Thinking about how to respond to ISIS/IS, and in view of the perilous realities of Iraq and Syria, have we tended to ignore the increasing tensions in Palestine and the relationship between all these? Regional commentator and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian argues that ISIS cannot be dealt with by brute force and must be countered by political solutions that re-enfranchise the peoples of the region.
In Robert Fisk's fine book 'Pity the Nation', he describes encounters with Palestinian refugees, and Israeli settlers. The former fled their homes in response to the arrival of the Israeli army, the latter, survivors of the Holocaust, moved into the land they had been dreaming of all their lives.
As Archbishop Elias Chacour, a Palestinian and citizen of Israel who has struggled tirelessly and nonviolently for a just peace in the land has observed: a settlement in Israel-Palestine, which must offer security and recognition for all people, is not just about politics. It is about disarmed truth, and recognising in each other a wounded brother and sister, not an enemy or a threat.
As in the case of Palestine, and unless the international community oversteps its most prurient interests and comes together to help Syria emerge from its current violence, we could well end up with a failed state that is not too distant from the Somali experience, says regional expert and observer Dr Harry Hagopian. We could indeed witness the fragmentation of the country, as many Syrians currently claim is slowly, inexorably happening. Yet there is still room for manoeuvre and hope.