Johan Galtung Replies to Prof. Ada Aharoni’s Critique
TRANSCEND News, 8 Feb 2016
To Antonio, editor of TMS, and to Prof. Johan Galtung:
Thanks for posting my YEAR OF HOPE 2016 Poem. I hope it will soon become a reality. With your help, and the help of all peace-loving people of our Global Village, it indeed can become our reality soon if we all join our peace hands together.
However, there are two drawbacks that bother me in TRANSCEND and mars it from making it a true PEACE JOURNAL:
- Daesh – The Islamic State will not listen to any negotiations. Their goal is clear: kill all the people that oppose their Caliphate. They have brutally killed more Muslims than foreigners! The tragedy of emigration of millions from Syria and Iraq is their doing, and so much more inhuman and cruel barbarity… Daesh has to be eliminated, as they are the new Hitler.
- If TRANSCEND really wants to promote Peace between Palestinians and Israelis, and reach a Peace Treaty like between Egypt and Israel, and Jordan and Israel, stop pouring your hatred on Israel! To solve a conflict you have to deal with both sides of the Conflict and not only one side, as it only increases the conflict and does not solve it. Prof. Johan Galtung, please go back to what you were, a real and objective Leader of Peace!
Prof. Ada Aharoni
Reply from Johan Galtung:
Dear Prof. Aharoni, thank you for expressing your concerns.
Daesh – You argue that, “Daesh has to be eliminated as they are the new Hitler“. I do not think that is the approach, nor is it the impression I get from talking with them. Yes, there are extremists like in many other places distorted by conflicts that they have been unable to solve; a strong argument for using the military defensively. Strong defense around threatened places would have saved many lives. The general Western approach of bombing-droning-SEAL sharp shooting does not work: in 2000, about 1,800 terrorist acts were registered, last year about 14,000. More than seven times over.
One threatened place is Israel. Strong Chapter 6, not Chapter 7 UN peacekeeping forces around the legitimate Israel of 4 June 1967, on both sides of the border, might make sense.
Daesh insists on the same right to have a big state as Christian-secular Europe to have the EU; and the same right to restore a Caliphate destroyed by the West and Mustafa Kemal as Catholic Christians to have the Vatican.
The Organization of Islamic Conference has 57 state members, but 56 are old Western colonies (no. 57 is Iran). They argue Daesh and the Caliphate as the successors, and seem to have the support of a clear majority in Saudi Arabia, also as custodians of the two sacred mosques. There are about 1,650 million Muslims (according to Princeton University) in the world. I repeat: negotiate the future, no easy task.
Israel – I have not the slightest hatred of Israel, am critical and constructive, standing for what I have stood for the last 45 years: a solution, with Palestine fully recognized, and then a 2-State solution inside a 6-State community inside a 20-State Organization for Security and Cooperation in West Asia. If anybody has a better formula, fine. Israel-Egypt and Israel-Jordan are not models for Israel-Palestine; the latter had been conquered and occupied, the others not.
Ada Aharoni is founder of The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace-IFLAC. She is an Egyptian-born Israeli poet, writer, lecturer and peace researcher.
Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. He has published 164 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 8 Feb 2016.
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