We've stayed this week in the Palestinian controlled East Jerusalem. A street divides Jewish controlled areas from Arab ones. A wall separates the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from the rest of Israel. Rarely do you find a Jew even a block into the Arab zone and vice-versa. It just isn't done. Thankfully, as an American I felt perfectly safe. No one cares about me - their hatred and bitterness are reserved for each other.
I came to Israel a strong believer in Israel's right to exist as a safe and secure state in the promised land. That hasn't waned. It's not only biblical, but the hand of the Lord has been visibly at work protecting and expanding Israeli land through each of the three wars. The holocaust museum presents a compelling case for the world making a place for the people whose suffering failed to move us in WWII.
I saw the poverty of the refugee camps where well over a million Palestinians have been forced to live. I watched soldiers force a humiliated and frustrated Moslim mother and her young children off a bus because something was wrong with her identity card. It doesn't take a lot of insight to understand the anger of losing land families have lived on for generations.
The problem is as complex as is the depth of the mutual hatred and mistrust. What little I have seen convinces me that man will never solve this. Not really. He may impose a lid - but when the pressure gets to great, or the hold on the lid slips, it will always blow.
Only God can solve this as He moves in hearts and changes lives. The ministry that hosted us has been raised up by the Lord to take food and the gospel to the Palestinian refugees of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and others in east Jerusalem. They gave us first hand accounts of Palestinian Muslims having dreams and visions of Jesus that lead them to Christ. One man dreamed that Jesus no longer wanted him to pray on his Muslim rug any more, but on the rug Jesus gave him. A woman dreamed of Jesus again and again closing the Koran every time she opened it, handing her a Bible to read instead.
Politics can separate and military force can intimidate. But neither can ever change the human heart. Jews and Arabs, both learning to love each other with the love of the Lord, is the only real answer this crisis will ever find.