Naturally the best way to an enlightened understanding of the Middle East is via a conflict that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Particularly through the Jedi and the Sith. Imagine a Middle East with Jedis in it to act as guardians of the peace, the same as they did in the Old Republic for thousands of years. How much easier it would be to sign an agreement if Bibi knew that terrorists would have Jedi turn up on their doorstep if they so much as thought about launching a terror attack.

Of course for most people the ultimate part of Star Wars is having a lightsabre and the ability to deflect lasers (or bullets) right back at an enemy. Not to mention the mind control aspect, fantasies about how that power could best be used go on forever.

Mind you let’s not pretend that even Jedis don’t have their bad days. The problem with being a Jedi is that you might as well take all of those powers and throw them in the garbage since you’re not allowed to use them for anything other than the good of the galaxy. You’re not even allowed to get laid…no wonder Anakin chose another path!

With the Sith on the other hand it’s a completely different story. With the Sith you get the superhuman powers AND you’re actively encouraged to use them in any way you see fit. Of course the problem with them is you’re always having to look over your shoulder for fear either that your master is going to kill you or that your apprentice will.

Although as a Sith you’ll probably be able to deal quite easily with all of the enemies you make along the way, there’s always the chance they’ll band together, form a rebel alliance and end your reign of terror.

So as a Jedi you’re faced with a choice, use your power responsibly and be rewarded with a safer world to live in or enjoy the delights of using your power as you wish and be faced with the turmoil of never feeling safe and secure.

I think you see where I’m going with this…

I’m sure there was much racism (alienism?) in the Galactic Empire and even in the Old Republic but it seems that the Force did not discriminate to whom it bestowed special powers. There were both Jedi and Sith who came from every part of the Galaxy who took on every shape, size, skin colour, number of arms, heads, noses etc. In short in the Jedi Temple a vast range of peoples were represented as Jedi Masters and one only needs to glance at Darth Maul to see that the Sith were hardly a ‘humans only’ cadre.

Some Sith used to be Jedi and some Jedi used to be Sith, as their outlook changed they made either the easy journey to the Dark Side or the tough one back to the light side of the Force. Those who became Sith faced a long road ahead of treachery and evil. Those who made it back to the light found redemption. As Yoda himself said;

“Fear is the path to the dark side, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

So if being afraid of your enemies leads to the dark side then not fearing them and by extension being able to deal with them objectively ensures not only remaining in the light but also being able to effectively end the terror of your enemies without becoming like them.

This is a lesson Anakin Skywalker never learned, particularly when that fateful moment came during Attack of the Clones when he found his mother. She had been tortured for over a month and died in his arms. No one said being a Jedi was easy but Anakin quickly crossed over to the dark side, as he later admitted when he told Padme that:

“I killed them. I killed them all. They’re all dead. Every single one of them.And not just the men, but the women, and the children too. They’re like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals! I hate them!”

At this moment Anakin allowed his rage to dictate his actions, destroy his objectivity and ultimately plunge the whole galaxy into darkness. No one could argue that he didn’t have a good reason, he had the very best reason of all, those animals had murdered his mother! Nevertheless the affect this had was to make him the instrument of evil through which untold millions were made to suffer and this is where we get closer to home.

Chances are that as you’re reading this you’re thinking that your side is the Jedi and the enemy side is the Sith. But the truth is that if you view the world through that lens at all you ARE a Sith.

Ultimatel everyone upon whom The Force bestows power has to make the choice as to whether or not to use their power for good or for evil. Simultaneously there are many powerful people among us who have to make the same choices. Perhaps power goes to their head, they allow their hatred to control their hearts and bring chaos to their own peoples as well as their enemies while invariably gaining personally in the form of status, wealth, and even more power while doing so.

Just like Jedi and Sith in the Star Wars universe come in all shapes and sizes so here on earth there are both Jewish Sith and Palestinian Sith. You’ll know which one you are if your hatred dominates your actions, if your need to cause pain to the ‘other’ overcomes your desire to bring peace and prosperity to your own and by extension to your enemy also, since peace benefits all of us. The Sith don’t want peace, they want chaos, confusion and war. This is how they are able to manipulate those around them, how Palpatine managed to bend an entire galaxy to his will.

”So this is how democracy dies…to the sound of thunderous applause” (Senator Amidala Episode III)

The words of Obi Wan Kenobi to his former padawan ring as true now as they did when first spoken a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away;

“The most difficult trial a Jedi must face is to look inside oneself. Often we see things we don’t like. But these aspects are not set in stone. It is our decisions that shape our destinies.”

Each of us has the power to make this world better or worse regardless of upbringing, education, race or religion. We humans have the beautiful ability to make our own choices. An ability that is wasted when we allow our hatred to dictate our actions. This is the surest way to bring tragedy down upon the very people that we love the most.

It was a famous Jedi Master who remarked that you should “be the change you wish to see in the world” (Gandi) a lesson each of us must learn.