Many people blame Israel poor media and claim the media, especially in the US is unbiased in presenting the Israeli story--NOT SO.The way the news is presented to impact each of us without us seeing it.
I was last week in Los Angeles and read the LATimes. big, important national newspaper.
Both my wife and I read seemingly a typical news from Israel/P written by a Palestinian correspondent.
We immediately noticed how he slide under your skin: every time he mentioned Israel he said: THE JEWISH STATE, right, nothing wrong? it is afterall the Jewish state, but the mind is already tune to this negative implication, by us and most others.
He wrote in the beginning that the son of a Hamas leader was killed in the Israeli attack. Both my wife and I independently thought at that stage that a innocent civilian kid was killed when his father was attacked. Later in the story he wrote that the son was 21 years old Hamas fighter who died in the fighting.
So, unless you are like my wife (which I trained to look for this type of skewed info) and myself, who was trained by seminars and observations for years to read the total article with clear eyes, you, yourself, your Jewish friends and most people will see what the writer calculated for you to see. You would not know how they twisted the story. They are masters in it!
I spent hours looking at analysis of the media distortion of the Hezbollah war. They compared many pictures, how they were doctored etc.
I doubt many people had the inclination or time to see it. THIS IS WHAT I MEAN MEDIA DISTORTION.
MOST PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE THE TIME OR INCLINATION TO LOOK IN DETAILS.
We take a quick look and come to the conclusion our mind tells us to grasp by previous inclination.
Most do not know what they don't know!!!
I could give you many stories like that but this is enough.
This is my answer to a friend of mine that could not accept my observation that a Two States Solution (about which I wrote earlier) is not practical for the foreseeable future.
He is asking why not? Why not try it. He also said that the current Israeli government is supporting it.
Ron, I admire your idealism, your eternal hope, I was one myself, however, the reality there is beyond most Americans. And most Westerns that live under an umbrella of a secure state, except when a 9/11 or London trains are bombed. Even that is miniscule compare to the situation in Israel. The Israelis feel the pain of each casualty, each bomb, and each rocket attack. One atomic bomb here will not stop the rest of the US from functioning. We will easily survive. One nuclear bomb in Israel is the end of the state.
It is certainly better to live under the current situation than have a free Palestinian state. Yes, Israeli civilians are murdered from time to time, suiced bombers are trying to penetrate the state, and will from time to time. All of these casualties are considerably less than normal everyday traffic deaths in Israel. The emotions are the driving force here, not the deaths.
Even if the Palestinians accepted to be demilitarized, it will be a false situation, as it is in Gaza. Egypt, UN monitors, the US, promised that Gaza will not obtain weapons via the Egyptian border. They do get weapons and other illegal material constantly. Just imagine this to happen on the West Bank, current area which is to a reasonable extent is controlled by Israeli security and IDF forces. That is why few attackers come from there and no rockets.
Just imagine a Palestinian state that has direct borders with Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and in some way Egypt. The life of the Israeli would be impossible.
If you know the map of the area, the elevations involved, the command over the total Israeli areas from the Palestinian side, you would not think about any suggestion of a free Palestine state.
The fact that the current Israeli government is supporting a 2 States shows that either they play the political game required now or they are ignorant of reality. Many Israeli leaders have been less than smart, especially Rabin and Peres, I would not write down the name they deserve, because they were wishful thinkers, not wise leaders of a State in such precarious region.
There is a possibility that Jews would not be able to survive in that region. If the French lived there wioth the same statistics, they would have clabber the Arabs so badly, no one will say a word, and the Palestinians and Arabs would run with their tail between their legs. The morality of the Israelis is not suitable to the Middle East, and that makes kill them.
Do not assume that just because these leaders were elected and just because some or even most of the public support them they have the wisdom needed. Just remember Bush, we elected him, Congress gave him the freedom to do much of what he wants, we elect Congress in the most free of all Democracies? How many more imbecile leaders around the world?
Ron, before each email analysis I write on Israel, now for seven years, I spend weeks thinking, reading, analyzing what is going on, what may be the outcome. Half of my emails analysis I do not send out, I do not feel they convey the message to outsiders, to Americans, adequately, or it is just not quite right.
I am able to have these different views, possibly clearer, less emotional views, than most because I was born there, my family of 200 years there ingrained in me a deep love for a free, secured Israel. I lived there, help liberate Israel, and later am free to think differently because I am here and not burdened by the fears that many there feel. Also, I have spent most of my life learning to separate real from imaginary, both in my private life and technical life.
May be, also, I am less inclined to be burdened by wishful thinking.
