Dr. Sami Al-Arian Leaves The United States

unnamedIn the conclusion of ten years of intense litigation, Dr. Sami Al-Arian and his wife Nahla boarded a plane last night and left the United States for Turkey. He arrived in Istanbul a couple hours ago. I was Dr. Al-Arian’s lead criminal defense counsel in Virginia until all charges were eventually dropped by the United States Department of Justice against him. I have received many calls from the media over the last couple of days and I have declined to respond because Dr. Al-Arian was represented by an immigration law team after the criminal proceedings concluded. I wanted to defer to those lawyers in any media comments, as I have since handed over the case last year. Dr. Al-Arian issued the statement below this morning.


Dr. Al-Arian’s case raised troubling due process, academic freedom, and free speech issues. He is a Palestinian-American civil rights activist who was also a computer engineering professor at University of South Florida (USF). He had a successful academic career at USF and held permanent resident status since March 1989. He applied for U.S. citizenship and even campaigned for George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election.

Dr. Al-Arian was indicted in February 2003 on 17 counts under the Patriot Act, but a jury acquitted him on 8 counts and deadlocked on the remaining 9 counts. The trial was handled by Dr. Al-Arian’s Florida trial attorneys, the late Bill Moffitt and Linda Moreno, who did an incredible job.

It was later revealed that jury overwhelmingly supported acquittal. The jurors 10-2 for acquittal on the remaining counts. Tapped out of money and wanting closure, Dr. Al-Arian agreed to a plea bargain that admitted to one of the charges in exchange for a promise that after a maximum of incarceration of 57 months, he would be allowed to leave the country by April 2007. (Amnesty International would later condemn his incarceration as “gratuitously punitive” and inhumane). He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to contribute services to or for the benefit of the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a Specially Designated Terrorist organization, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. However, that contribution was described as hiring a lawyer for his brother-in-law during his immigration battle in the late 1990s; sponsoring a Palestinian historian in 1994 to conduct research in the U.S.; and withholding information from a U.S. journalist during a 1995 interview. Many noted at the time that none of those acts were clearly criminal.

Notably, many saw the deal as nothing more than the Justice Department seeking some face saving measure of punishment after its defeat in Tampa and many felt that Dr. Al-Arian should not have signed it. However, he wanted to continue with his academic career and be with his family, including young children. Yet, rather than fulfilling that commitment, the Justice Department called him to a grand jury for additional testimony in Northern Virginia. Dr. Al-Arian objected that he was assured that he would not be forced into any additional proceedings and many viewed the grand jury was a “perjury trap” where the prosecutors would charge on any statement that could be alleged to be inaccurate or untrue. He refused.

The Virginia litigation began in 2006 in Alexandria Virginia. The litigation would be intense for years as we sought to enforce his plea agreement but the federal court insisted that he would have to testify and the Justice Department secured a civil contempt order on November 16, 2006. This was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. It was after the Fourth Circuit decision that I was brought on a lead criminal defense counsel. The Justice Department continued to call Dr. Al-Arian and effectively prolong his incarceration under civil contempt rules.

Dr. Al-Arian engaged in a series of hunger strikes, including a 60-day hunger strike on January 22, 2007 in protest to his treatment and there was an international movement in support of his release.

In addressing the proceedings in Virginia, we took the unusual step of hiring a former FBI polygraphed to ask Dr. Al-Arian every known question about the investigation into an organization called IIIT in Virginia, purportedly the reason for his being called before the grand jury (Notably, not a single indictment for IIIT would come out of the grand jury proceedings which lasted for years and was viewed by many defense lawyers as a runaway investigation and fishing expedition). We even solicited from the Justice Department. The polygraph showed that Dr. Al-Arian had little knowledge of the matters under investigation and he passed every question as answering truthfully. We submitted the results to the Justice Department. We also received additional questions from the Justice Department and submitted a sworn affidavit on those questions. It was clear that Dr. Al-Arian was not withholding information. Indeed, any information that he had was ridiculously out of date given his years of incarceration in solitary confinement and tight restrictions on communications.

