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"But I think it's also worth noting that there is absolutely no military solution to this whole crisis."
June 27, 2006 7:04 PM   Subscribe

Saving Corporal Shalit: "I think the only danger to the soldier's life is if there is an actual incursion by Israel into the Gaza Strip."
posted by kliuless (42 comments total)

 
It's not a war, it's a 50-year fight to exclude a large group of people from the democratic process.
posted by rxrfrx at 7:16 PM on June 27, 2006


If the purpose of sending military forces into the Gaza Strip is an attempt to secure the release of this kidnapped soldier, it seems an astonishingly boneheaded maneuver on the part of Israel. How will destroying power plants and bridges get this man freed more readily, if at all? How does it help the peace process?

If the purpose of doing so is to take advantage of this latest crisis to reignite simmering tensions between Palestine and Israel, it will do just that.

That said, the militant wing of Hamas was involved in the kidnapping, which suggests that the leadership either has insufficient control of their followers or was actively involved in the crime. These are the people who want to be the political leaders of Palestine? Through an act like this, they confirm many of the accusations of their enemies.

Of course, the problem between Palestine and Israel today is the problem as it always has been: tribal thinking by leaders on both sides, who are dedicated far more to dick-waving interspersed with acts of vengeance than solving a problem that isn't going away.

I hate to say it, but something like this makes me miss Arafat and--particularly in light of his increasing moderation--Sharon.
posted by Makoto at 7:21 PM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


If the last couple of weeks has proven anything, it's that taking hostages sure does get attention.
posted by smackfu at 7:21 PM on June 27, 2006


Just give them their damn soldier and be done with it.
posted by bim at 7:29 PM on June 27, 2006


"I think the only danger to the soldier's life is if there is an actual incursion by Israel into the Gaza Strip."

Because we know he was kidnapped just because they were lonely and wanted someone to have tea with.
posted by MrLint at 7:29 PM on June 27, 2006


I hate to say it, but something like this makes me miss Arafat and--particularly in light of his increasing moderation--Sharon.

I was thinking the same thing; Olmert makes Sharon look like a moderate. I was figuring he (Olmert) has less respect in, and thus less influence over, the Israeli army.
posted by carter at 7:29 PM on June 27, 2006


How will destroying power plants and bridges get this man freed more readily, if at all? How does it help the peace process?

And how will shooting school girls stop suicide bombings?

Hell, how will suicide bombings secure a Palestinian state?

I don't think any of this is about "helping the peace process".
posted by Jimbob at 7:29 PM on June 27, 2006


I don't understand... when a suicide bomber blows up women and children, or when Israeli airstrikes blow up women and children, it barely makes the papers.

When the Hamas militants take a SOLDIER hostage, one of the people who is actively shooting at them, Israel goes nuts.

A hostage soldier is worse than children with their feet blown off?
posted by Malor at 7:41 PM on June 27, 2006


No. There are people on both sides who benefit from a perpectual state of war.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:42 PM on June 27, 2006


Olmert makes Sharon look like a moderate.

The sense that I got from Sharon in those last few months before he became conveniently incapacitated is that he didn't want to go down in history as yet another man who couldn't solve the Palestinian question. He recognized that concessions of some sort would be necessary, and that he was one of few living Israelis--all of whom are approaching the ends of their lives--who could push through a moderate line.

Olmert either doesn't get it or doesn't care. If Sharon doesn't recover, I expect him to merge Kadima back into Likud before very long and return the situation to business as usual.

I hope I'm not right, but I wouldn't be surprised if the time period between the death of Arafat and the incapacitation of Sharon comes to be seen in retrospect as the last best chance for a negotiated settlement.
posted by Makoto at 7:48 PM on June 27, 2006


All that said, what remains worth noting is that Hamas today announced that it will go on fighting against Israel till the Palestinians take the country now known as Israel. It is theirs, they state. And this will further the peace process for the poor Palestinians? You can not get a state for your people, no matter how bad you want to say the Isrfaelis are, if yhou continue to announce your intention to destroy them.
posted by Postroad at 7:59 PM on June 27, 2006


In the hope of adding something new to an I/P thread, here's the text of the prisoners document that Hamas apparently is coming around to accepting. It refers frequently to palestinians living in "the diaspora." Anyone know what that means?
posted by gsteff at 8:07 PM on June 27, 2006


If the purpose of sending military forces into the Gaza Strip is an attempt to secure the release of this kidnapped soldier, it seems an astonishingly boneheaded maneuver on the part of Israel. How will destroying power plants and bridges get this man freed more readily, if at all? How does it help the peace process?

