure. For example, the people of Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Pakistan will be battling cancer, mostly from depleted uranium, for decades. In addition, our nuclear adventurism over 57 years has saturated the planet with nuclear garbage from testing, from explosions in high altitudes (four of these), from 103 nuclear power plants, from nuclear weapons factories that can't be cleaned up - and so on. Because of myopic leadership, of greed for possessions, a public chained to corporate media, there has been virtually no response to these realities...



At this point in dictation, Phil's lungs filled; he began to cough uncontrollably; he was tired. We had to stop - with promises to finish later. But later never came - another moment in an illness that depleted Phil so rapidly it was all we could do to keep pace with it... And then he couldn't talk at all. And then - gradually - he left us.



What did Phil intend to say? What is the message of his life? What message was he leaving us in his dying? Is it different for each of us, now that we are left to imagine how he would frame it?



During one of our prayers in Phil's room, Brendan Walsh remembered a banner Phil had asked Willa Bickham to make years ago for St. Peter Claver. It read: "The sting of death is all around us. O Christ, where is your victory?"



The sting of death is all around us. The death Phil was asking us to attend to is not his death (though the sting of that is on us and will not be denied). The sting Phil would have us know is the sting of institutionalized death and killing. He never wearied of articulating it. He never ceased being astonished by the length and breadth and depth of it. And he never accepted it.



O Christ, where is your victory? It was back in the mid 1960's that Phil was asking that question of God and her Christ. He kept asking it. And, over the years, he learned

· that it is right and good to question our God, to plead for
justice for all that inhabit the earth

· that it is urgent to feel this; injustice done to any is
injustice done to all

· that we must never weary of exposing and resisting such
injustice

· that what victories we see are smaller than the mustard seeds
Jesus praised, and they need such tender nurture

· that it is vital to celebrate each victory - especially the
victory of sisterhood and brotherhood embodied in loving, nonviolent community.


Over the months of Phil's illness we have been blessed a hundred-fold by small and large victories over an anti-human, anti-life, anti-love culture, by friendships - in and out of prison - and by the love that has permeated Phil's life. Living these years and months with Phil free us to revert to the original liturgical question: "O death, where is your sting?"


*********

For a recent article from the Baltimore Sun, see also: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/1125-02.htm

(Berrigan Still Rails Against War / As anti-war activist Philip
Berrigan approaches the end of his battle, his conscience remains as
clear as his mission, by Carl Schoettler)
This article has one of the last interviews of Phil Berrigan and is
well worth reading.

12.05.2002




THE ETHICS OF REVENGE--BY A FATHER WHO LOST HIS SON TO
TERROR

A speech made by Yitzhak Frankenthal, Chairman of the
Families Forum, at a rally in Jerusalem on Saturday, July 27,
2002, outside the Prime Minister's residence.



My beloved son Arik, my own flesh and blood, was murdered by
Palestinians. My tall blue-eyed golden-haired son who was always
smiling with the innocence of a child and the understanding of an
adult. My son. If to hit his killers, innocent Palestinian children and
other civilians would have to be killed, I would ask the security
forces to wait for another opportunity. If the security forces were to
kill innocent Palestinians as well, I would tell them they were no
better than my son's killers.

My beloved son Arik was murdered by a Palestinian.
Should the security forces have information of this murderer's whereabouts, and should it turn out that he was surrounded by innocent children and other Palestinian civilians, then - even if the security forces knew that the killer was planning another murderous attack that was to be launched within hours and they now had the choice of curbing a terror attack that would kill innocent Israeli civilians but at the cost of hitting innocent Palestinians, I would tell the security forces not to seek revenge but to try to avoid and prevent the death of innocent civilians, be they Israelis or Palestinians.

I would rather have the finger that pushes the trigger or the button that drops the bomb tremble before it kills my son's
murderer, than for innocent civilians to be killed. I would say to the security forces:
do not kill the killer. Rather, bring him before an Israeli court. You are not the judiciary. Your only motivation should not
be vengeance, but the prevention of any injury to innocent civilians.

Ethics are not black and white - they are all white. Ethics have to be free of vengefulness and rashness. Every act must be
carefully weighed before a decision is made to see whether it meets the
strict ethical criteria. Ethics cannot be left to the discretion of anyone who is frivolous or trigger-happy. Our ethics are hanging by a thread, at the mercy of every soldier and politician. I am not at all sure that I am willing to delegate my ethics to them.

It is unethical to kill innocent Israeli or Palestinian women and children. It is also unethical to control another
nation and to lead it to lose its humaneness. It is patently unethical to drop a bomb that
kills innocent Palestinians. It is blatantly unethical to wreak vengeance upon innocent bystanders. It is, on the other hand,
supremely ethical to prevent the death of any human being. But if such prevention causes the futile death of others, the ethical foundation for such prevention is lost.

A nation that cannot draw the line is doomed to eventually apply unethical measures against its own people. The worst
in my mind is not what has already happened but what I am sure one day will. And it will - because ethics are now being twisted and
the political and military leadership does not even have the most basic integrity to say: "we are sorry".


We lost sight of our ethics long before the suicide bombings. The breaking point was when we started to control another
nation. My son Arik was born into a democracy with a chance for a decent,
settled life. Arik's killer was born into an appalling occupation, into an ethical chaos. Had my son been born in his stead, he may have ended up doing the same. Had I myself been born into the political and ethical chaos that is the Palestinians' daily reality, I would certainly have tried to kill and hurt the occupier; had I not, I would have betrayed my essence as a free man. Let all the self-righteous who speak of ruthless Palestinian murderers take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves what they would have done had they been the ones living under occupation. I can say for myself that I, Yitzhak Frankenthal, would have undoubtedly become a freedom fighter and would have killed as many on the other side as I possibly could. It is this depraved hypocrisy that pushes the Palestinians to fight us relentlessly. Our double standard that allows us to boast the highest military ethics, while the same military slays innocent children. This lack of ethics is bound to corrupt us.


My son Arik was murdered when he was a soldier by Palestinian fighters who believed in the ethical basis of their
struggle against the occupation. My son Arik was not murdered because he was Jewish but because he is part of the nation that
occupies the territory of another.

I know these are concepts that are unpalatable, but I must voice them loud and clear, because they come from my heart -
the heart of a father whose son did not get to live because his people were blinded with power. As much as I would like to do so,
I cannot say that the Palestinians are to blame for my son's death.That would be the easy way out, but it is we, Israelis, who are to
blame because of the occupation. Anyone who refuses to heed this awful truth will eventually lead to our destruction.


The Palestinians cannot drive us away - they have long acknowledged our existence. They have been ready to make
peace with us; it is we who are unwilling to make peace with them. It is we who insist on maintaining our control over them; it
is we who escalate the situation in the region and feed the cycle of bloodshed. I regret to say it, but the blame is entirely ours.

I do not mean to absolve the Palestinians and by no means justify attacks against Israeli civilians. No attack against
civilians can be condoned. But as an occupation force it is we who trample over human dignity, it is we who crush the liberty of
Palestinians and it is we who push an entire nation to crazy acts of despair.
Finally, I call on my brothers and sisters in the settlements - see what we have come to.
************************************************************************


The Tikkun Community is working in the US to bring
this kind
of a message into the public arena. Here is how:

1. We are creating local Tikkun Communiies in each
region. Can
you help us create one in your area? Contact us and
we will
help. Marisa@tikkun.org

2. We are creating a national Tikkun Campus Network
for each
college and university. Founding conference: Oct
11-14, NYC at
John Jay College and Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. If
you
know any college students or professors, tell them
about it.
Speakers include Rabbi Michael Lerner, Cornel West,
and
Susannah Heschel. More info: marisa@tikkun.org

3. We are organizing a daily media critique--to insist
that the
media give voice to the kinds of perspectives
articulated above.
To help us: media@tikkun.org


4. We are organizing a national Teach-In to Congress.
We need
people to come to Washington, D.C. from every
Congressional
district in the U.S.--and we are giving you plenty of
advance notice
to plan to be there. It will be April 27-29, 2003.
Come and bring
your friends--it's one way to get this perspective
into public
discourse

.
5. To make all the above happen, we need your help.
Please
JOIN the Tikkun Community (membership: $120/yr for
incomes
over $80k/yr, $80 for incomes $35k-$80k/yr; $40 for
incomes
under $35k/yr and students.. Or, if you don't want to
join,
just send us a tax-deductible contribution. We can't
do this
without your support--your agreement with the
perspective
feels good, but we actually need your involvement in
some
very concrete ways. Send the money to Tikkun
Community,
2107 Van Ness Ave, Suite 302, S.F., Ca. 94109.

6. Please go to our website at least once a week and
read
through what is up there. www.tikkun.org
Particularly check
our Calendar, our Current Thinking, our Media
Critique,
and our Current Projects of The Tikkun Community.

Here is the reality: we are five people putting out
the magazine
and trying to build this movement. We need your help.
Can
you contribute your skills in some way? Will you call
media
on our behalf? Can you design a brochure or an ad for
us
so that it looks elegant? Do you have web-design
skills and
can you work in cold fusion? Could you come to SF and volunteer at our office? Could you help us do mailings or phone call solicitations for donations or leaflet in your area? Can you invite people over to your home and show a video that we are preparing that presents a balanced view of the Middle East? Can you lead a study group around the new book by Michael Lerner Healing Israel/Palestine that should be available in October (free to members, $12 for Tikkun subscribers, $15 for others)? Want to help in some way? Contact Liat at 415 575 1200 or email community@tikkun.org



12.02.2002

Online document: the full text of Osama bin Laden's "letter to the
>American people", reported in today's Observer. The letter first
>appeared on the internet in Arabic and has since been translated and
>circulated by Islamists in Britain. Observer Worldview

