Is Peace Possible in the Middle East – Part three of four

Is Peace Possible in the Middle East, Part Three of Four by Will Wilkinson

Yes. Yes, even though the weight of history, current fighting, and the lack of inspired vision for a different future all suggest differently. What explains my confidence? Well, I don’t expect aliens to arrive and magically transform fighters into lovers. I don’t expect centuries old animosities to be solved with words or written agreements. In fact, I actually embrace the cynicism (or realism, depending on how you see it) expressed in this recent blog: “The governments in the middle east have been attending summits and peace talks over the past 50 years, yet nothing changes, and nothing will ever chance. We want peace with the enemy yet we ourselves hate them. We do not even have peace with ourselves, then how do we expect to find peace with the so long hated enemy?”1

The author actually gives us a powerful clue as to how peace might come. “We want peace with the enemy yet we ourselves hate them.” This reminds me of a true story about how an auto union / management conflict was solved when a joint meeting was convened and, while a large group of union workers and management gathered in an uneasy truce, their two leaders took the stage, each wearing a devil mask… and then ceremoniously removed them.

Suddenly it was clear that each side saw the other as the devil, the enemy. Until that basic viewpoint changed, no sort of brokered deal would be possible. Masks off, they quickly found an accord.

Such a simple gesture, yet such powerful results. Considering it as a metaphor, can we take off our own masks? We may think we wear the mask of a saint, but those who have decided we are their enemy see only the devil when they look at us, regardless of what we imagine we may appear. Masks are always masks. Underneath is who we really are. And that’s the same, regardless of religion or ethnic origin. We are human beings. We love, we hate, we want, we mourn, we hunger, we die, we hope.

It’s acknowledging the basic humanness that binds us together, superior to our differences, that can bring us the beginnings of peace.

1 – http://www.debate.org/opinions/will-there-ever-be-peace-in-the-middle-east

 

 

Will Wilkinson is a local author, filmmaker and director of a Happiness campaign. www.wakeupandbehappy.com

and website at:  http://imagifi.blogspot.com

 

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