This file was generated from it.txt
Thu Apr 11 12:15:10 2002
Palestinians are barred from basic rights in their own land by Israel. These rights include the rights to participate in arts and sciences, as well as dangerous sports such as hangliding, riding fast motorbikes on open roads and mountaineering. These latter dangerous sports could provide the Israelis a respite from suicide bombing ! In the UK it's a regular ritual for young people to crash into stone walls on the Isle of Man (TT races) or the Buxton-Leek road in the Peak District. If the young people of Palestine had the affluence to engage in these sports then we would see that the influence of the extremists would be diminished.
People in Sheffield can do very little to influence events in the Middle East. Support networks are easily disrupted by visa requirements and national frontiers. Propaganda networks flourish, because many media owners are in a position to influence governments (when they are not actually running them, as in the case of Berlusconi, the Italian strong man).
Boycotting a few specialist foods and beauty products will not help the Palestinians so much. In the case of Marks & Sparks, many of their goods are undoubtedly made in Third World sweatshops, under contract, and are probably exectly the same as goods bought under other labels.
There is one sector of the Israeli economy which has global importance. This is essentially crime and security. Crime goes with specialist skills honed up for military communications. Israel can get the best computer scientists in the world to work there. These people come from the USA, the former USSR and even China. Right since the dawn of the personal computer era the Israelis have lead the world in localisation, or writing software compatible with the local language. Their military attaches were out there with the Swiss, selling military encryption devices to Third World states. The military attaches have also been selling coercion expertise to Third World dictators and NGOs such as drug cartels.
Defence requirements, and a mistrust of the USA has lead the Israelis to subsidise military aircraft production and a nuclear weapons program. Despite the horrendous consequences it's undoubtedly more interesting to work in a nuclear weapons lab than McDonalds.
Hurting the science base of the Israeli economy is now under discussion. One proposed method is an academic boycott: people refuse to invite Israeli guests to conferences, and cancel bookings for conferences in Israel. Personally I am against this, unless Israeli academics show that they want this. There are other methods that can be tried.
NDS  is a company controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. It started life as News Datacom, with offices in Haifa. Canal-Plus, a French TV company has accused NDS of leaking the information on how to build clones of the smart cards used and marketed by Canal Plus. Vivendi a French media group ia the owner of Canal Plus.
The Haifa offices of NDS must have been important for distributing grey market technology: controlled leaks of smartcard technology is a good way of circumventing accounting laws and suchlike. The Sky Network has at least 27 million subscribers, and the smartcards are almost like a licence to print money.
Data encryption is the technology for the paranoid. The history of ciphers has its episodes of defeat and death as in the case of Mary Queen of Scots, or abject failure in cases such as the Zimmerman Telegram or the Enigma Machine. It's much better to try and live in a world where everyone can be honest without fearing for their lives.
Encryption is routinely used by large organisations who often have best access to telecommunications infrastructure. Governments only really got worried about this when personal encryption became a possibility.
Israelis are destroying Cybercafes in Palestine. This wanton vandalism seeks to undermine any progressive attempts to modernise what is in many respects a conservative and patriarchal society. Before the physical destruction were decades of humiliation and closures of Palestinian Universities. It's like the low wage ghetto workers in Schindlers List with only one difference: the American's were not on Hitler's side back in 1944.
They expect Palestinians to be grateful for taking low paid low skilled jobs for most of their lives, and then they can dodge the shells and bullets when out shopping.
The Israelis in the meantime boost their knowledge based economy where the rich live in fortified compounds and send their children to school in armourplated buses. Israel is an extreme example of a place where one population limits access to education for its competitors. Bearded men who feared women did the same in Taliban controlled Afghanistan.
It is alleged that The NDS offices in Haifa embarked on an extensive reverse engineering task to unveil the secrets of the Canal-Plus decoder. After working out the technical details the instructions on how to clone these decoders was released on a California website. Abe Peled the chief executive of NDS denies any wrongdoing. He can remain quite happy. The technology of secrecy will always have its financial backers.
Data massage and encryption are the stuff of everyday life. Parents want to keep sex secret from their children so they want controls on the TV or computer. The rich and powerful generally want to control how other people see them, so they exert influence on all of our mass media.
Many of the rich and powerful in Europe were happy enough to make money out of the Milosevich regime. When the cashh strapped regime privatised the phone system there were many beneficiaries in the EU.
Controlled TV is a speciality of the British. Rather than opening our market to continental TV channels, like the Dutch and Belgians do, the cable companies here sell English language output for the most part. Sky News is a major provider here. All news programs concentrate on a terribly limited agenda, with stories of footballers and supermodels regularly taking priority over stories such as the Central Asian famine, or even the miserably unsuccessful efforts of western backed paramilitary squads to eliminate opium production in the same area.
In terms of profitable media coverage a broken bone in a football player's foot is worth a hundred dead Palestinians, or a thousand dead Afghans. And the death of an old lady who liked booze & betting stops the whole nation!
Zionism combines features of communism and fascism. The Israeli kibbutzim are successful versions of collectives where socialism almost works, while the labour movement, which includes many veterans of wars, is the body of the Israel-Industries corporate state. The ideas of this type of corporate state with its acompanying underclass have had great success in recent political philosophy. Enthusiastic devotees include sections of New Labour in Britain, and sections of the BJP in India.
Many sometime socialists are attracted to the ideas of social cohesion and communitarianism espoused by Israeli pundits inter alia.
Israel's determination to go it alone, and proceed boldly down a path which leads to hostility are widely admired in many parts of the world. The Serbs certainly rated their troubles since 1389 as something comparable to the troubles of the Jews, and pointed out that they had been victims of terrible oppression until they could control vast police and paramilitary forces to defend what turned out to be a diminishing nation.
Iraq's leader Saddam, will draw much comfort from the elected leader of Israel. For those who claim that democracy doesn't work the present leadership of Israel is a killing counter arguement. It's about as bad as saying that democracy doesn't work because the Germans elected Hitler in 1933.
In 2005 the Association of University Teachers passed a conference resolution drawing attention to the plight of the Palestinians and calling for a suspension of links with some Israeli institutions. The UK based AUT was accused of shabby behaviour in getting the resolution passed on Saturday, the Jewish sabbath. The AUT acted from a position of weakness rather than strength. The closure of science and philosphy departments at some British Universities and a new method of research assessment excercises are causing many academics to feel the cold, and many see this issue is more important than freezing relations with Israeli academics.
Spinoza wrote "Pain is Evil". The news footage of child casualties during the IDF's onslought on Gaza from December 2008 to 2009 is ample demonstration of Spinoza's point of view. One of Israel's leading scientists Raphael Mechoulam continues research on cannabis at the Hebrew University.
 How codebreakers cracked the secrets of the smart card.
John Casey & Paul Murphey.