Cal Tzedek: 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006

Monday, January 30, 2006

"Hamas Elected to Power" is an anagram of "Mashed Potato Eel Crew"

Here are my thoughts on the Palestinian elections.

1. I respect the will of the Palestinian people who elected Hamas. I am not a hypocrite who champions democracy until people I don't like are elected. Hamas is, more or less, the governing body of the Palestinians and it must be respected as such by the world, including Israel.

2. I believe that people voted for Hamas for many reasons. Some voted for Hamas because they support its religious ideology. Some politically unsophisticated people might have voted for it solely because they like its violence, which they see as the only solution even when such violence fails to be part of a comprehensive, coherent strategy. Some voted for it because they might not necessarily like violence, but they recognize that violence has its place in overall liberation movements, and thus are rewarding Hamas for its more militant (and effective) fight against occupation. But I think these preceeding reasons aren't THAT significant, because I think most people voted for Hamas because a). it takes care of Palestinians, particularly poor Palestinians and b). they hate Fatah which a). has neither successfully worked with nor opposed Israel in a way which improves life for Palestinians and b). has stolen lots of money and acted undemocratically. Expect a LOT of misrepresentation of the Palestinian majority in the coming months, both from the Israeli government, and from right-wing talk show hosts and columnists here. Expect lots of demonization of Palestinians in the weeks to come. If you can stomach a sample of what's to come, just look at Frontpagemag.com (that's what Lee Kaplan writes for).

3. I do not like Hamas. Hamas has done much more than any other Palestinian organization to help ordinary Palestinians in every aspect of their lives, and so people who reduce it simply to a "terrorist group" are simplistic fools. And its terrorism is not necessarily the reason I object to Hamas (see point 4). I object to Hamas because it is a right-wing theocratic group. I do not like the idea of a theocratic Palestine any more than I like the idea of a theocratic Israel, a theocratic Iran, a theocratic Saudi Arabia, or our increasingly theocratic United States. Already today, Hamas has announced it plans to separate boys and girls into separate schools. On the other hand, it has said that alcohol will not be banned, and hijabs will not be mandated, so they are aware of the the limited extent to which their success was an endorsement of their theocratic intentions. I in no way equate Hamas with Al Qaeda or the Taliban, nor even with Iran or Saudia Arabia (but I do fear that, under certain circumstances, Hamas could lead in the direction of the latter two). But I simply cannot support any group which is right wing. There are many, many left wing Palestinian parties which also oppose both Israel's oppression and Fatah's corruption. Mustafa Barghouti, for instance, has a principled but secular party which is forming an opposition to both Hamas and Fatah, but which is still small, and which has not yet had time to establish the charity networks and stuff that have made Hamas so popular. I would be quite delighted if these left wing groups grow in popularity and replace control by Hamas, Fatah, AND Israel.

4. I do not support the suicide bombings, for reasons I don't think I need to explain, nor do I support any attacks on any civilians anywhere by anyone for any reason. But the fact that Hamas has committed suicide bombings has very little to do with why I don't like it. Terrorism is a political tool, certainly an immoral one, but the fact is that, if it is part of a comprehensive strategy, it sometimes works. I don't know if it has worked for Palestinians; ten years from now, we will have some clarity in terms of how much the Gaza withdrawal was influenced by a terrorist campaign and how much it was influenced by demographic concerns. State terrorism (or, for those who object to that term but nonetheless are honest in classifying the home "clearing operations" and helicopter attacks as what they are, collective punishment aimed at civilians) has NOT worked for Israel and has consistently made its citizens less safe. But people who believe that Hamas being in power will result in "a new wave of terror" are missing an important point: Hamas has really not committed much terrorism for over a year. The vast majority of attacks inside Israel have been by Islamic Jihad or by Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade. The first group is not a legitimate political party at all, and basically just commits indiscriminate violence with only a vague notion that this will help liberate Palestine. The second group is affiliated with Fatah. Now, Fatah dudes at the top condemn attacks on civilians, so AAMB attacks indicate that Fatah cannot control its own people, even if its leadership adheres to a ceasefire. Hamas clearly CAN control its own people and HAS adhered to the ceasefire, and has said it intends to CONTINUE adhering to the ceasefire, and I have EVERY reason to believe that it WILL adhere to the ceasefire if Israel doesn't start assassinating its members. The Palestinians who voted for Hamas but do not agree with suicide bombings recognized when they voted that Hamas has adhered to a cease fire for over a year and will probably continue to do so. So the upcoming demonization of the Palestinian people at large ignores this fact so that all Palestinians can be painted as bloodthirsty animals. IF Israel respects the terms of a cease fire, then, at least in the short run, the safety of its civilians has likely just improved. In the long run, of course, it will only improve if Israel respects the rights, needs, and claims of Palestinians and negotiates with them in good faith as equals.

