Blogs > HNN > PALESTINIANS, NOT ISRAEL, NEED A "PEACE DIVIDEND"

Nov 9, 2007 2:42 pm


PALESTINIANS, NOT ISRAEL, NEED A "PEACE DIVIDEND"



Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer is an affiliate professor at Haifa University, Member of the International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom of Bar-Ilan University and was the 1996 Fulbright professor at Aarhus, Denmark. She is the co-author of International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights and the author of Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences.

Israel's economic success frustrates her opponents or as the Financial Times writes Israel's high-speed economic growth defies experts." Why? Because they so wish to make the"peace dividend" argument to the wrong party. They should be making it to the Palestinians but for ideological reasons they make it to Israel. Israel would unquestionably benefit (especially psychologically) from an end to Arab/Muslim hostility, but the Palestinians would benefit much more.

The first Intifada (1987) ended an era of rapid Palestinian development and all the aid dollars and all the NGO experts which accompanied the so called"Peace Process" could not save them from the negative influence of Palestinian Authority. The latter needed continued anti-Israeli Jihad to justify their corrupt and tyrannical rule. But instead of focusing on the cost the violence extracted from the Palestinians, they marvel at the Israeli resilience. Tobias Buck writes:

The country’s remarkable economic success has given a twist to the debate on the “peace dividend” – the additional boost that the Israeli economy could receive through striking a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians and the country’s Arab neighbors.

While previous peace efforts were accompanied by offers to link the Israeli economy with its neighbors, economists today argue that regional integration would be of limited value to the country.

Israel is also no longer dependent on the Palestinian territories as a source of cheap labor. The country’s building sites and orange groves are today filled with workers from Asia and eastern Europe.

Of course, the opposite is true about the Palestinians. Their conditions have been deteriorating despite international efforts to protect them from the consequences of their own actions. In an article entitled Will Massive Infusions of Aid Rescue the Palestinian Economy? Steve Stotsky points out:

During the Six Day War in June,1967, Israel took over the administration of the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan and Egypt, respectively. From 1968 to 1986, a period of economic growth and rapid improvement in standard of living ensued for Arab residents of the West Bank and Gaza.. By 1986 per capita GDP had doubled, and the Palestinian economy's growth rate was higher than even the rapidly growing Israeli economy (See"The Palestinian war-torn economy: aid, development and state formation," The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development - UNCTAD, 2006). Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza enjoyed a higher standard of living than their immediate neighbors in Jordan and Egypt. Despite recent setbacks in the Palestinian economy, the Palestinians still remain above the regional average by all standards of measuring health and education. Palestinian literacy is the highest among Arab states and their life span, childhood mortality rates, immunizations, access to clean water and school attendance are all among the highest in the region.

Improved well-being did not stop the Palestinians from launching a campaign of violence in 1987. It is a curious fact that both the first and second Intifadas were launched during economic upswings. The first intifada broke out on the heels of the highest annual growth in 12 years and the second highest on record. This suggests that economic progress and political progress are not linked.

As could have been expected, the violent Intifadas created a rift between the Israeli and Palestinian economies and post Oslo massive foreign aid counter intuitively merely served to exacerbate the devastating rift this caused the Palestinians.

Instead of pointing out the results of the Palestinian self destructive behavior, the international community blamed Israel's defensive measures. Palestinians are not necessarily blind. They know and, once in while, one of them even dares speak out:

The assessments of none other than George Abed, a Palestinian and senior IMF economist, and of James Prince, a consultant to the Palestinian Investment Fund, offer an important summary of the phenomenon of increased aid correlating with economic deterioration. Abed recognized the futility of providing donor aid, asserting that it was counterproductive. . . . This view was echoed in Prince's conclusion that,"many of the donor programs have not only been ineffective, they have harmed the economy." ("Expert says Palestinians don't need financial aid," San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 5, 2005)

Given this reality, Palestinian aid should be expected to be withdrawn and articles should be filled demonstrating to the Palestinians and their supporters the boomerang effect of their anti-Israeli violence and the benefits ending it would bring. The opposite is true. The argument is not made to the party suffering more but to the one suffering less. Indeed, the recent attempt to boycott Israeli professionals and products is yet another attempt to counter this ideologically inconvenient truth that freedom trumps tyranny as do decent leaders who put the welfare of their countrymen ahead of their own political needs as Benjamin Netanyahu has done.

