Status Quo vs. Solution for Middle East

I spent much of the weekend communicating with Muslim and Jewish leaders on the recent crisis in Gaza. Here was … Continued

I spent much of the weekend communicating with Muslim and Jewish leaders on the recent crisis in Gaza. Here was my basic question: “Have you reached out to leaders in the other community to find a solution to the conflict?”

Here was the most common answer: “I’d love to talk to people in the other community. Can you give me the phone numbers of folks who agree with our position? If they’ll appear with us at a media event, or put their name on our press release, that’s even better.”

That’s a perfectly understandable instinct, but it doesn’t lead to a solution. It’s just a continuation of the logic that has led us here.

As I stated in my previous post, the rules of rhetorical engagement for Muslim and Jewish organizations regarding the Middle East were set long ago. I’m starting to think of these as the Status Quo Rules for Middle East Engagement. If you like the status quo, these rules are for you.

Rule No. 1 is use the current crisis to advance your narrative. If you’re Jewish, that story involves words like “security”, “terrorism”, and “right to exist”. If you’re Muslim, it includes terms like, “humanitarian crisis”, “occupation” and “disproportionate violence”.

Rule No. 2 is talk about how bad it is where your people live. If you’re Jewish, that means highlighting the number of Hamas rockets fired into Israel and the number of lives lost and disrupted in cities like Sderot. If you’re Muslim, it involves talking about the prison that is Gaza and the disaster that is the West Bank.

Rule No. 3 is blame it on the other side. If you’re Jewish, that means pointing at the violent and belligerent defiance of Hamas. If you’re Muslim, it means talking about the suffocation of the blockade in Gaza and the occupation in the West Bank.

Following these rules makes perfect sense for the parties involved because just about every one of their talking points is true. Hamas is violent and belligerent. The blockade and occupation is suffocating. Life in Sderot is rife with fear. Life in Gaza does feel like a prison.

Here’s the only problem: the Status Quo Rules have not, and never will, lead anywhere but the status quo.

If we are going to move from Status Quo to Solution, we’re going to need a whole lot of courage and a different set of rules. People are going to have to come up with the courage on their own, but let me offer a set of “Solution Rules” for Muslim and Jewish organizations regarding the Middle East.

Rule No. 1: Make your first phone calls to the people who disagree with you on the current situation, but who agree with you on the basic outlines of a long-term solution – two states, with security and dignity for all. That’s a Coalition for a Solution, creative and courageous enough to get people’s attention. This means, difficult as it might be, resist the instinct to use the current crisis to find more people who will wave signs for your side, show up at your rallies or sign on to your petitions. That logic serves mostly to further prolong the conflict. Instead, use the spotlight on the Middle East to reach out to those on the other side who have the courage to play for a long-term solution and say, “Look, the status quo is untenable for everybody. It’s time for a different set of rules.”

Rule No. 2: Acknowledge the real issues on the other side. Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress, models this in his recent press release when he says that he has been in Sderot and has “seen firsthand both the physical and emotional destruction caused by the rocket attacks”. That acknowledgment doesn’t take away from something else that Ellison says – which is that conditions in Gaza are “unliveable”. It merely means that Ellison has the eyes and the heart to imagine life on both sides of the fence.

In Status Quo Rules, recognizing the challenge on the other side makes you a traitor. In the Solution Rulebook, it makes you a true patriot, because it’s the fastest way to build trust with the people you have to build peace with.

Rule No. 3: Recognize that certain players who claim to be on “your side” are part of the problem. The truth is, you don’t want them on your side anyway. They are dangerous and destabilizing to your community. When peace is finally made with the other side, your first battle is going to be against them. Hamas is a destructive force to Israelis, and a destructive force to Palestinians. Muslims should feel no obligation to defend them. The militant settlers are murder to Palestinians, and also murder to Israel. No Jews should feel like they have to defend them either.

Rule No. 4: The politics of the Middle East is about where your family is. If your family is in Sderot, it is unbearable. If your family is in Gaza, it is also unbearable. Talking about whether scattered Hamas rockets are the equivalent of precision Israeli air raids, or whether Islamist rhetoric is as bad as Israeli occupation is logical but irrelevant. Logical because you can write press releases for your side using such talking points, irrelevant because it doesn’t build a bridge to the other side, which is the only way to a solution.

The sad truth of the Middle East conflict is that many Muslims and Jews agree that the Solution Rulebook makes sense to them, but when the crisis escalates and hits the front page (like now), the old logic takes over and Muslim and Jewish organizations revert to the Status Quo Rules.

