The ‘Two State Solution’ Died in 1949

The idea of an independent Palestinian state west of the Jordan River died when the Arab Legion invaded the West Bank in 1948. The land westward from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean was supposed to be divided into two states. One would be a Jewish state and the other would be an Arab state for those who were living there.

War was out of the question. The United Nations’ plan included the directive that both states would engage in economic cooperation – actually an Economic Union.

This plan was the United Nations Partition Plan for when Britain left the region. The plan arguably had the status of international law. The Security Council’s resolution concerned Britain. It set forth how the region that was mandated to the British to administer would look like when the British left. Britain tried (arguably) to set up the partition and to establish the outcome.

However, the Arab Legion violated this international law when it attacked Israel. Then, the Kingdom of Jordan annexed the West Bank – a new violation of international law.

The international community had helped Israel and Jordan negotiate an armistice in 1949. Since both sides agreed, the cease fire had the force of international law also.

The next time that the parties reached an agreement – negotiated by outsiders – was in 1993 through 1995. This was the Oslo Accords. These accords, which were signed by representatives of the Palestinians and of Israel, is the last word of international law.

UN resolutions passed by its Security Council arguably do not have the force of law. The United Nations is fulfilling its obligation to promote peace and security. It’s not unusual for effective parties to disdain peace and security.

Another event bears discussing. The International Court of Justice – commonly referred to as the World Court – is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. However, it tries to resolve disputes wherein both parties agree to appear. It is out of the question for the Court to rule unilaterally.

To repeat. The Oslo Accords are the only agreement, the only law between Palestinians and Israel.

Palestinians cannot justifiably complain that they are living in cantons. Their representative signed off on this.

They have a right and obligation to regulate life in what are called Areas A and B. Only Israel has the right to regulate life and to develop new housing, industry, and parks in Area C.

If Palestinians wished to pick up where things stood in the middle 2000s everything could go back onto the negotiating table.

However, this is so unlikely that I can relax, heat up some water, and relax drinking hot tea with sugar. The ‘Two State Solution’ is dead.

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“There are no victims . . .

. . . only volunteers.” *

So reads the script of the television series Chance.

— Character D in the TV series Chance
Season 1, Episode 2, “The Axiom of Choice” at about 4:38

“Once is a mistake. Twice is a decision.”

— Character: Therapist Suzanne Silver in the TV series Chance
Season 1, Episode 1, “The Summer of Love” at about 41:00

“Be the still point in the turning world.”

— Character D in the TV series Chance
Season 1, Episode 5, “A Still Point in the Turning World” at about 5:50

__________________

* Produced by Fox21 Television Studios & distributed by hulu.com — 2016

Reading Books about Physics

It’s not unusual for me to go through a phase of reading about the particles and forces that make up our universe.

I have one measure to prejudge the author’s content, though. Is there an entry in the index for ‘plasma’?

Plasma is a state of matter just as solid, liquid, and gas are. At high energies, atoms lose some coherence and separate into positive and negative ions. Freed electrons and negatively charged particles can flow like electricity.

In our experience, electricity flows through wires. The flows in the plasma state resemble descriptions of liquid flows. For us, the most common flow of a liquid is flowing water.

Apparently, there is an affinity between studying fluid dynamics and studying plasma physics.

I’ve written the previous three paragraphs as a layperson who has some understanding but plenty of misunderstanding about the subject. Be that as it may –

About 98% of the universe exists in the plasma state.

Nevertheless, authors of popular works about physics often fail to mention the subject of plasma altogether. I take a look at the index of such books and regularly find an entry for ‘Planck’ followed by an entry for ‘Plato’ or ‘Pluto’. What this tells me is that the author is married to an orthodoxy.

“The primary force in the universe is gravity.” Really? Perhaps electromagnetism is as important if not more important.

Granted that us Earth-bound creatures a very aware of gravity. Granted that the human race had little knowledge about electricity until fairly recently. Certainly, using electricity was not part of the human toolkit until recently.

I expect more from physicists. Their orthodoxy is earth-bound where gravity prevails – unless a lightning storm is passing through.

I look forward to a time when earth-bound physics is as outmoded and quaint as saying scientifically that the Earth is the center of our solar system or not.


Geocentricism is a tenet of the Torah, of religious revelation. According to the theory of relativity, though, no scientific verification exists to determine if one body is stationary and another is moving, or vice versa, or that both are moving.

When I slapped our son’s face

I don’t believe that corporal punishment works. It only demonstrates that I’m bigger and more powerful than our son or our grandchildren.

This one time that I hit our son, though, seemed to be the only way to reach him. His attitude was so arrogant.

He was in eighth grade, and we were sitting at our kitchen table. He was genuinely proud and showed mock innocence of how he and a friend had addressed their English teacher. They were convinced that it was perfectly acceptable to say “fothermucker” since they had exchanged two letters. Of course, both boys knew perfectly well how they had started with a disgusting word.

I wasn’t getting across to him that speaking in such a way was not innocent. His listeners knew perfectly well that he was behaving atrociously.

So I slapped his cheek. He was astounded because I had never hit him before. Besides this, the suddenness was shocking. With that slap, he promised that he would never speak that way ever again.

He may have behaved atrociously again in the next year or two. I reminded him of how I couldn’t reach him then, and I didn’t seem to be reaching him again. “Listen. I’m not going to hit you again. You’re older and wiser. Think about your audacity then and now. I expect you to behave better.” Then I walked away.

I really believe that his memory jolted him. I’m not aware that his behavior was other than “age appropriate.” He was a teenager and lapsed into the poorer behavior and attitude that teenagers sometimes exhibit. But teenage behavior during the teenage years wasn’t going to change much with chastisement. In addition, I had already taught him a life-long lesson.

So you want to be normal

Where did you get the idea that only some people are normal?

“Normal is a setting on a washing machine,” says a Chicago-area counselor with a degree in Social Work.

Characteristics within a population vary from one extreme to another, and most people tend to fall near the middle, near the average or the mean. In the field of statistics, this distribution is called a bell curve.

Empirical_RuleEmpirical_Rule

It’s true that a bell curve is a form of a normal distribution of probabilities, but please note the technical term — a ‘normal distribution’. Only the distribution of likelihoods is normal.

If the heights of people are measured, and all of us have been measured, we are all there in the pot of measurements. Some of us are likely to be taller than others, and some of us are shorter than others. We are all 100% likely to find our heights somewhere on the bell curve because the bell curve was created by accounting for all of us.

The way I hear it is that it is very typical for many adult American males to be close to 5 feet 10 inches tall — if I’m not mistaken. Fewer are likely to be around my height of 5 feet 5 inches tall.

Look at the ‘1 standard deviation’ section above. Sixty-eight percent of us males are not especially taller or shorter than the figure that I gave of 5 feet 10 inches tall. That might be a way of saying that sixty-eight percent of us are at least 5 feet 7 inches tall but not taller than 6 feet 1 inch.

This height range comes completely from my imagination. It may be that the range of height of sixty-eight percent of adult American males is between 5 feet eight inches and 6 feet tall.

Whatever this range of heights is, those of us who are taller or shorter are also “normal” — just rarer.

So, you want to be normal? Stand up and measure your height, and you are definitely normal.


“I makes up my mind and I lives with the consequences.” (Maybe you let someone else decide for you, but that’s you letting yourself live with the consequences.)