Why has the Israeli economy thrived? Tobias Buck explains:

The economic strength reflects two broad, long-term trends.

The first came in the form of tax cuts, lower welfare spending, privatizations and capital market reforms implemented when Benjamin Netanyahu took over as finance minister in 2003.

The second change has to do with Israel’s successful integration into the global economy – which has proved an increasingly receptive market for its exports of high-technology products, manufactured goods, pharmaceuticals and services such as consulting.

“We are reaping the benefits of something that has happened over the last few years, and that is how well the Israeli business sector has exploited globalisation,” says Leo Leidermann, chief economist at Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest commercial bank.

And while Israel’s over-reliance on software and information technology made the country a prime victim of the technology downturn in 2000, today’s export performance is far more balanced.

Missing from this analysis is another FT report about Israel’s vibrant ‘factory of ideas’

“Israel is like a big factory of ideas,” says Kobi Marenko, the founder of Logia, a wireless content company.

This is why investors and technology companies continue to return to the country in search of innovation.

Indeed, fund managers pumped $1.6bn into Israeli high-tech start-ups last year – a five-year high – while foreign companies spent $9bn snapping up local technology companies.

But what makes Israeli entrepreneurs so innovative and good at starting new businesses? Foreign delegations regularly visit hoping to discover the “Israeli model” that turned a country of only 6m people into a high-tech powerhouse on a par with Silicon Valley.

No such model exists, especially in a country better known for its Mediterranean spirit than for its discipline. “Nothing happens by design in Israel,” quips Gilad Nass, a research director at IDC, the analysts.

Nothing, indeed. A few years ago I was asked to give a lecture about the threat of militarism to the Israeli society at the Harvard Club. Forget it, I told them. Israelis continue to see war as a necessary nuisance. Even the Israeli military is free wheeling. When all said and done, Israelis, like Jews throughout the centuries, survive and sometime thrive by turning disadvantages into advantages. An Intel corporate executive told me how amazed he was to discover that the company's Israeli component remained its most productive unit during the worst days of the second Intifada. Now this is what I call real resistance though Israelis call it"Ein Brera!" (no choice) for as the popular song says I have no another country."

Many entrepreneurs point out that Israel, founded less than 60 years ago, is something of a start-up itself. They also tend to attribute its success to a confluence of cultural and systemic factors such as being a highly educated, immigrant population with strong military training, and a high tolerance for risk.

Yehuda Zisapel, who along with his brother Zohar has founded close to 30 technology start-ups, believes that Israel’s strength in innovation is not casual or easy to replicate. “It’s not something artificial that high-tech is here. It is very complex to create a high-tech industry that is competitive.”

Israel is small. There is no mass consumer market and the local IT market is worth only $4bn. This leaves technology entrepreneurs with little choice but to export, throwing them in competition with larger operators in the US and Europe.

“Your market here is nearly zero, but you’re competing for the same customers as the US start-ups are,” says Zeev Holtzman, chairman of Giza Venture Capital.

This plays to the Israeli tolerance of risk, says Oren Nissim, the chief executive of Telmap, a navigation software vendor.

Starting ventures seems to suit the Israeli character, perhaps better than managing a larger enterprise does. “There aren’t that many good Israeli managers, but starting a business from nothing is a battle very well fought by Israelis,” notes Mr Nissim. ”

Israelis also tend to act quickly, often ahead of the competition. “Foreign companies are constantly amazed at our speed. It’s a competitive advantage,” agrees IDC’s Mr Nass.

Let's be honest, if Arab/Muslim leaders truly cared about their own people, no action would help improve their lot more than real peace with the Jewish state. The Arab world has paid dearly for its relentless hostility towards Israel and the Jewish people. The opposite is also true. Becoming the ideological/financial ward of the"international community" has done nothing but turn perfectly decent and able people into an impoverished suicide bomber factory run by ruthless religious mafias.

The time has come for those who care about the Palestinian people, as opposed to the abstract idea of Palestine, to change course and advice the Palestinian leaders to do the same. After all, neither can feign innocence any longer.




