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Can Israel and Palestine Unite as One?

Contact: Rev. Howie Gardner, 443-417-3727, hgar967269@comcast.net

BEL AIR, Md., April 4, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is submitted by Rev. Howie Gardner:

Over the past five years, I have had opportunities to meet with a number of Muslim leaders, many of whom are part of the Free Muslim Coalition AGAINST Terrorism (FMCAT).  The Billy Graham Association requested that we conduct two open dialogues here in the states in order to test the waters for a proposed meeting between Franklin Graham and Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia. So in 2009 and 2010 we conducted meetings in Los Angeles and Baltimore; the latter with FMCAT President Kamal Nawash.  Kamal presented a plan for Mid-east peace, which I found astounding. The basics of that plan are as follows.

Currently, two major Mid-east peace theories are consistently expressed: 

(1) control by force, or

(2) division of land.

(1) The more radical regimes are determined to seize control of the Holy Land through force.  Such a plan will never work, since the losing side will most assuredly regroup, plan, and execute new strategies of attack.

(2) Another group of individuals has proposed various ways of dividing up the land and recognizing the independence of both nations. Here again, such a plan would fail.  Both sides consider every single square inch of the land to be holy and would never accept division of land.  However, FMCAT proposes a radical plan, which would ultimately result in both sides prospering and becoming a blessing to the world: Unite both sides into one nation.

This idea sounds impossible at first glance.  However, consider the following quote from Kamal:

"I was born in what is now known as the nation of Israel.  I am not a citizen there.  I can never go back there as a citizen. I was born without citizenship because I'm not Jewish.  You actually have a better chance of getting in there than me because I'm not Jewish.  Now, I'm actually not talking against Israel.  In fact, I think we could build a stronger Israel.  But, I don't think separation is the answer.  Instead, give me equality.  It has worked everywhere else.  Give me the right to vote.  Make me a citizen of the country and I might not want to destroy it.  My solution would be . . . make it one country.  And, I'm advocating a stronger Israel.  If you want a stronger United States, you cannot have a situation where 4 million people don't have any rights.  They can't travel, they cannot vote, and they are not citizens.  It didn't work in the United States, it didn't work in South Africa, and it isn't working in the Middle East."

Admittedly stunning is such a plan!  Specific commitments would be required from all sides involved to make success achievable.

(1) From the Jewish side:

  • It would require giving citizenship rights to the Palestinians.
     
  • It would also require a public denouncement on the part of the synagogues, of terrorist attacks in the late 1940's stemming from the Irgun and the Stern Gang as well as the assassination of the British Eastern Minister, Lord Moyne, all of which led to the passing of the Balfour Declaration in 1948.

(2) From the Muslim side:

  • It would require that the Qu'ran be interpreted from a 7th Century perspective; that is, from the time of Muhammad himself.  Passages, which portray Christians and Jews as devout and noble, should be given attention, reexamined, the original meaning understood, and distinguished from those that require attacks upon "infidels."  It needs to be understood that, by "infidels," the Qu'ran is NOT referring to either Christians or Jews, but to the ancient Quraish and Collyridians, both of which apparently practiced human sacrifice.
     
  • Additionally, school literature, which promotes terrorist attacks, would need to be properly revised.
     
  • It would also be helpful if the term "adribu" in Surah 4:34, were understood in its original context, that being that a man should not seek to have children by an ungodly woman, rather than the common misinterpretation that he is to physically abuse her.

(3) From the Christian side:

  • Christians need to consider the likelihood that passages in Isaiah 51 and Ezekiel 37, which speak of the Jews regaining exclusive rights to the land, were previously fulfilled in 445 B.C. with the decree of Artaxerxes, rather than by Balfour, and may have been nullified by the explanation of Jesus in Matthew 21:43.

(4) From the Secular side:

  • Simply stay out of the merger altogether and do not seek to politicize it.

The recent dialogue between Kamal and myself can be viewed in its entirety at: www.openlettertoday.com.  A more detailed description of the plan for peace can be found updated each Monday over the next 6 months beginning April 11 at the blog site: openlettertoday.wordpress.com.

I, personally, do not carry the weight of name recognition to promote the plan proposed within this release.  It would, therefore, be helpful if you, the reader, would become influential by communicating this Mid-east peace plan to those positioned with the platform and means to spread it recurrently to the public sphere.

Rev. Howie Gardner

For more information visit: www.openlettertoday.com or weekly blog: openlettertoday.wordpress.com