5. The IF two sentences above was a big IF. I unfortunately expect Israel to continue with the arbitrary detentions, closures, shellings, missile attacks, beatings, home demolitions, and land seizures. So most likely, life will continue to be bad for Palestinians, and innocent Israelis will have to pay a price too. Any pessimism I have about a ceasefire, though, is NOT the result of this election. Like I said, a mutually honored ceasefire with Hamas will be stronger now than every before.

6. I have no idea if this is an integral part of Hamas ideology now adays, but the Hamas charter also includes anti-Jewish themes and language. I'm not talking about its rejection or non-recognition of the State of Israel, but rather its distortion of certain Islamic texts to demonize Jews and their religion. I do not think that any significant number of Palestinians voted for Hamas because they have inherently anti-Jewish beliefs. I do think that lots of Palestinians have anti-Jewish sentiment which comes from only encountering Jews who are occupation soldiers or settlers. This is the type of sentiment that goes away when you realize that there are Jews and Israelis who support the Palestinians and risk alot to work with the Palestinians as equals in opposing the occupation and other forms of discrimination and violence. In fact, I was once told that Palestinians who are jailed in Israel might increase their animosity to Israel and its zionist institutions, but lose their animosity to Jews, because in jail they meet just regular jews (criminals, but still just regular people) who do not fit the soldier/settler mould. Those who complain about anti-Jewish sentiment among Palestinians but who belittle the refuseniks, or the Israeli activists who stand in front of homes that are going to be bulldozed, or the human rights monitors of B'Tselem who investigate why Palestinians REALLY are killed, or the Jewish academics around the world who,whether or not they agree with divestiture or boycott campaigns, at least acknowledge them as well intentioned ALTERNATIVES to violence, are hypocrites. Having said that, the rhetoric used in Hamas's founding documents is a bit more disturbing than this misguided but natural reaction, and the Hamas extremists (there are also Hamas moderates who probably don't take the ideology word for word) worry me. As more Jews turn against oppression and in favor of helping the Palestinians, I have no doubt that support for this rhetoric will be restricted only to the fanatics and will be rejected by everyone else who is just really (and rightfully) pissed off. Now, the Netanyahus likes to compare Hamas to Nazis. This is absurd. Even Hamas's bizarre and offensive anti-Jewish themes most likely originated in the same type of "temporary" anti-Jewish sentiment I described above. It's just that, when it's mixed with theocratic religious ideas, it becomes creepy, and seems less likely to go away when those who buy into it realize that there are good Jews too. But this is in no way similar to the evil, genocidal, mind-numbingly racist Nazi regime. It seems that Israel's main demand re: the Hamas charter has been changing the clauses that reject recognition of Israel. I am much more concerned with the anti-Semitism, and so this is another reason I don't like Hamas.

