Showing newest posts with label war. Show older posts
Showing newest posts with label war. Show older posts

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We will remember you all | Yom HaZikaron

Every year in Israel, on the day before their Independence Day an air raid siren sounds across the country. This day is known in Hebrew as "Yom HaZikaron" - Memorial Day. Unfortunately for Israelis, this is not a day for BBQ's and beaches.

Everyone, no matter where they are or what they're doing, stops. Traffic comes to a standstill and people often get out of their cars to observe a nationwide moment of silence in memory of all the young men and women who have died in the line of duty, defending the Jewish nation from those that threaten to destroy it.



Also remembered in the next 24 hours are the innocent men women and children who have been shot, stabbed, blown up and beaten to death by terrorists...their only crime being that they were Jewish residents (or Israeli citizens of a different religion) of a small patch of desert that lies between the Jordan river and Mediterranean sea.

As of publication, the number of soldiers killed in the line of duty stands at 22,684.

The number of civilians killed during terror attacks stands at 3,270 (including about 700 American victims), with an additional 14,002 injured.

Sadly these numbers continue to go up year over year. But while our brothers and sisters are gone - they are never forgotten. This day is just a reminder to keep them in our hearts...



על הנגב יורד ליל הסתיו
ומצית כוכבים חרש חרש
עת הרוח עובר על הסף
עננים מהלכים על הדרך.

The autumn evening descends on the Negev (desert)
And it lights up the stars in silence
The wind blows upon the doorway
As clouds move along the way

כבר שנה לא הרגשנו כמעט
איך עברו הזמנים בשדותינו
כבר שנה ונותרנו מעט
מה רבים שאינם כבר בינינו.

It's been a year but we almost haven't felt it...
How the times passed in our fields
It's been a year and few of us remain...
There are many that are no longer among us

אך נזכור את כולם
את יפי הבלורית והתואר
כי רעות שכזאת לעולם
לא תיתן את ליבנו לשכוח
אהבה מקודשת בדם
את תשובי בינינו לפרוח.

But we'll remember them all
The beauty of their hair and appearance
Because this kind of friendship is forever
Our hearts won't allow us to forget
This love that is bound by blood...
You'll return to be between us and blossom

הרעות נשאנוך בלי מילים
אפורה עקשנית ושותקת
מלילות האימה הגדולים
את נותרת בהירה ודולקת.

Oh this friendship was carried without words
It was grey, persistent and silent
Through the terrible nights
You remained bright and lit

הרעות כנערייך כולם
שוב בשמך נחייך ונלכה
כי רעים שנפלו על חרבם
את חייך הותירו לזכר.

This friendship is like all your youths
Again in your name we'll smile and go
Because friends who fell on their swords
Your life was left to their memory

אך נזכור את כולם
את יפי הבלורית והתואר
כי רעות שכזאת לעולם
לא תיתן את ליבנו לשכוח
אהבה מקודשת בדם
את תשובי בינינו לפרוח.

But we'll remember them all
The beauty of their hair and appearance
Because this kind of friendship is forever
Our hearts won't allow us to forget
This love that is bound by blood...
You'll return to be between us and blossom

אך נזכור את כולם
את יפי הבלורית והתואר
כי רעות שכזאת לעולם
לא תיתן את ליבנו לשכוח
אהבה מקודשת בדם
את תשובי בינינו לפרוח.

But we'll remember them all
The beauty of their hair and appearance
Because this kind of friendship is forever
Our hearts won't allow us to forget
This love that is bound by blood...
You'll return to be between us and blossom


Finally, in addition to our brothers and sisters who fell...at the time of publication, the number of Israelis currently missing in action stands at 1.



Let's not forget about Gilad Shalit...still trapped in some Hamas hell-hole...still being tortured and abused everyday.

Who would like nothing more than to be free to participate in a memorial service instead of worrying that he'll be a statistic at the next one. Who would like nothing more than an end to this warfare and bloodshed and hatred. Who would like nothing more than to just be normal.

But then...don't we all?


Thursday, April 15, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Tens of thousands of people murdered, raped and displaced all over the world - overshadowed by new apartment building in Israel...

...Western governments, including Obama administration officials had no comment on the continuing violence in dozens of nations throughout the world but were quick to condemn the new building.

