I just attended a lecture given by His Excellency Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian Ambassador to the U.S. and he themed much of his talk around the issue of Justice, and how justice should be sought after in the regions of the world riddled with problems and unrest. As he was saying this, I began to think about the relationship between justice and mercy as it pertains to world issues. Yes, absolutely, justice is a necessity, but if the justice we are talking about is going back to the past and rehashing out old rivalries and power struggles, then that is NOT necessary. The justice we need is the kind of justice that will lead to a peaceful future- the expulsion of dictators, the imprisonment of murderers, etc. I agree that justice is important, and that evil men and women need to be punished, but I think that the world has thrown away the notion of mercy, the notion of forgiveness. We live in such a power-driven world which can all too often lead us away from progress and peace. Different cultures, religions, and histories make this more difficult, of course, but not impossible.
Mr. Shoukry, in talking about the Palestinian- Israeli issue, mentioned that under international law "armed struggle is justified" in certain situations. It has to make you think. In a modern world, how are we still using armed struggle? How did that ever become a sensible answer to a dispute? Why in the world did Cain think to KILL Able and not just yell or talk to him? I am not an idealist, in fact I wish I was MORE of an idealist, I tend to be too pragmatic to the point of pessimism, and I realize that there are times when war is the only solution that will bring about results (because there are too many eccentric, out-of-control men with too much power! i.e. Kim Jong-il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Moussa Dadis Camara (Guinea), Omar al-Bashir (Sudan), etc.), but isn't it absolutely NUTS? I mean, people take guns and explosives and point them or throw them at each other in an effort to hurt, maim, and KILL- END THEIR LIFE! I just could never do it. I don't know. I don't have any answer, but I feel that the time for war should be coming to an end. People- sane people- need to take back their governments and work to find peaceful solutions. His excellency said that the window on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict ending with a peaceful solution will not remain open for very long, as the Palestinian people are getting fed up with the difficulty of their situation (they are more or less under foreign occupation). This is scary. Can't Israel make a few concessions? Why not a two-state solution? Concessions MUST be made to save lives. It seems like a pretty clear choice to me. But then again, I'm a pragmatist.