The Role of Unification Thought and a UN Peace Council in Solving the Problems of the Middle East

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 9, 2008 - Pages 85-118

Organizations founded by Reverend Moon have been involved in a variety of projects in the Middle East over the past four decades. The Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), News World Communications, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), Religious Youth Services (RYS), and Service for Peace (SFP) have sponsored scores of publications, academic conferences and service projects in the region. As early as the late 1970s PWPA initiated symposia between Israelis and Palestinians.[1] Missionaries of the Unification community have been active in the region since the mid-1960s. UPF has organized thirty-three peace pilgrimages to Israel and Palestine that have brought thousands of religious and women leaders to Israel and Palestine since 2004. His son Hyun Jin Moon has led the most recent pilgrimages.

This paper will consider the theoretical foundations guiding Reverend Moon’s efforts to realize peace in the Middle East. It will also examine his proposed role for the United Nations, which he believes if properly restructured could play a central role bringing peace to this troubled region.

 

The Current Challenges in the Middle East

The current problems in the Middle East stem from the distribution of power following World War I. Secondly, according to the teachings of Reverend Moon, they relate to the ways in which the United States and Christianity responded to the Providence of God following the conclusion of the Second World War. Thirdly they relate to the course chosen by the West following the conclusion of the Cold War.

The U.S. abandonment of Afghanistan almost immediately following the Soviet Army’s withdrawal from that beleaguered country in 1989 triggered a breakdown in relations between the United States and its Afghan allies. It exacerbated the extant breakdown in relations with the Arab world as well. The Afghan Mujahadeen, composed of Afghans as well as Muslims from throughout the world, had benefited from US Stinger missiles and from other strategic support from the United States until America’s geopolitical objective (i.e., Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan) had been achieved.

The U.S. disappearance from the Afghan scene following the Soviet withdrawal confirmed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s view that the United States was only a short-term ally to the Muslim world. Al Qaeda maintained that, in an absolute sense, the United States, with its plummeting morality and its standing commitment to the State of Israel, represented an enemy to Islam. The depth of the anger and disdain towards the United States became evident to Americans with the 2001 Al Qaeda-supported attack on New York and Washington, D.C. Experts on the Middle East view the 2001 attack as a violent response to specific issues in US foreign and domestic policy:

1. The US military presence in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and in other parts of a country where the Muslim world’s holiest places are located.

2. The perception that the United States pursues an unbalanced and one-side foreign policy in the Middle East, punctuated by staunch, virtually unwavering US support for Israel in the UN Security Council.

3. US hesitation to support democratically elected governments in places such as Palestine, Algeria, and Pakistan when election results favored Islamist governments.

4. The separation of Church and State that is such a fundamental aspect of the Western formula for development, which contradicts Islamic political theory that is founded upon Shariah Law.[2]

 

For the Arab world, the most central and intractable of these issues was the one-sided diplomatic, economic, military and political support that the United States provides to Israel. Between 1972 and 2006 the United States exercised its Security Council veto of resolutions against Israel on more than forty occasions. In more than two-thirds of those votes, the United States was the only dissenting voice in the Security Council. The resolutions would otherwise have carried overwhelmingly.[3] I do not cite this to suggest that the United States was wrong to exercise these vetoes. Frankly some of the resolutions that won UN support over the years were outrageous, including the November 10, 1975 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379 that states that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.”[4] That resolution carried in 1975 by a vote of 72 to 35 with 32 abstentions and it remained in effect until 1991. Indeed the United States was the only world power in a position to oppose the Security Council resolutions and its General Assembly votes were consistent with its position on Israel. However, to say that each veto was justified would only appear to be true on the grounds that admonishments from the UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions jeopardized Israel’s stability and survivability because they lent legitimacy to political, economic and even military reprisals against Israel.

For decades, Israel has maintained overwhelming military superiority over the surrounding Arab States due to support that it has received from the United States although, immediately following World War II, Israel’s main munitions supplier was the Eastern bloc. Iraq and Afghanistan aside, today more than one third of the total US foreign aid goes to two countries: Israel and Egypt.[5] Egypt began to receive significant US aid when, during the tenure of President Anwar Sadat, Egypt broke ranks with neighboring Arab states and established diplomatic ties with Israel.

The perceived U.S. unwavering pro-Israel policy had strong geopolitical justification during the Cold War. Israel was a pivotal ally in a part of the world where the Soviet Union had made major inroads because of the ideological, military, and economic support the Soviets provided to Middle Eastern national liberation movements and to Arab nationalist movements. Under such circumstances, American strategists argued that it was in the U.S. national interest to use its ties to Israel as a counterbalance to Soviet-supported threats to the region. However, with the collapse of the Eastern bloc, Israel was no longer needed as a Cold War partner in the Middle East. The rationales for U.S. support are justified based on the historic ties that have been forged by now between Israel and the United States.

 

The Two States Policy

Today Israel and Palestine both find themselves in a process of transition. The two states solution, that is, a Jewish State and an Arab State, has gained momentum, in spite of obstacles. Today most expect that Israel and Palestine will emerge as two separate and independent nation states. The current two state process that has strong U.S. support, Israeli support and Palestinian support assumes the ongoing existence of Israel as a Jewish state and the creation of a Palestinian state.

The calls for a Jewish State in the Middle East developed over many years but it became a focal point of diplomacy and took on momentum through the writings and organizing efforts of the Zionist leader Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Although a remnant Jewish population had remained in Palestine following the destruction of the Jerusalem by Rome in 70 A.D., thousands of Jewish settlers from Eastern Europe, who were inspired by Herzl’s writings and mobilizing efforts, moved to Palestine and began to purchase property and establish themselves in the Palestinian territories in the latter part of the nineteenth century.

The conditions that Jews faced in places such as Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia played an important role in awakening the Western powers to the need for a Jewish homeland. This resulted in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 in which the British cabinet, through the offices of Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, called for a portion of the former Ottoman Empire to be partitioned out of Palestine for the creation of a Jewish homeland. The Balfour Resolution emphasized that this homeland should not interfere with or infringe upon the people who already resided in Palestine.[6]

The rationale for the creation of both a Jewish and a Palestinian homeland made sense in the early part of the twentieth century, especially in light of the humane guidelines of the Balfour Declaration. The Ottoman Empire had suffered defeat in World War I. Britain and France had assumed a trusteeship role in the Middle East to “fill the vacuum” of the collapsed Ottoman Empire. Britain and France began a process that result in official states being carved out of what had been little more than the fiefdoms of tribal chiefs. It made sense that in the “carving up” of the former Ottoman Empire, a territory could be carved out for a Jewish State. France went so far as to advocate for the creation of a Christian state (Lebanon) as well. Critics of the plan were informed by Israel supporters that the area under consideration as a Jewish homeland was largely unoccupied and was thus available.

The United Nations Charter was adopted by the founding member states in October 1945. Shortly after its creation, lobbying efforts began in favor of a Jewish State. Proponents were encouraged by U.S. President Harry S. Truman who took a strong position in favor of the creation of a new state of Israel. In November 1947 the U.S. led the way in garnering support for the passage of UN General Assembly resolution 181 that supported the creation of two States from what had been referred to as Palestine in the Balfour Resolution of 1917.

