Saturday, August 19, 2006

Middle East Peace and Reconciliation

Orwellian attempts at rewriting history is the way of Middle East conflict – each side claiming they were the first wronged and the original and only people with any legitimate claim to its land. But in fact, the Middle East is the crossroads of all the world’s cultures and has been so for as long as human history can be traced. No cultural subset of humanity has a sole and exclusive ancient claim to the Middle East.

Today, the Middle East is predominantly occupied by monotheists (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) which were all originally ethnically Semitic and geographically also originated in the Middle East. Despite war-mongering propaganda from all sides engaged in current conflicts, no current combatant has an exclusive ancient claim to the land - neither based on ancient religion or sacred texts, ethnicity, history, geography, or birthright.

Tragically, nearly all the current combatants do have an equal claim to targeting third-party civilians, non-combatants, and not pursuing a path of peace and reconciliation.

Naturally, differences in the Middle East will persist; where there are humans there will be strong differences. But with so much history in common, the path to peace and reconciliation would be more productive than warring based on the claims of exclusivity that have consistently led to more destruction and death in the Middle East