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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Historic Issues Behind The Conflict In The Middle East (Part II)

Link: The Crusades

The Birth Of Israel

Part II

How does a short history lesson relate to the seemingly eternal disagreements between East versus West, Europe/United States against the Arab nations?  First and foremost, the Arab community has always believed that the United Nations (and Great Britain in particular) betrayed them with the creation of Israel. The argument has some merit, when the demographics of Palestine in 1947 are examined.  From a universal perspective, though, many felt that the Jewish people had suffered enough, with Russian pogroms, European anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust; it was time to unilaterally act in favor of the Jewish community, regardless of the consequences to the Arab Palestinians.  The truth is, an effort was made to create two separate states.  No effort to work within the United Nations declaration was ever really attempted, which is the real tragedy.  Both states could have very easily learned to work and grow together, building symbiotic relationships that encourage friendship as opposed to animosity.  Be that as it may, in 1947, the Arab and Muslim communities of the world decided that the West (and Christian nations) unfairly supported Israel.  Every conflict since the original war in 1948 has only encouraged this opinion, as the United States strongly supported Israel (while the Soviet Union became the patron of the Arab nations).

Herein lies the root of the issue.  The United States and the West are seen by Arab and Muslim states as being unfairly supportive of Israel.  During the various internal Israeli conflicts (West Bank, Intifada, Gaza) the United States is always first to declare its support for the state of Israel.  If the Palestinians and the Arab states would make two decisions in good faith, they would go along way to improving their image and relations with the United States.  Firstly, Israel's right to exist must be acknowledged.  Second, terrorist groups cannot be anointed as political representation.  It is difficult to criticize the United States for supporting Israel when both Hamas and Hezbollah have been involved in the brutal murder of American civilians.  Most Americans see Israel as our most loyal ally, but the desire for an end to this conflict is beginning to affect U.S./Israeli relations. When an American traveling internationally is targeted by terrorists, it usually will be connected in some way to the U.S. unilateral support of Israel.  Its true that terror groups like Al-Qaeda have expanded the list of complaints against the United States, but somewhere on this list will be Israel.  Many expected that the Obama Administration would slacken the U.S. support for Israel, but the Palestinian cause is a difficult one to embrace.  One minute after watching in horror on TV an Israeli tank destroying a Palestinian house, the news broadcast switches to a scene of rockets being launched into Israeli neighborhoods.  I want to see this mess come to end in my lifetime.  I'm not optimistic.  The saddest part of this entire circumstance is that Arabs and Jews are cousins, for goodness sake.  I had a cousin once who used to beat me senseless, but afterwards she always apologized.  We can't even get to that point with these two.

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