Resolution 181 stipulated that there would be a Jewish State and an Arab State created from the former Palestine (Israel and Transjordan). While supporters of a Jewish homeland applauded the motion, there was not the same enthusiasm on the part of the would-be citizens of Transjordan. Noah Salameh, co-author of Islam and Peace (2006), argues that the Palestinian identity was denied by this United Nations vote and still now it is denied. The resolution failed to win the support of any of the Arab member states of the United Nations. The United Nations General Assembly vote supporting the creation of Israel was markedly divided with 33 nations favoring the two state solution (Israel and Transjordan), 13 nations opposing it and 10 abstentions.[7] The Israeli nation in its founding documents emphasized its identity as a Jewish state but legal instruments were created making it possible for Arabs who had lived in the region to remain there and to secure Israeli citizenship with certain restrictions.

 

Opposition to the Two State Plan

Most key players in the Middle East now support the establishment of two separate states, Israel and Palestine, in the region. The “two states policy” represents the official position of the Israeli government and the official position of the Palestinian Authority. While Israeli leaders have made it clear that they support the creation of a Palestinian state, they do so with restrictions. For example, they oppose the creation of a neighboring Palestinian state that has the capacity to serve as a launching pad for further military and terrorist actions against Israel. The two nation plan also represents the official position of Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt. However, the concern remains that the existing Palestinian polity consists of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and that there is no contiguous borders between these two areas.

Pan-Arabist and Islamist opponents to the two state plan argue that eventually the State of Israel will be dissolved either through military confrontations with Palestinians and the Arab governments that support them, or through declining U.S. and EU support for Israel due to the changing demographics of these two major players in the Middle East.[8] Opponents to the two nation plan question the legitimacy of the process whereby Israel came into being in the first place. They cite four specific issues:

1. In 1947 the “United Nations were not competent under international law to partition or otherwise dispose of the territory of Palestine against the wishes of the clear majority of its inhabitants.”[9]

2. The partition of Palestine into two states had “no legal validity” because “the Partition Plan was adopted by the General Assembly, not the Security Council”[10] and “resolutions of the General Assembly have the force of recommendations to member states of the United Nations but do not have any mandatory force.”[11]

3. The UN partition “granted 55% of Palestine to the Jews, who at that time comprised only 30 percent of the population, and who owned a mere 6 or 7% of the land.”[12] The UN partition also failed to take into account that, at the time of the partition, there were twice as many Arabs as Jews in Palestine and that less than one-third of those Jews held Palestinian citizenship.

4. Arabs living in Palestine maintain that vast numbers of Palestinians were forced to abandon their homes in Palestine, as UN Resolution 181 moved toward passage, because of the terror that they were subjected to at the hands of Irgun, an underground “military arm of the Zionist movement.”[13]

 

For these as well as other political[14] and religious reasons, prominent leaders and organizations opposed the creation of Israel. Egyptian leader Gamal Nasser (1918-1970), Saddam Hussein (1937-2006), Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (b. 1956), Hamas, Al Qaeda, and Hezbollah have numbered among the most emphatic. Some Arab opponents to Israel argue that Jews would be welcome to remain in a newly established Arab-led Palestinian state that would replace Israel. However, they make it clear that the new state would no longer be a Jewish state. Under such circumstances, Israelis argue that any Jews who remained would be at risk.

Although U.S. support for Israel remains strong, it is likely that over the next three decades the importance and even the reliability of that support will change because of India and China assuming a more central role in the Middle East (due to their growing energy needs). Because of demographic trends in Israel (where the Palestinian population is rapidly growing) and because of demographic shifts in the United States and Europe largely due to recent immigration trends, the views on the Middle East of U.S. and E.U. voting populations will most likely change in the coming decades. This can be expected to lead to resistance to an ongoing policy of unconditional support for Israel.[15] In a recent article on the feasibility of a two nation solution to the current Israel-Palestine crisis, former PWPA President and University of Chicago Political Science Professor Emeritus Morton Kaplan makes constructive political recommendations on how to foster cooperation between Israelis and Arabs. Yet Kaplan’s article concludes with a foreboding observation:

Enlightened members of both communities should work together, and with reasonable elements in the Middle East, to attempt to avoid what I despairingly foresee as a huge tragedy.[16]

The optimum time for a peaceful solution to the problems in Israel and Palestine is the present time when the United States remains in a strong position to serve as a facilitator.

 

A Precedent: Reverend Moon’s Role in Ending the Cold War

As demographics and political balances of power change, it is time to “think outside the box.” If, in a few decades, because of changing political and economic realties, the United States finds itself relegated to a secondary role in the Middle East, its ability to play a role in diffusing tensions and brokering peace will obviously diminish. Because of the changing demographics that we have cited above, it is critical for the United States and Israelis and Palestinians to consider alternative approaches to addressing the problems of the Middle East now before the changing circumstances of the next three decades “force” the issue. Reverend Moon’s constructive efforts to end the Cold War provide a precedent of such an “outside the box” approach.

The author of this paper numbers among those who have been privileged to observe, to research, and to write on the important role that Reverend Moon played in bringing a close to the Cold War.[17] This paper is not the appropriate venue to explore that topic in depth; however, suffice it to say that Reverend Moon’s work focused on examining Marxist-Leninist philosophy and observing its praxis.[18] Based on such study and observation, Reverend Moon identified the specific ways in which Marxism-Leninism, in spite of its goals of equality and justice, was misguided.

This led Reverend Moon to develop a worldwide educational initiative that shared the systematic critique and counterproposal to Marxist-Leninist philosophy that Reverend Moon had pioneered. These efforts resulted in the creation of the International Federation for Victory over Communism in his homeland of Korea in the 1950s. That Federation widely shared his critique and counterproposal to Marxism-Leninism to constituencies throughout Korea, including the government, the military and students. The work then proceeded to Japan, the United States, Western Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and eventually inside the communist world.

Rev. Moon established direct relations and exchanges with the communist world beginning in the early 1980s through the World Media Association and the Professors World Peace Academy, and in the 1990s through the International Education Foundation and the Federation for World Peace. The Washington Times that Reverend Moon created in 1983 exposed Soviet expansionism and made the case for the Reagan doctrine and the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), both of which contributed to shifting the balance of power.[19] Reverend Moon’s efforts have been publicly recognized by political, academic, and religious leaders including Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr., among others.[20]

Reverend Moon’s approach to the communist world did more than challenge Marxist ideology and Soviet military policy. It sought for peace and reconciliation and was respectful of the many accomplishments of the Soviet Union.  Reverend Moon’s constructive outreach to the communist world bore fruit in 1990 when he met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and began to develop projects in collaboration with the Soviet government. This included bringing hundreds of legislators to the United States to dialogue with their political peers and to meet with leaders of U.S. industry in order to facilitate investment in their respective republics. It also brought thousands of Soviet young people to the United States to learn about American culture and its underpinnings.

In 1991 Reverend Moon made a visit to his homeland, North Korea, for the first time in more than forty years. Kim Il Sung, the President of North Korea had been responsible for his imprisonment in a death camp in 1950. In the late 1980s North Korea made Reverend Moon a target when it dispatched Japanese Red Army operative Yu Kikimura, who included Reverend Moon on the list of targets he was to assassinate.[21] Kikimura was apprehended on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1989. Authorities uncovered his weapons cache and found the list of his intended targets. He remains in a federal prison. Nevertheless, Reverend Moon met and reconciled with North Korean President Kim Il Sung just two years later, saying that “blood is thicker than water.” Since that 1991 visit he has maintained an ongoing rela¬tionship with the North. Most recently, in October 2007 some 700 women from Dr. Hak Ja Han’s Women’s Federation for World Peace were invited to North Korea to further communication and dialogue with the North.

 

Unification Thought’s Theoretical Approach to the Israel-Palestine Problem

Unification Thought views the Middle East conflict as a struggle of the heart, rooted in longstanding historical errors and grievances both on the part of Israelis and on the part of Palestinians. Wounds of the heart must be understood, and the Unification view of history helps to facilitate this understanding.

Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, Reverend Moon’s closest assistant, has noted that peace has a different meaning for Reverend Moon than merely the “absence of war.” Reverend Moon’s views resonate well with Spinoza who maintained, “Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice.”[22] Rev. Kwak would add that, for Reverend Moon, peace is not meant to be ephemeral. Peace is meant to be a permanent state of being. Humankind no more needs intervals of war than we need intervals of life-threatening disease.

Unification Thought’s Theory of History enumerates seven laws of creation and seven laws of restoration.[23] We will not expound here on each of these laws, but only comment on those that are most relevant for the insights they provide into the current Middle East Crisis. They are:

1. The Law of the Horizontal Reappearance of the Vertical;

2. The Law of Completion through Three Stages;

3. The Law of Dominion of the Center and the Law of Responsibility;

4. The Law of Separation;

5. The Law of Indemnity.

The principal focus will be on the Law of Indemnity.

The Law of the Horizontal Reappearance of the Vertical

In its analysis of history, Unification Thought specifically references the current struggle between Israel and the Arab Nations:

Conflict between Israel and the Arab nations today… is the reappearance of the struggles between the Israelites and their surrounding peoples in the Old Testament days. Accordingly, it is difficult to resolve the present-day conflict between Israel and the Arabs merely as a political problem. When it comes to the consummation of history in the last days, various unexpected events happen one after another, and the world is thrown into confusion. This is so because the various unresolved problems from past history reappear in the present period through the work of the Law of the Horizontal Reappearance of the Vertical. Such confusion and conflicts will come to be fundamentally resolved only through receiving the Lord of the Second Coming and reconciling, through God's love, people in conflicting relationships.

The reason why God causes the events of history to reappear in the Last Days, whereby they become fundamentally resolved, is that God wishes to achieve two purposes: first, to recondition the six thousand year history as though it had been developing all along without the fall, thus sweeping away the memories of the numerous miserable events in history once and for all; and second, to subjugate Satan completely by eliminating all conditions for accusation by Satan.[24]

The Law of the Horizontal Reappearance of the Vertical helps us to under¬stand that we cannot go forward if we do not understand the past. As we discuss the Law of Indemnity and relate it to the Middle East Crisis, we will better understand what needs to be corrected now in order to heal and resolve the failures of the past and the problems of the present.

Law of Completion through Three Stages

Unification Thought explains the Law of Completion through Three Stages as follows:

According to the Principle of Creation, the growth or development of all things is attained through a process of three stages, namely, Formation, Growth, and Completion. For example, plants mature and perfect themselves through the three stages of germinating, of growing stems and putting forth green leaves, and of blooming flowers and bearing fruit. This law applies in history as well; often the providence of re-creation has been carried out through a process of three stages. To elaborate, it is a law that if a certain providential event ends in failure, that providence can be prolonged up to a third time (or a third stage), but will necessarily be accomplished at the third stage.

For example, because Adam, due to the fall, failed to fulfill the purpose of creation, God sent Jesus as the Second Adam. But since Jesus was crucified and so could not fulfill the purpose of creation completely, God can send the Lord of the Second Advent as the Third Adam to fulfill the purpose of creation.[25]

The Law of Completion through Three Stages helps us to understand the long history of conflict in the Middle East and the significance of Israel and Palestine in particular. In Unification Theory, the Garden of Eden is a mythic-like theme that resonates throughout Reverend Moon’s teachings. The Garden of Eden was a place where humankind could live in harmony and in happiness with each other and with the entire created world. The land of Canaan, or Israel in the Old Testament, is a metaphor for Eden and was to serve as the basis for a new Eden.

The Book of Exodus characterized the promised land of Canaan as “a land of milk and honey.” Later, the prophet Isaiah described a new world where “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6) Eden and Israel should not be viewed as isolated territories in an otherwise evil or savage world. Instead, they constitute the beginning points for God’s Kingdom and a world of peace. The tradition of living for the sake of others was to be established in those venues, and then it could expand from Eden or Israel to all of human¬kind. The three stages of initiatives to realize God’s Kingdom were thus: the Eden of the First Adam, the “land of Milk and Honey” that would become Israel and receive Jesus and, finally, the “New Jerusalem” that will descend from Heaven at the Lord’s return (Rev. 21:2).

Reverend Moon’s teachings point to a second level of national[26] completion through three stages centering on the nation of Israel. He points to three levels of Israel:

1. Israel proper,

2. A second spiritual Israel, represented by Christianity on an internal level and by the United States of America on an external level at this time in history.[27]

3. The third Israel, represented by Korea.[28]

Exposition of the Divine Principle explains the relationship among these three as follows:

If Christ returns to Korea, the Korean people are destined to become the Third Israel. In the Old Testament Age, the descendants of Abraham who upheld God’s Will and endured persecution in Egypt were the First Israel. The Christians, who…carried on the providence of restoration became the second Israel.[29]

Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak, in an unpublished speech that he delivered on September 13, 2006, explained that for Reverend Moon the three Israels are one. Reverend Moon has spoken publicly of the need for the unity of Korea, America and Israel in order to realize the ultimate objective of Eden and its successor lands and nations. Nations rise and fall in the Providence of God according to the extent to which they realize the Providence of God or fail to do so.[30]

Unification Theory does not view the fact that Korea achieved independence in 1948 and the creation of Israel[31] in 1948 as coincidental. Along with the United States, Israel and Korea are meant to serve as starting points of God’s Kingdom. As we have already noted, the United States, Israel and Korea are not meant to prosper by themselves. They are meant to serve as model or pioneer nations, which can facilitate the entire world finding human security and peace.[32] Reverend Moon alluded to the importance of these three nations that represent Judaism (Israel), Christianity (United States) and Unificationism (Korea) in his 1976 speech at the Washington Monument entitled “God’s Will and America”:

These three religions[33] are indeed three brothers in the Providence of God. Then Israel, the United States and Korea, the nations where these three religions are based must also be brothers. Because these three nations have a common destiny representing God's side, the Communist bloc as Satan's representative is trying to isolate and destroy them at the UN.

Therefore these three brother nations must join hands in a unified effort to restore the United Nations to its original purpose and function. They must contribute internally to the unification of world religions and externally to the unification of the world itself.[34] 

  

Law of Dominion by the Center and Law of Responsibility

Unification Theory teaches that God appoints central persons, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus to lead God’s providence for the entire world. Likewise, God appoints central nations and religions and gives them respon¬sibility reverse the errors and wrong attitudes that have been perpetrated by previous generations of humankind.[35] Conversely, mistakes made by central nations and central religions have negative consequences for all nations and religions.

Today, Unification Theory recognizes that Christianity stands as the world’s central religion. It views the United States as the world represen-ta¬tive of Christianity, and hence that both the United States and Christianity play a central role in God’s providence. This central role means that the positive and the negative decisions made by Christianity and by America directly affect the entire world—and the Middle East in particular.

