An Alternative to President Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century,’ ‘Honorable Peace’
The entire subject of peace between Israel and Palestine has gotten new actuality with President Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century”. But I am convinced that both sides will be better off with the inter-religious vision of peace you will find in this new book of mine of which I am going to tell you now.
To me, today is a day of gratitude – gratitude to the Kingdom of Jordan, because they introduced the Interfaith Harmony Week. And three years ago, I was given the opportunity here to tell a surprising story. And meanwhile my story has become a book – as you can see.
It all began with Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream!” Three years ago, I told the participants of this conference about my dream: peace between Israel and Palestine. But how?
You all know of the deadly enmity between the Biblical brothers Esau and Jacob, the grandchildren of Abraham. Esau was the firstborn – but Jacob stole his birthright. And Esau wanted to kill him. So, Jacob had to flee. But, in order to implement his stolen birthright, Jacob had to return and confront his brother who was waiting for him with 400 mercenaries to be sure to kill him.
All the rich gifts Jacob had brought with him would not suffice. In order to survive Jacob had to come up with something unheard of – and he did.
Walking towards Esau he threw himself to the ground seven times and asked for forgiveness.
Esau could not believe what he saw – and he was moved. He bent down and lifted his brother up and hugged him.
This gesture, I said three years ago, will again be needed today.
Today it will be up to the PM of Israel to re-enact it. At the next General Assembly of the UN in New York Israel’s PM will ask the leaders of the Muslim world to come forward. And then he will ask them to forgive the Jews for all the trouble and pain that the founding of the state of Israel has caused them.
But then he will plead strongly with them to understand the plight of the Jews in 1947, right after the Holocaust, after 6 Million Jews had been murdered. Utter desperation and the survival instinct left them with no choice but to grasp the only opportunity then open to them and set up a Jewish state in Palestine, a sanctuary where Jews would be protected from persecution.
But – even that gesture may not be enough! The Muslims’ sense that their “honor had been violated” will have to be addressed specifically. How could a truly “honorable” peace be attained when, in reality, the Jewish state was forced upon the Muslim world?
My answer will, at a first glance, seem utterly unrealistic – because it states that honor could be restored only if the Muslims were (1) to allow the Jews to settle all over biblical territory, and then (2) present the entire territory of today’s state of “Israel” as a gift to the Jewish community. But how could anything as far-fetched as this become reality?
The idea is not as unrealistic as it seems, but only a true Muslim authority could introduce it to public awareness. A true Muslim authority such as the Imam of Al Azhar, could remind Muslims that practically all Muslim prophets apart from the prophet Mohammed are biblical prophets. Muslims are thus deeply indebted to the biblical tradition.
And now, after decades of not being able to overcome rooted enmity in both Palestinian and Israeli territory, there is an opportunity to obtain true peace – by Muslims showing gratitude for what they have received – by presenting the entire territory of Israel to the people of the Bible, to the Jews, as a gift, thereby completely erasing all wrongdoings on both sides, restoring Muslim honor and attaining true and lasting peace!
But… to arrive at that may call for a grand Muslim summit, something like the second Vatican council of the Catholic church. A grand Muslim summit – at Al Azhar! And every Muslim knows that Al Azhar was founded by the Shiites. So that summit will again bring together again Sunni and Shiite – to debate peace for Israel – and thus, the Muslim world will unite and create peace to the entire Middle East!
But who am I to tell you of such a dream?
I am a Catholic theologian. I also studied political science. And I lived in the US for five years. There I learned to see all religions as essentially one. And that led me to find a highly respected Muslim Sufi Sheikh. In his Cairo community I lived for a full year, nearly 40 years ago. There I got to know Islam quite well. And the Sheikh confirmed my insight.
So, I became a psychotherapist – today dealing mainly with refugees from the Middle East. Then, the shock of 9/11 revived my rich experiences with Islam. It made me realize that the forceful implantation of Israel in territory sacred to Muslims, around Al Quds, Jerusalem, was one of the main factors behind the murderous Anti-Western ideology that had given rise to the 9/11 attack. When I concentrated on finding a way to approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict I realized that not only the Palestinians but the Muslim Umma, the entire religious community of Islam, are Israel’s proper partners in peace negotiations. And I could understand that real peace must necessarily be a truly honorable one. Hence this book, https://honorablepeace.com.
See also: THE TIMES OF ISREAL
hp | 2020
The Author of ‘Honorable Peace’
The author studied Catholic theology, history and political science. Originally from Salzburg, Austria, he went to live in San Francisco for five years. There he gained a sense of human beings’ potential, especially in terms of spirituality and civilization. This, in turn, motivated him to learn about other cultures and religions. He moved to Egypt and stayed for one year in Cairo, mainly experiencing the spiritual depth of Islam. Back in Europe, teaching Catholic religion in schools and studying Shamanism and native religions, he trained to become a psychotherapist. Working with psychiatric patients, he wrote his first book, Resurrection – Before Death. How to Use Biblical Texts in Psychotherapy. In his therapeutic practice he is now mainly working with severely traumatized Middle Eastern refugees. More ->
Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts
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