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Lessons In Rejectionism

by heathlander Sat Apr 14th, 2007 at 08:58:24 PM EST

Lesson One: Always declare that there is no "partner for peace" on the opposing side, regardless of who represents them and what position they advocate. When Arafat's in power, it is he who is the "obstacle to peace". When Abu Mazen replaces him, it is he who must stop standing in the way of progress. When Hamas succeeds Abu Mazen, reverse policy and insist that what peace needs is a return to Abu Mazen. Say anything in order to put the blame for a lack of peace on the other side and make you look like the pragmatic one, whilst allowing you to continue to delay and stall negotiations.

When Arafat was in power, the Israeli leadership regularly denounced him for standing in the way of peace. In fact, what they were afraid of was the precise opposite. Throughout the 1980s Israel rejected Arafat's offers of negotiations, on the grounds that there could be no "additional Palestinian state" between Israel and Jordan (Jordan already being a "Palestinian state"). As Yoel Marcus writes,

"Sharon rejects Arafat as a partner for dialogue not because army intelligence whispered in his ear that the guy is a bastard. It's because he knows the conditions for an agreement with Arafat (or any other Palestinian leader) are the same as those insisted on by Sadat - withdrawal to the `67 borders and saying goodbye to the settlements. And that is not on Sharon's agenda, even in his worst nightmares." (via)

When Abu Mazen came to power, it became more difficult to portray the Palestinian side as rejectionist, because he didn't have Arafat's guerilla history and just generally looked more "moderate". The problem was that although Abbas made all the right noises about non-violence, he continued to insist on a two-state settlement as defined by international law - an Israeli withdrawal to the Green Line, an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, etc. etc. Obviously, therefore, serious negotiations with him were out of the question for an Israeli leadership still bent on retaining the settlements. He did, however, have a reputation for "pragmatism" and it was hoped he could eventually be pressured into compromise (as with Arafat at Oslo). Sharon therefore insisted as a pre-condition to any serious final-status talks that Abbas achieve the impossible feat of stopping the Palestinian terror attacks, even as Israel continued to enforce policies (house demolitions, increase in settlement activity, continued arbitrary arrest, detention and often torture of Palestinians, etc. etc.) that made them inevitable. As Henry Siegman, a Senior Fellow on the Middle East at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former executive head of the American Jewish Congress, among other things, writes,

`Washington -- and even many Israelis -- understood that Abbas needed time to rebuild his security forces if the Palestinian Authority was to prevail in a confrontation with the Islamists. Sharon and his government, however, insisted on an immediate assault by Abbas's security forces against Hamas's "infrastructure." Sharon did so even as the Israelis intensified settlement construction and confiscations of Palestinian territory, including some of the most productive Palestinian agricultural land, destroyed for the wall Israel is erecting. These activities undermined Abbas's credibility and public support, and clearly violated the road map's demand for the immediate and unconditional cessation by Israel of all further land confiscations and settlement expansion.'

Then came the elections last January and the ascendancy of Hamas, in what can generally be described as a "protest vote" on the part of the Palestinian people against Fatah's corruption and the complete failure of the Oslo process, and the secular nationalist movement more generally, to achieve anything other than increased Israel settlement. For Palestinians, it was essentially a choice between starving under Fatah and starving under Hamas - they chose the latter, because at least Hamas was honest.

Hamas presented Israel with the same dilemma - here was an organisation that was increasingly demonstrating its willingness to accept a two-state solution and that actually had the ability to sell it to the various armed Palestinian factions. Hamas was never going to accept the kind of bantustan settlement Israel had in mind, and so it became necessary to avert the very real danger of a potential "peace offensive" by the Hamas leadership. Hamas was in the middle of a self-imposed, unilateral ceasefire at the time and so Israel needed to find other reasons to justify its rejectionism. It did so by adopting the language of the "war on terror" and labelling Hamas a "terrorist organisation" (to keep the U.S. on side) and inventing (together with the U.S.) three "principles" Hamas had to fulfil before Israel considered them a suitable partner for talks. Needless to say, all three principles are totally unjustified and hypocritical - Hamas has always demanded reciprocity, and since none of the three conditions were being applied to Israel it was a non-starter from the off (which was, of course, precisely the point). Meanwhile, Israel and its international backers set about destroying the Hamas government by means of "possibly the most rigorous form of sanctions ever imposed in modern times" (John Dugard) and extreme violence (Israeli forces killed almost triple the number of Palestinian children in 2006 relative to the previous year - 141 compared to 52). Most of the civilian deaths were, according to the Secretary-General of Amnesty International, "the result of deliberate and reckless shooting and artillery shelling or air strikes by Israeli forces carried out in densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip." See Israeli journalist Gideon Levy's description of last year's `Operation Summer Rains':