The Law of Separation

The Bible recounts that, in order to fulfill their missions, central persons such as Abraham first separated themselves from their familial environment to receive God’s guidance, and then with that higher insight led humankind to a new level. In one of his first public speeches in the United States entitled “The Formula for God’s Providence,” Reverend Moon outlined the process whereby God called out the providential figures whom he chose. He began by discussing the role of Abel:

Abel had to first receive God's love. That means, he had to come out of the sphere dominated by Satan. Once he had won that separation from Satan, God could love him. Having gained that position, instead of being arrogant, Abel should have been willing to die for Cain. These three stages are the important formula: First, the man who is willing to save the world should be able to defeat Satan; then he must come into the love of God; and finally, feeling the heart of God and his fallen brother, he must be willing to sacrifice himself in place of his fallen brother, in order to relieve God's grief and his fallen brother's grief. Only on that condition can both be taken back to God.[36]

The same principle applies to central nations. Following World War II, key leaders in the United States and Korea should have experienced a time of separation or a time of prayer and reflection, as should the entire Christian world have done, as it reflected on its future course. Christian leaders should have gone through a period of thanksgiving prayer, reflection and purifica¬tion in order to recognize God for having delivered the world from evil and to seek God’s guidance. However, that did not transpire. One of the conse¬quences of this was that the United Nations, that the United States played a central role in creating, had no place for religion. For this reason, the Cold War that, Reverend Moon explains, could have ended in 1948 was extended until 1988—a period of forty years.

Following the Cold War’s conclusion, Rev. Moon once again emphasized the need for the Christian world to unite and to reflect on the future of Christianity and God’s Providence. Reverend Moon separated himself, traveled to South America, lived there in the wilderness of the Pantanal, and he prayed and worked for unity and reconciliation between Protestantism and Catholicism.

From Uruguay he organized hundreds of conferences for Christian leaders and brought together Protestant ministers from North America with Catholics from South and Central America in many symposia between 1994 and 2000. Reverend Moon’s goal was not for Christians to isolate themselves from others but to encourage reconciliation within Christianity where there was also much pain because of the divisions resulting from the Schism of Christianity, the Crusades, the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, the retraction of the Edict of Nantes, the religious wars in Britain and Central Europe; Christian complicity in the Holocaust, in slavery, in Apartheid and in so many other painful events that had led to oppression and profound resentment. This process of separation followed by reconciliation and healing would prepare Christians to reach out to the rest of the world, and to the Muslim world in particular.[37]

The Law of Indemnity

Unification Thought explains the Law of Indemnity as follows:

The human fall refers to the fact that human beings lost their original position and state. Restoration is the process of regaining the lost position and state. Yet, in order to regain the original position and state, certain conditions have to be established. The conditions for this purpose are called “conditions of indemnity.” The conditions of indemnity that human beings establish are the foundation of faith and the foundation of substance. 

To establish the foundation of faith means that the people must meet a leader (central figure) chosen by God and must fulfill a certain conditional object, centering on that leader, during a specified numerological period of indemnity for faith. Establishing the foundation of substance means that the people obediently follow the leader chosen by God.

When we examine history, however, we see that people in sinful societies very seldom obeyed the leaders chosen by God; instead, most of the time they persecuted them. Accordingly, the paths of righteous people, sages, and saints continually turned into courses of hardship. Yet the hardships undergone by those righteous leaders became the sacrificial indemnity condi¬tions that subjugated the people of the sinful world and restored them to the side of God. In other words, with the hardships of righteous leaders as a condition, God made the people repent. This is the Law of Indemnity. The representative example is Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus’ sacrifice awakened many people in the sinful world to their sinfulness, and they repented.[38]

Indemnity is necessary when people fail in the Providence of God. It is also necessary when injustices and wrongdoings have been committed. Indemnity serves to end God’s grief, resentment and pain as well as that of our fellow human beings. More importantly, it serves as the basis upon which God’s providence can advance. In order for conditions of indemnity to be made, there must be a central figure who can be an object to God’s heart and who demonstrates what Unification Thought refers to as “object consciousness”[39] before God. That central figure is charged with establishing the foundation of faith and then working with a Cain figure or group to realize the foundation of substance as the basis of establishing a foundation to receive the Messiah.

Understanding What Has to Be Indemnified

During World War II, a great price had been paid with tens of millions of lives being lost in Western and Eastern Europe and in the Asia Pacific region. The Christian nations of the United States, England and France had a grave responsibility to act in accord with their faith and seek God’s voice following the Second World War. Divine Principle maintains that it was the time to establish the foundation for the Messiah.[40] Christians were called to build a God-centered environment at the close of the War that would protect and further a precious and fragile peace that had been purchased at the cost of so many lives.

Reverend Moon’s speeches have long emphasized the central role of the United Nations in the furtherance of peace and in facilitating the presence of God in human affairs. The UN was meant to have not only political and socioeconomic dimensions but a religious one as well. In this way, the United Nations should have served as the institution through which God could have worked to realize world peace.

Reverend Moon further explains that the United States had a central role in assuring that the UN would provide a forum for not just political but also cultural and religious exchange. The UN was “the child” of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the similarities between the names “United States” and “United Nations” were not by chance. Some argue that Roosevelt’s dream was to become the first President of the UN and that he might have done so if disease had not cut his life short. However, the UN that emerged in 1945 after World War II did not inherit the theocentric dimension that is reflected in the American founding documents, currency and tradition. The United States and Christianity failed to abide by the Law of Separation and remove themselves from the post-World War II secular surroundings, feel the love of God—and only then reach out with love to the lost brother Cain to establish a United Nations that would afford a central value to religion and religious tradition.

At the founding of the UN, Stalin, a world level Cain-type figure, was accommodated[41] by the United States in spite of his militant commitment to atheism and totalitarianism. The founding documents were “sanitized” of any reference to God. Religion had no role in the world body that was meant to preserve world peace. The consequences of this would be reflected quickly in the developments in the Middle East.

 

The United Nations and the Middle East

In November 1947, lobbying efforts in favor of a Jewish State culminated in a UN vote approving the creation of two States a Jewish and an Arab State (Israel and Transjordan) in the region of Palestine. While supporters of Israel applauded the motion, there was not the same enthusiasm on the part of the would-be “citizens” of Transjordan. The Palestinian identity was denied them. Until today, this remains a source of deep resentment and no Transjordan was ever created. Resolution 181 of November 2, 1947 supporting the creation of the two states won support in the General Assembly with 33 nations favoring it, 13 opposing it and with 10 abstentions. No Arab and no Muslim nation supported the resolution.[42] Israel, as the Jewish state outlined in the resolution, was officially declared in May 1948.

Dr. Noah Salameh, Director of the Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation maintains that the most painful aspect of the experience was the fact that the resolution denied the existence of the Palestinian people. Palestinians, he maintains, felt that their nation had been erased from the earth by the United States and by the United Nations.[43]

One can point to innumerable issues that have provoked the current Middle East crisis including Western imperialism, social injustice, historical differences, and conflicting religious and philosophical perspectives. However, Unification Thought would argue that the principal problem was due to the lack of the involvement of religious leaders in formulating the United Nations’ equation for realizing peace. This led to political brokering rather than prayerful efforts to find a solution to the building of a Jewish homeland that could have buy-in from the Palestinian community and the surrounding Arab nations.

In the midst of the Cold War Reverend Moon described the polar division of the world as one that, in essence, was characterized by the struggle over “God or no God.” In an extemporaneous portion of a speech that Reverend Moon delivered at the inauguration of the Universal Peace Federation as the Abel United Nations on September 23, 2007, he again characterized today’s difficulties as an extension of the God or no God struggle. The issues in the theism versus atheism debate of today are less strident than in times past when Marx described religion as an opiate; Lenin referred to religion as “spiritual booze;” Stalin and Khrushchev undertook systematic campaigns to level Orthodox cathedrals or transform them into museums; and when Mao waged a war on Confucius during his Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. However, although the tone of religious intolerance of communism may have been altered, religion still remains marginalized in most societies including the discourse of the United Nations itself. Religion is seen as a venue for people being baptized, married or buried. Churches, mosques or synagogues are buildings where people go occasionally to find inner solace in the same way that others might find such solace by listening to Debussy. In modern culture, religion resigns itself to a secondary role vis-à-vis other perspectives that can “justifiably” be used in assessing phenomena.