>
>Sunday November 24, 2002
>
>In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
>
>"Permission to fight (against disbelievers) is given to those
>(believers) who are fought against, because they have been wronged and
>surely, Allah is Able to give them (believers) victory" [Quran 22:39]
>
>"Those who believe, fight in the Cause of Allah, and those who
>disbelieve, fight in the cause of Taghut (anything worshipped other
>than Allah e.g. Satan). So fight you against the friends of Satan; ever
>feeble is indeed the plot of Satan."[Quran 4:76]
>
>Some American writers have published articles under the title 'On what
>basis are we fighting?' These articles have generated a number of
>responses, some of which adhered to the truth and were based on Islamic
>Law, and others which have not. Here we wanted to outline the truth -
>as an explanation and warning - hoping for Allah's reward, seeking
>success and support from Him.
>
>While seeking Allah's help, we form our reply based on two questions
>directed at the Americans:
>
>(Q1) Why are we fighting and opposing you?
>Q2)What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?
>
>As for the first question: Why are we fighting and opposing you? The
>answer is very simple:
>
>(1) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.
>
>a) You attacked us in Palestine:
>
>(i) Palestine, which has sunk under military occupation for more than
>80 years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your
>support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years;
>years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion,
>destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is
>one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals.
>And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of
>American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which
>must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted
>in the contribution towards this crime must pay its*price, and pay for
>it heavily.
>
>(ii) It brings us both laughter and tears to see that you have not yet
>tired of repeating your fabricated lies that the Jews have a historical
>right to Palestine, as it was promised to them in the Torah. Anyone who
>disputes with them on this alleged fact is accused of anti-semitism.
>This is one of the most fallacious, widely-circulated fabrications in
>history. The people of Palestine are pure Arabs and original Semites.
>It is the Muslims who are the inheritors of Moses (peace be upon him)
>and the inheritors of the real Torah that has not been changed. Muslims
>believe in all of the Prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and
>Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all. If the
>followers of Moses have been promised a right to Palestine in the
>Torah, then the Muslims are the most worthy nation of this.
>
>When the Muslims conquered Palestine and drove out the Romans,
>Palestine and Jerusalem returned to Islaam, the religion of all the
>Prophets peace be upon them. Therefore, the call to a historical right
>to Palestine cannot be raised against the Islamic Ummah that believes
>in all the Prophets of Allah (peace and blessings be upon them) - and
>we make no distinction between them.
>
>(iii) The blood pouring out of Palestine must be equally revenged. You
>must know that the Palestinians do not cry alone; their women are not
>widowed alone; their sons are not orphaned alone.
>
>(b) You attacked us in Somalia; you supported the Russian atrocities
>against us in Chechnya, the Indian oppression against us in Kashmir,
>and the Jewish aggression against us in Lebanon.
>
>(c) Under your supervision, consent and orders, the governments of our
>countries which act as your agents, attack us on a daily basis;
>
>(i) These governments prevent our people from establishing the Islamic
>Shariah, using violence and lies to do so.
>
>(ii) These governments give us a taste of humiliation, and places us in
>a large prison of fear and subdual.
>
>(iii) These governments steal our Ummah's wealth and sell them to you
>at a paltry price.
>
>(iv) These governments have surrendered to the Jews, and handed them
>most of Palestine, acknowledging the existence of their state over the
>dismembered limbs of their own people.
>
>(v) The removal of these governments is an obligation upon us, and a
>necessary step to free the Ummah, to make the Shariah the supreme law
>and to regain Palestine. And our fight against these governments is not
>separate from out fight against you.
>
>(d) You steal our wealth and oil at paltry prices because of you
>international influence and military threats. This theft is indeed the
>biggest theft ever witnessed by mankind in the history of the world.
>
>(e) Your forces occupy our countries; you spread your military bases
>throughout them; you corrupt our lands, and you besiege our sanctities,
>to protect the security of the Jews and to ensure the continuity of
>your pillage of our treasures.
>
>(f) You have starved the Muslims of Iraq, where children die every day.
>It is a wonder that more than 1.5 million Iraqi children have died as a
>result of your sanctions, and you did not show concern. Yet when 3000
>of your people died, the entire world rises and has not yet sat down.
>
>(g) You have supported the Jews in their idea that Jerusalem is their
>eternal capital, and agreed to move your embassy there. With your help
>and under your protection, the Israelis are planning to destroy the
>Al-Aqsa mosque. Under the protection of your weapons, Sharon entered
>the Al-Aqsa mosque, to pollute it as a preparation to capture and
>destroy it.
>
>(2) These tragedies and calamities are only a few examples of your
>oppression and aggression against us. It is commanded by our religion
>and intellect that the oppressed have a right to return the aggression.
>Do not await anything from us but Jihad, resistance and revenge. Is it
>in any way rational to expect that after America has attacked us for
>more than half a century, that we will then leave her to live in
>security and peace?!!
>
>(3) You may then dispute that all the above does not justify aggression
>against civilians, for crimes they did not commit and offenses in which
>they did not partake:
>
>(a) This argument contradicts your continuous repetition that America
>is the land of freedom, and its leaders in this world. Therefore, the
>American people are the ones who choose their government by way of
>their own free will; a choice which stems from their agreement to its
>policies. Thus the American people have chosen, consented to, and
>affirmed their support for the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians,
>the occupation and usurpation of their land, and its continuous
>killing, torture, punishment and expulsion of the Palestinians. The
>American people have the ability and choice to refuse the policies of
>their Government and even to change it if they want.
>
>(b) The American people are the ones who pay the taxes which fund the
>planes that bomb us in Afghanistan, the tanks that strike and destroy
>our homes in Palestine, the armies which occupy our lands in the
>Arabian Gulf, and the fleets which ensure the blockade of Iraq. These
>tax dollars are given to Israel for it to continue to attack us and
>penetrate our lands. So the American people are the ones who fund the
>attacks against us, and they are the ones who oversee the expenditure
>of these monies in the way they wish, through their elected candidates.
>
>(c) Also the American army is part of the American people. It is this
>very same people who are shamelessly helping the Jews fight against us.
>
>(d) The American people are the ones who employ both their men and
>their women in the American Forces which attack us.
>
>(e) This is why the American people cannot be not innocent of all the
>crimes committed by the Americans and Jews against us.
>
>(f) Allah, the Almighty, legislated the permission and the option to
>take revenge. Thus, if we are attacked, then we have the right to
>attack back. Whoever has destroyed our villages and towns, then we have
>the right to destroy their villages and towns. Whoever has stolen our
>wealth, then we have the right to destroy their economy. And whoever
>has killed our civilians, then we have the right to kill theirs.
>
>The American Government and press still refuses to answer the question:
>
>Why did they attack us in New York and Washington?
>
>If Sharon is a man of peace in the eyes of Bush, then we are also men
>of peace!!! America does not understand the language of manners and
>principles, so we are addressing it using the language it understands.
>
>(Q2) As for the second question that we want to answer: What are we
>calling you to, and what do we want from you?
>
>(1) The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.
>
>(a) The religion of the Unification of God; of freedom from associating
>partners with Him, and rejection of this; of complete love of Him, the
>Exalted; of complete submission to His Laws; and of the discarding of
>all the opinions, orders, theories and religions which contradict with
>the religion He sent down to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
>Islam is the religion of all the prophets, and makes no distinction
>between them - peace be upon them all.
>
>It is to this religion that we call you; the seal of all the previous
>religions. It is the religion of Unification of God, sincerity, the
>best of manners, righteousness, mercy, honour, purity, and piety. It is
>the religion of showing kindness to others, establishing justice
>between them, granting them their rights, and defending the oppressed
>and the persecuted. It is the religion of enjoining the good and
>forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion
>of Jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah's Word and religion reign
>Supreme. And it is the religion of unity and agreement on the obedience
>to Allah, and total equality between all people, without regarding
>their colour, sex, or language.
>
>(b) It is the religion whose book - the Quran - will remained preserved
>and unchanged, after the other Divine books and messages have been
>changed. The Quran is the miracle until the Day of Judgment. Allah has
>challenged anyone to bring a book like the Quran or even ten verses
>like it.
>
>(2) The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression, lies,
>immorality and debauchery that has spread among you.
>
>(a) We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and
>purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality,
>intoxicants, gambling's, and trading with interest.
>
>We call you to all of this that you may be freed from that which you
>have become caught up in; that you may be freed from the deceptive lies
>that you are a great nation, that your leaders spread amongst you to
>conceal from you the despicable state to which you have reached.
>
>(b) It is saddening to tell you that you are the worst civilization
>witnessed by the history of mankind:
>
>(i) You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah
>in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you
>will and desire. You separate religion from your policies,
>contradicting the pure nature which affirms Absolute Authority to the
>Lord and your Creator. You flee from the embarrassing question posed to
>you: How is it possible for Allah the Almighty to create His creation,
>grant them power over all the creatures and land, grant them all the
>amenities of life, and then deny them that which they are most in need
>of: knowledge of the laws which govern their lives?
>
>(ii) You are the nation that permits Usury, which has been forbidden by
>all the religions. Yet you build your economy and investments on Usury.
>As a result of this, in all its different forms and guises, the Jews
>have taken control of your economy, through which they have then taken
>control of your media, and now control all aspects of your life making
>you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense; precisely
>what Benjamin Franklin warned you against.
>
>(iii) You are a nation that permits the production, trading and usage
>of intoxicants. You also permit drugs, and only forbid the trade of
>them, even though your nation is the largest consumer of them.
>
>(iv) You are a nation that permits acts of immorality, and you consider
>them to be pillars of personal freedom. You have continued to sink down
>this abyss from level to level until incest has spread amongst you, in
>the face of which neither your sense of honour nor your laws object.
>
>Who can forget your President Clinton's immoral acts committed in the
>official Oval office? After that you did not even bring him to account,
>other than that he 'made a mistake', after which everything passed with
>no punishment. Is there a worse kind of event for which your name will
>go down in history and remembered by nations?
>
>(v) You are a nation that permits gambling in its all forms. The
>companies practice this as well, resulting in the investments becoming
>active and the criminals becoming rich.
>
>(vi) You are a nation that exploits women like consumer products or
>advertising tools calling upon customers to purchase them. You use
>women to serve passengers, visitors, and strangers to increase your
>profit margins. You then rant that you support the liberation of women.
>
>(vii) You are a nation that practices the trade of sex in all its
>forms, directly and indirectly. Giant corporations and establishments
>are established on this, under the name of art, entertainment, tourism
>and freedom, and other deceptive names you attribute to it.
>
>(viii) And because of all this, you have been described in history as a
>nation that spreads diseases that were unknown to man in the past. Go
>ahead and boast to the nations of man, that you brought them AIDS as a
>Satanic American Invention.
>
>(xi) You have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases
>more than any other nation in history. Despite this, you refuse to sign
>the Kyoto agreement so that you can secure the profit of your greedy
>companies and*industries.
>
>(x) Your law is the law of the rich and wealthy people, who hold sway
>in their political parties, and fund their election campaigns with
>their gifts. Behind them stand the Jews, who control your policies,
>media and economy.
>
>(xi) That which you are singled out for in the history of mankind, is
>that you have used your force to destroy mankind more than any other
>nation in history; not to defend principles and values, but to hasten
>to secure your interests and profits. You who dropped a nuclear bomb on
>Japan, even though Japan was ready to negotiate an end to the war. How
>many acts of oppression, tyranny and injustice have you carried out, O
>callers to freedom?
>
>(xii) Let us not forget one of your major characteristics: your duality
>in both manners and values; your hypocrisy in manners and principles.
>All*manners, principles and values have two scales: one for you and one
>for the others.
>
>(a)The freedom and democracy that you call to is for yourselves and for
>white race only; as for the rest of the world, you impose upon them
>your monstrous, destructive policies and Governments, which you call
>the 'American friends'. Yet you prevent them from establishing
>democracies. When the Islamic party in Algeria wanted to practice
>democracy and they won the election, you unleashed your agents in the
>Algerian army onto them, and to attack them with tanks and guns, to
>imprison them and torture them - a new lesson from the 'American book
>of democracy'!!!
>
>(b)Your policy on prohibiting and forcibly removing weapons of mass
>destruction to ensure world peace: it only applies to those countries
>which you do not permit to possess such weapons. As for the countries
>you consent to, such as Israel, then they are allowed to keep and use
>such weapons to defend their security. Anyone else who you suspect
>might be manufacturing or keeping these kinds of weapons, you call them
>criminals and you take military action against them.
>
>(c)You are the last ones to respect the resolutions and policies of
>International Law, yet you claim to want to selectively punish anyone
>else who does the same. Israel has for more than 50 years been pushing
>UN resolutions and rules against the wall with the full support of
>America.
>
>(d)As for the war criminals which you censure and form criminal courts
>for
>- you shamelessly ask that your own are granted immunity!! However, history
>will not forget the war crimes that you committed against the Muslims and
>the rest of the world; those you have killed in Japan, Afghanistan,
>Somalia, Lebanon and Iraq will remain a shame that you will never be able
>to escape. It will suffice to remind you of your latest war crimes in
>Afghanistan, in which densely populated innocent civilian villages were
>destroyed, bombs were dropped on mosques causing the roof of the mosque to
>come crashing down on the heads of the Muslims praying inside. You are the
>ones who broke the agreement with the Mujahideen when they left Qunduz,
>bombing them in Jangi fort, and killing more than 1,000 of your prisoners
>through suffocation and thirst. Allah alone knows how many people have died
>by torture at the hands of you and your agents. Your planes remain in the
>Afghan skies, looking for anyone remotely suspicious.
>
>(e)You have claimed to be the vanguards of Human Rights, and your
>Ministry of Foreign affairs issues annual reports containing statistics
>of those countries that violate any Human Rights. However, all these
>things vanished when the Mujahideen hit you, and you then implemented
>the methods of the same documented governments that you used to curse.
>In America, you captured thousands the Muslims and Arabs, took them
>into custody with neither reason, court trial, nor even disclosing
>their names. You issued newer, harsher laws.
>
>What happens in Guatanamo is a historical embarrassment to America and
>its values, and it screams into your faces - you hypocrites, "What is
>the value of your signature on any agreement or treaty?"
>
>(3) What we call you to thirdly is to take an honest stance with
>yourselves
>- and I doubt you will do so - to discover that you are a nation without
>principles or manners, and that the values and principles to you are
>something which you merely demand from others, not that which you yourself
>must adhere to.
>
>(4) We also advise you to stop supporting Israel, and to end your
>support of the Indians in Kashmir, the Russians against the Chechens
>and to also cease supporting the Manila Government against the Muslims
>in Southern Philippines.
>
>(5) We also advise you to pack your luggage and get out of our lands.
>We desire for your goodness, guidance, and righteousness, so do not
>force us to send you back as cargo in coffins.
>
>(6) Sixthly, we call upon you to end your support of the corrupt
>leaders in our countries. Do not interfere in our politics and method
>of education. Leave us alone, or else expect us in New York and
>Washington.
>
>(7) We also call you to deal with us and interact with us on the basis
>of mutual interests and benefits, rather than the policies of sub dual,
>theft and occupation, and not to continue your policy of supporting the
>Jews because this will result in more disasters for you.
>
>If you fail to respond to all these conditions, then prepare for fight
>with the Islamic Nation. The Nation of Monotheism, that puts complete
>trust on Allah and fears none other than Him. The Nation which is
>addressed by its Quran with the words: "Do you fear them? Allah has
>more right that you should fear Him if you are believers. Fight against
>them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and
>give you victory over them and heal the breasts of believing people.
>And remove the anger of their
>(believers') hearts. Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills. Allah
>is All-Knowing, All-Wise." [Quran9:13-1]
>
>The Nation of honour and respect:
>
>"But honour, power and glory belong to Allah, and to His Messenger
>(Muhammad- peace be upon him) and to the believers." [Quran 63:8]
>
>"So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will
>be*superior ( in victory )if you are indeed (true) believers" [Quran
>3:139]
>
>The Nation of Martyrdom; the Nation that desires death more than you
>desire
>life:
>
>"Think not of those who are killed in the way of Allah as dead. Nay,
>they are alive with their Lord, and they are being provided for. They
>rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them from His bounty and
>rejoice for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are
>left behind (not yet
>martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve. They
>rejoice in a grace and a bounty from Allah, and that Allah will not waste
>the reward of the believers." [Quran 3:169-171]
>
>The Nation of victory and success that Allah has promised:
>
>"It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) with
>guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it victorious over
>all other religions even though the Polytheists hate it." [Quran 61:9]
>
>"Allah has decreed that 'Verily it is I and My Messengers who shall be
>victorious.' Verily Allah is All-Powerful, All-Mighty." [Quran 58:21]
>
>The Islamic Nation that was able to dismiss and destroy the previous
>evil Empires like yourself; the Nation that rejects your attacks,
>wishes to remove your evils, and is prepared to fight you. You are well
>aware that the Islamic Nation, from the very core of its soul, despises
>your haughtiness and arrogance.
>
>If the Americans refuse to listen to our advice and the goodness,
>guidance and righteousness that we call them to, then be aware that you
>will lose this Crusade Bush began, just like the other previous
>Crusades in which you were humiliated by the hands of the Mujahideen,
>fleeing to your home in great silence and disgrace. If the Americans do
>not respond, then their fate will be that of the Soviets who fled from
>Afghanistan to deal with their military defeat, political breakup,
>ideological downfall, and economic bankruptcy.
>
>This is our message to the Americans, as an answer to theirs. Do they
>now know why we fight them and over which form of ignorance, by the
>permission of Allah, we shall be victorious?
>
>The original is at:
>http://www.observer.co.uk/worldview/story/0,11581,845725,00.htm


