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Food Truck Hopping with Empanada Intifada in New Orleans

Food Truck Hopping with Empanada Intifada in New Orleans


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After working in the corporate world — and feeling the "inner warnings of existential decay" — the founders of Empanada Intifada decided to peace out on their cubicles and office attire and start a food truck. Launched Jan. 1, 2011, the creators strove to create a top-notch food experience by serving local, seasonal — and superb — empanadas out of a 1981 Grumman Step Van that is the self-proclaimed first solar-electric food truck in the city.

Aiming to provide "SlapYourThigh delicious" fare, the menu includes items like mestizo meat pie, a fusion of the traditional empanada with the traditional meat pie; poblano-cream mac and cheese; and Wok Yer Socks Off, a veggie peanut stir-fry. All that hard work landed them a spot on The Daily Meal's 2012 list of 101 Best Food Trucks in America.

In this interview with founder Taylor Jackson, discover the truck's inspiration, their new dishes, and find out about that time when two guys food-truck-hopped their back bumper...

What model truck do you have?
1981 Chevy P30.

Does your truck have a vanity plate? If so, what does it say?
Nope. But next year we will be classified as an "antique" truck and get a nifty license plate with a Model-T painted on it.

What was the inspiration for going into this business?
We were inspired by our deep love for the boundless possibilities of the Chilean-style empanada while living in Ecuador.

What's the story behind the origin of your truck's name?
In addition to being one of like two words that rhyme with empanada, intifada is our favorite word for "revolution." It literally means a "shaking off" and seemed to fit the feeling of starting the truck, in which we shook off the suits and cubicles of our jobs in corporate settings.

How did you come up with your truck's design? Is there a designer you'd like to give a shout-out to?
I came up with the design myself, but its implementation was greatly aided by Mr. Ryan Riedel.

What's your signature dish? Is it also the most popular one?
Our signature dish, which is also our most popular, is the Mestizo Meat Pie, a blend of the Argentine Mendoza empanada and the Louisiana Natchitoches Meat pie, with smoked beef brisket, ground round, the Cajun Trinity (celery, onions, and garlic), olives, egg, and potato.

What's the inspiration for your cuisine and recipes?
We are natives of the American South and long-term residents of South America and countries around the world, and we draw inspiration from the dynamics among cuisines, particularly Southern soul food and Latin American flavors.

What's the most challenging thing about running your food truck?
The regulations in the New Orleans are among the most food truck unfriendly in the country right now. We're working with the New Orleans City Council to change those laws.

Would you ever go brick and mortar?
Possibly, if the right opportunity came along, but life on the road suits us fine.

What one piece of advice would you give someone looking to get into the food truck business?
Unless you are extremely well funded, and can hire accountants, movers, drivers, shoppers, mechanics, and equipment repairmen anytime something comes up, prepare to spend at least half of your time doing things other than making and serving food.

Any new upcoming dishes planned that you can tell us about?
We're unveiling our satsuma-glazed carnitas today at the food truck festival, as well as our new homemade lemon habañero hot sauce.

Any new plans on the horizon you can share?
We're working hard to bring the excitement of the food truck culture to the already exciting food culture of New Orleans. In the near term, we are going to be varying our location more regularly and relying more on twitter (@empanadaintifad) and our email and text message alert system (www.empanadaintifada.com/follow), to let people know where we are. We're also taking requests for service locations at [email protected].

Lots of things happen when running a restaurant that probably goes double on the road. What's one particularly outstanding moment you can share?
One late night, we had two guys ride food-truck-hop our back bumper — they rode half a mile down Frenchmen before we realized they were there. The whole time we thought pedestrians were just cheering because they were really happy to see empanadas (which, in our defense, does sometimes happen).

Arthur Bovino is The Daily Meal's executive editor. Follow Arthur on Twitter.


Gaddafi accused of cluster bombing Misrata

Gaddafi has been accused by HRW of cluster bombing Misrata. Really nasty stuff.

And---not to shift the blame at a moment like this---but the obvious cruelty of the way the bombs are being used right now is a good reminder that the U.S. should sign and ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions (as should Israel, China, Russia and other holdouts).

When cluster bombs have been used elsewhere, such as by Israel in Lebanon and by the U.S. in Aghanistan, the results have been devastating for civilians. No battlefield advantage justifies this.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Contrasts

One thing that's irked me a bit of late is the unselfconsciously positive coverage of the rebels.

The same images that are taken to be "negative" in other contexts (I'm thinking especially of Palestine), such as young men shouldering missile launchers and even younger boys playing on wrecked tanks and flashing victory signs---are suddenly "good" in Libya. On NPR a few nights ago, they interviewed someone whose brother had driven a truck of propane tanks through the gate to a Libyan army base, killing himself but blasting an opening for others to use to attack. The brother was treated as an unqualified hero.

I want to be clear. My problem isn't so much that the rebels are treated as heroes---I find them heroic myself, on the whole. Or that Palestinian violence is treated with skepticism. Violence should always be treated with skepticism. Rather, I find it disturbing that the news media's sympathies, it's circle of what it treats as heroic and what it treats as deserving of suspicion or, worse, as pathological, is so determined by prevailing foreign policy opinion in the U.S.


New Intifada for a New Generation

A few days before he stabbed and killed two ultra-orthodox Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem before being shot dead, Muhannad Halabi addressed himself on his Facebook wall to his president. Mahmoud Abbas had accused Israel in his UN speech of letting extremists into the Al-Aqsa compound.

"Nice speech Mr. President, but we do not recognise East and West Jerusalem. We know only that Jerusalem is one, undivided, and that every part of it is holy. Excuse me, Mr. President, but what is happening to the women of Al-Aqsa and to Al-Aqsa itself will not be stopped by peaceful measures. We were not raised to be humiliated."

The 19-year-old's message was clear: the time for words is over. The Third Intifada, he said, has already started.

Halabi speaks for his generation. He was born a year after the second Oslo Accord was signed in Taba, which set up an interim Palestinian self-governing authority for the West Bank and Gaza. By the age of four, Halabi should have seen a comprehensive peace agreement in which Israel would have ceded control of the territories in exchange for peace. When Halabi was seven, Israel had begun constructing the wall that was to divide the West Bank into Bantustans. By the time he was eight, Yasser Arafat had died, ridding Israel of a Palestinian leader it described as "two-faced". He was replaced by Mahmoud Abbas, whose one face was, and is, implacably opposed to violence.

Halabi's generation should have seen peace. It should have benefited from the plans of Tony Blair and Salam Fayyad to regenerate the economy of the West Bank. Instead, what this generation saw was 600,000 settlers, the gradual disappearance of Palestinian East Jerusalem, a Palestinian security force whose role was to stop protest and the daily encroachments of Israeli Jews, who defined themselves initially as tourists, in the Al-Aqsa compound. Instead of a final settlement, Halabi's generation has experienced the final loss of all hope.

This then, more than the numbers of deaths or injured, or the phenomenon of stabbing attacks occurring all over the country, is what makes this an intifada - which in Arabic means "shaking off". A new generation is attempting to shake off its occupier. A new generation has rediscovered the struggle of its forebears. What happens in the following weeks, months or even years will become their struggle.

The spark for this is Al-Aqsa, a symbol which stone by stone is being attacked by the acid rain of Jerusalem's sectarian politics. Despite the Chief Rabbinate's prohibition on Jews entering the compound it knows as the Temple Mount, the status quo at Al-Aqsa is changing. The Waqf, the Jordanian-controlled Islamic institution administering holy places, no longer collects entrance fees nor can it ban non-Muslims from passing through the Israeli-controlled gate.

"While the Waqf continues to work with the police to enforce the Jewish prayer ban, it can no longer determine the size of Jewish groups or the rate of their entry nor can it veto the entry of specific activists it considers provocateurs. Israel at times has allowed Jews to enter in groups of ten to 30, even 50, including in army uniform, which previously had been forbidden," the International Crisis Group recently reported.

By 2012, Knesset members, deputy ministers and ministers were filmed declaring Israeli sovereignty over the entire site.

For Halabi's generation this is not only a religious issue. Al-Aqsa is a symbol of national identity, the last symbol standing of an identity which has been so comprehensively trashed by the Israeli state. It unifies both religious and secular Palestinians. The first Palestinians to attack religious Jews over Al-Aqsa came from a secular revolutionary group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, (PFLP). Defending Al-Aqsa from the encroachment of national-religious Jews is an existential issue. It tells all Palestinians: "If we don't fight for this, we might as well give up."

Halabi did not need to be incited. Nor did he wait for orders from Fatah or Hamas. He made his own decision as thousands of others are doing irrespective of whether they live in the West Bank, Gaza or Israel.

Both the First and Second Intifadas took the Palestinian leadership by surprise. The first was started when an Israeli army truck crashed into two vans carrying Palestinian workers, killing four of them. The second was ignited by Ariel Sharon, then in opposition, appearing at the Al-Aqsa compound with a thousand Israeli police officers and repeating the phrase that was broadcast when Israeli troops seized East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War: "The Temple Mount is in our hands." But within days of each, the leadership asserted control and began giving orders.

