Israel and Palestinian leaders just participated in discussions which, ostensibly, were initial steps on the road to peace. Just as their talks ended, Spain’s Basque separatist group which has been fighting for autonomy for half a century, announced it was ready to end the fighting. ETA announced to the people of Spain its “commitment to finding a democratic process to decide freely and democratically our future, through dialogue and negotiations. It remains unclear as to how this process will proceed, it remains unclear as to wether Basque militants will unilaterally lay down their arms or will it require some action on the part of the Spanish government. Cynics argue it is a ploy to gain sympathy, but ideas concerning localism have lost power in countries like Spain which is now linked, not only throughout Europe as part of the European Union, but has commercial links in every part of the world.
There is no doubt many areas of the world continue to witness “nationalism” as a powerful driving force that is able to fuel anger and violence. Perhaps, the Basque statement reflects a slight shift in the drive of nationalism to achieve power. Who knows what awaits Spain, the only hope is the future of this country is peaceful and negotiations proceed to a successful conclusion.