Jews and Arabs

in European Judaism
Author: Lionel Blue1
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  • 1 Leo Baeck College
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Abstract

In the recent past all Jewish life has been so overshadowed by the tragedy of the holocaust and the hope of Israel that we could only cry or act. Now a new time has come. Israel has solved every problem except the Arab problem and that is the only important problem now worth solving. A dialogue with the Islamic world is long overdue. We were hounded out of Europe, and we were one of the factors which pushed or helped to push another people out of Palestine. This was a sin – whether knowingly or unknowingly. Israel and Arabs are political entities. Behind them stand two other and greater beings – Judaism and Islam. It is possible that the goodness inherent in them can achieve what the politicians cannot. Unfortunately, neither is spiritually efficient, as all religion has been perverted in our society. The Israel problem poses the crucial test for Judaism itself. As for Islam, it is almost an unknown religion to most Jews. It has also encountered the full onslaught of the West in a short time, and like us, many of its adherents also failed to see the moral wood for the halachic and legalist trees. We can help each other, for we have much in common; and, God willing, we may yet find even more common ground.

European Judaism

A Journal for the New Europe