An Inter-Religious Vision of Peace for the Holy Land

 

By establishing a Jewish state in Palestine a conflict was started that has resisted all attempts to find a solution and has even escalated into something close to a new East-West-conflict.

Political attempts to solve it have not been successful, because at its innermost core this conflict is a conflict of identities, religious rather than political, a fraternal strife between the children of Abraham.

This fraternal strife finds its focal point in the dispute over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is the symbolic heart of the entire Middle East conflict. Tied to the identities of hundreds of millions of people, the explosive fuel of this symbol is virtually inexhaustible. And as long as this dispute is not settled the entire Middle East will not truly find rest.

From deep respect for the identities of all parties a vision arose of a peaceful solution: it shows a pan-Abrahamic sanctuary which not only includes the Holy Sepulcher and the Al Aqsa, but also the long hoped for, but not yet established New Temple.

Those Jews, who say that a Jewish Temple-project would be only an expression of human superbia should take into consideration that it is not so much the Jews who need this New Temple, but the Muslims.

Ever since the Jews returned to their Biblical homeland, Muslims have feared for their sanctuaries there. Only a real New Jewish Temple could free them of that fear. And at the same time the Jewish longing, too, can at last be fulfilled.

A New Temple is therefore called for by the one peace-loving God of all.

Key to the New Temple is the question of what it means to be “God’s Chosen People”: a truly chosen people will want to act as healers, taking the lead in mediating between the children of Abraham .

And that change of perspective will bring about a transformation of their vision of a New Temple.

Its construction will – without any intermixture – connect the three great sanctuaries of the three religions, thus confirming the spiritual unity of the three religions and demonstrating their wonderful diversity.

And even the non-religious members of the three traditions will feel represented by this great new pan-Abrahamic sanctuary, because through it all will see their common origin and thus the way to live together in peace.

 

Gottfried Hutter, Theologian, Munich