Thursday, 28 October 2010

Peace in Islam could do so much more for Palestine

Post by Ian.

Again, talks between the Palestinians and Israelis are taking place, hosted by the US, in the hope that the cycle of violence between the two peoples can be ended. The cycle, begun in the conflict of 1947 and perpetuated since on both sides. Like in Ireland, the people on both sides wanting an end to the conflict but their leaders sadly pandering to the minority who wish to continue the conflict.
Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. both won their struggles through the use of non-violent civil disobedience. They used their faith in a cause for which they were willing to die, but not to kill. I have often thought that this strategy would work for the Palestinians far better than the cycle of violence perpetrated by the terrorists among them, and on them by Israeli forces. As said by Gandhi, the cycle of an eye for an eye will only end up making the whole world blind.

Islam is to submit, to submit to God all that you are. Could it be that it's now time to trust to God and look for ways other than armed struggle to resolve this long weeping sore?

O you who believe! be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness of Allah's sake, though it may be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives; if he be rich or poor, Allah is nearer to them both in compassion; therefore do not follow (your) low desires, lest you deviate; and if you swerve or turn aside, then surely Allah is aware of what you do.
Surah 4:135 (Qu'ran, Shakir translation)


  1. From Ash.

    Hi Ian,

    I agree with your inference that this is one of the most significant and seemingly intractible conflicts the world faces.Resolve this and we all benefit, not least those suffering on the ground on both sides of the politico-religious dispute.

    To `turn the other cheek` is within the remit of all those parties involved, Arab and Jew.I was fortunate enough to visit Israel and in particular Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and was shocked in my short time there at the apparent discrimination and segregation against Arabs and their activities by the Israeli authorities.My observations could have been misjudged, but that`s how it appeared. I also had the chance to visit the Holocaust Museum and see the evidence of the appalling inhumanity forced upon the Jewish peoples.

    Both `sides` are as you so rightly state, made up of predominantly good people.Both will have to turn the other cheek and compromise,if there is to be a lasting solution.Both will need to listen to their God of peace.And we all need to pray that that happens.


  2. I would point out that the "cycle" of violence did not begin in 1947 but can be traced back to the 1920's. Sadly the British Military Government in Palestine deliberately incited the Arabs to violence against the Jewish population in order to thwart Westminster's plan under Balfour, to create a Jewish home in Palestine. This incitement led to several large pogroms such as the horrific Hebron massacre in 1929. There are efforts on the ground between Israelis and Palestinians that are often ignored and then there are the countless daily acts of simple friendly co-existence that create bonds across the divide. I am still massively concerned however, about the large scale anti-Jewish hatred and indoctrination that still goes on within Palestinian schools and homes, that can often be heard when it is assumed that there are no Jews around. The impasse has always been made worse by the international community's involvement. The US, EU, Iran and others do not have the interests of either Israel or the Palestinians at heart, but rather their own. Both peoples can and eventually will, God wiling, reach a solution that will allow both people to live in peace, in what is a truly beautiful and holy land.

  3. Joseph wrote: "I am still massively concerned however, about the large scale anti-Jewish hatred and indoctrination that still goes on within Palestinian schools and homes, that can often be heard when it is assumed that there are no Jews around."

    The same is also true, unfortunately, the other way around. I've been around people from both sides of the argument, and have heard the same things being said about the other side. What you say is true, that the international community involvement stirs things up. However, I don't see the situation being resolved without outside mediation. Even if the US and EU step back, Iran and Syria will still interfere.

    I agree that the efforts being made, day to day, by Israelis and Palestinians on the ground need to be reported more and applauded. There are people, on both sides, that work to increase cooperation and understanding. I hope too, that these people find a way to convince their leaders that the conflict needs to end.