OK, we struggled to come up with a solution to this mega issue, but we had a vibrant discussion and came up with the following “opinions”

  • The root cause for the Israeli-Palestinian Oct. 7, 2023 event is Iran with instigation from Russia. Why? Because Iran and Russia are interested to de-stabilize the region with the looming “peace deal” between Israel and Saudi Arabia, thus potentially bringing more Arab Countries to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation. This will give Saudi Arabia the leverage to become the leader in the Arab World. Iran wants to be the powerhouse in the region with the ultimate goal of controlling the region, both militarily and religiously. From the Russian point-of-view,  if this does not happen, it will drive the weakened Russia even farther away from controlling the region like they did 10 years ago during the Syrian Civil war (Chemical weapon saga).
  • The solutions proposed by the participants were the following:

o   Force the U.S. to play hard ball with Israel and advance the idea of a 2-state solution with the Palestinian Authority (now controlling the West Bank) to govern all of Palestine.

o   Continue or resume supplying Ukraine with the requested military equipment to drive Russia back and further weaken its position globally.

o   Force Netanyahu (the Israeli Parliament) to abide by the 1917 Belfour declaration which stated that a newly formed Jewish statehood should protect the civil, religious, and self-governing rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.

o   Force Iran to stop supplying arms, heavy weaponry, and finances to their proxy groups in Palestine (Hamas), Lebanon (Hezbollah), and Yemen (Houthis) who are the primary and only forces directly fighting Israel. Once this happens, create “mandated territories” to be governed by a coalition of the United States and the European Union. Lastly, achieve final peace by realizing the 2-state solution and bringing back the Palestinian refugees from across the region to their homeland.

We realized that this was a tough topic to discuss, and the large number of attendees did not simplify the total sharing of opinions. However, I think that the topic is better understood now, and maybe a follow-up discussion at the end of the Great Decisions series would be in order.

Moving on to week #2, the topic is “Climate Technology –  Global Trade & Green Energy”: Will the United States and China, with other powerful countries following suit, approach current and future climate initiatives with an increased commitment to trade protectionism and nationalism, by various measures including trade restrictions? Or could a growing spirit of international accord develop to confront the “common enemy” of climate change? The video link can be found HERE.

Here are the guidelines for every session:

  1. Please arrive in time to start the discussions promptly at 6pm. I would like to limit the discussions to one hour.
  2. I will start the session with a comment about the topic and a question to start the conversation.
  3. Please come prepared with one or two questions/comments relating to the written material and video.
  4. To allow all interested attendees to voice their opinion, please:
  5. Keep your remarks short and on topic.
  6. Refrain from dominating the meeting.

Thank you, and see you next Tuesday in the Hickory Room at LR. I will send a quick poll tomorrow or Friday asking you if you plan to attend. If we have more than 24 attendees, I will move the meeting to the Ridgeview library where the room is bigger and can easily be set to accommodate our numbers.