If the purpose of doing so is to take advantage of this latest crisis to reignite simmering tensions between Palestine and Israel, it will do just that.


It isn't intended to do either of those things. The purpose of this is to establish a deterrent against future kidnappings of this kind, by making clear that the cost to the Palestinians, all Palestinians, of this kind of action will be extremely high. That, for instance, is why they knocked out Gaza's electric power system. It won't be repaired for months, and that means all Palestinians will suffer for this kidnapping -- and it means all Palestinians will know that the next time they'll suffer even worse. It means they will know that every provocation against Israel will result in an incremental stairstep in making the Palestinians even more miserable.

Israel is sending a signal that the kid gloves are off, and that from now on all provocations will be answered with massive escalation which is deliberately intended to make life worse for everyone in the Gaza strip.

And thus, it is hoped, it will serve to convince the Palestinians that they should no longer tolerate the "militants" and should seek peace.

Under international pressure, Israel has tried offering the Palestinians carrots, and the result was an escalation of Palestinian attacks against Israel. Now Israel is going to try sticks. And that means that bad as life is for the common Palestinian in the Gaza Strip, it's going to get worse and worse the longer they support militant groups who engage in war against Israel. Maybe, if everyone (including the Palestinians) is lucky, eventually they'll decide the price is too high and will give up, and at long last negotiate a peaceful conclusion of the struggle in good faith.

(Just to forestall obvious responses: I neither endorse nor condemn this; I'm just explaining it.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:14 PM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


And thus, it is hoped, it will serve to convince the Palestinians that they should no longer tolerate the "militants" and should seek peace.

Yeah, and collective punishment has worked so well throughout history.
posted by Jimbob at 8:19 PM on June 27, 2006


Yes to dissuade obviously, and to reassure all the other currently non-kidnapped soldiers in the Iraeli army that something will be done should they become kidnapped.

I also, neither this nor that, ah... forestall and explaining... and etc. (ok now my lawyer's happy)

You know though, these individual acts (both the original kidnapping and followup incursion) just seem to be part of an ongoing cycle, hard to see what the overall net effect could possibly amount to, big-picture-wise.
posted by scheptech at 8:28 PM on June 27, 2006


Israel is sending a signal that the kid gloves are off,

Well, they 've never sent that signal before.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:50 PM on June 27, 2006


All that said, what remains worth noting is that Hamas today announced that it will go on fighting against Israel till the Palestinians take the country now known as Israel. It is theirs, they state. And this will further the peace process for the poor Palestinians? You can not get a state for your people, no matter how bad you want to say the Isrfaelis are, if yhou continue to announce your intention to destroy them.

Postroad, you have a source for that?
posted by greatgefilte at 9:43 PM on June 27, 2006


And everything else they Israeli's have tried, from Camp David through the Gaza pullout through whatever else has worked so well, Bradon and Jimbob. Right?

Raise your hand if you think that the Palestinians are going to ever settle for anything other than the entire area from the river to the sea.

Seriously. Raise your hand. What will be enough? What area will be acceptable for Jews to live in?
posted by swerdloff at 9:48 PM on June 27, 2006


Sheptech, all of this is consistent with the strategy laid down by Sharon a couple of years ago. But it's complicated. I wrote (at preposterous length) about it in three articles early in 2004: one two three

By the way, the international cutoff of aid to the Palestinians is also part of that strategy. It's all of a piece.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:49 PM on June 27, 2006


So I guess Israel should do nothing in response. Or maybe they should wait for Condoleeza to help work things out...she's done such a swell job in Iraq, Afghanistan and the like so far.
posted by bim at 10:09 PM on June 27, 2006


Raise your hand if you think that the Palestinians are going to ever settle for anything other than the entire area from the river to the sea.

Raise your hands if you think Palestinians are a homogenous mob who all believe the same things and act the same way.
posted by Jimbob at 10:15 PM on June 27, 2006


Jimbob, no polity is totally uniform, but a polity does speak with a consensus voice. The "Raise your hand" comment referred to that consensus voice.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:19 PM on June 27, 2006


The "Raise your hand" comment referred to that consensus voice.

