Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dreaming of world peace

I had a dream last night: I was eating dinner in a fancy N.Y. restaurant with a group of Arab and Jewish professionals. I was thinking there must be a way to get Arabs and Jews to get along and possibly avoid devastating war. Everyone was laughing, enjoying themselves in a lighthearted manner. I wondered whether or not it would be appropriate to bring up the subject of what we could do to improve relationships on a global level, especially in the Middle East.

"Gentlemen, I said, "We have gathered here tonight a distinguished group of sensitive, successful, worldly, and intelligent guys. Let's experiment a little and see if we can come up with some solutions to improve Jewish/Muslim relations. Maybe we can make some real progress if we put our collective minds together."

"Abdul," I said, "What do you think?"

Abdul responded, "Although I am not in the mood to discuss this right now my overall thought is that many Muslims believe that the Islamic religion is the hope for the future of our planet and that it is our obligation and duty to bring the teachings of Mohammed to the world. This is a very noble purpose, and in a world where it is hard to find happiness, living a life in service to the highest possible truth is very appealing."

David chimed in, "The Jewish people feel they have been chosen to bring Gods law to earth and that after suffering persecution and hardship for thousands of years to maintain our culture and beliefs we cannot give up our homeland or our ideals. We must continue to do whatever it takes to protect ourselves and most importantly our future generations."

Moshe added, "Yes we do want peace. We are waiting for the age of Meshiach when there will be world peace, immortality, and happiness for all mankind. Until that time comes, and we don't know for sure when that will be, we must continue to study and learn, but mostly we most survive as a people. We cannot be weak and allow another Holocaust which destroyed six million of our people.

I was a little surpised at the serious tone the conversation had taken, but was curious to see what Gamal might say.

"Gamal, what are your thoughts."

Gamal, who was digging into what looked like a delicious rack of lamb, put down his chop and with a little exasperation in his voice said. "Look guys, we have been fighting for thousands of years. We have never been able to get along with each other, and I am not sure whether it is in man's nature to get along. When you look around and are honest with yourself, you can see that even in families we fight, and hold lifetime grudges. What makes you think that it is possible to change history and teach people to respect and trust each other, when this has never been done, and that a strong case can be made that the only way we can keep any sort of peace is by intimidation and threat. Let's forget this subject and enjoy our meal. Who knows what will happen tomorrow."

I don't remember exactly what happened after that. The dream gets a little fuzzy. I think,
I called over the waiter and asked to see the dessert menu.

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