Eventually, the civil contempt sanction was lifted, but the Justice Department then, on June 26, 2008, indicted him on two counts of criminal contempt, for unlawfully and willfully refusing court orders that he testify. On September 2, 2008, we were able to secure his release from jail and a court order for Dr. Al-Arian to be subject to house arrest. It was a major change in the case. We were able to later lift the restrictions of monitoring on the home confinement.

On March 9, 2010, Judge Leonie Brinkema postponed the criminal contempt trial, pending our motion to dismiss the charges in the case on the grounds of the plea agreement, flaws in the indictment, prosecutorial abuse, selective prosecution and other grounds. We also asked the Justice Department to investigate the professional misconduct in the case (which it declined to do). The litigation over the indictment continued until, on June 27, 2014, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon D. Kromberg moved to dismiss the indictment.

Dr. Al-Arian leaves behind five children and grandchildren. His children are highly successful in their own right, including multiple books and impressive academic work. The family has been a rock of support for Dr. Al-Arian throughout these incredibly trying years. Nahla and the family formed a tight, protective circle to get through these traumatic years. After the release in 2008, Dr. Al-Arian became a doting grandfather and stayed with his children in Virginia.

I met with Dr. Al-Arian and Nahla shortly before they left the country. They were already missing their children and grandchildren, but excited to start a new chapter in their life. It is not clear whether he will resume teaching in Turkey but he is likely to continue his writing and lecturing in some form. Despite being subjected to extremely cruel treatment and conditions, he is not bitter and remains committed to the principles of freedom that first drew him to the United States. Indeed, his family is an American success story with five children who have secured advanced degrees from leading universities and will remain in the United States in teaching, journalism and other fields. It has been a particular pleasure to get to know them and watch their professional advancement over the course of this litigation.

The Al-Arian case will remain a chilling chapter in our history. The treatment of Dr. Al-Arian after his acquittal on most of the charges was widely viewed as a shocking abuse of the system and a flagrant violation of agreement reached with the Justice Department. The Justice Department put unprecedented effort into the Florida prosecution and suffered one of its greatest trial defeats in an area where convictions were taken for granted. The later proceedings were viewed as retaliatory and abusive by prosecutors. It also showed how the civil and contempt laws can be used to abuse individuals and leave them with little recourse or rights. Justice ultimately prevailed but the cost to Dr. Al-Arian and his family was prohibitively high. The Virginia litigation was not about Dr. Al-Arian’s views or associations. It was about due process and how we handle criminal trials and plea agreements in this country. The United States reached a deal with this man that committed his country to allowing him to leave following his jail stint. No matter how one feels about Dr. Al-Arian’s writings or beliefs, we should honor our agreements as a nation. Instead, the Justice Department broke that deal and then daisy-chained contempt citations to prolong his incarceration. It was abusive and it was wrong. It is now over.

Dr. Al-Arian and his wife will start anew in Turkey. He told me in our final meeting how very grateful he was to his many friends and supporters for what they gave to him. He remained optimistic about the future and spoke of his continued faith in the fundamental civil liberties that define our country. We spoke of how long this process proved since we first met in a holding cell in Virginia. At the time, he was weak from his hunger strike and we knew little about each other. Over the years, our respective families grew and the world has changed in so many different ways. It felt like a 1000 years ago when Sami was brought in from solitary confinement for our first meeting. I wish him and Nahla all the best in the next chapter of their life together. They clearly leave these shores with a heavy heart despite the pain of the prosecution. This country took much but also gave much to their family. They are now again fully in control of their future together.

Here is Dr. Al-Arian’s final statement:

February 4, 2015

A Statement by Dr. Sami A. Al-Arian

To my dear friends and supporters,

After 40 years, my time in the U.S. has come to an end. Like many immigrants of my generation, I came to the U.S. in 1975 to seek a higher education and greater opportunities. But I also wanted to live in a free society where freedom of speech, association and religion are not only tolerated but guaranteed and protected under the law. That’s why I decided to stay and raise my family here, after earning my doctorate in 1986. Simply put, to me, freedom of speech and thought represented the cornerstone of a dignified life.

