I believe in the power of prayer. Prayer can give you courage and strength in times of need. When you are lonely prayer can remind you that you are never truly alone for God is near to all who call upon Him. Prayer can accentuate joy while help you cope with sorrow. Yet, prayer is not sufficient unto itself. I can pray all day long and all night long to win the lottery, but if I don’t purchase a lottery ticket I don’t have a chance to win. You can’t just pray to do well on a test or in contest without studying or preparing yourself appropriately. You can’t just pray for peace without working towards peace.
This past Sunday Presidents Shimon Peres and Mohammed Abbas joined Pope Francis in the Vatican to pray for peace. I hope that the prayers of these 3 men soften their hearts and the hearts of their countrymen. But prayers are not enough to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
If the Palestinians truly want peace, then their entire narrative has to change. The Palestinian Media Watch monitors the Palestinian media for libels, demonization of Israelis and Jews, terror, and more (http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=11559) What they uncover underscores why prayers for peace are not sufficient.
Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik reports:
“In May, the Palestinian Authority TV's daily program Palestine This Morning introduced a new filler between the different sections of the show. The filler presents Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, Nazareth, Acre, and the Negev Desert as "Palestine."
“Palestinian Media Watch has documented that just like Hamas, the PA regularly uses PA TV to teach Palestinians to see a world in which there is no Israel - only "Palestine." The message that Israel does not exist is also directed specifically at children.
“In the new filler, which has been broadcast regularly since May 6, a door opens in a green leaf, and balls inscribed with names of cities and areas roll out. Along with names of places from the PA areas are the names of Israeli cities and regions. At the end, the leaf forms part of the letter "P" in the word "Palestine."
Text on balls:
"Jerusalem" (city in Israel)
"Nablus" - "Ramallah"
"Jericho" - "Bethlehem"
"Haifa" - "Jaffa" (cities in Israel)
"Salfit" - "Tulkarem"
"The Negev" (desert in Israel)
"Nazareth" - "Acre" (cities in Israel)
"Palestine This Morning"
"Palestine This Morning"
[Official PA TV, regularly May 6 - June 5, 2014”
And how can there be peace when murder is extolled? Once again the two above reporters write:
“The official Palestinian Authority daily chose to devote a full op-ed to a long, romanticized description of the last hours in suicide bomber Raed Barghouti's life. The terrorist's bombing in Jerusalem wounded dozens in 2001.
"Raed Barghouti... held the arm of his young brother, Rayyan, and took him to the market to buy him school supplies for the new school year. Later, he took him to a [photo] studio to have their picture taken together. Rayyan didn't know that this was to be his brother Raed's last picture, before he joined the procession of Martyrdom (Shahada) and Martyrs (Shahids)."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 13, 2014]
“These were the opening lines of the op-ed, which went on to describe the bomber's last kind deeds (paying another brother's university tuition) and his mother's devastated reaction to the news of his "Martyrdom":
"A mother's heart is her guide. She couldn't fall asleep until late, and then dreamed a dream of truth. [In her dream,] she was standing in front of Raed's house... when, suddenly, the house collapsed on its foundations and its bricks turned to dust. The mother leaped out of bed, horrified by what she'd seen... [The TV news] spoke of a Martyrdom-seeking operation (i.e., suicide bombing) in Jerusalem and broadcast images of the man who had carried out the operation - or what was left of him. His mother cried out, 'Allah help his family' - without realizing that she was praying for Allah to help her."
“The author describes how the suicide bomber "left behind testaments to his people," one of which stated that "the night is darkest just before dawn," and ends by asking Allah to "have mercy on our Martyrs, who fell so that we might live."
“As documented by Palestinian Media Watch, the PA honors terrorists in numerous ways, including paying them high salaries while they are in prison and upon their release and glorifying them in speeches at events. Suicide bombers and other terrorists who were killed are honored by being calledShahids- Martyrs for Allah - one of the highest levels of Muslim religious achievement possible today, and streets, summer camps and sporting events are named after them.”
Although Israel isn’t as nearly as extreme as the Palestinians, they too don’t advance the cause of peace on a day to day basis. Sometimes I feel that Israel responds to the P.A. like a little child. If you do this, I going to build more settlements just to spite you. That was Israel’s reaction to the swearing in of the unification government between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. I would have preferred a response like this. Israel is willing to sit down with the new unification government anytime and anyplace as soon as Hamas renounces its intent to destroy Israel.
I can’t understand why Israel also doesn’t build new homes in the Galilee where the Arab population outnumbers the Jewish population. When a two state solution comes into reality, those settlers whose settlements will be dismantled will need a new home to live in. Why not prepare now? Why not the Galil? It is no less Jewish than the West Bank.
I pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I believe in the power of prayer. Prayers for peace are wonderful. I’d just wish that they were backed by actions on the ground.