By Jerry Alatalo
“Truth is the summit of being; justice is the application of it to affairs.”
– RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803-1882) American poet, philosopher
n perhaps his strongest condemnation to date, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon spoke out recently against Israel’s continued illegal settlement-building actions on the occupied territories, calling on the international community to work toward resumption of negotiations leading to an independent nation of Palestine – “…before it’s too late”.
The late Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York Dr. Edward Said (1935-2003), a well-known and highly respected humanist intellectual Palestinian activist until he passed away from leukemia in 2003, will be remembered as an academic with complete integrity. Mr. Said kept political issues out of the classroom, but will forever remain for Palestinians and people seeking peace, freedom and dignity around the world a bold, truth-speaking heroic leader.
For most men and women who’ve become knowledgeable about the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict, successful, mutually agreed upon resolution of the decades-old, seemingly intractable differences between the two peoples is the ultimate key for bringing peace to the entire Middle East region.
A considerable percentage of men and women involved with issues of human rights, war and peace, international relations and equality among the world’s people believe a resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict is key to creating the conditions for establishing peace on Earth.
Unfortunately, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – instead of publicly acknowledging and agreeing with the UN Secretary General’s urgent plea to stop settlement expansion, for determined international effort which results in a long-awaited and sought agreement where two states live side-by-side in peace – responded that Ban Ki-Moon’s statement would “encourage terrorism”.
The recent success of the P5+1 negotiations over Iran’s peaceful nuclear program provides the perfect template for resolving the similar decades-old Israel-Palestine conflict. The same nations which participated in the Iranian negotiations can easily reproduce that successful effort to arrive at a peaceful agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Will Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and United States’ leaders rise to the historical occasion, siding with Ban Ki-Moon’s wise reasoning, and publicly advocate for P5+1 negotiations over Israel-Palestine?
Considering the massive amount of human suffering which people have experienced in the Middle East since 1948 and establishment of the state of Israel, and considering the current violent state of affairs in the region, the potential positive-result answer to that question should come very easily: “absolutely yes”. The innocent men, women and children of the Middle East, whose lives have been too often torn apart by wars due to their being born on lands under which exists massive natural deposits of oil and natural gas, deserve true peace.
Dr. Edward Said put forth tremendous effort while he lived to bring peace to Palestinians, Israelis and all people in the Middle East. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is calling for peace now in 2016, and he calls on the international community to make it happen.
The late Edward Said and Ban Ki-Moon, along with millions of men and women around the world – joined by a rapidly increasing number of others with every passing day – have called on all with good hearts to act now in the interest of peace. Who on Earth can argue against peace?
(Thank you to Palestine Diary at YouTube)
Edward Said delivering a lecture at the University of Washington in 2003, the year he passed away.
(Thank you to Nizar Abboud at YouTube)
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the United Nations in 2016.