July 2009


There You Will Be copy

I thought I would allow the first volley of slings and arrows pass overhead before responding. It’s a good story. I am referring to the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard professor by Police Officer James M. Crowley of the Cambridge, MA Police Department.

According to various accounts, it went something like this: Professor Gates had returned from a trip and had lost or didn’t have his house key, so he broke into his own home. He was probably tired and upset with himself for not having his keys. Neighbors saw this and called police. Officer Crowley responded to the call, apparently describing two men with backpacks, and confronted professor Gates inside his house. The police officer did not recognize Gates, a minor celebrity known to viewers of Oprah and Public Broadcasting television.

Immediately, Dr. Gates took an adversarial position with the officer, saying things like “Do you know who you are messing with?” And, according to the police report, “I’ll speak with your mamma outside.” The blue collar white officer asked for identification and Dr. Gates produced his Harvard ID. The matter could have ended at that point, especially inasmuch as the elderly Dr. Gates did not match the description of two men, who it turned out, were Gates and his taxi driver. But by that time a crowd had gathered outside and Gates continued with his verbal abuse, and Officer Crowley, asserting control of the situation, handcuffed and arrested Gates, in the presence of a black cop, and took him to the police station where charges were dropped and Gates was released.

One thing clear to me is that this was not a case of racial profiling, as many black leaders are calling it. Gates himself made that charge. It would have been racial profiling if Dr. Gates had been walking down the street and a patrol car had stopped and arrested him without suspicion. Instead, the officer was responding to a report of a break-in at a specific address and Professor Gates was the only man inside that house. Not discussed in all the brouhaha is that the policeman had to be prepared for a confrontation with an armed robber, and hearing an immediate stream of insults from the would-be perp did not help matters.

President Obama weighed in on the matter, first saying that the police had acted “stupidly,” and then backtracked, saying that he did not think that Officer Crowley was stupid.

I do not doubt for a moment that racial profiling exists in America. I have heard too many stories, and this incident has brought forth a passel more. And I don’t doubt that race played a role in the interaction between the two men. As stated above, I don’t think that race was the primary motivating factor of the incident.

Cause is important because it has to do with how we tell our stories in America. The black leaders and academics I have listened to decry the incident as yet another example of how much further America still has to go in its race relations, while white pundits tend more to emphasize the gray areas; for example, that, ironically, officer Crowley teaches a course in racial profiling and therefore is a sensitive man.

Those who wield terms like “racism” and “racial profiling” like a club tend to have the most to gain in stirring up the pot on the issue. They are professors of black studies, for example, and have made rich careers for themselves in the field of race relations. An event like this gives them an opportunity to beat their drum. It deflects attention from problems within their own community, from black racism, if your will, from the intolerable levels of violence in certain neighborhoods, where so-called “random shootings,” that is, bullets that missed their target and hit an innocent bystander, are all too common.

When Rudy Giuliani was Mayor of New York he patiently explained at press conferences when questions of the NYPD and race hit the newsstands, that the cops look for suspects based on eye witness descriptions, which include race. How else do you find street criminals? Do you simply begin arresting people at random? This never quite satisfied his critics, but it generally silenced them for the moment. That was, in part, because Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor was a tough sheriff in New York City, cracking down on street crime and quality of life issues, making New York safer for everyone, including African Americans, who are the most likely targets of street crime.

Many of the tragic shooting accidents in New York occur in confrontations between immigrants of color and the police. The immigrants don’t often speak or understand English, and act provocatively when approached by the police. Everyone who comes to town should take a crash course in street etiquette. One, when approached by cops, stop what you are doing. Two, listen to what they say, and do it. Three, don’t act provocatively and reach into your pockets. Follow these simple rules and you will most likely live to see another day.

I lived in Boston during the politically charged period of 1967-68. Once when I was walking down Beacon Hill, I saw a blue-and-white paddy wagon stop, grab a long hair youth and throw him into the back of the vehicle and drive off. This was an example of “hippie profiling.” The procedure at that time was to take said class of persons to the police station, rattle and release them. This was part of the cultural wars of the era.

Once again in Boston, I was barred at the door from attending an indoor speech by black activists at a church in Roxbury. And once, when returning from a canoe trip in the North West Territories, my friend Nick and I were asked to leave a loggers bar and restaurant on account of our long hair, which we promptly did.

