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Joel Bainerman

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  1. When it comes to the subject of whether the world is running out of oil- just type in the following phrase into any search engine and see how many mainstream news outlets have reported on the subject of "peak oil" in the past six months. No longer are stories on the subject found on alternative/conspiracy web sites. The mainstream is now reporting on the problem. Yet surprisingly- the governing class doesn't seem to be paying attention. Is There Really A Shortage of Oil In The World? Is the world really running out of oil? No, but it is most definitely running out of cheap oil. After surveying the views of the world's leading experts in the field of monitoring and tabulating the world's petroleum supplies- the magnitude of the problem and the complexity of the solution (if there are indeed solutions to this dilemma at all) become clear. For instance, for new sources of oil to be identified and extracted out of the ground- the price of this important commodity will have to rise- as most of the "cheap oil" that could be taken out of the ground and sold for $20-30 a barrel- is gone. Consumed. The era of cheap oil is over. What comes next is a steady increase of the price of oil until this new price renders it profitable for the explorers and producers to take it out the more difficult source from the ground. This is inevitable and no amount of investment in alternative energy development or reduction in current consumption is likely to alter this basic fact. The major question is when does demand begin to seriously outstrip supply and production/extraction peaks that causes huge price hikes? You can read the rest of the article here: http://www.joelbainerman.com/articles/oil.asp
  2. U.S. government aid to Israel is in dispute now as never before. In part, this has to do with the perception that Israel's security needs have diminished, what with the end of Soviet help for Israel's enemies and with advances in the peace process. It also results from the budget pressures that are causing U.S. politicians to cut back on a variety of long-established and popular programs. The new Congress's skepticism toward welfare applies not just to the indigent in urban America but also to foreign states. Israeli leaders have sought reassurance that these factors will not lead to a reduction in aid. When Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was in the United States to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in May 1995, he won a pledge from President Bill Clinton to "protect bilateral assistance to Israel."1 And while Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jesse Helms (Republican of North Carolina) condemns foreign aid in general, he makes an exception for aid to Israel. But another dynamic is also at work. A number of important voices among those concerned about Israel's welfare are saying that perpetual U.S. financial aid to Israel may not be a good thing. In January 1994, Yossi Beilin, Israel's deputy foreign minister, told a gathering of the Women's International Zionist Organization that Israel may no longer need diaspora Jewry's contributions: "If our economic situation is better than in many of your countries, how can we go on asking for your charity?"2 Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States and a leading figure in the Likud party, recently told an American audience that Israel should suggest through its own initiative that the United States gradually phase out civilian economic aid. This skepticism is a positive development, in part because it goes beyond the old, sterile points raised by those trying to hurt Israel by denying it assistance; and in part because it returns the issue of aid to a practical discussion of benefits and losses. While aid flows into Israel from many countries other than the United States, for simplicity's sake we will look only at the American case, including both its governmental and private dimensions. THE AID RELATIONSHIP U.S. government aid. From 1948 to 1993, U.S. military and economic aid to Israel amounted to approximately $37 billion, of which $26 billion was in grants and $11 billion in loans.3 In 1994, Israel received $1.8 billion in military credits and $1.2 billion in economic aid, or 26 percent of the $11.5 billion total U.S. foreign aid bill.4 To put this in perspective, in fiscal year 1995, Egypt, the other major aid recipient, received $2.2 billion, of which $1.3 billion was military aid and $0.9 billion was economic aid. Israel began receiving large amounts of economic assistance in the mid-1970s, when the United States started financing arms purchases through loans rather than the cash sales that had been the norm up until that point. Aid took a large leap upwards after Israel agreed to withdrawals in the Sinai: after the Camp David agreement with Egypt, an arrangement was informally but effectively codified into a fixed $3 billion a year (inflation has reduced the real value of this aid by about half since 1979). U.S. military and economic aid each have rather distinct motivation and procedures. During the cold war, the U.S. government sent military aid primarily to countries where it had military bases (such as Greece, Turkey, Portugal, and the Philippines), or to