Standing with Israel does not mean opposing Palestinians – true. But after this course, I realize it *might* involve refuting the assumptions of many. As Robert Nicholson argues, those who deny Israel’s right to exist cannot be said to be seriously involved in the peace process, be they Muslim or Christian. The course so far has opened my eyes to just how complicated a statement that is, but I think it is nevertheless true.
More than anything, I appreciated Robert Nicholson’s directness. It’s actually been one of the things that has impressed me the most about the Philos Project as a whole. Words like “dialogue” are cheap. Read enough interfaith statements/non-profit charters/UN resolutions and the platitudes start to blend together like lukewarm porridge. Only when there is a clear and specific goal, in this case, Nicholson’s endorsement of a two-state solution, do words like “dialogue,” “listening,” and “sharing” mean anything. Philos are serious enough to be specific about the best solution, as they see it, and that helps me trust their intentions.
In turn, Nicholson (and the rest of the Philos team) evince their commitment to peace (very much including listening, dialogue and sharing) in how they pursue their goal. For evidence, I submit one of the recent episodes of the Deep Map podcast featuring Farhad Rezaei. Nicholson’s genuine love for his friend, insightful questions and posture of engagement taught me at least as much about peace-making as the course (which, to be clear, was excellent!)