John Setterlund's newsletter arrived yesterday, and had this encouraging take on recent events in the news.
John is going to be in the US over the holidays, and in Philo at the end of December. If his schedule allows, I'll try to put together a little coffee get together so that those of you who haven't met John (he was Pastor of Philo's Lutheran church for several years, so some of you know him from those days) can meet him.
Believing in the cup’s being half-full rather than half-empty, the Rev. Munib Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, says he feels the Annapolis peace talks were more successful than anyone expected. Speaking to a group of visitors in our guesthouse, he pointed to some positive results of these talks.
Until now, for example, Israel had never discussed yielding East Jerusalem to the Palestinians; now such a proposal has been published in the newspaper. Previously, negotiations between Israel and Syria over the Golan Heights had not been possible, but now this issue is on the table. All sides seem to be taking a more realistic look at a peaceful solution to the Palestinian issues.
This does not mean that the facts “on the ground”, especially the settlements and the Wall, have changed. But it does indicate greater awareness of the problems on all sides, and a sense of urgency in solving them. §