The consensus voice, as far as I can tell, is "leave us the damn hell alone already." The Fatah side precedes that statement with "give us our own country and..." while Hamas uses "you don't believe here so..." Islamic Jihad uses "we'll keep blowing you up until..."

But the consensus is really just "leave us the damn hell alone."

And Sharon understood that, in the end. Thus, the pullout, wall, and two-state tacit endorsement. Problem is, there are certain people in that area *cough*Syria*cough* who not only want the status quo maintained, they need it maintained lest their own people start turning their anger back on them.

The nightmare scenario for Syria and Saudi Arabia is the Palestinians getting their own state, no matter if they liquidate Israel or not in the process. Then, you'll see Palestine turn into a democracy with political parties and more freedom than they have in Damascus or Riyadh. And then the Syrians and Saudis will start asking when they're going to get their freedom.

I feel sad for the Palestinians. They're just political pawns in a larger geopolitical game. None of their "friends" really give a rat's ass about them and their welfare. They're just a convenient and cheap way to poke at Israel.
posted by dw at 11:02 PM on June 27, 2006


Then, you'll see Palestine turn into a democracy with political parties and more freedom than they have in Damascus or Riyadh. And then the Syrians and Saudis will start asking when they're going to get their freedom.

Well, that's what George Bush would have us believe. One Arab democracy in the middle East will create a "domino" effect. (Which is the reverse situation from Vietnam where America was the one keeeping the dominoes from falling.) The domino effect was wrong then and it's wrong now.

I feel sad for the Palestinians. They're just political pawns in a larger geopolitical game. None of their "friends" really give a rat's ass about them and their welfare.

You're right here dw. The Palestinians get loads of rhetorical support, but not much otherwise. The plight of the Palestinians is used by some other mid-east states *cough*Iran*cough* to garner support at home. That is a big part of the problem.

As regards the invasion, I suspect the impetus comes from within the IDF and it is less political than it is practical. Soliders tend to fight more for one another than for any other reason. How many U.S. Marines, for example, have been killed over the years recovering the dead bodies of their fellow Marines?

The military culture is a tight knit one and the IDF is protecting one of their own. Even if Olmert knows this to be a political disaster, not allowing the IDF to attempt to rescue one of their own would be an even bigger political disaster for him.

Since the target was a military one, can this properly be called terrorism? Aren't enemy soldiers legitimate targets in war?
posted by three blind mice at 12:24 AM on June 28, 2006


gsteff:The prisoners' document ... refers frequently to palestinians living in "the diaspora." Anyone know what that means?
It's a term for all the palestinians living outside of the occupied territories: refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan etc, and also palestinians further afield who may well have built up a life for themselves.

The word 'diaspora' means 'A dispersion of a people from their original homeland and/or the community formed by such a people', but is most commonly used when referring to Jews -- the 'Jewish Disapora' occured in the 6th century BC...


As for why the solder was kidnapped, it is of course to get international attention and as bargaining chip. Nobody pays much attention any more when Israeli civillians die. Even fewer people pay attention when Palestinian civillians die, but with just 1 live soldier kidnapped, suddenly there is a whole load of international focus on the I/P issue (again). Maybe if it is all negociated nicely (some hope), there can be a prisoner exchange.

It was a tactic that actually worked well for Hezbollah...
> The purpose of this is to establish a deterrent against future kidnappings of this kind, by making clear that the cost to the Palestinians, all Palestinians, of this kind of action will be extremely high.
Which is of course collective punishment, which is a war crime, one which both sides are guilty of (bombings tagetted at civilians are also collective punishment)... Not that anybody cares...
posted by nielm at 2:18 AM on June 28, 2006


swerdloff writes "Raise your hand if you think that the Palestinians are going to ever settle for anything other than the entire area from the river to the sea."

Senator, are you still beating your wife?

The notion that there can be a peaceful settlement with Palestinians pushed into a disconnected Bantustan is deeply broken. Such a state is set up to fail; the goal of the more honest Israelis is nothing less than "the entire area from the river to the sea," and in the case of the extremists even more than that. Palestine is being pushed into a tiny, economically depressed corner, and then being told that the beatings will continue until morale improves. They lash out, and Israel hits back. Israel is basically conquering the territory it missed in the '40s through this cycle of violence.

