Friday, November 17, 2006

Work on the Cause, not the Effect

From The Associated Press 11/16/2006

“Spain will sponsor a new Middle East peace initiative along with France and Italy, the Spanish prime minister said Thursday, stressing that the international community cannot remain idle as violence rages between Israel and the Palestinians…

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced the initiative at a summit with President Jacques Chirac of France. "Peace between Israel and the Palestinians means to a large extent peace on the international scene," Zapatero told a news conference.”


As pressure mounts to end Middle-East conflicts, it should become clearer and clearer that if we do not educate people regarding the cause and effect of violence in Israel and the territories, misguided solutions, based on an incorrect set of “facts,” may be imposed. These will undoubtedly work towards Israel’s detriment. If this happens, all of humanity loses.

In the end, it will work to the detriment of Palestinians, too. Humanity loses again.

A lack of clarity between cause and effect leads people to refer to the situation between Israel and Palestinians as a “cycle of violence”—violence on one side begetting violence on the other, in an endless cycle. They want to put an end to the cycle, and they gear their solutions accordingly.

But it is not a cycle. It is a situation. If the Israelis stopped all violence, the violence would continue. That is why Israel cannot simply do this. If, on the other hand, the Palestinians stopped all violence, the violence would end. But the Palestinians WON’T do this.

Without a proper understanding of cause and effect, well-intended solutions will not serve the interests of long-lasting peace.

The Palestinian-Israeli violence is an effect of the Arab/Muslim conflict with Israel, it is not the cause if it, as Prime Minister Zapatero’s comments suggest. True peace between Israel and the Palestinians will not happen until there is peace between Israel and the Arab/Muslim world. This what the world should work on… the cause, rather than the effect. But as Dennis Ross concluded after years of negotiation, the Arabs don’t yet recognize Israel’s moral legitimacy. Will someone inform the Prime Minister?

--David Naggar

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