If you want to know what you need to know about what is needed and desired from you by Heaven, here it is. This is the challenge. This is the test. This is what we all need to know to know to go forward in our lives and bring any hope to the world.

I bless you with taking on the challenge and have safe, liberating journeying. See you on the Great Day.

Shabbat Shalom, Moish

This is from Rav Sholom Brodt in Jerusalem:

In honor of Reb Shlomo’s yahrtzeit you will find a collection of his teachings on this week’s parsha- Va’yeira.

Reb Shlomo zt”l mammash lived like a child of Avraham Avinu, always doing chessed, always inviting people for Shabbos and Yom Tov, always moving beyond himself. People often think that great people were just born that way. Sure, it’s true that there are great people who are endowed with great talents and what is difficult for most comes easily to them. But all the truly great people had to work very hard; they had to turn themselves inside out and traverse over a deep and frightening abyss. Like Avraham Avinu who was tested with ten awesome trials, every one of us must go through adversity and hardship to actualize our potentials and beyond.

These tests that we must go through may just come upon us, unexpectedly, or they may just be there waiting for us to ‘take the test’. Though we may understand how important it is for us to take the test, or work on it sincerely, we sometimes are just too lazy or scared to proceed, even though we know that we must. I once heard Reb Gedaliah Fleer say that most people prefer to continue living in their misery because they are familiar with it, rather than try to make changes and improvements for the better, since that would require them to enter into unfamiliar territory and realms which they are frankly afraid to approach.

There are people who are very kind, but so long as they are kind because ‘they’ are kind, their kindness has limitations. However, says the Piasetzner Rebbe zt”l, when one gives him/herself completely over to Hashem and wants to be and do kind things because that is what Hashem wants them to do, their kindness reaches way beyond anything they imagined. Avraham Avinu went into the beyond and he got there by submitting his will completely to Hashem’s will. May we all be blessed to grow beyond as we approach each life-test joyously. Amen!

Yehi ratzon mil’fa’necha H’ Elokai, in the merit of the ‘yom ha-hilulah’ of the holy neshamah of our Rebbe ztz”l, that I may have the ‘zchut’ to share with you divrei Torah and stories “from the heart” as our holy Rebbe Reb Shlomo ztz”l learned Torah with us. He would sing and he would cry to Him and to us “for the sake of my brothers, for the sake of my sisters, I will speak now, ‘sholom bach’ peace be in YOU”.

Master of the world, we want to be in You. Bless us to want to be in You sincerely. Hashem help the student to give honor to his Rebbe. Help him not to steal from Your Honor, nor to steal from his Rebbe’s honor. Bless the talmidim to be matzliach “for the sake of my brothers, for the sake of my sisters”.

As you have some awareness, this are momentous times for the Planet and of course, our People, the Jewish nation. During these 10 Days of Repentance, there are ‘talks’ going on between us and our cousins, under pressure from the American Government. The decisions and choices made in these talks will set up much of the Jewish future. You have on occassion asked me questions about our situation here and claims against us.

It has always frustrated me, because to do justice to your questions, require responses truly long. They require explications of context and history. But there is too limit time for truly just responses nor to study them.

There was a time before the Liberation and Unification of the Land in June 1967. There was what created the new circumstances of Liberation and Unification. There was a time when Israel was less than 20 years old. When Israel was small, both in physical size as well as numbers. It is less small than it was. It still is squite small; smaller than New Jersey, with a population smaller than some U.S. cities!

The link is to a recording of the words spoken by Abba Eban at the U.N. Security Council the day after the Six-Day War erupted. It is 40 minutes long. Please give it a serious, close listen, with no distractions allowed. Listen two more times.Think about it. Let me know what conclusions you’ve come to.

http://savethemusic.com/bin/archives.cgi?q=songs&search=title&id=Address+before+the+Security+Council+of+the+United+Nation,+June+6,+1957

Blessings, Moish

The Holiness of the Land And of Its People

Reprinted with permission of Connections Magazine. Copyright (C) 1986 Congregation Kehilat Jacob Hakrev Ushma Division

There is a teaching from the lshbitzer Rebbe Master, lived 175 years ago) that says that a man brought an object from somebody and he thought that it was copper and worth one hundred rubles. And someone stole it from him. Then he discovered it it really was made of gold. They caught the thief, who had sold the object, and asked the Holy Rosh (Rabbinic Authority of his time) how much he had to pay. The Rosh ruled, and I don’t know if all the rabbis agree with him, that he is only the baal bayis (the owner) to as much as he thinks it was worth. Since he thought that it was only copper, and only worth one hundred rubles, the thief has to give him back only double that amount. (In Jewish law. a thief repays double the value of what he stole.)

