Ernest Cassara

My Adventures with the Phone Company
A number of readers have inquired the result of my contretemps with the telephone company Verizon.  Well, I got a notice in the mail from a collection agency.  They, also, telephoned.  A most unpleasant conversation.  Then, a week later, I heard a message on my answering machine from a lady from Verizon, who said that they had received my letter and agreed with me, and had canceled the charges for the line that had never been installed!

Now, with bated breath, I await to find out whether they have called off the dogs at the collection agency!

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Unintended Consequences
In all of the discussion about the electoral victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections, it has barely been mentioned that the Israeli government supported the formation of Hamas years ago, to counterbalance Fatah and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

I commented a week or two ago regarding the fact that the U.S. and Israel claim to believe in democracy, but don't like the fact that the Palestinian voters elected members of Hamas to the greater number of seats in the legislature.  They are doing their damndest to demonstrate to the Palestinians that they should have voted as the Americans and the Israelis preferred.  Among other punitive actions, Israel is withholding from the Palestinians millions of shekels collected in taxes and custom fees.  In any other context, this would be considered thievery.

And, then, I strayed onto coverage of the House Committee on International Relations on C-SPAN.  It was notable that the Jewish members of the committee spent their time denouncing the Palestinians for their electoral choice and demanding that the U.S. not provide them with aid.  In this, they were joined by a number of gentiles. Yes, allow the Palestinians to starve! The only committee member who attempted to be fair was Representative Ron Paul, Republican of Texas, who warned against the "foreign adventurism" that the committee was engaging in.

It is one of the great misfortunes of our time that the Palestinians, who are, after all, a captive people, are blamed for the unfortunate occurrences in the misnamed "Holy Land." Of course, suicide bombing does not improve a group's reputation in the eyes of a wider public.  On the other hand, Israel's assassination of "suspected" militants barely gets a mention in the press.

A critic of some of my earlier remarks on this subject responded in the pages of this HSC that the Israelis could hold onto the Palestinian land by right of conquest. I, also, heard this argument from some Israeli soldiers in Hebron on my visit to Israel/Palestine.  They referred to the European American treatment of the native Americans. (These soldiers, by the way, had moved to Israel from Miami!)  Well, I thought that in this day and age the international community frowned on such a position.  But, should this attitude become accepted, supporters of Israel should get used to the idea that it works both ways. Someday, when the Arabs, with their great oil wealth, get their act together, they could overwhelm Israel.  Then, I suspect, supporters of Israel will complain that that is a no-no in this day and age!

One other thought that I suspect some supporters of Israel will find unpleasant to contemplate.  Should Israel hold onto East Jerusalem, with its largely Palestinian population, and continue to absorb Palestinian land (and its population) into Israel, some day the "Jewish state" will no longer be viable, for the greater number of the population will no longer be Jews.  Another example of the "law" of unintended consequences.

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Arab vs. Israeli Newspapers
Thanks to James Adler for passing this on to us.  It is from the "talk back" feature of the Tel Aviv newspaper, Ha'aretz Daily. A reader wrote:

A story is told of a Jewish man who was riding on the subway reading an Arab newspaper. A friend of his, who happened to be riding in the same subway car, noticed this strange phenomenon. Very upset, he approached the newspaper reader.

"Moshe, have you lost your mind? Why are you reading an Arab newspaper?"

Moshe replied, "I used to read the Jewish Newspaper, but what did I find? Jews being persecuted; Israel being attacked; Jews disappearing through assimilation and intermarriage; Jews living in poverty. So I switched to the Arab newspaper. Now what do I find? Jews own all the banks; Jews control the media; Jews are all rich and powerful; Jews rule the world. The news is so much better!"

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