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Praying for peace

Pope Francis called on All Saints Day or Nov. 1 for a Two-State Solution for Israel and Palestine alongside a humanitarian pause. Writing this article, President Biden has indicated a call for pausing the invasion of Gaza by Israel. Regardless of opinion on the war, untold bloodshed, war crimes, and fear have struck. This should not be the case. We need to transform prayer into a call for action while demanding legislators to do the same. 

Throughout the war, two things have ticked me off, alongside many I know well. Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are running rampant. Seeing people who protest explicitly chanting pro-Hamas or justify Israel striking civilian areas is disgusting and immoral. Utilizing hate, in general, is one of the worst things to be done, as the consequences only lead to danger. Expanding further on Anti-Semitism, those at Harvard chanting for Hamas was disgusting and prompted the article on college students having bad opinions. Harboring beliefs of this nature only brings back many atrocities throughout history against the Jewish community, including the Holocaust. As for Islamophobia, those who justify Israel’s hard right government striking civilian documents, which are very well documented too, either do not care for people or hate Palestinian people due to their internal Islamophobia. For these two groups of people who harbor such beliefs, please take the time to pray to your deity or seek faith or guidance in helping yourself. If not, hate will only lead to the heart not growing fonder as a tree; instead the heart turns into stone, cold and bitter. 

Moving forward, we must look towards a prayer of peace. We must follow John 16:33, stating, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I overcome the world” to move forward in taking action in a prayer

for peace. In the 21st century, war should not be the last resort. War should not be a reality at all. The eye for an eye or tooth for a tooth approach is something that needs to be overcome. Firing missiles back and forth only does nothing to help any cause. It only helps bloodthirsty warmongers who only seek death and destruction, where I hope their souls repent to their deity in seeking their form of salvation in the afterlife. Striking refugee camps, holding grudges, and firing into territory, placing many people in fear, danger, and death, should not be who we are as humans. One can say that war has existed since human existence, which is very nuanced. We choose to engage in conflict, it is not ingrained within us. Instead, peace is natural in us to avoid conflict at all costs. We must choose peace and pursue such endeavors I appreciate President Biden’s shift of tone throughout the war, focusing on the humanitarian end. For those who choose to continue engaging in war, reality will strike them when their final breath is taken of seeing the fiery despair of their version of Hell. 

An issue throughout when achieving peace is the psychological barrier of grievances Palestine and Israel both hold against one another. Each side will leverage their reasoning behind fighting the other repeatedly, where now is the new inception of a bloody conflict. Achieving peace in a meaningful manner will require a hard and long conversation between the governments of Israel and Palestine to recognize that not all grievances will be solved immediately. Instead, the grievances are something with time, and action will allow progress to be achieved. If peace is made without recognizing the grievances both sides hold, it will only lead to a break in peace with war ensuing again.

Mother Teresa said, “Peace begins with a smile,” and the way we can strive towards peace in this time is by beginning with a simple action. This will allow us to take the step in pursuing peace. One final obstacle is the religious difference between Judaism and Islam. Two Abrahamic religions have different sets of beliefs, different holy texts, different customs, history, and so much more will be the hardest part to overcome. A difficult matter is that overlooking religious differences while recognizing differences in religion is okay. I choose not to say good or great as reality comes with the two governments in their interpretations of religion, which will only see a toleration of another. Finally, a prayer is part of the most powerful action when demanding peace as well as taking action to legislators in calling for peace. If not, we will only harm ourselves and wipe humanity from the planet.

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