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Author Topic: The Future of Israel and its Arab neighbors
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 18 April 2004 04:24 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I am glad someon is thinking more than 3 months into the future.
It is a good point. And therein lies the problem which forward thinking Israeli and Zionists need to think about strategically. Now while Israel is at the height of its power is the time for it to begin actively healing the wounds, and moulding new relationships with the countries that it ultimately will share its future with, whatever the US position is. Sharon's bullying may seem to create immediate victories, but in the long term they may be turned into future losses of a very significant and catastrophic kind.

This is especially true if the US ever loses its strategic interest in Israel, or if there is a collapse of it's economy or if it's military is seriously challenged and is defeated in the field. Iraq could change all of the political dynamics if the US fails.

Building long term economic interdependencies is an excelent way for Israel to ensure that Arab rulers, whomever they may be, will cherrish their associations with Israel. Israel, with its advanced industrial economy has the potential to benefit the region substantially, and become indespensible to the economies in the region.


Yes, but what would Arab states have that would be of interest to Israel in the coming years, how much water do Israel's neighbors have, and more importantly, how clean is it? I can't imagine any Israeli citizen wanting to drink the Nile at this point.

Another question. If Israel becomes a blighted wasteland, and the Israeli population decides to emigrate en masse into Egypt Syria and Jordan, will the leaders of those countries be prepared to share their meager resources with 6 million starving Jews, Christians foreign Muslims and Druze?

[ 18 April 2004: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 18 April 2004 04:26 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michelle, could you please move this thread to the Middle East forum?
From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 21 April 2004 06:40 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'd love to respond to this CMOT. I like discussing these things with you, but it is tiring thinking of these things all the time. I'll let my last post stand, and not go into to much detail.

Fundamentally, I feel in repsonse to your questinon what do Palestinians and Arabs have to offer Israel. Many things, perhaps Israelis just can't see some of them, the things they think they want they have taken by force.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 21 April 2004 08:13 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by CMOT Dibbler:
Michelle, could you please move this thread to the Middle East forum?

Sure.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 21 April 2004 02:55 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, I've been thinking--Israel could, at a stroke, utterly reverse their situation. They could be embraced by the whole Middle East and have no local geopolitical threats to worry about whatsoever, but instead a region dedicated to making sure Israel was healthy and prosperous.

But it would take a massive volte-face in their foreign relations stance which the Israelis are not psychologically capable of.
It goes like this:
First, give the Palestinians the freakin' West Bank and Gaza.
Second, drop the US like a hot potato, and offer to extend their nuclear umbrella over the Arab states and help the Arab states against any outside (read US) interference in return for an alliance and subsidies from the oil producing nations. As long as the Arab nations keep Israel happy and nonscared, they in return will do their utmost to block American interference in the region. I think the Arab league would jump at the deal at this point, especially if Israel had gotten out of Palestine.

It'll never happen, of course, but it's an interesting exercise in lateral thinking.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 21 April 2004 10:02 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But it would take a massive volte-face in their foreign relations stance which the Israelis are not psychologically capable of.

Why?

Is the Isreali public that close-minded?
Please note that I am not trying to accuse you of being anti-Semitic.

quote:
First, give the Palestinians the freakin' West Bank and Gaza.

Wouldn't that ruin the scape goating strategy used by Sharon and his Arab counterparts? What would happen in Egypt for example?

quote:
Second, drop the US like a hot potato, and offer to extend their nuclear umbrella over the Arab states and help the Arab states against any outside (read US) interference in return for an alliance and subsidies from the oil producing nations.

Well, this thread was started because of speculation about what would happen to the Israeli state once the oil started to decline. Mind you, it would be reasonable to substitute the word water with the word oil. In that case, how much water do Israel's neighbors have? I would of course exclude the Nile because nobody in their right mind would drink from it.

It would be interesting to see what a USless Israel would look like. If the Israelis did shed the star-spangled monkey that's been on their collective back for 50 plus years and cultivated closer ties with Jordan, Syria and Egypt, wouldn't the American Air Force bomb Tel Aviv flat? Is there a possibility that that scenario wouldn't happen?

[ 21 April 2004: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 21 April 2004 11:11 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I'd love to respond to this CMOT. I like discussing these things with you, but it is tiring thinking of these things all the time. I'll let my last post stand, and not go into to much detail.

Awww...that's no fun.