The Gates incident could have been much worse. A less experienced police officer might have drawn his weapon at the abusive, gesticulating Gates. As it was, common sense prevailed and the episode ended peacefully with no one getting hurt. Feathers were ruffled and word arrows sent flying across the blogosphere. You could call the whole thing ironic, a comedy of errors. You could call it an episode in the Twilight Zone on the border of perception and reality. It’s nothing more than that, really. Duly noted, and moving on.

On Thursday, July 30th, The President and Vice President met with Dr. Gates and Officer Crowley in the Rose Garden at the White House to talk over beers. President Obama said the men had a “friendly, thoughtful conversation.”

By Hudson Owen. All Rights Reserved.

The space race began in the ashes of World War II when the Allies took trophies from the German rocket program. The Russians took missiles and dismantled production facilities and transported them home. We got Werner von Braun. Von Braun, a poster boy for the Master Race, with his brains and good looks, became the head of our space program.

The race began in earnest when the Russians launched Sputnik I (traveler) into orbit above the Earth. It sent repetitive radio signals for 22 days that anyone could tune into. It burned up when it reentered the Earth’s atmosphere. A replica of the shiny metal ball and its long antennas hangs in the United Nations building.

Sputnik radicalized American education, as we played catch-up in the space race. In my school, the weekly free period was cancelled. On January 31 of the following year, the U.S. launched Explorer into space. In 1961, the Soviet Union launched the first man into space, cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin, who had a big smile, as I recall. Later that year, Alan Shepard became the first American into space. This was the year that President Kennedy challenged us to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

And so it went, back and forth, until July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong stepped off the Eagle Lander, on the Apollo 11 mission, onto the surface of the moon, leaving indelible footprints in the lunar dust—indelible because there were no natural forces on the moon to erode them. It ended the decade with the biggest whoop-ah imaginable. People stopped what they were doing around the world to watch the moon landing on TV. We had trounced the Russians after their early lead in space. Woowza! (see my essay/poem “Moon Landing.”)

In all, the Apollo program sent a dozen men to the moon and back, in five separate missions, the last being Apollo 17 in 1972. Neither the Russians nor anyone else from Earth has landed on the moon since that time.

Manned flights into space continued with the Space Shuttle program, on our part. The Russians put up their numerous Soyuz manned flights. Then came the International Space Station, and then came…Star Trek. Not exactly. Actually, the first Star Trek series ended in 1969. Its theme was “Space, the final frontier.” The point I am making is that during the time of actual space exploration, imaginary space exploration was flying right alongside the real thing in the form of the Star Ship USS Enterprise.

Let us back track, shall we, to the 19th Century and Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon. In it, Verne imagined that a gigantic cannon, in Florida, interestingly, would fire a giant projectile into space that would send three men to impact on the moon. Verne had the right idea and even got some of the details right, but the technology was wrong. It would take a rocket not a cannon to do the job. Rocket technology at that time was not developed sufficiently to imagine such a thing.

By 1968 and the startling film 2001: A Space Odyssey, space flight became very well imagined, indeed, and beyond. The beyond part was the metaphorical journey concocted by writer Arthur C. Clarke and director Stanley Kubrick, and enacted by actor Kier Dullea. Ah, what did all those colored lights signify, and the monolith and the aged Dullea pointing up at the glowing Star Child?

Well, for one thing, it meant that artistic vision had caught up with the real thing even before man actually landed on the moon, in its feel for space flight in a weightless environment, and added a vision of death and rebirth. The movie took nothing away from the thrill of the accomplishment of Apollo 11. But it placed science fiction on a footing to supply interesting space stories filled with beings and creatures and states of consciousness not realized by subsequent actual space missions. In other words, science fiction began to chip away at the rational for spending billions of dollars on additional space missions.

To wit, why send men and women to Mars?

Mars is anywhere from 34 million to 248 million miles from Earth, depending on the two planets’ elliptical orbits. It takes approximately a year to reach Mars from Earth by present means. By contrast, on average, the moon in only 240,000 miles from our home planet. Some kind of sleep or suspended animation state would be required for the astronauts going and coming. And here’s the big question: what would the crew do when it gets there? Remember those two Mars rovers? Do you remember their names?