There won't be peace with a Palestinian state that is within the Gaza Strip and the projected security wall (which includes large portions of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in Israel, effectively annexing the large settlements there) and an apartheid Israel that can act with impunity. A secular, democratic state in which people have full citizenship rights regardless of whether they are Arabic or Jewish or Muslim or Christian or whatever they happen to be is the only sane solution, but no party is pursuing that aim today. Which is the real tragedy.
posted by graymouser at 4:05 AM on June 28, 2006


graymouser, I've never seen a good answer (do the polling data even exist?) as to whether there is a significant portion of Israelis and Palestinians who refuse to share a country. I generally believe in the fundamental good nature of people ("civilians") and would like to consider the religious extremists on both sides an aberration that can be taken care of. The violent individuals in the current situation are a red herring, because they are fighting for their own dignity and existence, and if everyone got dignity and democracy, there would be no reason for this sort of violence. We need to know how much religious violence would exist outside of the current occupation.

Bascially, the question is, if Israel could be convinced to be a democracy (and had full international support in doing this), and every adult currently living in the Palestinian territories had a vote just like every adult living in the main part of Israel does today, what would happen? A lot of people suspect that the extreme elements of the non-Jewish majority would vote to murder all the Jews, or at least boot them out of the country. This may be the case, but I'd like to see hard information on whether it actually is.
posted by rxrfrx at 4:22 AM on June 28, 2006


From the BBC: "For Walid al-Houdaly, 46, the capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants offers the opportunity that his wife and their 18-month-old child will be freed from prison."
posted by chunking express at 6:18 AM on June 28, 2006


The mother went on a 16-day hunger strike before the Israeli prison authorities allowed her baby Aesha to be brought to stay with her, in the jail, Mr Houdaly says.
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:35 AM on June 28, 2006


Raise your hand if you think that the Palestinians are going to ever settle for anything other than the entire area from the river to the sea.

Hand raised. I expect the settlement to come soon. Economic pressure is working on them in a way that bombing never could. It works slower, but its harder to get all worked up about it and harder to feel pressured to do something stupid like strap explosives to yourself and head for a bus stop. Hamas is, I mean was, about to crack.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:55 AM on June 28, 2006


Well, that's what George Bush would have us believe. One Arab democracy in the middle East will create a "domino" effect. (Which is the reverse situation from Vietnam where America was the one keeeping the dominoes from falling.) The domino effect was wrong then and it's wrong now.

But I'm not making the neocon argument here, where we must impose our will upon a nation to create or prevent change. I'm talking about natural progression. The Palestinian cause is a lightning rod for dissent around the Middle East. Everything is the Zionists' fault. If the Palestinians get their nation, though, that lightning rod vanishes, and people start discharging their anger on the governments that they're living under. And it's not something they can control.

Think about the effects the Civil Rights Movement had around the world -- on blacks in South Africa, on Catholics in Northern Ireland, on Basques and Catalans in Spain. All of them looked at the US and asked, "Why can't we have that?" I can see Syrians and Saudis asking the same questions, but only if the transition is peaceful. If Hamas and Fatah go for civil war, all bets are off.
posted by dw at 9:29 AM on June 28, 2006


There are 9,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, many of them are held without charges and some are kidnapped without warning in the middle of the night, with no information given to the family until much later, if ever.
posted by cell divide at 9:32 AM on June 28, 2006


Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't this conflict stem from essentially the social-engineering of the British? If so doesn't it seem worth considering not trying to create or shape societies?
posted by BillJenkins at 10:36 AM on June 28, 2006


more on Hamas's non-recognition of Israel
posted by rottytooth at 12:48 PM on June 28, 2006


I'm gonna comment on a couple comments made

1) what makes you think that wide-scale backlash against general palestinians will cause those individuals bent on further attacks from it? I'm sure some people in Palestinian society will push against violence, but those seeking violence won't be deterred.

2) Ironmouth: "Economic pressure is working on them in a way that bombing never could. It works slower, but its harder to get all worked up about it and harder to feel pressured to do something stupid like strap explosives to yourself and head for a bus stop. Hamas is, I mean was, about to crack."

The number one rule about the Middle East is that the political always, always trumps the economic. Some people argue that this is why Camp David failed, economic incentives for peace solved nothing about the political problems, which are never forgotten by some. The palestinian economy is in a total crisis, and it has been for the past several years (it's GDP dropped by something like half after 2001. Now that aid has dried up we will see if it is actually at a political breaking point.

