The Spine

Some Common Sense About Peace


Abdurrahman Wahid is the former president of Indonesia, the most
populous Muslim country in the world.  He has written an article with
Abdul A'la, associate dean if graduate studies at Sunan Ampel Islamic
State University at Surabaya.  I admit it: I saw these two names and
the headline, "The Obstacles to Israeli-Palestinian Peace," over
their op-ed essay and wondered what it was doing in the staunchly
pro-Zionist Wall Street Journal.


Then I
realized that I had seen Wahid's name before, and that he was a Muslim
heretic about the widely entrenched dogma in the Muslim world around
Israel.  The piece is clear, strong and complex.  He knows that there
are forces in the Jewish state that are quite averse to a dignified
settlement of the hundred-year conflict, and their position has been
reinforced by the hatred they see coming from the Arab world.


Wahid and A'la are not speaking to the Jewish world.  They are speaking
as Muslims to the Muslim world.  "These prejudices contaminate public
discourse throughout the world, and are constantly exploited by Middle
Eastern regimes that fuel anti-Israel and anti-Semitic emotions for
political purposes, while displaying little or no actual concern for
the well-being of the Palestinians themselves."


May their wisdom flourish.

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