“Let us know peace.
For as long as the moon shall rise,
For as long as
The rivers shall flow,
For as long as
The grass shall grow,
Let us know peace”
A Native American prayer and plea
Pleas and prayers for peace seem to have had little or no influence during America’s history. The country began with colonists in an armed revolution against the British and wars with indigenous tribes. There was a Spanish American War, a U.S. Civil War, World Wars I & II, Korea and Vietnam wars, Persian Gulf War, ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Millions of deaths (military and civilian) have occurred in these wars. The worst casualties were in the Civil War and World War II, totaling two million death, one million deaths in each war.
And today a war-monger in the White House is itching for another military conflict, perhaps with North Korea (no matter what Trump says about having a peaceful summit with Korean leader Kim Jong Un ). His plans for a military parade (with rolling tanks down Washington, D.C. streets) is another sign of his eagerness for war (even though he claims such a parade would show our “greatness.”)
On May 15, 2018, the Trump administration celebrated a so-called peace that they claim to have brokered between Israel and Palestine as the U.S. Embassy was moved from the global Israeli city of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (Trump had earlier declared that Jerusalem was the Israeli capital and thus, in his view, the U.S. Embassy should be located there.) As Israeli leaders, many U.S. evangelicals (who believe that the return of Christ and Armageddon will occur in Jerusalem), and Trump’s unelected envoys Ivanka and Jared Kushner grinned and speechified about the peace to come between Israel and Palestine. But there was no sign of peace.
Palestinian have long sought to keep Jerusalem an international city, welcoming people of numerous faiths. However, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem signified to Palestinians that the U.S. was decidedly supportive of Israel and had thumbed their collective noses at Palestine. Palestinians were not legally allowed to enter Jerusalem and are forced to live in specific areas of Israel: the West Bank and Gaza. Since March 30, 2018, a Palestinian movement called the Great March of Return had been holding rallies, calling for the right to return to Israel and Jerusalem. The March ended on May 15, 2018, at a fence between the Gaza strip and Israel. Joining the March were Gaza citizens, some of whom were militants while many others were just frustrated families.
That’s when the shooting began. The Israeli military killed more than sixty Palestinians and wounded thousands. As a NYT headline put it: “Killings in Gaza, a New Embassy in Jerusalem, and No Sign of Peace.”
So what about that plea: “Let us know peace”? Tell me. When? How?