For decades, Reverend Moon has spoken of both the potential and of the limitations of the United Nations. Because of the secular underpinnings of the UN, problems are studied by that body only from a political, economic, and social justice perspective. Since its founding there has been no interest in seeking the insights of the world’s great religions. Since 1998 Reverend Moon has called upon the United Nations to establish an Interreligious Council that he refers to as the “UN Peace Council” that would have genuine decision-making power on a level similar to that of the extant Security Council[44] and “that will not speak for the interests of a particular nation, as the existing UN representatives do but that will truly work for the welfare and peace of humanity from an interreligious and universal perspective.”[45] A modified and less powerful model of this proposal is currently being explored at the UN. The General Assembly expressed support for a proposal for a Religious Council in the 61st Session, based on Reverend Moon’s recommendation of 1998. The dismissal of religion by the United Nations since its beginning helps to explain why the creation of Israel was handled in such an insensitive manner.

Reverend Moon has often said that God wanted to have Africans come to America so that America could be a nation that could represent the world. However, he said that the way that Africans came was not what God wanted. Likewise, Reverend Moon believes that the creation of Israel was providential; however, the Unification Theory of History would suggest that the way that Israel was created was not in accord with what God desired.

The Role that Religion Could Have Played in the Two States Policy of the UN

Let us consider how in 1947 a UN Peace Council of Religious Leaders might have prayerfully looked at the call for the creation of a Jewish State in the Middle East. Let us especially consider how Unification Thought might have informed that Council and indeed would inform it today.

Unification Theory[46] is an inclusive thought. It does not see any of the major religions as evil or satanic. Although Unificationists maintain that Reverend Moon plays a critical role in human salvation, they believe that God has worked through the different faiths in history and maintain that God continues to work through those faiths, and principally through the three Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Unification Theory also recognizes that God has worked through non-Abrahamic faiths—Confucianism, Hinduism, Sikhism, the Baha’i faith, and Taoism. It recognizes that God has worked through men and women of conscience who might not be believers.[47] Hence, Unification Thought calls for an inclusive approach in the UN Peace Council that would bring together all of the great faiths. Each faith has its own strengths, and those strengths can help to address the world’s problems.

If it had been established in 1945, the UN Peace Council would have brought together key religious leaders to inform and provide guidance to the UN on numerous problems. In the Unification view, these leaders would not represent their home countries nor should they necessarily be appointed by a head of state. Unification Thought would also emphasize that those invited to join the Council would not come merely representing the faith with which they were affiliated. Their desire and commitment would be to be humble, to be sensitive to each other’s voices and to seek the voice of the Creator in prayer, in meditation and in dialogue with each other. They would strive, through prayer, meditation and dialogue, to understand God’s particular love and appreciation for each of the faiths represented in the Peace Council.

How Unification Theory Would Contextualize the Peace Council’s Handling of the Israel-Palestine Crisis

Understandably, the representatives of the different faiths in the Council would address the Israel-Palestine issue in differing ways based on their teachings and on their spiritual inspiration. Unification Thought would begin by trying to understand God’s heart and the heart of the grieving parties in the conflict.

The God of Unification Thought, referred to as the Original Being, is a God of Heart. The God of Unification Thought is not almighty in the same sense that God is perceived as almighty in some circles. When God created, he sacrificed an aspect of omnipotence and became not an autonomous God but a relational God whose fulfillment was dependent upon the eventual perfection or spiritual matura¬tion of his children. Reverend Moon speaks emphatically on this subject:

If we ask Him, ‘God are you not omnipotent?’ He will answer, ‘I am omni-potent but not when it comes to love.[48]

He has also observed, “There has been no one who sought to understand, by digging into the root cause of God’s grief after the Fall, what the relationship between God and human beings is, and how the supposedly all-knowing and all-powerful God became so impotent.”[49]

Reverend Moon also maintains that God would find no joy in condemning or in punishing humankind:

Today Christianity pronounces, ‘God is the holy, all-knowing, and omnipotent being, and the Judge who sits on His throne as the righteous Lord of Judgment who judges all people.’ Do you like judges? If a judge serves for ten years, he will get sick and die; if he does not die, he will at least become seriously ill. If he does not get sick, he is a fake. Judges sometimes pass death sentences and yet their verdicts cannot always be right. There are many different ways of seeing the situation and still their judgments decide whether someone lives or dies. It is a serious matter. Judgment from the human perspective of universal laws often misses the true mark in light of universal law. For this reason, a righteous person would get sick after being a judge for ten years.[50]

He teaches that God wishes human beings to love one another and not to judge.

Unification Thought maintains that the solution to the problems of the world can only be resolved once humankind comes to resemble the Original Being. Ever since the Fall, God could not have a full partnership because fallen humankind did not resemble God. Nevertheless, exceptional human beings have had profound insights into God’s heart. We are reminded, for example, of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his powerful commentary on how he would respond to the adversity of his detractors:

Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.[51]

Such perspectives can be fostered by coming to view others as God’s children, and this has especially been achieved by those who have cultivated a prayerful mind.

Unification Thought would advocate a spiritual framework in which members of the Council would be reminded that each person whom the members encounter is the descendant of a lineage that includes people who have been striving to live in a public way. What would the God who knew our parents, our grandparents, our great grandparents, and, above all, our first parents feel towards each of us? As a loving Parent, God would surely want to recall the special things that each of our forefathers had done when he looks upon us. The UN Peace Council would encourage its religious representatives to inherit their heart of sincere love and tears. With that heart they could touch others and find the way through moments of impasse. The most important thing is to find one’s way to God and become more God-like; it is not a matter of the path by which one does so. Thus all faiths have produced holy men and women and can be respected as paths to the Creator.[52]

In accord with the Unification Thought, the UN Peace Council would foster appreciation for each faith, not so much because of doctrines but because of the sincere intent of its founders and saints to reach God. The object consciousness stressed by Unification Thought would thus foster gratitude on the part of the Council towards all who have worked in order to render dignity to God and to humankind. This object consciousness, we can anticipate, would also inform the ways in which people might view particular political circumstances. Let us now turn our attention to how the Council might have addressed the Israel-Palestine Issue and let us try to understand the special things in God’s memory that would have allowed a UN Peace Council to look at both the Jewish and the Arab people with deep love and long for their reconciliation.

 

Why God Loves Islam and the Arab People

There is an unfortunate part of Genesis that we need to consider when studying Abraham’s family. Because Abraham’s wife Sarah was unable to give birth to a child, she offered him her female slave Hagar (Gen. 16:2). Hagar bore a son for Abraham who was named Ishmael. God, nevertheless, had promised that one day Sarah would also give birth to a son. Indeed, she did give birth to her son Isaac approximately thirteen biblical years after the birth of Ishmael.

Once Isaac was born, Genesis records that Sarah felt jealousy toward Hagar and, once Isaac was born (Gen. 21:1-7), she asked Abraham to send away Hagar and Ishmael (Gen. 21-8-11). Abraham was not pleased with Sarah’s insistence; however, God told Abraham to abide by Sarah’s request. (Gen. 21:14) He comforted Abraham by saying that a great nation would rise up from Ishmael’s lineage (Gen. 21:12-14).

While Ishmael certainly struggled because of this abandonment, he did not fully separate from Abraham and Isaac. According to Genesis, Ishmael and Isaac together prepared Abraham’s burial (Gen. 25:9). Later Ishmael betrothed his daughter Basemath in marriage to Isaac’s son Esau (Gen. 36:3).[53] God must have been moved by Ishmael’s unswerving loyalty to his father and by his love for his favored brother Isaac. Ishmael is someone whom we all should be able to admire, as a victor over resentment.

