A new energy, the energy of equilibrium, pervades the planet. It affects human affairs, as well as the world of nature. Maitreya is using this energy to stimulate the urge towards greater harmony between man and man, and between man and nature. As a result, an increasing number of often unexpected and apparently miraculous transformations in world affairs, large and small, have taken place in recent decades. Examples include the ending of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of apartheid in South Africa.
The past few years have been an age of miracles
Unimaginable events, consummations devoutly wished for but never really expected, have succeeded one another as if the Creator had whistled up a new world.
The Berlin Wall tumbles. The Soviet empire melts away. Nelson Mandela, free at last, begins to bring democracy to black South Africans.
Now comes what must be considered one of the greatest miracles of all: the first acknowledgement by Israelis and Palestinians that they can share the land both call home.
TIME magazine September 21, 1993
The following is a selection of the most significant events:
In November 1977, three decades to the month after the Arab-Israeli conflict began, an Egyptian head of state stepped onto the tarmac at Tel Aviv airport to a hero’s welcome. He had come on a “sacred mission”, to talk peace face to face with the people of Israel. TIME magazine declared that the Middle East had never seen such a moment before. President Sadat’s courageous initiative for reviving the Middle East peace process took the whole world by surprise.
While President Sadat’s decision to go to Jerusalem was an historic breakthrough, it did not instantly lead to tangible results. It took 16 long months of arduous diplomacy before Egypt and Israel were able to agree on a peace treaty.
Finally however, on 26 March 1979, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Premier Menachem Begin of Israel met in Washington DC, and put their seal on a comprehensive peace treaty. It was also signed by American President Jimmy Carter, the man largely responsible for keeping the negotiation process alive when all had seemed lost. Of the treaty, Carter said, “I think this was a kind of answer to those who are cynical about basic human attitudes and attributes. I think the inclination toward peace and love transcended those toward war and hatred.”
In December 1987, President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union attended a political summit in Washington DC that would not only put the seal on the first stage in nuclear disarmament, but also signal a reduction of tension in history’s most dangerous rivalry. That signal was echoed by an organization of American scientists who, in the same month, turned back the hands of their symbolic ‘Doomsday Clock’ for the first time since 1945. Within 12 months the Cold War would be over.
The treaty they signed abolished the intermediate nuclear forces of both superpowers, namely 1,752 Soviet and 859 American warheads deployed in Europe and Asia. It was the first treaty ever signed by the superpowers that entailed wholesale reductions in nuclear weapons, and which required both sides to make significant compromises to their strategic defence policies.
President Gorbachev said, “The walls which for years separated the peoples are collapsing. The trenches of the Cold War are disappearing: the fog of prejudice, mistrust and animosity is vanishing.”
On November 9, 1989, at about 7.00pm, the leader of the East Berlin communist party, Gunter Schabowski, announced that the border with West Berlin would be opened for “private trips abroad.” Wall ‘woodpeckers’ started to use hammers and chisels to knock out pieces of the Berlin Wall. Shortly thereafter, a massive emigration of East Berliners to West Berlin began.
On July 1, 1990, an economic, monetary and social union between East and West Germany was formed, and all restrictions concerning travel were dropped, thereby signalling the reunification of East and West Germany.
The Berlin Wall was the most visible and concrete section of the so-called ‘Iron Curtain’ separating the communist states of Central and Eastern Europe from the West. Its fall, referred to above, was just one result of a wave of largely peaceful popular uprisings that swept rapidly across the Eastern Bloc, leading to the collapse of one regime after another in the space of only a few months.
The astonishing speed of these developments was expressed at the time by slogans such as: “Poland 10 years. Hungary 10 months. The GDR 10 weeks. Czechoslovakia 10 days.” During a demonstration in Hungary in mid-December 1989 against the Ceausescu regime in Romania, someone added: “Romania…?” to the list — within days, in Bucharest, the most horrific dictatorship of Eastern Europe was brought down, the dictator executed and a new interim government appointed. It was the only Eastern Bloc country whose people overthrew its communist regime violently.
It was described as “the handshake that shook the world”. In the Fall of 1993, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands in Washington on an historic agreement of mutual recognition. Prime Minister Rabin announced that, for the sake of peace with Syria, he was prepared to give up Israeli occupied settlements in the Golan Heights.
Steps toward Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho were outlined and accepted. It was seen as the first move towards autonomy for the West Bank and a more general peace between Israel and all her Arab neighbors.
Millions of South Africans went to the polls in an historic election, which brought an end to over 300 years of white minority rule, and carried Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress to power. In conceding defeat to the ANC, former President F.W. de Klerk said: “I hold out my hand to Mr Mandela in friendship and in cooperation. … A power greater than man has given South Africa the spirit, the chance to go forward in peace.”
1996: Romania and Hungary friendship treaty
Romania and Hungary agreed to sign a friendship treaty on the contentious issue of the position and rights of the Hungarian minority in the Romanian province of Transylvania, an issue which has been at the heart of several wars between the two countries.
1996: Philippine peace “A miracle from God”
Peace talks ended a 26-year Muslim separatist rebellion in the southern Philippines. Rebel leader Misuari and Philippine President Fidel Ramos announced a settlement focused on poverty alleviation and greater autonomy for the Muslims. One rebel commander said of the agreement: “I think this is a miracle from God.”
1996: Guatemala civil war ends
After 36 years of civil war and more than 100,000 people dead, Guatemala signed a treaty between the government and its guerrilla adversaries.
1997 Korean rapprochement
Representatives from North and South Korea met in New York with American officials and discussed peace for the first time since the Korean War.
1997: Malaysia and Thailand border dispute
After 15 years of disagreement, Malaysia and Thailand said they plan to settle their border dispute.
1997: Ukraine and Poland sign accord
A “Declaration on Accord and Unity” was signed by Ukraine and Poland, aimed at ending a long history of conflicts between the two nations.
1997: Fewer wars
Stockholm’s International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) announced in its yearbook the gradual reduction in wars around the planet. Each year since 1989 and since the Cold War ended, the number of wars has been reduced. In 1989 there were 36 major conflicts in the world; in 1995 the number was reduced to 30; and in 1996 to 27. Among these there was only one, the war between India and Pakistan regarding the Kashmir region, that crossed national borders. The year before there had been only one new ‘serious’ conflict: the war in Northern Uganda.
1998: Agreements in South and Central America
Ecuador and Peru signed an agreement over a three-year border dispute that hopefully will lead to a peace treaty.
Honduras and El Salvador resolved a long border dispute by agreeing to mark 151,5 miles of border physically within a year.
In Colombia, guerrilla ELN and representatives of the church and trade union organizations met to discuss moves towards peace after nearly four decades of conflict.
1998: East Timor autonomy
In the first diplomatic breakthrough in over 20 years, Indonesia and Portugal agreed to an autonomy plan for the disputed territory of East Timor.
1998: Northern Ireland Peace Agreement
After marathon negotiations, a landmark agreement (the ‘Good Friday Agreement’) was reached on 10 April 1998 by the warring parties of Northern Ireland in an effort to settle 30 years of sectarian violence. In a 67-page document, a framework for power-sharing addresses the demands and fears of the two main religious groups. A newly-formed body, the Northern Ireland Assembly, would elect its members and reflect the make-up of the 1.6 million people in the province. A North-South Ministerial Council would bring together legislative leaders from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to work on joint issues such as the environment, transportation and tourism. And another new body, the Council of the Isles, would include representatives of the Parliaments of Ireland and Britain.