McEwan’s & Peace in Middle East

Ian McEwan, an English author, contributes to peace in the Middle East when he accepted the 2011 Jerusalem Prize for Literature. Writers can be powerful agents of change. They can use their influence to put “mirror” in front of the people who committed crime against humanity to see the impact of their ugly behavior on other human beings. McEwan’s brave action can bring attitudinal and behavioral change among people involved in the Arab-Israel conflict. Through his writings, he has given a voice to individual Palestinian who is victim of human rights violation.
Despite protest and criticism from other British Writers in support of Palestine for his acceptance of the prize, McEwan went ahead to Jerusalem to accept the prize from Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem. He spoke at the opening ceremony of international book fair about the injustice done to the Palestinians by Israel’s policy and aggression. He spoke in front of Israeli leaders in the audience about the violation of human rights by the continuation of evictions of Palestinians from their own land. He pointed out to the audiences that the behavior of both sides in the Arab-Israel conflict is nihilism. He urged Israel to end settlements of Jewish people on land belonging to the Palestinians. It is important that the Israelis hear what other people in the world think of them. I congratulate the Mayor of Jerusalem for his open-mindedness in welcoming McEwan to his city. I don’t think what he did was propaganda. Although some people accused him of that. It is good that he had planted the seeds of “tolerance” among his people. We should not doubt his sincerity. Tolerance of differences of opinion is a “foundation stone” for future peace negotiations. In the world today, we need an opened-minded leader like him to bring about a dialogue from all sides. McEwan could have boycotted the occasion. But he did not. I am glad that he used the occasion to emphasize the importance of freedom of the individuals and the dignity of all human beings, even in conflict situations.

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