Today, freedom of expression has become a defining feature in the struggle to realize our humanity and liberty. The forces of intolerance, hegemony, and exclusionary politics tend to favor the stifling of free speech and the suppression of dissent. But nothing is more dangerous than when such suppression is perpetrated and sanctioned by government. As one early American once observed, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Because government has enormous power and authority over its people, such control must be checked, and people, especially those advocating unpopular opinions, must have absolute protections from governmental overreach and abuse of power. A case in point of course is the issue of Palestinian self-determination. In the United States, as well as in many other western countries, those who support the Palestinian struggle for justice, and criticize Israel’s occupation and brutal policies, have often experienced an assault on their freedom of speech in academia, media, politics and society at large. After the tragic events of September 11th, such actions by the government intensified, in the name of security. Far too many people have been targeted and punished because of their unpopular opinions or beliefs.

During their opening statement in my trial in June 2005, my lawyers showed the jury two poster-sized photographs of items that government agents took during searches of my home many years earlier. In one photo, there were several stacks of books taken from my home library. The other photo showed a small gun I owned at the time. The attorney looked the jury in the eyes and said: “This is what this case is about. When the government raided my client’s house, this is what they seized,” he said, pointing to the books, “and this is what they left,” he added, pointing to the gun in the other picture. “This case is not about terrorism but about my client’s right to freedom of speech,” he continued. Indeed, much of the evidence the government presented to the jury during the six-month trial were speeches I delivered, lectures I presented, articles I wrote, magazines I edited, books I owned, conferences I convened, rallies I attended, interviews I gave, news I heard, and websites I never even accessed. But the most disturbing part of the trial was not that the government offered my speeches, opinions, books, writings, and dreams into evidence, but that an intimidated judicial system allowed them to be admitted into evidence. That’s why we applauded the jury’s verdict. Our jurors represented the best society had to offer. Despite all of the fear-mongering and scare tactics used by the authorities, the jury acted as free people, people of conscience, able to see through Big Brother’s tactics. One hard lesson that must be learned from the trial is that political cases should have no place in a free and democratic society.

But despite the long and arduous ordeal and hardships suffered by my family, I leave with no bitterness or resentment in my heart whatsoever. In fact, I’m very grateful for the opportunities and experiences afforded to me and my family in this country, and for the friendships we’ve cultivated over the decades. These are lifelong connections that could never be affected by distance.

I would like to thank God for all the blessings in my life. My faith sustained me during my many months in solitary confinement and gave me comfort that justice would ultimately prevail.

Our deep thanks go to the friends and supporters across the U.S., from university professors to grassroots activists, individuals and organizations, who have stood alongside us in the struggle for justice.

My trial attorneys, Linda Moreno and the late Bill Moffitt, were the best advocates anyone could ask for, both inside and outside of the courtroom. Their spirit, intelligence, passion and principle were inspirational to so many.

I am also grateful to Jonathan Turley and his legal team, whose tireless efforts saw the case to its conclusion. Jonathan’s commitment to justice and brilliant legal representation resulted in the government finally dropping the case.

Our gratitude also goes to my immigration lawyers, Ira Kurzban and John Pratt, for the tremendous work they did in smoothing the way for this next phase of our lives.

Thanks also to my children for their patience, perseverance and support during the challenges of the last decade. I am so proud of them.

Finally, my wife Nahla h​as been a pillar of love, strength and resilience. She kept our family together during the most difficult times. There are no words to convey the extent of my gratitude.

We look forward to the journey ahead and take with us the countless happy memories we formed during our life in the United States.

186 thoughts on “Dr. Sami Al-Arian Leaves The United States”

  1. Miko Peled wants to whitewash the history of the conflict as if it all began in 1947. I can see why this would be important to his narrative because it is necessary in his portrayal of the Israelis as the unjust aggressor. This is such a slanted presentation that it’s makes one wonder what could possibly be true or false. I don’t believe either side is completely innocent in this historical conflict; so if someone has an objective presentation that provides the entire history, I’ll certainly be interested in reading/watching it.

  2. Davidm

    If I heard correctly, this guy’s father, the general, was against the atrocities committed by Israel and campaigned against the Zionist intent of Israel. He understood the Palestinian position and agreed with it. This is remarkable as he served in the very military that booted out the Palestinians.

    If he is trying to fill his father’s shoes and he believes the same things then perhaps he will rise to the stature of his father some day.

