Morele leierskap noodsaaklik vir versoening – toegepas op die Israel-Palestina konflik
CITATION: Jones, C. 2018. Morele leierskap noodsaaklik vir versoening – toegepas op die Israel-Palestina konflik. Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, 58(3):501-518, doi:10.17159/2224-7912/2018/v58n3a4.
The original publication is available at http://www.scielo.org.za
This article seeks to show that reconciliation, especially in conflict-stricken areas, is very difficult without moral leadership. Moral leadership is meant to bring wholeness and reconciliation and give people a chance to live according to their full potential and rights. It usually brings about deep and lifelong changes, not only to individuals, but also to communities and societies. The presence or absence of true moral leadership is usually inextricably linked to the emotional maturity as well as the discerning ability of leaders and a country’s people. It also depends on spiritual maturity, although morality is not primarily determined by this. Moral leadership, however, must be brought in line with certain biological key drivers, as evolutionary determined in human beings. Where this is not in line, long-term transformation, based on prosperity for all, justice, trust and knowledge, is not really possible. In light of this, the focus falls on reconciliation that is indispensable if we want to co-exist humanely. Reconciliation, however, is radical. It creates a new kind of humanity. It involves more than the veiling of evil. It is about addressing injustice. Radical reconciliation means the establishment of real relationships, actually life-long relationships, especially with people who are marginalised, powerless and outraged, and whose dignity you did not previously recognise. It is about confession and forgiveness. It is a call to exchange places with the other. Within this framework, the historical and contemporary perspectives of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are explored, and I try to prove how this moral leadership model, integrated with certain important aspects regarding this conflict, may help bring about peace and reconciliation in this age-old Middle East conflict-torn area, obviously in line with international law and human rights (although not discussed). This model is also very briefly related to certain ethical theories and principles. The article reasons that no conversation about the conflict in Palestine is meaningful without asking among others the following questions: To whom does Palestine really belong? Who has the greatest historical claim on this territory? Why is it so difficult to settle the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians? To better understand the decades of conflict in the Middle East the article helps to try and grasp the historical roots that gave rise to this conflict. In this process, it is also necessary to reconsider many of the accepted dogma about, for example, the Zionist movement and their historical claim on the Palestinian territory. The article indicates how land on which the Palestinians lived for more than 1 000 years, was with the emergence of the Israeli state, taken away from them mostly by violence and without their consent. From the beginning it was the Zionist’s goal to alienate the non-Jewish Palestinians from their land. Zionism, however, was based on an erroneous colonialist view of the world in which there is no sense for the rights of indigenous people. The refusal to recognize the Palestinian’s right to self-determination and an own state, appears to be for many years the main causes of violence and bloodshed in this area. It is not good enough for politicians to just manage this crisis, it has to be solved. Activist’s role in this regard, must not be underplayed too. However, this can only be done by moral leadership in accordance with international law and human rights. This is the only way in which sustainable peace will be possible. In this regard, Israel has a lot of work to do. The prospects for peace talks are slim because many UN resolutions, under the diplomatic cloak of the United States, are denied, even rejected. The US supplies provisions of billions of dollars to Israel. This does not even include fighter-planes, technology and weapons. Another last important thought mentioned regarding this conflict has to do with the influence of religion on the current state of affairs. This conflict just shows us how strong age-old (religious) traditions, dividing decisions and discriminatory actions still function in our modern societies.