World News and Trends: Middle East peace process in deep trouble

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Middle East peace process in deep trouble

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Reports Ross Dunn in Jerusalem for The Times: "Yassir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, called on followers yesterday to rise up against Israel in a campaign of civil disobedience, saying that the Jewish state had declared war on his people." Though we may put these words down to political rhetoric and concede that the state of Israel is not without its own impediments, they are hardly a call to buttress the peace process.

Con Coughlin, also in Jerusalem for The Sunday Telegraph, put it this way: "As both sides in the Arab-Israeli dispute continue to display their pathological penchant for diplomatic brinkmanship this weekend, the delicate fabric of the Middle East peace process is in danger." He aptly titled his article "Peace Turns to Dust."

Mr. Coughlin called his accompanying article "Foundering on the Rock of Jerusalem." This title recalls to mind the words of the Hebrew prophet Zechariah: "I shall make Jerusalem a rock too heavy for any people to remove, and all who try to carry it will be torn by it" (Zechariah 12:3 Zechariah 12:3And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
American King James Version×
, Revised English Bible). These ancient words lend poetic justice and prophetic truth to current events in the Holy City and its environs. (Sources: The Times; The Sunday Telegraph.)