An Envoy for Peace

Question: Would you make a better envoy than Tony Blair?

Gerry Adams: I don’t put myself in any sort of position of comparing myself with anyone else. We help in a modest way.

I have been to the Middle East. I spoke just last month [ September 2007] to the Israeli ambassador to Britain. Mark McGinnis was in Sri Lanka and tried to help there. He also chaired with Ralph Meyer from South Africa a conference in Helsinki last month with people from Iraq.

I’ve been fairly heavily involved in what’s now a field process, or at least a process which has been abandoned for some time. And the Spanish-Basque dispute.

So in a very modest way, we can help. We help, but you can’t intrude. You can’t interfere. And there’s also, believe it or not, a whole industry as built up around conflict resolution. Some of it may be well meaning. Some of it may be less well meaning – self-perpetuating to a certain extent.

I know from my own experience that there was nothing worse than do-gooders who come in and thought they had all the answers, and who come in with only a superficial knowledge of what was required. So if we can help in any of these processes, we will. But the calculation will be that we can be of benefit, and that we can advance negotiated settlements as a means of resolving conflicts.

If people of Israel cannot do anything they want to – whatever the government and the military people may think – cannot wipe out the people of Palestine. And the people of Palestine cannot wipe out the people of Israel. So there has to be a negotiated approach.

Without appearing too long winded or folksy, if there’s a dispute in your family and you don’t talk, and you know then people get alienated, and then people take up fixed positions, and then other people get involved. But if somebody comes in and says, “Hi. Come here. You know that’s your brother. That’s your sister. That’s your husband. That’s your wife. That’s your children. Sit down and talk about it. Listen to what they have to say.”


Recorded on: Oct 8, 2007

Who would make a better messenger for peace, Gerry Adams or Tony Blair?

Coffee and green tea may lower death risk for some adults

Tea and coffee have known health benefits, but now we know they can work together.

Credit: NIKOLAY OSMACHKO from Pexels
Surprising Science
  • A new study finds drinking large amounts of coffee and tea lowers the risk of death in some adults by nearly two thirds.
  • This is the first study to suggest the known benefits of these drinks are additive.
  • The findings are great, but only directly apply to certain people.
Keep reading Show less

Why San Francisco felt like the set of a sci-fi flick

But most city dwellers weren't seeing the science — they were seeing something out of Blade Runner.

Brittany Hosea-Small / AFP / Getty Images
Surprising Science

On Sept. 9, many West Coast residents looked out their windows and witnessed a post-apocalyptic landscape: silhouetted cars, buildings and people bathed in an overpowering orange light that looked like a jacked-up sunset.

Keep reading Show less

Why the number 137 is one of the greatest mysteries in physics

Famous physicists like Richard Feynman think 137 holds the answers to the Universe.

Surprising Science
  • The fine structure constant has mystified scientists since the 1800s.
  • The number 1/137 might hold the clues to the Grand Unified Theory.
  • Relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics are unified by the number.
Keep reading Show less

Finland is the 'most sustainable' country, say expats

India finishes last of 60 countries in environment and sustainability, as ranked by the expats who work there.

Image: Environment & Sustainability Ranking, an Expat Insider topical report published by InterNations
Strange Maps
  • How 'green' is life in your work country?
  • That's the question InterNations asked its network of expats.
  • The United States ended 30th out of 60 countries.
Keep reading Show less