But here’s the really sad truth. Every day is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza and a humiliating subjugation in the West Bank. And every day is a security crisis in Sderot and tightening fear in Israel.

And all the well-meaning organizations following the Status Quo Rules, thinking they are serving their side, are really only prolonging the crisis.

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  • marcedward1

    ravitchn, you’re a racist little better than Hitler, period.As for Patel’s rules, #3 is about the best – people who are on YOUR side might well be a big part of the problem. The actions by Hamas hardly help the Palestinian cause. Zionist extremists (like the ‘settlers’) have no interest in peace. Side note – if my kids can’t play nice with their toys, the toys are taken away. Maybe that option ought to be on the table w/regards to Jeruselem. If the two sides can’t share it, maybe it ought to come under international jurisdiction for a few hundred years. Or if you wanna be really sadistic, lease it to Disney Corp and let them make a Disney style “Holy-Land!”

  • Garak

    marcedward1 is right. ravitchn is “a racist little better than Hitler, period.” Got that, ravitchn? Your Final Solution to The Palestinian Problem is all we need to know.I don’t see how a 2-state solution can work. Would Israel allow it to be a real state, with total and complete sovereignty? Or would it be more like a protectorate of the European Imperialism age? Unless the Palestinians can look at their state and see it as fully sovereign as Israel, it won’t work in the long run. Only a single state will work in the long run. Not a Jewish state, not a Palestinian state, but one for both peoples. The vast majority of Palestinians oppose an Islamic state, and admire Israeli democracy. Hamas won only because of the rank corruption and incompetence of Fatah. The Palestinians would much rather live under Israeli rules–provided they have equal rights–than under the rules of any other Muslim or Arab state.The Israelis can be as forgiving of Palestinian terrorism as the Palestinians would be as forgiving of the Israeli terrorism of the Nakba. This was when Israel ethnically cleansed Palestine (at least Israel’s pre-1967 part) to establish their state. See “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” by Israeli historian Prof. Ilan Pappe.

  • marcedward1

    Good point about the one state solution Garak!in regards to ravitchn, just replace ‘Muslim’ with ‘Jew’ and you can see what sort of person it is.

  • am214t

    I have only one question for Mr. Patel:Why is it not possible to get Hamas to stop rocketing into Israel? If the rocket fire stopped then there would be no reason for the IDF to be firing into Gaza.Why can’t the supporters of Hamas not get them to stop the rocketing in exchange for a durable Israeli ceasefire?I have one possible answer, and I’m not sure that brotherly love on this side of the Atlantic would help much on the other side.

  • abhab

    Hamas have hurt the Palestinians and their cause more than they can imagine. They are very much like how the son of one of their leaders , Mussab Hasan Yousif, had characterized them; drugged with fanaticism. Knowing this vulnerability in them, some of the neighboring countries , Arab and non Arab, and for selfish reasons of their own had egged them on to undertake adventures at the expense of the poor civilians of Gaza. They assured them that 1.5 billion Muslims are behind them. The problem in this logic is those among the 1.5 billions who are aware of the reality of the situation are not willing to gamble on what they know is a losing cause, and those who are drunk with fanaticism do not have the means to help out.

  • svengerald

    Ravitchen may well be a racist, but he is , whether he knows it or not, on the right trail. Muslims are enslaved to islam and its’ imams. We must save muslims from evil islam. It is islam that can find no common ground for dialogue or tolerance.

  • marcedward1

    am214t writesBecause they are JERKS. There is no good reason to be firing the rockets. They give no tactical or strategic advantage to Hamas, nor do they seem capable of being aimed. The KD ratio of these rockets are terrible! Before the IDF attacked the rockets hadn’t killed a single person!Of course Israel isn’t attacking Gaza over the rockets. The IDF is killing hundreds of Palestinian civilians because they have an election coming in a couple of weeks. Seems like neither side has much of a good reason for what they are doing.

  • marcedward1

    svengerald , the conflict in Palestine/Israel isn’t about Islam, other than under Quranic rules of war the resistance to Israel is justified. It is about ethnic clensing – non-ethnic Jews were turned out of their land. The population of Christians in Palestine/Israel has nosedived. While I condemn the idiotic rocket attacks, what is it you don’t understand about resistance to occupation? If your country were taken from you, would you cooperate with your occupiers or would you resist?

