A Journey from Burma to Bosnia, Jews and the Muslims Sailing the same Boat: The Panacea in Establishing Global Peace Averting Coercion and Insurgency through Political Dialogue.

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****By: Gholam Mujtaba, Ed.D., M.D.****

The world gets wrong when perceptions are targeted as realities.

In 1991, it was Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Yitzhak Rabin who directly intervened in rescuing Zejneba, a Muslim family from violence and ethnic cleansing in Sarajevo. This was in response to a request from the Kabiljo, a Jewish family settled in Jerusalem after the Holocaust.

Coincidentally in 1941, it was the same Jewish family that was saved by the very same Muslim family from the Nazis invasion in Yugoslavia. The Jewish family stayed at Mustafa Zenjaba’s home until they were able to move to a Bosnian city which was under Italian rule. On finding the facts, the Nazis executed a member of the Muslim family, Ahmed Sadik in reprisal to having saved the Jewish family.

Historically, the worst genocide in last century’s history was the ethnic cleansing of 6 million Jews at the hands of Nazis, followed by more than 8,000 Muslims killed in Bosnia.

6,700 Rohingya Muslims were killed in ethnic cleansing in Burma, while 647,000 fled to neighboring Bangladesh last year. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in the Syrian civil war, whereas 5.6 million fled the country under an autocratic rule of Assads supported by Iranian cleric’s regime and Hezbollah. Additionally, the Afghans are faced with two decades of misery with as many as one third of a 26 million population having fled their homes since the Soviet invasion in the late 1970s, followed by Taliban and Al-Qaeda brutal regimes.

The need for diplomacy is important, but so is what is morally right. That is why I applaud the US administration for courageously enacting its historic commitment to relocating the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s rightful capital of Jerusalem. President Trump followed the correct course of action, and America has reiterated its faith in Israel’s legitimacy, in words and deeds, and in doing so, it has set an important precedent for other states to follow.

In a borderless global village, surfing through the internet one buys products from Israel to Yemen while on the Amazon marketplace. There is a dire need to create awareness among civilization in rejecting intolerance and bigotry. It is about time to realize the significance of cross border trade, cultural and educational exchanges, and an end to hostility through constructive dialogue in inhibiting conflicts.

Allow a track-2 diplomacy to avert clash of civilization. Diplomacy, the warm water that softens the potato; while hostility hardens the eggs. I’m afraid if hostility could ever soften the Palestinian tribulation and hardship in improving everyday living, instead of creating a convivial comradeship with old neighbors coexisting for thousands of years.

A food for thought for a future roadmap to the Middle East Peace Initiative.

“O people of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you. [as we worship none but the Lord]”, (the Lord of Abraham), the Holy Quran 3:64–71.

[Note: The term “people of the book” refers to Jews, Christians, and the Muslims].

*** Dr. Gholam Mujtaba has had a long career in politics across America and Pakistan. Currently, a Central Leader to the Republican Party of the United States of America and Chairman of Pakistani Policy Institute, USA, he is an expert on conflict management and Pakistani leadership. He holds a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and a Doctorate in Medicine. Recipient of the United States Congressional Recognition Award in 2015, Dr. Mujtaba has previously held such highly regarded positions as the Central Vice President of the All Pakistan Muslim League and an Advisor to Chief Minister Sindh, a cabinet position in Pakistan.

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