WARNING : This site is not for you if you cannot see the otherness of other and sufferings of both sides of the party in the conflict. Security for Israel and Justice for the Palestinians are interdependent, one will not happen without the other. My view focuses on building cohesive societies where no one has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. I hope and pray a sense of justice to prevail. Amen. Website www.IsraelPalestineDialogue.com | Also Check Israel Palestine Confederation a pragmatic solution

Monday, January 26, 2009

Israel - 60 Minutes

It amazes me how George Bush and Osama bin Ladin live in the Settlers mentality; God authorized them to throw some one else from their homes and build their own?

They are on the wrong side of the God, and must be ashmed of their inhumanity. God is referenced by all the three; Bush, Bin Ladin and the settlers to justify their evil work as if it is a noble thing. These three have messed up the justice and balance, and will take a while to repair the world and make it peaceful for others. Meanwhile, their evil deeds are hurting the same God's creation they so claim.

We know it has been going on, it is an illegal settlement, Bush kept whispering it, so he can tell, he told them so, but the intention was for them not to hear. We the good men, let evil persist. We never had the guts to say "never again".

No one owns God. He is no one's exclusive property and he does not cheat any one signing behind other's back. If he did, he would be a racist pig, not a God. We need another Moses to teach them about God, Jesus to teach Bush and Mohammed to teach Bin Ladin, which is not a possiblity, in that case, we the good men cannot let evil go on. The least we can do is speak up.

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Time Running Out For A Two-State Solution?

60 Minutes: Growing Number Of Israelis, Palestinians Say Two-State Solution Is No Longer Possible

January 25, 2009


(CBS) Getting a peace deal in the Middle East is such a priority to President Obama that his first foreign calls on his first day in office were to Arab and Israeli leaders. And on day two, the president made former Senator George Mitchell his special envoy for Middle East peace. Mr. Obama wants to shore up the ceasefire in Gaza, but a lasting peace really depends on the West Bank where Palestinians had hoped to create their state. The problem is, even before Israel invaded Gaza, a growing number of Israelis and Palestinians had concluded that peace between them was no longer possible, that history had passed it by. For peace to have a chance, Israel would have to withdraw from the West Bank, which would then become the Palestinian state.

It¢s known as the "two-state" solution. But, while negotiations have been going on for 15 years, hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers have moved in to occupy the West Bank. Palestinians say they can't have a state with Israeli settlers all over it, which the settlers say is precisely the idea.


Daniella Weiss moved from Israel to the West Bank 33 years ago. She has been the mayor of a large settlement.

"I think that settlements prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state in the land of Israel. This is the goal. And this is the reality," Weiss told 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon.

Though settlers and Palestinians don't agree on anything, most do agree now that a peace deal has been overtaken by events.

"While my heart still wants to believe that the two-state solution is possible, my brain keeps telling me the opposite because of what I see in terms of the building of settlements. So, these settlers are destroying the potential peace for both people that would have been created if we had a two-state solution," Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, once a former candidate for Palestinian president, told Simon.

And he told 60 Minutes Israel's invasion of Gaza - all the death and destruction - convinces him that Israel does not want a two-state solution. "My heart is deeply broken, and I am very worried that what Israel has done has furthered us much further from the possibility of [a] two-state solution."

Palestinians had hoped to establish their state on the West Bank, an area the size of Delaware. But Israelis have split it up with scores of settlements, and hundreds of miles of new highways that only settlers can use. Palestinians have to drive - or ride - on the older roads.

When they want to travel from one town to another, they have to submit to humiliating delays at checkpoints and roadblocks. There are more than 600 of them on the West Bank.

Asked why there are so many checkpoints, Dr. Barghouti said, "I think the main goal is to fragment the West Bank. Maybe a little bit of them can be justified because they say it's for security. But I think the vast majority of them are basically to block the movement of people from one place to another."

Here's how they block Barghouti: he was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Jerusalem and worked in a hospital there for 14 years. Four years ago he moved to a town just 10 miles away, but now, because he no longer lives in Jerusalem, he can't get back in - ever.

He says he can't get a permit to go. "I asked for a permit to go to Jerusalem during the last year, the last years about 16 times. And 16 times they were rejected. Like most Palestinians, I don't have a permit to go to the city I was born in, to the city I used to work in, to the city where my sister lives."

What he's up against are scores of Israeli settlements dominating the lowlands like crusader fortresses. Many are little cities, and none of them existed 40 years ago. The Israelis always take the high ground, sometimes the hills, and sometimes the homes. And sometimes Arabs are occupied inside their own homes.

