I was just at an Israeli/Palestinian symposium. Most of my experience is not speech-ripe yet, however I will share one insight from the evening.
There were two simultaneous ideas floating around in terms of getting to solution.
1. A Palestinian professor of law at Berkeley, Dr. Hatem Bazian suggested partnerships between the institutions of higher education in the United States and the three universities in the Gaza Strip. He also suggests similar partnerships between K-12 schools here and there.
2. A rabbi, disicpled by the mentors of Dr. MLK Jr. suggested that we need to find ways of constructing peace.
I can’t help but to wonder if a combination of the two ideas is the part of the only real solution that exists. What I mean is this…
I happen to disagree with the notion that further diplomacy is going to lead to any kind of a feasible soltion to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The United States is so tied up in our own economic crisis that it will be years before we are able to give the attention to that crisis that it needs. Also–I think our world may be living in what Einstein called insanity already as it is: we keep doing the same stuff expecting different results.
As I listened to Dr. Bazian and Rabbi Lynn talk, I was struck with the notion that the very kind of peace construction that is needed is for the emerging generations of Americans, our elementary kids to live in pro-people relationships. In stating that this is for the emerging generation of Americans, I’m not underestimating the urgency of the situation over there. I am suggesting, though, that the only solution to what is happening is not diplomacy and it is not partnership…it is relationship.
I wonder what would happen if, in households all around America, children began coming home telling stories of real friendships that they developing with real children in Gaza. I wonder how that would begin to change the perspective of generations of families who have blindly supported injustice with our political disposition as well as our tax dollars for years. I wonder what kind of peace would begin to be created if, when children hear of bombing and aid being cut off for the Gaza, they plead with their parents to do something about it.
I wonder if, when America, moved by relationship instead of greed and politics, would move with such force that our government would have to dig their heads out of the sands of arrogance and respond.
I can’t help but to offer the simplex notion that Jesus (the incarnational God) is the solution.