this will be short since it's 4:15am but I just wanted to make note of the fact that I spent the past hour and a half or so in pretty heated debate/discussion with friends over Israel and the Middle East. It sucks when the conversation seems to come to the "and what's the solution" point, but it's really great to be able to have these important conversations. We talked mainly about the existence, or lack, of democracy in Israel (and in the actions Israel takes). It helps to remind me part of the reason why I'm here, hopefully my friends and I will succeed in bringing our perspective and our beliefs to the society, and we can help to improve it in a positive way in order to ensure it's existence in the future.
interesting to note: as I write this I am listening to the muslim call to prayer from the arab neighborhood next to us. They're waking up to pray at 4:30 and I haven't even gone to bed yet.