The secret to peace in the Middle East

The secret to peace in the Middle East

By Stanley Campbell

The secret to peace in the Middle East

What’s the secret to peace in the Middle East? Land! And Israel should stop taking it from the Palestinians.

Israel builds and has been building settlements in the occupied territories since they took land from Jordan and Egypt in the 1967 Six-Day War. They now have little inclination and almost no intention of allowing the Palestinians to form a country out of it.

And the Palestinians who have been there just as long as there’s been a Mideast are getting squeezed into smaller and smaller amounts of land.

Families whose houses have been bulldozed lose possession of land they may’ve owned for generations. This frightens and angers everyone. Those who haven’t left the country are left to throw stones, or strap a bomb on themselves and walk into a crowd of tourists.

Of course, I wish they would learn from Gandhi and Martin Luther King. A little civil disobedience training could go a long way in that war-torn land. The Palestinians throughout history had a reputation for the most erudite and sophisticated culture. By taking up the gun, they’ve lost a lot of support, as well as land, to Israel.

The United States underwrites Israel to the tune of at least $4 billion a year. If our government suggests Israel give up the occupied territories, Gaza and the West Bank, and give them to the Palestinians, we may be able to bring peace to the Middle East.

Or we could see the start of World War III. It would be us against the Islamic world.

Remember, Israel has an erstwhile ally in the fundamentalist Christians here who all hope to hurry the arrival of their Messiah. That would include blowing up the abominable mosque on Temple Mound so that Solomon’s glory could be rebuilt. (Surprise! Jesus is a pacifist who’ll be condemning those who live by the sword.)

Here’s hoping not to see Armageddon in the new year.

Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Minsitries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

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