countries facing Soviet-backed enemies, be they internal (for example, El Salvador) or external (including Israel). With the end of the cold war, the rationale for military aid has become less clear. Economic aid has a variety of purposes, including disaster and hunger relief, promotion of democracy and market reforms, and support for Middle East peace. Most economic aid pays for projects either carried out directly by U.S. government agencies (usually the Agency for International Development) or by international and nongovernmental agencies to which the United States makes cash payments (for example, the World Bank). A small part of the money is paid out in cash to the recipient governments; confusingly, some of these cash payments at times have been included as military aid and some as economic aid, though in reality all are more similar to economic aid. Israel is the only country to receive nearly all of its economic aid in the form of a cash payment. Until recently, that cash payment was more or less equal to the amount of debt service the Israeli government owed the U.S. government. As the debt has declined from the high levels incurred when Israel had such a large weapons-purchase bill and paid for those weapons with loans, the cash aid has become larger than the debt service due. Diaspora Jewish aid. American Jews and other nongovernment sources provided $17 billion to Israel in the forty-five years between its founding and 1993. Jews in the diaspora also send aid to Israeli institutions, such as the Jewish Agency, universities, hospitals, and other nonprofit organizations. According to Bank of Israel and Jewish Agency statistics, diaspora Jewry donated $1.4 billion to Israeli nonprofit organizations in 1994,5 of which American Jews contributed some two-thirds. Diaspora Jews also provide loans to the Israeli government, mostly in the form of Israel Bonds. You can read the rest of the article here: http://www.joelbainerman.com/articles/end_american.asp
  3. It is incredible how US companies who have employed their workers and sold their products to American consumers for decades- can suddenly just decide one day to pick up and transfer all of its manufacturing jobs to China- and yet not one moral voice has been raised in opposition. In the religion of Judaism, there exists guidelines on how society can react to these issues. While there is recognition of private property in Judaism, the profit motive and the individual retention of the wealth created by entrepreneurial endeavors- the issue does not stop there. In history, the Rabbis and Jewish Sages never denied their co-religionists a basic human condition- such as the desire to work, prosper, and provide the highest standard of living possible for their families. The free market was generally seen as an efficient and pragmatic mechanism for achieving the welfare of the community. Where this was not so, intervention and distortion of the market mechanism was insisted upon. While free-market advocates claim that the growth and development of the market necessarily involves business failures, and that ultimately, the entire system works more efficiently when there is no interference in this process. But practically speaking, there are some individual instances where the hardship of a business failure really does outweigh the economic benefits to the market. For instance, keeping an inefficient business in operation by limiting competition amounts to no more than a tax on consumers. Perhaps the gross income of this inept firm is a million dollars a year; ten percent of this is just a de facto subsidy paid by customers in the form of inflated prices for the firm's product. Result: $100,000 of consumer money wasted. However we need to ask what is the alternative and perhaps it is more expensive? For example, what if there are no employment opportunities in the region of the failing plant? If the company goes out of business the burden on the dole may be $500,000 thousand dollars a year in additional welfare costs to care from the newly unemployed. The result is that $500,000 of public funds is spent instead of $100,000. What will the cost be to the American people if American companies continue to transfer their manufacturing bases to China? Who will be left to tend to the financial and social needs of masses of unemployed workers? The Rabbis and Jewish Sages would argue that it would make sense to levy a tax on American companies who move their manufacturing jobs off-shore- even if this does go against free market principles. Why shouldn't these companies pay the added cost of providing for the welfare of the workers they are leaving behind- rather than passing that cost off to the general taxpaying public? Closing down a plant because there is no longer any demand for a firms' product- is one thing. Closing it down and moving the factory offshore just so the firm can increase its net profits- is not morally acceptable- even if this violates the tenants of free market economics (what good will a free market be when there are no longer any consumers left to purchase the products that these company's manufacturer- wherever they are produced?) You can read the rest of the article here: http://www.joelbainerman.com/articles/china.asp
