I was astonished at a remark one English commentator was allowed to make on CNN about the violence in the Middle East. She pointed out that, if the United States had used live ammunition against WTO protesters in Seattle, the world would be furious. In fact, if even Milosevic had used live ammunition to put down his protesters, even those who consider him a war criminal would have been shocked.

But the Arabs in Palestine are shot from the get-go, and that's taken as routine.

Such invalid distinctions are a part of our day-to-day thinking. Any neutral observer would be completely puzzled by many things we take for granted.

As a result, we can't understand why nothing our dialogue produces makes sense in the real world. Our social science is based on something like a Flat Earth Theory, and we can't understand why its predictions that ships will fall off the edge don't work out.

Israel, contrary to what some preachers tell us, is not God. The same rules work there as work anywhere else. So, in the name of multiculturalism, Israel has an Arab minority. They are officially Israeli citizens. But when the shooting starts, that means nothing. Most Arabs will take the side of other Arabs, just as so many Mexican-Americans here tend to take the side of the Spanish language and of their own country.

Israel needs a nation made up of Jews if there is to be an Israeli nation. This violates the absolute requirement of multiculturalism, but it is the only solution for the real world. Palestinians, as a people, need their own, fully independent, fully separate nation.