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
worker_drone
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posted 22 April 2004 12:38 AM      Profile for worker_drone        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Second, drop the US like a hot potato, and offer to extend their nuclear umbrella over the Arab states and help the Arab states against any outside (read US) interference in return for an alliance and subsidies from the oil producing nations. As long as the Arab nations keep Israel happy and nonscared, they in return will do their utmost to block American interference in the region. I think the Arab league would jump at the deal at this point, especially if Israel had gotten out of Palestine.

One could argue that one of the Arab world's primary problems with America is it's support of Israel. They're not angry with Israel for being in bed with the US so much as they're angry at the US for being in bed with Israel.


From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 22 April 2004 01:02 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's really a combination of both. Israel looks like colonialism, and it has never bothered to act otherwise. Quite the contrary. The US has inherited the role of colony parent.

At the moment, rightly or wrongly, it looks to the Arab world like US foreign policy is operating in the service of Israel's interest. But in some other circumstance, Israel could look like it is serving the US (which it is, in its own way).

But the common denominator is the objection that Israel is a foreign imposition, whether served by foreign powers or in their service. And, like I said, Israel and the US have never bothered to act otherwise.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 22 April 2004 01:57 AM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by CMOT Dibbler:

If the Israelis did shed the star-spangled monkey that's been on their collective back for 50 plus years and cultivated closer ties with Jordan, Syria and Egypt, wouldn't the American Air Force bomb Tel Aviv flat? Is there a possibility that that scenario wouldn't happen?

If the American air force bombed Tel Aviv flat, Israel would nuke Washington, DC. At a minimum. Knowing the Israelis, they'd probably throw in New York, Boston and a few others just to make their point. They have two hundred plus of the damned things, and advanced missile technology. So yeah, I think there's a possibility that that scenario wouldn't happen.
And that's my point about why the Arab nations would go for a deal: confronted by a United States which keeps saying it intends to remake the whole region in its own image, which invaded Iraq and threatens Iran and Syria at a minimum, and is even making ambiguous noises towards its old buddy Saudi Arabia, the leaders of the Middle East might well be willing to go for an Israel inside the tent, pissing out. Especially if they guaranteed similar protection for Tehran and Damascus as they have for themselves. What Israel would get is that they would never again have to worry about hostile neighbours wanting to push them into the sea--as the nuclear umbrella against outside interference, they'd go from pariahs to indispensable.

But I really don't see Israelis going for such a seismic shift in their worldview. Instead of seeing themselves as a European island in a sea of hostile barbarians itching to throw them into the sea, they'd have to think of themselves as the guardian of those same barbarians, as an integral part of the Middle East. Seems pretty unlikely--it's just way outside any paradigm or national myth they've got going.

I was just positing an interesting thought experiment, just to show that ideas don't always have to run down the same old lines.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 22 April 2004 02:30 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fascinating thread.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 22 April 2004 06:12 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Today I had a long conversation with and Israeli friend of mine -- born and raised. PHD in comarative Poli-sci. Not a Zionist, and no friend of Sharon and I asked him this question about the future of Israel, say in 50 years. He said flatly: "I think there is every likelyhood that we will be wiped out as a people, as Jews in Israel."

He and I agreed that the turning point in Israel's future was the Rabin assassination.

[ 22 April 2004: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Macabee
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posted 22 April 2004 08:13 AM      Profile for Macabee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I hope your "friend" is a better academic than prognosticator.
From: Vaughan | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 22 April 2004 08:25 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Nothing more substantive to add? Just that? My friend, is after all one of the Israelis that you and Sharon like to pretend that you are defending. I would think you might have something a little more to put him at ease.

I think that you should be worried about what serious politcal analysts with substantial material background knowledge about emerging political potentials, real life experience, and a real stake in the issue are trying to tell you about the course that Sharon is following, rather than ignoring their views and trying to distract us with flat nationalist sloganeering.

I think the point is that Sharon has cast the the future in a winner take all mold. The problem is that if you bet all, if you lose, you lose all.

[Jerk Alert]And why the quotes around friend? I hope your job entails bonus pay for being a snide asshole -- you are no doubt rich because of it.[/Jerk Alert]

[ 22 April 2004: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 22 April 2004 02:00 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Macabee:
I hope your "friend" is a better academic than prognosticator.