  4. Probably one of the most important books for both Jews and Arabs to read is called "The Rape of Palestine," by William Ziff, first published in 1938 by Argus Books in the US. The cover says nothing about who William Ziff is. The book documents the difference between the overall pro-Jewish sentiments of the British political elite who saw a strong Jewish presence in Palestine as being good for the British empire, and the group of high level anti-Jewish British officials who believed that the Jews would become so powerful (if Britain let them) that they would no longer have to accede to British demands. The latter group was entirely right. A strong Jewish presence in Palestine meant Jewish national independence which wouldn't serve the British masters the way the Arab puppets did. Arab tribal leaders were corruptible and this was the only way those running Britain's colonial policies could control them. They realized that controlling the Jews was not going to be so as easy. So they placed obstacle after obstacle before any attempts to settle large numbers of Jews in Palestine. The official reason for restricting Jewish immigration was that the "economic capacity of the land" could not support more than a million people. This was a lie, but few challenged the British when they proclaimed it in their various "government commissions." The book also documents how one-sided the British were in doling out public funds. As the Jews in Palestine increased in number the economy boomed and in l935, the Yishuv, even though only comprising one-third of the residents, were paying 75% of the taxes to the British occupiers. Yet little of that money found its way back into roads or schools serving Jewish towns. Ziff must have gone through nearly every British government archive to document his claims that had the British left Palestine in the late 20's or early 30's, the Jews would have had a state before l948 and which would possibly have been established around (and thriving) before Hitler came to power thus saving the bulk of European Jewry. While no historian has ever blamed the British for the destruction of European Jewry, Ziff's book documents that claim. Ziff's book (which was published first in l938 but probably took three or four years of research to write) documents how the British "created" the opposition to Zionism and that up until these so-called "radical Arab leaders" came into the picture, most Arab residents of Palestine wanted nothing more than to live in peace and prosperity with the Jews which they believed was their good fortune. "The Moslem religious leaders, the Mufti, was openly friendly. Throughout Arabia, the chiefs were for the most part distinctly pro- Zionist: and in Palestine the peasantry were delighted at every prospect of Jewish settlement near their villages. Commercial intercourse between Arab and Jew was constant and steady." pp.13 "The Arab National Movement was hated by the huge Levantine population who continued to regard themselves simply as Ottoman subjects, looked to the strong, influential Zionist Organization for sympathy and assistance." "Hussein of the Hejaz looked to the Zionists for the financial and scientific experience of which the projected Arab state would standly badly in need. In May 1918, Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Hussein of the Hejaz met in Cairo where the latter spoke of mutual cooperation between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. In early l9l9 a Treaty of Friendship was signed to provide for "the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab state and the coming Jewish Commonwealth of Palestine. On March 3, l9l9, another Arab leader, Feisal, son of Sherif, wrote: "We wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home." If Ziff's words are accurate, there was no Arab opposition to Jewish immigration to Palestine at least as far back as l919. You can read the rest of the article here: http://www.joelbainerman.com/articles/where_jews.asp
  5. Two years ago if someone had thrown a Molotov cocktail at a synagogue in Toronto, Brussels, London or Paris, it would have made front-page headlines the world over. Today, these incidents barely make it to the "international news section" of most daily newspapers. This "recent rise in anti-Semitic attacks" didn't exist just a few years ago. Is it really happened because the world's population is showing more hatred and anger towards Diaspora Jewry because of "Israel's treatment of the Palestinians"? What is very peculiar about this "new wave of anti-Semitic attacks" is that they cause relatively few casualties. When an attack takes place, it is usually directed at a physical building or a tombstone. Or, if a bomb goes off, rarely is anyone in the school or synagogue. For instance, on April 30th, 2002, a firebomb was thrown at synagogues in Dusseldorf and Berlin but nobody was hurt. On April 27th London's Finsbury Park Synagogue had its windows smashed. Nobody inside the building at the time. In Paris a warehouse at a Jewish school was destroyed by arson but nobody was injured. There were also no casualties in a fire that was set in a Jewish school in the Paris suburb of Sacrelles. During the first half of 2002 synagogues in Marseille, Strasbourg, Toulon, Noisy-Le-Sec, Rome, Belarus, Toulouse, Lyon, Montpellier and Paris, Brussels and Kiev, were firebombed or vandalized- but caused no deaths or even any serious casualties. During the first