--

Thenne cometh so meny meditacyons wyth plente of teres of compascyon"
--Hampole, 1491

The New York Review of Books
December 19, 2002

Feature
Israelis & Palestinians: What Went Wrong?
By Amos Elon


1.
In a letter he wrote shortly before his death in 1904, at the early age of forty-four, Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, admonished his successor: "Macht keine Dummheiten während ich tot bin." (Don't make any stupid mistakes while I'm dead.) It was a tongue-in-cheek remark and I am citing it only because of all other nineteenth-century attempts to found new nation-states, Herzl's was undoubtedly the most unusual and certainly one of the most difficult. If there was ever a national project which because of its complexity and uncertainty of success could ill-afford Dummheiten, it was Herzl's.

Zionism was a national project unlike any other in Europe or overseas. It involved colonizing without a mother country and without the support of state power. A difficult task, to say the least, in an arid country without natural resources, without financial attractions. One of Herzl's friends asked Cecil Rhodes, the great British imperialist, for his advice. Rhodes answered: "Tell Dr. Herzl to put money in his pocket." Herzl scarcely had any money. "The secret I keep from everybody," he wrote, "is the fact that I am at the head only of a movement of beggars and fools" (Schnorrer und Narren). The rich, with very few exceptions, opposed his scheme. The early settlers were mostly penniless idealists, social anarchists, Narodniks, practicing a bizarre "religion of hard labor." Ninety percent of those who arrived in Palestine between 1904 and 1914 returned to Europe or wandered on to America.

Other nationalisms aimed at liberating subjugated peoples who spoke the same language and lived in the same territory. The Zionists, by contrast, called on Jews living in dozens of countries, speaking dozens of different languages, to settle far away in a remote, neglected province of the Ottoman Empire, where their ancestors had lived thousands of years before but which was now inhabited by another people with their own language and religion, a people—moreover—in the first throes of their own national revival and, for this reason, opposed to the Jewish project as a dangerous intrusion.

One of Herzl's closest associates is said to have come running to him one day, exclaiming: "But there are Arabs in Palestine! I didn't know that!" The story may well be apocryphal but it sums up, as such stories often do, the central facts of the case. In his answer, if there was any, Herzl would not have made an appeal to "historical rights," as many others did and still do to this day. He didn't believe in "historical rights" and he was too well informed not to know the damage that had been done by the quest for such rights during the nineteenth century by Germans, French, and Austrians, as well as in the Balkans, to name only a few examples. But he had an almost uncanny premonition of the dark period ahead. He was sure there were powerful historical currents that would justify the Zionist cause, a confidence that was fully vindicated by later events.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With so many seemingly insurmountable difficulties, it is remarkable how few stupid errors the Zionist leaders made. Fifty years after Herzl's death in 1904 they were still rare and the damage they caused was not fatal or irreparable. The Zionist project was led by sober men, experienced in the ways of Europe and the world, unwilling to take undue risks; with the exception of a handful, whom Chaim Weizmann, the eminently rational Zionist leader in the interwar years, called disparagingly "our own D'Annunzios," they were reluctant to overplay their hand. They realized that they were conducting an unusual enterprise which in some ways ran counter to the basic trend of world events. Confronted with a mainly hostile Arab population, they wracked their brains to come up with compromises, binational solutions, and partition plans, even when they were damaging to the Zionists, as with several proposals for partition mooted over the years, which they accepted but the Arabs declined.

When you look at the maps outlining these partition plans in the 1930s and 1940s, with their contorted borderlines, narrow corridors, and British or international enclaves—the last was the UN partition resolution of 1947—you get the impression of two antagonists locked in a deadly embrace. By 1948, the British threw up their hands and quit the scene. But when, on the day they finally sailed away, the Jews declared an independent state in their part of the country, it was readily recognized by most nations, after a while even by Britain. Israel was admired for successfully defeating a combined attack by the regular armies of three neighboring Arab states.

The new state was still led by the same cautious leaders, though they were getting older. Their practical frame of mind made these men recognize their limits. They were not easily intoxicated by the recent victory of their ragged army. They usually knew the difference between force and power. The then prime minister David Ben-Gurion has since been accused of further exacerbating the Palestinian tragedy during the war—with fateful consequences later on—by authorizing his generals to expel perhaps 100,000 innocent villagers and townspeople, in addition to the approximately 500,000 who had fled the battle zones earlier during the war to seek refuge in the West Bank and the neighboring Arab countries.

And yet Ben-Gurion can hardly be faulted for his caution after the war. He firmly resisted the urgings of brash, young generals to seize the rest of the country, later known as the West Bank, which made up about 22 percent of the former Palestine, including the Old City of Jerusalem with its holy places. What is now the West Bank had been annexed by the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan according to a tacit agreement with the Jewish state. The prime minister had reason to hope at that time that a formal peace treaty would now become possible with Abdullah, the Jordanian king, with whom he had remained in discreet contact throughout the war. Ben-Gurion preferred legitimacy to real estate, even if that real estate included the Wailing Wall and other historical and sacred sites. It was a memorable decision, in the tradition of some of the wisest nineteenth-century European statesmen.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

His caution did not lead to peace. The Jordanian king was assassinated by a religious fanatic. But nevertheless it paid off. Postwar Europe was guilt-ridden and contrite over the anti-Semitism of its past. For two decades, support for Israel became virtually a matter of piety in Europe. Except in Britain, the 1948 armistice lines were widely regarded in Europe and America as sacrosanct, much like the post-war partition of Europe between the Western powers and the Soviet Union. The Arabs, of course, rejected them. But it is instructive to compare attitudes in the West toward Israel's post-1948 borders with attitudes thirty years later to Israel's de facto borders following the 1967 war. Not even Stalin, during his last years of anti-Semitic paranoia, suggested that Israel withdraw from the 1949 armistice lines to the much narrower confines of the original UN partition plan. Nor did Stalin's successors in the Kremlin.