One house for example is the highest house on the highest hill overlooking the town of Nablus. 60 Minutes learned that Israeli soldiers often corral the four families who live there and take over the house to monitor movement down below.

Simon and the 60 Minutes team went to an apartment owned by a Mr. Nassif. That morning, Israeli soldiers had apparently entered the apartment, without notice, and remained there when Simon knocked on the door.

"We cannot speak with you, there are soldiers," Nassif told Simon. "We are in prison here."

Asked what was happening, Nassif says, "They are keeping us here and the soldiers are upstairs, we cannot move. We cannot speak with you."

Nassif said he couldn't leave the house and didn't know how long he'd have to stay in place. Asked if they were paying him any money, he told Simon, "You are kidding?"

Abdul Nassif, a bank manager said he had to get to his bank to open the safe, but one of the soldiers wouldn't let him go. He told 60 Minutes whenever the soldiers come they wake everybody up, and herd them into a kitchen for hours while soldiers sleep in their beds. They can't leave or use the phone, or let 60 Minutes in.
He sent 60 Minutes downstairs to see if his brother would open the door so we could ask the soldiers why they keep taking over this house. But the brother told Simon, "The soldiers close the door from the key. They take the key."

So Simon and the crew left, and that night, so did the soldiers. But when 60 Minutes returned two days later, the soldiers were back for more surveillance. This time they kept the women under house arrest, but let the men go to work and the children go to school. When the children returned, we caught a glimpse of two armed soldiers at the top of the stairs.

Then more children came home, but the soldiers wouldn't open the door again.

A commander told Simon that he and the crew would have to go back behind a wall in order for the children to be let in.

The commander declined to talk to 60 Minutes. "But we are talking to you now," Simon pointed out, standing outside. "Why don't you tell us what you are doing here? Have you lost your voice? Well they've closed the door now, they've closed the window so I guess if the children are going to get home now we have to leave, so that is what we will do."

An army spokesperson told us the army uses the Nassifs' house for important surveillance operations. The Nassifs told 60 Minutes that soldiers usually stay for a day or two, always coming and going in the middle of the night. When they do go, the Nassifs never know when they will be occupied again. It could be tomorrow, next week, or next month. The only certainty, they say, is that the soldiers will be back.

Another crippling reality on the West Bank is high unemployment, now about 20 percent. So some Palestinians can only find jobs building Israeli settlements. They're so ashamed to work on the construction sites that they asked 60 Minutes not to show their faces.

The settlers now number 280,000, and as they keep moving in, their population keeps growing about five percent every year. But the 2.5 million Arabs have their strategy too: they're growing bigger families.

Demographers predict that within ten years Arabs will outnumber Jews in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Without a separate Palestinian state the Israelis would have three options, none of them good. They could try ethnic cleansing, drive the Palestinians out of the West Bank, or they could give the Palestinians the vote. That would be the democratic option but it would mean the end of the Jewish state. Or they could try apartheid - have the minority Israelis rule the majority Palestinians, but apartheid regimes don't have a very long life.

"Unfortunately, and I have to say to you that apartheid is already in place," Dr. Barghouti argued.
Apartheid? Israel is building what it calls a security wall between the West Bank and Israel. The Palestinians are furious because it appropriates eight percent of the West Bank. Not only that. It weaves its way through Palestinian farms, separating farmers from their land. They have to wait at gates for soldiers to let them in. Settlers get a lot more water than Palestinians, which is why settlements are green and Arab areas are not.

Moderate Israelis who deplore the occupation used to believe passionately in a two-state solution. That is no longer the case.

Meron Benvenisti used to be deputy mayor of Jerusalem. He told Simon the prospects of the two-state solution becoming a reality are "nil."

"The geopolitical condition that¢s been created in '67 is irreversible. Cannot be changed. You cannot unscramble that egg," he explained.

Asked if this means the settlers have won, Benvenisti told Simon, "Yes."

"And the settlers will remain forever and ever?" Simon asked.

"I don't know forever and ever, but they will remain and will flourish," Benvenisti said.

"The settlers, the attitude that I present here, this is the heart. This is the pulse. This is the past, present, and future of the Jewish state," Daniella Weiss told Simon.

She says the she and the settlers are immovable. "We will stay here forever."

But one very important Israeli says she intends to move them out. She's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, a candidate to become prime minister in elections next month. She's also Israel¢s chief negotiator with the Palestinians, and she told 60 Minutes peace is unthinkable with the settlers where they are.

