Category: Mike Konrad

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Why Was Disco Ever Popular? Blame Fake News.


While Donald Trump has become famous for railing on about “Fake News,” the media have become quick to defend their integrity.  However, the depth of the media’s lies is apparent and may be deeper than most imagine.

Let’s start with what is probably one of the greatest cultural frauds in recent history, though it is mostly unknown today: Saturday Night Fever.

Many of us were roughly the same age as Tony Manero, the hero in the 1977 movie, when it came out.  The movie hijacked American culture for about two years, rocketing disco up the charts, until a Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in 1979 put an end to genre almost overnight.

Three months before disco’s demise, a Newsweek April 2, 1979 cover confidently proclaimed that disco had won the culture wars.  Rock ‘n’ roll was dead.  But a few months later, by the fall of 1979, disco was gone.  What happened?

What happened was that the disco culture was a house of cards.  The signature statement of that culture, Saturday Night Fever, was a total fraud.

The movie, and the disco fad, were based on an article, “Inside the Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” that appeared in New York Magazine in June 1976.

Over the past few months, much of my time has been spent in watching this new generation.  Moving from neighborhood to neighborhood, from disco to disco, an explorer out of my depth, I have tried to learn the patterns, the old/new tribal rites.

The problem was that the story was mostly made up.

Twenty years later came a bombshell.  In December 1997 New York magazine published an article in which Cohn confessed that there never was a Vincent.  There was no “Lisa”, “Billy”, “John James”, “Lorraine” or “Donna” either.  While 2001 Odyssey existed, it wasn’t the way the writer described it in 1976.  The whole scene of disco-loving Italians, as mythologised in Saturday Night Fever, was exaggerated.  The most bizarre detail was that his disco protagonists were in fact based on mods Cohn had known in London.

So what? you might ask.

To those who remember, that fraud led to the glorification of a disco culture.  But it was never as organic as the media portrayed it.  It could be propped up for only so long.  In 1979, the straw man was easily toppled.

It seems that Nik Cohn, the magazine writer who penned the purported true story of a Brooklyn dancer named “Vincent”– the basis for Travolta’s Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever – for New York magazine, admitted this week in New York that he made the whole thing up.

Up to that point, disco had existed, to be sure, but it was a sideline.  Occasionally, it could break through to the top, as with “The Hustle,” but it never would have become the cultural imperative it became without media lies.  It was foisted on us.  Disco music often carried a homosexual message that would have killed its mainstream popularity had it been left to its own devices, as this 1979 skit from Saturday Night Live demonstrated in the show’s parody of the overtly homosexually themed Village People.

I first met the Village Persons two years ago[.] … Now, to introduce them from the perspective of a young person, who can enjoy their [The Village Persons] music without understanding its homosexual connotations[.]

Had the youth of the 1970s been told that this whole disco cultural wave was the exaggeration of a British writer, amplified by a “homosexual mafia” in the arts community, do you seriously think disco would have taken off to the extent it did?  Not in the 1970s!

That disco fell so fast in 1979 is evidence that it was artificial to begin with.

What is scary is that this admitted lie still holds a grip on the culture, especially in Brooklyn, where the image is still lauded, parodied, and beloved.  Well, good luck with Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where Tony Manero lived, ever regaining that faded glory.  The neighborhood is now heavily Muslim.

Of course, deceptive media have been the historic norm.

The Hollywood image of the Wild West, full of all-American white cowboys, was deceptive.  The West was heavily Hispanic, with a considerable number of blacks and immigrants.  White Americans were a bare majority in some places.  But that would not sell to movie audiences.

The sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 was portrayed by the media as an insult to America.  In reality, the ship was British, and it was transporting weapons, which is why it sank so fast – the German torpedo hit a magazine.

It’s not just the media.  Revisionist historians started rewriting the history of the Civil War around 1900, trying to exonerate the South, turning the Confederacy into a noble cause about states’ rights.  But the fact is that a lot of the states that seceded listed the defense of slavery as their motivation.  As Confederate vice president Alexander Stephens put it:

Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.

After the war, no one wanted to admit that.  So history books got rewritten.  Hollywood purchased Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind to give us a great movie but terrible history.  Remember that it was the Democrats who supported slavery, secession, the Confederacy, and later Jim Crow.  Blacks have been fed lies about the Democratic Party ever since.

Trump’s problem with “fake news” does not begin to scratch the surface.  The fault lies in ourselves.  People don’t want the truth.

The ancient Greeks understood this when they asked, “What is Truth?”  The sad fact is, humans prefer comfortable lies.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America.

While Donald Trump has become famous for railing on about “Fake News,” the media have become quick to defend their integrity.  However, the depth of the media’s lies is apparent and may be deeper than most imagine.

Let’s start with what is probably one of the greatest cultural frauds in recent history, though it is mostly unknown today: Saturday Night Fever.

Many of us were roughly the same age as Tony Manero, the hero in the 1977 movie, when it came out.  The movie hijacked American culture for about two years, rocketing disco up the charts, until a Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in 1979 put an end to genre almost overnight.

Three months before disco’s demise, a Newsweek April 2, 1979 cover confidently proclaimed that disco had won the culture wars.  Rock ‘n’ roll was dead.  But a few months later, by the fall of 1979, disco was gone.  What happened?

What happened was that the disco culture was a house of cards.  The signature statement of that culture, Saturday Night Fever, was a total fraud.

The movie, and the disco fad, were based on an article, “Inside the Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” that appeared in New York Magazine in June 1976.

Over the past few months, much of my time has been spent in watching this new generation.  Moving from neighborhood to neighborhood, from disco to disco, an explorer out of my depth, I have tried to learn the patterns, the old/new tribal rites.

The problem was that the story was mostly made up.

Twenty years later came a bombshell.  In December 1997 New York magazine published an article in which Cohn confessed that there never was a Vincent.  There was no “Lisa”, “Billy”, “John James”, “Lorraine” or “Donna” either.  While 2001 Odyssey existed, it wasn’t the way the writer described it in 1976.  The whole scene of disco-loving Italians, as mythologised in Saturday Night Fever, was exaggerated.  The most bizarre detail was that his disco protagonists were in fact based on mods Cohn had known in London.

So what? you might ask.

To those who remember, that fraud led to the glorification of a disco culture.  But it was never as organic as the media portrayed it.  It could be propped up for only so long.  In 1979, the straw man was easily toppled.

It seems that Nik Cohn, the magazine writer who penned the purported true story of a Brooklyn dancer named “Vincent”– the basis for Travolta’s Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever – for New York magazine, admitted this week in New York that he made the whole thing up.

Up to that point, disco had existed, to be sure, but it was a sideline.  Occasionally, it could break through to the top, as with “The Hustle,” but it never would have become the cultural imperative it became without media lies.  It was foisted on us.  Disco music often carried a homosexual message that would have killed its mainstream popularity had it been left to its own devices, as this 1979 skit from Saturday Night Live demonstrated in the show’s parody of the overtly homosexually themed Village People.

I first met the Village Persons two years ago[.] … Now, to introduce them from the perspective of a young person, who can enjoy their [The Village Persons] music without understanding its homosexual connotations[.]

Had the youth of the 1970s been told that this whole disco cultural wave was the exaggeration of a British writer, amplified by a “homosexual mafia” in the arts community, do you seriously think disco would have taken off to the extent it did?  Not in the 1970s!

That disco fell so fast in 1979 is evidence that it was artificial to begin with.

What is scary is that this admitted lie still holds a grip on the culture, especially in Brooklyn, where the image is still lauded, parodied, and beloved.  Well, good luck with Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where Tony Manero lived, ever regaining that faded glory.  The neighborhood is now heavily Muslim.

Of course, deceptive media have been the historic norm.

The Hollywood image of the Wild West, full of all-American white cowboys, was deceptive.  The West was heavily Hispanic, with a considerable number of blacks and immigrants.  White Americans were a bare majority in some places.  But that would not sell to movie audiences.

The sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 was portrayed by the media as an insult to America.  In reality, the ship was British, and it was transporting weapons, which is why it sank so fast – the German torpedo hit a magazine.

It’s not just the media.  Revisionist historians started rewriting the history of the Civil War around 1900, trying to exonerate the South, turning the Confederacy into a noble cause about states’ rights.  But the fact is that a lot of the states that seceded listed the defense of slavery as their motivation.  As Confederate vice president Alexander Stephens put it:

Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.

After the war, no one wanted to admit that.  So history books got rewritten.  Hollywood purchased Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind to give us a great movie but terrible history.  Remember that it was the Democrats who supported slavery, secession, the Confederacy, and later Jim Crow.  Blacks have been fed lies about the Democratic Party ever since.

Trump’s problem with “fake news” does not begin to scratch the surface.  The fault lies in ourselves.  People don’t want the truth.

The ancient Greeks understood this when they asked, “What is Truth?”  The sad fact is, humans prefer comfortable lies.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America.



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Media and the Rise of Homosexuality


India has just legalized gay sex. This is roughly one-sixth of the world’s population. A few years ago, this would have been unthinkable. What happened? An admission about homosexual influences, by a famous documentary, does much to explain society today.

We must first go back to the 1960s, to an amazing documentary by CBS, hosted by Mike Wallace, called “The Homosexuals.”

In the documentary, Mike Wallace noted that, as late as 1967:

Most Americans are repelled by the mere notion of homosexuality. A CBS news survey shows that two out of three Americans look upon homosexuals with disgust, discomfort or fear… The majority of Americans favor legal punishment, even for homosexual acts performed in private between consenting adults. “The Homosexuals,” (6:39), CBS, 1967, with Mike Wallace.

Not too long ago, people received severe sentences for homosexual behavior.

This man is twenty-seven, college educated… He has been in jail three times for committing homosexual acts. If he is arrested once more, he faces the possibility of life in prison. “The Homosexuals,” (6:03) CBS, 1967, with Mike Wallace.

Yet, within a generation, homosexuality became accepted, and today it is celebrated, almost as desirable and heroic. This would have been unthinkable, even in the 1960s. 

I have also noticed older people, whom I have known for decades, change their attitudes. In the 1960s, they would have been one of those Americans who saw homosexuality as disgusting. Now, they are “tolerant.” The brainwashing seems to have worked retroactively.

Do not get me wrong! I am not advocating the recriminalization of consensual homosexual acts. Some of the laws back then were unnecessarily strict. But neither do I celebrate homosexuality as a good thing, something to be sought. I would have preferred the limited accommodation of decriminalization, and nothing more.

The usual explanation given is that the Stonewall Riots of 1969 were the game changer. When police raided a homosexual bar, the patrons fought back. Homosexual rights were brought into the public eye. The problem is that the Stonewall Riots were not the cause.

One could track further back to the Mattachine Society founded in 1950, or the drawings by Tom of Finland, the latter of which would become the inspiration for the Village People.

Simply put, without Tom of Finland, there would have been no Village People. – The Guardian

An amazing admission in the 1967 CBS documentary confirms what many have said under their breaths, and what other have suspected.

Homosexuals are discriminated against in almost all fields of employment, in all parts of the country. But in the world of the creative arts, they received equal treatment; indeed, some would say better treatment. There is even talk of a homosexual mafia in the arts, dominating various fields. Theater, music, dance, fashion.


In painting, there is the commonly expressed notion that the homosexuals influence has been corrupting:


In the fashion industry, many observers see an effort to blend the sexes, to defeminize woman, to replace curve and counter with sexless, geometric sterility… “The Homosexuals,” (31:05) CBS, 1967, with Mike Wallace.

If someone said that out loud today, they would be charged with hate speech and have their lives destroyed.

But the problem is not even limited to homosexuality.

If one were to watch fashion shows, with a discerning eye, one would wonder why so much of women’s fashion has women dressed like boys. The women look almost androgynous.

This in not even a recent development

1920s women’s clothing was also extremely androgynous, especially considering the flouncy skirts and cruelly exaggerated waistlines that had gone before it during the Victorian period. – A History Of Androgyny In Fashion

Writers have noted how the ideal runway model seems perilously close to looking pre-pubescent.

Acne Confirms: Fashion’s Ideal Woman Is a 12-Year-Old Boy – Yahoo Lifestyle

Now, obviously, it is not the models who push this. It is the fashion designers. The very ones that Mike Wallace said might belong to a “homosexual mafia.”

Neither am I a fulminating fundamentalist who thinks women should not wear pants. I think jeans look good on a woman, when they accent her curves and contours. I do not expect all women to look like the quasi-androgynous Twiggy of the 1960s or Kate Moss. And why would androgyny be pushed as the ideal, anyway?

Since the rise of Hollywood, and mass media, we have allowed our culture to be directed, and led, by a minority. Though it be politically incorrect to admit, it seems that a disproportional amount of these people are what many, in the 1960s, would have called sexually deviant.

With the advent of movies, they could influence the population, but only to a point. If they became too radical, the public would not pay for the tickets. With radio in the 1930s and 40s, there was no visual input. Androgyny does not translate well over AM.

With the introduction of visual TV in the 1950s and 60s, these creative professionals set the tone. Most of the public had no choice about what was broadcast. And since TV was ostensibly free at that time, there was no disincentive not to watch. An advertiser might balk if things went too far, but it was a process of erosion.

So within a short period from 1967 to 1976, the media could move the public to accept homosexual rights. Rod Stewart released “The Killing of Georgie,” a song about the murder of a New York homosexual, and it got major airplay, something which would have been unthinkable nine years earlier.

There can be no doubt that Hollywood and New York were the most influential centers of art in the Western world, though that may be changing. Leveraging this influence, the embedded “homosexual mafia” changed the United States, which then started the ball rolling to change the world. Hence… India, which has just legalized gay sex.

A small “homosexual mafia” has foisted itself on the planet, and quite successfully.

The key was their control of the media.

The present cultural war is over that control. The internet truly democratized the media, which is no longer centralized. Hence, Facebook and Twitter are now shadow banning.

What would have been unthinkable 50 years ago – and might have landed one in jail – is today lauded and heralded. And much of this is due to the influences of a small, unrepresentative community. What is amazing is how easily people have allowed themselves to be led, rather than think for themselves. This mafia should never have had this much influence.

Now that the internet has broken the monopoly of those creatives, they seek new ways to reign in the true liberty that would counteract them.

Donald Trump has angered feminists all over again, after a new report suggests that he has told the female staff of his administration that they need to always “dress like women” when at work. – The Telegraph

Trump is not destroying democracy, he is contesting with the minority who would.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago. He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com.

India has just legalized gay sex. This is roughly one-sixth of the world’s population. A few years ago, this would have been unthinkable. What happened? An admission about homosexual influences, by a famous documentary, does much to explain society today.

We must first go back to the 1960s, to an amazing documentary by CBS, hosted by Mike Wallace, called “The Homosexuals.”

In the documentary, Mike Wallace noted that, as late as 1967:

Most Americans are repelled by the mere notion of homosexuality. A CBS news survey shows that two out of three Americans look upon homosexuals with disgust, discomfort or fear… The majority of Americans favor legal punishment, even for homosexual acts performed in private between consenting adults. “The Homosexuals,” (6:39), CBS, 1967, with Mike Wallace.

Not too long ago, people received severe sentences for homosexual behavior.

This man is twenty-seven, college educated… He has been in jail three times for committing homosexual acts. If he is arrested once more, he faces the possibility of life in prison. “The Homosexuals,” (6:03) CBS, 1967, with Mike Wallace.