"[The IDF] has been rampaging through Gaza - there's no other word to describe it - killing and demolishing, bombing and shelling, indiscriminately"."

Israel's strategy, openly discussed, was to "destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again" by collectively punishing the Palestinian people. The idea was that the Hamas government would be toppled from within, either by the public or through a conflict with Abbas' forces (Abbas has played the part of a U.S.-Israeli pawn to perfection, accepting money, arms and training from the occupiers to fight Hamas). The principle means of this collective punishment have been arbitrary and extended border closures, a massive increase in the number of military roadblocks (which effectively divide the West Bank into hundreds of tiny cantons), the occasional war crime, a ban on fishing and, of course, the economic boycott, which has resulted in unemployment rising to 70% in Gaza (for comparison: the U.S. suffered an unemployment rate of 23.6% at the height of the Great Depression), an increase in the number of Palestinians living below the poverty line to 64% (up from 54% in 2005) and mass Palestinian malnutrition, to the extent that 46% of Palestinian households are malnourished. All the while, of course, settlement expansion has continued.

It is important to remember that all these consequences are the intended effects of the Israeli policy to force out the Hamas government.

It worked, to an extent - there was a period of severe inter-factionary violence between Fatah and Hamas forces, but when it became clear that neither was strong enough to overcome the other, both sides formed a "national unity government", headed by Hamas but with the more "moderate" Abbas in charge of negotiations with Israel. This represents a partial success for Israeli policy, but the job is not complete - while Hamas remains part of the government, any chance of a bantustan settlement is close to nil. Therefore, Israel has continued to boycott the new government, again appealing to the ridiculous three "principles" mentioned above as justification for its refusal to talk. Israel says it will continue to engage with Abbas, separate from the government, but not about anything serious. So for example, the Israeli Prime Minister's spokeswoman yesterday announced that Olmert is ready to discuss "the type of legal system, economic system [and] government system" that a future Palestinian state would have, but will not discuss "the three hardest, central issues - borders, Jerusalem and refugees". The purpose of such discussions, that avoid the main issues, was explained by Yitzhak Rabin in 1989, who described the U.S.-PLO dialogue as a "successful operation", involving only "low level discussions" that avoid any serious issues. The Americans are "now satisfied", he explained, "and do not seek any [political] solution, and they will grant us a year, at least a year" to settle the situation in our own way - the way of force. "The inhabitants of the territories are subject to harsh military and economic pressure", said Rabin, and "[i]n the end, they will be broken" and accept Israel's terms. (Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle; p. 508) Another example of a pointless, endlessly protracted `peace process' is the "Roadmap", which Israel has never kept to and yet continues to insist is the only legitimate path to peace. Expect this kind of blanket rejectionism to continue until the favoured Israeli partnership of Abbas and Dahlan returns to power, at which point Israeli policy will depend on whether Abbas is ready to accept the kind of settlement Israel is looking for or if he still needs some "softening up" (to paraphrase New York Times commentator and self-described "pro-Israeli hawk" William Safire's description of Arafat at Oslo [Ibid.; p. 538)].
Lesson Two: Maintain that the other side is not interested in peace even in the face of direct appeals for negotiations. An explanation is not required - just continue to insist that whatever the other side says, it isn't being sincere.

See, for example, Israel's response to Syria's recent peace overtures - namely, one of flat rejection, despite the fact that the majority of the public and press favour engagement with Syria. Syrian President Bashar Assad has said,

"Talk to Syria, and like many Israelis are saying, `even if you think it's a bluff you have nothing to lose,"

while Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem emphasised that a "constructive dialogue has to start without preconditions". In an interview for Der Spiegel, Assad declared,

"I don't say that Israel should be wiped off the map. We want to make peace - peace with Israel."

