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December 14, 2017

This ridiculous, on-going and misleading phrase called the Palestinian-Israeli Peace Talks is something that has been going on since . . . well, who knows when? Some say some semblance of negotiation began as early as 1948 with the creation of Israel after World War II, but actual sit-down talks started taking place in the mid-1970s.

          According to noted author William B. Quandt, in the introduction of his book Peace Process, “sometime in the mid-1970s the term peace process became widely used to describe the American-led efforts to bring about a negotiated peace between Israel and its neighbors. The phrase stuck, and ever since it has been synonymous with the gradual, step-by-step approach to resolving one of the world's most difficult conflicts.” Quandt went on to say: “The United States has provided both a sense of direction and a mechanism. That, at its best, is what the peace process has been about. At worst, it has been little more than a slogan used to mask the marking of time.”

          While American President Donald Trump has certainly done and said some asinine things (or bird-brained as related to “tweeting”), his announcement of plans to move the American embassy to Jerusalem could be his best move yet. It certainly has caused an uproar throughout the world, which, by the way, is still, is this day and age, almost as anti-Semitic as ever. Maybe – just maybe – those fat asses at the UN, who have an all-expense paid luxury vacation in the greatest city in the world, where they can party all night, park their limos wherever they want (and tear up parking tickets), will get off their rumps. It is about time they do something meaningful to bring about a solution to the “peace process” which, ironically, has caused thousands of deaths.

         And the European Union is not much better. Its members are doing the same thing about the peace talks – nothing – only they are stuck in Brussels, not quite New York, and their expense accounts are a lot less.

         So why is it that such supposedly powerful organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union have made no progress in bringing about peace after all these years? Simple. They, unlike Trump, are scared shitless of doing anything that may be considered controversial . . . and, in fact, they have never been too keen on Israel, anyway, and why should they? A bit of anti-Semitism, perhaps misguided sentiments that can be traced back to when Hitler occupied most of the continent, still exists.

         Here are the facts: In all of Europe, with a total population of 1,138,200,000, Jewish residencies make up a mere 0.15%.  Here, in Greece, it’s even more unbelievable. A mere 4,300, or 0.04%, are Jewish out of a population of 11,500,000.  On my island of Crete, a place where about 650,000 people call home, there is one synagogue, a remnant from the past, which is mostly unused today. Let me relate a personal episode. When I was running my restaurant-bar, Chickadees, a local Cretan man sat on his stool, guzzling beer, and offering his alcohol-infused opinions on the world he knew nothing about.

         “And those Jews . . . terrible people . . . all they care about is money,” was one of his learned remarks.

         “Really?”  I replied, replacing his empty Heineken bottle with a full one.  “And how many Jews have you met?

         “Well, none, really, but . . . “

         Okay. Enough. The bottom line is I have close Jewish friends and close Palestinian friends.  People are people, good and bad, regardless of where their heritage took root. We need real, lasting peace between these two great countries, Israel and Palestine – and I’m hoping President Trump’s action will make the UN and EU move their bowls or get off the pot.



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