“The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” said the famous Israeli diplomat Abba Eban decades ago. I have a lot of respect for Abba Eban, but I question his grasp of the Arab mentality and culture; without which you can not understand the events among the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular.
Abba Eban looked at the Arabs, and the Palestinians, from a vantage point of a highly educated British intellectual. He assumed that his logical way of thinking about the world: peace, mutual advantage, cooperation, logic, is similar to the ways the Arabs/Palestinians also think. He could not have been more wrong. Unfortunately many Israelis, American Jews and Westerns think the same way— they view the Middle East from the vantage point of their own Western culture.
This is a crucial mistake that hinders for decades any solution to the Palestinians problem. Let me elaborate about it since no possible solution can exist when you do not grasp what your enemy is thinking and especially in the Middle East – your enemy feeling. And if you see their TV and newspapers and listen to their influential religious leaders, you would realize that most Palestinians and most Arabs are enemies of Israel, and the US too. The desire for peace is so powerful among Jews in general and Israelis in particular, that they often ignore reality. It is too painful not to hope for peace around the corner.
One of the hardest things for most educated people is to grasp their adversary’s point of view. First they want to expound their own views, and second they want the other to agree with them. Sometimes the more diverse the background, the more is the inability to listen clearly to your opponent, or to grasp their worldview. You expect him/her to have essentially a similar educational and cultural background. You expect him/her to think and feel somewhat similarly to you. And certainly this is not applicable when we view the Arab world from a Western perspective.
Most Arabs are much more aware in this area; they are street smart, cunny and watch very carefully your response in order to get their way. Look how well they manipulated most Israelis and Western media and public.
This unrealistic view of the Arabs is so clearly illustrated in Israel. For decades a majority of secular Ashkenazy Jews (from Western background) were inclined to believed in the “brotherhood of men” and cooperation with the Palestinians and the Arabs. I was one of them. These liberal Jews believed that if Israel would give more and more to Palestinians demands then eventually understanding and peace would arrive. After Israeli independence many Ashkenazies looked in disdain at the newly arriving “Sephardic” Jewish refugees from Arab countries because they assumed that they were less educated and too emotional, and utterly wrong about their suspicion of Arab motives and honesty.
The Sephardic lived among the Arabs for centuries, and knew their culture from within. The Ashkenazies did not, therefore they missed the boat. They projected their own desire for peace on the Palestinians, and any one who did not agree with them was “too militant.” The liberal Left is still populated in Israel mostly by Ashkenazies; the national Right is generally populated by Sephardic. The desire for peace encompass nearly all sectors of the Israeli public, the difference is, I believe, their different grasp of the Palestinians’ motives and ultimate aim.
Too many Westerns think that the glory period of Arab culture of a thousand years ago still has some validity today. This is a gross mistake. For hundred of years the majority of Arab had to survive under deprivation, poverty, coercion, atrocities, tribal laws, and the power of absolute rulers. Despite their vast oil reserves, until seventy years ago the Arab Middle East was without any valuable resources, not even sufficient water, bound by a very oppressive, unyielding culture. For hundreds of years it was, and still is, a miserable place to live for the majority of the people. Unless you were a wealthy person, your life was miserable with no hope. The same little piece of land had to nourish a larger and larger number of very impoverished people, no education and no options. And the majority of the oil wealth of recent decades still does not trickle down to the majority of the Arabs. And obviously, under these conditions our Western culture does not make sense to them, it is foreign and the majority despise it, although they may wish the trappings of our wealth.
Let’s look at the current situation in the Palestinians territories in light of the previous discussion. Let us see with open eyes what is hindering any possible peace agreement.
These facts are known: The first Intifada started in 1987, so any one born in the Palestinian areas from that time on was raised with the “glory” of terrorism, with the “honor” of murdering Israeli civilians whenever possible. Any one that was less than 25 years old in 1987 was also very much influenced by the increasing glamour and appeal of murdering innocent Israelis. After Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres gave complete rule over the Palestinians to Arafat in 1994, Arafat used all means in his power to train his people to hate Israel and to aspire to a single state solution- a Palestinian state on the entire region west of the Jordan, including all of Israel. The propaganda he used was Nazi- like, demeaning Jews, comparing them often to vermin. They dehumanized Jews systematically and continuously. Western media never exposed us to this sad reality.
The result of this intensive indoctrination of the Palestinians made inerasable impression on over half of all living Palestinians, at least up to the age of fifty currently. Obviously there are some Palestinians that want peace, but the great majority could not but be influenced by the inescapable propaganda and repeated lies heard and seen on all the Palestinian media from at least 1994.