Jamal Zakout, who wrote "Communique No. 2" on behalf of the Unified National Leadership of the 1987 Intifada reminded us of its purpose: "It considered the Intifada, its leadership, and its grassroots activism as an integral part of the PLO, not a substitute for it." Today the PLO, under Abbas's leadership, does not want to know, and for that very reason, struggles to control the situation.

A recent poll conducted by pollster and political scientist Khalil Shikaki found that 42 percent of Palestinians believed that only an armed struggle would lead to an independent Palestinian state, and 57 percent no longer believed that a two-state solution was possible. Two-thirds wanted to replace Abbas as president.

The new generation is making its own decisions in defiance of both Fatah and Hamas. If one picture encapsulates this, it was of a girl in jeans and a kuffiyeh handing rocks to a masked boy wearing a green Hamas headband. Secular and religious youth were at one in protest. Each and every youth who picks up a knife or throws a stone is their own leader.

This creates unique dangers for Israel. It can deal with groups by arresting or assassinating their leaders and eventually negotiating a ceasefire. It can not stop individuals from making their own desperate decisions. It can only provoke them more by resorting to house demolitions or other measures of collective punishment.

There are other unique factors about this intifada. The First and Second Intifadas were conducted from the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian citizens of Israel, who have been present since 1948, took part in protests at the start of the Second Intifada, but they were short-lived. Not since Land Day in 1976 have the Palestinians of '48 been at the forefront of popular protest. On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinians from the northern triangle region marched to protest the expropriation of huge tracts of land as part of an openly declared policy to "Judaise" the area.

Today however, no wall or separation barrier contains the uprising. The attacks of the last week have been taking place in areas the PLO has no control of - East Jerusalem, Afula, Tel Aviv. There are other factors. This is the first intifada where Palestinians are not looking for neighbouring Arab states to intervene. Perhaps it's a sign of the times or the chaos around Israel's own borders.

So far, Israel's reaction to the intifada has been to lose trust in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and back even more right-wing leaders. The latest poll published by the Yediot Ahronot daily on Sunday showed that 73 percent were dissatisfied with Netanyahu's handling of the recent attacks. When asked who was best qualified to deal with them, two ultra-nationalists, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and pro-settler Education Minister Naftali Bennett, came first and second. As foreign minister, Lieberman commissioned lawyers to examine plans for the so-called "static transfer" of Palestinian population of northern Israel to a Palestinian state.

But Israelis are also being encouraged to take the law into their own hands. Already a heavily armed society - in 2013 about 160,000 permits were issued for private citizens to carry firearms, and 130,000 for organisations - Israel is about to become more so. In Jerusalem this is with the explicit encouragement of mayor Nir Barkat, who along with his bodyguard disabled a Palestinian who had stabbed a Jewish man on the street. Afterwards Barkat was seen in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Beit Hanina with an assault rifle. Vigilante mobs have already appeared hunting for Palestinian workers on the streets of Jerusalem, planning their route to areas where Palestinian cleaning workers would be employed.

All the ingredients are there for a long and bloody struggle, in which countless innocents on both sides will be killed. If you like, Israel has discovered the secret that has eluded generations of physicists: the secret of perpetual motion. Every time its security establishment congratulates itself on having extinguished one intifada, another one comes. Each time the flame is rekindled by another generation's personal experience of despair, hopelessness and indignity.

There is only one way out of this cycle of conquest, repression and resistance. It is for the Jewish Israelis to look themselves in the mirror and reconcile - as equals - with the people of the land that they now share. For one reason and one reason only. Palestinians are here to stay, one generation after another.


Food Truck Hopping with Empanada Intifada in New Orleans - Recipes

Is New Orleans Being Rebuilt Right? Native American Tribes Scamming Illegal Immigrants Protests Held Over Arab School

Aired August 21, 2007 - 19:00:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, Hurricane Dean slams Mexico, as what-if scenarios and hypocrisy blow into these shores, right around here.

GRAPHIC: (arrow pointing at New Orleans)

BECK: Plus, you think you`re not tough enough on our southern border? I`ll tell you why the real danger comes from the north. Canada`s not going to watch this.

And controversy at the DMV. Wow, shocker. Why one state is saying there`s no room for God on its license plates.

All this and more tonight.

BECK: Well, hello, America. Brace yourself, because I`m going to say something you`re not going to hear anyplace else on TV. And it`s either because I`m really honest or just really stupid. I`m not sure which is which.

I`ve been watching the news about Hurricane Dean, and the truth is it`s not happening here in the U.S. I`m not really connected to it, and I find myself switching channels. I don`t really care that much, and I know that sounds horrible.

I think everybody on TV is missing the point. This story should remind us of the devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Now that being said, get ready for the really politically incorrect statement of the day. Back in 2004 I saw the tragedy of Katrina coming. I mean, people have been seeing it for years.

Then when it happened, I thought, you know what, we should just walk away from that city. Why are we there? It`s like the people in Malibu who continue to build their houses on giant mountains of sliding mud and then look to us like, "Gee, help us out."

New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen, and it`s going to happen again. Two years after Katrina, I`m not sure still that we should bother rebuilding it. Here`s the point tonight.

As we see yet another deadly hurricane season, can we please ask the question, in the aftermath of Katrina, if we`re going to rebuild cities like New Orleans, can we at least do it right? And if not, I say we cut bait and not bother doing it at all, and here`s how I got there.

Category 5 storms are rare, but they do happen. There were five back in 2005, making it one of the deadliest hurricane seasons on record. New Orleans and a huge amount of America`s gulf region left in ruins. We all remember seeing the footage, and so many of us are -- have lived through it.

The rebuilding is a long way from complete.

In a decision that seems completely insane to me, the people of New Orleans actually re-elected Mayor Ray Nagin to help them put the city back together again, a city he helped destroy.

Here`s what he had to say to "60 Minutes" last year on CBS.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cat 3, Cat 4 this wall will hold?

RAY NAGIN, MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS: Look at this, man. Where is this going to go?

BECK: Riddle me this, Mr. Mayor. Can you really afford to be that casual as you walk around a pile of splinters that used to be your city? I mean, that`s outrageous. It`s politicians like you that got your city into the shape that it`s in today.

Hurricane Katrina started as a Category 5. Hurricane Dean was also a Category 5. It could have easily skipped right over Mexico and headed right at New Orleans. Where would you have been then, Mr. Mayor? I mean, other than under water.

Under building the levees isn`t just a waste of time and money. It could end up wasting more American lives. We don`t need a new generation of New Orleans hurricane survivors.

Tonight here, America, is what you need to know about this hurricane story. The people of the gulf region are some of the strongest and most resilient in the nation. They have weathered the storm. They are dedicated to putting their towns, their homes, and their lives back together.

But the rebuilding of the area`s infrastructure is going to cost too much time and too much energy and too much dollars if we`re going to do it right. And if we`re going to do it, shouldn`t we do it right?

In the long run, you know, sadly, it will be a bargain. Sadly, we only need to look at the climbing death toll in Mexico to remember that lives are in the balance.

Douglas Brinkley is the author of "The Great Deluge".

Douglas, it`s the same story all over again. Nothing has changed, due to corruption. We`re not rebuilding the city right, are we?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, AUTHOR, "THE GREAT DELUGE": No, we`re not.

We should make a distinction, though. There are really two New Orleans. There`s the above sea level New Orleans, which includes the French Quarter and the Garden District, where most of the tourists come, and the port, and then there`s the below sea level.

So the argument -- everybody agrees that the above sea level New Orleans needs to be rebuilt. The port business is the good news. It`s back to about pre-Katrina numbers. And tourism is slowly coming back.

But the question is what do you do with the below sea level areas? Those -- the Army Corps of Engineers built the faulty levees. They`re trying to fix them, but it`s way, way inadequate.

Those low-lying neighborhoods, places like Lakeview, Chantilly, New Orleans East, Lower Ninth, they are not ready. So every hurricane season New Orleans right now is living on a prayer.

BRINKLEY: We need -- we need to decide one of two things, Glenn. I think either build these, which may cost $30 billion. It will be the -- to make it safe for Category 5 storms or don`t rebuild in those low-lying areas. We`ve got to do a strong move one way or another.

BECK: Douglas, you and I are in agreement on this. Build them for Category 5. I mean, jeez, there`s a city in the Netherlands that, in the 1950s, built a giant wall to make sure that their city was safe. If we really believe in New Orleans, we should build it the right way.

BECK: Which we`re not going to do.

But here`s the other thing. And tell me where I`m wrong. Let me be completely honest and completely politically incorrect. It is a race issue. Because the race card has been played, no one is willing to speak frankly. No one is willing to say, "We should not be rebuilding this city." Am I wrong?

BRINKLEY: No, I don`t think you`re wrong with that.