  • captn_ahab

    merkedward1:Sure it’s about Islam.It’s about the inviolability of the Ummah.It’s about non Islamic people establishing a state on ANY land ever conquered and colonized by Islam.It’s about Arab/Islamic humiliation at being defeated by Jews in 1948,1967, and 1973.It’s about European anti Semitism being grafted on to Islam.It’s all about Islam and it’s discontents.Of course, there are fundamentalist Jews who continue to inflame Islamic Arabs with their settlements in the West Bank, but it’s mainly about Islam and it’s discontents.You ought to read the PLO and Hamas charters.They are very clear and instructional about what this is about, and it is not about khumbaya and brotherly love.

  • captn_ahab

    merkedward1:Sure it’s about Islam.It’s about the inviolability of the Ummah.It’s about non Islamic people establishing a state on ANY land ever conquered and colonized by Islam.It’s about Arab/Islamic humiliation at being defeated by Jews in 1948,1967, and 1973.It’s about European anti Semitism being grafted on to Islam.It’s all about Islam and it’s discontents.Of course, there are fundamentalist Jews who continue to inflame Islamic Arabs with their settlements in the West Bank, but it’s mainly about Islam and it’s discontents.You ought to read the PLO and Hamas charters.They are very clear and instructional about what this is about, and it is not about khumbaya and brotherly love.

  • captn_ahab

    markedward1:1. The Ummah no longer includes Spain. It hasn’t for 500 years. The Ummah is the Middle East.2. Islamists beyond Hamas have attacked Spain with the intention of regaining al Andalus for the Ummah with the Madrid train bombings. Hamas is just one tentacle of the radical Islamist network.You really need to read to read the Hamas and PLO charters. You don’t understand the Ummah or the goals of Hamas. It’s very strange for a defender of Palestinian rejection of Israel not to understand its roots.

  • ThishowIseeit

    Iran is ordering Hamas what to do and supplying them with missiles. The theocracy ruling Iran wants the State of Israel out of Palestine, out of the middle east. All Israel wants is to live in peace.

  • spidermean2

    Living with the terrorists and allowing these people to rule them is a big mistake. The real problem is a lot of muslims don’t believe that Hamas is a terrorist organization. It is what makes the organization “alive and kicking” and create havoc in the area.On the other hand, the Jews should realize that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Their efforts around the world to resist it only backfires to their disadvantage. Who arms these muslim extremists? A lot of their arms come from atheist/communist/evolutionists and these are the same doctrines which a lot of Jews propagate.

  • marcedward1

    Yo cap

  • MumboJumboo

    ZIONISM is a racist ideology like Fascism and Nazism. Professor Richard Falk, Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council envoy sparked controversy by comparing israelis to Nazis. The UN Human Rights

  • ravitchn

    Here are my four rules:

  • agapn9

    I have been there also – and there is only one answer prayer – Pray to the God of Abraham who is Father of the Jews, the Muslims, and the Christians.Why must the children pay for the sins of the adults?Pray to the Mother of Jesus – whether you believe Jesus is the Messiah or not pray to her.

  • faithfulservant3

    Talk is cheap.Why isn’t a flotilla of boats loaded with aid; boats from Arab, European and North American countries steaming across the Mediterranean right now to run the immoral blockade?

  • CCNL

    And the idiocy of it all is that Jews like Farnaz the Jewish Infidel, and Moslems like The Jihadist and Eboo Patel, believe in and are driven by the myths of the OT and the koran especially in mythical Abraham and “pretty, wingie, talking, thingies”!!

  • sahmed1963

    People like the obviously bigoted (and obviously Indian) RAVITCHN are the ones who have no place amongst educated, enlightened, and humane people anywhere in a civilized society. Who do you think needs to be “removed” Ravi?

  • CCNL

    Eboo, Eboo, Eboo,We are still waiting for that list of Muslim and Jewish leaders you called.

  • marcedward1

    CCNL, while I appreciate your schtick, it needs punching up. May I suggest, instead of calling “Eboo” by his professed name, you try altering it in a fashion that you find funny. For example

  • svengerald

    marcedward said ‘what is it you don’t understand about resistance to occupation? I fully understand…that there is no such place as Palestine, that was a name hoisted upon the region by Rome to do away with any memory of Israel because of their constant uprisings against the Roman OCCUPATION. See,I understand. And for the record bigots hate other people, I hate no one. You should do some historical research, really!