    I have known and continue to know many Jews in the US, Canada, and Europe who agree with Peled to some degree, sometimes not quite so much, and sometimes more. If you research the historical facts the opinions of why the Jews did this and that or why the Palestinians did this and that tend to be biased, at the time of the event as well as after, to this day. There is an ingredient of human nature in this story that comes with the territory. To the victor go the spoils. We may very well be witnessing the same fate that befell the indigenous peoples of North and South America. This may be a purely natural course of events illustrating the survival of the fittest. It is not, however, supported by any moral position. It is theft resulting in an apartheid like condition. I know for certain that the difference in rights exist. One has only to read the newspapers to see what is going on.

    In the end you can blame the person who blows him or her self up in a market or bus or you can blame the people that created that degree of despair and desperation. This is not the first time in human history that one people has treated another this way, and it probably won’t be the last. The foundation for Israel and Zionism is based on their religion in that their god gave them this land, that they are the chosen people, (just like any other religion), and that they have been persecuted so much for so long that they deserve it. That the holocaust gives a Zionist the moral high ground is an argument that is found in plain site, at the beginning, and is near impossible to argue against.

    The Palestinians have rejected what they deem unfair. Israel rejects what it sees as unfair. Research the facts to see what is fair and what is not fair. The facts are that foreigners came from Europe, a half million initially, and booted out the people living in the land they wanted. The rest is justification based on the beliefs and emotions. Theft is theft. If the victor gets the spoils that doesn’t necessarily mean that the spoils include absolution.

    The Israelis have the upper hand. They know more than any what it is like to be persecuted. They are the only ones that can solve this.

    1. issac wrote: “… the general, was against the atrocities committed by Israel and campaigned against the Zionist intent of Israel. He understood the Palestinian position and agreed with it. This is remarkable as he served in the very military that booted out the Palestinians.”

      Mattityahu (“Matti”) Peled never forsook Zionism. He was a Zionist until the day he died. However, he did increasingly move toward the left as he transitioned from a hawkish general demanding war to university professor advocating for peace. He was at one time part of Israel’s’ Labor Party (Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, etc.). Later, he attempted to create a party further to the left, although he never had joined the leftist parties before that time. His party lasted only 7 years or so.

      I think as people age and mature, it is very natural to turn away from war. War is bad. War hurts people. As we become older, we see how senseless war is and how it does not solve problems.

      Miko Peled moved sharply toward Palestinian activism when the Palestinians killed his niece. The terrorist methods basically obtained their desired effect upon him through murdering his niece. When your sister’s teenage daughter is killed, the violence hits home. I think the majority of Israelis want the violence to stop just like Miko Peled, and they will do just about anything to have that. The primary difference involves trust. Do the Palestinians accept the Israeli State or not? Will they even accept and respect the authority of any government?

      issac wrote: “In the end you can blame the person who blows him or her self up in a market or bus or you can blame the people that created that degree of despair and desperation.”

      Do you seriously think people blow up non-combatant civilians out of despair and desperation? It is this kind of characterization that causes mistrust in me toward whoever is saying it. These suicide bombers have been deceived by Palestinian leaders that they are securing a place with God by their actions. It is a religious act for them, not really that much different from the ritual that Christians do when they baptize someone. The difference, however, is that this religious act results in the deaths of non-Muslims.

      issac wrote: “The foundation for Israel and Zionism is based on their religion in that their god gave them this land, that they are the chosen people, (just like any other religion), and that they have been persecuted so much for so long that they deserve it. That the holocaust gives a Zionist the moral high ground is an argument that is found in plain site, at the beginning, and is near impossible to argue against.”

      There is some truth to this, but again, it’s presentation is slanted. That same God who gave them the land also cast them out of their land as judgment for their sins. Why don’t you also mention that? Their prophets foretold this, just as they also foretold that they would one day return back to their homeland. One of their prophets also said basically that the entire Middle East, Jew and Muslim, would be one people and come worship God together. Why don’t you mention that? Furthermore, the Israeli government was established as a secular government, and that as a percentage of the population, there are more secularists in Israel than in the United States. We should not try to characterize Israel as a religious government. In contrast, the governments of Muslims are religious in nature. They consider secularism a sin. Secularism is one of the reasons they hate Israel. All of these facts ought to be incorporated into our opinion.

      issac wrote: “The Palestinians have rejected what they deem unfair. Israel rejects what it sees as unfair. Research the facts to see what is fair and what is not fair. The facts are that foreigners came from Europe, a half million initially, and booted out the people living in the land they wanted.”

