I don’t blame regular hardworking citizens in the US and Europe for being confused and frustrated about what is going on in the Middle East. In preparation for a small talk about the Middle East this week in Switzerland, I sat down and searched the news for a pattern, or some kind of red thread that could provide me with that Zen-like power to explain what is really going on in the Middle East and why Europeans should care. Not surprisingly, my quest was unsuccessful. For the long list of seemingly random and contradictory events that took place over the weekend in various parts of the Middle East, please go to my blog on the Times of Israel.
This picture called the “Middle East confusion map,” is a very good rendition of current events that I came up with (I am sorry I cannot find the name of the artist):
To say that we understand what is going on in the Middle East is one thing. But to claim that we alone have the power to discern right from wrong, good from evil, or perhaps more accurately, evil from evil, is quite another. Anyone who does so without pragmatism is, in my opinion, 100% wrong. But then again, can you really blame people who grow up in an environment where you are either right or dead?
However, looking at this list of findings, it needs to be pointed out that most of the news items describe stories that involve human lives and reflect the yearning of individuals to live free from oppression and tyranny. They are about the human desire to live in peace without rockets or sectarian violence, without dictators or foreign occupiers, and without the fear of religious persecution. What is missing in the Middle East is the realization that these desires cannot be mutually exclusive, or else the violence will surely continue.