  • Martial

    The crusades were, to twenty-first century eyes, nefarious; few, if any, would object to a crusade against drugs, poverty, or cancer. Jihads waged to acquire slaves were perfidy; few, if any, would object to a jihad against one’s own sinful nature. Consider this gentleman:

  • mharwick

    JUNE 2007: “In the Gaza Strip, looters ransacked buildings and supporters of the Islamist group Hamas celebrated in the streets after its gunmen routed fighters of the Fatah movement after six days of bloody fighting that left more than 100 Palestinians dead.Friday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas began forming an emergency government in the West Bank, appointing officials and courting the West’s support.Friday, the quartet of Middle East peacemakers, the United States, Russia the European Union and the United Nations, voiced support for Fatah’s leader, Palestinian President Abbas, in his effort to create an emergency government after he dissolved the unity government with Hamas Thursday night.”How soon we forget that Hamas took Gaza by force and killed Palestinians doing it. Their action was illegal. Money poured in and they used it to prepare for war on Israel not for the good of their own people. Hamas is an outlaw terrorist radical jidadist movement that has been killing innocent children and their own since their inception.

  • senlin

    Eboo, thank you again for your even-handed approach to this situation. I really enjoy your columns. And I will try to be one of the saner commentators on this forum ;DWhile I overwhelmingly agree with your suggestions, I have one issue with Rule 3. Although I definitely don’t *support* militant settlers and agree they are “destructive and destabilizing to [my] community,” as a Jew, I still have to see them as fellow Jews, as part of “klal yisrael,” the community of Israel. There’s a saying that “all Jews are responsible for each other” and a concept that Jews are all part of one body. So however much we disagree, or however much pain they cause, I cannot *completely* distance myself from them or say definitively that they are “not on my side” — just like I can’t totally separate myself from any one body part. Of course, this does not change the fact that I condemn their actions; I am just pointing out a weakness in your rule.

  • wpc09

    Thank you, once again, Eboo, for your thoughtful comments. I lived for 13 years in Israel and I support its right to exist and to defend itself. I also defend the right of Palestinians to have a home free from the cynical manipulations of their jaded Arab neighbors. I also defend Islam from its internal fanatics and its fanatic detractors who erroneously believe that Islam equals terrorism.As a Baha’i, I firmly believe that “the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith” ; that the oneness of the human race is a fact to which our collective will must catch up in a conscious choice to be unified; that God and our own experience have spoken to us in modernity about how to overcome these status quo rules. So many of the postings here represent the desire NOT to accept the fact of human oneness, NOT to understand what one’s neighbor is experiencing; NOT to abandon the old familiar contentiousness for something more healing and less destructive.To hold to the old rules is to prevent the true Physician from applying the remedy.

  • Arif2

    Muslims are simply a cursed people, for several hundred years they are getting the crap kicked out of them. Even the Hindus have the upper hand. Muslims have small victories here and there; an Olympic medal, a successful raid, a successful bombing or an occasional spectacular suicide mission.

  • Farnaz2

    At present three million Jews from the Middle East are living in exile. Many were forcibly deported. Some, like my family, fled their countries in the middle of the night. Our homes, our property, whatever we had, was stolen from us. Some of us were tortured, murdered, among the latter my family’s great friend Ismael, killed in the streets when he was “taken into custody” by the Iranian National Guard. I was a child when I witnessed his murder; his blood got on my clothes.The absurd contention about the beneficence of Muslim nations to Jews, Christians, B’hai should be an embarrassment for panelists to post on. Rather, they should be focusing on justice for us.As for you, Eboo, your post is silly, partisan, as usual, though less overtly bigoted. What do the major Muslim groups have to say? What does Saudi Bank in NYC say. That would be Saudi Bank, which launders money and funnels it to terrorists.We all wonder, Eboo, why you so seldom post on the second-class citizen status of Muslims in India. That would be twenty million Eboo. Could it be that you know exactly the response you would get from Hindus, that you know because you’ve seen it. When I have a moment, I shall post some of what they had to say.The fact is, though, that the miserable treatment of Muslims in India is known. The fact is that the slaughter of twelve hundred Muslims in Gujurat in front of the police is known.COULD IT BE THAT YOU ARE SCARED EBOO? Could it be that you think we Jews are just going to sit back and ponder your dishonesty and one-sidedness?