Yet, within a generation, homosexuality became accepted, and today it is celebrated, almost as desirable and heroic. This would have been unthinkable, even in the 1960s. 

I have also noticed older people, whom I have known for decades, change their attitudes. In the 1960s, they would have been one of those Americans who saw homosexuality as disgusting. Now, they are “tolerant.” The brainwashing seems to have worked retroactively.

Do not get me wrong! I am not advocating the recriminalization of consensual homosexual acts. Some of the laws back then were unnecessarily strict. But neither do I celebrate homosexuality as a good thing, something to be sought. I would have preferred the limited accommodation of decriminalization, and nothing more.

The usual explanation given is that the Stonewall Riots of 1969 were the game changer. When police raided a homosexual bar, the patrons fought back. Homosexual rights were brought into the public eye. The problem is that the Stonewall Riots were not the cause.

One could track further back to the Mattachine Society founded in 1950, or the drawings by Tom of Finland, the latter of which would become the inspiration for the Village People.

Simply put, without Tom of Finland, there would have been no Village People. – The Guardian

An amazing admission in the 1967 CBS documentary confirms what many have said under their breaths, and what other have suspected.

Homosexuals are discriminated against in almost all fields of employment, in all parts of the country. But in the world of the creative arts, they received equal treatment; indeed, some would say better treatment. There is even talk of a homosexual mafia in the arts, dominating various fields. Theater, music, dance, fashion.


In painting, there is the commonly expressed notion that the homosexuals influence has been corrupting:


In the fashion industry, many observers see an effort to blend the sexes, to defeminize woman, to replace curve and counter with sexless, geometric sterility… “The Homosexuals,” (31:05) CBS, 1967, with Mike Wallace.

If someone said that out loud today, they would be charged with hate speech and have their lives destroyed.

But the problem is not even limited to homosexuality.

If one were to watch fashion shows, with a discerning eye, one would wonder why so much of women’s fashion has women dressed like boys. The women look almost androgynous.

This in not even a recent development

1920s women’s clothing was also extremely androgynous, especially considering the flouncy skirts and cruelly exaggerated waistlines that had gone before it during the Victorian period. – A History Of Androgyny In Fashion

Writers have noted how the ideal runway model seems perilously close to looking pre-pubescent.

Acne Confirms: Fashion’s Ideal Woman Is a 12-Year-Old Boy – Yahoo Lifestyle

Now, obviously, it is not the models who push this. It is the fashion designers. The very ones that Mike Wallace said might belong to a “homosexual mafia.”

Neither am I a fulminating fundamentalist who thinks women should not wear pants. I think jeans look good on a woman, when they accent her curves and contours. I do not expect all women to look like the quasi-androgynous Twiggy of the 1960s or Kate Moss. And why would androgyny be pushed as the ideal, anyway?

Since the rise of Hollywood, and mass media, we have allowed our culture to be directed, and led, by a minority. Though it be politically incorrect to admit, it seems that a disproportional amount of these people are what many, in the 1960s, would have called sexually deviant.

With the advent of movies, they could influence the population, but only to a point. If they became too radical, the public would not pay for the tickets. With radio in the 1930s and 40s, there was no visual input. Androgyny does not translate well over AM.

With the introduction of visual TV in the 1950s and 60s, these creative professionals set the tone. Most of the public had no choice about what was broadcast. And since TV was ostensibly free at that time, there was no disincentive not to watch. An advertiser might balk if things went too far, but it was a process of erosion.

So within a short period from 1967 to 1976, the media could move the public to accept homosexual rights. Rod Stewart released “The Killing of Georgie,” a song about the murder of a New York homosexual, and it got major airplay, something which would have been unthinkable nine years earlier.

There can be no doubt that Hollywood and New York were the most influential centers of art in the Western world, though that may be changing. Leveraging this influence, the embedded “homosexual mafia” changed the United States, which then started the ball rolling to change the world. Hence… India, which has just legalized gay sex.

A small “homosexual mafia” has foisted itself on the planet, and quite successfully.

The key was their control of the media.

The present cultural war is over that control. The internet truly democratized the media, which is no longer centralized. Hence, Facebook and Twitter are now shadow banning.

What would have been unthinkable 50 years ago – and might have landed one in jail – is today lauded and heralded. And much of this is due to the influences of a small, unrepresentative community. What is amazing is how easily people have allowed themselves to be led, rather than think for themselves. This mafia should never have had this much influence.

Now that the internet has broken the monopoly of those creatives, they seek new ways to reign in the true liberty that would counteract them.

Donald Trump has angered feminists all over again, after a new report suggests that he has told the female staff of his administration that they need to always “dress like women” when at work. – The Telegraph

Trump is not destroying democracy, he is contesting with the minority who would.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago. He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com.



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Will Getting Rid of UNRWA Fix the Palestinian Problem?


The Mideast crisis gets more pressure because it explodes into open world politics.  The usual response given is that UNRWA aggravates the situation by promoting a right of return for Palestinians.

While complaints against UNRWA are accurate, there may be few happy alternatives.

What should UNRWA encourage these stateless people to accept?  Even were they now to be refused the term “refugee,” as most were born outside the borders of Israel, that still does not get rid of their existence.  One cannot seriously expect UNRWA schoolbooks to educate them as follows: “You are a stateless people without civil rights in the countries where you now reside!  Be happy!”

Take, for example, Lebanon, a country that was once majority Christian, and where the percentage of Christians in the population seems to be rebounding.  The Muslims in Lebanon are split between violently hostile Shia and Sunni.  Into this fractious country came Hezb’allah, sponsored by Iran, to take de facto control of the country.

The naturalization of 400,000 (primarily Sunni) Palestinians into Lebanon would be a demographic disaster and would toss the country into civil war again.  Moreover, such a naturalization would bring a call by the approximately 1 million plus – primarily Sunni – Syrian refugees for naturalization.  Neither the Lebanese Christians nor the Lebanese Shia would tolerate it.

There is no way those Palestinians in Lebanon will ever be granted any rights.  If the Palestinian refugee crisis is a threat to Israel, it is an even more immediate threat to Lebanon.

UNRWA schoolbooks might start blaming the host countries for not naturalizing these Palestinians, but how long would UNRWA be tolerated after that?

Some would counter, “If Arab countries wouldn’t tolerate a non-compliant UNRWA, why should Israel?”

The sad fact is, Israel gets a benefit out of UNRWA.

If, tomorrow, all funding from UNRWA stopped, would this solve Israel’s problems?  Apparently, some of Israel’s generals think otherwise.  According to the Likud-leaning Israel Hayom:

COGAT [the Office of the Coordinator of (Israeli) Government Activities in the Territories] objects to cuts in aid to UNRWA on practical grounds. … [T]he defense establishment … is afraid that if UNRWA is unable to help hundreds of thousands of needy Palestinians due to budget cuts, Israel will see rioting, an escalation in violence, and terrorist attacks.

There it is in a nutshell.  For all the complaints against UNRWA, there is a body of opinion that UNRWA keeps the pot from boiling over, if for no other reason than that UNRWA feeds the Palestinians in Gaza and Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).  Remove that lifeline, and either Israel will have to feed the Palestinians or hunger-fueled violence will increase.

Many in the Zionist community howl against UNRWA, but as Israel Hayom has noted:

A decade later, [COGAT Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad], as head of the Diplomatic-Security Branch of the Defense Ministry … coordinated with then-Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren to torpedo a congressional initiative against the [UNWRA] organization.  UNRWA might be bad, Gilad told Oren, but Hamas is worse.  Gilad’s successors have kept to that line, and like the IDF they see the UNRWA as the lesser of two evils.

Israel played both sides of the debate against U.S. funding.  The U.S. was excoriated for subsidizing UNRWA, but in quiet chambers, the congressmen were encouraged to vote for it.

The sad fact is, Israel, as much as the Palestinian Authority, benefits from UNRWA, though Israel likes to pretend otherwise.  What the U.S. does not provide to keep the peace, Israel may have to provide to some degree.  This can be easily observed in Palestinian purchasing habits.  Newsweek noted that “[m]any Palestinians have little choice but to purchase Israeli products.”  Cut UNRWA funding, lay off Palestinians, and it will also be Israeli manufacturers who are hurt.

Like it or not, indirectly, subsidies to UNRWA also subsidize Israel.  One can see why Israel quietly supported funding UNRWA.

All of this is a perpetual treating of the symptom, not the problem.

The problem is the “refugees,” including their descendants.  No one wants them.  Despised and disenfranchised people tend to get angry in response, and so we have violence.

The usual response is that the Palestinians have brought it on themselves, and to a certain extent, that is true.  But a lot of that bad behavior of the Palestinians is a response to their situation.  Imperial Germany and Italy exported their poor and troublemakers to America, where, once treated better, these social problems became upstanding Americans.  The same was true of other ethnic groups.  Ironically, the complaints against Palestinians among Arabs echo the early 20th-century complaints against Jews among Europeans.

While I agree that cutting UNRWA funding might be good, that still does not get rid of the 400,000 Palestinians in Lebanon, a Lebanon that could not safely absorb them.  There are roughly a half-million in Syria (or from Syria).  Syria under Alawite and Shia Baathist rule would never naturalize those Sunni Palestinians.  And so on, for the rest of the Arab world.  Nor will cutting UNRWA get rid of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, nor Gaza.

Everyone is treating the symptom, not a root cause.

To those who say the root cause is Islam, ask yourselves: if these Palestinians all became Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, would Israel take them all back?

No, Israel wants to remain a Jewish state.  Islam is a menace, but the statelessness of the Palestinians is a root cause.

I do not ask Israel to divide Jerusalem, nor to divide its patrimony, but the problem will not go away with UNRWA.  As I have said many times, the Palestinians have to be relocated and settled into other communities.  I am not suggesting Europe, as Europe is already dying out.

Strong diplomatic pressure should be put on the two areas of the world that could absorb these people: the Arab world and South America, which has a history of absorbing Arabs.  In the latter case, those wanting to go to South America must either be Christian or agree to convert.

Strong diplomatic and financial pressure should be brought to bear, with strong financial incentives for agreement.  And yes, the world Jewish community, which would be the chief beneficiary, should contribute substantially.  In 2010, the N.Y. Post reported million-dollar bar mitzvahs.  If they really wanted to celebrate their Jewish heritage, they could have gone to a kosher restaurant and used the saved money to relocate some Palestinians out of Judea and Samaria, thus making the Jewish state more Jewish.

It will cost.

This is the only solution. Anything else is Band-Aids.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com.

President Trump seems determined to shut down UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency), the organization singularly preoccupied with caring for the Arab refugees, and their descendants, of the 1947-49 war between Jewish and Arab forces for control of Mandatory Palestine.  While the idea seems good – a final nail in the coffin of Palestine dreams – there might be unintended consequences.

Long going, unresolved refugee crises are not unique to the Mideast – think of the Rohingya in Myanmar (Burma), which conflict is partially rooted in British colonial era policies, or the Lhotshampas from Bhutan.

The Mideast crisis gets more pressure because it explodes into open world politics.  The usual response given is that UNRWA aggravates the situation by promoting a right of return for Palestinians.

While complaints against UNRWA are accurate, there may be few happy alternatives.

What should UNRWA encourage these stateless people to accept?  Even were they now to be refused the term “refugee,” as most were born outside the borders of Israel, that still does not get rid of their existence.  One cannot seriously expect UNRWA schoolbooks to educate them as follows: “You are a stateless people without civil rights in the countries where you now reside!  Be happy!”

Take, for example, Lebanon, a country that was once majority Christian, and where the percentage of Christians in the population seems to be rebounding.  The Muslims in Lebanon are split between violently hostile Shia and Sunni.  Into this fractious country came Hezb’allah, sponsored by Iran, to take de facto control of the country.

The naturalization of 400,000 (primarily Sunni) Palestinians into Lebanon would be a demographic disaster and would toss the country into civil war again.  Moreover, such a naturalization would bring a call by the approximately 1 million plus – primarily Sunni – Syrian refugees for naturalization.  Neither the Lebanese Christians nor the Lebanese Shia would tolerate it.

There is no way those Palestinians in Lebanon will ever be granted any rights.  If the Palestinian refugee crisis is a threat to Israel, it is an even more immediate threat to Lebanon.

UNRWA schoolbooks might start blaming the host countries for not naturalizing these Palestinians, but how long would UNRWA be tolerated after that?

Some would counter, “If Arab countries wouldn’t tolerate a non-compliant UNRWA, why should Israel?”

The sad fact is, Israel gets a benefit out of UNRWA.

If, tomorrow, all funding from UNRWA stopped, would this solve Israel’s problems?  Apparently, some of Israel’s generals think otherwise.  According to the Likud-leaning Israel Hayom:

COGAT [the Office of the Coordinator of (Israeli) Government Activities in the Territories] objects to cuts in aid to UNRWA on practical grounds. … [T]he defense establishment … is afraid that if UNRWA is unable to help hundreds of thousands of needy Palestinians due to budget cuts, Israel will see rioting, an escalation in violence, and terrorist attacks.

There it is in a nutshell.  For all the complaints against UNRWA, there is a body of opinion that UNRWA keeps the pot from boiling over, if for no other reason than that UNRWA feeds the Palestinians in Gaza and Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).  Remove that lifeline, and either Israel will have to feed the Palestinians or hunger-fueled violence will increase.

Many in the Zionist community howl against UNRWA, but as Israel Hayom has noted:

A decade later, [COGAT Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad], as head of the Diplomatic-Security Branch of the Defense Ministry … coordinated with then-Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren to torpedo a congressional initiative against the [UNWRA] organization.  UNRWA might be bad, Gilad told Oren, but Hamas is worse.  Gilad’s successors have kept to that line, and like the IDF they see the UNRWA as the lesser of two evils.

Israel played both sides of the debate against U.S. funding.  The U.S. was excoriated for subsidizing UNRWA, but in quiet chambers, the congressmen were encouraged to vote for it.

The sad fact is, Israel, as much as the Palestinian Authority, benefits from UNRWA, though Israel likes to pretend otherwise.  What the U.S. does not provide to keep the peace, Israel may have to provide to some degree.  This can be easily observed in Palestinian purchasing habits.  Newsweek noted that “[m]any Palestinians have little choice but to purchase Israeli products.”  Cut UNRWA funding, lay off Palestinians, and it will also be Israeli manufacturers who are hurt.

Like it or not, indirectly, subsidies to UNRWA also subsidize Israel.  One can see why Israel quietly supported funding UNRWA.

All of this is a perpetual treating of the symptom, not the problem.

The problem is the “refugees,” including their descendants.  No one wants them.  Despised and disenfranchised people tend to get angry in response, and so we have violence.

The usual response is that the Palestinians have brought it on themselves, and to a certain extent, that is true.  But a lot of that bad behavior of the Palestinians is a response to their situation.  Imperial Germany and Italy exported their poor and troublemakers to America, where, once treated better, these social problems became upstanding Americans.  The same was true of other ethnic groups.  Ironically, the complaints against Palestinians among Arabs echo the early 20th-century complaints against Jews among Europeans.

While I agree that cutting UNRWA funding might be good, that still does not get rid of the 400,000 Palestinians in Lebanon, a Lebanon that could not safely absorb them.  There are roughly a half-million in Syria (or from Syria).  Syria under Alawite and Shia Baathist rule would never naturalize those Sunni Palestinians.  And so on, for the rest of the Arab world.  Nor will cutting UNRWA get rid of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, nor Gaza.