However, what impact might the painful rejection that we have recounted have had upon Ishmael or upon his descendants? In her book A History of God, author and religious scholar Karen Armstrong argued that, until Mohammed, Arabia suffered from a sense of inferiority, from a lack of love because God had never blessed the children of Ishmael with a revelation until Mohammed appeared:

There was… a widespread feeling of spiritual inferiority. Those Jews and Christians with whom the Arabs came in contact used to taunt them for being a barbarous people who had received no revelation from God. The Arabs felt a mingled resentment and respect for these people who had knowledge that they did not. Judaism and Christianity had made little headway in the region, even though the Arabs acknowledged that this progressive form of religion was superior to their own traditional paganism.[54] 

In Unification Thought, Ishmael and Esau stand as Cain-side figures who could only receive God’s direct blessing through their younger brothers. Divine Principle teaches that this was finally achieved by the reconciliation of Esau and Jacob.[55] This course of indemnity was prolonged from Ishmael and Isaac to Esau and Jacob, not because of Ishmael, but because of Sarah’s request that Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away (Gen. 21:8-11). Unification Thought would argue that something needs to be indemnified by the physical and spiritual descendants of Sarah (that is, Jews and Christians).

Hagar must have been a great spouse and a great mother. Due to her mistreatment at the hands of Sarah (Gen. 21:6) and her abandonment by Abraham, she stood in the position to hate Ishmael’s father and his brother Isaac. To some extent, Ishmaels’ loving heart towards Isaac and towards Isaac’s sons must be due to the fact that Hagar taught her son to love his father Abraham even though he had abandoned them. If that is God’s memory of Hagar and Ishmael, the ancestors of the Arabs and of Islam, it would seem that it should also be a most cherished memory that members of the U.N. Peace Council would want to harbor as they pondered the future of the Middle East.

There are many reasons to be grateful to Islam and the development that resulted from it. Because of Islam, monotheism was established in Arabia, which prior to that time was deeply torn by social disorder and the struggle amongst clans. Because of Islam, Western civilization was preserved during the so-called Dark Ages. The writings of Aristotle were preserved only because of the great Islamic scholarly tradition and the efforts of figures such as Averroes and Avicenna.

Islam sees itself as an outgrowth of the Judeo-Christian tradition; it is a brother faith to Judaism and Christianity. Islam does not support forced conversion of those who are believers. Islam teaches that that God has a place in his heart for Christians and Jews.

Islam recognizes that, of the ninety-nine names of God, the most important of these is that God is compassionate. Muslims in accord with God’s tradition are meant to be merciful and those of us who have been blessed to work with Muslims have witnessed this trait in them on many occasions. Islam has the ability to generate love and compassion, as demonstrated by the life story of Malcolm X and his recounting of how the love and care that he felt from a white Muslim in Mecca changed his attitude toward whites in general. Islamic leaders can play a powerful role in the furtherance of peace in the U.N. Peace Council.

The West and Islam—A Unification View

The West has showed a lack of sensitivity to the Arab world, especially in the 20th and 21st century. This was particularly manifested by the way in which Israel was established in the Middle East following the Second World War. Although the need for a Jewish state was evident (based upon the horrors of World War II), the Western powers failed to seek sufficient input and counsel from the newly emerging Arab states when they took steps to create the State of Israel.

In 1947, like Abraham, the United Nations chose the descendants of Sarah and paid little heed to the voice of the descendants of Hagar. In Modern Times (1983), British historian Paul Johnson notes that the creation of Israel was largely a product of the great powers, particularly the United States (with Great Britain having serious reservations):

David Niles, the passionately pro-Zionist presidential assistant, testified: “There are serious doubts in my mind that Israel would have come into being if Roosevelt had lived. Truman was politically much weaker. He felt he had to have the Jewish vote to win the 1948 election. He was genuinely pro-Zionist too, and distrusted the Arabism of the ‘striped-pants boys’ in the State Department.’” In the event it was his will which pushed the partition scheme through the UN (29 November 1947) and recognized the new Israeli state which Ben-Gurion declared the following May. There were vast forces against it.[56]

Johnson writes about the extent to which the founding of Israel was overtly political. He notes that even the Soviets saw the creation of Israel as opportune in 1947, seeing it as a way in which to divide and reduce British influence in the Middle East.[57] A UN Peace Council could have worked for a solution based not on political expediencies but rather on heart.

 

How Unification Thought’s Theory of History Might Have Encouraged the UN Peace Council and the United Nations to Have a Proper Perspective on the Creation of Israel

God needed the re-establishment of Israel in order to honor the sacrifices made by the chosen people throughout history and in order to cleanse, forgive and forget the past.[58] God would surely have wanted Israel to be re-established with the support of all the nations of the Middle East and with the wholehearted support of the Christian world. Unfortunately the United Nations had no vehicle to seek Divine counsel. Israel was created in such a way that there were clear winners and clear losers.

In today’s world, approximately two-fifths of the world’s population subscribe to one of three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. An examination of history, particularly in the light of Unification Thought, reveals a painful process that led to the birth of Israel. At the very origins of Judaism is the noble patriarch Abraham, the man who pleaded to God (who had already spared his nephew) for the strangers of Sodom and Gomorrah whom God prepared to destroy. At the origin of Judaism is Jacob, who risked his life to reconcile with his brother Esau who had once wished to kill him. After his twenty-one years in exile in Haran, Jacob pleaded with his brother Esau to accept his gifts, telling him, “Truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God – since you have received me with such favor.” (Gen. 33:10). At the origin of Judaism is the widow Tamar who risked her life by seducing her father-in-law in order to continue the line of Judah. From that relationship, Perez would be born and Jesus would be connected to the line of Perez.

The providential path of the Jewish people has included slavery in Egypt; the Capture and disappearance of ten of the twelve tribes of Israel; the Babylonian Captivity; the wholesale massacre of Jews at the hands of the Romans in 70 A.D.; the second Diaspora following the destruction of Rome; the Christian indictment and persecution of the Jews as “Christ Killers” in Europe; the victimization of the Jews during the Crusades; the Inquisition; the Pogroms and the Holocaust.

Jesus himself was raised up from the Jewish people, and he wept deeply for Jerusalem because of his discovery of God’s profound love of the people of Israel:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her own brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Luke 13:34).

If the Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders of the Peace Council could have inherited Jesus’ heart for Israel and Abraham’s love for Israel, then could they not have found the way to establish a Jewish Homeland that would be a source of pride for all faiths—for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in particular?

Unification Thought emphasizes that the Jewish people were chosen to receive Jesus as the Messiah and to be his most intimate followers. However, unfortunately that did not occur two thousand years ago, due to the failure of John the Baptist, who, while recognizing Jesus, never became his disciple. Yet this failure should not remain a source of accusation. Rather, to indem¬ni¬fy this failure, in December 2003 Reverend Moon had a special coronation ceremony for Jesus as King of Kings in Jerusalem. The event brought togeth¬er Christians, Jews, Druze, and Muslims. Without an Israel, this national level event would not have been possible. Jews and Jesus must be reconciled, according to Reverend Moon. Israel, the land where Jesus walked, preached and gave his life, serves as the venue where reconciliation can occur.

