June 2011: notable philosopher, writer and metaphysicist David Birnbaum wrote an article for the Jewish Sentinel. In a spectacular bit of insight, he wrote of his prediction of a settlement to the ongoing Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Among Birnbaum’s predictions:
1. A de-militarized Palestinian state;
2. Several key Arab portions of Jerusalem become linked – one way or another – to the nascent Palestinian state;
3. No refugees would be mandated by the accord into Israel’s sovereign territory as a consequence of any peace treaty; and
4. Israeli military presence – or the equivalent – along the Jordan River Valley.
5. A land swap of about 20%.
6. Israel to maintain the key settlement blocks
7. A phased-in Accord over several years to allow “peace to settle-in.”
Every single one of Birnbaum’s 2011 points are according to Thomas Friedman’s January 30, 2014 NY Times article Kerry’s plan to be incorporated. Some almost verbatim.
The Birnbaum piece came out when no one believed peace could be achieved. Who was this Birnbaum to make such outlandish predictions? The established “professionals” had declared peace hopeless. Yet, this amateur part-time “statesman” dared to just come by on a day off or something to tell the world how things would be? It was preposterous.
While the latest proposed peace deal may have surprised many people, it did not surprise Birnbaum. To Birnbaum, this prediction is analysis of the key ‘red lines’ of the protagonists. More common sense than mystic precognition. No stranger to conflict, Birnbaum has dedicated his life to building bridges, making peace and seeking wisdom.
It begs the question, who is this David Birnbaum who descends on questions that baffle the minds of our times like a modern-day Nostradamus? What kind of man is this? How does he have this insight – a higher level consciousness ability to follow current events and see their outcomes? The answer is as complex as the man himself. For Birnbaum studies far more than simple global events. Birnbaum studies the universe and the cosmic order itself.
The author of the two-part treatise, Summa Metaphysica I & II, Birnbaum has dared to take on the Cosmic Question itself – seeking the answers to the nature of life and the universe and what drives and shapes it. Indeed, with regards to conflict, Birnbaum has sought to build a bridge between the most disparate camps: atheism and religion. Summa Metaphysica’s introduction of the Quest for Infinite Potential accomplishes that very goal, painting a universe where hard science and the divine work hand in hand in the brush strokes that make up the universe.
So, it should come with little surprise when Birnbaum, both a distinguished academic of Yeshiva and Harvard education and a self-taught philosopher and metaphysicist, turns his considerable intellectual muscle towards terrestrial social issues to predict the outcome of a conflict. It can only be hoped in the future that the State Department pays more attention to Birnbaum. Four years of State Department committees exploring a lasting peace for Israel and the Palestinians, or a day’s musings from Birnbaum. It would appear either gets the same results.
While the prophecies of Michel de Nostredame may be based on judicial horoscopy, David Birnbaum’s predictions are based on the empirical observations of a disciplined, scientific mind. Unlike Nostradamus’ vague, allegorical prose, Birnbaum’s predictions come with laser-like clarity, offering a keen insight into complex social problems. So, it is rather a matter of context to whom can be given the title seer – Birnbaum or Nostradamus.
What is less up for debate is the quality of Birnbaum’s predictions. Given the years Birnbaum’s insight could have saved in crafting a framework for peace between Israel and Palestine, it can only be hoped that he will take the time, once again, to pause in his study of the cosmos and apply himself to current issues and conflicts. If accuracy is the true measure of prophecy, and we can excuse the substitution of philosophy and science supplanting medieval astrology, then Birnbaum is, indeed, a modern day Nostradamus.