Everyone is treating the symptom, not a root cause.

To those who say the root cause is Islam, ask yourselves: if these Palestinians all became Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, would Israel take them all back?

No, Israel wants to remain a Jewish state.  Islam is a menace, but the statelessness of the Palestinians is a root cause.

I do not ask Israel to divide Jerusalem, nor to divide its patrimony, but the problem will not go away with UNRWA.  As I have said many times, the Palestinians have to be relocated and settled into other communities.  I am not suggesting Europe, as Europe is already dying out.

Strong diplomatic pressure should be put on the two areas of the world that could absorb these people: the Arab world and South America, which has a history of absorbing Arabs.  In the latter case, those wanting to go to South America must either be Christian or agree to convert.

Strong diplomatic and financial pressure should be brought to bear, with strong financial incentives for agreement.  And yes, the world Jewish community, which would be the chief beneficiary, should contribute substantially.  In 2010, the N.Y. Post reported million-dollar bar mitzvahs.  If they really wanted to celebrate their Jewish heritage, they could have gone to a kosher restaurant and used the saved money to relocate some Palestinians out of Judea and Samaria, thus making the Jewish state more Jewish.

It will cost.

This is the only solution. Anything else is Band-Aids.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com.



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The Resurrection of Jesus: An Inconvenient Fact


This Sunday, Christians around the world will celebrate Easter.  Some prefer to call it Resurrection Day.  Now most Christians – whether nominal or serious – just accept the holiday without much thought. But if they would examine the claims, most Christians would be shocked.

The basic premise behind Christianity is that humanity, and also by extension the universe, is flawed – the theological term is fallen – so flawed that there is no way any human could set himself right with a just, perfect, and holy Creator.  If humanity is to be reconciled to the Creator, it must be the effort of the Creator Himself, since only the Creator is capable of effecting  such as massive work.

Christianity’s claim is that the Creator did come down to Earth, with the purpose of reconciling God to man, in the person of Jesus Christ, who is both man and God.  His human nature would be the Son of God through a virgin; his divine nature would be God incarnate.

Jesus would absorb all the wrongs of mankind in Himself to clear out the account.  The classic wording for this is that He (Jesus) paid the penalty for our sins.  If one is more modern, and eschews the concept of retributive justice, then one could say Jesus absorbed within Himself all the consequences of man’s wrongs, with the idea of setting it right.

Now, the idea of suffering on someone else’s behalf is not new, but Christianity takes the concept a large step forward and makes this claim: death would not be able to hold Jesus, and He would come out of the grave.  And this resurrection would be the signature that Christ indeed set things right between God and man.  Indeed, He would more than pay the price for man’s transgressions.

Many of us, who came out of nominal Christian homes, of whatever denomination, gave it little thought and just accepted it sort of vaguely – but if true, such a resurrection should stop us in our tracks.

No other religion makes this claim.

Mohammed did not claim to die for our sins, nor did he resurrect.  In fact, Mohammed admitted that he had his own sins.

Hinduism offers mankind just the possibility of setting things right by endless reincarnations, with the idea that over time, we will finally arrive at perfection ourselves.  The problem is that even if humans arrive at perfection, it does not do away with the bad karma accumulated from prior reincarnations.  In fact, the hidden flaw of Hinduism is that each reincarnation only makes our problems worse with an endless accretion of bad karma.

Buddhism, which is an outgrowth of Hinduism, has the same fatal flaw.

But what about this Jesus?  Was He like other humans in being sinful?  Christianity addresses the problem by stating that Jesus was unique in His sinlessness, by virtue of the fact that He is God, and therefore He, Jesus, did not have our sinful nature.  He is a rather unique case.

This is further amplified by an Old Testament (Tenach) prophecy, where it is stated that Jesus would bear the sins of others, not his own.

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs

And carried our sorrows;

Yet we esteemed Him stricken,

Smitten by God, and afflicted.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed. …


And He bore the sin of many,

And made intercession for the transgressors.

This is the famous “suffering servant” passage of Isaiah 53.  Some have claimed that the passage refers to Israel (the Jewish people themselves); however, verse 3 notes that “[w]e [the Jewish people] did not esteem Him.”  Now, if the suffering servant were Israel, then it means that the Jewish people did not esteem themselves.  Whatever the many virtues and flaws of the Jewish people, they do not generally lack for self-esteem.  Without such self-esteem, they would not have survived the diaspora, but would have merged into the other nations.  No, this passage is referring to an individual who would die for the sins of others.

The whole process is conditioned on this person coming out of the grave.  If He did not resurrect, He would have been as sinful as the rest of us, deserving of death, and unable to pay for anyone else’s sins.  But, if He were the Son of God, He would be infinite in value, and His sacrifice could atone for whoever accepted it.

The fact is that if Jesus did not come out of that grave, then Christianity is pointless, despite what liberal preachers say.  Christianity is not positive thinking or a good attitude.  Either Christ came out of that grave or the whole religion is a fraud.

As Paul wrote, “[a]nd if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (1 Cor. 15:14).

But if Jesus did come out of that grave,  then all of history changes.  The ramifications are immense.

  1. Islam is false.
  2. Hinduism is false.
  3. Buddhism is false.
  4. Rabbinic Judaism – which rejects Christ – is incomplete.

If He came out of that grave, then He is the only way to God.  Think about it: if we could save ourselves, why would God have even sent Jesus to die for us and then resurrect?  We can’t earn our way back to Heaven.  Our good deeds will not save us.

Christianity, though producing a tolerant civilization, makes a unique claim.  Not only is there only one God – both Judaism and Islam agree on that point – but the only way to approach that God is through His Son – which both Islam and Rabbinic Judaism deny.

I am not going to go into other points such as the Trinity, denominational doctrines, etc.

The first thing you have to do – if you have not decided it already – is settle once and for all: did Jesus come out of that grave?

If He did, then that is a very inconvenient fact for much of the world, including merely nominal Christians – but it is also the central drama of history.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com.

This Sunday, Christians around the world will celebrate Easter.  Some prefer to call it Resurrection Day.  Now most Christians – whether nominal or serious – just accept the holiday without much thought. But if they would examine the claims, most Christians would be shocked.

The basic premise behind Christianity is that humanity, and also by extension the universe, is flawed – the theological term is fallen – so flawed that there is no way any human could set himself right with a just, perfect, and holy Creator.  If humanity is to be reconciled to the Creator, it must be the effort of the Creator Himself, since only the Creator is capable of effecting  such as massive work.

Christianity’s claim is that the Creator did come down to Earth, with the purpose of reconciling God to man, in the person of Jesus Christ, who is both man and God.  His human nature would be the Son of God through a virgin; his divine nature would be God incarnate.

Jesus would absorb all the wrongs of mankind in Himself to clear out the account.  The classic wording for this is that He (Jesus) paid the penalty for our sins.  If one is more modern, and eschews the concept of retributive justice, then one could say Jesus absorbed within Himself all the consequences of man’s wrongs, with the idea of setting it right.

Now, the idea of suffering on someone else’s behalf is not new, but Christianity takes the concept a large step forward and makes this claim: death would not be able to hold Jesus, and He would come out of the grave.  And this resurrection would be the signature that Christ indeed set things right between God and man.  Indeed, He would more than pay the price for man’s transgressions.

Many of us, who came out of nominal Christian homes, of whatever denomination, gave it little thought and just accepted it sort of vaguely – but if true, such a resurrection should stop us in our tracks.

No other religion makes this claim.

Mohammed did not claim to die for our sins, nor did he resurrect.  In fact, Mohammed admitted that he had his own sins.

Hinduism offers mankind just the possibility of setting things right by endless reincarnations, with the idea that over time, we will finally arrive at perfection ourselves.  The problem is that even if humans arrive at perfection, it does not do away with the bad karma accumulated from prior reincarnations.  In fact, the hidden flaw of Hinduism is that each reincarnation only makes our problems worse with an endless accretion of bad karma.

Buddhism, which is an outgrowth of Hinduism, has the same fatal flaw.

But what about this Jesus?  Was He like other humans in being sinful?  Christianity addresses the problem by stating that Jesus was unique in His sinlessness, by virtue of the fact that He is God, and therefore He, Jesus, did not have our sinful nature.  He is a rather unique case.

This is further amplified by an Old Testament (Tenach) prophecy, where it is stated that Jesus would bear the sins of others, not his own.

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs

And carried our sorrows;

Yet we esteemed Him stricken,

Smitten by God, and afflicted.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed. …


And He bore the sin of many,

And made intercession for the transgressors.

This is the famous “suffering servant” passage of Isaiah 53.  Some have claimed that the passage refers to Israel (the Jewish people themselves); however, verse 3 notes that “[w]e [the Jewish people] did not esteem Him.”  Now, if the suffering servant were Israel, then it means that the Jewish people did not esteem themselves.  Whatever the many virtues and flaws of the Jewish people, they do not generally lack for self-esteem.  Without such self-esteem, they would not have survived the diaspora, but would have merged into the other nations.  No, this passage is referring to an individual who would die for the sins of others.

The whole process is conditioned on this person coming out of the grave.  If He did not resurrect, He would have been as sinful as the rest of us, deserving of death, and unable to pay for anyone else’s sins.  But, if He were the Son of God, He would be infinite in value, and His sacrifice could atone for whoever accepted it.

The fact is that if Jesus did not come out of that grave, then Christianity is pointless, despite what liberal preachers say.  Christianity is not positive thinking or a good attitude.  Either Christ came out of that grave or the whole religion is a fraud.

As Paul wrote, “[a]nd if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (1 Cor. 15:14).

But if Jesus did come out of that grave,  then all of history changes.  The ramifications are immense.

  1. Islam is false.
  2. Hinduism is false.
  3. Buddhism is false.
  4. Rabbinic Judaism – which rejects Christ – is incomplete.

If He came out of that grave, then He is the only way to God.  Think about it: if we could save ourselves, why would God have even sent Jesus to die for us and then resurrect?  We can’t earn our way back to Heaven.  Our good deeds will not save us.

Christianity, though producing a tolerant civilization, makes a unique claim.  Not only is there only one God – both Judaism and Islam agree on that point – but the only way to approach that God is through His Son – which both Islam and Rabbinic Judaism deny.

I am not going to go into other points such as the Trinity, denominational doctrines, etc.

The first thing you have to do – if you have not decided it already – is settle once and for all: did Jesus come out of that grave?

If He did, then that is a very inconvenient fact for much of the world, including merely nominal Christians – but it is also the central drama of history.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com.



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Kim Dotcom: The Copyright Case that Should End but Won't


It has been six years since the compound of Kim Dotcom (né Kim Schmitz), a Finnish-German dual national, was raided, north of Auckland, New Zealand.  The official reason given was that his company, Megaupload, was facilitating criminal file-sharing of copyrighted movie and media files.

Kim Dotcom is not a flawless figure.  He was somewhat of a famous hacker in Europe, who had relocated to the South Pacific.  Everyone who meets Kim, such as Steven Wozniak (8:25 – Campbell Live) seems to find him personable.  What also comes across to the observant is that Kim is rather immature; he brags about his championship computer gaming skills.

Kim does have a criminal record – mostly black-hat hacking – but he claims, with some validity, that the last charge of insider trading in Germany was bogus, and he merely took a plea deal.

Kim was considered a flight risk and spent five months in jail before being offered probation and a small fine if he’d plead guilty.  “I was just tired,” Kim says. … “So I took the deal.  And there’s nothing I regret more.  Because if I hadn’t pled, I wouldn’t have had that ‘career criminal’ label.  And I wouldn’t be here today.”

His reputation preceded him, and the U.S. government paints him as a criminal mastermind rather than the hacking teenager who refused to grow up that he really is.

Kim and his associates ran a site called Megaupload, an early version of cloud storage, which was used by many to upload and share copyrighted media.  Hollywood was furious, but as a matter of fact, Megaupload was not the only website running such a storage system.  Dropbox was started in 2007.  In reality, Kim claims he worked with Hollywood to reduce piracy, and there seems to be some evidence of that.

Yet, the company also appeared to follow many of the regular industry practices related to taking down infringing content when publishers requested it through what are known as takedown notices.

At the time, Hollywood media moguls were still involved in a failing effort to get Congress to pass SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act), and Kim was portrayed as the major villain stealing Hollywood’s profits.  He became a poster boy for what was actually a worldwide phenomenon.

Under such a spotlight, any mature businessman would have lain low, but Kim, with all the bravado of a 15-year-old, released a major internet commercial bragging about Megaupload, using famous music stars.  Kim even gave himself a starring role in the video (starting at 1:23 and going for 30 seconds).  It was like waving a red flag in front of Hollywood and the U.S. government.  The video went viral.  Soon after, Kim’s compound was raided.

Kim was rubbing his success in Hollywood’s face.  What could one expect from a man who had luxury cars with vanity license plates like “God,” “Mafia,” and “Evil”? 

Okay, so Kim had never grown up – but does that mean he was guilty of such major pirating and money-laundering as the government claims?  He certainly made himself an easy target.

The Department of Justice alleges Dotcom together with Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato were members of a worldwide criminal organization which engaged in copyright infringement and money laundering, costing copyright holders more than $500 million.

The basic fact is that Kim Dotcom was doing only what other file storage platforms (see 7:03 at the link) were doing.

Thus in terms of the timing and even in terms of the legal arguments, the U.S. government’s attack on the website felt like it was acting as an arm of the recording industry and Hollywood.  Why else go so heavy and so hard against Megaupload, with a case that to some experts seemed overblown.

Presently, the U.S. government handling of the case has been so egregious that Kim has become sort of a hero standing up to a bully.

The National Security Agency (NSA) illegally used technology to spy on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, according to new documents from New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).

The raid on his house was over the top, as if Kim were Osama bin Laden.  When videos of the raid hit the internet, people were outraged.  The search warrants were invalid.  The N.Z. government has admitted to illegally spying on Kim.

Soon after the raid, Kim provided this major gem to the media, which seems to exonerate him.

DotCom also brought up another interesting point during the interview.  He said that while individual copyright owners had been critical of the service, not one major film studio or record company had ever filed suit against MegaUpload [sic] or even sent him a cease and desist letter.

Megaupload’s “free” service plan was rather limited, and it had no easy search option.  One couldn’t just search for the newest movie release.  And the 1GB limit was too small for a movie DVD.  This was not a user-friendly service for those seeking to download movies.  This was not like Napster.

On TV, Kim added (6:50 at the link) that he allowed studios unfettered open access to his servers to remove links, which must have really been a humiliating admission for a former hacker.

It has come out, as the government case is crumbling, that the government may charge Kim with sharing movie files among his partners.  That’s it?  That may not be even actionable, if he bought the original DVD.

Of course, now some American media outlets claim that New Zealand is fed up with Kim.  How much of that is Hollywood spin is anyone’s guess.  If one goes to techie sites, or outside the loop of American media outlets, Kim Dotcom is still a techie rock star who has frustrated the U.S. government for years.

Recently, under the pretext of Kim being a fugitive from justice, the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the forfeiture of Kim’s seized assets.  But Kim is not running from anyone.  He is fighting through the New Zealand court system.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected New Zealand-based internet mogul Kim Dotcom’s challenge to the U.S. government’s bid to seize assets held [outside the U.S.] by him.

