I'm not entirely sure this makes sense yet, but I'm tired of the debate on the previous post...
This week I participated in a program involving Jewish, Christian and Muslim medical students from around the Middle East. The general program brings students of pediatric medicine to Toronto for medical studies and more; our particular segment offered them a chance to talk with clergy and chaplains to discuss ethical/philosophical questions related specifically or loosely to medicine.
One of the less medicine-related questions outlined was: "How do you consider the role of your religion in solving conflicts between groups with supposedly contradictory monotheistic/polytheistic beliefs?" We didn't actually get to this question in my session, but I did give it some thought.
To me, Judaism doesn't solve conflicts with other systems. Judaism explains why the world exists as it is. Judaism prescribes ethics and activities. Judaism inspires dreams and defines aspirations. And it doesn't spend a lot of time directly addressing the question of "solving conflicts" with those who have different explanations, ethics, activities, dreams and aspirations. If the conflict stands to harm Judaism - such as when the conflict takes place in Israel, or when a member of the Jewish people embraces or confronts those other ideas - then the approach is one of self-defense. Otherwise, Judaism doesn't really say much about resolving conflicts with other systems. Either the conflict is personal, or it doesn't figure.
On the other hand, Judaism's explanations, ethics, activities, dreams and aspirations do shape a Jew's identity, as a religious person and as a human being, and in doing so they provide Jews with the means of solving conflict.
Judaism emphasizes humility. It teaches that all ideas have a place and a value, somehow, even if we are prohibited from adopting them. It mandates gratitude. It requires education in our identity, and a great distance from adopting the identities of others. These are traits which certainly do help to solve conflicts between groups, and these traits are modeled in numerous biblical events which showcase those conflicts between systems – Yosef and Pharaoh, Moshe and Pharaoh, Esther and Achashverosh, Daniel and Nevuchadnezzar, and so on.
I suppose what I would have said to the group is that Judaism takes a defensive rather than problem-solving approach to conflicts – but it also molds Jews as people who will be able to solve them.