The Ishbitzer says something very deep. Things belong to you only as much as you think they are worth. So, if a Jew thinks that Yiddishkeit (Judaism) is worth only a little to him, that is how much he is really a Jew. Obviously it is not hard to find out how much something is worth. But, on a deeper level, you really only know how much something is worth after you lose it.

That kind of knowledge, how much something is worth, is so deep, so infinite. because as long as you have it, you only have the object, but suddenly you lose it, and you feel as though you are losing a little part of your heart

I had this thought. Whv is our Mother, Rachel, the one who is bringing us back to Eretz Yisrael? “Rachel is weeping for her children.” Because Rachel was the first Jew who met a Jew who had lost Eretz Yisrael. After Yaacov left Eretz Yisrael, the first Jew he met was Rachel. And the Torah says that when he met Rachel. “He lifted up his voice and cried.” The Midrash says that he cried over the destruction of the Temple. You know what he told her? He taught her how a Jew feels when he misses Eretz Yisrael. Therefore, Rachel is the master of how a Jew feels when he has lost Eretz Yisrael. Read the rest of this entry »

I got off Facebook. Some months later, I got back on. Not sure why. But it’s been out of my consciousness, so I haven’t been reading nor posting. Tonight, I got a notice that had me log on and I read my Home Page. There was a post for a truly awesome woman. I really love and like her. But we stand on opposite ends of the Judea-Samaria debate. Here’s the thread so far:

Leona Strassberg Steiner J Street is the only organization that is trying to make real change in the way we see Israel, the way we connect with Israel and the way we can convey to the rest of the world that there are so many people that are unhappy with the shenanigans that are happening over the green line in Israel. Please join and help make… a difference in our life time for a just and sensible peace for everyone in the region. Gmar Hatima Tova!

Moshe Pesach Geller: The assumptions of ‘shenanagins’ is offensive to those who regard for our Divine patrimony as a precious, neccesary gift. Easy for you to give away something that you have no identification with, are 7.000 miles away from and IS NOT YOURS TO GIVE AWAY, and anyway, are impotent to do so.

How you people ‘over there’ see us is only ultimately important only to you. It is how we see ourselves here that counts and J Street has zero influence. Indeed, I would bet that not more 10% of Israelis have ever heard of it. What is relevant to the inexorable flow of Jewish History happens in the Land. As it should be.

Moshe Pesach Geller: Try this on for size: http://www.theothersidevideo.com/ and this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_uk5nx5yyI and this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-_sICgOkMY and finally this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBtFGHKPRHY

Leona Strassberg Steiner: my brother, me thinks you need to do some serious homework and read history books…… religion and politics is the downfall of this world…. our fanaticism and our cousins fanaticism is exactly the same….. I pray for open hearts on all sides every time I light Shabbas candles

Moshe Pesach Geller: Leona, trust me, I’ll challenge you to a history debate on any history of the planet anywhere, anyplace anytime. Religion? I’m a rabbi of the most radical kind, as you know. If religion and politics are the downfall of the world (you’re wrong.It’s people, many who are politicians and religious people, many who are doctors who beat there wives, artists who sleep with their children, and the list is endless.) If not politicians, who will make what you want to have happen, happen? And having lived here, how many people do you think will actually listen to what you say, let alone implement what you think?

In Ofakim, you are irrelevant, unless you’re there to help them feed themselves. In Meah Shearim as all charedi places and as most all Arab villages where honor murders still take place, as a woman, you aare invisible. By the time we gather whatever audience you would have, there wouldn’t be many left. Pretty impotent. So the question becomes, at what point will you look at the truth of the people on all sides who live there.

With the Christian Arabs blaming the Jews for their situation when everyone knows they say it because if they lay the blame at the source, they will suffer even more, the truth is crushed. When Arab women’s voices and talents are stifled in Muslim society, especially Gaza, the truth is crushed. With Yishuvnikim tar and feathered as Chas v’Shalom, I won’t use the words, the truth is crushed. When the Tzahal you were a member of likened to Yimach Shemom from Germany, the truth is crushed. With Hamas laughing at you, they know with the smiles they offer you, the truth is crushed.

