Independent Voices |

Independent Voices

Yes, there is hope for peace in the Middle East. There is always hope. Hope is one of the traits that makes us human, and hope drives us to learn and teach.

At an international school in New Mexico, I saw an Israeli student and a Palestinian student make a moving public commitment to peace that brought the audience to its feet. I hope that those two young

people can be influential soon. Maybe they will make the concessions necessary by both sides that will end the violence.

I want so badly to say, “Yes, of course there is!” but just can’t do it. Maybe someday, generations removed from now, there can be true peace in which the various factions can trust each other. Maybe before then, there can be a forced, uneasy peace in which no one shoots, even though they still want to.

But soon? In my lifetime? No, can’t see it. As long as the armed camps call the actions of their enemies “terrorism” and their own actions “retribution,” the cycle will continue undaunted.

The most significant factor stems from a significant question: Is the Bible true? The Bible is a story with a beginning and an ending. Foretold within its pages are the events that will lead up to the return of Jesus Christ. Those events include Armageddon, the final battle on earth, which will take place in the Middle East. This would seem to preclude lasting peace.

To my fellow Americans (including those annoyed by this opinion), I wish a happy Independence Day! Thank God for the freedoms of religion and speech.

In all of documented history, has there ever been a prolonged period of peace in that region? Has anything changed that would alter that picture? It seems that in other areas the only way peace has been maintained is with ruthless dictatorships (the Roman Empire, Russia, the Balkans, lands under Islam, etc.). As dictatorships fade away in the Middle East, I fear that even more violence will erupt there. Does a prudent person jump into a pit filled with rattlesnakes?

Not likely. Mohammed (A.D. 570 – 632) united the Arabs in a religious cause. Large kingdoms were founded on three continents. The Muslim empire began unraveling by 1800. An Arab League was created in 1945 to prop up co-operation among Arab states. Immediate aims were to end foreign rule of Arab countries and to unite against Zionist Jews in Palestine. By 1949, members of the League began to show that it was hard for them to work together. They did not even see eye-to-eye on their common enemy. What has changed?

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