United States Vice President Joe Biden stated emphatically that the new building was "an impediment to world peace," adding later that "if only the Israelis would stop building schools, roads, farms and electric grids the smoke monster would be imprisoned forever on the Lost island and we would finally get an answer as to why Walt was so important to the Others. Also, settlements are an impediment to world peace, did I mention that yet?"

Experts calculated that in the time it took Biden to make that statement an additional 139 Darfurians had their houses burned down by pro-Sudanese government militias, 54 Congolese people starved to death due to war-induced famine and 11 Rwandans were killed in tribal warfare.

Obama administration officials would not comment on any of these ongoing international conflicts but indicated that they would be happily discuss the newest snow removal laws passed in Jerusalem.

Has there ever been a more ridiculous rift between two allies than the recent scuffle between the Obama administration and Netanyahu over the new housing project announcements in Jerusalem? In all sincerity, I'm serious - historically, have two friends fought SO PUBLICLY over something as absurd as a new housing unit that it becomes an international incident, discussed by pundits at every level of the political spectrum? Think of the town you live in...can you imagine if anytime you wanted to widen a road or build a new community center or pass a new littering ordinance, that the leaders of 95 different countries would weigh in and gave you their opinion on what they thought about it? It would be crazy!

Regular readers will recall that I'm a firm believer that until the Israelis have someone legitimate to actually sit down at a negotiating table with (that isn't plotting their destruction as soon as the class is dismissed for the day and the teacher's back is turned), that they shouldn't alter any of their settlement plans for anyone.

I also am in firm agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Jerusalem (that's the Israeli CAPITAL for those keeping score at home) is NOT a settlement, is NOT negotiable and should NOT be treated in the same way as a random trailer park in the middle of a sea of Gaza or West Bank Arabs. And I've also made it very clear that even these "illegal outposts" are just used as scapegoats anyway by anti-Zionists and as excuses for why the Palestinians just can't resist the urge to shoot rockets at innocent men women and children in Sderot and Ashkelon.

But to even discuss this issue and the public spectacle Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have made of it in this context is lending too much credence to it. This isn't a core conflict issue at all. The Israelis haven't changed their housing policy in Jerusalem since the Johnson administration - including all through the Oslo Accord negotiations! Hillary's husband never had a problem with Jews living in Jerusalem...why does she?

By the way, here's another reminder that a few thousand people senselessly died today between Congo, Rwanda, Darfur, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Iran, Mexico and the Philippines due to starvation, drug wars, ethnic cleansings, communist insurgencies, Islamic fundamentalism, sectarian violence and other ills of society that all the wonderfully tolerant idealists were supposed to have solved back in the 20th century. Maybe it's time we started spending our time/resources fixing these problems instead of telling Jews where they are or aren't allowed to live? Oh wait, nevermind - none of those countries threaten to shut off our oil faucets if we don't do what they say.

Finally, doesn't anyone else see it as more than just a little racist that there is all this uproar when Jews want to build new houses or expand old ones in this part of the world? Can you imagine if you wanted to expand your attic in order to add another room to your house but were told you couldn't...not because of safety or occupancy issues but rather because you were Italian or Irish or Mexican or whatever and the United Nations had zoned your street as an "immigrant-free" zone? Ignore for a minute the Biblical or historical ties to the land that Jews claim...strip away for a minute the conflicts and the talking points and whatever side you're on.

You have a group of people who LEGALLY PAID for property but are being told "sorry, you can't live here because you don't celebrate Christmas or Ramadan" - I'm pretty sure that's the kind of completely institutionalized racism entire liberal civil rights movements have been based on. Think about it, would that attitude be acceptable in ANY other part of the world that isn't a complete fascist cesspool?

And yet, who are the ones screaming to keep the Jews out of Jerusalem (along with the West Bank and elsewhere)? You guessed it...

Discrimination against Jews: not just for southern country clubs anymore

People who call themselves "liberals" or progressives. Also known as the same people that demanded equal rights for Blacks in the 60's...so why the double standard when it comes to Jews living in their historical homeland?