The Fifties and Sixties were the age of decolonization. Stalin and his successors endorsed nearly all anticolonial movements (except, of course, within their own far-flung Asian and European empire). They denounced Israel as a lackey of American capitalism but not as a colonialist power. Many of the newly independent, former colonial peoples favored close relations with Israel even as they condemned other settler states like Kenya, South Africa, or Algeria. The far left in Italy and France was by and large free of the anti-Israel rhetoric that became familiar after 1967. Enrico Berlinguer, the Italian Communist leader, said that Israel was a special case. In a just and rational world, he said, it might have made more "sense" and would have even been more "just" if Israel had been established, say, in Bavaria, or in East Prussia, as Lord Moyne, the British war cabinet minister had suggested, mainly for the sake of argument. Alas, Berlinguer added, we are not living in a wholly rational world.

The establishment of Israel was widely recognized at the time as perhaps the inevitable, even legitimate, result of a war that the Jews had neither started nor provoked; above all it was seen as a legitimate haven for Holocaust survivors and DPs who, in most cases, refused to go back to Poland or Germany. Having been rejected in their former homelands, many of them wanted to go to Israel and only to Israel. The resettlement of more than 600,000 Palestinian refugees was seen as a primarily humanitarian task, not as a political strategy. (Some had been expelled by Israel; most had fled their villages, as villagers in battle zones often do, and had sought temporary refuge in the Arab countries.) Israel was expected to assume much of the responsibility for their future, physically and financially, in the event of peace, and rightly so; after all, the Palestinians were not responsible for the crimes of Europe, but in the end they were punished for these crimes.

The neighboring Arab countries were expected to help and to absorb Palestinian refugees. Many in the West held them at least partly responsible for the consequences of a war they had launched in 1948 to undo a UN resolution. Americans, Europeans—and even the Soviet Union—urged the Arab countries to make peace with Israel on the basis of the postwar territorial status quo. In the UN Security Council, the American delegate, Warren Austin, pounded the table, saying the American government believed that it was high time for the Jews and the Arabs to get together and finally resolve their problems in a truly Christian spirit.

2.
The 1967 war was the great watershed. It interrupted a decade of gradual détente between Israel and Egypt, which had raised hopes that the conflict between Israel and the Arabs might be resolved, at least partially. Though the Suez Canal remained closed to Israeli ships, they could, after 1956, move freely through the Straits of Tiran. Trade with the Far East and oil from the Iranian oil fields flowed freely to the southernmost Israeli port of Elath. Israel was at first praised in the West for scoring a spectacular victory in a war largely provoked by the bizarre miscalculations of the Egyptian and Syrian rulers, partly also by a clumsy Soviet diplomat who encouraged Egypt and Syria to threaten Israel and who soon afterward disappeared, perhaps in the gulag. (I remember chatting with a German military attaché at a party who pressed my hand and barely let go of it, saying, "This was just as Field Marshal Rommel would have done if he had had his way....") We now know that it was a Pyrrhic victory. The war changed not only Israel's position in the region, but even more so its self-image. Israel, which, in Isaiah Berlin's words, had always had "more history than geography," now suddenly had both. For the first time, at least in theory, it had enough territory to exchange for peace.

David Ben-Gurion was the only leading figure in the political elite who broke the general euphoria by suggesting that Israel withdraw immediately, if need be unilaterally, from all occupied territories. As he had in 1948, Ben-Gurion flatly opposed any attempts to permanently occupy the West Bank. But Ben-Gurion was old and retired and politically isolated. He had bitterly quarreled with the ruling Labor Party. Yigal Allon, the same young general who in 1948 had urged him to complete, as he put it, the "liberation" of the rest of the country, was now a prominent cabinet minister competing for the premiership with Moshe Dayan, another former general. Allon, though he spoke vaguely of the need to allow the Palestinians a state of their own, drew up a plan of settlements and annexations on the West Bank that would have left the Palestinians little more than two enclaves in the Samarian and Judean mountains, surrounded by Israeli military bases and proposed settlements. They would have no political foothold in Jerusalem. The so-called Allon Plan grew incrementally over the years as the political deadlock continued; it embraced more and more territory to be settled and annexed by Israel.

Dayan's plans were more ambiguous but, in effect, far more ambitious. He was the first top-level secular politician whose rhetoric was loaded with suggestive biblical imagery: "We've returned to Shilo [a house of worship in the Bronze Age]; we've returned to Anathot [the prophet Isaiah's birthplace] never to part from them again," etc., etc. Dayan was the adored victor in a glorious war and, for some years, perhaps the most famous Jew since Jesus Christ. It was, I think, at his urging that the war was retrospectively named after the Six Days of Creation. Right-wing and religious fundamentalists made the most of the victory and endowed the Six-Day War with a metaphysical, pseudo-messianic aura. They pushed for the formal annexation immediately of all "liberated areas." At that time, they were still a relatively small minority.

The race between the two secular ex-generals for the premiership was more ominous, with fatal consequences to this day. Both Allon and Dayan were curiously self-centered, as politicians often are, and blind to the Palestinian presence in the region. They dismissed the aspirations of over a million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as of limited political importance. They had no intention to offer them Israeli citizenship. Some 300,000 Palestinians already lived in Israel proper, increasingly embittered by their status as second-class citizens. The Jewish population in 1967 was 2.7 million; the combined Arab population west of the river Jordan was 1.3 million. It was as though France had decided in 1938 to absorb as many as 20 million restive, potentially subversive Germans within borders that were surrounded, as Israel was, by more than a hundred million of their hostile, heavily armed co-nationals. Today, thirty-five years later, 4.1 million Palestinians live between the river Jordan and the sea (3.1 million in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and 1 million Palestinians in Israel proper.) Despite heavy Jewish immigration since 1967 there are still only some 5 million Jews, a ratio of only 1.2 to 1. Higher Palestinian birthrates are certain to assure an absolute Palestinian majority within ten or fifteen years.


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Cabinet sessions in Israel are always long and verbose affairs but never as long and frequent as they were in the summer of 1967. The ministers deliberated on what to do after the great victory. The crucial session, on the status of the occupied West Bank, began on a Sunday in mid-June`and lasted, with brief interruptions for food and sleep, until the following Wednesday. The decision finally made was—not to decide. In the absence of a decision, Dayan, by now a national demigod, Allon, and assorted right-wing and religious fundamentalist militants and squatters were able to successfully establish very dubious facts on the ground —settlements and so-called heachsujot (outpost positions) that multiplied over the years through formal and semi-informal arrangements. Squatters were gradually legalized, lavishly subsidized, and eventually hailed as national heroes. It was said of the British Empire that it was born in a fit of absentmindedness. The Israeli colonial intrusion into the West Bank came into being under similar shadowy circumstances. Few people took it seriously at first. Some deluded themselves that it was bound to be temporary. Those responsible for it pursued it consistently. They included a few ministers who believed that it might even induce the Arabs to sue for peace sooner rather than later, before too many "irrevocable" facts were established on the ground.

An ostensibly dovish Labor minister of housing—a declared opponent of the settlement project who nevertheless very generously subsidized it— cynically remarked that after the settlements were evacuated, as he was certain they would be, the United States would compensate Israel at a rate of one dollar for every lira spent on it in vain. The few who protested the settlements on political or demographic grounds were ignored. They were no match for the emerging coalition of religious and political fundamentalists. The Knesset never voted on the settlement project. The settlements were at first financed mostly through nongovernmental agencies, the United Jewish Appeal, the Jewish Agency, and the National Jewish Fund. The US government went through the motions of mildly protesting the settlement project. It took none of the legal and other steps it might have taken to stop the flow of tax-exempt contributions to the UJA or JNF that financed the settlements on land confiscated for "security" reasons from its Palestinian owners. For all practical purposes, the United States served as a ready partner in the settlement project. The National Coalition cabinet, which was slapped together hastily on the eve of the 1967 war, remained in power long after. It was presided over at first by Levi Eshkol, a weak prime minister who died soon after the war and was succeeded by the hard-line Golda Meir, famous for her smug maternalism, and for saying, "Who are the Palestinians? I am a Palestinian."

The government informed the United States that Israel was ready to withdraw from occupied Egyptian and Syrian territory in return for peace; but it explicitly excluded withdrawal from the West Bank or Gaza Strip. No evidence has turned up so far that American diplomats actually sounded out Cairo and Damascus about a deal based on Israeli withdrawal. An attempt, a few years ago, by The New York Review of Books to induce the US National Archives to release diplomatic documents pertinent to these exchanges under the Freedom of Information Act produced no results. Not a single US cable, report, or verbal communication turned up to indicate that in the summer of 1967 an attempt was made by the US to begin a peace process. We can only speculate on the reasons for US failure to do so. Apart from being happy, apparently, that Israel had humiliated the Soviet Union's main clients in the region, the US was in no hurry to end the Arab–Israeli conflict. The Arab–Israeli War was becoming a proxy conflict between the superpowers, a testing ground for their hardware. The Suez Canal remained conveniently blocked. At the height of the Vietnam War, the US, under Lyndon Johnson, might have had good reasons to keep it closed as long as possible and force Soviet supply ships to North Vietnam to take the long route around Africa.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Soon afterward, at a summit meeting in Khartoum, the Arab countries announced the "Three no's"—no to recognizing, negotiating with, or making peace with Israel. The ensuing stalemate lasted several years. An Arab-Israeli writer, with something like Schadenfreude, borrowed an Oriental image to describe the Israeli dilemma: "Instead of stepping on the snake that threatened them, they merely swallowed it," he wrote. "Now they have to live with it, or die with it." A dilemma, by definition, is a conflict between equally undesirable alternatives. But was this really the conflict facing Israel? We now know that it wasn't. Peace was a distinct possibility—with the Palestinians as early as the summer of 1967, with Jordan and Egypt in 1971 and 1972. Soon after the 1967 war, two senior Israeli intelligence officers—one was David Kimche, who later served as deputy director of Mossad and director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry —interviewed prominent Palestinian civic and political leaders throughout the West Bank, including intellectuals, notables, mayors, and religious leaders. He reported that most of them said they were ready to establish a demilitarized Palestinian state on the West Bank that would sign a separate peace with Israel. The PLO at the time was still a fairly marginal group.

