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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Letter to the Editor: A Real Way to Middle East Peace

The source texts of the Abrahamic faiths are an untapped source for peace.

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As an active Dartmouth alumnus, I am fascinated to see how the current conflict between Hamas and Israel has been playing out on the Dartmouth campus.

I would like to propose that the faith issues underlying each of the Abrahamic religions — Islam, Christianity and Judaism — can offer the hope of answers to these seemingly intractable problems. We, the worldwide Dartmouth family, could arrive at real solutions to these age-old conflicts, if we think out of the box and draw upon the creativity of our precious community.

Each of these religions believes in the existence of one God who cares about His creation, particularly human beings. For thousands of years, much of humanity did not agree on this point, whereas today, most of the residents of the Middle East share this belief.

The primary texts of each Abrahamic faith lay out optimal ways of interacting with others. The Quran describes the region that was given to the children of Israel as an inheritance for all time. And both the Jewish and Christian traditions follow the vision of Isaiah the Hebrew prophet, who talks of the role of Israel as “the light of the nations.” In these texts, the Jewish people are called by God to be servants for all of humanity.

Using these ideas, a true and lasting map of how things should work in the Middle East is conceivable. What is required is goodwill, flexibility and mutual respect for the key sources that underlie each faith. With these texts serving as the basis for interaction, a solution can be reached.

James Rosenberg is a member of the Class of 1982, a resident of Jerusalem and the author of “Isaiah,” a new translation of the Book of the Hebrew. He was a member of Dartmouth Hillel as an undergraduate. Letters to the Editor represent the views of their author(s), which are not necessarily those of The Dartmouth.