The Common Good

It's Time for a Sustained Focus on a Lasting Middle East Peace

I can't help commenting on the tragic situation in Gaza after a week like this. There have been many calls for a ceasefire which, of course, I support as necessary and important. But we have had so many failed ceasefires in the Middle East, so many shattered dreams of peace, so many shattered lives. What we continue to lack is the kind of real political solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that could finally make a "ceasefire" endure. That political solution has been neglected, ignored, or postponed for far too long. And until we find that solution there will be no lasting ceasefires, and both sides will continue to make their historic grievances and arguments for continued violence known to the world.

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It is time for a just, fair, and viable two-state political solution which would finally make it possible for the Israelis and Palestinians to both live in peace and security. It is time for a new administration in Washington to commit to finding that solution. And it is time for the religious leaders of the world-Christian, Jewish, and Muslim-to commit ourselves to a real and lasting political solution as well, and to seriously focus our energies on finding it together. Enough of the violence, the bloodshed, the justifications, and the anger. It's time to focus, and stay focused, until we find the political solution that will make a real ceasefire finally possible.

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