 

Practical Proposals for Resolving the Problems of the Middle East

Unification Thought’s Theory of History emphasizes that all things must be realized through a process of development through stages. Therefore, steps to create conditions for peace will necessarily precede its final realization. An environment for interreligious cooperation and dialogue will be needed as a foundation before it will be possible to implement the Two State Plan that should have been realized in 1947 and 1948. That environment should include:

1. Creation of a United Nations Peace Council Centered on Religion

This would be the most important contribution that could be made to further peace. As noted, it should have been in place when the deliberations on the creation of a Jewish State were brought to the UN immediately following the end of the Second World War. We have already elaborated on its significance and its possible modes of operation and we will not elaborate on them further here. Suffice it to say, that the process for the Creation of Israel, according to Unification Theory, should have been informed by the prayerful guidance of a UN Peace Council.

2. Creation of a Peace Zone for the Holy Places in Israel that Would Be Overseen by the United Nations and Supported by the UN Peace Council

The holy places of Israel represent key sites for all the Abrahamic major faiths. In the Holy Lands we are said to have the place where Abraham offered his son, where the Temple was constructed in accordance with God’s directive, where Jesus was crucified, and where Mohammed ascended to Heaven. Because of the significance that these sites hold, there have been numerous conflicts including seven major crusades that perpetrated great suffering across Europe and in the Holy Land. Most recently we witnessed the second intifada when Israel leader Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount/Al-Haram Al-Sharif mosque and Muslims felt disrepected.

In his speech at the United Nations on August 18, 2000 Reverend Moon proposed the creation of peace zones in areas of conflict and Jerusalem numbers among the most contested cities in the world. He outlined the following plan:

I propose today that the United Nations and religious leaders join their hearts and work to create peace zones in areas of conflict. Whether the disputed borders pass through rivers, mountains, fields, or the sea, we can create buffer zones or peace zones along these borders.

These zones could be governed directly by the United Nations, and people from around the world dedicated to the establishment of peace will be allowed to settle in these zones. The United Nations will be responsible to provide guidance to those living in these areas so that they come to embody the founding ideals of the United Nations and comply with its declarations for peace. These peace zones will be havens that exist for the sake of peace, prosperity, and reconciliation.[59]

This proposal resonates with the original guidelines that had been established by the UN Resolution 181 of November 2, 1947 that stipulated:

The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The Trusteeship Council shall be designated to discharge the responsibilities of the Administering Authority on behalf of the United Nations.[60]

This arrangement was to have been in force for at least ten years; however, because of the Arab attack on Israel immediately following independence, Israeli leadership viewed this portion of the Resolution as null and void. Israel’s claim to all of Jerusalem became even further entrenched following the Six Day of 1967.[61]

This proposal of a special sovereignty over Jerusalem remains very controversial. However, in the peace negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestine Authority Leader Yassir Arafat, Prime Minister Barak was prepared to accept compromise and share the sovereignty of Jerusalem with the Palestinians.

If, in such a case, Jerusalem was overseen by the United Nations during at least a certain period as was originally planned, this might create an environment that could further dialogue and peace. The fostering of inter-religious exchange and dialogue amongst the three faiths might be done through conferences in Jerusalem that could inspire interreligious coopera¬tion. For instance, a common annual religious observance honoring Abraham as Patriarch of all of three faiths could contribute to exchange and communication among the key faiths of Israel.

3. Creating Venues where the Law of Correlativity and the Law of Give and Receive Action can Deepen Ties amongst Muslims, Christians and Jews.

The process of finding an initial and eventually a deeper, common purpose is a fundamental dynamic in human relations. The process of finding correlativity that serves as the base for Give and Receive Action is something that each of us experiences when we find ourselves in the presence of strangers. We sit down and have breakfast with someone at a Conference and explore things that we share in common. If we studied at the same university; if we share a common hometown; if we happen to have common childhood friends; if we have a common hobby or share similar research interests; that already establishes a basis upon which we can expand our communication and our sharing of ideas on a broader scale.

Reverend Moon has initiated a variety of projects that support such efforts in the Middle East, including the Religious Youth Service, WANGO’s Play Soccer; Make Peace, the Middle East Peace Initiative, and the publication of World Scripture. He has been encouraging marriages between couples of different faiths. All these are venues through which people of different backgrounds can begin to communicate, find common values and learn to collaborate together.

At a recent event at the University of Bridgeport, Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, Gandhi International Peace Prize Recipient, described a project that he had pursued of roadbuilding in Sri Lanka and made the observation: “We built the road and the road built us.”[62] Projects that are meant to jointly address concrete issues at the same time create venues that can “build us.”

4. Creating a Peaceful Environment without Fear of Terrorism

Over the last decades, suicide attacks have become a tactic in the Middle East Conflict. People give their lives in such attacks in expectation of an eternal life of bliss that will result from their suicide attack. But do suicide bombers who kill innocent people actually enjoy the bliss of Paradise in the spiritual world?

Unification Thought has much to teach about preparing for the hereafter. For one thing, it clarifies the role that the cultivation of heart plays in spiritual growth. It stresses the need to use this earthly life to develop a peaceful and loving heart. This is done by doing positive acts of service and by living for others.[63]

Unification Thought’s Theory of Original Nature stresses that the goal of spiritual growth is to resemble God. This implies the unity of mind and body, unity of husband and wife, and unity of parents and children centered upon devotion to God’s heart and desire. We come to resemble God through achieving the four great realms heart: the heart of a child who has been fully loved by parents; the heart of a sibling who experiences the kindred love of brothers and sisters; the heart of a spouse who enters into a complete, eternal loving relationship with his or her spouse; and finally the heart of a parent who through loving his own children comes to understand how God loves him or her.

The process of resembling God has the family—the school of love—as its basis, rather than an act of violence. It is not achieved by indiscrimi¬nate suicide attacks that can claim even the lives of newborns. Random suicide and attacks of terror upon innocents contradict the call for compassion, love, human-heartedness and mercy that is taught in Islam, Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism and all of the great faiths. Reverend Moon would encourage religious leaders in the UN Peace Council to pray and even to fast to determine whether or not those who opt for suicide attacks on random targets will find themselves in a blissful Heaven or in shameful misery in the spiritual world.

 

Conclusion

We have introduced concepts from Unification Thought that can contribute to conceptualizing and resolving the Middle East conflict. When implemented through the work of the Universal Peace Federation and eventually, through the work of a UN Peace Council that brings together the leaders of the great religions, we believe that a lasting solution can be found for the problems facing the Middle East today.

 

Notes

[1] PWPA was obliged to bring Arab and Israel participants to venues outside of Israel because such Israeli-Palestinian dialogue was prohibited by the Israeli government at that time.

[2] On concerns sparked by Western models of development, see Stephen Healey, “Max Stackhouse’s Concept of Religious Reason and the Plaint of the Rest,” International Journal for World Peace 20/2 (2003): 15.

[3] Jewish Virtual Library, “U.S. Vetoes of UN Resolutions Critical of Israel (1972-2006),” http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/usvetoes.html, referenced on October 27, 2007.

[4] United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379, available online at http://www.mideastweb.org/3379.htm, retrieved on October 2, 2007.

[5] Curt Tarnoff and Larry Nowells, Foreign Aid: An Introductory Overview of US Programs and Policy, (Washington, D.C., Congressional Research Service—Library of Congress), April 15, 2004, p. 13. Available on the web at http://fpc.state.gov/ documents/organization/31987.pdf, referenced on October 27, 2007.

[6] The Balfour Resolution of November 2, 1917 was directed to Lord Rothschild and reads as follows:

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Govern-ment, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facili-tate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour

 

[7] The Avalon Project at Yale Law School, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181. Available online at http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/ res181.htm. This site lists the vote of each of the member states who participated in the vote.