All of this raises a deep question.  Who is looking more foolish: Kim or the U.S. government’s prosecution?  The New Zealand government has already admitted that copyright cases were not criminal under New Zealand law at that time.

But if there was no copyright crime, where was the fraud?  The money-laundering case may fall apart. 

While Kim still lives extravagantly, one of his associates, Finn Batato, the advertising manager, is living week to week in New Zealand.  Finn is a tragicomic case.  He flew in to New Zealand only for Kim’s birthday party when the raid occurred.  Had he remained in Europe, he would be a free man, as the Germans have refused to extradite Sven Echternach, another Megaupload associate.

Finn has to work with a court-appointed defense attorney while he lives on a small allowance from a bank account frozen while the case goes on.

Kim claims that this case was spurred on by Barack Obama just to please his Hollywood supporters, and he seems to have a good case.  However, with the change of administration, the case has not been dropped.  The Deep State runs deep.

Kim Dotcom is not exactly a stellar hero in anyone’s book.  He is quite bombastic, albeit personable.  However, the origin of this case, and its implementation, is so muddled that one wonders if Hollywood, and the U.S. government’s handling of the case, is not far more embarrassing than anything Kim Dotcom did, if he did anything at all.  He will never get a fair trial here in America.

The case should be dropped, and Kim should be told to grow up.  The U.S. government should leave Kim alone.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com.

Image: Robert O’Neill via Wikimedia Commons.

It has been six years since the compound of Kim Dotcom (né Kim Schmitz), a Finnish-German dual national, was raided, north of Auckland, New Zealand.  The official reason given was that his company, Megaupload, was facilitating criminal file-sharing of copyrighted movie and media files.

Kim Dotcom is not a flawless figure.  He was somewhat of a famous hacker in Europe, who had relocated to the South Pacific.  Everyone who meets Kim, such as Steven Wozniak (8:25 – Campbell Live) seems to find him personable.  What also comes across to the observant is that Kim is rather immature; he brags about his championship computer gaming skills.

Kim does have a criminal record – mostly black-hat hacking – but he claims, with some validity, that the last charge of insider trading in Germany was bogus, and he merely took a plea deal.

Kim was considered a flight risk and spent five months in jail before being offered probation and a small fine if he’d plead guilty.  “I was just tired,” Kim says. … “So I took the deal.  And there’s nothing I regret more.  Because if I hadn’t pled, I wouldn’t have had that ‘career criminal’ label.  And I wouldn’t be here today.”

His reputation preceded him, and the U.S. government paints him as a criminal mastermind rather than the hacking teenager who refused to grow up that he really is.

Kim and his associates ran a site called Megaupload, an early version of cloud storage, which was used by many to upload and share copyrighted media.  Hollywood was furious, but as a matter of fact, Megaupload was not the only website running such a storage system.  Dropbox was started in 2007.  In reality, Kim claims he worked with Hollywood to reduce piracy, and there seems to be some evidence of that.

Yet, the company also appeared to follow many of the regular industry practices related to taking down infringing content when publishers requested it through what are known as takedown notices.

At the time, Hollywood media moguls were still involved in a failing effort to get Congress to pass SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act), and Kim was portrayed as the major villain stealing Hollywood’s profits.  He became a poster boy for what was actually a worldwide phenomenon.

Under such a spotlight, any mature businessman would have lain low, but Kim, with all the bravado of a 15-year-old, released a major internet commercial bragging about Megaupload, using famous music stars.  Kim even gave himself a starring role in the video (starting at 1:23 and going for 30 seconds).  It was like waving a red flag in front of Hollywood and the U.S. government.  The video went viral.  Soon after, Kim’s compound was raided.

Kim was rubbing his success in Hollywood’s face.  What could one expect from a man who had luxury cars with vanity license plates like “God,” “Mafia,” and “Evil”? 

Okay, so Kim had never grown up – but does that mean he was guilty of such major pirating and money-laundering as the government claims?  He certainly made himself an easy target.

The Department of Justice alleges Dotcom together with Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato were members of a worldwide criminal organization which engaged in copyright infringement and money laundering, costing copyright holders more than $500 million.

The basic fact is that Kim Dotcom was doing only what other file storage platforms (see 7:03 at the link) were doing.

Thus in terms of the timing and even in terms of the legal arguments, the U.S. government’s attack on the website felt like it was acting as an arm of the recording industry and Hollywood.  Why else go so heavy and so hard against Megaupload, with a case that to some experts seemed overblown.

Presently, the U.S. government handling of the case has been so egregious that Kim has become sort of a hero standing up to a bully.

The National Security Agency (NSA) illegally used technology to spy on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, according to new documents from New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).

The raid on his house was over the top, as if Kim were Osama bin Laden.  When videos of the raid hit the internet, people were outraged.  The search warrants were invalid.  The N.Z. government has admitted to illegally spying on Kim.

Soon after the raid, Kim provided this major gem to the media, which seems to exonerate him.

DotCom also brought up another interesting point during the interview.  He said that while individual copyright owners had been critical of the service, not one major film studio or record company had ever filed suit against MegaUpload [sic] or even sent him a cease and desist letter.

Megaupload’s “free” service plan was rather limited, and it had no easy search option.  One couldn’t just search for the newest movie release.  And the 1GB limit was too small for a movie DVD.  This was not a user-friendly service for those seeking to download movies.  This was not like Napster.

On TV, Kim added (6:50 at the link) that he allowed studios unfettered open access to his servers to remove links, which must have really been a humiliating admission for a former hacker.

It has come out, as the government case is crumbling, that the government may charge Kim with sharing movie files among his partners.  That’s it?  That may not be even actionable, if he bought the original DVD.

Of course, now some American media outlets claim that New Zealand is fed up with Kim.  How much of that is Hollywood spin is anyone’s guess.  If one goes to techie sites, or outside the loop of American media outlets, Kim Dotcom is still a techie rock star who has frustrated the U.S. government for years.

Recently, under the pretext of Kim being a fugitive from justice, the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the forfeiture of Kim’s seized assets.  But Kim is not running from anyone.  He is fighting through the New Zealand court system.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected New Zealand-based internet mogul Kim Dotcom’s challenge to the U.S. government’s bid to seize assets held [outside the U.S.] by him.

All of this raises a deep question.  Who is looking more foolish: Kim or the U.S. government’s prosecution?  The New Zealand government has already admitted that copyright cases were not criminal under New Zealand law at that time.

But if there was no copyright crime, where was the fraud?  The money-laundering case may fall apart. 

While Kim still lives extravagantly, one of his associates, Finn Batato, the advertising manager, is living week to week in New Zealand.  Finn is a tragicomic case.  He flew in to New Zealand only for Kim’s birthday party when the raid occurred.  Had he remained in Europe, he would be a free man, as the Germans have refused to extradite Sven Echternach, another Megaupload associate.

Finn has to work with a court-appointed defense attorney while he lives on a small allowance from a bank account frozen while the case goes on.

Kim claims that this case was spurred on by Barack Obama just to please his Hollywood supporters, and he seems to have a good case.  However, with the change of administration, the case has not been dropped.  The Deep State runs deep.

Kim Dotcom is not exactly a stellar hero in anyone’s book.  He is quite bombastic, albeit personable.  However, the origin of this case, and its implementation, is so muddled that one wonders if Hollywood, and the U.S. government’s handling of the case, is not far more embarrassing than anything Kim Dotcom did, if he did anything at all.  He will never get a fair trial here in America.

The case should be dropped, and Kim should be told to grow up.  The U.S. government should leave Kim alone.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com.

Image: Robert O’Neill via Wikimedia Commons.



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American Jews and Inconsistency on Immigration


Senator Schumer is a strong supporter of Israel.  In fact, “Schumer says he advised Trump to declare Jerusalem Israel’s ‘undivided’ capital[.]”

What is striking here is an obvious inconsistency.  Israel is adamant about preserving its Jewish identity in a way that America and many European nations are not.  Israel radically favors Jewish immigrants.  Presently, Israel is trying to rid itself of African refugees and has threatened those who refuse to leave with imprisonment.

Now, one has to wonder why a strong supporter of Israel, such as Senator Schumer, is not as critical of Israel’s planned deportations as he is of Trump’s – or conversely, if he is accepting of Israel’s deportations, why is he critical of President Trump?  Apparently, Senator Schumer sees no problem with Israel maintaining its ethnic Jewish identity, yet somehow he feels obliged to act otherwise concerning America’s ethnic core.

And yes, America still has an ethnic core.  Bluntly speaking, that core is white European, weighted toward Northern European.  That core is diminishing, to be sure, but most of the readers at American Thinker can remember a time when that American ethnic core was uncontested.

After 1924, quotas for immigration to the United States favored ethnic groups from seven countries in descending order: Germany, Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Poland, Norway, and France.  With the exception of France, all of these countries were clearly Northern European, and Northern France might as well be.  My chief opinion of that historical quota is that it set the limit for Italians far too low.  The Italians deserved a higher number.  By way of disclosure, I am neither Italian in ancestry nor related to Italian-Americans, but a lot of my friends are.

The quotas were set up to maintain the approximate ethnic make-up of the United States, which, unlike Western Europe at that time, was not mono-ethnic, but, though poly-ethnic, comprised similar or related ethnic groups.  A South German (Munich) Catholic immigrant might be indistinguishable from an American WASP in all but religion.  A Swedish Protestant would be even blonder than the average American.  A glib Irishman might speak English better than a native-born cowboy.

There was room for play in the quotas, and they were modified over time, but until 1965, those were the general ratios.  No doubt, the quotas had been pushed by Nordic supremacists like Madison Grant, who wrote books warning against the decreasing Nordic-ness of America, such as The Passing of the Great Race.  But though Grant had some quite distasteful, and sometimes insane opinions about certain European ethnic groups, the quotas did maintain America’s rough ethnic core for 40 years.

It was these ethno-centric quotas that upset many of America’s elite.  Here is where it gets ironic: some of these elites were Jewish, such as Emanuel Celler.  Celler worked to overturn the quotas.

Celler made his first major speech on the House floor during consideration of the Johnson Immigration Act of 1924. … The Johnson Act of 1924, which Celler opposed …  virtually eliminat[ed] all immigrants other than those from England, France, Ireland[,] and Germany.

The quotas would last until 1965.  To be fair, the Kennedy family also pushed the change.

After 1948, Israel set up an ethno-centric quota system that not only favored, but subsidized Jewish immigrants.  Contrary to what is often declared, Israeli society radically favored Ashkenazi (European) Jews over Sephardi and Mizrahi (non-European) Jews.  There was quite a degree of discrimination.  

Discrimination against non-European Jews was bad enough that in the 1970s, groups of Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews formed a group called the Black Panthers, taking their name from the American group.  It is not that Israel did not absorb Mideastern Jews, but rather that its national elite were Ashkenazi Jews, and there was a social hierarchy.  The Mizrahi and Sephardi were mistreated.

I am not aware that Celler, who protested American quotas, ever criticized Israeli immigration policy.

Now, I am not opposed to any nation wanting to keep its ethnic center, provided that minorities are treated with equal rights.  I see no problem if France wants to remain European and stops any further Muslim immigration, provided that the Muslims already among them are treated fairly and encouraged to assimilate.  The same for Germany, Spain, Italy.  In this, I do not see a problem with much of Israel’s ethno-centric immigration policies.

However, Israel takes this a bit farther.  Israel does not allow mixed marriages among religions, nor does it allow civil marriage – and rabbis get to determine one’s Jewishness.

From The Guardian:

Reut T, a 28-year-old Israeli secretary, regards herself as a traditional and observant Jew, attending synagogue each week.  So having her Jewishness questioned when she wanted to marry was shocking and humiliating.


The news, delivered in a summons to a rabbinical court, came out of the blue.  Not only could she not be married by the rabbinate, she was told, but her very status as Jewish was being questioned[.]

From the Jerusalem Post:

The Chief Rabbinate is adding hundreds of people every year to two blacklists of citizens that will prevent them, their children[,] and their maternal relatives from ever marrying in Israel, newly available data show.

A questionable Gentile ancestor could be as damaging to an Israeli Jew hoping to get married in Israel as the possibility of a “negro” great grandparent could be to an otherwise white person in the Deep South during the Jim Crow era – as this blue-eyed woman (at the 24:22 mark) had to explain.  While laws have eased up in the United States, they are apparently getting more rigid in Israel as the rabbis seem to be getting stricter.

Members of the Jewish community in America – even liberals like Chuck Schumer – rarely mention this, while at the same time, they attack those who would defend America’s core ethnic identity like Donald Trump.  I find this inconsistent, and it has to be addressed.

I am not asking for marriage to be theocratically monopolized in America.  Nor am I saying America should be as white as is possible.  Nor would I forbid intermarriage.  I do not see anything racist if our immigration laws were to prefer that 75% of all immigrants be Western European in origin, provided the other 25% of immigrants were treated equally.  This would not be racist.  It would be preserving our ethnic core, just as Israel does, and given the secular nature of our Constitution, it would almost certainly be applied less rigidly.  I do not want America to define itself as a white or Christian state, even if Israel defines itself as a “Jewish state,” but I do think preserving that ethnic core is still valid.  One cannot accuse me of racism unless one also accuses Israel of an even more severe racism, which  I do not.

Probably the most atrocious example of this double standard came in 1973, when the popular TV show  Bridget Loves Bernie was canceled because some Jewish pressure groups were furious that American TV approved of Jewish-Christian intermarriage.

Meredith Baxter said, “We had bomb threats on the show.  Some guys from the Jewish Defense League came to my house to say they wanted to talk with me about changing the show.”  Threatening phone calls made to the home of producer Ralph Riskin resulted in the arrest of Robert S. Manning, described as a member of the Jewish Defense League.  Manning was later indicted on murder charges, and fought extradition to the U.S. from Israel, where he had moved.

Needless to say, the quite popular show was canceled.  Ironically, soon after that, the CBS network didn’t mind featuring an interracial couple on the The Jeffersons – historically, more controversial – after dodging the issue of Jewish-Christian marriages, which did not bother the public at large and actually had large-scale approval.

Again, I support Israel, and have no problem with a nation that wants to maintain its ethnic core, whatever that core is.  But I do have a problem with the double standard demonstrated by some, quite powerful, members of the Jewish-American community.  They should be called out on this.

This is not racism, but self-respect.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com.

This is an observation more than a critique, but it cannot help but be addressed.  The internet is making certain inconsistencies about Jewish-American politicians obvious.  It is something I have known about for decades but have kept quiet about, until I examined it more closely and became sure I was not overlooking a matter.

Recently, Senator Chuck Schumer battled with President Trump to tender protections to illegal aliens brought to the USA as children.  Now, I am not saying who is right or wrong in this debate.  In fact, I am closer to Senator Schumer’s opinion, though I was not in favor  of the government shutdown to force the issue.

Senator Schumer is a strong supporter of Israel.  In fact, “Schumer says he advised Trump to declare Jerusalem Israel’s ‘undivided’ capital[.]”

What is striking here is an obvious inconsistency.  Israel is adamant about preserving its Jewish identity in a way that America and many European nations are not.  Israel radically favors Jewish immigrants.  Presently, Israel is trying to rid itself of African refugees and has threatened those who refuse to leave with imprisonment.

