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August 01, 2002

I WAS WRONG (well, the early reports I relied on were wrong) when I posted last night that all of those killed in the Hebrew University bombing were non-Israelis. It turns out two were Israeli citizens. The other five were Americans. I was still right about the Palestinians dancing in the streets, though.

What would things be like for Palestinians now, if Israelis or Americans thought like Arabs?

They wouldn't be like anything at all, of course. There wouldn't be any Palestinians.

UPDATE: Reader Faisal N. Jawdat thinks this is a foolish generalization, bordering on racism. Well, it's a generalizaton: sort of like talking about "Germans" during World War Two. One might have pointed out that there were a few anti-Nazi Germans in Germany, and plenty of loyal, decent Americans of German extraction. But this wasn't necessary, since it was understood that the reference was to the vast majority of Germans, who were participants in a psychotic death cult that led them to march in the streets en masse and cheer the death of innocents. So we're really only at odds with the ones who think that way -- of which there were estimated to be 10,000 in the streets celebrating last night, and quite a few doing the same thing on September 11.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I've emailed back and forth with Faisal, who has this to add after the update:

Noted. If you'd even said "the vast majority", I wouldn't have had a complaint. The problem is that *you* understand it to mean "the vast majority" but it's not clear that you mean it that way, and I doubt most people take it that way (that, at least, has been my experience - Arab Americans who want peace are often shut out and shouted down because people assume their name implies their thinking).

Fair enough. A later email adds:

On the issue of how people think, I doubt the vast majority of Arabs (or Germans or Americans) think about these sorts of things at all. It seems like the thinkers disagree and everyone else goes along with whoever has the loudest voice.

Right now the loudest voices in the Arab world are coming from religious extremists and tin pot dictators (looking to distract their populace by sicking them on someone else (us)), so our obvious task is to get the vast majority listening to someone else. As to Americans, you have a lot of voice right now - use your powers for good :)

And speaking of religious extremists and tin pot dictators, I just read the bit about the Saudi government looking to buy Pakistani nukes. I'll be hiding under my desk now. Good thing I work across the street from a military base, I'll be safe here! "Oh, wait."

Oh, wait, indeed. Here, if you're interested is a link to Faisal.com.

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