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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/8/14

"What we got here is failure to communicate"

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John Kerry's April 29 deadline for a negotiated framework between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, is only a few weeks away.

Without waiting for what is still a "flexible" end point for this round of "peace talks," the two negotiating parties have entered the "blame game" utilizing the weapons they have at hand.

One party has the military and police strength of a major world military power. The other has the power to sign 14 international treaties, which include the Geneva Conventions and treaties on racism, genocide, and civil and political rights.

Writing for Al Monitor on its Israel page, Ben Caspit offered his observation on the blame game. [Bold emphasis added]:

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"Everything that has happened to Kerry's initiative this week was smeared in block letters on every wall en route to this impasse that we have just reached.

"What we had here was a foretold chronicle of a breakdown on one hand, and a sweeping and somewhat childish enthusiasm with which Kerry sank his teeth into the negotiations on the other.

"Had Kerry studied and examined the history of the last 20 years, he would have discovered that what he had undertaken was a mission impossible."

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Had Caspit studied and examined the two films he slips into his report, he would have discovered that Cool Hand Luke  and the  Mission Impossible  series witness to the familiar reminder that "the arc of history bends toward justice."

Luke's spirit outlives the oppressive warden that treated him so brutally. Tom Cruise's "missions impossible" all focus on one man's victory over stronger adversaries.

Here is dialogue from a key Cool Hand Luke scene, followed by the scene on video:

"Captain: Don't you ever talk that way to me. (pause, then hitting him) NEVER! NEVER! (Luke rolls down hill; Captain speaks to other prisoners)  What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don't like it any more than you men."

Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel, in Memphis, Tennessee, 46 years ago this past Sunday, referred to the "arc of history" in a speech he gave to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on August 16, 1967, eight months before he was killed.

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The arc reference was used earlier by Theodore Parker (1810-1860), a well-known American clergyman and a leading abolitionist. Predicting the eventual success of the abolitionist cause, Parker wrote:

"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice."

Martin Luther King, Jr. made these words famous to a new generation a century later in his "Where Do We Go From Here?" speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)
 

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