[8] An article that appeared in Voice of America News on December 17, 2005 pointed out that today “there are about 5.2 Million Jews and 5.4 million Arabs living in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” The article goes on to observe that it is only a matter of time before the majority population of Israel itself will be composed of Arabs.

[9] See Jason D. Söderblom, A State of Inequity: The UN Partition Plan of 1947, the Terrorism Intelligence Centre, Canberra, September 25, 2003. Available at http://world-ice.com/Articles/Inequity.pdf 

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Here we should point to the view held by Gamal Nasser and some sectors of the Palestine Liberation Organization that Israel served as a front for Western imperialism.

[15] Strong support for Israel in the United States largely stems from three populations: the significant Jewish population in the United States, evangelical Christians who believe that the establishment of Israel is the fulfillment of end-times prophecy, and the remaining population of Americans who lived through World War II (and their progeny) who recognize that the United States could have done far more to prevent the Holocaust. In Europe, there is a growing Muslim population that has been very outspoken, particularly in the case of France and Germany.

[16] Morton Kaplan, Why Plans for a Two-State Solution in the Middle East Have Failed; Professors World Peace Academy, October 27, 2007, available at http://www.pwpa.org/pwpa/index.php, retrieved on November 3, 2007.

[17] Thomas J. Ward, March to Moscow—the Role of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon in the Collapse of Communism, (Minneapolis: Paragon Publishing House), 2006.

[18] Reverend Moon’s experience with Marxism included a five year experience as a missionary in the DPRK (North Korea), including a three year period as a prisoner of conscience.

[19] Ward, March to Moscow, p. 191.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ward, March to Moscow, p. 101.

[22] Baruch Spinoza, A Political Treatise (1677), Chapter 6:4:6; available at http://www.yesselman.com/TPguset2.htm#6:4.

[23] New Essentials of Unification Thought—Head Wing Thought  (Tokyo: Unification Thought Institute, 2005), pp. 363-403.

[24] Essentials of Unification Thought, “The Laws of Restoration,” available at URL http://www.tparents.org/Library/Unification/Books/Euth/Euth08-03.htm, retrieved on October 14, 2007.

[25] Ibid.

[26] This would be due to the fact that by the time of Abraham it became necessary for God to found a nation that could protect the Messiah from other ungodly nations so that the work of the Messiah could begin there and then reach out to other nations.

[27] The role of central Christian nation has been transferred over history to Rome, to the Franks, to Iberia, to the United Kingdom and now to the United States. In his speech of September 23, 2007 Rev. Moon described America’s mission as follows: “As a Christian nation that includes Catholicism and Protestantism as well as the Orthodox world, the United States’ mission is to bring harmony and unity to Christ¬ianity as soon as possible, and in the twenty-first century, to fulfill the responsibility that had been the Roman Empire’s, but which was not realized in Jesus’ time.” Rev. Moon added, “The responsibility within God’s providence to bring harmony among the world’s six and a half billion people and to expedite the creation of a peaceful, ideal world, is on America’s shoulders.”

[28] Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: H.S.A.-U.W.C, 1996), p. 399.

[29] Ibid.

[30] One should not assume, therefore, that the roles of the Israel, the United States or Korea are entitlements. These roles can only be maintained if these countries fulfill their providential responsibility.

[31] Rev. Moon has observed that slavery was not mean to be the way in which Africans were to come to the United States; however, the coming of Africans to America was providential so that the United States could be a nation representing the world. In the same way, we will note that there may have been insensitivities in the process whereby Israel emerged; however, the creation of the modern state of Israel is viewed as providential by Reverend Moon.

[32] It should be noted that if any of these nations cannot fulfill their roles, then they could be replaced by other nations but with consequences and probable prolongations in God’s Providence.

[33] Here Rev. Moon is referring to Judaism, Christianity and Unificationism.

[34] Sun Myung Moon, “America and God’s Will,” September 18, 1976, available at http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/sunmyungmoon76/sm760918.htm

[35] Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 187.

[36] Sun Myung Moon, “The Formula for God’s Providence,” in Twelve Talks (New York: HSA Publications, 1973). Available online at http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Books/sm12talk/12TALK05.htm; retrieved on November 5, 2007.

[37] In his 1968 visit to the United States, Rev. Moon spoke of an eventual confronta¬tion between Islam and the Western world following the end of the Cold War. He emphasized that the only way to address this was for the Christian world to unite. I am inferring that reconciliation within the Christian world would have opened the way to reconciliation with the Muslim world.

[38] Essentials of Unification Thought, “Laws of History,” available at URL http://www.tparents.org/Library/Unification/Books/Euth/Euth08-03.htm

[39] New Essentials of Unification Thought, p. 195.

[40] Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 375.

[41] This included affording two extra seats in the General Assembly to the Soviets.

[42] The Yale University Avalon Project, UN General Assembly Resolution 181, available at URL http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm , retrieved on August 8, 2007.

[43] On Saturday November 10, 2007 in Toronto, Canada I chaired a panel at the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations and Dr. Salameh was one of the speakers in the panel. Salameh, who is a graduate of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for Peace Studies, spent fifteen years in prison and his institute seeks change through non-violent resistance.

[44] Sun Myung Moon, Messages of Peace (New York: Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, 2007), p. 82.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Unification Theory refers to the combination of Divine Principle, VOC Theory, and Unification Thought.

[47] CAUSA Lecture Manual (New York: The CAUSA Institute, 1985), pp. 170-171.

[48] Ibid., p. 75.

[49] Ibid., p. 82.

[50] Ibid., p. 83

[51] See United Religions Initiative at http://www.uri.org/Features/Features_Main/imjl.html

[52] Christianity may face a greater challenge in doing this than some other faiths in being able to reach out to other faiths. Judaism and Islam (as well as Hinduism and Buddhism) share a common trait and that is an ability to embrace and believe in the salvation of people of other faiths, even without conversion to Judaism or Islam (this is also a trait of Unificationism). Indeed, this is the Noachide provision within Judaism and the notion of God’s special care for the “People of the Book” within Islam. There is not a universal acceptance of a similar viewpoint within Christianity. This would appear to be something that Christianity would have had to deal with and still needs to deal with in the context of a UN Peace Council. Some of Jesus’ words indicated that he himself could be more universal in his approach. Consider for example: “He who is not against us is with us.” Jesus (Mark 9:40) and “He who is not against you is for you.” Jesus (Luke 9:50)

[53] This matter was first brought to my attention by Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo during a conversation that we had many years ago.

[54] Karen Armstrong, A History of God, (New York: Ballantine, 1993), p. 136.

[55] Exposition of the Principle, p. 221.

[56] Paul Johnson, Modern Times, (New York: Harper, 1985), pp. 484-85.

[57] Ibid., p. 485.

[58] Essentials of Unification Thought, “The Laws of Restoration,” available at URL http://www.tparents.org/Library/Unification/Books/Euth/Euth08-03.htm, retrieved on October 14, 2007.

[59] Sun Myung Moon, “Renewing the United Nations and Building a Culture of Peace,” Assembly 2000, available online at URL http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/sunmyungmoon00/SM000818.htm

[60] The Yale University Avalon Project, UN General Assembly Resolution 181, available at URL http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm , retrieved on August 8, 2007.

[61] Jewish Center for Public Affairs, “Jerusalem in International Diplomacy,” available online at http://www.jcpa.org/art/jid-poldim.htm; retrieved on August 8, 2007.

[62] A. T. Ariyaratne, excerpted from his Address at the University of Bridgeport, October 11, 2007.

[63] Exposition of the Divine Principle, Chapter 1, Section 6.3.2 “The Structure and Functions of the Spirit Self.”

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