The news headlines for a few weeks have featured Iran's elections and peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Elections are a "right"in free societies. But, human rights are ignored in regimes that do not want or allow individual freedom of choice. There is a belief in Iran that the elections were rigged. Certain "kidnappings" have occurred to the ones supporting the opposition party, even though the law supports the right to voice difference. Rigged elections do not allow the "voice" to the individual or certain groups that differ in political agenda. This is not an unusual occurance, as power is hard to over-ride in these regimes, as there are no "checks and balances" as in our government.
I have become concerned recently at the large number of powerful posistions that this adminstration has "appointed" without accountability to the electorate. Is this a step to undermine our Constitutional government, as a representative republic?
This morning it was reported that Israel has offended the Palestianians with certain absolute non-negotiables, such as Israel's right to the land granted to them as a state and the right to Jerusalem. It seems that the Palestianians are forced to maintain a tribal identity, as they do not have a nation state that identifies their legitimacy. Personal identity is associated with one's nation, as well as familial culture.
I do not know the answer to this one, as there are conflicting stories about who has the right to Jerusalem and why and where boundaries should be established in maintaining borders between the two peoples. Without a country and home, the Palestianians do not have a "voice". But, terrorism and violence is not the answer or solution to resolve these tensions.
It seems that the persecuted "need" resolution of their denied identity by restitution of those who have limited their identity. This action affirms their "right to life and liberty" and their pursuit of happiness. Many countries granted that right to the Jews in granting them a nation and granting them a right to their own land. How are we to negotiate between two persecuted parties, who continue to persecute the "other"?
Rational choice has been useful in bringing about peace in many instances to conflicting countries, but generations of conflict over interests do nothing to make the way clear for "hearing" the other and compromising or negotiating. Emotions have become attached to certain "bulwarks" of conflict that make these stumbling blocks hard, if not impossible, to overcome.
The real world does not act based on compassion, goodness, and understanding, but on interests. Interests are not "right or wrong", just different. Justice is bringing about a equal hearing and coming to terms with the ultimate issue concerning conflict. Therefore, it behooves all of us to be aware of what our interests are and base our negotiation on what we are willing and unwilling to compromise.
Arvo Pärt at St. Vladimir’s Seminary
3 hours ago