Dear JPB Family and Friends,
On September 11, 2001, an airplane plowed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center and changed history. The 9/11 attacks sent a message to the world, and they are a message that we have not fully translated or understood. At the most profound level, the 9/11 attacks up-ended power and politics in the Middle East. They not only challenged American dominance in the region but also undermined the Cold War-era state system.
22 years later, we still wrestle with the end of the Cold War-era state system in the Middle East. Today, every country in the region is undergoing a long period of transition. Old paradigms of organization, governance, and control are exhausting themselves while new modalities – still indistinct – arise from the wreckage.
To see this, we have only to look upon the region’s many failed states, shifting alliances, and the current carnage in Southern Israel and Gaza. The situation in the Holy Lands is still painfully unfolding, but we have witnessed enough to know that life will never return to the way it was. Loved ones have died, any intercommunal trust that existed has been shattered, and anger and fear rule the airwaves, internet, and social media. Over a decade of peacebuilding among youth and educators has been reduced to rubble in less than a week.