Inter-Religious Peace in Israel /Palestine
Seed for Peace Worldwide
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A view of the future
question of peace in the Holy Land is a very delicate one.
If I were
to spell these things out to you directly you might misunderstand.
want you to understand, I am inviting you on a journey to another time:
follow me into the future, I don’t know exactly how many years, but let’s say 60
years from now – since now it is about 60 years since the madness of the
German Nazis was brought to an end.
imagine a time, something like 60 years from now, maybe more, maybe less - when
the Middle East conflict really has been solved.
of this conflict will be utterly gone, as radically as the madness of the Nazis
is gone now.
In about 60
years from now – the present age of mutual misunderstanding, mistrust, and
mistreatment will be over.
be a new age of mutual respect, mutual understanding and cooperation.
with me into that time, when the Middle East conflict will have disappeared.
All hate and anger and frustration will be gone, things of the past, well
remembered but gladly put aside for the wonderful solutions that have been
imagine vividly what that time will be like!
that time now with your whole being: wherever you look you will see
reconciliation and justice.
injustices and the pain of the past have been taken care of by a fair process
In that future age people will show mutual respect
Now you are
in that age of peace – and there you can hear
typical Jew saying:
How could we have been that blind? How could we have disregarded the fear our
mighty acquisition of their land would cause? – and that out of that fear we
would have to face resistance, refusal, and even terror? How could we have been
we were frightened out of our wits after what we had been through in the Nazi
gas chambers and on doomed refugee ships. Only a few of us survived the
Holocaust and they desperately tried to reach a safe haven, our ancient
Promised Land – but the survivors had barely arrived when we were attacked in
an attempt to drive us into the sea! This was too much! Our ancestors could not
take it! And so they reversed the attack and drove many inhabitants off their
land. After having been victims of the biggest genocide of all times – we Jews
had to realize that we too were capable of becoming monsters.
future age you will hear a typical Muslim say: How frightened our forefathers must have been
by this mighty movement of the Jews, so much so that they forgot the basic
principle of Islam: to be merciful and benevolent. Had we remembered the true
Muslim way, we would have invited this battered people after World War II to
regard this land as their own land. We would have said: Come, there is room
enough for both of us!
we would have asked to be reimbursed for anything they needed from us, but then
we would have let them have their old Promised Land. We would have come to an
arrangement with them. Of course they would have had to respect us, and we
would have had to talk about all conflicting ownership interests. But surely
after our merciful approach we would have found a benevolent reply and
solutions would have been found for all remaining questions.
that future time you will hear a typical Christian say: After World War II we were ridden
with guilt. Some of us had actually tried to eradicate the Jewish people.
Therefore we wanted them to have their old Promised Land. We didn’t think of
the inhabitants of that land. We didn’t think of the conflict that would
necessarily cause. And then, once the conflict was there, we were only too
happy to see that not only we were capable of becoming monsters, both the
parties had that capacity too!
all of us have had enough of the monster game, of the “we are good and you are
evil” - game. Therefore we have tried hard to find our way back to being human,
and happily we have found it. We have found mutual respect, understanding and
cooperation as the source of peace and true prosperity.
People want to express their gratitude in a memorial sanctuary
people had begun to talk that way all three groups got together to settle their
had found satisfying solutions they again got together to contemplate how
they could express their feelings of gratitude for their newly found
respect and mutual understanding in a more visible way. They wanted to
demonstrate their way to peace as a guide for future generations.
to create a memorial site, not so much to remember the horrors of the past but
as a guide to peace for all future generations.
way to mutual appreciation and peace they had been able to make great progress
after they had started to contemplate their common father Abraham. He
had taken a radical step to change history.
the memorial site they wanted to build needed to express Abraham’s courageous
turning away from the beliefs of his forefathers in multiple gods.
of the past had become possible only because the followers of each of the three
Abrahamic religions had started to regard the other religions as their enemies;
they somehow had lost their subordination to the one God of Abraham. Somehow
they had again narrowed their view and thereby created images of God following
their group interests.
wanted to secure peace now they had to expressly re-integrate themselves into a
greater whole, in which each of the three religions and their full variety were
only parts; one of them could never be the whole but each represented only an
aspect of the whole. They now had to express their firm intention to step down
from any illusion of grandeur, from believing themselves to be the only ones
who could be right. They would have to make sure that all future generations
would face up to the greater truth of the One, in which the followers of the
other faiths could be just as correct as they themselves knew themselves to be
on the right path.
the memorial monument they needed would have to demonstrate this greater whole
and within that whole the full variety of the children of Abraham must find its
The first part of the memorial is already there
spirit they looked at the main site of conflicting ownership claims, Haram
Ash-Sharif, the Temple Mount, and they saw: this was their common ground. This
would have to be the site of the new memorial monument. And one part of it was
already there. It had a connection to the beginning as well as to the end:
In the end
it was the site of the Prophet Mohammed’s ascension to the Heavens. In memory
of that the Muslims had built the Dome of the Rock at that spot.
beginning, at least according to the view of “the people of the Book”, that
place was the site of Abraham’s sacrifice.
