An Optimistic Outlook

Darwish, Adel
May 2003
Middle East;May2003, Issue 334, p24
The article focuses on views of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres regarding the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Peres became prime minister by default after the assassination of would-be peace maker Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. He has been working for peace with former prime minister, Ehud Barak, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and also with Palestine's first prime minister, Abu Mazen Mahmoud Abbas. Conflicts in the 21st century are no longer about borders or resources, said Peres, but about progress, modernity, and advancing against the forces that want to pull the world backwards or, at best, keep it where it is. His argument about the irrelevance of national borders in the age of globalization, giant multinationals, and the search for new markets and modern ways of creating wealth, is doubtless applicable in many cases. Peres acknowledges that there are other countries in the Middle East, such as Iran, Syria and Libya, that have as strong, if not stronger, links to terrorism than pre-war Iraq. "I don't think the international community can bring peace," Peres went on. "It can only help and encourage. Peace cannot be imposed, that is a contradiction interms."


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