Middle East Opinions - opinions about all aspects of the middle east region

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Middle east leaders

I was looking through middle east cartoons to review and a thought struck me - all (at least most) of the most recent cartoons focus on the leaders only. I know that satirical cartoons are most often targeted at leadership (especially since they are so often responsible for these situations), but we must not forget the man in the street. Since the beginning of the year all attention has been focused on Israel (represented by Ariel sharon), Palestine and Palestinians (represented by Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas) and America (represented by George W Bush or an American symbol.

This is all great and wonderful and these may be the "main players" on the political and world stage but in the bulk of cases and facets to the Arab-Israeli conflict, peace will not come from these leaders. This I believe to be the case for a multitude of reasons. Two of the most relevant are:
  • Much of the rethoric coming from these leaders is promoting terrorism. Even in the case of Abbas much of what he has promised to different factions of the Palestinians is "arguably" counter-productive to true peace.
  • Secondly and most importantly the true day to day environment of the middle east will be dictated by the opinions of the man in the street and not the leadership. Leaders may be able to start a process or initiate change but only the man in the street can see it through to success.

    Implicit in the above overly simplified version of things are some assumptions, including that leaders do what is best for their people (if things were this simple I wouldn't even have a blog about the middle east!), community leaders encourage peace and tolerance as do religious leaders (that means ALL, not just the "moderate" leaders). There are too many cases of mosques preaching violence and hate as the only answer and too many allowances for "non-moderate" or "hard-line" factions.

    For a in-depth look at my thoughts on middle ast cartoons that have been in the media, go to Middle East Cartoons.


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