Friday, July 14, 2006

Tigers in the Holy Land

PHOTO - courtesy of the BBC

After seeing today's newspaper headlines such as --

"Israeli offensive into Lebanon sparks oil (price) surge"

my first thought was how can the residents of the Middle East hate each this much after thousands of years? At what point do you simply grow weary of hate and revenge? Granted these are rather philosophical questions so I pose another more substantive question -- "How many Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded for Middle East peace negotiation efforts?

Thanks to this helpful website I have the answer --

1901 -- the first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Red Cross and a French peace society. This does not have anything to do with the Middle East, I am just noting "1901" as the start date for historical context.

1950 -- awarded to Ralph Bunche who was the "UN Mediator in Palestine"

1978 -- awarded to Sadat of Egypt and Begin of Israel

1994 -- awarded to Arafat of Palestine, Perez of Israel, and Rabin of Israel

2002 -- award to former US President Jimmy Carter for his "international efforts reducing violence, etc..........." so I note him here given his role in the Egypt and Israel peace treaty which led to the 1978 Nobel Prize

It appears we can safely say that for the last 56 years the Nobel Peace Prize has had some level of focus on the Middle East conflict yet the violence continues. The Nobel Prize is a "noble" endeavor but I would encourage them to consider non-public officials should they plan to award a future award focused on the Middle East since the seven (7) people awarded for their roles in peace efforts for the region were public officials when they were involved.

Perhaps the world's religious leaders, corporate CEOs, and sports celebrities should step forward to exert their leadership in the region. Why not have the Dalai Lama spend some time touring the region especially since the Chinese have made it clear he is not welcome in Tibet (yet another issue for the Nobel committee!!) or perhaps Tiger Woods could use his fame to have a major golf tournament organized for the Gaza Strip to drive economic interest in the region since jobs generate peace!! Now that is creative thinking that I would like to see leaders like the Nobel committee promote and seek out when they make their next selections.

Fix it since it is clearly broken,


1 comment:

jdsqrd said...

This region will not be sorted out until radioactive fallout makes it unithabitable for anyone. The question is: who will make it so?