Middle East visit, part 2

So – without going into the detail of every briefing and every person we met – my overarching and enduring feeling on the Middle East was that it was the ordinary people – both the Palestinians and Israelis – who were being let down by the lack of resolution and by leaders who could not move forward.

Yes – the Palestinians are being squeezed by the choking off of funding and the brutality of the wall up against their windows – but it is equally in Israel’s long-term interests to find a solution. The paranoia of living armed to the teeth does them no good either – albeit their discomfort is more emotional than physical when compared to the poverty of the Palestinians.

With complex and teetering political situations for politicians on both sides of the Middle East divide, it needs brave men and women to take this forward and the United States and the world community to hold both sides safe whilst forging the two-state solution.

Looking at the increasing settlements and the ‘wall’ it seems a forlorn hope. But it cannot be beyond the wit of humankind to create a step-by-step process towards a viable state for Palestine and a secure state for Israel. I remember growing up with the Berlin War, the Cold War, apartheid and the IRA – all of which seemed insoluble and intractable – and all of which are now changed states.

And there is a window of opportunity as the regional powers shift and vie for their communal interests. This is a period when the moderates in the region need each other – and the hardliners of Syria and Iran with the help of Russia and China can perhaps be persuaded to work with the world community rather than against it.

A couple of other interesting bits and pieces from the three days: seeing a group of Darfurian refugees visiting Yad Vashem (the memorial museum to the Holocaust) – refugees from one genocide learning about another genocide. Very moving. And then coming out of breakfast at the hotel on the third day and bumping into – Paddy Ashdown. It’s a small world – as they say. He was making a film about Jerusalem with Channel 4!

0 thoughts on “Middle East visit, part 2

  1. “United States and the world community to hold both sides safe whilst forging the two-state solution. “So waht are you suggesting ? That the US should send soldiers into Palestine to impose order and stop the terrorists ?