And of course you know precisely how good a prognosticator he is, what with your time machine and all.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 22 April 2004 02:09 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
He and I agreed that the turning point in Israel's future was the Rabin assassination.

The funny thing is that I really expected at the time that that would cause the ultra-right to seriously lose ground. I mean, the Palestinians had never ever assassinated a major Israeli leader, or even tried. And here was the right wing in Israel assassinating Jews they didn't like, killing the Prime Minister because they didn't want peace. I thought there'd be a huge backlash as Israelis concluded that these bastards don't care about Jewish lives or the Israeli democracy, they just want power. But nothing happened; the centre-left rolled over and the right followed up their "victory".

If Labour had had the guts to denounce the right as enemies of Israel, had made Rabin into a martyr for peace and made sure nobody ever forgot, things might have gone very differently. But Labour has always been a bunch of spineless wimps with few convictions to have the courage of, much like the American Democrats.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
o
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posted 22 April 2004 02:14 PM      Profile for o     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The sad truth is Cuballs friend may be right...but it is not just Jews who are at risk, it is the whole western way of life. The simple reason in my opinion is because of our declining birth rates..Jewish and western women ( not counting the religous one) have fewer babies than their 3rd world counterparts...I think we in Canada have less than 2 children per couple while the average muslim family has 3-4. It's just a matter of time before we un-breed ourselves out of the history books.

The solution? Ignore all that 0 population growth crap they ram down your throat and go forth and make some babies! (sorry ladies I am already taken).

What was yoru friends opinion Cueball?


From: toronto | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 22 April 2004 02:24 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
o, what sexist crap.

Actually, birth rates have fallen in most Third World countries, very dramatically in some cases. This includes a lot of "Muslim" countries.

I'll be starting up another thread about the problems people who WANT to have children are having (workforce ... and male commitment...) but the last thing the world needs is a couple billion more people. Societies undergo dramatic drops in birthrates with development and female education.

The "religious" Jews you refer to - I presume you mean ultra-orthodox as anyone who believes in God and attends synagogue, church or mosque is religious, are only one more example of a fundamentalist, retrograde sect dependent on the oppression of women.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 22 April 2004 02:36 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by o:
The sad truth is Cuballs friend may be right...but it is not just Jews who are at risk, it is the whole western way of life. The simple reason in my opinion is because of our declining birth rates..Jewish and western women ( not counting the religous one) have fewer babies than their 3rd world counterparts...I think we in Canada have less than 2 children per couple while the average muslim family has 3-4. It's just a matter of time before we un-breed ourselves out of the history books.

The solution? Ignore all that 0 population growth crap they ram down your throat and go forth and make some babies! (sorry ladies I am already taken).


I'm going to let this stand as a reminder of the fact that all too often racists of all stripes have used the same "biological time bomb" arguments, which are fundamentally fallacious in nature in any case.

Treating the very real problem of population growth as though it were a game that some people could win while others lose ignores the broader impact such population growth has on our ability to use the planet Earth's resources to feed, clothe and house people.

We all lose when population growth is not addressed as an issue to be attacked by everyone.

And "the whole western way of life is at risk"? What bombastic, ridiculous crap.

The only risk to the western way of life will come when the oil runs out or if some idiot decides nuclear bombs used on a wide scale are a fast track to winning a war.

The risk to the western way of life is not going to come from the assimiliation or whatever of the Jewish people of Israel.

The Israeli Government may well have led Israel into a no-win scenario. Victory against the Palestinian-Arabs may well end up meaning a pleasanter name for a kind of defeat, because it will mean that the moral conscience of an entire people will have been so blunted that it will have been thought acceptable that the entire Palestinian population would be reduced to... well, I have no idea. It could be anything from outright "transfer" to simply grinding them all the way back to the hunter-gatherer stage.

Yes, some lateral thinking is needed here.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
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posted 22 April 2004 02:56 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The sad truth is Cuballs friend may be right...but it is not just Jews who are at risk, it is the whole western way of life. The simple reason in my opinion is because of our declining birth rates..Jewish and western women ( not counting the religous one) have fewer babies than their 3rd world counterparts...I think we in Canada have less than 2 children per couple while the average muslim family has 3-4. It's just a matter of time before we un-breed ourselves out of the history books.
The solution? Ignore all that 0 population growth crap they ram down your throat and go forth and make some babies! (sorry ladies I am already taken).

