Three religions and one piece of land; all claim exclusive ownership and denounce the others as heretics. Welcome to the world of messianic prophecy. Islamists believe the “Holy Land” must be under their control before Mahdi can come to Earth prior to the Day of Judgment; Israeli settlers think Jews have to return to the Land of Israel before the Messiah can be anointed, who is descended through the Davidic line via his father. Christian Zionists believe the events of the Revelation of St.John the Divine cannot occur until Israel is a) reestablished and b) the borders are that of the Biblical Israel; only then can the Second Coming begin.
This innocent amount of superstition has justified mass slaughter, wars, crusades, acts of terrorism, land grabs, refusing to recognise nations and dominated foreign policy for centuries. Proclaiming salvation and God as exclusive has led to the most complicated and emotive subject in current affairs: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
It proved to be more easier putting man on the Moon than taking religion out of international diplomacy. Islamophobia, anti-Semites, heretics, atheists and even ‘agents of the anti-Christs’ are the adjectives used to describe those who try to promote common ownership and secularism in this issue.
Religion adds complexity to an already extremely difficult problem. Advocating a two-state solution, which everyone supports, is ‘blasphemy’ because God forgot to ask his followers to share. Compassion, human dignity and cultural respect are alien principles to the extreme factions; in their eyes, only one of them is right.
As one Israeli supporter protested, “Promised land by G_D not Obama“.
One sign perfectly defines a near 2,000 year problem.
God overrides international law, human rights, diplomacy and peace. Unless the G man decides to have a fourth revelation, which is highly unlikely, and suggests nobody has divine right to land then the extremists are going to keep shooting each other.
It could be worse, the factions involved might have nuclear weapons. Oh wait….