I mean, the -- President Bush`s policy is one of inaction. On one hand, publicly, the Bush administration tells victims of the storm, "Come back, reclaim your home." Well, how can you reclaim a home in the Lower Ninth Ward if you don`t have electricity, schools, sewage?

It`s -- so it`s a disingenuous government policy going on right now. Nobody wants to come forward and give any of the hard news about these neighborhoods because the backlash would be so great.

BECK: But it`s not just about -- it`s not just George W. Bush. It is also the massive corruption in New Orleans. The people keep electing the same clowns over and over again. And nobody is willing to say that. It`s corruption.

BRINKLEY: And that`s what`s hurt New Orleans public relations-wise. You mentioned guys are clowns. People like Bill Jefferson, Ray Nagin. People that have been just hurting the city terribly. And people around the country are, like, why are you guys re-electing these kind of people? New Orleans loses some of the sympathy because of the political corruption that`s so endemic.

BECK: I have to tell you, Douglas, that`s exactly how I feel. You know, in a way it is like the people who build their houses up for the mudslides. I mean, there`s only so much you can do before you say you decided to do it.

BECK: The incredible irony here is that the people who are so determined to have New Orleans rebuilt are the same crowd of believers in Al Gore`s global warming doomsday scenario.

To me this is the very definition of hypocrisy. You got to ask yourself, global climate change, is it responsible for more hurricanes and a sea rise of more than 20 feet as Al Gore claims is coming? If so, why the heck would you want to rebuild that city? Why wouldn`t you -- why wouldn`t you say run for your life?

Let`s check in with Chris Horner. He is the author of "Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism" and a frequent guest to this program.

Chris, first of all, there is something new happening in America that is allowing people to sue the federal government, and there`s a lawsuit that is going after Exxon because of hurricanes, and they say Exxon did nothing to stop it. Is that right?

CHRIS HORNER, AUTHOR, "POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO GLOBAL WARMING AND ENVIRONMENTALISM": The argument begins in the federal courthouse in Gulfport, Mississippi, on August 30, claiming that 26 oil companies somehow either created or intensified Hurricane Katrina and, therefore, is responsible for the loss of people who you have to remember, for whatever reasons, live in levels below sea level. OK, elevations lying below sea level in Hurricane Alley.

Now, people like the Europeans tell us that prior to global warming, people living in low-lying coastal areas did not bare the brunt of severe weather, but those storms used to proceed, and they would sail happily overhead as it went in and hit the people -- the rich people living inland.

New Orleans is, as we see now, not only just a tremendous -- a tremendously expensive and risky and will prove to be fatal bet against Al Gore`s alarmism.

OK. Remember, if you are like most scientists on record, the vast majority of them who recognize the Chicken Littlism about global warming is for what it is, then you can`t -- then you maybe think New Orleans is defensible, except, remember, this isn`t the Netherlands.

This isn`t -- The Netherlands isn`t in Hurricane Alley, and the Netherlands is different than we`ve learned Louisiana is, where they don`t tolerate political corruption. They insist upon it. This is a fatal tremendous bet against Al Gore. On that level, I appreciate it. But otherwise, it is foolhardy policy.

BECK: I have to tell you, Chris, you know, you have to go after somebody, because nobody will give you insurance in New Orleans. I mean, that was your first clue. I`m building my house or I`m buying my house in the wrong place when I can`t get insurance for it.

But here`s something. An amendment that Harry Waxman -- Henry Waxman from California has offered, HR 2635: "Because global warming has the potential to affect all persons in the United States, if the person alleges that the federal agency has failed to reduce its greenhouse gases -- gas emissions in accordance with the requirements under this act, the U.S. Treasury will compensate the plaintiff for any impact from global warming suffered by the plaintiff."

HORNER: Right. You wonder if maybe they`re just rebuilding New Orleans there as is to set things up for the trial lawyer buddies, as they are in every other count, including the provision in the bizarrely titled House Energy Bill, which is really full of global warming programs like this, and trial lawyer programs.

Remember, our insurance is actually provided or underwritten by the federal government in areas where the market won`t insure them. That`s a moral hazard.

Rebuilding New Orleans where it is, particularly if you are, as you accurately pointed out, one of the global warming alarmists or believers, makes no sense. Moral hazard. But you don`t put these provisions in the energy bill for trial lawyers.

BECK: Do you have any idea why we provide insurance? Why would the federal government provide insurance where you can`t get it? I mean, that doesn`t make any sense. Move. Don`t build your house there.

HORNER: Well, as I like to say to my son when I take him to the beach, high tide isn`t a flood unless you build a sand castle there during low tide. And that`s what we`re finding out now.

New Orleans isn`t a flood, unless -- or cities don`t have to be moral hazards unless you insist upon building in places where people spending their own resources would not build them, and that`s the question why does the government do it? Because the taxpayer -- the answer, because the market won`t.

Coming up, illegal immigrants desperate to stay in the country turning to Americans for help. Native Americans. Unrecognized American Indian drives scamming illegals. The sales are right around the corner.

And the battle continues to secure the southern border. But is it the north that could pose the biggest threat. Why security now has Canadians crying foul. That`s tonight`s "Real Story".

Plus, a man`s request for a religious-themed vanity plate is denied by the state of Vermont. I don`t get it. I don`t get the plate. I don`t get the decision. You`ll need to see this for yourself. Coming up.

BECK: Coming up, America for sale. Get it while it`s hot. An increasing number of foreign countries are investing in this country and translating those investments into tangible ownership of the good old U.S. of A. It is a troubling scenario and part of tonight`s "Real Story".

First, an update on Newark, New Jersey, the school yard executions. I told you yesterday the six suspects arrested in connection with the shootings are a mixed bag of foreign nationals and illegal immigrants.

Well, I guess it shouldn`t come as any surprise, since Newark is proudly flaunting that they are a sanctuary city for illegal aliens. Great plan, Mayor Cory Booker. No, it is. How is it working out for you? You know, harboring illegals that end up pushing kids to their knees before shooting them in the head.

Personally, I think Mayor Booker is a disgrace, should lose his job. And, guess what? In a recent poll, the majority of Americans think that we should go a step further, and Newark should also lose all of its federal funding. And trust me, they don`t really have the cash to spare. Newark streets not exactly paved with gold, although crack is a bit pricey.

According to the Rasmussen poll, 58 percent of voters nationwide favor cutting off all federal funds for sanctuary cities that offer protection to illegal immigrants. Amen. America, thank you.

If sanctuary cities won`t listen to common sense, then we should take away their dollars and cents. The price we`re paying to keep these sanctuaries in business is far too high.

And, of course, if we could find a way to turn all illegal immigrants into legal Native Americans, well, then all of our problems would disappear in a puff of smoke like a smoke from a peace pipe. Yes.

How, you ask? Well, for a fee starting around about $50, two non- federally recognized Indian tribes are now selling memberships to thousands of illegal immigrants. The renegade tribes claim that illegals can achieve legal status by joining their ranks. Not so simple, I`m afraid.

The U.S. citizenship and immigration services agency says you can`t just decide to join a tribe to avoid deportation, just like you can`t, you know, join one to open up a casino. I`ve tried.

They also say that these so-called Indians are giving immigrants false hope and taking their money. Some tribes are collecting literally hundreds of thousands of dollars. Bottom line, it`s a scam.

Now, there`s no denying that American -- Native Americans haven`t always gotten a square deal since we moved into the neighborhood, but the citizenship for sale scheme hurts both the immigration issue and the proud heritage of true Native Americans.

This is yet just another reminder that you can`t buy your way into this country. You got to do it the right way, and you got to earn it.

Angel Freytez, he is with the Nebraska Mexican-American Commission.

Angel, you say that they are recruiting, or trying to, you know, get new members in churches. Is that right?

ANGEL FREYTEZ, NEBRASKA MEXICAN-AMERICAN COMMISSION: Thanks for having me, Glenn.

The situation is a nationwide problem. It`s not just happening here in the state of Nebraska. It`s happening in Texas, California, Kansas, and Tennessee.

And you`re right. They`re approaching churches and church members and promising them legal status, and once they become members of a tribe, of course, they can earn that legal status.

BECK: OK. So you know, Angel, I`m kind of torn here, because I don`t know if this is like the Nigerian prince scam, you know, that everybody says, "Hey, I`ve got money, and my father is a Nigerian king" on the Internet. Or if it`s like a tarot card reader, where they`re saying, "God is saying that you should come to me and keep giving me money."

I mean, either way these are really bad guys that are perpetrating this scam.

FREYTEZ: Yes, you`re right. Actually, what they`re doing, they`re approaching the church members, telling them that this is just for believers. This for -- this is a blessing from God, and they`re getting away with this. Because they also know that these people, because of their legal status, they`re afraid of being deported. So that`s pretty much how they`re getting away with it.

BECK: If -- Angel, I don`t know where you stand on the immigration issue. If this were legal, if you could buy your way into an Indian tribe, would you be for it, or would you say that it was still wrong?