Claptrap like this just confirms for me why the entire human race should "un-breed ourselves out of the history books." We're not a civilization. We're a virus.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 22 April 2004 03:08 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
Don't worry; I think o's significant other might be having a few thoughts of her own about "0 population growth" right about now.
From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 22 April 2004 03:44 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
black_dog: Are you chanelling Agent Smith?
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
o
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posted 22 April 2004 04:07 PM      Profile for o     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey Black dog anytime you wanna leave this planet, be my guest, but to call human beings a virus is more typical lefty- first year university student angst crap.

What is sexist about what I said? It takes two to make a baby..men and women..who did I single out? No one.

And what is so outlandish about what I said...isn't it an acknowledge fact that Arab israelis will soon outnumber Jews because of the higher birth rates?


From: toronto | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 22 April 2004 04:17 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Calling upon women to go forth and make babies to save the nation is grotesquely sexist. (We remember the "revenge of the cradles" in my parts...).

If Palestinians had the same educational opportunities and living standards as Israelis their birthrate would fall too. This is pretty much a universal rule of thumb.

I started another thread in body and soul about low birth rates in Western societies, but from a standpoint of SUPPORTING people who want to have children, not exhorting them to do anything or making them feel irresponsible.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
o
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posted 22 April 2004 04:27 PM      Profile for o     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I never called on "women" specificaly to have babies..I called on the readers of this forum..men and women. If you are gonna accuse someone of being a sexist, back it up...don't just rely on the typical "smear your adversary" tactic so commonly employed by people like you..they are either racist/sexist/homphobic etc. Not once have I ever accused anyone of this or of being an anti-semite. Grow up. Get out of the first year university mindset.

But whatever..this is getting off track. I am interested to hear what Cueballs buddy had to say.


From: toronto | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 22 April 2004 04:59 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You were pretty specific. And in any case, as a man who has been trying hard for the last ten years, I can tell you with certainty, only women can have babies.

So specific or not, the song remains the same (sorry zep fans).


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 22 April 2004 05:22 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"People like me"? Middle-aged women? Actually I doubt I'm fertile any more, and have no intention of having a late baby at my age if I am. Thanks for the first-year uni student comment, you've more than halved my age!

There is a long, and yes SEXIST history of men telling women to produce children as cannon fodder, labour power and for ethnic and religious reasons. The ultra-orthodox Jews you mention (and their Muslim and Christian counterparts) are a sorry example of this. That is called patriarchy. It is not meant as a personal attack on you or anyone. We had plenty of experience with such social attitudes to women's role here in the days of "La Grande Noirceur". Sure it takes a male and female to produce offspring, but not only must women be the ones to go through pregnancy, childbirth and breast feeding (important for the development of the baby's immune system, especially under less-than-ideal living conditions), women usually bore the brunt of responsibility for child-rearing and housekeeping. If you really are interested in why people in developed countries procreate so little, as I said I started a thread on that subject under body and soul.

I do agree with you about one point, o. I can see that the "virus" comment by another babbler was a reference to how the human species is destroying our host - the planet Earth - but I can see how the reference could be very offensive to some, as it was an expression used to describe "undesirable races" in the sorry lexicon of "scientific racism".

[ 22 April 2004: Message edited by: lagatta ]


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
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posted 22 April 2004 06:57 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
black_dog: Are you chanelling Agent Smith?

MISter Mandos.

Lagatta:

quote:
I do agree with you about one point, o. I can see that the "virus" comment by another babbler was a reference to how the human species is destroying our host - the planet Earth...

Precisely.

What's o's beef with first-year university students, anyway? *INSTAPLONK*

[ 23 April 2004: Message edited by: black_dog ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 22 April 2004 07:00 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Furthermore, it's racist because the assumption is that a desired ethnic or racial group needs to breed more in order not to be overtaken by an undesireable ethnic or racial group.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 22 April 2004 07:13 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Er, I checked o's profile and he/she/it has, um... no picture.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 22 April 2004 07:48 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Could we please dispense with all the jingoism, racism and sexism? This thread is supposed to be about the future of the Israeli state. It is Not is not meant to be a slagfest about Palestinian population growth.

Rufus, do you believe that Israel could survive without American support? Wouldn't their standard of living descendent into the 10th level of Hades? I doubt they would be able to support their medical system with fresh fruit.
What has the alliance with the US done to them? I crack wise about star-spangled monkeys, but I don't really know what I'm talking about.