Now, one has to wonder why a strong supporter of Israel, such as Senator Schumer, is not as critical of Israel’s planned deportations as he is of Trump’s – or conversely, if he is accepting of Israel’s deportations, why is he critical of President Trump?  Apparently, Senator Schumer sees no problem with Israel maintaining its ethnic Jewish identity, yet somehow he feels obliged to act otherwise concerning America’s ethnic core.

And yes, America still has an ethnic core.  Bluntly speaking, that core is white European, weighted toward Northern European.  That core is diminishing, to be sure, but most of the readers at American Thinker can remember a time when that American ethnic core was uncontested.

After 1924, quotas for immigration to the United States favored ethnic groups from seven countries in descending order: Germany, Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Poland, Norway, and France.  With the exception of France, all of these countries were clearly Northern European, and Northern France might as well be.  My chief opinion of that historical quota is that it set the limit for Italians far too low.  The Italians deserved a higher number.  By way of disclosure, I am neither Italian in ancestry nor related to Italian-Americans, but a lot of my friends are.

The quotas were set up to maintain the approximate ethnic make-up of the United States, which, unlike Western Europe at that time, was not mono-ethnic, but, though poly-ethnic, comprised similar or related ethnic groups.  A South German (Munich) Catholic immigrant might be indistinguishable from an American WASP in all but religion.  A Swedish Protestant would be even blonder than the average American.  A glib Irishman might speak English better than a native-born cowboy.

There was room for play in the quotas, and they were modified over time, but until 1965, those were the general ratios.  No doubt, the quotas had been pushed by Nordic supremacists like Madison Grant, who wrote books warning against the decreasing Nordic-ness of America, such as The Passing of the Great Race.  But though Grant had some quite distasteful, and sometimes insane opinions about certain European ethnic groups, the quotas did maintain America’s rough ethnic core for 40 years.

It was these ethno-centric quotas that upset many of America’s elite.  Here is where it gets ironic: some of these elites were Jewish, such as Emanuel Celler.  Celler worked to overturn the quotas.

Celler made his first major speech on the House floor during consideration of the Johnson Immigration Act of 1924. … The Johnson Act of 1924, which Celler opposed …  virtually eliminat[ed] all immigrants other than those from England, France, Ireland[,] and Germany.

The quotas would last until 1965.  To be fair, the Kennedy family also pushed the change.

After 1948, Israel set up an ethno-centric quota system that not only favored, but subsidized Jewish immigrants.  Contrary to what is often declared, Israeli society radically favored Ashkenazi (European) Jews over Sephardi and Mizrahi (non-European) Jews.  There was quite a degree of discrimination.  

Discrimination against non-European Jews was bad enough that in the 1970s, groups of Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews formed a group called the Black Panthers, taking their name from the American group.  It is not that Israel did not absorb Mideastern Jews, but rather that its national elite were Ashkenazi Jews, and there was a social hierarchy.  The Mizrahi and Sephardi were mistreated.

I am not aware that Celler, who protested American quotas, ever criticized Israeli immigration policy.

Now, I am not opposed to any nation wanting to keep its ethnic center, provided that minorities are treated with equal rights.  I see no problem if France wants to remain European and stops any further Muslim immigration, provided that the Muslims already among them are treated fairly and encouraged to assimilate.  The same for Germany, Spain, Italy.  In this, I do not see a problem with much of Israel’s ethno-centric immigration policies.

However, Israel takes this a bit farther.  Israel does not allow mixed marriages among religions, nor does it allow civil marriage – and rabbis get to determine one’s Jewishness.

From The Guardian:

Reut T, a 28-year-old Israeli secretary, regards herself as a traditional and observant Jew, attending synagogue each week.  So having her Jewishness questioned when she wanted to marry was shocking and humiliating.


The news, delivered in a summons to a rabbinical court, came out of the blue.  Not only could she not be married by the rabbinate, she was told, but her very status as Jewish was being questioned[.]

From the Jerusalem Post:

The Chief Rabbinate is adding hundreds of people every year to two blacklists of citizens that will prevent them, their children[,] and their maternal relatives from ever marrying in Israel, newly available data show.

A questionable Gentile ancestor could be as damaging to an Israeli Jew hoping to get married in Israel as the possibility of a “negro” great grandparent could be to an otherwise white person in the Deep South during the Jim Crow era – as this blue-eyed woman (at the 24:22 mark) had to explain.  While laws have eased up in the United States, they are apparently getting more rigid in Israel as the rabbis seem to be getting stricter.

Members of the Jewish community in America – even liberals like Chuck Schumer – rarely mention this, while at the same time, they attack those who would defend America’s core ethnic identity like Donald Trump.  I find this inconsistent, and it has to be addressed.

I am not asking for marriage to be theocratically monopolized in America.  Nor am I saying America should be as white as is possible.  Nor would I forbid intermarriage.  I do not see anything racist if our immigration laws were to prefer that 75% of all immigrants be Western European in origin, provided the other 25% of immigrants were treated equally.  This would not be racist.  It would be preserving our ethnic core, just as Israel does, and given the secular nature of our Constitution, it would almost certainly be applied less rigidly.  I do not want America to define itself as a white or Christian state, even if Israel defines itself as a “Jewish state,” but I do think preserving that ethnic core is still valid.  One cannot accuse me of racism unless one also accuses Israel of an even more severe racism, which  I do not.

Probably the most atrocious example of this double standard came in 1973, when the popular TV show  Bridget Loves Bernie was canceled because some Jewish pressure groups were furious that American TV approved of Jewish-Christian intermarriage.

Meredith Baxter said, “We had bomb threats on the show.  Some guys from the Jewish Defense League came to my house to say they wanted to talk with me about changing the show.”  Threatening phone calls made to the home of producer Ralph Riskin resulted in the arrest of Robert S. Manning, described as a member of the Jewish Defense League.  Manning was later indicted on murder charges, and fought extradition to the U.S. from Israel, where he had moved.

Needless to say, the quite popular show was canceled.  Ironically, soon after that, the CBS network didn’t mind featuring an interracial couple on the The Jeffersons – historically, more controversial – after dodging the issue of Jewish-Christian marriages, which did not bother the public at large and actually had large-scale approval.

Again, I support Israel, and have no problem with a nation that wants to maintain its ethnic core, whatever that core is.  But I do have a problem with the double standard demonstrated by some, quite powerful, members of the Jewish-American community.  They should be called out on this.

This is not racism, but self-respect.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com.



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Befuddlement in Catalonia


I am neither in favor of nor against Catalonia’s independence.  The recent turn of elections, where the independentistas won a majority of seats in the parliament, has proven nothing.  What does remain is an absolute amazement at the incompetence of Iberian government on all sides at all levels.  Aggravating this are remarkable levels of fake news.

Before one addresses the recent elections, which the independentistas won, we should start in June of 2017, when the Catalan government itself ran a poll.  The result showed a then embarrassing drop in support for independence, down to a mere 41.1%.  The link to the original poll on the government site has been “conveniently” taken down, but we know the results.

[T]he percentage of people supporting a Catalan independent state dropped to 41.1 percent in June [2017] from 44.3 percent in March.

Beneath all the hype, the independentistas did not have a clear majority as late as six months ago, and their own polls showed that support was decreasing at that time.  That the Catalan authorities even bothered to stage an election in October was beyond all reason, unless they planned to engineer results.

The central Madrid government declared the election illegal when it could have avoided a problem by declaring it merely pointless.  To be sure, Madrid’s violent actions to suppress the elections were thuggish and counterproductive.

A mere four months from the June poll that showed 41.1% approval, suddenly, the “approval” for independence jumped to an astounding 92% overall in October, if you can believe it.  Apparently, approval for independence had more than doubled in just four months.  Incredible!  The Catalan government sold the election results to the world as a truly democratic expression of the will of the Catalan people.  One is amazed at how many people bought that line.

Clearly, what happened is that only one side showed up to vote in October, with the pro-Madrid electorate preferring to obey Madrid’s prohibition on voting in an illegal election.

This is not to favor Madrid.  Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Partido Popular (Popular Party) has a reputation for quasi-fascist sympathies.

Over the past decade, The Partido Popular has intervened through lawsuits and legal trickery to suppress expressions of Catalan autonomy, in a manner the Catalans rightly considered unconstitutional.  By 2010, the Catalans had had enough, and the drive for independence started with a massive rally in Barcelona.

This much can be seen in this video of the 2010 rally: 

Along the way, Madrid authorities handed down positively obscene rulings like overturning a Catalan ban on bullfighting.

One gets a sense of provocations from the central Madrid authorities akin to the Intolerable Acts that led to the American Revolution.

But there the similarities end.

Contrary to what is told in popular American history, our forefathers laid strong groundwork to gain popular support.  The ratio of one third in favor of the Revolution, one third against, and one third neutral is based on an unreliable quote, attributed to John Adams, but without merit.  Adams’s quote actually referred to American sympathies with the French Revolution. 

In reality, the popularity of the American Revolution was much stronger, and while Tories were a problem, they were a clear minority.

There is evidence a large part of the population supported independence before the reluctant leaders in the Congress would vote upon or commit that sentiment to paper.


… Recent historians of the Loyalists, such as William Nelson, have estimated them at no more than a sixth of the population.

The Founders would never have started the Revolution with the low support base seen in Catalonia.  The American Revolution was a bottom-up operation, where the leaders reflected the will of the people. Barcelona was a top-down fiasco, where the leaders tried to engineer a false majority.

False?  Regarding the December vote:

The pro-independence parties did not, however, win the popular vote, failing once again to secure a share of more than 50%.

The secessionist parties defied consistent poll predictions of a hung parliament to secure an absolute majority of 70 seats out of 135, and 47.5 percent of the popular vote. Meanwhile the unionist bloc took 57 seats, with 43.4 percent of the vote[.]

The independentistas won a razor-thin majority in the Catalan parliament, but only because the results were tilted by district-apportioning that favored the more Catalan rural districts.  Barcelona itself is not as secessionist as the rest of Catalonia, and the independentistas know it.

Madrid-supporters have used that anomaly to call for Tabarnia (a coastal region including Barcelona) to secede from Catalonia.  Moreover, Franco purposefully planted Spaniards in Catalonia to frustrate Catalonian designs. They are a large group today.  Britain tried the same stunt in Ireland by planting British settlers in Ulster, but the unionists remained a rather small minority for most of the period of British rule, which led to the gerrymandering of Ulster to create an artificial local majority.  Franco was more thorough.  Catalan unionists are a rather large segment at 43.4%.  The independentistas have not won them over.

Worse yet, the independentistas have relied on Muslim immigrants educated in Catalan, with no attachment to Madrid, to fortify their vote.  They use outsiders no less than Franco.

So what we see is popular support for independence at 41.1% in June, 92% in October, and then back down to 47.5% in December.  Look at those numbers!  Do they look stable?  If anything, it is the October vote that is the most unreliable.  This is not the way to win a revolution.

The amount of corruption in both Madrid and Barcelona is appalling, and this crisis is being manipulated by both sides to hide it.

Both the ruling PP party and Catalonia’s independentists are using the national question to whitewash their own history of corruption and enthusiasm for austerity.

The incompetence of Barcelona is perfectly matched by Prime Minister Rajoy, who must have been out of his mind to order another election and to expect better results.

Prime Minister Rajoy’s People’s Party (Partido Popular) lost most of its seats in the Thursday election, dropping from 11 to three.

Probably in recognition of its failure, Madrid has ordered withdrawal of Spanish police.

What Spain will do now is anybody’s guess.  The independentistas have won a “questionable” victory, but not a mandate.  Prime Minister Rajoy has suffered a major defeat.  Neither side has a true appreciation for democracy; rather, both show a willingness to manipulate results.

What we see is a European tendency for leaders to manipulate the electorate rather than lead the stirrings of popular will.

No side is correct in Catalonia.  The independentistas should have waited for another generation of language education to take hold so that the unionists could have been won over to a Catalan sensibility.  Catalan use is growing, but it is often a second language still.

Beneath all of this is the fake press.  European news sources are incredibly biased one way or the other.  It is astounding to see how this Euro paper or that Euro news site delivers only half the story with no substantial explanation.

Catalonia is a mess, in every sense of the word.  Both sides are manipulative and corrupt.  These elections prove nothing except that European “democracy” has never even risen to the level of Tammany Hall.  Tammany, at least, knew how to sense the public mood and knew when to back off.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com.

I am neither in favor of nor against Catalonia’s independence.  The recent turn of elections, where the independentistas won a majority of seats in the parliament, has proven nothing.  What does remain is an absolute amazement at the incompetence of Iberian government on all sides at all levels.  Aggravating this are remarkable levels of fake news.

Before one addresses the recent elections, which the independentistas won, we should start in June of 2017, when the Catalan government itself ran a poll.  The result showed a then embarrassing drop in support for independence, down to a mere 41.1%.  The link to the original poll on the government site has been “conveniently” taken down, but we know the results.

[T]he percentage of people supporting a Catalan independent state dropped to 41.1 percent in June [2017] from 44.3 percent in March.

Beneath all the hype, the independentistas did not have a clear majority as late as six months ago, and their own polls showed that support was decreasing at that time.  That the Catalan authorities even bothered to stage an election in October was beyond all reason, unless they planned to engineer results.

The central Madrid government declared the election illegal when it could have avoided a problem by declaring it merely pointless.  To be sure, Madrid’s violent actions to suppress the elections were thuggish and counterproductive.

A mere four months from the June poll that showed 41.1% approval, suddenly, the “approval” for independence jumped to an astounding 92% overall in October, if you can believe it.  Apparently, approval for independence had more than doubled in just four months.  Incredible!  The Catalan government sold the election results to the world as a truly democratic expression of the will of the Catalan people.  One is amazed at how many people bought that line.

Clearly, what happened is that only one side showed up to vote in October, with the pro-Madrid electorate preferring to obey Madrid’s prohibition on voting in an illegal election.

This is not to favor Madrid.  Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Partido Popular (Popular Party) has a reputation for quasi-fascist sympathies.

Over the past decade, The Partido Popular has intervened through lawsuits and legal trickery to suppress expressions of Catalan autonomy, in a manner the Catalans rightly considered unconstitutional.  By 2010, the Catalans had had enough, and the drive for independence started with a massive rally in Barcelona.

This much can be seen in this video of the 2010 rally: 

Along the way, Madrid authorities handed down positively obscene rulings like overturning a Catalan ban on bullfighting.

One gets a sense of provocations from the central Madrid authorities akin to the Intolerable Acts that led to the American Revolution.

But there the similarities end.

Contrary to what is told in popular American history, our forefathers laid strong groundwork to gain popular support.  The ratio of one third in favor of the Revolution, one third against, and one third neutral is based on an unreliable quote, attributed to John Adams, but without merit.  Adams’s quote actually referred to American sympathies with the French Revolution. 

In reality, the popularity of the American Revolution was much stronger, and while Tories were a problem, they were a clear minority.

There is evidence a large part of the population supported independence before the reluctant leaders in the Congress would vote upon or commit that sentiment to paper.


… Recent historians of the Loyalists, such as William Nelson, have estimated them at no more than a sixth of the population.

The Founders would never have started the Revolution with the low support base seen in Catalonia.  The American Revolution was a bottom-up operation, where the leaders reflected the will of the people. Barcelona was a top-down fiasco, where the leaders tried to engineer a false majority.