half of 2002, attacks on Jewish property or stores have occurred in such geographically diverse localities as Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Mexico City, San Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, South Africa, Australia, and The Netherlands. While many Jewish tombstones have been vandalized in Jewish communities around the world, the assailants never seem to be apprehended. So other than in a very small number of incidents, few deaths or major casualties have resulted from this attacks. Are we to conclude that, either the perpetrators of these attacks have no interest in actually harming Jews (but merely scaring them), or, they are the worst terrorists in the entire world. If local Arabs are responsible for the attacks, do they belong to a larger organization that is anti-Israel? If so, none of these organizations have taken responsibility for these attacks against Jews. In fact, in the past eighteen months of attacks on Jewish targets, not even one organization (Arab-linked or "Nazi-linked) has taken credit for any of these anti-Semitic acts. It has been stated in the media that the attacks are being carried out by either, "radical Arabs" or, "local, disgruntled anti-Semites". There is never an indication that anyone who isn't either an "anti-Semite" or "Arab" are the ones carrying out these attacks. However no Arab or "disgruntled anti-Jewish people) have been arrested for taking part in any of the attacks- let alone convicted. So this still begs the obvious question: just who is behind these attacks? If so many attacks have taken place at relatively around the same time period, shouldn't we believe it to be an organized, worldwide attempt by someone or some group to "hurt the Jews for their support of Israel"? If the culprits are Arabs, which Arabs? We know that when Arab terrorists in the Middle East make bombs and set out to kill Israelis, they are usually very successful at it and take full credit for it. How come the so-called "radical Arab groups" behind the bombing and arson attacks against all these synagogues wind up killing so few Jews and never phone the media to tell them they were responsible? Another question one might is if these "Arab groups" wanted to really "hurt the Jews" they would import once of their suicide bombers from the Middle East and walk into a local, unguarded kosher deli and kills tens of people. For some reason, these "Arab terrorists" don't hate Jews enough to want to kill them- just cause physical damage to their communal property. You can read the rest of the article here: http://www.joelbainerman.com/articles/since_when.asp
  6. It has been five years since the signing of the Oslo Accords in Washington. At the time, there was much hoopla about joint business ventures between the Israelis and Palestinians that, all hoped, would go far in bringing a stability to the region that would be more practical than ideological. But a half-decade later, politics still plays a major role in keeping the two business communities apart: While Israel wanted to rush into such business relations, the Palestinians stalled. They believed that it would be in their best interest if foreign businessmen other than Israelis would be their partners. Simply put: They were wrong. Foreign businessmen have rejected outright business opportunities on the West Bank and Gaza. Whether it be the unstable political situation, the lack of a large local market, or the dearth of a western-style economic infrastructure, the fact is the only community of businessmen interested in joining forces with the Palestinians are the Israelis --- and even now that interest is waning in favor of the business opportunities that await Israeli industrialists in Jordan. INDUSTRIAL PARKS: THE FIRST STEP When Palestinians start looking for investors to help them build an industrial park or a new factory, the only people standing in line are their old enemies, the Israelis. Israeli government officials are among the most fervent supporters of the plan to build industrial parks for the Palestinian Autonomy as an answer to crushing unemployment in Gaza and the West Bank. Yet, as Israel and the Palestinian Authority recently concluded negotiations on the basic framework for the parks, the key issue remains: Who will invest in an area that is politically volatile and has no clear sovereignty? Ironically, it appears that Israeli investors, rather than Palestinian or foreign investors, are the most likely and, indeed, the most eager to invest. After months of debate, it is now agreed the parks will be at the border line on the Palestinian side. The borderline location -- rather than deeper within the autonomy area or even on the Israeli side -- was chosen because Israeli investors would not be willing to go further into the autonomous area. Between attracting foreign investors or Israeli investors, many believe the Israelis are the far better bet, as they know the conditions in the region and can operate within the existing framework. “It will be easier to bring in Israeli companies because they are used to us,” says Suheil Gedeon, a banker and a member of the Palestinian business elite. “We have been living together for 30 years.” A recent study commissioned by the World Bank backs gives crediblity to that observation. Gershon Baskin of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information conducted the survey, which polled 53 major potential investors. “Of the three separate groups [we surveyed] -- Israelis, overseas Palestinians and the international companies -- those most anxious to make an investment, to make decisions quickly, and those that were most aware of the situation, were the Israeli companies,” Baskin said. “The Israeli companies, given the incentive package and guarantees presented to them, almost all said they are prepared to make an investment as soon as possible,” he added. The problematic side of Israeli investment may be, however, future Palestinian resentment of dependence on the Israeli economy and infrastructure, observes Baskin. “Opponents,” he believes, “might call it a new form of ‘Israeli colonialism.’”