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By Tony Judt

By the age of 58 a country – like a man – should have achieved a certain maturity. After nearly six decades of existence we know, for good and ill, who we are and how we appear to others, warts and all. And though we still harbour occasional illusions about ourselves, we know they are, for the most part, just illusions. In short, we are adults.

But the state of Israel, which has just turned 58, remains curiously immature. The country’s social transformations – and its many economic achievements – have not brought the political wisdom that usually accompanies age. Seen from outside, Israel still comports itself like an adolescent: confident of its uniqueness; certain that no one “understands”; quick to take offence, and to give it. Like many adolescents, Israel is convinced – and aggressively asserts – that it can do as it wishes; that its actions carry no consequences; that it is immortal.

The Silence of Elie Wiesel: How to be a Good Victim

"Captain Gordon Pim stated in his speech that it was a philanthropic principle to kill natives; there was, he said, "mercy in a massacre."

Sven Lindqvist, Exterminate the Brutes (1996)

At last Mr. Elie Wiesel has spoken of the 'dispossessed' in Palestine. It is ap-propriate that he should do so; that is what the world has long come to expect of him. A holocaust survivor and Peace Laureate, Mr. Wiesel has dedicated his life to preventing another holocaust, acting on the conviction that " remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all..."

The Ball is in Europe's Court

By Oren Medicks

Palestinian Land Loss

The death of Yasser Arafat is seen by many people of good will as a chance to revive the peace process. Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is hailed as a moderate leader. A leader who has openly opposed the armed Intifada. The Palestinians are bathing in the exciting energies of a democratic election campaign just like a prisoner bathing in a small pool of sun entering his cell through a tiny skylight. One of the reasons they have elected Abu Mazen was to appease Bush and Sharon, hoping that in return, the strangling Israeli grip on their lives will loosen a little. In Israel, too, many are fed up with fighting, and wish to lead a normal life - only they have their own ideas of what normality means. Optimism is desirable, filling our sails and motivating us for action, but we must remain sober, or else the same wind might drive our fragile boat against the hard rocks of reality...

Why I sympathize with the Palestinians

By Alick Cameron


These are the observations and analyses of a British doctor who was serving in Palestine as the 'nakba' (catastrophe) emerged. Dr Alick Cameron MB ChB MD DO MRCGP DHMSA qualified from Edinburgh University in 1946 and spent most of his medical life as a general practitioner in Britain. ~ David Halpin.

Of Human Wreckage and Zionists Dreams
Withdrawal from Gaza?

The sea was warm. A kingfisher perched momentarily atop a rusting reinforcing rod with a tiny fish in its bill. Its iridescent beauty was a glistening tear drop on the face of this weeping land. Strings of boats were streaming out of the harbour with the powerful mother ship towing the tiddlers astern. The Prophet in action. Later they would become the long skein of lights lying 5 kilometres from shore all night. They strayed no further mind you because the sea is also occupied in addition to the land and the air.

I am here to advance the work of the charity I founded with the voyage of the Dove and the Dolphin in February last year. The second object of this charity is ‘to relieve poverty, distress and hardship among the Palestinian people and to promote the welfare of Palestinian children’. I was also here to be a witness and to stand with my Palestinian brothers and sisters. I wanted to see this part of Palestine again 2004 years since the birth of the Christ 80 miles away and in the 56th year of the nakba (catastrophe – literally the story of the falling down).