Kimche's report, as far as we know, was shelved by Dayan. It was never submitted to the cabinet. In the hubris of the first few months following the war, even a tentative effort to explore this possibility would likely have been rejected by the cabinet. Dayan believed that as long as the natives were treated kindly and decently—at first they were—it would be possible to maintain the status quo on the West Bank and in Gaza for generations. The Palestinians were still remarkably docile; they had allowed the West Bank to be conquered in a few hours without firing a single shot. Dayan—and nearly the entire political and military establishment—were convinced that not only the Palestinians but also Egypt and Syria would be unable to present a military threat for decades. Dayan's opinion of the Arab armies was reflected during a visit to Vietnam. Asked by General Westmoreland how to win in war, Dayan is said to have responded: "First of all, you pick the Arabs as your enemy." He told me a few weeks after the war: "What is it really, this entire West Bank? It's only a couple of small townships."

We may forget that top political leaders live very different lives from the rest of us. Their escorts whisk them through red lights and they often travel about by helicopter. From the cockpit of a helicopter, the West Bank might indeed look like little more than a handful of wretchedly small townships. Dayan's mood was reflected in an interview he gave at the time to the editor of Der Spiegel. Asked how Israel hoped to achieve peace his answer was: by standing firm as iron, wherever we are now standing, until the Arabs are ready to give in.

Q: Then it's only King Hussein who is likely to qualify as a partner in negotiations. But he isn't strong enough to agree to [your] conditions.
Dayan: In this case let them find themselves another king.
Q: But Jordan as a country may not be strong enough to agree to peace on Dayan's conditions.
Dayan: In this case let them find themselves another country.
Q: Under these circumstances, it is hard to hope for peace soon.
Dayan: That's probably right.
Before the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Dayan's position toward Egypt was that it was preferable to retain Sharm el Sheik and half the Sinai peninsula without peace than to have peace with Egypt without retaining Sharm el Sheik. After the Yom Kippur War, Dayan's position toward Egypt changed, and he was willing to leave the occupied Sinai. As for the occupied West Bank, in complete disregard of demographic realities, he remained an annexationist. Henry Kissinger complained that whenever he asked the Israelis about their political intentions there, he failed to receive an answer.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The truth was that despite the "Three No's" of Khartoum, direct negotiations with Jordan began soon after the Six-Day War, by 1970 with King Hussein himself. Even while Golda Meir was publicly lamenting, "If the Arabs would only sit down with us at a table like decent human beings and talk!," her representatives were secretly meeting the King. Hussein flew his own helicopter to Tel Aviv and was taken by Dayan on a tour of the city by night. The King was ready to make peace with Israel if Israel withdrew from much of the West Bank as well as from East Jerusalem and if the Muslim and Christian holy places in the Old City were restored to Jordan. The King was ready to make concessions to Israel along the narrow coastal plain and at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Israel would not hear of it. The expanded municipal area of Jerusalem— by now it included not only Arab East Jerusalem but a part of the former West Bank—was declared Israel's capital for "all eternity." In addition to this Greater Jerusalem area, which was being intensively settled by Israelis on land confiscated from its Palestinian owners, Israel insisted on the latest (expanded) version of the Allon Plan. It called for the annexation of the entire Jordan Valley from the Lake of Tiberias down to the Dead Sea, the heavily populated area between Jerusalem and Hebron in the south, and the slopes of the western and northern mountain range of Samaria in the north. The King indicated that for such far-reaching concessions the Israelis would have to negotiate with the PLO. In retrospect, it is tragic that no agreement could be reached with Palestinian leaders in the West Bank or with Jordan in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

We are speaking of a time, thirty years ago, before the Palestinians were radicalized by an increasingly humiliating occupation regime and by large-scale expropriation of Palestinian land for the exclusive use of Israeli settlers. Neither Hamas nor Hezbollah existed and the PLO was not recognized internationally. Hamas was, in fact, encouraged by the Israelis as a counterweight to the PLO, much as the CIA supported the Islamic extremists in Afghanistan. An autonomous Palestinian entity, at peace with Israel, would not have removed the PLO from the scene but it might have considerably weakened its impact. Alternatively, in a peace settlement with Jordan the Palestinian issue might have reverted to what it had been before 1967: mainly a Jordanian problem.

The failure to reach an agreement seems all the more tragic, since at that time there were still relatively few settlers—fewer than 3,000—and they would not have been able to veto all concessions, as they do today. Today there are 200,000 settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip—their number has been allowed to almost double since the Oslo agreement of 1993. With 200,000 more settlers on former Jordanian territory in East Jerusalem, the total number has now reached 400,000. The settlement project continues to grow even now. Imagine the effect on the peace process in Northern Ireland if the British government continued moving thousands of Protestants from Scotland into Ulster and settling them, at government expense, on land confiscated from Irish Catholics.

The occupation was, by and large, a paying proposition. Until the first intifada twenty years later its costs were more than covered by taxes on the Palestinian population as well as by turning the West Bank and Gaza into a captive market for Israeli-produced goods and services. Michael Ben Yair, Israel's attorney general in the Rabin government, recently wrote in Ha'aretz:

The Six-Day War was forced on us; but the war's Seventh day, which began on June 12, 1967—continues to this day and is the product of our choice. We enthusiastically chose to become a colonialist society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justifications for all this.
These are harsh words, but it is a characteristic of the tragic folly I am describing that Ben Yair did not put forward such views in a legal brief when he was still attorney general, as he could have done nine years earlier.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The settlers now are the strongest political lobby in Israel. In recent years they have been supported by lavish subsidies, grants of land, low-rent housing, government jobs, tax benefits, and social services more generous than any in Israel proper. The settlements are now a kind of suburbia of Israel proper: most settlers commute daily to their jobs in Jerusalem and the greater Tel Aviv area. With few exceptions, the settlements have not made Israel more "secure" as was sometimes claimed; they have made Israel less secure. They have greatly extended the country's lines of defense. They impose a crushing burden of protecting widely dispersed settlements deep inside densely populated Palestinian territories, where ever larger numbers of Palestinians are increasingly infuriated by the inevitable controls, curfews, and violence, as well as by humiliation imposed on them by insensitive or undisciplined recruits and army reservists.

Two examples: an entire armored regiment has been tied down for years to protect a small colony of nationalist, religious fanatics in downtown Hebron, a deeply fundamentalist Muslim city. They believe that the Kingdom of God is near and—at first against government orders—squatted illegally in a couple of abandoned, half-ruined houses.

In the Gaza Strip some of the well-established, prospering settlements are only a few hundred meters away from the vast refugee camps, populated by third- and fourth-generation Palestinian refugees. In five minutes a visitor might feel as if he were passing from Southern California to Bangladesh—through barbed-wire entanglements, past watchtowers, searchlights, machine-gun positions, and fortified roadblocks: a bizarre and chilling sight.

The Palestinians are infuriated as well by seeing their olive groves uprooted or burned down by settlers while their water faucets go dry and their ancestral land reserves and scarce water resources are taken over for the use of settlers who luxuriate nearby in their swimming pools and consume five times as much water as the average Palestinian. The settlements themselves occupy less than 20 percent of the West Bank, but through a network of so-called regional councils they control planning and environmental policy for approximately 40 percent of the West Bank, according to figures recently published by B'tzelem, the Israeli human rights organization.

It is not difficult to imagine what the settlers' lobby means in a country with notoriously narrow parliamentary majorities. Though 70 percent of Israeli voters say in the polls that they support abandoning some of the settlements, 400,000 settlers and their right-wing and Orthodox supporters within Israel proper now control at least half the national vote. They pose a constant threat of civil war if their interests are not fully respected. At their core is a group of fanatical nationalists and religious fundamentalists who believe they know exactly what God and Abraham said to each other in the Bronze Age.

The settlers are no longer outsiders or squatters as they once were. A great many became settlers for purely pragmatic reasons—cheaper housing in what they hoped would be more pleasant surroundings within easy commuting distance to Israel. For almost twenty-five years the settlers have been praised by every Israeli government as patriots, good citizens, good Zionists. At least in the West Bank, the settlement project long ago became a cornerstone of Zionist and Israeli national identity. By now there is a second generation of settlers who see no difference between themselves and other Israelis who live in Tel Aviv or Tiberias. Since the outbreak of the most recent intifada and the emergence of reckless suicide bombers, moreover, they are not merely defending an idea; as they see it, they are defending "home."


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As a result, on both sides now, the extremists are dominant: in Israel and Palestine they veto all progress toward peace. Disasters follow one after another daily and the end is not in sight. Hamas seems to have usurped the Palestinian national movement while hard-line religious groups seem to be usurping the Jewish national cause. The situation seems all the more tragic, since thirty years after Hussein's first peace proposals in 1970, a similar peace scheme was tentatively endorsed by the Barak government. At Camp David, one of the worst-prepared peace conferences in history, Clinton, not Barak himself, conveyed to the Palestinians several "bases for negotiation" calling for a Palestinian state in which Israelis would continue to occupy roughly 9 percent of the West Bank; as Robert Malley and Hussein Agha wrote in these pages, Arafat was "unable to say yes to the American ideas or present a cogent or specific counterproposal of [his] own."[1]

After more secret meetings between Israeli and Palestinian diplomats during the autumn, Clinton, on December 23, 2000, conveyed to Arafat what he called the "parameters" of an improved scheme, which the Israeli cabinet accepted[2] ; Arafat's reply to Clinton was delayed ten days, and when it finally arrived it expressed both interest in the new proposals and reservations about them. The negotiators (but not the principals) met again at Taba in Egypt between January 21 and 27 in 2001 and issued a statement saying, "The two sides have never been closer to reaching an agreement and it is thus our shared belief that the remaining gaps could be bridged...." It was too late: Clinton had left office, and the Israeli elections were impending. Like every other observer, Arafat was aware that Barak would lose.

We can only speculate on his reasons for not clearly accepting at least the basic outlines of an agreement. He may have thought he might obtain better terms under the incoming Bush administration. Or he may have despaired of ever restoring the West Bank and Gaza to Palestinian rule by diplomatic means. According to Robert Malley, who was present at the Camp David negotiations, the Palestinian negotiators were divided and competed with one another. Arafat apparently lost control over some of his own internal factions. He may have hoped at this moment that just as Hezbollah terror had succeeded in driving Israel out of southern Lebanon, so Israel could be forced by continuing violence to abandon Gaza and the West Bank. Arafat's strategy at this stage, or perhaps even before, could even have been to hold out for a kind of Greater Palestine—just as powerful Israelis had long been planning a Greater Israel from the sea to the river Jordan. Sharon has long said he has been in favor of a Palestinian state east of the river, i.e., in what is now Jordan.


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I don't pretend to know what makes Arafat tick. He and his henchmen certainly underestimated, grossly so, Israel's power, resilience, resolve, and international support. Arafat may, or may not, have decided already in 1993 to exploit the Oslo agreement in order to first consolidate a power base on the West Bank and then try to enlarge it later on to include a Greater Palestine, taking over all or parts of Israel proper. This is what the hard-liners in Israel claim and they may be right. Or they may be wrong: the Palestinians invested $3 billion in new tourist facilities on the West Bank during the past seven years; they may not have done so if the plan had always been to wage an all-out struggle. Such an investment would make sense for the Palestinian state that Arafat has often said he wants and Sharon is determined to prevent.