FREYTEZ: Well, according to an official from the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Department, basically you have to be a Native American. You have to have blood ties.

BECK: No, I`m not asking that. I`m asking you should you be able to buy your citizenship here? Should you be able to buy your way in?

FREYTEZ: No, no. Actually not. I don`t think that`s the way -- that`s the solution. I think it`s a broader problem, but actually what`s happening is that people are desperate. And they`re, you know, approaching these desperate measures.

BECK: So what needs to happen? I mean, what are people in your community doing to let people know that this is a scam? And what should happen next?

FREYTEZ: Well, actually what we want to do, we want federal agency and also state agencies to investigate these two tribes. It`s not just one tribe. There is another tribe out of Florida, the Indian tribe that`s called Pambina (ph), and it`s also doing the same.

So, we need a formal investigation from federal agencies to approach the situation.

BECK: So, I`m trying to make sure I understand this. So the federal government should enforce some laws, but not other laws? At least maybe according to some.

Angel, thank you very much. And we`ll follow the story. Appreciate you being on the program with us.

Coming up, outrage over the Arabic language school in New York spills into the streets. Protesters from both sides continue to plead their case as the start of the school year quickly approaches. We`ll have the latest for you next.

And is America really for sale? Unfortunately, it appears that way. More and more foreign countries -- and wait until you see the list -- buying up American interests. I`ll tell you why you need to be concerned in tonight`s "Real Story."

BECK: Well, the latest chapter in the story of that all-Arab language school that we`ve been telling you about now for quite some time here in New York has people literally taking the fight to the streets.

Concerned parents and community leaders have questioned the political and religious affiliations of this publicly-funded school from day one. Its supporters have said attacks on the school are, of course, racist and have no basis in truth.

On Monday the bitter back and forth spilled out into the streets in the form of a rally, where one speaker called the coalition of concerned parents opposing the school, quote, "an extremist."

Joining me now is Pam Hall of the Stop the Madrassa Coalition.

Pam, an extremist now, are you?

PAM HALL, STOP THE MADRASSA COALITION: No, I hope not. I don`t think so. No, we very, very much support the instruction of Arab languages and electives in the schools. We are not extremists, and we are not racists.

BECK: So now wait a minute. You say that, you know, you just kind of brushed this off, but an extremist or a racist doesn`t say that there should be an elective of the history of the Middle East or an elective of Arabic language in schools, which seems completely reasonable.

Your problem is you haven`t seen the textbooks. Even a Freedom of Information Act has not -- three requests through Freedom of Information Act has not gotten you a copy of the textbooks, and you`re saying the whole thing is going to be taught in Arabic. And who knows what they`re teaching?

HALL: Well, and who knows what`s being taught in Arabic? They will not release the curriculum, the lesson plans, who printed the textbooks.

The Department of Education and Chancellor Cline, they`re behaving shamefully. They want to make this out to be an anti-Arab situation. It is not, and we are supporting the teaching and instruction of Arabic. We just do not support the secrecy that is around the Kahlil Gibran School.

BECK: OK. The founder of the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, an organizer with the American Muslim Arab Foundation last week, when they -- when the principal of the school quit, they were -- she was replaced with a Jewish woman, and he said, quote, "It doesn`t make any sense. It`s like someone spit in our face as Arabs. This is no respect to our community. Where is the respect?"

Why couldn`t you have a Jewish person run this school?

HALL: Of course. Who`s the racist? Who just made the racist statement? We would never make a statement like that. No. If Salzberg is going to be the principal, fine.

It`s the school that`s wrong. It`s the school that is hidden in secrecy, and we are -- please reveal the curricula and the textbooks or stop this school. We have a legal fund at this point of $25,000. We are ready to continue and pursue this.

It is outrageous that the Department of Education and Chancellor Cline continues to hide everything about this school. We keep asking what are they hiding? What are they afraid of?

BECK: What was the -- what was the feeling like on the streets of the rally? Does it feel that -- did it feel like a bunch of people bussed in? Is this a grassroots movement on either side? Who organized this?

HALL: Well, it seemed to be the focus was on AWAAM, the organization of the young girls who made that Intifada New York City T-shirt. It was basically their message, and they kept complaining that people did not understand that Intifada New York City was not a bad statement and that Almontaser had done nothing wrong in defending it.

And the rest of the people there didn`t seem to be the Arab Muslim community. They seemed to be a lot of the organizations like Peace and Justice and ANSWER and all of the people who have a different political agenda.

BECK: OK, Pam. Thanks a lot. We`ll talk to you again, I`m sure.

Up next, an increase in security on the northern border has Canadians crying foul. Deal with it, Canada. Don`t make us come up there. Don`t miss tonight`s "Real Story." It`s next.

BECK: Coming up, if you haven`t seen the latest issue of "GQ" then you don`t know how sexy I am. I think I just made Jody (ph), our camera operator throw up a little bit in her mouth. Right there.

I have a couple of issues on the profile "GQ" did with me, like I didn`t get the cover. Obama did, but we`ll clear that up in just a bit.

But first I want to quickly alert you to two men. And here they are. The FBI is looking to question these two in connection of suspicious activity aboard ferries in Washington State. According to the FBI spokesperson, the pair apparently made passengers and crew suspicious after seeing them aboard different ferries over the last couple of weeks taking pictures, asking questions about the boats that, let`s just say, the average tourist really wouldn`t care about.

If you have seen these men, can we put the pictures up -- seen these men or have any information about their whereabouts, please contact the FBI right away.

Now welcome to "The Real Story." Remember last year when our politicians were furious over the Dubai ports deal. Oh, how dare we sell our security to some foreign country? Remember that old thing? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news yet again, but the "Real Story" is we`re still selling that country out to foreign interests. What a surprise. I told you last time it`s just not making headlines this time because there are no elections to be won. Hmm.

I`d like to introduce you to something called sovereign wealth funds. They`re basically investment vehicles through which governments can invest in foreign countries, like, let`s say, the United States, for example. Expert believe these funds currently control $2.5 trillion if worldwide investments. That may grow to, you ready, $17.5 trillion in just the next 10 years. So now, why am I telling you about this? Everybody knows that countries like China own a lot of our debt, but what if those countries not only buy all our debts, but they also put their money into tangible things? Things like real estate or American companies, and it`s already happening.

Dubai, yes, the same Dubai that wanted to buy our ports just bid $1 billion to buy Barney`s Department Store. OK. It`s ties and jackets, but China recently spent $3 billion for a stake in Blackstone. That`s a cute little company whose holdings include firms that create military software. But aside from the obvious conflict of interest in this issue, there is also another big problem. With money comes power. With power is influence. As the SEC chairman acknowledged recently as he tried to warn senators about the risks of these funds, the modus behind these investments may quote, "Go beyond profit and loss."

People love to talk about Halliburton and how evil Dick Cheney is, but what if you replace Cheney with China? What if you put Venezuela own and controlling gas stations here in the united -- nope, sorry, that`s already happening. It`s called Citgo. The troubling thing to think about is that these large, virtually anonymous foreign countries, are buying up land and assets, but it`s far more troubling to think about what those countries could do with those assets the next time we face a crisis.

Peter Schiff is president of Euro Pacific Capital, the author of "Crash Proof, How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse," which is a cheery book, Peter. Do you see a time when foreign countries have at least a parity of assets here in America?

PETER SCHIFF, PRESIDENT, EUROPAC: I mean, you hit the nail on the head, and I think you`re looking at the short-term. Certainly we`ve made a deal with the devil here in what we`re doing, but the immediate risk is not that these foreign so - wealth funds continue to lend us money but that they stop. We`re addicted to it. If it wasn`t for these foreign governments buying up U.S. debt, including mortgage backed securities, interest rates and consumer prices would be much higher in the United States right now. We would probably already be in a severe recession.

BECK: Peter, help me out. Because President Bush said -- when the Chinese thing came out, they said they had all this cash and everything else, and Bush said, well, that would be stupid of them to do. They wouldn`t do that. It would hurt them. I think people -- a country who has been drowning their children in rice patties for centuries don`t really care. They think of things in terms of thousands of years, not six months. We`re the exact opposite. Where am I wrong?

SCHIFF: Well, the thing is what`s happening now is hurting. See, the Chinese are suffering because so much of their purchasing power is being diverted to America. You know, imagine what would happen if the Chinese let the dollar collapse and their own currency went up? The Chinese all of a sudden, all of the products that are now being shipped to Wal-Mart would stay in China, so we wouldn`t have all those low prices, and if you think gasoline is expensive now, imagine if yuan went up and all these Chinese turned in their bicycles and bought automobiles?

BECK: So, do you see us at any point, because of our addiction -- I mean, you know, you have said that we`re heroin addicts when it comes to spending.

BECK: Do you see a time when we are basically -- I mean, heroin addicts become slaves.