While it is impossible to say for sure, it appears that Assad's overtures are genuine. They seem to be part of a wider attempt by Syria to distance itself from Iran and move towards the U.S./Gulf states bloc. Nimrod Barkan, the director of the Israeli Foreign Ministry Center for Policy Research, has concluded that "Syria is ready for negotiations", an opinion shared by Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz, who testified before the Knesset that "Syria is genuinely interested in negotiations". In any case, as a senior security official explained to Ha'aretz,

"There is no doubt that there is a movement within Syria that is interested in talks with us. The only way to gauge their level of seriousness is to talk to them."

Syrian-American negotiator Ibrahim Suleiman declared on Thursday that "Syria right now is ready to speak peace", and that peace was possible within six months. The basic terms of a future peace agreement have already been laid out in a "non-paper" resulting from two years of secret, unofficial negotiations between Israeli and Syrian officials in Europe. They involve significant Syrian concessions - for example, the creation of a "peace park" at the buffer zone along the Lake Kinneret, free for both Israelis and Syrians to use, and the demilitarisation of the border along a 1:4 ratio in Israel's favour. Prime Minister Olmert's response to all this has been clear:

"At a time when the president of the United States, Israel's most important ally, with whom we have a network of strategic relations -- when he is fighting in every arena, both at home in America, in Iraq and in other places in the world, against all the elements that want to weaken him -- is this the time for us to say the opposite?"

The U.S. has in fact demanded that Israel `desist from even exploratory contacts with Syria', although I doubt Olmert took much persuading. In any event, such are the consequences of the decision Israel took after the 1967 war when, faced with a choice between an acceptance of Sadat's 1971 peace offer and integration into the wider region or rejection in favour of more land, at the price of becoming a U.S. satellite and at the expense of national security, Israel chose the latter, the consequences of which are felt to this day.

Indeed, when Olmert declares that the time is not yet "ripe" for peace talks with Syria, one is reminded of the triumphant Israeli leadership's attitude towards Sadat's peace offer in 1971. Then, as now, peace was offered in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal to the June 1967 border. Everyone in Israel today knows the price of peace with Syria is exactly the same. Olmert himself expressed it succinctly last February:

"The whole world knows that in any future negotiations, if they are renewed, we will have to give up on the entire Golan Heights".

Then, as now, Israel's response was the same: "Israel will not withdraw to the pre-June 5, 1967 lines." As Labor Party leader Ezer Weizman (later President) explained, accepting Sadat's peace offer would mean Israel could not "exist according to the scale, spirit, and quality she now embodies." Israel's rejection of Sadat's peace offers led directly to the 1973 Yom Kippur war - similar consequences could well be in store if Syrian peace overtures continue to be ignored. Israeli writer Amos Oz gives a good summary of Israel's strategy for avoiding peace negotiations with Syria:

"Israel is demanding, as a precondition, that Syria give all that it has to give -- even before sitting down at the negotiating table...That is a ludicrous demand."

The same can be said of the three pre-conditions (the "Quartet principles") to talks with the Palestinians mentioned above. They perform the same function - to enable Israel to avoid or delay having to engage in peace negotiations until it feels the time is "ripe" (i.e. until it feels that there is a "partner" on the other side willing to accept the kind of bantustan peace Israel is offering). Oz's talk of a "ludicrous demand" holds true only if Israel's real aim is peace. In fact, as Gideon Levy explains,

"If there is a positive angle to the Israeli refusal to consider the Syrian president's proposals, it is the exposure of the bitter truth: Israel does not want peace with Syria - period. No linguistic trick or diplomatic contortion can change this unequivocal fact. We will no longer be able to declare that we are seeking peace with our neighbors; we are not turning toward them for peace. In the Middle East, a new rejectionist axis has formed: Israel and the United States, which is saying "no" to Syria."

Lesson 3: If, for political or public relations purposes, you are forced to enter into negotiations, make absurd offers that don't even come close to recognising the legitimate legal rights of the other side. Be sure to make sincere statements about wanting peace, and when talks fail immediately blame the other side. Don't worry - the mainstream media in the countries that matter will support you, regardless of the facts.