I interviewed Arafat in his Tunis headquarters in 1993 while the secret Oslo talks were still going on. He never hinted even vaguely that he knew of the talks, though one of his aides did. Arafat complained at great length about Rabin. At one point I asked him: "What do you want Rabin to do?" He said: "He is not a De Gaulle. Let him be at least a De Klerk." To Israeli ears, this sounded ominous. Under De Gaulle, the entire French population quit Algeria. Under De Klerk, the whites were allowed to remain in a Greater South Africa controlled by the black majority. Arafat refused to clarify this remark. It may have been mere rhetoric. Out of Arafat's hearing, one of his assistants later said sarcastically: "Well, the old man is no De Gaulle either."


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The right wing in Israel may be correct in claiming, as they now do, that no workable compromise is possible with the Palestinians, but if they are right, there is all the more reason to regret the strategically senseless extension of Israel's defense lines to embrace a multitude of vulnerable, widely dispersed, often isolated Israeli settlements deep in heavily populated Palestinian territory. Instead of minimizing friction, they increased it. Almost 200 settlements on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip and more than 200,000 settlers in East Jerusalem are potentially explosive irritants that can undo any possible historic compromise. How much easier would it now have been, if Israel were poised more or less along the 1967 line (from which, after all, it defeated three Arab countries in six days).

Instead Sharon's government is now trying, mostly for domestic political reasons, to build high walls along this line and innumerable other high walls around each settlement and each Palestinian town. Every other day it dispatches tanks and combat helicopters to patrol the roads leading to each settlement. It nevertheless suffers heavy casualties, calls up the reserves, and deploys huge forces in Jerusalem to prevent suicide bombers from making their way into Jewish neighborhoods. In too many cases, these extensive security measures fail —inevitably perhaps, since in Jerusalem Palestinian and Israeli residential and business quarters are intermixed, suicide bombers seem to get through the tightest controls, and retaliating strikes don't discourage them.

In Israel and in Palestine, the center has collapsed. The much talked about "two-state solution" may no longer be practicable since on both sides all confidence is gone. The extremists of Greater Israel and the extremists of Greater Palestine mutually veto all progress. I use the terms "Greater Israel" and "Greater Palestine" with deliberate bitterness. We know the evil wrought by similar "Great" projects elsewhere: "Greater Serbia," "Greater Bulgaria," "Greater Ustashi Croatia," and "Greater Greece."

Israel is now likely to remain in physical control of millions of restive Palestinians. We don't know for how long. It is possible that the long-sought "solution" will be delayed by another generation, perhaps more than one. For what does Ariel Sharon mean when he says he aims at dismantling what he calls the "infrastructure" of terror? The true "infrastructure" is not in some odd garage or workshop where belts loaded with explosives and steel nails are prepared and homemade mortar missiles are built. The true infrastructure is more dangerous: it consists both of the growing willingness of enraged young men and women to blow themselves up and the religious and political culture in twenty-one Arab countries that praises the suicide bombers as martyrs. This "infrastructure" is diffuse. It may not have a center. The most powerful air force can't defeat it. In Afghanistan the Americans defeated the Taliban but not al-Qaeda, which continues to exist.

The race between Netanyahu and Sharon for the leadership of Likud is pushing both men further to the right. Sharon says he will not dismantle a single settlement. For both men, this may or may not be a bargaining position. But for their political survival, both men depend on right-wing and religious extremists. By effectively consuming the one thing Israel had to offer the Palestinians in return for peace—Palestinian land—the extended settlement project, I fear, may yet prove Israel's undoing. It may lead to two equally awful alternatives: wholesale ethnic cleansing or permanent violence, terror, suicide bombers, possibly all-out war.

3.
Perhaps Israel's greatest tragedy has been the deterioration over the years of the quality of Israeli leadership. A flawed electoral system had a lot to do with this, since it discourages clear majorities. Recent attempts to tinker with the constitution have increased political instability. In less than a decade, one prime minister was assassinated by a right-wing fanatic and three prime ministers have been unable to serve out their terms. Government continues to depend on forming unwieldy coalitions that give undue leverage to religious and other splinter and pressure groups. The perennial instability has encouraged waste, xenophobia, and demagoguery. The moral bankruptcy of the Labor Party made inevitable the ascendancy of Likud and its religious, nationalist, and semifascist allies.

It remains to be seen if in the few weeks left until the Israeli election, Amram Mitzna, the new Labor leader, will succeed in reversing this trend. It seems unlikely. By promising to renew peace talks unconditionally with the Palestinians and to withdraw from Gaza and from some of the more remote West Bank settlements, Mitzna has at least offered voters a clearer alternative to Sharon than has been the case so far. He faces the enormous task of reeducating a terrorized electorate driven by recent events to support harsh measures against Palestinians. He must also try to rebuild a discredited party shattered by shameless opportunism and infighting among special interest groups.

It could be argued that the missed peace opportunities would have saved a lot of needless bloodshed and it could, of course, also be argued that such a "peace" might have proved to be illusory, a short-lived cease-fire with an adversary resolved to remove an intrusion, as the Crusader state was wiped out after a series of cease-fires and armistices. The jihad, according to this line of thought, would go on and on. I am not saying that it won't; but the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, which have survived many a tough moment, seem to suggest that the wider Arab–Israeli conflict can only end if Israelis and Palestinians arrive at a compromise.

The nature and details of such a compromise have been known for years: the partition of a country over which the two national independence movements have clashed for almost a century now. The bazaar diplomacy of the past ten years has clearly been counterproductive. The so-called "incremental" Oslo peace process was abused by both sides; by relegating the most difficult problems to the very last stage it encouraged both sides to cheat. When force did not work, there was a tendency to believe in using more force, which led, as we are seeing, only to another dead end. The search for secure borders—even when it did not involve the domination of one people by another—was carried too far. No border is ever deemed absolutely secure before it seems absolutely insecure to the other side and so makes the next war inevitable.

The vast settlement project after 1967, aside from being grossly unjust, has been self-defeating and politically ruinous. "We've fed the heart on fantasies,/the heart's grown brutal on the fare," as William B. Yeats put it almost a century ago in a similar dead-end situation in Ireland. The settlement project has not provided more security but less. It may yet, I tremble at the thought, lead to results far more terrible than those we are now witnessing.

November 21, 2002
Notes
[1] See "Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors," The New York Review, August 9, 2001.

[2] See Malley and Agha's reply to Ehud Barak in "Camp David and After: An Exchange," The New York Review, June 13, 2002.

Before you start reading about the terrorist, pro-Castro threat from Brazil, I thought this, from the New York Review of Books, a good
Pete

Primer on the Recent Brazilian election.
Brazil: Lula's Prospects by Kenneth Maxwell
NYRB-12/5/2002



1.
I arrived back in the US from Brazil on election day, Sunday, October 27, when 115 million voters peacefully went to the polls, pressed the keys on their compact electronic voting machines, and by a huge margin elected a former factory worker, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, universally known as Lula, to be president of one of the world's largest democracies. Lula won by 61 percent of the popular vote, a full 22.5 percentage points more than José Serra, former health minister and the candidate of the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and his victory from all accounts was being accepted calmly throughout Brazil.
Lula's triumph seemed like the realization of an American dream, a rise from the backlands of northern Brazil to the presidency; from log cabin to head of state. But two days later, in Washington, D.C., I was not sure I was on the same planet, let alone in the same hemisphere. The United States was not celebrating this remarkable demonstration of democratic civility in a region where neither civility nor democracy is well entrenched and in a country that until not so long ago was ruled by a military dictatorship that lasted twenty-one years.
Instead, Henry J. Hyde, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, had just written to President Bush warning him that the president-elect of Brazil was a dangerous "pro-Castro radical who for electoral purposes had posed as a moderate." Lula, moreover, Chairman Hyde wrote, might well form with Fidel Castro and Comandante Hugo Chávez of Venezuela "an axis of evil in the Americas," which could potentially have at its disposal a Brazilian "30-kiloton nuclear bomb" as well as the Brazilian "ballistic missiles" to deliver it.[1]
No one I met in Brazil thinks that Lula would see Cuba, let alone Venezuela, as a model. Brazil in any case is far too complex, diverse, and sophisticated a society to take such a direction: standing alone the economy of São Paulo state, where Lula made his name, is larger than Argentina or Colombia. And the charge about nuclear weapons is absurd on its face. Both Argentina and Brazil after their return to democracy closed down their nuclear programs and signed an international treaty making Latin America a nuclear- free zone. But Constantine Menges of the Hudson Institute, a former official in the Reagan administration, has been warning of a Brazilian nuclear threat in the Washington Times since early October, as have the Cuban-Americans in the US Congress and some resuscitated scaremongers from the Jurassic right.[2] Lula, they claim, is a member of a society, the São Paulo Forum, which encourages terrorism.
Even the best-informed experts I talked to in Brazil had never heard of the São Paulo Forum. It is in fact the name for an international agglomeration of left-wing parties and Lula did attend its last meeting in Havana, which is doubtless why he came onto the screen of the Cuban-Americans in the US Congress. But the charge that it is a secret "Castroist" cabal aimed at promoting international terrorism is exaggerated to say the least. Jorge Castañeda, the current Mexican foreign minister, attended meetings of the São Paulo Forum some years ago, but today he is one of Castro's least favorite people. Yet accusations of this sort can take on a life of their own, and already have, turning up in recycled form in The New York Times on October 31.[3] Checking back to find the origins of this anti-Lula campaign, I find it begins with no less an "authority" than Lyndon LaRouche, whose Web page asserted in 1995,
The narco-terrorist insurgency known as the São Paulo Forum (SPF) has very high-level sponsors inside the financial and political establishment of the Americas, in the form of a Washington-based think-tank founded in 1982 by David Rockefeller, McGeorge Bundy and others, known as the Inter-American Dialogue (IAD).[4]
After the Brazilian election, Constantine Menges was back at it again: Lula's election, he said, "represents the largest intelligence failure since the end of World War II." If Lula is left unfettered, "George W. Bush will have lost South America."[5] The far-right-wing Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has already called CIA Director George Tenet "Lula's greatest benefactor" because of his "neglect and perfidy [which] have enabled Lula to be so near to the presidency."[6] The garrulous US secretary of the treasury, Paul O'Neill, never at a loss for inappropriate words at an inappropriate moment, concluded that the markets now needed to wait for President-elect Lula "to assure them he is not a crazy person." Brazilians would be justified in thinking that the crazies in fact are to be found in Washington.
No one doubts that the stakes involved in the election of a candidate of the left in Brazil are high and the risks great, or that Lula and the Workers Party have longstanding socialist credentials, or that he has met with Castro, or received a victory "Bolivarian saber" from Venezuelan president Chávez, or that his closest adviser, José Dirceu, was trained as a guerrilla in Cuba and returned to Brazil decades ago with a face altered by plastic surgery to disguise him. Nor can anyone deny that Brazil is facing a major domestic financial crisis occurring within an international environment in which the US economy is in recession, unable and unwilling to revive the scale of investments to which Brazil had grown accustomed during the boom years of the 1990s. The prospect of war in Iraq, moreover, could send petroleum prices skyrocketing, adding to already growing inflationary pressures. These are not ideal conditions for a historic transition of power and would be a challenge to any untested leader and political party in a country like Brazil, excessively vulnerable as it is to external financial shocks.
But few of these factors are Lula's creation, and it is absurd to denigrate the remarkable democratic triumph that Lula's election represents, or to recognize the fact that had he been "Castroist" or "Chavista" he would never have been elected president of Brazil. The achievement of the election is threefold: for Lula himself, for the Workers Party (PT) he founded, as well as for Brazil. Lula began his life in extreme poverty in the drought-stricken Northeast. He and his mother were abandoned by his father, who migrated south, as did millions of others, to find work in the rapidly industrializing state of São Paulo. Later Lula and his mother also made the more-than-1,000-mile journey to São Paulo, joining the so-called paus-de-araras, literally "parrot perchers" (so named after the rickety wooden trucks they traveled on), who flocked into São Paulo in the 1950s and 1960s.
Lula's remarried father was unwilling to accept either of them back into the family. Rising from shoeshine boy to lathe operator to organizer for the metalworkers union to party leader, he was elected on his fourth attempt to the presidency by more than 50 million votes. As the campaign posters put it, "Lula's time has arrived." Only one other presidential candidate in the Western Hemisphere has gained more votes in a presidential contest, and that was Ronald Reagan, another union organizer, no less persistent in his presidential ambitions.

