With developments relating to Syria proceeding fast, Middle East expert, churches' adviser, lawyer and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian has been on Al Jazeera (English) again, offering an up-to-date assessment of where things are - not least in relation to Turkey's role and to the stance of the Arab League.
The 'Arab Awakening' - initially dubbed the 'Arab Spring' - started in Tunisia in December 2010. Since then, those revolutions and popular revolts have already enveloped Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain.
In the midst of the regular visits and umpteen fact-finding missions to the Holy Land, and weighty statements made by numerous church leaders or heads of ecumenical organisations, all of it professing solidarity with the Christians of the region, the following link takes us to a Ha'aretz article highlighting one of the many small daily indignities suffered by those same Living Stones - a spitting attack.
The UNESCO motto proclaims proudly that it stands for “Building peace in the minds of men and women”. In a world where ethics are sorely wanting and need reconstruction, and where local issues are interlocked with regional ones, Dr Harry Hagopian hopes that Palestine will be seen as contributing toward this lofty ideal and not digressing from it, let alone being coerced to detract from it.
It is in the interplay between the ‘might’ of God (a substantial proportion of religiously conservative men and women) and Caesar (the military) that many indigenous Christian communities need to negotiate amid the complexities of the Middle East and North Africa today, says Harry Hagopian. In which direction should they seek a path to security?
As discussions over the future of Israel and Palestine resumes in Brussels this weekend, attention has once again turned towards the role of the Quartet on the Middle East, the collectivity of nations and international and supranational bodies involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.