Understanding the Middle-East - Chapter 2001

How Macho Can We Get - Peace, Resistance or War?

Jerusalem----July 6......Why is it that we all have respect for the United States?
Let's call it identifying with strength, stability, prosperity and morale values. Does it get better?
July 4th has come and gone. But where are we? Israeli and Arab. What are we doing? Where are we going?

In not more than a paragraph let's try to summarize.
First - can we all agree to make some Turkish coffee?

A slightly better image than a boy throwing rocks or an Israeli tank!

We can argue the historic narrative for another millennium as to who owns this land. Who is stronger. Who has more babies to be killed for the photographers.
Let's not dwell on history rather let's confront present reality.
Psychologists call this "behavior modification." We are both here. We both have families. Our children mean much too us - and yet we are ready to go to war.
Yes - war. Such a lovely and clean word where we can shoot and kill each other legally - and have honor in doing so! The human animal - what have we learned in thousands of years?

Now when the war is over - who will the winners be? Gotcha - no winners! Not Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Sharon, Kach or the settlers. Putting our gas masks back into the closest - how many relatives have lost fingers, eyes, arms, legs - their lives?

Don't look for "peace" or "resistance" from your leaders.
They have a good paying job that satisfies their egos for power. Let's look inside ourselves. Are we happy? Do we feel content? Do we see a prosperous and secure regional future for our children?

Will shooting Israelis in the West Bank improve the condition - will the Palestinians "scare them" and "force them" to leave their homes? No - instead they will anger and count their bullets for their M-16's. Israelis want to live in security. They also have an historic right to live in the West Bank and in the Golan.
Will calls for Arabs to leave their homes bring fruit. No way - their great grandfathers cherished this desert dust and cactus and shouldn't their grandchildren as well? They will not leave - nor should they. The Palestinians don't need a "homeland" (although that would be nice) they need to feed their families!

So the next time an angry and proud 22 year-old Palestinian shoots at an Israeli - remember you are also shooting at the CIA. You are not going to win.
And for the Israeli who spits on all Arabs as "animals" - remember that these people, millions of them - are no less Semitic and human than the Israeli (or macho either). Culture and values are different - racist incitement by their leaders has been no less than a war crime - but we have the technology today to bridge differences and foster understanding and respect. But it takes two sides. Life was and never will be black and white. We exist in shades of grey. These are the shades which comprise of natural compromise and promise for growth.

As one who has fought wars, I can say that war is not John Wayne, Clint Eastwood or Harrison Ford. War in reality is not Hollywood romantic.
It's time we talk. It's time we find realistic solutions to living together. It's time we start caring about our children's future, prosperity and education.

If this means building fences and trenches to keep some extreme, irrational Israelis and Palestinians apart - so be it for now. These extreme minority groups cannot and will not ever be in a position to influence us by force and fear.
We must continue to communicate, eliminate racial incitement and hatred and find common bonds and strengths. Communication is the very first and essential step.

If we are to wage war, let it be against racial incitement.

For those people who believe in incitement, believe in creating divisions of hate and mistrust. They live in a blind, sorrowful and pitiful world of past revenge. This is where the "Middle-East Disease" begins.
If you identify any source of racial incitement - do something!
Contact the editors and local government officials. If that does not work - contact us - the Israel News Agency. We will put you into contact with the correct parties.

To talk peace is not a sign of "weakness"!
Rather - it is a signal of strength and confidence.
If either Arafat or Sharon are unwilling to talk - then they are leading us to tears and not to a secure future.
Shimon Peres should be applauded for "communicating" and Arafat should match his words with actions on the ground! Stop the terror and violence.
Sharon must be applauded for showing maximum restraint. (how would any Head of State react to the massacre of 21 innocent, teenage civilian
s in Tel Aviv?)
And please don't interpret the West Bank as being another Lebanon. That would be underestimating the Israeli people - making a very, VERY basic mistake.

War will only serve the "Pentagon Capitalists" - those who are making and distributing the weapons which are aimed at placing us all six feet underground!
Peace or Resistance? Peace with just, compromising terms for both sides.
Resistance to those who care only to see our children bleed.

Yassar Arafat erred in walking away from Barak and Clinton with a comprehensive peace deal. Perhaps he was afraid of being assassinated as was Sadat and Rabin. But Mr. Arafat had the assurances of both the CIA and Israeli intelligence that no harm was to come his way. Yet he chose his own personal survival over the survival of the region's people! In doing so many lives have been lost. Sharon is forced to restrain Israeli anger by the the United States and can and will take very real defensive actions against very real people who value dreams of "paradise" beyond dreams of security. But these are not real, long term solutions.

Now is the time to talk and build elements of trust.
Compromise is painful when negotiations are successful.
Sharing Humous and Turkish coffee is much sweeter than sharing graves.

Compromise - Let this be are only collective pain!

we all know the alternative . . .