Saturday, July 21, 2007

Roadmap to Peace in Israel/Palestine

President Carter ends his book with a summary of his thoughts on where the peace process needs to go. First, he sees two obstacles:

1. Some Israelis believe they have the right to confiscate and colonize Palestinian land and try to justify the sustained subjugation and persecution of increasingly hopeless and aggravated Palestinians; and

2. Some Palestinians react by honoring suicide bombers as martyrs to be rewarded in heaven and consider the killing of Israelis as victories.

Then he challenges the US to get back involved in the peace process by promoting these three key points of the Roadmap to Peace:

1. The security of Israel must be guaranteed.

2. The internal debate within Israel must be resolved in order to define Israel's permanent legal boundary.

3. The sovereignty of all Middle East nations and sanctity of international borders must be honored.

Carter readily acknowledges that while these obstacles and goals seem simple, the process to get to them is extremely complex. But it is clear that the US and the other members of the Quartet (Russia, the European Union and the United Nations) need to reengage leadership in this process. And maybe they are. Tony Blair, recently departed from his PM role in Great Britain, is now working as peace envoy for the quartet. He's got some tough choices, like how much (if at all) to work with Hamas, something that Colin Powell apparently thinks he should do, but stuff like this would have to stop.

The Hebrew Bible encourages us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I think that's a great idea. Let's pray for and work towards a real and sustainable peace that has justice for everyone involved.

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