Friday, July 14, 2006

Israel and Palestine

I don't like to discuss politics in a public forum such as this. I also shy away from overtly religious discussions. This post breeches both subjects. I'm talking about the fighting between Israel and the Palestinians.

Scripturally speaking (via the bible) the land in question is Israel's. The Israelis have always claimed and fought for the land based on their religious beliefs, but only in 1948 were the legal boundaries drawn.

The Palestinians have claimed the land as theirs for many many generations, I don't know the date, but for centuries, the Palestinians have lived on the land that they're fighting for.

You see, way back when, there were not boundaries and preset lines. There was no sign in the desert that said "Now Leaving Palestine" or "Welcome to Israel!" A people could basically set up camp and call the land their own, and that, by my limited understanding, is what Palestine did, way back then, when that's how things were done. There was some land in the desert where no one lived, the Palestinians came along and settled it. Generations of the Palestinian people have since lived in and fought for the land that their ancestors settled on. Then Israel says, WHOA!! Hold up! God promised us this land, it's ours, it's always been ours! Get out!

Well, Muslims don't recognize "God" or his laws or declarations. So they continue to believe that the land is theirs, and defend it. Why wouldn't they do exactly that? We have. We came over, claimed some land, and called it ours. There were no signs that said "This is Apache Land" or "Welcome to Navajo Territory!"

What would you do if, one day, or Native Americans declared that their religion, a religion completely different than the one you believe, said that the United States was theirs? If they filed some paperwork, kicked you out of your home, out of your country, and that's just how it was? Too bad, we were here first (yeah, but but... my great great great great grampa filed paperwork!!!) Wouldn't you fight for the land that you had always known as yours? Would you just turn tail and go? Of course you wouldn't.

So who is right? The Jews or the Muslims? What takes precedence? The claim Israel has according to their religion? The fact that the Palestinians have "owned" the land for eons? The decree of 1948 that states that the land is Israel's?

The two sides will never agree, there is no peace to be had. Both sides want 100%, no chance or option of compromise. There is no answer, no right or wrong that both sides can agree on, and it all comes down to religion. Christianity does, and always has, claimed supremacy. Islam has always been in a defensive stance.

I know nothing of Islam. I know a little of Christianity. I can't say I agree or disagree with either one. But why does either religion have the right to force itself on a people who believe differently? The whole thing makes me sick.

I admittedly know very little of the religious or political history involved here, and I've been doing some research, online and off, into it. While doing so, I've found the following links I'm finding pertinent -from various viewpoints and varying levels of rationality:
(thanks Martin - damn good read.)


  1. Isn't the whole thing a prime example of how, historically speaking, when the US or the UN butts in where they don't belong, even with the best of intentions, they do little to make things better?

    Is there ever a time to just mind our own beeswax and let the chips fall where they may?

    I mean, what good have we done?

  2. I think the lesson to be learned is that absolute clinging to the idea of ownership can result in nothing but suffering.
    Whether that ownership is claimed because of possession or "divine rights" is irrelevent. Once we see something as absolutely belonging to us we will fight and die for it and in the end suffer to own it. "Mine" is the word at the root of almost every conflict.

  3. Anonymous12:18 PM

    Clive James has a thoughtful essay about this issue, written in 2004 but sadly relevant now.