The story that Israel and Palestine have been hearing and telling has been one of conflict. It’s been that way for a long time. It could easily be called the “status quo” of the Middle East.
An entire generation of children have grown up with it. Some have even been taught that this is the way it’ll always be…that hate will rule the day.
To change that story, something has to shift. Recently, I heard my friend, Todd Deatherage, say it this way:
When you break a status quo, it’s helpful to have a vision for what the other side (what you’re trying to accomplish) will look like.
That’s what the Telos group is doing. They are Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestinian, and Pro-Peace. Their mission is to cast the vision of a third option…an option for mutual flourishing for all humans.
Below are two stories of how both Israeli’s and Palestinians have caught the grander vision of Pro/Pro/Pro and are working towards Peace.
The Parent Circle
These two wonderful people have both lost a child due to the conflict. Robi lost her son at the hands of a Palestinian sniper. Bassam lost his daughter to an Israeli gunman. In their grief, they finally said, “enough!”
They started an organization called the Parent Circle. It now consists of over 500 parents, both Israelis and Palestinians, who have lost a family member in the conflict. They’re mission is to work together for Peace. By doing it together, they’re living proof that the third way of Pro/Pro/Pro is indeed possible.
The Peace Project
This wall was built along the Gaza border. The lady that showed us around was an Israeli farmer who, over the years, has had to teach her children how to run for cover when the Bomb-Alarm would go off. Palestinians would send missiles over the wall with no regard as to where they landed. Now, the farmer and her family are never more than 4 seconds away from a Bomb shelter.
She, along with others, created the wall mural as a sign to say they are done with war and are ready for peace. They’re ready for a third option.
The Right Questions
If we’re asking ourselves which side deserves peace more, I think we’re asking the wrong question. Both sides have suffered immensely at the hands of the other.
I think the right questions have Pro/Pro/Pro at the center. How can both people-groups flourish? What can we do so that we see the human dignity in all humans?
We serve a God who doesn’t pick sides, He loves people. This is one of the reasons I love the Telos Group. They are refusing to pick a side. While I admit it’s tough for me not to pick a side, I am deciding to see all people as worthy of dignity, peace and love. The alternative is just not an option.