Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Archive for December 29th, 2011

Hamas has never pretended that they were interested in a two-state solution; when will Western liberals start to take Hamas at their word?

Posted by Dana Pico on 2011/12/29

From Donald Douglas:

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh Calls for Expulsion of Israel from ‘Blessed Land of Palestine’

Via Theo Spark:

The Hamas Prime Minister exhorted:

“We say today, explicitly, so it cannot be explained otherwise, that the armed resistance and the armed struggle are the path and the strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and for the expulsion of the invaders and usurpers [Israel] from the blessed land of Palestine. The Hamas movement will lead Intifada after Intifada until we liberate Palestine – all of Palestine, Allah willing. Allah Akbar and praise Allah.

Also, at Jerusalem Post, “‘Arab world must stop Israel’s Judaization of J’lem’.”

Well, the genocide’s gotta start somewhere, I guess.

For some reason, many Westerners cannot seem to grasp a very simple fact: the Palestinians have really never been anything but honest and direct in their statements of their goals. They may, for strategic purposes, dissemble a bit for a specific audience or goal or diplomatic advantage, but they have always been completely honest in their general statements about what their goals are.

Were I to guess, I’d say that some of our friends on the left are so thoroughly ethnocentric that they really cannot understand different cultures might have different goals and different patterns of thinking and different ideas and different value systems. Given how our friends on the left so boldly proclaim themselves to be multiculturalists, so proudly tell us how sophisticated and educated and intellectual they are, yet when it comes to understanding those different cultures whose inclusion they support, they fail miserably. It’s almost as though liberal multiculturalism comes with its own intellectual handicap, that being that the multiculturalists cannot actually fathom how some people can be so different from them.

Oh, they are quite able to tell you about differences in language and religion and history and culture, but, in the end, they fail to be able to understand how those differences in language and religion and history and culture could lead people from other cultures to come to conclusions which are simply different, often radically different, from those to which the learned, liberal Westerners have come.

Even as savvy a man as former President Bill Clinton couldn’t really understand it. He worked very hard toward the end of his final term to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak, facing an almost certain defeat for re-election, had every reason to be bold and aggressive in seeking a peace accord: it would have reversed Israeli politics and (probably) won his re-election campaign, and he would have gone down in history as a great diplomat and leader, who established a lasting peace and security for his country and the Levant in general. After intense negotiations, President Clinton presented Prime Minister Barak and Palestinian President Yassir Arafat a comprehensive proposal, one which President Clinton described, in his memoirs, as the best deal the Palestinians could ever hope to get, and that “Arafat’s rejection of my proposal after Barak accepted it was an error of historic proportions.”¹ President Clinton suggested that perhaps Mr Arafat might “not be at the top of his game any longer,”² anymore, but never could quite come around to the realistic conclusion that perhaps the Palestinians simply did not desire peace with Israel, but only victory over Israel.³

Many of our friends on the left simply cannot accept that idea. While they recognize that there are significant cultural differences between themselves and the Palestinians, since Western liberals want peace so badly, and think that it’s the only possible way, they just cannot grasp the notion that their conclusions are not shared by everyone else.
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¹ – Bill Clinton: My Life (New York: Alfred A Knopf) © 2004, p. 944
² – Clinton, p. 943
³ – I have a long, and not quite charitable, book review of former President Jimmy Carter’s book, We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work, on CSPT. Mr Carter never recognized the possibility that the Palestinians simply do not accept any goal short of victory.

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Posted in Israel, war | Comments Off on Hamas has never pretended that they were interested in a two-state solution; when will Western liberals start to take Hamas at their word?

Sometimes unpleasant choices have to be taken

Posted by Dana Pico on 2011/12/29

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Philadelphia school nurse layoffs prompt ‘Occupy 440’ rally


By Kristen A. Graham, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

Mary Ann Sewell doesn’t just dispense aspirin and Band-Aids.

Sewell, the school nurse at Bok High in South Philadelphia, tends to 187 asthmatic teenagers. She treats insulin-dependent diabetics, kids with cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia, and seizure disorders.

As part of its latest round of budget cuts, the Philadelphia School District will lay off 141 employees, including 47 nurses, effective Saturday. Sewell and about 50 others gathered at district headquarters Wednesday to protest.

They called it “Occupy 440,” a nod to the district building’s North Broad Street address. The protest was not organized by Occupy Philadelphia, but some Occupy Philadelphia members joined the cause.

Much more at the link. The story continues to tell the readers just how significant cuts in services will be with the layoffs of 47 school nurses. But the Philadelphia School District expects a budget shortfall of $629 million, and officials said recently that another $39 million had to be cut. Total new layoffs would be 141, with 47 school nurses among them.

The School District did not want to make those cuts; virtually every position within the School District can be justified in some way, and all of those positions performed specific functions. But if the School District doesn’t have the money to pay for all of those positions, then it doesn’t have the money to pay for all of them, and cuts have to be made somewhere. The School Board and the District administrators exist to set the budget and take those hard decisions. If the 47 nurses who are to be laid off are suddenly retained, then something else — and some other people’s jobs — will have to be cut to make up for the cost to retaining the nurses.

As it happens, your editor is married to a registered nurse, and certainly believes in the value of nurses as medical professionals. But your editor also knows that registered nurses can always find jobs. Indeed.com, a job search website, lists 2,161 job openings for registered nurses in the Philadelphia area,¹ ² paying $40,000 or more a year; of that, 1,633 pay $60,000 or more a year, 481 pay more than $80,000, 157 pay $100,000+, and 73 pay $120,000 or more.³ The editor’s sympathies tend to be more with the other people laid off, who have poorer job prospects.4

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¹ – Accessed at 0804 on Thursday, 29 December 2011; the numbers are subject to constant change.
² – If the nurses being laid off are licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, rather than RNs, there are fewer jobs available, but the same site still lists 449 positions paying over $30,000.
³ – the higher paying jobs are included in the lower paying totals.
4 – Like, perhaps, former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who after receiving an almost $1,000,000 severance package, half of which comes from district coffers, had to file for unemployment.

Posted in economics, education | 7 Comments »

 
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