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Are our leaders ripe for Peace?? This has been a question I’ve been
pondering lately.

As I look at recent history, I see a pattern in Israeli leaders, one that
I remember particularly starting with Begin in the 1970's. He started out
very warrior--like, giving the impression he was going to straighten things
out by using strong military force. He was going to fix those Palestinians once
and for all. But after a few years he gradually began to sing a different
tune. He came to see that military might just was not getting anywhere and began
to question if all the bloodshed was worth anything. This all brought him
to the point of talking with Arafat, which led to reconciliation that
developed into an actual friendship between the two leaders.

As you might remember, Begin was then assassinated, after which Arafat
spent over an hour with Begin’s widow consoling her. She has remarked
about the miracle it was when she came to appreciate Arafat and his
compassion through this whole experience.

Similar things happened with Israeli leaders Barak and Rabin. Now,
Sharon, President Bush, and Abbas seem to be coming to the same realization.
My sense is that one of these times a peace will be achieved that we tend
to think is impossible. The role that we have in this whole scenario is
to pray for their protection and that the forces of good will overcome
the forces of evil that might want to do an assassination,etc. and
undermine this peace initiative. Pray that true reconciliation and
friendship could develop between the leaders. Also, we need to encourage
our government representatives to support this peace initiative.
Believing as I do that there is that spark of God in all people, I think
it could happen with any of these leaders no matter which side they are
on. This could be a very critical point in history.

I sense it depends on our prayers a lot more than we realize. The
question is, are we ready to do our part to pray for Peace and encourage
our representatives? Are you going to help to ripen this peace initiative
and bring it to fruition?

One opportunity to do something is to join the prayers of the North
Central Illinois Citizens for Peace in the park across from the
courthouse the first Sunday of each month 7-8 PM. in Princeton.

Jim Fitz Tiskilwa, IL

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