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Vision of Hope
file under: vision of hopeMiddle East PeaceDemonstrations 7 Feb 2011 2:56 PM
Work for Change, But Change that Works Posted by Nissim Dahan
Clearly, the model that has been put in place in the Middle East is on its way out. But what comes next?


People on the streets of Egypt, and throughout the Middle East for that matter, are rejecting the status quo even as we speak. What we have come to expect in the region are regimes which usually have a strongman at their center. The opposition is kept in check using a whole host of constraints on personal freedoms and human rights. The powers that be enrich themselves, in a corrupt way, at the expense of the people, who are desperate to make a living. The foreign aid that comes in is diverted away from the people at every turn. The military is courted by the government, as the guarantor of security, in the face of the rage that swells up in the hearts of the people. When necessary, and it is always necessary, diversionary tactics are used to divert attention away from the corruption and incompetence of government. And yet again; a new generation of young graduates enter a job market where there are no jobs.


There is no question that a model of this sort is out of step with the needs and aspirations of the people. They yearn for freedom and they need jobs. So too is this model out of step with the need to compete in a global economy. And the opportunities that exist for people to connect on line make it even more difficult for such a model to persist. A change is called for. But will it be a change for the better? Or will it be change for the sake of change, which ushers in an even greater measure of oppression, and an even bleaker vision for the future?


Let there be no doubt that the extremists, wherever they may be, and whatever religion they happen to subscribe to, are ready, willing and able to assume the reigns of power. In the past, this is precisely what happened. The Ayatollahs hijacked Iran's revolution and sidelined the aspirations of the people in the process. Hezbollah is doing as it wishes with Lebanon, leaving the will of the people in the dust. Hamas has gobbled up Gaza and is undermining the possibility of a free, independent and prosperous Palestine. And the Muslim Brotherhood, which gave inspiration to al Qaeda, and to Hamas, is poised to seize the moment, to take control, and to remake Egypt in its own image.


If the people on the street ultimately end up choosing extremism, there may be no real way to stop that from happening. However, we owe it to the people on the street, to ourselves, and to the future of the Middle East, to at least put an

alternative on the table. We need to put a different model in place; one that inspires in people a sense of hope, one that competes effectively for hearts and minds, and one that is more likely to achieve some measure of Peace, Prosperity and Freedom for the Middle East. The old model is on its way out. The extremist model should be kicked out even before it takes hold. And a new model, a Vision of Hope, should be given the chance to take root in the minds of the people who remain open to the possibility of a brighter day.


What will the new model look like? It will have at its core an ideological framework based on common sense, an Ideology of Common Sense. It will have a consortium of top business leaders revitalizing the Middle East with good paying jobs; jobs which grow our economies, jobs which protect the environment, and jobs which weaken the hold of extremist thinking. It will use ideology and investment to sell people on a Vision of Hope, a vision of Peace, Prosperity and Freedom. It will sustain the hope with public and private diplomacy. And finally, it will embolden us to fight against extremism, but it will also give the fight on the ground a good measure of credibility by positioning the fight within a Vision of Hope. We are not fighting a war against terror. We are fighting a war to realize a Vision of Hope. There's a big difference.


The model I'm talking about will take several generations to construct. A good thing is hard to build after all. But in the meantime, we should put the vision out there, so that when elections come around, the people on the street will at least have a choice. And if I were them, here is how I would vote: No to the outdated model of the past. No to the dead end model of the extremists. Yes to a Vision of Hope, a vision of Peace, Prosperity and Freedom.



Comments (1)Add Comment
written by GABE1, March 08, 2011
I am always intrigued at the suggestions that other people have and specifically asking others to do what they themselves will not. I hear on other sites people asking others on their peace site to open their E-Mails and invite others to participate. It has not occurred to them that their ideas, politically speaking, is not embraced by the vast majority of peoples around the world,especially in the West , the USA or even Israel.

I am also intrigued at people asking others to open up their wallets and pour money down the toilet so that we can accomplish a peace(whatever that means). The Middle East has been awash with money from the USA, UNWRA, The EU as well as joint venture projects that are non-governmental and yet we have no peace or even a semblance of accountability for that money.

As a matter of interest Nissim, how much have you invested in the Middle East and I mean other than in the stock market-IN OIL?

With the population growth and its jihadist agenda the Middle East currently is a funnel that will siphon vast amounts of money that will accomplish ZERO, ZILCH KLUM, NADA-In short NOTHING.

So far you have not persuaded me or even made a dent in my thinking and as an economist and accountant, I am not persuaded and neither will any millionaire or billionaire.

Yo are angaging in wishful thinking and nothing more.
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