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Michael Perloff - 11/17/2007

The response by Omar Ibrahim Baker completely ignores the questions I raised with him about the Klinghoffer article. That he remains silent about those questions, that he draws his reader’s attention away from them should come as no surprise. It might be helpful to understand why he avoids the points I made regarding his references to Klinghoffer’s article, i.e. Arab governments in general, and the Arabs running the West Bank and Gaza specifically, practice extreme Apartheid while accusing the victims of that very crime; that Nakba is a direct result of Arab aggression; there were early denials by official Arab spokesmen of the existence of a distinct group of Arabs called Palestinians before it became expedient to do otherwise; and that the dispute concerned allocation of land whose sovereignty for hundreds of years was the Ottoman Empire and not any Arab entity.

His desire to run away from the accusations is in fact his acknowledgement that they are indisputably true so that any response other than “let’s change the subject” would be damaging to any case he wishes to make against Israel. So, for example, he did not dispute the testimony of Arab leadership or the record of contemporary international bodies regarding these matters. Baker instead attempts to reframe the discussion to advance his own narrative, i.e. Israel‘s existence is illegal, Israel is an Apartheid colonizing state, the Arabs who happen to be residing in the British Mandate at the time had the right to exclude Jews, and the Arabs of the former Ottoman Empire are correct in their All-or-Nothing approach to every square inch of land regardless who actually owned it. Apparently Baker thinks the best defense is a good offense, even at the price of the truth.

Baker’s counter accusation is no less transparent in his comments about the Klinghoffer article. He chose to reframe Klinghoffer’s theme and use it as a vehicle to suit his own agenda. To wit, Klinghoffer offers evidence to support her position that Arab Palestinian interests would best be served by convincing them that they would be the principle beneficiaries of a substantial peace dividend derived from an end to Arab/Muslim hostility toward Israel. Baker seeks to define the author’s “intent and desire” on his own terms and uses that false premise as a vehicle for justifying his comments. Baker avoids the topic to advance his anti-Western, anti-Israel narrative.

In pretending to address my comments, he used the same devious strategy. First he associates an entirely fictional premise with my position and proclaims that it is false. In essence, he mischaracterizes, or some might argue, simply lies about the position I advanced which he then thinks permits him to easily “refute” the straw-man argument he constructs. This is followed by his reference to what he presents as “basic historical facts”. Those “facts” are, it should be easy for our readers to confirm, without merit, scholarly deficient and easily exposed by undergraduate level research. Notwithstanding the tactic of avoiding the topic and reframing the discussion to suit his message, I’ll address his diversion on its merit.

He categorically states that “Zionist-British imperialist collusion” facilitated Jewish emigration while repressing the national aspirations of the Palestinians. While British imperialism is beyond dispute, census, border, and internment camp documents expose the outrageous claim of collusion as a reversal of the truth. Does Baker mean the same British who sunk or imprisoned boatloads of Jews attempting to return to their spiritual homeland while allowing unfettered access for Arabs to the Mandate?

Omar Ibrahim Baker uses a false double standard in his interpretation of international law. He deems it legal that victorious WWI allied powers created, with the exception of non-Arab Israel, legitimate new countries on land which was part of the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years. The same discriminatory logic applies to the only portion of former Ottoman land yet to have a sovereign government, Gaza, Judea and Samaria, aka (after 1948) the West Bank. He deems it proper for the defeated Ottomans to lose land but not for the Arabs after failed wars to exterminate Israel. If one were to believe prominent Muslim scholars and clerics regarding “Islamic land” and Israel, the obvious conclusion would be that the Arab-Israeli conflict would be even if Israel were a Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist country.

Legal land ownership, either state land or individually owned, is a topic worth discussing if guidelines are applied equally. There are vast amounts of land which was legally purchased by and for Jews throughout the Middle East prior to Israel’s resurrection. Legally registered land purchases from Arab and Turkish landowners in pre-Independence Israel included large parts of the West Bank before the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Jews by Arab invaders. Some of the Jewish communities, which some call “settlements” since 1968, consisted of refugees of the ethnic cleansing who returned to their homes after nearly 20 years in exile.