With Fatah and Hamas at each other’s throat’s and Nabil Shaath fighting with Saed Ekerat over who should lead the negotiations on Fatah’s side, the truth of ‘partnership’ is crushed. With ignoring that ALL OF JORDAN is Mandatory Palestine and the majority of the population ‘Palestinian’, the truth is crushed. When history is selelctively started 40 years ago or 60 or 100, the truth is crushed.

When our cousins say that there was no Bait HaMikdash and no Jewish historical association with Yerushalayim, the truth is crushed.

You can’t build redemption and peace on lies.

So you guys can shout all you want, tear you hair out all you want and pound your hearts for lack of vessels for HaShem forces us to go through until the real, the ultimate Shalom comes for EVERYONE. For finally, there is no such things as ‘peace’. ‘Peace’ is a bastard English word with no intrinsic meaning of its own.

Ahh..SHALOM! That has meaning and a shoresh that reveals it’s meaning: SHALEM! Whole, complete. Peace is not negotiated by corrupt western white men in suits who have only a temporary poistion of influence anyway.It is beyond all that. And until people give up their KMart discounted version of peace to only hold out for the WHOLE SHEBANG: SHALOM!!! Will Shalom be clear on the horizon.

No time for long speeches – Right now, I am guest dj’ing on http://www.radiofreenachlaot.com. As the finally to “The 9 Days of Jerry – from Birthday to Yahrzeit” Tonight, Monday, August 9th – 8:30pm to 1:30AM, Jerusalem time, minus 7 hours on East Coast, minus 10 hours on West Coast. It is more or less,my desert island Fantasy show. But be sure, Deadheads, it is by no means complete or perfect in set-list.

Having said that, I am convinced these are AWESOME! AWESOME! VERSIONS!!!

Set-1 Let The Good Times Roll, Help On The Way>Slipknot>Franklin’s Tower, Jack STraw, Bertha, Althea, Let It Grow, Music Never Stopped, Deal

Set II- Scarlet begonias>Fire On The Mountain, Eyes of the World>Estimated Prophet>Terrapin Staion>Jam, Dark Star>Playin’ In the Band>Uncle John’s Band>Jam, The Wheel>All Along the Watchtower>Stella Blue>Sugar Magnolia, Throwin’ Stones>Not fade Away,
Encore: China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider

Now that you have the set list, google Grateful dead Lyrics and follow the sings with the lyrics. O not, and just groove.

May Jerry be One with the Light and the Light’s Source and therefore, be in be in bliss and in love with the All.
May the Jerry be with you.

Moish

But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about the following article in “The Atlantic”

http://www.theatlantic.com/food/archive/2010/04/a-promised-land-of-pork-and-shellfish/39242/

Read it and let me know in what way my comment follows from the article. This is a test of the Emergency Jewish Consciousness System. If this was a real emergency….

This is the most perfect-storm article of the final dissolution of anything of what being Jewish is all about. It’s a modern-day condensed code piece of a humongously longer thesis on the final descent by Jews in America into a Hellenistic, hedonistic, shallow, superficial, narcissistic, remake-in-your-own-image, hip Jewishness that denies and destroys what ever is left of what we were put here to do an be.

It reflects either the ridiculously ignorance of the source-role or the distortion of it. It is the perfect, ‘looking-through-the-back-end of the telescope,’ so that one only sees oneself. And it doesn’t even pay to go to the trouble of articulating the fullness of the significance of the what the article perfectly reflects.

This could be the only obituary American Jewry needs, regardless of orientation or choice. It’s all over. The only thing left is the shouting.

By Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman
Issue of March 12, 2010/ 26 Adar 5770

In 1893, Edvard Munch a Norwegian painter, created the iconic painting The Scream. It has been seen by millions of people and elicited much praise and emotion. Who is the person in The Scream and what is he screaming about?
Obviously, the greatness and the appeal of the painting is that it says something to everyone. Everyone in their own way is able to have The Scream speak to them on their level and in their personal emotional state.

Who is pictured in The Scream, according to me? Who is this unidentified individual whose impassioned scream is still being heard all over the world, according to Rabbi Eisenman?

Welcome to my world and to a lesson in art appreciation by an Orthodox rabbi.

The Daf Yomi is now learning Masechta Sanhedrin. I cannot properly describe in words the wonderful merit Hashem has blessed me with. Early every morning I have the incomparable zechus to learn a daf Gemara together with a group of committed men. Sanhedrin is especially fascinating as it deals with the laws of government, the kingdom, and various kings of the Jewish people.