As if that wasn't enough, anti-Semitic violence was up over 100% in 2009 - good thing we elected a hope and change president who was going to make us all much safer than his cowboy predecessor the through dialogue instead of action. And lest you think that this only about the president, here's some additional less-than-startling news from Rosner about the widening divide in Washington between Republicans and Democrats on the topic of Israel:
In a poll commissioned by the Arab American Institute last month, respondents were asked whether Obama should "steer a middle course" in the Middle East - code for not clearly supporting Israel. "There is a strong divide on this question," Zogby reported, "with 73 percent of Democrats agreeing that the President should steer a middle course while only 24 percent of Republicans hold the same opinion."
Can you honestly consider yourself "pro-Israel" and call for moral-equivalence between Hamas and Israel?

So fellow Jews, I ask again, is it time yet to start admitting what a terrible mistake approximately 77% of us made? Or are we going to keep pulling the wool over our own eyes and pretending we aren't completely burying ourselves like we always do? I mean hey, Ed Koch is willing to man up and admit it, can you?

Because admitting our problem is step 1 on the path to rectifying it.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

This doesn't have to happen...


בָּכוֹ תִבְכֶּה בַּלַּיְלָה, וְדִמְעָתָהּ עַל לֶחֱיָהּ--אֵין-לָהּ מְנַחֵם, מִכָּל-אֹהֲבֶיהָ: כָּל-רֵעֶיהָ בָּגְדוּ בָהּ, הָיוּ לָהּ לְאֹיְבִים

She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; she hath none to comfort her among all her lovers; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.

--Lamentations 1:2


And here we are again, on the anniversary of our destruction.



Tisha B'Av is a very difficult day in our nation's history. Much war, destruction, bloodshed and violence has been wrought upon the Jewish people over the centuries...but the worst has befallen us on this day, the 9th of Av. Temples have been destroyed, Inquisitions have been declared, ghettos liquidated and whole populations judged for expulsion and death, all on the same terrible day on the Jewish calender...the 9th of Av.

Every year Jews all over the world commemorate these events by fasting, not eating or drinking anything from yesterday's sunset until an hour after sunset tonight. Jews are to refrain from doing anything enjoyable such as listening to music or having sexual intercourse and it is customary (as when in mourning) not to shave or tell jokes or even sit on chairs. When one listens to the recitation of the Book of Lamentations in synagogue on Tisha B'Av one sit on the floor and contemplates the grave nature of the day.

We remember the terrors that have befallen us for our various sins. We beg God to protect us from future terrors.

Looking around at the world today, it is easy to feel we are on the brink of disaster once more. Just as the Book of Lamentations describes - everyday our enemies grow stronger and our friends prepare to betray us.

A recent report from the Associated Press said that Iran was only six months away from having the capacity to detonate an atomic weapon. While everyone agrees that the Iranians lack a delivery method (an accurate missile system for example), having the capacity to detonate a nuclear bomb is bad enough. Does anyone think that it's beyond the Iranians and their recently "re-elected" president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to look the other way while a Hizballah terrorist scurries off with a bomb?

This reality and all of its doomsday possibilities may only be six months away. Six months, by the way, is a very short time. Just over six months ago Israel had its closest ally ever in the White House and now here we sit, on the floor, and wonder just how we have gotten to this point.

For at the same time that Iran (who has the potential to be Israel's greatest enemy since the Romans) is furiously working towards acquiring the means to destroy our homeland...

The United States (who has been Israel's greatest friend since GOD) is being led by a man who's biggest priorities are to lecture you on how to buy health insurance, to lecture Cambridge policemen about why they're racists and of course to lecture Israel on why it is the source of all problems in the Middle East. But don't worry, at least one of these lectures will happen while drinking beer, so it's "cool".

It's to the point that even the ISRAELI LEFTISTS at Haaretz are noticing.

From the article:

"the more time passes, the more it appears that the demand to freeze settlement construction was meant to demonstrate a distancing from Israel."

A DISTANCING. Our great friend wants to DISTANCE himself from us.

"Now, the US administration must convince the Israeli public that it has a friend in the White House, and that the administration's positions correspond with Israel's national interests. After talking to the Arabs, Muslims and Iranians, in speeches and on television, it is only right that Obama also address the Israeli public..."

Doesn't seem like very much to ask. Just TALK to us Barrack.