Baker uses selective demographics to make a case for Arabs in the British Mandate having the right to overturn the decision of the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations, to allocate a sliver of former Ottoman Land for a resurrected Jewish Homeland. This allocation enabled Jews from around the world to join their co-religionists who represented an unbroken Jewish presence in the Holy Land spanning thousands of years. If Baker’s demographics standard was applied to Jerusalem, which has had a Jewish majority since the early 1800s, the implications for the current peace talks would be detrimental to the Arab position.

Jews from Arab countries, referred to as Arab Jews until the emergence of the modern state of Israel, form a plurality of Israeli citizens. Many of the families fled from Jewish communities which existed long before the Arab/Muslim invasion and colonization of North Africa and the Middle East. By most objective counts their numbers equal or exceed the number of claimed Arab Palestinian refugees. If they were Arab Muslims instead of Arab Jews would their arrival been acceptable the same as for the multitudes of documented economic immigrants from other Arab countries?

Are there any Israeli concessions which would guarantee that Israel could exist like every other multicultural democracy in the world without the necessity of allocating a disproportionally high percentage of its resources to the prevention of terrorism and other threats to its existence? Other than routinely agreeing and failing to end incitement and terrorism at every round of peace talks, what concessions have Arabs, the intransigent aggressors, offered? I submit that the All-or-Nothing attitude of Arab leadership regarding Israel has resulted in diminished lives for everyone; Christian, Muslim, and Jew, in the Middle East and that Klinghoffer’s points are indeed valid for reasons stated.

It would be difficult for me to imagine that our readers would fall for the diversionary and nonresponsive tactics employed by writers like Omar Ibrahim Baker.


omar ibrahim baker - 11/12/2007

Perloff's arguments and comparisions rest on the false premise that Palestinian Arabs and Jewish emigrant colonists have an equal right to reside and live in Palestine.

This premise deliberately ignores the basic historical facts of the matter and the legal implications of the establishment of Israel in Palestine.

These are;

1-That the less than 10 % Jewish minority living in pre WWI Palestine became a 40% (+ or-) minority post WWII through;
- the forced entry of Jewish emigrants into Palestine AGAINST the will of the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian people
-this forced entry that drastically changed the demographic composition of the Palestinian population was achieved through Zionist/British imperialist collusion.
-Zionist/British imperialist collusion consistently denied the the Palestinian people their right to self determination post WWI and thereafter

2- British imperialism, the mandatory power over Palestine, enabled Jewish emigrants to organize themselves into poweful armed organizations .

3-Mandatory Britain withdrew from Palestine only after enough Jewish emigrants were admitted into Palestine to form a sizable minority with a national claim on Palestinian land.

However;

The fact that imperialist Britain was ruling over Palestine against the will of the Palestinian people and despite his opposition and that it consistently denied the Palestinian people his right to self determination

and

since these Jewish emigrants were admitted into Palestine AGAINST the will of the Palestinian people by a ruling power that DID NOT represent the Palestinian people these emigrants are in fact illegal alien colons residing in Palestine against the will of the indigenous Palestinian people and as such are NOT entitled to any national claim on Palestinian soil nor to equal rights with the indigenous population to determine the fate of Palestine.

(The fact that they achieved that and more through military conquest does NOT change the historical facts nor the legal implications of the establishment and existence of Israel in Palestine.)


Michael Perloff - 11/11/2007

This repost of my reply to Omar Ibrahim Baker’s comments will hopefully be more suitably formated for this site.

This chart is meant to assist others in evaluating his Apartheid reference.

======================================
A Lesson About Middle East Apartheid
======================================

Which group being compared in the chart below appears
to be engaged in the practice of Apartheid?

Read the chart and reach your own conclusions.

The identity of each group appears at the end.
======================================

Official languages
Group 1: Arabic & Hebrew Group 2: Arabic

Religious minorities
Group 1: Growing Group 2: Shrinking

Both Mosques and Synagogues allowed
Group 1: Yes Group 2: No

Education/Medical care for all
Group 1: Yes Group 2: No

Arab & Jewish judges
Group 1: Yes Group 2: No

Arabs & Jews in government
Group 1: Yes Group 2: No

Arabs & Jews in diplomatic corps
Group 1: Yes Group 2: No

Arabs & Jews on sports teams
Group 1: Yes Group 2: No

Arabs & Jews can serve in army and police
Group 1: Yes Group 2: No

Arab & Jewish civilian killings condemned
Group 1: Yes Group 2: No

Arabs & Jews allowed to buy homes
Group 1: Yes Group 2: No

People are killed for selling homes or property to members of the other group
Group 1: No Group 2: Yes

