Today is independence day for Israelis. For the Palestinians it is the nakba day, the day of the catastrophe. 71 years ago. A catastrophe that is not yet over. The war that began in 1948 between Israel and the Palestinians is not yet over. Still the same hostility. Despite that, hope remained through generations. Life will come again.
After 71 years it is time for the war to stop and for the hostility to end.
Israel, do you want peace? The Palestinians want. Israel, you can decide the beginning of peace. The road is known. The Palestinian “constants” are known. They are not the obstacle. The obstacle is what is in the hearts. The time has come for the people of Israel to live in peace and security, and to change their shout of “Death to the Arabs” with a shout of life and peace to all.
Time has come for Israelis and Palestinians to recognize each other, as human beings with the same dignity, rights and duties. This is possible for those who want right and truth for themselves and others.
It is time to leave war. The United States also are called to leave war. They are looking on these days for more war in the region. It is time to look for more peace in the region and in Israel and Palestine. It is time to read the Bible, as you say that you believe in the Bible. Read and listen to the call for peace in it. Listen to the Psalmsit: “I am listening. What is God’s message? God’s message is peace for his people, for his faithful, if only they renounce their folly (Ps 85: 9), and also: ”I know what plans I have in mind for you, God declares, plans for peace, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29: 11).
New wars, like what happened in our land for decades, will not yield peace but more death and more anxiety, hatred and fear in the hearts of the powerful themselves. Only peace leads to peace and security.
Jerusalem, of course, is the cornerstone of peace. Without Jerusalem there can be no peace. He who loves Jerusalem fills it with truth and love, and God will fill it with peace. Jerusalem is a sacred city for two peoples and three religions. This is her nature. Thus, Jerusalem’s holiness will be affirmed. Then, true believers of all religions will worship God in truth and spirit, and Jerusalem will become a way to peace.