What people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change

Madeleine Albright

To seize the sword instead of the olive branch -- that is a choice

There are elements within Islam, Christianity and Judaism alike who believe that wars in the Middle East have been foretold by scripture and that the decisive battle between good and evil will take place in that region.

This isn’t a point I am qualified to argue, but I do know this: Armageddon is not a foreign policy…

To seize the sword instead of the olive branch–that is a choice.

To teach children to hate–is a choice.

To glorify murderers as martyrs–is a choice.

To dehumanize and disrespect the dignity of others–is a choice.

These are all choices, and what people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change.

We cannot make choices for those who live in the Middle East and Persian Gulf.

But we can try to persuade all sides that there can be no progress for any side through violence. […]

…it will require that moderates throughout the region do more to support each other. […]

Moderates must make themselves heard by appealing to hope; and they must do so with all the swagger and conviction of the worst demagogues.

We cannot allow fear to defeat hope in the Middle East.

by Madeleine K. Albright (born May 15, 1937)
from her Snowdon Lecture of September 18, 2006
for the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan D.C.
at Georgetown University

Context

Madeleine Albright was the first female Secretary of State. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton in December of 1996, and was confirmed by a unanimous Senate vote. As Secretary of State, she was the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. She served from January of 1997 through January of 2001, until succeeded by Colin Powell.

Some of these same lines were used in her May 27, 2003 address to the Central Conference Of American Rabbis

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