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Israel-Palestine crisis and shadows of World War III

Aftab Ali Khan Musa

Throughout the archives of history, we witness a recurring calamity – an unsettling pattern of ill-fated decisions, unchecked pride, and autocratic behavior amongst leaders that sets the stage for devastating conflicts. This pattern reveals that politics and the relentless pursuit of power often disregard even the strongest of bonds, including blood relations.

A distressing example of this unfortunate reality resides in the events leading up to World War I, where the actions of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and King George V of Great Britain, all cousins, thrust their nations toward a devastating conflict.

Their intertwined destinies were shaped by a complex web of alliances, rivalries, and ambitions, ultimately driving them apart. Kaiser Wilhelm II’s aggressive militarism and expansionist aspirations heightened tensions in Europe, while Tsar Nicholas II’s autocratic rule and inability to address mounting discontent fanned the flames of unrest in Russia. Even King George V, despite familial ties to both the Kaiser and the Tsar, found himself powerless to prevent the inexorable march toward war.

Fast-forward to our contemporary world, where we grapple with the prophetic warnings of Samuel P. Huntington in his book The Clash of Civilizations. Huntington foresaw a looming clash between Islamic civilization and the West—an impending catastrophe if prudence and enlightened leadership do not prevail.

In this context, the Israel-Palestine issue emerges as a volatile fuse, ready to ignite a catastrophic conflict—World War III—should diplomacy and restraint falter. Recent clashes between Israel and Hamas expose the volatile nature of this enduring dispute. The consequences could reverberate far beyond the borders of the Middle East, especially in an era of nuclear arsenals and global interconnectedness. A regional conflict has the ominous potential to cascade into a global catastrophe. Consequently, it is imperative that the international community, led by organizations such as the United Nations Organization, unites to mediate a peaceful resolution to this crisis, preventing the specter of a third world war from materializing.

Today, the stakes are higher than ever, and the consequences of repeating history’s mistakes are too dire to ignore. To safeguard our shared future, we must shed the trappings of autocracy and prioritize the pursuit of peace. As responsible global citizens, we must recognize that the pursuit of dominance will not secure our well-being, but the pursuit of peace and cooperation will.

Let the lessons of history serve as our guide, compelling us to unite beyond boundaries and ideologies, and to resolve our differences through peaceful means. Indeed, peace begets peace, while war only leads to destruction. Similarly, religions were intended to transform barbarians into civilized beings, not the reverse. It is in our collective power and should be priority no.1 of global stakeholders to build a legacy of peace that transcends time and safeguards humanity.

(The writer is Lecturer International Relations/English and European history expert).

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