Last Friday, March 5, the entire Daf Yomi learned Sanhedrin, daf 21. Toward the end of the first amud, the Gemara discusses a very unfortunate incident of molestation and abuse that occurred in King David’s very own palace!
Let us take a look at the verses, exactly as they appear in our Holy Tanach, in the book of Shmuel 2 (13:6-13).

“6. And Amnon lay down and feigned sickness; and the king (David) came to see him, and Amnon said to the king, ‘Let my sister Tamar come now, and make two dumplings before my eyes; that I may eat from her hand.’”

“7. And David sent home to Tamar saying, ‘Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare the food for him. 8. And Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house and he was lying down. And she took the dough, and kneaded it, and she prepared the dumplings before his eyes, and she cooked the dumplings.”

“9. And she took the pan and poured [them out] before him: but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, ‘Take everyone out from me.’ And everyone went out from him. 10. And Amnon said to Tamar, ‘Bring the food into the chamber that I may eat from your hand.’ And Tamar took the dumplings that she had made and brought them to Amnon her brother into the chamber. 11. And she brought them near to him to eat and he took hold of her and said to her, ‘Come lay with me, my sister.’”

“12. And she said to him, ‘No, my brother, do not force me, for it is not done so in Israel; do not do this wanton deed. 13. And I, where shall I lead my shame? And [as for] you, you shall be like one of the profligate men in Israel. And now I beg of you to speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.’ 14. But he would not heed her and he overpowered her, and forced her, and lay with her.”

This incident is certainly not one that brought pride or honor to King David and the Jewish people; however, the Torah tells it as it was and it is for us to learn the lessons.

The verses themselves are powerful enough to tell of the dangers of molestation; however, I would like to focus on the next few verses — the focal point of the Gemara’s discussion.

How did Tamar react to her molestation? How did she react to her abuse and to her abuser? Let’s read further in the chapter:

“18. Now she had on a striped tunic, for in this manner the king’s virgin daughters dressed, in robes. And his servant brought her outside, and locked the door after her. 19. And Tamar put ashes on her head, and she went about, crying aloud as she went.

What did Tamar do? Did she “cover up”her shame? Did she attempt to deal with the issue (as one so-called ‘prominent’ person once told me that these things have to be dealt with) shtiller hait — in silence and privately?

No! Tamar went out publicly, as the Holy Torah says: and she went about, crying aloud as she went! She made a public display of her abuse and of her molestation. She could not cover it up! She did not deal with it privately and in the secretive chamber of a rabbinic refectory.

No, Tamar went public and screamed and cried until all the women of the Jewish world knew about her molestation and her abuse.

How did the rabbis of the Gemara react to her public shaming of the respected and noble son of the king? Did they publicly shame and chastise her for her chutzpah of discussing these things in the court of public opinion? Did they censure her by attempting to cover her up the incident? No, not at all! Let’s take a look at what Chazal (our teachers, whose teachings we must emulate and live by) have taught us:

“Sanhedrin 21a-b: R. Yehoshua ben Korchah taught: ‘And Tamar put ashes on her head, and she went about, crying aloud as she went….’ — this taught a great lesson to Bnos Yisrael: [The Jewish women said] (As they observed her crying and screaming; Rashi) — ‘If such a great disgrace can occur even to the king’s daughter, all the more so to regular women; if it can occur even to modest women, and all the more so to immodest women!’”

The exact wording of the Gemara here is crucial to analyze. The Gemara says:

“Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korchah taught: geder Gadol gadra Tamar B’oso shaha — this literally means, ‘Tamar built a great and big fence (meaning: proper precautions were instituted among the Jewish people) at that hour.’”

Rashi, our teacher and upon whose understanding of Gemara we all rely, answers a very obvious question in concise, yet revealing words: How could Tamar, a woman with no official legal authority, ‘build a fence’ (meaning legislate new precautionary practices)?

To this the Holy Rashi answers that she was able to legislate these reforms about proper conduct between men and women “through her tears and her scream.”

“Other women said, ‘if this could occur in the house of the King, certainly it can happen in ‘regular’ homes of the simple commoner’. (And the women on their own began to be more cautious and precautionary in their behavior).”

Meaning, initially, and through grass root channels, women-based on the public display of Tamar — began to be more careful and prudent about where they were and who they were with. They realized it could happen to anyone and at any time.