      That is not fact. That is your opinion. The fact is that the United Nations established a two State system that would allow the Jews who were displaced from their homeland to return. Many Jews had been working toward this goal and accepted the proposal. Most of the Arabs in the region did not. Many of them hated Jews. They wanted to exterminate Jews just like Hitler did. So they made a plan by telling the residents to get their belongings and leave. Their plan was to attack the Jews as they arrived. They were willing to blow up their own homes in order to do it. Their plan failed. All the Palestinians have to do is accept their new State and accept the presence of Israel. Instead, they create maps that do not acknowledge Israel. They won’t even put its capital city on the map. Such indicates that they reject a two State solution and simply want to annihilate the State of Israel. Their motivation is ethnic, racial, and religious hatred.

      http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=466

      http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/palmatoc1.html

  3. Issac…because you asked, I will watch the over hour long video when I have the time. Then answer more fully. I might have some difficulty with the “boot on the neck” aspect because there are times when there is no other choice. I have no respect for the manner in which the PLO/Fatah/Hamas wage their resistance, let along how the PLO has refused every and all proposals for ending the strife. I have no sympathy for bombers who invade civilian spaces to harm those who are not harming them directly, but only because they are Jews. Same goes for the Shia/Sunni strife in Iraq.

    I have one of the first ever exported “Roses from Rockets” made in Ahskelon sitting on our mantle to remind me of the mindlessness of it all. I’ve been to war and I cannot respect those who attack innocents from either side, any side. However, terrorism requires it, it is how they gain control of people….first their own, then others. Witnessing it first handle leaves a mark.

  4. DavidM
    Aridog

    If you watched the video posted by Abdius Salam, aside from some irrelevant opinions on Iran and nuclear weapons, what do you think? Personally I believe that there should be no nuclear weapons anywhere near Iran or any other Arab state, not because of the state but because of the proximity to extremists.

    I’ve been hearing this same stuff from Jews, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, etc for fifty years. It is also all very well documented, just not popular reading. And, again, if you place your boot on someone’s neck, and they do despicable things, who’s to blame?

    1. issac, I view Miko Peled similar to the way I view Ronald Reagan’s son: he is someone in rebellion against a father whose shoes he is unable to fill.

      The video smacks of so much bias it is nauseating. Instead of trying to be as objective as possible, he concludes that everybody is biased and so he embraces his own emotional bias. He is extremely biased against religion, ascribing religious motives to Israel. The truth is that nearly half of Israel is secular. Less than 10% are orthodox Jews. He talks about the Palestinian right of return without any mention of the history. Most left their homes voluntarily at the request of their Arab leaders. The Arabs rejected the UN proposal of a two State solution and instead waged violence against any Jews coming to live there as their neighbors. Unfortunately for the people who listened to the Arab leaders and chose to leave their homes, Israel won the fight that the Arabs waged against them. The idea of allowing people back who hate Israel and voluntarily left because of that hatred is dangerous. So logically, Israel said it must be part of a peace agreement. As soon as these Palestinian refugees agree not to kill Jews, they can come back if they want.

      The following link represents a history that I find much more informative and truthful than the one offered by Miko Peled:
      http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/refugees.html

      You might note that even when these Palestinians are given their own government, that does not stop the violence. Check out this video of them throwing rocks at the PLO and destroying police cars, causing the Palestinian authority to fire bullets at them.
      http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6de_1403454001

      And don’t even get me started about all the fake photos and videos that Palestinians keep putting out trying to make people believe that Israel is killing innocent Palestinians. When a person lies to me once, whether it is Bill Clinton or a Palestinian, I don’t trust them ever again. In contrast to Miko Peled, I like Bibi Netanyahu. He makes logical sense and is a stand up guy. Show me one clear lie that he has ever told, and maybe I will start listening to what an anti-Jew has to say. Until then, I trust Bibi over Palestinians like the late Yasser Arafat or whatever leader is currently in charge in Palestine. Last I heard, they elected a terrorist organization named Hamas to lead them who builds cross-border tunnels to fight Israel. Does that sound neighborly to you? Do you support terrorist governments? The fact that the Palestinian people elected terrorists to lead them tells us a lot about the Palestinian people.

