A professor of Religion and Jewish studies writes in the Beirut Daily Star: Bring the clerics in on a Muslim-Jewish dialogue.
-- Robert Eisen, George Washington University
Each side genuinely feels its vulnerability and humiliation and sees the other side as more powerful. After all, it is those perceptions that motivate each side to kill. Yet there may be hope for dialogue on the basis of these perceptions. I have shared the arguments outlined here between Jews and Muslims, and some have been intrigued by the parallel between their histories - particularly Shiite Muslims, whose sense of humiliation at the hands of West has been compounded by the humiliation they have experienced thanks to the Sunni majority throughout their history. In this regard they share a great deal with Jews.
Another point: The ones who respond most positively to my thinking are Muslim clerics. In my experience with inter-religious dialogue in the past few years, it has become clear to me that clergy are far better than the politicians at baring their souls and sharing their emotions when talking with their enemies. They are therefore more likely to discuss the fears and insecurities motivating their respective communities to violence.