To change the trajectory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we must transform the conflict from a national one to a religious one.
The conflict might be local, but it’s cause has been taken up by many actors; most significantly Iran, a Shiite, Persian empire; and the Jewish diaspora, the other side of the Jewish world.
Why is Iran involved in the conflict? There are two significant branches in Islam, Shiite and Sunni. So significant is the break between these two sects that they are currently fighting about it in Yemen. It’s a war worthy issue. Yet Iran is Shiite and the Palestinians are Sunni. Why the support?
The conflict is between Jews and Arabs, and Iran is Persian. We even had good relations with Iran prior to their revolution, as we have been reminded by the Shah’s son Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi’s recent visit to Israel. The Palestinian population is Arab, as opposed to Persian like Iran, yet Iran is their biggest supporter. In fact, Iran leads the battle against Israel!
Iran is ethnically and religiously different, yet supports the Palestinian cause. The only commonality is Islam. Iran is fighting a religious war against us, the Jewish people, under the guise of Anti-Zionism.
We have recently seen Saudia Arabia and Iran making efforts to reconcile ties. They, like the Palestinians, are Arab and Sunni Muslim. In fact, the Sunni-Shiite war in Yemen is between Saudi Arabia and Iran! But yet they share an interest in the Israel-Palestinian issue, bringing them together.
Iran is aligning the Muslim world. And they are trying to do so against the Jewish state. Even more so, Iran has started planning attacks against Jewish targets in the diaspora. This is a religious war they are leading against us, the Jewish People, in both Israel and the Diaspora.
Despite their relationship with Iran, Saudi Arabia seems to be okay with the framework of the Abraham Accords, which recognizes our commonality in our father Avraham Avinu. Neighboring country The UAE has actually signed the accords and are now our strongest ally in the region. Saudi Arabia has expressed their desire to eventually join the accords. The reality is, these two countries, among others unmentioned, recognize us! They recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, and recognize this land is our home, too, and they understand that we belong in the region. They are the children of Yishmael, our long lost, half-brother, and we are the children of Isaac, a unified Yisrael. And together we can build a better Middle East.
By transforming this conflict into a religious conflict, we can begin negotiating with the Islamic world, and I think specifically Saudi Arabia. They are a leader of Islam and have the ability to negotiate and create peace on behalf of the Palestinians. In order to transform this into a religious conflict, we need to understand who we are, and get serious about who we are. In order to negotiate for what we want, we need only to turn to the very things we’ve been praying thousands of years for! We know what we want. Let’s make a deal.
This would end the conflict and usher in an era of unprecedented peace and cooperation in our region. Yair Lapid many times last year declared that the conflict can be solved via a diplomatic solution. Well, a halachic solution is a diplomatic solution. It’s time to put the power of Halacha to work.