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Beware of Ellipses:

I recently came across the following quote on the Internet, attributed to Ariel Sharon in 1988: "You don't simply bundle people onto trucks and drive them away. I prefer to advocate a more positive policy... to create, in effect, a condition that in a positive way will induce people to leave." The quotation is used, consistently, to suggest that Israel is continuing Sharon's policy of encouraging Palestinians to leave the West Bank and Gaza through "positive" action, by which the quoters mean making the Palestinians' life so miserable that they will want to leave.

Courtesy of Lexis-Nexis, I was able to track down the original source, at article in the Times of London in August 1988. Here is what that sources states:

He [Sharon] said: 'You don't simply bundle people on to trucks and drive them away.' Rather, he added, 'I prefer to advocate a positive policy, like enhancing the levels of technical education in the (occupied) areas to create, in effect, a condition that in a positive way will induce people to leave."

Let's first note that there are two potential problems with this quote even in its original context. Sharon was undoubtedly speaking in Hebrew, and this is an English translation, which may or may not capture the nuances of what he said, and for that matter may or may not be accurate. Second, while the author makes it look like this is one continuous quotation, it's not clear that it is; the two sentences may have been spoken well apart, changing the meaning substantially.

But let's take the London Times story at face value. What Sharon is saying is that if we make life better for the Palestinians, by, for example, increasing their levels of technical education, they will be induced to seek better opportunities abroad, and will thus leave voluntarily. "Positive," then, was meant to connote action that helps the Palestinians while at the same time serving Israelis interests by encouraging Palestinians to seek greener pastures elsewhere. One may still very reasonably object to this sentiment, but it's a far cry from the truncated version peddled on anti-Israel websites, which intentionally leaves out Sharon's one example of "positive" action, enhancing technical education, and instead makes it seem like Sharon was promoting far a more ominous form of "positive" action. [Update: Note that in the original Hebrew, this would likely have been clear even without the example, because Sharon assumedly used a Hebrew word meaning something like "favorable" or "beneficial", without the ambiguity of the English word "positive."]

I've learned over the years not to trust quotations that contain an ellipsis. (Some websites get around this skepticism by eliminating the ellipsis, and pretending they are reprinting a direct quote from Sharon.) It's not that such quotations never accurately reflect the original; I use ellipses myself. Rather, it's that such quotations are too easily manipulated, and to the extent they are used to prove something profound, the reader must simply be skeptical until he gets his hands on the entire original quotation. (Some leading scholars have even been known to ellipsis-out a "not", changing the meaning of a quotation to its exact opposite).

The Sharon example provides a perfect case where one should be presumptively skeptical--websites are using a 20 year old quotation, with a controversial figure saying something that seems completely outrageous, to prove a political point.

UPDATE: BTW, some websites even use the Sharon quote to claim that Sharon favored forcible transfer of the Palestinian population, when in context it's clear that he was arguing against such policies.

Lev:
Yes. To dowdify a quote.
8.25.2007 1:33am
Lev:
dowdify v: to edit a quote so as to convey a different meaning from what was intended, primarily to damage the subject being quoted.
8.25.2007 1:35am
David Matthews (mail):
My mother's favorite biblical ellipses:

"Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. . . Go, and do thou likewise." -- God, "The Bible"

(Genesis 4:8, Luke 10:37 KJV)
8.25.2007 2:29am
David Matthews (mail):
ellipses = ellipsis (or else I have to think of at least one more example, right?)

Ever since I found out that Marshall Dillon was actually Marshal Dillon, I've just been totally messed up.
8.25.2007 2:32am
Joel H (mail):
Anyone interested in this practice of dishonest "quotations" should check out the quote mine project, which was compiled by regulars of the talk.origins newsgroup in response to frequent doctored quotations from scientists in creationist publications, purporting to catch the scientists admitting evolution is a hoax. The name comes from the creationists' evident habit of searching through actual science, hunting for creative places to put ellipses.
8.25.2007 2:38am
Christopher (www):
Dr. Bernstein,

I am reasonably suspicious of your claim that "some leading scholars" have ellipsed out the word "not," and was hoping perhaps you could give some examples.
8.25.2007 3:04am
Paul Zrimsek (mail):
I...bundle people onto trucks and drive them away.

