March Madness is here! The playing field is set. Teams are gearing up for their opening matches and millions of dollars are being exchanged in betting who will be crowned the next champion on the court.
No, this has nothing to do with college basketball. So if you wanted to read a sports story, you can stop reading here. Instead, this has to do with Shakespeare's 'ides of March' and the ensuing 'March Madness' - non basketball related - that has erupted like Mt. Vesuvius. Maybe it is simply the Madness of Jan. 2011 carried over to an unexplainable tipping point, but either we look at it, March has gone nuts. Final.
Since the massive Earthquake and ensuing Tsunami pummeled Japan, it is as if the attention to the events unfolding in the Middle East have simply been whisked away by a flying carpet. The horrifying events in Japan have created another great tragedy in our prickly region - a tragedy of excuses; an easy way for many to turn their focuses and efforts elsewhere while forgetting that the world order continues to be abruptly shifted with the voice of the Middle East masses echoing across the globe.
If nothing more, the events in Japan should teach us that at any moment, our world can be overturned with a intense and destructive domino effect that will leave us all asking - what could we have done to better protect ourselves against such disasters? It is precisely this protection that we must surround ourselves with immediately.
A war has erupted in Libya that has left everyone dumbfounded in terms of how to best alleviate the situation in a country that plays a key part in both the global oil economy as well as the 'War on Terror'.
Scary uncertainty has arisen in Egypt and Tunisia as to the future of the outcome of two greatly successful revolutions.
A brutal massacre of an Israeli family by Palestinian militants has only given more legitimacy to the sensationalized security concerns of the current fear-mongering Israeli government, that in turn approved the building of 500 new housing units in the West Bank. Nevermind the fact that these units are going to be built on land that will most likely remain part of Israel in any future peace accords or the fact that incitement against Israelis appears to be on the rise in the Palestinian territories.
With regards to the stabbing death of the Israeli family and the subsequent approval for new construction, Netanyahu and Abbas must look at themselves in the mirror and realize that neither right nor wrong is not what needs to be debated. Rather, what needs to be decided is what is practical and necessary. This is not a time to point fingers, nor is it a time to make excuses as to why Israelis and Palestinians cannot coexist.
Instead this is a time when great leaders are born: the types of leaders who can take crippling events and turn them into regenerated seeds of hope and an encouraging future. There don't need to be any pseudo-scintillating speeches by Netanyahu (see Bar Ilan 1) and Abbas does not need to incessantly bash the faltering Israeli leadership.
What needs to be done is for both leaders to realize that this is not an equal world in which every individual gets what he or she wants. Childish games have gone on for too long and the opportunity for both leaders to miss another opportunity is once again upon us.
The field is set and the players are familiar with their opponents. However, in the game of negotiation, winning and losing are outcomes that both sides must experience. An absolute victory is uncertain; yet the absoluteness of a positive future are something that both sides can achieve.
And as for The Young Diplomat, we are back in the game.