Israel and Palestine: Have the Courage to Dare to Imagine Peace
“We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
When we consider the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, it has brought immense pain and suffering to people on both sides.
For decades, there has been a cycle of violence, with civilians tragically caught in the crossfire. Lives have been lost, homes destroyed, and families torn apart.
It is undeniable that Israelis have faced suffering throughout this prolonged conflict, but the Palestinians have faced profound suffering, too.
The question for us today is not, “Who is suffering?” But “How do we stop the suffering?” That’s the question.
When we view the Israel-Palestine crisis through the lens of shared suffering, it is clear that both Israelis and Palestinians are victims in this conflict. The fear and trauma are very real on both sides.
Rather than asking who is to blame, we must ask ourselves: How do we stop further suffering? And what is the end game of the conflict?
Both sides, Israelis and Palestinians, must look beyond their own interests and make the sacrifices needed to work toward sustainable peace and existence. They must have the collective courage to care about the well-being of each other, even when it is very painful to do so. And they must see their shared humanity rather than focus on the pain inflicted upon “us” versus “them.”
The path to peace and a two-state solution will not be easy. It will require both states to open their hearts to understand the other’s sufferings and right to exist.
It is my prayer that the Israelis and Palestinians will have the courage to imagine peace. The alternative is simply more suffering, when there has been far too much already.
As always, keep the faith!
Kevin R. Johnson, Ed.D.
Founder & Lead Pastor, Dare to Imagine Church