SCHIFF: Yeah. Look, I think it`s happening right now. I think you are seeing it right now in these mortgage back securities that are blowing up. I think foreigners are getting the message that we can`t pay them back, and what you are going to see is a big movement by sovereign wealth funds and private individuals around the world out of or debt and into our stuff. And when that happens, you`re going to see asset prices in the United States really drop and the dollar is going to collapse, and then, yeah, a lot of our best companies -- I think in a few years you can start to see the majority of the Dow Jones fall into foreign hands as well as some of the choice properties around the United States because Americans will have those assets bought out from under them. We`ll be like a bunch of sharecroppers in our own country.

BECK: Peter, you have just gone on again and said that the dollar is going to collapse, which is quite a statement. Most people -- television, if you`ll notice, hasn`t been reporting on the stock market at all since, you know, since the Fed helped it out a little bit. Everybody will say, oh, well, that crisis is over. We`ve averted a disaster. You still as concerned as your honor last week?

SCHIFF: Oh, sure. Remember, the dollar would have already collapsed if China and Japan and the rest of Asia and the Middle East weren`t buying up so many dollars that they don`t even need to buy our debt instruments.

BECK: OK. Peter, thank you very much.

Next, President Bush met today with leaders of Canada and Mexico for day two of their annual security and prosperity, SPP meeting, otherwise known as the three amigos. Oh, what a cute little harmless summit that is, huh?

Reports say that one of the leaders brought up their frustration over our border security with President Bush. I bet you`ll never guess which one it was. If you are thinking the Mexican President Calderon, try again. It was actually Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Turns out the Canadian businesses aren`t too keen on checking passports at our border. Unfortunately for them, the real story tonight is our new little passport program doesn`t nearly go far enough. With all the attention being paid to our southern border, is anybody thinking it just might be the northern one that terrorists are actively looking to exploit?

Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA`s search for Osama bin Laden and the author of "Imperial Hubris." Michael, this, to me, this shows what a farce this cry of racism from Mexico really is because Canada is now crying the same thing. It`s just that money doesn`t talk. It screams. Economy -- the economies will tell you that they need those borders to be as open as possible.

MICHAEL SCHEUER, FORMER SENIOR CIA OPERATIVE: That`s exactly right, sir. The communique said we`re going to do security as long as it doesn`t interrupt trade. I think you could really call this summit the summit of bin Laden`s success. The borders are going to stay open. The Canadians are going to leave Afghanistan in 2009. He has to be smiling in whatever cave he is in at the moment, sir.

BECK: The passport backlog that we have, do you think that`s real, or do you think that`s a delay tactic? We`re saying we can`t possibly get these passports all done in time to meet our own standards. We`re going to have to wait.

SCHEUER: I think in terms of Canada, sir, you can have priorities, and they`re not going to have priorities. The power of business, the power of money is just too extreme at the moment to be able to change anything.

BECK: Michael, if you were a betting man, and I had a gun to your head right now, which I would never do with you, you scare me -- if I were a betting man and I said you have it lay your money on the table and it was your last $1,000, would you say our terrorists would be coming over a better chance of coming over the north or the southern border?

SCHEUER: Right now, sir, I would say the southern border, but the northern border is not much better than the southern border.

BECK: Isn`t it -- isn`t the northern border where we -- the LAX guy came across.

SCHEUER: He came through Vancouver. That`s exactly right, sir. There is a large community of Tunisians, Moroccans and Algerians in Montreal and Quebec City, and those communities have ties into the Boston area in the United States, so it`s a dangerous situation.

BECK: OK. And tie in birth rates for me, Michael, because I know Canada is having not as extreme as Europe is having, but they`re having a problem with birth rates in Canada. Why is that dangerous?

SCHEUER: Well, especially in the French-speaking province of Quebec, their immigration rules are such that almost anyone who speaks French can get into the country in order to beef up the numbers of the French community, and so people from French-speaking Africa, French-speaking Asia come in very easily, but also, French-speaking North Africans from those three countries I just mentioned, Glenn.

BECK: Do you think, Michael, that -- I believe global warming if you are a non-vegan and a global warming alarmist, you`re full of crap. Do you believe that people who say that this immigration issue is about security and they`re not concerned with the northern border are just as full of crap?

SCHEUER: Yes, sir, I do. I think the key to this is protecting America, and Mr. Bush, again, proved today he is not interested in doing that if it requires disturbing the business interests of the country.

BECK: When is it going it happen? When are we going to have -- is some security on the northern border?

SCHEUER: When bin Laden delivers another 20,000 to 40,000 dead Americans inside the United States. I think then Americans will realize they`ve been hoodwinked by both parties.

BECK: Michael, thanks. That`s "The Real Story" tonight. I interviewed the man who interviewed me. I`m going to put him in the hot seat. Stick around for what didn`t make "GQ`s" new profile of me.

BECK: All right. I want you to try to picture yourself one day being asked by a national magazine if they could do a full feature profile of you for an upcoming issue and include a tease right there on the front cover for all the world to see. Using just a few words, how do you think that magazine would sum up your entire life and career?

Well, I don`t have to wait for my answer anymore because my answer came last week when "GQ" published a profile of me in their latest issue and decided to sum up my whole life of the article on the cover. I initially thought they might go with sexiest man alive or, "Gosh, he sure loves cake," but my ego came crashing down the second I saw the six words they chose. "The most annoying man on TV," see page 325.

Ben Wallace is the "GQ" writer who spent quite a bit of time following me around for the profile. Ben, what`s the answer? Most annoying man on TV or does it just seem that way?

BEN WALLACE, "GQ MAGAZINE": I think the short answer is that it just seems that way, Glenn, but you are in contention, apparently.

BECK: You know, I don`t even know who am I running against? Who is in this running?

WALLACE: There is some tough competition. Criss Angel. This is my opinion, not "GQ`s."

WALLACE: Criss Angel, Mindfeak, the magician. I would probably agree with you that Michael Moore and Rosie O`Donnell are up there. The attorney general for my money.

BECK: Do we have to put -- you know what, keep that picture of Michael Moore up there because it makes my chin look smaller. Let me ask you this, Ben. First of all, I have to tell you, while didn`t agree with everything that you wrote -- I mean, there are a couple of body blows in there -- to me it was at least fair, and I asked you at the very beginning of this process if you would at least be fair with me, and you really were, and I appreciate that.

Was there something that you -- going in you thought this is who this guy is and then you were surprised by?

WALLACE: I think on TV and even on your radio show, to a lesser degree, you come off maybe as less relatable than I found that you did in person.

BECK: That`s not possible, is it?

WALLACE: When you have to package the material for an hour on TV, obviously some nuances get left out. I think on radio, that Glenn Beck is truer to the Glenn Beck I spent a couple of days with.

BECK: The thing that I was intrigued by is towards the end you talked to a lot of my detractors and some of them at these liberal blogs and everything else you said that somebody said off the record that I actually had a heart, or what was the exact phrase? That they suspected .

WALLACE: That you had glimmers of a heart.

BECK: Glimmers of a heart, but they wouldn`t go on record. They had to go off record? Tell me about that conversation, and will you tell us who it is or give me some sort of clue?

WALLACE: No. I`m already skating close to the edge by even using the quote, since it was off the record, and all they were saying was you had glimmers of having a heart, and I didn`t name them, it would be OK.

WALLACE: No, but they made sure that, you know, I knew it was off the record. It came after 20 minutes of vitriol .

BECK: Are you surprised of the hatred of me?

WALLACE: I think you are good at pushing the buttons of a certain, you know, set of bloggers, and so .

BECK: I mean, they all live in their mom`s basement anyway, so what difference does that make? Let me ask you this, is there anyone - because I thought it was a hopeful article in a way. Is there anyone on the other side of me that is just as tired of the politics and the garbage as I am?

WALLACE: I -- there`s no one that comes to mind, but I think that`s partly because there aren`t that many people on the other side of the aisle who have talk shows.

BECK: Or at least the ones that you have interviewed.

WALLACE: Or that I have interviewed.

BECK: And that are annoying and that might fit into the most annoying people on TV list. Ben, thank you very much.

BECK: I appreciate it, and thanks again for a fair article.

Let`s take a left turn, go to Peru. That`s where we find tonight`s CNN Hero, Ana Dodson.

ANA DODSON, PERUVIAN HEARTS: My parents hadn`t adopted me, I would have probably either been on the streets or in an orphanage. I was born in the hills of Cuzco, Peru. My mom first got me when I was four weeks old. I really wanted to go se an orphanage in Cuzco. I felt this great pull toward these girls who had nothing, and I was, like, wow, I could have been one of these kids, but there was this one girl, Gloria, who came up to me, and she said, Ana, I know that you`ll never forget me, and I know that one day you`ll help us. That just really made me decide I need to do something. My name is Ana Dodson, and I have started an organization called Peruvian Hearts that helps orphans in Peru.

UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE (through translator): Hello, Ana. I want to tell you that you are a good friend with a big and generous heart. They have given us vitamins, ask we are now in very good health.