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 22 April 2004 08:06 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
As long as the Arab nations keep Israel happy and nonscared, they in return will do their utmost to block American interference in the region. I think the Arab league would jump at the deal at this point, especially if Israel had gotten out of Palestine.

Do you believe that this strategy could start the Arab world on the road to democracy?


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 23 April 2004 07:12 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What do you mean by democracy?
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Macabee
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posted 23 April 2004 08:33 AM      Profile for Macabee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
What do you mean by democracy?
You know countries that permit a free vote to all its citizens, with a free press, and independent judiciary...like Canada, USA, UK, Israel, etc.

From: Vaughan | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
evenflow
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posted 23 April 2004 10:19 AM      Profile for evenflow        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
You know countries that permit a free vote to all its citizens, with a free press, and independent judiciary...like Canada, USA, UK, Israel, etc.

ha ha It's getting harder and harder to read references to 'free press' and 'free vote' with reference to some of these countries with a straight face.

Especially now, with the US government, through the FCC, being currently locked in such a heated war with free speech in America, it's surprising to me to find people who don't even suspect their 'freedoms' are being challenged and indeed, taken away.

I guess if by 'free' you mean 'corporate-owned' then I guess that's reasonably accurate. I'm sure that all those locked up in Guantanamo and the Palestians locked up in Israel's prisons without a trial are absolutely singing the praises of independent judiciary too...

Oh well, bless us all. The answer surely can't be found in bickering, so I digress.


From: learning land | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Udo
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posted 23 April 2004 11:04 AM      Profile for Udo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Evenflow so that we have a basis to understand your concept of a democracy which countries do you figure fit the bill?
From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 23 April 2004 11:20 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's not a matter of fitting the bill. It's a matter of tendencies. Which countries are getting closer to the ideal, which farther? And how fast?
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 23 April 2004 11:36 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Mandos, I agree. A democrat defends the principles and structures of democracy; she doesn't spend her time as an apologist, arguing that two wrongs make a right.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 23 April 2004 12:50 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What do you mean by democracy?

What I mean is, would this kind of peace plan give the arab world a chance to restructure itself so that states like Jordan have a shot at creating a socialist democracy, so they can give their monarch the boot.


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
evenflow
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posted 23 April 2004 03:48 PM      Profile for evenflow        Edit/Delete Post
Mandos pretty much hit the nail on the head there in terms of who does or doesn't fit the democratic bill.

There may or may not be a genuine democracy in any nation, I don't know. When the US was poised to attack Iraq, and millions of US citizens as well as citizens of countries that supported the US took to massive country wide protests (and still protest), and their voices are not heard by their respective leaders, where is the democracy in that? You tell me.


From: learning land | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 23 April 2004 07:03 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by evenflow:
Mandos pretty much hit the nail on the head there in terms of who does or doesn't fit the democratic bill.

There may or may not be a genuine democracy in any nation, I don't know. When the US was poised to attack Iraq, and millions of US citizens as well as citizens of countries that supported the US took to massive country wide protests (and still protest), and their voices are not heard by their respective leaders, where is the democracy in that? You tell me.


My goodness, this is more complex than I thought it would be.
All right, let me rephrase the question. Would this strategy allow the creation of a state unlike any in the Middle East today, where dissenters aren't punished for publishing pamphlets and the secret police don't listen to your phone calls.

Their may not be a true democracy in existence today, but some governments are more democratic than others. I realize that sounds rather strange, but I believe the distinction can be made.

What's the government of Lebanon like?


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 23 April 2004 07:53 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The government of Lebanon is sort of like a democracy. There are elections, although results are modified to conform with an agreed-upon distribution formula based on percentage of people belonging to (I believe three) religions of the country.
From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
The_Calling
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posted 23 April 2004 08:08 PM      Profile for The_Calling   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What the racists neglect is that the entire world's birth rates have fallen by 50% since 1950. This trend will continue. It is projected that at some point in this century the world population will peak at 9 billion and then start to decline. The demographic decline in countries with weak health care systems (Cuba, North Korea are poor but have decling populations as do former Warsaw Pact nations) will start in the 2nd half of this century.

"O" what is your "final solution" to the non-white problem?