2) The Palestine is not a "democracy" spew that I keep hearing on the media. There was a democratic congresswoman from somewhere on BBC radio arguing that Palestine should become a democracy, and start putting its resources in training doctors, lawyers, and businessmen. Great policy advice, nevermind that Palestinians have some of the highest levels of human capital in the arab world. (you mean that the country isn't full of terrerists???)

'I'm pretty confused, who says that Palestine isn't a democracy? Do they not have voting? A legislature, a prime minister? Are they not the only Arab country that is completely transparent about its financial and economic statistics.

Ok. What is true is that the Palestinians are the only people who have been asked to have a democracy before they have a state. And that's something. Are there other groups that have and vie for political power? Of course. Do they often act against the interest of the general palestinians? Of course.

3) dw: Then, you'll see Palestine turn into a democracy with political parties and more freedom than they have in Damascus or Riyadh.

Anyways, on to your democratic domino effect theory. a) Not only does not even apply to Palestine because there ARE NO authoritarian rulers with power there... but to entertain you...

b) In general, this theory is just fantastic crap backed with absolutely no real analysis of the actual situations within countries. Just because an authoritarian rulers in one country allows democracy does not mean that another authoritarian will in another. Will people seeing prosperity in one country push their economies for policies that would ensure prosperity in their own? Of course, but remember that instiutions and incentives for government action in the middle east are completely complicated and very hard to change.

There's a bunch of work in political economy, theorizing that there is an "authoritarian bargain," (look up Daron Acemoglu and Raj Desai for some on this) between authoritarian rulers and their democracy wanting people, there is a give and take where the authoritarian gives up democracy to stay in power, in some situations, and in others decides to apply force. The state could ALWAYS decide to go more repressive in face of people asking for democracy. See Egypt, which has a vibrant civil society, non-governmental organizations and voice EXCEPT when people talk about how the government should be. That always gets you clapped in jail.
posted by stratastar at 1:34 PM on June 28, 2006


Swerdloff: Raise your hand if you think that the Palestinians are going to ever settle for anything other than the entire area from the river to the sea.

I think it's possible that the Palestinians would settle for the pre-1967 border.

Avishai Margalit, May 2001:
If there is one thing that gets on the Palestinians' nerves, it's the talk about Barak's "generous offer" at Camp David. Palestinians--all Palestinians--regard this expression as a deep contradiction. Just why they do needs explaining.

Palestinians view the Palestine that existed during British rule between 1918 and 1948 as theirs--100 percent theirs, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. They see themselves as the indigenous population of this region and hence the natural owners of the entire land of Palestine. Any part of the land that they yield as part of an agreement is, for them, a huge concession. Recognizing the State of Israel as defined by its 1967 borders--the so-called green line--and thus yielding some 77 percent of British mandate Palestine is to them by itself a colossal concession, a painful historical compromise. By recognizing the Israel within the green line they give up their claim to redress what they see as the wrong done to them by the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. If they accept any deal that recognizes Israel they will have succeeded at most in redressing the wrong done to them in 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Thus to ask them to compromise further after what they already regard as a huge compromise is, as they see it, a historical outrage. To call any such compromise "a generous offer" is to them sheer blasphemy.

The Israeli perception is of course diametrically opposite. And by "the Israeli perception" I do not refer to the idea of "Greater Israel," according to which the entire biblical land of Israel belongs to the Jews, who are the historical indigenous population that was forced out of the land but never gave it up. What I mean by the Israeli perception is something very prosaic and unbiblical. Following the two wars that were forced on Israel, in 1948 and 1967, Israel conquered and held on to the entire land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. So the Israelis say that any territory we yield to Palestinians is, to us, a concession. And if Barak was willing to offer them almost all of the territories occupied since 1967--an offer that no previous Israeli leader was willing to entertain, let alone to make--it is entirely apt to see this as a generous offer.

rxrfrx: Basically, the question is, if Israel could be convinced to be a democracy (and had full international support in doing this), and every adult currently living in the Palestinian territories had a vote just like every adult living in the main part of Israel does today, what would happen? A lot of people suspect that the extreme elements of the non-Jewish majority would vote to murder all the Jews, or at least boot them out of the country. This may be the case, but I'd like to see hard information on whether it actually is.

