Wanted: Middle East Statesmen

Newspaper Article
Roi Ben-Yehuda
Roi Ben-Yehuda
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Wanted: Middle East Statesmen
Written: By S-CAR
Author: R.Ben-Yehuda
Publication: Al Jazeera
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Published Date: September 29, 2009
Topics of Interest: Conflict Resolution, Middle East

As last week's trilateral meeting in New York showed, forces outside the control of the offices of Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, have pulled these leaders back into the peace camp.

This brought to mind a quote by the Roman statesman Seneca who once wrote: "The fates lead him who will; him who won't they drag."

So, what is next for the peace process? One word: Leadership.

The historian J. Rufus Fears once noted that great leaders - from Pericles to Lincoln to Churchill - share four characteristics. They are anchored in principles, guided by a moral compass, posses a vision, and have the ability to build a consensus to achieve their vision.

These are the qualities that distinguish them as statesmen, rather than mere politicians.

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