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I Have A Dream for the Middle East

How will the Middle East conflict finally come to an end and bring peace to the world?

May 8, 2003

How will the Middle East conflict finally come to an end and bring peace to the world?

Imagine. A pro-Western democratic Iraq forges an alliance with the only other democracies in the Middle East, Turkey and Israel.

Surrounded and squeezed by U.S. forces and allies on all sides, Syria and Iran sever their terrorist ties with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Palestinian territories.

Starved of cash and weapons, Palestinian suicide bombers become a rarity. A moderate Palestinian Authority emerges.

No longer fearing a Palestinian terrorist state on its borders, Israel ends its untenable occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Without daily television images of Israeli soldiers killing Palestinians to distract Muslims from what the United Nations calls a “poverty of opportunities” across the Middle East, frustrated young populations turn on their aging, corrupt rulers.

In Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, oppressive regimes succumb to public demands for more political freedom and economic opportunity.

The Arab-Israeli conflict gives way to historic handshakes on the White House lawn. Arab-Israeli trade blossoms, with Israeli tourists spending millions in Baghdad, Damascus, Tehran and Beirut.

Sound absurd? No more so, perhaps, than the notion — in the darkest hours of World War II — that a post-Hitler Germany could underpin a democratic, prosperous and peaceful Europe.

This is an adaptation of an article by Stanley Weiss, “A Mideast Future Worth Imagining,” published in the International Herald Tribune in November 2002. For the full article click here.

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