Dan Bavly writes on the multiple missed opportunities for peace in the Middle East due to a general trend of indifference in the Israeli government for long-term negotiated solutions. Still stuck in the 1948 War of Independence mentality, the Israeli government, military, and population as a whole have been unable to adapt to the changing reality of the Middle East conflict. From the current Saudi Initiative, to the dozens of proposals and openings over the last forty years, Israel has failed to seize countless opportunities for peace, insisting instead on the use of military might to end wars. But in Bavly‘s opinion, modern wars cannot end without negotiation. It is time to change track and move forward.
Walid Salem presents the Bring Peace Together Project, whose summit was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 28th in order to discuss a comprehensive solution to create peace in the Middle East. The following is a formal letter and call to action of the Bring Peace Together Project, presenting its plan for the recognition, normalization, and security of Israel by 22 Arab countries in exchange for a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194. Read on to find out how you can become involved in this unique opportunity to create peace in the Middle East.
Piero Ignazi writes on the divisive nature of foreign policy within the Italian government. Despite the appearance of unity that Italy‘s rhetorical tradition of active participation in NATO and the EU might suggest, the center-right and center-left have been fiercely divided over Italian involvement in Lebanon and Afghanistan over recent months. The center-left has seen the rise of radical pacifism within its ranks, while the center-right has instituted highly contradictory policies of military intervention, ignoring risks in some cases and not in others. In Ignazi‘s opinion, foreign policy should be based on a country’s national interests and not on internal political conflict.
We present the first part of the conclusions reached at Safe Democracy’s International Conference, Three Years After 11-M: Regional Challenges for a Globalizing World.
The results published here include recommendations from a wide-ranging group of diverse experts on How to restart the peace process between Israel and Palestine, and posed the question whether Spain and Europe are still targets of international terrorism, three years after March 11th.
Also discussed was governance, poverty and growth in Latin America, and geopolitics of Russia.
At Safe Democracy, we understand democracy not just as the right to elect politicians and to be represented by them, but rather in a much broader sense: a political and social system which fosters security, and that values education, health care, job opportunities, freedom of expression, diversity, that fearlessly supports innovation, that respects minorities, their cultures and their rights.
As part of Safe Democracy‘s many activities aimed at guaranteeing the growth of democracy, we have created this opportunity to analyze public issues under the dynamic of work groups in which ideas are exchanged, proposed and reflected on between recognized experts.
Our objective is to fortify this independent yet multi-faceted community of experts on international affairs –promoting pragmatic solutions– and allowing for participation from the public via the Internet.
We invite all of our readers to comment on the scenarios and solutions to the principle regional challenges expounded by our international experts.
CONCLUSIONS OF THE EXPERTS:
“The analysis and debate of the working group focused on a series of proposals and ideas to distinguish between short term anti-terrorist strategies, and long term measures to resolve the more profound socio-cultural and political struggles upon which Jihadist terrorism feeds. Although this working table agreed almost unanimously on the majority of its conclusions, not every issue discussed was agreed upon by all”.
Rafael Calduch Cervera is a Professor of International Relations and Director of the Master’s program in International Relations and Communication at the Complutense University of Madrid. He completed his doctorate in Political Science and Sociology and presides over the consulting group International Strategic Analysis.
CONCLUSIONS OF THE EXPERTS:
“Summarizing four hours of discussion on how to reinitiate the Palestinian-Israeli peace process in a few minutes –or a few pages– is not an easy task. Not only because of the limits of time and space, but especially because of the complexity of the problem”.
“The panel on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was splendid and excellently moderated by Zidane Zeroui, who explained his experience in International Relations and helped the table avoid falling into the trap of emotional or ideological debate. Both the moderator and the participants decided to concentrate on answering each one of the questions posed directly, which helped to focus the discussion in more concrete terms”.
Mario Sznajder is a Leon Blum chair and professor of political science at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is a researcher for the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace. He has published hundreds of articles in scientific journals on fascism, human rights, democracy, and the Middle East.
Zidane Zeroui is a professor of International Relations and Coordinator of the Master’s program in International Studies at the Technological University of Monterrey, Mexico.
Najib Abu-Warda is a professor of International Relations at the Complutense University of Madrid.
CONCLUSIONS OF THE EXPERTS:
“While the last few years have seen notable advances in the consolidation of democracy in Latin America, the vast majority of Latin American citizens have lost all faith in democratic governance and politics in general. This lack of democratic conviction, coupled with the constant menace of authoritarianism, and the resurgence of populist leaders presents serious risks to the stability of democracy in Latin America…”
The experts have called for a stronger State, stronger society, stronger economy, greater regional integration and cooperation, and more innovation.
Pablo Mieres is the Director of the Social Science department at the Catholic University of Uruguay. He served as a Member of Parliament in Uruguay from 2000-2005 and was a candidate for the 2004 Presidential elections. He is the President of the Independent Party of Uruguay.
Ciro di Costanzo is professor of Communication and International Politics at the Universidad Iberoamericana. He is the head of one of the most influential radio shows in Mexico, Reporte 98.5 FM.
Jose Belaunde Barriga is the coordinator of Globalitaria, Initiatives to build peace. He has taught philosophy at various universities in Lima, Peru, lectured at the University of Illinois in Chicago, and served as a visiting researcher at the CSIC in Madrid.
Luis Castro Obreg