Saturday, February 25, 2023

[HWPL] Peace Tours of Man-Hee Lee (42): Shining the ‘Light of Peace’ in Israel and Palestine, Lands of a 73-Year Conflict


[HWPL] Peace Tours of Man-Hee Lee (42): Shining the ‘Light of Peace’ in Israel and Palestine, Lands of a 73-Year Conflict

On December 2, 2015, Chairman Man-hee Lee is holding a signboard at the unveiling ceremony for the ‘HWPL Peace Academy' with the Principal of Mar Elias School

On December 1, 2015, the first stop on the 22nd Peace Tour was Israel, the most deadly war zone in the world. The nation of Israel was founded in 1948 by Jews who had been scattered all over the world, territorializing parts of Palestine and Jordan. Externally, it has hostile relations with neighboring Arab countries, except Egypt. This country, which has become a hotbed of conflict and is constantly on the verge of war, needs peace more desperately than anywhere else. In this land where peace was absent, the messenger of peace who received the ‘answer for peace’ came with good news.

On December 2nd, the following day, the world's first 'HWPL Peace Academy' was designated in Israel, and a meaningful event was held to commemorate the fruits of Chairman Lee's peace efforts in the field of education.

Students of Mar Elias Educational Institutions wave flags to welcome Chairman Lee's visit

The world's '1st HWPL Peace Academy' is Mar Elias Educational Institutions (MEEI), which was established by Elias Chacour, former Archbishop of the Melkite Catholic Church, to improve the barren educational environment in the village of Ibillin so that students can receive education regardless of race or religion. MEEI is one of the most prestigious comprehensive educational institutions in Israel, with a full curriculum from kindergarten to university. Principal Elias established this school in order to achieve peace and harmony among Arab Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Principal Elias was deeply moved by his experience at the 1st WARP (World Alliance of Religions' Peace) Summit in Seoul on September 17-19, 2014, and he reminded the students attending the ‘HWPL Peace Academy Designation Ceremony’ of the value of Chairman Lee’s visit.

Principal Elias said, “A prophet and messenger of peace has come from a distant land - not the Middle East, but the East beyond the Mediterranean. Chairman Lee has received heaven's command to bring peace on earth. Chairman Lee's visit is truly a blessing for us."

Chairman Lee delivers a message at the ‘HWPL Peace Academy Designation Ceremony’

Chairman Lee told the students, “If people who have received the grace of heaven cause conflict and war, this cannot be the will of the Creator God. Young people should look out for one another, and parents should protect their children.” He continued, “If every person becomes a messenger of peace, the world will become one of peace. Today's event will gain worldwide recognition. Let’s all work together to create a good world, a wonderful world, and make it an eternal legacy for future generations.”

On that day, Principal Elias appointed Chairman Lee as honorary principal of the HWPL Peace Academy and presented him with a certificate of appreciation. Chairman Lee appointed Principal Elias as an ambassador of HWPL.

On December 5, 2015, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who was appointed as HWPL Peace Advisory Council member, smiles brightly while holding hands with Chairman Lee

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an international issue that the world is paying close attention to. Israel occupied East Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War. However, the international community, including the United Nations, defines Jerusalem, the holy city of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, as an international city that does not belong to either.

Against this historical backdrop, a bloody conflict between Israel and Palestine continues in Jerusalem. The news of the conflict there is heard daily, and the world is praying for peace with one heart. The visit there by the messenger of peace, who brought the answer to peace, is special.

On December 3rd, Chairman Lee held a meeting with Bethlehem's mayor, Vera Baboun, who is the first elected female mayor of Bethlehem, and on December 5th, with the current President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas. “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has continued for the past 68 years,” said President Abbas. “We want to work to find peace,” he said. “We want to stop the conflict between these two countries as soon as possible. It's not only us, Palestinians, but also they (Israelis) who are daily dying.”

Chairman Lee said, “There is an answer to achieving peace, so I've met with many presidents and asked for their support to work together to end wars and achieve peace in the world. There must be no such thing as military education or military training for war.”

Chairman Lee speaks with Mayor Vera Baboun, the first elected female mayor of Bethlehem, at City Hall in Bethlehem, Palestine on December 3, 2015

In response, President Abbas said, "This is very good and I wholeheartedly agree. With such a legal instrument, we will now become one and achieve peace. We will also support and help you. It is our honor to be with you.” After the closed-door peace discussion that lasted nearly an hour, President Mahmoud signed the peace agreement without hesitation and Chairman Lee appointed him as an HWPL Advisory Council Member. The peace talk was broadcast nationwide through Palestinian state television.

In a meeting with Chairman Lee on December 3rd, Mayor Baboun said, “It is very surprising that the messenger of peace is in Bethlehem. It is a great pleasure to meet him, and we will support and help him with any plans for peace.”

Mayor Baboun presented Chairman Lee with a plaque engraved with a star and an olive tree symbolizing Bethlehem, and Chairman Lee left a handwritten message to bless Bethlehem and the mayor. Mayor Baboun was appointed as HWPL Publicity Ambassador on the same day and asked the HWPL peace delegation to work closely with the youth of Bethlehem.


In Jerusalem, home to major religions, there are leaders representing each religion and denomination. On December 3rd and 5th, in Jerusalem, Chairman Lee had talks with the Lutheran World Federation President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan, and Patriarch Theophilos III, respectively, and emphasized the role of religious leaders in this generation.

In an interview with Chairman Munib, Chairman Lee said, “Religions can find unity only when their respective scriptures are examined and become one under the most reliable scriptures. Please carry out your duty well," he said. At the same time, he emphasized, “Above all else, the religious world must repent and truly stand right before God.”

Chairman Munib replied, “Right now, religions in the world are in need of a major revival.”

In addition, in a meeting with Patriarch Theophilos III, Chairman Lee asked a sharp question centered on the Bible: “The Orthodox Church believes that it has the correct teaching, but do you teach after having understood everything in the scriptures?” Patriarch Theophilos III said, “It is good that Chairman Lee has come at this special time when the birth of Jesus, the King of Peace, is to be celebrated.”

In order to restore true peace within religion, Chairman Munib and Patriarch Theophilos III signed a peace agreement, and Chairman Lee appointed them as ambassadors of HWPL.


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