In the eyes
of the Prophet Mohammed, Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice what was dearest to
him, his own son, makes him the archetype of the true Muslim.
So in more ways
than one the Dome of the Rock stands at exactly the right spot and is therefore
the perfect basic section of the new memorial monument.
What about the Jewish Temple?
before the construction of the Dome of the Rock the very same site had hosted
the greatest sanctuary of its time: the Jewish Temple. Twice it had been
destroyed, but in the time we are visiting now, in the year 2067 or the Jewish
year 5827, the old dream of a New Temple is still alive in Judaism.
two Temples had been built at the location of Abraham’s sacrifice. Therefore
the Third Temple again would have to be placed at that site – but meanwhile
that site was already occupied by the Muslim Dome of the Rock. How could that
dilemma be solved without recreating the old conflict?
narrative calls for the Messiah to build the New Temple, so we don’t need to
worry about building it - but it also calls for the people of all nations to
come to Jerusalem to worship the one God there, and we can speculate about
formerly warring parties, the Jews and the Palestinians, have, against all
odds, now found a way to peace, if Jews and Palestinians have been able go
right into the center of their conflict, and solve the contradicting ownership
interests on the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, then a miracle has
taken place, and that miracle certainly will have the effect of attracting
people from all over the world!
that miracle the formerly warring parties saw: God has willed different
religions, different permanent ways to find true communication with Him. And
now the time had come, in which the people of each of these paths could
re-integrate themselves into the greater whole without losing their own
traditional way. Their new memorial monument, their expression of unity
therefore had to express the full variety of possibilities to understand their
own path and the relative positions of the three major paths inside the bigger
whole. And then, the Dome of the Rock would not be in the way of the New
Temple. On the contrary, it is found to be exactly at the right spot. They
would not even need to divide the land! The New Jewish Temple would need only
to express the historic role of God’s own people and from there take its proper
place – high above the Dome of the Rock. Then all conflicting ownership
interests would be solved!
Where do the Christians fit in?
So, of the
new symbol of unity they had been looking for, they already had found two
poles, the beautiful pre-existing sanctuary of the Muslims on the ground and
the right place for the Temple of the Jews high up in the sky. Only the place
for the Christians was still missing.
proper place, as everyone knows, is in between the two. And there also was a
natural place for them: They would have to draw a cross into the structure.
They would have to build their part of the sanctuary on the middle crossbeam
hanging from the platform for the Jewish Temple. Then its vertical axis could
symbolize Christ, the “Son of Man”, the essence of being human, and that axis
would range from the depths of Abraham’s sacrifice up to heights of the
The memorial monument demonstrates: Union in diversity
the basic features of all three Abrahamic faiths were represented in one
architectural symbol, each part subordinating itself to the greater whole, and
thereby making every one of its followers surrender to the one God above who
obviously had wanted human beings to find different expressions of their
longing to reunite with the origin of their being.
You are still with me in the time, after the conflict has been solved.
creative spiritual force of the universe has just given to His peoples a
perfect symbol of unity in diversity and now the creative Spirit is guiding
them to materialize that symbol and build a memorial monument which is able to
act as a sign for all future generations, to inspire them to a life of peace.
It will remind them to live a life in which the one God of all will be great,
and not they themselves.
You are now
witnessing how true spirituality is reintroduced into a world that had been
suffering from the hardships of global and provincial egotism. You can
experience how that true spirituality radiates to the world at large. And that
radiance will make people from all over the world come to Jerusalem because
they all want to experience their oneness with the Creator.
of the children of Abraham who had contemplated their common ground agreed on
this design for their memorial monument because it does not take anything away
from any one, it leaves all traditional ways unchanged, and enriches them
immensely with the fullness of the whole.
You are still with me in the time when the conflict has been solved, some sixty
years from now. In that time this new sanctuary of the three Abrahamic faiths
has just been completed – and you can see that it already attracts people from
all the world over.
Back in the present time with a present from the future
please again come with me, and return to the year 2008, or 5768, or 1428.
don’t return empty handed. We bring along the model of this common sanctuary
and – this is a secret – the fact that we already have this future model is the
reason why the future can develop in this positive way.
The architectural symbol of unity
a look now at an abstract of that symbolic monument: As you may sense, this
monument is not concrete, it is moving, as life is moving.
needs a model, something people can grasp, in order to change reality.
have this model, we now have a map of our road to peace. We already know what we will have to work on to be
true to our Creator who intended us as brothers and sisters. So let’s start.
The price of peace: our illusions of grandeur
it will not be easy: true mutual respect and peace have a price – and that
price is quite high, too high, some might say.
of peace is our delusions of exclusive grandeur.
“They will kill you, if you try to take that illusion away from them”,
someone once told me.
I know – for junkies of illusions peace is no option.
would seriously want to build his life on an illusion?
ladies and gentlemen, help this project on its way!