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March 01, 1998

OJPCR 1.1: Seeking Arab-Israeli Peacemaking and Reconciliation Through Culture

Seeking Arab-Israeli Peacemaking and Reconciliation Though Culture

by Ada A. Aharoni

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger that announces peace!" (Bible - Isaiah 52) "He who walks with peace - walk with him!" (Koran)

Literature about peace has been written from the days of the Bible: prose and poems announcing peace, as with the Biblical and Koran messengers quoted above, writings celebrating peace that give us the inner feelings and immediate texture of what being at peace, or at war, actually is and means; and also powerful creative works describing, exposing and condemning the absurdity of war. These various aspects of the theme of peace in the various ethnic cultures, have through the ages been important stepping stones towards abating passions between conflicting parties, and conveying and creating an atmosphere conducive to peace.

The cultural climate of peace is crucial to the Middle East at this historic moment, after half a century of strife, when the conflicting parties are at last involved in a peace process that can bring stability and security to the region. The despairing feeling in Israel and in its neighboring Arab countries, that there was nobody to talk to on the other side, was alleviated when the Egyptian leader, the late President Anwar Sadat, made his historic move, and was received in Jerusalem with renewed hope and joy. The tragic letdown felt by the people of both sides, after the murders of the two peace leaders Anwar Sadat and Yitzhak Rabin, only strengthened the will of the people on both sides to end the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Posted by Editor at March 1, 1998 01:30 PM


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