The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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May 25, 2011

Our Readers Speak — Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Political solution can’t fix religious problem

Much has been in the news about President Obama’s comments on Israel and peace in the Middle East.

The Register-Herald published an article Sunday, “Rahall defends Obama’s stand on Mideast conflict.” The idea is that time is running out and that we need to fix it now. Yes, the world is in a desperate situation.

I would like to make the following observations:

First, the idea of Israel swapping land for peace has never worked in the past. What makes a person think it will work this time? Each time Israel gives away more land, a new conflict soon follows. Thusly, that does not appear to be the solution.

Second, the real problem is not the land, but the fact that Israel exists as a nation. The Arab nations tend to be anti-Semitic, some more radical than others. The current uprising in the Arab world, even though it is billed by our media as a “pro-democracy” movement, will inevitably lead to more radicalism. The moderate Arab world is quickly losing ground, and radicals are replacing them. The extremists have a huge problem with the fact that Israel exists as a nation. All you have to do is listen to them talk on TV.

Third, returning to the pre-1967 borders will not bring permanent peace to Israel. Israel is very concerned about her safety and security. Israel has been forced to fight wars she did not want, and to lose precious young men and women in battle that she can ill-afford to lose. Now the world tells Israel that she must give back the land? Israel is willing to negotiate any time with anyone in good faith if the other side is truly willing to recognize Israel’s right to exist within safe and secure borders. When the world tells Israel to give back, did anyone think maybe the other side should give up something, too? Why is it always up to Israel to give up something? What is the other side willing to give up?

Fourth, the real problem is not political. This is, at heart, a faith or religious issue. You cannot solve a religious problem by imposing a political solution. Why has nothing worked in the past? Because the people involved were attempting to impose a political solution on a religious problem. Past presidents have unwisely surrounded themselves with secular-thinking people who do not understand faith or religious matters. Little wonder their advice did not work.

Fifth, God has an opinion in this matter. Let’s not leave Him out. He also has a right to say what He thinks as He guides and controls history. He gave the land to Abraham (Gen. 12, 13, 15, 17 and 22) and then reaffirmed that promise to Moses (Deut. 30). The most foolish thing a person can do is to go contrary to God’s plan. Who actually owns the land? The Messiah, God’s Son, promised in the Abrahamic Covenant.

Conclusion: Past presidents, as sincere as anyone can be, have also diligently worked for peace in the Middle East. The reality is that peace in the Middle East is elusive. No one questions their good intentions. No one questions that the world is in a sad state of turmoil. However, peace is found in only one person, the Person who controls both history and the future at the same time — the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen to Him!

Jerry F. Knoblet

Mount Hope

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