Hope For A Mideast Peace

peace dove israel and palestine flags, GD, 020328
Here is how it has always been in the Middle East: Violence flares. There is killing, then someone works out a truce. Somebody comes up with a possible plan to resolve the differences. Hope is expressed, and we go on to something else. Then trouble erupts again, and we realize the problems have not been resolved. We just haven't thought about them for a while.

But here is what is different this time. No one seems to have a plan. No one seems optimistic that the killing can be stopped. No one seems to know what to do.

What this has always been about is Jerusalem and who controls access to the places holy to Jews, Christians and Muslim. Yet as people have fought through history to control those holy places, they have been unable to use the lessons of their religions -- justice, tolerance and compassion -- to resolve the differences.

Justice means security for Israel and a home for the Palestinians. Tolerance means access to the holy places for those of all faiths. Compassion means no cause is so right it justifies killing the innocent.

In this holy season, let us remember the fault is not with religion, but with those who have failed to apply the principles of their religions and the principles those religions embody.

At a time when there seem to be no answers to the Middle East, we must look again to the great religions that began there. The answers are within them. They have always been there. And therein, lies the hope.