The Rev. Roy Hayes
Priest-at-Large In Cyberspace
(Episcopal)
January 12, 2008
Mideast Peace = Peace of Jerusalem = World Peace

Mr. President,

      You'll soon return from your trip to the Holy Land.  My hat is off to you, Sir.  You accomplished a great deal.  Prepare for a bumpy road ahead, tho.  The pundits are already swinging into action.  The commentaries in the media (on-line and off-line) will be never-ending for a while.  I write today to encourage you.  I'm as confident as you are that Israel will end the occupation of Palestine before you leave office.  Then, at long last, there will security for Israel.  As soon as there is justice for the Palestinians, there will be security for Israel.  Sir, it's a good thing that you're America's President instead of me.  Permit me to explain.

      If I were President, I would have gone about the week quite differently.  I would have given Mr. Olmert a date .... March 1, 2008 or thereabouts .... to have all the illegal Jewish settlers moved out of the Palestinian territories, leaving the buildings intact.  I'd have directed Olmert to have Israel's WALL torn down and all the debris removed ... and to unseal Gaza's borders (land sea and air) immediately ... and to dismantle the hundreds of checkpoints ... for starters.  I would have made all future US aid to Israel conditional on Israel's immediate response.  In an effort to be fair, I would have got tough with BOTH sides.  I would have turned to Mr. Abbas in Ramallah and "suggested" that he accept Hamas' gracious offer of a Hudna.  I would have suggested that he and Mr. Haniyeh form a unity government prior to March 1.  In retrospect, I realize that my way would not have facilitated the peace process.  Which is why I'm glad you're President instead of me.  I would have caused the media to go into a worldwide frenzy of gevalt, histrionics and dramantandos.  Prime Minister Olmert's government would've fallen within hours.  Netanyahu would suddenly rise to power.  Congress would begin immediate impeachment proceedings (for me), and ... (here's the clincher) ... Israel's occupation would continue.  I realize now that my way would've been counterproductive to the peace process.  All things considered, Sir, I hereby defer to your sounder judgement.  I predict you'll go down in history as the United States President who used his winning ways to persuade Israel to comply with International Law ... once and for all.

      Now that you've got the peace process back on track, I've decided to retire from politics.  I can't think of anything more I can say or do.  I've tried to retire several times in the past, but I never quite could.  It's time for me to pass the torch to the next generation.  I plan to turn my International Address Book over to my Godson, Seany, a Persian-American, who's a Dentist and a real estate investor in the Phoenix area.  Seany is a young man with ideas of his own.  You'll be hearing from him.  Sir, before I retire, are you open to one last suggestion?   Which of the candidates is most likely to build on your recent accomplishments in the Middle East?  Which of the candidates is most likely to implement the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and (at the same time) focus his/her peacemaking efforts on the future status of Jerusalem?  Here's a website you'll want to study:  Israel Ranks the Candidates.  My suggestion is that you and I try to persuade  Chuck Hagel to run for President.  He says he won't run.  From my perspective, our country needs a man like Chuck in the Oval Office.  Have you seen this video of  Chuck Hagel on Palestine?  Perhaps the GOP will draft him.

Peace,

Roy+