Editor’s Scratchpad

Thursday, June 28, 2001

Mideast peace
is a mirage

A week seldom passes without a report of Mideast violence. The Arabs and Jews have been fighting for 100 years and will likely still be at it 100 years from now. Jordan took old Jerusalem in the 1948 war; Israel took it back in the 1967 war. Extremists assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981 and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

I was working in Cairo when the 1967 conflict started heating up and it was evident that the strife was based on emotion, not logic. Peace pacts are signed, an atrocity occurs, retaliation follows. There is talk of restraint, a new horror occurs, and the next tit for tat comes along. Lasting peace for this volatile area is a pipe dream. The animosity is too deeply rooted.

This is not to say we shouldn't keep trying to help achieve peace. Partial peace is better than no peace, but we shouldn't beat ourselves up when our efforts fail. Perhaps as new, less fervent generations come along, true peace may come, but it has to be something the people want, not something thrust upon them by outsiders who have little understanding of the passions involved.

--Charlotte Phillips

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