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MIDDLE EAST: More on Seeds of Peace

The operation of Seeds of Peace became clearer at the final session, held in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the State Department, in the presence of diplomatic representatives of the countries represented and of US officials, including Richard Solomon, president of the US Institute of Peace. Dennis Ross, the US diplomat who heads the Middle East Peace Process, patiently answered questions asked by the youngsters from the Middle East. They were very polite, but some of their questions were hard to understand, probably because they were struggling with the English language. Each one had his own country's problems on his, or frequently her mind, causing Dennis Ross to remind them that they most understand the viewpoints of others. The Israel-Palestinian confrontation was the dominant theme. Presumably the critical issues, such as the future of Jerusalem, were discussed at the camp, which lasted three weeks, but there was no confrontation on these subjects at the final session. Anyone following the proceedings could but conclude that the State Department and the Institute of Peace are making an enormous effort to bring peace to the Middle East. Seeds of Peace is serving that cause well. May it and the seeds prosper. Green is the color of hope, of Advent: the advent of peace.

Ronald Hilton - 8/22/00