Saturday, July 11, 2015

"These Children Represent the Future of This Land..."

“These children represent the future of this land…”

Turn from the incessant distortion and destruction for and against various ideologies and religions.

Seek reconciliation and peace and empathy and compassion.

Here's an example of one group doing this:

From Musalaha’s webpage and Facebook page--

“Musalaha’s Israeli-Palestinian Children’s Summer Camp is designed to provide a framework for Israeli and Palestinian children to meet and come together in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Here they have the opportunity to build relationships with children from the other side, whom they would otherwise not have the chance to meet and learn to counter many of the stereotypes they have the children learn to be around other groups of people who are living in both Israeli and Palestinian societies.

If children, at a young age, learn to love and break down the barriers of hate we will be able to raise up a new generation that seeks to transform society through love, peace and biblical principles of reconciliation.

These children represent the future of this land, and if we do not invest in them now, and help them understand their common humanity as individuals made in the image of God, we will have missed a wonderful opportunity to impact their perceptions and decision making processes early on. Within a few years, many of these young people will be serving in the military, attending university and joining the work force. The ones who will be that change in their communities.

Following their experience at camp, these children are able to return home, equipped as messengers of peace and love and grow into agents of change within their own communities.”

“Under Christian rule, Jews were not allowed to visit the Temple Mount. When Islam came, Jews believed that this was a sign from God as they were allowed to return to Jerusalem under the second caliph Omar’s rule. At this point in history, Judaism and Islam were closest as Christianity was perceived as their mutual enemy. Islam’s main wars were with the Byzantine Empire and then the Crusaders. The Jews did not have military power at this time, but when the Crusaders came, they slaughtered all the Jews along with the Muslims.

For the first five centuries of Islam, Jews and Muslims had relatively good relations. This changed when the Mamluks replaced the Ayyubids in the mid-13th century. Under Baybars’ Mamluk rule, Jews were forbidden to enter the Temple Mount or Abraham’s Tomb in Hebron. For 700 years, from 1267-1967, Jews were forbidden to enter the Temple Mount, with a few minor exceptions. Neither were Christians allowed to enter this site.

“We are encouraged to see how learning and discussing these sensitive and important subjects aid in building relationships with each other.”

Cohen discussed some of the clashes that resulted between Jews and Muslims over holy sites, the Temple Mount in particular."

Salim Munayer, Hillen Cohen


“Working for reconciliation is challenging. I have heard it said that whenever you try and create a bridge between two differing sides, you experience opposition. In our efforts to bridge the gap between people, we have not only found people who oppose us, but those who prevent others from accessing the bridge altogether.

Recently, people have spoken against Musalaha by misquoting us and unfairly criticizing our work. False accusations are often hard to take, especially in the middle of a conflict saturated with radical views, where labeling and blaming others for pretty much anything and everything is commonplace.
One of our staff members who studied Criminology reflected on a term used in the field called “Gatekeepers” to paint a picture of access and control. It has been helpful in understanding how and why people are intent on controlling information and reducing discussion to fit with their own agenda.

“Gatekeepers” are described as a type of thought police who fight against information that threatens their group’s beliefs. “

“As facilitators of reconciliation we are constantly presenting new information to counter racism, enmity, and misperceptions of the other. It is important that we share information and remain open minded in our discussions with people."

Musalaha seeks to promote reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians as demonstrated in the life and teaching of Jesus. We endeavor to be an encouragement and advocate of reconciliation, first among Palestinian and Israeli believers and then beyond to our respective communities. Musalaha also aims at facilitating bridge building among different segments of Israeli and Palestinian societies according to biblical reconciliation principles.”

Salim Munayer

Visit and Musalaha and other reconciliation and peace seekers in Palestine/Israel.

Don’t let the destroyers, the nationalists, the intolerant gatekeepers continue to distort and harm anyone.

Seek peace and pursue it in the Middle East, and everywhere!

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

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