Brother Hamza Philip
- Published on Amazon.com
Although I had seen Martin Buber's books on the shelves of used book stores, I didn't know anything about him except that he was a philosopher until I read Rabbi Joseph Telushkin's book Jewish Literacy, a book I recommend for reading by Jews and non-Jews alike. What attracted me to Martin Buber was his interest in Hasidic Judaism and his Zionism - which called for one state in the Holy Land where Jews and Arab Muslims and Christians would work together and live as equals. Unfortunately, that did not come pass. Certainly, there were some Zionists and some Arabs that did not want it to come to pass for various reasons. I really don't see any way out of the mess in the Middle East except for a one state solution. Yet, there are many on both sides of the issue who still would not like to see this come to pass. Probably, someone like myself who would like to see only one state in the Middle East where Jews and Arab Muslims and Christians see each other as equals and work for the common good of each , might be viewed upon with suspicion by those on both sides who do not want this, but that won't stop me from hoping and praying...
In the introduction of the book, the compiler of The Land of Two Peoples discusses how Martin Buber was not the only Zionist who was concerned for the Arabs living in the Land. That was a point I had not considered previously. However, as time went on, some Zionist decided that the needs of the Jews, especially after the crimes of the Nazis, led to Jews having a much greater need than the Arabs. And the rest is history.
Although I don't agree with many aspects of how the state of Israel came into being, I don't have any problem with Jews wanting to live safely in the Land. Of course, I believe the Arabs deserve the same thing. One reviewer spoke of Arab lies. From where I sit, I see lies coming from some Arabs and non-Arabs, and lies coming from some Zionists, including non-Jewish Zionists. Dehumanizing the other side only leads to more suffering and death. Divine Justice in all three major Abrahamic religions demands that this come to an end. Martin Buber does an excellent job communicating this by incorporating his Jewish Heritage and philosophy into his speeches.
I believe Jews and Arabs and others should read this book. However, if hatred of everyone in an ethnic group or religion is incorporated into one's religious views, a book like this one may not have much effect. Some modern fundamentalist Evangelical Christians have adopted a view of last things (Eschatology) that did not exist until the 1820's. This, of course, is classic Dispensationalism, developed by an Anglican priest named John Darby, who later joined the Plymouth Brethren, a separatist British Christian sect. Many Dispensationalists, Christians who believe the Church Age is not a New Covenant, but rather a parenthesis in time, believe that time of Israel was with the First Jewish Revolt in 70 CE and will start again 7 years before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Only 144,000 Jews will be saved after true Christians are "raptured" out of this world. All other Jews will be lost. After the Rapture, the Anti-Christ will cause a treaty between Jews and Palestinians to be signed, which the Anti-Christ will break after 3.5 years. This signing begins the Great Tribulation. Of course, various Dispensationalists scholars have tweaked the teachings since they first were taught, but the Classic view is still very popular. These fundamentalist Christians have some political power in the USA, and of course they support Israel as a Jewish state over the Palestinians, but see only 144,000 Jews becoming Christians after the Anti-Christ breaks their treaty, so the vast bulk of the Jews burn in Hell for Eternity with their Arab brothers/opponenents (take your pick). Is this the plan of Divine Justice? Or the plan of some humans? But I digress ...
I truly believe Martin Buber desired a win-win situation for Jews and Arabs, and that a one-state solution is the only way this will ever come to pass. Give Martin Buber a read, and do some soul searching (both Jew and Arabs, and not just those groups, but everyone else).