If case you’re wondering, Spirit and Opportunity are still at it, motoring around, collecting surface samples and sending clear images back to Earth after landing on the Red Planet in 2004. They have endured long past their expected expiration date. You can follow their progress on marsrover.nasa.gov. For my tax dollars, their mission is worth it, at least for the reason that they have shown fairly conclusively that there is no life as we know it on Mars. Nothing like what you have seen on Star Trek or Star Wars. Lots or dirt, rocks, hills, spills—all in all, a pretty good robot adventure, but nothing to get really, really excited about. You can travel virtually to Mars on Google Mars.

What about the International Space Station? Yes, what about it? The latest news from the International Space Station is that one of the two toilets is clogged.

President George W. Bush spoke of establishing a permanent base on the moon by 2020. Why? We’ve been there, done that. None of the other planets in our solar system is friendly for landing humans on the surface in the way that our moon and Mars are. They are better viewed from a distance. And from a distance we have seen the planets from fly-by space craft, magnificent images, going back to the Viking series.

The Hubble Space Telescope has been another great success story, sending back images practically from the beginning of time, galaxies fantastic distances from Earth, spectacular images of stars and nebular gas and dust we will never ever touch, if the laws of physics hold. In Star Trek, there is warp speed. In reality, rockets travel far below the speed of light.

Writing in the July 19, 2009 The New York Times, Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff, opines that “What NASA needs now in the power of the Word.” By “Word” what he seems to mean is a well-articulated philosophy of purpose. He gives the example of Darwin, who spoke the Word on evolution. NASA needs a new Darwin or Plato. Werner von Braun spoke the Word for NASA in his time, telling us that as a species we need to build a “bridge to the stars.” We need to do this because apparently we are the only sentient beings around, and our star, the Sun, is slowly dying.

The key word here is “slowly.” We’ve got several billion years of sunshine left. So there’s really no hurry to build that bridge to the stars. We have plenty of time to perfect ourselves, or destroy ourselves, as far as the sun is concerned.

It took civilization thousands of years to produce the ancient Greeks, who, in a stupendous feat of simple observation and reason, figured out the diameter of the Earth. It is only in the last several centuries that man produced the telescope and instruments capable of measuring events beyond Earth with real accuracy. In other words, it has taken mankind millennia just to begin to perceive the universe we live in: billions of stars and galaxies, billions of light years away. It gets bigger and older every time we look. Certainly, the universe was not created as our plaything, since we will never get to play with 99.999 percent of it. It’s just too damn far away. Which is sad, when you think about it.

What remains of space travel is domesticating it; making space travel available to the paying customer. Anybody with the millions to pay for it, can today hitch a ride aboard a large rocket and experience the thrill of blasting up up and away above Earth’s atmosphere. They say the view is fantastic. Prices need to come down for you and me to make the trip. Years ago, I met a woman living alone in London who claimed to have purchased a ticket to travel into space. She showed me papers. The walls of her room were covered with postcards.

It is yet too early to see how this century will turn out, how good it will be, how bad it will be, what will be its major themes. One theme that has announced its ugly presence is terrorism. By mid-century, the world as we know it might be recognizable, or not. A century hence? Today’s prophets warn of global warning, rising seas, deadly storms in abundance. It could be that civilization will be preoccupied with simple survival in unfriendly environments of our own making, including too many people devouring earth’s resources like ants.

One thing is certain, what we imagine and do not encounter in nature, we will try to create: be it new species, enhanced human powers, higher states of consciousness, travel at the speed of thought, cities under domes. New prophets and poets will arise heralding new visions. Meanwhile, you and I can look up at the stars, knowing what we know, what we think we know, and wonder.

By Hudson Owen. All Rights Reserved.

Moon Rock

Late one afternoon a knock.
Special delivery. His own moon rock!

True, only for one brief inspection.
Still, I’m pleased, thought Dr. Cerpeption.

It came in a smart commemorative case
With signature, saying and crew in space.

He cleared his desk and slit the seal.
Sunk in dark velvet, it beamed appeal.

Vibrant! An extraterrestrial orange.
But nothing really demonical or ang-
elical.

Putting in his third (dioptric) eye,
He checked the lunar lump for dye:

A mineral trace, a knob of ore;
Bits moonologists must yearn for.

Well, matter and energy balanced out.
Magnetism too small to tout.

