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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Should Help Broker a Peace Deal in Gaza

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The world should call on Juan Manuel Santos, president of Colombia, to help reach a deal in Gaza.

Why Mr. Santos and why Colombia, so far away from the Middle East?

Because his administration has been negotiating a peace deal with FARC, the world's oldest guerrilla organization, and other groups.

And this dialogue is looking increasingly promising.

And the killing in Gaza calls for a bold, new approach.

The world can no longer witness the senseless killing of the innocent.

Nor can we sit by and expect solutions from the very same parties that have failed time and again in achieving peace.

Over the course of the decades, we have seen a succession of administrations, Secretaries of State, Special Envoys -- "Shuttle Diplomacy" at its bankrupt best.

Nothing to show.

Just more killing.

We need to draw on the lessons and expertise of people who've succeeded. And ditch those approaches that have failed.

A success story we can all learn from was the end of sectarian violence between Irish Catholics and Protestants.

Richard Falk published in Al Jazeera a quote that I found loaded with wisdom: "

Some years ago I heard former British Prime Minister John Major say that he made progress toward peace in Northern Ireland only when he stopped treating the Irish Republican Army as a terrorist organization and began dealing with it as a political actor with real grievances".

Mr. Falk also refers readers to a New York Times Op Ed by Turkey's journalist Mustafa Akyol on how that nation managed to put an end to a decades-long civil war.

"Thanks to the relentless efforts of the liberals, Turkish society began to realize that P.K.K. militants were not inherently evil, but human beings who suffered traumas under the iron fist of the state. Instead of just demonizing "terrorists," Mr. Erdogan began to proclaim, "let the mothers cry no more" -- on both sides.

Like in Ireland and Turkey, Mr. Santos has brought new energy, making it look like
peace may be possible in Colombia, after over 60 years of killing each other.

Colombia has a lesson to share with the world.

Perhaps new faces can bring different results.

Mr. Santos, the world could use your help!

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