Ed: 36: February/2011
The dry forest on the Israeli-Lebanese border provided shade but little relief. Rain had not fallen for months, and the blistering season-long heat wave that would later set parts of northern Israel on fire was currently burning down forests in Russia.
We're in an era of "covert action." In the US, that phrase went into disrepute in the 1970s, when Congress' Church Committee exposed hare-brained CIA plots to eliminate foreign leaders, such as assassinating Fidel Castro with exploding cigars. President Ford banned assassinations, a chastened CIA cast many veteran officers into the cold, and Congress imposed new limits on covert activities.
But the ultimate source of Arab backwardness, unmentioned by most of these studies, lies in the debasement of the Arab mind. When the only diagnosis Egyptians can offer for their various predicaments - ranging from sectarian terrorism to a recent spate of freak shark attacks at a Sinai beach resort - is that it's all a Zionist plot, you know that the country is in very deep trouble.
Palestinian political elites, of both the so-called "secular" and Islamist varieties, are dead set against partitioning the Land of Israel/Palestine with the Jews. They regard all of Palestine as their patrimony and believe that it will eventually be theirs.