. Why are Palestinian investors less enthusiastic? The World Bank survey also revealed that overseas Palestinian investors were worried about the involvement of the Palestinian Authority (PA): Put bluntly, the less the Arafat regime was involved, the more encouraged they would be to invest. In part to answer this concern, and partly to protect the investor from whoever the power may be -- PA, PLO or the Israel Civil Administration -- the World Bank is recommending the creation of a Palestinian Industrial Estate Authority, in effect an independent agency, to shield the investor from bureaucratic hassle and malfeasance. While the Palestine Authority (PA) is eager for any investment in the autonomy, many observers claim the regime has been dragging its feet in building up thenew economy. There is no comprehensive plan for development of the autonomy, nor a coherent trade policy. Most experts agree that these factors -- more than any others -- are what is keeping foreign businessmen away. The PA did not bother to erect any industrial laws, or incentive programs for investment. The tax system does not work and tax policy is unclear. You can read the rest of the article here: http://www.joelbainerman.com/articles/the_economics.asp
  7. The Divine origin of wealth is the central principle of Jewish economic philosophy. All wealth belongs to God, who has given it temporary to man, on a basis of stewardship- for his physical well-being. This means that because all wealth has a Divine source- all form of theft and dishonesty are religious crimes- above and beyond being crimes against society. A basic concept to the economic philosophy of Judaism is that part of the wealth of individuals is given to them by the Deity, to provide for the needs of less successful members of society. This is done by making sure that the weaker members of society are also cared for- by the wealthier members of society. Unlike some other religions, Judaism doesn’t view poverty as a virtue. Wealth, on the other hand, was always seen as a challenge. Judaism places many social and charitable responsibilities on the financially stronger elements within society and emphasizes the need to prevent exploitation of the weak. As Judaism saw man's material welfare as a reward from Heaven, a gift of the Deity, material wealth couldn't be viewed as something intrinsically bad, but rather to be valued and respected. Nowhere in Jewish religious texts or commentary do we read that "riches are not good to have" or that "prosperity is a reflection of the exploitation of others." From a philosophical perspective, Judaism views the drive to succeed and to prosper is legitimate- but within limitations. Judaism does recognize that mankind has two essential drives- a selfish one and a selfless one. In the Talmud (Berexxxx Rabbah 9:7) it states that: “But for the evil desire, no man would build a house, or take a wife or have children or buy and sell in business.” Thus Judaism acknowledges the need for individual ambition in society and recognizes that man has a need to produce and to be successful in all endeavors of life. Judaism recognizes this but sees man’s role of moderating and controlling the selfish drive as one of the greatest moral challenges. . Judaism recognizes the negative aspect of the human being's "desire to attain riches" and instead of denying it- limits it and places restrictions on this aspect of human inclination. Despite the legitimacy of economic activity and of man's enjoyment of material goods, Judaism does not allow unlimited accumulation of such goods or unlimited use of them. All of man's actions, including those involved in the accumulation of material goods, are to be subjected to the ethical, moral and religious demands of the Torah, so that the individual and society can attain a state of sanctity even while carrying out the most mundane acts. Gathering wealth is acceptable as long as the person follows the moral and ethical path towards helping the less fortunate members of society. This is how Judaism builds barriers and limits into the question of man's quest for riches. It is the "checks and balances" which keeps everything in perspective so that a man's life isn't spent merely striving to gain more material possessions and wealth- solely for that purpose and that purpose alone. Efficiency in wealth creation is never allowed to become the sole aim of human existence. You can read the rest of the article here: http://www.joelbainerman.com/articles/jet.asp