Shame on you!
8.25.2007 3:39am
Tony Tutins (mail):
make life better for the Palestinians, by, for example, increasing their levels of technical education, they will be induced to seek better opportunities abroad, and will thus leave voluntarily. "Positive," then, was meant to connote action that helps the Palestinians while at the same time serving Israelis interests by encouraging Palestinians to seek greener pastures elsewhere

Will Israel's interests really be served by training up a bunch of emigrant techies? The country they're most likely to migrate to is the US, where economic success leads to political clout, which could mean a vibrant Palestinian lobby in perhaps 20 years.
8.25.2007 6:12am
Tony Tutins (mail):
make life better for the Palestinians, by, for example, increasing their levels of technical education, they will be induced to seek better opportunities abroad, and will thus leave voluntarily. "Positive," then, was meant to connote action that helps the Palestinians while at the same time serving Israelis interests by encouraging Palestinians to seek greener pastures elsewhere

Will Israel's interests really be served by training up a bunch of emigrant techies? The country they're most likely to migrate to is the US, where economic success leads to political clout, which could mean a vibrant Palestinian lobby in perhaps 20 years.
8.25.2007 6:12am
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
IMO Sharon was not terribly quoted out of context -- the omitted words merely give an example of a "positive way" of inducing people to leave. The end result would be the same -- getting rid of Palestinians.

You said, "Sharon was undoubtedly speaking in Hebrew, and this is an English translation, which may or may not capture the nuances of what he said, and for that matter may or may not be accurate." Why do you assume that he was speaking in Hebrew? Some Israeli leaders are fluent in English. Anyway, how do you think his statement might have been mistranslated?

You said, "while the author makes it look like this is one continuous quotation, it's not clear that it is; the two sentences may have been spoken well apart, changing the meaning substantially." Why would the quotation be inconsistent by having an ellipsis where it is needed in one place but not in another?

Anyway, Sharon's comment was rather tactless -- he was telling the Palestinians, "study hard at technical subjects to help us get rid of you."

The presence or absence of ellipses is no indication of whether or not a quotation was taken out of context, because essential omitted words could be outside the quotation as well as within it. However, I am very annoyed when ellipses are omitted.
8.25.2007 7:15am
Gaius Marius:
Joel H, just reviewed your link and it is nothing more than a bunch of nitpicking at some quotations by creationists.
8.25.2007 7:38am
Jeff Boghosian (mail):
I largely agree with the post. I had looked it up a while back when I saw it at a protest. But I still don't think it shows Sharon in a good light since he is admitting he supports policies in an effort to get Palenstinians to leave.
8.25.2007 8:02am
markm (mail):
Larry Fafarman:
IMO Sharon was not terribly quoted out of context -- the omitted words merely give an example of a "positive way" of inducing people to leave. The end result would be the same -- getting rid of Palestinians.


This seems to imply that you think that giving the third or fourth generation in a refugee camp the means to get good jobs elsewhere is a bad thing.
8.25.2007 9:02am
Floridan:
Some leading scholars have even been known to ellipsis-out a "not", changing the meaning of a quotation to its exact opposite

Name two.
8.25.2007 9:06am
corneille1640 (mail):
Larry Farfaman:

It seems to me that David Bernstein, in saying that the quotation was "undoubtedly" translated from Hebrew and that the quotation may have been misleadingly represented as being continuous, was only trying to be intellectually honest by pointing out complications that might weaken his argument.
8.25.2007 10:11am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Re "scholars" with the not: if I had wanted to look up the examples I'd seen in the past and give you cites, I would have. I have a life outside this blog, you know. I was thinking of legal scholars/historians doing legal history for a "cause."

As for Sharon, "positive" could mean taking positive action as opposed to sitting around and waiting for something to happen. "Positive" could also mean something like "beneficial." Sharon almost certainly used a Hebrew word meaning something like the latter, which was translated into an ambiguous English word, and then ellispsed to make it look even worse.
8.25.2007 10:14am
Steve:
Re "scholars" with the not: if I had wanted to look up the examples I'd seen in the past and give you cites, I would have. I have a life outside this blog, you know.

