Some Common Sense About Peace
Monday, May 12, 2008
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 of 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.
But 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.