"Can you really imagine evacuating the tens of thousands of settlers who say they will not leave?" Simon asked.

"It's not going to be easy. But this is the only solution," she replied.

"But you know that there are settlers who say, 'We will fight. We will not leave. We will fight,'" Simon asked.

"So this is the responsibility of the government and police to stop them. As simple as that. Israel is a state of law and order," Livni said.
It's also a state of law and disorder. When the army evicted just nine families from a West Bank settlement called Amona three years ago, it was chaos. It was the first time since the creation of the state that Jews were in pitched battles against Jews. To Israelis of all stripes, it was not a pretty picture. And it made the government loath to try again.

Officials fear that more battles to empty settlements could rip Israel apart. They're afraid that religious officers in the army - and there are an increasing number of them - would disobey any order to evict settlers.

The army is evicting Arabs from their homes in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians hoped to make their capital. Outraged, Arabs tried to save their homes, but the Israelis have the guns. Israel demolished more than 100 Arab homes in the past year, ruling they had been illegally built. Arabs say this is just another tactic to drive them out. But officials say they also knock down unauthorized Jewish buildings on the West Bank. They're put up by youngsters, the next generation¢s campaign to populate the land.

Daniella Weiss told 60 Minutes they will not be stopped.

Despite the army tearing down a structure, the settlers began rebuilding it on the same day. "We will have the upper hand," Weiss vowed.

"But the army will tear it down again," Simon pointed out.

"And we will rebuild it," Weiss said. "The experience shows that the world belongs to those who are stubborn, and we are very stubborn."

Stubborn, she says, because they were ordered to populate this land by no less an authority than God. "This is the mission of our generation and I want to emphasis the most important point is to this," Weiss said, picking up some soil, "to hold strong to the soil of the Holy Land."

Monday, January 19, 2009


Note: I recieved this note and all the notes that I would receive from Israelis and Palestinians will be posted under the title, Myths or fact, until, an understanding is developed by both sides, it will remain as yet to be classified item - Mike Ghouse

"Crash Course on the Arab Israeli Conflict."

Apparently, Benjamin Netanyahu gave an interview and was asked about Israel's occupation of Arab lands.

His response was "It's our land". The reporter (CNN or the like) was stunned - read below "It's our land..." It's important information since we don't get fair and accurate reporting from the media and facts tend to get lost in the jumble of daily events.

"Crash Course on the Arab Israeli Conflict."
Here are overlooked facts in the current Middle East situation. These were compiled by a Christian university professor:

BRIEF FACTS ON THE ISRAELI CONFLICT TODAY.... ( It takes just 1.5 minutes to read!!!! )It makes sense and it's not slanted. Jew and non-Jew -- it doesn't matter.

1. Nationhood and Jerusalem. Israel became a nation in 1312 BCE, two thousand years before the rise of Islam.

2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BCE, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 CE lasted no more than 22 years.

5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.

9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: in 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.

10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.

11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.

12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own people's lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.

13. The Arab-Israeli Conflict: the Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.

14. The PLO's Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them.

15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.

16. The UN Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.

17. Of the 690General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.

18. The UN was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.

19. The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

20. The UN was silent while the Jordanians20enforced an apartheid-like a policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

These are incredible times. We have to ask what our role should be. What will we tell our grandchildren about we did when there was a turning point in Jewish destiny, an opportunity to make a difference?

START NOW- Send this to 18 other people you know and ask them to send it to eighteen others, Jew and non-Jew--it doesn't really matter.


II Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides
SUNDAY, JANUARY 25, 2009 5:00 PM to 7:15 PM
Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance
211 N. Record St. Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75202-3361

The event will include speakers, prayers, and the partial viewing of a documentary. The keynote speech will be delivered by Bryan Mark Rigg, Ph.D., historian and author. The goal of the event is to create awareness of the inhumanity in all of us, and discover and create solutions for peaceful co-existence.

Continue: http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Articles/Holocaust-and-Genocides-Press-Release-011709.asp


Jerusalem Report

Mona's writings have been the reflections of the moderate Israelis and Palestinians and am pleased to have read and inspired by it - Mike Ghouse

By Mona Eltahawy

The Jerusalem Report

Hi, I'm Mona and I'm a self-hating Arab.

Surprised? Did you think it was an exclusively Jewish thing? I guess it must be a Semitic thing.

Why do we do it? Why do we insist on complicating things when it would be so much easier, as the bombs are falling and the rockets are flying, to just follow our birthright: Join the Free Palestine demonstrations if you're Arab; and if you're Jewish, go join the Save Israel marches.

