Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Responsibility for our Future


~George Bernard Shaw

Of Note: The Middle East has been such a quagmire for so long, few believe there is any hope for ending that dispute. Surprisingly, one hopeful voice has been heard through the din. The former ambassador to Israel under the Clinton administration, Martin Indyk, is speaking out with a refreshing message of hope as peace talks begin anew tomorrow in Washington DC. Because of the diplomat's intimacy with the issue, no one doubts his expertise. In an op-ed published this week in the New York Times, Ambassador Indyk notes four reasons why the atmosphere may have changed to make way for a "lasting peace"--
  1. Violence is down considerably in the region.
  2. Settlement activity has slowed significantly.
  3. The public on both sides supports a two-state solution.
  4. There isn't a lot to negotiate because most final status issues have been dealt with exhaustively in the 17 years since the Oslo Accord.
In summary, the former ambassador resolutely stated: "The prospects for peace depend now on the willpower of the leaders." He went on to say he does not know "whether Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu will make the politically perilous leap" but was assured that they will soon be put to the test. Eleanor Roosevelt knew what political fear was and had this advise, which we will pass on to the two Middle East leaders: "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." The time has come, Misters Abbas and Netanyahu; the world is watching and waiting expectantly.

Today's Weather Report: Amazingly, this morning's temperature hovered at 59 degrees for several hours. I needed a sweater at breakfast. What a difference between sweater temps and tank top temps of the last week! This morning I was engrossed in The Columbia History of Philosophy and wanted to see what it had to say about pre-Socratic philosophy. During study yesterday, I uncovered the fact that Pythagoras, Gautama Buddha and Confucius all lived at exactly the same time. What are the chances that three of the greatest thinkers of all time, including one World Teacher, would all walk the Earth at once? Slim. So the next question was "Why then?" Could it be that they were forerunners of Jesus the Christ who lived 400 years later? In effect, they could have been creating the Path for Him. Well, could be, I thought as I finished breakfast. The dogs were more interested in my empty cereal bowl than my inquiry, and I had to leave the book for later to go on with my busy day. But I will let you know if I uncover more as this impromptu study continues.