How did the rabbis of the time react to the new vigilant behavior on the part of the women? The rabbis were supportive, as the Gemara states: “Says Rav Yehudah in the name of Rav: At that time, they decreed against seclusion.”
Meaning, Chazal understood that certain more vigilant and more cautious steps had to be instituted as far as private contact, even between members of the king’s family, and certainly in any other setting!

Friends, the Torah, Tamar, the rabbis of the Talmud, and Chazal were not afraid and or hesitant to go public if that what was needed at the time. The Torah, Tamar, the rabbis of the Talmud, Chazal, all realized that by keeping these issues under the rug and by dealing with them in a hush-hush manner — even when done by well meaning individuals — you are playing right into the hands of the molesters who thrive on the realization that their crimes will be kept quiet by the general public.

Secrecy and silence are not only ineffective; they actively support and facilitate the very behavior the perpetrator is committing! It is not only counter productive to assume the ‘hush-hush’ approach; it is most certainly the single most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the abuser.

The pedophile, especially one who resides within the Orthodox community, and especially one who is a trusted ‘chashuva mensch,’ relies heavily on the fact that he knows his actions will be covered up by the very powers who should be stopping him!

I have never met a person who was as careful and as knowledgeable about the laws of Loshon Hora as an abuser. Indeed, part of their abusive behavior is to abuse and manipulate the laws of Loshon Hora to allow them to continue their behavior and their molestation.

Silence is not just unhelpful; silence is the ultimate collaborator and abettor to the crime of molestation!
So who is the screamer?

It is Tamar, after her abuse and her molestation. She is screaming a scream that needs to be heard and needs to be responded to. She is screaming and at present she stands alone, without any assistance. However, she is on a bridge.

She is attempting to cross the bridge. One side of the bridge is blood red; as it represents the blood and the pain of the victims. However, the other side of the bridge is brighter; it represents healing and rejuvenation.The Scream is still being screamed.

Are we listening?

Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman is the rav of Congregation Ahavas Israel in Passaic, NJ.
Questions or comments? E-mail newsroom@thejewishstar.com.

Thank G-d for Thomas Friedman. If you want to know what’s going to happen, read his column and something approximating the opposite will happen. Nothing ever happens the way Thomas Freedman says it should, if only ‘they’ would heed his words. Baruch HaShem

What’s great about being a pundit is that being right has nothing to with it. You don’t run for election, so no one calls you to take account of your record. You can say whatever you want, because, firstly, no one remembers you even wrote something. Secondly, it doesn’t really make a difference. Thirdly, you write an opinion piece. You what an opinion is? When I don’t know, I have an opinion. Do I know that Thomas Friedman writes an op-ed column published in the New York Times or is it just my opinion. Someone else might have a different opinion. Which leads us to the next point.

Americans really don’t know anything. Thomas Friedman has himself written extensively about the state of education in America. Americans, because they really don’t know anything (read talkbacks), are very big on opinions. Americans invented the theory of relativity – that is, everything is relative to ones’ opinion, so therefore nothing is inherently true. Which of course, makes everything a power game. If nothing is inherently true, than the only justification for exersizing power, is that one has the power to do so. America is very big on the excersize of power.

With Israel, the common line of ‘opinion makers’ is that Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama must exercise power and force Israel to whatever. Why? because that’s their opinion. Damn truth. Damn the application of any standard of behavior if that standard interferes with the prevailing opinion of what they think it should be.

Americans also have the shortest of memories. It would be as if beating a dead horse to expound on the consequences of soundbite conditioning, the off the hook acceleration of the advance of high tech programming, etc. Combine in one entity, essential world-class ignorance, condition it with only the shortest of short term memory and give it the greatest of power and oy vey! Look out!

Thomas Friedman is the perfect metaphor for the American Jew today. He is disaffected from Yiddishkeit, whatever he thinks he knows of it. He became disenchanted with Israel whatever the rationale. He gets off big time being an insider with all those famous ‘friends of Israel’ who have power, had power, want power or actually excessive real power behind the scenes. They’re the dangerous ones. Not Rahm and Obama. It’s Baker and the Bush and CFR and classic emesdika traitors to the Jewish people like the Henry’s: Kissinger and Siegman (classmate of my father’s at YU; I used to be his travel agent, etc.) that one has to watch out for. And brother Thomas (named after a ‘saint’ of which religion?) loves to speak on their behalf. Why? Because he is such a friend of Israel and speaks for our other ‘best friends.’

