Middle East Peace Initiative
by Rev. Jenkins
Dr. Yang and I returned from Israel Oct 19 just in time for Hoon Dok Hae. Dr. Yang was asked to report concerning the World Peace Pilgrimage. Father was very serious and very pleased at the development of the special Crown of Peace Awards in Israel for the VIPs of both the Asian and the Israeli families. Father was very happy with the developments there. Dr. and Mrs. Kim, the Continental Directors of Asia, Genie Kagawa, Ursula McLackland, as well as all of our Ambassadors for Peace from Asia should be commended. There was an amazing and broad cross-section of VIP's, including many heads of universities and members of parliament. Father was also pleased with the work of our Israeli team and especially the Peace Task Force.
When Dr. Yang finished reporting and presenting many detailed reflections and observations as well as pictures, Dr. Yang then offered the 12th pilgrimage to Father with sincerity and seriousness. Father said, "Well done." Then Father gave a very profound talk on the root of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is rooted in the Sarah/Isaac and Hagar/Ishmael relationships. Sarah and Isaac should have never pushed Hagar and Ishmael away. That is what must be solved in order to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Only love can do it. He then mentioned that the mother plays the most central role. Moses' mother should have fulfilled her responsibility and guided Moses; if she had, he would not have killed the Egyptian. God originally intended for the Israelites to stay in Egypt. Moses as the "Prime Minister" would have been in the key role to liberate his people and inherit the nation. Because his mother didn't guide her son correctly this course failed and the exodus had to occur. The role of the mother is crucial. (I'm sure this is why Father sent the women of IIFWP and WFWP on the 6th pilgrimage.) Father mentioned that each central figure had two women whom he had to love and harmonize. Abraham had Sarah and Hagar, Jacob had Rachel and Leah, Jesus had his aunt and his mother. The mother must advise the son to do what is right. This is the key.
Twenty-two Asian nations joined together and now continue to walk the path as representatives of the Interreligious and International Peace Council (THE PEACE UN). The 410 Ambassadors for Peace who came are from Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Phillipines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Italy, Maldives, Russia, Sri Lanka, USA, Jordan, and Israel. (The non-Asian nations had Asian representatives.)
Our Middle East Peace Initiative (MEPI) Conference was held at the Notre Dame Center and was opened by a clergy person who had known our Ambassador for Peace for 43 years!! Dr. Jatinder Pal Singh Jolly gave a powerful presentation the night before concerning this peace effort. He revealed that he came on the World Religious Youth Seminar in 1983 -- more than 21 years ago -- and was the first Sikh to attend then. He is a universal man of God, a very harmonizing force, and a joy for the IIPC.
At the MEPI seminar, an invocation and remarks were given by the Vice Chancellor of the Orthodox Christian Seminary in India, Dr. Ninan George Kottakkad. His prayer and remarks edified us and gave us the hope that all faiths have found a common home in the work of Father Moon.
Its amazing how God has prepared the Ambassadors for Peace; through them there is a gold mine of important religious and civic leaders who are being "called" to come forth at this time. When they see their colleagues on fire for the work of peace and reconciliation it is a "natural" way for them to join the IIPC. Now many VIPs come to us after our programs in the Holy Land and ask, "How can I be an Ambassador for Peace?"
Members of parliament, a prince of the royal family of Cambodia, and other incredible people of influence and prominence understand the work and ministry of our True Parents and are astonished at the depth of support that exists on all sides with Muslims, Christians and Jews in the Holy Land.
Dr. Glaubach spoke at the opening session and stated in a very matter of fact way: "My brothers and sisters, this work is changing the situation here. I am a Jewish scholar and I have studied very carefully the practical issues that must be solved concerning bringing peace between Palestine and Israel. (Dr. Glaubach's book on peace was endorsed by former Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kolek and Geneva Accord architect Yossi Beilin.) I know the issues, and I want to say that the most serious and effective effort is that of the World Peace Pilgrimages. You may not see it, because many of you are coming for the first time; however, because wave after wave of nations continued to come here with Father Moon's concept of love, I can see with my own eyes that Jerusalem and Israel are changing. It's very different now than it was one year ago -- very, very different. At that time everything was stuck, nothing was moving, and there was no hope. Now things that were unthinkable just a few months ago are happening. The process is moving on the basis of a spiritual solution. It is based on love."
Father Hatoum, a Melkite Catholic priest, spoke beautifully in Arabic with the Muslim leader Imam Muhammad Jodeh translating. It was so rich and meaningful. Dr. Jodeh was born in Jerusalem and moved to America many years ago. He is a prominent Muslim leader in Denver and throughout America. He is Palestinian and an Ambassador for Peace. He felt called by God to move back to Ramallah. He just built a beautiful home there and has made it the "embassy" of the IIPC for Ramallah. It is so amazing when I think over all that has been happening.
