I had to truncate the question in the title, my original thought is:
Will Pope Benedicts visit to Jerusalem inprove the prospects of a long term equitable solution to the tribal conflict in the middle east?
I can't think of one reason why it would.
That appears to be one of the stated aims of the visit(there are many), so there must be some kind of agenda which includes improving dialogue between the various religious groups.
Would an improvement in communication between groups have even a small impact on the prospects for a peaceful settlement?
I'm thinking here of the butterfly effect and chaos theory but my thinking may be wrong.Can small changes produce larger effects long term?
When you put it like that Dennis I would guess that something could change, but it would be more by chance.
Can small changes produce larger effects long term?-yes.
Like the prophet Mohammad taught that to unite the world first one needs to unite the differences in his land-unite his land.
I also like the Popes effort in going to Muslim countries and praising Islam.
If small changes can produce larger effects, isn't it worth putting in the effort to make sure that the small changes are a positive and equitable as possible?
Even if just one sentence from the mouth of the pope penetrates a mind and moderates it, that may have an effect in the upbringing of a child and then a grandchild.
It would be a small change by intent, although previously some damage was done to relationships through a lack of clear intention.
You make a valid point. The war has been going so long that any improvement towards peace would be welcome news.
Well written."Even if just one sentence from the mouth of the pope penetrates a mind and moderates it, that may have an effect in the upbringing of a child and then a grandchild."
Tribal conflict in the middle east??
Its very unlikely the pope's visit will bring peace because already one side of the equation already has a made-up mind that the pope will be favouring one side.
A reporter goes to Jerusalem and visits the Wailing Wall where he sees an old man praying. He respectfully waits till he's finished, then interviews him. The old man says he has been praying there for 60 years.
"What do you pray for?"
"I pray for love, peace and unity between Jews, Muslims and Christians"
"And how does it feel?"
"Like talking to a bloody wall"
It would seem the pope is on a collision course with the Israel Government. He attacked the holocaust deniers, but the first thing he said was that Palestine must have it's own state, something that is unlikely to be accepted at this time.
Not even the second coming of Christ would result in peace in the Middle East.
The same problem here as elsewhere. If someone could find a way to deal with the fundamentalists on both sides, that would cause a break through to have a chance.
There are few catholics in the region (less than 20,000 turned up for yesterdays event) but the point of the visit is to communicate a symbolic message to a wider audience.
Language is only part of the message, the audience is only part of the message, symboilism and connections with physical and spiritual events of the past (real or imagined) is part of the message, and a declaration that there is a positive future for catholics, jews and moslems is part of the message.
If any of these messages get through prejudice to a wider audience the the visit will have been a success. There are jewish and islamic leaders who understand the message and others who do not, but the outcome will not be known for one or two generations. Religion is not a short term phenomenon.
Seed ideas are planted and allowed to grow if the soil is fertile, the human heart can be ferile ground, we will see the results in the education of children by the next genteration and the teaching in mosques and synagogues by the next generation.
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