"...there is something naive, not to say infuriating, about his policy of dialogue and about the whistle stops he has chosen in his travels regarding our issue. He spoke in Turkey, he spoke in Egypt, he appeared before students in Saudi Arabia, Paris, England, Ghana and Australia. Even there the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was mentioned... The only place he hasn't been is Israel. He has spoken about us, but not to us."

Infuriating.

"Obama assumed he did a great thing when he spoke in Cairo about the Jewish people's suffering in the Holocaust," the "implied distortion: that we deserve a state because of the Holocaust" is "infuriating."

While the Holocaust should have proven to the world (and to Jews) that a sovereign Jewish state is the only way to prevent Tisha B'Av-style disasters (it didn't), clearly it is NOT the end-all/be-all, raison d'être for Israel's existence.

by basing Israel's claim to statehood on the Holocaust rather than the Jews' historic connection to this land, he has fed the Arab fantasy that Jews are colonialist interlopers with no right to be here, and that the Palestinians are being sacrificed to atone for European misdeeds - thereby fostering Arab intransigence and unwillingness to end the conflict.

With the exception of the last one, every one of those quotes came from far-left Israelis who were all wildly supportive of Obama during the election. The gist of the Jerusalem Post article was to say that if even his biggest supporters are questioning his actions, are "infuriated" by this one-sided framing of the issue and are wondering why he has yet to visit his only real ally in the Middle East...clearly the leader of the first country to recognize the Jewish state is being perceived to be...less than enthusiastic with support than his predecessors, by the very people who were ecstatic in their support for him as a candidate!

The disgraceful condemnations of the Israeli operation in Gaza that came out of Europe, Turkey and other alleged Israel allies adds to the growing perception that our list of friends shrinks by the day.

So it is easy to feel as the writer of the Book of Lamentations felt that our enemies grow stronger while our friends turn their backs on us.

However, unlike the destruction of the Temples - our fate is far from being a foregone conclusion. Unlike in the ancient times of the Babylonians and Romans...we still today hold military superiority over our enemies. We do not have to watch as our capital, Jerusalem is violated by Palestinian rockets (as Sderot and Ashkelon have been) as we still have the ability to prevent these attacks from occurring. We do not have to watch as Tel Aviv is laid barren by Iranian nuclear devastation as we still have the ability to prevent these attacks from occurring. We do not have to watch as one by one our friends disappear into the shadows as we weaken to the point that they can deliver us on a silver platter to those who seek our destruction.

We can still stop this.

Like the "angry Left" in Israel, we must demand that Obama:

"...come to Israel and declare here courageously, before the entire world, that our connection to this land began long before the Israeli-Arab conflict and the Holocaust, and that 4,000 years ago, Jews already stood on the ground where he now stands."


We MUST demand that he either take action on Iran or get out of our way while we do it ourselves.

We CANNOT fall into the trap of Lamentations and sadness and feeling sorry for our miserable lot in life.

We CANNOT have a defeatist attitude and assume that just because we have seen suffering all through our history that we must continue to suffer and be beaten down by the other nations.

There is still time. It doesn't need to be this way.

Reliving this history today, on the ninth of Av, should only spurn us towards taking the appropriate steps to ensure that we limit ourselves to one day of mourning per year. One day is enough to feel sorry for ourselves, to reflect on our actions and to regret them. Today is enough for tears. Today is enough for sorrow. Today is enough for suffering.

Today we mourn.

Tomorrow we act.




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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Two-states of confusion

Two states for two people. Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and harmony. A Jewish state and a Palestinian state. People talk about this as if it is the magic solution to not just the Israeli/Palestinian issue...according to President Hussein it will cure the Iranian issue, the General Motors bankruptcy and pancreatic cancer. Only one of those is true but they're all equally likely.

There is no magic pill to the Israel/Palestinian issue because it's not really about Israelis and Palestinians. Nor is the issue restricted to just Israelis and Palestinians. (Or even humans at all...)

In order to understand the roots of the conflict you have to go well beyond 1948. Muslims have been killing Jews since they rejected Muhammad almost 1,500 years ago...so the roots of the conflict go well beyond "disproportionate force" in Gaza. Now you could say to me "that's not true, Jews flocked to Islamic-controlled lands all through the Middle Ages" or that under the Moors in Spain the Jews flourished...until the Christians took over and threw all the Jews out during the Inquisition.

