I have been attending some lectures on Iraq and a class on political
In one of the events, a speaker who had been a US negotiator between the
Israelis and Palestinians, made an interesting comment.
He said that we all are aware of the power of dealing from a position of
strength, but we do not always see the power from dealing from a position
If you are in the week position, you may not think that you need to be
responsible for the solution.
I would add that if you feel powerless to oppose your enemy, then all
may be left is to hate your enemy and institutionalize that hate. This
has happened in the Middle East. I that context the Malaysian Prime
Ministers speech is interesting and positive although it is objectively
Daniel C. Adkins
From: Robt Mann [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 4:17 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: that pesky Near East
From the privileged position of uninvolvement, may I offer some comment
on the recent heated exchange about Gaza, Israel, etc?
While a grad student in a USA lab dominated in more senses than one by
men of Jewish extraction (most of them non-religious, I guessed), I soon learned
not to attempt any discussion relating to Israel. As soon as one made any
remark, no matter how specific & careful, they would scream "Ve are fighting for
our vechy SURVIVAL", to put me on notice that reasoning would not be available.
I gave up.
What I did think, and still do, is that in such a complex long dispute
what may matter most practically is: which party is in the more sturdy
psychological condition to make a concessionary offer. It has usually appeared
to me that the non-Israelis (not all of them Arabs!) happen to be in the more
precarious psychological position and are therefore the better placed to be
generous. By this comparison I do not mean to imply that the Zionists who scream
as I've quoted are in any very robust psychological stance - only that the
others are even less secure.
I have no opinion on what offer(s) the Zionists might best formulate; as
I say, I gave up the attempt to reason on this ghastly imbroglio. I mean now
only to make a suggestion on a different level, which I hope will be taken up
sympathetically as it is meant.
I must add that unless the theme of science for the people can be
injected into this particular dispute, it would not seem to belong on this list.
Shalom and, if I have it right, namaste