  • asalem86

    IMHO since the election of Bush and Sahron 8 years ago Israel’s actions have fit into a very deliberate precise strategy. Namely the empowerment of the radical factions (Hamas) of the Palestinian political landscape. As long as groups like Hamas have any significant role in the Palestinian power structure Israel does not have to come to the negotiating table and compromise a single solitary thing.Viewed through this lens the actions of Israel make perfect sense. Rewind back to 2001-2002 during the 2nd Intifada. Member of Islamic Jihad or Hamas sneaks across the border and blows up an Israeli cafe. Sharon orders strikes on Palestinian Authority (PA) police stations and administrative buildings in the West Bank. The PA not only does not have any control over Islamic Jihad and Hamas but they are bitter rivals. How does the retaliation make any sense? So Hamas now has two motivations for suicide bombs; one, to say hello to Israel and two, more importantly, to strike a blow to Fatah via an IDF F-16. Actually a brilliant strategy on the part of Sharon. I have to give it to him, god bless his fat ruthless soul, he was one of the most brilliant politicians I’ve ever experienced. Of course his brilliance could never have manifested itself without the stupidity of our own GW Bush who tacitly approved of this ” man of peace’s ” methods.So eight years later after the complete dismantling of the PA infrastructure and tens of thousands of Palestinian deaths, Hamas went from a marginal entity boasting only 10% of the populations support to majority part in the assembly. Civil war has split palestenian society and politics. There is no negotiating partner for Israel and thats just how they want it. Brilliantly executed. Every rocket fired at Israel is like a gift from god coming down from heaven. It gives them a chance to brutalize Palastenian civillians, margenalize Abbas, and push the people into Hamas’ hands. Israel learned the lessons of the 2006 Lebanon campaign perfectly. Remember how Hezballah and Nasrallah came out looking like rock stars. That’s exactly what they have cooked up for Hamas.There is no real desire for negotiations and peace in Isreal right now. Until there is some pressure on them from us and the guarantee of a never ending blank check is slightly curtailed the status quo will remain.

  • observer12

    asalem86,A remarkably idiotic post. Israel agrees to almost everything the Palestinians want. Then Sharon goes to the Temple Mount, where Arafat had promised Jews could finally go and is greeted with violence.All the while Israel under Ehud Barak had been negotiating in the midst of continued terrorist attacks. After the Sharon incident, Arafat shows his true colors. End of peace prospects. Barak loses the confidence of the people, who are left hopeless and Sharon is elected.Three years ago, the Israelis pulled out of Gaza, dismantled communities, left no soldiers. The result? Nothing. Hamas remains barbaric, Fatah incompetent and corrupt. Israel is not to blame for either Hamas or Fatah. How stupid is that! The same mentality blames women for being raped. The same mentality kills them for that “crime.”Spare us this stupidity. Who caused Mumbai? India?

  • CCNL

    McEbooooo,We are still waiting for the list of Muslim and Jewish leaders who you supposedly called.

  • ethanquern

    This really is all SO incomparably silly.If Mexico was lobbing rockets into Texas and firing them from the churches in which refugees were lurking, what do you think the US response would be?If the Ukraine declared the destruction of Russia and lobbed missles from the churches of Kiev where the huddled terrified masses were hiding, what do you think the Russian response would be?If Tibet declared that China was an improper occupying force and started firing missles into Shanghai, what do you think China’s response would be?But no, because they are Jews, and because Jews are supposed to suffer, and not supposed to have a square inch of land they can call their own, they are held to a different standard.The Jews have Israel only because of the Holocaust. How soon we forget!Shame. Shame, shame, shame on the entire world.

  • jailkkhosla

    Four steps to Gaza solution:1) Relocate all Muslims from Gaza to other Muslim countries. I am sure Pakistan will take in all their Muslim brothers and sisters.2) Relocate all Muslims from West Bank to other Muslim countries. I am sure Pakistan will take in all their Muslim brothers and sisters.3)Relocate all Muslims from Israel to other Muslim countries. I am sure Pakistan will take in all their Muslim brothers and sisters.4) Resettle Gaza and West Bank and Israel with non-Muslims and then start doing the same, steps 1 through 4 in Syria and Lebanon and JordanThese areas will then bloom with prosperity in very little time.

  • brendan_holleran

    It amazes me how ignorant most Americans are of the history of the Palestine. They are mostly unaware of the great injustice perpetrated on the ordinary people of that land by the Western Powers.It is a great pity that the Palestinians did not pursue their just cause through non-violence. Israel has created a ghetto in Gaza where it is hard to imagine any young person being able to find any hope of a better life. More than half the population of Gaza are children and with the trauma that they are currently enduring can anyone believe that the future will not bring more and more violence.

  • shovandas

    Dear Eboo,Good article but what is the solution ? With Fatah and Hamas sitting on opposite sides of the fence and Israel probably happy to see this situation, where and when will all this end ? Your thoughts would be appreciated. Rgds.

