Peace in the Middle East This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   The first week ofOctober, Israeli-Palestinian relations became violent and fighting broke out onthe West Bank, Gaza Strip and parts of Israel. Once again, the United States,a.k.a "World Peace Keeper," attempted to mediate peace negotiations.This time, though, a meeting in Egypt between Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat,Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and President Clinton was declined, thoughoptions for later talks were left open.

What will it take to stop fightingin a land sacred to so many cultures? The real problem does not lie in theabsence of peace talks - goodness knows peace talks have taken place before - butin the mindset of the people. Not governments, not policies.

The strugglebetween the Palestinians and Israelis is something Americans cannot trulyunderstand. For hundreds of years, they have been fighting for land, and untilrecently neither has been willing to give in. The presence of American troopswould only aggravate the situation, as seen with the terrorist attack on theU.S.S. Cole. The United States cannot afford to send troops to fight to keep apeace that people do not want. This is a conflict that does not involve theUnited States - unless we are asked to help mediate in diplomaticareas.

Recently, the willingness of leaders from both countries to talkindicates a slowly changing mindset. Violence and hate have been part of the wayof life in the Middle East, and it takes time to break down life-long prejudices.Let us hope that there is enough time.

It is easy to hate; let's hopethey have enough strength to love. It is difficult to trust those who seemdifferent; let them realize ignorance is the problem. There will be peace when,and only when, the people want it badly enough. When the people refuse to fight,the government will follow. Peace begins and ends with the people, not thediplomats, not the prime ministers and not peace agreements. Though Americanscannot understand or end the violence in the Middle East, we can set an exampleof peace. When people see that happiness is found through peace, the people cando nothing but demand that the conflict ends.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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