  5. For anyone not familiar with the Brandon Mayfield case:

    http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/2/the-terrifying-surveillancecaseofbrandonmayfield.html

    “During the OIG’s review of the handling of the Mayfield case, it found that the FBI’s requests for material witness and criminal search warrants “contained several inaccuracies that reflected a regrettable lack of attention to detail.” The FBI’s belief that it had their man, despite all contrary evidence, was so strong that it provided misleading sworn statements to a judge. The only reason Mayfield is a free man today is that the Spanish police repeatedly told the FBI that the print recovered from the bag of detonators didn’t match Mayfield’s fingerprints. The FBI, however, continued to stand by its lab’s findings until Spanish authorities conclusively matched the print to the real culprit, Algerian national Ouhane Daoud. Only then did Mayfield’s traumatic journey into the stomach of the national security state end.”

    And here’s the most important part:

    “Cautionary tale”

    “Mayfield’s ordeal is a cautionary tale of what can happen when the government clamps down on its suspect and refuses to release its grip. In the fortunate case of Mayfield, the government finally released him but only after it turned his life upside down in the process.

    Nearly a decade later, the government’s secret surveillance capabilities have become only more powerful, thanks to social media, smartphones and other technologies. The bulk collection of Americans’ personal data makes it more likely that false positives — innocent Mayfields coming under government scrutiny — will occur. And when that false positive is an American Muslim or an anarchist or an aggressive environmental activist, will government agents and analysts have the ability to set aside their prejudices and excitement and weigh all information, particularly contradictory evidence, before condemning those unfortunate few to bogus charges and public suspicion?”

    “Confirmation bias should make us skeptical of this possibility.” – Matthew Harwood

    As I understand it, there was video surveillance of the Mayfield family in their home, even in the bathroom/s. Almost anything goes in post-9/11 America. Most Americans don’t realize it, yet, and many don’t seem to care.

  6. https://consortiumnews.com/2015/02/06/us-deports-professor-sami-al-arian/

    “Since we first met Dr. Al-Arian a few years ago, he and his family have set standards for faithfulness, moral steadfastness, and commitment to truth to which we can only aspire. More broadly, the U.S. government’s treatment of Dr. al Arian underscores an urgent reality: how the West treats Muslims — in the Middle East, where they are the overwhelming majority, and in diaspora communities in the West itself — is the defining moral and political challenge of our time.

    The U.S. government’s actions against Sami Al-Arian and his family should remind all of us how badly the United States is failing that challenge.

    Sami Al-Arian was targeted by the U.S. government because, during the 1990s, he emerged as one of the most prominent and effective advocates for Palestinian rights that U.S. officials had ever faced.”

    1. alyssa, you make Sami Al-Arian sound like a saint. Why was Sami Al-Arian on the board of directors of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad? Why did he raise money for Jihad? Why did he speak in support of violent Jihad against Israelis? Why did he speak against America as the Great Satan even before his arrest? Isn’t it true that he came here to destroy America and Israel?

      If an American went to Palestine and spoke death to Palestine and raised money to secure the death of Palestine, I think he would be dead right now. Sami Al-Arian got off easy because we are a civilized country who believes in due process.

  7. Any one intelligent or a Dummy please see the video opening this link and then write your comments about Sami or any other Palestinian activists:

  8. I along with Sami driven voters in Florida to see Bush win as President. After personally observing the injustice done to my friend Sami I decided to leave the USA to the place of my birth. Man with high principle and sincerity will always prosper which ever the place in this world as home. Sami and Nahla May God keep you happy for ever.

  9. David-

    Thanks for clearly stating your malfunction-

    “There would be nothing wrong with a government run by a benevolent dictator.”

    There is no such thing as a benevolent dictator.

    However, I’m having a hard time taking you seriously. The more I read your posts, the more they just strike me as funny.

    1. Anarchist 2.0 – I ran my classroom as a benevolent dictator, so don’t say they don’t exist.

  10. Isaac-

    ” Perhaps this is simply and intractable situation. ”

    Israel is under the control of homicidal religious fanatics. Hopefully it will never be resolved in Israel’s favor because the moment they can turn their attention abroad, they fanatics that demanded the genocide of the Palestinians will begin calling for the genocide of anyone else that resists world domination by the lunatic far right jews.

