Desmond Tutu once said there is no hope without forgiveness.
Oh the length and breadth of the journey to that one word for some people.
Today I stood on a mountain which is one of the highest peaks in the Golan Heights.
The Golan Heights is formerly Syrian occupied territory in the northeast corner of Israel.
Up until the 6 day war of 1967, Syria occupied these strategic heights all the way down to the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
To say that the Golan Heights are strategically important is an understatement.
Whoever possesses them gets a high place from which to defend or attack.
Because of information acquired by the spy Elie Cohn who was stationed in Damascus by Israel, Israel knew the locations of every Syrian bunker along the Golan Heights from the southern end of the Galilee all the way to Mt. Hermon in the north. Cohn infiltrated the ranks of Syria’s army and suggested the planting of Eucalyptus trees to provide for the men who were baking in the hot sun all along the heights. When the time came for war, within 2 days, Israel was able to destroy the bunkers and push the Syrians back beyond the Heights and within 6 days nearly double the land they called home.
Again in the mid 70’s, on the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, the Syrians attacked from the north while the Egyptians attacked in the south and the Heights were nearly lost to Israel once again.
Back to Desmond Tutu…without forgiveness there is no hope for this part of the world.
As I walked this mountain today, I prayed for a gal named Manal. Ben, Tof & I met her in Detroit this past summer.
She is full Syrian decent.
Manal has family in Syria.
I couldn’t help but long for peace and for forgiveness and wondered what that would take.
I couldn’t help but think what it must be like for people who live in the midst of this tension every single day.
I have absolutely nothing to say that is helpful on this situation.
I just think Tutu is right. For humanity to make this work…forgiveness is a must!