Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men

Things are bad in Israel and Gaza now, even by the standards of Israel and Gaza relations. It's easy to feel hopeless and helpless, or to be cynical. What's right? How can other nations and cultures best help? I've heard people saying everything from we should bomb them all, to we should withdraw completely and let them war it out.


I've heard that the only moral course of action is to support Israel, and that the only moral action is to oppose Israel. I'm not going to weigh in on that. I don't have this figured out (and I'm not sure anyone else does).

Here's what I do know: I have the privilege of attending a Ramadan festival tonight. It will be at a Jewish Temple. The Istanbul Cultural Center hosted us last year, a band of Christians, Jews, and Muslims discussing our shared Abrahamic lineage. This year, we're going to be at Temple Israel.

I am amazed by the courage of these two organizations, and I think this is instructive. The easy path is to retreat into our own spheres of influence, and to talk about other in a hypothetical context. The real work or peace is to be together, talking, sharing, and learning. This is they way forward in our world, to see people instead of labels, and to know their dreams and sorrows in flesh and blood.

May we all learn to see the world as people, and not abstract people groups.

photo credit: khalilshah via photopin cc