While the Presbyterian Church, among other non-profits, has been discussing divestment as a way of not profiting from the occupation and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I wonder how willing we would be to start talking about a peace tax.
Many may not know, but right now the U.S. taxpayers are helping pay billions of dollars each year to both Egypt and Israel for the peace agreement between them negotiated in the Camp David Accords, signed in 1978. It can be said that such an investment helped in the transition of the Sinai back into the hands of Egypt and helped bring about stability between the two nations.
So it makes me wonder, if there is ever to be a peace dividend between Israel and Palestine, would churches and other non-profits be willing to encourage another set of peace taxes. Churches and other NGO's have been considering how to best help those most affected by the conflict, most notably the Palestinian poor. They have also considered how to invest for peace, though most of our funding mechanisms center around mission and grant funding of certain projects that we find consistent with our way of doing church. But I wonder if we would be willing to risk asking our nation, and others, to consider funding such a way of making peace where such conflict fuels the fire of hatred and animosity of much of the Arab world against the West. Such a peace tax would be necessary in any peace talks to provide for the compensation of the refugees of Palestine displaced by Jewish settlers since 1948, and the number of Sephardic Jews who were displaced from Arab countries after that war.
I believe the peace dividend of such a tool could be used to get over the thorniest issues of negotiations, and that it would show the wrongs made on all sides of the issue, including those states that contributed to European-American anti-semitism while displaying to the Arab world our desire for peace.
This is an Open Source project for all who seek to make the world a better place.
We live in an evolutionary world that continues to evolve and change. Humanity is the universe becoming conscious of itself. For good or ill, we are the co-creators of our world. If the world's philosophical and religious traditions are the inheritance of all humanity, what are those sayings, quotations, readings, etc. from every discipline that will help humanity build a new way of living in peace with the planet and one another?