‘Mideast peace needs prophets, not yes-men’
If a modern prophet saw the future of the Middle east he would see seven possible scenarios; if leaders are wise they will chose the seventh future.
By Margaret Atwood
Picture a minor prophet. Perhaps he’d be working today as an astrologer. He’s looking towards Israel and Palestine, consulting his charts and stars, getting a handle on the future. But the future is never single — there are too many variables – so what he sees is a number of futures.
In the first one, there’s no Israel: it’s been destroyed in war and all the Israelis have been killed. (Unlikely, but not impossible.)
In the second, there’s no Palestine: it’s been merged with Israel, and the Palestinians either slaughtered or driven beyond its borders. Israel has become completely isolated: international opinion has been outraged, boycott measures have been successful, financial aid from the U.S. — both public and private – has evaporated, and the United States government, weakened by the huge debt caused by its Iraqi and Afghani wars and lured by the promise of mineral wealth and oil, has cooled towards Israel and swung towards entente with the Muslim world. Israel has become like North Korea or Burma – an embattled military state – and civilian rights have suffered accordingly. The moderate Israelis have emigrated, and live as exiles, in a state of bitterness over wasted opportunities and blighted dreams.
In the third future there’s one state, but a civil war has resulted, since the enlarged population couldn’t agree on a common flag, a common history, a common set of laws, or a common set of commemoration days — “victory” for some being “catastrophe” for others.
Read the entire column at the Haaretz website.