The talks at Camp David in 2000 are a good example of these phony "peace negotiations". Camp David is portrayed in the mainstream press as a historic "missed opportunity" for the Palestinians. Israel offered "extraordinary concessions" (Washington Post), and its "generous peace terms" (LA Times) constituted "the most far-reaching offer ever" (Chicago Tribune) to create a Palestinian state. Unfortunately, due to "Arafat's recalcitrance" (LA Times) and "Palestinian rejectionism" (U.S. News & World Report), Arafat "walked away without making a counteroffer" (USA Today). As Israeli historian Avi Shlaim writes,

"The latest national myth is that of the generous offer that Ehud Barak is said to have made to Arafat at Camp David, only to be confronted with a flat rejection and a return to violence. There is a broad national consensus behind this myth, including the left and the peace camp, but popular support is not the same as evidence."

Arafat, so the narrative goes, was too stubborn and too infatuated with violence to accept Barak's "generous" offer. The reality is almost the exact opposite. Arafat desperately wanted peace - here's what Amos Malka, the head of Israel's military intelligence, had to say about Arafat's attitude:

"The assumption was that Arafat prefers a diplomatic process, that he will do all he can to see it through, and that only when he comes to a dead end in the process will he turn to a path of violence. But this violence is aimed at getting him out of a dead end, to set international pressure in motion and to get the extra mile."

What Barak offered at Camp David was a notional "Palestinian state", divided into four separate and de facto non-contiguous cantons. Here's Prof. Ilan Pappe's summary of what exactly was offered at Camp David:

"Not surprisingly, the Israeli plan alone was on the negotiating table at Camp David in the summer of 2000. Endorsed by the Americans, it offered withdrawal from most of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, leaving about 15 per cent of original Palestine for the Palestinians, in the form of discrete cantons bisected by highways, settlements, army camps and walls. No capital in Jerusalem, no solution to the refugee problem and total abuse of the concept of statehood and independence. Even the fragile Arafat, who had hitherto seemed to be happy with the Salata (the perks of power), having never exercised Sulta (actual power), could not sign a document that made a mockery of every Palestinian demand. He was immediately depicted as a warmonger."

The pervasive myth that Arafat refused even to propose a counter-offer and instead turned straight to violence is, of course, nonsense. The second Intifada began on September 29, a full two months after negotiations at Camp David ended. In the meantime, life for Palestinians in the OPT continued as usual (in August and early September, Israel announced new construction on Jewish only settlements in Efrat and Har Adar, two Palestinian houses were demolished in East Jerusalem and the Israeli statistics bureau reported that settlement building had increased 81 percent in the first quarter of 2000′), and negotiations continued behind closed doors. After the outbreak of the Intifada, high-level discussions resumed at Taba in January 2001, where significant progress was made towards a peace settlement. Taba represented one of the few serious breaks in Israeli rejectionism in recent years - unfortunately, domestic Israeli politics got in the way and Barak called off the discussions to return to Israel and campaign in the general elections (he was ultimately defeated by Ariel Sharon).

The early Oslo process , culminating in the Oslo Accord of 1993, was similar to the Camp David talks in that Israel did not enter it with the intention of offering the Palestinians anything like what they were legally entitled to, but different in the sense that, for Israel, it was largely successful. The Oslo agreements were, in the words of former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, "founded on a neo-colonialist basis, on a life of dependence of one on the other forever." The Oslo Accord essentially offered Arafat the semblances of power in exchange for him becoming Israel's "enforcer" in the Territories (to quote Edward Said). It changed the "modalities" of the occupation (as Chomsky puts it), but the basic concepts remained the same. In the words (.pdf) of Meron Benvenisti, the respected Israeli political analyst and former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem,

`The occupation continued [after Oslo], albeit by remote control, and with the consent of the Palestinian people, represented by their "sole representative", the PLO.'

