See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .When a sports team is not successful, management often replaces its players. Currently, because of the leaders involved, there is no peace in the Middle East. Perhaps we should take this sports approach in order to achieve peace. Which leaders should we replace?
We pick on Israel first because they have the most power in the region. But Israel has a problem. It suffers from D.O.--Darth Olmert. The more this Dark Lord relies on violence, the more he resembles Darth Sidious and his use of the Dark Side in Star Wars. Darth Olmert's reliance on the Dark Side can be seen in his massive assaults on Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. But his journey down its path started beforehand.
When Lord Olmert decided to both continue Israel's unilateral withdrawal and refuse to communicate with Hamas and Hezbollah, he made violence the only open line of communication in a volatile situation. The continuance of a unilateral withdrawal served as provocation because the flip side of the coin was unilateral annexation. In contrast, if Israel had independently retreated to the '67 border, we could be enjoying peace.
Thus the Palestinians have a bitter and legitimate grievance in part because they are victims to theft of land and resources which causes poverty. In addition, the IDF detains Arabs without due process. Practically speaking, there is no difference between these detentions and kidnapping Israeli soldiers. But Darth Olmert used terms such as "terrorists" and "self-defense" to deflect all criticism and ignore what Hamas both objected to and offered-for example, Hamas implemented a 16 month moratorium against attacking Israel. His refusal to listen to Hamas has forfeited opportunities to gain more concessions. His refusal to listen to Hezbollah helped instigate Hezbollah's kidnapping attack. Indeed, if listening was eating, Darth Olmert showed himself to be suffering from anorexia--something he compensates for by binging on the wielding of military might.
Officially this means Bush and Blair--unofficially known as Timmy and Lassie. The relationship between these two world leaders is similar to what was in the TV show. Blair usually does what Bush says but occasionally he barks to tell us that Bush is stuck.
Bush appears to have the innocence of Timmy; but the problem is that we have elected a child's mind to do an adult's job. Bush's Presidential behavior has resembled that of a child who has never heard the word no. Bush also used the term "9-11" to excuse his behavior--this also provided an example for Darth Olmert to follow. In addition, Timmy and Lassie provided a model for destroying a country. First obliterate the infrastructure by using pinpoint weapons that cause massive collateral damage, then invade, and finish by declaring victory while conducting an occupation. After all, if it worked in Iraq.
The terrorists are officially known as those groups which violently attack civilians for political ends. But noting that a nation is just a large group, the working definition for the word terrorist has become "the enemy."
Though it is legal for Palestinians to attack Israeli soldiers because it is a legitimate form of resistance, the problem is that Palestinians also resort to using suicide bombers and rockets to attack civilians. Hezbollah does the same. There is no excuse for this. They are simply treating others with the same cruelty which they denounce when they are the recipients. They are at least as guilty as their occupiers.
Regardless of the legal status of their attacks, their violence is counterproductive and self-sabotaging because the assaults both distract the world from their suffering and cause severe reprisals.
If we are to have peace in the Middle East, we need new players. But if our leaders are the players: who is management?
Our leaders prefer to be player-managers. They accomplish this goal by persuading their constituents to cheer from the stands. An alternative is for us constituents to stop cheering and start managing. In addition, we could regard our counterparts from other countries and societies as allies while we see our leaders as suspect. Thus, we need Palestinians to view Israelis as partners and visa-versa. The same goes for all others involved including the Americans, British and Lebanese (including Hezbollah). Of course the prerequisite here is that we the people have more than just our own interests in mind. It is then we can demand that our respective leaders do what is necessary to promote justice and practice peace for all, not just for some.