7. I do think that until Hamas gets too cocky and starts imposing theocracy more dramatically, it will be much, much, better for Palestinians than Fatah, and for this reason, I'm happy for the Palestinians. Hamas knows how to get things done. I hope that countries don't cut aid to Palestinians based on these elections; they're setting all kinds of conditions, such that Hamas disarm and recognize Israel. I absolutely believe that Hamas should adhere to a ceasefire, but I do NOT believe that disarming itself or recognizing Israel at this point should be requirements for desparately needed aid, NOR should they be pre-requirements for talks with Israel. Anyway, if Hamas gets enough money, and if Israel doesn't seek to completely invade and destroy the territories again like it did in 2002, then I expect Palestinian life to improve.
8. I think that a lasting peace agreement CAN be reached between Israel and Hamas. Obviously, Hamas is going to push for Right of Return, since at least part of its popularity over Fatah must stem from Fatah's weak position on that issue. Now, there are two ways to have Right of Return (that is, two ways that I would find acceptable): 2 states for two peoples, but those Palestinians who want to become Israeli citizens with equal rights are allowed to do so, or 1 state for two peoples, equal rights for all. In the case of two states, Israel would almost certainly object to allowing RoR, EXCEPT that studies have shown that, at most, 300,000 Palestinians would want to go to Israel. Most would simply rather go to Palestine, as long as Israel acknowledges that it caused the refugee problem and pays compensation. So, with two states AND RoR, Israel would still remain a "Jewish state" with a solid Jewish majority and, if it started granting its Palestinian citizens legitimately equal rights, everyone would be happy. I myself have a problem with this underlying obsession with demographics, as I have explained before and will reiterate now: There is no such thing as a "demographic threat," nor a "demographic time bomb," nor the "demographic demon." There exist only demographic realities that are respected in a democracy and suppressed in a demogracy. Israel is a demogracy, and even under a two-state solution, where everyone, including refugees, is happy, Israel cannot continue to define itself by its demographics. Under this hypothetical solution, Israel would maintain a Jewish majority, but until the day that it acknowledges that IF Palestinians were to become the majority, the world will not end,then it is not a democracy, just a demogracy fomenting garden-variety racist paranoia. The One Binational State, of course, allows all refugees to return to anywhere in Israel/Palestine and allows Israelis to live anywhere in Israel/Palestine. This seems utopian to me, and is thus simultaneously more favorable and more impractical. So as someone who does not feel threatened by granting rights to Palestinian refugees, I think the first option has the potential to satisfy the most people.

But it is extremely unlikely that Israel would ever agree to this. So, that leaves us a two state solution with no right of return, or at best a symbolic, limited one. I honestly think that Israel would never allow more than 75,000 Palestinians to return, and this saddens me. So, the other option for Hamas is to push for a one state solution which, like I said, I find ideal, in a naive sort of way. But, I don't think the Hamas vision of one state is the same as my vision of one state, just as the Israeli vision of one state is not the same as my vision of one state. For most Israelis who speak of "one state," they mean one apartheid state, or one state ethnically cleansed of Palestinians. I think that one state under the complete control of Hamas would probably tolerate Jews, but I certainly don't expect it to be a good situation for them either. My one state is based on liberal secular democracy, whereas a Hamas state would be based on conservative religious democracy (or theocracy?). According to Hamas's founding documents, they want to control all of Palestine as one state. But --and many might find this surprising, but I am one hundred percent certain of it-- Hamas will ultimately settle for two states, based on the 1967 borders. Why? For the same reason Israel is now unilaterally "disengaging" from populated Palestinian territories: demographic concerns. I hate to be cynical but Hamas, like Fatah, will eventually put its own interests ahead of the refugees. Hamas wants an Islamic government. I do not believe Hamas wants to kill all the Jews, and there's no way to expel all of them, so if Hamas were really in charge of everything, it would face WAY too much opposition to an Islamic government. Hamas would ultimately rather have all of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem with a majority who support it than rule over millions more who do not. Just as Israel got out of Gaza not because the government that ordered it respects the rights and freedoms of Palestinians, but because the Palestinians there are a "demographic threat." And because Hamas is a tough negotiating partner, IF Israel sticks to negotiations and IF Israel acts in good faith, then Israel will eventually agree to cede all of the territories, divide (but probably not share) Jerusalem, stop ruling Palestinians at the barrel of a gun, and recognize Palestine. Hamas will then "reward" Israel (and screw refugees) by agreeing to a vastly limited right of return, as described above. Then most refugees will move to Palestine.
Now, considering that this might be the only acceptable outcome to both governments, refugees might have to grit their teeth and accept it. And of course, this is assuming that Hamas stays in power. Ironically, as Hamas improves things for Palestinians, other parties will probably grow, and eventually either a reformed Fatah or a left wing party will take over. But the simple fact of the matter is, Fatah is already "committed" to a two state solution and has basically already conceded to Israel's RoR demands, and the left wing parties might insist on the RoR, but will also push for two states (so, for example, if they were successful, they'd get something approaching the 300,000 refugee plan). But ultimately, it seems most likely that a two state solution without RoR will be agreed upon. In this case, I believe that Israel MUST acknowledge AND apologize AND pay reparations, and MOST Palestinians will be satisfied, as long as the Palestine they DO return to is one hundred percent free.

