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In a message dated Tue, 17 Sep 2002 8:40:52 PM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:

> In a message dated 9/17/02 9:31:35 AM Pacific Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
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> We owe honesty to people who have relied on our support, and it would be dishonest to pretend any peace proposal that allows for a militarized West Bank (for example) would be meaningful for Israel.  An armed Iraq, on the other hand, is something Israel has long lived with, and is well prepared to handle.
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> Yes, the French were the principal suppliers of military aircraft to Israel through the period up to and including the six day war, and France Mirage jets won that war.  I'm not suggesting it was altruism -- I'm sure they were well paid -- but much of the world was not willing to sell such technology to Israel at that time, and France was.
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> I'm sure it was very brave of the French to sell the Israelis jets during the Six Day War.  Wasn't that the war where all of the major Arab countries attacked this one little country and the little country whipped all of their asses?  I know nothing of the France Mirage Jets; I just hope that the Israelis find our F-16's as satisfactory.
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> As far as America making a peace settlement for Israel that is not in their best interest, I hardly think that is likely since, first of all, we do not dictate to or negotiate for Israel; then, of course, Israel is our best friend our most loyal ally.  And, lastly but not leastly, besides us, Israel has the most powerful military and intelligence operations in the world.  So, though, I'm sure the Israelis would appreciate your concern, I believe that it is misplaced.
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> Some of the continental European nations have broken off trade relations with Israel.  I find this extremely amusing in view of the fact that the trade relations Israel has with most of their Arab neighbors, Jordan, Egypt, etc., are still in place.
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> It's a hot, sultry night in Florida.  Some things never
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> Kate

I suppose I shouldn't go on about this at much greater length in this forum, even with the OT header.  Two thoughts, though:

1.  People who suggest that the French policy toward Israel is animated by anti-semitism (I don't recall you saying this, but many have) should be reminded of France's role in arming Israel, making its victory in the 6-day war possible.  I never said it was "brave" of France to do this -- her troops weren't involved.  It was crucial to Israel's success, though, because without the Mirage jets even the most able of pilots would not have been able to accomplish what the Israeli air force did.

2.  I think you understate the peril that Israel faces.  In the short run, you are surely right that its existence is not at issue.  But the state was founded to stand for the ages, and a variety of factors -- including demographics there, here and in Europe, and the inevitable acquisition by her enemies of weapons that now give Israel technological advantages -- give cause for concern.  I think, if you speak to Israelis about this, or read some of the Israeli papers on-line, you'll see that they are less certain of their future than you appear to be.  That doesn't necessarily mean they're right and you're wrong, but I think it is worth noting.

Tom K