Age? Maybe three billion-point-two-eight,
Give or take the workings of fate,

And just a speck—he almost missed—
Of a rare and fair tranquilithyst.

Igneous and metamorphoclastic.
Very good, but not bombastic.

Forty years ago this Monday, July 20, 1969, I watched the moon landing. I was on the night shift in a hospital, in the sun room. There was a full, or nearly, full moon that night, clearly visible through the window. It was around 11 PM Eastern Time. On the television screen astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were walking, bounding on the moon. Neil had spoken his famous line: “This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” I seem to remember hearing those words, with the article “a”, though that could be a trick of memory. It was his intention to say “a man.” There was the real moon through the window, and there was the real moon live from the moon. It was fantastic.

I wrote the poem “To James Wyeth On Seeing A Print Of Moon Landing” in the early 1970s after viewing a black-and-white reproduction of the painting by James Wyeth, my contemporary. You could call it a sympolic kind of painting. By that time, the artist had already done portraits of famous individuals including President John F. Kennedy, who had challenged us in a speech before Congress in 1961 to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade and safely return him to Earth. And, by golly we did it. We beat the Russians. Nothing before or after in the space program has matched that accomplishment.

I typed up the poem on nice paper, put a black matte frame around it, and mailed it to the painter. He replied on his stationary: “You have done in words what I attempted in paint.” High praise, indeed.

To James Wyeth On Seeing
A Print Of Moon Landing

Did you too see the feat and feel a blow,
Boggling for a moment thinking art?
What painting made on Earth could hope to show
The distance, risk and detail of each part?

Whatever, your full moon glows here and now,
Calm lantern satellite above the deep.
Stars vaguely bright and near as dreams allow
Suggest the stanchions watch that also keep.

Your title tells enough of cosmic news.
Their shots that come to mind are mute or boast.
Broad moby sheen and surf will challenge crews
To try their luck along a rocky coast.

By Hudson Owen. This poem is included in my Selected Poems 1967 –2007.

A recent photo essay in The New York Times caught my attention: “Japan’s Robots Face Hard Times.” As manufacturers cut back on production in the ongoing recession, fewer robots are needed on the production line. Some of the models depicted are on the non-humanoid variety, while others have recognizable human features, such as Yaskawa Electric’s industrial robots with two arms and two eye cameras.

There is a chef robot with a human hand making sushi; a robot resembling a snowman, with articulated hands, interacts with a child. Aibo, the friendly dog, with a price tag of $2000 never made it into the mass market. Some small bots recognize speech. Another humanoid model plays the violin. Does it play a sad song today?

There are robots to remind the elderly to take their medications and issue a stern warning if the person tries to take the same medication twice. Japan is a country with an aging population and low birth rate, and the government is grooming robot nurses to help care for the elderly. The creepiest robot I came across in my online searches was Geminoid, the robot twin designed by Hiroshi Ishiguro, a researcher and professor at Osaka University. Geminoid was made from a silicone cast of its creator, and is powered by pressurized air. Its micro-movements run on semi-autonomous motion programs.

Ishiguro can “telecommute from home by transmitting his voice via lip sensors to the robot from his home. Geminoid eerily conveys a sense of sonzai-kan or presence.

Japan views its robot creations as friendly helpers, so I read. Even the giant robot from the Gundam TV series that towers over central Tokyo is a friendly presence. It was Japanese shows that launched the Transformer toys, which were the inspiration for the Transformer movies.

Why this obsession with robots in Japan?

According to Patrick Galbraith, ethnographer at the University of Tokyo, “I think that hopefulness is what the Japanese see in robots.” Perhaps.

When I think of the Japanese, I think of an inward people. It wasn’t until 1853 and the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry with a fleet of U.S. warships in Japanese waters, that island Japan opened its borders to foreign trade in any quantity under the threat of naval bombardment. Remarkable, when you think about it. “Trade with us, or else!”

In the 1930s Japan pushed out violently and cruelly into Manchuria and China and Pacific nations. There it collided with Western powers, notably the United States, in World War II. Japan had become a modern industrialized nation that, nonetheless, held onto traditional ways. Japanese officers, for example, wore samurai swords and executed prisoners with them. Japan produced some excellent ships and planes, but generally lagged behind the West in technology, relying on fanaticism to defeat its enemies. Fanaticism did not achieve victory, as we know, but it did inflict grievous losses on U.S. forces, which influenced President Truman to use the atomic bomb to quickly end the war. There, in a most horrible and violent lesson, Japan was confronted by a profoundly superior technology.