DODSON: We have sent money and food and for their education. Each day after school a tutor comes over for three hours. We have done renovations, painted the orphanage, and there are 19 children right now. The change that I have seen in them is amazing.

One girl said we are now getting fat because of the vitamins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Anita, I will always carry you in my heart, no matter what happens in life.

DODSON: This orphanage, it is to the point where these girls can dream.

BECK: You know that bumper sticker you see from time to time that says that "Jesus is My Copilot." Well this story is kind of like that, only different. The state of Vermont has an issue with this license plate. JN36TN. Yeah, I don`t know what this t means either, but David Cortman represents a Vermont resident who would like that as his plate number. David, what is the problem with this?

DAVID CORTMAN, SR. LEGAL COUNSEL, ALLIANCE DEFENSE FUND: Well, first, thanks for having me here. But there shouldn`t be a problem for this. This is just a case of government discrimination against people of faith. They allow license plates to go to hundreds of thousands of drivers, and this gentleman wanted to put John 3:16, the well-known scripture verse on the back of hits car.

BECK: Wait, wait, wait. Show me the plate again. Show the plate. I would have never - I would have come up with John, I would have said 36 and Tennessee.

CORTMAN: What`s incredible about that, if the reason you gave on your application was exactly that, it would have been permitted. But the fact that he gave a religious explanation automatically denied by the State of Vermont.

BECK: How long has he been fighting this, because this is not a new issue with him.

CORTMAN: It is not a new issue. We`ve been fighting this for over two and a half years, and still have not been to resolution.

BECK: Is he independently wealthy, or are you independently poor?

CORTMAN: Neither, actually. A little bit .

BECK: A two and a half year fight with an attorney over a license plate.

CORTMAN: Well, the good thing is the Alliance Defense Fund, we represent our clients free of charge, so it is actually not costing him any money. We are flipping the bill.

BECK: You`re doing it because -- are they -- is Vermont this stringent on everything, or just God or .

CORTMAN: Well, just God and religion. What`s incredible, when you look at the license plates that have been allowed in Vermont, you have license plates like anarchy, ACLU, tree hugger, leftist. You name it, it`s on there, but apparently John 3:16 is a little too controversial for the state.

BECK: Somebody has been getting into too much maple syrup. So it`s ok to have vegan or go solar or stoner or something like that, but not God in Vermont? They actually have that plate.

CORTMAN: They do. They categorize religion in the same grouping as offensive speech or vulgar speech or obscene speech, and that obviously is not what the Constitution requires.

BECK: But topless is not offensive to anybody?

CORTMAN: Not at all. That`s right. That`s the problem with this case. You have a few government bureaucrats who are sitting at a table and deciding to them what`s religious or what`s to religious or what`s offensive, and people of faith should not be treated as second class citizens.

See you on the radio in the morning, and right back here tomorrow night, America, from New York. Good night.


Elliott Abrams (born January 24, 1948) is an American diplomat, lawyer, and political scientist who served in foreign policy positions for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

Dr Ely Karmon (Hebrew: אלי כרמון, born May 3, 1941) is an Israeli political scientist who is a Senior Research scholar at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy, both at The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC), in Israel.


BobFromBrockley

Solidarity with democratic revolutions worldwide | South London subcultural arcana | unearthing political confusionism | triangulating two-state, one-state and no-state solutions | critical diaspora culture | anti-antisemitism | Sylvia Pankhurst, Hannah Arendt, Bayard Rustin and W.E.B. Du Bois | dub, grime, country, soul and blues.

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Farewell Levon

"Dry Your Eyes" is, I think, partly about the death of the 1960s dream, and the whole concert, recorded in the Autumn of 1976, was literally The Band's last concert (until partially re-forming years later), and it has a real elegiac quality, the sense of something passing.

Levon Helm played drums and mandolin, and sings some of the songs. I never realised he had a low opinion of the concert, but more really of the Martin Scorsese film of it, which I've never actually seen.

Levon Helm was born in Arkansas, grew up in a town called Turkey Scratch, and was apparently inspired to music by the mandolin god Bill Monroe who he saw at age six. (Here's Monroe that year: you can hear the connection.)

I think "Jemima Surrender" is the only major Band song he wrote, but he sang the most well-loved ones, including "The Weight" and "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down". Here's a couple of his tracks, the second from his brilliant last album Electric Dirt.


Haaretz (הארץ) (lit. "The Land ", originally Ḥadashot Ha'aretz &ndash חדשות הארץ, &ndash "News of the Land ") is an Israeli newspaper.

Hadrian (Publius Aelius Hadrianus Augustus 24 January 76 &ndash 10 July 138 AD) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138.

The Hajj (حَجّ "pilgrimage") is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence.

Hama (حماة, ܚܡܬ Ḥmṭ, "fortress" Biblical Hebrew: חֲמָת Ḥamāth) is a city on the banks of the Orontes River in west-central Syria.


The water non-conflict thesis

Although this chapter sees water scarcity as an important factor in some conflicts (and therefore as a legitimate subfield of security studies), it is important to recognize that water scarcity rarely leads to violent conflict, and never precipitates war by itself. Proponents of the water non-conflict thesis primarily argue that this is because states and domestic groups utilize human ingenuity through market mechanisms to mitigate the negative impact of water scarcity. This point of view sees international rules and laws as helping to decrease state insecurities over water scarcity. Informal or formal international institutions or regimes enact rules between states that prescribe roles, constrain activities and shape expectations (Keohane, 1989: 383). They also provide critical information, reduce transaction costs, establish focal points for co-ordination, and facilitate reciprocity (Keohane and Martin, 1995: 42). This is critical for states that seek to co-operate in an international environment but lack the means to enforce agreements, since, according to the institutionalist literature, cheating or non-compliance is the greatest obstacle to co-operation (Keohane, 1995 Kratochwil, 1995). These obstacles to co-operation are of course, exacerbated in a protracted conflict.

While general international water law has been ineffectual, bilateral and multilateral treaties that address the issues of water allocation, pollution and other aspects of joint management have been effective in reducing water related conflicts. In fact, some 145 water-related treaties have been ratified in the past 100 years (Wolf, 1997: 10). Both the International Court of Justice and the 1997 Convention on Non-Navigational Uses of International Water Courses encourage states to negotiate water disputes and to carry out joint-management activities. State leaders have multiple interests: thirsty states might need water but they also have other priorities, such as foreign aid and trade, which might be negatively impacted by aggressive military action to capture water resources. For instance, a powerful state not directly involved in the water dispute, such as the United States (US), might use its influence to prevent a water dispute or a violation of an agreement from degenerating into violent conflict by threatening economic sanctions against the aggressor. And, in general, governments are reluctant to use violence to realize their water-related interests. A strong international norm exists, which member states codified in the United Nations Charter, which obligates states to resolve all disputes peacefully. While wars do occur, states are usually hesitant to challenge this principle of international law. In addition, waging war is a complicated prospect. If an upstream state builds a disputed dam, then a more powerful downstream state has a tactical target. Capturing a source of water is difficult unless a state is willing to be an occupying force, which today has many political, military and economic drawbacks (Orme, 1997–98: 143). Because inter-state war is not an attractive option, states have often resolved their water disputes through means other than violent conflict.

Proponents of the non-conflict thesis argue that when the larger political environment improves, water politics also improve. In basins where analysts predicted acute conflict, such as the Jordan and Ganges, conflicting riparians have recently signed treaties (Wolf, 1997: 14–15 see also Postel, 1997). Although the economic argument against a state fighting a water war is that water is a cheap commodity compared to the costs of war, in these cases it was not economics or hydrology, but regional and international politics, that mitigated the problem of scarcity and conflict. Water disputes and protracted conflicts necessarily complicate each other. With the end to the protracted conflict or important changes in international relations that directly influence the feuding riparians – the end of the Cold War, for example, or domestic political changes such as new national leadership – the chances of international co-operation become more probable (Lowi, 1993).

Human ingenuity and the role of the market are especially important, in the non-conflict thesis, for reducing the chances that scarcity will lead to violent conflict. Political scientists Daniel Deudney and Ronnie Lipschutz maintain that resource wars, in general, are unlikely for the foreseeable future because, as many economists argue, governments can often procure resources through trade (‘virtual water’ or buying water intensive products, such as cotton and oranges through international trade instead of producing it domestically). Additionally, technology has made it possible to develop substitutes for many materials (through desalinisation for fresh water), greater efficiency and conservation (Deudney, 1990: 470 Lipschutz, 1989). In fact, some economists argue that scarcity is not a problem or a source of conflict, but a catalyst for human ingenuity. According to this approach, scarcity pushes mankind to search for a substitute, to conserve and recycle, so that in the end the service provided by the original resource costs less. For example, the cost of copper and oil over the last 100 years has declined because scarcity has promoted ingenuity (Simon, 1981: 46).