Recent brain research indicates that the old adage “if you repeat a lie long enough most people will believe it”—is scientifically valid. If you repeat a lie often enough it becomes part of your reality –you believe it is a fact. And these experiments were done with Western educated subjects! How more influential are the repeated, overwhelming lies that the majority of highly emotional Palestinians were, and are, exposed to for many years. They can not, even if they wanted to, to erase the hateful malicious propaganda about the Israelis they have heard for so long.
Note also the recent atrocities that Arabs/Palestinians have been inflicting on one another, such as the bloody infighting between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza (throwing their opponents to death from roof tops) and the unrelenting mass murders in Iraq (also in weddings and funerals) demonstrated that Arab culture is drastically different from our own; we are in a completely different world.
We will have to live with these facts, and they influence the chance for peace and a two state solution.
As sad as it is, as bad as it is, I do not see any possibility that the majority of Palestinians would be willing to accept a peaceful solution with Israel in the foreseeable future.
Most of the current generation of Palestinians is not capable of agreeing neither to peace nor to a two state solution- they are full of hate. Many Palestinian polls demonstrate the majority support continuous terrorism against Israeli civilians.
One possible eventual solution I see is that the Palestinians will have to live for some lengthy period under an Arabic/Palestinian dictatorial power that would impose peace on them. Hopefully a peace oriented benevolent dictator would emerge eventfully, similar to the case in Jordan, or Mubarak of Egypt, that would impose a controlled environment that would eventually lead to a more peaceful Palestinian public.
Without peace-oriented dictatorial power many Palestinians will continue to initiate and support terrorism against Israel. If the West Bank will have the freedom that Hamas has now in Gaza, the majority of the Israeli population would be subjected to repeated rocket attacks. This would not be tolerated and Israel would reoccupy all the Palestinian areas again and peace will be further in the future.
Henry Kissinger, in my opinion, is one of the smartest, astute observers of the international scene. He often sees hidden connections most observers are unable to contemplate. Some may not like him because he talks ”dugree,” straight and unashamed about global events. Most people like their news sugar coated, polite, to reduce the stinging effects that often surrounds global events we do not like.
So, when Kissinger wrote about the disingenuous National Intelligent Estimate (NIE) that said recently that Iran stopped its nuclear weapon’s program several years back, I listen to Kissinger
—see below. But I also listen to Ehud Barak (and many other experienced people).
Barak, is the current Israeli Minister of Defense, and previously prime minister and Chief of Staff, and the most highly decorated Israeli serviceman. I believe he has reasonable understanding of the danger Israel is facing from Iran.
By the way, Israel’s high-cost purchase of a large number of F-16I advanced aircrafts over the last few years, is especially to counter the threat from Iran.
Both Kissinger and Barak agree that Iran is close (2009) to having sufficient nuclear weapon material to make nuclear weapons and Iran also has proven long-range missiles to cover Israel and many other states in the Middle East and beyond.
In addition, there are likely to be hidden reasons why this NIE report was released at this time. It may be, I think, a diversion tool, to relax the highly strung Iranians from rushing to uncontrolled attacks on Israel, Iraq, or in the US itself. Or to cover our or Israeli preparations for an attack(s).
We are not privileged to the motives and the underlying stories, but it is hard for me to believe that President Bush would not be aware ahead of time of the release of this report.
We will have to wait and see, the facts are hidden, and the future of this dangerous situation is beyond our control, and possibly even beyond almost anybody. A lot of unexpected events may occur. This is a very complex situation, involving many nations, emotions, and fanaticism .
Misreading the Iran Report - Henry Kissinger (Daily Alert summary)
The new NIE holds that Iran may be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon by the end of 2009 and, with increasing confidence, more warheads by the period 2010 to 2015. That is virtually the same timeline as was suggested in the 2005 National Intelligence Estimate. It is therefore doubtful that the evidence supports the dramatic language of the NIE summary and, even less so, the broad conclusions drawn in much of the public commentary.
If my analysis is correct, we could be witnessing not a halt of the Iranian weapons program - as the NIE asserts - but a subtle, ultimately more dangerous, version of it that will phase in the warhead when fissile material production has matured. The NIE does not reject this theory; it does not even examine it. (Washington Post)
One of the main reasons the Arab world is able to exert so much continuous pressure on Israel and why the rest of the world listen to them is their sources of oil and natural gas. Oil and natural gas are international power. Not only that, Israel, like the rest of the world will suffer markedly from Global Warming created by burning of coal, oil and natural gas. Therefore, you may be interested in a study I just sent to a government agency in the US looking for public comments on energy.
US should markedly expand nuclear power to reduce global warming.
