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Forget the Gaza war, forget Netanyahu and Lieberman, definitely forget the rockets still being fired by Hamas and the nuclear threat from Iran.
As far as film director David Lynch is concerned, the Middle East is no farther away from peace than it was in 2007, when he famously declared during a visit to Israel that a group of 250 advanced meditators could "dissolve this enmity."
"I'm not going to back off until they get a peace-creating group - tell them!" Lynch beseeched a Jerusalem Post reporter during a one-on-one interview this week in New York. He reminisced about meeting President Shimon Peres and asked why Israel hadn't yet adopted his peacemaking strategy.
"It sounds too good to be true, it sounds like mumbo-jumbo, some Eastern thing, but it is science - it's true and it's good," Lynch went on.
Lynch, a longtime practitioner of transcendental meditation, was in town for a sold-out Saturday night benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall hosted by his foundation. The event drew stars like Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Russell Simmons in an effort to raise $50 million for school programs to teach troubled children the techniques advocated by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
The concert raised about $3 million, according to the organizers. Other performers included Donovan, Moby, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper and Jerry Seinfeld.
The goal of the "Concert for Change" was to bring meditation training to a million schoolchildren - at $50 a head, Lynch said - affected by attention-deficit disorder, stress and other modern ills. His foundation has already provided training for 100,000 children in 30 countries.
McCartney said at a press conference on Friday that he and his fellow Beatles had learned meditation from the Maharishi "at a time when we were looking for something to kind of stabilize us toward the end of the crazy '60s."
"I think it's actually coming into the mainstream, so I think people will be able to look at it and say, okay, here's a study that's done in Detroit, or in the West Bank or in Brazil, look at it and see what the effects are," said McCartney.
But Lynch - who learned meditation while rocketing to fame as the director of cult favorites like Blue Velvet and Eraserhead - told the Post his Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace was still working to establish "peace universities" around the world. Such institutions would house large groups of meditators whose goal, he said, would be to "enliven" an invisible force field that could dissolve "the big, big iceberg of negativity."
He cited the studies done by John Hagelin - a trained physicist who is now president of Lynch's foundation - which Lynch said showed that car accidents, for example, were less frequent when a critical mass of meditators was gathered in one place focusing on positive results.
"I think how it works - it's just the same thing that happens in an individual who meditates," Lynch said. "It's positive things being enlivened and negativity just lifting away."
By current population figures, Israel would require 268 expert meditators - the square root of 1 percent of the population - to being generating peace effects, by Lynch's calculations.