Arab leaders meeting in Riyadh affirmed their intention to revive their proposed peace plan for the Middle East. This plan was offered at the Beirut summit in 2002. While initially rejected by Israel, the peace proposal is now being reevaluated by Israeli authorities. Now is the time foe Israel to take the high road and end this blight on the international political arena.
The major components of the plan include full recognition of Israel by the Arab states if it returns to its 1967 boundaries; the allowance of the creation Palestinian state; and the return of Palestinian refugees. While the idea of this plan has been around and rejected on numerous occasions, it is now time for the leaders of Israel to put and end to this madness that has taken an untold number of lives.
There can be no question that both Arabs and Israelis have suffered loss of life, homes and economic progress resulting from this never ending conflict. There are certainly unresolved issues that will result if the Saudi plan is adopted but now is the time for the Israeli government to put its pride aside and end the tensions that could one day bring the entire world into a war. The world cannot afford this kind of conflict anymore. There are just too many other pressing issues that demand our attention. This is not to downplay the issues at stake for Israel. It is my personal belief that the Jewish State has been on the end of ruthless, inhumane and terrorists style attacks that are beyond the scope of imagination. And certainly, the misery of this conflict for the Palestinians is no less an affront to a civilized world and no less terrible. We all know that most of this conflict results from power hungry leaders and terrorists whose sole purpose is to eliminate the Jewish State and to create their own brand of religious dictatorship. Those who suffer are the civilians who, just like you and I, would like to raise their families in a peaceful, living and prosperous environment.
However, Israel in the drivers seat regarding peace or war in the Middle East. The U.S. has understood its fears and has stood by her side with monetary and military support for decades and I believe this has been the proper course of American foreign policy. This support cannot go on forever if Israel is unwilling to bite the bullet and to compromise for the sake of a more peaceful world. The Saudi peace plan is not perfect. There is no question that many issues will have to be worked out and fine tuned. All parties involved will ultimately have to give but the opportunity to put and end to the violence in the region is too important to pass up.
A key to the Saudi plan is that it comes from and is endorsed by most of the Arab world. It is not a plan from the West or the U.S. and would have a greater likelihood of being honored by the nations in the area. Most plans from the West have been rejected and are subject to mistrust by the Arab community. Any attempt to impose a treaty would likely fail and history bears witness to this fact. Lasting peace is only achieved when it come from within and forced from without. Will Israel have to make sacrifices? Yes, but the Arab communities will have to do the same.
There are too many issues beating down on the world to continue these types of conflicts. In all probability all nations will be confronted with having to address global climate change. Resources that are being drained in the senseless Middle Eastern conflicts will be needed elsewhere. Populations are climbing, water is drying up, food issues are looming in many countries and who knows what the summer will bring as nature tries to strike a balance to offset rising levels of pollution. In the interest of all people’s, Israel must take the high road and restore peace and order with its Arab neighbors.
Mr. Harris was born in Massachusetts. He attended The American University in Washington, D.C. and received his degree in Political Science. His graduate work was done at the University of Northern Colorado and Howard University. While in D.C., he spent several years working for local and regional government agencies. Upon moving to Maine he worked with three governors and served as the Assistant Director of the Maine State Planning Office. He worked on a White House Task Force for the development of a National Rural Policy and later served as Rural Policy Coordinator at the Federal Regional Council of New England. He has worked on gubernatorial and senatorial political campaigns and currently works in Special Education.
Mr. Harris is co-author of the novel WAKING GOD and is a nationally syndicated and featured writer for The American Chronicle. He is working on Book II of the Waking God trilogy and writing features for literary E-zines. His second novel, A MAINE CHRISTMAS CAROL has been released by Cambridge Books. Contributing writer for UPI’s Religion&Spirituality web site.