The Oslo Accord did not speak of Palestinian self-determination, or the right of return, or an end to the occupation, and pointed to UN Resolution 242, which does not concern Palestinian national rights, as the sole basis for a future settlement (the final aim of the negotiations, it said, is "a permanent settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338″ [338 just affirms 242]). In a debate on Democracy Now!, Shlomo Ben-Ami describes accurately how Israel viewed Oslo:

"Well, the Oslo peace process was an agreement -- it started as an agreement between two unequal partners. Arafat conceived Oslo as a way, not necessarily to reach a settlement, but more importantly to him at that particular moment, in order to come back to the territories and control the politics of the Palestinian family. Don't forget that the Intifada, to which Oslo brought an end, started independently of the P.L.O. leadership, and he saw how he was losing control of the destiny of the Palestinians. His only way to get back to the territories was through an agreement with Israel. So in Oslo, he made enormous concessions.

In fact, when he was negotiating in Oslo with us, an official Palestinian delegation [led by Haydar `Abd al-Shafi] was negotiating with an official Israeli delegation in Washington, and the official Palestinian delegation was asking the right things from the viewpoint of the Palestinians -- self-determination, right of return, end of occupation, all the necessary arguments -- whereas Arafat in Oslo reached an agreement that didn't even mention the right of self-determination for the Palestinians, doesn't even mention the need of the Israelis to put an end to settlements. If the Israelis, after Oslo, continued expansion of settlements, they were violating the spirit of Oslo, not the letter of Oslo. There is nothing in the Oslo agreement that says that Israelis cannot build settlements. So this was the cheap agreement that Arafat sold, precisely because he wanted to come back to the territories and control the politics of Palestine."

Indeed, in the seven years following the 1993 Oslo Accord, the number of Israeli settlers almost doubled.

We may be about to witness another instance of pointless negotiations, as Israel considers how to respond to the latest Arab League push for peace. When the Arab Peace Initiative was first proposed in 2002, it met with a blanket dismissal from Israel and the U.S. Recently, after the Lebanon war, the Arab League tried to revive it by calling for a ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the Middle East peace process. The leaders of the Gulf states live in constant fear of their own populations, whose views about Israel and the U.S. are far more radical than their own (their alliance with the U.S. necessitates a relatively benign attitude towards Israel). They came under severe internal pressure during the Lebanon war for failing to come to the aid of the Lebanese people. Thus, King Abdullah of Jordan expressed his worry that the `Arab street' is becoming increasingly radicalised, explaining,

"I don't think people are taking us [moderates] seriously. The moderate voice now has been neutralized...the reason [for the Arab street cheering Hassan Nasrallah as opposed to King Abdullah] is because Israel is not committed to a process of peace. Once we can show in the next couple of months hope to the Palestinian people and to the Arabs that there is going to be serious movement, I think that balance will switch away."

The attempted revival of the Arab Peace Initiative should be seen in this context. In any event, the League's requests for negotiations were flatly rejected. The U.S. was "unequivocally opposed" to the idea, on the grounds that whenever there is a Middle East peace process meeting, there is "pattern of hostility" towards Israel and "we don't want to add fuel to the flames right now". Protecting Israel's feelings is evidently more important to the United States than ending the Middle East conflict. In any case, surely sending weaponry to Israel even as it was in the process of destroying southern Lebanon, as the U.S. did last summer, can only be described as adding "fuel to the flames"? Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, also (naturally) rejected the proposal, explaining that he `doubted' a new Arab League initiative would fairly consider Israel's security needs. Israel dismissed a similar Russian peace conference proposal that same month on equally flimsy grounds. The real reason for the rejection is that a) the Arab League plan calls on Israel to abide by the law and withdraw fully from the Occupied Territories, and b) the Arab leaders emphasised that they didn't want another long, drawn-out peace process - they wanted to immediately proceed to negotiations about the "final status" issues. This, of course, is anathema to Israel and its strategy of `endless negotiations'.

However, the relationship between the Gulf states and the U.S. is growing increasingly fragile and political pressures have forced Israel to at least appear to be interested in talks. It has done so, albeit with extreme reluctance, as Ha'aretz reports:

`Olmert has for weeks resisted pressure from the U.S., Egypt and others to commit to talks with the working group, which is expected to consist of Egypt and Jordan, and possibly other Arab states.'

