RE 212/GS 224

| February 14, 2016

RE 212/GS 224
Peace Making Report (Practice Exercise):
Judaism and Peace Making
Grading Considerations
Our aim is to draw out, from each of two sources, a religious resource which could help a community (in this case, a Jewish community) resolve religious conflict with Palestinian Muslims over the issue of control of sacred spaces. In all, we want to describeand then explain the significance or role of two religious resources which could help us agree to Palestinian sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza Strip on the one hand; and to joint Israeli/Palestinian control of the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary on the other.
a) Approach: -Uses just the two sources provided;
-Documents ideas from sources using page citations;
-Report is 500 words maximum;
b) Content:

(i) Resource 1: From the essay by Emma Murphy (“Zionism and the Palestine Question”), the key resource is essentially a new or post-Zionist approachto land control (pp. 287-288).Post-Zionism denotes a feeling of identity that is not so much religious as secular or Israeli: For peace-making purposes, Jews in Israel should prioritize their identity as Israeli citizens first, and Jews second. Significantly, doing this reduces potential tension when negotiating with Palestinian Muslims to help share control of land. (After all, if one claims a divine will lurking behind one’s land claims, there is greater potential for having to defend that allegedly divine will, a stance which deepens one’s resolve against compromise. Removing the argument from divine command increases one’s ability to compromise.)

It sounds a little ironic, I realize, to label post-Zionism as a religious resource when it argues for downplaying one’s religious identity. But it remains a religious resource in that it is a tool for some Israeli Jews to help lower the risksof religious war that come with an argument that God stands behind one’s land claims.
(ii) Resource 2: From the excerpt of the book by Dan Cohn-Sherbok (Judaism and Other Faiths), the key resourceis religious dialogue. More precisely, it is the idea that members of other religions (e.g., Palestinians) are not merely worthy of toleration. It is the idea that their religion is as much a means to realizing God’s will as is one’s own inherited religion (in this case, Judaism) (pp. 61-62).Significantly, if one can accept other religions as equally valid with one’s own, then one can begin to see former enemies as common partners. These are people who perhaps have different symbols and vocabulary, but who share in the same worth before God, and so who are worthy partners for negotiation and compromise.

c) Communication: -Uses clear sentences and paragraphs;
-Proper grammar and spelling;

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