Children taught respect for life
Group 1: Yes Group 2: No

Children taught martyrdom & hate
Group 1: No Group 2: Yes

======================================

Notes:

a) The last two items on the chart (What children are taught) may appear
to be subjective but a reading of translations of schoolbooks and children's TV programs clearly support the information as presented.

b) Group 1 has been under siege and threatened by wars and terrorism
since before its independence. Twenty percent of its citizens share
the same culture and religion as Group 2.

c) Group 2 kills or commits ethnic cleansing of any members of Group 1
under its jurisdiction. They demand no members of Group 1 be allowed
to live in areas in which they may become sovereign. They also accuse
Group 1 of practicing Apartheid

Prepare yourself.

Group 1 IS THE ISRAELIS

Group 2 IS THE ARABS

If the information in the chart is correct,it would appear that while Israel is accused of Apartheid,it is the Arabs who practice it.
========================================================
Don’t trust any of this information!
Do your own research.


It's easy and not a matter of interpretation or bias.
For example:

Either Arab Israeli citizens are increasing in number and serve as
Israeli diplomats, judges, and government ministers, or they don't!
&
Either the Arab leadership demands the removal of Jewish communities
from areas they hope to eventually govern, or they don’t!
========================================================

Omar Ibrahim Baker’s references to Apartheid, the Nakba (catastrophe), and colonization, are not objectively defensible. They rely on a phenomenon which is, to paraphrase Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels comment, lies become truth when they are repeated enough.

For example, he delineates a pre and post Nakba period. I assume this references the result of Arab leadership’s words and deeds to affect the extermination of Israel and its inhabitants. Apparently the catastrophe was their failure to achieve that goal and the impact of that failure on the perpetrators. My research has found no opposition to this course of action from Arabs living in the Mandate. To the contrary, popular Arab sentiment wholeheartedly embraced the All-or-Nothing approach to the division of former OTTOMAN LAND.

Read contemporary reports and testimony of official Arab spokesmen. They tried to prevent a sliver of former Ottoman land from being allocated for a resurrected Jewish homeland. They attempted to convince the League of Nations, the Peel Commission, and the United Nations that there was no such thing as a Palestinian people distinct from other Arabs and that the area should be considered Southern Syria and be included in that country.

Readers shouldn’t accept my perspective any more than Omar Ibrahim Baker’s without considering that while people are entitled to their own opinions they are not entitled to create their own facts based on bias and wishful thinking.


Michael Perloff - 11/10/2007

"Klinghoffer's post reminds me of the dire expectations that were made for the economic future of South Africa should the white man relinquish his grip and South Africa do away with Apartheid!

It also reminds me of the "figures" and "facts" that were proclaimed to demonstrate how better of , than his other African brethern, was the black man under Apartheid."
======================================
A Lesson About Middle East Apartheid
======================================
Which group being compared in the chart below appears to be engaged in the practice of Apartheid?

Read the chart and reach your own conclusions.

The identity of each group appears at the end.

Characteristic Group 1 Group 2
Official languages Arabic/Hebrew Arabic
Religious minorities Growing Shrinking
Both Mosques and Synagogues allowed. Yes No
Education/Medical care for all Yes No
Arab & Jewish judges Yes No
Arabs & Jews in government… Yes No
Arabs & Jews in diplomatic corps. Yes No
Arabs & Jews on sports teams Yes No
Arabs & Jews can serve in army and police Yes No

Arab & Jewish civilian killings condemned. Yes No
Arabs & Jews allowed to buy homes Yes No
People are killed for selling homes or
property to members of the other group No Yes
Children taught respect for life Yes No
Children taught martyrdom & hate... No Yes

Notes:
a) The last two items on the chart (What children are taught) may appear
to be subjective but a reading of translations of schoolbooks and children's
TV programs support the information as presented.

b) Group 1 has been under siege and threatened by wars and terrorism
since before its independence. Twenty percent of its citizens share
the same culture and religion as Group 2.

c) Group 2 kills or commits ethnic cleansing of any members of Group 1
under its jurisdiction. They demand no members of Group 1 be allowed
to live in areas in which they may become sovereign. They also accuse
Group 1 of practicing Apartheid

Prepare yourself.

