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Susan Bala, Moorhead, Published November 28 2012

Letter: Spiritual solution to Middle East

I returned from Israel on Nov. 17 via Tel Aviv. We were in Jerusalem when the missiles were fired on the city and the air raid sirens went off. We were told it was the first time they had fired on Jerusalem.

During the days prior, returning from Qumran, we drove through the convoys and tanks heading for Gaza. The previous weekend, we were in the Golan Heights near the Syrian border in the hills outside the Sea of Galilee, where the Syrians began shelling into Israel.

During this week, Israel announced it had killed the military leader of Hamas – in their news there was a piece from the Hamas-related media in Gaza, which stated Hamas declared “... it would unleash the gates of hell.”

The country is a beautiful place and the time at the holy sites a truly extraordinary experience. In Israel and in the West Bank, both Jews and Arabs – living side by side – were warm and talked openly about their desire for peace.

Our guide was a scholar in biblical archeology and a Bible translator whose life’s work is a foundation that is working to have the Bible translated directly from Hebrew into every language on the planet. Coming face to face with the complexities of the conflicts and evidence of the opposing perspectives in historical context tells us something of the timeless nature of these problems, and that the answer may not rest in a political solution but a spiritual one.