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Between a Rock and a Holy Site
In order for Jews, Christians, and Muslims to reconcile, they would do well to listen to one another's stories. In the January issue of Christianity Today, a Palestinian Christian lawyer explained what he thought were the reasons for the breakdown of the peace process. In this issue, we hear from Clarence H. Wagner Jr., who heads Bridges for Peace, an evangelical Christian ministry that aims to build support for the people and land of Israel. The peace process as such is not his subject. Instead, he describes what he sees from his apartment window near Jerusalem, especially regarding recent Muslim encroachments on Jewish and Christian holy sites.
For the first time in 24 years of living in Jerusalem, I am worried. I can see clearly that the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is threatening all the good work that has been accomplished over the past decades to bring faith communities together.
There are many reasons why this current conflict has erupted, from political to economic. Nevertheless, Muslims are using this conflict to make strategic moves to put Israel on the public-relations defensive and to prevent free and full access to Jewish and Christian holy sites.1