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Luigi Frascati

I respectfully take exception to your conclusion, Mr. Freund, that “And by blurring the definition of true moderation, they [Rice and others] have allowed these men to continue to pursue policies that are antithetical to Israel and the West” – or better, let me rephrase this, your conclusion is correct with respect to Israel, but incorrect with respect to the West.

And this should not come as a surprise, since it is from the times of the Carter Administration that American foreign policy in the Middle East is separate and distinct from that of Israel, or from the one that the many Israelis would like to see.

Let’s be frank here – America is more interested in Middle-eastern oil than it is in Israel. On the other hand, the majority of Americans are committed to the survival and development of your country and the continued flourishing of its security and of its political and social establishments for a variety of reasons, ranging from a perception of religious affinity to a perception of similar democratic principles to yet another perception of parallelism between the economic structures and social components of the two countries. And last, but not least, I also believe that many Americans are captured by both the heroism and stoicism of the Israeli people, a handful of survivors living all by themselves in a miniature country surrounded by, well ... an ocean Arabs.

But none of the above guarantees that American foreign policy in the Middle East be the same as that of Israel, or even similar to it. When one can find a parallel, it is probably due more to pure coincidence than anything else.

In practical terms, Rice has Iran at aim and is touring your region not to ‘solve the Palestinian problem’ – which is unsolvable – but to gain the support of Sunni Arabs and separate them even more from their Shi’a brethren. So therefore, in the eyes of the Administration the Sunnis are the moderate Arabs, no matter if they are totally un-moderate with Israel. In essence what is happening between Fatah and Hamas is a miniature world of what will very likely happen in the Middle East in the not too distant future – judging from the Anglo-American military build-up in the Strait of Hormuz, the dispatching of yet more Marines to Iraq, the sale of F-16’s to Saudi Arabia and the expansion of the American military presence in Kuwait as well as in Southern Europe. If you look carefully, Mr. Freund, you will see that there is a lot of weaponry and armaments amassing all around Israel and, in fact from the Mediterranean all the way down to the Persian Gulf. Afterall, some 40 percent of the world's oil supply passes through the strait every day.

And this is what Secretary Rice has in mind. And if that means more rockets coming down onto Israel, so be it.

Clearly it is a risky policy, very risky indeed – and questionable too. Let’s not forget that only a couple of years ago President Mubarak himself was referring to George W. Bush as “the idiot in Washington” (that was in reference to the military intervention in Iraq, but still …). So it is all to be seen whether this diplomatic approach will in fact work with the Arabs. And I realize that from an Israeli point of view, this attitude is disconcerting, to say the very least. But I am very skeptical that we will see it changing – at least in the short run.

Dale Jeffries

Condeleeza Rice is on a mission, not to save the Mideast, but to save the legacy of her administration's failed policy. White washing this situation to appear better than reality means lots of media soundbytes with the word 'moderate' are necessary.
Unfortunately it is my opinion no politician in the Arab world will succeed in securing peace. If one leader or organization (like Hamas) becomes moderate they will be quickly replaced by another new one that is stronger and harder.
Since the first Intifada I've felt the situation requires leaders like Gahndi and Martin Luther King who succeded to quell violence where no politician or army could change the hearts and minds of their constituents.
Peace with Islam can only be obtained with the leadership of brave religious Islamic leaders that teach the evils of indiscriminate mass murder.
Just yesterday England aired a conference on CNN called "The Enemy Within", pitting Islamic Extremists against Islamic moderates. The extremists claim the Koran condones and even encourages violent Jihad. The moderates said this violence is not merely a misinterpretation of the Koran but a mental illness.
While this religion of over 1 billion people tries to come to grips with this dilemma, Isreal will have to continue its role as the canary in the coal mine while defending itself. Hopefully the next administration in the U.S.A. will maintain the support for Isreal, the only real open democracy and true friend they have in the Mideast rather than selling its soul to feed its addiction to oil.

M. D'Souza

History has shown us that there are NO such 'moderate' Arab/Muslim leaders. They may put on a 'moderate' mask while speaking to Western leaders and tell them what they wish to hear...just to vere them away from the radar of Islamic goals, i.e. conquering the world for Islam.