In the 1950s, Japan again pushed out into the world, this time with trade. I can remember when Made In Japan, stamped on simple toys, was a joke. But the joke was on us as Japan Inc. penetrated U.S. markets and beat us at our own game. The trade was mainly one way. “We trade with you—you don’t trade with us.” In that, Japan remained an island, inward nation. It took up baseball and, in time, exported its players to us. It participates in a global economy, but not at the cost of its essential character.

Japan, I would say, has been producing an elaborate play of itself for centuries. Everything from the making of a samurai blade to pouring tea is a ritual, a ceremony. When firearms threatened to destroy too many of the samurai class, (see Kurosawa’s epic film “Ran,” based on “King Lear”) Japan was able, for a time, to ban firearms. It was more important to carry on the drama of war.

Japan’s signature art forms: kabuki and noh plays, bunraku puppet theater, are rituals in which the individual is hidden behind the mask. At a karaoke club you can slip out of your mundane role in society and sing like a star. The mask represents a type or stereotype or archetype, one might say. The dramas represent real social forces, which nonetheless are ritualized. This is less true of Japanese cinema.

Is it possible, then, that the robot has become a new character in this ongoing drama? I mean the fact that robots are a presence in the mall and home in a way they are not in America. It has been years since I can remember seeing some kind of robot answering quiz questions in a store or shopping center here at home. The descendants of Robbie the Robot might be popular in animated films—Steven Spielberg likes them—and in toyland. But they do not have the same presence, sonzai-kan, in our version of the modern world.

We use humans and animals, along with prostheses, as aids to the disabled and elderly. And I doubt that we will build a generation of robots to aid the elderly. They will be too expensive, for one thing, and Medicare will not pay for them. And I think we view robots with more suspicion than the Japanese do. We have plenty of people looking for jobs these days.

Japanese exceptionalism has taken different forms, from the world’s largest battleships they built in World War II, to the computers and cameras of geek culture. Their cameras are also works of art; Nikon is to my generation what Leica was to an earlier era. It is impossible to say how far the Japanese will go with their humanoid creations, that can already sing and dance, perform in the pageant of their culture. I have read that the art of the geisha has found renewed appeal among contemporary women in Japan. Perhaps the robot will stop at the entrance to the geisha house.

By Hudson Owen. All Rights Reserved.

The Owen Plan, named immodestly for the author, was not a peace plan per se but an arrangement for the resettlement of Jewish and Arab populations in the Middle East. It was conceived several years before the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 and the current situation, in which Hamas rules Gaza, and the recent war with Israel, which caused the destruction of thousands of homes and buildings.

Its main provision was that the Jewish settlers then living in the West Bank would leave, and the Arabs would move into the vacated West Bank settlements. The Jewish settlers would relocate in new settlements in Gaza or Israel itself. Israel would then annex the Gaza Strip, thus removing it from the spine of Israel. Instead of giving up land for peace, Israel would gain 360 square kilometers of land. This would create two contiguous states: Israel and the State of Palestine.

Some Israelis might choose to remain in the West Bank under Palestinian rule, just as some Palestinians, especially fishermen, might choose to live in Gaza under Israeli law. So it would be in the best interests of both peoples to maintain friendly relations with each other.

This would seem to be impossible situation today, with Hamas firmly in control of Gaza, at odds with the Palestinan Authority on the West Bank, and ever on the attack against Israel, even if it leads to severe military reprisals from Israel. The 275,000 thousand or so Jewish settlers living in the West Bank amongst a Palestinian population of 2,345,000, plus 200,000 more Israelis living in East Jerusalem, show no signs of leaving. A few so-called “illegal settlements” of small size are dismantled from time to time, but the overall trend is of Israel expansion in the West Bank. Maps of the West Bank show a crazy quilt of settlements, roadblocks, military bases, etc. Presently, Israel controls app. 45% of the Palestinian population on 80% of the West Bank, while the Palestinian Authority administers 96% of its population on only 17% of the West Bank.

