Following the failure of the flotilla of 9 Turkish ships sailing out of Istanbul for Gaza came the Motor Vessel Rachel Corrie to add an Irish dimension to the humanitarian aid effort. The result was as predictable as the fate of the flotilla with the exception that those on board were not of the Islamic jihadists’ frame of mind and actually assisted the boarders to come onto the ship. Its cargo will be checked out at the Israeli port of Ashdod before being sent into Gaza to ensure that it does not contain material which could be used in the Hamas war effort against Israel. Apparently in a bizarre development Hamas have not permitted the flotilla’s cargo to proceed into Gaza overland so the Israelis’ have asked Nobel Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire, who was on the “Rachel Corrie”, to head up its cargo into Gaza! It is hard not to view the whole episode as a massive game of brinkmanship. Public relations people on both sides work on the events to gain the sympathetic ear of the world’s press and perhaps obtain some advantage for their cause. The deaths which occurred on the flotilla and which are to be condemned, provide Hamas with somewhat higher moral ground which they do not wish to lose by the easy transportation of the cargoes overland into Gaza. The latest news from Cyprus is that four more boats are being prepared to test the blockade. There has to be a better way! The Bible has plenty to say about the fate of Israel and the two lines of descendants – the Jews through Jacob and the Arabs through Esau. Their implacable animosity was predicted in God’s sovereign purposes and copper-fastened in their two opposing religious systems of Judaism and Islam. Their desire to see the destruction of the other finds credence in Jesus words referring to the last days; “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that its desolation has come near”. St Luke ch.21:20. In the meantime we are still in the day of God’s grace. Judgement has not yet fallen. Whilst some may laud the efforts of the “Rachel Corrie” God has provided a Man to stand in the gap between those who perpetuate division. Writing about Jesus to the church at Ephesus he says; Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. Jesus has done the work. The Holy Spirit is applying it today to every repentant heart. Blockades are lifted at Calvary!