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Riflessioni sul Perdono, sulla Dignità e sulla Riconciliazione

George Emile Irani

1. I negoziati di pace, generalmente, sono incentrati sulle dimensioni politica ed economica. Quale è la Sua percezione della necessità di toccare aspetti più profondi e genuini della riconciliazione e come si può ottenere questo?

There is first of all the fundamental issue of defining terms: what do we mean by peace and reconciliation. These terms are influenced by the cultural context they emerge from. For instance, forgiveness constitutes a fundamental pillar of Christian teachings. In Judaism for instance we have different interpretations. For the Orthodox Jews only God can forgive. For Reform Judaism only the dead can forgive (see beautiful book by the late Simon Wiesenthal The Sunflower). Fundamentally reconciliation is a long process that ought to go through the following steps: acknowledgment and apology, compensation (both and moral and spiritual), forgiveness and reconciliation. The first step apology is crucial. This is usually expressed through a verbal statement whereby the guilty party acknowledges its wrongdoing. Compensation—either moral, material or both- is very important. Forgiveness and reconciliation might or might not follow. Another important dimension to keep in mind is the issues of power relationship and the question of justice.

2. Quali sono le condizioni nelle quali, al di là dell’assicurare gli interessi della parti in conflitto, può essere stabilito un processo incentrato su un senso di equità e dignità?

There can be no peace without a sense of justice reestablished between parties in conflict. A related dimension is to empower parties in conflict and help them get out from their sense of victimization

3. Quanto il perdono è essenziale alla dimensione della riconciliazione? Alla radice della Sua cultura politica e/o della Sua fede religiosa quali sono i principi che implicano o escludono il perdono? Quali versi o detti che fanno parte del Suo personale patrimonio spirituale possono, nella sua opinione, avere un significato universale

Apology and forgiveness is usually unilateral acts and depend on the victim whether to accept or reject them. Then there are different levels in which reconciliation can take place. It can be between individuals, communities or between states. There are also different layers. Reconciliation could also be bought with money. In my experience with internally displaced communities in Lebanon their willingness to reconcile came from the leadership; a top down vertical process. Arab-Islamic rituals of reconciliation are a non-Western, indigenous application of the process of acknowledgment, apology, compensation, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Though Western approaches to conflict resolution can play a constructive role in efforts to bring peace in the Middle East and other areas of the world beset by ethno-religious conflict, indigenous cultural resources must not be overlooked by foreign mediators, local government officials, and non-Western professionals who are seeking to promote social change. It is important to recognize that the Arab Islamic process of reconciliation is deeply laden with religious meanings and referees to sacred texts. For example in the Qur’an –Surat al-Baqarah (The Cow) (2:178): “O ye who believe! The law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: The free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude. This is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord.” See also Surat Ash-Shurah (Counsel) (42:40-43): The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah…But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an affair of great resolution.”

4. Il perdono richiede qualche forma di pentimento da parte di coloro a cui il perdono viene offerto? Il perdono ha condizioni o è senza condizioni?

Forgiveness is a unilateral unconditional liberating act to put it with Hannah Arendt in her famous book The Human Condition. Forgiveness breaks the deadly cycle of revenge and retaliation.

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