This is partially true, since in many cases Jews did have a significantly better standard of living under Muslim rule as compared to Christian rule - but it's only comparative. They were still treated as second-class citizens and forced to distinguish themselves by wearing certain clothing (yellow turbans for example) to distinguish themselves from non-Jews. If that sounds familiar, it's because Hitler used this idea as the basis for the yellow star that he forced Jews to wear during the Holocaust.

Jews under Muslim control had to pay a jizya (tribute/tax) and could not build any synagogues or houses that were larger than the local mosque of their town. They were not allowed to mock the Qur'an, Islam, Muhammad or other Muslims - on penalty of death. They were not allowed to serve in the military or bear arms. They were regularly forced to convert on pain of death when the locals decided to get up in arms about something or other. It was only when compared to Inquisition-style organized attempts at genocide that went on in Europe that they "had it better". All this occurred over a thousand years before the very first "European Zionist invader" set foot in Ottoman Palestine.

And it is this same system of control that al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizballah and other Islamist organizations want to re-institute for Jews and Christians. Except they don't want to limit themselves to just Israel or the Middle East this time. They want everything.

So it's not just about Zionists and Palestinians or Israel and Syria or Hizballah or Hamas or any of the buzz words that are thrown around in the media. It's JEWS and MUSLIMS. That's the bottom line. It does not surprise me at all that when Jewish pioneers returned to their ancient homeland of Israel in the 1800's that they met riots, hatred and violence. Please note the violence referred to in that link took place in 1921...27 years before the "Nakba" and 46 years before the "occupation".

But anyway...enough of the history lesson for now...let's talk about the present and the future.

The most common answer given to this problem is the one that's been championed for decades - mainly the two-state solution. Palestinians will have to be content with the West Bank and Gaza and Jews get the rest. There are however, several problems with this alleged solution:

1. Contiguity. If I live in Ramallah (in the West Bank which is attached to the Jordanian border) and I have a cousin in Gaza (which is attached to the Sinai Peninsula, currently owned by Egypt) I have to cross through Israel. This creates a security issue for Israel and a travel issue for the Palestinians.

2. The aforementioned pioneers/settlers. After the 1967 war (when Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza), the government, whose initial offer of land for peace was rejected by the Arab dictators, decided to do what any nation that had just tripled its land size would do...they settled their new territory. Today there are over 400,000 Jews living in the West Bank as pioneers/settlers. The vast majority of these Jews are law-abiding citizens who just want to live in peace as normal people. Many of them are Americans who moved to Israel out of religious idealism.

You see, most of the land that we have in today's Israel is not biblical Israel. Many of the towns that are mentioned in the Bible such as Jericho and Hebron are today not in "Israel proper". They are in the West Bank. So this is a big deal for Jews.

It's easy to paint them as fanatics because they have long side-burns and pray for a Messiah to deliver the Jews from their problems. But that doesn't make them crazy, it just makes them devoted to their religion. Most of these people are no different from the average devoted American Christian. They pray everyday, don't work on their Sabbath and believe in the 10 commandments. If we give up the West Bank, what happens to these people? Remember that the last time we evacuated a group of settlers - was Gaza and look at what that got us. Is there any question that the same exact thing will happen in the West Bank (which is much closer to the major Israeli population centers than Gaza is) when/if we retreat from there?

3. The "Right of Return" for Palestinians. After the 1948 war and then again after the 1967 war Palestinians left Israel en masse. Today these "refugees" and their descendants number in the millions (as do the descendants of the nearly 1 million Jews tossed out of Arab countries at the same time). Fatah and Hamas both insist on allowing these millions of refugees back into Israel proper. This will effectively end Israel as a Jewish state or a democracy because the Arabs will be able to vote their people into the leadership through demographics. Either the Arab majority runs Israel or the Jews bar the not-Jews from holding office. Lose-lose.

4. Jerusalem. It's been the capital of every Jewish state going back about 3,000 years. Palestinians want it as their capital. It's the third most holy city in Islam...but the most holy place in all of Judaism. When it was under Jordanian control Jews were not allowed to go to the Western Wall (the holiest place in Jerusalem to Jews) and before that under Islamic rule it was used as a garbage dump. Israel allows all religions access to their holy sites.

