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Friday, July 13, 2007


Moving into this Shabbath there is good and not-so-good to consider with respect to developments in Israel on so many fronts. It is important to remember that Israel is surrounded and has so many elements to consider in all directions. In the north the situation is tense, yet, said to be stable. In the east FATAH is hugely deflated by it's loss of power to HAMAS in Gaza. A landmark Israel/ArabLeague summit in Israel may bolster FATAH. HAMAS is engaged in talks with Israel, and one hopes [per HAMAS initiation] those talks will lead to the release of Gilad Shalit. Yet, due to efforts to root out terrorists in Gaza, especially against those launching Qassam rockets into Israel, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is necessarily engaged in Gaza. To quote a popular and appropriate metaphor, "It is some "chullent"...."

(Perhaps during the Three Weeks a special chullent recipe might include chunks of leftover matzah-shmurah, maror, karpas, no salt, no pepper....)

Just as stress tends to create a behavior cycle of overeating, just as trying to serve too much all at once can only lead to an indigestible menu, the agenda at the Summit ought to be narrow, and the narrower the better.

This is the time for small, but, non-trivial victories of good will - the release of Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev, Ehud Goldwasser, the cessation of Qassam rockets into Israel from Gaza, the release of un-bloodied 'Palestinians' to their families.

Discussions beyond these timely and focused affairs can only serve to create an overly heavy agenda in which nothing but "schinat-chinom" [ill will, needless hatred] is the inevitable result. As hosts to the Summit, Israel sets the "table". Israel can set that table to focus on these few acts of profound kindness, acts which can make the difference between hope and despair for everyone in the region. (May peace come speedily in our times.)

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