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Peace in the Holy Land?

Message carol wolman, MD
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We are all heartsick about what is going on in Gaza.  How can we understand it, and what can we do?  To get answers, we need to go to the Bible, which gives us both the history behind the current conflict, and the way to resolve it.

Psalm 122:6
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.
The Israeli attack on Gaza is just the latest episode in a long war between the Jewish state of Israel and the Palestinians, Muslim and Christian, who have long inhabited the land.  I call the area the Holy Land, a nonpolitical term that all three religious groups can agree on.
The Holy Land was inhabited by the Jews until  70 ad, when the Romans drove them out.  They scattered in the Diaspora, but always prayed to return to Jerusalem.
The Samaritans, who are descended from Abraham via Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) remained in the land, and were the first group to accept Jesus as the Messiah (John 4).  Their descendants became the Palestinians, some of whom remained Christian, and some of whom became Muslim.  In the 19th century, Jewish settlers started arriving from all over the world, returning from the Diaspora.  When Israel became a Jewish state in 1948, and since, many of the Palestinians were forced to leave, and many settled in Gaza.
The region is the Holy Land because most events of both Old and New Testament took place there.  Many of these events have been confirmed by modern archaelogists, proving that the Bible gives an accurate historical account. 
The Cave of Machpelech, where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca are buried is described in Genesis, and is now a Muslim shrine, right outside Hebron.  Muslims consider Abraham their father, by way of his first son, Ishmael, who was cast into the desert in favor of Isaac. 
Mt. Zion in Jerusalem was the citadel of King David; his tomb is there. 
Jesus was dedicated in the Second Temple in Jerusalem for circumcision at 8 days, and againat age 13.  He was crucified in Jerusalem at age 33.
Muslims also accept the Old Testament prophets, and believe that Jesus is the Messiah.  Their third holiest site, the Dome of the Rock, is a mosque built on the ruins of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
The seeds of the current conflict are sown in the Book of Genesis.  God promised Abraham an heir, and Isaac was miraculously born to Sarah in her old age,  starting the Israelite lineage.  Abraham already had one son, Ishmael, by Sarah's handmaiden, Hagar.  The conflict between Ishmael and Isaac is reflected in the current conflict between Muslims and Jews.
By the way, God promised Abraham 4000 years ago that his seed would be as numerous as the stars.  There are several billion of us alive now who are Abraham's spiritual descendants- Jews, Muslims and Christians.  This shows that Biblical prophecy has some validity.
The land dispute is also laid out in the Book of Genesis.  God promised Abraham the land of Canaan (now Israel) and fulfilled the promise a generation later, urging Joshua to commit genocide against the tribes there, so they could occupy the land. Some Israelis today use the bloody Book of Joshua to justify their actions in Gaza.  Some Christian Zionists in America also use this book to explain their tolerance of Israeli atrocities.  The promise to Abraham is the basis for the state of Israel's claim to legitimacy. 
For instance, the Likud Party Platform states:
“The right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel is an eternal right, not subject to dispute, and includes the right to security and peace. 
The promise to Abraham is also the basis of American Christian support for Israel.
Psalm 122:6
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.
Given this Biblical background, how can there ever be peace?  The answer is also in the Bible.  The Old Testament lays out the plan, Jesus gives the key in the New Testament, and the Qur'an confirms it.  As soon as one understands that the Palestinians are also Israelites, descended from Jacob through Joseph, through his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, the answer becomes clear.  The descendents of Ephraim and Manasseh are entitled to a specified portion of the Holy Land.
I'm a believer.  I believe the Bible and Qur'an are messages from God to us humans.  God set us a riddle to solve in the Holy Land- how can we make peace among cousins who so hate one another?  God also solves the riddle for us, with a Peace Plan for the Holy Land, embedded in His Word.
Many readers of this article may not be believers.  Still, if you look at the nutshell version of the Peace Plan below, you have to agree that in a region where belief in the Holy Scriptures underlies politics, a Peace Plan embedded in the Scriptures will carry great authority.
Nutshell Peace Plan:

How can Muslims, Jews, and Christians come to agreement on a workable and just peace plan for the Holy Land?

A good start is by respecting the holy books of all three "Abrahamic" religions, both the Bible and the Qur'an. That's simply being realistic--after all, religion plays an important role in the lives of a large percentage of all inhabitants of the region.
A peace plan satisfying the
holy books includes:

1) One nation including Israel, the West Bank and Gaza,
with two "states" based on the 1967 boundaries.

2) Both Israelis & Palestinians recognized as citizens.

3) Jerusalem shared as national capital.
Ramallah & Tel Aviv as the two "state" capitals.

4) Right of return & reparations

There is a peace plan being circulated spelling out these requirements
and others according to the Bible. As it so happens, the Qur'an agrees
with what the Bible says, so Muslims can agree with the peace plan, too.

Robert Mendelson
You may email me or Robert Mendelson for a copy of the complete Peace Plan.  
In the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ,
Carol Wolman
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Carol S. Wolman, MD is a psychiatrist in Northern California. A lifelong peace activist, she is helping to distribute a Peace Plan for the Holy Land- email her for a copy. She also a film producer with Paradise Cove Productions, currently (more...)

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