We have to plan our electrical power needs realistically and devoid of emotionalism. We oppose nuclear power mostly because of our misplaced fear. Public misperception is the biggest hindrance to nuclear power and impacts also many energy professionals. Environmental groups contribute to the problem.
As an electrical engineer for 20 years I supported nuclear power. But I started to oppose it during my doctoral studies of Environmental Science at UCLA. Afterwards, when I was the manager of the Solar and Wind Energy programs at the California Energy Commission I opposed nuclear power and worked very hard to advanced alternative energies. I continued to oppose nuclear power because of all the concerns surrounding it. I was mistaken; I did not see the total story.
It took me a long struggle to realize that I was mistaken to oppose nuclear power. I saw only its potential negatives, did not study the full global energy picture, and I was overoptimistic about the adoption of energy efficiency and alternative energies. And most important, I mistakenly believed that Global Warming was a future event that would not impact global climate for several generations. Like many environmentalists I thought we had time to do things according to our dreams without pain: develop alternative energies, incorporate conservation and energy efficiency, take time to minimize our fossil fuels use, eliminate nuclear power, and I did not anticipate the explosion of energy demand in the developing world. I, like many, read about these problems but did not want to accept our global reality.
GW is the overwhelming primary issue of our time, and it is time critical. It is now very clear that GW is already here, is causing unstable weather globally with much damage, and will increase its ravage of many areas of our globe. The recent final report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was quite specific about the coming increased damage to our global climate and the pending severe impacts on most nations, including the US. Our sad experience with just one storm, the destruction of New Orleans by Katrina showed us the power of nature to cause untold damage in life and property. We must look at the global energy picture to grasp the increased need for nuclear power, despite its limitations.
The most significant advantage of nuclear power is the potential to reduce carbon emissions: “A threefold expansion of [global] nuclear power could contribute significantly to staving off climate change by avoiding one billion to two billion tons of carbon emissions annually” (MIT panel). No other technology that I can see has the potential to reduce GW gases so significantly in the same time frame. We do not have the time to wait in order to avoid some of the most damaging aspects of advancing GW!
In recent years about 70% of US electricity was generated by CO2- emitting fossil fuels, 20% by nuclear power.
The most serious limitation to nuclear power expansion is negative public perception. The public fear of nuclear power is misplaced. Safety record of the 104 nuclear power stations in the US is very high. In addition, improved design of nuclear power stations and strict government supervision can reduce markedly all limitations:
The main limitations and mitigations are listed below:
Danger of nuclear radiation from plant accident:
The only significant nuclear accidents have been the Three Miles Island in the US, which did not emit any nuclear material, and the Chernobyl in the previous USSR. The damage from Chernobyl was on a large scale, it was due mainly to lack of a containment building above the nuclear plant which is mandatory on all nuclear power stations in the West.
New fail-safe system to power down runaway reactor is now superior not requiring external machinery.
Also control technology has advanced markedly in the last thirty years with the advance in electronics, and will increase the safety margin of new plants. In addition new nuclear plants can be placed far from population centers and use high voltage DC lines to transfer the power with low losses.
Inadequate nuclear waste disposal:
Although we still do not have a final solution to nuclear waste storage, all the commercial nuclear waste is stored safely at each nuclear station site. It occupies extremely small space and operated safely for the last fifty years. In addition, a new technology was developed that extract many times the energy from the nuclear material thus reducing the waste by a major factor.
Nuclear weapon proliferation:
Nuclear weapon proliferation is not effected by increased use of nuclear power in the US. Three quarter of the nuclear plants are operating outside of the US. Nations develop nuclear power if we want it or not.
Impact of terrorism:
New underground design reduces the potential for terrorist attack on nuclear installation. Heavier steel reinforced concrete over all critical plant equipment will increase safety. We should use National Guard to protect our national energy centers to decrease national vulnerability.
There are 440 nuclear power stations globally, 104 in the US. Nuclear power now supplies 16% of global electric energy. Global nuclear power expansion is a fact and is beyond U.S. control; eighteen of the 27 nuclear power plants now under construction are in Asia. The US can not dictate how much nuclear power will spread around the world, but if we cooperate with global nuclear power development, and help create global safety standards, we will increase the global safety and most importantly, help reduce GW progress.
Nuclear power should replace much of the coal and natural gas power plants in the US in the coming years because:
It will reduce significantly generation of GW gases.
It will reduce our dependence on foreign natural gas. Additional natural gas must be imported.
Reduce our bloated balance of payment, a major part of which is for foreign fuel.
Retain more of our energy cost in the US, thus helping our economy
Dr. of Environmental Science and Engineering
November 27, 2007