I decided this would fit better in a new post, so here's a site from the previous post. There is a lot to learn from the situation in N. Ireland. Maybe George Mitchell will help us remember.
The most recent meeting between Obama and Netanyahu doesn’t inspire the hope that we are following this Endgame Diplomacy in the Middle East. It’s a shame. This is a great plan. It details some steps taken and lessons learned in Northern Ireland.
The voting on the plan thing is a really good idea to get the populations invested a bit more. As it stands, many folks, me included, think the US and Israel will otherwise decide everything an pressure Palestinians to go along for the ride.
In the article:
Hope. People need hope that it really could happen in the Middle East. Northern Ireland is a perfect example of where it did.
Leverage. A powerful and influential friend has to help make it happen. This is what America has to do in the Middle East as it did in Northern Ireland, where it had much less influence.
Participation. The people most affected must be made to become involved by having them vote on a plan. This is what all the people on the island of Ireland did.
Livelihood. While not a replacement for inalienable rights of any party in the conflict, the "carrot" of economic benefits and jobs should not be underestimated. Nothing less than a Marshall Plan for the Middle East is required.
Self-Determination. It is a must that all parties be given the right to have legitimate and sovereign political power, thus a Palestinian state must be realized and be in line with international law.
Leadership. Politicians need to have sufficient political "cover" to do the right thing. If the majority of Israelis and Palestinians vote for the plan, this creates a safeguard for politicians to remain sincere to people's desires.
South Africans struggle to reclaim 'Promised Land'
NPR, Talk of the Nation
The attitudes of the white farmers are similar to that of Israelis. 'What? I don't think we did anything wrong. We are just trying to live our lives...'
I hope the same sort of reconciliation and land deals could happen in the Middle East.
I'm reading Kai Bird's Crossing Mandlebaum Gate and this sentence, which happens to be the opening line of the link here, that I read just today comes to mind...
When playing the “conquer the world” board game Risk as an adolescent growing up in a well-to-do Cairo suburb, Kai Bird avoided occupying the Middle East. So did his American friends. Their very surroundings schooled them in the difficulty of holding the crossroads of three continents.
I guess that doesn't inspire the hope needed, as stated above, but I thought it pretty funny in an odd way that this was the consensus of the young boys...
So, here is some hope. A peace activist rabbi who inspires Palestinians by fighting for their civil rights right beside them. The author notes,
"Yet shared beatings also break down malevolent stereotypes of Jews among Palestinians."I think I would concur.
“When we get the death threats and people say we’re traitors and anti-Israel, I think, ‘Who is really doing more for Israel’s physical survival?’ ” he says. “ ‘Those who demolish homes and uproot trees, or those who rebuild homes and replant trees?’”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/