9. Now, consider the options described above. Because of my distaste for ethnic/religious nation-states and demogracies, I am not a liberal Zionist, but a post-Zionist. But, let me assume the perspective of a liberal Israeli Zionist (like my parents) who believes in two states, both of them free, who does not believe bombing refugee camps makes Israelis safe, who feels bad and guilty about the refugees, but who believes in the long term importance of Israel maintaining a Jewish majority, and doesn't really think of the POTENTIAL moral consequences of such without them being pointed out. So, from this perspective, I want a Palestinian party with whom I can negotiate. Because I do not believe in endless war, I'm willing to negotiate with Fatah OR with Hamas, and basically am willing to make the same concessions to either of them: withdraw from territories, take down settlements, share Jerusalem, share water; and demand the same things of either ofthem: they stop violence against Israelis, and they agree that only a few Palestinians return to Israel. This is exactly the position of Meretz. It's also the position of some disaffected former Labor members who hate the fact that Labor has moved to the right (well, it didn't move there, it's always been there, in fact it was Labor who expelled the Palestinians in 1948. So I should say that these former Labor members are starting to wake up). So, Yossi Beilin will negotiate with whomever and come up with something like The Geneva Accords. In fact, Yossi Beilin DID negotiate with the Palestinians and DID come up with the Geneva Accords, which is basically the final option discussed in section 8. He negotiated it with Fatah, under Arafat, during some of the most intense violence between 2001-2003. For Palestinians, it is an imperfect solution, because it respects Zionist sensibilities over refugee rights, but most people on all sides acknowledge --if only in private-- that ANY possible agreement is going to look very similar to this. Now, suppose I'm not a liberal Zionist, but one of these pro-Sharon "centrists" who believes in unilateral disengagement because the "demographic demon" is so evil. This is easily the majority in Israel right now. "We can't negotiate with the Palestinians, because they want only to destroy us, so we will build a wall, leave their cities, and leave them to their own devices." Alot of these people formerly did not support a Palestinian state. A lot of them still don't support a truly sovereign Palestinian state, but they don't support ruling directly over Palestinians either. So they make the West Bank into swiss cheese, where Israel is responsible where it is convenient and NOT responsible where it is not convenient. Israel keeps most of its settlements and continues to control much Palestinian movement, but does not have to think of itself as an apartheid state anymore (of course, in South Africa, they "disengaged" from the black Homelands as well, and claimed that they were independent countries and thus their residents shouldn't get a vote in South Africa, and this of course was ridiculous). Even more importantly, Israel keeps all of Jerusalem, does not even acknowledge responsibility for refugees, and can continue to unilaterally control water. So, let's compare the Centrist goals to the Liberal Zionist goals. Liberal Zionist, except for refugee issue, wants to approach Palestinians more or less as equals, with the idea being that the conflict is "solved" by figuring out how to fairly divide the land between two nations. Centrist does not approach Palestinians at all, and in fact unilateralism is clearly based on viewing them as having inferior rights, and therefore a solution need not actually include their input. Liberal Zionist believes in a two-way demogracy: Jewish demogracy and Palestinian demogracy. Liberal Zionist generally assumes everyone WANTS to live in a place where they are the majority. Centrist reserves demogracy as an inherent right for Israel, and RoR as a malicious attempt to destroy this right. Liberal Zionist wants reconcilliation, even if he does not realize that RoR would probably help this process. Centrist just doesn't want to think about Palestinians ever again. So the centrist camp MUST refuse to negotiate with any Palestinian party, or else their ideas have no validity whatsoever. So centrists refused to negotiate with Arafat, with Abbas, and will continue to refuse to negotiate with Hamas.