Most dry countries have strengthened domestic water management through policy changes, such as improved pricing, efficiency and conservation initiatives that have successfully lessened the impact of resource scarcity. These countries have avoided the need to develop new sources of water supply by carrying out intelligent water conservation and demand management programmes, for instance, installing efficient new equipment and applying appropriate economic and institutional incentives to maximize efficiency. Such policies have successfully reduced water use through efficiency without sacrificing economic productivity or personal welfare. In fact, a trend has been emerging since 1980 in which developed states, such as the US, have been steadily decreasing water use even though their population and economy continue to grow. This trend runs counter to the conventional belief that water use inevitably rises along with population and economic growth. It shows that states do not necessarily need to find new sources to develop economically rather, they need a bureaucracy that can institute means for using the resource more efficiently (Stevens, 1998). 3

Proponents of the non-conflict thesis point out that technological advances ease the pressure of water scarcity. When states make the largest water-using sector – agriculture – more efficient, supplies are freed up for other sectors and total demand is reduced. In fact, in most developing countries agricultural water use is inefficient because old or poorly constructed pipes and aqueducts lose water. Policy analyst Sandra Postel estimates that more than half of all water diverted for agriculture never produces a crop, so advanced irrigation technologies would substantially decrease the quantity of water used and increase crop yields. In fact, in certain countries, drip irrigation in combination with other policies has produced dramatic increases in crop yields while cutting water consumption by up to two-thirds (Postel, 1997: 103–7). Because drip irrigation calls for planning and financial capital, albeit in the short run, it is easier and cheaper to use flood irrigation, which is extremely wasteful, than to deliver water through a network of small porous pipes that are installed on or below the soil surface. Such a system serves water directly to the crops’ roots, keeping down evaporation and seepage losses and maintaining water efficiency at approximately 95 per cent. When farmers automate the system with computers and monitors, they can sense the best time to distribute the water. Still, such a system is expensive, requiring an initial outlay of $1,500–3,000 per hectare (Postel, 1997: 103–4). Moreover, the farmers need to be trained on how to use the equipment.

Other technological advances, such as the use of alternative types of water, have also increased the supply but they, too, require expertise and capital. Israel has an extensive wastewater reclamation programme that treats and uses a large percentage of waste water for the agriculture sector. Some Israeli analysts speculate that within a couple of decades fresh water will go first to cities and industries and the only reliable source for agriculture will come from the use of treated waste water (Gleick, 1998: 28–9). Building waste-water treatment plants and the piping system to distribute reclaimed water is a multi-million dollar endeavour that calls for significant bureaucratic and technical planning, as does another important technological advance – desalination. Although there is a virtually endless supply of accessible seawater available to numerous water-poor states, the resource is not economically feasible because desalination plants require substantial investments of energy, technology and capital. Consequently, most of the world’s desalination plants are in the energy rich countries of the Persian Gulf and are not economically feasible solutions for most resource-hungry developing states. With recent technological advances, desalinated water is becoming more economically feasible for drinking water, but is still too expensive for agricultural use. 4

In addition to technological advances, economic solutions, such as instituting a market-based water-pricing system, would increase efficiency, but elites are reluctant to introduce such measures. More realistic pricing, combined with metering, stimulates the agricultural and industrial sectors to use water more wisely. Pricing also encourages users to re-evaluate their overall use of water. It alters the perception that because water is renewable and comes from nature it is a common good that should be free. Since governments allocate a large portion of available water to agriculture, even a small shift away from irrigation can make a considerable difference for a national water budget. Moreover, the economic returns from water used in irrigated agriculture are far less than in domestic and industrial use. However, this economic reality remains largely invisible when the state subsidizes water for agriculture. Overall, a rational water policy becomes difficult if not impossible when water pricing does not reflect all the costs of delivery and regulation.

Supporters of the non-conflict thesis are correct in saying that good domestic and international institutions and human ingenuity have decreased the water scarcity leading to violent conflict. Purchasing water-intensive crops through international trade, where water-poor states import ‘virtual water’ is an example of this kind of thinking. To grow an orange in water-poor Gaza, farmers use many gallons of water, but by importing that produce, the water can be used for needed human consumption or for higher economic yield crops such as flowers or planting seeds (Allen, 1996: 76). Of course, a state must have the financial resources to be a food buyer on the international market. The problem with the optimism of the non-conflict approach, then, is that some less developed states do not have sufficiently strong institutions to facilitate ingenuity, enough capital to invest or even the requisite political stability. Water-conflict thesis proponents build on this real-world problem.


Conclusion: thinking about women's issues

THIS PAPER HAS TRIED to present the historical, ideological and structural settings within which Palestinian women have thought about and acted on their situation. Such a review suggests that the protracted, difficult nature of the national struggle has contradictory effects for women, engaging large numbers of them in many forms of activism, but also suppressing the 'woman issue' and postponing its discussion to a still far-off stage. The PRM has set up structures that mobilise women and help legitinlise their activism yet its reluctance to undertake campaigns of socio-cultural change has put the burden of this struggle on women themselves. Nationalist women have thus been forced to assume the role of agents of social change, through struggle with their families and activities outside the home yet at the same time they continue to carry the obligations imposed by woman's traditional image: sexual self-censorship, marriage, fertility, housewifely competence. Meanwhile the most active, most experienced women are dispersed in different PRM parties and are actively involved in building support for their policies on national issues.

Such conditions do not easily give rise to collective discussion of or action on women's issues. Yet at the same time they do not completely negate them. The intractability of the national struggle also gives more time for women to gain organising skills. It brings large numbers of women into the political arena and creates a 'field' of action for PRM women cadres, one in which they meet at close quarters the socio-cultural obstacles that limit other women's participation. The definition of women's issues in this context becomes not so much permissable as necessary:

'In each stage of our struggle we must do everything we can to allow the greatest number of women to participate in struggle. There are many issues and traditions that we have to face directly. We can't just say, No, this is part of our tradition, we must stop at this point.'63 The conditions for further work on women's issues-defining, raising and setting up programmes directed towards them-now appear to exist in certain sectors of the resistance movement and in the Occupied Territories. We would not expect instant agreement on what women's issues are, nor on which are priorities. In the West Bank it seems that women are ready to 'organise around their own problems', whereas within the PRM context, women's issues are much more closely linked to national and community needs. DWOs focus on social issues:

'. . . not women's issues in the sense that a feminist would use the term, but important matters that affect women, such as lack of water, prisoners, the destruction of camps. Other issues that DWOs are said to be taking up are: the rights of working women, childcare centres, and campaigns against young age of girls at marriage. These are seen as justified because "they are not women's slogans only but are in the service of our whole society." '64

An obvious danger oflinking definitions of women's issues so tightly to the national struggle is, to paraphrase Giacaman, that if Palestinian aspirations to nationhood are fulfilled, women may lose the incentive and justification for organisation. One shquld expect that after such a long and bitter struggle, there will be a reaction that will de-mobilise many women. However, there are good reasons why such a reaction should not last and should not lead to a by now familiar pattern of an official women's union tied to state or ruling party, repression of human rights and a re-domestication of women. Palestinian women have been organising for 70 years, and have fully shared with men in constructing a 'public sphere' through which Palestinian peoplehood is expressed today. It is not inconceivable that there should be attempts to dislodge them, but the wide reach of women's mobilisation guarantees resistance: 'It's not a few elitist individuals experimenting, we have a broad base of women. When we have to deal with a new cha:llenge, these women will be up to it.'65

