In a message dated 9/16/2002 10:22:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes:

I know from prior posts that you are sympathetic (as I am) to the efforts of the State of Israel to survive within secure borders.

I wonder: before launching into this fashionable and grossly ignorant Euro- and Franco-bashing, did you bother to educate yourself at all as to the role France played -- when the U.S. was much more indifferent -- in securing Israel's safety and regional dominance?  Do you know who -- in defiance of world opinion -- sold Israel the jets that won the 1967 war?  Do you care? 

Sir, I may buy an outfit at a boutique for reasons of fashion; however, I am not inspired to write poetry for such reasons.  The anti-European sentiment in America has little to do with fashion and lots to do with the Europeans.  I note, however, that in the last few days, the European leaders have begun stuttering a bit. Don't tell me that they've thought about the consequences of a real breach with us.  And the Leader of Iraq all of a sudden wants weapon inspectors to invade his county. And a rock concert to boot in the middle of Baghdad with Bob Dylan and Bon Jovi.

It's certainly great that we agree that Israel has the right to survive within secure borders.  I have a feeling that our agreeing with each other, however lovely that situation is, would come to an abrupt end were we to discuss the nature of those borders.  Before this latest terrorism against the Israelis began, Israel was willing to give to the Palestinians the areas known as the West Bank and The Gaza Strip for the Palestinian country. Considering that the Arabs have attacked Israel several times since 1948 (and suffered miserable and total defeat each time), I think this offer on the part of the Israelis was more than kind.  Whether they'll even get that now is in doubt.

But, okay, did the French really sell the Israelis jets during the 1967 war?  I'm amazed. I thought that last time the French did anything for anybody besides the French was the gift of the lady in the harbor.