Looking at such a map, the outside observer would despair that anything other than a very splotchy Palestinian state can be cobbled from such a patchwork, and joined to Gaza to form the complete Palestinian State. Such a state would be like a man walking down the street with stains on his trousers.

Add to that the influence of Iran on the territories and in Lebanon. As long as Iran arms, trains and encourages Hamas, in Gaza, and Hezbollah, in Lebanon, how can anyone imagine that a two state solution can be implemented with the best of intentions between the Israeli and Arab populations?

So, what is to be done?

Well, perhaps very little in the way of creating two states living side by side in peace and harmony. The first, and best opportunity for clearly marked borders between Arabs and Jews in the Holy Lands was the Balfour Declaration, in 1917, and subsequent adjustments to it in 1923, in which Great Britain, when it could do such things, would have created a homeland for the Jews on all lands west of the Jordan River. Arabs immediately opposed the idea, and the discovery of rich oil fields in Arab lands in the 1930s essentially killed the idea. The best deal Israel has offered the Palestinians came at the 2000 Camp David summit, in which Yasser Arafat turned down Ehud Barack’s offer of Gaza plus 97% of the West Bank.

The failure to seize upon historical opportunities has led to the present predicament, where nothing seems possible but an extension of the status quo—which nonetheless keeps changing. Israel, which clings to the notion of itself as a Jewish state, nonetheless permits immigration of non-Jews into Israel in considerable numbers. More and more Jewish settlers build in the West Bank, at least because it is much cheaper to do so than in Israel proper because of billions of dollars of aid from the U.S. Living under the more liberal leadership of the Palestine Authority, West Bankers, especially in places like Ramalla, live relatively peaceful and prosperous lives. While Gaza lies in rubble, an open sewer of misery and pain under Islamic law.

The truth is, no plan is workable today. The Owen Plan is no more whimsical than other failed or untried ideas. Why not a three state solution, with Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel each as a sovereign nation? Not likely, but worth a few hundred words on somebody’s blog. The so-called Saudi Proposal, in which Israel retreats to its original borders and grants the right of return to the Palestinians by the formation of Israel in 1947, is a lame attempt to some to terms with the success of the Jewish state after so many Arab attempts to destroy it. What about the 700,000 Jews cast from Arab lands in those days? They, of course, would never be welcomed back to Arab territory, where Jews cannot own land today, should they ever want return for some unlikely reason.

What the Middle East waits for today is action, the swift movement of events, facts on the ground, new leaders. The most likely event would be a war: between Israel and Iran, Israel and Syria, Israel and Hamas and Hezbollah. Wars have a way of clearing the air of loose chatter, cruel as that sounds. Wars create new facts on the ground. Wars move history forward.

The Arabs are waiting for the day when they have overwhelming strength and can drive the Jews into the sea. Or, more quietly, out-populate them within their own borders and vote the Jewish state out of existence. That day might come, or it might not. Israel and its Jewish population have thus far prevailed against the odds, defeated their enemies, and turned around and made peace deals with some of them. Israel is a country of surprises. It packed up from Gaza in 2005 and gave it over to the Gazans—lock, stock, and barrel—who then squandered their opportunity to live a better life in favor of war with their more powerful neighbor.

The Palestinians have made the worst of the cards dealt to them by the British and world history, making poor decisions at home and abroad. They have been out-fought and out-witted by the nimble Jews, who took the strip of land given to them by the United Nations and turned it into a modern state, welcomed their brethren from around the world, contributing to world culture and technology and making the desert bloom. Yes, they have taken land from the Palestinians. I have listened to the stories of Palestinians who lost their houses and land and moved to the United States. They have a voice and they deserve consideration. In the larger view, the culture of victimhood has accomplished little, will accomplish little, unless it precipitates Armageddon when all parties go up in smoke.

When you think about it, Gaza today is a wreck. The Saudis and others have offered several billions in rebuilding funds to Gaza. But if the princes of the desert really wanted to be helpful, they would offer the money to Israel instead, with the understanding that the quarter million Jewish settlers on the West Bank would move into the new construction in Gaza, which would then be annexed into Israel, and where they could live quite comfortably. And the million of so Gazans would then relocate to the West Bank, which has the space to accommodate them. Then you would see something like the Owen Plan.

I must be dreaming.

By Hudson Owen. All Rights Reserved.

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