I'm fairly certain that comment was a joke, which you missed.
8.25.2007 10:29am
jvarisco (www):
Policies designed to get Palestinians to leave (for whatever reason) is hardly consistent with supporting the creation of a Palestinian state in the occupied territories. Which even at best is a clear undermining of the road map.
8.25.2007 10:56am
Hoosier:
I've noticed with a shameful fascination how the Church of 9/11 Conspiracy has made use of ellipses. Some rather relevent words often go missing from quotations on their blogs. I'm sure that they do . . . mean well, and are being totally [ . . . ]-honest.

When they put together their Bible, they may want to look at some of the above-posts for hints on how to get it right.

(The Book of Rural Pennsylvania, 4:16--And lo!, the Chief of Police saith unto the Media "You can't see any evidence of a plane crashing here . . . That's what I saw!")
8.25.2007 11:03am
Daniel Messing (mail):
Amazing that so many miss the point of the posting and take off on the quotation itself.

The point is dishonesty. In particular, dishonesty in quoting. When confronted, the perpetrator of today will often hide behind the assertion that what was presented was "essentially" true. And indeed, if there is no ultimate truth, and the quotation--as modified through ellipses or other changes--supports the presenter's version of the truth, then so what?

The problem is that engaging in the argument and assembling supporting "facts" is worthless if there is no agreement on ground rules. So the quoter will try to hoodwink the reader by setting up a theory and presenting supportive "facts". But if the "facts" are shown to be untrue, then the presenter will still be "correct" because under his view of the truth he's right anyway.

If this is the ultimate belief, why don't the people who do this say so at the beginning, saving me the effort of trying to refute their arguments when they're not really engaging in argument. That is, they seem to be playing "by the rules" to sucker you in, but, when caught, abjure the rules.
8.25.2007 11:06am
DG:
"Policies designed to get Palestinians to leave (for whatever reason) is hardly consistent with supporting the creation of a Palestinian state in the occupied territories. Which even at best is a clear undermining of the road map."

jvarisco: not that you care, but he said this in 1988 - over a decade before the "Roadmap for Peace" was laid out and 5 years before Oslo. There is little doubt that educated Palestinians who have emigrated are far better off then those in, say, Jordanian or Lebanese refugee camps. Ask one - they'll tell you.
8.25.2007 12:05pm
jvarisco (www):
DG) I fail to see the relevance of that. If the Palestinians got a state - and were no longer in camps - they would be better off there too. As would many of the early zionists had they emigrated to the US rather than Israel, or created a homeland without a bunch of neighbors who wanted to kill them. The fact is that any peace settlement is going to involve the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank, and policies trying to reduce the population are in direct opposition to this. If Sharon is serious about peace, he should have worked to improve the situation on the ground in order to faciliate stability, and discarded his fantasies of all the Palestinians just leaving.
8.25.2007 12:16pm
therut:
I am shocked to know the media lies and publishes propaganda and shows bias in so called reporting. The media is a disgrace. But what is new? Nothing under the sun. The media is the opiate of the masses. Funny. Bet they keep giving their little awards to each other and patting themsleves on the back while most people snicker at them.
8.25.2007 12:20pm
Passing By:
Next up, Prof. Bernstein explains the quote attributed to Moshe Dayan, "we have no solution, you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave."
8.25.2007 12:25pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Varisco, as of 1988, Sharon was the leading advocate of Greater Israel, and of course was against the establishment of a Palestinian state. If that was all the quote was meant to convey, no one would bother, because that's well known. Not irrelevantly, 1988 was three years before the fall of the Soviet Union, and many Israelis began to look more favorably on the creation of a Palestinian state when they no longer feared it would be a Soviet client state, as it likely would have been before that.
8.25.2007 12:30pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Actually, I said Sharon was speaking in Hebrew because he's Israeli, and that's the language Israelis speak. The only reason he'd speak in English is if he were talking to an English-speaking audience, and there is zero indication in the article that this was the case.
8.25.2007 12:31pm
Hoosier:
Larry--Why is the presumption that Sharon spoke in Hebrew even in question? So he speaks English (though not all that, um . . . poetically). The Russian president is fluent in German. Don't we assume that quotes attributed to him are translated from the origial Russian, usless told otherwise?
8.25.2007 1:31pm
Crunchy Frog:

If the Palestinians got a state - and were no longer in camps - they would be better off there too.

