|A funeral in Deir Abu Hennis, Egypt, where many of the inhabitants have never left the village (July 2012). Photograph: Linda Dorigo|
Framing the current tragedy and burgeoning refugee crisis in the Middle East as America's fault for invading Iraq is easy, but not entirely true- and not at all helpful... Right now Islamist militants and their supporters and apologists are FULLY to blame for impoverishing the region and exasperating intolerance, cruelty and corruption.
Life is local: Israel's example of flourishing economically while actively usurping Palestinian land and refusing to respect the Palestinian refugees inalienable right to return to original homes and lands because Israel wants to be a "Jewish" democracy has a huge influence on people in the region, who like people everywhere on planet earth, simply want to survive.
Israel's refusal to respect international law and universal human rights should not be ignored. Nor should the vital necessity of a fairly negotiated settlement to shape a fully secular sovereign and free Palestinian state to live alongside and with a fully secular already sovereign Israel. Ending the Israel/Palestine conflict ASAP would go a long way towards empowering decency, dignity and better investments of time, money, and emotion, so that all the people of the region can move forward away from perpetual war and sectarian strife.
Anne Selden Annab