The Middle East: Why A Real Peace, Is So Challenging?

Whether, we examine Biblical times, the period leading up to Israel’s independence (pre – 1948), or the, over 70 years, since, there have been few, if any periods, where we witnessed a cessation of hostilities, for any significant period of time! Perhaps, nowhere in this world, are supporters, of either Israel, and/ or, her Arab neighbors, as passionate, as they are, in this region. We often observe, individuals, declare, all, Israel has supposedly, done wrong, where opponents resort to blaming her, for everything, they perceive, they are due. Unlike victors in conflicts, in other areas of the world, many recoil, in anger, when Israel, maintains control over specific, strategic areas/ lands. On the other hand, supporters of Israel, sometimes, appear to be overly dramatic, and proclaim, an antagonism, towards any comment, which questions any Israeli action, etc. How can there be any hope for anything close to peace, or, even, a prolonged cessation of hostilities, when there appears to be little attempt at a meeting – of – the – minds, for the common good? With that in mind, this article will attempt to consider, examine, review, and discuss, a few examples, of policies, and/ or actions, which have made this remote possibility, even more, far – fetched.

1. Israel can do no wrong: Like any other nation, Israel is not perfect! Opposing any specific action, policy, and/ or approach, is not equivalent to being anti – Semitic! It is possible to oppose an Israeli action, without being anti – Jewish! Unfortunately, political posturing, and the perception, by some supporters, of the necessity for absolute loyalty, has created, a split, between the most ardent supporters, and many others, who care deeply about Israel, but not all her behavior and positions. Although many Americans, and American Jews, have always considered Jerusalem, to be the capitol, the reality is, at least three other religions, also have historic, religious, emotional links, to this city. Because of this, past American administrations have avoided publicly, exacerbating matters, by supporting such a symbolic move (especially since most other countries, have avoided supporting this). When the current administration, not only supported this move, but also proclaiming Israel should annex the Golan Heights, some of the strongest supporters, are thrilled and elated, while many, are concerned, it will eliminate any possibility of any cessation of hostilities!

2. Politics, versus win – win: Since its independence, the only time, there has been any sort of lasting “peace,” between Israel, and one of its neighbors, stemmed from the Camp David Accords! Menachem Begin, and Anwar Sadat, who were major adversaries/ enemies, for most of their lives, came to a meeting – of – the – minds, because, both declared, President Jimmy Carter, convinced them, of the mutual benefits, and they considered our President, to be, a man of the highest integrity, ethics, and fairness! They believed him, because he entered the process, with few pre – conceived notions, and would listen, with genuine empathy, to the concerns, needs, priorities, perceptions and goals, of all parties. Our current President, Donald Trump, has openly indicated, he supports the policies of Netanyahu, regarding some of the most significant controversies, including Jerusalem, Golan Heights, and the disputed settlements on the West Bank. While some may, emotionally, agree with these strategies and actions, it doesn’t make them, the best strategies, for reducing the risks, involved!

3. Adversarial versus win – win: If we hope for less violence, we need a focus on a lower degree of adversarial behavior, and prioritizing, win – win negotiations, a meeting – of – the – minds, for the common good!

Some will say, there won’t be peace, in the region, because the other side, either won’t keep their word, or they don’t trust them! Peace won’t simply happen, but, if we hope, for better outcomes, and less hostilities, it will require compromise, on all sides. Israel is, neither, always right, or wrong! Those committing terrorist atrocities, in this region, or anywhere, may believe they have no choice, but they are wrong! Unless/ until, the priority is non – violent, reconciliation, instead of killing, bombing, and harming others, nothing will change, for the better!

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Source by Richard Brody

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