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MIDDLE EAST: Peace? History and museums
Abraham Sofaer, who spent many years in the State department and is now at Stanford, has written "The Camp David Summit Peace: now or never? (San Jose Mercury News, 7/16/00). The title summarizes the content. The world is sadly amused by the "After you, Alphonse" act that Barak and Arafat staged in the doorway at Camp David, only to end up not talking to one another." Is "or never" to be the outcome?
I have received distressed messages from Jews and Muslims. I can only repeat that we try to present both (or more!) sides. To the question of history textbooks we must add museums. In Communist countries there were museums telling history from the Communist viewpoint. I wonder if they have gone a transformation, especially the one in East Berlin. Jewish museums, like he various Holocaust museums, tell the facts, but are there museums in Muslim countries giving their version of history? I do not know.
Ronald Hilton - 7/21/00