  11. David-

    This quote from you is hilarious-

    ” You just accept uncritically what the Palestinians tell you.”

    This coming from the guy that accepted uncritically that Palestinians are just filthy animals that can’t be taught to use a trash can because some Israeli told you that after you saw the filth in Palestinian Jerusalem. It turns out, Palestinians in East Jerusalem have been so deprived of trash services that they’ve even lobbied the UN to try to get Israel to collect the trash in Palestinian neighborhoods.

    “The way I see it. . .”

    Has no relation to reality, much like all your other views. You’re such a buffoon that I suspect you’re just trolling.

    “Would you favor this kind of two State solution for us?”

    That analogy has no resemblance to the conflict between Palestine and Israel.

  12. Davidm

    I lived on the Med for many years. I met many Israelis and many Muslims. By far the most reasonable are the Israelis, in general. However, there is a deadlock and a cycle that repeats itself. There are millions of Palestinians and it very well may be that they will eventually die out, but probably not. I have followed, since I was a school boy and I saw the photos of the holocaust, the plight of the Jews. There is no single people that have been treated so horribly for so long. However, in the establishment of their nation they have committed endless crimes as well. Regardless of declarations, white papers, accords and treaties, there are two peoples living in one land. Perhaps this is simply and intractable situation. But the establishment of Israel was done by force and expulsion and continues through military might.

    The main issue of dissent is the West Bank. While ‘giving’ it to the Palestinians Israel continues to erode it. There are the words, the San Remo Accords, the accusations, and the treaties broken but in the end there was the taking of the land by force and the continuation of the taking of the land by force. When you step on somebody’s neck and they act despicably, what do you expect. All Israel really has can be explained in the words of that young girl. “We won, get used to it.” If that is so then call a spade a spade and stop trying to make it what it isn’t, one people conquering another.

  13. Davidm

    I am interested in your critique of democracy. I see the same problems with it that you see however, as Churchill said, it may not be perfect but it’s the least imperfect system around, or something like that. A perfect democracy would be one where every one would vote and every one would be completely cognizant of the situations addressed. This is too much to ask in the present condition of politics in the US as well as most countries. The US is perhaps the furthest from perfection as it is the only country, among our peer nations, that relies so heavily on money to get someone elected.

    Voters are, by in large, ignorant of the issues and of the candidates. This can be seen at every turn in every election. Eliminating private funding in the electing of a representative is already working in other countries. What is it that is so sacred to Americans about winning by saturating the voter with cheap adds? Why is a leader elected based on style, smooth presentation, and looks rather than substance?

    If there was an independent government body, such as the military, that administered the ‘messages’ of the candidates equally to the public using the usual vehicles of the media then time would be equalized. If this government body distributed to each voter the manifestos of whomever is running then the message and position would be there for the taking. The voter would be face to face with the content of the issue. No forms of persuasion would be permitted other than the position of the candidate. The sales job would be there to revisit at the convenience of the voter. There would be no voting for the guy that verbally smacked down the other.

    This would be so boring to many of those that get revved up on hype and other perverted messages that the number of people voting would shrink. Perhaps only those that took a real interest and had a real understanding of the issues would then vote. Through choice we would eliminate those too complacent to make an intelligent choice.

    As it is, our leaders are, for the most part, bought by money, presented to us like some form of entertainment, and further and further away from that least of all imperfect forms of government. A benevolent dictator is only good for the term of that benevolent dictator.

    Another, and perhaps the most important, result might just be seeing more than two candidates running for the office as is done in the more democratic and least imperfect systems.

    You can’t run a country like a corporation. Even corporations need laws and regulation imposed and forced on them to keep them from enslaving their workers. The only solution is to evolve this imperfect system in the direction of perfection, and that means self criticism and change, something most Americans simply can’t entertain.

  14. And that said above…trust me I do NOT care what others think of me more or less, I worry most about the guy I face whilst shaving in the mirror. Do I respect that guy, or not.

  15. Here is my result from the Test Guess I’m another “centrist” or a liar as some might call me. I figured I ,might come out as a far right nut case…whoops?

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