Lately, it is has been hard to write about the peace process in the Middle East. Despite how keen one may be to identify a fair and equitable peace, it never gets accomplished. Simply what is going on in the region now makes one think more of war than peace. The whole region is fuming.
Thinking of war and its evils magnifies the necessity of peace and pushes one back to look for it again, or at least some clues that may lead to a real peace process between the Arabs, Israel and lately USA. There is a hope that the anger will subside and deep below, peace can still be reached. But the situation has deteriorated so badly that one may be hoping for too much.
The ongoing preoccupation of exchanging accusations – calling Israelis war criminals or Arabs terrorists – would not, definitely, lead us to the ‘better’ solution of peace. Hopefully what is going on will make both sides realize a basic fact that eventually there are only two options, either compromise for peace or war. The latter means tremendous damage and loss with ramifications throughout the region and beyond. It is only natural that the ones who are sure winners together with those who do not have much to lose are the ones who will push for it.
Despite the failure of successive summits to build a concrete proactive attitude, or reach a common applied agreement, a peaceful resolution of the conflict has not completely collapsed as the better alternative for all concerned entities. A natural procedure of conflict resolution is to identify its causes.
Arab Israeli conflict has one instantly recognizable cause, which is extremism. Extremism consists of ideological fundamentalism, religious antagonism, and nationalistic fanaticism, which all have inflamed the conflict for over a century without neither a peaceful nor a war solution. These factors have contributed to incessant violence, justified in the name of fighting terrorism on one side, and in the name of freedom fighting on the other, or even in the name of justice, and peace.
Definitely, the attitude of Arab rulers and Israeli leaders and their respective bodies determine the conflict’s path and its peace process. An example of negative attitude for instance was Sharon’s visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque, which painfully illustrated how wicked sparks can ignite a huge fire. It is the worst kind of behavior that defies rational and reasonable compromise, reconciliation, and peace.
It is always much more difficult to put out a fire than ignite it, especially if the fire feeds on flammable objects, such as the angry feelings of apprehended Palestinians. If the Israeli regime thinks that it can put out the Palestinian fire of anger with bullets, then they have learned nothing from the history of the conflict. Instead, millions of angry Arabs will stand with their brethren, against Israel, which gives a great chance for the minority of Arab extremists to call for more violence and even call for the holy war to wipe out all Israelis.
It is not new that Israeli forces use such violence against the Palestinian people and it is also not the worst. It is even no worse than what some Arab regimes have dealt to their own opposition. Despite all criticism, an Arab political reform is necessity, not as an objective in itself, but as a means to have a balanced political power facing the Israeli regime. This is particularly so given several United Nations condemnation of Israel’s “excessive use of force” against the Palestinian people. Is just denouncing and condemning Israeli excessive violence enough to make changes?
While Iraq used to be a theoretical threat for Israel, now this claim has vanished. American reports can not anymore claim that there are Iraqi troops moving to its border with Jordan on the way to Israel. Some analysts comment that the Arabs are not planning another war with Israel, but they should show their solidarity and readiness for this war if it has to happen.
Meanwhile, Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Barak is making efforts to torpedo a Palestinian-American initiative to renew the negotiations for a final status agreement. Only one day before the Cairo summit, Barak announced that Israel would seek a time-out in negotiations with the Palestinians in order to rejuvenate the peace process following the Arab summit. Speaking on Channel Two television of Israel, Barak said, “the time-out is needed because we cannot carry
on in the peace process as if nothing happened.”
During the zeal of an uprising, some might forget that the Palestinian Intifada is not meant to be the solution in itself but rather it is a tool to pressurize the Israeli regime until Palestinians have their own country. Further, a country that is officially and politically recognized by the world and most importantly by Israel itself. For this to happen, negotiations must go on.
As long as the majority of Arab minds …. believe that rocks and trees will talk to help Muslims kill all Jews one day, as promised in Islamic literature, it is extremely difficult for Arabs to win any political or military battle against Israel. They should know that Jews became strong in the region and the world. They built Israel not just because of ‘God willing’ and/or praying for power……, but because they worked hard, and because they are sincere in what they believe in and in what
they do, regardless they have rights on it or not.
Even though it is Arab land that is occupied and Arab people are the ones that are killed most in the conflict, they still did not learn the lesson from Israel. The lesson of working hard and not just talking. It is good for almost everyone in any religion to pray, but a sincere prayer has also to be a sincere worker or it is just waste of time. Praying is for God, fine, work is for life. Arabs need to wake up before the whole Arab world becomes a bigger Palestine.
It is sad that almost all Arab governments are based on dictatorship. They exile, jail, torture, and even in several cases shoot or mass-kill their own citizens, if they oppose the regime – which is an absolutely legitimate act -. People in Arab countries in general feel politically insecure, weak and have little hope of change. We all know that corruption is everywhere – many things have to change in order to have a chance for some realistic hope to exist. Then, and only then, the conflict will be much easier to resolve because Arabs by then will have the necessary balancing power to prove, accomplish, take, and defend their rights from the impetuous and aggressive regime of Israel.