In Dr.Rice's eyes, does wearing a 3-piece suit make an Arab leader a 'moderate'? Or wearing silken Arab robes make them 'moderates'? A 'moderate Arab' is one who hides his own extremism and his extremists behind such polished veneers.

Soon after 9/11, the Arab world rejoiced that their own brothers brought the US down to her knees. They quickly pointed their fingers towards the Israeli-Palestinian problem, blaming Israel to be the cause of it. The Saudis, in particular, got a black-eye because, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. They realized their own vulnerability and suggested to Pres.Bush to settle the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

By closely following Bush's presidency from the very start, we have seen that, he just did not want to have anything to do with the Palestinian issue, and not even deal with Arafat. The Clintonoids blamed him for this too.

We just don't appreciate what Rice has been doing, by pushing Israel to commit national suicide. Why is she even honoring such a fraud of a leader like Abbas? He is a Holocaust denier. He was the financier of the Munich massacre. And now he encourages the Palestinian terrorists to use the weapons supplied by the US, against Israel. Is he in any way different from the master terrorist Arafat?

Abbas has not even attempted to fulfill the first condition of the Road Map. Yet, Rice in her stupidity is boosting him up. This is not diplomacy...it is stupidity! What is in the steam that bubbles out of Abbas' hookah, that has caused this delusion in Rice?

Luigi Frascati

Absolutely right, Mr. D'Souza, in your assessment that the word moderation is entirely absent from Islamic and Islamist culture.

Here is a bewildering AP newswire just now received from the RSS feeds of my computer, of an outrageous statement made today by an Australian national - a Sheik that goes by the name of Sheik Feiz Mohammed - that exhorts Muslim children to die for Jihad and which, furthermore, refers to Jews as 'snorting pigs that will go to hell'.

Here is the link: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AUSTRALIA_CLERIC_CONTROVERSY?SITE=NJHAC&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT .

This is unbelievable!

mike

Ms Rice's policy statements are neither confused nor in contravention to her goals. Ms. Rice wants to destroy Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. In addition to the glee amost all goyim feel at the prospect of millions of dead Jews, the destruction of Israel would benefit America in the short term by making it easier to negotiate for cheap oil. Once Israel is gone, the only unifying factor among the Arabs will be gone also. The Arabs will slaughter each other in droves and America will play both ends against the middle, unconstrained by AIPAC and the Christian right. What never fails to amaze is not that goyim pursue their interests and seek to kill Jews but that some foolish Jews believe that goyim could ever be friends and allies instead of mere business partners. Thus does Israel march to destruction.

rench

It would seem so simple to answer.Yet this is in many respects part of the problem faced with Islam.And the Isreal/global conflict.In part the designation is a tool for polcie.In part its a tool of illussion.In part its fact.But altametly when it comes down to brasstax,the moderate Arab leaders are weak.If they claim Islamic ideals as hertiage.These leaders are also in some respects puppets of the west.Used as instraments of control.Now im not suggesting the populations of the moderate states are less then anyone else.Im just attempting to illastrate the current dielema with the moderates designation.For many dubed the Departed Arafat as moderate.Clearly a shrade.And used effectivley.In many sad respects.Yet to the moderately informed Abbas/Mazaen is no more a moderate then Arafat.Or the leaders of Hamas or Hezbollah etc.So indeed the ? who is a moderate is intrging.Yet such a ideal is unexplainable.At least for todays topsy tervy society.

underthesuns

The most notorious figure in the world is Osama (now on vacation.) In the US there is a Presidential candidate named Obama. His party sprung to majority status last Fall elections (November).

I mean really...

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Tory Burch

I did a bit of research and discovered an interesting, yet largely unknown, little fact: Arab states provide less than 3 percent of the annual budget of UNRWA, the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees throughout the Middle East.

By contrast, Western countries cover some 95 percent of the organization's finances each year.

Tory Burch Outlet

Now, if they really truly cared about the fate of their Palestinian brethren, would oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain be so miserly and cheap when it comes to improving their living conditions?

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if they really truly cared about the fate of their Palestinian brethren, would oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain be so miserly and

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