Jews are taught that we were exiled from our homeland in Judea (Israel) by the Romans @ 135 AD. All subsequent Jewish history and liturgy expresses our desire to return to the land that we call home.

Israel does not simply represent a “safe place for Jews” following the Sho’ah. It’s the return of a people to its ancient home.

The Muslim world (and increasingly, the wider world), regards any Jewish claim to the land as invalid. Jews are called “thieves;” stealers of a land that is not theirs/ours.

I think that the historical essence of the conflict in the Middle East is over whose land it “is,” and whether the League of Nations, the British Empire or the U.N. ever had the authority to partition the land as was done.

Yet, both traditions teach that the land is neither the Jews’ nor the Muslims’. It’s God’s.

Rashi says on Ber./Gen. 1:1 (“In the beginning…”) —

“For should the peoples of the world say to Israel, ‘You are robbers because you took by force the lands of the seven nations of Canaan,’ Israel may say to them, ‘All the earth belongs to the Holy Blessed One. He created it and gave it to whom He pleased. When He willed, He gave it to them, and when He willed He took it from them and gave it to us’.”

Likewise, the Qur’an 2:115 (and elsewhere) says:

“And to Allah belongs the east and the west…” [1]

Rabbi Isadore Epstein also reminds us of this in his introduction to the Talmud-volume of “Berachot” (“Blessings”) —

“[Like the Shema]…the Amidah [the central prayer in daily Jewish liturgy]…covering the whole range of human needs — physical, mental and spiritual — [is] grounded on faith in God’s Ownership of the Universe…” [2]

I understand, of course, that although this is the teaching of both traditions, the perception of the average person is closer to “mine” vs. “theirs.”

It’s surprising that these teachings have seemingly been ignored by both sides, in preference for more current political rhetoric.

I can hardly imagine what a change there would have to be in human consciousness for this recognition — “God’s ownership/Malchut ha-Shamayim” — to be pervasive and fundamental enough to obviate and obliterate all human conflict. 

Such change I expect could be instituted only by someone whose Divine authority can’t be questioned: Moshiach.

One might even say that when Moshiach comes, he will not demand that Jews become Muslims or that Muslims become Christians, etc.

His will declare to us all: The world is God’s, not ours. 

His declaration will be irresistible.



[2] Rabbi Dr. Isidore Epstein (as “I. Epstein”); introduction to Soncino edition of “Brachot”