Right - and the people in The Country Formerly Known As Rhodesia are so much better off now that they have thrown off the cruel white oppressors' chains.
8.25.2007 3:55pm
Passing By:
Are you alluding to Aesop's The Dog And The Wolf?
8.25.2007 6:46pm
athEIst (mail):
ah, yes, Sharon(AKA the Butcher of Beirut). I wonder what he was thinking?
8.25.2007 8:09pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Yes, because you don't like how Sharon ran the war in 1982, it's perfectly OK to intentionally distort anything he says in the future. Why be truthful when you're dealing with the likes of Sharon, when lying fits your prejudices so much better?
8.25.2007 10:04pm
athEIst (mail):
RAN THE WAR?? He deliberately let the Christian Falange into the refugee camps. He knew they were not delivereing Christmas Gifts. THE BUTCHER OF BEIRUT-not "how he ran the war!"
8.25.2007 10:51pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
Hoosier said,
Larry -- Why is the presumption that Sharon spoke in Hebrew even in question? So he speaks English (though not all that, um . . . poetically). The Russian president is fluent in German. Don't we assume that quotes attributed to him are translated from the origial Russian, usless told otherwise?

There is no reason to assume that he said it in Hebrew. For example, the Jerusalem Post is in English, and another major Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, has an English-language edition. Or maybe he was talking to an English-speaking reporter from outside the country.

Anyway, the quotation here does not come anywhere near to being a good example of a "quote mine," i.e., a quotation taken out of context.
8.26.2007 1:57am
Dave Wangen (mail):

Anyway, the quotation here does not come anywhere near to being a good example of a "quote mine," i.e., a quotation taken out of context.


I think you miss the point. It is not _necessarily_ true that the ellipsis changes the meaning of the quote itself. BUT, what this ellipsis undeniably does is change the quote to something that _CAN_ be used out of context. (Visit the link in the original post - the quote is used in support of the idea that Israel is militarily attacking Gaza 'to create, in effect, a condition that in a positive way will induce people to leave').

Thus, the ellipsis (or complete omission) ALLOWS the quote to be used out of context, even if it does not change the meaning itself.
8.26.2007 2:49am
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
Dave Wangen said,
Thus, the ellipsis (or complete omission) ALLOWS the quote to be used out of context, even if it does not change the meaning itself.

The absence of an ellipsis is certainly no guarantee that a quote is not out of context. The presence or absence of ellipses has no effect on whether or not I suspect that a quote is out of context.
8.26.2007 4:10am
NickM (mail) (www):
I don't go searching for ellipses replacing the word "not" in pseudoscholarship, but I did see it once in a motion filed with the court by opposing counsel. The judge wasn't amused, and sanctioned the offending attorney $1000.

BTW to all, Fafarman is a troll who brags on his blog about hijacking Volokh Conspiracy threads. [He's also a raving antisemite.] Don't feed him.

Nick
8.26.2007 9:21am
MDJD2B (mail):

"Sharon's policy of ... making the Palestinians' life so miserable that they will want to leave ... [has]
potential problems ....

"Sharon was promoting far a more ominous form of "positive" action....

I've learned over the years not to trust ... quotations Sharon."



David Bernstein,condensed from his original post, supra.
8.26.2007 10:57am
MDJD2B (mail):
The above post was meant as a (I hope) humorous example of Prof. Bernstein's point, altering his meaning with ellipses to say the oppposite of what he thinks.
8.26.2007 11:02am
MDJD2B (mail):

If the Palestinians got a state - and were no longer in camps - they would be better off there too. As would many of the early zionists had they emigrated to the US rather than Israel, or created a homeland without a bunch of neighbors who wanted to kill them.


What a patronizing comment!!
8.26.2007 11:03am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Adding CAPS TO YOUR COMMENT, and repeating BUTCHER OF BEIRUIT doesn't make your point any more sound. Even if you were right that Sharon intentionally perpetrated a massacre through agents (and you're not, though he can reasonably be accused of gross negligence), that doesn't make it intellectually honest to alter quotations to suit a political agenda.
8.26.2007 11:39am
lee (mail):
I never lied or said it was right to alter quotations. I merely said that one can use past actions to judge present "pronouncements."
8.26.2007 2:15pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
NickM driveled,
BTW to all, Fafarman is a troll who brags on his blog about hijacking Volokh Conspiracy threads. [He's also a raving antisemite.] Don't feed him.

