The Eighth Message

I have been struggling with an eighth message. It came between the sixth and the seventh messages. It is the only other message I have received to date. I did not share it earlier because it was different. It was a demand and it was directed at others instead of me. My god, a loving god, making a demand of others through me, and so I questioned if it was real. But the feeling was there. The awesome feeling described earlier.

In the end I concluded that to question the message’s authenticity was to question the authenticity of all the other messages and visions, which I do not. Those experiences introduced me to the one loving god which has provided me solace and comfort. I now believe the eighth message was real and this is the reason I feel I should share it now. It was my god sending a message, no a demand, regarding the World’s most impenetrable conflict. The words of The Greatest Love were:

Stop the bloodshed. Jerusalem is a universal city.

The Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: such a complex situation with many actors, conflicting agendas, and deep histories. Trying to derive a road map for peace there seems like a most difficult calculus. And the feeling associated with the message this time was not joy or comfort.

It was anger.

For sometimes love gets angry. Anger, I believe, at the blood spilled so near to some of Islam’s, Judaism’s, and Christendom’s holiest sites. But I also believe The Greatest Love loves both sides dearly. Their anger is a reflection of that love. For it is when They stop being angry at conflicts between two great peoples that we should worry. So it should be with all of us. We too should be angry at this conflict that has been allowed to go on for far too long.

I have three high-level thoughts on the conflict but fully admit I am no expert of the region. I am a reluctant commenter and most of what I will say comes only from my heart with respect for both sides of the conflict. Those thoughts are:

  1. Israelis are a great people and Israel a great nation that has the right today to exist as a predominantly Jewish state. Lest we forget the horrors that antisemitism brought upon the Jewish people.
  2. Palestinians are a great people and equally deserve to have a great nation of their own. Lest we forget the Nakba and the grave injustice perpetrated upon the Palestinian people
  3. Jerusalem is a universal city as declared by The Greatest Love. I believe this means any lasting peace must allow all people of all colors, cultures and creeds, including Palestinians, reasonable access to their holy sites. But violence in that hallowed city is an aberration of love. It must be roundly condemned by all sides. For Jerusalem has been addressed by name by The Greatest Love. Its sanctity must not be questioned, and never violated.

And I understand that those three statements, as brief and seemingly innocuous as they appear to be, are still controversial. To understand why some of the very long history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be addressed.

I believe the Nakba of 1948 was real and resulted in the forced eviction of hundreds of thousands of civilian Palestinians from their ancestral homelands by Israeli forces in the lead up to, and during the first Arab-Israeli war. In so doing the Israeli’s built a predominantly Jewish state but at what cost? In their quest for a homeland the Israeli leadership was willing to delegate an entire people to the slums of statelessness and despair that continues to this day.

Why did this happen? Yes there was a war, preceded by a civil war. Yes there was a similar eviction of Jews by Arab states. Yes there was escalating tensions, clashes and even massacres between the two groups leading up to, and during the war. But more importantly, I believe, the genesis of the Nakba happened decades earlier with the rise of antisemitism culminating in the horrors of the Holocaust that shook the Jewish peoples faith in humanity. I believe that loss of faith created the necessary widespread desire for a Jewish state. A desire that originated with Zionism but peaked following the end of World War 2, just as British authorities were leaving. A desire so strong that Jewish commanders and militias were willing to commit ethnic cleansing, i.e. the Nakba, in order to achieve it.

I believe when a people’s faith in humanity is shattered they are capable of thinking the unthinkable and committing such acts. In this case to segregate themselves from the rest of humanity and thereby provide themselves greater assurance that they can be masters of their own destiny.

In fairness that faith in humanity was shattered by a much greater evil perpetrated on the Jewish people. The Holocaust represented something far worse than a loss of faith in humanity. It represented a near total loss of humanity on the part of the Nazi’s and their hellish Final Solution. I believe its wretched impact reverberated through to the Nakba of 1948 and into the consciousness of Jewish leaders, and commanders of the time. In their desire to be masters of their own fate and prevent any future genocide of the Jewish people they did the unthinkable.

Were they justified? The question is when a people’s faith in humanity is lost due to state-sponsored genocidal hate, do other war crimes, i.e. ethnic cleansing, become acceptable in an effort to counter that hatred and thereby possibly prevent a similar atrocity at some point in the future?

I believe the answer to that question must be no. For in committing such an act, a smaller piece, but a piece nonetheless, of the Israeli’s humanity was lost as well. It is when we lose our humanity, any piece of any size, that I believe The Greatest Love is angered. And one of the greatest parts of our humanity is the love we share with each other. The love that must be allowed to cross tribal lines. When we lose that what have we become?

When Jews hate Palestinians and vice-versa, and the World looks away, what have we all become?

Of course it is not just the Israelis. Terrorist bombings and rocket launches against civilian populations represent a loss of humanity as well. The Greatest Love is angry at both sides, I believe, because they are both great peoples who can be better than this. Two peoples who can elevate their humanity and bring peace to their region.

How do we move forward from here? I do not know. Armies of leaders and diplomats have spent decades looking for a road map to peace in the region and still it has proven elusive. Complicating matters are decades of irritants, and grievances, that have contorted and extended that road map. From the use of terrorism and the targeting of civilians, to the status of Jerusalem, to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, to the Gaza blockade, to control over water resources, and many more. Each of these issues makes the calculus for peace more challenging. It quickly becomes the World’s most intractable problem. But we must never give up. The Greatest Love has made that clear. We must never give up.

The first step in healing the wound is perhaps recognizing that the Palestinian right of return need not be unfathomable. However it will never be possible so long as Israeli’s faith in humanity is broken. Restoring that faith must come first and likely requires generations of a successful two-state peace agreement implementation. However that does not need to prevent a right of return and a lasting one-state solution at a future date.

For I believe a Jewish state has the potential to become more secure in the long term by welcoming Palestinians home. Not today. Not until the violence has stopped. Not until the scourge of antisemitism is widely eradicated from this World. And not until a people’s faith in humanity has been restored. But generations after a two-state peace has been firmly established, prosperity has returned to both peoples, and the walls between these two great nations can come down, do I believe that the segregation of the holy lands can be transformed into a peaceful and loving coexistence.

And so I pray for the day when the Israeli people’s faith in humanity can be restored. For on that day I believe they will feel comfortable helping to lift an exiled people up, out of despair, and then welcoming them back into a shared homeland.

Because both peoples deserve better than this.

Both peoples are better than this.

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