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Ye Mighty Ones, Heed the Call for Peace
Last uploaded : Thursday 12th Sep 2002 at 23:10
Contributed by : Dr Ahmad Y Majdoubeh


The situation in the Middle East today is, as it is in the world at large, messy (one cannot think of a better word), messier in fact than it has been for years. One no longer understands what is happening.

Take first the situation in Palestine. Aside from the extremists, the warmongers or the opportunistic politicians, who is benefiting from the escalation of violence, death and destruction?

Severe blows are being dealt to the Palestinians on a daily basis, and severe blows are being dealt to the Israelis on a daily basis. Casualty statistics show that both are losing, though the Palestinians are losing more.

The Palestinians live in daily fear and insecurity, and the Israelis are living in daily fear and insecurity, though the Palestinians suffer more fear and insecurity. In many ways, Israel - whose present government came specifically with the promise of security - is much less secure today than it has ever been for years.

The Palestinian economy is in big trouble; the Israeli economy is not doing well at all. Take now the overall Middle East situation. First, as a result of the violence in Palestine and the freezing (perhaps even demise) of the peace process, all peace-building plans, peace projects, development schemes - at the national as well as transnational levels - have almost come to a total halt. No booming tourism, no booming investment, no booming commerce or trade. A widespread feeling of apathy has started to prevail.

Secondly, the US confrontation with Iraq - and talk about war against it - is met by a great deal of reluctance and resistance from many, even traditional US allies (not only in the region but also abroad) who were all-too eager to join the anti-Iraq coalition during the Gulf War In fact, America's relations with some of its traditionally strong allies in the region (Saudi Arabia and Egypt, for example) are worsening (sadly) by the second, to the extent that one begins to doubt the reliability of a long term-relation. Unlike in the late 1980s and early 1990, no one seems to want to get into a war or a confrontation, aside from the Israeli government.

No one (with normal reason and common sense) seems to understand this hot pursuit of confrontation, conflict and war in Palestine and against Iraq. If security and stability are the objective, it is obvious that violence and war do not bring this about, for confrontation leads to more confrontation and violence breeds more violence.

The more important point to raise here is, should not our approach to problem-solving in the third millennium be different from what it was in the first and second? Should we continue to deal with problems in the same old-fashioned, heavy-handed ways? Should not and could not we human beings, after all of the progress and development we claim to have achieved, put our heads together and solve problems in peaceful, nonviolent ways? Why should the word "ally" today, as in the past, be always associated with conflict and war? Can't there be peace allies?

Furthermore, for those of us who believe that globalisation is largely positive, and that we inhabitants of this globe do in fact care about each other, should not we expect members of the same global family to come to terms with their differences peacefully? Otherwise, what is the difference between globalisation (the new world order) and the bi-polar world of much of the twentieth century (the old world order)? Moreover, why should we put in people's minds, the negative associations of globalisation, i.e. the fact that globalisation is nothing but imperialism, Americanisation, hegemony, etc.? In much of our part of the world, globalisation is already a bad word.

Since its very inception, one small nation in the Middle East has always called for solving differences peacefully, has always rejected the war option, has tried to avoid joining warring allies, has always worked for peace, has always articulated its position in the strongest terms possible - though often to no avail. This small peace-loving country is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It is time that its calls for peace and non-violent approaches were heeded.

It is also time for the Middle East nations to enjoy some stability and peace. Some countries may find it exciting, thrilling and macho to flex their muscles and wage wars once in a while. Middle Eastern nations are sick and tired of violence and war. They would highly appreciate it if non-violence and peace would prevail for a change. They would enjoy this very much. They would appreciate living and letting live. It is about time.

# # # Dr. Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh is the Chairman of the Department of Modern Language at the University of Jordan.

Source: Jordan Times, August 23, 2002

Visit the Jordan Times website at http://www.jordantimes.com/

Jewish Comment ackowledges the assistance of Common Ground News Service in clearing this article for publication.

e-mail: cgnews@sfcg.org


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