    K. Jayawardena, Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World (London: Zed Books Ltd., 1986) 'The women's movement in many countries of Asia achieved political and legal equality with men at the juridical level, but failed to make any impression on women's subordination within the patriarchal structure of family and society.' Jayawardena, op cit, p24. See as examples two PLO booklets: The Struggle of Palestinian Women (Beirut: Palestine Research Centre, 1975) and The Women's Role in the Palestine National Struggle (Beirut: Department of Information, nd). Political women's groups appeared in Jerusalem in 1919 and 1921 in Nablus in 1921 in Haifa in 1928. These local unions joined in the national Arab Women's Association launched in 1929. See M. Mogannam, The Arab Woman and the Palestine Problem (London: Joseph, 1937) p62 also L. Jammal Contributions by Palestinian Women to the National Struggle for Liberation (Washington: Middle East Public Relations, 1985) ppI2-16. According to Mogannam, Jaffa women organised even earlier, before World War 1. When Allenby visited Jerusalem in 1932, the A W A organised a dramatic protest demonstration, in which a Christian member spoke from the pulpit of the Mosque of Omar, and a Muslim member from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The AWA was also the first national institution to publicize the plight of the fellahin. (Mogannam p97 seq p83). See Jayawardena, op cit, chapters on Egypt, Turkey and Iran. She notes: 'The proliferation ofwomen's journals and of women who wrote on various issues was striking: prior to 1914 there were 15 Arabic women's magazines, many of which were edited by Syrian Christian women.' (P52) Mogannam, op cit, has a section on women's movements in Syria and Lebanon, pp63-6. Mogannam, op cit, p249-257. Ibid, p69, gives a detailed account of the Arab Women's Congress held in Jerusalem in October 1929, which formed an Executive Committee, and branches in urban centres throughout Palestine. Named at this stage the Arab Women's Association, it later on became a member of the League of Arab Women's Unions, and changed its name to Palestine Arab Women's Union. Eg K. Abu Ali, Muqaddima hawl waqi' aI-mar' a al-jilastiniyya wa tajribatuha ji al-thawra (Beirut: GUPW, 1975) and R. Gaicaman, Palestinian Women and Development in the Occupied West Bank (Birzeit University, mimeo, 26pp, nd). A.W. Kayyali, Palestine, A Modem History (London: Croom Helm, nd) see especially pp171-3 and p192. In a footnote on p185, Kayyali cites a report by the British High Commissioner after a visit from a delegation of women, that 'they displayed more courage and determination than their notable menfolk.' See L. Sweet, 'The women of' Ain ad-Dayr', Anthropological Quarterly, vol 40, 1967. The range of women's actions is remarkable: demonstrations, meeting with Mandate offtcials, statements and memoranda, fund-raising, support for martyrs' families, visiting prisoners, and setting up girls' schools, clinics and orphanages. See Mogannam pp55-63, and Jammal pp12-20. For a comprehensive list of women's organisations with dates and aims, see Y. Haddad, 'Palestinian Women' in K. Nakhleh and E. Zureik eds, The Sociology of the Palestinians, (London: Croom Helm, 1980) p167. Ruqeyya Huri, AWA leader, discusses this question in R. Sayigh, 'Femmes palestiniennes: une histoire en quête d'historiens' in Revue d'Etudes Palestiniennes no 23, printemps 1987. Meeting with Zuleikha Shihabi, Jerusalem, May 1980. Interview with Ruqeyya Huri, Beirut, January 1981. Interview with Natiel Mogannam, Washington, August 1985. Inverview with Wadi'a Khartabil, Beirut, March 1982. See Jammal pp21-24. Giacaman lists 38 women's associations in the West Bank alone, several of which date from this period. For a portrait of an individual woman 'helper' see E. Said, After the Last Sky (London: Faber and Faber, 1986). Abu Ali, op cit, cites the anti-Baghdad pact demonstration in Amman in which a Palestinian woman member of the Communist Party, Raja' Abu Ammasheh, was killed. See also Leila Khaled's autobiography, My People Shall Live (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1973). See R. Sayigh 'Femmes palestiniennes . . . ' Ghourba is not just exile, but gives the sense of being among strangers. Women in camps queued for UNRWA rations and worked in manual and domestic labour to save their husbands from humiliation. For descriptions from this period, see J. Peteet in R. Sayigh and J. Peteet 'Between Two Fires: Palestinian Women in Lebanon', R. Ridd and H. Callaway eds, Caught Up in Conflict (Basingstoke: Macmillan Education, 1986) pp111-2. The main sources are: i) interviews with organised women in Lebanon before and after 1982 ii) on-going fieldwork in Chatila camp. I am particularly indebted to V.N., member of the DFLP since 1973, with whom I had two long interviews in January 1988. Women's membership in resistance groups shows some interesting differences from men's. Women may drop out of political activity but usually remain in the network of their organisation. I know of no cases of switching from one to another. Men seldom leave the PRM to return to civilian life, but they often move from one organisation to another. For a more detailed discussion of this question, see R. Sayigh, 'Palestinian Women and Politics in Lebanon', paper for the symposium on 'Women and Arab Society, Old Boundaries, New Frontiers,' Georgetown University, Washington DC, April 1986. (in publication) Several Palestinian social institutions in Lebanon were launched and directed by women: In'ash al-Mukhayem (1968) the Ghassan Kanafani Cultural Association Najdeh Assocation. Beit Atial al-Sumud, orginally set up by the GUPW as a home for Tel al-Za'ter orphans, is now an autonomous institution with a range of social care activities. Abu Ali, op cit. A summary is given in R. Sayigh in 'Women in Struggle' Third World Quarterly vol 5 no 4, Oct 1983. Early in 1974 the Fateh/PLO leadership adopted the goal of a state in any part of Palestine that could be liberated. The GUPW rebelled against this position, and as a result were 'frozen' for six months. Interview with J .H. (Fateh) May 1982. N. Shafiq, 'Maudo'at hawl nidal al-mar'a', Shu'oon Filastiniyya no 62,1977. See 'PFLP marks Womens Day', PFLP Bulletin no 61, April 1982, for Habash's position. Habash often addresses the 'woman issue' in his speeches, as well as in a booklet, Hawl taharrur al-mar'a, Beirut, nd. Interview with V.N. (DFLP), January 1988. Pluralism is expressed in the number of autonomous social associations also in the existence in Israel of women's political groups, such as the Democratic Women's League, which do not come under the PLO umbrella. Few other resistance groups have a corps of women members, except for the small Marxist Palestine Struggle Front. When other groups need a woman representative on a committee, they tend to recruit members' wives. There was no sudden decision to withdraw women from 'military work' light arms training continued in Lebanon, PFLP hijackings continued for a while, and some attempts were made to form a women's battalion. But the PRM leadership gradually stopped giving support. Dallal Mughrabi was a Sabra girl who managed to remain in a Fateh fighting unit after women's participation was discouraged. She was killed leading a seaborne attack against Israel in March 1978. Interview with 'Samar' (PSF), October 1986. Interview with J .H. (PSF), March 1986. In 1985, the PFLP launched a mass women's organisation in Damascus. The following year a sister WO was founded in the USA. Interview with V.N. (DFLP), January 1988. Ibid. Giacaman, op cit. As its title indicates, Giacaman's study is limited to the West Bank. For voices of women in Gaza and information on organising there, see P. Cossali and C. Robson, Stateless in Gaza (London: Zed Books, 1986). Giacaman, op cit, p15. Other Women's Work Committees have been formed, and all are now said to be associated with resistance groups. Information given here only covers the first WWC. Lajnet al-amal al-nissa'i, Hawla awda' al-mar'a al-filastiniyyafi al-manatiq almuhtalla: dirasa maydaniyya, Ramallah-al-Bireh, 1980. Giacaman, op cit, p19. Ibid, p16. Ibid, p21. A resident of Chatila told me of an incident in the early '70s when women in an office of a leftist group were observed 'in a state of undress'. Immediately all camp families withdraw their daughers from PRM activities. V. N. reported another (or possibly another version of the same) incident, saying that a woman's carelessness or showing off had given rise to a gossip campaign against the DFLP. Differences between Muslim and Christian family practice tend to become accentuated in conditions of 'modernisation'. In Palestine, there was a tradition of symbiosis. In some Christian families women were veiled out of respect for Muslim neighbours. See T. Canaan, 'Unwritten Laws Affecting the Arab Woman of Palestine' Journal oithe Palestine Oriental Society vol 11, 1931. See R. Sayigh and J. Peteet, op cit. This section owes much to Peteet's fieldwork. See her Women and National Politics: The Palestinian Case. 1985. PhD dissertation. Wayne State Unversity, Michigan also 'Women and National Politics in the Middle East' in B. Berberoglu ed. The Middle East in Crisis: Class Struggles, the National Question, the State and the Revolution (forthcoming 1988 from Zed Books). The best source is H. Granqvist, Marriage Conditions in a Palestinian Village (Helsinki: Societas Scientarium Fennica, vol 1 1931, vol 2 1935). This quotation from a Tel al-Za'ter girl is illuminating 'During the battle for the camp I worked in the clinic and the bakery along with many other young women. Before that most girls weren't allowed to work in the resistance clinics. . . But after the battle of Tel al-Za'ter, no mother would prevent her daughter from going out. On the contrary, she would tell her to go out and work to help her people.' In Sayigh and Peteet, op cit, p113. Other factors also contributed: educations subsidies, rising employment, demands for educated brides, etc. Polygamy rates among Palestinians are low. But cases arose when PRM cadres came to Lebanon from other areas, sometimes leaving a wife behind, and taking a second wife in Lebanon. See the interview with a Fateh cadre, Jihan Helou, in PFLP Bulletin no 61, April 1982, p32. See Peteet, op cit. R. Sayigh, 'Palestinian Women and Politics in Lebanon' For a good description of such a woman in Chatila, see Mahjoub Omar, 'Les gens et Ie siège', Revue d'Etudes Palestiniennes no 7, printemps 1983, pp98-9. See I. Bendt and J. Downing, We Shall Return: Women of Palestine (London: Zed Press, 1980). There is a particularly good discussion between women about family size in the chapter 'Having Only Two Children Ought to be Forbidden'. Nevertheless this terminology has been fiercely criticised in al-Hadaf(PFLP): 'Why do some of the leaders. . . continue to use the most backward feudal language, such as "the woman procreator", or "the Palestinian womb" or the "fertile wombs"?' Quoted by N. Abdo-Zubi, Family, Women and Social Change in the Middle East (Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press, 1987), p46. Interview with V.N. (DFLP), January 1988. Ibid. Ibid.