[ 23 April 2004: Message edited by: The_Calling ]


From: USA | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
The_Calling
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posted 23 April 2004 09:25 PM      Profile for The_Calling   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The sad truth is Cuballs friend may be right...but it is not just Jews who are at risk, it is the whole western way of life. The simple reason in my opinion is because of our declining birth rates..Jewish and western women ( not counting the religous one) have fewer babies than their 3rd world counterparts...I think we in Canada have less than 2 children per couple while the average muslim family has 3-4. It's just a matter of time before we un-breed ourselves out of the history books.

Birth rates dropping for immigrant women
Shift result of social, economic factors: StatsCan
Indication of integration into Canadian society


ASHANTE INFANTRY AND CHRISTIAN COTRONEO
STAFF REPORTERS

Fertility rates among foreign-born women are gradually declining, falling into line with those of women born in Canada, says a comprehensive study from Statistics Canada.

That's not news to Kanthi Kumar.

The Sri Lankan-born outreach worker has had two sons since moving here with her husband seven years ago. The couple would love to try for a daughter but can't afford to.

"Definitely if I was in Sri Lanka, I would have more children," said Kumar, 28.

"There, I have six sisters and my parents to help me, but here, day care is very expensive and I have to work."

Still, having fled civil war in her homeland, she's grateful for the quality of life Canada offers her children.

Kumar's dilemma demonstrates the social and economic factors — long experienced by Canadian-born women — that StatsCan believes contributes to the declining fertility rate among immigrant women relatively soon after they arrive.

Utilizing the census data of women aged 15 to 54, the agency found that the fertility rate of immigrant women who arrived between 1996 and 2002 was 3.1 children per woman.

It dropped to 1.5 children per woman for those who arrived here 10 to 14 years earlier. That's the same rate recorded in 2000 for all of Canada, the lowest rate on record in this country. In European countries the rate was 1.4 children per woman, while in the United States it was 2.1.

The agency sees the dramatic shift in fertility levels as an indication of the women's integration into Canadian society.

"They're living in a different context and they adapt their behaviours to that context," said Alain Bélanger, the report's co-author.

The study found that when compared to others from their country of origin, fertility rates were most likely to fall among women who immigrated before age 15 and received part of their education in Canada.

"They have the same socialization as Canadian women, so they adopt the same or similar lifestyle," said Bélanger, adding the fertility rate for the Canadian-born daughters of immigrant women is 1.4 children.

The research also showed fertility rates remained high for immigrant women from parts of Asia and the Middle East.

With deaths expected to outweigh births in Canada in about 20 years, he said, it's crucial to track birth patterns. "Immigration will increasingly be an important factor in population growth," he said.

"But the effect of immigration is not only the arrival of immigrants, but once they are here, they also have children and contribute to the natural increase. We have to establish whether that is just a short-term effect."

Despite a dwindling birth rate, Canada's population exceeded the 31 million mark in 2001, thanks largely to surging numbers of new Canadians, Statistics Canada said.

The growth rate in 2001 was 11.2 per 1,000, up from 9.8 per 1,000 the year before.

Alberta led the way in growth for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Ontario. At the other end, Newfoundland and Labrador were well under the national average.

About two-thirds of the growth came from new immigrants, as the country welcomed 250,400 in 2001. That helped offset 9,400 fewer babies born in the country, as Canada reported its third highest decrease in the birth rate in the last decade. The 327,900 births in 2001 represented a 2.8 per cent drop from the previous year.

As the birth rate has fallen, abortions in Canada have risen to one in three births. The highest proportion — about 43 per cent — was in Quebec, while Prince Edward Island had the lowest rate at 11 per cent.

Marriage, among a number of trends studied, hasn't lost its charm. Canadians still like getting married. And remarried.

There were 2,900 marriages in 1999, a 1.9 per cent increase over the year before. The number of remarriages was still growing, accounting for 35 per cent of all marriages in 2000. But the rising rates are roughly in proportion with the country's growth.

StatsCan also released a national study on aging that reiterated what is already known: Maintaining good health depends on adopting healthy habits, including not smoking, regular physical activity and moderate alcohol consumption.

"Sometimes people say, `I smoke all my life and I'm still here at age 80,'" said the study's co-author, Laurent Martel. "Maybe that works for some individuals, but generally speaking adopting healthy living habits throughout your life can help you stay independent in old age, and you may have a better quality of life."

