Dear Friends and colleagues,
My last communication provoked more comments than usual. I wish to share with you some of them.
This is my last communication from Israel for the time being. Tomorrow night my family and I are scheduled to leave for Baltimore.
Comments on my August 2003 analysis
From Prof. Robert O'Neill, Chair, Australian Strategic Policy, Canberra, Australia
From: Mr Robert O'Neill [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2003 2:50 AM
Subject: Re:August 2003 - Israeli Politics: On the Hudna
From Canberra, where I have some meetings of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (which I chair), much sympathy and many thanks for your welcome appraisal.
What you have to say on Iran is deeply disturbing - both from the
perspective of Israel's security and the level of commitments that the US already has taken on.
Best wishes in difficult times,
Iran is a fascinating country. When Khatami was elected president, many "experts" spoke about his moderation, and that he will bring new ideas into the fundamentalist regime. Well, apparently he might be moderate comparably to the other candidates, but in liberal-democratic term the guy is a zealot. He tries to be on good terms with everybody, and hence the changes he introduced are marginal.
I met a few people who visited Iran. They all depicted same stories, about how the ground is boiling; western norms that are wide spread among the younger generations; alcohol and parties that are similar to what you see in the western world, all this with the tacit consent of the authorities, very much aware of what is going on and understand that if they will fight against this substantial trend they might lose everything.
I don't really think that any of the so-called "experts" knows what will happen in this country. There are conflicting trends, and the undercurrent struggle is powerful. Israel, and so should the entire western world, should be alert of the developments in Iran.
From Prof. Efraim Karsh, Head, Mediterranean Studies Programme, Kings College, Lonodn.
From: EFRAIM KARSH [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2003 8:00 PM
Subject: Re: August 2003 - Israeli Politics: On the Hudna
I usually dont comment but guerrilla war? What guerrilla? By any professional definition killing innocent civilians is terrorism. As Thatcher told Bush in 1990, this is not the time to go wobbly. What we have is a vicious war of terror aimed at nothing short of leading to Israel's destruction, not the "liberation" of the "occupied territories". This is evident to anyone who follows their media, press, official statements, etc. Best, efraim
You are right. This act is an act of terror. However, this is not the only way they fight us. As you may well know, they also attack soldiers, resorting to methods of guerrilla warfare. We do agree it is a vicious war.
They hardly attack soldiers. If you check the number of fatalities and casualties, soldiers attacked as soldiers (as opposed to a 19-year-old going on a Haifa bus while on vacation) will account to a paltry number, far less than 10 percent. With all due respect, having studied this war closely, and publishing a book on it in a month, guerrilla warfare is the inverse of the truth. Efraim.
From Prof. Charles Sprung, Head, Intensive Care Unit, Haddassah Ein Karem, Jerusalem.
Your comments are read although I… may disagree with some of your opinions. Last night was one of the worst I've experienced. Seeing the babies in the trauma room was just too much even for a "hardened" intensivist who has been caring for these victims of terrorists for the last few years.
The other item I would add which was nightmarish was finding out the next day after being up most of the night caring for the patients that 4 (one husband and wife) of 6 of my patients were not able to attend the funerals of their young children that were buried that day. We also had to let the conscious ones know the tragic news.
Leon Willems of the Dutch TV asked me whether I am still in favour of the WALL.
I was and am in favour of the idea of the fence/wall. However, I had no idea that Sharon will try to change the borders by the introduction of the fence. It was supposed to be along the Green Line, but it is not. I am in favour of a fair deal for both sides. If the deal is unfair to one of the sides, then one can assume that that side will be unhappy and will sabotage any peace negotiations. Sharon fails to understand this. A great pity indeed for all people concerned, Israelis and Palestinians.
All the best,