False?  Regarding the December vote:

The pro-independence parties did not, however, win the popular vote, failing once again to secure a share of more than 50%.

The secessionist parties defied consistent poll predictions of a hung parliament to secure an absolute majority of 70 seats out of 135, and 47.5 percent of the popular vote. Meanwhile the unionist bloc took 57 seats, with 43.4 percent of the vote[.]

The independentistas won a razor-thin majority in the Catalan parliament, but only because the results were tilted by district-apportioning that favored the more Catalan rural districts.  Barcelona itself is not as secessionist as the rest of Catalonia, and the independentistas know it.

Madrid-supporters have used that anomaly to call for Tabarnia (a coastal region including Barcelona) to secede from Catalonia.  Moreover, Franco purposefully planted Spaniards in Catalonia to frustrate Catalonian designs. They are a large group today.  Britain tried the same stunt in Ireland by planting British settlers in Ulster, but the unionists remained a rather small minority for most of the period of British rule, which led to the gerrymandering of Ulster to create an artificial local majority.  Franco was more thorough.  Catalan unionists are a rather large segment at 43.4%.  The independentistas have not won them over.

Worse yet, the independentistas have relied on Muslim immigrants educated in Catalan, with no attachment to Madrid, to fortify their vote.  They use outsiders no less than Franco.

So what we see is popular support for independence at 41.1% in June, 92% in October, and then back down to 47.5% in December.  Look at those numbers!  Do they look stable?  If anything, it is the October vote that is the most unreliable.  This is not the way to win a revolution.

The amount of corruption in both Madrid and Barcelona is appalling, and this crisis is being manipulated by both sides to hide it.

Both the ruling PP party and Catalonia’s independentists are using the national question to whitewash their own history of corruption and enthusiasm for austerity.

The incompetence of Barcelona is perfectly matched by Prime Minister Rajoy, who must have been out of his mind to order another election and to expect better results.

Prime Minister Rajoy’s People’s Party (Partido Popular) lost most of its seats in the Thursday election, dropping from 11 to three.

Probably in recognition of its failure, Madrid has ordered withdrawal of Spanish police.

What Spain will do now is anybody’s guess.  The independentistas have won a “questionable” victory, but not a mandate.  Prime Minister Rajoy has suffered a major defeat.  Neither side has a true appreciation for democracy; rather, both show a willingness to manipulate results.

What we see is a European tendency for leaders to manipulate the electorate rather than lead the stirrings of popular will.

No side is correct in Catalonia.  The independentistas should have waited for another generation of language education to take hold so that the unionists could have been won over to a Catalan sensibility.  Catalan use is growing, but it is often a second language still.

Beneath all of this is the fake press.  European news sources are incredibly biased one way or the other.  It is astounding to see how this Euro paper or that Euro news site delivers only half the story with no substantial explanation.

Catalonia is a mess, in every sense of the word.  Both sides are manipulative and corrupt.  These elections prove nothing except that European “democracy” has never even risen to the level of Tammany Hall.  Tammany, at least, knew how to sense the public mood and knew when to back off.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago.  He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com.



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After the Victory



It’s wrong. And it’s no way to treat a friend. — Jealous for Jerusalem: Trump’s Semi-Recognition (Judean Rose) — ElderofZiyon Blogspot

The above comment aside, most people feel that Trump’s declaration was a slap in the face against the Palestinians, not the Jewish people. Trump has kept a major campaign promise, which is rare for a politician; and for that alone, he deserves praise.

However, an ugly possibility has been raised, one which some Israelis had warned about, and which few American observers saw coming: The Palestinians are seriously considering a one-state solution. This will be much harder to contest.

“President Trump has delivered a message to the Palestinian people: the two-state solution is over. Now is the time to transform the struggle for one-state with equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine, from the river to the sea,” Erekat said. — Ha’aretz citing Saeb Erakat, Palestinian diplomat.

Some might see this as a bluff, but I am not the only one who saw this as a real possibility.

Israel — admittedly for security reasons — controls the borders, the population registry, the export and import of goods, local road checkpoints, the airspace, and the electromagnetic spectrum of the Palestinians. Israel has to protect itself. However, such controls, even though necessary, do away with any pretense of possible independence for the Palestinians. Indeed, they even do away with any real concept of autonomy. It does not even rise to the level of an Indian reservation. The Palestinian Authority’s authority is rather abbreviated.

Good! many might say. The Palestinians do not deserve it.

That may be true. The Palestinians may not deserve anything better; but as I have noted many times, the Palestinians will not accept this status. And, if we are honest, few people under similar situations would.

So while justice itself applauds Trump’s decision, the Palestinians feel that the last insult has been handed to them; and they are considering a major change of tactics.

If the two-state solution fails, Palestinians will back a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with full rights for all citizens, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday. — Times of Israel, November 11, 2017

I know many proud Zionists here will dismiss such an idea, but the threat is real. Very real.

The Israel war hero Ehud Barak had warned Israel about this years ago.

“As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic,” Barak said. “If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.” — Guardian, 2010

I know that one is not supposed to apply the A-word [Apartheid] to Israel, but how else does one describe the emerging situation when a former Prime Minister Ehud Barak made the observation, using the very word himself?

Like it or not, with the continuing construction of Jewish communities, and now with this Jerusalem declaration, the Palestinians now feel that an independent Palestine state is impossible. On major Palestinian politician, Dr. Barghouti has commented:

I think [the one state solution is] a good idea… I hope they would agree that we’d decide that from now on we will struggle for one-state solution and go back to the borders of the whole of Palestine, one democratic state for everybody with equal rights…


…But people have to understand what does one-state solution mean? It means it’s not going to be a Jewish state. It means I can run to be the prime minister of that state. And a Palestinian could become the head of that state. And we would have more than half of the… There will be equal rights, which means Palestinian refugees will have the chance and right to come back whenever they want like Jewish people do. It means full equality.


Of course, Israel is not only adamant against one-state solution. It’s even much more adamant than even opposing the two-state solution. In reality, Israel does not want neither two-state solution nor one-state solution. They want us out of our land. — Dr. Mustafa Barghouti on the Real News Network

Some have said that the Palestinian leadership will never give up their perks, their embassies, their salaries, and their limousines. It seems that now they are seriously considering it. Corruption aside, the point may be moot. Whether the leadership is willing to change or not, the Palestinian street now sees Abbas as a de facto Israeli lackey, and they want to get rid of the old Fatah machine. Recent American restrictions on the PA are also forcing the issue.

To paraphrase what one astute commentator noted: the best that Israel could offer the Palestinians would be less than they would accept, and the minimum that the Palestinians would accept would be more than Israel could give.

No stable Palestinian entity — whether state, autonomous zone, or severely controlled reservation — is possible. I blame the Palestinians for much of this, but I also blame those Israelis who concoct ridiculously circumscribed programs in the hopes that Palestinians will accept them. Among the most unbelievably ludicrous ideas proferred is to set up eight small emirates in Judea and Samaria.

Why stop at eight? Why not break them further down into competing high school basketball teams? Dr. Mordecai Kedar, who is a brilliant man, came up with this idea. I suspect that he, and others like him, are so desperate for peace that they construct these theoretical solutions without considering that the Palestinians, for all their Arab insanity, will resolutely resist them.

It is apparent now that the two-state solution is dead. It was never a good idea to begin with. Maybe it was a stalling tactic for time. The Arabs used the peace process in the hopes they could re-arm. The Israelis used it in the hopes that could settle more Jews on the land before the process crashed. It was obvious from the inception that there was no way Jerusalem could be negotiated, which brings everything up to President Trump’s declaration.

Israel now has to decide what to do with those millions of hostile Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. Jordan will not accept any more of them. Egypt won’t. Lebanon won’t, etc. Hard choices have to be made, not wacky ideas like setting up emirates.

When the Palestinians start demanding a one-state solution, and they will — if it does not come from the leadership, it will come from the street — Israel will not be able to avoid a discussion of the A-word any more. Ehud Barak’s warning will have come full circle.

Israel has now been reduced to four possible solutions.

1) Accept a one-state solution. It will mean a temporarily secular state, which will soon enough, by virtue of an increased Palestinian vote, allow a right of return to Palestinian refugees, leading to an eventual Islamic state of sorts. Obviously, Israel will never accept this.

2) Start paying individual Palestinians to leave. It will be infuriating. Maybe unjust to the Jews to shell out the money, but it may be the only solution possible if a Jewish state from the Jordan River to the sea is to be maintained. It will be very expensive though.

3) Live with the title of an “Apartheid” state, which will become an international cry, even if it is not appropriate. Live with being considered a pariah, with all the consequences that accrue.

4) Ethnically cleanse the Palestinians. And don’t try to sanitize it by calling it a “population transfer.” Joshua ethnically cleansed the Canaanites. It may be necessary. Some will counter that Jews were expelled in the 1940s and 50s. Yes! The ethnic-cleansing of the Jews was horrible, wrong. But a counter ethnic-cleansing of Arabs is still an ethnic-cleansing. Admit it!

I have suggested option 2, the payout plan, for years. So has Dr. Martin Sherman. (and Here).

In 1947, at the UN, when the vote for partition came up, the Arabs counteroffered with a secular one-state solution. Anything in order to prevent a Jewish state. The Zionists would not accept it. Using some parliamentary tricks — along with some questionable backroom arm twisting — the Zionist side was able to get a partition of the Mandate, creating a Jewish state. Ironically, the options have come full circle and Israel is back to being faced with a one-state solution again.

When the Arabs embrace the one-state option, it will be difficult for Israel to deny them a franchise while still claiming to be “the only democracy in the Middle East.” Those at American Thinker may understand the vital difference between liberty and democracy, but the mainstream media, politicians worldwide, and pundits do not. Democracy is a siren song to most of the planet.

Now is the time to bite the bullet, and pay the Palestinians to leave, or prepare for a blowback that Israeli diplomacy will have a much harder time countering.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago. He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com, and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com

Israel has won a major victory with Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. I am happy for Israel, though some are still upset that Trump did not make a stronger declaration declaring that Jerusalem was indivisible.

[I]t looks as though Trump is… saying that Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem is negotiable, Trump is slapping the Jews in the face, and showing weakness to the Arabs. He’s giving the terrorists a leg up, and pushing the Jews down, forcing them to grovel for tidbits.


It’s wrong. And it’s no way to treat a friend. — Jealous for Jerusalem: Trump’s Semi-Recognition (Judean Rose) — ElderofZiyon Blogspot

The above comment aside, most people feel that Trump’s declaration was a slap in the face against the Palestinians, not the Jewish people. Trump has kept a major campaign promise, which is rare for a politician; and for that alone, he deserves praise.

However, an ugly possibility has been raised, one which some Israelis had warned about, and which few American observers saw coming: The Palestinians are seriously considering a one-state solution. This will be much harder to contest.

“President Trump has delivered a message to the Palestinian people: the two-state solution is over. Now is the time to transform the struggle for one-state with equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine, from the river to the sea,” Erekat said. — Ha’aretz citing Saeb Erakat, Palestinian diplomat.

Some might see this as a bluff, but I am not the only one who saw this as a real possibility.

Israel — admittedly for security reasons — controls the borders, the population registry, the export and import of goods, local road checkpoints, the airspace, and the electromagnetic spectrum of the Palestinians. Israel has to protect itself. However, such controls, even though necessary, do away with any pretense of possible independence for the Palestinians. Indeed, they even do away with any real concept of autonomy. It does not even rise to the level of an Indian reservation. The Palestinian Authority’s authority is rather abbreviated.

Good! many might say. The Palestinians do not deserve it.

That may be true. The Palestinians may not deserve anything better; but as I have noted many times, the Palestinians will not accept this status. And, if we are honest, few people under similar situations would.

So while justice itself applauds Trump’s decision, the Palestinians feel that the last insult has been handed to them; and they are considering a major change of tactics.

If the two-state solution fails, Palestinians will back a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with full rights for all citizens, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday. — Times of Israel, November 11, 2017

I know many proud Zionists here will dismiss such an idea, but the threat is real. Very real.

The Israel war hero Ehud Barak had warned Israel about this years ago.

“As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic,” Barak said. “If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.” — Guardian, 2010

I know that one is not supposed to apply the A-word [Apartheid] to Israel, but how else does one describe the emerging situation when a former Prime Minister Ehud Barak made the observation, using the very word himself?

Like it or not, with the continuing construction of Jewish communities, and now with this Jerusalem declaration, the Palestinians now feel that an independent Palestine state is impossible. On major Palestinian politician, Dr. Barghouti has commented:

I think [the one state solution is] a good idea… I hope they would agree that we’d decide that from now on we will struggle for one-state solution and go back to the borders of the whole of Palestine, one democratic state for everybody with equal rights…


…But people have to understand what does one-state solution mean? It means it’s not going to be a Jewish state. It means I can run to be the prime minister of that state. And a Palestinian could become the head of that state. And we would have more than half of the… There will be equal rights, which means Palestinian refugees will have the chance and right to come back whenever they want like Jewish people do. It means full equality.


Of course, Israel is not only adamant against one-state solution. It’s even much more adamant than even opposing the two-state solution. In reality, Israel does not want neither two-state solution nor one-state solution. They want us out of our land. — Dr. Mustafa Barghouti on the Real News Network

Some have said that the Palestinian leadership will never give up their perks, their embassies, their salaries, and their limousines. It seems that now they are seriously considering it. Corruption aside, the point may be moot. Whether the leadership is willing to change or not, the Palestinian street now sees Abbas as a de facto Israeli lackey, and they want to get rid of the old Fatah machine. Recent American restrictions on the PA are also forcing the issue.

To paraphrase what one astute commentator noted: the best that Israel could offer the Palestinians would be less than they would accept, and the minimum that the Palestinians would accept would be more than Israel could give.

No stable Palestinian entity — whether state, autonomous zone, or severely controlled reservation — is possible. I blame the Palestinians for much of this, but I also blame those Israelis who concoct ridiculously circumscribed programs in the hopes that Palestinians will accept them. Among the most unbelievably ludicrous ideas proferred is to set up eight small emirates in Judea and Samaria.

Why stop at eight? Why not break them further down into competing high school basketball teams? Dr. Mordecai Kedar, who is a brilliant man, came up with this idea. I suspect that he, and others like him, are so desperate for peace that they construct these theoretical solutions without considering that the Palestinians, for all their Arab insanity, will resolutely resist them.

It is apparent now that the two-state solution is dead. It was never a good idea to begin with. Maybe it was a stalling tactic for time. The Arabs used the peace process in the hopes they could re-arm. The Israelis used it in the hopes that could settle more Jews on the land before the process crashed. It was obvious from the inception that there was no way Jerusalem could be negotiated, which brings everything up to President Trump’s declaration.

Israel now has to decide what to do with those millions of hostile Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. Jordan will not accept any more of them. Egypt won’t. Lebanon won’t, etc. Hard choices have to be made, not wacky ideas like setting up emirates.

When the Palestinians start demanding a one-state solution, and they will — if it does not come from the leadership, it will come from the street — Israel will not be able to avoid a discussion of the A-word any more. Ehud Barak’s warning will have come full circle.

Israel has now been reduced to four possible solutions.

1) Accept a one-state solution. It will mean a temporarily secular state, which will soon enough, by virtue of an increased Palestinian vote, allow a right of return to Palestinian refugees, leading to an eventual Islamic state of sorts. Obviously, Israel will never accept this.