  8. One of the most important topics on the agenda of any Middle East peace conference should be how to improve the socio- economic conditions of Palestinians in refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Unfortunately, for the Palestinians, the PLO rarely brings up the subject. Getting these families out of the refugee camps just isn’t on their agenda. Nor is the question as to why the Palestinians have been forced to live in these camps for more than 50 years is rarely raised in official Palestinian circles. Who have been keeping the Palestinians in the refugee camps from being resettled? Not Israel, as there are refugee camps outside of Israel that Israel has no control over. The existence of these wretched refugee camps is a mark of shame on the Palestinian people. Why, then, do they even still exist? How many live in the camps? Today less than one in five Palestinians are classified as a “refugee.” One half of the Gazan and one-quarter of the West Bank Palestinian refugees live in camps. The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) says there are 450,000 refugees in Gaza and 370,000 in the West Bank. According to the United Nations’ definition, one does not have to be resident of a camp to be considered a refugee. Nor does leaving a camp disqualify a resident from receiving UNWRA benefits such as free education until the end of junior high school and health care, but income above a certain level does. Ironically, since the camps are in fact shantytowns, there is even an influx of population as rents are half of those in the surrounding villages or towns. Many people have this idea of refugee camps of destitute, underfed people who wait around all day for the UN relief workers to come to hand out their rations. The fact is most get up every morning and go to work, usually in Israel- if they can. Some camp dwellers even enjoy a higher standard of living than some of the neighboring villages. For instance, 95% of the population in refugee camps in Gaza have electricity around the clock, slightly more than the surrounding villages and towns. The conditions in many refugee camps in Gaza exceed those of the most remote villages in the West Bank. For example, 98% of the towns, but only 48% of the West Bank villages have electricity 24- hours a day. Numerous efforts to resettle these refugees have been tried, but all have failed. In l950, long before the territories came under Israeli control, UNRWA suggested moving 150,000 of them to Libya, but Egypt objected. In l951, UNRWA vetoed a plan to move 50,000 Palestinian refugees from the Gaza Strip to Northern Sinai when Egypt refused permission to use the Nile waters to irrigate proposed agricultural settlements. In l952, Syria rejected UNRWA’s initiative to resettle 85,000 refugees in camps in that country. In l959, UNRWA reported that of the $250 million fund for rehabilitation created in l950 to provide homes and jobs for the refugees outside of the camps, only $7 million was spent. One approach which was partially successful was initiated by Israel in the early l970’s, called the ‘build your own home’ program. A half a dunam of land outside the camps was given to a Palestinian who then financed the purchase of the building materials, and usually with friends, erected a home. Israel provided the infrastructure: sewers, schools, etc. More than 11,000 camp dwellers were resettled into ten different neighborhoods before the PLO, using their time-honored tactics of intimidation, ended the program. The Israeli authorities would say that if the people were able to stand up to the PLO within eight years every camp resident could own a single dwelling home in a clean and uncongested neighborhood. A major problem in resettlement is that so much of the land in Gaza is owned by a few large, wealthy Palestinian families. If this property were available, Gaza could lower its density of 1,250 persons per square kilometer. Yet even so there is ample living space even in the camps to build three or four story apartment blocks, (building up instead of out is for some reason not part of the Arab culture). Improving the quality of the existing homes inside the camps is a much cheaper undertaking than building entire new neighborhoods. If the political climate was right, how much would it cost to solve the Palestinian refugee problem? Most Palestinians economists, such as Dr. George Abed who wrote a book a few years back on the subject, agree that just to build enough homes, without any additional investment in infrastructure or job creation, would cost more than $2 billion just to resettle those refugees currently residing in the West Bank and Gaza. You can read the rest of the article here: http://www.joelbainerman.com/articles/what_palestin.asp
