Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Rand Corporation: Palestine, circa 2015

This is an extremely important article, which paints a picture, with words, we should all spend sometime contemplating and envisioning! Especially for those of us who are feeling a little hopeless....
RFK said something like this, as I recall; others look at what is and ask, why? I see what could be, and ask, why not?
Funny, the answer to both questions is usually the same; greed for money, certainly, but there is a greed for and a hording of information as well, these days...and then there is gluttony for the material, especially among those who profess strong religious beliefs and lust for power (control and power over others). It is not difficult to  to see the cardinal sins of Greed, Lust and Gluttony at work in this horror film, in which we all seem to be under-or-non-paid, non-speaking extras, witting or unwitting.
Not so easy to see as a major cardinal sin, which is staring us in the face daily, is "Deception"
What? Deception...a Cardinal Sin.., you might well ask? Yep, it is probably in the top three, I would answer,; I would say it is number 1, as a matter of fact, and we would be well advised to to be aware of that, right now..
There are actually 9 Cardinal Sins, which we usually refer to as "The Deadlies."
Only seven are listed in the Christian Bible. They are (for the uninitiated):1) Pride 2) Vainglory 3) Envy 4) Greed 5) Gluttony 6) Lust 7) Sloth
Deception is one of the missing two, from the above, Biblical list of the deadlies.
There are, actually 9 "deadlies."
Why isn't Deception listed? Can't really say with any authority, but my hunch would be because it is so all-pervasive in humanity, in general, especially, in the U.S. culture, that, while annoying, infuriating and destructive, even some, seemingly, devout Christians seem to have no problem with deception as a matter of personal policy, if it is in the name of the Lord.
The other missing Deadly? F-E-A-R!....more on that later. Hint ( the two go hand in hand and are the less visible pillars of  the gates of hell)
Published on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 by the Independent/UK
American Think-tank Looks Ahead to Palestine, 2015
This is a vision of the future Arab state as set out by a $2m study by one of America's most prestigious think-tanks. What's more, the Palestinians love it
by Donald Macintyre

It's a futuristic concept as stunning as it is implausible, under present conditions. A Palestinian businessman on the way to a meeting in Cairo steps on to a train at a clean, modern rail station in the northern West Bank city of Jenin - no longer ravaged by bloody conflict but peacefully booming with private-sector office and apartment construction.

The businessman is whisked by fast train to the busy Gaza airport, the latest Middle Eastern hub, in less than 90 minutes. On the way, he savours the changing landscape through the train window - the mountains of Jordan to his left, the Israeli Highway Six and the Mediterranean to his right. He notes with satisfaction the aqueduct which follows the path of the railway line and whose construction solved at a stroke the desperate water shortages that had been faced by his people. He watches the Western backpackers hiking through an olive grove on one of the new national park trails that wind through the West Bank farmland and forest in sight of the track.

Glancing at his watch he chuckles at the 10 minutes it takes to get from Nablus to Ramallah - a journey, he remembers, that in 2005 could have taken, thanks to Israeli checkpoints and road closures, half a day, supposing he had the papers to allow him to make it at all.

On his return journey he will stop off at east Jerusalem, now universally acknowledged as the Palestinian state capital, for one of his frequent visits to his ageing mother - a simple trip that was virtually impossible a decade earlier, made all the easier by the California-style urban rapid bus system that runs from every station on the line. As the train pulls into Hebron, the last stop before it reaches southern Gaza, he casts an expert eye - he runs a building firm himself - at the imaginatively planned new neighborhoods, each with their own recreation spaces, many housing refugees who have returned from Jordan or Syria, clustered along the tree-lined boulevards which link the station with the city's ancient center. With all this building, he thinks, no wonder it is difficult to hire skilled construction workers in a labor market that saw Palestinian unemployment soaring over the 60 per cent mark back in 2005.

It's an idea about as far away from present-day reality as it is possible to be. But it is no bedtime story. For it is almost exactly the vision which informs a new $2m (£1.1m) study produced by one of America's most prestigious think-tanks, the Rand Corporation. The two complementary reports are, in Rand's own words, the "most comprehensive recommendations ever made for the success of an independent Palestinian state".

This week Mahmoud Abbas flies into Washington for what will be George Bush's first meeting with a Palestinian Authority president. He does so at a time when, for all the dramatic, if far from entrenched, decline in violence since the Sharm el-Sheikh summit in February, the possibility of a negotiated peace deal to end the conflict and the occupation once and for all seem almost as far away as ever.

Whether or not that outlook can be improved by Thursday's talks, it is a safe bet that the well-worn term of a "viable Palestinian state" will be repeated incessantly as the formal goal of US foreign policy - and for that matter of the Palestinians and the Israelis themselves.

The Rand Corporation study cannot of itself bring that still painfully distant-seeming goal any nearer. But it can at least, and as never before, draw some of the contours of what such a state might look like. .(.read more at the the UKIndepandant,,,above)


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