The Answer to Peace in the Middle East

I recently had lunch with Dr. Mordechai Kedar from the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He had flown into Toronto, Canada from Israel for a series of speaking engagements and he had to eat lunch-so I joined him. What do you talk about when you have the chance to speak to someone like this? You talk about Israel and the Middle East.

There is a synergy that develops amongst people when given the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas. And during the conversation Dr. Kedar said something that brought the entire Middle East situation into focus. One sentence sums up the Middle East.

“Even if there were peace between Israel and the Palestinians there would be no peace in the Middle East.”

This is the answer.

How many of us have thought along those lines? How many of us think this way because we have heard nothing but “If only there were peace between Israel and the Palestinian’s all would be well.”

The lion would lie down with the lamb.


Should there be peace between Israel and the Palestinians it would not end the warfare in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). How would peace between Israel and the Palestinians stop the massacre of the Yazidis and the Christians? Tribal warfare amongst the Muslims would continue. The Alawites and the Sufis, the Salafists, the Shiites and the Sunnis, the Hashemites. ISIS and al Qaeda, al Nusra, Boko Haram, Hezbollah and Hamas. Wahhabis and the Taliban. Even with a programme I can’t follow the tribes-who hates whom; who’s with whom.

These are people who have been fighting since the death of Mohammed. They can’t agree on their true leader. They can’t agree on the interpretation of the Koran. Unlike the Jews who can’t agree on much of anything (for those who have sat in a conversation with two Jews, you will have heard at least three contradicting opinions), we don’t kill each other. We don’t rape and pillage and behead when we disagree.

Peace between Israel and The Palestinians-one state, two states, any state-won’t end the barbarity in the Middle East. It’s possible it will make it worse. Without Israel as the commonly accepted whipping boy-where will these millions of people place their hate? It has to go somewhere.

About the Author
Diane Weber Bederman is a multi-faith, hospital trained chaplain who lives in Ontario, Canada, just outside Toronto; She has a background in science and the humanities and writes about religion in the public square and mental illness on her blog: The Middle Ground:The Agora of the 21st Century. She is a regular contributor to Convivium: Faith in our Community. "
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