2) Start paying individual Palestinians to leave. It will be infuriating. Maybe unjust to the Jews to shell out the money, but it may be the only solution possible if a Jewish state from the Jordan River to the sea is to be maintained. It will be very expensive though.

3) Live with the title of an “Apartheid” state, which will become an international cry, even if it is not appropriate. Live with being considered a pariah, with all the consequences that accrue.

4) Ethnically cleanse the Palestinians. And don’t try to sanitize it by calling it a “population transfer.” Joshua ethnically cleansed the Canaanites. It may be necessary. Some will counter that Jews were expelled in the 1940s and 50s. Yes! The ethnic-cleansing of the Jews was horrible, wrong. But a counter ethnic-cleansing of Arabs is still an ethnic-cleansing. Admit it!

I have suggested option 2, the payout plan, for years. So has Dr. Martin Sherman. (and Here).

In 1947, at the UN, when the vote for partition came up, the Arabs counteroffered with a secular one-state solution. Anything in order to prevent a Jewish state. The Zionists would not accept it. Using some parliamentary tricks — along with some questionable backroom arm twisting — the Zionist side was able to get a partition of the Mandate, creating a Jewish state. Ironically, the options have come full circle and Israel is back to being faced with a one-state solution again.

When the Arabs embrace the one-state option, it will be difficult for Israel to deny them a franchise while still claiming to be “the only democracy in the Middle East.” Those at American Thinker may understand the vital difference between liberty and democracy, but the mainstream media, politicians worldwide, and pundits do not. Democracy is a siren song to most of the planet.

Now is the time to bite the bullet, and pay the Palestinians to leave, or prepare for a blowback that Israeli diplomacy will have a much harder time countering.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago. He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com, and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com



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It's Worse Out There for Israel Than You Think


A few decades ago, I remember a TV preacher who pointed out that once anyone left the United States, anti-Israel sentiment was rife. We in the United States had little idea of what was out there. He was right. The full extent of this insulation is not appreciated by us Americans. We live under an envelope as it were, aggravated by our usual monolingualism.

I speak a little Spanish – with emphasis on the word little – but it is enough for me to step outside the envelope and to become aware of phenomena that most Americans are unaware of, but which hold sway over hundreds of millions across the planet.

One phenomenon is Club Deportivo Palestino (Palestinian Sports Club), abbreviated CD Palestino, in the Santiago area of Chile.

The soccer team was founded in 1920 among members of the Palestinian community in Chile at that time. By the 1950s, it had turned professional; and is now headquartered in a municipal stadium in a suburb of Santiago, Chile’s capital. It has won some national championships, and played in international tournaments, but overall its record has been mediocre at best, Chile’s version of the San Diego Padres.

Yet, it is this team which wins international headlines.  Why?

Because the team has totally identified itself with the Palestinian cause.

The Palestinians in Chile are rather prosperous, and over-represented in the halls of power. They trace their roots in Chile to the end of the 19th century. Central Chile has a Mediterranean climate much like the land they left. So, the Christians of Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour, and Beit Safafa (now in the eastern side of Jerusalem) started moving to Chile. These Christians were fleeing the predations of the Muslim Turks. The did not want their sons drafted into a Muslim army.

Though initially subjected to prejudice in Chile, within two generations, they had become rich and powerful enough to dissuade the Chilean government from voting for a partition of Palestine to create a Jewish state in 1947. Since then, their power has only increased.  And the soccer team they formed in 1920, CD Palestino, has become a lightning rod to focus anti-Zionism throughout South America.

Three years ago, a controversy erupted when their team rolled out a jersey where the number 1 was replaced by a map of Palestine, which erased all of Israel. Only when Chile’s Jews complained, was the team forced to stop wearing the jersey; but you can still buy the offending shirt on their official website (Click Here).

Members of the team visit the contested areas, and the whole team has recently made a team visit to the Mideast to the Palestinian area.

Needless to say, the team has a strong following not only among Palestinians, but across the Arab world in general.

Recently, the team has engaged in a project – to which anyone can donate – where they will collect soil from the regions of Palestine, and use it for their soccer field.  As a symbol of their support for Palestine.
CD Palestino originally made these videos in English, Spanish, and Arabic to collect donations. The Arabic video was later taken down. Yes, you heard that right: English. CD Palestino has become somewhat of an international spectacle, as well as a sports team. So they now publish in English for maximum effect.

(Spanish)

 

But more surprising is that these Palestinian-Chileans are 99% Christian (a mix of Roman Catholic, and  Antiochian Orthodox Christian).  Yet, this CD Palestino English language page displays a picture of the Muslim Dome of the Rock.

Now, given their Christian identity, one wonders why they have embraced Islamic symbols, especially since the ancestors of most Palestinian-Chileans fled Muslim tyranny. But the effect is not limited to sports, and I have noticed Palestinian-Chileans using Islamic imagery elsewhere.

Screenshot: English language page on website

http://www.palestino.cl/en/club

At games, their fans shoot off flares in the green, black, white, and red colors of the Palestinian flag. Some fans have even embraced the Intifada.

The elites of Chile bow down to the Arab cause. Check out this journey of Chilean politicians in their visit to the contested areas. [Note: Camila Vallejo was leader of the Chilean Student protests of 2011.]  At (0:20), they present Palestinian spokesowman, Hanan Ashrawi, one of the infamous Palestino t-shirts. [Forgive my weak Spanish. I could only translate the titles at the beginning and end.]

There is nothing like this in America.  Little kids in Chile root for Palestino, as can be seen here where youngsters field offical CD Palestino shirts and say: Tino Tino Palestino!

This has infected the whole country. The only equivalent might be the influence of pro-Israel groups in the USA.

The Palestinian community is to Chile what the Jewish community is to the U.S. – Gabriel Zalisnek, then president of Chile’s Jewish Federation  – JPOST

But the difference is that pro-Israel lobbies also draw support from an American base: evangelical Christians and Jews. Chile’s Palestinians have foisted this on a Latin people with no reason to support an Arab cause, and every reason to reject it. It is unnatural, but pervasive.

The Jewish community of Chile filed a legal complaint on Friday over alleged virulent antisemitism at a soccer match on June 8, between the Estadio Israelita Maccabi team and Club Palestino as part of the amateur “Superliga.” …


The referees reported that they were also attacked and that a Palestinian fan came onto the pitch brandishing a Palestinian flag which he shoved in an injured Jewish player’s face yelling “this is a flag, not like yours, I clean my ass with yours, we’re gonna kill you, f***ing Jew.”  …

Several days after the match, graffiti was found on the walls of Club Palestino with the words “Arab terrorists,” “Palestine doesn’t exist” and “Am Yisrael Chai” next to a Star of David. – JPOST [Please read this link to see how bad it has gotten in Chile.]

 To be fair, there is an Israeli team – Betar – which has been known for its violent Jewish supremacism, but CD Palestino has become a worldwide phenomenon beyond Chile.

Chile, which is the shining star of South America, has been lost to the Palestinian cause. Americans have no clue about what is happening in South America. With the exception of Brazil, which has a very strong evangelical movement, the rest of South America may be on the same track.

America’s disdain for mixing sports and politics, along with its disdain for soccer, has insulted us from some other astounding news.

In Scotland, fans of the Celtic soccer team hounded fans of a visiting Israeli team and created a scandal when they raised Palestinian flags during a match between the Celtics and Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva. When the team was fined by UEFA (the Union of European Football Association), the fans defiantly matched the fine by crowd funding and, with the surplus, raised money for Palestinian causes.


Some might say the Celtic fans are from an ethnic Irish Catholic background in Scotland, and not a true barometer of general Scottish feeling, but how do you explain a Palestinian flag flying over Glasgow City hall then, or this show of Palestinian solidarity from the Scottish National Party, or the display of Palestinian support in Edinburgh when another Israeli team visited? This insanity isn’t just Hibernian, the Caledonians are in on it as well.

 

What should astound everyone is that the Palestinians released a thank you video for Celtic Fans’ defiance. The blonde at 33 seconds, with the Scottish burr, is cute. Am I allowed to say that any more? I doubt she is an Arab, though it looks like the child she is carrying might be half-Arab. William Wallace must be rolling over in his grave.

Of course, in 2009, Spain had a minor scandal when an Israeli basketball team was greeted with Palestinian flags.  This protest during one of the Gaza wars is from the Netherlands.  Many of the protestors may be Muslims, but a lot of this crowd is native European.  From France, again, much of this crowd is native-French.  This is from England, where they call for the eradication of Israel. (From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.) There are a lot of Saxons mixed in the with Muslims.


It seems the envelope ends at the 49th parallel. America has pro-Palestinian protests, too; but as a rule, they are miniscule compared to Europe; and not indicative of general American opinion.

I do not mind criticism of Israel. I have made strong criticism myself; but what distinguishes the European and Chileans varieties is that they often call for the eradication of Israel; and that is where I draw the line.

Whatever one feels about Israel’s policies, Israel does have a right to exist. The preacher was right. Outside of America, the worldview is very hostile to Israel.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago. He runs a website about the Arabs in South America at http://latinarabia.com, and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com

A few decades ago, I remember a TV preacher who pointed out that once anyone left the United States, anti-Israel sentiment was rife. We in the United States had little idea of what was out there. He was right. The full extent of this insulation is not appreciated by us Americans. We live under an envelope as it were, aggravated by our usual monolingualism.

I speak a little Spanish – with emphasis on the word little – but it is enough for me to step outside the envelope and to become aware of phenomena that most Americans are unaware of, but which hold sway over hundreds of millions across the planet.

One phenomenon is Club Deportivo Palestino (Palestinian Sports Club), abbreviated CD Palestino, in the Santiago area of Chile.

The soccer team was founded in 1920 among members of the Palestinian community in Chile at that time. By the 1950s, it had turned professional; and is now headquartered in a municipal stadium in a suburb of Santiago, Chile’s capital. It has won some national championships, and played in international tournaments, but overall its record has been mediocre at best, Chile’s version of the San Diego Padres.

Yet, it is this team which wins international headlines.  Why?

Because the team has totally identified itself with the Palestinian cause.

The Palestinians in Chile are rather prosperous, and over-represented in the halls of power. They trace their roots in Chile to the end of the 19th century. Central Chile has a Mediterranean climate much like the land they left. So, the Christians of Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour, and Beit Safafa (now in the eastern side of Jerusalem) started moving to Chile. These Christians were fleeing the predations of the Muslim Turks. The did not want their sons drafted into a Muslim army.

Though initially subjected to prejudice in Chile, within two generations, they had become rich and powerful enough to dissuade the Chilean government from voting for a partition of Palestine to create a Jewish state in 1947. Since then, their power has only increased.  And the soccer team they formed in 1920, CD Palestino, has become a lightning rod to focus anti-Zionism throughout South America.

Three years ago, a controversy erupted when their team rolled out a jersey where the number 1 was replaced by a map of Palestine, which erased all of Israel. Only when Chile’s Jews complained, was the team forced to stop wearing the jersey; but you can still buy the offending shirt on their official website (Click Here).

Members of the team visit the contested areas, and the whole team has recently made a team visit to the Mideast to the Palestinian area.

Needless to say, the team has a strong following not only among Palestinians, but across the Arab world in general.

Recently, the team has engaged in a project – to which anyone can donate – where they will collect soil from the regions of Palestine, and use it for their soccer field.  As a symbol of their support for Palestine.
CD Palestino originally made these videos in English, Spanish, and Arabic to collect donations. The Arabic video was later taken down. Yes, you heard that right: English. CD Palestino has become somewhat of an international spectacle, as well as a sports team. So they now publish in English for maximum effect.

(Spanish)

 

But more surprising is that these Palestinian-Chileans are 99% Christian (a mix of Roman Catholic, and  Antiochian Orthodox Christian).  Yet, this CD Palestino English language page displays a picture of the Muslim Dome of the Rock.

Now, given their Christian identity, one wonders why they have embraced Islamic symbols, especially since the ancestors of most Palestinian-Chileans fled Muslim tyranny. But the effect is not limited to sports, and I have noticed Palestinian-Chileans using Islamic imagery elsewhere.

Screenshot: English language page on website

http://www.palestino.cl/en/club

At games, their fans shoot off flares in the green, black, white, and red colors of the Palestinian flag. Some fans have even embraced the Intifada.

The elites of Chile bow down to the Arab cause. Check out this journey of Chilean politicians in their visit to the contested areas. [Note: Camila Vallejo was leader of the Chilean Student protests of 2011.]  At (0:20), they present Palestinian spokesowman, Hanan Ashrawi, one of the infamous Palestino t-shirts. [Forgive my weak Spanish. I could only translate the titles at the beginning and end.]

There is nothing like this in America.  Little kids in Chile root for Palestino, as can be seen here where youngsters field offical CD Palestino shirts and say: Tino Tino Palestino!

This has infected the whole country. The only equivalent might be the influence of pro-Israel groups in the USA.

The Palestinian community is to Chile what the Jewish community is to the U.S. – Gabriel Zalisnek, then president of Chile’s Jewish Federation  – JPOST

But the difference is that pro-Israel lobbies also draw support from an American base: evangelical Christians and Jews. Chile’s Palestinians have foisted this on a Latin people with no reason to support an Arab cause, and every reason to reject it. It is unnatural, but pervasive.

The Jewish community of Chile filed a legal complaint on Friday over alleged virulent antisemitism at a soccer match on June 8, between the Estadio Israelita Maccabi team and Club Palestino as part of the amateur “Superliga.” …


The referees reported that they were also attacked and that a Palestinian fan came onto the pitch brandishing a Palestinian flag which he shoved in an injured Jewish player’s face yelling “this is a flag, not like yours, I clean my ass with yours, we’re gonna kill you, f***ing Jew.”  …

Several days after the match, graffiti was found on the walls of Club Palestino with the words “Arab terrorists,” “Palestine doesn’t exist” and “Am Yisrael Chai” next to a Star of David. – JPOST [Please read this link to see how bad it has gotten in Chile.]

 To be fair, there is an Israeli team – Betar – which has been known for its violent Jewish supremacism, but CD Palestino has become a worldwide phenomenon beyond Chile.

Chile, which is the shining star of South America, has been lost to the Palestinian cause. Americans have no clue about what is happening in South America. With the exception of Brazil, which has a very strong evangelical movement, the rest of South America may be on the same track.

America’s disdain for mixing sports and politics, along with its disdain for soccer, has insulted us from some other astounding news.

In Scotland, fans of the Celtic soccer team hounded fans of a visiting Israeli team and created a scandal when they raised Palestinian flags during a match between the Celtics and Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva. When the team was fined by UEFA (the Union of European Football Association), the fans defiantly matched the fine by crowd funding and, with the surplus, raised money for Palestinian causes.


Some might say the Celtic fans are from an ethnic Irish Catholic background in Scotland, and not a true barometer of general Scottish feeling, but how do you explain a Palestinian flag flying over Glasgow City hall then, or this show of Palestinian solidarity from the Scottish National Party, or the display of Palestinian support in Edinburgh when another Israeli team visited? This insanity isn’t just Hibernian, the Caledonians are in on it as well.

 

What should astound everyone is that the Palestinians released a thank you video for Celtic Fans’ defiance. The blonde at 33 seconds, with the Scottish burr, is cute. Am I allowed to say that any more? I doubt she is an Arab, though it looks like the child she is carrying might be half-Arab. William Wallace must be rolling over in his grave.

