Sunday, September 5, 2010

Middle East Peace?

Not likely. But it IS possible.

Unfortunately, a lasting, real peace in the Middle East, i.e. Israel, is not possible as long as the governments involved - including the United States - refuse to accept the basic core of the problem.

The Arab Palestinians claim the land as their own, because they were predominant in the land for two thousand years. The Palestinians effectively exiled the Jews, and centuries later Islam had marched against the Christian and Jewish world, and had all but overtaken it when, under King Richard of England the Crusades were launched. Richard lost, and Palestinian muslims ruled the land that had been bequeathed by God to the descendant of Abraham, through his son Isaac.

Isaac was the father of the Jewish nation, and according to the Bible in Genesis, God gave his son, Jacob, the land of Canaan as the "Promised Land". Canaan was the land now known as Israel, Lebanon and other coastal areas of the region.

Many centuries later, Muhammed wrote the Quran and started the Islamic religion. The religion grew primarily because of its violent nature and requirement that all non-muslims either be converted, subjugated or killed. Over the next 6 centuries, Islam virtually took over the civilized world. Even Constantinople, the center of Christianity, was overtaken and a mosque built on top of the Christian cathedral where it stands to this day.

After World War II, the Jewish people, in need of a home after the persecution by the Nazis, were granted permission by Britain to settle in Palestine, which later became Israel.

So, Canaan became Israel the Promised Land, which then was taken by Arabs who named it Palestine. And after a couple of thousand years, the Jews were allowed to take it back.

In both essence and reality, both the Palestinians and the Jews have a right to the land. The problem stems from the fact that Islam wants the total destruction of the Jews, so any compromise is unlikely unless and until Islam accepts the right of Jews to exist.

Many Palestinians are willing to co-exist, but only as equals. The problem is that Hamas pretty much controls the Palestinian government, and Hamas does not want co-existence. It wants only the complete destruction of Israel.

Perhaps there will never be peace, but if there is ever to be a serious effort to that end, as yet no one has taken into consideration the most essential first step, without which nothing else can begin. And that crucial first step absolutely must be to change the name of the country.

The name Israel says the land belongs to the Jews. The name Palestine says it belongs to the Arabs. Sine history and reality says it belongs to both, only a new, non-denominational name would promote a sense of co-existence. I would propose that the name of Israel/Palestine revert back to it's original name - Canaan. A name that both peoples can claim, allowing both peoples to simply be "equal citizens of Canaan".

Once the name is changed to something that does not elicit anger and hate, perhaps then the two sides can begin to agree on peace. There is no reason that Arab and Jew cannot live together in a combined land. We do it here - Irish, Native American, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Italians, Mexicans - we all live together in this land. It did not have to be divided into separate nations. And the big "secret" is our name - America. It is a benign name, and does not favor any one race or people.

I suspect if our nation had been named to favor one religion or sect, we, too would be having our own "Middle East Crisis" right here in the U.S.A.


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