Respective Peacemaking and Peacebuilding initiatives of Pope Francis1 and President Obama

2013-03-23 11:52

Complete this biblical refrain: "Blessed are the peacemakers for they ........"

One of the first acts that Pope Francis 1 initiated shortly upon inauguration was to reach out to the Jewish and Islamic Faiths, the other two members of the Abrahamic Faith. This is not rare but one of profound significance as highlighting the need as well as the recognition that the time to re-connect amongst the tri-Abrahamic brethren had arrived.

This signifies,in this writer's opinion,that we have to get out of the trenches we had dug since September 2001, and to start a dialogue. Such a dialogue must not be premised on fault finding but to chart a path towards truth and reconciliation and perhaps with Easter being celebrated we would see a momentum of sorts building and emanating from all three faiths sometimes soon, God willing.

Almost on cue, President Obama, sets out to visit Israel where he makes speeches that have reaching ramifications than the mundane would read into. Whilst mouthing US support for Israel, Obama also strongly signified that for there to be a viable peace in the region Israel had to make radical concessions even though his message was couched in diplomatic language. He must have also been reminding Bibi Netanyahu of how precarious the latter was in a hastily cobbled together coalition whose incumbents had anything but peace and co-existence in their minds.

The Middle East conflict has been reduced to a conflict between brethren of the tri-Abrahamic family if one reads carefully into the language that Pope Francis, inter alia, employs. This has not been lost to the Israelis and the Turks, major protagonists of late with cooing placatory messages between exchanged between their respective leaders.

In the context of peacemaking and Peacebuilding overtures we cannot relegate these within narrow subjective paradigms but within a larger context especially with a growing almost universal awakening that is favourably responding to BDS rhetoric and no doubt Pope Francis 1 and President Obama recognize that Israel's intransigence is its Archiles heel and therefore such overtures are imperative.

Is Peacebuilding and Pacemaking possible? All three of the Abrahamic Faiths contain strong warrants for Peacebuilding and Peacemaking and with an overlap between religion and politics in the Middle East... why not give it a try? What have we got to lose?

Saber Ahned Jazbhay

Follow me @jazlaw24

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