A Utopian Vision for Jerusalem


David Adams | Transition to a Culture of Peace – TRANSCEND Media Service

1 Jun 2021 – We have over five years remaining before the events I imagined as follows in my novella, “I have seen the promised land.” More than ever, I think that this is an essential turning point in the road we need to follow to achieve the transition from the culture of war to a culture of peace.

January 1, 2027

I can’t remember the last time that I stayed up all night for something. But that’s what we did last night at the assembly hall of the University for Peace. And there were millions of others like us who did the same in their churches and their meeting halls and in their homes. The broadcast was live from Jerusalem where the hour is 7 hours ahead of us.

Jerusalem is now a City of Peace. The ceremony was incredible!

Everyone was there. The Pope, the highest rabbis of the Jewish faith, the leaders from all Islamic orders, the Copts, the Russian Orthodox, the Greek Orthodox, dozens of different Protestant leaders, the Baha’i, even the Georgian Christians, all in their colorful robes and gowns. Even Buddhists and other Eastern religions and indigenous shamans got their turn to speak. Never before in history has there been such a gathering of all religions. I did not even see a single policeman or soldier in evidence, at least not on the Internet projection screen.

For me the most amazing moment was the appearance of Desmond Tutu, now 96 years old! It was he who first declared that the Palestinians were victims of Apartheid and that like the South Africans, they would eventually gain their freedom. Over the years he has come to symbolize, perhaps more than anyone else, the nonviolent struggle for a solution in the Middle East, and now the new Jerusalem is its shining symbol! He spoke for only a moment, but the old sparkle was still in his eye as he gave up a prayer of thanks. Around the world, our eyes were filled with tears.

Then came the dancing and singing. As if they had been dammed up over the years and now burst forth in an explosion of rhythm and color! I was proud of the role of the Culture of Peace Tourism Board, which has worked for decades now behind the scenes to produce the agreement, understanding that Jerusalem is part of our common human heritage, regardless of religion, and that it will be the greatest of all tourist attractions now that it is shared in peace. And I am proud of the new United Nations, without which this would never have been possible!

Last night was the first time that the mass media has given priority to the culture of peace. I had thought that all the internet publicity over the past few years would have forced the media to talk about it sooner. But it took the Jerusalem accords and the ceremonies last night to finally get their full attention.

* * * * *

Is this vision realistic? It is utopian, but it is possible, as indicated by the title of my books translated into Spanish, “Cultura de paz: una utopía posible“. For one thing, within the next five years, we can expect to see the crash of the American empire, of which Israel has been one of its most important outposts, sustained annually by billions of American dollars, American weapons and American vetoes in the UN Security Council.

But most important, the recent Israeli war against the Palestinians has united the Palestinian people and increased support for them around the world, as indicated in this month’s CPNN bulletin. Just as South African apartheid was defeated by a combination of struggle within the country and support from the international community, so, too, the Israeli apartheid can be overcome. Let us hope that the Palestinians will have their equivalent of Nelson Mandela to lead the way to peace.


Dr. David Adams is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace.  Previously, at Yale and Wesleyan Universities, he was a specialist on the brain mechanisms of aggressive behavior, the history of the culture of war, and the psychology of peace activists, and he helped to develop and publicize the Seville Statement on Violence. Send him an email.

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