Now, let's consider the effects of this policy, and let's put it into historical context: before 1948, some Zionists wanted to work with Palestinians as equals to come up with some sort of peaceful way to share the land. These Zionists were marginalized by the mainstream Labor Zionists who actually founded the state. These Labor Zionists presided over the creation of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees. Current historiography seems to indicate that the Arab states would have recognized and made peace with Israel if the refugees were allowed to return. But Israel could not do this, because it chose not to recognize the legitimate grievances of Palestinians. So the countries all remained at war, and the refugees could not return home. Thus, Fatah emerges, and to pressure Israel to let the refugees back, Fatah and other groups like it start committing violence against Israelis. Objectively speaking, this is not moral, but it did force Israel to abandon its complacency and always think about the displaced Palestinians in the back of its mind. This violence probably would have ended if the refugees were allowed to return, but Israel could not do that, because it could not caputilate to terrorists. Then critics of this logic would point out that these acts were political, and would stop if Israel addressed the actual grievances behind them. But Israel could not do this, because it chose not to recognize the legitimate grievances of Palestinians. So then Fatah and other groups got organized and formed the PLO. No one took them seriously at first, so they too took up terrorism. When they became big, a lot of pressure could have been put on them to negotiate with Israel, but Israel would not do this, because the demands of the PLO, while alarmingly calling for the "total liberation of Palestine," were based on legitimate grievances against Israel, which Israel chose not to ackowledge. Then in 1974, the PLO proposed a secular, democratic state for both Jews and Palestinians. But Israel would not accept this, because it would entail a return of the refugees, and Israel chose not to recognize the legitimate grievances of Palestinians. Then in 1987, ordinary Palestinians started fighting against the occupation, but Israel smashed it, because it chose not to recognize the legitimate grievances of the Palestinians. FINALLY, after six years, Israel SORT of agreed to negotiate with the PLO. So this was a breakthrough! Except that, because agreeing to negotiate with Palestinians was such a milestone for Israel, it allowed Israel to exaggerate, consciously or otherwise, the actual significance of Oslo, and basically the process was rigged so that Israel would "win" the negotiations. In effect, even the Oslo years exemplified a policy of Israeli unilateralism, because there were so many preconditions placed on Arafat that all the agreements produced then reflected Israeli interests and ignored Palestinian interests. So, in July 2000, Ehud Barak and Arafat couldn't come to an agreement on final status issues. Whether Barak made a generous offer which Arafat rejected is beside the point. Suppose it's true. Arafat DID agree to start talks again several months later, just as Sharon was assuming power. But Barak and Sharon had already decided to demonize and marginalize Arafat, because he wouldn't submit to an imposed (i.e. unilateral) peace by Israel, presented to the world as the result of a negotiation. So now they refused to negotiate with Arafat, who unofficially continued to negotiate with Yossi Beilin. Their reason for not talking to Arafat was that "he wants to destroy Israel." But, the Geneva Accord, as described above, was the product of Yossi Beilin and Fatah. At ANY point in the past three years, if Israel had called up Fatah and said "We'll sign the Geneva Accord if you do," an agreement would have been reached instantly. An imperfect agreement, but one that would satisfy the Liberal Zionist, and technically the Centrist as well, because negotiations were in fact possible and very easy. Certainly an agreement not all Palestinians would appreciate; but one which the supposedly evil Arafat would accept and enforce, if he could. He probably couldn't. But, for the centrist, who wants the PA to be a police force to protect Israelis even if it has no other power, bombing PA police stations and killing Fatah cops wasn't really a smart idea for their interests. So Israel ignores Arafat. Then people like Marwan Barghouti speak of a lasting peace with Israel, and then describe word for word something like the Geneva Plan. This does not excuse Barghouti's actions IF he is in fact guilty, but given his track record, the demonization of him as an INTRACTABLE, INHERENT terrorist rather than a person who uses terrorism to achieve goals that are ULTIMATELY in Israel's AND Palestine's interest is disingenous at worst and, at best, demonstrates a weak understanding of the role of terrorism in every single national liberation movement, including Israel's. Meanwhile, the Yossi Beilins and the other Liberal Zionists notice the rise of the suicide bombings, and are at least smart enough to see some cause-and-effect relationship between Israeli actions in the territories and terrorism in Israel. They start to warn the Centrists and the Right Wingers that Arafat should be strengthened, that if he negotiates a 2 state solution (which is in Israel's interest), then the vast majority of Palestinians will accept it and abide by it, just because of who he is. But the Centrists and Right Wingers have little interest in these unpatriotic Israelis, so they isolate Arafat. Then Arafat dies, and Mahmoud Abbas, who would agree to something even better for Israel than the Geneva Accords, takes over. So the Liberal Zionists say, "now's our chance. Things will get worse if we don't use it." But suddenly, Abbas isn't doing enough about incitement, and he's not fighting terror, and Israel's going to pull out of Gaza anyway, why bother talking to them? What is there to talk about? And the Liberal Zionists point out that it is hypocritical to expect Abbas to confront Hamas if Fatah does not have any arms. But the Centrists would not allow Fatah to import weapons, because Arabs are evil and can't be trusted with them.

