Author 337

The Armies of Abraham

Posted in Writings by author337 on March 2, 2010

In considering the plight of the Israeli and Palestinian people, I am reminded of the familiar Bible story which tells the tale of two women fighting over a single child. Both women are adamant that they are the child’s mother, and neither will concede to each other’s claim. Hoping to find a just resolution, the two women seek the wisdom of good King Solomon. Solomon ponders their conundrum for a moment, and then suggests a course of action. Since both women refuse to give up their claim of parentage, the baby will be cut in half and divided evenly between the two mothers. The first woman agrees to this, but the second refuses. She decides to forfeit her claim in order to save the child from being split in two. Through this act of selflessness, good King Solomon realizes that the second woman must be the real mother of the child, for a true mother is willing to sacrifice her own wishes for the well being of her child.

Right now, the Holy Land is that child, and Israel and Palestine are the two mothers. Tragically, neither entity is willing to demonstrate the selflessness of that second mother, and so the child remains in peril, its fate uncertain. The prevailing opinion is that the only solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a so-called “Two State Solution.” But I believe that the two-state solution is no solution at all. It is a convenient political position for American politicians, a way to allay the fears of pro-Palestinian liberal guilt mongers while keeping Florida in their column during election years. It may win a few votes here and there, but a two-state solution won’t save any lives.

History suggests that dividing a nation into two states along religious or ideological lines will only bring more suffering. The State of Palestine would be at best an unremitting disaster, and at worse a threat to the safety of the entire region, if not the planet. Consider the plight of Pakistan, a teetering pseudo-state plagued with a weak non-secular government. When the people of that region won their independence from the British Empire, champion of peace Mahatma Gandhi pleaded with his political contemporaries to keep the country together, despite vehement animosity between Muslims and Hindus within its borders. His pleas went unanswered, and the country was divided into two states, India and Pakistan, with thousands of innocent people displaced across this artificial border, their lives torn asunder. The result? Two countries in a perpetual state of lukewarm war for over sixty years, each with nuclear arms pointed at the other and frightened fingers on the chicken switch. In short, a trivial dispute drawn along religious lines has descended into an atomic powder keg.

Adopting such a solution in the Holy Land would probably work even worse than it did for India and Pakistan, considering the volatility of the region. And when Tehran finally develops arms-grade nuclear capability, we can be certain that the State of Palestine would be among the first of their friends to get a hold of these doomsday makers.
Neither side has proven themselves to be a truly selfless mother of Jerusalem. The only real solution to the violence in the Holy Land is far more radical than any proposal currently on the negotiating table. Such a fundamental change of mind and policy is required on both sides, that perhaps the revolution can only be led by our children. And if we are to raise a generation of peacemakers, we must change the world they are borne into. Israeli and Palestinian children must be raised together as countrymen. They must learn to eat, sleep, and perhaps even pray together. And in moving past their differences, they will discover their similiarities. Will these children bear their parents’ passions? Will the souls of lives lost in wars and Infitadahs hang above their heads? Of  course. Will these children of Israel and Palestinian fight one another? Of course. They will fight like brothers and sisters. And when these children emerge into adulthood, a new day will dawn in the land of milk and honey.
No longer will Israeli families displace their Palestinian brothers and sisters in favor of their own settlements. Rather will they build together and side by side, forging businesses, friendships, and families which will last generations.
The warriors of the Holy Land, both Muslim, Christian and Jew, must turn their arms from one another and march together as sons of Abraham, defending the land that God promised to us all. Only then will Judea be returned to its former glory, when Christian, Muslim and Jew can walk into each other’s tents as if they were their own.
So where do we start? The children of Palestine must follow in the footsteps of Gandhi and Doctor King, men who wrote blueprints for freedom without a drop of blood on their hands. And the children of Israel? We must find our answers in the very commandments which bind us to the Holy Sands of Judea, commandments which teach us to love all our brothers and sisters, even those not of our covenant.

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