Group 1 IS THE ISRAELIS

Group 2 IS THE ARABS


If the information in the chart is correct, it would appear that while Israel is accused of Apartheid, it is the Arabs practice it.
=============================================================
Don’t trust any of this information!
Do your own research.

It's easy and not a matter of interpretation or bias.

For example:

Either Arab Israeli citizens are increasing in number and serve as
Israeli diplomats, judges, and government ministers, or they don't!
&
Either the Arab leadership demands the removal of Jewish communities
from areas they hope to eventually govern, or they don’t!
=============================================================


Kate Wagar - 11/9/2007

Ms Klinghoffer put into words the greatest depth of understanding that I have seen. Bravo!

Muslims are enabled to lie if its in the interest of Islam. How much confusion has this added to the battle?


omar ibrahim baker - 11/6/2007

What is it that Klinghoffer is advocating,what is it that she is "selling", directly and indiredtly, here in this post?
Is it:
-Independence versus relative, to neighbours , "prosperity"?
Or
-Relative "prosperity" en lieu of independence, self determination and freedom from the, economical and political domination of aliens?

The temptation, the author's implicit intent and desire, to conflate one with the other is unmistakable.

En passant Klinghoffer notes that:
"Palestinian literacy is the highest among Arab states and their life span, childhood mortality rates, immunizations, access to clean water and school attendance are all among the highest in the region"
but, conviniently, fails to add that that precedes Israeli occupation and was maintained inspite of it and NOT because of it .
That has been in evidence, pre and post Nakba, in Palestinians' territories and in their diaspora as any observer of the Middle East scene would know!

Under Israeli occupationj Palestinian economy had been , still is to a great degree, a captive economy to Israel in every sense of the word.
Throughout the occupation Palestinians could only import from , or through, Israeli markets or middle men and were never allowed to export their own products until Israel satisfied its needs or, practically not "legally", compulsorily purchased it for re export as Israeli products.
Being the one and only buyer Israel, naturally enough, set, practically imposed, the price that suited her in both cases !

However the real issue is :it is up to the Palestinians, and NOT the Israelis, to decide what is best for the Palestinians.

Klinghoffer's post reminds me of the dire expectations that were made for the economic future of South Africa should the white man relinquish his grip and South Africa do away with Apartheid!
It also reminds me of the "figures" and "facts" that were proclaimed to demonstrate how better of , than his other African brethern, was the black man under Apartheid.

That is a truly revealing and as such a welcome approach in that it sets things in their proper perspective re the economic welfare of the colonizer versus the colonized in a colony !
That it also echoes the old "rationale" of western colonization is equally correct and proper since that is now the accurate depiction of the relationship between Israeli colonizer and Palestinian colonized in occupied Palestine!


Elliott Aron Green - 11/5/2007

I'm glad you described this diplomatic threat to peace as a "so-called 'peace' process". Since Oslo, many many more Israeli civilians have died from Arab violence than in all the years from the 1949 armistice accords till 1993 [correct me if I err]. Many Arabs too have died in the post-Oslo period. Oslo did no favor to most Arabs, as far as their personal safety and economic well being are concerned.

Ironically, as you suggest, when the first so-called "intifada" began in December 1987, the Arabs in Judea-Samaria and the Gaza Strip had nearly full employment. This vitiates all those silly theories, especially beloved by ignorant fakers like Tony Blair, that economic deprivation is the root of terrorism, etc.

As you recall, only about five or six months before the "intifada" began, in the summer of 1987, Saudi police beat to death about 400 to 1500 [varying estimates] Iranian pilgrims to Mecca for staging an unapproved demonstration. The response of the Western press was -- understanding for the Saudis. They just had to do it, ran the theme common to most media commentary in the United States, including the American newspaper in Europe, the Int'l Herald Tribune. So the State Dept and Foreign Office and the newspaper commentators were ready to forgive the Saudi govt that just had to beat those people to death. But when Israel defended itself against intifada violence, now that was a different story.