Don't forget, you can always throw God into the mix. Lay claim to your holy sites and you'll have religiously sanctioned wrath to fuel your rage.

But what's the point of choosing sides when both sides are losing? The real challenge when it comes to the Middle East is to sit on the fence.

Oh yeah - sitting on fences - forgot to mention that other character fault. I'm a woman of strong opinions who rarely sits on fences, literal or figurative. But when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict these days, the harder place to be is on that fence and - see above with self-hating - I never turn down the opportunity to take the harder option.

And so there we are, us fence-sitting, self-hating Arabs and Jews yelling at the demonstrators so sure of themselves and their side, determined to confuse them just a bit, make them think a bit more, and to remind them that there's someone just a few miles away who holds views diametrically opposed to theirs and who has an equal right to life, an equal right to a safe and dignified life and an equal right to see their children grow up.

Self-hating, they scream at us! Self-critical, we yell back!

Sometimes the other-haters are quite humorous. A reader incensed at an op-ed I wrote taking a self-critical look at the Arab world's obsession with Israel wrote to tell me I should run for the Illinois Senate seat left empty by Barack Obama's victory in the U.S. presidential elections. "Even politicians don't kiss ass that much," wrote my critic.

I had to laugh at that one.

But it gets harder with every round in this interminable conflict. Talking of the new U.S. president - it would have been so much easier to pull an Obama and keep mum. He had it easy. There's only one president at a time, he apparently shrugged, and pointed to the outgoing one for statements on Israel's bombardment of Gaza. Talk about proving how wrong right-wing Republicans were when they "accused" him of being Arab during the presidential campaign. Do you think if he had one drop of Arab blood Obama would've kept quiet about this latest bloody chapter of the conflict? Ha!

There might be just one president at a time but there are millions of Arabs and Jews, and each and every one of us is an expert on this conflict, of course. But, oh how I wish a few more of us sat on that fence, introspectively and self-critically pondering what "our side" could do differently.

Last month, I wrote how blogs and social networking sites like Facebook were giving a voice to the voiceless in the Middle East. Well, if you build it, they will come as some film a few years ago claimed. I posted that self-critical op-ed on my Facebook page just two days after Israel's bombardment of Gaza began and, yes, there were a few critics, but there were dozens and dozens of supporters. So many that they drove the Facebook comments section slightly kaput.

They weren't just friends being polite. I have more than 3,000 "friends" on Facebook, the majority of whom I don't know and will most likely never befriend in "real life."

I monitored the number of friends I had, expecting them to fall. Instead, not only did dozens of strangers post messages of support, saying I had voiced sentiments they'd long held, but new strangers wrote with invitations of friendship.

And my piece wasn't just self-critical but took all sides in the conflict to task. But that's what those accusations of "self hate" do, tempting you to second guess and to question your intentions and your success at fence-sitting.

It's actually more of a seesaw than a fence that us self-haters of the Middle East are sitting on. It's more symbiotic than just sitting next to each other. If it wasn't for the "self-hating" Jewish contingent, those of us on the Arab side couldn't say what we say and vice versa. We need each other.

But with each new round in this conflict, our respective sides demand not only absolute lockstep with their ideas but that those on the other side march in step too.

When Israel started bombarding Gaza, the words of Israeli peace activists were held up for me to memorize and repeat. You see! That's what you should be saying, I was told. And I bet my words were waved equally fervently in the face of those same Israeli peace activists, with the demand they stop criticizing "our side."

I refuse to get off this fence, this seesaw, especially when the "air is full of stupidity" as a man from Algeria wrote to tell me in a message of support that he ended with "Keep fighting!"

What sweet words to hear especially at the end of a day that began with a message from a French-Israeli who signed off his message vowing, "We have to 'fight' for a more intelligent and peaceful Middle East."

Now that's a fight I'd get off the fence for. Self-haters of the Middle East Unite! •

Egyptian-born Mona Eltahawy is a columnist and lecturer on Arab and Muslim issues. She is based in New York.

A dialogue on peace

When it comes to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, Mona Eltahawy wrote “our respective sides demand not only absolute lockstep with their ideas but that those on the other side march in step too.” In an article entitled On Self-Hate and Fence Sitting.

Kindly know that every one is hunkering for some one to take a neutral stand in finding solutions. I will take that approach in developing an understanding of the problems and finding solutions.

I want to develop a small team of about 10 people, some of whom are passionate and some are not, but both must have the will to sit down and listen and have a genuine dialogue. A dialogue occurs when both sides give full value to the other, if one starts out with an idea that the other is wrong, even before listening to him or her, his efforts will be to assert his position, and obviously the other will dig in his heels. What is the point?

