Monday, August 22, 2005

Ethnic cleansing

What do you call it when a group of people are uprooted from land which they have lived on for many years, land which was empty, a desert, when they arrived to live there, land which they have transformed, land which they must now leave, because of their religion and ethnicity? Ethnic cleansing? Forced removals?

Hardly. Welcome to Israel, where everything is back to front. Where terrorists are 'militants'. Where civilian men, women and children have the 'privilege' of being the only such on Earth considered enemy combatants. Where a security barrier erected to slow down an incessant barrage of terror attacks becomes an "apartheid wall".

And where any Jews living in certain areas must face the fact that they have no right to live there, as a matter of course, because of their religion. Add this region to the long list of Arab countries that are "Judenrein" - ethnically cleansed of Jews. Add these refugees to the long list of Jews forced to leave their homes because of intolerance of their ethnicity, their religion, their very existence.

We stand at an interpretive divide. If Israel's critics are right, the Gaza withdrawal will improve Palestinian attitudes toward Israel, leading to an end of incitement and a steep drop in attempted violence, followed by a renewal of negotiations and a full settlement. Logic requires, after all, that if "occupation" is the problem, ending it, even partially, will lead to a solution.

But I forecast a very different outcome. Given that about 80% of Palestinian Arabs continue to reject Israel's very existence, signs of Israeli weakness, such as the forthcoming Gaza withdrawal, will instead inspire heightened Palestinian irredentism. Absorbing their new gift without gratitude, Palestinian Arabs will focus on those territories Israelis have not evacuated. (This is what happened after Israeli forces fled Lebanon.) The retreat will inspire not comity but a new rejectionist exhilaration, a greater frenzy of anti-Zionist anger, and a surge in anti-Israel violence.

- Daniel Pipes, Today Gaza, Tomorrow Jerusalem

In a reciprocal world, why couldn't the Jewish settlers stay on in Gaza as resident aliens, adjudicating their property claims with the new government and freely abiding by Palestinian law and protocol?

Sharon is reminding us that, unlike the Arabs inside Israel, they would be ethnically cleansed in hours in the same manner that nearly a million Jews were run out of Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus and Tripoli in the decades following 1947.

- Victor Davis Hanson

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Global warming sucks. Or blows. Or something.

Interesting article on whether global warming is causing hurricanes to get worse. Short answer: no, the people saying so are doing bad science. Why?

The federal outlay on climate research is now $4.2 billion per year, roughly the same amount given to the National Cancer Institute. The climate research community sees a grave threat when research shows there's no threat from the climate. So papers that hawk climate disaster get superficial reviews and uncritical headlines, while those that argue otherwise are "shameful."

Full article