It now appears that there probably will be some discussions, but they are unlikely to go very far. Israel will do just enough to get the U.S. and the international press off its back for a while, without actually getting any closer to a final settlement. As Noam Chomsky explains,

"The Arab League plan goes beyond earlier versions of the international consensus by calling for full normalization of relations with Israel.

By now, the US and Israel can't simply ignore it, because US relations with Saudi Arabia are too tenuous, and because of the catastrophic effects of the Iraq invasion (and the great regional concern that the US will go on to attack Iran, very strongly opposed in the region, apart from Israel). So therefore the US and Israel are departing slightly from their extreme unilateral rejectionism, at least in rhetoric, though not in substance.

The plan has overwhelming international support, of course from the Third World (the "South"), which, as mentioned, has been in the lead in pressing the basic proposal for 30 years, but also again Europe. It's supported by the Arab states and by Iran. Hezbollah has been quite clear that though it does not like it, it will not disrupt any agreement that the Palestinians reach. Hamas has indicated that it will support it. That includes its most militant faction, headed by Khaled Maashal in Damascus, who said that Hamas would accept an Arab consensus -- namely, the Arab League plan, now renewed. A large majority of Americans supported the Saudi plan when it was announced, and presumably still do, though I don't know of current polls. That leaves the US-Israel in their usual stance of splendid isolation, opposing a diplomatic settlement -- not just in words, but in deeds: the massive settlement/infrastructure projects in the West Bank, and all the rest."

Israel is simply not yet willing to withdraw to the Green Line, which is what the Arab peace plan demands. Indeed, Olmert is already preparing the ground for stalling any future negotiations by repeatedly focusing on the refugee question - in a recent interview for the Jerusalem Post, for example, he declared that "[n]ot one refugee can return" to Israel. "I'll never accept a solution that is based on their return to Israel, any number", he added. In reality, Olmert's objections go far beyond the issue of the Palestinian refugees. In an interview conducted when he was still Deputy Prime Minister under Ariel Sharon, Olmert explained his vision of a final settlement:

"We have to separate Jews from Palestinians. Therefore, we'll have to pull out of the areas densely populated by Palestinians and make sure that Israel has a stable and permanent Jewish majority in the State of Israel. Or in other words, maximum Jews and minimum Arabs.

Consequently, we will have to dismantle many isolated settlements in the West Bank and retain the major blocs of townships that were created.

I think that we should forever keep the city of Jerusalem undivided. The Old City, the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, Sheikh Jarah, Ras el-Amud, Beit Hanina and so on will remain part of the State of Israel."

He called the idea of dividing Jerusalem "totally unacceptable". Here's what he had to say about Israel's Arab minority,

"It is true that within the Green Line there are also 20 percent Arabs, but this is a much more manageable problem than the demographic problem in the entire territory." [my emphasis]

This is what Olmert and Kadima represent, when all their rhetoric is stripped away. That is the kind of settlement the Israeli leadership is looking for, and until this changes, there can be no peace. The solution to the crisis has been on the table for literally decades, supported by virtually the entire international community. In January 1976, the U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for a Palestinian state and an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 border (11 states voted in favour, with four abstentions). A similar resolution is put before the General Assembly every year, and it typically passes with the entire world voting in favour, and the U.S., Israel, Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia voting against. It is worth reading the Syrian representative's statement to the UN after the U.S. vetoed the draft resolution in 1976. What he said then remains true today.

"Just and lasting peace can be realized only through a comprehensive settlement within the framework of the United Nations, taking into account all the elements and causes of the Middle East conflict--particularly the injustice, the grievances and the loss which have befallen the Palestinian people.

"If the Arab nation is seeking peace based on justice, it is because peace without justice is capitulation. As long as any part of the Arab territories remains under occupation and as long as any of the rights of the Palestinian people are still violated, there can be no justice, and hence there can be no peace."

The U.S. must play its part in pressuring Israel to return to the international consensus regarding the two-state settlement. Until this happens, the people of the region, most particularly the Palestinians, will continue to suffer and die in vain.

Cross-posted at The Heathlander

That´s an excellent review heathlander and I agree it´s nothing but excuses because at least two "leaders" don´t give a damm how many people die.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sun Apr 15th, 2007 at 05:32:50 PM EST

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