Mike Ghouse, March 8, 2008
Justice is the basis for peace, and the responsibility to bring justice falls squarely on the powerful shoulders of the al-mighty nations.
Israel owes peace and security to her citizens and it is directly dependent on the security and peace needs of the Palestinians. You cannot live in peace, when your neighbor's aren't. Finding a balance is the most difficult thing to do and both the nations are trying and failing. No wonder the phrase "love thy neighbor" plays such a crucial role in every society.
When Hamas does not rein in those who are shelling the rockets into Israeli territory, Israel finds tempting to avenge it out and the world takes a back step as well.
Hamas can earn the moral high grounds by holding the shelling, and if Israel continues the attacks, then the world will empathize with the Palestinians and most likely the peace process gets a chance. The unfortunate reality is that every time Israelis and Palestinians are inclined to talk, we mess it up badly with a veto against the consensus of the world, and shamelessly it is against the long term interests of Israel. Neither the Hawks in Israel, nor our administration is willing to refresh their thinking. Ultimately, the parties have to figure out how to co-exist.
Mother Teresa said, "If you want peace, go talk with your enemies, you don't make peace with your friends". I do hope the state department genuinely attempts to assess the policies that would work. Right now, they are chasing their own tails.
A few basics need to be addressed and understood by all the parties.
Jews have a need to be understood and be acknowledged for their eternal security needs, not the military, but mental security where they can put their guards down and live their life in peace.
Palestinians have suffered immeasurably; no human should be stripped of his or her hope and dignity; hopes to have a family, work and own a house and call a place their homeland and live a life of dignity.
The end game of our policy should be peace. Our Presidents need to seriously look at what works and develop a vision for peace. They must understand that it may be going against the general opinion and perhaps against their very supporters; AIPAC. We need to take bold steps and produce peace for the people of Israel and Palestine.
Our foreign policy has relied on our gun powder and our ability to dole out alms to shove nations around the World to achieve our goals. The state department has forgotten that 'lasting relationships' hinge on a dialogue based on treating all parties on an equal footing.
If protection of Israel is based on injustice to either Palestinians or the Jews, our integrity has become questionable. We need to be above reproach. Mighty empires can crush the weak for a short term; in the long run every one goes down the tube. We cannot rob anyone and live with a good conscience.
The ways adopted by Israel and Hamas leaders has not worked and most likely will not produce the desired results; peace. We need to listen to average Israelis and Palestinians, we need to encourage the peace makers on both sides and give peace a chance.
I urge both the Moderate Jews and Palestinians to speak up; they need to put justice above the fear of repercussion from the neighbors and members of their communities. Right now, the shots are called by extremists on both sides, it needs to change. It is the fear of what the next Muslim or next Jew will tell them that frightens the moderates. They need to speak up and rein in, they are the absolute majority on both sides, otherwise the evil will persist, if the good people do nothing about it.
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, politics, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, India and civic issues. His comments, news analysis, opinions and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed at his personal website www.MikeGhouse.net. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com or (214) 325-1916