Father Hatoum said, "We struggle here and we are deeply grateful for your support to us. Your coming here pushes us all. When we see people of the whole world coming to work in our neighborhoods and going door to door in Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities, we are amazed at what we see happening. It pushes us. How can we rest or not work for peace in our own country when people from all over the world are coming to help us? Father Moon sent them. This is such an encouragement. Therefore, we are different from any other peace movement. Others talk about peace, but we DO the work of peace." Dr. Jodeh was translating, and then Father Hatoum spoke in English the phrase that has become our rallying cry in the Holy Land: "Father Moon is doing the peace!!! Others talk the peace. We do the peace!!"
Imam Jodeh gave a very calm and intellectually satisfying presentation. Though he feels enormous pain for the people suffering in the conflict, he knows that we must love each other and live together. He then stated that he is profoundly committed to this work. When he gets the call he comes and responds to the work of the True Parents. He testified that the True Parents -- Father and Mother Moon -- are the real hope. They are inclusive. They don't cut anyone out They are the King and Queen of Love and Peace.!"
I gave the IIPC principles on Powerpoint. Dr. Joshy Ram Hari, the former Minister of Education, gave a powerful presentation on the seriousness of this effort and the need for this effort in Nepal that is also torn with conflict.
Dr. Yang gave the detailed and ispiring history of the pilgrimage from the cross to the crown. He described how the clergymen recognized the cross was not from the early Christians but rather from Constantine and was used as a symbol of conquest. The cross had to come down. The Christians coming with that spirit could touch the hearts of prepared Jewish leaders, and together with Muslims they could all repent for not having loved one another. They also could move Jewish leaders to repent for not having loved Jesus. This way opened up on the foundation of profound, tearful repentance by Christians, particularly black Christians who had known ridicule, suffering, discrimination and hate.
It was not a shallow or simple thing. It was repentance for what Christianity has arrogantly done from the time of Jesus: not loving as Jesus loved and always judging and condemning. Something moved heaven and earth with the start of these pilgrimages and the Muslims, Christians and Jews could come together with one heart, signing the Jerusalem Declaration. The era of the cross is over, and so is the era of judging and condemning (although many will maintain this attitude). God now has the conditions and authority to withhold His blessing for any who don't represent the way of love for all people. Therefore, those who judge will decline, and those who love will prosper.
Dr. Dan Dana is another leader and Ambassador for Peace who is now opening huge doors. The Persian Jewish community has become very active with the IIPC. Dr. Dana is a scholar and lawyer. He was quite serious and forceful in his presentation. It was something to behold. Being a Persian is not an easy thing in Israel. Even though they are Jewish, they still are sometimes shunned or discriminated against. There is also concern that the enemy (Iran) is related to them. Dr. Dana explained that his organization, Peace and Love International, has joined together with the IIFWP and IIPC because the work is the work of God. He expressed his commitment (which he demonstrated on numerous occasions, such as in September when he brought over 300 Persian Jewish people to the Evening for A Culture of Peace with our European and American Ambassadors for Peace.) He is there. We deeply appreciate and love Dr. Dana and his wife Marina, who is Russian.
Our final speaker was Dr. Tsai Woei, a Confucian scholar and professor of political science. He spoke with great candor and eloquence: "I really like what I see here. It is deeply moving and very hopeful. But I live in a 'real' world where I don't understand in real terms how this 'love' for one another will work. Please understand: I deeply respect and enjoy this pilgrimage; it is a profound experience for me and gives me hope. Yet I don't understand how it will work politically and economically. I need your support to find these answers. Yet somehow I feel quite good about what I see and experience. For enemies to come together, like we have seen here today, is not a simple issue. We are in the most famous city in the world for 'enemies,' yet they are embracing here. I never thought I would see that. Please help me find the practical answers."
This is real and most meaningful. The World Peace Pilgrimage started as a journey of ACLC and Christian clergy who affirmed Father Moon's mission and teaching, took down their crosses and came to the Holy Land repenting and embracing their Jewish brethren and leading toward the crowning of Jesus. Who would imagine the day when Christians, Muslims, Jews -- and now Sikhs, Hindus, Confucianists and Buddhists -- would say, "I see the hope"?
Only in the Peace Kingdom that is coming to be a reality right before our eyes.
We could see the depth of sincerity and love when Father carefully looked at each photo that Dr. Yang presented. It was a moment for eternal history. It was a moment in which God was bringing healing and love to all people, races and faiths in the Holy Land.