  9. For more than 75 years, western diplomats have been coming up with “peace initiatives” to solve the Arab – Israeli conflict. Yet they always fail. Why? What keeps the Middle East conflict going? If we are going to devise a solution, we must first understand why the conflict continues to exist. To do this, we have to view the situation from the top down, rather than from the bottom up. This is completely opposite to the way most Jews and Arabs have been conditioned to look at “the situation.” Jews focus on the damage Arab/Palestinians cause, and believe that damage to be the cause of the conflict, when it is really only a result of it. They view the conflict and its origins from the bottom up. Arabs/Palestinians concentrate on the damage Israel causes and believe this to be the cause of the conflict, when it is really only a result of it. They too relate to the situation from the bottom up. To understand what really causes the Middle East conflict to continue, one must look at the issue from the top down. To get a more accurate picture of what lies behind the continued existence of the conflict, let’s acknowledge these five factors which serve to perpetuate – rather than solve – the problem: 1) The vested interests of the Foreign Elite (FE): There is a “third entity” in the conflict in addition to the Israelis and the Arabs: the foreigners (in order of importance, the US, Britain, China, France, Germany). Without them, there would be no Middle East conflict because it is the foreign influence that keeps the “situation” from being resolved. Unfortunately, both Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews believe they are each other’s worst enemy – without considering the third element – the foreigners – that is the enemy of both. The thing that Arabs and Jews have most in common is this common enemy, yet the leaders on both sides (not being legitimate or independent) tell their people that the other side is their number one enemy. Hence the conflict continues. 2) Control of Middle East oil: The foreigners interfere in the Arab-Israeli conflict in order to exploit and control the vast petroleum resources in the region. If there were no oil, there would be no petrodollars to recycle; the foreigners would have no reason to dominate the region. 3) Weapons sales: If there was a worldwide ban on arms sales to the Middle East, there would be no more “radical Arab dictators” with modern arms. If the foreigners stopped selling advanced weaponry to nations of the Middle East, the conflict would end. 4) The mainstream media: If the mainstream media in the West stopped reporting on the “search for peace in the Middle East,” peace would soon be found. By keeping the region’s “unstable” image alive, the media, as the sole source of information by which people can formulate their perceptions, provide an excuse for the foreigners to interfere, and at the same time serve to convince everyone that these western nations want peace, despite the fact that they have been “seeking” it for over 50 years, in vain. The media never question the intentions or agendas of the FE. The media thus provide the glue which keeps the conflict going. Without the mainstream media constantly reporting on the conflict, there would be peace, as everyone would forget that the Middle East is “unstable” and thus in need of “stabilizing” via new “peace initiatives.” 5) Corrupt national leadership of both sides: It isn’t peace between Arabs and Jews that interests the FE, but rather the continuation of the conflict. The way they do that is by corrupting/controlling the national leaders of both sides. The reason why legitimate, popular leaders are not at the helms of countries in the Middle East is because the FE will topple any leader who doesn’t cater to their desires before the needs of their own people. If Middle East leaders are selected and deemed popular by their own people, the FE will demonize them as “radicals/extremists,” “terrorist leaders” or “enemies of peace,” and thus de-legitimize them in the world arena. How can genuine co-existence take hold if the leaders of both sides are more interested in pleasing their foreign masters than their own peoples? Unless these five basic factors are understood, the true causes that extend the conflict will never be understood. Instead, each side will go on blaming the other – seeking to take the high moral ground and convince their own people and those from abroad that they are right, and the other side is wrong. This will lead only to more death and destruction. The technique is called “divide and rule,” and it has been a favorite of the FE for decades. For the rest of the article see: http://www.joelbainerman.com/articles/me_report.asp
  10. Joel Bainerman was born in Toronto in 1957. When he was twenty-four he emigrated to Israel. Bainerman worked as a journalist at The Israel Economist and The Jerusalem Post. He also established two monthly newsletters, Israel Technology and Inside Israel. In 1989 Bainerman published The Crimes of a President, a book about George H. W. Bush and his relationship with people such as Ted Shackley, Donald P. Gregg, Felix Rodriguez, Richard Secord, William Casey, Thomas G. Clines, Rafael Quintero, Luis Posada, Richard L. Armitage, Menachem Meron, Albert Hakim, Oliver North and Edwin Wilson. Joel Bainerman has also written for The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Baltimore Sun, The Toronto Globe, The Christian Science Monitor and Forbes Magazine. He is also the author of Why the Middle East Conflict Continues to Exist. In 2001, he published the first-ever in-depth study of the current status of Israel’s high technology industries entitled: Broken Promises: The Rise and Fall of Israel’s Technology-Based Industries, which documented how Israel’s technology industries had been re-directed away from its initial purpose to serve the interests of Israel’s national economy and towards that of serving the needs of foreign investors.
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