Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sept 2008,

Welcome back!

As you know, we just returned from the Middle East. Up until now, I have never really held a position regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Now, having been there and seen the situation firsthand myself I now  have some thoughts on it:

Both Israel and Palestine have a rich  history in the region. They both have legitimite  claims and rights to the land and the right and inheritance to settle and live there. As I see it, there should be enough room for everyone; for them both to share and co-exist side-by-side.(I know, I know; easier said than done!)

I was heartbroken to see Jerusalem(the city of peace?) to be divided; Berlin-Wall style, by a wall and military checkpoint, between the Jewish and Arab sectors,and Israeli citizens are barred from entering the Palestinian section, although the Arabs are allowed to travel onto the other side.There are armed guards and razor-blade wire to divide the districts.It really is very unnerving and unsettling to see and experience.It looked like a war zone.

I couldn;’t help but notice the Jews live in well maintained, clean, decent housing….but the Arab sector in contrast the builidings were run-down,decrepid,and it looked like a ghetto; they certainly didn’t share the same well standard of living.This broke my heart to see the stark difference and that people are(or choose to be) segregated like that and to live like this.

I can see valid points to both factions, both Israeli and Palestinian, and having seen and met the people, they both seem to be, by all accounts, warm and decent people, who care for their country and their family,and were warm and welcoming and friendly to tourists.

It’s sad how they wage attacks back and forth on eachother, both having the right to inhabit the area, and both deserving a place to call home, yet seemingly unable to resolve the conflict and  divide the land peacefully. As an outsider I will never fully understand the situation, but as a casual observer it saddens me, and I can see both have valid points and cases. I sympathize with both sides and pray for a peaceful resolution that everyone can live with, be happy with,and live in peace.No one deserves to live in a place where they constantly are suspicious of their neighbor,and where they daily fear either terrorist or military attacks on their families and homes.I can’t even imagine living like that.

One day, Jesus will again return to Jerusalem and I hope when He does He can smile on the people there,both Jewish and Moslem, and that their goodness will shine thru; that they can show Him they can live in harmony in the land both their ancestors inhabited,that they both inherited, that they both are entitled to, and that both can call home.This is my hope and my prayer. Shalom.Salem.