The achievement was also for Lula's party. For many years social scientists have argued that part of the problem of emerging democracies is that they lack strongly institutionalized political parties. For twenty years the Brazil-ian Workers Party has built itself up from a grass-roots organization into a national organization and has gained experience in government at the municipal and state levels. During the past decade the party, now numbering more than 300,000, moved to the center ideologically, much as the Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) did during the democratization of Spain in the 1970s, when it shook off its Marxist past and moved to the European political mainstream in the process, as a result gaining power under Felipe Gonzalez, one of the models for the Brazilian PT. As in Spain, this shift enabled the PT to expand beyond its initial base, which was formed by Catholic activists inspired by liberation theology, the industrial unions which emerged in the 1970s in São Paulo, members of nongovernment organizations, as well as the landless rural workers movement (MST) which became a force in the 1980s organizing sharecroppers as they were being displaced in the countryside by the rapid mechanization of Brazilian agriculture.
Both the unions and the MST grew out of a militant past—in the 1970s a series of major strikes consolidated the industrial unions, and the MST, quiet during the presidential campaign doubtless as part of a pact with Lula, has specialized in lightning land invasions and takeovers, often with strong political overtones; the fazenda, or country estate, of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso's family, for example, was subjected to several sieges and one invasion during his two terms in office.
Overall, however, the PT has been able to bring into the Brazilian political system many marginalized people who elsewhere in Latin America remain without institutionalized representation or voice. Today perhaps 30 percent of the PT call themselves radicals, among them a hard-line faction known in the ever-inventive Brazilian political lexicon as Shiite; but most of the party members have learned to play the democratic game. It is precisely this type of modern political party that much of Latin America now lacks, making many societies dangerously polarized between the state on one hand and the masses on the other without effective mediating institutions to channel their aspirations into effective nonviolent policies.
As the trade unions and the Workers Party grew in Brazil over the past twenty years, they developed international connections on the left within Latin America and beyond. But it should also be noted that the São Paulo unions, especially the metalworkers union of which Lula was president, received in the late 1970s and early 1980s very strong support and encouragement from US unions. This came in particular from the United Auto Workers as part of an effort to respond to the transfer overseas by American multinationals of auto manufacturing plants, and from the AFL–CIO, which was trying to encourage the formation of non-Communist unions on the US model in Latin America. The paranoid left could just as easily attack Lula for being a stooge of Walter Reuther's UAW as of being a stooge of Fidel Castro.
But to understand Lula it is essential to realize that he is at the core a union man, a tough labor negotiator, a deep believer in the power of listening to different sectors of opinion and conciliating divergent interests through debate, a formidable forger of consensus, and a leader with a charismatic ability thereafter to mobilize the crowds in the direction chosen. All this, with nearly two thirds of the Brazilian popular vote, makes Lula a powerful political figure who has not lost touch with his origins. It is not surprising that he speaks of forging a "social pact" in Brazil, or that his first priority is to declare a war on hunger.

The achievement of the election for Brazil is no less remarkable. Stubbornly Brazil remains among the least egalitarian countries in the less developed world. According to Dr. Roberto Borges Martins, president of the government statistical institute in Brasília (IPEA), with whom I spoke during the week before the elections, the richest 10 percent of the population controls 50 percent of the national wealth, whereas the bottom 50 percent have only 10 percent. Nevertheless, as we have also known from academic studies for some time, and as Lula's own career suggests, there is also great social mobility within Brazil despite these inequalities. Brazil has a very large, articulate, and well-informed middle class and a strong division of powers at the federal level between the executive, Congress, and the judiciary. The elections themselves, for example, were conducted with exemplary efficiency, and the returns were available from across the nation by the evening of the day of the election. (Florida could do well to look to Brazil.) The results were clear. There were no indications of fraud. And much of this is owing to the judicial electoral court system in Brazil, which is responsible for overseeing the balloting and acting on complaints. While traveling in different regions of the country before the election, I was impressed by the quality and clarity of the television "infomercials" which the electoral court put out to instruct the population on how to use the electronic voting machines.
I was also impressed by the opening and closing debates between the candidates, particularly during the last debate between Lula and Serra on the eve of second-round elections, when Brazilians from all parts of the country and social sectors posed carefully thought out questions to both of them. And once the returns were in that night, it was evident also that the voters had acted with considerable skill, balancing their votes between the federal and state candidates, in effect saying "yes" to Lula for the presidency, "yes" to the PT by increasing its congressional representation by 57 percent in the lower house and by 75 percent in the Senate, but also electing only one out of seven PT candidates for governor in the second round. This was therefore no "red tide." It was a vote that was split in order to assure the constraint of one part of the government on the other.
In fact the parallels between Brazil and the United States should always be kept in mind when one looks at Brazilian politics. Both are large complex federal systems. In both the role of the states and state governors are important. Both have large markets for TV, radio, and newspapers, and the roles of pollsters and media advisers are strong in electoral campaigns. Significantly, therefore, the Brazilian voters selected governors who ran on the tickets of parties that had opposed Lula and had supported the outgoing president's coalition, especially in the powerful developed states of the center and south, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Rio Grande do Sul.

The results were particularly significant in the case of Rio Grande do Sul, a state that was a longtime bastion of the PT and one of its main showcases, as well as in São Paulo, where one of Lula's close associates, José Genoino, was running for the governorship but failed to win even though in the first round in São Paulo Aloízio Mercadante, another of the "cardinals" of the PT (that is the group of powerful advisers who surround Lula and are entirely in his confidence), was elected senator with more than ten million votes, a record in the history of the Brazilian Senate.
In the state of Rio de Janeiro, meanwhile, the wife of Anthony Garotinho, another unsuccessful presidential candidate, was elected governor, not the PT candidate, even though in the federal elections the state went for Lula. Garotinho, moreover, is a Presbyterian and represents the increasingly important political role played by Protestant evangelicals in Brazilian politics (estimated now to provide approximately sixty congressmen, more than 10 percent of the lower house). This new force in Brazil, not unlike the Christian fundamentalists in the United States, defend conservative moral and social positions, and criticize the liberal stands of the PT on abortion, gays, and religious education.
In a federal system such as Brazil's, the power of the states and the role of the governors have always provided an important balance to the central government. As in the US, the passage of legislation in the Brazilian Congress depends on cross-party alliances, deal making, and horse trading. The PT knows this and such pragmatic calculations led to the choice of a non-PT industrialist as vice-president on Lula's winning ticket. Lula's expensive television campaign advertising was not bankrolled by the poorly paid schoolteachers who make up one of the PT's staunchest support groups: many entrepreneurs had jumped in to help. As one put it to me graphically: "It is better to lose your fingernails than your arm."
So while the overall results represent a significant and important shift to the center-left, the major party of the right, the PFL, also remains a powerful force in the Congress after the elections. Many of the leaders of the PFL have never been out of power since 1964, when a military coup took place. They remained to help negotiate the transition to democracy, and then went on to form a key part of the coalition that supported the election of the sociologist Fernando Henrique Cardoso to the presidency in 1994, as well as his reelection in 1998. But they now find themselves in opposition for the first time in recent history. This could well have a positive effect by clarifying the PFL's position on such issues as free trade, market reform, and privatization, and creating a more coherently organized democratic conservative party of the center-right as an alternative to the PT. That would be healthy for the development of Brazilian democracy.
2.
Surprisingly, the election results came as a considerable shock to the Wall Street analysts who have dominated the way Brazil has been seen in the United States over the past nine months. Despite the continuously good showing of Lula in the polls, the analysts from major US banks and investment firms persisted in believing that the Cardoso government's candidate, José Serra, would win. And they talked themselves into hysteria over the prospects of a Lula victory. Goldman Sachs even invented a "Lula-meter" to predict the rise of investment risk against the performance of Lula in the polls. But their position was usually based on unreliable information about Serra's strength and about what had and had not been achieved by way of reform during the past eight years under Fernando Henrique Cardoso. In fact, Serra's position was weak from the beginning. Cardoso's coalition had already disintegrated before the campaign began. The PFL never supported Serra's candidacy. And there were serious frictions within President Cardoso's own Social Democratic Party about Serra's candidacy, which several of the party founders opposed.
Moreover, in his second term Fernando Henrique Cardoso's program for reform had stalled. Brazil relied on borrowing from abroad to cover its huge public deficits, while increasingly linking both public and private debt to the dollar and to the exchange rate, thereby making Brazil vulnerable, both to the perceptions of risk in the international financial markets and to any negative changes in the international economy. In addition, after eight years of rule by a cosmopolitan, multilingual, well-connected president and a financial team well known to Wall Street, it was inevitable that as the 2002 elections approached, uncertainty about the future would be troubling to investors.

