On 19 May 2011, President Obama gave a major speech on the Middle East in which he said that "The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states." Prime Minister Netanyahu responded in part by saying, "...Israel not having to withdraw to the 1967 lines which are both indefensible and which would leave major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria beyond those lines."
The difficulty of finding even a starting (re-start) position illustrates the seeming impossibility of finding common ground. Yet I have hope. My hope is not in world leaders, however much I may admire and support one or another. My hope is in God whom I believe capable of moving human hearts to bring about peace in our lifetimes. Specifically, I believe in the God of the prophet Micah who called peoples of all nations and many religions to dwell together in peace: I will take these words with me Jerusalem.
Micah 4:1 In days to come the mountain of the house of the Holy One of Old shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills; peoples shall stream to it. 2 And many nations shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Holy One, to the house of the God of Jacob; that God may teach us God's ways and that we may walk in God's paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Fire of Sinai from Jerusalem. 3 God shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; 4 but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Commander of Heaven's Armies has spoken. 5 For all the peoples walk, each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of God-Whose-Name-Is-Holy, our God forever and ever.
I look forward to (re-) discovering other words there and bringing yet other words home with me.