Another racialist stereotype exposed as a lie


From: USA | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 24 April 2004 03:58 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
You know countries that permit a free vote to all its citizens, with a free press, and independent judiciary...like Canada, USA, UK, Israel, etc.

Well then there are no free votes, given that almost every vote is paid for through party systems that are heavily influenced by the financial power of corporate interests. The system is so corrupted that in the United States the voters are so disillusioned that most don't vote at all, leading to a result were the present president of the USA was elected by less than 25% of the voting public.

There is all kinds of systematic corruption that exists at all levels of what is called democracy. Huge lobbies continue to purchase votes after congress is elected. Similar problems exist here in Canada.

There are also problems with the fact that control of the media is also consolidated within very few hands. Is the free press really 'free,' when it is owned? Look at the way the US media paroted uncritically the WMD claim made by the Bush adminstartion over the last year. For me, even the rather lacklustre CBC, tends to get out more complicated ideas and alternate views than much of the so-called 'free' media that emanates from the New York media conglomarates, and it is state controlled.*

For me, when I hear people like George Bush talk about the superiority of Democracy as it is construed in the USA, and his desire to export it elswhere, I imagine that he means a 'democracy' that is likewise easily influenced by the overwhelming financial interest of the corporate world. This in my mind is not very democratic at all.

How do these factors shape up against the not entirely state controlled media of the Arab world and the despotism of its leaders, who allow political discourse only within a narrow set of parameters. How different is that small margin of discourse in comparison to the discourse between Kerry and Bush on the iraq issue for instance? Both have stated that they will continue US presence in Iraq until the situation 'stabalizes.' Aside from the trimmings there is little difference in their positions -- is that real debate?

The reason I asked this question CMOT is because I think the word 'democracy' is bandied around as a universal panacea, and a method of deligitimizing other states as Macabee has attmpted, even though I don't think people have seriously thought about the product we are exporting and holding up as a model for others.

quote:
* Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news — things which on their own merits would get the big headlines-being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that ‘it wouldn’t do’ to mention that particular fact. So far as the daily newspapers go, this is easy to understand. The British press is extremely centralised, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was ‘not done’ to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.

George Orwell from the Original Introduction to Animal Farm.Adobe photoshop download here

[ 24 April 2004: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 24 April 2004 03:10 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One could argue that none of the states in the Middle East are legitimate. They weren't founded by the Arab and Jewish residents of the region. They were founded by upper-middle-class diplomats in London and Paris. We even helped Middle Eastern dictators come to power.

Whoops! I guess that means that Canada and the U.S. aren't legitimate countrys either...

Now, coming back to my original question, if Israel made peace with the Arab world, would the peace plan suggested by Rufus, help to create a socialistic democracy in other Arab countries beside Palestine.
P. S. I realize that I didn't use the word socialistic in my previous posts, I also realize that Palestine is at best a social democracy on hold, but hopefully you see what I mean.

[ 24 April 2004: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]

[ 24 April 2004: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]

[ 25 April 2004: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 24 April 2004 04:37 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree entirely with the sentiment that the entire Middle East arrangement is illegitimate. Those borders were not drawn by those who live there.

Canada and the US are also illegitimate in that sense, but in the Middle East there is a strong and constantly-thwarted desire to change these borders that rarely manages to get expressed.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 24 April 2004 06:21 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:

George Orwell from the Original Introduction to Animal Farm.Adobe photoshop download here

[ 24 April 2004: Message edited by: Cueball ]


I take your point, democracy has many flaws and you can't export it. Truly democratic systems need to be built from the ground up, with the help of a well-informed public and no outside interference from corporate interests (two conditions that are rarely met in the minority world).

I will rephrase my question for the third time: If the strategy laid out in the "Rufus Accord" was acted upon, would the arab world be able to become more democratic than it currently is? I realize that there is not a genuine democracy in the world today, except perhaps in places like Venezuela, but given the sense of security that Mr. Polsen's plan would provide, do you think that the governments of the Middle East would become less brutal and more open?

[ 24 April 2004: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]

[ 24 April 2004: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]

[ 24 April 2004: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]

[ 24 April 2004: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]

[ 24 April 2004: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Macabee
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posted 24 April 2004 06:54 PM      Profile for Macabee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mandos:
I agree entirely with the sentiment that the entire Middle East arrangement is illegitimate. Those borders were not drawn by those who live there.