You are trying to hijack this thread by making ad hominem attacks against me.

I am obviously not trying to hijack this thread. And my "bragging" about hijacking another Volokh Conspiracy thread was just a joke -- my comments on that thread were on-topic.

Being a holocaust revisionist and arguing that there is a link between Darwin and Hitler does not make one an anti-Semite, raving or otherwise.
8.26.2007 3:27pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Larry Fafarman: If you want to disagree with others on the substance, feel free to -- but "driveled" is over the line (and, no, "troll" is not over the line, nor is "antisemite," though you are of course free to defend yourself substantively against the charge, as you have tried to do).
8.26.2007 6:22pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
Eugene Volokh said,
"driveled" is over the line

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines "drivel" as follows in the sense in which I used the word here:
"to talk stupidly and carelessly"

How is that "over the line"? NickM's negative remarks about me had no bearing on the discussion here.
8.26.2007 7:52pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Larry Fafarman: I'm afraid I lack the time and inclination to argue about this. I count on commenters to know which things are personal insults and which are substantive even if critical. "Drivel" pretty clearly falls in the former category. Please adhere to the comments policy.
8.26.2007 8:07pm
Darth McLovin (mail):
It strikes me that this quote from Israel's most hard core mainstream politcal figure indicates why Israel is not due for peaceful days any time soon. The only way that the violence will end in Israel is if a significant number of Palestinians go away.

The main argument that I can think of against bundling Palestinians onto trucks and driving them away is that the Palestinians are going to destabilize any place they wind up and any place accessable by truck is too close to Israel.

I would suggest that the Israelis buy some of those enormous Antonov An 124 cargo planes that the Russians are selling, fill them up with the most troublesome Palestinians and their families and fly them to Somalia. That place is already destabilized.
8.26.2007 10:25pm
Waldensian (mail):

I have a life outside this blog, you know.

Showoff.
8.27.2007 12:12am
Wm. Tyroler (mail):
this quote from Israel's most hard core mainstream politcal figure indicates why Israel is not due for peaceful days any time soon

I'm not quite how you derive that characterization of a 20-year old quote from someone now in a coma. But put that quibble aside. If you want to know "why Israel is not due for peaceful days any time soon" pay a bit of attention to hair-raising statements from "hard core mainstream" Palestinian figures.
8.27.2007 12:49am
Yankev (mail):

He deliberately let the Christian Falange into the refugee camps.



As I recall, a U.S. federal court found that this charge was a deliberate lie being spread by one of Sharon's detractors, and that Time magazine's good faith belief that the charge was true, coupled with Sharon's status as a public figure, was the only reason that Time escaped civil liability for publishing a false and defamatory statement. As a media defendant being sued by a public figure, Time got away with liable despite the failure to do even scant reseach into the truth of its charges.

But go ahead and repeat the charge if it makes you feel better. Sharon IS the architect of a policy of ethnic cleansing that used military force to expel innocent people from previously unwanted land that they bought for top dollar, developed, and lived on for generations, sequestering their earthly possessions and turning self-reliant, family oriented independent people into homeless nomads with severe economic and domestic problems. Unlike your charges about Lebanon, my charges about Gaza are true.
8.27.2007 2:47pm
Yankev (mail):
Sorry -- Time got away with libel, not liable.
8.27.2007 2:48pm
Floridan:
DB: Re "scholars" with the not: if I had wanted to look up the examples I'd seen in the past and give you cites, I would have. I have a life outside this blog, you know. I was thinking of legal scholars/historians doing legal history for a "cause."

Actually you used the term "leading scholars," which I wouldn't think would be hard to remember (the scholars if not the specific works).

However, I do think your I can't recall reponse should put you in line for the newly open AG spot.
8.27.2007 3:24pm
Gideon Kanner (mail):
Without getting involved in Yankev's comments about the Gaza expulsion, he brings to mind the fact that with all this chit-chat about Sharon's supposed culpability, which was indeed found to be only negligence on his part, no one here has seen fit to recdall that the Sabra and Shatilla killers were Lebanese Christians, led by Elie Hobeika.

