Today Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy has taken on a big issue, that of peace in the Middle East. In plea to help move things forward between Israelis and Palestinians, Nimoy invoked the classic Star Trek episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield." Details below.
Nimoy invokes Star Trek for Middle East peace
Today Leonard Nimoy issued a letter in support of Americans For Peace Now, an organization dedicated to peace in the Middle East. The letter calls for a return to negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and endorses the two state solution to the decades long stalemate. To help illustrate his point, Nimoy invoked a classic episode of Star Trek, saying:
You might recall the episode in the original Star Trek series called, "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield." Two men, half black, half white, are the last survivors of their peoples who have been at war with each other for thousands of years, yet the Enterprise crew could find no differences separating these two raging men.
But the antagonists were keenly aware of their differences–one man was white on the right side, the other was black on the right side. And they were prepared to battle to the death to defend the memory of their people who died from the atrocities committed by the other.
The story was a myth, of course, and by invoking it I don’t mean to belittle the very real issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians. What I do mean to suggest is that the time for recriminations is over. Assigning blame over all other priorities is self-defeating. Myth can be a snare. The two sides need our help to evade the snare and search for a way to compromise.
This is the message that Americans for Peace Now seeks to spread. I’m a strong supporter of APN and the work it does. It is a leading voice for Americans who support Israel and know that a negotiated peace will ensure Israel’s security, prosperity and continued viability as a Jewish and democratic state.
The season 3 episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," written by Gene Coon (under the pseudonym Lee Cronin), is often cited as an example of how Star Trek would use allegory to take on big issues. In this case the issue of racism, which was hotly debated in 1960s America. Here is the key scene as described by Nimoy.
You can read Leonard Nimoy’s full letter at peacenow.org/leonard_nimoy.