Canada and the US are also illegitimate in that sense, but in the Middle East there is a strong and constantly-thwarted desire to change these borders that rarely manages to get expressed.



With this way of thinking the whole damn world is illegitimate!!

From: Vaughan | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 24 April 2004 07:37 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, wouldn't you agree that the African borders, just for example, certainly weren't drawn with any notion of basic national contiguity?

Good to see you countenancing the notion that borders need not stand for all time eternally fixed and changeless.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 25 April 2004 04:20 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I wonder what the map of the Middle East would have looked like if European imperialists hadn't taken it into their heads to meddle in the affairs of the native tribes...
From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 25 April 2004 08:27 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Macabee: This is a board where certain forms of radicalism are welcome. Of course I consider most of the state structures and borders in place now to be "illegitimate" in the sense that they were often imposed without the consent of those who lived there or that there is considerable coercion in the way that they are maintained. They are also illegitimate in that I see no reason to justify sustaining their present forms.

Do you have a problem with this?


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Macabee
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posted 25 April 2004 10:15 PM      Profile for Macabee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not really, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Must be hard to live in a world you dislike so much.
From: Vaughan | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 26 April 2004 02:12 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As a person who believes in the power of Government to positively influence peoples' lives, I find that the governmental structures of all Middle Eastern countries to be deficient in this respect - even Israel's.

Let us tackle the Arabic nations plus Iran. It is clear that due to Western meddling in the internal affairs of those nations, and the careless drawing of borders, that many citizens' natural aspirations to meaningful participation in their countries' political structures are being blocked by those who know that their 'interests' lie in allowing themselves to be patronized by the United States of America.

Israel, in its turn, deliberately seeks to frustrate the natural aspirations of the Palestinian-Arabs by hamstringing the Palestinian "Authority", and allowing them no vote in the Israeli Government itself. In addition, contrary to the socialist ambitions of Ben-Gurion and his fellow national architects, the current Government is busy frustrating ordinary Israelis' aspirations to meaningful control over their country by embarking, in the short term, on irresponsible privatizations and tax cuts at the same time as it embarks on a long-term rise in military spending, which may raise, not lower, the danger potential in the region, since it may provoke an arms race which nobody will win.

I have to wonder what Ben-Gurion would say if he could see Sharon and Netanyahu busy figuring out how to let the likes of the Lehman Brothers pillage the country's assets.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 26 April 2004 02:53 AM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Macabee:
Not really, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Must be hard to live in a world you dislike so much.

Yes. Yes, it is. But some of us have the guts to look the truth in the face anyway. Others hide and rationalize because they don't have the grit to imagine that "their" side might be doing bad things. Just pretend everything's A-OK, Macabee. All's for the best in this best of all possible worlds.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 26 April 2004 03:43 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Canada and the US are also illegitimate in that sense, but in the Middle East there is a strong and constantly-thwarted desire to change these borders that rarely manages to get expressed.
-------------------
With this way of thinking the whole damn world is illegitimate!!

Consider that during The Great War, Arabs were promised self-government by the British for their aid in fighting the Turks.

The Arabs won, then the British betrayed them, both by taking over their lands, and then by imposing the Balfour Declaration, which gave Jews a homeland in the very land the Arabs helped the British seize from the Turks.

[ 27 April 2004: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
liminal
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posted 03 May 2004 09:18 PM      Profile for liminal        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by CMOT Dibbler:

What's the government of Lebanon like?


Sorry for answering this question now, but I am a newbie here.
Lebanon is a democratic country with democratic institutions and a relatively independent judiciary system. However, the power system is structured around a social contract that allocates different positions to different sects, ie, the president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Moslem, and the speaker of parliament a Shiite Muslim. The parliament, as pretty much everything else must be 50%Christian, 50% Muslim with a margin for minorities(17 official sects).
In practice, elections are held constantly though the major players are outside parties(like Syria, Saudi Arabia,... ), and most importantly,...capital. Money is what influences everything that takes place.
Regarding freedom of speech, I contend to the argument that democracy and freedom of speech are interchangeable. Lebanon demonstarets my case: whereas is there are serious violations of democracy, Lebanon's press corpus remains one of the freest in the entire region.

From: the hole I just crawled out of | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 19 May 2004 02:03 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If Israel's defense budget was halved and they spent that cash on stuff like the poor and the elderly, would the Army still have enough money to defend Israel's borders?
From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged

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