On this day in history Nov. 29, 1947 (or Kaf-Tet be'November as they say in Israel) was the day that the United Nations voted to partition the British Mandate territory of Palestine into a Jewish state and a Palestinian Arab state. The Jews were ecstatic. The Palestinian Arabs, who would have had their first sovereign state since the days when Samson was using the jawbone of an ass to fend off the Philistines, couldn't bear the thought of the Jews getting a state too, so they threw a massive temper tantrum. The state they chose to walk away from would have been much larger than any of the ever-shrinking series of offers of statehood that they also keep walking away from.
The Religion of Peace has been busy in the last couple of days, firing missiles at airplanes, blowing up hotels and shooting at people casting ballots. These latest victims were apparently guilty of grave offenses against the Peaceful Religion, namely "Vacationing While Jewish" or "Selecting Ones Own Political Leaders". Than again, most of the fatalities in the Mombasa hotel bombing were Kenyan, which just goes to show that the people who did this don't really care who they kill. Happy Ramadan.
The Palestinian "Authority" is now claiming for the first time that they have nothing to do with the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. This is more than a little disingenuous, given the mountains of evidence that, say, Die Zeit has published (here and here) to the contrary. This apparent repudiation of violence may be the sincere result of a process of omphaloskepsis by the Palestinian leadership, which has finally realized that the last two years of Intifada has backfired. (Make a note that it wasn't exactly the western or Israeli peace activists who helped drive this point home). On the other hand, it could also be simply a cynical (and misguided) last minute attempt to try to inspire the Israeli electorate to vote for the Labor Party. I can't help but observe that if the Palestinians hadn't started the violence two years ago, Ehud Barak might now be coasting to his re-election. As they say, he who hesitates is lost.
There seems to be some kind of controversy raging over some feminist scholar's fantasy vision of a world where only one out of 10 people are male. Nine women for every man. I admit to having that fantasy sometimes myself. It's called being Hugh Hefner for a day!Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at November 29, 2002 06:27 AM