So how come no one here blames him? Looks like the all-powerful "Israel lobby" has been screwing up by allowing that to happen, eh?
8.27.2007 3:44pm
Yankev (mail):

the Sabra and Shatilla killers were Lebanese Christians, led by Elie Hobeika.



So how come no one here blames him? Looks like the all-powerful "Israel lobby" has been screwing up by allowing that to happen, eh?


Ha! Fooled you, didn't we Gideon? That's how we nefarious Zionist Elders help conceal our total control of the world's press -- by allowing criticism of Israel to slip in occassionally under carefully controlled conditions, so that we can condemn it. Just the same way that we allow pogroms and other supposed anti-Semitic violence to occur in order to hide our manipulation of world events. Haven't you even READ our Protocols? Get with the program!

Note to athEIst, Levonna, and anyone else who made need to know this: The foregoing post uses techniques called "satire" and "parody" (albeit not particularly good satire or parody). Please do not take it seriously and run to other blogs with a breathless report that you now have absolute proof that the Protocols are genuine.

Thank you.
8.27.2007 4:46pm
Yankev (mail):
Too many typos even for a Monday. Make that "may need to know"
8.27.2007 4:47pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
Since this comment thread has wandered so far off-topic, I decided to throw in my two cents.

There is no question that US support of Israel is excessive and one-sided. For example, in approximately forty US vetoes of proposed UN Security Council resolutions directed at Israel in the period 1972-2006, none of the other fourteen members of the council ever voted with the US, and in some cases the vote against the US was 14-1 with no abstentions. There is no excuse for that and it is hard to blame the Arabs for feeling frustrated. See this article.

The Israel lobby often gets all of the blame for this one-sided support for Israel while the role of Christian Zionist extremists is ignored — see this article.
8.27.2007 7:40pm
Yankev (mail):

There is no question that US support of Israel is excessive and one-sided. For example, in approximately forty US vetoes of proposed UN Security Council resolutions directed at Israel in the period 1972-2006,

A landlord's lawyer once complained that I had submitted too many comments in response to his form lease for space in a shopping center. I pointed out that his lease was 50+ legal sized pages, single spaced, in 8 point type, all of it written from the landlord's point of view, micro managing every last aspect of the tenant's operation -- down to the treatment of gift certificates at the tenant's other 800 stores. Viewed from that perspective, my 10 pages of comments were not so excessive or one sided.


and and in some cases the vote against the US was 14-1 with no abstentions.

That's a much greater indictment of the other members of the Security Council than it is of the U.S.
8.28.2007 9:40am
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
Yamkev says,
A landlord's lawyer once complained that I had submitted too many comments in response to his form lease for space in a shopping center.

What is the relevance of that?

-- and in some cases the vote against the US was 14-1 with no abstentions.

That's a much greater indictment of the other members of the Security Council than it is of the U.S.

Yes, I know. All those other countries on the Security Council -- including permanent members UK, France, Russia, and China -- just hate Israel.
8.28.2007 2:29pm
Yankev (mail):

What is the relevance of that?


That perhaps there were 40 proposed resolutions that were one sided and should well have been vetoed.


Yes, I know. All those other countries on the Security Council -- including permanent members UK, France, Russia, and China -- just hate Israel.


Okay, with that remark you have shown yourself unworthy of any serious response.
8.29.2007 12:06am
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
That perhaps there were 40 proposed resolutions that were one sided and should well have been vetoed.

None of those resolutions were sufficiently one-sided as to cause any of the other 14 members of the Security Council to vote "no" along with the USA. This USA record of vetoes is inexcusable.
8.29.2007 1:28pm
Yankev (mail):

None of those resolutions were sufficiently one-sided as to cause any of the other 14 members of the Security Council to vote "no" along with the USA. This USA record of vetoes is inexcusable.

No, the record of the rest of the Security Council, like that of the UN as a whole, is inexcusable.
8.29.2007 3:14pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Yankev, you're talking to someone who thinks the fact that nobody agrees with his "insights" proves his brilliance in being able to come up with said insights; he's a Holocaust denier because he came up with the theory that the Holocaust couldn't have happened because, "How could the Nazis identify the Jews?" To quote Dave Barry, "I'm not making this up." So there's not really much point in debating with him over Israel.
8.29.2007 9:53pm