Of course, in 2009, Spain had a minor scandal when an Israeli basketball team was greeted with Palestinian flags.  This protest during one of the Gaza wars is from the Netherlands.  Many of the protestors may be Muslims, but a lot of this crowd is native European.  From France, again, much of this crowd is native-French.  This is from England, where they call for the eradication of Israel. (From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.) There are a lot of Saxons mixed in the with Muslims.


It seems the envelope ends at the 49th parallel. America has pro-Palestinian protests, too; but as a rule, they are miniscule compared to Europe; and not indicative of general American opinion.

I do not mind criticism of Israel. I have made strong criticism myself; but what distinguishes the European and Chileans varieties is that they often call for the eradication of Israel; and that is where I draw the line.

Whatever one feels about Israel’s policies, Israel does have a right to exist. The preacher was right. Outside of America, the worldview is very hostile to Israel.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago. He runs a website about the Arabs in South America at http://latinarabia.com, and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com



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Stalling as Usual: Israel and the Palestinians


 …and, countering, from the Israeli Right…

The Sovereignty Movement founded by Women in Green is publishing a protest following the publication of the principles of the Trump outline for a political settlement between Israel and the PA. — Women in Green — as translated by Israpundit

Here is the problem in full force. A substantial part of the Israeli populace is right-wing (or, if you prefer the term: conservative), and will never agree to any Palestinian state. So whatever President Trump suggests will probably be ignored. I am sure the Israelis will be just as competent at ignoring President Trump’s ideas on a two-state solution as they were at ignoring Obama’s.

The Israelis are experts at stalling. When President Kennedy insisted that American inspectors be allowed to examine Dimona, Ben Gurion resigned rather than give in.

Finally, Kennedy had enough, and in a personal letter dated May 18, 1963, the president warned that unless American inspectors were allowed into Dimona (meaning the end of any military activities), Israel would find itself totally isolated. Rather than answering, Ben-Gurion abruptly resigned. — JPost

Kennedy was no Obama. He was not hostile to a Jewish state. He just wanted a Mideast free of nuclear weapons.

What should be clear, by now, is that Israel wants all the land west of the Jordan River. Maybe that is Israel’s right, Israel’s patrimony, Israel’s just claim; but even if so, Israel refuses to properly address what she wants to do with the Arabs in the land.

And that is the issue.

If one adds in the number of Arabs inside Gaza plus the number of Arabs inside Judea and Samaria (what the world calls the West Bank), then there are anywhere from 3.5 – 4.5 million Arabs. The conservative Yoram Ettinger would use the lower number, but other demographers claim to have good reason to use the higher number. The discrepancy comes from differences in the estimates of Arabs inside Judea and Samaria.

Add in the 1.8+ million Arabs who are Israeli citizens and you have roughly 5.3 – 6.3 million Arabs total in the Holy Land. Like it or not, that number starts to approximate the number of Jews [6.5 million] in the land.

To a large extent, these Arabs — even a lot of Israeli Arabs — identify as Palestinian. I know that term aggravates a lot of readers here at AT, but a Palestinian national identity started to form before 1900. An Arab newspaper Falastin (Palestine) was opened in 1911 in Jaffa. Palestinian identity was not invented in 1964, as so many claim.

So Israel stalls; and the world gets upset with Israel. Maybe the world shouldn’t get upset, but it does. However, Israel never tells us what she will do with the 3.5 – 4.5 million Arabs in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. It seems Israel is content to limit them to Palestinian reservations; but the “restless natives” are not so agreeable.

Israel is running what is a functional empire. This is not obvious because Israel is so small; but if one defines an empire as a polity which rules over a disenfranchised, disparate people, then Israel would qualify.

By means of comparison: the U.S. is not such an empire. Guamians, Puerto Ricans, and the Saipanese are U.S. citizens who can move to the mainland and start voting as soon as they establish residence. Had the U.S. kept a disenfranchised Philippines, it would have been an empire.

The British ran an empire. The French did for a while, but slowly started to enfranchise the outer territories they kept. South America’s French Guiana sends representatives to the Assemblée nationale and to the French Senate. The Arabs in Nablus, Ramallah, and Gaza City have no representatives in the Knesset, which controls most of their borders, their airspace, their coastline, their imports and exports.

I understand why Israel does this. The Arabs are hostile to the idea of a Jewish state. The Israelis rightly fear that an Arab electorate, combined with a crazy Jewish left, could conceivably vote in an Islamic Republic were the Arabs given the franchise.

However, empires are inherently unstable. They are a never-ending source of violence and trouble. People do not like to be ruled over by another power, with no representation. Just ask S. Adams, T. Jefferson, and G. Washington.

As long as this situation persists, Israel will have nonstop violence. This is an historical inevitability. Britain did not see peace in Southern Ireland until Britain left, after 700+ years of strife. The Basque and Catalans are an ever-present problem to Madrid. The Basque may be quiet at this moment; but if they decide to close ranks with Catalan separatism, Spain would collapse. And this is even though the Basque and Catalans have representation in the central government, unlike the Palestinians.

As the Zionist founder, Ze’ev Jabotinsky noted:

The native populations, civilised or uncivilised, have always stubbornly resisted the colonists, irrespective of whether they were civilised or savage.


And it made no difference whatever whether the colonists behaved decently or not. — The Iron Wall, Jewish Virtual Library

I am not diminishing the horror of Islam, though there are a few nominally Christian Palestinians. And I do recognize that the Palestinians do not want a Jewish state at all. Their present mantra is that they want a secular state. Good luck with that! The only somewhat secular state in Araby was Syria; and we know how well that was run.

But Israel persists in saying it wants peace, when all it can safely offer the Arabs is very diminished status. No one would settle for that. The Jewish people did not settle for a minority status in a Palestinian state when offered such, even though enfranchised, under the 1939 MacDonald White Paper. Rather, some among the Yishuv (Jewish community) got violent: The Stern (Lehi) gang, the Irgun. If Jews would not accept such an enfranchised minority status, can we seriously expect the far more irascible Arabs would tolerate an even more diminished, disenfranchised status? Of course not! The Yishuv did not accept a less onerous offer in 1939. The Arabs will not accept a worse offer now.

Stop playing games! Israel should tell President Trump what it really wants, clearly, instead of vagaries about wanting peace. Change the paradigm, and make a real honest offer, not an offer no Palestinian would ever accept.

If Israel really wants a Jewish state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, then tell President Trump what Israel intends to do with the Arabs in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

Will Israel enfranchise these Arabs? Will Israel ethnically cleanse them at the first available opportunity? Will Israel make their lives a bureaucratic hell, until they leave out of frustration, as seems to be the case?

I have communicated with Israelis, and the usual answer I get is: It will take time.

Time?! It has been 50 years since 1967. Time is not your friend. When I hear, “This will take time,” I know that the speaker really means, “Hopefully, we can build a few more Jewish settlements, and the world may forget about it.” The speaker is stalling, and does not want to admit it. I have nothing against new Jewish communities. Go ahead. Build them. But I have something against the stalling.

Will Israel pay the Palestinians to leave, as I have suggested, or as Dr. Martin Sherman has suggested? When I first posited the idea on American Thinker, I was called a loon. Over the intervening few years, others seem to have picked up the idea. There really is no other option, apart from ethnic cleansing.

And please do not say the Arabs should all go back to Jordan, when Jordan will no longer take them, and many of them were not from Jordan in the first place. A lot of them — more than Israel cares to admit — came from the coastal areas of what is now Israel.

I am not against Israel. I am against this duplicitous stalling which solves nothing; and which makes the rather insane Muslim side look good. Tell us what Israel really wants, and how Israel intends to go about it. Stop the stalling.

And if Israel will not oblige us with an honest proposal, then unlike Obama, we should do nothing to hurt Israel; but we should withdraw from the Mideast altogether. Let Israel do whatever Israel wants, but wash our hand of whatever happens as a result.

Now that the USA is getting free of Arab oil, it would be good to let the Muslim world know that they have no sympathy from us.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago. He runs a website about the Arabs in South America at http://latinarabia.com, and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com

As usual for American presidents, Trump seems to be on the verge of recognizing a Palestinian state. As is also usual, the Israeli Right is up in arms against it.

US President Donald Trump, who until now has not spoken of the two-state solution, intends to recognize a Palestinian state, according to the report. — JPost

 …and, countering, from the Israeli Right…

The Sovereignty Movement founded by Women in Green is publishing a protest following the publication of the principles of the Trump outline for a political settlement between Israel and the PA. — Women in Green — as translated by Israpundit

Here is the problem in full force. A substantial part of the Israeli populace is right-wing (or, if you prefer the term: conservative), and will never agree to any Palestinian state. So whatever President Trump suggests will probably be ignored. I am sure the Israelis will be just as competent at ignoring President Trump’s ideas on a two-state solution as they were at ignoring Obama’s.

The Israelis are experts at stalling. When President Kennedy insisted that American inspectors be allowed to examine Dimona, Ben Gurion resigned rather than give in.

Finally, Kennedy had enough, and in a personal letter dated May 18, 1963, the president warned that unless American inspectors were allowed into Dimona (meaning the end of any military activities), Israel would find itself totally isolated. Rather than answering, Ben-Gurion abruptly resigned. — JPost

Kennedy was no Obama. He was not hostile to a Jewish state. He just wanted a Mideast free of nuclear weapons.

What should be clear, by now, is that Israel wants all the land west of the Jordan River. Maybe that is Israel’s right, Israel’s patrimony, Israel’s just claim; but even if so, Israel refuses to properly address what she wants to do with the Arabs in the land.

And that is the issue.

If one adds in the number of Arabs inside Gaza plus the number of Arabs inside Judea and Samaria (what the world calls the West Bank), then there are anywhere from 3.5 – 4.5 million Arabs. The conservative Yoram Ettinger would use the lower number, but other demographers claim to have good reason to use the higher number. The discrepancy comes from differences in the estimates of Arabs inside Judea and Samaria.

Add in the 1.8+ million Arabs who are Israeli citizens and you have roughly 5.3 – 6.3 million Arabs total in the Holy Land. Like it or not, that number starts to approximate the number of Jews [6.5 million] in the land.

To a large extent, these Arabs — even a lot of Israeli Arabs — identify as Palestinian. I know that term aggravates a lot of readers here at AT, but a Palestinian national identity started to form before 1900. An Arab newspaper Falastin (Palestine) was opened in 1911 in Jaffa. Palestinian identity was not invented in 1964, as so many claim.

So Israel stalls; and the world gets upset with Israel. Maybe the world shouldn’t get upset, but it does. However, Israel never tells us what she will do with the 3.5 – 4.5 million Arabs in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. It seems Israel is content to limit them to Palestinian reservations; but the “restless natives” are not so agreeable.

Israel is running what is a functional empire. This is not obvious because Israel is so small; but if one defines an empire as a polity which rules over a disenfranchised, disparate people, then Israel would qualify.

By means of comparison: the U.S. is not such an empire. Guamians, Puerto Ricans, and the Saipanese are U.S. citizens who can move to the mainland and start voting as soon as they establish residence. Had the U.S. kept a disenfranchised Philippines, it would have been an empire.

The British ran an empire. The French did for a while, but slowly started to enfranchise the outer territories they kept. South America’s French Guiana sends representatives to the Assemblée nationale and to the French Senate. The Arabs in Nablus, Ramallah, and Gaza City have no representatives in the Knesset, which controls most of their borders, their airspace, their coastline, their imports and exports.

I understand why Israel does this. The Arabs are hostile to the idea of a Jewish state. The Israelis rightly fear that an Arab electorate, combined with a crazy Jewish left, could conceivably vote in an Islamic Republic were the Arabs given the franchise.

However, empires are inherently unstable. They are a never-ending source of violence and trouble. People do not like to be ruled over by another power, with no representation. Just ask S. Adams, T. Jefferson, and G. Washington.

As long as this situation persists, Israel will have nonstop violence. This is an historical inevitability. Britain did not see peace in Southern Ireland until Britain left, after 700+ years of strife. The Basque and Catalans are an ever-present problem to Madrid. The Basque may be quiet at this moment; but if they decide to close ranks with Catalan separatism, Spain would collapse. And this is even though the Basque and Catalans have representation in the central government, unlike the Palestinians.

As the Zionist founder, Ze’ev Jabotinsky noted:

The native populations, civilised or uncivilised, have always stubbornly resisted the colonists, irrespective of whether they were civilised or savage.


And it made no difference whatever whether the colonists behaved decently or not. — The Iron Wall, Jewish Virtual Library

I am not diminishing the horror of Islam, though there are a few nominally Christian Palestinians. And I do recognize that the Palestinians do not want a Jewish state at all. Their present mantra is that they want a secular state. Good luck with that! The only somewhat secular state in Araby was Syria; and we know how well that was run.

But Israel persists in saying it wants peace, when all it can safely offer the Arabs is very diminished status. No one would settle for that. The Jewish people did not settle for a minority status in a Palestinian state when offered such, even though enfranchised, under the 1939 MacDonald White Paper. Rather, some among the Yishuv (Jewish community) got violent: The Stern (Lehi) gang, the Irgun. If Jews would not accept such an enfranchised minority status, can we seriously expect the far more irascible Arabs would tolerate an even more diminished, disenfranchised status? Of course not! The Yishuv did not accept a less onerous offer in 1939. The Arabs will not accept a worse offer now.

Stop playing games! Israel should tell President Trump what it really wants, clearly, instead of vagaries about wanting peace. Change the paradigm, and make a real honest offer, not an offer no Palestinian would ever accept.

If Israel really wants a Jewish state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, then tell President Trump what Israel intends to do with the Arabs in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

Will Israel enfranchise these Arabs? Will Israel ethnically cleanse them at the first available opportunity? Will Israel make their lives a bureaucratic hell, until they leave out of frustration, as seems to be the case?

I have communicated with Israelis, and the usual answer I get is: It will take time.

Time?! It has been 50 years since 1967. Time is not your friend. When I hear, “This will take time,” I know that the speaker really means, “Hopefully, we can build a few more Jewish settlements, and the world may forget about it.” The speaker is stalling, and does not want to admit it. I have nothing against new Jewish communities. Go ahead. Build them. But I have something against the stalling.

Will Israel pay the Palestinians to leave, as I have suggested, or as Dr. Martin Sherman has suggested? When I first posited the idea on American Thinker, I was called a loon. Over the intervening few years, others seem to have picked up the idea. There really is no other option, apart from ethnic cleansing.

And please do not say the Arabs should all go back to Jordan, when Jordan will no longer take them, and many of them were not from Jordan in the first place. A lot of them — more than Israel cares to admit — came from the coastal areas of what is now Israel.

I am not against Israel. I am against this duplicitous stalling which solves nothing; and which makes the rather insane Muslim side look good. Tell us what Israel really wants, and how Israel intends to go about it. Stop the stalling.

And if Israel will not oblige us with an honest proposal, then unlike Obama, we should do nothing to hurt Israel; but we should withdraw from the Mideast altogether. Let Israel do whatever Israel wants, but wash our hand of whatever happens as a result.

Now that the USA is getting free of Arab oil, it would be good to let the Muslim world know that they have no sympathy from us.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago. He runs a website about the Arabs in South America at http://latinarabia.com, and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com



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