Peace for Israel in 2005?
Can Mediation Bring Peace to Israel?
As we ponder what 2005 will bring, we can’t help but reflect on the Middle East and ask if an enduring peace is possible in that land. The Philadephia Enquirer muses:
“Despite the challenges that lie ahead, the death of Arafat, coupled with Israel’s shift regarding Gaza, have created some diplomatic wiggle room that could help revive the moribund peace process.
Initial steps will be taken in London in the early part of the new year at an international conference on Palestinian reform. Thereafter, it will be up to the parties to put the process back on track with the guidance of European and American mediation.
“There is no reason for euphoria - another round of warfare could break out before long,” Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit observed.
“Nevertheless… 2005 is poised to be a year of truth. A year of real deeds. A year in which Israel finally takes its fate in hand… . A year in which it will be necessary to translate the political decisions of 2004 into a durable reality.”
It is this author’s belief that mediation is the ONLY way to resolve any conflict. War never provides a lasting peace because eventually the losing side will seek reprisal for its perceived injustices. The prophetic words “violence begets violence” ring just as loud today as when they were uttered more than 2000 years ago.
It remains to be seen if mediation can solve the Middle East standoff. Mediation will only be successful when BOTH sides have had enough blood on their hands and are willing to work together to find a solution that works for both sides. And even if a practical solution is reached, then the healing must begin for future generations.
The point that I’m trying to make is there is in fact a solution to be found out there. But that is the easy part, for to make it work over the long term the spirit has to be willing. Let us hope the Palestinians and Israel have reached that point in the evolution of their respective cultures.