Guest report peace may be close at hand in jerusalem electricity lessons ks1

Earl Baker, a former state Senator and a 12-year member of the Chester County Board of Commissioners who at one time chaired the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, is in Jerusalem and writes his perspective on the state of affairs there on the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel.

Tel Aviv, Israel >> Convergence! That is the best word to describe my arrival in Tel Aviv on the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel! The 15th of May also happens to be the first day of Ramadan. And this is the week the Gaza Terrorists have threatened to invade the Israeli border at Gaza. (It is considerably south of here!) And yesterday the US Embassy was closed in Tel Aviv and opened in Jerusalem. Or as the headline of the English Language Jerusalem Post put it, “55 Dead in Gaza, as US opens Embassy in J’lem.”

I don’t think the tour operator of the trip we are on had any idea of this converging of historical and military events, and certainly no one could have predicted that President Trump would have chosen last week to revoke the Iran deal with its subsequent demonstration, attacks and Israel airstrikes more powerful than any since 40 years ago!

While I’m newly arrived, let me put in a good word for Air Canada, which on a 10-hour flight (that covered almost 10,000 miles) managed to provide two niceties that give away two of my pastimes, Bach’s music for two harpsichords on a great recording and a fine Spanish red wine. Unable to sleep, I watched a four-hour documentary that says (in brief) if it weren’t for the French, the British and the Native Americans, the Spanish must might have settled the American Continent’s East Coast, changing our history. You may think this is a digression but it settled in on me as I contrasted America’s rivals for control in the 16th century with the Middle East today, a lesson, namely that if rival cultures and tribes want to send soldiers and settlers thousands of miles across the sea, the end result will be that someone wins and someone else loses. But if, in contrast, there is nowhere else to go and the winners and losers all stay on the same spot and continue to contest, that is how we got the Middle East for 5,000 years.

My first impression of Tel Aviv from the air was the huge number of high-rise buildings and the super highways. My expectations for the “Holy Land” were quickly corrected and updated; this is a modern, westernized big city with traffic jams and urban culture. Even as people are watchfully cognizant of the threat of Islamic terror or invasion, there is no sense of drama or seeming concern. I gather living with a certain rational level of fear here makes sense. I’ve often heard from those returning from a visit saying they felt safer here than at home.

Looking out over the beautiful Mediterranean Sea from our hotel, it is a reminder that we are in the crucible of human history and about to undertake a tour of Old Testament, New Testament, and up to the minute sites that will meet the hopes that history, culture and religion will reveal themselves and that perhaps the seeds of that elusive peace may eventually be found.