Wall Street's blind faith that Serra represented "continuity" was always misplaced. Within Fernando Henrique Cardoso's government he had been a voice of loyal opposition. He was a critic of Wall Street's favorite sons, Finance Minister Pedro Malan and Central Bank President Arminio Fraga. As minister of health he gained international fame by fighting multinational pharmaceutical companies over generic drugs. And Serra had a "Gore problem"—he did not know how to deal with the legacy of the Cardoso government of which he was a part; he upset the President by failing to vigorously defend his record when attacked, and his campaign, unlike Lula's, was almost relentlessly negative.
Lula on the other hand had the aid of one of Brazil's most successful political advisers, Duda Mendonça. Under Mendonça's tutelage, he trimmed his beard, tamed his street-corner rhetoric, put away his jeans and T-shirts, wore sober business suits, shirts, and ties, and with newly capped teeth smiled relentlessly in the face of all difficulties, sticking to his line of "peace and love" and putting himself across to the public as the avuncular grandfather figure. To reassure women voters, where he began with a very low acceptance rate, Lula appeared more and more with his wife, Marisa Letícia da Silva, at campaign stops, US style.
The scrappy, uncharismatic Serra, however, ambitious son of an Italian immigrant, student leader, and exile, Cornell-educated Ph.D. in economics, a man of decidedly sharp critical views, concentrated on "deconstructing" his early challengers. Governor Roseana Sarney of the state of Maranhão, who had risen high in the polls in the early stages of the campaign, found her candidacy destroyed by a surprise raid by federal police of the office of her husband, a businessman, and by the widely publicized pictures of the wads of unexplained cash found there. This succeeded in removing Roseana Sarney from the contest, but at the very high cost of estranging the powerful Sarney dynasty, headed by Roseana's father, José Sarney, the former president of Brazil and now an influential senator, who believed the government of Cardoso and Serra were behind this unprecedented action. Not long thereafter, José Sarney threw his consid- erable support behind Lula.
With Roseana Sarney out of the contest, Serra then concentrated his attention on Ciro Gomes, governor of the state of Ceará, who had also begun to rise high in the polls and was a protégé of the Harvard guru Professor Mangabeira Unger. A negative television campaign emphasized Ciro Gomes's volatile character and his faux pas (for example, when asked what the role in his campaign of his girlfriend, a famous Brazilian actress, was, he said it was "to sleep with me"). As a result Ciro Gomes fell precipitously in the polls. But this too was another pyrrhic victory for Serra. In the second round of the elections, Ciro Gomes also threw his support behind Lula. Serra thus barely made it into the second round, and started a full 25 percentage points behind Lula, a gap almost impossible to make up in the time available.

So political performance, skillful public relations, and the complexities of the Brazilian political system do much to explain Lula's victory. And while it is an exaggeration to say that the elections were a rejection of the "Washington Consensus" on economic development and the so-called "neoliberal" model, as many outsiders claim, it did result in the capture by the PT of a large group of middle-class voters who were disillusioned with the Cardoso government. Cardoso brought much to his presidency—style, compromise, civility, international praise. He tamed inflation, made a significant dent in extreme poverty, lowered rates of infant mortality, conducted an aggressive and relatively successful policy against the spread of AIDS, and improved primary education. But cor- ruption continued; justice remained slow, and for many unobtainable. He cut back the excessive spending of states and municipalities and did much to shore up the banking system, and segments of society benefited and continue to benefit from the profits to be made from investing in government bonds. Yet most of the middle class suffered the perverse effects of excessive interest rates, inflation crept up as the value of the real plunged (by 40 percent over the past year), and unemployment and underemployment increased dramatically. Crime and insecurity made life intolerable in many urban areas for even the most modest households.
When they visit Brazil, Wall Street investors sometimes fly from building top to building top in São Paulo by helicopter. If they observed what is happening on the ground, they might have a better understanding of why the government lost. Brazil has always been a country of active life on the streets, of small businesses, bars, and factories. Yet in the weeks prior to the election, driving around São Paulo, a city of more than 15 million people and the industrial and financial heartland of Brazil, I was shocked to see street after street of closed buildings, closed shops, closed factories, and deserted street corners. Even in the core of the city huge old apartment buildings were empty, boarded up, and covered with graffiti.
On the swanky Avenida Paulista, buildings were surrounded by twelve-foot fences topped by several strands of electrified wire. It was the basically conservative middle class of Brazil that did not see Fernando Henrique Cardoso and his economic team with the same rosy spectacles as those on the outside. It was this middle class— not the very rich and not the very poor, but those who earn salaries or are small entrepreneurs—that the PT realized it had to capture if it was ever to reach power. And it was a decisive shift in the votes of this class that brought about the defeat of Serra.

In Brazil there is a two-month hiatus between the election and the inauguration of the new president on January 1, 2003. This will be a period of potential risk. The deep economic problems that have made Brazil vulnerable to the whims of foreign investors have not gone away despite the temporary post-election euphoria. Private investors remain skittish and the risk of a speculative attack on the Brazilian currency remains high. Many foreign economists fear that capital flight, blocked credit lines, and a renewed free fall in the value of the real could easily provoke a self-fulfilling prophecy and force Brazil to default on its debt.
Brazilian economists argue that the fears are exaggerated and that the servicing and rollover of debt can be managed. They point out that Brazil has already received the first $3 billion of the IMF's package to "bail out" Brazil that was negotiated last August, and that $3 billion more is due from the IMF before the end of the year. They argue that Brazil's reserves can sustain and cover all its obligations. Less hysterical voices have now emerged to argue against panic, among them the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, William McDonough. And one can expect that large US interests with major fixed investments and a major long-term stake in Brazil will also seek to calm the hysteria. After all, US investment in Brazil in recent years has been five times as high as in China. Among the US companies that have major investments in Brazil are General Motors, Ford, Texaco, Exxon, General Electric, Citibank, McDonald's, Cargill, Philip Morris, Goodyear, and not least Alcoa, where Secretary O'Neill was formerly the boss.
But the demands of Wall Street, the IMF, and the United States that "market friendly" officials be appointed to the key positions of finance minister and central bank president will be relentless since they believe that the "right" appointees will guarantee the compliance of Brazil with the conditions imposed by the IMF in the bailout deal, which entail keeping interest rates high, budget surpluses high, and debt payments on schedule. This of course flies in the face of the expectations of most Brazilian voters, who want lower interest rates, more growth, and the creation of jobs. But default is not the only risk Brazil faces in this period. In addition to Wall Street's fears there is a pressure of utopian visions.
3.
Many on the left see Lula's election as, in effect, a rejection of the 1990s policies that promoted open markets, free trade, and privatization; they hope that Brazil under a Lula presidency will take the lead in the fight against globalization. Since 2001, encouraged by the PT administration in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre in Brazil has been the meeting place for the World Social Forum, a vast gathering of anti-globalization activists who see themselves as the counterpoint to the World Economic Forum at Davos. Brazil under Lula will, undoubtedly, inevitably galvanize the hopes and presence of many anti-globalization activists seeking their own utopias. Their expectations will likely stimulate the fears of the far right that Lula and Brazil will become what the far left wants it to be.
Domestically the great dilemma will turn on the conflict between expectations and constraints. The governors and mayors want to break out of the financial straitjacket that the outgoing administration imposed on them and renegotiate their debts to the central government. Workers and civil servants, strong PT supporters, want pay increases to keep up with inflation. The landless want land and their reward for being quiet during the campaign. And those at the bottom of the economic pile want the minimum wage raised. All such demands will run headlong against the constraints imposed on the future government by the $30 billion IMF package.
The third great problem for the PT is its lack of experience in administering a complex government such as Brazil's. The new government needs trusted advisers to lead it through the labyrinth of the federal bureaucracy. And the PT has limited international expertise, though here it will be able to count on Brazil's widely recognized, highly skilled diplomatic service. But it will have to learn fast. The new government will face urgent decisions on such issues as trade, compliance with the IMF deal, and the escalating crises along its borders in South America from Argentina to Colombia and Vene-zuela. And the PT will need Duda Mendonça to help it manage its image, because images at times can be as important as realities and one of the images the moderate elements in the PT most fear is that in Brasília, on January 1, the newly elected President Lula will appear with Presidents Castro and Chávez, while a low-level American delegation, for reasons of protocol, is hidden away from public view somewhere in the back row.

Fortuitously for the United States the current ambassador, Donna Hrinak, is a highly competent professional with service in Bolivia and Venezuela; as she proudly tells the Brazilians, and particularly the PT, she is the daughter of a steelworker. She is already widely respected in Brazil among both politicians and the press. The problem therefore is less the quality of the reporting from Brasília to Washington than the lack of coherence in Washington's response to the challenges a Lula presidency will inevitably bring.
Even before September 11, when Afghanistan and Iraq pushed Latin America out of the headlines and onto the sidelines as far as Washington was concerned, US policy toward the region was dominated by domestic politics. And with Constantine Menges, Chairman Hyde, and the Cuban-American congressional delegation denouncing Lula, his victory, far from being received as a confirmation of a functioning democracy and political inclusion, something the United States claims it wishes to see accomplished in its democracy-building efforts around the world, threatens to be interpreted once again through the narrow perspectives of Little Havana. It is as though the United States spent the entire cold war looking at Russia through the prism of Albania and China through the prism of Macao, or explained India by examining the domestic politics of the Maldives.
For a country of its size and importance, Brazil has little support in the US Congress. Nor do the US press and television take much interest in it. News from Brazil is mainly about samba, sex, and soccer, and economic reporting is confined to the financial pages. It is time Washington realized that loose talk in the Treasury, hysteria on Wall Street, and foolish fears about a new axis of evil can hurt US interests. Brazil's election must be seen against the backdrop of the Argentine crisis, the imminent possibility of a bloody coup in Venezuela, and the escalating conflict in Colombia.
If Brazil fails, as it could, this will have major implications not only for the international financial system but for the prospects of democracy in the region. How ironic that while the United States is now talking about how to "build" a democracy after a war in Iraq, it risks, by inattention and misplaced priorities, aggravating the problems that could undermine the largest and most successful democracy in what it likes to think of as its own "neighborhood."
—November 6, 2002
Notes
[1] Letter to President George W. Bush from Representative Henry J. Hyde, Chairman, International Relations Committee, US House of Representatives, October 24, 2002.
[2] Constantine C. Menges, "Blocking a New Axis of Evil," Washington Times, August 7, 2002; Letter to President George W. Bush from Representatives Cass Ballenger (R–North Carolina), Dan Burton (R–Indiana), Jim Gibbons (R–Nevada), Benjamin Gilman (R– New York), Wally Herger (R–California), Darrell Issa (R–California), Walter Jones (R–North Carolina), Brian Kerns (R–Indiana), Dana Rohrabacher (R–California), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R–Florida), Ed Royce (R–California), Christopher Smith (R–New Jersey), October 3, 2002.
[3] Larry Rohter, "Relations with US a Challenge for Leftist Elected in Brazil," The New York Times, October 31, 2002, p. A10.
[4] Valerie Rush, "Inter-American Dialogue: Sponsors for São Paulo Forum in Washington," Executive Intelligence Review (November 10, 1995), available at www.larouchepub.com/other/1995 /2245_iad.html.
[5] Dave Eberhart, "Expert Laments US Failure in Brazil," NewsMax.com, October 30, 2002.
[6] Dateline D.C., "Tenet Is 'Lula's' Greatest Benefactor," Pittsburgh Tribune- Review, October 20, 2002.

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