  • AndrewinBethesda

    Eboo,

  • ptrchss

    Let’s think about it… uhmm this conflict originated with the biased creation of the State of Israel, while letting the Palestian people Stateless… so the solution would be that the international community declare the State of Palestine without Israel’s say on it! After all, Palestinians weren’t consulted prior to the (illegal) creation of Israel. If Israel and the rest of Jews around the world don’t like this solution, then live with the hell of having neighbors who hate them! Eventually, a stronger and richer neighbor will move-in next door and the problem will find a final solution.

  • paultaylor1

    Hmmmm….so many rules….Now where do we begin?

  • marcedward1

    jailkkhosla, your solution is identical to Hitler’s. Thankfully that kind of genocidal racism is no longer acceptable among people with any real responsibility. One hopes you never have kids, cause if they reflected your beliefs they’d will get their rear ends kicked on a daily basis.ethanquern – Israel is not justified by the Holocaust. One has nothing to do with the other. If it did, we could justify sending all the displaced native Americans to Palestine/Israel and putting them in charge of the current natives. As for ‘never again’, that’s a sick joke. The world might be willing to complain about genocide, but no country is willing to risk blood or treasure to stop it.

  • Mnnngj

    Some objective third parties like Patel and other neutral countries should be the ones that have a lead in solution finding.

  • Enlightenment

    What solution can there be? Radical Jewish elements believe that the whole of the former British Mandate, formerly known as palestine, is theirs. It is their own version of Manifest Destiny. These radicals do not have sufficient political clout to nudge moderate Israelis to their corner, and thus faced significant set backs in the removal of settlements in Gaza in 2005 and Removal of certain settlements in the West Bank in 2006 (year?). Their approach is politically untenable on an international level, and only incites palestinian radicals to undermine their settlement efforts and cause the same radical palestinians to undermine their own institutions directed toward estblishing a stable independent state. So, Unfettered Israeli growth throughout the post 1967 lands (excluding the Sinai) is not the answer.West Bank and Gaza to create a Palestinian State is complicated by arguments over the definitions of what defines these areas (particularly on the West Bank side). What to do with Jerusalem and its suburbs? Israeli Government seems to take the position that Jerusalem and its suburbs are essential to an Israeli state and thus settlement in these areas is acceptable. Israeli access to the Arab Quarter of Jerusalem (which includes many holy cites for all involved) is unnacceptable to the Islamic religious leaders and leads to violence (i.e. Ariel Sharon’s visit to the area being marred by violence). West Bank and Gaza are not contiguous and thus difficult to jointly rule, as travel between the two requires travel through a separate sovereign state. Thus even 1949 lines present difficulty at best. So what real solution is there? Platitudes about understanding are not sufficient. An actual, workable plan is necessary. Who has one?

  • CCNL

    As good bloggers, you have read the reiterations of the “fems” (flaws, errors, m and s) of religion. Therefore the seeds have been planted in rich soil. Go therefore and preach the truth to all nations, reiterating as you go amongst the lost, bred, born and brainwashed souls of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Paganism and Buddhism as Reality makes its triumphant return all because of you!!!!

  • forgetthis

    BONK- wrong answer right there in Rule 1- two states with security and dignity for all. The author must not know that everyone involved does NOT want this. You can not be so naive as to suggest that no one is cheering on the death and harassment that has been delivered to Israel. It’s not just Hamas. Where do you suppose Hamas is recruiting unless you’re suggesting that Hamas is an isolated tribe of evil imps? Join reality with the rest of us.

  • halozcel1

    Dear Panelist’s Solution;Rule No.1: Make your first phone calls to the people who disagree with you(What will happen if you call first)Rule No.2: Acknowledge the real issue on the other side(The real issue.Couldnt it be acknowledged yet)Rule No.3: Recognize that certain players who claim to be on *your side* are part of the problem(Whatever it means)Rule No.4: The politics of the Middle East is about where your family is(What relation with the conflict)Yes,Solution.

  • CCNL

    McEbooooo, McEbooooo, McEbooooo,We are still waiting for the list of Muslim and Jewish leaders who you supposedly called.Great solutions given by others to date:From Markedward:”If the two sides can’t share it, maybe it ought to come under international jurisdiction for a few hundred years. Or if you wanna be really sadistic, lease it to Disney Corp and let them make a Disney style “Holy-Land!”From Hipshot:”American Muslims agree to leave the United States in a one-for-one exchange for Jews from Israel. Dismantle Israel. Problem solved!”(Eboo pack your bags you are part of the solution!!)