Things are getting tense, not only in Israel but in the United States, over the riots on the West Bank.

No matter where you stand you're in the wrong place.

"What would you do if someone threw rocks at you?" Jeffrey asked me.

"I don't want to talk about it," I said. "All I know about killing is what I see on TV."

"TV only tells you half of what is going on. They don't show what the other side is doing," Jeffrey said.

"That's why I don't watch television. They never tell you the whole story."

"Nobody likes to see people's hands broken, but it's better than shooting them."

"Look, could we go on to something more cheery, like General Noriega's connections with dope smugglers in Panama?"

Jeffrey was hanging tough. "The Palestinians should go back to their camps and behave like civilized refugees until someone works out a solution to the problem."

"I'm with you 100 percent."

"Do you see anything wrong with rubber bullets?" Jeffrey wanted to know.

"Nothing, if used in moderation. Rubber bullets save lives."

"If you asked me about tear gas I would say it is accepted as a defensive weapon against an unfriendly populace and is especially welcome during an insurrection," Jeffrey said.

"Who told you that?"

"No one told me. I saw it on television."

"Tear gas isn't my specialty," I admitted.

"Then what do you think about water cannons?"

"They're more my style. I never used one or had one used against me, but it seems to me it's an answer to everything. Once you fire water cannons, where else can the other side go but down?" I said.

"Water cannons don't always work, so sometimes you have to grab the perpetrators and smack them around."

"That's understood from the start. When you're an occupying power you have to get physical or they'll walk all over you."

"Did you know the stone throwers were trained by the Russians?" Jeffrey said.

"I didn't know that, but it makes sense. Kids don't know how to throw rocks unless someone teaches them."

"All we're trying to do is get them to lay down their rocks. The Israeli army is not using any more force than is absolutely permitted by the government, which doesn't know how much force is really necessary. Are you for what we're doing in Gaza?"

"I'm for it 100 percent."

"Because if you're not for us, then you're against us."

"I agree with everything that's going on," I said, "otherwise why would Israel be getting such good press?"

"You don't sound like you're sold on the policy."

"I say an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, and if you can't get peace with rubber bullets use real ones until people come to their senses."

Jeffrey said, "I don't know if you're serious or not."

"Funny, I was thinking the same thing about you."