Next up: Why we need not fear all the metaphors in human disguise. Hint: Because that’s all they are.

We begin the Book of Leviticus – Parshat VaYikra – this Shabbat. It’s all about how to truly be holy and sanctified and do the right thing. Check it out.

Shabbat Shalom, Moish

Peace process prolongs Mideast war
By David Frum, CNN Contributor
March 15, 2010 — Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)

Editor’s note: David Frum writes a weekly column for CNN.com. A resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, he was special assistant to President George W. Bush in 2001-2. He is the author of six books, including “Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again” and the editor of FrumForum.

Washington (CNN) — Vice President Joe Biden has “condemned.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton scolded — and then leaked the scolding. On background, U.S. aides fret that the Israeli announcement of new settlement construction may thwart resumption of the peace process.

Let me advance an unorthodox opinion: The most dangerous cause of instability in the Middle East is the so-called peace process itself.

I know this is an unusual point of view. Please hear me out.

By my count, there have been at least 10 major outbursts of violence between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East since 1936.

Every one of these conflicts ended in a similar way. Either outside powers imposed a ceasefire — or else Israel halted military operations just before a ceasefire could be imposed.

Every one of these conflicts began in a similar way, too: with a renewed attack by the Arab side, or else (as in 1956 or 1967) by Arab violations of the terms of the previous armistice or ceasefire.

Think for a minute how unusual this is. Wars usually end when one side or the other decides it cannot continue fighting. The losing side accepts terms it had formerly deemed unacceptable because the alternative — continued fighting — seems even worse.

I doubt many Hungarians are delighted to have lost more than half their territory to neighbors in Romania and the former Yugoslavia. Bolivians still remember the loss of their Pacific coast to Chile in 1884. Some in Indonesia continue to regard East Timor as rightfully theirs.

Yet for the most part, these nations have reconciled themselves to these unwelcome outcomes.

Exactly the opposite has occurred in the Arab-Israeli dispute.

Egypt lost the Sinai Peninsula in 1956, but got it back. It lost the Sinai again in 1967, and again recovered it (although this time the right way, after signing a formal peace).

Syria lost the Golan in 1967, attacked Israel in 1973, lost again — and still demands the return of the territory.

Palestinians rejected the 1947 partition, resorted to war, lost, and to this day demand compensation for their losses.

It’s like a game of roulette where the management stops the game whenever you begin losing too badly, with promises to refund your money as soon as it conveniently can. What gambler could resist returning to the tables?

I understand why Western governments have acted as they have. They have feared that unless they somehow smooth the situation, the world oil market will be upset and radical ideologies will spread through the Islamic world.

What they don’t see is that their efforts to contain the problem have in fact aggravated it.

Imagine this alternative history:

Suppose that the Western world had not intervened in 1949. Suppose the Israeli war of independence had been fought to the bitter end: Arab armies breaking apart and fleeing, commanders laying down their arms, columns of refugees crossing the Jordan River.

The 1949 war would have ended not with an armistice, but with a surrender. Palestinian refugees would have had to settle in new homes, just as the hundreds of thousands of Jews expelled from their former homes in the Arab lands resettled in Israel.

The outcome would have squelched any hope that more fighting would have yielded a different result — and the more decisive result might have dissuaded Arab governments from any further attempts to resort to force.

Now imagine another scenario.

In the 1990s, the former Yugoslavia erupted into war. New states with new borders were carved out of the old country. Thousands of people were displaced. Horrific atrocities were committed. Happily, the conflict did end. The displaced adjusted to life in their new homes. Former enemies may still mistrust each other, but violence has faded and seems unlikely to return.

Suppose instead the world had agreed that one of the combatant ethnic groups — the Serbs, say, but it really does not matter — retained a permanent inextinguishable right to reclaim its former homes. Suppose the world agreed to pay displaced persons from that group billions in foreign aid on condition that they never permanently resettled in the territory to which the ethnic group had moved. Suppose the world tolerated Serbian terrorist attacks on Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo as understandable reactions to injustice.

Would there be peace in the former Yugoslavia today?

The Middle East peacemakers for the most part act with the highest of intentions and the most exquisite patience. But instead of extinguishing the conflict, they have prolonged it. A peace process intended to insulate the Arab world from the pain of defeat has condemned the Arab world — and the Palestinian people above all — to unending war.

Every war must end — and end badly for at least one of the belligerents. It’s time for this war to end too, and at last.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Frum.

http://en.tackfilm.se/?id=1262801116750RA97