I'm afraid I don't think the "one-state solution" is realistic. The pogroms in Russia, the Dreyfus Affair in France, and the rise of Naziism in Germany convinced the Jews that they needed their own state and their own military. With the memory of the Holocaust seared into them, Israeli Jews are not going to accept minority status in an Arab-majority state.
posted by russilwvong at 6:01 PM on June 28, 2006


Israeli Jews are not going to accept minority status in an Arab-majority state

It's a pretty poor choice of real estate then, eh?
posted by rxrfrx at 8:41 PM on June 28, 2006


russilwvong writes "With the memory of the Holocaust seared into them, Israeli Jews are not going to accept minority status in an Arab-majority state."

The problem is, their status as a Jewish state was and is only possible by means of systematic expulsion and repression of another people. How is this in any way just? A single, democratic, secular state is the only sane solution; the state thus formed would, of necessity, have human rights protections for all of its citizens. As long as Israel remains an apartheid state for its "protection," it will continue the cycle of violence. That is a given, whatever the borders you draw.

If Israeli Jews are genuinely afraid of the consequences of living in an Arab-majority state (in the middle of the Arabic world no less), the US and EU (and probably Canada and a few other countries) should allow them unrestricted immigration. Protection is not a justification for apartheid.
posted by graymouser at 4:06 AM on June 29, 2006


--in an Arab-majority state

To clarify: the problem isn't that the state would be Arab, it's that the Jews would be a minority. As I noted earlier, the original impetus to Zionism came from the pogroms in Russia and the Dreyfus Affair in France. As a small, highly visible minority, the Jews are vulnerable pretty much anywhere.

Also, conditions change. Jews in Germany were pretty well assimilated before the rise of the Nazis. I agree that it seems pretty unlikely we'd see serious anti-Jewish violence in the United States in our lifetime. But a couple centuries from now, who knows?

It's a pretty poor choice of real estate then, eh?

I tend to agree. But as I said in an earlier thread, they didn't have much choice. In the 1930s and 1940s, during the rise of the Nazis, the Jews were regarded as undesirable, unassimilable aliens. They couldn't emigrate en masse to the US or Canada. Follow-up.

The problem is, their status as a Jewish state was and is only possible by means of systematic expulsion and repression of another people.

Where do you live?

Less snarkily: the expulsion was reciprocal. More than 600,000 Jews fled or were expelled from the Arab countries in the 1940s and 1950s, and were settled in Israel. (At the end of World War I, the largest single ethnic group in Baghdad were the Jews.) An analogy is the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey.

How is this in any way just?

It's not. But national survival takes precedence over justice. Hans Morgenthau: The individual may say for himself: "Fiat justitia, pereat mundus (Let justice be done, even if the world perish)," but the state has no right to say so in the name of those who are in its care.

I still think a two-state solution, with the boundary along the pre-1967 border, would be a workable compromise. Within Israel itself, Israeli Arabs have the vote; they have representatives in the Knesset.

The big problem is the settlements in the West Bank.

If Israeli Jews are genuinely afraid of the consequences of living in an Arab-majority state (in the middle of the Arabic world no less), the US and EU (and probably Canada and a few other countries) should allow them unrestricted immigration.

Has anyone seriously proposed this? Given current security concerns in the US and other countries, I'm guessing that the security checks alone for six million people would take an awfully long time.
posted by russilwvong at 11:28 AM on June 29, 2006


I'm guessing that the security checks alone for six million people would take an awfully long time.

It always looks silly when you write it out, but giving up some amount of space/resources/bureaucratic time to allow lots and lots of persecuted Jews to immigrate to the US so we wouldn't have to suffer the consequences of the "Jewish State" occupation in the Middle East is a pretty good exchange.
posted by rxrfrx at 1:02 PM on June 29, 2006


I'd be interested in seeing any serious proposals along these lines. Note that at the moment US immigration levels are about 675,000 per year. Canada's is about 220,000 per year. Australia's is 120,000 per year.

In the 1930s and 1940s, during the rise of the Nazis, the Jews were regarded as undesirable, unassimilable aliens. They couldn't emigrate en masse to the US or Canada.

A particularly dramatic example: the voyage of the SS St. Louis.
posted by russilwvong at 1:52 PM on June 29, 2006


Israel attacks Beirut's airport
posted by homunculus at 11:27 PM on July 12, 2006


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