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February 2, 2003

Via our neighbor the Talking Dog: The Palestinian Authority has extended its condolences to the families of all the Columbia astronauts, including Israeli astronaut Ilon Ramon. (Story in the Jerusalem Post, login cypherpunk, password cypherpunk.) “Anyone who dedicates his and her work efforts and lives for scientific development to help humankind and the world is very courageous, whoever he is,” said Arafat adviser Bassam Abu Sharif.

Take it for what you will. But kindness can happen even between enemies, and should never be discouraged. [06:56 PM]

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Comments on Via:

Hal O'Brien ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2003, 07:09 PM:

But, in the fascinating, Not-quite-tin-foil-hat Dept., dig this paragraph in the story:

"Some Palestinians speculated at the coincidence that an Israeli astronaut lost his life over a place called Palestine, Texas. "They all talk about the connection to the Middle East," a Fatah source said. "All three big issues in the Middle East were involved in the tragedy: Israel through Ilan Ramon, Palestine because the accident happened over Palestine, Texas, and Iraq, because the Israeli astronaut was one of the pilots who bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981," the source
said."

{emphasis added}

That story was apparently broken by the J-Post on 17 Jan. I hadn't heard it... but it sure is interesting. Ramon was one of only eight pilots on the Osiraq reactor bombing run (which I particularly remember because it was on the day of my high school graduation, 6 Jun 1981).

As noted in the story, an interesting confluence of coincidences.

Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2003, 07:19 PM:

ABC news is reporting that NASA says the remains of all seven astronauts have been found, so Ilan Ramon will presumably be able to make a final journey to his homeland.

Yehudit ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2003, 12:05 AM:

The debris fell over many Texas and Louisiana towns, but I don't blame the Pals & Co. for trying to make a big deal out of the fact that one of them is named Palestine.

The fact that Col. Ramon was one of the Osirik bombers has been around the blogosphere since the launch.

Tony Cullen ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2003, 07:36 AM:

I seem to remember reading somewhere (probably the print edition of New Scientist) that one of the experiments on board Columbia was the result of a collaboration between Israeli and Palestinian scientists. Also worth noting, I thought.

Yehudit ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2003, 10:29 PM:

There has been collaboration on many projects between Pal and Israeli scientists throughout the intifada, and before. It's one of the few areas where there is cooperation, and the counter-boycott petitions have all pointed out that freezing Israelis out of international scientific communication certainly doesn't help the Palestinians.

Israel and Jordan also collaborate on scientific projects that affect the region such as irrigation improvements. And patrolling the West Bank border so that Pal terrorists don't try to take over Jordan again.

Peter ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2003, 02:15 AM:

The fact that the Shuttle disentegrated under the coniditions it did (Ramon, Palestine Tx, etc..) has got all of Netanyahu's fan clubs in the U.S. Christian coalition wetting their pants in excitement over the impending "armeggedon."
Great, all we need now is all of the far right Christian coallition nuts to doing their part to ensure that Jews and Arabs obliterate each other, for the sake of bogus biblical prophecy. As if the middle east doesn't have enough problems already.