And now Hamas is in power. And like I said, Hamas will ULTIMATELY agree to something like the Geneva Accord, but they're not going to hand it over on a silver platter to Israel like Arafat and Abbas would have. So we notice a pattern here. For the last six months, regardless of their political position or whether or not they recognize Palestinian rights, any Israeli with half a brain warned that if Abbas was not dealt with in good faith, and strengthened (NOT by sending him money, which is the kiss of death to know he's on the Israeli or American payroll), but by being offered a full withdrawal and other concessions, then things would get worse and worse for Israel. Any Israeli with a full brain was pushing for Israel to release Marwan Barghouti at this time last year, between when Arafat died and when Abbas was elected president. As I said the other night, Marwan Barghouti, like Hamas, could have enforced a ceasefire; Marwan Barghouti, unlike Hamas, would have agreed very quickly to something like the Geneva Accords. Marwan Barghouti, unlike Hamas, is liberal and secular. And, while I don't personally think anyone should have to do this, Marwan Barghouti, unlike Abbas, could have convinced refugees that they'd be better off going to Palestine (whether or not this is true). Since Hamas is so popular, and IF it remains popular, by caring for its people, then at the end of the day, it too, like Barghouti, will be able to convince most Palestinians to accept the terms described above. So the moral of this story is, you have to deal with whomever you can deal with and address the REAL issues (occupation and terrorism are real issues, "teaching kids peace" is not). Otherwise, things get worse. The same people who feel stupid now for having thought Marwan Barghouti was bad and now must deal with Hamas are the ones who will go on to shun Hamas and ignore the consequences of that. What's next? Islamic Jihad? Bin Laden? a straight up fascist party?

10. This is in line with the last paragraph of point 9. Just as Israel shouldn't have rejected various Palestinian political leaders who could have helped solve this bloody mess much sooner, Israel's supporters should have been alot more careful about whom they villified. Edward Said, for instance, supported the one state solution, but for ALL the right reasons. When he said he wanted peace, equality, and mutual respect between Jews and Palestinians, he meant it, and he backed that up with action. I read that he used to go to synagogues and tell Jews about the Palestinian refugees and the occupation. But he'd also go to Arab groups and tell them about the Holocaust. He was a vocal and passionate voice against anti-semitism, and particularly Holocaust denial (for the record, I think that negationism is one of the most offensive things imaginable). He also spoke out against suicide bombings and the religious fundamentalism that was embodied in Hamas. He wanted everything for Israelis that sane Israelis wanted for themselves; but he also wanted those things for his own people, including the refugees, and thus pro-Israel groups poured massive resources into discrediting this guy, a true humanist with the best intentions for all, who was was influential enough to have had an effect on the Palestinian liberation movement IF he had been strengthened, not weakened, by people who's primary interest in Israel is the security of Israelis (though not necessarily the preponderance of the Zionist institutions). A lot of fake-Liberals say, "if only the Palestinians would use non-violence, like Ghandi, I would support them." well, why don't these fake-Liberals join the Jews who go to Bi'lin and nonviolently fight the wall hand in hand with the Palestinian residents? Why do they demonize divestment campaigns, which are entirely non-violent? Why don't they champion the influential public figures like Edward Said who are guided by universalistic (rather than Palestinian particularist) principles? There have always been Palestinians who oppose Hamas, for any and sometimes all of the reasons that Israelis oppose Hamas.

11. I of course did not anticipate these results. My thoughts before the election were that I hoped either Fatah would overwhelmingly win, or that Hamas would win, but narrowly. The first choice was selfish, because it ignored how bad Fatah has been for Palestinians, so I'm glad that didn't happen. My second choice was based on my concerns that if Hamas were popular, but just barely out of power, it would try to overthrow Fatah by force, and lots of people would die. I don't know how likely that really would have been to happen, though. I'm glad that Fatah was voted out, though; but I wish the margin were smaller, so that Hamas would have less of a chance of feeling cocky as though its electorate endorses all of its views. Kind of like how Bush felt with his 2004 "mandate." And ultimately, I look forward to a lengthy peace between a strong, secular, left wing Israeli government and a strong, secular, left wing Palestinian government.

-Ehud

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Cal Tzedek Enters the Twenty-First Century!

I have finally managed to get an actual comments service on our humble blog. Enjoy!

-Ehud

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