Defusing a fight among neighbours

Nadim Shehadi on why the Gulf states need to end the crisis with Qatar

The World Today
Published 28 July 2017 Updated 23 November 2020 4 minute READ

Nadim Shehadi

Former Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme

The keeper of the key to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, one of Christianity’s holiest places, is always a member one of the city’s prominent Muslim families. This is in order to maintain peace between the Christian sects that have squabbled for centuries over minute details of ritual and protocol.

The conflict is greater within one single church: at the Pan-Orthodox Council held in Crete last year even more intense rivalries surfaced with Bulgarians, Greeks, Russians, Georgians and Antiochians storming in and out of the meetings. In fact the closer people are the deeper the conflict between them when it occurs; what Freud called the ‘narcissism of small differences’.

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