5. There are currently three entities in power within the borders of Israel. Not two. There are the Jews who control Israel. Palestinians under the banner of Fatah who control the West Bank...and Palestinians under the banner of Hamas who control Gaza. Hamas is dedicated outright to the destruction of Israel and rejects any deals that Fatah makes. Even if there was a "two-state" solution negotiated with Fatah, it would not apply to Hamas which will still fire rockets into Israel...making any peace agreement worth......precisely zero.

6. Independence. Today fuel, electricity and jobs are supplied to the Palestinians by Israel. The Palestinians have been recipients of billions upon billions of dollars of foreign assistance (over $10B since 1999 alone). I don't know too much about power plant construction but this article says a plant that generates 3,600 Megawatts of power in India is projected to cost about $370 million. Couldn't they have used some of those billions of dollars of aid to build a power plant somewhere so they could avoid Israeli "blockades"? Maybe Hamas could put some of that Iranian cash to more than just death, destruction and violence? Before a nation can prove that it is ready for an independent state, it should show some proof that it is capable of actual independence.

By the way...take a guess at who the single biggest individual Palestinian aid contributor is. If you guessed Saudi Arabia you were.....

WRONG. Israel, the source of many Palestinians' jobs, transfers hundreds of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority every year in income tax revenue. Income taxes that if Israelis worked in those jobs would go to the Israeli infrastructure instead of into rockets and machine guns.

7. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Palestinians have rejected every offer the Israelis have ever given them...up to an offer that gave them 97% of the West Bank, all of Gaza and part of Jerusalem as their capital. That offer was made in 2000...



They rejected it and almost immediately began the 2nd Intifada which killed thousands. In 2007 Peres and then Olmert offered them 97% of the West Bank, all of Gaza as well their right of return for thousands of Palestinians...they rejected that as well.

Let's also not forget that the initial UN partition of Palestine created a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, side-by-side that was supposed to live in peace and harmony. Palestinians would have gotten even more than the most generous Obama-supporter could dream of. Their response? Invasion. War. Violence.

So a two-state solution in any form has not been the answer so far. Even if the Fatah government negotiates in good faith and fully intends to stop the violence, it's hard to imagine the peace holding for very long since Iran and other Islamic countries incite the Palestinians to continue to fight with Israel so they don't have to. Furthermore, even if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict miraculously comes to an end - that doesn't end the threat Iran poses to Israel and the West, it doesn't finish the support for the Taliban and al Qaeda. It doesn't solve the issue of Islamist hatred for America, the Jews and anyone who doesn't eat hummus five times a day.

To end the conflict the only solution is to cure the disease not mask the symptoms. We don't need Advil to stop the headache, we need an operation to remove the brain tumor.

The only option Israel really has is to wait it out until there is better leadership for the Palestinians that is more open to real progress. Don't build any new settlements, but continue allowing the existing ones to grow. Finish building the security fence and keep going after terrorists wherever they operate from. If Hamas fires rockets from Gaza, level it again. When they rebuild Gaza and start firing rockets again, re-level it. It doesn't matter what the rest of the world thinks because they have no idea how to prevent disaster...witness WWI, WWII, the Cold War, Vietnam...

This depressing status quo will likely remain until two things happen:

A) The Middle East is no longer run by dictators
B) Children in the Middle East are no longer brainwashed in schools and on TV to hate Jews, Americans and the West

Odds are that B cannot happen without A happening first. In reality neither option is likely without C) WWII-style regime change all over the Middle East. Remember that Japan and Germany were also aggressive, expansionist nations with warrior cultures that dated back to the Middle Ages and earlier. Today they make Mercedes Benzes and Nintendo Wiis. But C) is not happening anytime soon and should obviously be seen as an absolute last resort. The tipping point is rapidly approaching however...and I'm not talking about "climate change".

For the Israelis, Palestinians and rest of the hopelessly oppressed people of the Middle East...until the day that the rest of the world gets its act together and addresses the much larger issues than settlers, check-points and final status negotiations - the entire concept of a "two-state solution" (or any solution for that matter) will remain little more than a buzz-word and should be treated as such.