EDITORIAL: International talks needed to end lingering Mideast violence
During the ceasefire between Israel and Hazbollah, many refugees are returning to their Lebanese homes are finding they no longer exist. And judging by their comments to the media, the Lebanese attitude about Israel has not changed despite the ki...
During the ceasefire between Israel and Hazbollah, many refugees are returning to their Lebanese homes are finding they no longer exist. And judging by their comments to the media, the Lebanese attitude about Israel has not changed despite the killing and bombing.
That's very similar to what we're seeing despite the U.S. show of force in Iraq. And, given the airliner bomb plot uncovered in Great Britain, the show of international force throughout the Mideast is changing few opinions about western policies. Among Islamic radicals, Western countries and Israel remain the enemy.
It's unclear how to bridge this widening difference, especially because the various religions have similar beliefs. After you distill it all, all believe in a God who created humanity and a savior who will return, whether it's the past Jesus, 12th Imam or a savior by another name.
But this remains a world in which we're intolerant to other's beliefs, traditions and ethnic backgrounds. That was ignored by political leaders following the end of World War II, when they created most of the problems we face today, creating Israel without addressing the demise of Palestine and senselessly grouping three divergent Muslim sects into a new country called Iraq.
So far, bombs have not resolved a thing, although they likely will resume falling unless the international community steps in to enforce a peace.
The long term solution should involve lengthy international debate, and it should reflect considerably more sensitivity to ethnic and religious concerns than past decisions. Achieving a solution acceptable to all likely won't be possible. But resolving Mideast political and religious must be top on everyone's agenda worldwide if we're to avoid World War III.