Why is the dialogue necessary? I believe, we have to bring a resolution to the ongoing conflict; neither party can annihilate the other or drive them to the sea, neither one can become God. The Palestinians deserve to have the very basic of life in their lives; hope and the Israelis deserve to live in security; to be able to drop their guards and live in peace.

I am planning on setting up a dialogue on Israel Palestine conflict. The first phase of the dialogue is to have both sides to share every aspect of the conflict from their point of view, let's put everything on the table. The next phase is to separate the myths from facts, those myths that would be acknowledged by both sides. Finally work on finding common grounds that may be acceptable by listening to each other's point of view. I would like three passionate Jews (Israeli-American, Israeli and American) and three Passionate Palestinians (Palestinian Muslim, Palestinian Christian and Palestinian American) armed with facts and information to be on the panel.

Israel and Palestine

Peace in Israel & Palestine
The Annapolis Peace Conference
Mike Ghouse, November 20, 2007

The Annapolis peace conference is scheduled for Tuesday, November 27, 2007.

I do hope some one at the State department is willing to push the REFRRESH button and start thinking about ideas that work. It takes courage and guts, and without it, nothing in the world would ever be achieved.

Mother Teresa said, "If you want peace, go talk with your enemies, you don't make peace with your friends". I do hope the state department brings people who can speak up the harsh truth. If they bring puppets and make decisions, failure is guaranteed.

All our efforts to place wedges between Abbas and Hamas shows the desperation and insincerity of our Administration to bring peace. These efforts will back fire and are a detriment to peace. Dividing the Palestinians for the short term gain will not cut it, it shows our inability to deal with the subject head on and our deviousness. On the one hand we are buying Abbas out with lots of money, and on the other we are letting people die without medicine, potable water and the very basics of life in Gaza. Is this injustice going keep any people apart? This injustice may bind the Palestinians stronger than ever before. We need to bring honesty and integrity to the conference. For God's sake let's be honest once and genuinely bring peace to the Israelis and Palestinians.

Although we hate Hamas, they need to be in the picture to get decisions implemented. We cannot bring peace unilaterally without the parties to conflict participating in it.

Our foreign policy has relied on our gun powder and our ability to dole out alms to shove nations around the World to achieve our goals. The state department has forgotten that 'lasting relationships' hinge on a dialogue based on treating all parties on an equal footing.

No doubt our policies have failed as we continue to believe that we can buy other nations disregarding their pride. Those nations that challenge our might stand the chance of annihilation and we refuse to talk with them. Does the state department know what diplomacy means? Please push the refresh button.

A few basics need to be addressed and understood by all the parties.

Jews have a need to be understood and be acknowledged for their eternal security needs, not the military, but mental security where they can put their guards down and live their life in peace.

Palestinians have a need to be understood. They have suffered immeasurably, no human should be stripped of his or her hope and dignity; hope to have a family, work and own a house and call a place their homeland.

Our Presidents need to seriously look at what works. They need to have the vision for peace. They must understand that it may be going against the general opinion and perhaps against their very supporters. They need to take bold steps and produce peace for the people of Israel and Palestine.

We must protect Israel, our ally; however, if that protection is based on injustice to either Palestinians or the Jews, our integrity becomes questionable and peace will rest on doubts. We need to be above reproach. Mighty empires can crush the weak for a short term; in the long run every one goes down the tube. We cannot rob anyone and live with a good conscience.

We must watch out for the hate mongers, who go around campus to campus, pulpit to pulpit spreading chaos, causing people to entrench in hate and bring untold miseries to the world. Of course, they will sucker you into investing in their campaign. These carriers of hate will frighten you and get you to open your pocket book. Creating chaos for others is guaranteed to envelope us. Before you write the check, please ask them to spend their time on spreading peace instead.

It is time for the silent majority to speak up and act on. The State department has not had fresh thinking for over 50 years now, every one that comes in including an individual like Collin Powell, has succumbed to the brain washing. They just don't want to push the REFRESH button.
Once the Palestinian Israel conflict is resolved, much of the frustration and terrorism around the world would thaw out.

I invite you to join me in offering practical solutions, with injustice towards none. If you feel there is an imbalance speak up. I urge you become the mitigators of conflicts and not provocateurs.

You cannot have peace when others are not, and you cannot have securitywhen others don't. It is in every one's interests to drop the prejudices and seriously look for peace. What is good for one has got to be good for the other and vice-versa, if not it is short-lived.